TRUSU agrees to issue a statement on the Israel/Gaza conflict

"We thank the TRUSU Board of Directors for taking this position," said the MSA.

According to TRU’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) Instagram page, TRUSU will issue a statement regarding a ceasefire amidst the current conflict in the Middle East following pressure and a petition by some students on campus.

The online petition circulated by the MSA late last semester outlined several calls to action for TRUSU to undertake.

The first call in the petition was for the union to demand the retraction of what the MSA deemed a “one-sided statement” from the university administration on the conflict in October. Additionally, they also called for the administration to “immediately and publicly condemn the genocidal bombing campaigns and siege against the people of Gaza,” with a second call related to showing Palestinian solidarity and writing a letter to federal government representatives.

In response, TRUSU opted to show solidarity with some positions in the petition. Most notably, they announced that they would make a statement calling for a ceasefire while also organizing a meeting with the administration to create a strategy on how the university approaches public statements in the future.

“TRUSU affirms that solidarity for Palestinian human rights is protected speech under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms… [and] condemns all acts of Islamophobia, antisemitism, and racism in our country,” the TRUSU response said.

TRU’s MSA celebrated this decision, thanking students who signed the petition and TRUSU for “standing on the right side of history.”

“Although the statement and policy aren’t exactly what we petitioned for, we are proud of what we were able to advocate for and achieve as students,” the post reads. “We thank the TRUSU Board of Directors for taking this position and acknowledging the impact that global conflict has on students from all backgrounds. The road to liberation is an uphill battle.”

When reached for comment regarding the MSA petition, TRU declined to comment.

“TRU has no comment on the petition at this time. TRU administration will meet with TRUSU to discuss the petition in the near future,” TRU said in an email to the Omega.

In recent months, there have been multiple instances of protests and demonstrations in Kamloops related to the ongoing conflict. In mid-November, approximately 50 people gathered downtown to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause, following similar demonstrations in late 2023.

On Jan 12, Palestine Solidarity Kamloops published a petition directed to the region’s federal Member of Parliament, Frank Caputo, asking him to do everything in his political power to persuade Canada to take action “to ensure an immediate and permanent ceasefire” in the conflict.

This was just one of several requests outlined in that document that is nearing 200 signatures as of the time of writing this article.

Since the escalation of the conflict on Oct. 7, violence in the region has spiked, with over 24,000 Palestinians and 1,100 Israelis being killed since, according to recent figures from international news outlets.