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On May 10th of 2024, the UQU Secretary – Alex Smock – sent an email out to members of Union council with the announcement that he had been approached with a requisition for a general meeting. The meeting – which has officially been called for the 29th of May (this Wednesday) – calls upon the student body to vote on three questions about the situation in Palestine, and the Union’s stance on the issue:

  1. Should UQ sever ties with companies that supply the Israeli Defence Force?
  2. Should UQ shut down the Boeing Centre?
  3. Should UQ financially divest from Israel?

A general meeting is a meeting that is open to the entire (currently enrolled) student body, and is arguably the most democratic process that the Union is able to go through outside of its annual elections. If students vote in favour of the above questions on the day, the proposals will thereby be considered the official stances of the UQ Union. Due to the significance of these meetings and the precedent they can potentially set, the meeting has a requirement of 300 student attendees (at the very minimum)

The meeting will be a significant event for the Union, considering the last general meeting held was in 2019. The 2019 meeting regarded questions around the reconstruction of the Schonell Theatre, and the introduction of the “Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation” degree.

In the Union’s constitution – specifically C11.1(A) and C11.1(B) – a general meeting can only be called via one of two methods. It must either be called via a signed requisition holding the signatures of at least 2% of UQ students, or it must be called via a motion to student council and passed by a two-thirds majority vote.

In this case, the Union Secretary says that he has received a requisition with the signatures of over 2% of students, which means 1,109 students – at the very minimum – have requested that the meeting happens. This detail makes this event a defining moment for the UQU, as this is the first time a meeting has been called by over 2% of the student body – as opposed to a two-thirds majority vote of student council – since these rules were introduced in 2017.

Photo of Ella Gutteridge, S4P Media Rep.

The primary organisers for this requisition, who were able to garner the required signatures, were members of Students For Palestine (S4P). We contacted Ella, one of S4P’s appointed media contacts, and gave her a few questions regarding her feelings and thoughts about the upcoming meeting.


What are your thoughts on the significance of the upcoming general meeting and how it was called? What does it say regarding how the student body is feeling around the issue?

“It’s significant and reflects the determined efforts of the campaigners at the camp and the passion a section of the student body feels about this issue. Students for the most part don’t want to see their research be used to create things for which the only intended purpose is killing people. They don’t want to see private companies that profit from war and destruction be celebrated and have space on our campus.”

What do you believe will be the turnout of the meeting, if you were to guess? Not a specific number, but do you feel the meeting will have difficulty reaching the minimum number of 300 students?

“It will be a huge effort to get 300 students out to vote for Palestine in the middle of Swotvac, but I think we can do it. Students know that it’s worth finding time in their busy schedules to show their opposition to the genocide of the Palestinian people, which is being supported by our government and university.”

How do you feel the general meeting will go? What do you feel will be the outcome, and what message will this result send to the University administration?

“I think once we get the numbers to make the meeting official, the vote will be straightforwardly in favour of Palestine, divestment, and weapons companies being banned from campus. This official vote by the most authoritative and democratic meeting of the student body will send a clear message to the university that this isn’t just the position of a radical minority, but much wider layers who support humanity and the Palestinian people. I’m sure the meeting will have a debate, as is the normal format with student general meetings, but I’m confident our side will win out due to the strength and morality of our arguments, as well as the fact that – statistically – young people today overwhelmingly support Palestine.”


As per another announcement that the Union Secretary released, the general meeting has been called for 6pm this Wednesday, the 29th of May – exactly 5 years apart from the 2019 general meeting. It will be held in the lecture theatre at the UQ Centre (Building 27A), St Lucia Campus.

If you are currently an enrolled student at the University of Queensland, then you are eligible to vote at the general meeting, and should attend to have your say on the issues being discussed. The meeting requires an absolute minimum of 300 attendees to be considered quorate, so if you have time at 6pm Wednesday then be sure to come around.

Whether you’re staunch with your position on the issues – or don’t even know very much about them – you should come around to witness and participate in the debate, and have your say in the most democratic process of your UQU.

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