President's News — 12 June 2024

UMSU's stance on war in Gaza.


The University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) is strident in our call for action against breaches of human rights all over the world. It is one of our Constitutional purposes to oppose violence and/or hatred through militarism, nationalism, or discrimination. 

There has been misinformation circulating about UMSU's position on the war on Gaza conflict due to Supreme Court proceedings between late 2022 and March 2024, initiated by two students in relation to a previous resolution. 

Let us be clear – we support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and our opposition to the University's involvement with the weapons industry remains firmly intact, as outlined in our stance booklet:

  • Calling on the Vice-Chancellor to address the University's position on weapons technology development and engagement with the U.S. Department of Defence’s initiatives via partnerships like Lockheed Martin (October 2016)
  • Opposing military spending and demanding the University terminate all weapons research and manufacturing programs (July 2020, March 2021)
  • Urging the University to cut ties with all weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin (January 2024)

UMSU is deeply troubled by the suffering and loss of innocent lives in the region. We recognise the profound historical ties different peoples have to the area, and condemn bigotry, hate speech, antisemitism, and Islamophobia. 

UMSU as the union for all students on campus has a long history of political activism on social justice issues, including nuclear disarmament, the White Australia Policy, the Vietnam War, the anti-apartheid campaign and land rights of Indigenous peoples. This is a legitimate role of student organisations and is part and parcel of student activism.

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