A row has erupted between students at a London university after a proposal to commemorate the Holocaust was voted down, with students expressing concerns over "colonialism" and "Eurocentric" links.
Students at Goldsmiths University refused to back the motion on Wednesday, which suggested organising commemorative events for students on Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as other genocide remembrance days.
Former UKIP member and Goldsmiths student Colin Cortbus proposed the motion, which asked the student union to "organise commemorative events for students and members of the public on Holocaust Memorial Day, on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, on the Holodomor Genocide Memorial Day Act and on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day".
On the same day the proposal was defeated, Sarah El-alfy, education officer at Goldsmiths, tweeted a message congratulating students for rejecting the "Eurocentric" motion:
RT: @drcab1e: <3 Sarah.
Wonderful support from Goldsmiths' students on preventing Eurocentric motion going through. #GSUAssembly— Sarah GSUEducation (@GSU_Education) October 14, 2014
One student present at the debate makes clear their opposition against the motion:
This is a colonialist motion. Vote it down. #gsuassembly— Defy cisnormativity (@drcab1e) October 14, 2014
White people should not be proposing motions condemning genocides without a lot of thought.
This does not have that thought.October 14, 2014
The row emerged following an article Cortbus co-wrote for his student website The Tab on the issue, which has been criticised for misgendering and factual inaccuracies.
GUESS WHO GOT MISGENDERED BY THE TAB— cyd maddon (@cydmthomlinson) October 15, 2014
According to the union, student officer Sarah El-alfy offered to help Cortbus redraft the motion and bring it to the next student assembly.
However Cortbus still insists the motion was wholly rejected, telling HuffPost UK: "To see a students' union reject this tolerant, inclusive motion for remembrance on the basis of spurious arguments.. is very sad for democracy."
Goldsmiths president Howard Littler assured HuffPost UK the student union had previously held commemorative events on Holocaust Memorial Day and would do so in future.