On Tuesday evening, The Queen’s University Young Unionists posted the following statement regarding the QUB Referenda, on the Facebook page:
“The Young Unionists have been at the forefront of the Keep QUB neutral campaign. The Young Unionists believe that this is a cynical attempt by Sinn Fein to raise tension and drag outdated constitutional issues into Queen’s Students’ Union. The group was disappointed to learn that Sinn Fein would be using the University to score poor political points and cause unnecessary division within the student body. Surely as students our focus should be on the 15% cuts to Queen’s University funding where courses and student places are under threat.
The Young Unionists believe that Sinn Fein’s referendum is not in keeping with the aims and objectives of the SU constitution. “Do you believe Ireland should be a United and independent country? [yes or no]” has been designed by Sinn Fein not in keeping with the aim to have a relaxed and welcoming environment for all students and does not promote the unity of spirit within the university and outside communities. The issue of Northern Ireland’s constitutional position was ensured for both Irish and British citizens in The Belfast Agreement in 1998 to which Sinn Fein signed up to and supported.
The Young Unionists, as does the Ulster Unionist Party, believes in integrated education. Queen’s University should be a shining example of integrated education as it is the gem in Northern Ireland’s education system. The Young Unionists agree with the ethos of integrated education in which young people from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds as well as other faiths and none, can learn with, from and about each other.
The Young Unionists believe in QUB being a shared space for all students no matter who they are or what they believe. We are all part of a diverse community as Queen’s from all over the world and should be united in ensuring our Student’s Union remains a place that is inclusive for everyone. We encourage all students of QUB to do what’s right for Northern Ireland and vote against sectarianism and vote YES to an inclusive welcoming neutral Students’ Union for all of us.”
The Scoop contacted Chair of QUB Young Unionists, Sky Aughey, to find out her thoughts on the Irish Unity Referendum: “The (Irish Unity) referendum is not a topic that directly relates to everyday student issues and we wish to have a neutral Students Union where students can feel welcome, no matter what their political beliefs may be. We want the SU to be a place for students to have a voice and be involved in the many activities that are available to them. But this referendum has the potential to put some students off.”
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