By Kylie Noble, editor @noble_kylie
On the afternoon of Saturday 25 QUB Conservative Future made contact with The Gown to outline their position on referenda at QUBSU.
Conor McGinn, chairman of QUB Conservative Future stated the following:
“We at QUB Conservative Future strongly believe that this debate on the constitutional question of Northern Ireland will only lead to division and polarisation amongst students at QUB as well as damaging the reputation of the university as a whole. The referendum proposed by Sinn Féin is totally unnecessary and will not bring them any closer to their goal of a united Ireland. The only thing it will achieve is discouraging students from participating in politics.
This referendum will not generate healthy democratic debate but will only lead to further apathy amongst young people towards the political process as even student politics can’t seem to escape the binary narrative of the constitutional question. All this demonstrates is that the Sinn Féin simply aren’t capable about talking about the real issues that matter to students. This will only act as a distraction from the real issues that matter, like welfare reform and corporation tax or the fact that Stormont has been declared ‘no longer fit for purpose’ by our own First Minister.
The real motivations for this referendum for Sinn Féin seem to be for to court publicity not improve the SU. Student politics at Queen’s should be setting the standard for future political debate in Northern Ireland, we should aspire to a better standard of political debate, not dragging Northern Ireland back to the poisonous politics of the past.
QUB CF aim to promote inclusive, non-sectarian politics at Queen’s and across Northern Ireland. That is why we will be supporting the position of keeping the SU neutral on NI’s constitutional position, as we believe that the university should be an open and inclusive space for all political beliefs. The Students Union is a shared space and should not be used as a political football”.