Queen’s University Students’ Union has rejected calls for the Union to support a united Ireland. On Monday students voted in two competing referendums. The first referendum proposed by the Queen’s branch of Sinn Fein asked “Should Ireland be a United and Independent Country”. Unionists at Queen’s Students’ Union boycotted this poll. A counter referendum was proposed in response to the Sinn Fein poll calling for the University to adopt a neutral position on the constitutional question.
Sky Aughey, the Chair of the Queen’s Young Unionists said:
“This is excellent news after all the hard work everyone has put in. I’m so happy our student body has voted to be inclusive of everyone no matter what their religion or nationality.”
Cathy Corbett a Student Councillor and former Chair of the Queen’s Young Unionists said:
“Queen’s students can be proud of themselves today. They voted for a positive future for Northern Ireland.”
Former Chairman of the Queen’s Students’ Council and current Lisburn City Councillor Alexander Redpath said:
"It is regrettable that Sinn Fein forced their divisive and unnecessary border poll on students at Queen's University. It was obvious from the beginning that this was not in the interests of students but merely an attempt to make a petty political point. I am glad that students have rejected their approach and instead backed a position of neutrality on the constitutional issue. The Students' Union should be welcoming to students from all backgrounds and I am glad that students declined Sinn Fein's invitation to divide the student body over constitutional politics.
“Students can now unite around issues which are in their common interest. A good example is the potential of 15% cuts in the Higher Education budget as a result of the ongoing budget crisis.
Ulster Unionist MLA, Tom Elliott, said:
"I want to congratulate the 'keep QUB neutral' campaign. They set out to keep QUB Students’ Union a neutral, inclusive space for all students whatever their political beliefs or backgrounds.
"It was clear from the outset that the Sinn Fein Unity referendum would only provoke division.
"A university is a place where debate should take place, but such debate should not in turn marginalise students."