Words: Motley Staff
Earlier this month, UCC’s Students’ Union received a petition from over five hundred students calling for a campus wide referendum concerning the 8th amendment. On the 23rd and 24th of November, all students of University College Cork will have the opportunity to vote. This referendum will ask if UCC’s Students’ Union should campaign for a repeal of the 8th Amendment of Bunreacht Na hÉireann. The 8th Amendment tightly restricts abortion rights in Ireland.
If you vote YES/TÁ on November 23rd or 24th you will be giving your approval for UCCSU to campaign in favour of repealing the 8th amendment of Bunreacht na Éireann.
If you vote NO/NÍL on November 23rd or 24th then the question will fail and UCCSU will not campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment of Bunreacht na hÉireann. UCC Students’ Union will then take no stance on the status of the 8th Amendment of Bunreacht na hÉireann.
This means the referendum isn’t exactly asking where your direct personal stance on abortion rights lies, but instead is asking if you believe the Students’ Union should be active in a national debate surrounding the 8th amendment; a debate that is steadily gathering momentum. There’s a subtle difference in what is being asked here and what may be initially interpreted. Similar referendums have already taken place in other universities across the country.
Students’ voices are important in national debates and the inclusion or exclusion of UCCSU as representative of the UCC student body could be a crucial difference. The Students’ Union represent you, and are a platform to having your voice heard on a much larger scale than if you stand alone, so casting your vote is worthwhile if you have any strong opinion on either side of the current abortion legislation in Ireland.
Voting takes place across campus with polling station in Brookfield, CUH, Boole Basement, Kane Builing, O’Rahilly Building and Copley Street (Polling Stations Subject To Change).