Independence Poll for students to be held
Students at the University of Glasgow are to hold a campus-wide referendum on Scottish Independence. A broad coalition of student societies will invite more than 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students to the ballot boxes on February the 21st. The event will be the first large-scale poll of Scottish university students on Scotland’s future.
Eight student societies are supporting the referendum - including the SNP, Labour, Conservative and Independent societies. The two student unions, Glasgow University Union and the Queen Margaret Union have also confirmed their support for the event and will host the ballot boxes on the day of the poll.
The question being asked on a straight “yes” or “no” is “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”
Michael Gray, President of Dialectic Society, said: “It’s a great idea to encourage debate and activism on campus. The result of the real referendum will impact students in Scotland for the rest of their lives, so holding our own vote is one way of finding out what young people think. Glasgow can lead the way and hopefully other students across the country will follow suit.”
Five specific debates and hustings will be held on campus in the run up to the poll, featuring local and national politicians, commentators and academics. These will focus on issues ranging from the nature of democracy; what would make for “just Scotland; gender and independence; foreign policy; and a pre-poll student debate.
Colum Fraser, President of QMU, said "Through the process leading to a referendum, the students of the University of Glasgow will have the opportunity to learn and discuss this most important matter affecting the future of their nation - by birth or - as many students from beyond our borders who pass through Glasgow choose – adopted.
It gives me great pride that the Unions are to be used as centres of learning and debate for the process, and I look forward with excitement to a series of events that will seek to include the facts, opinions and perspectives of all facets of the issue."
Imogen Dewar, Debates Convener at Glasgow University Union, added "The popularity of GUU's Freshers' Week debate on Scottish Independence demonstrates how engaged students are in the impending national referendum. We are excited to help host this event and to hear the opinions of the students of the University of Glasgow."
Glasgow has a close relationship with many key figures in Scottish Politics. John MacCormick, Donald Dewar, Winnie Ewing, John Smith, Charles Kennedy & Liam Fox are among the University’s alumni.
The Referendum Committee includes GU Dialectic Society, GU Politics Society, GU Labour Club, GU Scottish Nationalist Association, International Socialist Group (Glasgow), GU Conservative and Unionist Party, GU Feminist Society, GU Liberal Democrats
For more information contact Michael Gray, President of the Dialectic Society on 07896 988994; GlasgowUniScotlandReferendum@hotmail.com
First published: 18 January 2013