UCD Pro-Choice Society Auditor, Suzanne Lee, has told the University Observer that the society will renew their efforts to gain recognition as an official society in the coming weeks.
The process of gaining recognition for a society in UCD requires a proposal to be presented to the Societies Council Board, following which a decision will be made on the creation of the society outlined.
The Life Society UCD is an officially recognised society in UCD and represents the pro-life view of students. Their aims state that they intend “to promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, through reasonable and informed discussion on the issues of abortion and euthanasia at our university.”
On October 1st and 2nd, UCD students voted in the UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Abortion Policy preferendum and elected to adopt Option B, which stated that “UCDSU should adopt a policy of legalising abortion in Ireland upon request of the woman,” as official policy of UCDSU.
Lee feels that this preferendum highlights that UCD student’s opinions on abortion now lean predominantly towards a pro-choice viewpoint and that the pro-life ideology doesn’t resonate with students to the same effect.
Speaking to the University Observer, Lee was adamant that the UCD Pro-Choice Society deserves official recognition. “UCD has a Pro-Life Society and with the fact that 8% of the students in this preferendum voted pro-life it seems weird that we can have a society that represents 8% of students, but not 45% of students [who voted for Option B].”
Lee continued to describe the convoluted process that is preventing the UCD Pro-Choice Society gaining recognition from the Societies Council. “Well, we applied for society recognition last October. At the start of it all, I would go in every few weeks and say, ‘When are they going to meet?’ and was always told it would be the next few weeks.
“Just before the exams [in May] I got a phone call to say you will be a getting another phone call very soon because were going to meet and nothing came of that. I guess this semester, with time being taken up with the referendum, it is my plan to go in this week and see what is happening.”
At the time of going to print, UCD Societies were unavailable for comment.
NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth are two Irish Universities that have recognised pro-choice societies in place that campaign on the issue of women’s rights in relation to abortion.
Last year, however, the Central Societies Committee (CSC) in Trinity College Dublin, refused appeals to create both pro-choice and pro-life societies, citing that “there is an inability for such to exist beyond a limited period of time surrounding national debates on the issue.”