UCD Students Union will be backing the ‘Yes for Children’ campaign ahead of the referendum on November 9th, which could lead to changes to the Irish Constitution.
This announcement follows a motion which was passed through Union of Students of Ireland (USI) in March. UCD, like most other colleges around the country, has decided to back the referendum campaign, after ratifying it at the last meeting of the Union Executive.
UCD Students’ Union President Rachel Breslin, says of the ‘Yes for Children’ campaign: “We started looking at it when a motion was brought to the USI Congress last year and it really made our team stop and think about the fact we must, as students, stand for those other social causes as well as our own, for the betterment of our society, and this was a part of that”.
UCDSU Campaigns and Communication Officer Paddy Guiney agreed it was important to support social issues: “In the past it’s been given out to us that we haven’t supported enough minority interest groups and I feel that this year this has changed and there is more of a broader outlook and we are trying to help as many people as we can… As a Union, you’re supposed to be representative of every student here… I think as a Union, we needed to take a stance on this and show our support and I feel we have done that.”
Due to other campaigns within the Union, Breslin explained that they haven’t been able to dedicate a great amount of resources and time to the ‘Yes for Children’ campaign but added: “I do think that for quite a small amount of work, we can show the importance that this has to students, and that students need to get out there and vote yes.”
UCDSU Welfare Officer Mícheál Gallagher will continue to organise information stands across campus until the referendum, to get students informed on the issue at hand and encourage them to vote yes. Guiney will also be out across campus, helping students register to vote. He has already begun this, registering 750 students last week. This will continue, with the aim of “getting more young people involved in politics.”
If successful, the campaign, which is being supported by children’s charities and rights groups as well, will lead to the creation of Article 42A, which would aim to better protect the vulnerable children of Ireland. The proposed changes include state intervention if parents fail in their duty, explicit obligation to protect and vindicate rights of children and changes to legislation concerning adoption.
For in-depth coverage of the Children’s Referendum, click here.