A referendum to decide the Students’ Union’s stance on the construction of an on-campus Labyrinth will be held next week.
The referendum is a result of a petition started by student Sean Cassidy and signed by over 200 students was presented to the SU on March 18th. Cassidy has argued the Labyrinth has perceived religious connotations.
The Labyrinth is due to be completed by the end of May, though opposition may stall progress as students seek to have their voice heard on the issue.
Fr Joe Jones of the Interfaith Centre expressed disappointment with the opposition who, he said, haven’t done their research.
“We’ve had lots of difficulties on campus with young people taking their lives and mental health problems. I’ve been passionate about putting the Labyrinth on campus because it might be an instrument that young people can use to their benefit.”
He also stated that the structure has no connection with, and predates, religion. “I think it’s unfortunate that I, as a Catholic priest, am leading the project, because people can’t separate the two.”
Cassidy, who is a proponent of a secular campus, said that the proposed design does have religious connotations. “This isn’t about individual liberties or religious freedom. It’s about whether students want a Christian symbol to be a centrepiece of their campus or not.
“Our opinion was sought when there was the possibility of us donating €10,000 but now that no money is at play, our opinion is seen as irrelevant.”
The project has been in the pipeline for the last six years, with construction costs of over €30,000 privately fundraised since August 2012.
In a referendum which seen the largest voter turnout in DCU SU history, students in 2012 voted against the SU donating €10,000 to the project.
Students can vote on the issue on Wednesday and Thursday next week, with voting be available through Moodle.
Image Credit: Annemarie Kelly