DCU Students’ Union are set to hold two referendums, which will take place along with the SU elections this week. In the first referendum students will be voting on whether they want DCU Students’ Union to support the campaign for Marriage Equality for same-sex couples in the national referendum on May 22nd.
Union of Students in Ireland’s (USI) Vice President for Equality and Citizenship, Annie Hoey told the College View about the Marriage Equality referendum is taking place to allow people of the same sex to marry and also have their relationships recognised in the same way as opposite sex couples currently are.
Annie explains why it is so important to vote and to voice your opinion; “We don’t know how long it could be until it comes again when the divorce referendum fell in the 1980’s it took ten years before that was brought to the people again and that still only won by about 9,000 votes”.
The one main amendment that will take place is the wording of the Constitution under Article 41, which will allow a civil marriage between two people regardless of their sex. This provision will be added to the constitution as a new number 41.4.
The second referendum that will be taking place on amendments to The Students’ Union Constitution. The referendum is to ensure the Constitution remains a modern document that serves the needs of the students in DCU. There are just a few key areas that will experience changes such as, Grammatical and formatting, governance, Elections and referendum procedures and fundamental rights of Students’ Union membership.
Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee, Allan Stevenson said; “We have introduced a first year officer which is quite a big change, that’s obviously if the proposed constitution is accepted. The first year officer will be chosen by the first year students to sit on exec. We have never had a first year sit on the executive, we just felt this would be able to help our new students especially from St. Pats and Mater Dei with the change over. They would have someone representing them”.