The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) are running canvassing training across a number of university campuses, in preparation for the Marriage Equality referendum on May 22nd.
UCC hosted the first canvassing training session on March 30th, facilitated by USI Equality & Citizenship Officer, Annie Hoey, LGBT*Q Rights Officer, Robert Cassidy, and USI VP for the Southern Region, Martin Lynch.
In the workshops, facilitators go through why they are going out canvassing for a yes vote, they share statistics on where the opinion polls currently are, they give simple tips about canvassing and finally, they get people to give canvassing a trial run.
“Many people are voting yes because they simply feel it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately when out canvassing, simply telling someone it is the right thing to do isn’t enough. So we outline the reasons why a yes vote is important.” said Annie Hoey.
GIG Soc in NUI Galway are hosting the USI canvassing training on April 8th. There are further workshops being organised and dates will be finalised in the coming weeks.
No dates have been confirmed for USI canvassing training in DCU as of yet. However, YesEquality Dublin North West are hosting a “Canvasser Training Day” in Dublin at 11am on April 11th.
Annie Hoey thinks that these workshops help to engage students that may not be politically minded and may not have been interested in playing an active role in campaigning.
“I think the marriage equality referendum is very special in the sense that it is engaging a cohort of society that feels disengaged from the political process but feel that this is something they can get involved in and make a difference.
Nearly every student know at least one person who is a member of the LGBT*Q community and they want to see this referendum pass for them.” she said.
The USI launched their “Students for Marriage Equality” campaign on January 20th at Wood Quay, Dublin. The campaign was launched to help secure a “yes” vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum.