Voting is now open in several faculties for the UCDSU Presidential Impeachment Referendum. The College Tribune dropped by some of the polling stations to check on the turnout.
Voting began in Veterinary at 10am. There were two ‘Yes’ campaigners and three ‘No’ campaigners when the Tribune dropped by the Veterinary Building at around 11:30am. Unlike in Health Sciences, the two sides had opposing views as to turnout.
A ‘No’ side campaigner, who identified herself as ‘Hope’, told the Tribune that “turnout’s been pretty good, lots of people have been coming through”, and that “most people seemed to seem to want to be voting, so that’s a good sign that people are hands on.” She said that “people are busy getting into their classes” but that “they’ve been very open and accepting both sides.”
When asked about whether there were many students who were uninterested in voting, Hope said “yeah, a little bit. It’s a busy college day in the middle of the year, people don’t want to miss lectures so I completely understand people who are too busy to vote, but most people do want to vote, most people are very interested, and want to see justice on their college, and want to see things as they are, and make a good choice.”
Sadhbh McLoughlin, a ‘Yes’ side campaigner, had a different view on turnout. She “had been up in Health Sciences this morning, and thought it was low.” McLoughlin told the Tribune that “turnout hasn’t been huge in the past” and that “we wanna hit a 10% quorum, so I’m hoping there’s a bigger turnout.”
Regarding student apathy, McLoughlin noted that “so far, in here, everyone I’ve met seems to be interested in voting.” She has been campaigning on the issue since the original petition to impeach Ascough was launched, and commented that “a lot of people were very blasé out on the campus”, and that “I think when you’re in the Arts block everyone’s kinda interested in it, but when you leave that area, there’s not as much public engagement.” She ended her comment by stating that “I hope everyone turns out to vote.”
Health Sciences was quiet when the Tribune arrived there at 11.15am. There was one member from each side hanging around the main door, with other campaigners located in the main area of the building. Turnout was low, but on the increase.
When the Tribune returned near 12pm, the building was noticeably busier. The single ‘No’ campaigner had been joined by two others, who stood near the main door, while McLoughlin arrived from Veterinary for the ‘Yes’ side. A queue to vote developed as a large number of students walked out of a lecture. An assistant at the voting station could be heard telling students to form an orderly line.
Engineering & Architecture
Voting for students was held in Richview from 9:30am to 12:15pm, then moved to Newstead from 12:15pm to 4pm. When the Tribune passed by the Engineering building this morning, there were plenty of pro-Ascough posters visible around the building.
Business and Law (Postgraduate)
Voting is taking place in Carysfort, on the Blackrock campus, from 10am to 4pm today.
Update: Turnout has begun to increase this afternoon. While it was generally low up until 12pm, there has been a large rise in the number of votes cast this afternoon.
The Tribune will continue to provide updates from polling stations around campus. In another piece of referendum coverage, the Tribune revealed this morning that three UCDSU Sabbatical Officers will not be allowed take annual leave to campaign for the impeachment of President Katie Ascough.
Cian Carton – Editor