The Student Representative Council at Queens is an elective body which decides whether individual societies can be affiliated to the Students Union or not. At a meeting last week the Democratic Unionist Association used their considerable representation to refuse the University’s highly respected Irish Folk Music Society (they opened the joint universities’ St Patrick’s Festival last weekend) official recognition, ostensibly because it had not provided a constitution for council members to read (adds: at the previous meeting). But there were also fears expressed at length, by several members, that it might play ‘Republican songs’, and thereby engage in ‘glorifying terrorism’ or even ‘inciting terrorism’ – despite the group’s high standing and mixed religious composition.The decision was taken on the casting vote of the speaker, and prevents the society from accessing university facilities and/or funding, much to the dismay of the independent members of the council. The controversy will air this afternoon on Queens Radio on the Politics Show at 4pm.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty