Time for university to abandon neutrality..?

ÓGRA Shinn Féin is up in arms (just pictorially, I’m glad to say) about the ‘political protocol’ at the University of Ulster Students’ Union, which places fairly tight restrictions on party political organisation on campus. UU certainly was not a hotbed of party political activity when I attended, but on the other hand, Queen’s SU has a reputation of childish playground tribalism. Anyway, Ógra is facing disciplinary action for distributing a leaflet publicising a lecture which included images of masked gunmen. Ógra’s reason for using the image is the usual rhetorical platitudes (“We feel that it is right to remember the past, and only by remembering and talking about the past, can we truly move forward to a shared future” – yeah, you’re obviously putting yourselves out on a limb to ‘share’ there guys!) but is there a valid point lurking in there? Should UU open the political Pandora’s box and allow greater freedom to the various parties’ junior wings, despite the divisiveness that could result? If you agree with Ógra, you can sign their petition here, or SDLP Youth’s here. The SDLP group has been opposed to the UU policy for a number of years. Anyone know the unionist position? Could it even be the last thing the junior Gerrys and premature Peters ever agree on!? Don’t be expecting replies until after noon…

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