By Ciaran O’Neill, UU Coleraine Socialist Society
UNIVERSITY OF Ulster’s political protocol cuts across students’ rights to speak and organise. The protocol says that, “political leaflets … may not be displayed outside the closed environment”. This in effect means students are not allowed to politically organise and could be “sanctioned” by the union if they do.
The students’ union justifies this by saying they want to create “a politically neutral environment”. The creation of a “politically neutral environment” is simply nonsense. Even organising a protest against fees, which the union did in December last year, was a political action. This ban is completely unworkable.
The nervousness of the students union about sectarian material being distributed is understandable. The best answer to sectarian ideas is to provide an alternative – burying their heads in the sand and ignoring the problem will only make it worse. The Socialist Society campaigns to overturn the political protocol and defend student’s rights.