YUSU announces controversial referenda results


YUSU has revealed the results of last week’s referenda on the University of York’s research contracts with arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which has failed, and a push for union involvement in how tuition fees are spent, which passed.

1,272 students voted in the controversial BAE Systems referendum, which asked whether the union should “lobby the university to discontinue all research contracts with BAE systems”, and the motion failed after 61.9% voted against.

Multimedia campaigns were launched by both sides of the debate over the issue, including articles published by The Yorker both For and Against the motion.

University Radio York also hosted a referendum debate on the issue with FOR campaigner Sebastian Odell, of Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and AGAINST campaigner Matthew Kilcoyne, vice-chair of the York Tories.

The second referendum, which asked whether YUSU should “engage with the university on how tuition fee income is being spent”, passed, with 80.4% of 1,111 voters in favour of the motion.

Turnout figures are reportedly higher than usual for YUSU referenda. However, the statistics are still low at 8.1% and 7.1% respectively, as the number of potential voters exceeds 15,000 students.

The announcements coincide with the RAG, Volunteering and Democracy Committee by-election results, which were also held last week as the committees look to fill all roles for the term.

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