The University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) have released a statement extending the voting period to 9.00am on Monday, 13th November (Week 8). Jack Harvey, the Policy Co-Ordinator said:
“The Students’ Union is extending the referendum voting period until Monday morning to give students the opportunity to engage with the debate and vote over the weekend. As we saw in the official debate on Monday night, this is a complex debate about which many students feel passionate and we want to ensure as many students as possible cast their vote.”
On the University of York Radio’s (URY) programme Newshour, Harvey was not asked about the decision to extend the vote. He did, however, condemn personal jibes generally after the hotly contested debate on Monday evening. The root of the controversy in the debate, as Harvey sees it, lies in the personal nature of this debate; “everyone has a sense of class”.
Michaela Tharby, co-campaign co-ordinator of the ‘Yes’ Campaign welcomed the change. She claimed that the “extension … will impact positively on our campaign.” She rejected the notion that the campaign has descended into farce “despite apparent efforts from [unspecified] others” and remained confident of a positive vote, claiming they had mobilised a group of students “who aren’t necessary [sic] active in societies or clubs, but who deserve a voice”.
When asked about the ‘No’ Campaign‘s claim about a ‘middle class network’ running YUSU, Tharby said this:
The No campaign’s claim is empty and completely lacking any real knowledge or understanding of YUSU – as expected of a campaign which has existed for such a brief period of time. Middle class students are disproportionately in positions of power, and it requires a large degree of financial security to be able to run for a sabbatical position – however blank statements which ignore the diverse reps in YUSU are pointless and ignores the real structural issues that prohibit working class students from getting involved.
She went on to accuse the ‘No’ Campaign of being middle class the same. At the time of publication, the ‘No’ Campaign are yet to respond to the request for comment.