REFERENDUM: The results are in
And it’s a landslide.
Your votes have been tallied and your voices have been heard.
With 4315 votes in favour, and a paltry 336 against, an overwhelming 92.22% of Cantabs have voted FOR a Disabled Students’ Officer.
CUSU announced that the voter turnout was the highest in six years, with a MASSIVE (everything’s relative) 21.4% of you taking part in the democratic process.
Members voting in the referendum were asked: “Do you accept the proposed constitutional changes, which would add a Disabled Students’ Officer to the Full-Time Elected Officer Team?”
CUSU congratulated the students on “excellent campaigning techniques” and the “dedication of those involved”. Whilst there was certainly a vigorous YES campaign, the NO campaign seemed to have conceded defeat before even starting, with only two people attending the VOTE NO facebook event.
This was despite 336 people actually voting against, in what is surely an even greater victory for the secret ballot system.
The proposal for a new Disabled Students’ Officer will cost £18,000, and it has been suggested to The Tab that it will possibly cost up to £26,000, depending on additional costs.
The referendum was sparked by a petition with just 350 signatures. There was only a 10% turnout needed to amend the constitution. This threshold was not crossed the last time there was a CUSU referendum.
The referendum saw a flurry of campaigning, with members of the YES campaign even going around to lectures to encourage people to vote. Last night, supports of a Disabled Students’ Officer went around bars in the university making the case to students.
The YES campaign released a statement: “Speaking to students in colleges and around the University during the past week, we have been overwhelmed by the unconditional support and excitement for this cause. We were a small team running this campaign alongside work and disabilities, so to get the response we got was frankly incredible.
“This is a huge victory. We hope that we can build on this support and mobilise more students to get involved with the Disabled Students’ Campaign, and we will continue working relentlessly to make Cambridge a less disabling place.
“With over a fifth of students (21.4%) voting, we have the largest mandate of any previous CUSU referendum as far back as online records go. We want to thank every single student who took the time to vote and engage with the campaign.”