Edinburgh student vows to buy steaks for anyone who votes against the beef ban
He’s also promised to run for EUSA President
An Edinburgh University third-year has promised to buy a steak for every student who votes against EUSA banning the sale of beef from its venues.
Sharing the declaration in a Facebook post, Theoretical Physics student Benedict Willacy also promised to run for EUSA president to "sort this (EUSA) shambles out" if his post reaches over 100 likes.
"Ultimately this comes down to our desire for freedom of choice," Benedict told The Edinburgh Tab. "As a liberal I fight for people's rights to make their own decisions and live their lives how they want – even if I disagree with their choices."
Benedict's steak give-away comes following a recent Student Council motion, demanding EUSA cease selling beef, failed to receive enough votes in order to immediately pass or fail as policy. The motion, which was proposed by second year students Therese Ribeiro and Elena Silverstein, has now gone to an online ballot in which all matriculated students are eligible to vote. The ballot closes at 10am tomorrow morning.
Benedict's full Facebook post reads: "I’ll buy a steak for every person who votes against this motion! ? ? ?
"Authoritarian busybodies at the top university in Scotland are proposing to remove your choice to purchase beef in University premises. Who are these people?! Perhaps UCAS needs to do a better job… ?
"Vote against the motion by logging in with your EASE account.
"If this gets 100 likes I’ll run for EUSA President and sort this shambles out."
Benedict has created a google doc where students who have voted against the beef ban can go to claim their prize. Pro-beefers can select the cut of steak they desire, their sauce of choice and whether they want their steak cooked anywhere between rare and well done.
Benedict told the Edinburgh Tab: "This initially started as a bit of fun with my friends and I never expected it to blow up this much.
"My reasons for doing this are twofold: Firstly I’m fed up with autocratic busybodies at EUSA telling us what we can and can’t can’t do. This university is among the top five in the UK. I’m fairly sure we're all intelligent enough to make decisions for ourselves.
"It’s not the beef that’s the issue for me. This motion is symptomatic of the oppressive regime run by student politics, which affects the whole university population. So what if Cambridge have already done this? Cambridge is the university who wanted to ban remembrance poppies on campus.
"Secondly, I’m a lover of food. I previously worked as a cheesemonger and a butcher in my university holidays and I also come from a large family, many of whom are sheep and cattle farmers. I think it’s really important that we support the backbone of our country even if we don’t necessarily see the process from start to finish.
"I see this as an opportunity for food lovers to get together and while away the evening hours over a good old steak."
So far Benedict's Facebook post has gained over 190 likes, and he is aware of the logistical challenges he now faces.
He told The Edinburgh Tab: "I’ll be cooking the steaks for everyone at some date after the vote closes.
"I need to have a think about the logistics. I’ll see if I can get a butcher to subsidise it and I've found a few wholesalers."
Benedict is also aware the number of likes his post has received has surpassed the amount requiring him to run for EUSA President.
Benedict said: "I’m a man of my word and even though I didn’t expect this post to explode like it has done I will still run for EUSA President this year.
"There will be a shake up in student politics. The people of Edinburgh University will be heard. No longer will the few have the rights to dictate the choices of the many. As EUSA president I will fight for the climate crisis. I will fight for diversity and I will fight for minorities."
Debate over whether EUSA should ban beef from its venues has polarised Edinburgh University, dividing its student body into strong 'for' and 'against' camps.