Over 30 per cent of Oxford students are unaware that OUSU is holding a referendum on affiliation with the National Union of Students this week, while nearly 60 per cent of those who are aware are unsure whether to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and another 15 per cent have decided they will not vote at all, a Cherwell straw poll has shown. Explaining her stance, Hertford Medic Yunfei Yang, who has not yet decided how to vote, observed, “In terms of reasoning I don’t have a profound reason to vote either way. There seem to be pros and cons to both sides, but I expect that I will have made up my mind by Wednesday”. Cherwell’s results also revealed that of those aware that the referendum was taking place, approximately 23 per cent intend to vote ‘yes’ to re-affiliation with the NUS, while less than 3 per cent expect to vote ‘no’. A second-year physicist, who has decided not to vote in the referendum, explained, “I simply know nothing about it, and therefore I don’t feel the need to vote, or even that I have the right to vote. I don’t blame OUSU or anyone else, I blame myself for not showing an interest”. The large number of undecided and non-voters indicate that although the turnout seems likely to be poor, the ‘no’ campaign will have to attract a significant number of undecided voters in order to prevail. [mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%9731%%[/mm-hide-text] However, commenting on the results, ‘no’ campaign leader Jack J Matthews remarked, “These results clearly show how the NUS has no meaningful relationship with students in Oxford. What I fear most however, is watching the NUS ride back in on a wave of apathy. If you feel the NUS does not represent you, then stand up, make your voice heard, and vote no”. Likewise, OUSU President and ‘yes’ campaign leader Tom Rutland told Cherwell, “We’re speaking to as many students as we can this week about the benefits of NUS affiliation. Whether it’s the £500,000 in access funds they saved for Oxford students alone this year, the NUS Extra discount that students can take advantage of even in the year after disaffiliation, or the support they provide for our liberation campaigns for LGBT, BME, disabled and women students, it’s clear that we’re better off in NUS.” [mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%9732%%[/mm-hide-text] Cherwell News surveyed 112 students in the vicinity of Radcliffe Square this afternoon. Voting for the referendum opened at 8am this morning, and will close at 6pm on Wednesday evening. OUSU Council decided to call a referendum last term, after the defeat of a motion to hold a Special Council, to which JCRs would have sent delegates to vote on their behalf. Proponents of a Special Council had argued that given historically-low OUSU referendum turnouts, it would have been more democratic for the debate to take place in common rooms. However, OUSU Council decided that because opting for a Special Council would exclude members of disaffiliated JCRs from voting, holding an all-student referendum was the preferable option.
KWAKWANI made a statement in their opener of the U-16 battle of the Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) Titan Bowl X by humiliating Plaisance Secondary 68-5 on Friday evening at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Plaisance Secondary could not get past the defence of the Berbice River school and they struggled to get quality shots off. In the end, Ishmail Chapman led his side with just three points in a performance the East Coast school would want to forget.Elijah David and Clint Adolph led the attack with 15 points and six rebounds and 14 points and six rebounds respectively for the winners.The U-16 competition started with Arima Secondary whipping President’s College 40-17.Kevon Phillips and Kasim English were the main scorers for the Region Ten school with 11 points and eight rebounds; and eight points and four rebounds respectively.Kemal Mentore led PC with eight points and five rebounds. In another U-16 clash, Marian Academy, led by a tournament-high 28 points and 23 rebounds from Jether Harris, were able to knockout St Stanislaus College 42-34.Dwayne Best added 10 points for the winners.Mustapha Kadir attacked the boards with ferocity for Saints to grab a whopping 27 rebounds to go with 16 points. Brandon McKoy was the next best finisher with seven points.In the other U-16 clash of the day, Bishops’ High edged past St Rose’s High by a single point, 35-34.Keron Bacchus led the winners with 20 points and 12 boards, while Chris Perez was equally impressive for St Rose’s High with 20 points and six rebounds.FEMALE DEVELOPMENTMeanwhile in the Female Development competition, Kwakwani Secondary gained revenge over three-time defending champions of the YBG National Schools Basketball Festivals, Marian Academy, by defeating them 39-23.Shania Sears powered her way to 19 points, 10 rebounds and six steals for the Festivals’ runners up, while Atalia Rose added 11 points and 13 rebounds. Aaliya Singh, who scored nine points and five rebounds, led Marian Academy.St Stanislaus also showed massive improvement when they took down Queen’s College in their encounter. The last time the two teams met was in the Festival’s East Coast/GT Regionals semi-final and QC had defeated Saints 14-7. On Friday, Saints gained revenge with a 40-27 win.Leana Benons exploded with 18 points, seven rebounds and six steals for the winners, while QC were led by Naiomi Barkoye, who finished with a double-double (14 points and 16 rebounds). Saints had a chance to re-write another defeat, when they tackled Marian Academy in the semi-finals yesterday afternoon.Several key players who were missing in the first-round clash (against Kwakwani) were expected to compete for Marian. When the two teams last met, in the first round of this year’s Festival, Marian had shut down Saints 31-2.The U-16 semis were also scheduled for last evening, followed by the U-18 semis. All three finals are scheduled for today. Action tips off at 17:00h with the female battle.