Friday, 7 December 2007

Greens recognised as official society + pass motion to establish Environment Committee

At the meeting of the QUB Student Council on 5th December, Green councillors formally proposed the recognition of the QUB Greens as an official university society - this was passed with little objection.

This was then followed by a Green motion to establish an SU environment committee, made up of student councillors, to advise and work with students, the university estates services and the union executive to make the university a cleaner, greener place.

Earlier, at the union's environment debate as part of political activism week, Martin Doherty of Belfast City Council and the University's environmental officer, Adrian Davis, pledged their support for the creation of such a committee.

This motion was also passed by the Student Council. There will now hopefully be a permanent committee to look after environmental affairs in the SU. Elections will be held for this committee sometime in the near future.

Thanks to everyone who supported our motions. As the first Green Party university society in Northern Ireland, we've made our own small bit of history, and in 3 months at Queens we've already come so far and learnt a lot - here's to further years and continued growth at QUB!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Christian Aid, Trócaire, Friends of the Earth and Eco-congregation invite you to ring the changes on climate chaos

From 3 – 14 December 2007 the UN Climate Change Conference will take place in Bali, Indonesia. World leaders will meet to discuss the roadmap for future global action to avert the worst ravages of climate change. The outcomes of this conference will have implications for everyone on the planet.

To coincide with the conference, an international day of action on 8 December has been announced. Marches and demonstrations will be taking place across the world, including in the UK and Ireland, which will illustrate the demand for strong action to be taken by governments on climate change.

In Northern Ireland Christian Aid, Trócaire, Friends of the Earth and Eco-congregation Ireland have teamed up to organise “Sound the Alarm for Climate Change.”

On 8 December activists will gather at St Anne’s Cathedral in central Belfast, bringing alarm clocks with them to compensate for a lack of bells, which will be set to go off at 2pm, to represent the 2 degrees temperature rise limit that cannot be exceeded if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change. We hope to have members of the clergy from each of the four main Churches at the gathering, as well as a diverse range of activists and members of different congregations from across Northern Ireland.

We would like you to help to make this event a real success. Please try to come along to St Anne’s from 1.30pm on Saturday the 8th December and bring an alarm clock or your mobile phone. Bring along anyone else you can persuade to come and get them to bring something with an alarm too.

The QUB Greens will be heading along - watch out for the banner - and we urge as many people as possible, from all groups, to all political societies to come along to this. The NI executive refuse to discuss a climate bill - our heads of state won't be going to the UN summit in Bali. Our environment minister doesn't have a clue about the environment... please come along to St. Anne's and help them wake up!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Green Success!

In the recent Student Council elections, Adam McGibbon, Mark McCormick, Petrina Doyle and Conor Clerkin became the first Greens on the Student Council ever. Thanks to everyone who voted for us - 4 out of 5 in our first election isn't bad at all

On the student council your Green representatives will be working for a fair ethical union, increased environmental soundness and will be available to ALL students to represent them on the council. The Greens want to work with other non-sectarian and independent candidates to promote a more ethicial, tolerant and sustainable union. We will be happy to support any candidates who support these ideals. Please contact us!

Friday, 9 November 2007

John Gormley visits the QUB Greens

Green Party leader and Irish Minister for the Environment John Gormley visited Belfast on Thurs Nov 1st to meet the first ever Greens Society at Queens.

Minister Gormely said: "I'm delighted that the QUB Greens Society has proved so popular, recruiting 134 members in its first year, is really quite amazing and goes to show that young people in Northern Ireland understand and feel connected to Green politics."

QUB Greens spokesperson Mark McCormick said: "We are so pleased Minister Gormley took the time to come and meet us today and if we do as well as we expect in the University's Council elections, then it will again prove, that for young people, the future is the Green Party, it just doesn't carry the shackles of ethnic tensions which burdens the other main parties, it is not territorial but instead thinks globally and acts locally, it is the future."

The QUB Greens members spoke to Minister Gormley about the upcoming student council elections and how the Student Council has been plagued by 'party politics' in the past. They also discussed what plans they have for the year and how they will campaign to improve QUB's environmental performance. Before Minsiter Gormley left Queens to travel to Stormont the QUB Greens presented him with a QUB Teddy Bear to thank him for his visit!

Minister Gormley then went on to meet Green Party MLA Brian Wilson at the Stormont Assembly. The main focus of this meeting was the discussion of the Sellafield Nuclear Plant which poses a great threat to humans and the environment.

Minister Gormley said: "I note with concern reports that the THORP nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield may restart operations. The Irish Government has consistently made clear to the UK Government its concerns regarding Sellafield. Our long held view is that it operates at an uneconomic, environmentally damaging level. That coupled with its poor track record in safety has been conveyed to the UK on a regular basis. The re-opening of THORP will merely contribute further to the continuing discharge of radioactive material to the Irish Sea. That is a concern for the people of the Irish Republic and I expect to the people of Northern Ireland."

For more information on Sellafield Nuclear Plant visit this link:

Monday, 29 October 2007

Vote Green!!

On the 30th - 31st October, the student population of QUB will go to the (online) polls to elect a new student council.

In our first term of existence, the QUB Greens are putting up 5 candidates for the elections.

At present, the council is being somewhat abused - the council is dominated by two 'camps' - nationalists and unionists. Councillors have complained in the past about this - the two sides regularly engage in political 'point-scoring', egging each other on in an immature way, attempting to pass motions to annoy each other - hunger strikers are regularly brought up, as are motions such as one attempting to make all councillors sing God Save The Queen.

Regardless of one's political stance, it should be clear that these kinds of motions aren't just a waste of time or a sectarian headcount, it's also a sign that the council is being abused - the immaturity of the nationalists and unionists is sadly matched by the immaturity of their representatives in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The council is a representative body of the students at Queens. Student councillors should represent all the people in their constituent areas. The council should be used for REAL student's issues - education, finance, welfare, questions to the union executive, etc.

The QUB Greens are standing 5 candidates in the elections - we want to reduce sectarianism, oppose this 'two-camp' governance of the council, and bring a relevant agenda to the council - proposing environmental improvements at the university, and properly representing ALL students. Our councillors promise to be available to ALL students to put motions and questions to the executive - just contact us. The five candidates are:

Mark McCormick – Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Stage 1
Janine Diamond - Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Stage 1
Adam McGibbon - Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Stage 2
Conor Clerkin - Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Stage 2
Petrina Doyle - Postgraduate

We would really appreciate your No. 1 vote or a high preference.

You can vote at, under 'online voting' - you can only vote under your faculty so this time around only humanities and postgraduates can vote Green... but join us next year and hopefully we can stand many more candidates and make even more of a difference!

Thank you for your support!

Mark and Adam
QUB Greens

Think Green
Act Green
Young Green

Sunday, 28 October 2007

QUB Greens in University Challenge!

This is the press release that followed a letter the QUB Greens Vice-Convenor sent to the President/Vice-Chancellor of Queens University:

Queens University, Belfast must improve its environmental performance and increase awareness of environmental responsibility among staff and students according to the newly formed QUB Greens Society.

In a letter to the Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson, the Society, which boosts 134 members, has been particularly critical of the low number of recycling bins available on the campus and have called for the restoration of the Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Spokesperson Mark McCormick said: “Universities can be clean and green and if we need an example of best practice Trinity College, Dublin is leading the race through the e3 project. There is no reason why Queens can’t do something similar here. The affect is amazing, Trinity has managed to reduce its energy consumption by 7.2%, while we’re still arguing about recycle bins here.”

Mr. McCormick said: “If proper recycling facilities were introduced in Elms Village, The Students Union and the Campus we could easily match Trinity Colleges recycling of 44% total waste rather than the QUB figure of 17%.”

The Society’s spokesperson went on to say: “Students go through a lot of materials during a semester, we want all recyclable material to be sorted here before leaving the campus. That includes paper, dry recyclables, card board, glass, beverage cans, packaging, electronic equipment, toners and ink cartridges, batteries, mobile phones, timber and organic waste”.

Congratulating the QUB Greens Society’s initiative, Green Party MLA Brian Wilson said: “I sincerely hope the University listens to these young people who are showing great visions. If young people respect their environment then other social problems will become easier to eradicate.”

We have yet to recieve any reply from the Vice Chancellor regarding the universities environmental performance. Soon we will re-send the letter and if still we recieve no reply we will than take to more public forms of campaigning.

Our Activities So Far

The QUB Greens are a new society at Queens University Belfast. We are still in the process of setting up but already we have been busy!

Freshers Bazaar 2007!

We had our first appearance at the QUB Freshers Bazaar. This proved to be a huge success as we signed up 134 interested QUB students. This shows that Green issues are of high importance to QUB students and thus gives us the mandate to be their voice and work to improve the campuses environmental performance. We also signed up more than any other political society! A sign that young people are tired of the usual politics that has dominated QUB over the years!

Greens March With Pride!

The Green Party with members of the QUB Greens also took part in this year's annual Belfast Pride march on Saturday 4th August in Belfast City Centre. The party joined with a diverse range of participants - from a wide range of businesses and interest groups to the PSNI, to support the message, as participant group Amnesty International put it, that "love is a human right."

QUB Green representative, Adam McGibbon said: "In the wake of homophobic comments by Ian Paisley Junior in Hot Press magazine in May, and with the ongoing problem of abuse and attacks on members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community, the Green Party views their participation in the Belfast Pride march as a chance to show their solidarity with members of the LGBT community, and to demonstrate that these issues are important, whatever your sexual orientation."

QUB Greens Blog

We have created this blog as a way for those interested in getting involved with the Young Greens and QUB Greens to see what sort of activities we have been involved with. We want to show people how we can make a difference and the different aspects of Green Politics and Activism. So if you feel that you wish to get involved and make a difference please get in contact with us!

Think Green
Act Green
Young Green