Following days of uncertainty, the University of Hertfordshire’s Students Union has confirmed that no reindeer will be present at the upcoming Christmas market, following a petition from animal activist students. This comes despite a ‘referendum’ being held, which suggested that the majority of students welcomed a live reindeer. However, the results of the referendum, unlike Brexit, won’t affect the outcome now.
This story started when the Student’s Union announced seemingly innocuous plans to host a live reindeer at the upcoming Christmas market. What followed was an outpour of opinion, with many suggesting this amounted to animal cruelty. Reindeers are best-suited to mountainous regions and cold weather. While we can guarantee the latter, Hertfordshire isn’t renowned for its mountains…
With many suggesting this was inappropriate, 5,000 people signed a petition which proposed cancelling the appearance of the live reindeer. The petition was organised by the Animal Activism Society. In response, the Student’s Union tried to gauge University-wide opinion by running a referendum. ‘Hundreds’ of people voted in the referendum, dubbed the ‘Reindeer Referendum’, with the result being that the majority of people supported the reindeer being present.
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However, the Student’s Union has decided to drop the reindeer anyway. The reason behind this was the fact that a lot of students at the University had reacted negatively to the proposed reindeer show, and the Student’s Union is supposed to represent all students. Yet as it is 2017, and nothing is left alone, a rival petition has been set up to reinstate the reindeer. It has been suggested the decision by the student’s union goes against the principle of democracy. This issue doesn’t appear yet to be over, with more to follow.