By a margin of 10 percent, the people of Scotland voted against independence, and favored continued unity with the United Kingdom. Scotland and England have been together for over 300 years and this vote could have changed this bond forever.
On the other side of the Atlantic at the world of Kalamazoo College many students and faculty opinions. In fact, of the 13 students asked about which they sided with, 5 said no affiliation, 1 said no, and 7 said yes.
Daniel Michelin ’14 has strong ties to Scotland and is an avid supporter of the “Yes” campaign. “Scotland has a different identity than England,” he said, referring to the vast cultural difference between the two countries. Michelin also mentioned the oil reserves that could been used by Scotland to help support their economy post-independence.
Professor Shreena Gandhi, Assistant Professor of Religions, was a “No” campaign supporter. She said, “because of the amount of British Asians that came over from the various British Colonies and as Scotland becomes more multicultural, the idea of ethnicity being the foundation of a nation would become more complicated.” Ghandi also mentioned the loss of both British investment and Scottish banks would devastate Scotland’s economy.
“I was really hoping for yes,” said Mhand Abadou, a visiting international student from France. When asked if he thought Scotland would try for independence again, Abadou said he hoped the people that voted “Yes” would want to again.
Euan Nesbitt ’14 is an international student from Kenya who is for the “No” campaign. He had no strong personal affiliation towards either side, but he has a friend who lives in Scotland that was pro-union. When asked what he wishes the outcome would have been like, Nesbitt said that he wasn’t “in support of the rioting afterwards.”
Tanush Jagdish ’14 said the vote was “indirectly affected by the media.”
Professor of History Dr. David Barclay is a “No” supporter, even though his lineage is 80 percent Scottish. When asked about Scotland’s push for independence and the UK avoiding it, he said “it is possible it will be swept under the rug.” Regardless of the aftermath of the vote, he said “No matter what, the UK will not be the same.”
Kalamazoo students tended to lean toward Scottish independence. The professors, however, tended to look at it from a more economic perspective and the long-term tangible consequences. Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future, but change is on the horizon.