THE BLOG

For the First Time in a Generation, Students Have the Oppurtunity to Effect Change

21/07/2015 15:58 BST | Updated 16/07/2016 10:59 BST

In November 2010, almost 50,000 students took to the streets of London to voice their opposition to the rise in tuition fees. Student campaigning has become a rite of passage, but aside from drawing attention to issues, there is little that can be hoped to achieve in the next 5 years through taking to the streets. However, with Jeremy Corbyn secured on the Leadership ballot for the Labour Party, for the first time in a generation, students have an opportunity to bring about the change that they for so long have pressed for. For only £1, supporters can join the student wing of Labour Party and push Corbyn to the front of the race.

Corbyn has always been the first to support students in their struggles. Following last week's budget, Corbyn was one of the most vocal opponents of the change from grants to loans, immediately drafting an Early Day Motion. Earlier in the month, Corbyn was one of only a handful of Labour MPs to fight the proposed end of the post-study work visa. Even on the issues which have gained less notoriety in the press, Corbyn has been first to heed students, recently joining the campaign for loans to become once again available for those that are lawfully resident, British educated, but without citizenship. In regards to tuition fees, Corbyn has fought their existence since their introduction in 1998.

The common line of attack is that Corbyn is unelectable; for all of his ideas, his lack of media saviour is too much. For all the good that he would do, the centre cry that he would never have the opportunity because he could never lead the party to power. The reality is that is not true, not only will his policies switch on all of those that switched off during the latter years of Blair, but he also offers an image of change, a new method of putting our ideas across. During the first Labour Party leadership debate, a member of the audience asked Jeremy his views on immigration, highlighting that he struggled to find a home as a result of lack of housing. Jeremy in reply gave a personal response; instead of brandishing a shopping basket of policies, hoping that one would prick his eye, Corbyn explained that although curbing immigration would relieve pressure of the housing market, an equalling solution would be to build more houses. Those warning us that Corbyn is unelectable do so because he does not follow the style of Thatcher and Blair; Corbyn breaks the mould of British leaders in the same fashion that Tsipras broke the mould of the Greeks.

It's time for students to put up or shut up; Jeremy Corbyn is pushing the agenda for everything that students have campaigned on for a generation. If students want to bring about change, they have the chance. Due to the reforms arising from the Collins review, only a fraction of students that supported Labour during the general election need sign up to make Corbyn a front runner. It costs only £1 to join the student wing of the Labour Party and to help push Corbyn to be a cat amongst the pigeons. Of course, this is not to say that students should exodus en masse to the party only to never be involved again if another candidate wins. The inclusion of Corbyn demonstrates that there is a place for students in the party; this is the perfect opportunity for them to be heard.