In my third year as a student at the University of Surrey, I am currently on placement working in London. Having experienced two USSU elections as a student in Surrey, I have now gained the perspective of a student residing outside the Guildford bubble; using social media as my sole form of staying updated during the elections.
We have a problem in the UK with engaging young people to vote. In the last three General Elections, the turnout for young people aged 18 to 24 has been less than half; the lowest of all age groups. This needs to be addressed and I have a solution. We need to modernise our democracy and introduce an online voting option for all UK elections.
The 'Plebgate' row involving Andrew Mitchell MP, who resigned following his alleged use of the derogatory term, reopened the wounds of a heated debate about the British class system... Whether Mr Mitchell uttered the word or not, 'Plebgate' is a microcosm of the injustice faced by millions because of where they come from and the opportunities available to them.
It's been a few months in Britain now and I have had my own share of experiences. The freedom, equality, civility and tranquility has enthralled me beyond words. Never before have I seen a culture so vibrant. I have come to revere the spirit of the Englishmen and developed a deep fascination for the English heritage.
I like to think of myself as socially aware. I'm fully aware that the world is still a playground of power and influence for the white, heterosexual male whilst anyone else who fails to fit into this category is plagued with inequalities and discrimination at nearly every stage of their lives. Whereby Britain is a relatively forward-thinking society for those who are the victims of discrimination, the global environment is far less so.
In a move beyond parody, London South Bank University's Student Union removed posters from its Atheists Society depicting a god on the grounds that they were offensive. The god in question was the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a deity invented as satire in protest against the teaching of Intelligent Design in Kansas; a god that, quite literally, nobody believes in.
Wednesday 5 February, National Voter Registration Day. Politics and students. Not exactly a frequent sight to see those two words in the same sentence. However, during this day at Middlesex University first year students began their campaign for Bite the Ballot to encourage young people to register to vote.