The following letter was shared with all students. Please note the invitation at the end of the message – all staff are also invited to attend the Hustings Event on 22 May.
Message from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester and the President of the Worcester Students’ Union follows
Dear students of the University of Worcester,
We are writing to you as Vice Chancellor and President of the Students’ Union to encourage you to actively participate in the democratic processes of electing Members of Parliament in the upcoming General Election. The General Election is going to take place on the 8th of June. As students, it is very, very important that you use your vote and have your say.
Back in 2010, only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted in the General Election, in comparison to almost 80% of over 65s. This means that the policies decided in Westminster are often ignoring the opinions of young people and cutting budgets for services that matter to them. Over the last few years, we have seen a number of changes that affect students, both younger and mature, studying at University. We are all aware that our country is going through an important transitional period and it is important that the student voice is heard. That is why we are supporting the National Union of Students Generation Vote campaign and the work of Universities UK to encourage students here at Worcester to both register to vote and then use their vote. A high turnout from students and young people could change the agenda of the UK.
Registering to vote is a really simple process and best of all it can be done online, so you can do it anywhere: in the Hive, at home or even in the Pear Tree. Registering will take less than 5 minutes. Make sure you have your National Insurance Number to hand and then visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and fill in the required details.
As a student, you are able to register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses. If you are registered in two areas – at home and at University – you can only vote in one at a general election: the choice will be yours.
To vote in this election, you will need to have registered by Monday 22nd May (if you live in Northern Ireland you will need to submit your Northern Ireland registration by post (download a form at bit.ly/NIregister).
If you are unable to attend a polling booth on the day, you are able to vote by post or by proxy (nominate a trusted person to vote for you). However, there are also deadlines to register to do this and full information can be found in the Students’ Unions handy General Election guide link https://www.worcsu.com/generalelection.
The Students’ Union and the University think, it is really important that you do register to vote. Of course, the decision on who you vote for is yours and yours alone. Do make sure that you read the parties’ manifestoes because these will lay out what they are actually promising to do.
To help you make an informed decision, the Students’ Union and University will be jointly hosting a hustings for candidates for the Worcester constituency on Monday 22nd May at 5:30pm in the Pear Tree. We hope to have all the Worcester candidates in attendance to answer your questions and specifically to talk on Education, Green Issues, Peace, Europe and Internationalism. Doors open at 5pm.
Thank you in advance for making your voice heard and make sure that you don’t duck out of democracy.
David Green Jade Haley
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive President, Worcester Students’ Union