Why It's Important to Vote in SU Elections

The 1960s was a decade of student protest. University students across the West were walking the streets in force, holding sit-ins and demonstrating for ideas which really mattered: anti-war protests, equality, human rights. Student activism was a force to be reckoned with. Since the 1960s, a lot has changed in university culture; much of this has been down to the increase in attendance, the factory-line style of lecturing, and most recently, the change towards Universities as businesses.

The majority of students no longer attend university because they have a thirst for knowledge, but because it is the next stage to getting that dream job, or because they have no idea what the dream job is and want to get away from their parents hold. University for many, is a stepping stone to the next stage of life, three years of life experience, trying to get a 2.1 and learning how to live off baked beans on toast. The students of the Norties held the last big demonstration about the rise in fees, but this was poorly led and badly received, and the end result was that the new ‘university business’ banned student demonstrations and sit-ins.

The Student’s Union elections is a last ditch attempt that allows students to have even the minutest influence in their own education. The reason why it is so important to participate in these elections is because it shows that students still care about what is happening in the university system. University should not be another school experience, where your syllabus is dictated to you. University needs to remain an institution for the students, giving the students what they need and what they want. If the turnout for voting is high then it sends a message to the ‘businessmen’ running your campus: you care, and you are able to make decisions about your education. And maybe, students are able to unite, and once more become a force to be reckoned with. 

 

Edited by Sam Carey