By Alex Cupples
Durham Students’ Union has secured funding of £5000 from the Cabinet Office to host events and activities to encourage students to register to vote in the General Election.
Durham Students’ Union will work closely with local further education (FE) colleges New College Durham, East Durham College and Stockton Riverside College to inspire the younger generation to vote.
Leigh Spanner, Academic Affairs Officer at Durham Students’ Union, commented: “the student vote is vitally important, particularly for us in Durham and Stockton-On-Tees where student make up a sizeable proportion of the electorate.”
“We are planning a big voter registration event on Monday 20 April, which is the final day people can register to vote. We will have fun activities taking place in each of the University campuses and FE colleges”.
“These will be designed to create an interest and conversation around the General Election. There will be pop-up voter registration stations at the events and also in the Durham University colleges. These will be headed up with two political debates involving the candidates in the Durham city and Stockton South constituencies on 20 and 21 April respectively.”
Durham Students’ Union organised a voter registration event in February, where they registered more than 1600 students.
Spanner commented on the importance of this event: “In 2010, only 44 percent of 18-24-year-olds voted in the General Election, compared to almost 80 percent of over 65s.”
Out of the 49 successful funding applications, Durham Students’ Union is the only one which is working with multiple FE colleges.
The political debates will also be open to members of the public.
If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can do so here at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Photograph: Durham Students’ Union