Pro-European group seeks to get students politically engaged

Many students may feel their voice is useless within ongoing political debate’s such as Brexit but this is not the case. In fact, the differences between our own upbringing and that of our parent’s highlight’s the importance of our political actions.

Jacqueline Gibbons, spokesperson for ‘Cheltenham for Europe’, believes that, ‘now is the time for students to engage with politics’. Due to the looming presence of Brexit, the importance of the youth voice being heard is bigger than ever. Whether you are a Remainer within the ‘Brexit debate’ or campaigning to leave, your voice should be expressed.  

The hybrid flag, Chelt4EU demonstration

There are many factors causing students to believe they don’t have the time for politics, or cannot make a difference. The pressure of student debt, accommodation fees and zero-hour contracts makes it difficult for students to be involved. Jacqueline herself believes students are ‘conditioned to think they can’t make a difference’. This isn’t far from the truth due to a growing divide between generations.

Time to get involved

Some suggested ways in which students can involve themselves with politics and campaigning through Cheltenham for Europe include The London March on the 19th of October, dubbed ‘Together for the Final Say.’ It is easily accessible, leaving from the Cheltenham Racecourse to London, only costing £7 return for a student. Jacqueline states that it is a great way for students to express their views in a ‘safe, understanding environment.’ Speaking to students, she emphasised they are ‘not alone.’ Chelt4EU also has a street stall most weekends, with a range of activities to gauge the public’s opinion and are very interested in what students have to say.

There is talk of a Pro EU society at the University of Gloucestershire with talks and events at the student bar. There are also other political societies set up such as the Debating Society and Green Team UoG. Moreover, the prominent group, Gloucestershire’s Young Conservatives, holds social speaking events and debates. The Labour party was also present at the Freshers Fayre and are easy to get in contact with and join. These are just a few ways which students can involve themselves in crucial political debates which could decipher their future.

This article’s research was aided by 1st year Journalist Student Beathriz Souza.

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