Despite only having been launched on the 4th of December, the Your Voice, Your Choice campaign has seen many successes, from having the 'Register to Vote' link embedded in the University of Sussex's website, to securing funding for an event that rewarded Sussex and Brighton students for registering to vote.
By working with the electoral commissioner and the University, we enabled students to vote through the intranet without needing their National Insurance number. This was a landmark achievement and it was featured on NUS Connect.
We acquired £15,000 from the NUS to hold a concert featuring Sub Focus and Mistajam, the event took place on the 4th of May and was completely free to students who had registered to vote.
We recorded 30 second clips explaining how to register through the University of Sussex website, these were played at the start of all lectures for a whole week.
We hosted three hustings events, including a "reverse hustings". chaired by Rick Edwards, with panelists from the Guardian answering questions about climate change.
We also hosted an featuring Brian May talking about voting, this was held in East Slope Bar. On elections night we also held an all-night results party with information on swing seats and constitutencies to look out for.
A clip recorded by Students' Union President, Abraham Baldry, which encouraged young people to vote, was played on Sky News on a number of occasions before the election.
Abraham also appeared on a live ‘Stand Up, Be Counted’ event hosted by Sky News and wrote an article for the Guardian about the ways in which international students engage with democracy when studying in Britain.
The number of students living in campus postcodes who have registered to vote has increased tenfold since December. This figure only takes into account students registered to vote in Brighton; many will have registered at their home address. At a time when the overwhelming narrative is one of student apathy this is a huge achievement.
Working with the electoral commissioner, we provided a "two click" process for students to register to vote online through the University's intranet without having to provide their National Insurance number. Automatic voter registration will be a part of the enrollment process for Sussex students from 2015 onwards.
Candidates from a range of parties from Green to the Conservatives have endorsed the Brighton Students Housing Manifesto, a list of student-friendly housing policy commitments produced jointly with Brighton University Students' Union.
Photo of Dr Brian May courtesy of Malcolm Tam
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