NUS-USI has teamed up with the campervan of dreams to tour Northern Ireland from 1 -5 February. Come join us at a campus near you!
The 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election is currently set to take place in May 2016. Students must be registered to vote by Monday 18th April 2016 to vote in this election. Registering to vote allows students to have a say in who represents them in government. Together we represent around 200,000 students in Northern Ireland – this is a significant proportion of the electorate. Students can use their vote to put pressure on MLAs to address student concerns.
The 2011 Northern Ireland Assembly Election saw only 51.3 per cent of 18-22 year olds voting, compared to over two thirds of people aged 65 or older. We know all students are not young people, but when such a large proportion of our membership aren’t voting, we need to take action. In this election British, Irish, qualifying EU and Commonwealth students can all vote, meaning that European and some International students have a say too. We want to make sure that we make an impact and increase these numbers.
We know that politics has a massive impact on students’ lives both in and out of education. This is our chance to make sure that student issues are on the agenda in Stormont, as well as demonstrating that students here are a force to be reckoned with. This is why NUS-USI together with our students’ unions will be out in force on campuses across Northern Ireland encouraging as many students to get registered to vote between 01 – 05 February with the student manifesto being launched on Friday 05 February at Belfast Met. We will also be hosting a ‘Get out and Vote’ campaign on the run up to the election.
During this week we have teamed up with the ‘Campervan of Dreams’ to tour the country. With a similar ethos the Campervan of Dreams is a place of imagination, a creative space for people to find acceptance and courage to speak their dreams. To declare a new possibility for their life. The campervan gives students an opportunity to recognise their aspirations that have been snatched along the journey of life. Together we will be helping students realise the power they can have to make some of their dreams a reality when it comes to this year’s elections. The van is not only a campaign stunt and a crowd puller but it also provides an opportunity for the team to have meaningful conversations with students, allowing them to speak out loud their dreams for the future. We will be asking students to write their dreams on ribbons which will be tweeted and placed on a giant dream catcher.
The schedule of the tour is here: Campervan of dreams tour
You can also download our handy toolkit to help run your own voter registration activities: NUS-USI voter registration toolkit