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Why I'm Getting Involved in the National Week of Action

5th February 2014

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Students. The Government think that we – as the most technologically advanced generation in the history of the modern world – are powerless.

Do they not know that with a few brief taps of a keyboard somewhere in the UK, we can affect the lives of millions of people around the world? Examples of both good and bad are rife in modern society.

The analogue world is trying to steer the digital one – no more.

Too long have we been downtrodden. Too long have we been forced to bear the brunt of the gentrification of Higher Education. And for what? For wanting to invest in our futures by going to university.

Where is the disconnect? Where is Nick Clegg’s logic in destroying the reputation he held within the 18-24 age group that, without looking into voter registration statistics, made up the majority of his voting base back in 2010? Look at what students have been forced to accept over the last few years; tripling of tuition fees and now this – the Government proposing the systematic sell-off the Student Loan book from between 1998-2012.

This very student media outlet yesterday posted an article about an open debate in Cardiff’s National Museum, posing the question, ‘Will young people ever vote for the Tories or the Lib Dems again?’ My answer to that question is a earth-shattering NO.

The political landscape of the future excites me. As Ban Ki-Moon recently stated at the World Economic Forum, “We are in the time of the Transition; transition of power from West to East.” Let’s see if this heralds a new era in the wider UK political environment, too long saturated by the ‘Big Three’ – stripping away the superficial differences, I think there is little actual choice in these.

That, in a nutshell, is why I am campaigning.

If you are reading this from the reaches of Southampton: I urge you to know the facts. The #SoActWeek campaign I am Co-Chairing is OUR way of showing the Government our mettle, our collective voice, OUR ability to make an informed decision.

We are across all UoS campuses today from 10am (from 2pm at Wide Lane) – look out for us, wearing distinctive grey t-shirts with a big, bright blue #SoActWeek on our fronts.

If you are reading this from elsewhere around the country; find your nearest campaigning university and get involved, write to your MP, register to vote – the world is there for the taking.

The ability that YOUR voice has to influence others around you is often undervalued. We are remarkably perceptive, engaged and emotive. Use this. Use your power to start talking about this issue before it’s too late.

Students, this I beg of you; come together on this issue for God’s sake - united we stand, alone we fall.

Ben Hansen Hicks is the Co-Chair of the #SoActWeek Campaign, an independent part of the National Week of Action – co-ordinated by the Student Assembly Against Austerity.


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