Empowering You To Change The World Around You

On 12 December, the UK will head to the polls for the third time in as many years. Find out what we're doing to drive voter registration and engagement with the general election.

On 12 December, the UK will head to the polls for the third time in as many years, and for the first time in December since 1923. When the rest of the country heads to the polls to cast their vote, it is beyond important to make sure that you are too!

Why is it important to register to vote?

It is widely commented that young people vote less than the rest of the population – this isn’t due to a lack of interest, but normally a lack of understanding. Although you can only vote once, students are entitled to register to vote at both their home address and their term time address, and you can’t vote without being registered to do so!?

As a Students’ Union, we see it as integral for as many students to get involved in democratic processes as possible – one of our aims is to empower students to change the world around them, and this involves exercising your right to vote.

Earlier this week, I filmed a video with the Principal Paul Layzell on why it is important to register to vote.

Register to vote

What are we doing?

We have already detailed the expected timeline of events for this general election. At the moment, we know the date of the vote itself (12 December), but the final details on other key dates are yet to be confirmed – it is looking like the last week of November will be the deadline to register.

With Royal Holloway being an international campus rich in diversity, it is also important for all students to know their rights when voting which is why we have clearly laid this out here.

Sometimes it seems hard to escape the news, but we still want to make sure that as many people (on and off campus) know how they can register to vote. This is why we are designing digital screens, physical posters and face-to-face interaction so that everyone hears the message loud and clear!

General elections are typically focused on looking forwards to the future, but it is equally as important to look back at the past and Royal Holloway is rich with history in this area. Founded by social pioneers, Royal Holloway has often been at the forefront of driving social change. Not least, the College is closely aligned with the history of female empowerment and women gaining the vote. We will be delving into this history more in the coming weeks, relating Royal Holloway’s past to your present!

Ensuring that all students know that they can register to vote is a key priority, this is why we are working with the College on ways to promote this in lectures and beyond as well.

We are also eager to get out and talk to you about why it is important to register to vote. Keep reading for more information on this!

How can you get involved?

I am sure that politically active on students will be engaging in campaigning across the country right up until polling day. But we also want to bring together students from all political affiliations to join us in a neutral voter drive campaign. An email is being sent out to numerous groups shortly to provide further details. If you want to know more about how you can get involved, then please do get in touch with me. The group will essentially be a combined effort to help students understand how, where and why they should register to vote.

Jack O'Neill // President