On Friday 13th May, The Student Room was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet with David Cameron and Daniel Korski, deputy head of policy, to discuss the EU referendum. Other major tech platforms were there alongside us including Google, Twitter, Tinder and Facebook. The aim was to unite and encourage young people to register to vote by the registration deadline on 7th June. Under 24s being the age group with the lowest percentage of registered people.
We were pleased to be able to tell the Prime Minister and to tell you now that The Student Room has a strong legacy of supporting Government campaigns and educating young people on politics. Supported by our network of over 100 UK universities and HE colleges, and our 70,000 teacher contacts, we have motivated millions of students to vote in the last two General Elections, local elections and the Scottish Referendum.
This year we are going above and beyond to educate, empower and motivate students nationwide with an onsite campaign over the coming weeks. As a neutral platform, we will educate on the pros and cons of both remaining and leaving the EU. Hosting debates and creating bitesize factsheets to summarise the complex issue.
It is a mistake to think young people do not care about politics. It is also a prejudice to think it is only high performing or privileged students who are interested – a wildly incorrect assumption I hear all too often.
On The Student Room our News & Current Affairs forums are one of our most read areas of the site, each year attracting 1.6 million readers aged 18 – 24. The diversity of young people directly involved in these discussions has spread to people from all walks of life.
They have been drawn in by tough subjects affecting us all. Terrorist attacks and Islamophobia, described wisely by one of our members as “the greatest debate of our time”, as well as the growing celebrity of politicians and indeed, the prospect of leaving the EU next month. This generation of students is unlike any before. They are connected and more knowledgeable than you can imagine.
The problem is that for many, they feel disillusioned and that their vote is pointless. The Student Room is working hard to address this.
At 10 Downing Street on Friday it was positive to hear the Prime Minister and so many other digital companies state the importance of the youth vote in this coming election. And we’re proud to support the Government’s efforts to speak to young voters on an equal level to pass on this sentiment.
The deadline for registering to vote in the EU Referendum is 7th June and can be done by going to the Gov.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote