Thursday 06-08-2015 - 16:13
This is a guest article by Claire Blakeway, President at Cardiff University Students’ Union
There have been lots of government announcements in the past few weeks that will negatively affect students. These include; the government restricting international student visas, converting maintenance grants to loans and excluding under 25s from the increase in the national minimum wage.
To take action against these plans, I decided to organise a meeting with our local MP, Jo Stevens. The meeting took place at the Students’ Union and covered all of these issues.
We discussed how, since the General Election, the UK government's attacks on students have continued apace. Jo told me she is strongly opposed to the changes that are happening at the moment in relation to students. She spoke about her feeling that the younger age group are being targeted by the government, which will lead to a difficult future for this generation.
I was incredibly encouraged by Jo’s reaction to these issues. It was reassuring to hear that she shared the same view point as the Students’ Union and she is representing the student voice well nationally.
Aside from meeting with our MP, the Elected Officer team have been using social media to promote the campaign. We are also having a #CutTheCosts campaign with our Officers holding white boards that talk about how government changes would have affected their access and time at University. We feel that personal messages really send out a strong statement in support of this campaign.
The rest of the Elected Officer team are meeting with Jo Stevens at the beginning of September to further discuss how to campaign effectively against these changes. Our MP will also be coming to campus once a term over the next year to be a part of our ‘Sabbs on the Sofa’ campaign, where students will have the opportunity to raise any important issues with their local MP and Elected Officers.
How is your students’ union supporting the #CutTheCosts campaign to save maintenance grants? We’d love to promote your work to the membership on NUS Connect - simply get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you’re doing on campus!