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I’m an outlier in the cohort of politically-active students at LSE. I’m Secretary of the LSESU Labour & Cooperative Society, the university’s largest political society, but I am, shockingly, from the United States.
As soon as people hear my accent at events or during campaigning they give me a puzzled look. They often rationalise that I must be Canadian citizen or have dual nationality, because then I’d have a reason to care.
But although I can’t vote here, I can still make a huge difference.
I can impact the future of the country, the welfare of its citizens, and the future generations of students who follow me.
Personally, I don’t understand why all students aren’t more politically active. Before moving to the UK for my two-year Masters programme, I did extensive research on the political landscape, political parties, and voting laws. I knew that regardless of where I live in the world, it is vital to be an informed citizen.
If we, the futureeconomists, policymakers, bankers, lawyers, and leaders of the world, don’t have time for
politics, then who does?
If we, the students at the London School of Economics and Political Science (I wish we would stop leaving out that bit!), don’t become more educated and engaged in the lead-up to the General Election in May… Who will?
Not everyone feels that way. When I ask my LSE peers why they’re not more politically active, they often give excuses: “we’re not living here for long” and “we don’t have time for that”. In the 2010 UK General Election, barely 50% of 18-34 age bracket came out to vote. Surely that suggests a huge portion of society is under-represented - which we have the power to change.
Even if you’re only living
in the UK for a few years, you can make choices that positively impact future generations of students – changing things like university
fees, access to the NHS, and housing costs. Future students deserve it - and your voice deserves to be heard.
The web makes it so
easy to learn about party manifestos as well as to decide which policies you are
keen to vote on. Start now!
This is relevant for all students, and especially international students from Ireland and Commonwealth countries, who are eligible to vote in the UK. You need to register first (the deadline is 20th April), which only takes about 5 minutes. Go to gov.uk/register-to-vote.
I’ll be voting on May 7th - which is just around the corner - and trying to create a momentum on campus to make the student voice heard this year. Will you join me?
The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and all outlets will be closed from the evening of Wednesday 1st April and reopen on the morning of Wednesday 9th April.
Other holiday opening times are as follows.
First Floor Café, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Sixth Floor Café, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
SU Shops (Houghton Street and Kingsway)
3rd Floor Reception
Until 1st April:
From 9th April to 1st May
Have a great break everyone!
To end the 2014/2015 Women’s Network we held a night to recognise inspirational students at LSE. We were overwhelmed with the amount of applications and it was so hard to choose but we got there in the end.
Nominated by their peers and judged by the Women’s Officer and General Secretary, we’re proud to announce the LSESU Women’s Network’s 20 most inspiring women of LSE!
Read on for snapshots of a few of our inspirational women and what their nominees told us.
1. Perdita Blinkhorn
A true leader – she commits to her cause and makes sure that everyone around her feels involved and included.
“I just want everyone to live in a more accepting environment.”
2. Taye Le Monnier
I am nominating her because she is a powerful woman who is not phased when fighting for what she believes in.
“Since coming to LSE I’ve met so many incredible people and have become even more motivated to stand up for my beliefs and make my own decisions – it was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made even if it wasn’t the easiest.”
3. Beth Warne
A woman of many extraordinary talents, not only is she a British triathlete she is doing unbelievably well academically, excelling in everything she does and touches!
“I tried out for the GB team twice previously unsuccessfully, which made the call-up this year for the European Championships even sweeter. This opportunity is once in a lifetime, and something I couldn’t take full advantage of without the assistance of LSE Sports Ambassador Scheme.”
4. Temi Mwale
She’s generally a very interesting person who has come to LSE from a different perspective than most people and I think she’s a refreshing change.
“In 2014 I was fortunate enough to win awards for the work Get Outta The Gang, including ‘Peacemaker of the Year’ Award by IARS, ‘UK Points of Light’ Award by Prime Minister David Cameron and ‘Ultimate Campaigner’ by Cosmopolitan Magazine for their Ultimate Women Awards.”
5. Purvaja Kavattur
I don’t know her very well, but her activism with FemSoc and directing the Vagina Monologues while balancing uni work definitely deserves credit.
“I’ve always found theatre and the stage a place where I had a voice, an unapologetic, unadulterated voice. After attending the launch of the Women’s Network I met a GI alum who had been part of the Vagina Monologues in LSE 5 years ago.”
6. Sana Musharraf
She is full of life and the biggest example of a fighter that I know. The amount of adversity she has been able to pass through in her life has been inspiring.
“Failure became a significant source of my learning and provided the energy to excel. It liberated me from prevalent norms and helped redefine my strategy in life, enabling me to envision a better future - not just for myself but also for other women.”
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