Free advice being offered to young people around Leicestershire on how to vote

Emma Broomhead handing out registration forms by The DMU Student Union

Emma Broomhead handing out registration forms by The DMU Student Union

By Jake Piercy

Young people across Leicester are being encouraged to register to vote as soon as possible by the Leicestershire Citizens Advice Bureau.

The group has been targeting students and young people in particular due to their contribution to the vast numbers of no-voters in previous elections, which is shown by the 16 million people in the UK who did not vote in the 2010 general election.

Emma Broomhead, talking on behalf of the organisation, said: “Young people have the lowest participation rates of any age group in the UK, and we are absolutely desperate to try and help those people register to vote and have a clear idea of who they want to vote for.”

Due to changes in the way citizens are registered to vote, each individual must personally register either online or with a registration form, meaning figures for no-voters are expected to rise even further.

With the deadline to register to vote falling on Monday April 20, the Leicestershire CAB has been handing out registration forms around De Montfort University and providing impartial advice on how to vote before the general election on Thursday May 7.

Emma continued: “We are also trying to help and encourage women and people from lower social classes to vote because there is a big gap in the figures – in 2010, 1.5 million fewer women registered to vote than men, and working class people also have a history of lower turnout rates.”

Once you have registered to vote, the locations of your nearest polling stations and detailed on your polling card, as polling stations are assigned to different postcodes, so you will be told where the nearest polling stations are to your home.

The organisation has been formed over the last five years by advice bureaux across Leicestershire merging together, and is a free and confidential service that offers advice and campaigning for better policies.

Education watchdog to visit DMU

By Simran Gill
A watchdog organisation is set to come to De Montfort University this week to monitor its standards of education.
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is a national body, monitoring the standards and qualities in UK higher education and only visits each institution once every five years.
A 10,000 word document has already been written and submitted to the QAA, of how the university is currently performing and what the students’ views are about the university.
Also in the document was information about the future direction of the university, current mistakes the university has and what actions are going to take place in order to correct them.
Amie Chapman, Deputy President of Education at the Student Union, said: “Once the QAA read the documents, they arrange to come to the university for one week and speak to staff and students.”
Amie added: “They will be meeting with 12 students ranging from undergraduates, postgraduates, research and from all faculties.”
The purpose of the QAA visiting the university is to see whether the responses given from the students match what the student responses were in the document that was sent to them.
Amie said: “I was honest in my document, so students can be critical.”
The document was shared with students and staff at council meetings and the ideal outcome of the results would be for the university to pass the inspection.
Amie stated: “The judgement is made on Friday, but we are a confident institution. As the QAA value honesty, we put forward an action plan of the mistakes and the improvements.”
If the university does well in the QAA review, then it will boost students’ chances of getting employed. The QAA is important for students to know about, so the action plan will help students to be more aware of it.
For more information about the QAA visiting DMU, contact amie.chapman@dmu.ac.uk

The race to register to vote

By Kizzy Bass2015-04-13 12.30.33

Fears have been raised that many students will not be registered to vote in May’s national elections with only days left to sign up.

Following the changes in June 2014, everyone is now required to register to vote individually rather than being done by a ‘head of the household’ that registered all occupants at their address as was the case in previous elections.

Universities used to register all students to vote but with this change there is concern many students will not vote as they have not registered.

Emma Broomhead, a volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “We are on the campus to raise awareness and to get people to register.

“Students have so much to do, it could be a problem as moving away from home for the first time and having already filled out lots of forms, it may be pushed to the back of their minds.”

But even if students do register, will they actually cast their votes come polling day?

Connor Watson, 18, a first year Journalism student, has already registered but said: “I have tried to convince many of my friends but don’t think many will go on the day.”

Students have until Monday 20th April to register to vote and can be registered at both a term-time address as well as a home address but can only vote once.

To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Students and staff have their say on TV shows being leaked online

Lewis Bagshaw reports on the controversy over TV shows being leaked early online: TV Leaks Vox Pop

Gay Rights groups outraged by Dolce and Gabbana comments

By Ciaran Lovejoy

2134126333_cc7c09307c_oRecent remarks by fashion icons Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have landed them in hot water with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender communities (LGBT+) and caused music legend Elton John to call for a boycott of their brand.

The pair’s comments in Italian magazine Panorama referred to children born via In-Vitro-Fertilisation as “Synthetic” and implied that the children could be faced with psychological issues in the future. In it they said: “Wombs for rent, sperm chosen from a catalogue…psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”

Sir Elton John began the Hashtag campaign #BoycottDolceGabbana on Twitter in response to the comments, calling for everyone to stop buying from the popular fashion brand.

Sir Elton also left a message for the designers on Instagram voicing hisoutrage: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘Synthetic’. And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again.”

Tim Deves, of the De Montfort LGBT+ Society, said: “Honestly, I feel they have the right to hold an opinion, but they appear to be very ignorant and inconsiderate to not only the gay community, but the people who do choose to adopt or have children via IVF.As gay men themselves they should be aware how much damage comment like their own have on the gay community.”

His own opinion was far from Dolce’s and Gabbana’s: “We should be working together to raise acceptance of gay parenting, and comments like these are incredibly damaging, and certainly do help the cause against gay parenting. I am certainly glad a vast number of celebrities, gay and straight, are raising their voices against Dolce & Gabbana and boycotting them.”

When asked if the Society would partake in the boycott, his reply was typically light-hearted: “As far as I am aware none of us have enough money to go out each week, let alone buy Dolce & Gabbana, but if we did we would certainly choose to boycott them.

“We can’t show support for such ill informed views. I hope they release a public statement addressing their ignorance and apologising for any offence caused!”