#voteforstudents became the second most popular topic tweeted in the UK within minutes. And for good reason too.
The Vote For Students website, set up by NUS (National Union of Students) asks students to vote in the forthcoming general election to support candidates who won’t support an increase in student fees.
The purpose of today’s Twitter event was to make the cause known and help spur students on to vote. The student population is huge. Students represent 15% of the voting population, but many do not vote. By coming together on a cause like this, students can make a big difference through their united voice.
In addition to this, the Vote For Students campaign puts pressure on political parties to speak up about the future of funding in Higher Education.
Among the great Tweets were:
#voteforstudents now at number two in UK trending topics, but it will be the number one thing on students minds on polling day – @estellehart
We don’t want a country where poor institutions teaching poor students get poorer and vice versa #voteforstudents – @jim_dickinson
#voteforstudents is about mobilising the student vote with the immediate aim of stopping any increase in uni fees. – @johnpeart
#voteforstudents isn’t just for students you can sign up today too if you care about the future of education in the UK – @marktweets
Because if fees rise then most of us are screwed for the housing ladder and pensions #voteforstudents – @AliceBouquet
The student vote could change the result of the next election. Make sure our voices are heard. #voteforstudents – @uclansu
We could swing the general election…there’s 7 million in @nusuk ‘s membership! #voteforstudents – @DannieGruff
I did notice a couple of criticisms along the way too:
#voteforstudents campaign and NUS should focus on getting students to vote, since 50% say they wont, rather than promoting their own agenda – @owenlmeredith
Impressed with the successful effort to get #voteforstudents to trend globally. Though a short tweetable manifesto would be useful. – @technicalfault
Today’s campaign to create a Twitter trending topic is one way in many that interested parties (not just NUS) are reaching out to students to ask for their vote…and for their vote to actually count.
As for a tweetable manifesto, many Tweets were going out with the Vote For Students website linked, but @technicalfault does make a fair point. I’m sure if NUS were to set up a similar event, they’d consider something like this.
And I can well imagine NUS will do this again. The outcome of the event wasn’t certain, but to trend so successfully in the UK and around the world is a big deal given Twitter’s 40 million Tweets per day! [Update: Just a few days later, let’s make that 50 million Tweets!]
Congratulations to all who helped make #voteforstudents a top trending topic.
Now do we all go back to normal? NO. It’s time to make a difference. That’s what today was all about. We all need to use our vote wisely.