The 6th of October is ‘National Day of Voter Registration’ and this USI campaign titled ‘Education Is’ will hope to see more potential student voters register following the 27,633 voters who registered prior to the marriage equality referendum in May.
This campaign, which aims to be an influence across 24 student campuses in Ireland will hope to give students more power in voting, focusing on parties who will propose increased financial support through grants, student assistance funds and accommodation.
USI President Kevin Donoghue is pushing the government to increase expenditure for student financial assistance and augment the accommodation facilities available.
Mr Donoghue said, “1/6 of people living below the poverty line are students.”
“Government investment in 3rd level education dropped from over €1.6bn in 2005 to €939m in 2014. We are calling on the Government to increase funding and accommodation for students, and reduce the registration fee of €3,000,” Mr Donoghue said.
“Education shouldn’t be a privilege for those who can afford it.
Donoghue said, “It should be a right for everyone. Students will vote for politicians who fight for this right,” he added.
Paddy Reade, a Physics student in DCU feels that emphasis in expenditure needs to go towards accommodation, especially in Dublin.
“Last year I had to stay in Digs and that was scraping the barrel and I was still spending four and a half grand for terrible accommodation.
“It is atrocious up here, the money is outrageous. We are paying two or three grand more than everywhere else in the country,” Mr Reade said.
The official hashtag during the National Day of Voter Registration on Tuesday will be #RockTheRegister.