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Tomorrow is my second Freshers Fayre as a student at the University of Manchester and my first as Co-Chair of the Labour club. If someone had told me this time last year that I would be running a Labour Students stall this year I wouldn’t have believed them. I like most students, was caught up in the queue for dominoes and busy adding my name to mailing lists I’d spend months trying to unsubscribe from. But now that I’m involved I can’t imagine my university experience without Labour Students and the experiences it’s given me.
After joining Labour Students just eight months ago, I got stuck in straight away and started campaigning all over the country. Whether it was campaigning at NUS conference in Liverpool, or knocking on doors in Withington the best part of it all was making friends from across the country. Now’s a great time to be a Labour Student; we suffered a difficult defeat in May but we’re always ready to take the fight to the Tories not just at election time but year round on things like the cut to maintenance grants.
We’ve got a great year planned in Manchester, with tonnes of speakers, debates, trips, and of course, socials. I’m looking forward to attending my first Labour Students Political Weekend in November this year, and despite the blisters I’m also looking forward to May when we’ll be out on the doorsteps campaigning for Labour across the UK. The most exciting thing of all though is getting to welcome a new generation of Manchester Labour Students to the club and watching the club grow.
Ally Routledge is the Co-Chair of Manchester Labour Students.
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Last Saturday was my fourth and final Fresher’s fayre at Dundee University. Three years ago as a nervous, slightly hungover fresher I found the labour stall and signed up to be a member of Dundee Labour Students and the Labour party. Since then I’ve campaigned in countless by-elections, a European Parliament election, a referendum and a general election. I’ve met students from up and down the country. I’ve been involved in campaigns from getting a living wage to ending pay day loans. I didn’t realise then how big a part Labour Students would play in my University experience and how it would change my time at Dundee.
Look ahead three years and Dundee Labour Students has just had one of our most successful fresher’s fayres ever, even running out of leaflets! From first years to post graduates, this year saw students representing every part of our campus come and seek out Labour. Many were just interested to learn about politics and find out about the Labour Party. But so many more were angry at the Conservative government, and the impact that the policies are having on their lives and the lives of their families.
It’s amazing to have so many new people joining Dundee Labour Students and other Labour Clubs across the country. With such important elections for us here in Scotland, and with elections in London and Wales too it’s a fantastic time to get involved.
Pippa Weaver is the Chair of Dundee Labour Students and sits on the Scottish Labour Students Committee as Womens Officer.
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