Olivia Blair | Contributing Writer | Friday, 24 April 2015

Which Issues Will Students In Sheffield Be Voting For On 7 May?

Which Issues Will Students In Sheffield Be Voting For On 7 May?

The Debrief: What are the big issues that matter this coming general election if you're a student in Sheffield

The election is just a mere 12 days away and we still have no idea who to vote for? In fact the only things we’re actually sure about is that we’re probably part of the Milifandom movement, oh and Cameron’s too scared to say the word ‘tampon’. Thanks Dave. 

We wanted more… We wanted to find our what other young British voters were really thinking ahead of the election. So we  decided to join Sky News on their #StandUpAndBeCounted tour of the UK and speak to students across different campus’ about what they want from the next next government and why they'd marching off to the polling booths on the 7th and cross that box with vigour.

First stop Sheffield University. It’s got a a bit of a good reputation of being politically active - and just last month a group of students ‘occupied’ the constituency office of Sheffield Hallam MP otherwise known as Nick Clegg's HQ to protest against the price of tution fees so we were excited to hear what they had to say.

So here’s what the students of Sheffield want…

SARAH MCCLOSKEY, 19, FROM SHEFFIELD, LAW STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

‘The NHS is my top issue. The current government have done quite a lot of damage to it so I’m quite interested in what the other parties are going to do to get it back on track. It’s something that affects everyone and our healthcare system is something Britain’s been really proud of it for a long time so it would be a shame for it to deteriorate.’

RIA STEELE, 19, FROM ROTHERHAM, GEOGRAPHY STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

‘To be honest education is completely messed up. When my brother was at uni he paid £3K a year and then two years later I had to pay £9K, it’s just bizarre. And there’s no real change, so what are we paying £9K for? The UKIP thing is really stressing me out too. Because it’s publicised in the media people are jumping on the bandwagon. I feel like people need to be more educated in the way we approach immigration. People just assume that immigrants are stealing from us when actually they’re not; they’re coming here to work and they’re helping us.’

GRACE COHEN, 21, FROM BRISTOL, ENGLISH LIT STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

‘I feel like the three main parties are the same. They say what you want to hear and then you vote for them because you think ‘oh that’s a really great thing’ and then they go and do the opposite, I feel like it’s a wasted vote (but I am voting). The key thing I want politicians to do is not lie! The NHS is a big one for me, everyone says they’re not going to sell it off but Cameron sold off like £8billion in private contracts which is just shit, also once you sell it off you can’t get it back. STOP LYING POLITICIANS’

ELLEN CRAWFORD, 20, FROM STAFFORDSHIRE, PSYCHOLOGY STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'Education policies are quite a big thing for me especially as I’m a student. What I’m annoyed about is that Labour have said that they’re going to decrease tuition fees to £6,000 but what does that mean for the three-to-four years that we’ve had to pay the £9,000. They haven’t specifically said that we’ll pay less in the long run, we would just be the group of people who have been unlucky with tuition fees so I think if you’re going to increase them just keep them at that level.'

RACHAEL YARWOOD, 20, FROM MANCHESTER, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'As a student I care about house prices, which are going up around Sheffield. Next year I’m staying in the same house but it’s going up by £2 each week and there’s been no improvement; it’s exactly the same. The policies I look for are around the NHS, I think it should be free forever. Both my parents work for the NHS so I feel it should be kept the same. I just don’t think it should be privatised in any way.'

CHINEME ENE, 22, FROM LONDON, GLOBAL JOURNALISM STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'I think that banker’s bonuses are a big problem that nobody’s really tackling because they’re more focused on using immigrants as a scapegoat, saying they claim benefits - which they may well do but I’m sure that that doesn’t amount to the level of tax evasion and bankers bonuses. (cue friend stood next to Chineme shouting: ‘go girl!’) The environment is also important. I like divestment policies that take money out of corporations that sponsor fossil fuel use and fracking. Hopefully this will encourage more use of solar power and wind energy instead.'

SARAH BRECKNELL, 19, FROM LEICESTER, ENGLISH LIT STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'My main issue is gender equality. Generally I mean equal rights for men AND women but especially when it comes to equal pay. Politicians also need to make sure that services such as shelters for women suffering from domestic violence aren’t cut.'

PATRICIA ROBERTS, 21, FROM WILTSHIRE

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'The main thing for me is social cohesion, I want someone who stands up for everybody in society. I’m against divisive issues. I want someone who’s just as concerned for people at the bottom of the socio-economic scale as those at the top. It would be good to get some long-term issues instead of quick promises. As students I think we actually have it pretty alright but there are people suffering more in our community and that’s something I’m really passionate about.'

KEMI ALEMORU, 20, FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'I’d personally prefer a politician that was more straight-talking and didn’t just go along with what they think everyone wants to hear. UKIP have managed to push immigration as a massive issue and I don’t feel like Labour should have taken this up, they’ve got that mug that says ‘Controls on Immigration, I’m voting Labour’ which is the world’s most un-friendliest mug. If anyone ever invited me into their house and gave me tea in that mug I’d think, what a freak. I’d prefer it if Miliband was like: ‘actually it’s not an issue, this is what the issue is: it’s people who don’t pay their taxes.'

RUTH GRIFFIN, 20, FROM BIRMINGHAM, ENGLISH LIT STUDENT

Sheffield Ruth
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'Tampon tax! They should get rid of it. But a lot of parties are picking up on it like ‘ooo this is why we should leave the EU because of things like this’ when actually I think we should stay in the EU but [tampon tax] is an issue in itself and shouldn’t just be used in turn for different agenda’s.'

SARAH O’SHEA, 19, FROM SURREY, ENGLISH LIT STUDENT

Talking Politics With Students At Sheffield University

'Environmental issues aren’t taken seriously enough. To be honest in 100 years, a five-year-old government won’t matter if there are no resources for us to live on. Politics is so tiny compared to the environment because everyone depends on it. At the moment it’s a global issue left by the waste-side in the interest of smaller, self-involved groups. There should be more steps towards global regulation. There’s a difference between turning off the lights and cutting down rainforests. Yeah there are little things you can do but then on a grander scale the government and some people are doing huge, damaging things.'

Like this? You might also be interested in:

We Read The Conservative Party Manifesto So You Don’t Have To

We’re Best Mates, But She’s Voting Labour And I’m Voting Tory

What Will Actually Happen For You If Labour/Tories/LibDems/UKIP/Greens Win

Follow Olivia on Twitter @Livblair

Tags: Politics, General Election 2015