Liberal Youth: It’s time to think about Freshers

As the academic year draws to a close, most young people are thinking about the summer ahead – not us though. At Liberal Youth we’re already planning for the next academic year and we want this year’s Freshers (the inaugural party / join-a-society week at the start of the academic term) to be the one that puts us back on the map.

The Freshers period is incredibly important to our organisation, more so now than ever. We’re not naive, we know the Liberal Democrats’ reputation on campus isn’t the same as it was a few years ago, but we’re working hard to put that right. We need to show people we’re still the party that cares for young people the most and that’s why we’ll be giving up our summers to make sure that message gets across.

We’ve been encouraged to see so many people already enquiring about our Freshers Packs so here’s an announcement: they’re available to order now and this year they’re free!

The packs will contain the usual selection of freebies and materials for our key campaigns on equal marriage, drugs reform, body confidence and IFLRY’s End Europe’s Last Dictatorship [Belarus] as well as tackling tuition fees head on with a fact sheet. Of course Liberal Youth’s policy remains against fees, but it is important we dispel the damaging myths that may be putting off our peers.

We’re not just talking about Universities either. We care about Further Education institutions and want our voices to be heard there too. Last week (Thursday 21st June) we were standing up for the sector with our #pauseFEfees lobby, working with the National Union of Students and the FE sector in doing so. We might not always see eye to eye with the NUS but when it’s right to work together, we will.

As we said, we know lots of societies have been enquiring already and we want to get the packs out in good time (delivery in August) so you’ll need to place your order pretty soon. Did we mention that they’re free? All donations welcome of course, we’re not as flush as Conservative Future may be.

We hope you’ll join us this autumn and together we can make this Freshers one to remember.

* Callum & Ben are the jobsharing Campaigns Officers in Liberal Youth. You can find them on Facebook or email [email protected]

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  • Callum Morton 11th Jul '12 - 11:18am

    @Dave Totally agree with you. In terms of Equal Marriage, we’ve been looking at various materials from a range of sources – the message will be the same, just the design won’t be – we need to make liberal youth distinctive.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 11th Jul '12 - 12:41pm

    I would heartedly encourage all LibDems to turn up and help their branches at Universities and Colleges – you need to be there to meet all the new Freshers who you will be saddling with extra debts. If it is hurting it isn’t working! Is Clegg planning any visits to Fresher Fairs?

  • Yes! As an ‘introductory offer’ promise them that, if they vote for us, ‘next time’ we’ll really, REALLY abolish fees. Doh!

  • Couldn’t agree more with Callum’s article…but…having tried to collaborate with LY recently, I was informed that they had not given my local branch a budget to spend.

    Freshers stalls cost £400 each. How do we expect to succeed at campuses when we’re not investing anything in having a presence there?

  • Callum Morton 12th Jul '12 - 1:21pm

    @Scott Thanks for the kind words. In terms of Freshers, normally the local party funds stalls and the like – unfortunately Ly doesn’t have the money to fund every branch to run Freshers – we can only afford to provide materials to put on them. If you’re at a University with a LY Society, normally the Students’ Union doesn’t charge for its own clubs & societies to have stalls at Freshers. Yours many be an exception.

  • @Callum Unfortunately our local party also has a limited budget, the majority of which goes on literature, Connect et al. As Campaigns Officer for Cumbria Lib Dems I’ve been communicating with the NW LY Chair who is limited in her efforts to entice young support with no budget.

    There are plenty of great ideas bouncing about up here but they all require a hefty budget which, unfortunately, we don’t have.

  • Callum Morton 12th Jul '12 - 3:19pm

    @scott So are you trying to get involved in Universities or elsewhere? Because if so you’ll need a Uni LY society to sort out Freshers. FE Colleges are more difficult – if they have Freshers though all you tend to need to ask for is a table. If they don’t you could always do something in a town centre?

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