MK College hosts Hustings - MK College

College students have their say in sustainability-focused Hustings 

Milton Keynes College Group recently held a Hustings event at the South Central Institute of Technology in Bletchley, where students put their questions to all four main parties standing in the general election expected later this year: 

  • Councillor Emily Darlington, the Labour Party 
  • Johnny Luk, the Conservative Party 
  • Alan Francis, the Green Party 
  • Dominic Dyer, the Liberal Democrats Party

The questions were chosen from a selection put forward by the College’s Democratic Society and covered topics including sustainable transport, reducing plastic pollution, promoting FE Colleges and safety for young people in Milton Keynes. At the end of the event, students were given a ballot paper to vote for the candidate they would support in an election, with the Labour Party winning the most votes. 

Milton Keynes Council also came along to the event to talk to students about the importance of registering to vote, with several students doing so on the day. 

Alex Thumm, student at the College and leader of the College’s Debating Society for the Bletchley campus, said that: “I thought the Hustings was a great event! It was very democratic, and we made sure that the different political parties had the same amount of time to answer the questions. It was interesting to hear what the candidates all had to say – they were all very different people with different experiences. I think events like this are important because a lot of young people might feel annoyed about certain issues, but they won’t engage in politics and events like this can facilitate that participation”. 

Fellow College student Chiamaka Ahaneku added: “It was a very uplifting event today and I found it very educational. I enjoyed being able to vote for the person who you think is going to take the steps needed and I’m happy that I was here today. I was surprised at how interesting I found the event! I definitely want to get more involved in the College’s societies around democracy and debating now”. 

Ruth Tanyaradzwa, Chair of the College’s Debating Society for Chaffron Way campus and co-chair of the Hustings event with Sally commented: “The event was eye-opening and I registered to vote at the event. I was nervous when I was asked to be a co-chair of the event but I enjoyed doing something new and the support from my tutors really helped. For other young people who aren’t bothered about politics, I would say that if you don’t get involved then nothing will change, but you have a chance to improve things by speaking up for what you believe in. It’s important to vote – you might not see it today, but tomorrow you might think ‘I’m glad I voted for that person because they made a change’”. 

Sally Alexander, CEO and Group Principal at Milton Keynes College Group, said: “What a fantastic event! With a general election expected this year, we wanted to give our students the opportunity to learn about the political process and to actively engage in it by asking questions of those who they could be voting for. The students asked some very important questions and were clearly interested in what the candidates had to say on a range of topics. We had a lot of great feedback from students, staff and the candidates themselves, and are planning on holding another Hustings once the general election date has been announced”. 

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the staff and students at the College for making this happen, and to the candidates for taking part and engaging with our young people on the issues that interested them the most.”