By Hayden McBennett, May 14 2015 —
The Students’ Union’s Get Out The Vote campaign contacted roughly 3,000 students before last week’s provincial election to encourage them to vote.
Throughout the winter semester, students were asked for their contact information with the incentive of possibly winning an iPad or laptop. Students were then reminded how and where to vote on the day of the election via a phone call or text message.
SU president Levi Nilson believes the campaign is an important initiative.
“We want to first of all make sure students are aware of where their polling station is so they can actually go out and vote. Second is to change the narrative of young people not voting,” Nilson said.
SU vice-president external Romy Garrido also participated in the campaign.
“It puts a reminder in students’ ears that we have that responsibility to vote,” Garrido said. “A lot of them were really excited when we contacted them. It has huge potential to get the student voice out there.”
The SU hoped to reach 7,000 students but fell short of this goal due to uncertainty surrounding the date of the election.
“We only had 10 days to get everything together, so our initial goal was a little ambitious,” Nilson said.
Of the 350 students Nilson spoke to personally, only one said they did not plan on voting.
Garrido said the SU is planning a similar campaign for the upcoming federal election, which will likely be held in October.
“We’re just going to ride on that momentum. We’re really excited about how it went so we’re looking forward to making it even bigger next time.”