By Fabian Mayer, September 17 2015 —
With the federal election campaign entering its second half, the University of Calgary Students’ Union is encouraging students to vote. They also plan to help students make informed decisions when Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 19.
In addition to running a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign, the SU will host a Calgary Confederation all-candidates’ forum. The riding houses the U of C and surrounding neighbourhoods where many students live.
According to vice-president external Romy Garrido, three of the four major-party candidates have confirmed they will attend. NDP candidate Kirk Heuser has not yet confirmed his attendance.
The Sept. 30 forum will be hosted at noon in MacHall’s south courtyard. SU executives will moderate the debate, and special emphasis will be placed on student issues.
“We’re still figuring out formatting and the questions that we’re going to be asking, but I would say a good portion of it will be student-focused,” Garrido said.
Garrido believes student aid is the most important student issue dealt with federally. Non-student issues will also be featured in the forum.
“Even though we are students, we’re still citizens of this country and we’re still concerned with what’s going on with our economy,” Garrido said.
Garrido is disappointed with how little attention student issues have received during the campaign. She argues that voting will help students put student issues on the agenda.
“There’s that myth that students don’t vote,” Garrido said. “The main focus of GOTV is to do that myth busting.”
The SU’s GOTV campaign is about halfway to its goal of 10,000 student pledges to vote in October’s election. Garrido said they took advantage of O-week events to sign up eager first-year students. The SU is also planning classroom visits and a club competition to get the most pledges in order to reach their goal.