The federal election season is in full swing and the UNBSU has a few tricks up their sleeves to get students to get out and vote.
The UNBSU has partnered up with a non-partisan federal campaign, Get Out the Vote, which aims to encourage students to vote and participate in the upcoming federal election. The campaign is taking place on over 20 different university campuses across the country.
“[Get Out the Vote] is initiated by our federal lobbying body, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). Our main goal is to get students to the polls no matter what. I don’t care who you’re voting for, I just want to make sure you have the ability to go and vote,” said Travis Daley, UNBSU vice-president external.
While the campaign is executed by the UNBSU, it would not be possible without the support of CASA.
“It is enacted by us, and some of the tools are given to us by the CASA,” Daley said. “Since the last federal election, [CASA] has been putting money aside every year in order to be able to buy the software, run it and help smaller schools hire a coordinator for it.”
The UNBSU will be hosting events from now until Election Day, Oct. 19. Each event is designed to attract a certain group of students in order to reach as many students as possible.
The first event is coming up shortly on Sept. 22, with a coffee house featuring local musicians playing under the Get Out the Vote banner in the SUB. On Oct. 6, there will be a Q&A with the Fredericton riding candidate happening at St. Thomas. The candidates will come, and the students can mingle with them and ask questions.
There will also be a Cellar event called Rock the Vote on Oct. 15, where local musicians will play music. On Oct. 19, once voting is complete, there will be an after party at SClub to wrap everything up.
“What we’ve done is we’ve strategically built these events,” Daley said. “Where the candidates’ event will pull out certain students, Rock the Vote will pull out certain students. This pulls out a certain demographic, but if you’re 18, you can’t get into the Cellar. So a coffee house will do that, and pull out those students.”
An opportunity of this sort does not come around very often. As Daley explained, it is important to have student voices heard on a federal level.
“I think students have a unique perspective on politics, and whether that be they’re truly involved in it, or completely removed from it, or somewhere in between, they have a voice, and that voice matters,” Daley said.
“Without the opportunity to vote, or be engaged in any sort with the federal election, or any election for that matter, it could be lost if they don’t enact in it. Because students have this unique perspective, it can easily be dismissed if their opinions and voices aren’t heard.”
If you wish to pledge to vote by cellphone, you can text “YES” to 1-506-802-8642 or pledge on their website as well.