The Campus Sustainability Coalition (CSC) at the University of Alberta is a community initiative which acts as a hub for undergraduate, graduate students, staff, faculty and community members to work together to build a sustainable society. Our initiatives cover resource waste, energy, and building social capital. As a member of Canadian society, there is no social issue that is more important than voting.
The atrocious voter turnout in Alberta (43% during the last provincial election) combined with the terrible student turnout last federal election (only 25%) is not a trivial reflection of the poor consideration Albertans and youth have for our democratic system. The environmental issues prominent in this 2008 election not withstanding, a healthy Canada will have a citizenry engaged in elections and debate.
At the call of the election on September 7, we decided to facilitate discussion and awareness among the student body at the University of Alberta. The CSC is not an organization with a tremendous budget. It is an organization with many citizens having a great deal of heart and passion for their country, and their world.
Therefore our politically passionate community members have come together under the theme of ‘Sustain Democracy’. We are trying to connect with the student body through the commonality of the percentage. For students in a course where they are marked without a bellcurve, the marks of 25% and 43% are so far from competitive that job prospects, grant and scholarship funding is unattainable. With such a poor mark in our electoral system, the same could be said for our society.
Hence, our theme is “getting an A in voter turnout”.
Our aim is to help students and youth be politically aware and encouraged to vote on October 14th.
We are interested in the following questions regarding issues important to the average young Canadian voter:
1. What about rising tuition costs?
2. What about affordable housing for everyone?
3. What about the environment?
4. How do environmental issues impact Canada’s changing economy?