OUSA Launches Video Encouraging Students to Head to the Polls

TORONTO, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is encouraging Ontario's youth to vote in the June 12th provincial election with the launch of a video targeting college and university students. Produced in partnership with Asterisk Media, OUSA's If You're Not at the Table You're On the Menu video details estimates of youth voter turnout in the 2011 provincial election as well as the potential political influence Ontario's young people could have had at the polls.

"As first-time voters, many college and university students are unaware of the potential influence of their vote," said Jen Carter, OUSA President and Vice-President External of the University Students' Council (USC) of Western University. "Unfamiliarity with the voting process, relative newness to civic engagement, and a lack of focus on issues affecting young people by Ontario's politicians all contribute to the low youth voting turnout we're experiencing."

It is estimated that Ontario's youth had a voter turnout of only 35 per cent in the 2011 provincial election, while overall voter also reached a historic low of 49.2 per cent. Of Ontario's almost 1.2 million eligible youth voters, it is believed that only 420,000 voted in 2011. The overall number of students who didn't vote in the 2011 provincial election could have potentially changed the outcomes in 66 of Ontario's 107 ridings. In the 35 ridings with major college or university campuses, the number of students who did not vote was larger than the margin of victory for the winning candidate in 26 of these ridings.

"It's a common misconception that Ontario's youth are politically apathetic when in fact we're experiencing declining voter turnout across all age demographics," said Philip Lloyd, OUSA Steering Committee Member and Vice-President University Affairs of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of Queen's University. "Investment in election awareness campaigns targeting young people have the potential to help youth overcome the informational and social barriers that are currently contributing to their low turnout levels at the polls."

OUSA produced the If You're Not at the Table You're On the Menu video as part of the It's Your Vote campaign aimed at increasing youth voter turnout in the 2014 provincial election.

To view If You're Not at the Table You're On the Menu, click here. To learn more about OUSA's It's Your Vote campaign, check out www.itsyourvote.ca

About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)

OUSA represents the interests of almost 140,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven member associations across Ontario.

SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

For further information: For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Sloan, Director of Communications., W:www.ousa.ca, T: (416) 605-1345, E: brandon@ousa.ca, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/educatedsolutions, Twitter:@OUSA

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