Students encouraged to rock the vote

Students in Penticton, along with Kelowna and Salmon Arm, kicked off the local component of a province-wide voter registration campaign this week, 99 days before the provincial election on May 14th.

'Rock the Vote BC' will educate and mobilize young voters in the Okanagan, and across the province in the upcoming election.

"Students are not known to vote in big groups in BC, but it's important, because if we get more students voting their issues will be more front and center for politicians," said Anders Hoenisch, internal director for the students' union at the Okanagan College Penticton campus.

Students are eager to see the BC government take action; families in British Columbia are faced with the highest student debt west of the Maritimes, but the lowest provincial spending on non-repayable student assistance.

In total, the hope is to get 1,000 students registered and supporting the campaign across the three campuses.

As of Monday, when the campaign kicked off, there were 75 registered on the Penticton campus. Numbers from the other campuses were not yet finalized, said Hoenisch.

"The more students vote, the more of a voice we have," said Penticton campus council Maggie Webb, who was involved with the kick off and continues to support the campaign.

 In the months ahead there will be massive registration drives, as well as meetings with current politicians and candidates, to see what their stand is when it comes to student issues, said Hoenisch.

The Okanagan College Students’ Union represents 5000 students at Okanagan College, and is Local 53 of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC.

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of 150,000 students from 17 college and university students’ unions.

Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.

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