With deadline looming, ASOSU continues working to register students

Miriah Reddington Practicum contributor

Campaign aiming to sign-up 4,300 people by Oct. 18, enabling them to vote in up coming national election

In 2014, the Oregon Students Association managed to register over 55,000 students across the state during the “Vote

OR Vote” campaign. 

The Associated Students of Oregon State University are continuing that effort by trying to register 4,300 students by Oct. 18, the deadline to register voters in order to vote in the upcoming election. Their original goal was 3,500 but as of Oct. 10, they had 3,432 students registered, allowing them to up their ante.

“Vote OR Vote” is a statewide campaign that student governments across Oregon participate in under the guidance of the OSA. The campaign provides students with

opportunities to organize at a campus level through outreach, promotional activities

and public speaking.

ASOSU has had recent success with the “Vote OR Vote” campaign and in the Spring volunteers registered 2,888 students. 

“It (voting) is one of the single most direct ways to have your voice heard by decision makers. It’s one of the simplest avenues of direct democracy,” said ASOSU

volunteer Tabitha Pitzer.

Candalynn Johnson, the ASOSU executive director of government relations, has been running the “Vote OR Vote”

campaign on campus this fall. 

“The reason why ASOSU runs a voter education and get out the vote drive is because ASOSU surveys of students have indicated repeated concerns about the affordability of tuition, textbooks, and housing.” Johnson said. “This is of course in addition to rampant decreases in state funding, tuition hikes, greater sexual assaults on campus, and growing mental health issues as

other persistent problems.”

During the “Vote OR Vote” campaign ASOSU volunteers have been visiting classrooms and tabling on campus, trying to encourage students

to register to vote. 

“Voting is very important. I think it is effective to get people in class because you have a captive audience,” said OSU Writing instructor Roby Conner.

The “Vote OR Vote”  campaign and OSA has made an impact. During the 2015 legislative session they blocked tuition hikes on several campuses, obtained wa research program through the Higher Education Commission to implement an Open Educational Resources initiative on textbook affordability, and obtained additional need-based funding,

according to Johnson.

“I have always seen civic involvement as a kind of service to the community. If you want change in your community, city, town, county, or nation, you absolutely need for your voice to be

heard,” Johnson said.

There are several ways to register to vote. The “Vote or Vote”  campaign and ASOSU, both located in the SEC room 250 allow students to register on campus. Registration can be done online as well in addition to

mail in registration.

The ASOSU is also sponsoring voter education events leading up to the election. ON Oct. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union room 208, they holding a Student Panel Debate where students will discuss current ballot measures.  On Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Corvallis Public Library, ASOSU will host a League of Women Voters local candidate forum, and on Nov. 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. the Valley Library is hosting a panel discussion

on voter rights.

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