St. Francis Xavier University students are used to going head-to-head with other schools on the field and on the court. This week, they beat the University of Ottawa in a battle to collect student votes.

 

“The University of Ottawa put a push on for us when they challenged our voter turnout,” said St. F.X. student union vice-president of communications, Sarah Furey.

 

“They told us we were going to have to go find a place to hide if we lost.”

 

Voter turnout in the St. F.X. student union election was 60.4 per cent, the university announced yesterday. The University of Ottawa’s voter turnout was only 27.2 per cent.

The union used some new tactics to get students out to vote this year, said Furey. The union and candidates plastered the school with posters explaining where to find information on the candidates, the voting process and voting locations. YouTube advertisements and websites offered easy access to the candidates’ platforms.

Furey found a group of bloggers to represent different types of students in an online debate.

The blog collected nearly 20,000 page hits between Jan. 22 and Feb. 10, the final day of voting.
Voter turnout in last year’s election was about 50.4 per cent. Other student election campaigns usually have a 12 to 14 per cent voter turnout, according to Maclean’s OnCampus website.

“The level of interest (from students) is mind-blowing,” said Furey.

Sandy MacIntosh and Sheryl MacAulay will take over as president and vice-president May 1.