“If the rate of disinvestment continues at the rate it has been, most universities will be private within 10 years or less”.
This was predicted by Thomas Letchworth, a Southern Oregon University student and the State Board Chairman of the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group.
OSPIRG has a plan enacted called Get Out to Vote, also known as the New Voters Project, which is aiming to register or re-register at least 2,000 students by the end of fall term next year.
Statewide OSPIRG is trying to register up to 35,000 to 40,000 college students, in the hopes of student voting power. Along with other non-partisan organizations such as Oregon Student Association and the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University, SOU’s student government, OSPIRG wants students to be active about voting.
But an active student voting population serves another purpose, which is raising interest in the legislature about youth issues. The more college students who vote, the bigger their voice is in Salem.
“We’re looking to have the youth population better represented in Salem,” said Emily Genuardi, one of the main OSPIRG organizers for Get Out to Vote.
By the end of the project, OSA lobbyists in Salem will have a constituency of thousands of like-minded college students to encourage legislators to prioritize education over other issues.
OSPIRG will be setting up tables in front of the Stevenson Union for registration in the coming weeks, in which students can easily register to vote.
OSPIRG will also be having a kickoff meeting this Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Hawthorne classroom, where students can also register to vote. There will also be free food.