Record breaking student voter turnout at University of Canterbury

23 August 2017

Political parties trying to engage with young voters in the lead-up to the New Zealand general election may wish to take a steer from the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA).

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    (From left to right) UCSA’s newly elected 2018 Finance Officer Sam Brosnahan, Vice President Laura Robinson and President Josh Proctor.

Political parties trying to engage with young voters in the lead-up to the New Zealand general election may wish to take a steer from the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA).

University of Canterbury (UC) students have again proved to be the most engaged of any New Zealand university with 45% voting in last week’s student body elections – an increase of 12 percentage points on 2016’s turnout, continuing an upward trend of voter engagement dating back several years.

Outgoing UCSA President James Addington says other universities’ student body voter turnout ranged from around 20% to single-figure percentages. For comparison, the voter turnout in last year’s local body elections in Canterbury was only 38%, down further from 42% in 2013.

“The UCSA has a significant and relevant presence on the UC campus, providing a range of services, several food and beverage outlets, the best student events in the country, assisting the most student clubs of any New Zealand university, as well as providing advocacy and welfare support. In partnership with the University of Canterbury, the UCSA delivers a great student experience on campus”.

The top three candidates elected to the incoming UCSA executive have already served this year. Josh Proctor, elected the 2018 President of the Association, is this year’s Finance Officer. Vice President Laura Robinson and Finance Officer Sam Brosnahan are also both serving on this year’s student Executive. The incoming 12-member student Executive has a 50-50 split of male and female students.

Addington says he is looking forward to handing over the reins to Proctor after two year-long terms as President.

“It’s been an incredible role and an amazing experience being President of such a large and diverse organisation that does so much to put students at the centre of everything. It’s nice to know you can stamp your mark on helping current and future generations of students,” Addington says.

“A big part of the role has been the design and development of the new UCSA building. That’s an exciting chapter for the incoming Student Executive as well. I’m proud to have done my bit, and I know Josh will be a great student President.”

Established in 1894, the UCSA is a not-for-profit student organisation that operates multiple businesses and has more than 140 clubs and societies on campus. Twelve elected student representatives govern UCSA with the support and guidance of external advisors.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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