UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. (COLLEGIATE PRESSWIRE) — Young adults care about the world around them, but not enough translate that concern into political action: 84 percent of college freshmen volunteer for public service, yet in the last three presidential elections, the average turnout of Americans under 25 years of age was only 40 percent.
Why don’t they take advantage of one of their most fundamental rights?
“Young people care, and are anxious to make a difference but they haven’t discovered the power of politics,” said Daniel Shea, Professor of Political Science and founder of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College, and lead author of Pearson’s new Living Democracy textbook.
To encourage participation in the political process, Pearson created and is sponsoring the YVote Video Contest through its Living Democracy TV (LDTV) portal on MySpace, http://www.myspace.com/livingdemocracytv.
YVote asks students to make a 30 to 60 second video commercial urging their peers to register, vote, and become more politically proactive. First prize for the best video is $2,500, with four runner-up prizes of $1,000 each. Deadline for submissions (which may be e-mailed through the LDTV site) is Dec. 1, 2007. The videos will be judged by a panel of more than 20 American Government professors, and all videos will be available from the LDTV site for preview.
Featured on the LDTV page are tips on how to make an ad, including a sample video, and an audio/visual guide to the current crop of presidential candidates. The site also includes a fascinating sampling of broadcast television campaign ads from 1952 through 2004.
“We know that young adults pay attention to what their peers have to say, and YVote is designed to capitalize on this,” Shea said. “We want to stress the importance of making your voice heard, and to show that individuals can make a difference.”