A group of students added a new color to their maize T-shirts at the Michigan football game on Saturday: green.

The students wore green stickers to advertise Power Vote, a national effort to make climate change a priority in the upcoming elections.

Power Vote, headed by the Energy Action Coalition, a nonpartisan alliance of 48 youth-based groups across the nation, hopes to garner one million pledges nationwide by Election Day. The University’s chapter has set a goal of 5,000 pledges.

School of Music senior Maia Dedrick, a Power Vote campus organizer, said the initiative caters to voters across the political spectrum.

“It means just doing some research on your candidate,” said Dedrick. “Even if you have already chosen a candidate, you can still put these issues first.”

Power Vote volunteers started rallying students on campus earlier this month. They have recruited students in the Diag, made presentations in classrooms, visited dorms and gone to candidate rallies.

Volunteers set a goal for 1,000 new pledges last week. They tried several new campaign tactics, like campaigning during tailgate parties before Saturday’s football game, but fell short, signing up about 400 pledges.

School of Music senior Andrew Munn, a Power Vote campus organizer, said the goal was set intentionally high.

“Four hundred pledges in one week is not something I’m disappointed with,” he said.

While those who sign pledges are under no obligation to do anything beyond making green energy a priority when researching the candidates, those who choose to volunteer will continue working long after Election Day.

“We’re going to hold the winning candidate accountable in working towards clean energy,” said Munn. “One of the great parts of being in a democracy is the ability to go and lobby your representatives.”

Many in Michigan, which holds the highest unemployment rate in the country, hope efforts to develop clean energy technology will help turn around the state’s struggling economy. Munn said Michigan should take advantage of its potential for wind and solar power to move toward cleaner energy and create new jobs.

“The work that needs to be done for clean energy needs to be done by people who need the work,” he said. “It’s an especially good opportunity for jobs that have been lost in the auto industry.”

Rackham student Brett Levy, a Power Vote volunteer, said the success of the organization will depend on the dedication of the people who sign up.

“Every time I get a pledge signed, I’m talking to somebody for between thirty seconds and five minutes about energy issues,” he said. “But I can’t give them a deep understanding of the policies or climatic challenges we’re facing now and in the future.”

LSA sophomore Lucy Cross said she pledged to support Power Vote because the idea of bipartisan environmental support appeals to her.

“It’s not supporting any rivalry between the two parties,” she said. “Instead, it’s saying that no matter what political belief you have, the environment should be a priority.”

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