Student Union elections are coming up on March 7th and 8th and will be available in your campus login. Some may cast this aside as unimportant in their already overstressed student life. I am writing this to urge every UPEI student to take the time out of their day and vote for these four reasons.
First of all, voter turnout is a tangible indicator of student engagement. Past elections have seen voter turnout rates range from 12%-40%. Frankly, this is embarrassing. How is a student union supposed to be taken seriously when working with groups inside and outside the UPEI community when less than half the student population cared enough to elect them? Low voter turnout sends the message to the community that the students do not care about what the student union does.
In addition, you ought not to complain if you do not vote. Do you think the SU is doing a terrible job organizing events, advocating for students, and generally blows through SU membership fees? If so, you better take the two minutes out of your day to choose a candidate whom you believe will work for the students. If you do not vote, all that waste truly rests on the apathetic students’ shoulders.
Furthermore, you are paying their salaries. In case you did not know, full-time students are charged a mandatory SU membership fee. This fee is used to pay the salaries (35 hours a week for executive positions). If you are going to be paying for someone’s salary does it not make sense that you exercise your hiring powers by voting? They are the job applicants and you are the boss, do not leave the hiring to a third-party.
Finally, the SU represents you. Naturally, the Student Union is the voice of the students. If you want your voice to be heard on issues that are important to you, get out and vote. If you want lower tuition, get out and vote. If you want better services on campus, get out and vote. If you want the Wave to be cooler than Joe Biden in aviators, get out and vote. If you want to maximize your student experience and get the most out of your money, get out and vote!
By: Zach Geldert
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