Opinion General

First-years, it’s time to vote

If you want a breakdown, check out our cheatsheet. If this is your first year on campus, spend this time getting to know the Students’ Union. Learn what the candidates are promising and then learn what they can actually do. Listen to their pitches when they approach you in CAB. Read their campaign posters, hear them out, and make an informed decision come March 7 and 8. If you don’t, in no time you’ll be a bitter fourth year who writes shit like this. You all deserve better than to end up like my sour soul.

Here are a few tips.

  1. Be realistic and cautious

Some are going to have grounded promises that seem minor and it might be easy to pass them off as lazy. After four years I can tell you, it is these candidates that are the best for the job. However, there are going to be some that will promise you the world. They’re going to make it sound like they can change the very fundamentals of student life, so it’s not the crippling stressor it becomes. It’s going to sound too good to be true, and unfortunately that’s because it is. The Student Union can do a lot for students and these last few years have proved that. They worked with the New Democratic Party government on the tuition freeze At their best, they can aid in easing the hell that is university, and truly believe in helping the student body. At their worst, however, they’re looking for the resume fluff for grad school or the job market. You have to take every campaign promise with a grain of salt because it can be hard to tell two types apart.

  1. Talk with them.

Candidates will approach you in CAB and give you their 30-second pitch. Listen to them, and ask them questions. Learn what they have to offer. Engage with them. It won’t hurt and you’ll come away more informed.

Come to forums and ask them questions. If you have specific grievances, there’s no better way to see what each candidate has to say. Come to the Myer Horowitz forum on March 5th at 12. Classes are cancelled so don’t worry about skipping. Show up and learn what the candidates are offering you and make an informed choice. 

  1.  You pay for your class time, not their campaign

Candidates will do class talks in between lectures. If they cut into your lecture time, DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM. They have no right taking up the class time that you are paying for. You may hate that class, and they may only take the opening few minutes, but it’s the principle that matters.

  1. No shame in picking “none of the above”  

If you feel no candidate will represent you in the role, vote for “none of the above”. That will send a larger message than not voting. Voter apathy tells the SU nothing, especially considering the low voter turnout. Abstaining to vote lets them know they have to work harder to best represent the students.

When the polls open up on March 7, try to keep these tips in mind. Be informed when you vote and be engaged with the student government. If you don’t, and I cannot stress this enough, you’ll end up a bitter old man like me.

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