Campaign week: election forums

February 23, 2015  |   Found in Editorial // Elections // Student Life

Yup, it’s that time of year again! For the Students’ Union, it can be seen as the most wonderful time of the year (cue music)!

Election time is when candidates (people who think they are best fit to represent over 26,000 students in different positions) put in their 110% with camping out over night for the best spot for posters, speaking with hundreds of students a day and doing everything they possibly can to (according to the election rules) to get your vote!

As someone who has run in two elections (a faculty representative position and an executive position), I can tell you – it’s both terrifying and exhilarating. Putting your face out there is not easy. You have these great ideas for changes you want to make, and you know they will benefit lots of people, but you need to fight for that vote! In the past, the most flashy, eye-catching and funny posters/costumes have gotten my vote. We all need to remember to read each candidates platforms, know what they are actually about instead of voting for your favourite character from a Disney movie.

These candidates are serious about winning, they give up everything for the next 2 weeks; work, sleep and studies (maybe not solely for these 2 weeks). Candidates live in election mode – it’s exhausting.

To allow you to hear what they are all about, the Students’ Union has set up forums for all executive positions and faculty reps. How can I explain to you that this is extremely important to attend as an informed voter?

Firstly, blind voting (not knowing what a candidate stands for/wants to do) is dumb. You could be voting for an individual who wants to get rid of BSD or puppy rooms – oh the humanity!

Second, the average student may not be aware but SLC (the Student Legislative Council) works and votes for you on a variety of causes and issues. In my year as arts rep – I personally sat on committees for the faculty and committees for the university as a whole and voted on issues such as, providing more classes to students and approving bylaw changes that actually have an effect on your lives! I had the power! Vote for the person who you think is right!

Check out www.su.ucalgary.ca/general-election-forums for the dates and times of the Executive Position Forums, be sure to know what your future representatives are trying to do! All of these forums will be held in the MacHall South Courtyard.

So, next time you see a candidate and they are handing you a handbill asking for you to listen to their 30 second babble of what they are about – please be kind. Don’t be rude and say curse words I can’t type in this article. They want what’s best for the university and ideally: you. Instead, be courteous and enthusiastic telling them that the end is near and it will all pay off while flashing your pearly whites, making them feel better. I can’t stress how heartbreaking it is when students are rude and blow you off while you’re trying to win an election. I know it may get irritating when numerous people come up to you but they are giving it their all and are in it to win it.


 

Zainab is a fifth year International Relations student at the University of Calgary. Follow her at @realslimzainny on Twitter or zainnyy_ on Instagram.