Thursday, April 27, 2017

Camosun College Student Society to hold student by-elections in April

March 29, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Voter turnout is increasing in federal elections, and with the Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) using online voting for the first time for their student elections—happening from April 3 to 5—the question of voter turnout is on people’s minds here at the college.

CCSS external executive Rachael Grant feels that there are many reasons for low voter turnout among Camosun students.

“Part of it is that people are busy and polls have been at fixed locations,” she says. “Another reason that I’ve heard for why people aren’t voting is that folks don’t know the candidates personally; that can be something that makes someone feel like they don’t want to vote. I would encourage people to read the platforms prior to every election and get to know the candidates a little bit so you can better know who’s representing you.”

A student votes at a previous student society election; voting will be online-only this time around (file photo).

First-year Camosun University Transfer student Sean Archdekin says that he was unaware of the student elections but feels that it’s important for students to have a say on what goes on in and around the college.

“That would definitely be beneficial, as older people that aren’t students won’t exactly know as well as students what the students would want. I only just found out about it but, yeah, I’ll probably vote because I want some control on what’s going on.”

CCSS executive director Michel Turcotte feels that attitudes about voter turnout differ between generations, and that this problem is something that all parties must work together to fix.

“It’s a systemic societal problem,” says Turcotte. “If you look at the voter turnout rates of young people, it’s dismal compared to those that are over 55, who almost all vote; not even a majority of young people vote. That’s ultimately doing a disservice to the country. For various reasons, the age groups have become indifferent, but that’s the government’s job to establish that that’s important, because it’s almost to the point where certain political parties count on people not voting. That’s the same thing with the student society; by not voting you’re just allowing the minority of students to make decisions for you without you having a say in it.”

Second-year University Transfer student Rhys Jones feels that it’s important for students to vote because it can help impact future generations who come through the college.

“Even in the event that the students won’t be there when the rules or promises come into place, students who follow in their footsteps can benefit from the decisions that are made,” says Jones. “The onus is on the current students to vote for the people who are coming along in the future. I would hope someone made that choice for me.”

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