Being curious about what students think of the upcoming BUSU election, The Quill asked them what would determine their voting choice come March 18th and 19th. Many of the students we questioned informed us that they had been paying very little attention to the campaign and were not familiar with the candidates, and thus did not have a choice in mind. However, we found that international students tended to be far more engaged with the campaign proceedings than Canadian students. Below is a select sample of the responses we received.
“The slate I voted for personally searched everyone in residence out, asked decent questions, and asked for my opinion. They showed concern for faculty and labs’ needs, and I was really satisfied with their commitment to clubs, no matter the size. They also gave me a cookie.” — Anthony Rempel.
“I didn’t know that graduating students could vote and, because of this, I didn’t think I could vote. They should advertise this more clearly. I don’t know the candidates, but now I will look into it and figure out who to vote for. ” — Alisha Ross
“I’ve seen some of the posters and I’ll vote based on what I read there. I’ve also talked to some of the candidates.” — Anonymous
“I don’t really care about politics at BU. I won’t be here when any of these things make a difference. Hi, campus!” — Mike Dubois.
“I think in voting for these kinds of things, we’ve got to keep in mind that each competing party is seeking to preserve themselves. They are not in it for altruistic reasons, so we’ve got to determine which candidates will abuse their position of power the least. You can usually tell by how desperate the candidates are by the amount of free things they’re giving away. These are the ones to avoid. They have a shallow platform and need to offer these digestible incentives.” — Anonymous
“Their involvement in student activities and whether they actually show care for students.” — Kathleen Hyndman
“My perception of their level of experience and competence. There are a lot of flighty people who are actually quite competent. The beauty of this is that I know a lot of these people running.” — Barbara Harrison
“Personally I don’t think it’s going to make a difference who we vote for. I’ve been here for three years now and nothing has overly changed. They usually try to make sure everything is working for everyone. Although I’d like to believe that voting makes a difference, if voting actually changed anything, it would have been banished a long time ago, which is why I don’t vote.” — Anonymous
“I’m voting for people I know.” — Anonymous
“I’m just here to get my education. I’m not here to vote on political stuff.” — Whitney Redman
“One guy gave me a cookie last week. I think he’s going in the election. I don’t know anything about it.” — Kelly Whitmore
“I’m not going to vote in a school election. I see no direct causal relation between who I vote for and how the school is.” — Adam Stoesz
“I pay attention to what their platform is, and whether I think they are likely to address pertinent issues or bring something that could benefit as many people as possible. I don’t like hypocrites and liars.” — Matthew Berry, Brandon University alumnus
“I’m in conflict right now because I’ve been approached by both and they’re both very nice. So I will be flipping a coin. But really, it depends on how many pancakes I get.” — Billy Kay
“I’m not going to vote. There’s too much drama; I never [feel] like they do anything specifically for me. Last time there was a strike I felt they weren’t connected with the students. Too pro-prof, not pro-student.” — Anonymous
“If you know who the person is, personally or by what they do. In other words, relatability. Knowing who they are and what they stand for is most important to me.” — Nathan Mackrith
“I’m voting for Baraa. He’s taking care of our rights. He’s telling our problems to BUSU, even though it is not his responsibility right now. He comes to the AP office and talks to us. I’m voting for Yusuf because she is the most friendly person I’ve met in my life. She’s given good advice to us. I feel sad that Raymond isn’t running again because he has helped me. Sarah, too, is doing very well. We all know her name and she is very active. Other than these people I’ve mentioned, I haven’t seen anyone actively seeking us out.” — Kyle Koksal
“I don’t know yet. I get the emails and see the posters. I’ll probably vote for the familiar names. I have no idea how it works. This is my fourth year and I’ve never voted. They did a really good job with their posters though.” — Anonymous
“I’m going to vote for Ilarion because I know him.” — Aleah Bridges
“I have no idea. I honestly have no idea. I don’t really follow this.” — Anonymous
“I got pancakes. That’ll probably determine who I vote for.” — Breanne Messner
“I don’t know too much about it or who is running. Who I vote for will be determined by whatever activities and plans they have.” — Charlee McLaughlin-Vernor
“We went to the debate and we listened to them, even though it was more of a forum.” — Three anonymous students.
“I don’t know. I don’t know when it is. They need to put up lots of signs in the middle of the hall. There are so many posters that I don’t even bother reading them. Oh look [gesturing toward a cluster of posters], there’s a collage! Whoever gives me the most money will have my vote. I heard we’d get back five hundred dollars.” — Dustin Dilay
There you have it! The students have spoken. If you have further opinions or comments you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments for this piece on our website, TheQuill.ca. You can also share your thoughts on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @quillbu.