ASFA’s CEO Speaks Out Against Student Apathy

You Should Care and You Should Vote

As university students, we are constantly overwhelmed with obligations and commitments that consistently push us to our limit. The act of juggling full-time studies with a social life and part-time job can be extremely stressful.

Due to our hectic lifestyles, many students find it convenient to remove themselves from student politics and concentrate on their studies. While understandable, I believe that a strong student democracy can improve student life—and that it is every student’s responsibility to make that happen.

Every student at Concordia pays hundreds of dollars in fee levies every year in support of various student groups and associations at the school. Student associations, such as the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, are among the recipients of these fee levies.

In return for our support, these associations provide us with a vibrant campus life that adds to our Concordia experience. In addition, they represent us legally and are given substantial resources to fight to defend our interests.
Who are these people, you might ask? They are students just like you. They are elected into office by students, and they work very hard to make Concordia student life the best it can be.

Despite their hard work, these individuals need to be held accountable. Their ideas are, and should be, debated amongst the students, because everyone should have a say as to what the priorities of student government should be. While the newspapers at Concordia play a role in such accountability, each student plays the most important part by casting their vote.

Ultimately, as a student, voting is not only your right, but also an important responsibility. Every student has a stake in Concordia student life, and no student should forfeit his or her voice because it’s convenient to do so. If anything, the recent controversy surrounding our Board of Governors should further emphasize why students need to make their voices heard at Concordia.

Exercising your right to vote is truly the most direct means of ensuring that student associations like ASFA will serve your interests. These associations have budgets ranging from thousands to millions of dollars in student money, and it’s vital that you use your voice to have a say in how it’s spent. When students choose to ignore this responsibility, they give up the opportunity to demonstrate the power and strength of this amazing student body we have here at Concordia.

On Feb. 15, 16, and 17 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., ASFA will be holding its Annual General Election to determine who will be elected as next year’s executive. Each position on the executive is of vital importance to the success of student life at Concordia, as their ideas and dedication will affect overall awareness and participation in the student body.

This year, we have a number of candidates who have stepped up to the plate and warrant your attention. Each has ideas and platforms on how to improve ASFA. This year, we have made it even easier for students to be informed about each candidate’s ideas. Each candidate will be campaigning on both campuses, posting groups and events on Facebook, will be featured on our new elections website and will make themselves available to student media.
If you didn’t have time to get to know them during the campaign period, no need to worry. Simply stop by any one of our polling stations on the election days and you will have the opportunity to read a 150-word platform summary submitted by each candidate.

I highly encourage all students to learn more about the various candidates and to make their voice heard on election day. See what these candidates want to accomplish in ASFA and how their ideas will affect your university experience. Be strong and be active; don’t let others silence your voice because you chose not to vote. Together, we can start turning Concordia student democracy into a pillar of student life that we can all be proud of.

Any student registered in the Arts and Science faculty is eligible to vote. Polling stations can be found in the following locations: Hall Lobby, 4th Floor Hall Building, and the Library Building Lobby, as well as the VL Lobby and the lobby of the SP Pavilion on the Loyola Campus.

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 23, published February 15, 2011.

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