Editorial: It’s time to run to the ballots

The CSU elections are upon us, don’t forget to vote. Graphic Carl Bindman

Voter apathy is a common behavioural trend among Concordia students. Despite the significant impact of election results, the Concordia Student Union elections recorded extremely low voter turnout over the past few years. Indifference has become ordinary. 

The CSU’s General Elections will be held from March 15 to March 17, where seven referendum questions will be at play. This year, however, there are no slates running for the executive team. 

The by-election following the return to campus last November had one of the higher turnouts in a long time, accounting for 21 per cent of the eligible student body. The momentum needs to persist because these elections are students’ opportunity to mobilize and advocate for initiatives that may dictate their experience on campus. 

The referendum questions are: Diversify Faculty Now!, calling for efforts to hire more Black and Indigenous staff and faculty; Concordia Against Apartheid, calling Concordia to divest from investments and support of any entity carrying out injustices; CSU Operational Fee, calling to increase their fee-levy to better serve the student body; Frigo Vert, calling to increase the fee-levy of food and community space within the university’s student hub; Mental Health Office, calling to create a fee-levy to provide better services and accomodatoins to the students in need; Student Centre Referendum, calling to support the purchase of a new building to be used as the Student Centre; and Student Housing Project, calling for a reallocation of funds for an affordable housing project. 

Student action is an immeasurably powerful tool at our disposal that has proven to make significant changes. Voicing our concerns and opinions went a long way in the past, and will continue to be effective so long as we are consistently and actively working to resolve the issues at hand. The student strikes protesting tuition hikes 10 years ago made history as the longest student walkout and garnered national attention. The collective nature of the movement is where the strength lies.

The CSU shapes student life at Concordia—whether it be about accessibility to certain resources, inclusive representation in the student body, or taking a stand on ethical and social issues. Significant change is a cumulation of smaller milestones. The first one is simply casting a vote.