- theAQ Presents
- Web Exclusives
- CUP Newswire
According to St. Thomas University Student Union’s president, John Hoben, there are no formal plans to increase voter turnout for this year’s by-election.
The last fall by-election had an 11.9 per cent turnout and the year before, only 8.4 per cent voted. It’s almost become a tradition at the school, one that most people think should be changed.
However, the STUSU is relying on a new position on council to increase turnout. They added two at large representative positions.
“[Voter turnout] was another reason for adding the at large rep,” Hoben said.
“First year resident students would’ve had a position to vote for and often first year liaison is a yes, no question and often Aquinian board of directors is a yes, no. So there was really no competitive position where there’s an incentive to vote.”
Currently, there are four people running for the two at large representative positions.
The positions available are 1st year liasion, the Aquinian Board of Directions first-year representative, off-campus representative, and two at-large representatives.
To most of those running in the by-election, just adding a new position isn’t enough.
Henri Thibeau, one of those running for the new position, believes that promotion is the key to getting people to vote. He believes that putting up posters “weeks, if not months before” with information on the election will bring people out.
“Instead of, like, it comes to the day…the polling stations are there,” Thibeau said.
“People are just going to the cafeteria, solely because they’re hungry and see ‘Oh, polling stations. I don’t know what’s going on.’”
Another candidate for the position, Jon Munn, agrees with Thibeau’s ideas.
“Voting looms large in student body and if promoted properly, I am of the opinion that many Tommies will come out and vote,” Munn said.
But is this enough? The by-election is coming up and few people even knew to put in application forms.
Luke Robertson, a candidate for the at large position, thinks he has an answer for the general apathy.
“We can’t force people who are apathetic to vote if they don’t want to. We can, however, do our best to explain the importance of voting in the STUSU by-election,” Robertson said.
“If we get the word out among students and encourage them to vote, hopefully we will have positive results.”
The two off campus representative candidates who were available for comment had different opinions on how to get people to vote in the upcoming election, or whether to try at all.
Elise Kassis, one of the candidates, believes that there should be no effort put out to get people to vote.
“I usually just rely on making myself as visible as possible, but I don’t believe in solicitation and forcing people to vote,” she said.
Krissy Clowater, on the other hand, simply plans on promoting herself in James Dunn Hall and George Martin Hall, where voting will take place.
Those running for the other positions were unavailable for comment. Campaigning began Sept. 29 and goes until Oct. 3.
Voting will be Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m in JDH for off-campus and Windsor street students, and GMH for students living in residence.
Full List of Candidates
1st Year Liaison
AQ, Inc. Board of Directors 1st Year Rep
Off-Campus Rep (4)
At-Large Rep (2)