Editorial – Election Surprise

Sometimes you get a hint of just how many isolated silos there are around AU.

Take, for instance, the recent AUSU by-election. The person who received the highest number of votes was student Amanda Lipinski. “Who?” you might ask, and you’d not be alone. Amanda Lipinski did not do any campaigning, so far as I can see, in any of the usual places. She provided no extended candidate bio on the AUSU provided forums, answered none of the questions students asked in those forums (even though she was the only candidate who had a question posed directly to her), provided no candidate poster, and had no involvement in the unofficial Facebook group for Athabasca University students and staff.

So how did she win? Some students have even wondered about the integrity of the elections process because of this. Personally, however, I don’t think That’s an issue. With just under a thousand voters, the total votes each candidate received are all close enough to each other that it seems unlikely there was any foul play involved. A cheater, after all, wouldn’t know how few votes would gain them the win, and with over 26,000 eligible voters, would be very likely to over-vote for their chosen candidate by a great amount. Instead, this is just a reminder that AU is comprised of very many communities, some smaller, some larger. As a business student, It’s possible she campaigned in forums and on pages that are only frequented by AUSU business students. There is also an AU Student Mom’s page on Facebook that I understand has a lot of activity still, so her campaigning could have been done on that site. It’s also possible she received some benefit from having the same name as the star of the short lived series Desperate Measures. Or she could be a student who is also attending a traditional university, and campaigned in real space. Or all of the above.

The take away from this is that we don’t know how many people around us are AU students. With over 26,000 eligible voters, the bulk of them Canadian, that means that for every 1,500 people in our country, one of them is probably an AU student. That doesn’t sound like many until you think about how many people are in your town or community. You’re not alone.

At any rate, congratulations to the winners, Amanda Lipinski and Robin Bleich, and thanks to all the candidates who were willing to step forward. Even if you didn’t get elected, your participation in the process, especially as you campaigned and answered questions, gives us all ideas for possible ways that the student experience can be improved.

Meanwhile, this week in The Voice Magazine, many of our writers have taken the notion of thanksgiving and how it typically brings family together to bring us a glimpse (both written and visual) of their family members. Specifically, the furry (or scaly) four footed variety. We also find our own Holly Golightly, look at how to bring creative writing tricks into your normal essays, and of course our selection of news, reviews, advice, and other entertainment to keep you busy while the turkey cooks.

Enjoy the read!

P.S. If you didn’t already know, The Voice Magazine has a Facebook page and a twitter feed if You’re into that kind of thing!