Editorial—Bi-Election 2021

This week, our feature article is an interview with not one student, but nine of them!  In this case, it’s nine of the eleven candidates running in the AUSU’s 2021 By-Election (or is it now a Bi-election, since it’s happened twice this term?)

We sent out a quick set of interview questions to the candidates and gave them a tight deadline to get back to us with the answers, nine of them managed to do so, and so we’re printing their answers verbatim as our feature article.  With almost half of the thirteen seats up for offer, this election could significantly shift the direction and priorities of AUSU Council, so it’s important that you have a reasonable idea about who you’re voting for and why.  We made our questions a mix of mostly AUSU related, but threw in a couple of personal ones for good measure.  Let us know if you found it helpful or if there’s something else you wished we would have asked; we’ll keep that in mind for the Tri-Election (let’s hope there isn’t one!).

So take some time, read up on the candidates, check out the candidate forums, and in general get as good an idea as you can about who you’re going to select for those six seats.  Then be sure to vote.

Also this week, we’re featuring Jessica Young telling us about the course that changed her view of the world, and the Fly on the Wall is back to his regular favourite subject, an exploration of what AU does to our own self-identity.

Meanwhile, as I write this, Premier Kenney is announcing that on Canada Day basically all restrictions due to COVID will be lifted in Alberta.  Requirements to mask inside or maintain social distancing will be removed.  Businesses will be allowed to fully re-open to the normal customer limit, and life will, he hopes, return to normal just in time for a big party to celebrate his triumphant conquest over the disease.  And it may even work.

But am I weird in noting that I don’t really mind the masks or the social distancing?  I did miss being able to eat at a table inside, but people being more respectful of each other’s distance didn’t strike me as such a bad thing.  As for masks, it was simply another fashion accessory, I’ve got a small selection now, and I meant to pick up a couple more, but I’m afraid it will be perceived as odd if I keep wearing them after Canada Day.  Then again, maybe I’m not the only one who thought that way and some people will continue wearing them.

Besides, even if COVID-19 is no longer capable of sending the vaccinated people to the hospital, there’s still good reason to want to avoid getting it if you possibly can.  After all, having chicken pox when you’re young makes you susceptible to getting shingles when you get older.  And COVID-19 is still way too new for us to have any idea of what and how serious any long term effects it might have will be.  So maybe I need to keep wearing the mask anyway, so that other people feel comfortable doing it too if they have a desire to.  We may end up like some of the countries in Asia, where mask-wearing isn’t seen as odd, but rather just another choice some people make.  If that helps us all stay away from getting this disease, I’m in favor.

And don’t forget that we also have news, course reviews, advice, scholarships, comics, events, and more!