Not that it’s that surprising, because I’ve also been hearing reports from other students’ unions that student apathy seeems to be higher than normal, with low turnouts for nominations and elections, and even some students’ unions that have had difficulty getting enough student leaders running to even make quorum.
Personally, I’ve always felt that voter apathy, whether student or not, comes from one of two reasons. Either the voting population is generally satisfied with how things are going and there’s been nothing controversial found during the campaign period, or the people feel that their vote makes no difference one way or another.
Both reasons are dangerous thinking, in my opinion, because part of what gives the process meaning is participation in it. If people who feel that their vote doesn’t make a difference don’t vote, then they’ll surely find themselves proven correct, and, in the balance, make it harder for the rest of us to effect any change. Meanwhile, people being generally satisfied and so not bothering to vote is, in some ways, even worse, because it’s that complacency that allows bad actors to creep in.
In this case, however, given that these low turnouts seem to be happening province wide, it may be symptomatic of something else. Perhaps students seeing the repeated and massive cuts to post-secondary education in this province are losing hope that any group will be able to effect meaningful change on their behalf. Perhaps, with all the other significant and worrisome events that are concerning—from COVID to the Freedom Protests to the Emergencies Act to the invasion of the Ukraine and the constant bombardment of all of this chaos on to us by a media ever hungry for an audience and advertising dollars, people simply have decided they don’t have the head-space to concern themselves with more minor issues.
Whatever the reason, however, the process of democracy doesn’t stop. So congratulations to all of those elected and acclaimed. Thanks for having the energy to step up, and the willingness to add something else to your already busy plates.
Meanwhile, in this issue of The Voice Magazine, we start it off with an interview with a student who moved to Canada from China in her 20s and is pursuing her CPA and her own accounting firm. Find out how this mother of two manages to juggle it all, despite being a self-professed “lazy person”.
Also this week, we take a look at how positivity is an important trait–even when, or perhaps especially when it comes to that course that’s been giving you so much trouble, requiring you fight your way through the readings and concepts. Finally we feature a look at a writer and former AU student in her current profession as a pharmacist. She answers some of the common questions she now gets and explains a little bit more of what this job entails.