Editorial—The Votes are In!

Four hundred and seventy students cast their votes over the AUSU election period, and the results (pending appeals) are now in. Congratulations to the winners, with incumbent Chantel Bradely returning, and being joined by Olivia Shepherd, Faustina Arsenault, Aiza Nazarmatova, Melanie Rousseau, Annette Karien, Jan Lehmann, Diana Ramirez, Chimaraoke Akuchie, Kari Thompson, Josh Fils, and Tammy Monro.

For the first time in a long while, council will have a full complement of councillors in the seat, so it will be interesting to see how the new group works together and what ideas will steer the group this time.

The next council meeting will be the first meeting of the new group, with the old council being there to hand over the reins. I expect it’ll be an amusing meeting, if for no other reason than the councillor oath.  Meanwhile, last night, the outgoing council met for a short meeting, for which I should have the report ready for next week.  But as we move to a new council, it would be a good time to also get a new AUSU council meeting reporter, as you could get in on the ground floor and be with them as they figure out what’s going on.  If this sounds interesting to you and you wouldn’t mind earning a bit of money in exchange for a couple hours each month, get in touch with me at voice@voicemagazine.org.

Getting back to the election, with vote totals for the winners ranging from 265 to 153, only five votes separated the 13th place candidate from a seat on AUSU council.  With so few votes making the difference, it’s easy to see how your vote could have changed the direction of AUSU Council for the next two years.  Of course, 470 voters doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s not. If you look at it as a percentage of the 31,043 undergraduate students that AU claims, it’s less than 2%.

But that number’s not exactly fair, as that’s the number of students AU has over the course of a year, not necessarily how many people are students right now.  And AU doesn’t announce that current number anywhere.  But it seems like if that’s the total over the year, a division by 12 would give you an average how many registrations there are each month, and taking into account the six month courses, that means any student who registered in the last six months could still be a student, which means we just need to divide the total by two for an approximation.  And with just over 15,500 students, that works out to around 3%.  Which is still a fairly low percentage in comparison to many other student association elections.

In comparison to other AUSU elections, however, it’s only slightly lower than usual. As usual, we’re a different demographic from other institutions, and with more students who are older and so are more likely to have their education as a secondary part of their lives, competing with career and kids. So it’s not terribly surprising, even if disappointing, that we don’t see a better turn out.

But regardless of turn-out, the election was held, the votes are counted, and our new group is currently getting a bunch of information to try to get them up to speed so they can hit the ground running.  Wish them the best.  It’s only your education on the line after all.

Enjoy the read!