Get off your ass and vote!

One of the most important duties that we have as students is to take part in the Concordia election process at the end of every year. Just as it is your duty as a citizen of this country to take part in the federal and provincial elections, the same applies here at Concordia.
The election process is the largest empowerment tool that students have. In a bureaucratic institution that does not allow students to have very much of a say, these elections allow us to have the final word on our representation.
Many people do not share this view, however.
Some have the “I don’t care what goes on here. I go to class and I leave,” viewpoint. This is just plain ignorant. The students that represent us have the power to change the quality of life both inside and outside of the classroom. The representatives, through their own efforts, have the power to help us get along if we are troubled, give us justice when it is needed, act as policy makers when we need them to and allocate OUR money effectively so that all students can benefit from them.
Students fund the CSU to the tune of about $1-million a year. We have the power to elect the people who control our assets, our representation, and our reputations.
It’s a shame that more has not been said about the effect the people we elect have on our reputation as a school. Again, I love the people who say “who cares?” Well, in fact YOU should. The fact that the student union has an effect on the reputation of this school is a concern to all of us.
This means when you write the name of the institution from where you graduated on a CV or job application, in our case Concordia University, the public reaction towards the school is partly linked to the actions and doings of the student union.
Unfortunately, because we have occasionally elected less than stellar representatives to represent us, we are now stuck with a bad reputation for the CSU and by extension, Concordia University as a whole. Prospective employers, other universities, government groups and the like across Canada think that Concordia students are anti-corporate, anarchist, tree-hugging hippies.
The sad reality is that stereotypes stick. If the masses allowed these people to have all the power, then the majority of students must share their views. This, however, is far from the truth. It does not matter that this is not the reality because if marketing has ever taught me anything, it is that the truth is not reality; perception is reality.
So for this coming general election, I hope you now have a clear understanding of the power that these seemingly unimportant people who are running for student office have in larger picture of things. In general, we only start caring who the captain of the ship is when things get bumpy and rough. In our case we have the power to elect the people who we think will captain the Concordia ship well and with the same values and desires that we do.
Let’s learn from the past shipwrecks of CSU administrations that have sunk Concordia to the bottom of the global university ocean. This general election, get off your ass and vote and stop for good the ignorance and non-caring that has plagued this university’s students and spirit.


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