Welcome to The Ubyssey‘s elections issue!
It’s kind of a rule that newspapers should start their elections coverage with a reminder of why democracy is good, and why you should vote. Let’s go ahead and skip that part. The truth is, the vast majority of UBC students won’t vote in these elections. A good turnout for the AMS is around 10 per cent of students. Those who choose not to vote think they’re too busy or have already decided that the AMS is too small time and insular to really care about.
And sure, part of the fault lies with the AMS. They talk big about being more relevant to students, but don’t often offer a way to get there.
But it’s also part of the larger cultural disengagement at this university. UBC never makes it feel like you should engage outside of class. Students, especially commuters, don’t tend to socialize on campus. When they do, it’s in tight cliques.
There’s only a few things UBC students as a whole have in common: the Student Service Centre, the U-Pass, the SUB, taking classes. Nothing particularly inspiring. At UBC, it’s nearly impossible to get everyone under one big tent.
Disengagement is never good for any community. And while casting a ballot won’t change anything immediately, it gives you an incentive to learn a little more about the people around you. What kind of problems are students facing? What kind of people are stepping in to confront them? Are they the best ones for the job? Or could you do better? If you think so, start looking into the issues. This is a good place to start.
In these pages, you’ll learn about the races, the candidates and the issues. You’ll learn how students are getting screwed and what we can do about it. If you’ve ever felt like you’re drifting through your degree, learning how power works can be, well, empowering.
The Ubyssey editorial board
How to vote
• All voting is done online.
• On the AMS’ website at ams.ubc.ca/elections, click the “Vote Here” banner and enter your campus-wide login.
• Voting is open from Jan. 21-25. The polls close at 5 p.m. Friday.