How the students vote
With the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union 2011-12 elections days away, The Cord asked students about their voting methodology, and found that some vote more critically than others.
What Concerns Students
While many director candidates stated a desire for increased opportunities for social interaction, third-year biology student Kathryn Deeming stated that science students are often left out.
“I feel that we’re really neglected by WLUSU,” Deeming said. “We tend to not get any funding. Even if you just look around at posters of events … most campus clubs ignore us.”
Third-year business student Jillian Smith felt that all candidates’ platforms focused too much on long-term plans. “I really don’t care about the Athletic Complex and the future business building … I’d rather have stuff that’s going happen in the next year or two while I’m still here.”
Other students were concerned about the possibility of cutting down O-Week in favour of a fall reading week. Brian Voegtle, a second-year psychology and womens’ studies major said he hoped WLUSU favoured O-Week.
“I really like the way O-Week was run this year,” said Voegtle, a former Ice Breaker. “I know the reading week would be a good thing, but it would affect O-Week and it takes away from the first-years’ experience of learning more about Laurier.”
First-year students are also entertaining the idea of voting, even those with little background on candidates. History student Dan Graziotto said he is eager to vote, but has not followed any campaigns closely.
Regardless, Graziotto said he knows what he is looking for. “The best quality I look for in a president or for the board of directors is decisiveness in their actions,” he disclosed. Graziotto, along with other first-year students, felt that the most important issues were wireless Internet and food services.
Is Everyone Well-Informed?
When it comes to making decisions, some students are taking the task quite seriously. “I feel like I can make an informed decision,” said Brian Voegtle. “I’ve been trying to ask everyone questions.”
Deeming and Smith noted that they were more apathetic towards their decisions, with Smith stating that she has never voted in a WLUSU or SBE election, but hopes to this year.
On choosing a president, Smith said she focuses more on the personality than the platform. “I don’t really focus too much on their campaigns. I’m more focused on their attitude and the way they present themselves.”
With 18 directors to choose from, many students are overwhelmed with the selection.
Smith believes most students aren’t voting for these directors based on platforms. “It’s mostly just going to be people voting for who they recognize, or checking off the names they recognize.”
“There are too many [directors] for me to choose from,” said first-year business student Joel Caruso. “I feel like that will either be a non-vote for me, or just me voting for the names I recognize.”
“I vote based on the prettiness of the posters,” admitted Alana, an ill-informed first-year business and computer science major. “I like the panda. It was really cute.”
Voegtle is one of the students taking a more guarded approach. “I know people are using the gimmicks … I feel like people need to get past those, and ask [candidates] about their platforms. A really strong platform is important for a corporation as big as WLUSU.”
*This article has been revised since its original publishing date. *