Students must engage in municipal campaign
On Oct. 25 the citizens of Waterloo will be going to the polls to elect a new mayor and council for the next four years. Traditionally, turnout in municipal elections is abysmal and this is especially the case for young voters. There is however quite a bit at stake for students and every effort needs to be made to reverse this trend.
Several issues have arisen that have a direct impact on students. Currently, there is a study looking at the feasibility of paid parking on Bricker Ave. This is nothing but a money grab that targets students.
Perhaps most outrageously, last year a bylaw was passed to levy a thousand dollar fine on those on the lease of a property hosting a kegger, with public drunkenness tickets being allowed to be levied on private property.
More and more students find themselves the target of populist agitation by municipal politicians pandering to adult voters. Students are an easy punching bag because they aren’t engaged and don’t hold their municipal leaders accountable.
On top of all this of course is the larger issue of student integration in the community. Our municipal leaders have an obligation to take the needs of students into account when forming policy, but sometimes they need a push in the right direction. This can only happen if students become engaged in the community.
Integration is a two way street; students also must make an effort to participate in the community and engage. So be sure to pay attention to the issues in the race, perhaps attend a candidate debate and cast your vote in October. Things won’t change unless students take action.