gazette logo
   A Memorial University of Newfoundland Publication

mun logo   
March 31, 2005
 Student View

 

Student politics getting Grimy
Lacy O'Connell

Okay, MUNSU. Show me what you’ve got. I have nothing but high hopes for the new student council. Mostly because after the council disaster a few years ago, I have no reason to think things could get any worse. In my first year at MUN, the student council got huffy with the very people they were supposed to be representing, and they started shutting things down as fast as they could. Fortunately, their dictatorship didn’t win the popular vote, and the next council fared better. I’m pretty gung-ho about this year’s group. But, as good as they could be, something tells me students aren’t making the most informed decisions when they go to the polls.

First of all, only about 3,000 students voted. Upon checking some university statistics, I found out that there are 17,000 students enrolled here. Now, I’m no math major, but I did pass high school arithmetic, and I know enough to say that three out of 17 isn’t a very high number. Three thousand of 17,000 is actually about 18 per cent. So if less than 20 percent of our school is voting, what the heck is everyone else doing? Are people just not noticing these campaign posters? Not hearing the speeches? Are they passed out in the Breezeway, completely oblivious to the rest of the world? Well, it’s entirely possible. A friend of mine says she doesn’t care, because MUNSU does nothing for her besides “take” her money. Well, yes. Yes they do. In fact, they keep taking more money. But at least we get to pick who takes it, and if we pick well, maybe they can do something else for us.

I’ll be honest. I voted this year for the first time. In my first year, I just didn’t feel like MUNSU could affect me as a student. This year I also knew many of the candidates, so I felt obligated to support some of my friends and acquaintances. However, when I finally did vote, I made sure it was for the people I thought would be best for the job. I knew some of them outside of politics, so it made the voting process a lot easier. But some students said they voted for really obscure reasons, like because they liked the way names sounded – they were pleasing to the ear, or they “sounded funny.”
Imagine if provincial and federal politics worked this way. Can you actually picture someone voting for Danny Williams because they like his name? Or for Roger Grimes because we could nickname him “Grimy?”

“Oh, Grimy. Yeah, I voted for him. I mean, come on. He’s Grimy.”

No, I don’t think so. If you aren’t going to vote, fine. It’s your democratic right to be apathetic. That being said, if you’re merely rock-paper-scissors voting to pass some time, the candidates should be allowed to beat you with their own campaign posters. And when you ask them why, their excuse will be that they just don’t like your name.