Volume 90, Issue 79

Thursday, February 13, 1997



Elections? What elections?

Re: USC elections

To the editors:

It seems to me that it is as much the responsibility of the University Students' Council, the elections committee, The Gazette and TV Western to publicize and promote the annual February elections as it is of Western students to be aware of the issues and candidates who discuss them.

Rather than simply commenting on the "aimlessly-wandering, discontented students" apathy at the polls, and lack of concern over the election of the next president of Western, The Gazette (and the USC) should encourage students to be part of the democratic process and to be aware of the fact that there is an ongoing election.

One of the fundamental reasons to help explain the attitude of students is found when one examines the lack of advertisement of this important event by both The Gazette and the USC. Many students find out about the campaigns only mid-way through by word-of-mouth, and because of that, they do not make an informed decision on election day, and, sometimes they do not vote.

In many ways, Western's students are accustomed to being bombarded with information on major events such as Clubs Week by the visual and tangible exhibit of banners, booths and information pamphlets. Presently, the USC elections are complete with the pamphlets from the candidates, but the banners, flags and advertisements are noticeably absent from the USC, The Gazette and the election committee.

Perhaps, one could argue, that with bright blue, red and white banners hanging from the atrium and USC front glass, as are displayed at provincial and federal elections in their respective national leadership conventions, Western students would have no choice but to take note of this process which, ultimately results in crowning the leader of the USC.

As purely a suggestion, why not emblazon the USC elections' emblem on the top of the front page of The Gazette for the duration of the elections. Without a doubt, the presence of such a logo with a (headline) article addressing campaign issues and platforms would heighten student awareness of this important event.

I'm sure that the great number of students who read The Gazette would also enjoy perusing through a series of "colour" issues for two weeks marking the arrival of the USC elections.

As for the present USC and the elections committee's responsibilities, why is it not an obligatory component of the body to promote, advertise and encourage students to get involved in the electoral process of February?

Furthermore, The Gazette is correct in suggesting that student voters should demand a "sincere, trustworthy, determined and confident" individual. But how are we to know where or who s/he is, if we do not know that there is even an election taking place?

Therefore, to get more people out to the polls and to make students more politically motivated, one must promote the ongoing event.

As students, we must take it upon ourselves to become more politically-minded and to understand more about those who aspire to occupy the office of the presidency. With the help of The Gazette, TV Western and the USC, all students can be made aware of the elections and understand the importance of the democratic process.

Adam Dean
President, Interfraternity Council

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997