Students worried most about tuition
The race is on and there is a leader but no one knows yet just who will end up at the top of the podium in the University Students' Council presidential elections.
The results of The Gazette's annual election poll are in after several Gazetters spent five hours harassing Western students asking them the simple question: If you had to vote today, who would you vote for?
Between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday night, a systematic sample of the undergraduate population was taken by calling every 10th person in the student directory a total of 300 people participated. Anyone who wasn't home when called was not called back.
If the sample can be treated as representative, the poll is accurate within plus or minus six per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Of those surveyed, 56 per cent were female while 44 per cent were male. The random group was composed of 63 first-year students, 79 second-year students, 89 third-year students, 65 fourth-year students and four students were in 5th year.
Participants represented various faculties with 35 per cent in social science, 21 per cent in science and 19 per cent in arts. The rest were from other faculties and affiliate colleges.
The poll found a remarkable 46 per cent of people plan to vote while 14 per cent weren't sure yet and 40 per cent were definitely not voting.
Students were asked to pick what they thought the most important issue at Western is today and tuition increases was at the top by far. "They need someone who's going to get in there and actually help out students," said one female student.
Quality of education and government cuts to education also ranked near the top but the issue of the bus pass which is going to referendum at the same time as the elections on Feb. 11 and 12 did not come up as frequently.
When asked if they had seen any election coverage, 61 per cent said they had but less than 40 per cent of people planned to attend an election forum.