As a first year coming from a high school where captains and prefects were chosen via a very structured and teacher administration driven system, walking into the Agora a couple weeks ago was quite the shock. I had been forewarned, at least to an extent, by social media. The week long near constant war stories of people being chased down, pulled by the arms, and conversed with when having headphones in.
It sounded like an exaggeration. I figured, hey, maybe these were just some outliers. How wrong I was. At one of the staircases I needed to use, there were no less than 6 people waiting with pamphlets and fliers to tell me what to do. I had my headphones in, hood on, was looking down and walking quite fast, but even this wasn’t enough. The archetype of the teenage boy who hates everything and talks to no one. That was my impersonation. Yet still they tried to give me things and talk to me.
We had a campaigner come into one of our classes and give us a spiel on why we should vote for their party. Up to this point I had been blissfully ignorant of not only the promises and goals of the parties, but everything about them, including their names. She talked about a single issue that her party would fix. Sure, this was geared towards media students in a media class, but my friend summed it up perfectly; “Why on Earth would we vote for them just because of one thing? She talked for 10 minutes about one thing that we have no experience with.”
Theoretically, we should care about politics, even on the university level. It is deciding who is in charge, what decisions get made, where the money you spend goes. However, some people just don’t. Some people are just at university to learn. Some people don’t use the library; don’t need laptop charging stations or nap rooms. Looking at the list of promises made by the victors, United, there is literally nothing on the list that will affect me in any way, other than “improved lighting”.
Do the student elections matter? Probably more than I, or most people online, seem to think, however it matters much less than the campaigners want everyone to believe. Next time around, everyone should just hope against hope that the people running have some common sense and decency to not assault potential voters.
By James Wallace