Why are you (not) voting?

By Preeteesh Peetabh Singh
Dialog Reporter

Students voting for the SA election at Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, St. James Campus. Photo: Preeteesh Peetabh Singh / The Dialog

Students voting for the SA election at Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, St. James Campus. Photo: Preeteesh Peetabh Singh / The Dialog

The question “why are you voting?” was answered by some students after casting their ballots for their favourite candidates in the Student Association (SA) of George Brown College (GBC) elections.

The Dialog brings you some insight on why students voted and what their issues are.

Cory Martin, a student from Culinary Management’s Nutrition Program said, “I am voting because I believe we should have a right to determine who should be leading our school. The biggest concern I have is ‘knowing things’. I get to know about stuff that happened last week; the week after. Communications is a concern, but other than that I think the school runs smoothly.”

Zoe Abbott from Hospitality Operations Management said, “I am voting because one of the representatives (Mohammad Ali Aumeer) came to our class saying that how low the turnout is and how bad it is. My biggest concern in GBC is the library, which is not really big enough and is not patrolled properly—to keep away noise.” Talking about the new $25 student levy she said, “I think there are people who are fortunate enough to afford this education and there are people who aren’t, with the opt out option, I think it is good.”

Alya Maung from Human Resource Management said, “I am voting because I want some change in the school. I am actually voting for my friend Jordan (Sarracini) because I know she does well, she brought me more into student life. My issue at GBC is mostly about campus life, the parties and events that they have, they aren’t that great, they could be better. The café food could be better. I want the SA to find a way to bring the fees down, it is way too high. Some of the fees we pay for the things that we don’t use, like athletics (personally), are pointless.”

Victor Cabello, a Business Administration student at GBC said, “I am voting because it is the student union and they represent us. We pay for the services they provide. Promotions of events and stuff are small things, I think what really needs to be done is promoting the SA itself; some of the people don’t even know what the SA is. Frankly, how many people even know about the elections? Also, big things like health insurance and safewalk needs awareness.”

Cole Brager, Business Marketing student said, “I am voting because I think that my vote counts. Problems in GBC are very minimal, but the gym could have some more variety and some more machines. It would be great if the SA can promote better health awareness, educate on preventative measures for cancer, asthma, diabetes and other health issues.”

Not everyone is voting. According to Evan Murray, chief returning officer for the SA election, the turn-up for this year’s election has been lower than expected. The official count will be out after the votes are counted on Friday, March 15.

Poll clerk Alvina D’souza said, “A lot of students were not aware of the elections and its purpose. There were many students who came to us, asked for information and went away.”

“Everyone was not allowed to vote at the same place, it was program specific which created a bit of hassle for the students. We had to direct them to other buildings. A double envelope system could have served them better,” said D’Souza.

Andiw Liu, a Culinary Management student at GBC said, “I don’t know if I will be voting. I did not know that the SA election is going on, I don’t know the purpose of this election. A lot of my friends, especially international students, are not aware of this. Is it for the student union? What do they do?”

After being told what the SA was and what this election is for, Liu grabbed a copy of The Dialog’s election issue from the polling station and walked away reading candidate profiles. Maybe he will come back and vote!

For a full list of where you can vote see the Student Association website at: www.studentassociation.ca

Polls close at 4 p.m. Friday, March 15.

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Why are you (not) voting?