Ok, there. I said it. Among the things that make me weird is my intense need to vote. I love voting. It doesn’t matter what the vote is about, if I can vote, I vote.
A vote is a chance for change. I loathe voter apathy, especially when it results in people complaining about something they chose not to participate in. Despite my love of voting, I made a conscious choice not to vote in the recent CFS referendum.
I was aware of the CFS prior to this referendum. I knew about Travel Cuts and student lobbying, the lawsuits and the lack of representation. I know where I stand on the issue, but that’s not the point. The point is: I chose not to vote specifically because the entire referendum process was unfair.
I, like many other students, was concerned with URSU’s role. As those elected to represent all students, I am disgusted that URSU chose a side to represent and ignored the opposition. I heard that URSU actually rejected posters submitted by the Pro-CFS side, saying that they weren’t up to standards, while at the same time displaying their giant yellow posters so blatantly.
I found out about the referendum by seeing the no-to-CFS posters, with negative facts about the organization. I found myself wandering around looking for the pro-CFS posters to see what information they offered. But I couldn’t find any. I didn’t see any Pro-CFS advertisements until a day or two before voting began. This distressed me greatly.
According to the URSU constitution, section 2 part D, URSU is “to remain politically non-partisan in all activities and lobby efforts.” How is their obvious support of one side fulfilling this section of their constitution? How are they not being penalized for going against their own constitution?
Then I heard that URSU was giving $3,000 to the no-CFS side, which just made me angrier than I already was. This was my money URSU executive members were using so they could accost students in the hallways with candy and pamphlets.
But then again, part of me isn’t surprised that URSU is throwing money around like this. They spent around $50,000 renovating The Owl and thousands on top of that for their new, “more user-friendly” website.
This is the first and only time I have refused to exercise my right to vote. Our students’ union should be supporting students, not persuading students. They should be encouraging people to vote, not to vote just so URSU can see their desired outcome.