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Ready, set, vote: Students head to the polls for DSU elections

- March 11, 2016

Voting time! (Nick Pearce photo)
Voting time! (Nick Pearce photo)

While our collective news feeds may be full of talks about American presidential primaries — from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders — here on Dalhousie’s campuses a more localized interpretation of the democratic process is well underway.

The Dalhousie Student Union’s general election is upon us once again, the time when the student body selects their representatives in student government and weigh in on some key issues for their union.

Polls launch online on Monday, March 14 and remain open through the afternoon of Wednesday, March 16. Students will be deciding their union reps for president, VP Internal, VP External, VP of Student Life, VP Academic and External and VP Finance. Also up for grabs is a student representative on Dalhousie’s Board of Governors.

Campaigns have been in full swing for the past week and a half, with banners and posters across most buildings on campus promoting the election and the 18 candidates for the various positions. Debates have  been taking place all week, spread across all campuses, including the Ag Campus in Truro. The DSU has also been taking questions from students via its website to ask during the campaign to help students have their voices heard by the candidates.

From lobbying around issues like tuition and accessibility to day-to-day services like the student health plan, student societies and Orientation Week — there’s a lot of different aspects of the student experience that the DSU and its executive play a key leadership role in.

There are also three sets of referenda questions on the ballot this year. One pertains to students on the Agricultural Campus and the increase of a levy to support the Dalhousie Agricultural Students Association. The other two, which apply to the Halifax campuses, pertain to a proposed levy in support of Get REAL Dal (which advocates for acceptance, diversity, and inclusivity with presentations at high schools/junior highs about unlearning discriminatory language) and an increase to the levy that supports World University Services Canada (which supports student refugees to study at Dalhousie).

Last year’s election had 18 per cent turnout — the highest in five years — and this year the union is hoping to increase that number even further. Whether you love reading the Dalhousie Gazette, care about student funding issues or just like to kick back in the Grawood or T-Room, next week is your chance to make sure that your opinion is heard. Students: it’s your union.

Learn all you need to know about the elections (including voting) at dsu.ca/elections. Polls open online at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 14 and close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 16.


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