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Langara Students’ Union election campaign restrictions causing lack of platform awareness

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The Langara Students’ Union (LSU) held elections last week with all the candidates running unopposed, and many students seemingly unaware of the candidates’ platforms due to campaigning restrictions.

Voting took place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, but some students were unaware of the election due to strict rules implemented by the LSU, which limited how candidates got their message across.

According to candidate Eva Snyder, who is running for the sexuality and gender diversity adviser position, these rules forbid candidates from promoting themselves through any form of social media leaving only posters and fliers to promote platforms.

Langara students voting in the foyer of building A.
Vancouver B.C. – Langara students voting in the foyer of building A.
Photo by: Tyler Hooper

Many students unaware

“It’s a shame that there isn’t more interest from students to get involved in this sort of thing, and it’s a shame for voting students that there aren’t more options,” said Snyder.

Gene Takviriyanan, a third-year business student, said the only information he got of the election was through e-mail and even then he wasn’t entirely familiar with those running, “I don’t even know how many people are running, I don’t even know when it ends. I’m sure 90 per cent of people here don’t even know.”

But certain members of the LSU didn’t seem worried about student turnout. “We’re not too worried about voter turnout, I’m pretty sure we’ll attract as many students as we can,” said Gurbax Leelh, an LSU representative, adding that the voting booth handed out prizes and cupcakes for those who voted.

Past elections involved controversy

LSU elections have come under scrutiny in the past with candidates being disqualified under strict rules and murky procedures.

“The LSU are supposed to be impartial and all that stuff but I think what they’ve done is create a safe environment by having these strict rules,” stated Damien Otis, a former Langara student who was disqualified from an LSU election under unclear circumstances a couple years ago.

“I don’t think they liked my message, which is we want to lower the amount of red tape in the LSU and we want to get people engaged and get people to care what’s going on, we want people to be able to access the LSU more easily,” said Otis.

Dmitry Vinnik, a second-year bioinformatics student, voted but was unsure what platforms many of the candidates were promoting, “You couldn’t see any information except their website, I’ve never heard about their program before, this is the biggest problem, I think, for this election.”

Reported by Tyler Hooper

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