Humber students are getting little help informing their vote

Unlike previous elections, Election Services has not arranged any events at Humber College to help inform and encourage student voters. Photo by Krysten McCumber. Unlike previous elections, Election Services has not arranged any events at Humber College to help inform and encourage student voters. Photo by Krysten McCumber.
Krysten McCumber
Queen’s Park/City Hall Reporter

Students often study for weeks before an exam but most do not give a few minutes out of their day to vote in an election, let alone get informed about who is running for office and what they are proposing.

On Oct. 27, Torontonians will have the opportunity to voice their opinions by choosing a councilor for their ward and a mayor for their city. These are decisions that effect transportation options, city cleaning and employment opportunities in Toronto.

“We are the future, there’s no way around it,” said Steven Mcinnis, a recent graduate of Guelph-Humber’s Business Administration program now working on John Tory’s campaign team. “What happens today is going to impact us down the road – 10, 15, 20 years from now.”

The problem many students face, which impacts their ability to be educated and informed about a variety of candidates, is a lack of accessible information.

Phil Legate, the Residence Life Manager at Humber North residence said there hasn’t been the Election Services hasn’t made an effort to provide students a neutral, unbiased session for them to learn about the different candidates and their platforms.

“We would offer them (the candidates) the ability to promote information for students: posters, information, displays. In the past that’s what has been done,” Legate said.

York Memorial Collegiate Institute student Shalima Khan, 16, said many of her friends attended a debate Tuesday night at their school.

“It’s for us – what they’re debating for is going to effect us in the long-term, so we want to see what’s going on,” Khan said.

Even though Khan and her friends are not old enough to vote they found the debate exciting and interesting to keep up with. If the information is there and it’s in the face of the students they will find it and learn about it. That is what Legate has found to work in the past.

“It’s part of being an informed citizen. It would be good [to have informative sessions in residence]. It’s good to have the newspapers in here and to have the access to world issues. Raising the awareness, building the awareness, educating our students – that’s something we support,” he said.

Although the election is only one month away, there are many opportunities for Humber students to travel off campus and find events to educate themselves before voting on October 27.

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