Editorial – Published on February 28th, 2017
Democracy in action! It’s that time of year for students to get out, go to the polls in the Boole Basement, ORB, Kane and Brookfield and, for the most part, not vote. For a college of approximately 22,000 students, turnout at SU elections rarely rises above the 3,500 mark. And with several key positions being unopposed, I don’t really see this improving any time soon. Indeed, when we held a poll about the Irish Unity referendum (which you can read about later in this issue) several people did not know the elections were happening anytime soon, never mind the Irish Unity referendum. So is the lack of engagement with the SU a fault of poor advertising or generally apathy with student politics amongst students themselves?
Regardless of your opinion on the SU, now is the time to make yourself heard, to poke your head out the window and yell “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” While it’s too late to run (unless someone is RON’d), you can still go to hustings and ask questions, talk to candidates on the election days and use your vote. Don’t agree with someone’s manifesto? Vote for someone else. Don’t like that someone’s unopposed for an important paid position? Vote for RON (re-open nomination). Still not happy with the SU? Become a class rep and hold them to account at Student Council. If you don’t like what’s happening in student politics, there’s no point in just posting hilarious memes on YikYak, get up and get involved. As the old phrase goes, ní neart go cur le chéile. Power to the people.