Be an Informed Voter Today

Joann Wolwowicz

Here at the University of New Haven, these last two weeks have been very important. With campaign week last week and elections this week, the campus is buzzing with campaigning for USGA President, Treasurer, and Senators. Now, I’m sure most of you know my stand on being an informed voter. (But for those of you who missed my previous editorials on the matter, this is a good one to catch up on.) I’ve heard several comments and questions these last two weeks about campaign week and elections. So, I’d like to answer then here for all of you, because I guarantee there are many of you who feel this way or may have the same questions.

Why should I care who gets voted in? I don’t go to USGA, so it doesn’t matter to me.

It should matter to you. You vote in Presidential elections for our country, because you live in this country, and you want to have a say in how this country is run. The situation is the same here at UNH. You vote in USGA elections, because you are an undergraduate student here, and you want to have a say in how this university is run. Therefore, you should care who gets voted in. Those candidates represent you.

No one is going to listen to me or about how I feel about the school. Nothing ever gets done anyway.

USGA is the Undergraduate Student Government Association. It is a representation of the undergraduate students. They constantly work to help solve problems and make the university a better place for the students who attend. So, if you think that there is no one who will listen to you about a problem or an issue, you are wrong. It’s their job to listen. If you are unhappy with the way things were run this semester, then make it your business to determine which candidates will have your better interests at heart and which ones will work to make sure things get done.

It’s just a popularity contest, just like every other election. My vote isn’t going to count, because people just vote for their friends anyway. I might as well do the same or vote for who I think will win.

I admit that too often than not, elections are a popularity contest. People do automatically make the decision to vote for their friends, without listening to that candidate’s platform or even considering the other candidates. This goes back to being an informed voter. Who cares if that person is your friend or not? They won’t know if you vote for them or the other candidates anyway. Make this election about you and what you want out of a candidate. Listen to what they have to say and take the stand to choose the better person.

How can I become an informed voter?

For those of you who have not yet cast your vote, there is still some time. Read each candidate’s platform, and really consider what they have to say. Consider everyone, not just your friends, when you are making a decision. It was also beneficial for you to have gone to the various debates last week and this week to ask the candidates questions you wanted answered. If you missed those, there is still time to find the candidate on campus you have a question for and talk to them about things. If they are fully dedicated to representing the school and you, then they should have no problem sitting down with you to answer your questions or hear your concerns.

This is your school. Whether you are extremely happy here, or completely miserable, it is still your school. If you are completely miserable, which by the looks of it, some of you are, elect someone that can help lift your misery. I know that you all want to see changes done, because there is always a lot of complaining going around. The way to get these changes rolling is to elect people into USGA, whether we are talking about the president, treasurer, or the senators, who really care about the school, who have ideas about how to improve the school, and who will make it their responsibility to represent the undergraduate student body to the best of their ability.

Remember, you cannot complain if you do not vote. If you do not vote, someone who may not be right for the job may be elected. If someone who may not be right for the job gets elected, then nothing will be changed. If nothing is changed, you will complain. But remember, if you didn’t vote, or you voted stupidly, you can’t complain.

Therefore, be an informed voter today, while there is still time.