Students uninformed about upcoming elections

Election banners adorn the atrium at the Roblin Centre. THE PROJECTOR/ Courtney Bannatyne

Election banners adorn the atrium at the Roblin Centre. THE PROJECTOR/ Courtney Bannatyne

Students may not be prepared to vote in the upcoming Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) elections, but according to some candidates, they should be.

“I don’t know who’s running,” said RRC student Nathan Quaiscer, 20. “Not besides Nakita [Bola] and Adam [Taplin],” he said, pointing to the signs hanging in the Roblin Centre.

Quaiscer said he is unaware of what RRCSA exactly does for students, referring to a lack of communication.

“I’ve been here for, well, it’s almost been a full year, and it’s the first time I’ve heard of anything now,” said Quaiscer.

RRC student Dan Reimer, 18, said he only knows that the RRCSA sends students emails.

“Personally, I don’t check my email often,” he says. “It would help [my decision to vote] if I knew what they did now.”

Calvary deJong, vice president external candidate, said RRCSA does a lot for students, and those things often go unnoticed.

“A lot of students might think [these things] are just done by the college, but a lot of them are actually done by the students’ association,” he said.

DeJong said RRCSA sets up things like health and dental plans for students. He said members of the association also advocate for students to the provincial and federal government. Things like tuition rates are a priority to fight for, according to deJong.

“They meet with government, they make you a pancake breakfast, they look after the food bank, [and] they look after The Projector. There’s an array of things that they offer,” deJong said.

Nakita Bola is running for vice president internal.

“The RRCSA is important because students need an alliance to help implement their needs on campus,” Bola said in an email. “The SA helps students get the most out of their Red River experience and create a supportive environment.”

Though Reimer said he doesn’t know much about the RRCSA, he said he enjoys being a student at RRC. He admitted this could be because of the students’ association.

“I don’t have huge complaints about anything that’s been going on, so there’s that,” he said.

DeJong and Bola said they encourage students to vote, even though the candidates for each position have no competition.

DeJong said students still have to vote “yes” or “no” for each candidate.

“So every vote does matter,” he said, “because students can vote ‘no’, and then you would not acclimate that role. I don’t know if there’s an established protocol [for that situation].”

DeJong added that situation is unlikely, but still a possibility.

Bola said it could only benefit students to be involved in the students’ association election.

“Students should vote in this election because it is important that they know and choose who is helping their voices be heard,” Bola said in an email.

DeJong agreed that voting is as important for the student as it is for the candidate.

“It’s your campus. It’s your life. It’s your student experience,” he said.

Quaiscer said he will do his research on the candidates and will vote in the election, despite not knowing who the candidates are yet.

“I’d have to. I feel obliged since I got here,” said Quaiscer. “I don’t want just anyone to be elected.”

Joining Bola and deJong as candidates are Adam Taplin for president and Lindsay Rowan for vice president academic.

Online voting for the RRCSA election starts Friday, April 1 at 3 p.m. and closes Thursday, April 7 at 3 p.m.