Taplin talks low votes, looking for larger crowds come this year’s election
Kit Muir, CONTRIBUTOR
He said one of the challenges in encouraging voting is convincing students who are enrolled in two-year programs that their vote will make a difference.
“We don’t necessarily make decisions for you,” said Taplin. “We make decisions for students two or three years down the line.”
Voter turnout at RRC in 2014 was 16.7 per cent. In 2015 it was 14.2 per cent. In 2016 the RRCSA saw a decline in voter turnout with 9.06 per cent of students voting.
Taplin said he thinks voter turnout was especially low last year because there was only one candidate running in each position.
“It’s hard to explain to students why they should still come vote,” said Taplin.
Janessa Pyle, a 25-year-old RRC student, said she would vote this year but doesn’t feel like she’s gotten enough information about how to vote.
“I probably wouldn’t vote if I saw there was only one candidate,” said Pyle.
Taplin said the University of Calgary is a school that the RRCSA looks up to for voter turnout. According to the University of Calgary website, voter turnout was 24.7 per cent in 2016.
Taplin said the biggest problem is that most students aren’t at RRC for more than two years.
“We (students) want to get in and out as fast as possible because we want to get into careers,” said Taplin.
Nathan Patti, 22, said he would only vote if it were mandatory. Patti is in a one-year applied accounting program at RRC.
“I’m not going be here next year,” said Patti. “My opinion shouldn’t be a factor if I’m not the one affected.”
Taplin said he believes it’s very important for students to vote for the next members of the RRCSA even if they don’t think they will be affected. He doesn’t think a lot of students realize what the RRCSA does for them.
“A big thing we do for students is fight to make things easier for everybody,” said Taplin.
Taplin hopes the next RRCSA executive will continue to keep students informed about the SA’s role at RRC.
“I can send you a whole list of what we call ‘the wins,’” said Taplin. “But if I’m not out in the hallway telling you about them, you’re never going to know.”
The RRCSA will accept candidate nominations between March 6 and 10. Students will be able to vote starting March 24.