Locate polling station on campus: TRUSU

Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω

Students won’t have to leave campus to vote in the next provincial election if a lobbying effort by TRUSU is successful.

The students union has been in contact with Elections B.C. to try to have an advance polling station at TRU a week before the May 14, 2013 election.

“This upcoming election is a really great opportunity for students to make post-secondary education a really important issue,” said Dylan Robinson, TRUSU’s vice-president external. “If students want to influence the political process, they have to vote. Politicians won’t listen to you unless you’re going to vote.”

TRUSU sent a letter to Elections B.C. asking for a polling station in May, with a reply received in July.

The reply told the students union that Elections B.C. was willing to send a voter registration team and have the chief electoral officer speak at TRU but the decision to locate the polling station would rest with a locally-based district electoral officer.

The students union sent another letter in the third week of July to determine the contact information for the district electoral officers for local constituencies Kamloops – South Thompson and Kamloops – North Thompson, but has yet to receive a response.

Robinson said he’s hopeful something will be worked out.

“I was really pleased with how receptive they seemed at this idea,” he said. “They seemed really excited and obviously that’ll make working with them very easy.”

The effort to get a polling station on campus is part of a greater campaign, called Vote Education, to encourage students to vote in the next election with post-secondary issues in mind.

“I should mention the campaign is non-partisan,” Robinson said. “The campaign has taken a position on tuition fees and affordable and accessible education, but that’s it. We don’t promote any one party.

“We take the platforms of the parties and what they have promised what they’re going to do for post-secondary education, present that to the membership and that’s all we do.”

The campaign was launched at Sept. 8’s Tunes Against Tuition, where students were able to register to vote and pose for a picture advertising their intent.

There will be many events for both students and community members to promote the campaign over the next school year, Robinson said.