I used to think student politics were cumbersome and uneventful. However, I have recently begun to appreciate the value and meaning they have.
Why I voted in the student elections?
It is quite an annoying time of year, student elections. Student politicians line the streets and constantly demand, ‘Have you voted?’ and ‘Do you know who we are?’ It can be a tiring experience. However, it is also a chance to get involved in the big old institution that is our university. There is so much money, history and influence held by universities that I can often feel disconnected from them, even as a student. Student elections are a way for me to impart my values and beliefs onto the student representation and leadership of my education. While it is nice to have values and ideologies in my head, I am trying to extend them to the real world.
It feels good to be a part of something
As divisive as politics can be, it can also be a way to form community and feel like you’re a part of something greater. While student politics can at times feel insignificant, they can also help me feel like I am a part of something on-the-ground that I can physically see. You can talk and chatter with friends and fellow students, politely disagree (hopefully) and discuss what you think is good for students and the university and why.
In some ways, it may be an arbitrary principle ingrained into me through western/Australian values but, I firmly believe if you have a democratic system and a democratic right set up for you, you should make the most of it. This doesn’t mean I need to know every policy, ideal or understand the complicated voting system and procedures. I just think it means I should try to learn which candidate I think would be a good representative and vote for them.