On Monday and Tuesday, students will be able to vote online for their USC president via voteusc.ca. Along with the USC president, students will vote for their VP candidates, faculty presidents, faculty councillors, senators, London Youth Advisory Council and the referendum.
All throughout campus there will be polling stations available for students to cast their votes directly, a method of seizing student’s attention that hasn’t been tried in previous years.
“You’re going to see polling stations set up at the UCC, Weldon, Natural Science and Social Science,” said chief returning officer Andrew Chorney. “During the evening you’ll see polling stations set up at Medway-Sydenham Hall, Ontario Hall and Saugeen.”
In previous years there have been only a limited amount of polling stations set up, but Chorney believes that more polling stations will garner more attention to the elections.
“The idea of the polling station isn’t necessarily that students will vote at that station, although the capability will certainly be there,” said Chorney. “But it’s really to see the elections committee members actually there and to remind students that it’s voting day, to go and vote.”
This is part of the elections committee’s initiative to increase voter turnout and get students informed. So far, they’ve revamped the voteusc website and launched a social media strategy making their presence on Facebook and Twitter.
To ensure everyone on campus is informed, the committee also reached out to Western’s administration.
“We’ve coordinated with Western administration and they’re going to be communicating elections polling dates as well as the events that have been going on,” said Chorney.
“They’re going to be communicating specifically the polling date through their own outlets. We’re going to be doing a campus wide email during the polling period as well.”
In an effort to reel in first-year students, the elections committee also got in touch with residence councillors and resident advisors to ensure elections information is relayed to new students.
“This week we conducted a first-year student information campaign,” said Chorney, “where the elections committee actually went in to first-year residences to talk with first-year students about the importance of the USC and the importance of the election and how important it is to get involved and vote.”
The committee also distributed 2,000 stickers to be placed on bagel bags at the Spoke.
As of right now, statistics surrounding voter turnout is unavailable but the election committee hopes to gather data from this election in an effort to readjust where communications are focused.
“We’re going to be doing a voter analysis this year to see where students are coming from and possibly what areas of campus and which faculties were seeing less of a turnout,” said Chorney. “That way we can provide for strategic planning for next year’s election committee.”