When I received my first email from BigPulse as a first-year student, I assumed it was spam mail. The message actually contained links to vote in my hall’s Residential Life Experience, but I didn’t know anyone running for RLE — nor did I know what the Association Council or the First Council did. Now as a member of the University Board of Elections, I regret not voting in those earlier elections — I have since realized how much influence student self-governance has on Grounds. Voting in these elections is easy, and it also allows us to exercise the agency we have been granted as students at the University.
Thousands of University students will receive emails from BigPulse containing their electronic ballots for spring elections Feb. 28. BigPulse does not require students to create an account or upload information — this means voting is simple, fast and user-friendly.
Every undergraduate student can vote for executive officers for their Class Council and Student Council, as well as representatives to the Honor Committee and University Judiciary Committee. A list of positions on the ballot and important dates can be found on the University Board of Elections’ website.
Additionally, students can vote on organization referenda for the Honor Committee and the University Board of Elections — both institutions are Special Status Organizations, so the voting student body must ratify any constitutional changes. If ratified, UBE’s referendum will increase the Board’s membership from eleven to fifteen executives. Likewise, if ratified, the Committee’s referendum will codify a multi-sanction system for Honor, one of the largest changes made to the Honor system since its inception.
Voting in student elections is the easiest and most underutilized mechanism through which we can shape the University to best serve us. I hope that every student who receives a BigPulse message Feb. 28 takes twenty seconds out of their day to vote. I hope that the historic Honor referendum encourages more students to participate in strengthening student democracy because as student voters, we have the power — and the responsibility — to keep the University both great and good in all that we do.
Maggie Doyle is the Marketing and Advertising Liaison for the University Board of Elections. The UBE can be reached at email@example.com.