A Student’s Perspective on London’s Municipal Election Campaign So Far


I am tired of being ignored.  Just like the elderly, the poor, or the food trucks everyone is all hyped up about, we are our own group who have our own needs that need to be met. I don’t like to use the expression “having our needs catered to” as I feel it  perpetuates the stereotypes of entitlement that are only somewhat true to my generation. I understand relations between students and permanent citizens have not always been warm and fuzzy, but to continually treat us a second-class (or frankly it feels more like twelfth class) citizens is not the way to encourage us to participate in the municipal election, participate in life beyond the bubble, or to stay here after graduation. And frankly, not all our our needs and desires are that different from any other citizen’s, but it’s important to ensure that you are reaching out to us just the same. I know a lot of students don’t care, but many truly do. A lot of us are new to this whole “actually being allowed to vote and fully participate in society thing” so you need to help us out a bit. At the very least, give us a chance to get involved and be informed, if we don’t take the bait then and only then are you allowed to called us lazy, entitled, etc.

Ward 6 candidates, I am waiting for you. Mayoral candidates, I am waiting too. Only due to my own research so far do I know who the ward 6 candidates are, and trust me that’s taken some effort. You are campaigning in a ward that is home to thousands of students and a world-class university, why are you not reaching out to us? At least get on twitter or facebook or something and be somewhat active, because heaven forbid we all know my generation can’t communicate face to face anymore.(sarcasm, but still, social media is your friend).

I know there’s still months to go, and given exams and a lot of students leaving town for the summer it’s not the greatest time to be going after students’ votes, but I guess after seeing stuff going on in other wards and on twitter I’m just itching for that to happen in my ward. And frankly I have yet to see a ton of engagement or reaching out in general, regardless of student status.

Some issues I believe are relevant to students and would like to see discussed: transit (both within London and in and out of the city), policing in student neighborhoods and project LEARN, and bicycle infrastructure. Obviously not a complete list but start talking about some of these issues or ask how I feel about them and I WILL pay attention.

Okay, so that was a rant and not the most eloquently written post. However, my point is that I am a resident of this city too. I’ve come to love this city, and a big part of it is due to the people, however I had to step outside of the bubble on my own. Once I broke free I was warmly welcomed, but I think it’s time to start reaching in and encouraging students to venture out. I have really come to see the power of civic engagement and really want to do a bit of it myself, but you’ve gotta help me out here guys, and you especially need to help my comrades in purple (and red for those at fanshawe!).

We are waiting for you, or at least I am. Come visit us on campus, get on social media. Give us a chance, we don’t bite that hard.