We all saw it coming: a column about voting in student union elections. Just hear me out. I feel it’s my responsibility as editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper to stress the importance of student engagement, and when it comes to being a (financially) struggling student, nothing is more important than the democratic opportunities that are afforded to you. When I was a UW student, I failed to get involved with anything outside of my studies. I didn’t understand the gravity of the non-academic decisions that were being made on my behalf. To be honest, I didn’t really understand the weight of academic-related decisions either. In retrospect, I regret not being more aware. If I could go back, I still wouldn’t run for board, or exec, but I definitely would have paid a hell of a lot more attention to who was representing me and my fellow students while I was busy studying my ass off in SLC silent study (and occasionally having a drink at Caesar Martini’s or Rev, neither of which exist anymore). It seems so silly that students let these opportunities slip by. Most students don’t pay a lot of income tax, or own a house or business, or have kids that are a part of the public school system. Many students probably pay more in student union fees than they do in government taxes. That means the decisions made by the peers you elect affect you significantly more than some of the decisions made at the municipal, provincial, and federal level. So why not be well informed about where that money goes and who puts it there? Why not have your input heard about who is advocating on your behalf for student issues? Your elections are being held Feb. 11-13. And they are YOUR elections.