Every year UBC students vote on several referendum issues. This year, in my opinion, students are voting on two issues that are more important than anything UBC has seen in decades.

The first issue is to whether or not to continue the wildly successful U-Pass program. Currently, it costs students $20 a month for eight months a year for unlimited access to the Translink system. Students only have to take 9 bus rides a month to make it pay for itself. For students who take the bus every day, it’s the greatest deal UBC has ever given them. The program has been in place two years now and if you go to the U-Pass site, you’ll read how many people have got on-board with this. The first issue specifically asks if students are willing to support the continuation of the program at a new cost of $22 a month. This price will be fixed until 2008. It’s in everyone’s interest to vote yes.

If less than 4000 people vote “YES” on this issue, the U-Pass program will die. This will leave students no reduced-fare option for using Translink.

The second issue asks if students support a summer U-Pass program. This will cost $20 a month for the summer months. Even if students have enough votes on this issue, if issue one doesn’t pass, issue two will be rendered moot.

Despite the fact I’ll graduate by the end of May (fingers crossed), I’ve voted yes on both issues. The U-Pass program is the best deal UBC and the AMS has ever negotiated for the students. In light of this, I challenge every eligible UBC student to vote yes on this issue. Follow the instructions on this link:

Once you vote yes, find another eligible voter and make them vote yes as well. Just don’t mention it to them, make them vote yes in front of you. Then get them to find another person to vote yes, and so on…

I cannot stress how important it is for these issues to pass. Though 4000 votes out of 35000 (or so) full-time students seems minor, voter apathy is infamous on-campus. I suspect that the vote will be very close.

Do what you can. Vote yes and get others to vote yes as well!

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