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McMaster Students Union

Elections Department

The MSU Elections Department works to ensure that all elections held within the MSU are run in a fair and transparent manner.  All elections held by the MSU use a secure online voting platform, called SimplyVoting. Visit SimplyVoting at any time and login with your MacID to see available elections. Check often, as in addition to the elections of the MSU president and SRA members, many clubs and faculty societies utilize the election services of the MSU to host their own elections.

Expandable List

MSU First Year Council (FYC) is the unique representative body for McMaster first year students that serves to inform and speak for their distinctive needs and concerns. The council represents both current and future first year McMaster students, and ensures that their issues and interests are addressed by acting as a voice, and as a guiding body.

First Year Council Positions:

Chair — The primary spokesperson, liaison and advocate for the MSU First Year Council. This person will maintain relationships with other student/university organizations and oversee all FYC meetings. This person is responsible for reporting on the First Year Council to the SRA.

Vice-Chair (Internal) — acts as spokesperson for the organization and liaison between the First Year Council and the Residence Advisory Council. This individual will act as a primary lead on advocacy related to the living conditions and the students experience of first year students living on McMaster campus.

Vice-Chair (External) — acts as spokesperson for the organization and liaison between the First Year Council and the Faculty Society first year representatives. This individual will act as a primary lead on advocacy related to issues with respect to academic and off campus student experiences perspectives.

Vice-Chair (Events) —acts as a spokesperson for the organization and is the primary planner for events planned by the council. This Vice-Chair (Events) will work with MSU Spark, the MSU Maroons, MSU Campus Events and Residence Life to raise first year spirit within the school and improve the student experience at McMaster University.

Residence Chairs — will act as advocates for students in residence at McMaster University. They will be elected among their peers within their residence and will serve on a variety of Residence Life consultation committees. Further, residence chairs will be responsible for collecting feedback on the perspective of students in residence and running events within their particular building.

There are 13 positions available; one representative for each residence on campus as follows:

  • Bates Chair
  • Brandon Chair
  • Edwards Chair
  • Hedden Chair
  • Les Prince Chair
  • Mary E. Keyes Chair
  • Matthews Chair
  • McKay Chair
  • Moulton Chair
  • Peter George Chair
  • Wallingford Chair
  • Whidden Chair
  • Woodstock Chair

Important Dates:

Proclamation: September 7, 2021
Nomination Period: September 7, 2021 – September 20, 2021
All Candidates Meeting: September 20, 2021
Campaigning Period: September 23, 2020 – September 30, 2021
Polling Date: September 30, 2021

Important Documents:

Click here to access documents related to the FYC election.

Results:

Click here to view the most recent FYC elections results.

The MSU President is elected annually by the MSU membership as outlined by the procedures in the MSU Constitution and Bylaw 10. The elected candidate will hold office from May 1st to April 30th. The President may carry a course load of not more than three (3) units per academic term. This course load restriction may be waived by a two-thirds majority vote of the SRA.

The President is to serve as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Spokesperson for the McMaster Students Union and be a voting member of the SRA, the Executive Board, and an ex-officio member of all other MSU committees. As well, the President will chair the Executive Board, Board of Directors and the Presidents’ Council. Furthermore, the President will represent the MSU to the University Administration, Hamilton community as well as local, provincial, and national governments and organizations.

Important Dates:

Please check back for updates to the 2021-2022 Presidential election date

Important Documents:

Click here to access documents related to the MSU Presidential election.

Results:

Click here to view the most recent Presidential election results.

The Student Representative Assembly (SRA), the governing body of the MSU, is composed of 35 undergraduate students elected by their peers, inside each academic faculty. Together, they work to provide the best possible MSU services and departments, represent and address the concerns of undergraduate students, and lobby the University to improve McMaster’s academic quality. The MSU exists to represent students and to help build a better community for the undergraduate community.

Important Dates:

Please check back for updates to the 2021-2022 SRA General Election date(s)

Important Documents:

Click here to access documents related to the SRA General Election

Results:

Click here to view the most recent SRA General Election results

The elections for  2021-2022 MSU Speaker, as well as Vice-Presidents (Finance), (Education), and (Administration) are now complete. Please check back in Winter 2022 for nomination and election dates for the 2022-2023 year.

Please be advised that while nominations are open until the elections occur, the SRA has adopted parameters to govern how the election will be run. That information is available here.

Together with the MSU President, the Vice President’s Administration, Finance, and Education comprise the MSU Board of Directors (BoD). The BoD has vast responsibilities within the organization and to the undergraduate students of McMaster University. Together, this team of four individuals are employed for a year-long term, governing the daily operations of the McMaster Students Union.

The election process gives each candidate the opportunity to speak to their qualifications and ideas and then Assembly members will have the ability to question the nominees. To learn more about the specific responsibilities of the Vice President (Education), please consult Bylaw 4 – Board of Directors & Speaker.

SRA By-Elections may take place several times throughout the year, if spots on the SRA become available outside of the SRA General Election process. As such, these elections are run as needed to ensure that each caucus is fully filled.

Nominations have been extended for the following seats:
Business x2
Engineering x2
Kinesiology

Social Sciences has been acclaimed.

Science will be going to an election:
Campaigning dates: October 25 – October 28, 2021
Polling Day: October 28, 2021

You can find more information about SRA here

Please reach out to the Chief or Deputy Returning Officers if you’d like more information on how to run.

Important Dates:

Proclamation:  October 18, 2021
Nomination Period Extended:  October 25, 2021 – October 29, 2021
All Candidates Meeting: October 29, 2021*
Campaigning Period:  November 1, 2021 – November 4, 2021
Polling Date:  November 4, 2021

*This meeting is mandatory.

Important Documents:

Click here to access documents related to SRA By-elections

Results:

Check back for the results when the elections are over!

The MSU Elections Department can hold online elections on behalf on faculty/program societies or student groups, using our Simply Voting platform. If you would like support in hosting and facilitating an election, please click this link and complete the request form or fill it out below:

Are you interested in running for a position in the MSU but have no clue where to start? Start by following the steps below:

Step One: Nominate Yourself

This is the easiest step. Once the nomination period opens for your election, just download the nomination form respective to the election you are running in from the MSU Elections website and fill out the required information. Once complete, submit it to MSU Elections through email by sending it to elections@msu.mcmaster.ca before the nomination period ends.

Step Two: Read the Rules

Part of your nomination package will be the rules for your election that you (and your campaign team if you have one) have to follow as a candidate. A very important part of these rules is that you cannot campaign before the start of the campaign period. If you break the rules you could be fined so make sure you know them!

Step Two-and-a-Half: Assemble a Campaign Team (if applicable)

This is a half-step because not everyone uses or needs a campaign team. Most often candidates assemble them to help them out during the Presidential Election. This election can involve a lot of effort from the candidate to try to reach all MSU members, so a campaign team can be an invaluable resource. If you wish to assemble one, make sure that you register your campaign team members with the Elections Department, that your team knows the rules just as well as you do, and that no one campaigns before the campaign period!

Step Three: Attend the All-Candidates Meeting

This mandatory meeting happens the evening each nomination period closes and is where you will get information about your election, can meet your fellow candidates, and can ask any questions you have to the Chief and Deputy Returning Officers. (You might even find out that you’ve been acclaimed!)

Step Four: Campaign

There are many ways that you can campaign. The most common methods include posting posters, talking to classes, making a Facebook page, and talking to people around campus. You can also get creative with campaigning, just make sure you’re always following the rules!

Step Five: Get the Results

At the end of polling for an election, the Elections Committee will meet to discuss complaints against all of the candidates and to levy fines if they so decide, before anyone has found out the results. At the conclusion of the fines meeting the Elections Committee will view the results, the MSU will publicize them, and you will be notified of any fines that you have.

Step Five-and-a-Half: Appeal Your Fines

If you wish to fight your fine(s), you can submit an appeal to the Elections Department following the election and then make your case to the Elections Committee at their appeals meeting. If they decide not to accept your appeal, you have one more opportunity to appeal and that is to the Electoral Appeal Board.

Step Six: Relax

Whether or not you are successful, you deserve a break! And keep an eye out for the next MSU election around the corner.

Tips & Insight

Former MSU President, Mary Koziol created a guide on running in MSU elections, focusing on presidentials. This guide includes Mary’s insight as well as insight from other students who have participated in elections. Please click on the link below to view her handy guidebook on Issuu.

All elections held by the MSU use a secure online voting platform, called SimplyVoting.  Visit SimplyVoting at any time and login with your MacID to see available elections.

Check often, as in addition to the elections of the MSU president and SRA members, many clubs and faculty societies utilize the election services of the MSU to host their own elections.

For detailed instructions including screen walkthroughs, please download the guidebook below:

MSU Elections- How to Vote Guidebook

To view past elections results, please click here.