The MSU President is elected annually by the MSU membership as outlined by the procedures in the MSU Constitution and Bylaw 7. 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.
Proclamation: November 30, 2023
Nomination Period: November 30, 2023 – January 12, 2024
All Candidates Meeting: January 12, 2024*
Campaigning Period: January 14 – 25, 2024
Polling Dates: January 23-25, 2024
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
Off-Campus/Commuting Students – There will also be two (2) seats for off-campus/commuting students available to run for. They will act as advocates for students living off-campus at McMaster University. They will be elected among their peers.
Extended Nominations Timeline
Nomination Period: until September 25, 2023
All Candidates Meeting: September 25, 2023*
Campaigning Period: September 26 – October 5, 2023
Vote of Confidence Polling Date: September 28, 2023
Polling Date: October 5, 2023
Proclamation: September 5, 2023
Nomination Period: September 6 – 18, 2023
All Candidates Meeting: September 18, 2023*
Campaigning Period: September 19 – 28, 2023
Vote of Confidence Polling Date: September 21, 2023
Polling Date: September 27 & 28, 2023
*This meeting is mandatory.
The Following are running for First Year Council, with polling happening on September 27 & 28, 2023 (those in bold will have a vote of confidence on September 21, 2023):
Brandon Residence Chair
Rohan Sunder Prabakaran Kalaiaras
Mary Keyes Residence Chair
Wallingford Residence Chair
Simna Sarah Stephen
McKay Residence Chair
The following will be running in the extended round of elections, with polling happening on October 5, 2023. (Those in bold will have a vote of confidence on September 28, 2023)
Bates Residence Chair
Hedden Residence Chair
PGCLL Residence Chair
Les Prince Residence Chair
Moulton Residence Chair
Whidden Residence Chair
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.
You can find more information about SRA here
The following seats on the SRA are open, until November 24, 2023:
Proclamation: November 13, 2023
Nomination Period: November 13-24, 2023
All Candidates Meeting: November 24, 2023*
Campaigning Period: November 27-30, 2023
Vote of Confidence Polling: November 29, 2023
Polling Date: November 30, 2023
Proclamation: November 13, 2023
Nomination Period: November 13-17, 2023
All Candidates Meeting: November 17, 2023*
Campaigning Period: November 20-23, 2023
Vote of Confidence Polling: November 22, 2023
Polling Date: November 23, 2023
*This meeting is mandatory.
The following will go to an election on November 23, 2023
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.
Please note: There will be a mandatory training session held on March 18, 2023 for the incoming SRA members, with the time and location to be determined.
2nd Extended Nominations Timeline (closes March 13)
Proclamation: February 6, 2023
Nomination Period: February 6 – March 13, 2023
All Candidates Meeting: March 13, 2023*
Campaigning Period: March 14 – 23, 2023
Polling Dates: March 22-23, 2023
1st Extended Nominations Timeline (closed March 6):
Campaigning Period: March 7 – March 16, 2023
Polling Dates: March 15-16, 2023
Original Timeline (closed February 27):
Campaigning Period: February 28 – March 9, 2023
Polling Dates: March 8-9, 2023
The following went to a Vote of Confidence or Election on March 8-9, 2023:
Arts & Science – Vote of Confidence
- Priya John
Business – Vote of Confidence
- Brennan Fellman
Engineering – Vote of Confidence
- Arin Khandelwal
- Jialiang Hu
Health Sci – Vote of Confidence
- Cloris Su
- Kerry Yang
Humanities – Vote of Confidence
- Olivia Dodd
- Paige Hannan
Kinesiology – Vote of Confidence
- Malaikah Ahmed
Social Sciences – Vote of Confidence
- Zimo Wang
Science (7 seats) – Election
- Jazzlyn Abbott
- Parth Arora
- Isaac Begun
- Abdullah Masudi
- Fares Qannam
- Subah Rahman
- Eden Ryley
- Nelosha Suganthan
- Vibooshitha Thusyanthan
The following will be going to a Vote of Confidence or Election on March 15-16, 2023:
Business (2 seats) – Vote of Confidence
Kinesiology (1 seat) – Election
Social Sciences (3 Seats) – Election
The following will be going to a Vote of Confidence or Election on March 22-23, 2023:
Business (1 seat) – Election
Engineering (5 Seats) – Election
- Michael Yao
- Georgia Campbell
- Erin Herzstein
- Moein Roghani
- Sparsh Poddar
- Natasha Muravu
- Raj Mohammed
- Chelsea Ellis
Humanities (1 seat) – Vote of Confidence
- Zainab Zafar
A referendum of the general membership of the MSU may be called on a question of policy or any other matter, that may be held and voted on during the October By-Election, MSU Presidential Election, or SRA General Elections. It may result in the adoption of a new policy or fee increase.
There are different ways for a referendum to be called:
- A petition signed by three percent (3%) of the MSU membership delivered to the Vice-President (Administration);
- A resolution of the General Assembly;
- Or a majority vote of the total members of the SRA shall initiate a referendum.
All referenda called once the above conditions are met shall be administered by the Elections Committee, as outlined in their policies and bylaws.
The minimum number of ballots in a referendum must be equal to ten percent (10%) of the membership of the MSU for the results of the referendum to be a binding resolution on the SRA.
This year the MSU will sending three questions to referendum:
Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) Bus Pass – The proposed HSR referendum was brought forward to the Student Representative Assembly at meeting SRA 22K on November 27, 2023. You can find the minutes from that meeting here, as well as the supporting documentation here.
McMaster Engineers without Borders (EWB) – EWB presented their budget to the Student Representative Assembly at meeting SRA 22I on October 30, 2023, you can find their documentation and recommendations here. The proposal to send to Referendum was brought forward by the SRA at SRA 22J on November 13, 2023. You can find the minutes from that meeting here.
McMaster Solar Car – McMaster Solar Car presented their budget to the Student Representative Assembly at meeting SRA 22I on October 30, 2023, you can find their documentation and recommendations here. The proposal to send to Referendum was brought forward by the SRA at SRA 22J on November 13, 2023. You can find the minutes from that meeting here.
McMaster Engineers Without Borders – “Yes” Side Social Media and provided information
Engineers Without Borders McMaster is a group of engaging leaders who ask challenging questions, pursue continuous improvement, and share a passion for social change. Voting to keep EWB McMaster funded ensures that students have the chance to develop valuable skills, while making a meaningful difference in diverse communities. Additionally, students will have a chance to participate in projects that will help further understand global challenges, and how engineering can be used to solve them.
McMaster Solar Car – “Yes” Side Social Media and provided information
McMaster Solar car should continue to be funded by MSU members because it brings together students from diverse faculties, fostering innovation, teamwork, and leadership. The team serves as a powerful recruitment tool, highlighting the university’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. It is a great ambassador for the university, promoting the McMaster name and research globally through competitions and events. Investing in the team is an investment in the future of the university and its students.
You can find all the important dates and documentation below. If you have questions about the procedures, please reach out to the Elections Department.
Proclamation: December 1, 2022
Nomination Period: December 1, 2022 – January 13, 2023
All Candidates Meeting: January 13, 2023*
Campaigning Period: January 15 – 26, 2023
Polling Dates: January 24-26, 2023
Any MSU member (an undergraduate student enrolled in 18 or more units) is eligible to run for these seats. Elections are typically held the first weekend in April. Nominations will be opened at the first meeting in March, and will remain open until the elections occur. The SRA has adopted parameters to govern how the election will be run, you can find that information 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 full-time for a year-long term, governing the daily operations of the McMaster Students Union. The role of Vice President is a full-time contract position. The successful candidate will start on May 1 with their contract concluding on April 30.
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-Presidents Bylaw 4 – Board of Directors & Speaker. The Speaker is paid part-time over the course of an academic year to manage the bi-weekly meetings of the Student Representative Assembly.
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, email the elections department for more information.
Please note: The Elections Department will have the following blackout dates for external elections: September 27-28, October 25-26, Nov 22-23, Jan 14-26, Feb 27-March 8. Your request will not be honored if it’s during this date.
Please fill out this form and send back to the Chief Returning Officer if you are interested in holding an external election.
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 email@example.com 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.
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: