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McMaster Students Union

Elections

The MSU Elections Department works to ensure that all elections held within the MSU are run in a fair and transparent manner.

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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.

To be nominated, please read over the package carefully and return the completed Nomination Package to the McMaster Students Union Office in MUSC 201 by January 15th at 5 PM.

The Expense Declaration Sheet must be completed in full and handed in by January 29th at 12pm.

The Nomination Package can be found by clicking the links below, or by visiting the McMaster Students Union Office (MUSC 201).

  • Presidential Election Important Dates and Deadlines 2020
  • Presidential Election Nomination Form 2020
  • Presidential Campaign Team List 2020
  • Presidential Rules (amended Jan 15, 2020)
  • Presidential Election Rules 2020 – Appendix A
  • Presidential Election Expense Sheet 2020
  • Presidential Election Complaint Form 2020
  • Presidential Election Technical Complaint Form 2020
  • Presidential Election Social Information 2020
  • Presidential Election Underground Information 2020
  • Bylaw 10 – Elections
  • Bylaw 10A – Electoral Procedure

*Word document versions of the above documents are available upon request – please email elections_dro@msu.mcmaster.ca

Any MSU member (an undergraduate student enrolled in 18 units or more) may run for the election of a Vice Presidential position or for the role of Speaker.

Elections are held by Student Representative Assembly in April. For the 2020-2021 VP Elections, they will be held over two days: April 18 and April 19. You need only make your presence known at this first meeting if you wish to be considered. 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 Presidents 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 MSU Speaker is responsible for presiding over meetings of the SRA and meetings of the General Assembly, ensuring that they run smoothly according to constitutional procedures in a fair and equitable manner.

To apply for any of these positions, you do not need to form a team or run a campaign. Those interested in any of the positions should email the MSU Speaker speaker@msu.mcmaster.ca and provide the following by April 18th, 2020 at 9am:

  • Full Name
  • Student Number
  • Clear indication of the position you are seeking

If you would like to be considered, you will be nominated for the position at the beginning of the first meeting, or nominate yourself to the Speaker. 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 find out more information on how the election will be run please click here.

Below are job descriptions for each Vice President and Speaker Positions:

  • Vice-President (Administration)
  • Vice-President (Education)
  • Vice-President (Finance)
  • MSU Speaker

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 you and to help build a better community for all students.

To be nominated, please read over the package carefully and return the completed Nomination Package to the McMaster Students Union Office in MUSC 201 by March 4th at 5 PM.

The Nomination Package can be found by clicking the links below, or by visiting the McMaster Students Union Office (MUSC 201).

  • Nomination Form (updated Feb 12, 2020)
  • Expense Sheet
  • Complaint Form
  • Technical Complaint Form
  • Social Information (updated Feb 12, 2020)
  • SRA General Election Rules (updated Feb 12, 2020)
  • Appendix A
  • MSU Bylaw 10
  • MSU Bylaw 10A
  • SRA Job Description
  • Important Dates and Deadlines (updated Feb 12, 2020)

*Word document files of the above documents are available upon request. If you require these please email elections_dro@msu.mcmaster.ca

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 oversees 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

To be nominated, please read over the package carefully and return the completed Nomination Package to the McMaster Students Union Office in MUSC 201 by September 17th at 5 PM.

The Expense Declaration Sheet must be completed in full and handed in by September 25th at 2pm.

The Nomination Package can be found by clicking the links below, or by visiting the McMaster Students Union Office (MUSC 201).

  • First Year Council Nomination Form 2019
  • First Year Council Election Rules 2019
  • First Year Council Expense Sheet 2019
  • First Year Council Technical Complaint Form 2019
  • First Year Council Complaint Form 2019

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 a nomination package in the respective sections above or pick one up from the MSU Main Office, MUSC 201. You will need to fill in your personal info, get 15 signatures from your voting pool (e.g. first year MSU members for FYC, any MSU member for SRA Science, etc.), and bring your nomination form back to the MSU Main Office before the nomination period closes.

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

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 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.

Voting for all elections takes place online. When the voting period opens for an election, you can click on the “Vote Now” button above to place your vote. For detailed instructions including screen walkthroughs, please download our guidebook below:

MSU Elections- How to Vote Guidebook