Election Documents

Election Documents

ELECTORAL COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE

Policy No.:  B2025
Category: Council and Self-Governance
Sub-Category: Committee Terms of Reference 
Effective Date: TBA 

PURPOSE

The Langara Students’ Union (LSU) Electoral Committee is a Standing Committee that reports to the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) who is an impartial, third-party contracted to oversee and ensure the fair, democratic and appropriate electoral and referenda processes.  The Electoral Committee’s main role is to support and take direction from the CRO consistent with LSU Bylaws, Policy and procedures.

MANDATE AND AUTHORITY

The Langara Students’ Union (LSU) Electoral Committee is a Standing Committee as established in LSU Bylaw 8.1 (ii).The committee may strike sub-committees as needed.

The committee’s mandate depends upon whether Council has a hired a Chief Returning Officer (CRO)  per Bylaw Article 9.1.2.

  • The Electoral Committee reports to the CRO and provides support at his or her direction.

To promote fairness, transparency and accountability, LSU members ‘in good standing’ are eligible and encouraged to serve on the Electoral Committee.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The CRO may delegate electoral tasks to the Electoral Committee.  At the discretion and direction of the CRO, the Electoral Committee may perform a variety of tasks such as:

  • Developing, resourcing and coordinating electoral and referenda processes;
  • Screening for eligibility requirements and declaring results to individual applicants per Policy B2510, Electoral Eligibility;
  • Monitoring member conduct throughout election and pre-election process;
  • Striking a sub-committee(s) to investigate and make recommendations regarding allegations of misconduct;
  • Striking a sub-committee(s) to deal with regular or irregular electoral and referenda processes;
  • Participating in the review of electoral or referenda processes and making recommendations for future improvements, including this Terms of Reference Policy;
  • Engaging the Spokesperson to work with the CRO to respond to media inquiries;
  • Arranging for the elected candidates take the Oath of Office and sign the Council Code of Conduct at or prior to the first meeting of the new Council;
  • Accurately report all electoral expenses to the CRO and CFO on Staff; and
  • Perform any other duties as necessary for the successful, democratic and fair elections of LSU Council.

Furthermore, the Electoral Committee holds itself to a high level of conduct, impartiality and ethics.  All LSU Bylaws and policies will be followed and adhered to.  The committee will pay special attention to ensure that no individual is in a Conflict of Interest situation as defined in Policy B1004, Conflict of Interest.

  • Staff will ensure that all volunteer members are fully oriented and trained on the Bylaws, policies and procedures of LSU.

 

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

For any Electoral Period, the Electoral Committee is expected to:

  • Complete all tasks assigned by the CRO per Section 3 of this policy;
  • Ensure the development of a full suite of Electoral Policies, procedures and protocols in cooperation with staff and at the direction of the CRO;
  • Accurately participate and grade all submitted Eligibility applications
  • Accurately report and track expenses and other matters to CRO for presentation to the new Council at the conclusion of each Electoral period.
  • Ensure that a meeting is held to endorse the CRO changes approved by Council for the next General election, By-election or Referenda elections.
  • Review, adjust and make changes to the election policies

For the period ofany electoral period, the Electoral Committee is expected to:

  • Engage the CRO’s services as required and at Council’s wishes to complete referenda and by-elections;
  • Further support the work of the CRO in completing referenda and by-elections; 

COMPOSITION AND APPOINTMENTS

Composition

The Electoral Committee shall be comprised of the Directors and Staff as voting members of the committee as identified in the Bylaws and this section.  Specifically;

  • Elected member of (or outgoing) LSU Council (President or VP External Affairs)
  • Staff member appointed as the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO)
  • The Executive Director on Staff
  • Any other staff as is deemed necessary.
  • Up to six (6) additional LSU members ‘in good standing’ who volunteer and are deemed appropriate for the role
  • Appointments Council may appoint and remove Directors as it sees fit.
  • For volunteers; the staff member responsible for elections (i.e., the DRO) or designated staff may nominate such volunteers; the CRO approves the nominations. 

MEETINGS

  • The Chair works collaboratively with the CRO and Staff to schedule and call meetings and set the agenda
  • Meetings happen as often as is required to successfully conduct and conclude the elections, by-elections and referenda
  • Motions pass by a majority vote
  • Meeting proceedings are governed by applicable LSU policy. 

RESOURCES

The resources approved for this Committee between the periods of August 31, 2017 and the concluded election of the new Council in the Fall of 2017 are as follows:

Financial

Staff members administer, monitor and handle all financial matters on behalf of the Electoral Committee and the CRO.  The following are the approved expenses for the Electoral Committee:

  • Normal budget allocation for carrying out LSU elections and referenda
  • CRO stipend
  • Budget for volunteer training and appreciation
  • Budget for recruiting, hiring, training and compensating Poll Sitters
  • Posters, advertising and promotional expenses as required
  • Budget for light refreshments for committee members and volunteers; meals if meetings or work spans the meal times of breakfast, lunch or dinner 

Human

The Committee will have the expertise and guidance of the CRO available to it as necessary and appropriate.  However, the committee will respect the time and scope of the CRO’s contract.  ‘Over and above’ requests that result in CRO contract scope or cost increases will require a favorabletwo-thirds majority vote of the Electoral Committeeand the approval of the Executive Director.  All such increases will be reported to the newly elected Council members before the second meeting of the new Council.

REVIEW AND EVALUATION

Council will deem the Electoral Committee to have been successful if the following items are completed:

  • Fall General Elections:
    • Provideda report to the new Council on the election expenses, proceedings and outcomes. Alternately, this report will be provided to the CRO for inclusion in the CRO’s Report to Council
    • Satisfactorily supported the CRO’s work
  • Other As-needed Elections, By-elections and Referenda:
    • All necessary steps and processes were successfully completed
  • By end of April in the following year:
    • The committee submits a year-end report to Council before the end of April . The content of this report may be extracted and presented to the membership at the AGM. This report will include an overview of accomplishments and matters still needing attention.

FACT SHEET

Relevant Dates

Approved:
Effective:
Review: October 31, 2017 or as needed

History

July 31, 2013 This is a new Policy approved by Council resolution to support the new LSU Bylaws which came into effect on August 2017.

Related Policy

B1001 Committees and Sub-committees
B1002 Meetings and Agenda
B1003 Council Code of Conduct (Council)
B1004 Conflict of Interest
B1005 Oath of Office
B1006 Discipline
B2000-2011 Roles and Duties for Directors
B2500 Elections, By-elections and Referenda
B2510 Electoral Eligibility
B2520 Candidacy and Campaigning
B3000 Member Code of Conduct

References and Acknowledgements:

Not applicable.

ELECTORAL ELIGIBILITY

Policy No.: B2510
Category: Council and Self-Governance
Effective Date: TBA

Please note: The following policies give an overview of expectations. However, policies will be revised in the Fall 2018; Where policies herein contradict the LSU Bylaws, the LSU Bylaws will prevail. Please refer to LSU Bylaws for further information on electoral eligibility.

1.0 POLICY

Members seeking electoral eligibility for an Executive or designated Representativeposition on Council will meet certain baseline requirements per Bylaw 9.5.1-9.5.3 or 9.6.1-9.6.3, respectively. Those seeking candidacy for these positionsmust complete and pass a fair pre-candidacy screening process that is intended to satisfy the membership that these baseline eligibility requirements are met. The eligibility screening process will be carried out by the Electoral Committee or one of its sub-committees, and adjudicated by an independent, third-party.

This eligibility screening process is simply to ensure that baseline requirements are met. The process is intended to include those who meet the requirements, not to screen for the best candidate or candidates.Accordingly, the outcome of the eligibility application will be either ‘eligible’ or ‘ineligible’ to apply for candidacy for the specific position. Members may appeal the decision of eligibility, but the outcome of the appeal process is final.

Members deemed eligible must also complete additional steps before they are considered official candidates for the election or by-election.

A concerted effort will be made to ensure a quick, confidential, transparent and fair process with minimal effort required on the part of the member seeking to stand for election.

2.0 RATIONALE AND PRINCIPLES

2.1 As a member-led organization Langara Students’ Union (LSU) promotes a high level of Council competency and accountability. Bylaw 9.5.1-9.5.3 and 9.6.1-9.6.3there are certain positions on Council that require a minimum baseline of experience, education or knowledge to competently fulfill the role.

2.2 All members on LSU Council are paid a stipend for their service per Policy B2052, Stipends and Timesheets. Additionally, Executive Board Members and designated Members-at-Large. have duties over and above those who serve as,General Members-at-Large.Council withholds stipend payments for expectations not met, so it is in applicant’s best interest to have a working knowledge of the portfolio area to ensure they will receive payment for their service. Also, it is in Council’s best interest to have the work performed on-time and in a satisfactory manner.

2.3 Those elected to Council serve for one Academic term only, thus it is important that elected members quickly grasp the role and start serving the membership. While non-designatedGeneral Member-at-Large positions do not require a specialized area of knowledge or experience, the positions of the Executive board, International Representative and Aboriginal Representative on Council have operational duties that require a certain degree of familiarity with the roles and duties associated with those positions.

2.4 This Policy provides greater detail about the general eligibility requirements set out in Bylaw, specificallyArticle 9.5 –9.6.

2.5 This Policy clarifies the eligibility screening process and appeal procedures to help members determine steps required to successfully seek candidacy.

3.0 SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

3.1 Scope
This Policy applies to LSU members who wish to declare their candidacy for election on Council as an Executive member or designated Member-at-Large (Aboriginal Students’ Representative, for example).Those who wish to become candidates for a General Member-at-Large position do not have to go through the eligibility screening process.

This Policy applies to the eligibility screening process only. Policies B2500 and B2520 respectively deal with elections/by-elections and candidacy/campaigning and apply to all members who would like to seek election on LSU Council.

3.2 Definitions

3.2.1 Designated Members-at-Large
Reporting to the Vice President Internal and Council, they develop and implement programs, services, activities and initiatives that create a welcoming environment for, and promotes the education, awareness and inclusion of, issues impacting students who may otherwise face discrimination or barriers to successful social inclusion and integration. Designated Members-at-Large serve year-round.The three elected designated Members-at-Large are the International Students’ Representative, Aboriginal Students’ Representative, and the Diversity & Inclusion Representative.

3.2.2 Application and Applicant
The ‘application’ refers to the documentationsubmitted as well as the completed and signed forms as required at the time of application. This include a resumé, curriculum vitae (or similar), cover letter, list of references and contact information and any other documentation provided. Likewise, the member submitting the application is referred to as the ‘applicant.’

3.2.3 Member At Large
Member At Large positions are all the elected, voting members of Council and are responsible for attending Council meetings, responsibly exercising their vote, and serving on at least two Committees of Council. Council members serve year round and are available to address membership concerns (except during campus closures and statutory holidays).

3.2.4 Electoral Committee
The Electoral Committee is a standing committee of Council with the roles, composition and powers as set out in Policy B2025, Electoral Committee Terms of Reference.

3.2.5 Executive Director
The Executive Director (ED) is the only hired employee of Council and is included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The ED is responsible for leading all LSU operations and supporting Council members who have programming, service and project portfolio duties. Staff report to the ED, unless Council opts to not hire an ED, in which case Council is supported directly by Staff.

3.2.6 Good Academic Standing (In)
‘In good academic standing’ means that the applicant is not on academic probation. Check with current Bylaws

3.2.7 Executive Board Members
The Executive Board Members are elected, voting positions on Council who work very closely with the ED, if any, and Staff. The Executive Board Members have oversight and managing duties and serve year-round. Listed alphabetically, the Officers of LSU are the following: President,Vice President External Affairs, Vice President Finance & Administration, Vice President Internal, and Vice President Student Life.

3.2.8 Professional Reference(s)
This term refers to individuals who the applicant has had direct employment or volunteer experience with, as with supervisors, managers and co-workers. Professional references can also include past teachers, school counsellors/advisors, youth group leaders or volunteers, or other similar individuals who have direct experience working/volunteering/teaching/mentoring the applicant. Applications submitted withoutreference contact information are considered incomplete and may be rejected by the CRO.

3.2.9 Qualifying Period or Phase
The process of screening for eligibility is also referred to as the ‘qualifying period’ and the ‘qualifying phase.’

3.2.10 Reference(s)
In this Policy ‘reference(s)’ refer to non-family individuals who are willing to act as professional or personal references for the applicant.

3.2.11 Screening Committee
The Screening Committee refers to the Electoral Committee or designated screening group In accordance with current Bylaws.

3.2.12 Staff
Staff refer to those who are employed as Regular Staff under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

4.0 REGULATIONS

4.1 Eligibility Requirements –General

Per Bylaw Article 9.5.1 i-v, all members must meet the following requirements, regardless of the position they seek:

4.1.1 LSU ‘Member in Good Standing’ as evidenced by the presentation of a valid Langara College Student Photo Identification Card and a current copy of their class schedule for verification purposes is mandatory.

4.1.2 Langara student in good academic standing which may be verified by the Electoral Committee or designate upon the full completion and submission of the Academic Standing Form permitting the Union to verify academic standing with the College Registrar’s Office.

4.1.3 Members of Council must be currently enrolled at Langara College.

4.2 Eligibility Requirements – Executive Board

In addition to the completion and signature of any forms as may be required at the time of application, applicants for eligibility for an Executive position must provide a current resumé or curriculum vitae (or similar) demonstrating knowledge or experience in at least one of the relevant functional areas for the position specified. The application must include the applicant’s full legal name and two (2) professional references (non-family members) and one (1) academic reference that are current and verifiable. A simplified version of a resumé or curriculum vitae (or similar) is acceptable, but it should at least include paid or unpaid work, education (or studies) or any other experience-based familiarity with environments involving these functional areas:

4.2.1 Vice President Finance & Administration: economics, commerce, accounting, and financial management. The VP Finance & Administration works very closely with the Chief Financial Officer on Staff and the contracted Auditor. Thus, interpersonal communications, contracting, and collaboration are also high-value areas. However, the screening will satisfy that the applicant has adequate numeracy and a basic understanding or grasp of basic financial management concepts (such as balancing, budgeting, tracking and/or monitoring expenses, financial systems, reporting, and/or similar).

4.2.2 President: business administration, records management, project management, and governance. The President is also the Spokesperson for LSU so communications, public relations, media relations, governmental relations, political science, marketing, writing, social media and similar are also examples of valuable skill sets. However, the screening will simply satisfy that that the applicant understands or grasps basic business administration processes (in areas such as record keeping, team building, collaboration, human resources, financial management, marketing, sales, and/or similar) and governance concepts (such as policy, rules of order, board participation, and/or similar).

4.2.3 Vice President Student Life: event planning, communications, counseling, project management, psychology, and education. Additional high-value areas include volunteering (volunteer recruitment, management and appreciation), interpersonal communications, promotions, team building, human resources, financial management, marketing, and leadership. However, the screening will simply satisfy that the applicant has the ability to plan and execute programs, services and activities for the membership.

4.2.4 Vice President Internal: activism or advocacy on ethical and social development issues relating to race, ethnicity, culture, religion, class, disability, age, gender, sex, and sexuality. This position also has significant leadership responsibilities with Advisors, so supervision, leadership, management, collaboration, team building, interpersonal communications and systems thinking are valuable areas of experience. However, the screening will simply satisfy that the applicant has the ability to understand complex social issues and develop services, programming and activities that will help promote inclusion and acceptance of human diversity.

4.2.5 Vice President External: Be responsible for the public relations of LSU; keep Council informed of Provincial and Federal Government post-secondary educational policies, including any aspect of the UPass program; handle inquiries and promote friendly relations with external student societies; and have such other duties as are outlined in the Bylaws or assigned by Council from time to time.

4.3 Eligibility Requirements – Members-at-Large (Designated)

All nominees must meet all the requirements outlined in Bylaw 9.5. In addition to the completion and signature of any forms as may be required at the time of application, applicants for eligibility for Aboriginal Representative, International Students’ Representative, and Diversity and Inclusion Representative positions must provide a current resumé or curriculum vitae (or similar) demonstrating knowledge or experience (lived, worked, or paid) in advocating for (or activism on behalf of) the constituency identified in the title of the designated Representative position. The application must include the applicant’s full legal name and two (2) professional references (non-family members) and one (1) academic reference that are current and verifiable. A simplified version of a resumé or curriculum vitae (or similar) is acceptable, but it should at least include paid or unpaid work, education (or studies) or any other life or experience-based familiarity with issues impacting, or impacted by, constituencies listed in the title of the Representative position.Additionally:

4.3.1 Activism or advocacy on behalf of self or others who belong to the constituency identified in the title of the position sought must be demonstrated.Refer to the LSU Bylaws for more information.

4.3.2 Applicantsmust indicate a willingness and ability to serve and act year-round.

4.3.3 Applicants develop education, advocacy and awareness campaigns, programs, initiatives and services. Thus, planning and implementation skills in these areas are desirable (such as volunteer management, participation, engagement, marketing, communications, public relations, social media, budget development, program development/management, event planning, event participation, special topic research, advocacy campaign development, curriculum design, marketing and communications, promotions, committee participation, collaboration, team building, personal development, and/or similar). However, the screening process will simply satisfy that the applicant understands the special circumstances, barriers and challenges facing students of the constituency listed in the title of the position.

4.3.4 Life experience due to personal identity or experience is an acceptable standard, except in the case of Aboriginal Students and International Students, where applicants must be (respectively) an Aboriginal student, or an international student.

4.3.4.1 However, regardless of identity or life experience, the applicant must make it clear how they have been an activist or advocate for their own self or on behalf of others and why this qualifies them to stand for election in the said position.

4.4 Eligibility Screening and Appeal Process

4.4.1 Applicants may apply for consideration of eligibility for more than one position at a time, provided the following conditions are met:

4.4.1.1 Their cover letter indicates their desire to be considered for more than one position, and which positions they would like to also be considered for;

4.4.1.2 The accompanying application documentation specifically addresses how they meet the criteria for each position.

4.4.1.3 To keep paperwork to a minimum, applicants should avoid submitting separate application packages for each position they would like to be considered for. However, as long as submissions submitted separately mention their previous submission(s) and meet the other requirements of this policy, they will be considered.

4.4.2 The eligibility screening period will occur prior to the call for candidates.

4.4.3 The eligibility screening announcement will usually on the first day of classes, but never later than the third day that classes start in the fall semester. In the case of a by-election, the announcement will normally occur at least ten (10) days prior to the call for candidates for the by-election.

4.4.3.1 The posting will include full information on where to find application policies, procedures and guidelines, the deadline date and time for applications, and how to access help with the application process, including office hours, phone number and email address.

4.4.3.2 Full information on all electoral policies and roles and duties will be posted on the LSU website.

4.4.3.3 Members who want additional information or printed copies of the policies may make such requests at the front desk of LSU during regular office hours at a cost to the member. Additionally, these policies are available on the LSU website during the election period to all members.

4.4.4 The deadline for applications for eligibility will be posted on the website and the poster announcing elections.

4.4.4.1 Applications must be submitted and signed in hard copy by dropping of a printed application at the front desk of the LSU office. The time and date of drop-off will be verified by front desk staff if dropped off in person. Submissions without this verification may be considered invalid.

4.4.4.2 Applicants must also complete and sign any forms as may be required at the time of application such as the Academic Standing form or permission forms to contact references.

4.4.5 The Screening Committee will convene at least twice to review applications; once to create the list of approved applications and develop the plan for dividing the tasks; and once to approve the eligibility decision list.

4.4.6 The Screening Committee will not comment on the relative strength of a member’s application. The determination will simply be that a member is “eligible” or “ineligible.”

4.4.6.1 Decisions of eligibility or ineligibility will be based solely on the conditions listed in 4.1 – 4.4 of this policy, misconduct of the applicant, or based upon falsification of qualifications.

4.4.7 The Screening Committee will follow the instructions of the DRO or the CRO in finalizing this list and the other processes that follow internally.

4.4.8 The approved decision of the Screening Committee will be communicated to members using the email address provided on the application. Normally this communication is sent by the DRO or CRO. In no event will information on the eligibility decision of other members be communicated to individual members. That is to say that individual applicants are only privy to information on their own application decision, not on the outcome of other members’ applications.

4.4.9 The Screening Committee will fully consider each submission based upon what is documented by the member. Failure to adequately document or make clear how experience, education, or knowledge qualifies them for the position sought is not considered a legitimate reason for appeal.

4.4.10 The Electoral Committee may refuse or reject false submissions by members seeking eligibility. Furthermore, the committee may disqualify that member from seeking eligibility or candidacy in the future.

4.4.11 The Electoral Committee may deny a member’s eligibility if there are irregularities at any point during the qualifying phase. Irregularities or misconduct occurring post-qualifying are dealt with under Policy B2520, Campaigning and Candidacy.

4.4.12 Once a member’s eligibility is approved by the Electoral Committee and communicated to that member, that member is still not an approved candidate, but rather they are eligible for candidacy. It is the member’s responsibility to take all additional required steps in order to satisfy the rules of Candidacy as outlined in Policy B2520, Candidacy and Campaigning.

4.4.13 LSU sincerely appreciates all members who are willing and able to serve the membership on Council. Denial of eligibility is not a punitive measure and those whose eligibility is rejected will be encouraged to run for election as a Council member or alternative position for which they qualify.

4.5 Correspondence, Conduct and Documentation

4.5.1 It is the member’s responsibility to include a current email address and phone number on their resumé or curriculum vitae and regularly monitor email and phone for correspondence from the Screening Committee.

4.5.1.1 Email sent by the Screening Committee and/or voice messages left will be considered ‘delivered.’ Failure of the applicant to pick up the message or check email is not normally considered a valid reason for appeal.

4.5.1.2 Due to the extremely tight timeframes of the electoral cycle, applicants will be given a maximum of twenty-four (24) hours to respond to inquiries from the Screening Committee or its representative. Failure to respond to inquiries during the screening process will be considered as a withdrawal from the eligibility screening process and the member’s application will be denied. This will be communicated to the email address provided.

4.5.2 The Screening Committee will normally check at least one of the references provided to verify the information provided by the member. Due to restricted time and resources, this means that the reference is available to talk to a member of the Screening Committee at a reasonable hour of the day, and that he or she must be able to easily communicate in English.

4.5.2.1 LSU does not guarantee making accommodations or adjustments for time zone and language differences.

4.5.2.2 If the reference check cannot occur, the member will be asked to provide an alternate reference or references. Failure to do so in the timeframe indicated in the email, conversation or voice message will result in denial of eligibility status.

4.5.2.3 If the applicant fails to provide the complete or correct contact information for the reference, the Screening Committee may deem the application incomplete and deny the applicant’s eligibility.

4.5.3 Members wishing to appeal this decision will follow the additional steps outlined in their letter of decision from the Screening Committee and this Policy.

4.5.3.1 In the event that the appeal process deliberations overlap with the nomination period of the elections or by-elections, the applicant must still meet posted nomination deadlines. This means that the applicant does not get additional time to collect nomination signatures.

4.5.4 All proceedings of the Screening Committee are strictly confidential and will proceed in compliance with the BC Personal Information Privacy Act and LSU’s privacy and confidentiality policy and/or procedures. Furthermore, those serving as the individual or group responsible for screening will abide by Policy C1000, Code of Conduct, regardless of whether or not they are elected members of Council.

4.6 Appeals
Members who are denied eligibility status may appeal the decision within two (2) school days after the decision is communicated. Due to tight timeframes, appeals received after this time will not be considered.

4.6.1 Appeals must be made in writing to the individual identified in the letter of decision sent by the Screening Committee.

4.6.2 The request for appeal must include the reason(s) why the applicant is appealing the decision. Based on this alone, the CRO or designate will decide whether the appeal is valid and how and when it will happen. This information will be communicated to the applicant at the email address or phone number provided.

4.6.3 All regulations of this policy pertaining to applicant conduct, correspondence, and documentation apply to the appeal process.

4.6.4 The CRO or designate (usually the DRO) will communicate the final decision to the applicant. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.

4.7 Amendments to this Policy

The CRO will conduct elections within the guidelines of the Bylaws and policies as outlined in Bylaw 9.1.1. Should there be a conflict between the policies and Bylaws, the Bylaws will overrule any discrepancies.

FACT SHEET

Relevant Dates

Approved: July 12, 2013
Effective: July 12, 2013
Review Date: April 1, 2014 (tentative)
Updated: TBA

History

July 31, 2013 Section 4.4.4.1 of this policy was updated to reflect current practices. Approved by Resolution of Council on July 31, 2013.
July 12, 2013 This is a new policy approved by Council resolution to support the updated Bylaws which came into effect on March 1, 2013.

Related Policy

B2000 – 2011 Roles and Duties Policies for Directors
B2025 Electoral Committee Terms of Reference
B2500 Elections, By-elections and Referenda
B2520 Candidacy and Campaigning
B2530 Chief Returning Officer
B2050 Stipends and Timesheets
B1003 Council Code of Conduct
B1005 Oath of Office
B1006 Discipline

References and Acknowledgements:

Not applicable.

Candidacy and Campaigning Policy

Policy No.: B2520
Category: Council and Self-Governance
Effective Date: July 12, 2013

1.0 POLICY

Members who wish to stand for election for Langara Students’ Union (LSU) Council must meet LSU candidacy requirements and processes to be declared official candidates and have their names appear on the ballots. Additionally, throughout the pre-campaign and campaigning period, candidates must conduct themselves in a manner becoming of LSU representatives and consistent with the regulations of this policy. Misconduct may result in disqualification. Finally, elected members and/or incumbents must complete additional steps prior to becoming official members of Council such as signing the Code of Conduct and swearing the Oath of Office.

Per Bylaw Article9.1.1 (iv), the Chief Returning Officer (CRO), if any, has the authority to change or cause to be changed this Policy as the CRO sees fit to conduct elections or by-elections, so long as the changes do not contradict LSU Bylaws.

2.0 RATIONALE AND PRINCIPLES

2.1 It is important to the fairness and integrity of the electoral process to have and enforce uniform rules that apply to all candidates and those seeking candidacy.

2.2 As a member-led organization Langara Students’ Union (LSU) promotes a high level of Council accountability and it is in members’ best interest to have individuals held to high standards of ethical behaviour and conduct.

2.3 It is important that the electoral process and rules reflect the values and mission statements of LSU as referenced respectively in Policies A1002 and A1001.

2.4 This Policy provides greater detail about the candidacy and campaigning so that those seeking election know how to appropriately conduct themselves.

3.0 SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

3.1 Scope
This Policy applies to LSU members who wish to run for election for LSU Council. It mainly deals with LSU processes and member conduct expectations throughout the electoral period.

This Policy does not apply to the eligibility screening process, but rather picks up where Policy B2510, Electoral Eligibility leaves off.

3.2 Definitions

3.2.1 Members At Large (MAL)
Members At Largerepresentatives attend each Council meeting to develop and implement programs, services, activities and initiatives that create a welcoming environment for, and promotes the education, awareness and inclusion of, issues impacting students who may otherwise face discrimination or barriers to successful social inclusion and integration.Members At Largeserveyear-round, even when Council is not in session. There are seven elected Members At Large positions. Three of the seven General Members are designated to serve as the International Students’ Representative, Aboriginal Students’ Representative, the Diversity and Inclusion Representative. The three designated positions and the four General Representativescollectively are the Members At Large Representatives as per Bylaw 6.2.2.

3.2.2 All-Candidates Forum
An event held during the election campaigning period where candidates can introduce themselves, share their platform statements, and answer questions from member present.

3.2.3 Application and Applicant
The ‘application’ refers to the documentation submitted as well as the completed and signed forms as may be required at the time of application. This includes a resumé, curriculum vitae (or similar), cover letter, list of references combined with their contact information, and any other documentation provided. Likewise, the member submitting the application is referred to as the ‘applicant.’

3.2.4 Candidates and Candidacy
Candidates are individual LSU members who have (a) met the requirements of eligibility as may be required per Policy B2510, Electoral Eligibility, and (b) who have successfully completed additional steps and met requirements and criteria as set out in this policy. Candidacy refers to the state of being an official electoral candidate for a specific position on LSU Council.

3.2.5 Campaigning and Campaigning Period
Campaigning refers to the act of directly or indirectly promoting oneself for election. The Campaigning Period is the time between the confirmation of candidacy of individual candidates (when campaigning is open) and the close of the campaigning period.

3.2.6 Chief Returning Officer
The CRO is an impartial third-party that is hired on contract to ensure the integrity of the election process and the conduct of open, fair, and impartial elections, by-elections and referenda in accordance with Langara Students’ Union (LSU) Bylaws, policies, and procedures.

3.2.7 Members At Large
Members At Largeare elected, voting members of Council and are responsible for attending Council meetings, responsibly exercising their vote, and serving on at least two Committees of Council. Council members serve only when Council is in session, which is usually October through April, unless special meetings are called. Out of the seven (7) “Members At Large” seats on Council, three (3) are reserved on a preferential basis for members who identify as students who are international, Aboriginal and who represents Diversity and Inclusion membershipconstituency on campus asper Bylaw article 6.2.2

3.2.8 Electoral Committee
The Electoral Committee is a standing committee of Council with the roles, composition and powers as set out in Policy B2025, Electoral Committee Terms of Reference.

3.2.9 Executive Director
The Executive Director (ED) is the only hired employee of Council and is included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The ED is responsible for leading all LSU operations and supporting Council members who have programming, service and project portfolio duties. Staff report to the ED, unless Council opts to not hire an ED, in which case Council is supported directly by Staff.

3.2.10 ‘In Good Standing’
Per Bylaw Article 2.4, a member ‘in good standing’ is one who has met the requirements for membership and is not otherwise suspended or expelled from membership in the Union. Per Article 2.1, this also means that the member is a student of Langara who has registered in at least one (1) three-credit course for the current College semester and paid fees to the Union.

3.2.11 Executive Board
The Executive Boardmembers are elected, voting positions on Council who work very closely with the ED, if any, and Staff. The Executive Board have oversight and managing duties and serve year-round. Listed alphabetically, the Executive Board of LSU are the President, Vice President Finance and Administration, Vice President Internal, Vice President Student Life, and Vice President External Affairs collectively the Executive Board.

3.2.12 Nominee and Nominator
A nominee is an LSU member in good standing who has been duly nominated for candidacy for a specific position on Council in an election or by-election. A nominator is a LSU member in good standing who has duly nominated a nominee for candidacy in an election.

3.2.13 Pre-candidacy Period
The pre-candidacy period is the time between the announcement of election or by-election and the Call for Nominations.

3.2.14 Qualifying Period
Members who would like to become candidates for an Executive Board position or A designated position such as the Aboriginal Student Representative or the International Student Representative must satisfy that they meet certain requirements as set out in Policy B2510, Electoral Eligibility. The Qualifying Period refers to the span of time when those members are being screened for eligibility for candidacy. There is no qualifying period for those seeking candidacy as non-designated Member At Large positions.

3.2.15 Screening Period
The Screening Period takes place at the same time as the Pre-Candidacy Period but it is a different process. The Screening Period commences at the end of the Qualifying Period and refers to the time span when a Screening Sub-committee of the Electoral Committee ensures that those who wish to run for an Executive Board or designated Member At Large position meet certain baseline criteria as set out in Bylaw and Policy. There is no Screening Period for those who seek candidacy for non-designated Member At Large position.

3.2.16 Screening Committee
The Screening Committee refers to the Electoral Committee or designated screening group or individual responsible for making decisions on eligibility requirements as described in Policy B2510, Electoral Eligibility.

3.2.17 Staff
Staff refer to those who are employed as Regular Staff under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

4.0 REGULATIONS

4.1 Accessing Information

4.1.1 As elections take place at the start of the Fall semester which is the busiest time of year for LSU, members are encouraged to access as much information about elections on-line.

4.1.1.1 All electoral information and policies will be posted on the LSU website as of the date the elections or by-elections are announced. Additionally, users can print copies of LSU Bylaws and policies available on the website.

4.1.1.2 LSU Staff do their utmost to keep up with front desk traffic, but members who wish to get information in-person are asked to keep in mind that immediate service cannot be guaranteed during this busy time.

4.1.2 Members who would like to be nominated but require extraordinary assistance or accommodation in accessing forms and/or completing the nomination requirements on account of a disability may ask for additional assistance by contacting the LSU front desk no later than two (2) days prior to the close of nominations. However, in no event can LSU staff, volunteers or Directors collect nomination signatures on behalf of members seeking election.

4.2 Nomination Requirements

4.2.1 Nominees must be members of LSU ‘in good standing.’

4.2.2 Nominees cannot be an employee of LSU.

4.2.3 Nominees may only be nominated for one (1) position, and that position must be made clear on the nomination form prior to collecting nominations from fellow LSU members.

4.2.4 Nominees for the Executive Board positions, International Students’ Representative and Aboriginal Students’ Representative must have already passed the pre-candidacy eligibility screening process as set out in Policy B2510, Electoral Eligibility. The Electoral Committee or CRO will confirm that they are on the approved eligibility list. In no event will those who have not been screened and approved for eligibility during the Qualifying Period be considered for nomination for Officer and Advisor positions, unless the CRO has decided in advance to extend the deadline for eligibility screening.

4.2.4.1 Members running for the Member At Large non-designated positions do not need to be screened for eligibility per policy 2510, Electoral Eligibility, however, those wishing to run for one of the “Reserved Member At Large Positions” per Bylaw 6.2.2 (i), (ii), (iii) must identify as a student who is international or Aboriginal.

4.2.5 Nominees must submit the official LSU ‘Nomination Package’ by the published deadline. No exceptions.

4.2.5.1 The Nomination package is available at the LSU front desk.

4.2.5.2 Members wishing to run in the election or by-election must be nominated by not less than fifteen (15) other LSU members ‘in good standing.’Furthermore, for verification purposes, the nominators must legibly complete the nomination form using their full legal name and student ID number.

4.2.5.2.1 Nominees are encouraged to collect more than fifteen (15) nominees in the event that the status of a nominator cannot be verified or is determined to be ineligible to nominate the candidate.

4.2.5.2.2 Nominees are not given an opportunity to collect more nominator signatures and information if the nominee fails to achieve fifteen (15) eligible, verifiable nominators.

4.2.5.3 For verification purposes, full legal name of the nominee must appear on the nomination form and the personal information on the form must be legible. If member wishes to run using their adopted name or nickname, this name will appear in brackets on the ballot beside their legal name.Nominees must fill out and submit a change of name request form with their nomination packages.

4.2.5.4 Accurate and up-to-date contact information must be included on the nomination form. All communication to the nominee applicants will be directed to the email and/or phone addresses as submitted on the form. Failure on the part of the nominee applicant to submit accurate information or submit updated contact information is not a grounds to challenge any ruling of the Electoral Committee, the CRO, the DRO or LSU Staff.

4.2.5.5 Nominees must prove that they are members of LSU in good standing by producing a valid Langara College Student Photo Identification Card (Student ID Card). Furthermore, since the Student ID Card does not have an expiry date, the nominee must also submit a copy of their “My Langara” class schedule.

4.2.5.6 Platform statements must be submitted in person with the nomination packages by the nominee no later than the nomination deadline. No exceptions.

4.2.5.7 Nomination forms must be completed and signed by the member seeking nomination.

4.2.5.8 Nominations will include a signed statement that the nominee (should they be meet nomination requirements and be declared an official candidate) will abide by all LSU electoral rules, procedures, conduct requirements, policies and Bylaws. Failure to do so will result in immediate rejection of the nomination application.

4.2.5.9 Submission of a nomination package does not guarantee approval of the nomination.

4.2.6 Nominees are not official candidates until their nomination packages have been processed and approved.

4.2.6.1 Nomination packages are processed by the Electoral Committee under the direction of the CRO, or Staff under the Direction of the Electoral Committee.

4.2.6.2 Decisions of the Electoral Committee, CRO or Staff assigned to process nomination packages will be communicated to the nominee using the contact information on the form.

4.2.6.3 A nominee deemed an ‘eligible candidate’ becomes an official candidate upon the date that written confirmation is sent from the Electoral Committee or CRO as appropriate The names of approved nominees will be added to the list of candidates. This list is published.

4.2.6.4 A nominee deemed an ‘ineligible candidate’ is denied candidacy for the election upon the date that notification from the Electoral Committee or CRO is sent. Ineligible candidates are not permitted to campaign, nor will their names appear on the electoral ballot.

4.2.7 Candidacy and Campaigning Requirements
4.2.7.1 Candidates will follow all electoral regulations found in LSU Bylaws, policy and other rules as published. This includes adhering to LSU Policy C1000, Member Code of Conduct. The CRO has complete authority to oversee the elections and regulate appeals. Candidates must conduct themselves in a respectful manner throughout the election.

4.2.7.2 All candidates must attend an ‘All Candidates Forum.’

4.2.7.2.1 Failure to fully attend the All Candidates Forum will result in immediate disqualification of that candidate.

4.2.7.3 Campaigning may only occur during the posted dates approved for campaigning.

PLEASE NOTE: Section 4.2.7.4 has been temporarily suspended by Council and replaced with the following:

Be it resolved that section 4.2.7.4 of Policy B2520: Candidacy and Campaigning be suspended for the duration of the Fall 2018 Election;

Be it further resolved that for the duration of the Fall 2018 Election, the following policy will apply regarding online campaigning:

(a) Candidates may engage in online campaigning, subject to the other provisions of Policy B2520; Candidacy and Campaigning. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and othersocial media.
(b) Candidates may not send unsolicited emails or other electronic messages to electors, including through the use of emails mailing lists.
(c) Candidates may not use the online resources of the LSU, of clubs, or of other student organizations when campaigning.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision in Policy B2520: Candidacy and Campaigning, candidates may engage in online campaigning during the polling period.

4.2.7.4 In accordance with Bylaw Article 9.16.3, online nominations, campaigning and elections are not permitted. This means that no computerized, electronic or social media campaigning is allowed.

4.2.7.5 Candidates must campaign on their own behalf: No campaign managers are allowed. This promotes equal opportunity for all candidates.

4.2.7.6 Candidate’s campaign is prohibited from defaming any Student, Member, Director, Langara College faculty, staff of LSU, Candidate or any other person, whether orally, through campaign materials or otherwise as per Bylaw 9.8.2.

4.2.7.7 Campaign expenses must not exceed the maximum $30 limit including items donated as part of the candidates’ campaign materials.

4.2.7.8 No campaigning may occur after the campaign period is closed and/or polling is taking place.

4.2.7.9 Candidates will spend no more than the amount permitted by the Electoral Committee on campaign expenses as communicated in the nomination package. This is at the candidate’s own expense.

4.2.7.9.1 Upon request, Candidates must produce receipts accounting for all campaign expenses.

4.2.8 The Electoral Committee and/or DRO, reporting to the CRO, or Staff, reporting to the Electoral Committee monitor candidate conduct and compliance with electoral rules and regulations.

4.2.8.1 Those found to be in violation of any of the candidacy and campaign rules will be disqualified by the CRO per LSU Bylaw 9.1.1 (iv) and 9.13.1. The disqualified candidate will not be eligible for election.

4.2.8.2 No candidate is allowed to harass, intimidate, belittle, threaten the CRO, DRO, Electoral Committee members, polling sitters, LSU volunteer, board members of the LSUand/or LSUStaff. The CRO has the authority to disqualify candidates who violate the LSU policies and Bylaws as outlined in Bylaw 9.1.1 (iv).
Candidates will be disqualified for the following misconduct:

(i) sending unwanted persistent communication that is, abusive, demeaning, derogatory.
(ii) Engage in communication or conduct that is perceived as bullying, threatening or intimidating.
(iii) Disruptive, loud, and/or aggressive conduct at the polling station,election events or at the LSU office.

4.2.8.3 Members wishing to alert the Electoral Committee of candidate or campaign mis-conduct must do so in person or in writing by contacting the Chief Returning Officer at cro@lsu.bc.ca. If there is no CRO then communication should be sent to the Electoral Committee.

4.2.9 Candidates must remove all campaign materials on display including posters by the deadline posted and always prior to when the polls open.

4.2.9.1 Candidates’ platform statement will remain on the LSU website.

4.3 Conduct During Polling

4.3.1 At the close of the campaign period candidates must cease all campaign efforts. Candidates must adhere to clause 4.2.8.2 of this policy.

4.3.2 Candidates found campaigning during polling will be disqualified from the election.

4.4 Appeals

4.4.1 Per Bylaw Article 6.7.1, disqualified candidates are permitted to appeal the decision provided certain conditions are met.

4.4.1.1 Rejected or disqualified candidates will have seventy-two (72) hours or until the close of campaigning and voting, whichever is sooner, to appeal the decision.

4.4.1.2 Disqualified candidates address their appeal to the CRO (cro@lsu.bc.ca), if any, or the Electoral Committee, if no CRO is in place. Appeals must be submitted in electronic format by email or in print format in person to the LSU head office by the deadline. Appeals must be signed by the disqualified candidate. No exceptions will be made unless arranged in advance directly and in writing with the CRO.

4.4.1.3 Appeals will include the full legal name of the disqualified candidate.

4.4.1.4 Appeals will cite the reason for appealing the disqualification, including any counter-evidence available.

4.4.1.5 The CRO, athis or her sole discretion, will determine how the case will be deliberated and make the final ruling. Unless otherwise communicated in writing, the CRO will be the only point of contact with the member appealing the decision during this time.

4.4.1.6 The CRO may delegate any of the appeal processes or tasks to the Electoral Committee. If this is delegated, the decision of the Electoral Committee is final.

4.4.1.7 The CRO will inform the DRO of all outcomes and involve the DRO at any point deemed appropriate and necessary.

4.4.2 Candidates who are disqualified in the fall election are not eligible to run in another election or by-election of the same academic year. Candidates who are disqualified in a by-election are not eligible to run in another election or by-election held during the same or following semester.

4.4.2.1 The DRO will be in charge of keeping records in accordance with the BC Personal Information Privacy Act and LSU policies on privacy and confidentiality. Furthermore, the DRO will bring forward the record of decisions to the CRO in future election cycle(s).

4.5 Withdrawals

4.5.1 Candidates may withdraw themselves from the election or by-election.

4.5.1.1 Candidates who wish to withdraw must do so in writing, addressed to the CRO, and received no later than forty-eight (48) hours prior to when the polls open.

4.5.1.2 For logistical reasons, notices of withdrawal received later than 48 hours prior to when the polls open will not have their name removed from the ballot.

4.5.1.2.1 Votes cast in favor of the withdrawn candidate will not be counted toward the results for that position.

4.5.1.3 Candidates who have withdrawn cannot re-enter the same election or by-election.

4.6 Changes to Electoral Schedule

4.6.1 The CRO may change or extend the dates of elections or any of the deadlines leading up to election polling as the CRO deems fit.

4.7 Related Policies

C1000 Code of Conduct
B2510 Eligibility

FACT SHEET

Relevant Dates

Approved: July 12, 2013
Effective: July 12, 2013
Review Date: April 1, 2013 (tentative)

History

July 12, 2013 This is a new policy approved by Council resolution to support the updated Bylaws which came into effect on March 1, 2013.

Related Policy

A1001 Mission Statement
A1002 Values Statement
B2000 – 2011 Roles and Duties Policies for Directors
B2025 Electoral Committee Terms of Reference
B2500 Elections, By-elections and Referenda
B2510 Electoral Eligibility
B2530 Chief Returning Officer
B2050 Stipends ad Timesheets
B1003 Council Code of Conduct
B1005 Oath of Office
B1006 Discipline

References and Acknowledgements:

Not applicable.