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Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Campaigns

Proposal for Board of Governors Electoral Policy

To the Nominating Committee of the Carleton University Board of Governors,

The processes and guidelines for elections to the Board of Governors play a key role in determining whether students have effective student participation in university affairs. It is critical that Board policy facilitates a fair electoral process, is responsive to the specific needs of students, and allows for a meaningful and informed selection process.

Therefore, we respectfully submit the below recommendations for your consideration, which are motivated by these goals.

Student Input and Oversight of Elections

Presently, electoral policy is determined entirely by the University Secretary, without student input or Board oversight. There is no appeal process. We believe that the Board would benefit from collaborating with student associations, who already have expertise in running elections, and have processes and procedures in place that best meet the needs of students.

We recommend that the Board establish a Student Electoral Committee, composed of the University Secretary and representatives of the Carleton Undergraduate Students’ Association (CUSA) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA). This Committee will oversee the electoral process, determining procedures and guidelines to make sure that they are appropriate and incorporate the needs of students. Students would be able to appeal any decision to the Committee.

Allow Students to Campaign Without Censorship

Presently, electoral guidelines are in place that ban candidates from campaigning on a platform—which means that they are banned from discussing student issues. This censorship of speech prevents students from debating their values and priorities, and makes it impossible for voters to make informed decisions.

We recommend that the Board removes the ban on campaign platforms, and explicitly affirms the right of candidates to discuss and debate student issues without censorship.

We hope that you will consider these recommendations carefully, and move to implement them immediately. We believe that a student-centric electoral process with meaningful student participation will produce more constructive relationships between students and the Board.

Sincerely,

Michael Bueckert
Graduate Student Representative on the Board of Governors

Greg Owens
Undergraduate Student Representative on the Board of Governors

Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah
President, Graduate Students’ Association