ELECTIONS AND REFERENDA
Elections for the DSU are governed under By-law 10. Elections take place each year but can occur more than once in a given year. Elections in normal circumstances take place in April of each year in what is called the general elections. In this general election, both the Executive Committee (board of the union) and Student Council are elected by means of a ballot. The exact timeline of elections is always set by the Executive Committee prior and is communicated to the Chief Electoral Officer, otherwise known as the CEO, the general administrator of the elections. By-elections may also take place following the resignation of one or multiple directors of the Executive Committee or Councillors of the Student Council.
The Chief Electoral Officer is the head officer and overseer of the elections and is tasked with ensuring a fair and efficient electoral process. In order to accomplish this goal, they are supported by the Elections Commission, composed of appointed officers who help with various tasks that arise during the process, such as organizing debates, preparing ballots and counting ballots. The CEO is appointed by the Executive Committee but nominated by the Student Council. This process is outlined in By-law 7.
The election process tends to be divided into three phases, the first being the nominations process. Depending on which position a potential candidate is seeking, they will need to obtain 15- 20 signatures of students who are eligible to vote. Following the close of nominations, the elections commission will review the nomination forms to ensure they are all compliant before declaring the official candidates. Following this, there is a campaign period that happens at minimum over the course of one week before the start of the polling. Finally, the voting period takes place over the course of two days and must include at least 16 hours of polling. Following this, votes are tabulated, and the list of winners is submitted to the Executive Committee.
The Elections Commission is also tasked with overseeing and administering referenda when they take place. Referenda are used in the case of modification of student membership fees, to call a strike or to amend By-laws or the Constitution. The goal of a referendum is to consult the membership directly on important questions. The requirements for the use of referenda are indicated in the By-laws of the Union. The Executive Committee calls a referendum when needed and must give at least 14 days' notice before the day where voting can take place.
A referendum can also be called by the Student Council by a vote of 2/3 majority which is subject to ratification by the Executive Committee or through the calling of a Special General Assembly by the means of a petition which requires such a petition to be signed by no less than 5% of the membership.
DSU Elections Commission
The Elections Commission is tasked with overseeing and administering the overall electoral and voting process for all DSU elections and referenda. The head of the commission is the Chief Electoral Officer, who can name a deputy referred to as the Deputy Elections Officer. The elections commission is given a budget to manage their elections each year. If you wish to help out during elections and join the Elections Commission, feel free to reach out! For any questions concerning elections, please contact email@example.com