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Academic Council Procedures for the Election of Teaching, Non-Academic Staff and Student Representatives

Classification number ACD 1599.06
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner President
Approval date September 16, 2014
Review date September 2017
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020

Purpose

The purpose of these Procedures is to outline the general rules and guidelines that will govern the conduct of elections for elected positions on the University's Academic Council.

Definitions

For the purposes of these Procedures the following definitions apply:

“Campaigning” means any attempt to influence voters or solicit votes with respect to any candidate during the election process.

“Campaign Period” means the designated timeframe during which candidates may campaign.

“Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)” means the University Secretary or designate who is responsible for the conduct of the elections within the established policies and procedures, as amended.

“Election Conduct Warning” means a notice in writing made to a candidate of a violation of election procedures.

“Nomination Period” means the designated timeframe during which candidates may submit nomination materials to be considered as a candidate in the election.

“Voting Period” means the designated timeframe during which online voting will occur.

Procedures

General

  1. The Executive Committee of Academic Council (ACX) or its successor Committee, will have overall responsibility and authority for elections to Academic Council. 

  2. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) shall have the following responsibilities in the conduct of the Academic Council elections:

    1. Recommending the timelines for Academic Council elections to ACX;

    2. Updating of the Academic Council elections website;

    3. Dissemination of information about the elections to relevant constituency groups;

    4. Providing nomination forms and instructions on the conduct of the Academic Council elections;

    5. Convening an information session for all candidates after the Nomination Period has concluded and prior to the start of the Campaign Period.

    6. Verifying the eligibility of all nominees for the Academic Council elections;

    7. Investigating and reporting to ACX any irregularities and infractions of campaigning or voting procedures and the recommendation of sanctions;

    8. Verifying the results of online voting and reporting election results to ACX and Academic Council for confirmation.

    9. Making recommendations to ACX on the updating and revision of Academic Council election policy and procedures.

  3. Email communication regarding Academic Council elections will be to official University addresses only (@ontariotechu.ca or @ontariotechu.net).

Nomination

  1. Individuals who wish to stand for election must fill out the required nomination forms and provide all other relevant information requested by the CEO. Nomination materials must be submitted according to the specified process and deadlines. Incomplete nomination materials or nomination materials submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. 

  2. Candidate eligibility is determined in accordance with the Academic Council Handbook, as amended. 

  3. Nominations require a minimum number of signatures from nominators who are deemed eligible from within the relevant constituency group of the nominee. Nominees are not eligible to sign their own nomination forms.

    1. Student representative nominees require five (5) nominator signatures;

    2. Teaching and Non-Academic Staff representative nominees require one (1) nominator signature.

  4. Where multiple positions are available in a particular constituency, a candidate may only be nominated for one (1) position. 

  5. The CEO is responsible for determining that all criteria for eligibility for both nominees and nominators has been met. 

  6. Nominees will receive notification of their eligibility status by the CEO. Only nominees who have received confirmation of eligibility will be allowed to stand for election and campaign. 

  7. Nominees for Student representative positions are required to attend a candidates’ information session at a time and place to be determined by the CEO.

  8. When the Nomination Period has closed, if the number of candidates nominated is equal or less than the Academic Council positions available in a particular constituency, the candidates shall be acclaimed.

  9. A nominee may withdraw their nomination by submitting a signed statement to the CEO any time before the close of nominations and at any time thereafter up to two business days following the close of nominations.

Campaigning

  1. Campaigning may only occur during the Campaign Period. 

  2. All candidates shall conduct themselves and their activities in a manner which is considered reasonable, respectful, ethical, and fair. 

  3. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of their campaign are in compliance with University policies and all applicable municipal, provincial and federal laws. 

  4. No candidate may campaign or allow campaigning on their behalf that is in violation of the election procedures. Candidates who are aware of unauthorized campaigning on their behalf must report the issue to the CEO.

  5. No candidate is allowed to interfere or condone interference with another candidate’s campaign including, but not limited to, communication of any misinformation about another candidate, misuse of social media, and/or the destruction, defacing, moving or removal of physical campaign materials. 

  6. Candidates are required to check their University email at least once every 24 hours during the Campaign Period for information from the CEO relating to the election.

  7. Candidate names and personal statements will be posted to the Academic Council election website at the beginning of the Campaign Period.

  8. Campaign information cannot contain reference to particular interests or any type of campaign issue or “platform”.

  9. Candidates are not entitled to use in their campaign any service or resource that is accessible by virtue of their employment at the University and/or position within a campus group or organization. This includes but is not limited to office supplies, equipment, technology, support staff, and distribution lists. 

  10. All expenses incurred during the course of the election campaign are the responsibility of the candidate. 

  11. All campaign information must include:

    1. Name of the candidate;

    2. Position for which the candidate is campaigning; 

    3. The address of the official Academic Council election website; 

    4. An accurate English translation of any information in other languages; 

    5. A reminder to vote during the Voting Period.

  12. Campaign information may not include the University's logo.

  13. Candidates must represent themselves accurately in all campaign information about their accomplishments, certifications, academic credentials, positions held and any other statements intended to influence voters.

  14. Campaigning may not interfere in any way with the normal orderly function of the University. Campaigning is not allowed during classes even with the permission of the course instructor. 

  15. Campaigning is restricted to on-campus and is prohibited in the following areas:

    1. All University administrative, academic and service offices; 

    2. All instructional areas including classrooms, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, labs, meeting rooms and Academic Council rooms; 

    3. Libraries, prayer rooms, designated study areas, the Health Centre, the Flex Centre and change-rooms, cafeterias and food service outlets; 

    4. Student residences;

  16. Campaigning at University events is strictly prohibited.

  17. Candidates are allowed the use of posters and handbills for campaign purposes. Laminated materials, stickers, banners, and other physical displays are prohibited

    1. Posters may be no larger than eleven inches by seventeen inches (11”x17”) and handbills may be no larger than eight and a half inches by eleven inches (8.5” x 11”). Campaign materials do not need to be approved by the CEO in advance of distribution. 

    2. Candidates are limited to a maximum of twenty-five (25) posters on each of the North or Downtown locations. There is no limit to the number of handbills that may be distributed. 

    3. Posting of any kind on any glass surface, on bulletin boards that are designated for specific departments/purposes, in stairwells, in the bathrooms or outside of buildings is prohibited. 

    4. Posters can only be affixed to surfaces by using wall putty such as fun tack or sticky tack. Tape of any kind is prohibited. 

    5. All campaign materials must be removed and disposed of within 48 hours following the close of the Voting Period.

  18. Candidates are allowed use of any freely accessed internet site or social media platform for campaigning purposes.

    1. Candidates who use social media to campaign for elections must create a new account for the elections such that all candidates will start the campaign with zero followers. Only one new account on each chosen platform may be created by each candidate. 

    2. Candidate’s personal social media accounts may not be used for election purposes. 

    3. Candidates are not allowed to utilize any official University social media accounts. 

    4. Communication using social media or posted online must comply with campaign information requirements outlined in these procedures.

    5. All online content and social media use must be public. Candidates must share any social media account/group names, addresses or handles, and links to websites or internet pages with the CEO within 24 hours of being created. All candidates choosing to use social media must provide access (i.e. add, invite, friend, be followed by) to the administrative account provided by the CEO. 

    6. Where applicable to the platform all social media communication must include the hashtag provided by the CEO. 

    7. Candidates may not publish, broadcast, tweet, retweet, post, pin, “tag” or communicate any information related to opposing candidates. 

    8. All online posting and social media activity must cease at the beginning of the Voting Period and all online accounts must be deactivated within twenty-four (24) hours after the close of the Voting Period.

Voting

  1. Voting for Academic Council elections will be conducted online. 

  2. The Voting Period will be forty-eight (48) hours in duration. 

  3. No minimum voter turnout is required to validate an election. Eligible voters are entitled to vote once for each position within their respective constituency. 

  4. The CEO and administrative staff of the University Secretariat are ineligible to vote. 

  5. In order to respect the integrity of the election process voters are entitled to cast their ballots in secret. Candidates or those acting on behalf of a candidate are prohibited from:

    1. Establishing polling stations;

    2. Providing a personal computer or any other personal electronic device for the purpose of voting;

    3. Assisting voters in casting of their vote;

    4. Observing voters as they vote;

    5. Interfering with the voting process;

    6. Casting a ballot other than one’s own;

  6. Notification of the Voting Period and voting process will be communicated by email to relevant constituencies and posted to the Academic Council election website.

Election Results

  1. Depending on the number of vacancies in each constituency group, the candidate(s) with the highest number of votes in the election will be deemed the successful candidate(s). 

  2. In the event of a tie the CEO shall determine the successful candidate by means of conducting a coin toss in the presence of the candidates in question, under the observation of two impartial witnesses.

  3. In the event that a successful candidate is disqualified as a result of misconduct in the election process the candidate with the next highest number of votes will be deemed the successful candidate.

  4. Election results will not be communicated until any investigations of allegations of election misconduct have been concluded.

Violations of the Election Procedures

  1. Allegations of violation of the election procedures must be submitted to the CEO in writing and signed. Complaints submitted anonymously will not be investigated. 

  2. Allegations of violations of the election procedures must be made within one (1) business day of the alleged infraction. Complaints may be made up to one (1) business day following the end of the Voting Period. 

  3. Alleged violations of election procedures will be investigated by the CEO.

    1. The CEO shall inform the respective candidate of the allegations in writing, along with details of the violation that has been alleged to have occurred. The identity of complainants will be kept confidential.

    2. Candidates will be given one (1) business day to comment upon the allegations being made.

Penalties

  1. Where a violation of the elections procedures is deemed to have occurred, the CEO will implement sanctions on a case by case basis, depending on the severity of the infraction. 

  2. If a candidate is found to have committed a violation of the election procedures, one or more of the following penalties may be imposed: 

    1. Election Conduct Warning. 

    2. Public correction and/or apology for false statements in campaign information. 

    3. Penalties under the Student Conduct Policy. 

    4. Disqualification of the candidate from the Academic Council elections. 

  3. The following conduct will result in immediate disqualification of a candidate from the elections: 

    1. Failure to maintain the requirements for candidate eligibility. 

    2. Violation of any procedure related to the online voting process. 

    3. Violation of an Election Conduct Warning from the CEO. 

    4. Any subsequent violation under these procedures whether or not an Election Conduct Warning has been issued in respect of such subsequent violation. 

    5. Failure to report to the CEO a violation of the election procedures by individuals acting on their behalf where the candidate ought reasonably to have known the conduct occurred. 

    6. Any misrepresentation or misinformation communicated regarding an opposing candidate. 

    7. Any other violation found by the CEO to be a serious violation of these procedures

Appeals 

  1. Appeals related to the decision of the CEO may be made in writing to the Chair of ACX.

  2. Appeals must be made within one (1) business day of the receipt of the CEO decision and must contain:If an appeal is submitted while the election is still underway, ACX will render a decision on the appeal within 24 hours.

    1. The specific decision being appealed;
    2. Written documentation of the reason(s) for the appeal;
    3. A summary of the evidence in support of grounds for appeal.
  3. If a candidate is appealing disqualification from the election, the candidate will be allowed to continue their campaign until the outcome of the appeal is determined.

  4. Decisions of ACX are binding.

Election Recall

  1. Where the CEO has determined that significant irregularities or violations of election procedures have occurred, a recommendation may be made to ACX for the election results to be overturned and a new election held.

Relevant legislation

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002, SO 2002, c 8, Sch O

By-Law Number 1 of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Related policies, procedures & documents

Academic Council Handbook