Student elections held when student voters not present at TRU

Devan C. Tasa, Omega Contributor  Ω

While TRU students were writing exams and enjoying their holidays, elections were held to choose student representatives for TRU’s board of governors and senate.

The elections were held online between Dec. 8 and Dec. 22.  The last regular day of classes for students was Dec. 2.

According to TRU Acting Registrar Marion Hannaford, the election was to be held from Nov. 22 to Dec 5, but a problem was found at the end of the original nomination period.

“What happened at the end of nominations was we discovered there was a problem with the voters’ list,” Hannaford said.

“This was the first time we had actually put Open Learning and campus [students] together.

“We thought to be fair we should get it right and restart nominations.”

According to the election procedures, there must be a three-week nomination period, a period of four weeks between nominations and voting, and then a two-week voting period.

The restarting on nominations placed the voting period in December.

According to Hannaford, there was no way to move the election to January.

“What had to be taken into account was the times set out in the election procedures,” Hannaford said.
“We could not deviate from that.”

Hannaford says that for most elections, there aren’t any major problems and the election procedures usually ensure that the election is held in late November and early December.

TRUSU said that it was not happy with this year’s election timing.

“That’s a bad time to have people participate in an election,” said TRUSU Executive Director Nathan Lane.

Lane said holding an election in late November and early December was a bad idea.

“The middle of the year is actually a poor time to have an election to start with,” Lane said.

“The elections, to improve student opportunities to participate, need to be held towards the end or the beginning of a year because it allows people to plan a year of participation.”

The TRUSU’s preference would be to have the election in March at the same time as its own elections.

“There [are] actually a lot of places where the board of governors and senate elections are conducted with the student union election,” Lane said.

“You’d vote in the same voting process and the institution would recognize those representatives.

“That’s something that we’d be open to but the institution would have obviously to make some changes to their process.”

Voter turnout for the elections was approximately 2.2 per cent. 13,689 eligible voters cast 304 votes to elect one representative on the board and 414 votes to elect four representatives for the senate.

The turnout for last year’s TRUSU election was 18 per cent.

Elected to represent students on the board was Stephen Adrian Miller with 151 votes.

Elected to the senate was Miller with 160 votes, Dylan Robinson with 67 votes, Jordan Del Giudice with 46 votes and Chris Albinati with 45 votes.

Hannaford says that nominations for the second student position on the board of governors will open in late January or February.

One Response

  1. Marvin Beatty Jan. 24, 2012