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Elections FAQ

Elections FAQ

UTSU Board

Q: What is the UTSU Board of Directors?

A. The UTSU Board of Directors governs YOUR Students’ Union. It is comprised of members, just like you.

Q:What are the minimum requirements for sitting on the UTSU board of Directors?

• Full-Time status as a UofT undergraduate student, unless you are:

In the School of Theology, the Transitional Year Program or a Professional Employment Year (Students in these categories are, included in the UTSU membership regardless of full-time status).

• All UTSU fees are paid in full
• 18 years of age as of May 1, 2016

Q: How is the UTSU Board structured?

A: The UTSU Board of Directors is structured as follows:

The UTSU is made up of three (3) divisions:

Division I: Members from the Faculty of Arts and Science;
Division II: Members from the Professional Faculties;
Division III: Members from the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union

Furthermore, there are various committees that board members sit on. To view the list and descriptions of these committees visit: utsu.ca/committees

Q: How are the Directors appointed?

A: 1 – By Elections:

Most of the Directors on the UTSU Board are elected by our membership in the Spring elections. Visit the elections page on the UTSU website for details on which seats are open in the upcoming elections: utsu.ca/elections

The UTSU also holds elections in the Fall for by-elections and faculties that offer one (1) year programs. The existing Board, prior to the new terms of office, ratifies newly elected members.

2 – By Appointment:

Further, there are also seven (7) General Equity Directors who are appointed by the Board of Directors. Applications are now open and are due Monday, February 29. Visit utsu.ca/jobs for more information.

UTSU Elections

Q: When are the UTSU elections?

A: The voting dates for the upcoming Fall Elections are:
• Tuesday, October 18
• Wednesday, October 19
• Thursday, October 20

Q: Where and how do I vote?

A: Online voting is available 24-hours a day during the voting period. Members can vote anywhere and at anytime (starting at midnight on October 18) on these days by visiting www.utsu.simplyvoting.com

Members may also vote by visiting a UTSU polling station. Polling stations will be open on October 19th and 20th between 11:00am and 5:00pm at the following locations:

St. George Campus
• Athletic Centre—55 Harbord St *Open only on Oct. 20th
• Bahen Centre for Information Technology—40 St. George St. *Open only on Oct. 20th
• Goldring Student Centre—150 Charles St. W
• Kelly Library—113 St. Joseph St. *Open only on Oct. 20th
• Koffler Building (Cross over from Bahen Centre) *Open only on Oct. 19th (11-12:30, 3-5pm)


  • To vote at a Polling Station, you must present a valid TCard.

Q: How do I run for a seat on the UTSU Board of Directors?

A: Come to the UTSU office, at 12 Hart House Circle, to pick up a nomination package, or download it from the UTSU website (utsu.ca/elections). Nomination packages will be available starting Friday, September 30 at 9:00, until the nomination return deadline, Thursday October 6 at 5:00pm. Complete this package and submit it to the office of the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) in the UTSU office for verification and approval.

• All packages, whether picked up at the UTSU office or downloaded from the website, must be returned, completed in full and in hard copy to the office of the CRO – 12 Hart House Circle – by the end of the nomination period.

Q: How many College/Faculty Director positions on the UTSU Board of Directors are open in this UTSU election?

A: The number of College/Faculty Director seats on the Board is based on the membership of each individual College and Faculty. For this election, there will be the following number of Director seats available for each College/Faculty:

• Innis College (1)
• Transitional Year Program (1)
• Ontario Institute for studies in education of the University of Toronto (1)
• Mathematical and Physical Sciences (1)

Q: Why is my College or Faculty not represented in the list above in question 2?

A: Positions from your college have already been filled from the Spring 2016 election.

Q: What Executive positions are open in this election?

A: There are no executive seats open in this Fall 2016 elections.

Q: Who can vote in the UTSU Election?

A: All UTSU members (with the exception of the Executive Director) are eligible to vote in UTSU elections. UTSU Bylaw II.1 states:

The members of the Union shall be:

  1. All individuals who have registered full-time in a program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate, are taking the equivalent of a full-time course load at the University of Toronto for the current session, and who have paid membership fees to the Union.
  2. Registered students of the Toronto School of Theology.
  3. Registered students of the Transitional Year Program.
  4. Registered students of the Professional Employment Year program.
  5. Members of the Executive Committee during their respective terms in office, including the Executive Director of the Union.

Q: Whom can I vote for in this election?

A: Members can vote for individual seats if they belong to the constituency (e.g. members of University College can vote for directors from University College). All members can vote for every executive seat, with the exception of the Vice-President, Professional Faculties. Only members that belong to professional faculties elect the Vice-President, Professional Faculties.

Q: I voted online or at a polling station but did not receive a ballot for the Director from my College/Faculty. Why?

A: If you did not receive a ballot for the director from your College/Faculty, this is because your College/Faculty has opted to run their own internal elections for their Director seat(s). You will have to contact your College/Faculty Student Association/Union for details on how to vote in their internal elections.

Q: What are the new Board of Directors positions that have been recently created?

A: There are several new Directors and one new Executive position that have been created by changes in the UTSU’s Bylaws. These include:

Vice-President Professional Faculties

Six (6) Academic Directors, one (1) from each of the following academic categories:

• Computer Science
• Humanities
• Life Sciences
• Mathematical and Physical Sciences
• Rotman Commerce
• Social Sciences

Note: The Vice-President, Campus Life is now an elected position

Q: Who is eligible to vote for these new positions?

A: This depends upon whether you are a member of an Academic or a Professional Faculty:

In the case of the Academic Directors, only UTSU members who are part of one or more of the academic categories listed above may vote for a candidate from their constituency(s).

Q: What if I am registered in more than one (1) of the academic categories listed above? In which academic category do I vote?

A: If you are registered in more than one (1) of the academic categories, you may vote in elections for Academic Directors in each category in which you are registered.

Voting in UTSU Elections

Q: What does Single Transferable Vote (STV) mean?

A: STV is a voting system that utilizes ranked balloting, allowing for proportional representation of the membership. If you wish to learn more about STV voting, click on the link provided: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8XOZJkozfI

Q: How do I vote with a ranked ballot?

A: On a ranked ballot, a voter indicates their preferences for who is to hold the position in question. As shown in the example below, a voter indicates their first choice with a numeral “1”, their second choice with a numeral “2” and so on for each candidate that they wish to select.

Q: Do I need to provide a rank for each candidate?

A: No, you may rank some, none, or all candidates on the ballot. The choice is yours.


Q: What is a referendum?

A: A referendum is a vote held by an organization to determine its membership’s position on a particular question. The outcome of a referendum is binding, i.e. the organization must take steps to comply with the outcome of the vote.

Q: I really want to contribute to one side of a referendum campaign, how can I get involved?

A: All referenda questions are phrased as Yes/No/Abstain questions. This means that there will be campaigning in one of two (2) categories: Yes or No. Anyone wishing to campaign on either side must form or join an advocacy committee and register its members with the Chair of the Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC) and the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) and declare its position.

Q: What information do I need to provide to establish a committee?

A: You must provide the Chair of the ERC and the CRO the following information:

1.) The full name of the Advocating Committee.
2.) The name, address and telephone number of the chief agent of the committee.

iii. The names, addresses, telephone number and title of each member of the committee.

Q: There is already an advocacy committee representing my position. Does my group have to join the existing committee or can I create another committee?

A: There can only be one (1) advocacy committee per position, i.e. Yes or No campaign. Therefore, if there is already a registered advocacy committee, all members will have to be registered and work together.

Q: What are the rules for campaigning for a position in a referendum?

A: All the rules for campaigning in a referendum are outlined in the Charter of Referenda. Here is a link to the Charter: Charter of Referenda

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