Why you should consider running in the SU General Election
Are you an effective leader? Do you want to make a true difference in your campus community? Does the idea of representing your faculty peers excite you? If you answered “yes” to these questions then you should consider running for a position with your Students’ Union (SU). Through the SU’s annual General Election all undergraduates at the University of Calgary have the opportunity to run for seats on the Student Legislative Council (SLC). The SLC is the SU’s highest governing body and is authorized to make bylaws and policy regarding membership, elections, governance structure, meetings, membership fees, the management and operations of assets, appointment to committees and any other matters that students care about. SLC is currently made up of a total of twenty-four (24) SLC Members:
- Nineteen (19) members are Faculty Representatives, who are elected by students of their specific faculty. The number of faculty representatives per faculty coincides with the size of the appropriate faculty;
- Five (5) members are Executives, elected by students at-large;
Students also elect (1) University of Calgary Board of Governors Representative and two (2) Senate representatives.
Elected officials serve for a period of one academic year (May 1 – April 30)
Seeking a nomination to run in the SU General Election
The SU General Election occurs every academic year from February – March. If required, a By-Election is held in September-October to fill any vacant positions. Early in the New Year (or in September for the By-Election) your SU will post a notification asking for nominees interested in running for an elected position with the Students’ Union. This nomination procedure includes a detailed nomination package that can be accessed online or by visiting the SU office (MSC 251). Before deciding to run you should also consult our SU Election Documents section section on this site as well as the Position Descriptions page.
Questions about running in the elections? Ask the Chief Returning Officers and pick up some tips at the Run with US workshops!
Can’t attend the workshops? Check out the tip sheets below or email the CROs!
Voting for the SU Elections takes place online and at voting stations at the main campus over a period of three days. General Election voting days are in early March and voting for the By-Election (if required) takes place in early October. Any active member (U of C Undergraduate Student) in good standing with the Students’ Union can run and vote in the Elections.
Near the end of January, a “Notice of Nomination” signed by the CRO goes up online and at the SU office to announce the available positions for the General Election. If required, a Notice of Nomination for the By-Election is posted in early September. A full list of SU Elected Official positions is located on the position description page.
Once the Notice is up, that means that Nomination packages become available. These packages have all the information and forms you need as a candidate. They can be downloaded from the SU website or picked up from the SU office (MSC Rm 251) during the Nomination Period.
The best way to learn more about a position is to talk to someone currently in the role. You may want to set up a meeting or ask if you can “job shadow” for a few hours. You can contact any of our Elected Officials by email: www.su.ucalgary.ca/about/who-we-are/elected-officials/
You can also attend SLC any Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. to see how the council works as a team to make decisions.
The time from when the Notice of Nomination is put up to the last Nomination Day is known as the Nomination Period. This is the time potential candidates use to learn about available positions, fill out the Nomination packages, establish their platform and ask for student support.
Nomination Days refers to the last three days of the Nomination Period, usually in early February. By-Election Nomination Days are in late September. The exact days and times will be posted on the Notice of Nomination. To register as a candidate you must meet the CRO in person on one of the three days to deliver your Nomination Package. Pay close attention to all the requirements – the CRO will only register you if all of the forms are filled out correctly and you have brought all your supporting materials.
These three days are a busy time and there is often a line. Make sure you come early and set aside enough time! The CRO will go through all of your forms with you and may have questions. Anyone who has not submitted their package by the deadline on the last day is not considered an official candidate and is not permitted to campaign.
You must complete the forms in the Nomination Package and fulfill other requirements, such as submission of a photo, collecting a certain number of student signatures and writing a brief description of your platform. Requirements can slightly vary from year to year, so be sure to read the Nomination Package carefully.
After the final Nomination Day you will receive an email confirming that you are officially a candidate for the SU Election. The CRO will give you information on next steps such as attending the All Candidates Meeting.
You can verbally tell other students you have the intent to run as early as you wish. However, students are not permitted to campaign until the Campaign Period officially begins (after the last All Candidates Meeting). Pre-campaigning is against Election Policy and includes posting of materials, asking for votes or sharing information about your campaign platform.
To keep elections fair and ensure all candidates are on a level playing field, there are limits on how much you can spend. These limits are outlined in the Nomination Package and depend on what position you are running for. Candidates who exceed the maximum amount for the position they are running for are automatically disqualified.
The SU pays for all candidate expenses. Candidates are expected to either apply for an Election Grant to receive the funds ahead of the Campaign Period, or are reimbursed once the Election is over. All expenses must be receipted.
Yes! Many students ask friends to support them by “volunteering” on their campaign. These volunteers can help you put up posters and hand out materials during the Campaign Period. You may also which to have a Campaign Manager to represent you.
The unofficial results of the SU General Election are announced around 5:30 p.m. on the last day of voting, generally a Thursday. The announcement is normally made by the CRO in the Den. Unofficial By-Election results are announced by the CRO around 5:00pm at the SU office on the last day of voting, generally a Friday. If you win the position you campaigned for, the SU will contact you once the official results are posted (normally 2 weeks later) to tell you next steps. This includes an invitation to Colour Night where the new Elected Officials take their oath and all the information you require to transition with your predecessor.