CSA By-Elecion Candidates Ratified

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Written by Greg Beneteau

Last night the CSA board met for one of its bi-weekly meetings. One of the agenda items was the ratification of by-election board seat nominations. The CSA board is the governing body of the CSA, which is the undergraduate student union at the University of Guelph. The CSA board determines all policies, by-laws, job descriptions and is the appeal body for disputes within the organization. There were four empty seats on the board left over from the elections at the end of the last academic year. The nomination period to fill these seats closed at 4:30pm on Tuesday of this week, and the eight candidates were ratified at the CSA board meeting of Wednesday night.

The Chief Electoral Office for this year is Charles Beatty. His job is to ensure that the elections run smoothly, to coordinate candidate nominations and to resolve disputes between candidates relating to campaign infractions. This year Mr. Beatty used a two-fold approach to promoting the by-election. One was traditional forms of advertising like posters, banners, ads in the Ontarion and listing on thecannon.ca to "raise the profile of the election" and make it "more effective at encouraging students to vote". However this year he went a step further to include college governments in the process of finding candidates. He met with representatives from each college government early in the year to discuss ways in which to encourage students to both run and vote in the CSA elections. "Now, with eight candidates running and one race that's even contested, I feel strongly that the efforts of the members of the college governments were instrumental," Beatty said

This year, the timeline for the election was adjusted compared to previous years to be compressed by a few weeks and was due to scheduling issues. Despite the entire process being shorter, Beatty feels that it "will allow us to better capture the attention of the student body as a whole."

Next week is campaign week, when all of the candidates must pitch to the student body why they are the best for the position. The following week will be when the votes are actually cast. Speaking on the issue of campaign week Beatty says, "I'm expecting to see a lot of hard work on the candidates side. I hope to see clean races, and though a competitive spirit is inherent in elections, I think and hope that the candidates will maintain a positive attitude throughout the process."

CSA elections in previous years have been dogged with disputes between candidates over campaign violations and if a candidate violates enough of the rules, they can be disqualified. One major concern relates to the no e-mail policy, any e-mails sent out by anyone endorsing a candidate are considered to be a violation and can contribute to the disqualification of a candidate.

When asked why this election s important for students Beatty said, "The CSA provides important services to the university community, provides advocacy for students, and is funded by fees collected from students, so to people who know about this I think the importance of voting is clear."

When voting for board seats, only members of a college in which a candidate is running are allow to vote. For this by-election, there are candidates in the following: College of Management and Economics, College of Arts, Ontario Agricultural College, and the Ontario Veterinary College.

For more information, please contact Charles Beatty, the CSA CEO at

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