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Upcoming election to determine structure of student government at Ryerson

Students have opportunity to shape future of student government on campus
Category:From the Vice-Provost, Students
January 31, 2020
Students sitting and studying on steps in the Student Learning Centre

An election will be held in early March 2020 to determine a student government structure that best represents the interests of students.

The process to determine the structure of an independent, representative government for full-time undergraduate and all graduate students at Ryerson University has begun. It is the university’s intention that an election will be held in early March 2020 to determine a student government structure that best represents the interests of students.

Strong, independent student government is important to Ryerson University. We believe that students deserve a student government that demonstrates a commitment to:

  • public financial accountability;
  • democratic and transparent governance;
  • sound human resource management; and
  • timely and transparent communication with students and the university

To facilitate this process, an external Chief Process Officer (CPO) will be appointed, and will be assisted by a Student Government Process Selection Committee comprised of a Process Manager, three to five current Ryerson students, and a recent graduate. The committee will support the CPO in establishing and administering the process and rules of the vote, determining the eligibility of all groups that present themselves as candidates, explaining the voting procedure, and providing the resources required to conduct the election. They will have complete independence in establishing and administering the rules of the election process.

The name and contact details of the CPO will be shared with students in the coming days. The members of the Student Government Selection Committee will be announced on Monday, February 3, 2020.

Nomination criteria for a proposed structure of student government

Organized groups wishing to be considered as potential candidates must consist of full-time undergraduate and/or full-time or part-time graduate students currently registered at Ryerson University. Groups who are interested in forming a new student government will be required to submit a proposal to the CPO that includes:

  • The name of the proposed government structure;
  • The names of the student representatives who will campaign for the proposed government structure;
  • Signed consent forms stating that student representatives will adhere to guidelines that have been established by the CPO and committee;
  • The proposed governance structure (i.e. proposed executive positions, board structure, the power of the membership, etc.);
  • Specifics regarding who the proposed student government structure will represent (i.e. undergraduates, graduates, a combination, etc.);
  • How the organizational structure will reflect a commitment to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • The written support of 10 currently registered Ryerson students who endorse the proposed government structure and are signing on as prospective members; and
  • Any additional requirements established by the CPO and committee.

In addition to the above, candidate groups must commit in writing to:

  • Respect the election rules as published by the CPO and the Process Selection Committee;
  • Respect spending limits determined by the CPO and the Process Selection Committee;
  • Refuse all types of campaign support from third parties;
  • Commit to running general elections for the appointment of elected executives or officers, if chosen as the successful representative government (process to occur in March 2020 and early April 2020);
  • Incorporate as a not-for-profit organization following the election, if successful; and
  • Ensure the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion are respected throughout the process.

Nominations must be submitted to the CPO by February 19, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST. Details for submission, including contact information for the CPO and Student Government Process Selection Committee will be shared next week. It will be the responsibility of the CPO and the committee to communicate directly with students to explain the rules of eligibility and the election process. In the meantime, we encourage students to begin thinking of the structure of their proposed student governments based on the criteria identified above.

The student government structure that wins the election will be responsible for organizing a general election for Ryerson students in early April 2020. The Process Manager will remain available to the new student government to support this process.

For more information on the roles of the CPO, Process Manager, Student Government Selection Committee, and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Student Government tab on the Student Affairs website.

This is an important opportunity for Ryerson students to have their voices heard and to shape the future of student government on campus. Ryerson University remains firmly committed to working in good faith with a student government that demonstrates a commitment to financial accountability, transparency, and good governance.


Jen McMillen
Vice-Provost, Students

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