A bylaw relating to the selection of members of Senate of the University of Waterloo.


BE IT ENACTED as a bylaw of the University of Waterloo, as follows:

1. Chief Returning Officer

1.01

The university secretary or designate shall act as chief returning officer for the purpose of conducting the election of members of Senate. As chief returning officer, the university secretary or designate has overall responsibility for the general conduct of such elections and by-elections, which shall be by secret ballot. Without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the chief returning officer shall:

  1. Establish the timing of Senate elections and by-elections, subject to the provisions described in sections 2.01 and 2.03 below.
  2. Call for nominations and when doing so inform the university community of the names of those members of Senate whose terms of office expire on 30 April of that year and whether such members are eligible for a further term of service.
  3. Verify the eligibility of nominees and nominators.
  4. For undergraduate student elections, provide nomination information to the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Election Committee.
  5. Distribute ballots and balloting information to eligible voters, allowing at least one week for the polling period.
  6. Announce the results to the university community, and resolve ties, as necessary.

2. Elections

2.01

Elections

  1. The election of faculty and student members to Senate shall be completed by the regular March meeting of Senate each year. Undergraduate student elections shall be held in conjunction with the annual elections conducted by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association in February. Faculty and graduate student elections are conducted by the Secretariat.
  2. The nomination period for faculty constituencies and graduate students is at least twenty-one (21) days. For undergraduate student constituencies, the nomination period is determined in consultation with the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. The chief returning officer shall call for nominations from those faculty and student constituencies that have members whose terms are expiring by placing a suitable notice in such places and ways as may be designated from time to time by Senate, with copies to the appropriate faculties and constituency presidents. Nomination forms shall be made available by the Secretariat. Nominations shall be submitted in writing to the chief returning officer. Each nomination shall be signed by the required number of members of the constituency from which the member is to be elected and shall include a signed statement from the nominee agreeing to serve if elected. For faculty and graduate students, the required number of members is five; for undergraduate students elected from a single faculty, the required number is twenty-five; for undergraduate students elected at large, the required number is one hundred.
  3. Undergraduate student nominees, or their representatives, shall attend an all candidates’ mandatory meeting held by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. The chief returning officer, or designate, shall also be present.
  4. For faculty and graduate student elections, the chief returning officer shall publish the candidates’ statements in such places and ways as may be designated from time to time by Senate.
2.02

Campaigning/Voter Eligibility

  1. Public campaigning shall not take place before the close of nominations. For faculty and graduate student elections, nominees are to provide a brief statement (100 words maximum) to appear with the ballot.
  2. The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association election rules as described in the Association's Elections and Referenda Procedure regulating campaigning for undergraduate student elections, including spending limits, shall be followed. The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Election Committee decisions may be appealed to the university secretary, who shall act as chief returning officer, and whose decision is final.
  3. In a faculty constituency, all faculty members who hold a regular faculty appointment in that constituency are eligible to vote. In a graduate student constituency, all full-time and part-time graduate students registered in a degree program in that constituency are eligible to vote. In an undergraduate student constituency, all full-time students registered in a degree program in that constituency are eligible to vote; this includes students whose academic programs require a prolonged absence from campus such as a co-op work term or an approved study term abroad.
2.03

By-Elections

  1. The university secretary shall declare a Senate seat vacant:
    1. upon receipt of a written resignation from a member of Senate.
    2. when a member of Senate ceases to be eligible to represent the constituency that elected the member, for example when a faculty member ceases to hold a regular faculty appointment, or when a student graduates or otherwise ceases to be registered in the constituency that elected the student.1
  2. If, within any year, a member of the Senate or any of its committees or councils, not having been granted permission to be absent by such body, attends less than 50 per cent of the regular meetings of such body, the member’s office shall be by that very fact considered to be vacated and a confirmatory resolution shall be passed by Senate declaring the membership vacant. The Senate or its committee or council may grant such permission to members who are going on an approved sabbatical, on a co-op term, or any similar such absence related to the members' employment and/or educational program.
  3. Subject to the provisions noted below, the chief returning officer shall call by-elections to fill vacancies as soon as feasible and shall place a suitable notice in such places and ways as may be designated from time to time by Senate, with copies to the appropriate faculties and constituency presidents. Nominations shall remain open for at least one week and shall be submitted in writing to the chief returning officer. Each nomination shall be signed by the required number of members of the constituency from which the member is to be elected, and shall include a signed statement from the nominee agreeing to serve if elected. For faculty and graduate students, the required number of members is five; for undergraduate students elected from a single faculty, the required number is twenty-five; for undergraduate students elected at large, the required number is one hundred.
  4. When a seat is vacant because of the failure of a constituency to nominate any candidate to contest an election or by-election, that seat shall remain vacant until the next annual election, unless a petition [available from the Secretariat] requesting a by-election signed by the required number of members of the constituency concerned is received by the chief returning officer.
  5. When a seat becomes vacant within three months of the end of the term for that seat, no by-election shall be called to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term.
  6. No by-election shall be called or held in any constituency between 1 July and 15 September. In addition, no by-election shall be held in any undergraduate constituency between 1 April and 1 July.

3. Alumni representation

3.01

Each year the Alumni Council shall recommend the names of individual(s) for appointment to Senate. The university secretary shall be informed of such recommendations as they are made and shall so inform Senate.

4. Board of Governors Representation 

4.01 Each year the university secretary shall request the Board of Governors to elect from among its community-at-large members as many as four individuals to serve as members of Senate pursuant to paragraph 18(b)(1) of The University of Waterloo Act, 1972. The university secretary shall be informed of the results of such election promptly following its completion, and shall so inform Senate.

Approved by Senate 15 June 1972.
Amended by Senate January 1973.
Amended by Senate April 1973.
Amended by Senate June 1975.
Amended by Senate in two readings, September and October 1975.
Amended by Senate in two readings, November and December 1982.
Amended by Senate in two readings, January and February 1983.
Amended by Senate in two readings, December 1984 and January 1985.
Amended by Senate in two readings, December 1989 and January 1990.
Amended by Senate in two readings, October and November 1990.
Amended by Senate in two readings, November and December 1991.
Amended by Senate September 1995.
Amended by Senate September 1999.
Amended by Senate in two readings, October and November 2013
.
Amended from Bylaw 5 by Senate in two readings, September and October 2014.
Amended by Senate in two readings, January and February 2016.
Amended by Senate in two readings, November 2017 and January 2018.
Amended by Senate in two readings, October and November 2019.

1See The University of Waterloo Act, section 25, for instances when graduating students may be exempt.