Council Elections: still murky

There is no reason to object to Deans as College Representatives on University Council. In fact, Council Bylaws, and the Act, are written to allow Deans to be a College Representative when there are no nominations under the appropriate section. There is, however, every reason to object to an impromptu reinterpretation of the Bylaws of University Council. 

Council Bylaws, which echo the U of S Act, state that faculty members may choose to stand for election under only one of the three sections:

Section 53(2)(b), [53(2)(d) – in the case of Librarian]

Section 53(2)(c), [53(2)(e) – in the case of Librarian]

Section 53(2)(i)

Based on the new interpretation of Council Bylaws for this election, it seems that Faculty members intending to run as College Representatives under (b)/(d) or (c)/(e) will all be considered as a single group. 

For example, let’s imagine the following scenario:

Person B is the only person who chooses to seek election under section 53(2)(b) as College Representative. Person C chooses to seek election under section 53(2)(c) as the second College Representative, and so the Dean chooses to stand for election under 53(2)(c) as well.

With 90 people voting, the result could be something like:

Person B – 25 votes

Person C – 50 votes

Dean – 40 votes

Under the new interpretation it appears that sections 53(2)(b) and (c )will be grouped together for the vote count. In this case, where there is no distinction between these sections, Person C and the Dean will be elected as the two college representatives. 

If the Bylaws are followed, i.e., the candidates are competing only for the seat they have chosen to stand for election, the results would be different: Person B would be acclaimed for 53(2)(b), and Person C would win the seat for 53(2)(c). 

There is absolutely no intent in the Bylaws for anyone, the Dean or a faculty member, to run for a position on University Council as a College Representative under both sections. 

The process for council elections is still murky. Faculty members have the right to clarity and transparency in this process.