Also old people in Florida

At the beginning of March, the University held elections to fill positions on their Senate and Board of Governors, and although several candidates ran for both University governance bodies, the elections .
phrase this differently. Maybe say something about how it wasn’t talked about among students much? Otherwise you need to prove it more.
This an election was different from the its predecessorstypical Capilano University student election, however, because voting occurred online.

Although several candidates ran for both University governance bodies, the elections did not appear to be well-discussed amongst students. A more frequentcommon question students asked toof the Courier was something along the lines of “what do the Board of Governors and Senate even do?”

Making Sense of Governance
The Board of Governors and Senate, governance bodies concerned with the student and business affairs of the University, are an integral part of University Relations. The student representatives on both essentially speak on behalf of the interests of all students. In addition to deciding upon things like tuition fees, the Board of Governors and Senate representatives are invited to sit on the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) executive. If they choose to sit on the executive, the CSU will pay them a stipend in addition to any benefits they receive for being a part of the Senate and of the Board.

The Senate, which is responsible for policies concerning student evaluation, withdrawals, and other university matters, meets monthly and is comprised of thirty voting representatives, including four students and twelve faculty. According to the CSU’s website, “the Senate has jurisdiction over grading and grade appeal procedures, academic standards, and curriculum content.” Bahiyyih Galloway, David Clarkson, Ghazal Tohidi, and Gregory Smith were elected to be the four student representatives on the Senate for 2010-2011.

The Board of Governors is comprised of fifteen members, including two students, two faculty, and the Vice-Chancellor of Capilano. This Board is responsible for the business affairs of the Uuniversity, which includes tuition fees. The CSU’s website advertises them as “the highest decision making body at Capilano Univeristy”. Bahiyyih Galloway and David Clarkson were elected to be the student representatives on the Board.

Does Anyone Care?
Kelsey Singer, a first-year student at Capilano, says she feels the elections for the two governance bodies were fairly well publicized, although she credits that to being in Global Stewardship classes.

“I think the majority might not have [known about the elections] because I can't remember how I found out about them,” she says, “so others might not have taken notice.”

A recent survey of 21 students taken by Tthe Courier reflects similar sentiments. Of the 21 people, only 19% voted in the election. 38.9% did not vote because they didn’t know it was happening, and 16.7% did not vote because they did not care. Many replies stated that they did not vote because they did not know it was happening online.

Of the same 21 people, 70.6% of respondents voted in the CSU Student Executive Elections. These elections are held via polling station in the cafeteria. A total of 471 students voted in their Ffall election, and significantly less voted in the Spring election, compared to number of voters in the University’s March online elections. In order to increase voter turnout, there was a general consensus amongst those surveyed that there needed to be more promotion, more awareness, and people needed to care.

Capilano University refused to give tthe Courier definite numbers in regards to the amount of people who voted, despite multiple requests.

Bye Bye Ballots
However, when asked if the Capilano Students’ Union’s (CSU)CSU’s and Capilano University’s the opinions on the current election methods were effective, replies were more diverse. Some felt that the cafeteria was efficient (the current method the CSU uses in their Fall and Spring elections), while others felt that electronic methods were good, in some cases pointing out that voting electronically would save paper.

Singer likes the idea of online elections, because “more people will actually have time to vote since it doesn’t require going to the [cafeteria] and waiting in-line ... and many students have laptops,” she says. “The information available about the candidates was sufficient for me to pick to someone to vote for.”

According to the survey, having information about position candidates are important.

“If I didn’t personally know three candidates,” says one respondent, “there is no way I would have cared enough to go online and track down the voting site.”

“I voted because I like to know that I have the ability to make a difference in what goes on in the school I attend,” says Singer.

Regardless of the medium used to run an election at Capilano, the decision to vote plays a significant role in how you as a student will be represented for the next year.
// Samantha Thompson
assistant news editor

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com