posted on Jan. 8: Board of Governors holds online election to fill seat on planning committee


The Board of Governors is holding its first online election for undergraduates beginning today (Jan. 8).

Undergraduate students are eligible to vote at the Board of Governors' election Web site for one student to represent them on the University Planning Committee during an electronic election starting today (Jan. 8) at 9 a.m. The election continues all week with polls closing on Friday, Jan. 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Election of one undergraduate student is required for the University Planning Committee, a joint Senate-Board of Governors committee, for a term beginning immediately and continuing until Oct. 31, 2002. The election was called to replace the student representative who resigned from the position at the end of the summer.

Two undergraduate students were nominated as candidates to sit on the University Planning Committee: Jennifer Anderson, a third year student in the Combined Honours Comparative Literature and Linguistics Program and Matt Lannan, second year of the Arts and Science and Political Science Program. Risumis for each candidate may be viewed at the Board of Governors' election Web site. The committee is a senior planning committee and the undergraduate representative is automatically a member of the Board's budget committee, which develops the University budget.

Board of Governors secretary Bruce Frank is optimistic students will find the online voting method accessible and easy to use.

“It should make it easier for all the electorate to take part,” said Frank. “It's easy and more accessible for undergraduate students than the previous method of having students line up at a polling station.”

Students can vote online at at any personal computer with internet access. Student IDs and a Personal Identification Number (the same as the MUGSI system) are required to cast a ballot.

Eligible voters who do not have access to the Web site may vote in one of the computer laboratories or online at the Board of Governors office, Room 115, University Hall, during office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Any questions regarding the election or voting process may be directed to the Board of Governors office, 525-9140, ext. 24370.

The Board of Governors has conducted online elections for faculty, staff and graduate students in the last year but this is the first time undergraduate students will participate in an online election.
Traditionally undergraduate students don't have a high participation rate in Board of Governors elections. “This should make it easier to vote,” Frank said.

McMaster Students Union president Marc Marzotto said he'll be monitoring how well the online voting initiative is received by students.

“It's an interesting initiative,” said Marzotto. “The internet is a trend and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the voting to see what happens. If there's a great turnout then it's something we'll have to start thinking about.”

The MSU has not conducted an online election but its teaching awards committee did accept nominations online in the fall.
“That received a really good turnout,” he said.