Elections and Referenda

Every year during the GSA General Election, graduate students at the University of Alberta cast votes to elect fellow graduate students to the GSA Directly-Elected Officer positions: President, VP Academic, VP External, VP Student Life, and VP Student Services. Concurrently, Academically-Employed Graduate Students (AEGS) vote to elect a graduate student to the GSA Directly-Elected Officer position of Associate VP Labour. 

These six student executives represent graduate students on committees and councils across campus and to all levels of government.

Graduate students also elect ten Councillors-at-Large, who sit on GSA Council and represent all University of Alberta graduate students. 

GSA Referenda take place in years when graduate students are asked to vote on key issues. Past referenda have resulted in the implementation and/or continuation of graduate student services such as the GSA Health and Dental Plan, the Graduate Student Assistance Plan (GSAP), and the U-Pass program, as well as the creation of the GSA Dedicated Fee which enables graduate students to support the on-campus radio station, CJSR. Read the message from then-VP Student Services about the most recent GSAP and U-Pass Referenda here.

Discover Governance

To learn more, check out our Discover Governance program and its slate of events starting on 10 January 2023.

2023 Election

Graduate students will have the opportunity to run as candidates and/or cast their votes to elect the six Directly-Elected Officers (President, VP Academic, VP External, VP Student Life, and VP Student Services, and the Associate VP Labour) and ten Councillors-at-Large. These elected representatives will begin their respective terms of service on 1 May 2023. 

While the complete Timeline can be found below, the nomination period begins on 31 January 2023.

 

Timeline of Election

Below you may find the timeline of events for the 2023 General Election and Election of the Associate Vice-President Labour.

All times listed are in Mountain Time. 

Tuesday, 31 January at 8:30 AM Nomination Period Opens
 
  • The nomination period will last at least fourteen (14) calendar days, from 31 January 2023 to 14 February 2023.
  • Nomination forms may be picked up at the GSA Office (1-49 Triffo Hall).
Tuesday, 14 February at 12:00 PM Nomination Period Closes
 
  • Completed nomination forms should be dropped off at the GSA Office (1-49 Triffo Hall).
  • Late or incomplete nomination forms will not be accepted.
  • Once submitted, nomination forms will be verified and signed by the CRO or the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) and an electronic signed copy will be emailed to the candidate.
  • Once the CRO verifies a nomination form, candidates will be listed on the GSA website and will be invited to submit a bio/resume and photo to be posted on the GSA website as soon as they are received and after the start of the campaign period.
Tuesday, 14 February at 2:00 PM All-Candidates Meeting (Mandatory)
 
  • Attendance at the All-Candidates Meeting is mandatory,
  • Failure to attend without adequate prior notification of at least one (1) hour to the CRO is grounds for disqualification.
  • Associated meeting materials will be sent to all candidates following the close of the nomination period. 
  • A scribe will be present at the All-Candidates Meeting and, shortly after the meeting, notes will be distributed to all candidates.
Wednesday, 15 February at 12:00 AM Campaign Period Begins
 
  • The campaign period will last at sixteen (16) days and will begin no earlier than the day following the All-Candidates Meeting.
  • The campaign period will run from 15 February 2023 to 2 March 2023. This includes the two (2) day voting period.
Tuesday to Friday, February 20 to February 24 Family Day and Reading Week
 
  •  Campaigning continues
Friday, 24 February at 1:00 PM Deadline: Submit Forum Video Waiver Forms and Confirm Attendance at the Forum
 
  • Deadline to receive GSA General Election and Election of the Associate Vice-President Labour candidate forum video waiver forms and confirmation of attendance at the forum.
  • Candidates who have not submitted a forum video waiver form and confirmed their attendance will be assumed to be not participating in the forum.
Friday, 24 February at 1:00 PM Deadline: Submit Bios/Resumes and Photos of Candidates for Posting on the GSA Website
 
  • Deadline to receive GSA General Election and Election of the Associate Vice-President Labour candidate bios/resumes and photos to post on the GSA website.
  • If a candidate elects not to provide a bio/resume, it will be stated as such on the website.
Monday 27 February at 11:30 AM Forum: Candidates' Pre-Meeting (in person, location TBA)
  • Candidates are asked to attend a pre-meeting with the moderator and CRO in advance of the forum.
Monday 27 February at 12:00 PM Forum (in person, location TBA)
 
  • A GSA General Election and Election of the Associate Vice-President Labour candidates’ forum will be hosted, open to all graduate students to attend.
  • A recording of the forum will be posted on the GSA website.
Tuesday, 28 February at 10:00 AM Voting Period Opens
 
  • The voting period will last forty-eight (48) hours from 10:00 AM (MST) on Tuesday, 28 February to 10:00 AM (MST) on Thursday, 2 March 2023.
  • Campaigning is allowed during the voting period.
  • The ballot for the GSA General Election will be open to all GSA members, the ballot for the election of the Associate Vice-President Labour will be open to all current academically-employed graduate students at the time of the election.
Thursday, 2 March at 10:00 AM Campaigning and Voting Periods Close
 
  • Voting and campaigning close at 10:00 AM (MST)
Thursday, 2 March at 12:00 PM Deadline: Submit Campaign-Related Expenses and Receipts
 
  • Following the campaign period, candidates will be asked to submit to the CRO a report of all campaign-related expenses and associated receipts no later than two (2) hours after the close of the voting period (to be submitted electronically to the CRO via gsa.frontdesk@ualberta.ca; photos of receipts must also be submitted and a form will be provided to all candidates at the All-Candidates Meeting).

Thursday, 2 March

Announcement of Provisional Results
 
  • Provisional results are subject to change due to possible outstanding complaints to the CRO and appeals of CRO decisions.
Friday, 3 March 2023 (Time TBD) (Tentative, Pending Release of Provisional Results) Deadline to Lodge a Complaint or Notice of an Alleged Breach with the CRO
 
  • This deadline is set at twenty-four (24) hours after the announcement of provisional results for the GSA General Election and election of the Associate Vice-President Labour.
Friday, 3 March (Tentative, Pending Release of Provisional Results) Announcement of Official Results
 
  • Official results will be announced once the deadline to lodge a complaint about alleged breaches has passed.
 
What's At Stake?

The GSA is led by a team of student executives, collectively and formally known as the GSA Directly-Elected Officers. The team is comprised of the President, VP Academic, VP External, VP Student Life, and VP Student Services; as well as the Associate VP Labour. The graduate students serving in these positions are elected each year in the GSA General Election to serve a one-year term spanning 1 May to 30 April. The AVP Labour, due to their distinct portfolio and duty to Academically-Employed Graduate Students (AEGS), is elected by the vote of AEGSs rather than that of the pool of eligible graduate students who elect the GSA President and VPs.

Together, these six student executives actively engage with stakeholders and advocate for over 8,000 of their fellow graduate students about important matters like tuition, funding, and student services. Without them, graduate students would not have a seat at the table of the important decision-making bodies at the University, nor would they have access to essential services like the GSA Health and Dental Plan, the U-Pass, or GSA grants, awards, and bursaries.

Should I Get Involved?

Short answer? Yes!

As a graduate student, you have the opportunity to elect your graduate student leaders and you should make your voice heard through your vote.

But that's not all! Graduate students can also make the choice to put their names forward for election as any one of these student leaders. Remember, the GSA President and Vice-Presidents are all graduate students just like you who have chosen to dedicate a portion of their time and energy to the betterment of their peers' experience at the U of A. Take the first step and Discover Governance.

The GSA Chief Returning Officer (CRO), who oversees the GSA General Election and Referenda, will email all graduate students about the 2023 GSA General Election and Referenda beginning in early February 2023, but don't hesitate to contact us at gsa.frontdesk@ualberta.ca if you have any questions. 

GSA Bylaw and Policy governs the Election and Referenda. If you have any questions, please contact the GSA Chief Returning Officer at gsa.elections@ualberta.ca


Archive

The results of previous GSA General Elections and GSA Referenda are available in the GSA Elections and Referenda Archive. A record of GSA Chief Returning Officer and GSA Speaker decisions and appeal decisions can also be found there.