What is a referendum?
Simply put, a referendum is an “all-members vote”, and one may be called for the following purposes:
1. To determine the stance of the membership on issues of major importance
2. To determine membership in, or commitment to pay any corollary fees, of other organizations
3. To overturn decisions of the Board
4. To enact or amend the by-laws of the corporation
How does an initiation of referenda occur?
Those groups seeking to initiate referenda must do so through the presentation of a completed petition to the Board. This petition must be signed by 10% of the membership to be deemed valid. This petition must state the reasoning and suggested wording of the question at the top of each page of the petition.
*Please note that for the 2019 Spring General Elections, the TCSA will not be accepting referenda for the creation of new levy fees.
What is the required format of the petition and what must be included?
All petitions must be addressed to the Board and written in clear language. It must have the subject matter indicated on every sheet and be either typewritten or printed. Additionally, petitions must contain original signatures and addresses.
Petitions must contain the following headings:
i) “NAME (printed)”;
iii) “STUDENT NUMBER”;
iv) “ADDRESS (POSTAL OR EMAIL) OR PHONE NUMBER”
What are the guidelines for obtaining signatures?
It is the responsibility of the instigator(s) of the petition to insure the following:
i) That the petition is undertaken in good faith for a legitimate reason;
ii) That each person filling out the petition is clearly informed of what he or she is signing, individually, by the instigator(s) of the petition;
iii) That, to the best of the knowledge of the instigator(s) of the petition, each signatory appears to be of sound mind and that said signatory appears capable of understanding that which they are signing;
iv) That, when gathering signatures, the instigator(s) avoid such places or establishments where it is reasonable to assume that individuals who may chose to sign the petition are intoxicated or have consumed other forms of mind-altering substances, including, but not limited to alcohol, or where it is reasonable to assume that such persons have been in the presence of such substances;
v) That the instigator(s) ensure that each signatory is a full-time student of the University and therefore a member of the Corporation as verified by a valid student photo card issued by the University, or other such proof of membership issued by the University or by lists of names and student numbers generated by the Registrar’s Office of the University and that the student number on said card or other such identification of membership matches the number which the student has written on the petition;
vi) That each signatory has written clearly and legibly under all required headings, with the exception of those entries under the signature heading as outlined in the by-laws hereof;
vii) That no false, incomplete, or duplicate entries are made on the petition
What is the timeline for the open and close of the petition?
Information for our Spring Elections will be posted at a later date.
What comes next?
A representative of the group petitioning for referenda must attend the All-Candidates & Referenda Meeting in the TCSA office at the close of the Nomination Period. Prior to this meeting, all individuals intending to campaign (be it for the yes or no campaign) must print and read the Referenda Code of Conduct, and sign this agreement in front of the Chief Electoral Officer.
With regards to campaigning, an outline of dates to be aware of can be found on the Key Dates tab to the right.
Can a group petitioning for referenda participate in the speeches and debates?
Yes, groups petitioning for referenda are strongly encouraged to participate in the speeches and debates. Information regarding these events, and how to prepare for them, will be released at the All-Candidates Meeting.
How are the results interpreted?
A majority decision of the votes cast in the referendum shall be binding upon the Board, provided that the total number of votes cast represents more than fifteen percent (15%) of the total membership of the corporation.