March 23, 2023
Whereas on August 20, 2023 notice was given and an eventual vote for a motion to disallow campaigning online during voting period,
Whereas this motion has caused considerable issues and disallowed campaigns from being able to liaise with their prospective constituents during the most vital time during election period;
Whereas in person campaigning is not suspended during this time but printed campaign paraphernalia is to be taken down before voting period;
Whereas the removal of Printed paraphernalia during voting period was restricted being up for legitimate purposes of past candidates not cleaning up the physical printed mess after they lost on campus;
Whereas those concerns of physical mess would not apply to online platforms;
Whereas these changes to policy of prohibiting online campaigning resulted in a suppression of the vote and lead to massively lower voter turnout than previous year and than turnouts lower than votes prior to COVID years;
Whereas the SFSS needs to encourage high vote elections and turnout especially to get important referenda passed;
Whereas lack of increased engagement via social media has been quoted in the SFSS Elections 2023/24 report by the SFSS Independent Electoral Commission as having been a reason for the low voter turnout;
Be it resolved to amend the policy Elections and Referenda Policies as follows:
Replace the additional section that was as added to CP4-15 from being
“Approval of Campaigning Materials”, to read as the following:
CP-4 (15) Campaigning literature and campaigning material shall be removed by voting period.
Regarding digital campaign materials, removal may entail:
a. a permanent deletion from social media platforms used for campaigning,
b. a temporary archival or deactivation, un-listing, or privatization, of platforms,
c. a temporary unpublishing of websites that are tied to the campaign until the announcement of the elections results.
To being this below instead:
“Be it resolved to add an additional section 15 to C-4, “Approval of Campaigning Materials”, to read as the following:
CP-4 (15) Campaigning literature ie printed campaign material and paraphernalia shall be removed by the start of the voting period. This only applies to printed campaign material and not to digital campaign material or in person campaigning.
a) Regarding digital campaigning during voting period, there is no obligation to remove digital campaign materials, however candidates may do so if they which. If they do not remove online campaign material, the same rules of campaigning apply during the voting period as that applies during campaigning period”
Elections report 2023: https://sfss.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Elections-and-Referenda-Report-2023.pdf