Frequently asked questions
The following frequently asked questions about Senate elections are answered below:
- Who is the Returning Officer?
- How are Senate elections managed on a day-to-day basis?
- How are the name, address and ID data for the electoral rolls obtained?
- Where are the election procedures set out?
- Why is there a 100 word limit for information about each candidate on the ballot form and how is it determined?
- Which elections are electronic and which are postal?
- How will I know how to vote in an electonic ballot?
The Secretary to Senate (Dr William Adams) is Returning Officer for Senate elections (clause 16 of the University of Sydney By-law 1999).
The day-to-day management of Senate elections is carried out by the Executive Officer to Senate (Lis Bergmann), University Secretariat.
The University Secretariat does not have the name, address and ID data for the electoral rolls.
This information is provided by, and its accuracy the responsibility of, the following:
- undergraduate student electoral roll the Student Centre (FlexSIS database)
- postgraduate student electoral roll the Student Centre (FlexSIS database)
- academic staff electoral roll Sydney People (Talent2 database)
- non-academic staff Fellow electoral roll Sydney People (Talent2 database)
- graduate electoral roll the Alumni Office (Advance database)
The procedures for conducting these elections are set out in Chapter 4 (clauses 15 - 45) of the University of Sydney By-law 1999.
Why is there a 100 word limit for information about each candidate on the ballot form and how is it determined?
The ballot form, whether electonic or paper, includes a summary of information about each candidate which has a limit of 100 words. This is in accordance with clause 28(5) of the University of Sydney By-law 1999.
The information included in this summary can include details for the following areas which are listed in clauses 28(5)(a) - (g) of the University of Sydney By-law 1999:
- the nominee’s name
- current occupation or position
- if a student, the current course and year of enrolment
- academic qualifications
- honours and distinctions
- employment experience
- any other information the nominee thinks relevant.
The areas of information themselves (above) are not taken into account in the word count.
Clause 28(6) provides that the Returning Officer may edit any information provided by a nominee under clause 28(5).
However, in addition, candidates are invited to provide a longer statement (maximum 200 words) and photo which appear on the separate Senate elections website.
By electronic ballot:
- Election of one Fellow of Senate by and from the undergraduate students
- Election of one Fellow of Senate by and from the postgraduate students
- Election of four Fellows of Senate by and from the academic staff
- Election of one Fellow of Senate by and from the non-academic staff
By postal ballot:
- Election of five Fellows of Senate by and from the graduates
An email will be sent to voters on the day the electonic ballot commences with information and instructions on how to access the electronic ballot and complete an electronic ballot form, including the internet address of the election website (clause 36B of the University of Sydney By-law 1999).
In addition, a training video is available - the internet address is included in the email to voters.