Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person voting for the upcoming Student Representative Council (SRC) General Elections is not possible. Here is what you need to know about voting online.
The Independent Electoral Board (IEB) seeks to ensure that Student Representative Election processes are credible, free and fair.
“With much of the world turned upside down due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there’s no telling when students will be allowed back on campus to host in-person electoral process. As elections are mandated by constitution (Constitution of Student Governance, Chapter 9), simply skipping an election is not an option. While postponing it for down the road is plausible, it’s unclear when most parts of the world will emerge from the outbreak—making an on-site election or elections as we have come to know a virtual non-starter. Shifting to an online / electronic voting via ROSS or RUConnected is the only feasible option,” explains Jonathan Hellemann, Rhodes University IEB Chairperson.
Online voting has been a practice for Oppidan students since 2012, so it will not be a brand new practice. The only change is that this year, online voting will be extended to all members of the student body.
The SRC election for 2021 relies on the use of the RUConnected teaching and learning platform. The SRC election will have courses created in which all students of the University are added to.
Course one – Titled: Candidates Information and Manifestos
All campaigns to be done online.
Candidates may use social media as the platform but will further be required to put up all information on RUConnected (as it is a zero-rated data site) so all students may have access to the candidates. Candidates are to send all campaigning material (see below) to the IEB administrator for it to be uploaded onto RUConnected.
Candidates will have the following uploaded onto the RUConnected under this title.
- Video (2mins max for all positions; 3mins max for Presidential candidates)
Course two – Titled: SRC Elections
This will follow the same layout and procedure as per elections for all Oppidans over the past years, the only difference is that all portfolios and students will vote here.
The issue of data to connect to RUConnected is solved by the monthly data that is provided by the University to each student off campus and students who have returned to campus have Wi-Fi in residence. The viewing of manifestos, videos etc. will not count as data as they will be embedded into the RUConnected website. To assist with ease of viewing we will compress the videos as well.
Friday 11th September - 12:00
A google form will be used for the application process as a replacement for paper-based nomination forms.
Due to the digital application process, nominators will be required to co-sign the candidates google form. This will require at least 6 people to sign the google form that you are using for your application.
All candidate eligibility (academic approval) will be checked by Student Bureau.
Friday 25th September - 12:00
Data Bundles to be sent to Candidates running for SRC. This amount will stand in place of students receiving money for printing their posters.
Friday 25th September - 18:30
De-briefing over video call
Video meeting between IEB and Candidates.
The application will determine which platform students are able to access.
Friday 25th September - 23:59
All campaigning to be done online.
Candidates may use social media as the platform but will further be required to put up all information on RUConnected (as it is a zero-rated data site) so all students may have access to the candidate’s information.
Candidates will have their:
- Video (2 mins max for all positions; 3 mins max for Presidential candidates)
Uploaded onto RUConnected
Wednesday 30th September - 18:30
Video Grazzle chaired by Mr Dingaan Booi.
Student Body will be allowed to ask questions based on the videos posted online.
The IEB will randomly select questions from the student body to ask each candidate during the Grazzle.
This video will also be uploaded for the student body to see how the candidates handled their questions.
Thursday 1st October - 18:30
Presidential Debate Video Presidential Debate. IEB and Student Body to ask questions.
This process will be dealt with in a similar manner to the Grazzle.
Friday 2nd October - 12:00
Electronic elections for all students
Friday 9th October - 12:00
Electronic elections end
Friday 9th October - 18:30
ELECTION RESULTS & INAUGURATION
Video Results and Oath taking
SRC Alumni will advise on their plans for the inauguration ceremony.
For more information, please visit the Rhodes University IEB Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RUIEB/posts/2575737706073983