The Gazette will promote to the best of its ability an inclusive and fair process for selecting its front office staff. The Gazette is an equal opportunity employer and shall strive for a diversity of candidates for its front office staff. All those interested in the positions are encouraged to run.
1.1 Elections for The Gazette’s front office — consisting of an editor-in-chief, a print managing editor, and a digital managing editor — will be held once per annum, during the second term of the school year.
2.0 Candidate Eligibility
2.1 All applicants must be current part or full-time undergraduate students at the University of Western Ontario.
3.0 Application Process
3.1 Candidates must submit via email the following to the chair of the Publications Committee at a date set by the chair no later than the Sunday before Reading Week:
- a resume
- proof of student status at Western University or one of its affiliate colleges
- five samples or more of work
- answers to a set of standardized questions from front office and the Publications Committee
3.2 Each candidate will be allowed a minimum of one hour interview time with any full-time Gazette staff, and can request more time, schedules permitting. They may also consult with any member of the Publications Committee.
3.3 Candidates are allowed to consult editors provided it does not interfere with their jobs. Candidates are free to consult whomever they wish outside of The Gazette.
3.4 The chair of the Publications Committee will disseminate all completed applications that were submitted on time to front office, the editorial board and eligible staff voters 48 hours after the application period closes. This will be done via email to all Gazette email accounts and via an elections page on the Gazette website where all candidate information will be accessible to staff.
3.5 Election day will be held no more than three weeks after the initial application period ends at a date set by the chair of the Publications Committee.
3.6 If by the end of the application period, there are no applicants, the current front office, in consultation with the Publications Committee, must come to a consensus on a course of action.
4.0 Front Office Reports
4.1 Candidates may sign out a maximum of three reports at once for no longer than 24 hours.
4.2 Digital copies of year-end reports may be given to candidates, where they are available.
5.1 The campaign period runs from the day applications close to election day.
5.2 No visual campaigning material (e.g. posters), or grandstanding is permitted in or outside The Gazette office. This also includes online campaigning, such as candidate websites, videos, Facebook pages/groups/events, Twitter profiles, etc.
6.1 All candidates shall conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner towards each other and members of the Gazette office. All candidates should read and abide by the rules set out in this policy and should they have any questions, take them to a member of front office.
6.2 Candidates or voting members who have concerns about the application process or campaign period can bring those concerns at any time to front office. If candidates or voting members are unsatisfied with the response from front office, they can take their concerns to the publications committee chair who has the authority to discipline candidates.
6.3 The Publications Committee reserves the right to disqualify candidates by a supermajority two-thirds vote of the entire committee.
7.0 Voting Regulations
7.1 Only voting members and any members of the Publications Committee not affiliated with the publisher are permitted to attend and observe Election Day.
7.2 Front office, editorial board members and staff members are eligible to one vote each.
7.3 In order to be eligible to vote, a volunteer must be a staff member on the date applications open.
7.3.1 Staff members must have contributed five published pieces to the Gazette.
7.4 A list of eligible voters will be posted the day applications close.
7.5 All voting is by secret ballot.
7.6 In order to vote for a position, eligible voters must either observe the full extent of each candidate’s presentation or vote in advance (see 7.0).
7.7 Voters will indicate their preferred candidate on a supplied ballot.
8.0 Advanced Voting
8.1 Votes may be cast before election day if a voting member of The Gazette cannot attend election day proceedings.
8.2 If voting in advance, voters may cast one vote for each position as they stand on the application list: one for editor-in-chief, one for print managing editor and one for digital managing editor.
8.3 Advance voters will write the name of their preferred candidates on separate ballots or email the chair. Ballots will be divided by the chair into three separate containers: one for editor-in-chief, one for print managing editor and one for digital managing editor.
8.4 A distinctly coloured ballot will also be reserved for advance voters.
8.5 If a candidate for editor-in-chief is not elected and decides to drop down to compete for one of the next positions, their advance votes will not carry over.
8.6 Candidates may advance vote for each other and themselves since they are not permitted to observe any aspect of their opponent’s speeches.
8.7 Advance voters must meet with all candidates before casting their ballots.
8.8 Advance votes must be submitted to the chair of the Publications Committee by noon the day before elections.
9.0 Election Day Procedure
9.1 A moderator will oversee the elections process. They will either be the chair of the Elections Committee or a person designated by the chair to serve as moderator in their place.
9.2 Election day will be held on a weekend day whenever possible to allow as many eligible voters to attend without class interference.
9.3 Editor-in-chief elections will take place first, followed by print managing editor elections and digital managing editor elections, with the order decided by mutual agreement of the candidates or a coin toss.
9.4 If candidates for a particular position cannot come to a unanimous decision on their order of presentation, it will be determined by picking numbers out of a container (1 representing first, 2 representing second, etc).
9.5 While waiting for their designated speech time, candidates will remain in a secluded area outside the vicinity of the Gazette office.
9.6 Each candidate is allotted a maximum 12 minute speech, followed by a maximum 45-minute question and answer period. They may also choose to have a three-minute introductory speech from an eligible voting member.
9.7 Front office and the moderator have the right to overrule any questions it deems irrelevant, unfair or unnecessarily aggressive.
9.8 Speeches and questions and answer periods will be timed and mediated by the moderator.
9.9 Voting takes place immediately after all candidates for a particular position have completed their presentation.
9.10 Unsuccessful candidates for editor-in-chief are permitted to run again for either print managing editor or digital managing editor, but not both. All other candidates can only run for the position for which they applied.
9.11 Candidates running unopposed face a vote of confidence and must go through the same election day procedure as all other candidates. Voters will then vote “confidence” or “no confidence,” with a minimum 50.1 per cent support (“confidence”) needed for the candidate to be successful.
10.0 Ballot Counting
10.1 Votes will be counted by one member of front office, the manager of advertising and composing (or designate) and the moderator.
10.2 Ballots will be counted in the front office with the door shut.
10.3 Ballots will be counted three times.
10.4 The candidate with the most votes will be declared the elected member of the designated position.
10.5 After the ballots are counted, the respective candidates will be called into the Gazette’s main office to hear the winner announced.
10.6 Ballots will be sealed and kept in a secure location until the elected front office take office after which the ballots will be destroyed.
11.1 In the case of a tie the following procedure will be followed:
11.2 Each tied candidate will be called into the Gazette office separately, where he or she will have a 10 minute question and answer period with all voting members and a three-minute closing speech.
11.3 All attendees will be eligible to vote once again. Advance votes will carry over.
11.4 If candidates are still tied after the second vote the tie will be broken by taking out front office’s votes.
12.0 Ratification by Publications Committee
12.1 The editor-in-chief-elect, print managing editor-elect and digital managing editor-elect will be ratified by the Publications Committee at their next meeting following the editorial board’s election.
This policy was updated and ratified by the Gazette Publications Committee on January 29, 2016.