How to run

Putting your name on a ballot is intimidating, no matter what you’re running for. It’s hard to even know where to start!

Start here.

1. Decide how you want to get involved

Are you running for the Board of Directors?

  • Read about the various positions on our website (or for the formal version, check out the UVSS Bylaws).
  • While you’re on the UVSS website… read UVSS policies generally, as they govern the day-to-day work (alright, you can skim them).
  • Definitely don’t skim Electoral Policy. It’s the rules and regulations that the Electoral Office uses to organize elections – and scrutinize candidates. 🙂

Are you posing (or opposing) a referendum question?

  • Read about the referendum process in the UVSS Bylaws.
  • As you can see, any undergraduate student can initiate a referendum to establish, change, or remove UVSS fees. The easiest way is through a Board motion (4.7.b.i), but you can also get the signatures of 10% of UVSS members (all undergraduate students are UVSS members, so 10% of ~19,000 people in 2023).
  • Any accepted referendum question will usually go on the same ballot as the candidates for the Board of Directors.
  • If you wish to oppose a referendum question posed by the Board of Directors (and announced in the “call for nominations” email that UVic sends out to all undergraduate students), fill out and submit the Referendum Opponent Form by the end of the nomination period.

Are you interested in representing an Advocacy Group?

  • Representatives of the five Advocacy Groups are Directors too, as you can see in the UVSS Bylaws.
  • You can represent an Advocacy Group on the UVSS Board by being elected via the Group’s own process (usually an election at their Annual General Meeting in the Spring).
  • For more info, check out the Groups’ individual websites, or contact the UVSS Director of Student Affairs.
2. Review policy, deadlines, and forms
  • Check out the timeline. Does it work with your schedule?
  • Do I understand the requirements of a campaign?
    • Back to good ol’ Electoral Policy. Are you prepared to follow the rules and regulations set out in this policy, and do you have the time and capacity to dedicate to around a month of preparing and running a campaign?
3. Prepare + submit nomination form, platform, and photo

Your nomination form, description of why you’re running, and selfie are due by a strict deadline. Be sure to check it in the elections timeline!

4. Prepare social media and paper campaign materials
  • Set up linked Facebook and Instagram accounts (or even a website) as soon as possible, so you’re ready to go as soon as campaigning starts. But be sure to keep them private/hidden until then – or risk penalties!
  • Feel free to share Electoral Office posts whenever you want. The Officers are impartial and only post neutral materials (e.g. the voter information guide, which contains your photos and platforms), so go nuts.
5. Attend candidate orientation

The Electoral Office hosts this session to go over candidate responsibilities and important policies, and answer any questions before campaigning starts. Find the date and time in the timeline!

6. Submit campaign manager and social media info
  • We encourage you to have a buddy to support you through the process. Officially, you can have a campaign manager to help you out, but it’s optional. You must provide their info to the Electoral Office at least 24-hours before the start of the Campaign Period.
  • Include links to any social media accounts you’re using.
7. Start campaigning!

Campaign period! This is it! Time to publish the pages and accounts you made for your campaign. Start sharing content, encourage your friends to share posts, and make sure everyone knows to vote online during voting days!

8. Attend the “Meet the Candidates” events

This is your chance to get face time with voters. The more events you attend, the better your reach – and potentially, your chance at winning! Hosted by the Electoral Office, these informal events take place in the week or two before voting days.

9. Submit expense forms and remove materials
  • Electoral Officers need to know how much you spent (even if it’s $0) and see the corresponding receipts.
  • Anything you used to campaign – Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, posters – must be removed no later than midnight on the last day of the campaign period.
10. Wait for official results!

The Electoral Office will publish the official results on their website. This usually happens the same day as polls close, but it may be delayed if there’s any complaints. So be on your best behaviour!


Most of our members are located in Victoria, BC., the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples, also known as the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations communities. 

Many of us are settlers or visitors on land that was violently stolen from Indigenous peoples. The historical and continued dispossession of land threatens Indigenous peoples’ physical and emotional safety, cultural and linguistic growth, and basic and legal rights.

The Electoral Office organizes elections for students at the University of Victoria, but we, just like you, exist within a wider context of colonization. We encourage you to think about why you possess certain rights (like the ability to vote) while others may not, and why elected Directors are rarely Indigenous – or People of Colour, folks with disabilities, and other marginalized identities (both at the University and broader levels).

We are always open to feedback in order to critically evaluate our policy and processes. Deconstructing colonial systems and rebuilding equitable ones is uncomfortable, hard work, but we are ready.