Procedure for the Election of Staff Senate Members


Introduction and Purpose:

Staff Senate is the voice of classified staff. Membership comprises both elected and appointed representatives. Appointed members are selected according to the Process for the Selection of Staff Senate Committee Representatives. Elected members are selected by popular vote each spring and represent their constituent group in one of the five (5) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) categories plus a member-atlarge who represents All MSU classified employees not located on the Bozeman Campus. EEO categories are defined as Classified Professional (CP), Technical/Paraprofessional (TP), Secretarial/Clerical (SC), Service Maintenance (SM), and Skilled Crafts (SK). The Staff Senate bylaws define eligibility, terms, and the handling of vacancies of elected members. Elected Senate members serve three-year terms. Approximately onethird of Senate members’ terms expire each year. Staff Senate participation is contingent on supervisor approval. 



The Montana State University Staff Senate’s Procedure for the Election of Staff Senate Members governs the process electing representatives. 


I. Representation Determination. Staffing levels of EEO categories are determined each year on March 1. Off-Campus (OC) employees will elect one       
   representative-at-large, regardless of the number of off-campus employees. Each EEO group of up to 200 employees will elect two (2) representatives.
   Categories greater than 200 will elect one representative for each additional 100 employees.

II. Electoral Openings. A Nomination ballot is prepared based on representational vacancies and members who reach the end of their three-year term on July
     31. Term expiration dates are staggered so that not all EEO groups may have the need for the election process each year. The Nomination ballot lists all
     eligible employees within each of the EEO categories so that each category is voting within its rank to elect their representative(s). The ballot will exclude
     ineligible candidates such as the Staff Senate Program Coordinator, Senators who have reached their term limit, employees not meeting the eligibility
     requirements identified in the Staff Senate Bylaws, and staff members who have indicated a conflict of interest or have declined to be considered.

III. Who may vote. All classified employees are eligible to vote on both the Nomination and Final Selection ballots within their own EEO category.

IV. Balloting. Balloting is a two-step process: 1) Nomination ballot. Each employee may nominate one (1) person from the list of eligible candidates on the
      Nomination ballot. 2) Final Selection ballot. The names of the nominees who have confirmed their willingness and are eligible to run will be placed on the
      final ballot. 

V. Ballot distribution. Ballots will be distributed electronically and on paper. EEO groups with access to email will receive an electronic ballot link via their MSU
     email listserv for their EEO group. EEO groups without regular access to email will receive paper ballots. The Final Section ballot email or cover sheet will
     include information about each candidate such as years of service and interest in serving their constituents.

VI. Electronic Election Support. University Information Technology (UIT) will provide a link to the electronic ballot(s) and technical support for the electronic
      election process. Staff Senate bears the $100 administration fee for the annual electronic elections. During the time in which the ballot(s) are live online, the
      eligible electorate voting electronically may select either a nominee or final candidate by logging on to the website with their Banner/NET IDs and PINs.
      Results of the electronic ballots will be accessible online to the Staff Senate Program Coordinator and Staff Senate Chair for 24 hours after the deadline.
      Paper ballots will be tallied manually.

VII. Paper Balloting. Those voting by paper ballots will vote as per ballot instructions and submit ballots to the Staff Senate office through MSU Mail Services.
       Ballots will be accepted for three (3) days following the close of elections.

VIII. Post-Election Notifications. Newly-elected Staff Senators, whose terms will begin on August 1, will confirm membership acceptance and supervisor
        approval with the Staff Senate Program Coordinator and receive a Staff Senate Orientation Packet. Newly-elected Senators are welcome to attend Staff
        Senate meetings prior to the start of their term(s), but will not be eligible to vote and will be considered guests of Staff Senate. Candidates not elected will
        be notified by the Staff Senate Program Coordinator. Election results will be posted on the Staff Senate web page.

IX. Reference information. Staff Senate


March 1 Determine the number of staff within each EEO category.
Early March Coordinate timeline for electronic elections with UIT.
Mid-April Circulate Nomination Ballots.
Close of Nomination Ballots Confirm candidates selected on Nomination ballot willingness to fun.  Obtain a brief biography. 
Early May Circulate Final Selections Ballots.
Close of Final Selection Ballots Notify and send Orientation Packet to newly elected senators.  Notify unsuccessful candidates.
August 1 Start of three-year term for new senators.