Volume 93, Issue 12

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


USC predicts financial upswing

Student elections could be online in future

New phones to have all the fixings

Senate to decide on disaster studies

Steel tree of knowledge to aid engineers

A college by any other name

News Briefs

Caught on Campus

Student elections could be online in future

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

After today, students may not have to feel so guilty when they walk by polling stations on campus – they can vote for student representatives from the comfort of their own homes.

Pending approval at today's Senate meeting, a motion could be passed which would allow students to cast ballots for Senate and Board of Governors elections on-line instead of having to vote at a polling station, said Lorel Cline, associate secretary of the university.

"We've been working on another means other than a paper ballot for about 10 years," Cline said.

Mike Bauer, senior director of Information Technology Services said the new system will cut down on spoiled ballots. "Basically what we've set up is a web based browser that identifies students by their student numbers and pin numbers," Bauer said. "Then the information goes to a stand alone server that does nothing but records the voting – it's pretty much ready, but we still need to test it," he said.

Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said he thinks the system is very feasible.

"It will hopefully allow everyone to vote," he said adding it would give accessibility to education students who would be on placement during elections and medical students stuck at the hospital. "You can vote from any terminal at the library, or at 3 a.m.," he said.

The system will be trial run with the Society of Graduate Students elections, which are proposed to run two weeks before the USC by-elections, Kissel said.

"This is the wave of the future. We've become a cyber-society and people are using the internet more and more," he added.

Cline stated this will not be a registered voter system. "You won't have to pre-register, it will be built into the system," she said. "It won't allow you to vote twice, or for more than your faculty allows." Cline added she thought the move to have on-line voting would bring Western to the forefront in handling student elections.

"It's a very positive step," she said.

Bauer said while the website will be secure, if you give your student number and pin number to someone, they will be able to vote for you. "The only way of really spoiling it, is not voting. But that's your right anyway," she said.

Kissel explained the USC will be focusing on a massive marketing campaign to increase voter turn-out around campus. "We'll be running ads and putting up posters." Kissel said he believes the motion will be passed by the Senate. "The administration will support the students."

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999