Why Hold Elections?
Holding elections ensures that Feminist Majority Leadership
Alliances utilize the democratic process. Elected executive
committees provide legitimacy to Feminist Majority Leadership
Alliances and spread out responsibility among group members.
Elections also help to transfer leadership from one year
to the next, ensuring group continuity over time. Serving
on the executive committee enables members to find a niche
for themselves in the group. It will also strengthen their
connection with the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Who should run for a position?
When you talk about elections with FMLA members, be sure
to encourage everyone who is interested to run for a position!
When you have multiple people running for positions, the
group is more likely to elect committed, qualified officers,
which improves the overall strength of the group. Be sure
to let your members know that they will have the opportunity
to work with Campus Organizers to develop relevant skills
and improve leadership abilities.
There are twelve positions on the executive
structure allows multiple students to gain leadership and
career building opportunities. By spreading out responsibility,
more students feel ownership of the group. A twelve person
executive committee also helps prevent burnout and improves
Responsibilities of Executive Committee
Executive committee members are responsible for and expected
to attend weekly FMLA meetings, in addition to executive
committee meetings as needed. Committee members are responsible
for their specific positions as outlined in the constitution,
including leadership of their respective committees. For
example, the Community Outreach Chair works with a committee
of interested FMLA members to set and accomplish goals
for making connections with the community.
Election Month: Making Herstory for the FMLA
The FMLA should hold elections in March, Women’s History
Month! Elected officers will officially move into executive
committee positions during the beginning of the following
school year (September). The advantage to holding elections
in March is that incoming officers have the opportunity to “shadow” outgoing
officers through April and May. This helps incoming officers
learn from outgoing officers and feel comfortable assuming
their new role at the beginning of the next school year.
THE ELECTION PROCESS
- All members should be informed well in advance,
at least two weeks, about when elections will be taking
recommend that you ask members to declare candidacy the
week prior to holding elections, although this is not required.
The group should review the responsibilities of each
together at the meeting.
- All members running for a position
should declare the position they are running for and be
given an allotted time (usually
a few minutes) to speak. In addressing the group, candidates
should speak about why they are interested in the position,
their qualifications for the position (what they can
bring to the position), and perhaps also their vision for the group
(and how they can contribute to this vision through the
- Even if a position is uncontested, interested students
should still speak to the group for a few minutes about
qualifications. This serves as a verbal contract with the group and helps
solidify officers’ commitment.
- Members should vote
through secret ballot. We suggest that you prepare ballots
prior to the meeting with a space
for members to write in their choice.
- Ballots should be counted immediately and
winners announced before moving on to the next position.
This will ensure
that students interested in holding office, who may not win the
position first sought, can run for an alternative seat
once the results have been announced.
- The President and one member not running
for a position or a member of the Faculty and Staff Team
can count the
- E-mail the election results to your members and your
Campus Organizer, in addition to announcing the results
next meeting. If a faculty or staff member counts the ballots,
ask if they can post the results on their office door.
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