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Contested Elections

After a comprehensive, months-long selection process, in which every alum suggested to the Council's Nominations Committee is considered, the Alumni Council announced its slate of candidates in the Winter Scene.
The elections process culminates at Reunion weekend: if no alum files a petition to run against any of the Alumni Council-nominated candidates, they are elected by unanimous consent. If an alum does file a petition—as any alum who gathers 75 signatures can do—then the Alumni Corporation holds a contested election, which occurs in the month or so before Reunion.

The Nominations Committee's comprehensive process described on the Alumni Council’s nominations and elections page, and election rules are fully laid out in the Alumni Corporation’s Bylaws.

Have there been contested elections before?
Since this process has been in place, there have been occasional challenges to the Alumni Council’s nominees, in each case by candidates sponsored or supported by a group called A Better Colgate ("ABC") or its predecessor organization “Students and Alumni For Colgate,” or “SA4C”. Since 2006, the first contested election, these elections have cost $210,000 in direct expenses so far, although with an amendment to the Alumni Corporation's by-laws to allow electronic voting, and other cost saving initiatives such as this year's "opt-out of paper" email campaign, we have been able to reduce the cost per election significantly.

Ballot Materials

For valid petition candidates received by April 10, 2015, the Alumni Corporation will prepare a ballot for each of the contested slots. Both Alumni Council-nominated and petition candidates will be asked to prepare the following statements by April 16, 2015 to be included in an official ballot:
  1. a personal statement that addresses “why I want to serve on the Alumni Council,” which is to be 100 words or less;
  2. a personal biography that includes whatever biographical information the candidate wishes to provide, which is to be 75 words or less, and
  3. a list of Colgate alumni volunteer activities, if any.
The Alumni Corporation must reserve the right to decline to publish information that is inaccurate, misleading or defamatory.

Voting Ballots

If there is contested election, voting ballots will be mailed on or about April 25, 2015, and an e-mail directing members to the online voting site will be sent on or about the same date. Periodic reminder e-mails will be sent before online polls closed on May 30, 2015.

If there is a contested election, alumni may vote in one of three ways:
  1. Alumni may vote online, at a secure website managed by an independent, third-party elections firm, using a username/password sent by postal mail and e-mail. The deadline for online voting is May 29, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. 
  2. Alumni may vote by mail, by returning the ballot received by mail according to the instructions on the ballot. Ballots submitted by mail must be received by May 29, 2015.
  3. Alumni may vote in person, by bringing their own ballot to Colgate on the date of the Alumni Corporation’s annual meeting. The time for in-person voting is 15 minutes after the start of the 9:45 start of the Annual Meeting on May 30, 2015.
These are the only means by which a member of the Alumni Corporation may vote.


The election results are announced here.