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, and which is happening right now.
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
This year, four challengers have filed valid petitions to challenge the Alumni Council's nominee. The names, autobiographies, and statements prepared by the candidates as to why they are running for the Alumni Council are on the Ballot
page. They are also available on the official election website. This year, as in prior years, the petition candidates are supported by ABC ("A Better Colgate"), an independent organization not associated with Colgate which advocates for reforming the governance of Colgate through direct alumni elections of Trustees.
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.
In the years where elections have been required, the number of petition candidates has varied, from a high of eight in 2006. This year, there are four petition candidates running against the Alumni Council's selected nominees.
For valid petition candidates received by April 10, 2014, 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, 2014 to be included in an official ballot:
- a personal statement that addresses “why I want to serve on the Alumni Council,” which is to be 100 words or less;
- a personal biography that includes whatever biographical information the candidate wishes to provide, which is to be 75 words or less, and
- 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 were mailed on or about April 25, 2014, and an e-mail directing members to the online voting site was sent on or about the same date. Periodic reminder e-mails were sent before online polls closed on May 30, 2014.
Alumni may vote in one of three ways:
- 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 30, 2014.
- 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 31, 2014.
- 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 31, 2014.
These are the only means by which a member of the Alumni Corporation may vote.
The election results are announced here