CSA Senate Elections

The Basics

CSA Senate is the primary forum for the discussion and advancement of student affairs. We mainly develop and execute projects that address current issues raised by the student body through our subsidiary committees and working groups. CSA Senate is comprised of 3 CSA Executives, namely, CSA President, Vice-President, and Treasurer, 2 Class Representatives from each respective class, Office and Committee Liaisons, a Public Relations Officer, and a CSA Secretary. 

We have 2 election seasons:

  1. Winter Term Elections – for CSA President, Vice-President, Public Relations Officer, and Class Representatives;
  2. Spring Term Elections – for Committee and Office Liaisons.

Prospective Class Representatives are voted upon by students of their respective classes while prospective CSA Executives and the Public Relations Officer are elected at-large from the entire student body. 

Vacant positions are filled through the Appointments Committee during the off-season.  


Weeks 1-4: We make position announcements before the fifth week of the respective term. These announcements include the position descriptions, due dates of platform and petition submissions, and dates of the Candidate Debates and the election.

Week 4: We encourage prospective candidates to declare their candidacy via an online commitment form administered by the CSA President.

Week 5: We encourage prospective candidates to submit their platforms and petitions via an online commitment form administered by the CSA President. Platforms are usually due three days prior to petition submissions. Candidates become official only when they have submitted these forms.

Week 6-7: This is the public campaigning period. It starts immediately after platforms have been uploaded to the CSA website. Candidates are not allowed to publicly campaign before this time, unless instructed otherwise.

Week 7, Thursday: Candidate Debates take place before the election polls open. The polls open immediately after the Debates and close on Sunday at midnight. Candidates and their supporters may ask students to vote during this period and provide them with a device on which to vote. However, they are strictly prohibited from coercing students to vote specifically for a certain candidate.

Week 8, Monday: The CSA President announces the election results in an all-campus email. Winners are determined by plurality. In elections with two winners, the two candidates with the most ballots cast will be declared the winners. In elections with one winner, the candidate with the most ballots cast will be declared the winner.

Election Guidelines

  1. Candidates must be current members of the CSA. This means that candidates must be enrolled students at Carleton College. 
  2. No candidate may knowingly destroy or deface another candidate’s property.
  3. No candidate may spend more than $25.00 on their campaign.
  4. No candidate may receive or act upon inside information regarding the progress of the election before the polls close.
  5. No CSA Chartered Organization may spend any money on a candidate.
  6. A candidate shall not use a CSA Chartered Organization’s email list to campaign. Emails shall be typed manually and distributed thereafter.
  7. Candidates must consult any relevant student group, club, or organization before referencing them in their platforms, future plans, and other campaign activities 
  8. Candidates must include signatures of all clubs and organizations referenced in their platforms.
  9. A candidate may have a maximum of 30 posters, with a maximum of 4 per building, up at any one time during the campaign.
  10. Willful violation of these rules by candidates may be referred by majority vote of the Election Committee to the Senate, which may, by two-thirds vote, bar guilty candidates from running again for one academic term and/or refuse to seat any guilty winner, in which case a special election must be held in the same term for the vacant seat. Candidates will be held accountable for any infractions of these guidelines by friends campaigning for them.