March 25, 2020 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

While the outbreak of COVID-19 has kept many of us indoors and somewhat disconnected, the resiliency and continuation of our AIAS chapters and the work they are doing needs to remain a priority. A lot of chapter leaders are wondering right now how to deal with things like elections on virtual platforms. Here is how the AIAS chapter at Oklahoma State University is dealing with this situation:

A Google Drive folder named “2020 Virtual Elections” was created with the chapter’s Google account, and made shareable (viewable, not editable) to anyone with the link to the folder. Within this folder are:

  1. A PDF titled “Requirements & Procedures” stating the requirements for being a candidate, and the full, but simply written Virtual Elections Procedures.
  2. A Google Form elections application, on which candidates will state their name, year and position(s) they are running for, as well as answer a couple of essay questions about their interest.
  3. A PDF with information about an optional Google Hangouts information meeting and Q&A, to be held on Wednesday, April 1st at 5:30pm (the same time that general AIAS meetings normally are held).
  4. A “Speech Videos” folder, which IS editable to everyone with the link, and in which there is a folder for each position in the elections.
  5. A “Position Descriptions/Duties” folder (not editable, but viewable), which holds a separate PDF for each position and a description of that position’s duties and responsibilities.

An email was sent out to the school with a link to the “2020 Virtual Elections” folder, with instructions to read the “Requirements & Procedures” PDF first. The “Virtual Elections Procedure” section of this PDF instructs students to read the candidate requirements and the Position Descriptions/Duties PDF for each position they are interested in. After that candidates are instructed to continue on to and complete the Google Form application, all of which are due by 5:00pm on Wednesday, April 8th. The final instruction is for candidates to record a maximum 2-minute long speech video for each position they are running for, and to submit those videos to their corresponding folder within the “Speech Videos” folder before 5:00pm on Sunday, April 12th.

The week of April 13th-17th all candidate answers to essay questions will be made available to the school through a separate Google Drive folder, and speech videos will be posted to the chapter’s instagram and added to that folder over the next week on a schedule which is outlined in the “Virtual Elections Procedure”. President and Vice President speeches will be posted on Monday, Secretary and Treasurer speeches will be posted on Tuesday, etc. This is to keep from flooding people’s Instagram feeds and to build anticipation for voting throughout the week. 

Voting will begin Monday, April 20th and end at 5:00pm on Wednesday, April 22nd. This way students will have plenty of time to learn that voting is happening and review the elections materials. Results of the elections will be posted on Instagram and sent in an email to the school that Thursday.

I hope this was helpful! Please remember that this process can be changed and adapted according to your own school’s culture and what works best there. Stay passionate and engaged, and our organization will come out of this even stronger than before!