Election of the Rector

The Rector is elected by students to a three-year term, but until 1969 no students were chosen; instead, the Rector tended to be some prominent friend of Queen's, such as the senior public servant O.D. Skelton (1929-1935), former Prime Minister R.B. Bennett (1935-1937), and the businessman and chair of the CBC Leonard Brockington (1947-1968). In 1969, students forced the resignation of the Rector, Senator Grattan O'Leary - since that time, students have been elected to the post.

The students registered in academic programs of the University shall, in accordance with the By-laws of the University Council (Section F), elect a Rector to hold office for three years from the date of election or until a successor is elected, whichever is later.

The Rector represents and is responsible to all students of Queen's University (undergraduate and graduate). The Rector is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees of Queen's University. The Rector may be called upon to participate in ceremonial and administrative functions as a representative of all students. Review the Rector Position Summary.

The Rector election normally occurs during the winter term but is subject to change at the discretion of the incumbent Rector. The Rector is elected to serve a three year term and may be a member of the AMS or SGPS (Society of Graduate & Professional Studies) making it the largest campus-wide election.

Election Process

The election process comes in four important parts: Nomination, Validation, Campaigning, and Voting. This next process will take place in Winter 2024, so be on the lookout for updates on the AMS website

Information Sessions: Before the process begins, the AMS will be holding several information sessions which will cover everything you may need to know. 

Nominations: The Nomination period is the first step in running to be the Rector. This week provides the opportunity for candidates to acquire a nomination package (found on myams.org/elections), which will contain all pertinent information. The nomination package is an exhaustive list of rules and regulations, as well as important deadlines pertaining to the election season. As well, to complete the nomination process, candidates will have to solicit 2% of AMS and SGPS student signatures to be able to run (details on how to collect signatures are in the package). 

Validation: All candidates who have obtained the minimum required number of signatures must have Assembly approval to be placed on the ballot. Candidates will attend assembly and answer questions put forward to them, as well as be verified as an SGPS or AMS member. 

Campaigning: The Campaigning period generally lasts 7-10 days (about 1 1/2 weeks). There are rules and regulations surrounding this period that candidates must abide by and can be found in University Rector Elections Policy and Procedures Manual  (and your Nomination Package). Candidates are permitted to have a campaign team and manager, to help facilitate and run their campaigns. This information must be disclosed to the Chief Electoral Officer and SGPS representative. As well, a debate will be held to discuss platforms and policies. Candidates are required to submit their platform at least 48 hours ahead of the debate.  

      Platform Tips:

  • Your platform will be public and include a biography and description of major campaign ideas.  
  • Platforms are a great way to convey your ideas to the student body and student news networks.  They demonstrate not only your overall goals for the year, but how you as a leader will strive to benefit the school community in a positive way.  Make sure to follow the checklist to cover all bases, as well as to see some past platforms. 
  • Pillar-based approaches are highly suggested, as each can represent a broad area of interest relevant to the diversity of the student population.  Then, each pillar can be broken down and expanded into sub-categories. 

Voting: At the end of the campaign period, students will have 2 days to vote for their preferred candidate. The results will be announced the evening of the second day of voting. 

Who Can Run?

To be eligible to run for Rector, you must be a member of either the Alma Mater Society or the Society of Graduate and Professional Students

Members of the AMS include: 

  1. Payment of an AMS Specific Student Fee (generally paid in September with Tuition) 
  2. Membership in one of the following AMS Member Societies: 
  • Arts and Science Undergraduate Society 
  • Commerce Society 
  • Concurrent Education Students Association 
  • DAN School Undergraduate Society 
  • Engineering Society 
  • Health Sciences Society 
  • MBA Society 
  • Nursing Students’ Society 
  • Physical and Health Education and Kinesiology Students Association 

A member of the SGPS is defined as: any full-time or part-time, on-campus or off-campus, graduate student or professional student enrolled at Queen’s University and belonging to one of the Constituent Bodies. 

How to Run Guide:

A full, how-to-run guide with information on how to build a platform, the election process, and Rector history will be released on the AMS website. 

AMS Policy on Elections:  

The Rector is a representative of both undergraduate and graduate students, and therefore has election policies for both the AMS and SGPS. There is only one policy document,  however, any changes that need to be made must be approved by both bodies respectively. More on elections and Rector elections policy.  

For general information on Elections and Referenda, consult the AMS Constitution, Section 4

Please contact speaker@sgps.ca for SGPS policy on Rector Elections. 

Contact Information: 

AMS Chief Electoral Officer: ceo@ams.queensu.ca 

  • The CEO is responsible for organizing the logistics, marketing, facilitating the nomination and campaign periods, hearing complaints during the Elections process, and responsible for issuing any rulings and/or sanctions to elections.

AMS Secretary of Internal Affairs: secretariat@ams.queensu.ca 

  • The AMS Secretary is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Elections Team, and for ensuring that the process abides by AMS Policy.  Contact the Secretary with any questions related to elections policy or eligibility.

Follow the AMS and SGPS Social media channels for timely updates.