Electing your organization's newest leaders is one of the most important tasks to ensure the continuity of your RSO from year-to-year.  There are critical steps that your RSO should do before, during, and after the election. Please see the Elections Tip Sheet to help you with this process.

  • Steps to take before holding an election:

    1. Review your Constitution to clarify election procedures and requirements.
    2. Notify members of the election date in advance to ensure that as many members vote as possible.
    3. Create and advertise a form where members can nominate others or self-nominate themselves for a position.
    4. Ensure that all members are aware of who the candidates are, what position they are running for, and decide if you will allow same-day nominations.
  • Virtual Elections allow organization members to vote anonymously and review candidates at their own pace to make an informed decision.  Learn more about how to hold a virtual election on Owl Life.

    • Candidates may choose to pre-record a video or post a statement online for voters to view.
    • Ensure that members are given appropriate notice and instructions related to the online election. Have an officer on standby who can answer questions in the event of technology issues.

    When planning and conducting an In-Person Election, you may want to ask yourselves these questions:

    • Will the election be conducted anonymously?
    • How will members vote? Options may include:
      • Hand-raising
      • One-vote ballots: Voters select one candidate for each position
      • Ranked-vote ballots: Voters rank all candidates in terms of preference
      • A text-in option
      • A combination of an in-person meeting and virtual vote
    • How will instructions be given for voting procedures?
    • How will ballots be counted? During the meeting, or afterwards?
    • How will winners be announced?
  • There are some important steps you should take after the results of your election are announced:

    • Notify the Department of Student Activities of your new officers:
    • Follow the steps and tips listed below to ensure a successful transition between officers.


Once your new officers are elected, it is crucial to make sure there is a smooth transition from one executive board to the next.  This will help to pass down information, maintain momentum of the organization, and set up the incoming officers for success!  Here are some action steps that need to be taken as well as tips to ensure a smooth transition.

    1. Lean on your Advisor for help during the transition process.  Advisors help to onboard new officers and provide continuity between executive boards.
    2. Notify the Department of Student Activities of your new President, Reservation Delegate, and Treasurer (see the above Election section for instruction on how to complete this).
    3. Update your Owl Life roster to remove outgoing officers and add incoming officers (see Owl Life How-To for Managing a Roster).  Note that the President, Reservation Delegate, and Treasurer must be updated by the Department of Student Activities (see the above Election section for instruction on how to complete this).
    4. Hold a transition meeting with the incoming and outgoing Executive Boards.  This can be a good place for everyone to share advice, ask questions, and set goals.
    5. Attend a Transition Workshop hosted by the Department of Student Activities. See our Organization Leadership Development website for our workshop schedule.
    1. Transition Report: Ask the outgoing officer to complete a transition report to pass on to their successor.  If your RSO does not have transition reports, please see the Transition Report Template to help get you started.
    2. Organization Documents:  Pass down copies of all organization files, including constitution, bylaws, meeting agendas and minutes, election results, event planning documents, reservation requests and approvals, etc.  These files may be kept in an email account, USB, OneNote, Google Drive, or your advisor’s office.
    3. Account Information: Pass down the information for all of your organization’s accounts, including your off-campus bank account, email address, and social media accounts. For information about transferring your off-campus bank account, see the "Money Management Tips" section of the RSO Finances website.