The Face Behind the Chief Returning Officer

Interesting in applying for an AMS position for the 2015-2015 school year? This week we have profiled AMS Chief Returning Officer, Tyler Lively, for an insight on his job and experience thus far. Getting involved can give you invaluable experience that can be applied to future jobs and leave you with many lasting memories! The deadline for Chief Returning Officer, as well as other positions including deputies, coordinators and directors, are due March 2nd. For more information, visit: .


How would you describe your position and why did you choose this particular one?

I serve as the Chief Returning Officer. My job consists of managing the day-to-day operations of the elections team. I’m here to ensure elections and referendums run smoothly, that campaigns are aware of requirements and policy, and that people get out and vote. I applied for the position of CRO because it deals a lot with policy, and because of my interest in student governance. I used to sit on AMS assembly, and dealing with policy and how to make it better was one of my big interests. Now I get a chance to deal with it on a pretty consistent basis, as well as the ability to improve the policy for such an important aspect of the AMS.

Elections are the lifeblood of the society. If they’re not run well, neither will the AMS as a whole. Referenda and the resulting student fees fund so many different initiatives; Executive, Trustee, and Rector elections have a huge influence on not only the AMS, but the university as a whole. Running these elections well helps gets more students involved, and leads to better governance. The result is a better student experience, and that’s why I do it.

What was your experience going into your position?

Going into the position, I had sat on AMS assembly and also helped out on an AMS executive election campaign both in first year (I’m in 3rd year now).

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I usually come in to the office twice a week for a few hours, with more time put in during the elections periods in the fall and winter. It’s a pretty dynamic position, so I’m never really doing the same thing two days in a row. One day I might be meeting with a campaign to go over policy for the election, and another I could be meeting with Marketing and Communications to go over our marketing efforts for the elections. It’s the ability to always be doing something new that makes the job really interesting, and something I didn’t realize about the job coming in.

What is your area of authority/what do you get to make decisions about?

In my position I get to make decisions about a number of things such as what our marketing strategy will be and what kind of formats should the debates use. A lot of what goes on during the elections period is set by policy, but there is a fair degree of latitude. I work with the Chief Electoral Officer to make more subjective decisions about policy, and to set up sanctions for the election and referenda periods. Essentially, I have the final call on logistics with the CEO and Commissioner of Internal Affairs to decide on interpretations of policy.

What were some rewarding things you got out of the experience?

The most rewarding thing I got out of my experience as CRO was running the Fall referendum with the largest turnout in over two decades. We got over 34% of the student population out to vote: better than even the executive election last year.

Any questions regarding these positions can be directed to the Talent Acquisition Manager, Breanne Martin at . Any questions about the hiring procedure should be addressed to the Human Resources Officer, Meg Monteith at

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