Elections Rules

The Elections Committee has developed, reviewed, and agreed upon the following Eligibility Criteria, Campaign Rules, and Voting Information for the 2021 HESA Elections. All HES degree candidates who wish to run in the elections are expected to review and abide by these rules and criteria:

Violation of the rules below may result in the withdrawal of your candidacy.


  1. Keep your campaign positive. Focus on your own goals and objectives as President, Vice President, or Director. It is paramount to maintain the high ethical standards of Harvard University. Negative campaigning against other candidates, false claims against other candidates, and/or attacks on other candidates, will not be tolerated.

  2. You may email personal contacts and your own class lists about your nomination, but you (and anyone involved in your campaign) may not email students you do not know in some direct capacity. Student directory information is intended to be used to find individual student information for students you know. Bulk downloading of directory information is prohibited. The use of directory information to generate mailing lists for use by an individual or a student organization is prohibited.

  3. You may post about your campaign on your personal social media accounts provided it does not violate rule #2. If you are posting in a group, however, your post should be about the election as a whole, encouraging people to look at the information about each candidate as it’s sent out. You can mention your candidacy but your post should ask people to look at all the information and make their own decision.

  4. Flyers may be distributed to students enrolled in your current course(es). Posters and flyers may also be posted on this Elections website. Please do not campaign on any platforms created and/or utilized by HESA (e.g., HESA website, HESA Facebook account, HESA Twitter account, etc.).

  5. Official course communication platforms (e.g., Canvas, Zoom, etc.) may not be used for campaigning.

  6. Posters, flyers, and other outlets for your campaign (including social media) must not include Harvard emblems that would suggest endorsement by the administration. Harvard logos on items of clothing are allowed, since these do not suggest endorsement.

  7. Campaign materials – including posters, flyers, videos, website, and any other materials – are to be paid for by the candidate (or their campaign team) and must not cost in excess of $250 in total for the whole campaign.

  8. Student clubs may not endorse specific candidates to their email lists. They are entitled to share information about the HESA election, but they must include equal information about each candidate. Any club found to endorse specific candidates will be held accountable and are being notified as such by the Dean of Students Office.

  9. Should you win the election for your position, you will be contacted via email. You will have 24 hours from the time the email was sent to accept or decline the position.

  10. Should you run for the position of President or Vice President and fail to win the election for your position, you will be contacted by email. You will have approximately 48 hours to decide if you would like to run for one of the Director positions and submit appropriate materials if so desired.

  • Must be an admitted degree candidate. 
  • Must be in good academic and behavioral standing at Harvard.
  • Must have completed at least two full terms in their degree program (not including Summer).
  • Must identify and run on a platform that does not mirror the organizational efforts of the Division of Continuing Education and that can be achieved during a one-year term. (For example: The creation of programs and activities that better prepare students for leadership in a virtual workplace.).
  • At least one brief letter of recommendation from: a Harvard Extension School (HES) instructor; an HES academic advisor; or a mentor/manager that you know in a professional capacity.
    • This letter should speak to your ability to balance academic responsibilities with the responsibilities associated with being a member of the HESA Board. Recommendation of 250 words or less must be directly emailed by your recommender to deanofstudents@extension.harvard.edu. Late letters and letters submitted from an applicant’s email account will not be accepted. Letters must be submitted no later than Friday, April 9, at 12pm, EDT (for President and Vice President), or Wednesday, April 21, at 12pm EDT (for Director and Treasurer positions).

Note: All elected members of any student club, including HESA, can only hold one leadership role at Harvard. This includes participation in the Global Ambassadors Program.

  • Candidates must secure at least fifty-one percent (51%) of all votes in order to be elected to their corresponding HESA Leadership Board position.

  • Students will receive one unique voting link that is associated with their email account in order to cast their ballot. This link cannot be shared. Students are encouraged to review all of the candidates' materials on this website prior to accessing the link they receive to cast a ballot. (You may be unable to return to the ballot page upon leaving the page).