Student Bar Association

Constitution

ARTICLE VI

Elections, Vacancies, Removal, and Term of Office

  1. Elections
    1. Administration: The SBA Election Committee shall coordinate, supervise, and administer all SBA Executive Council elections.
    2. Dates:
      1. First-year elections will begin with the nomination process during the second week of classes in the fall semester, and shall complete the election process by the end of the fourth week of classes in the fall semester.
      2. The SBA will commence the nomination process no later than four (4) weeks before the end of class, and complete the election process by no later than two weeks prior to the end of classes.
      3. The SBA Election Committee shall fix the dates for the: informational meeting, the opening of nominations, the closing of nominations, candidates' forums, the campaigning period, and the polling and election dates.
    3. Eligibility and Certification
      1. SBA Executive Board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, SBA Comptroller, ABA-LSD Representative, Honor Board Chairperson, and USGA Senator):
        The member of the student body seeking office must certify that he or she will attend the Law School for at least one (1) full additional year, and must designate his or her expected class and division for the coming academic year. The candidate shall also designate his or her current class and division. The candidate must also certify to uphold the SBA Constitution and By-Laws, and the Standing Rules.
      2. Class Officers, Honor Board members, and USGA Senators:
        The member of the student body seeking office must certify that he/she will be a member of the class (year) and division (day or evening) to which he/she seeks office for at least one (1) full additional year, unless special exception is given by the SBA Executive Board. The candidate shall also designate his or her current class and division. The candidate must also certify to uphold the SBA Constitution and By-Laws, and the Standing Rules.
      3. First Year Class Officers (Fall Election):
        Each first-year student seeking office must certify that he/she is a first year student, and designate his/her current division (day or evening). The candidate must also certify to uphold the SBA Constitution and By-Laws, and the Standing Rules.
      4. Certification: The SBA Parliamentarian shall certify the accuracy (enrollment status, class, and division) of all of the candidates for office with the Dean's office prior to the election.f
    4. Campaign and Election Rules
      1. Spring elections: The SBA Parliamentarian shall propose Campaign and Election Rules, including all dates, polling times, rules on campaigning by polling places, postering policies, and criteria for disqualification for the spring elections to the SBA Executive Council at its second meeting of the spring semester.
      2. Fall elections: The SBA Parliamentarian shall propose Campaign and Election Rules for the fall elections (incoming first year officers) during the first meeting of the SBA Executive Council in the fall semester, or the SBA Parliamentarian shall propose the rules to the SBA Executive Board, if the SBA Executive Council fails to meet prior to the second week of classes of the fall semester.
    5. Nominations
      1. The Election Committee shall have available sufficient nomination forms for all eligible members of the student body on the SBA bulletin board or available on the SBA website and attach in an email to the student body, or when applicable, to the appropriate class listserv, and have extra copies of such available in the SBA office. Such forms shall also include a brief description of the SBA, the duties of the offices up for election, and all dates for the entire election process.
      2. The SBA Parliamentarian, with a majority vote of the SBA Executive Board, may extend for up to one (1) week the nomination period for any office without an official nomination.
      3. Upon the deadline for filing nominations, the SBA Parliamentarian shall post, within twenty-four (24) hours, the list of official candidates on all SBA bulletin boards and in an e-mail to the student body or, when applicable, to the appropriate class listserve.
    6. Informational Meeting
      1. Prior to the close of the nomination period, the Election Committee will hold an informational meeting for candidates interested in seeking office, and provide notice to the student body of the meeting.
    7. Candidates' Forum
      1. After the nomination period has closed, the Election Committee may hold, after providing notice to the student body, a Candidates' Forum for all offices. The forum shall place a special emphasis on contested offices.
    8. Campaigning
      1. Candidates for office may begin campaigning, subject to the above rules, immediately upon making a valid nomination and filing for office with the SBA. Campaigning must cease once the last polling place has closed for the election, and candidates must remove all campaign paraphernalia within 24 hours after the posting of results.
    9. Write-ins
      1. All ballots shall provide a blank line for write-in candidates for each office. To be counted as a valid vote, a write-in candidate must be eligible for that particular office pursuant to this Article. If a write-in candidate wins a particular office, the SBA Parliamentarian shall immediately certify, with the Dean's Office, that the candidate is eligible for election to that office. All write-in candidates are bound by the Campaign Rules.
    10. Polling and Elections
      1. The SBA Parliamentarian shall supervise, either paper or electronic, all polling during the elections, and shall insure that adequate voting times exist for both day and evening students.
      2. The Elections Committee, chaired by the SBA Parliamentarian, shall develop the Campaign Rules.  The Campaign Rules shall be provided to all candidates upon making a valid nomination and filing for office with the SBA.
      3. The SBA Parliamentarian, in the Campaign Rules, shall prohibit campaigning within the immediate sight or sound of a polling station. The Campaign Rules shall state with particularity the polling locations and the areas in which campaigning is prohibited. Specifically, in the case of electronic voting, a candidate or candidate’s representative shall not campaign if he or she knows a person is voting. The SBA Parliamentarian shall enforce this restriction during the polling period.
      4. The winner of a class election shall be determined by a simple majority of the votes cast for that office by the class. If no candidate has a simple majority vote of the votes cast for that office, the top two (2) candidates will proceed to a run-off. In the case of an election for which there is more than one open position, the winners shall be the candidates accumulating the largest number of votes.
      5. The winner of an SBA Executive Board election shall be determined by a simple majority vote of the votes cast for that office by the entire student body. If no candidate has a simple majority vote of the votes cast by the entire student body for that office, the top two (2) candidates will proceed to a run-off.
      6. The Parliamentarian shall schedule a run-off, and insure adequate publicity, no later than seven (7) days after that election.
    11. Results; Recounts; Protests and Appeals
      1. The SBA Parliamentarian shall certify the election results twenty-four (24) hours after the end of polling. Upon certification, the SBA Parliamentarian shall notify, by phone, email, or in person, all candidates for election. After notification, the results shall be given to the SBA Secretary to be posted and immediately distributed to the student body, pursuant to the SBA Secretary's duties.
      2. Any candidate may request, with or without cause, a recount, in writing, for the office in which he/she was a candidate within twenty-hour (24) hours of the posting of the results.
      3. A candidate may also file a protest of the election, in writing, to the SBA Parliamentarian, within twenty-four (24) hours of the conclusion of the polling. The SBA Parliamentarian shall have the authority to order a new election for a particular office. Decisions of the SBA Parliamentarian may be appealed by anyone, and overruled by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the SBA Executive Council.
    12. Special Election, Referenda
      1. The SBA Parliamentarian shall propose election rules for special elections and referenda, which the SBA Executive Council shall adopt by a simple majority vote.
  2. Removal
    1. Any SBA officer, committee chairperson, or committee member may resign from office by forwarding a letter, in writing, to the SBA President and SBA Secretary.
    2. Upon submission to the Executive Council of a petition containing the signatures of two-thirds (2/3) of the full membership of any class unit, the class officer named in the petition shall be automatically removed from office. Upon submission to the Executive Council of a petition containing the signatures of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire student body, the SBA Executive Board member or other school-wide elected SBA office named in the petition shall be automatically removed from office. The SBA Parliamentarian shall verify the two-thirds (2/3) count with the Dean of Student Affairs.
    3. The SBA Executive Council may remove any elected or appointed officer of the SBA Executive Council for malfeasance in office, which includes, but is not limited to: misuse of funds, including unauthorized incursion of debt or expenditure of funds without budgetary authority; conviction of any violation of the Honor Code; substantial and willful failure to perform their duties of office; or willful violations of the SBA Constitution and By-Laws.
      1. Any elected SBA member may file a written impeachment petition with the SBA Secretary to initiate the removal process. Said petition shall state with particularly the grounds for impeachment and removal from office. In the case of the impeachment of the SBA Secretary, the SBA Vice President shall perform the SBA Secretary's functions under this section.
      2. The SBA Secretary shall forward a written copy of the impeachment petition to the accused member, along with a copy of Article VI, section B of the SBA Constitution and By-laws. The accused shall have at least one week to file a written response with the SBA Secretary. The SBA Secretary shall then transmit a copy of the impeachment petition, and the response of the accused, with the regular agenda and voting items to all SBA members pursuant to the SBA Secretary's duties of office.
      3. The accused member shall be removed from office only upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the entire voting membership of the SBA, taken by roll call vote in open session.
    4. The SBA President shall designate, in writing, to the member and the SBA Secretary, as an "absentee" any elected, voting officer of the SBA Executive Council who shall, without a valid excuse, fail to attend two consecutive meetings or a total of three meetings of the SBA Executive Council. The absentee member is automatically removed from office upon notification in writing. The SBA President shall publish a written policy regarding excused and unexcused absences from SBA Executive Council meetings. For purposes of this section, a meeting includes a meeting scheduled but not commenced due to the inability to obtain a quorum. The SBA Secretary shall take attendance at such a meeting.
    5. Honor Board members and USGA Senators may additionally be removed from office pursuant to the Honor Code and USGA Constitution, respectively.
  3. Vacancies
    1. The SBA Parliamentarian shall certify the accuracy (enrollment status, class, and division) of all elected SBA members with the Dean's office at the beginning of each semester. A law student may only serve as a representative of that class and division in which he or she is currently registered with the Dean's office. If a law student changes his or her division or class after election to a different division or class, his or her elected SBA office automatically becomes vacant, unless the student holds an office elected by the entire student body. A part time student is eligible to serve in any of the above mentioned positions.
    2. Upon a permanent vacancy occurring in the office of SBA President, the SBA Vice President shall succeed to the SBA Presidency. In the case of simultaneous vacancies, the SBA Treasurer, or if vacant the SBA Secretary, or if vacant the SBA Parliamentarian, shall succeed to the SBA Presidency.
    3. Upon a permanent vacancy occurring in the office of Honor Board Chairperson or ABA / LSD Representative, SBA Parliamentarian, SBA Comptroller, SBA Webmaster, or USGA Senator, the SBA President shall appoint a replacement, with the approval of a simple majority of the SBA Executive Board, to complete the un-expired term of the officer.
    4. Upon a permanent vacancy occurring in the office of class president, the class vice president shall succeed to the class presidency. Upon a permanent vacancy in the office of class vice president, class representative, USGA Senator, or Honor Board member, the class president of the affected body shall appoint, with the concurrence of a simple majority vote of the remaining class officers, a member of said body as a replacement to complete the un-expired term of the officer. The appointed officer must qualify to fill the position as outlined in this document.
    5. The appointing authority shall fill all vacancies under this section within three (3) weeks.
    6. The SBA may, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, order a special election for any vacant elected office. Said election shall occur no later than three (3) weeks after such vacancy occurs.
    7. Any vacancies not filled within three weeks of the vacancy shall be appointed by the SBA President, with the approval from the SBA Executive Board.
  4. Term of Office

    First year class officers take office upon election in the fall. After spring elections, all successful candidates become SBA officers-elect, and take office immediately upon the graduation of the outgoing class. The outgoing SBA shall invite SBA officers-elect to hold an organizational meeting during the final SBA Executive Council meeting in April. All appointed SBA members shall take office upon appointment in writing.


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved