SBA By-Laws


SBA By-Laws

I. Administration

Section One: Purpose and Administration

The purpose of this bylaw is to define the process by which the Student Bar Association (SBA) administers and manages groups, organizations, offices, and property under its authority and possession.

Section Two: Maintenance of Premises

A. Postings: To assist in the maintenance of the premises, all postings shall only be allowed on the corkboards designated to the student organization sponsoring the event or the SBA boards on the west wall of the lounge and the locker room. (The locker room is defined as the area with lockers not extending beyond the mailboxes). Postings must not contain illegal or discriminatory content. The SBA is authorized to remove postings at will without notice.

B. Property : The SBA maintains two refrigerators and two microwaves for student, faculty, and staff use. Each Sunday, these appliances will be cleaned and items contained therein discarded.

II. Budget Committee

Section One: Purpose and Administration

The purpose of this bylaw is to define the process by which student organizations can request and receive budgets from the SBA.

Section Two: Procedure

A. General Rule: The Budget Committee (Committee) will propose, for SBA approval, a budget each year. In the event there is a dispute regarding the budget, The Treasurer and the President shall investigate and initiate ameliorative and disciplinary procedures where necessary.

B. Student Organization Registration: Each student organization must register with the SBA by providing a list of its executive officers and its advisor. Without registration, the organization will be considered defunct for the school year, and during that time will be unable to receive funds or publicity in SBA documents distributed to prospective applicants until the following school year.

C. Budget Request Forms (BRF): Within the first three weeks of the fall semester the Treasurer will transmit BRFs to all official student groups. These groups shall file such BRFs within seven days with the Treasurer. The BRF shall elicit such information as is relevant to determine a student group’s intended use of funds. Relevant information includes, but is not limited to: (1) members of the group; (2) planned events; (3) leadership; (4) past budgetary history; and (5) outside funding sources. Examples of inappropriate uses of SBA funds include, but are not limited to, events closed to any student or misappropriation of funds.

D. Allocation: The Budget Committee allocates funds according to the information provided in the BRFs and available SBA funds.

E. Appeals: The Treasurer shall entertain comments on and appeals of the Budget by students appearing at a general SBA meeting.

F. Appeals: The Treasurer shall entertain comments on and appeals of the Budget by students appearing at a general SBA meeting.

III. Elections

Section One: General Provisions

A. All enrolled Notre Dame Law School students, including L.L.M. students and J.S.D. students, in good standing are eligible to vote in the SBA elections.

B. All candidates for SBA or Honor Council ( “Candidates” ) must abide by the provisions of this Article and by any additional campaigning guidelines set forth by the Election Commissioner and approved by a majority vote of the SBA ( “Campaigning Guidelines” ). Failure to abide by the SBA Constitution, the SBA By-Laws, and/or Campaigning Guidelines may result in disqualification at the discretion of the Election Commissioner.

1. Campaign Material:

a. All Candidates may have one ( 1 ) sign posted for them, not to exceed 8 ½ by 11 inches. Signs must be turned in to the Election Commissioner to post. Any illegally posted signs will be removed and may result in disqualification.

b. All Candidates may write a statement ( “Statement of Candidacy” ) to state their qualifications and advocate their candidacy. Statements of Candidacy must be turned in to the Election Commissioner for approval. Once approved, the Election Commissioner will distribute Statements via email to the appropriate listserv( s ). Any illegally disseminated Statements or other e-mails may result in disqualification.

c. All Statements and signs must be appropriate to a professional setting, and under no circumstances may contain graphic, obscene, sexual, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate content. All Statements of Candidacy must meet the criteria set forth in the University of Notre Dame’s Responsible Use of Information Technologies Resources Policy. If either the Election Commissioner or the Law School Student Services Program Director does not approve any Statement, sign, or portion thereof, or a Statement or sign violates a portion of this Article, a Candidate may modify his or her e-mail within twenty-hour ( 24 ) hours of receiving notice that the e-mail did not gain approval to conform with this provision. If the Statement or sign is not approved after a second draft is reviewed by the Election Commissioner and Law School Student Services Program Director, the Candidate will forfeit the right to disseminate a Statement or sign (as appropriate) to the student body per Section B( 1 )( a ) or Section B( 1 )( b ) of this Article.

2. Electronic Media:

a. The use of the Notre Dame listserv or group email by any Candidate ( with the exception of the Candidate’s Statement of Candidacy, as provided in Section ( B )( 1 ) (b ) of this Article ) is strictly prohibited. No Candidate may use any Law School or University e-mail listserv (including, but not limited to, for the entire Law School, a course, or for a student group) during his or her campaign, whether for campaign or non-campaign purposes.

b. A Candidate may not send any e-mail for campaign purposes other than the Statement of Candidacy.

c. Candidates may not have anyone send listserv or group e-mails for campaign purposes on their behalf.

d. Students may not use or develop websites or any other electronic media for use as campaign material and may not use social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace, or any file sharing website, such as YouTube, for any campaign purpose. Candidates may add images to e-mails from websites (including .gif and .jpg file types) but may not provide hyperlinks, QR codes, or other means of accessing a website, file, application, program, or any means to direct a user away from the Statement’s content in either their Statement of Candidacy e-mail or on any campaign signs.

e. All interested Candidates must attend one informational meeting before any election cycle to discuss pertinent election rules as outlined in the SBA Constitution and By-Laws and any Campaigning Guidelines for that election cycle. The Election Commissioner will set the dates and times for all informational meetings. The Election Commissioner will conduct no fewer than two informational meetings, the content of which will be identical at each meeting.

3. Candidates may not distribute anything of nominal or substantive value – such as food/ drink items, buttons/ribbons/stickers/pins, or any products of this nature – to gain support for their candidacy.

4. Campaigning is prohibited within ten ( 10 ) feet of the SBA Office.

5. The only permitted campaigning is verbal, face-to-face campaigning. No Candidate may mention any other member of the Law School community, including any Candidate for any other office, while campaigning, except where a Candidate’s qualifications include work with a Law School faculty or staff member. Campaign e-mails other than as permitted in Section (B)(1) of this Section, text messages, phone calls, stickers, pamphlets, signs other than as permitted in Section (B)(1) of this Section, cards, etc. for campaign purposes are strictly prohibited.

6. Statements of Candidacy and Entry into Elections

a. The Election Commissioner shall set a time at which all Statements of Candidacy are due. Any Statements submitted after that time (subject to any Statements rejected based on content, see Article III(1)©) will not be disseminated to any appropriate class listservs.

b. The Statement of Candidacy shall be sufficient for a Candidate to declare his or her candidacy. If a Candidate wishes to run for office but does not wish to submit a Statement of Candidacy, he or she may contact the Election Commissioner no later than the time at which Statements of Candidacy are due to declare his or her candidacy.

c. No Candidates may enter into any race after the time at which Statements of Candidacy are due. No Candidates may declare their candidacy for any other office than the one for which they had declared to run after Statements of Candidacy are due.

7. Election Schedule

a. Elections for 1L SBA Representatives and Honor Council Representatives (“1L Elections”) will be held during the third week of classes in the first semester.

b. Elections for SBA President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer (“Executive Board Elections”) for the following school year will be held as soon after April 1 as possible based on the Academic Calendar. In no event shall Executive Board Elections begin less than one month prior to the last day of scheduled Law School exams.

c. Elections for all other positions (“Representative Elections”) will be held the week after Executive Board Elections take place, unless such a timeframe would not be possible based on the Academic Calendar. In no event shall Representative Elections coincide with or occur prior to Executive Board Elections, nor shall Representative Elections begin less than three weeks prior to the last day of scheduled Law School exams.

C. Disqualification: The Election Commissioner may, at his or her discretion, disqualify any Candidate for violation of the regulations. Upon motion and second of any SBA officer or representative, the SBA may overturn any disqualification with a two-thirds vote of all voting board members.

D. Conflicts of Interest: If the Vice President is a candidate for any position in an election, he or she shall appoint a substitute Election Commissioner from the voting board members. The SBA may veto any appointment upon motion and second and a two-thirds vote of the voting board members.

Section Two: Terms

A. Representatives: first year representatives shall begin their terms once all first year representative elections are complete. Second year representatives, third year representatives, and ABA representatives shall begin their terms on the day following the date of May graduation.

B. Executive Officers: Executive Officers shall begin their terms on the day following the date of May graduation.

Section Three: Voting Procedures

Results: Upon the closing of a voting period, the Election Commissioner shall publish within twenty-four hours full election results to the entire student body. Vote totals will be affirmed by the President and may then be released at the discretion of the Election Commissioner. If the Election Commissioner suspects any inconsistency or error in the election results he or she will conduct an investigation and provide a report to the SBA.

IV. New Student Organizations

Section One: Purpose and Administration

Purpose: The purpose of this bylaw is to standardize criteria for the approval and maintenance of student groups seeking approval of the SBA. All constructions of this bylaw shall be made in light of this purpose.

Section Two: Procedure

A. Qualifications: A student organization that seeks SBA approval must have ten (10) registered members, twenty (20) student signatures supporting the group’s formation, a constitution, a faculty advisor, and a proposed budget.

B. Procedure: One week before the organization seeks approval, a representative of the organization shall submit all of the qualification requirements to the SBA Secretary. The representative(s) of the proposed organization shall make a presentation to the SBA and answer questions regarding the organization. After the presentation, representatives of the proposed group shall be excused, and the SBA will debate and then vote on the proposed organization. The SBA voting board members, when voting, may only consider if the group has met the requirements mentioned in this bylaw. Any group meeting these requirements shall be approved.

Section Three: Benefits

Benefits of Approval: A student organization must have SBA approval to be eligible for SBA funds. Status does not guarantee funding, which is at the discretion of the SBA Budget Committee.

V. Student Petitions:

A. Procedure: Any student(s) may bring a petition on any issue to the SBA during public comments at an SBA weekly meeting. The petition should include a statement of concern. The statement may include signatures representing student support on the issue presented.

B. Decision Making Factors: The SBA may decide to support, not to support, or to request more information regarding the issue. In reviewing the issue presented by the student(s), the SBA will consider the impact on the student body, the demonstration of support, and the gravity of the issue presented.

C. Response: The SBA will take action and will notify the student(s) of the outcome within two weeks. The student may inquire about the current status at any time.

VI. Amending By-Laws

Section One: Purpose and Administration

Purpose The purpose of this bylaw is to delineate methods which shall be used by the Student Bar Association (SBA) in amending bylaws.

Section Two: Procedure

A. Proposal of New Bylaw: A new bylaw may be proposed on one of two ways:

… If the President determines that a new bylaw is needed, he or she may instruct the Vice-President to form a bylaw committee. The committee shall meet as necessary to draft the new bylaw(s) and present the bylaws to the general body for a vote.

… Any SBA member may draft a new bylaw and submit it to the general body for a vote, which must be approved by a majority of the SBA.

B. Amendment of Existing Bylaws

Amendments must be approved by a majority of the SBA body.