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2009 Spring Student Election Rules
Candidates and their supporters must follow all election guidelines outlined in this document. Failure to do so may result in disqualification of candidates by the Trustee Nominating Committee, hereafter referred to as the committee.
Candidates must meet all of the petition requirements by the petition deadline to be eligible to participate in the election.
- Student candidates must be registered, full-time students in residence at the Ithaca campus, and plan to be so for the duration of their two-year term as trustee. Undergraduate students may run for trustee in odd years and graduate or professional students may run for trustee in even years.
- Each petition must have 200 valid signatures. It is recommended that candidates collect more than 200 signatures in the event that some cannot be validated.
- Only official petition forms will be accepted.
- The Office of the Assemblies will contact petitioners within 48 hours of the petitioning deadline if their petitions are deemed invalid.
- All petitions may be reviewed in the Office of the Assemblies (109 Day Hall, Monday — Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) by any member of the community who wishes to examine them. Petitions may not be photocopied.
- All candidates must attend mandatory meetings or to send a proxy on their behalf. If they fail to do so, they will be disqualified from the election.
2. Promotional Materials
- Each candidate may receive 150 single sided 8 1/2” X 11” photocopied, black and white impressions at no charge. Poster or quarter card design should be submitted to the Office of the Assemblies, 109 Day Hall, for copying. Candidates may select the color of paper on which the materials are printed from a standard palette provided by the office. All materials must include the dates and times of the election that are set in the elections calendar.
- Each candidate must complete the candidate background questions and statement via the web. Statements will be posted at the Trustee elections website, used on the ballot, and published in campus publications.
- The Office of the University Registrar (B7 Day Hall) will take photographs of candidates prior to the petitioning deadline on the calendar. These photos and other candidate information will appear in campus publications, on the web and on the ballots. Candidates must use the official photo form.
- All candidates are encouraged to participate in the Candidates’ Forum held by the Cornell Daily Sun.
1. Maintaining a Fair Environment
Candidates and their supporters shall comply with the election rules stated here. They shall not create an intimidating or uncomfortable environment for other candidates, students, or employees. They must notify the committee of any potential violations immediately after they occur by emailing the Office of the Assemblies. They shall rectify any violations to the best of their ability upon notification by the committee.
Candidates and their supporters may not exceed $150 for out-of-pocket spending and fair market value of donations of materials, professional services1. Candidates must submit all receipts and proof of fair market value to the Office of the Assemblies, 109 Day Hall, by the deadline specified in the elections calendar. If no money was spent for the campaign, a personally signed, dated statement of zero ($0) spending is still required to be turned in by the deadline.
All campaign materials, either physical or electronic, published by candidates and/or their supporters are to promote only the Student Trustee candidate.
2. Early Campaigning
Candidates and their supporters must refrain from the following campaign activities until campaigning officially begins:
- distributing printed or electronic campaign material to the public,
- advertising candidacy by chalk, poster or other method designed for public viewing, or,
- making speeches or statements to student organizations.
3. Compliance with Campus Life Policies and Conduct Codes
Candidates and supporters acting on their behalf must be aware of and comply with all applicable campus policies and conduct codes, including but not limited to:
- University Postering & Chalking Policy,
- Campus Life policy for posting in Residence Halls,
- Dining hall policies2, including a prohibition on distributing printed campaign materials in dining halls without permission from authorized staff, and,
- Campus Code of Conduct.
Violations can result in disciplinary referral and, if they alter the fairness of the election, disqualification.
4. Campus Mail
Use of Campus Mail for campaigning purposes is prohibited.
Petition and Campaign Penalties
The committee shall determine whether or not a candidate has committed a campaign violation. Campaign violations may result in appropriate remedial measures determined by the committee up to and including disqualification of a candidate. Should the committee decide that a violation or series of violations have been committed on such a scale as to alter the fairness of the election, it may disqualify a candidate by majority vote. Any concerns or complaints may be sent to the Office of the Assemblies.
1. The Elections Calendar
- The committee shall adopt a calendar for spring elections.
- Consideration shall be given to any religious holidays that may fall during the election period, so that the right to free religious observance is afforded to all potential candidates.
2. The Trustee Nominating Committee
- Committee members are expected to abide by the highest standards of personal conduct and integrity. Members must refrain from endorsing, campaigning, participating in any activity or deliberation associated with the endorsement of candidates. Members should recuse themselves from any committee deliberation that may present a conflict of interest.
- The committee shall meet as soon as possible after each challenge deadline.
- The committee shall verify election results.
3. The Office of the Assemblies
- The Office of the Assemblies by delegation from the committee shall prepare all printed material and distribute election packets.
- The Office of the Assemblies shall validate petitions as follows:
- Check each petition for the required number of signatures and validate candidates and signatures as to eligibility to sign petitions.
- Bring any petitions it finds invalid to the committee for action.
- Make petitions available to any member of the community who wishes to examine them.
4. Conduction of Election and Tabulation
- The order in which names appear on the ballot shall be randomly selected.
- The Office of the Assemblies will tabulate votes using the Hare System, as described in Appendix A.
- The Office of the Assemblies will post preliminary results as soon as possible after the committee has ruled on any challenges.
- A printout of election results shall be available in the Office of the Assemblies, 109 Day Hall, for one year.
- Eligibility to Challenge
Any member of the Cornell community, except members of the committee, may submit a challenge.
- Challenge Deadlines
- Petition challenges must be submitted to the Office of the Assemblies, 109 Day Hall, by the petition challenge deadline specified in the elections calendar.
- Election challenges must be submitted by the election challenge deadline specified in the elections calendar.
- No challenges or further supporting documentation will be accepted after these deadlines.
- Format of Challenges
Challenges must be in writing and accompanied by the following supporting documentation:
- challenger’s name
- candidate’s name
- date of challenge
- reason for challenge and supporting evidence
- Notification of Election Challenges
The Office of the Assemblies will send an email notifying anyone who is named in an election challenge.
- Response to Election Challenges
A challenged candidate may review challenges in the Office of the Assemblies, 109 Day Hall and address written statements in response to the committee. The deadline for responses is set in the elections calendar.
- Challenge Review Meeting
The committee will schedule a meeting to review challenges in closed session. For each challenge, the committee will determine:
- whether a preponderance of evidence substantiates each alleged violation; and,
- which, if any, substantiated violations or combination thereof altered the fairness of the election to the extent the challenged candidate should be disqualified.
- Preliminary Report
For each challenge, the committee will report to the challenger(s) and the challenged candidate all evidence received, any violations substantiated, and any decisions to disqualify the challenged candidate.
Appeals of committee decisions should be directed to the University Ombudsman within 24 hours of notification by the committee. The committee will share with the Ombudsman any documents requested in relation to the challenge. The Ombudsman will consider whether the committee ruling was in compliance with the election rules, and may ask for a reconsideration of the ruling.
The determination of the committee after resolution of appeals shall be final. The committee will release a final, public report identifying all violations substantiated and any decisions to disqualify challenged candidates.
Members of the committee and parties to a challenge may not share the contents of challenges, evidence, or decisions submitted to or received from the committee, except when explicitly permitted by these rules or by the committee. Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information may result in a disciplinary referral.
1 Professional services are defined as services provided in exchange for financial compensation or provided by an individual or organization that ordinarily receives financial compensation for such services. (↑)