CONSTITUTION OF THE STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION
We, the students of The University of Connecticut School of Law, do hereby establish the Student Bar Association and its governing Board, whose purposes shall include:
1. The promotion of such activities as may be of interest to the student body;
2. The promotion of cordial and effective relations among students, faculty and administration of the Law School, and with the University at large, other law schools and the community; and
3. The expression and representation of student opinion on matters pertaining to the law, to the Law School and to the Student Bar Association.
ARTICLE 1 - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Every student enrolled in the University of Connecticut School
of Law shall be a member (MEMBER) of the Student Bar Association.
Section 2: Every member elected to a class representative position shall be a representative (REPRESENTATIVE) of the Board of the Student Bar Association.
Section 3: Every member elected to an Executive Board position shall be an Officer (OFFICER) of the Board of the Student Bar Association.
ARTICLE II - BOARD
Section 1: The activities of the Association shall be directed by the Board, which shall exercise all powers not otherwise provided for, or not denied it by this Constitution. The Board shall consist of four Officers (referred to as the Executive Board), four Representatives elected from each of the three (3) Day Division classes, six Representatives from the Evening Division, and one Representative from the Master of Laws (L.L.M.) Program.
Section 2: The Officers of the Executive Board shall be, in order of succession: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. With the exception of the Treasurer, the Officers shall be elected in accordance with the procedures established in Article II, Sections 5 and 6. The Treasurer shall be elected by a majority vote of the representatives of the Board at the first meeting following the election of the Officers. Graduating Third Year Day Division Representatives and Fourth Year Evening Division Representatives, and the L.L.M. Representative may not participate in this vote the semester of their graduation.
The members of each Day Division class shall elect four Board Representatives to represent their class. Day division Members in the Four-Year Program will vote with their entering class until their third year, when they will vote with the Second Year class. First Year Evening Division Board Representatives shall be elected from the First year Evening student Members. Upperclass Evening division Board Representatives shall be elected from the evening division Members at large. L.L.M. Board Representatives shall be elected from the L.L.M. Program student Members At Large.
Section 3: The Board shall designate an Election Committee to establish and oversee the nomination and election processes. The Election Committee shall establish a nomination period of not less than five (5) school days and will publicize this in accordance with general election procedures to the student body. All Members are eligible for election to the Board provided they are students in good standing with the law school and have been formally nominated to the Board in the form and manner prescribed by the Election Committee.
Section 4: Members may be nominated for both an Officer and a Representative position, but may not be nominated for more than one of either. The nomination shall be in writing, stating the candidate’s name, year of graduation, position sought, and a description (not to exceed fifty words) of the Member’s reasons for seeking such position. The nomination shall also include the candidate's signature, which shall indicate the candidate’s approval of the nomination.
A candidate nominated for more than one position on the Executive Board, may not remain a candidate for more than one position. Any candidate who is nominated for more than one position may correct such error before the close of the nomination period. The only exception to this rule shall be if the candidate is the only Member nominated for a position. In such case, the candidate will remain a candidate for all other Executive positions. Should a candidate be elected to multiple positions, such candidate must choose only one position to hold on the Board. Vacancies must be filled in accordance with Article II Section 9. Once the nomination period is closed, no corrections will be allowed without a showing of just cause before the Election Committee. The decision of the Election Committee shall be final.
Section 5: Each election shall be posted by secret ballot. The formal ballots shall be distributed to Members by the Election Committee. Each voter shall have one vote for each available position. The winner shall be determined by a simple plurality. No absentee ballots shall be allowed. In case of a tie for any position, a runoff election shall be held the following week to decide only those positions with tie votes.
Only candidates who received the greatest equal number of votes are eligible to participate in the runoff election. If such a runoff election is held, any succeeding election provided for in this Constitution shall automatically be delayed one week or shall occur within a reasonable time thereafter.
Section 6: The President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Executive Board shall be elected by Members at large on the Wednesday before the Fourth Meeting of the Spring Semester each year, in accordance with the provisions governing elections embodied in Article II, Section 3, 4 and 5. Third Year Day Division Members, Fourth Year Day and Evening division Members, and L.L.M. Members shall not be eligible to vote in such election. The Treasurer shall be elected by a majority of the Representatives and Officers of the newly elected Board at the first meeting following the election of the Representatives in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 2.
Section 7: The First and Second Year Day division, along with the Upperclass Evening Division, shall elect its Class Representatives for the following academic year the week following the election of President, Vice-President, and Secretary, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article II, Section 3, 4 and 5 of this constitution. Third Year Day Division Members, Fourth Year Day and Evening division Members, and L.L.M. Members shall not be eligible to vote in such election.
Each Day division class may elect four Members from their class to serve as SBA Representatives for that class. The entire rising Second Year Evening and Upperclass Evening Division shall be considered as one class for purposes of this section and may elect four members from their class to serve as SBA Representative for that class.
Incoming First Year Day, First Year Evening Division Representatives, and the L.L.M. Representative shall be elected during the Fall Semester, no more than eight (8) weeks after commencement of classes. The First Year Day Division may elect four (4) Representatives. The First Year Evening Division may elect two (2) Representatives. The L.L.M. Program may elect (1) Representative. The Election Committee will administer these elections in accordance with Article II.
Members seeking election to the Board must be enrolled to attend classes at the School of Law’s Hartford campus for two full semesters during the term for which they seek to serve on the Board. Members who will be absent from the Hartford campus for one or more semesters during the term for which elections are being held will not be eligible to campaign in said elections. Such Members, however, are eligible to vote in said elections. If there are no willing candidates eligible under this section, then a candidate who will not be present on the Hartford Campus for TWO (2) semesters is permitted to run.
Section 8: The President, Vice President, and Secretary of the Board shall serve for a term beginning after the third meeting or one month, whichever occurs first, following their election, and ending at the same time the following year. The Treasurer’s term shall begin on the first day of the next fiscal year following the election, described in Article II, Section 6, and end on the last day of that fiscal year. Outgoing Officers will aid new Officers with the transition. Representatives, except for graduating Third Year DAY Representatives, Fourth Year Evening Representatives, and the L.L.M. Representative shall serve for a term extending from the meeting following their election until they are replaced by new Representatives at the meeting following their election. Graduating Third Year Day Representatives, Fourth Year Evening Representatives, and the L.L.M. Representative shall serve a term of office from their election until their anticipated graduation date. If a Graduating Third Year Day Representative, Fourth Year Evening Representative, or L.L.M. Representative does not graduate with their class, the term of office will not carry over to the following academic year.
Terms of office for First Year Representatives shall extend from the meeting following their election until they are replaced by new Representatives at the meeting following the election of upper-class representatives for the following academic year, and such offices shall remain vacant until a new election is held during the Fall Semester as provided in Article II, Section 7.
Section 9: Vacancies in the Board arising from resignation, removal, failure to elect the allotted number of representatives, inability to complete a term of office, or any other reason, may be filled by a majority vote of the Board members present and voting at a regularly scheduled meeting from a list of nominees submitted by an election Search Committee formed for that purpose. Notice of the vacancy shall be posted at least one week prior to such vote and shall provide for nominations to be submitted in the same manner as for general elections.
A vacant Class Representative position may be filled only by a member of the class from which the vacancy arose (i.e., a Second Year Day Division Representative position may be filled only by another Second Year Day Division student). Evening division Members may, following the election for First Year Evening Division students, fill an Evening Division vacancy for the remainder of the term. If a current SBA Class Representative is elected to an Executive Board position, a new election will be held to fill the newly vacated position, following election procedures as outlined in this Section.
An Executive Officer position vacancy may only be filled by a member of the Second or Third Year Day Division, or Second, Third, or Fourth Year Evening Division class.
In the event that 25% percent or more of the representative seats of the Student Bar Association become vacant with six weeks or more remaining in their terms, a special election will be held to fill the vacant seats. With a majority vote of its sitting representatives, the Student Bar Association can opt to have a special election if there are fewer than six weeks remaining or fewer than 25% of the seats vacant.
Section 10: Representatives that transfer to another division shall continue to represent and report to the division that elected them.
ARTICLE III: OFFICERS
Section 1: The President of the Board shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Association. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board, shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, shall exercise general direction of the business of the Association, subject to the supervision by the Board, and shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board are executed. Upon completion of the President’s term, the President shall report the activities and business of the Association in an open letter addressed to the members of the Law School community.
Section 2: The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, discharge the duties and exercise the powers of the President. The Vice- President shall also serve as the Chairperson of the Social Committee. The Vice-President may choose to delegate the position of Chairperson to any current member of the Board, upon approval by a majority of the Board.
Section 3: The Secretary shall be responsible for noticing, recording and posting the minutes of all meetings and the keeping of Association and Board records.
Section 4: The Treasurer shall be the Chief Financial Officer of the Association and Chairperson of the Budget Committee. The latter position may be delegated to any member of the Board upon approval by a majority of the members of the Budget Committee. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for the financial records and accounts of the Association, shall render financial statements to the Board when required, and shall exercise general financial supervision over all committees appointed by or operating under the direction of the Board.
With the approval of either the Dean or Associate Dean for finance and Administration the Treasurer shall be authorized to issue a check for any amount up to $500.00 for any purpose without the prior approval of the Officers or Representatives of the Board.
ARTICLE IV: FINANCES
Section 1: The Board shall be authorized to appropriate and make expenditures necessary for the conduct of any activity consistent with the purpose of the Association.
Section 2: There shall be rendered a Treasurer’s report of the finances of the Association at the first meeting of each semester, and the contents of such report shall be posted.
Section 3: There shall be prepared and posted by the Treasurer a statement of all financial affairs of the association once during the months of September and January, and within ten (10) days after the end of the term of office.
Section 4: Ten school days prior to the Board’s vote on a budget, all Members must be notified of the forthcoming posting of the budget. At least five school days prior to the vote, the proposed budget must be posted on the Student Bar Association bulletin board, and a copy placed on reserve in the law library.
ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES
Section 1: The President may, appoint such committees, chaired by a Representative or Officer of the Board, as needed to promote the purposes of the Association stated in the Preamble to this Constitution.
Section 2: The following shall be standing committees: Budget and Finance, Elections, and Social.
ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS
Section 1: Association meetings may be called by the President upon due notice.
Section 2: The Board shall endeavor to meet at least twice a month in a convenient and designated place.
Section 3: No meeting of the Board shall be officially convened nor shall any business of the Association be voted upon unless a quorum of the Board is present.
Section 4: A quorum of the Board shall be a majority of the occupied positions of the Board. Vacant positions will not be counted toward the number needed for a quorum.
Section 5: Voting shall be by a show of hands.
Section 6: Each Officer AND Representative of the Board shall have one
vote. No proxy or absentee votes shall be accepted.
Section 7: The President or Vice-President shall, upon written petition signed by not less than thirty-five members of the student body, call a meeting of either the Board or the Association, as requested, regarding any matter of importance to the Association and embodied in said petition. Said meeting shall be conducted by the Executive Board or the Board, and the original petitioner shall serve as spokesperson for the subject matter of the petition.
ARTICLE VII: REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1: Any Representative or Officer who fails to attend four properly noticed regular meetings of the Board, without written notice, may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of all voting Representatives and Officers of the Board at a regular meeting or at a special meeting called for such purpose, provided that written notice of such absences is given to the absent Representative or Officer after both the second and third absence by the President, Vice-President or Secretary of the Board.
Such notice shall contain a warning that continued failure to attend regularly-scheduled meetings could result in removal from the Board under this provision. Such notice shall also provide an opportunity to submit a written explanation or information on this matter to the Executive Board for its consideration. The Executive Board shall then make a recommendation concerning the removal of the Representative or Officer to the entire Board, which will then vote to either approve the recommendation or, upon proper motion by any Representative or Officer, impose alternative sanctions. All decisions by the Board shall be final and binding.
Section 2: With a majority vote, a Representative or Officer of the Student Bar Association can be removed from office or "recalled" by the "class" of eligible voting members from the election to elect that representative or Officer. A "recall" vote must be scheduled no fewer than 7 days and no more than 14 days after a minimum of 20% of the signatures of the "class," OF Members named in this section, represented by the position in dispute, are submitted to the Student Bar Association Executive Board.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
Section 1: This Constitution may be amended by a vote of a majority of the voting members of the Association with due notice for that purpose, except that this Article of the Constitution may be amended by the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the total Association membership.
Section 2: A proposed amendment to this Constitution shall be posted on the Association notice board for at least one week prior to the vote on such amendment.
ARTICLE IX: BY-LAWS
Section 1: The Board may enact such by-laws as it deems necessary and proper to promote the purposes of the Constitution.
Updated: Spring 2008