Conducting Student Referendums SA/PPS No. 05.08
Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 01/30/2008
Page 1 of 5
01. POLICY STATEMENT
01.01 The purpose of this SA/PPS is to establish the guidelines for conducting student referendums.
01.02 A second purpose of this SA/PPS is to establish a standard procedure for requesting and verifying the results of a referendum.
01.03 A referendum is a student vote administered through designated university channels to recommend approval of proposed changes related to official university business. A referendum will not serve as a petition, an opinion poll, or an attempt to influence state or federal legislation. (TSUS Board of Regents Rules Chapter VIII, Section 5)
01.04 A student referendum may be called by:
a. the President of the University;
b. the Vice President for Student Affairs;
c. the Dean of Students;
d. the President of Associated Student Government (ASG), with the concurrence of the Student Senate; OR
e. the students through a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the student body as verified by the Dean of Students.
02.01 For President, Vice President for Student Affairs, or Dean of Students-initiated referendums:
a.. The University President, Vice President for Student Affairs, or the Dean of Students will issue a call for the referendum vote at least twenty (20) class days prior to the time when the referendum will occur.
b. Faculty or staff members may recommend a student referendum be held by
submitting a request through the established administrative chain in each respective division. If approval is obtained through the respective Vice President, the President may call a student referendum if such a referendum is warranted. The Dean of Students, or designee, and the ASG President will schedule the dates for the referendum vote.
02.02For ASG-initiated referendums:
a. The ASG President, with 2/3 Student Senate approval, may issue a call for a referendum vote at least ten (10) class days prior to the time when the referendum will occur.
b. The Dean of Students, or designee, and the ASG President will schedule the dates for the referendum vote.
02.03For student-initiated referendums:
a. Students must begin coordination with the Dean of Students, or designee, at least twenty (20) class days prior to the proposed referendum. The Dean of Students, or designee, will meet with the students and explain to them the regulations and procedures for initiating and conducting the proposed referendum. The Office of the Dean of Students and the Associated Student Government President will determine an appropriate time to hold the referendum allowing sufficient time to satisfactorily inform students of the issue(s) at hand.
b. A maximum of ten (10) class days will be allocated for the purpose of obtaining the necessary signatures on the "Student Referendum Request" form (Form 05.08a Appendix I). The form(s) will be returned to the Dean of Students Office at least 10 class days prior to the referendum.
c. Upon receipt of the form(s), the Dean of Students, or designee, and the Associated Student Government President will verify signatures. This verification process will be completed within two (2) weeks of the Dean's receipt of the forms.
02.04 Referendum Voting Procedure:
a. The Dean of Students, or designee, and the President of the ASG will coordinate efforts to complete the appropriate arrangements prior to conducting the referendum.
(1) A request to create an on-line referendum vote should be submitted to the VPSA technology staff ten (10) days in advance of the first voting date.
(2) The phrasing of the referendum statement may be in any format, but should be limited to one specific area/issue and only two answer options (choices) per question. More than one statement may appear on the ballot or more than one call for a referendum may be made if exigencies so dictate. The Dean of Students, or designee, will approve the language of the referendum statement before the on-line referendum vote is programmed.
(3) Student workers will be assigned by the ASG and the Dean of Students Office to maintain the polls. Student wages for poll attendants are not required; however, if wages are paid, the source of such student wages will be the ASG operating budget.
b. Publicity concerning the referendum should be made through both print and electronic media to the University. The publicity should appear on campus a minimum of ten (10) days before the referendum is conducted.
c. Polling booth locations with computer access will be established in at least two (2) separate major student traffic areas to ensure that students have an opportunity to vote. Booth locations will be open a minimum of two days (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) during the referendum voting period.
d. Students may vote from any computer on or off campus during the entirety of the referendum vote, that is, any time between 8:00 a.m. on the first day of voting and 5:00 p.m. on the final day of voting.
e. Campaigning or electioneering will not be allowed within one hundred (100) feet of the polling places. Students will be expected to abide by all university rules and regulations involving the dissemination of information in any and all media formats. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office, who will refer all complaints to the ASG Election Commission for review.
f. The ASG Election Commission, in conjunction with the VPSA technology staff, will secure all voting data. The Dean of Students, or designee, the ASG Staff Advisor(s), and the ASG senior Election Commissioner shall be authorized to have access to the electronic database for reporting and investigative purposes.
g. It will be the responsibility of the Dean of Students office, in consultation with the ASG President, to ensure that written notification of the results shall be made public via the University Star and the University News Service within three (3) days of the last day of voting on the referendum. The Dean of Students may designate a specific individualto certify the results on-line. Once results are certified, they will automatically be posted on the ASG website for public access.
h. A simple majority of those students voting will determine the outcome of the referendum. In the event of a tie vote, a re-vote will be scheduled within 15 class days of the original vote.
i. Ballot data will be maintained by the Dean of Student’s office for a minimum of three years.
j. Complaints and Protests
(1) If on-line balloting is restricted because of an electronic malfunction, any protests and/or complaints should be logged within three (3) business days following the referendum vote.
(2) Complaints and/or formal protests of a non-electronic matter must be filed within five (5) business days following the referendum vote through the Dean of Students Office.
(3) To be official, the protest must be filed on the “Referendum Complaint” Form. (Form 05.08 B, Appendix II).
(4) A Referendum Review Board made up of the chairperson of the Election Commission, two student members of that commission and the ASG advising team will determine the validity of the complaint or protest. The ASG Advising Team will be comprised of the ASG Staff Advisor and the ASG Faculty Advisor with the ASG Faculty Advisor serving as chair of the Referendum Review Board.
(5) The Referendum Review Board may request an opportunity to review any or all of the contested ballots, including, but not limited to database information or other electronically available materials pertinent to the issues at hand.
(6) The Referendum Review Board may interview any individuals who may be aware of any election code violations that can be documented.
(7) Any student who wishes to appeal the review board’s decision must do
so within five (5) working days following the board’s published opinion.
(8) The board’s decision may be appealed to the Vice President forStudent
Affairs whose decision will be final.
03. MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SA/PPS
03.01 Major responsibilities for routine assignments associated with this SA/PPS include the
Position Section Date
Associate Dean of Students Review December 15 (E3Y)
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Review December 15 (E3Y)
04. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT
04.01 This SA/PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official
capacity and represents Student Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this
document until superceded.
Mr. Vincent Morton, Associate Dean of Students/ASG Staff Advisor, Senior Reviewer of this SA/PPS.
Dr. John Garrison,Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Reviewer of this SA/PPS
Dr. Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs, Reviewer of this SA/PPS