The Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America

SBA Constitution & By-Laws

Preamble

The students of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, for the purposes set forth in this document, hereby resolve ourselves into a Student Bar Association. The Student Bar Association is comprised of all enrolled students in the Columbus School of Law and is dedicated to the academic, social, and professional development of its members and this institution. The Student Bar Association shall sponsor events that promote learning, celebrate diversity, serve the community, and achieve fellowship among the students of this institution. In order to provide effective representation of law student opinion at all levels of this University, to increase student involvement in the operation of this institution, to protect student rights, and to promote standards of professional responsibility among students, the Student Bar Association establishes this Constitution and By-Laws.

  

Article I. General Provisions

§ 1. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Student Bar Association of the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, hereinafter referred to as the SBA.

§ 2. Membership

All students currently registered and enrolled at the Columbus School of Law shall be members of the SBA.

§ 3. Governing Documents

The SBA shall be governed by this Constitution and By-Laws.

§ 4. Purpose

The purposes of the SBA shall be carried out by the SBA Executive Board and whatever delegates the Executive Board shall appoint.

 

Article II. The SBA Executive Board

§ 1. Composition.

The SBA Executive Board shall consist of a President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Financial Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, Director of Communications, 3L (3D/4E) Representatives, 2L (2D/2E/3E) Representatives, 1L (1D/1E) Representatives, the Evening Law Students Association (ELSA) President, one ELSA First-Year Representative (1E), an additional member of ELSA appointed by the ELSA President, and an ABA Representative (ex-officio).

§ 2. Meetings.

A. The Executive Board shall meet no less than twice monthly to discuss matters pertinent to the institution and its students.

B. Regular and special meetings may be called by the President or by three Vice Presidents of the Executive Board.

C. Meetings shall be open to any member of the SBA. However, upon a simple majority vote of the Executive Board members present, or by decision of the meeting chair, the meeting may be closed to members not on the Executive Board.

D. One-half of the membership of the Executive Board plus one shall constitute a quorum. 

§ 3. Governing Documents

The SBA shall be governed by this Constitution and By-Laws.

§ 4. Purpose

The purposes of the SBA shall be carried out by the SBA Executive Board and whatever delegates the Executive Board shall appoint.

  

Article III. Organization of All Executive Board Members

§ 1. Duties of All Executive Board Members

A. Promote the general welfare of the SBA.

B. It shall be the duty of every member of the Executive Board to attend all Executive Board meetings, unless excused by the presiding officer of the meeting in question.

C. The attendance of all Executive Board members shall be required at any event designated by the President as mandatory, unless excused by the President or the President's designate.

 

§ 2. SBA Executive

A. The SBA Executive shall consist of one President.

B. The President shall:

i. Preside over all Executive Board meetings as Chairman, except in cases when an alternative presiding officer has been duly designated;

ii. Serve as the chief executive officer of the SBA;

iii. Act as the primary student advocate and student body representative;

iv. Be a voting member of the Executive Board elected in accordance with SBA election procedures at the General Election;

v. Prepare an agenda for all SBA and Executive Board meetings;

vi. Act as liaison to the President of the University, the Dean of the Law School and the Dean of Student and External Affairs;

vii. Represent the SBA at all activities and functions and provide for additional or substitute representation when necessary;

viii. Appoint all other internal and external positions;

ix. Designate as mandatory for members of the Executive Board events deemed important to the functioning of this SBA;

x. Serve as an ex-officio member of all SBA committees;

xi. Advise the SBA Vice Presidents as to their duties;

xii. Direct the work of the SBA Executive Board;

xiii. Coordinate the activities and programs of the registered student organizations;

xiv. Serve as a student representative to the Law School's faculty committee;

xv. Authorize by signature any and all SBA legislation;

xvi. Possess the ability to exercise a veto over any question before the SBA Executive Board; and

xvii. Appoint an ABA Representative.

 

§ 3. Officers

A. The Officers of the Executive Board shall consist of one Vice President for Academic Affairs, one Vice President for Financial Affairs, one Vice President for Student Affairs, and one Director of Communications.

B. Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA)

i. The VPAA shall:

a. Be a voting member of the Executive Board elected in accordance with SBA election procedures at the General Election;

b. Preside at all SBA and Executive Board meetings in the President's absence;

c. Serve as Vice-Chairman to all boards and committees in which the President serves as Chairman;

d. Coordinate student representation on faculty committees;

e. Along with the SBA President, represent the student body as voting members before the general faculty meetings;

f. Appoint two students to sit on each faculty committee where students may sit in accordance with the Faculty Representation Committee procedures in Article VI;

g. Be responsible for maintaining adequate communications between the student representatives and their faculty chairpersons and the student body;

h. Act as an alternate representative in the case that any representative cannot attend a particular meeting or function of their faculty committee;

i. Report to the student body of the law school on the matters addressed by the faculty during the semester;

j. Coordinate the issuance of individual faculty committee reports to the student body; and

k. Meet regularly with the SBA President and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the purposes of maintaining effective student representation before faculty committees and the academic development of the law school.

ii. The President may assign reasonable additional duties as necessary to the VPAA.

C. Vice President for Financial Affairs (VPFA)

i. The VPFA shall:

a. Be a voting member of the Executive Board and shall be elected in accordance with SBA election procedures at the General Election;

b. Form, in consultation with the SBA President, a Budget Committee.

(1) The Budget Committee shall be comprised of, at a minimum, the VPFA, the President, and the VPSA.

(2) The VPFA and President may appoint such others to the Budget Committee as he or she sees fit.

(3) The VPFA shall chair the Budget Committee.

(4) The Budget Committee shall decide all budget-related issues by a simple majority vote. Each member of the Budget Committee has an equal vote.

c. Act as liaison to the Associate Dean for Financial and Administrative Matters;

d. Maintain accurate records of the finances of the SBA;

e. Issue monthly reports to the SBA Executive Board on the financial state of the SBA; and

f. Determine, in conjunction with the Community Service (Co-) Chair(s), requirements and procedures controlling the disbursement and revocation of student organization funds, subject to the approval of the budget committee.

ii. The President may assign reasonable additional duties as necessary to the VPFA.

D. Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

i. The VPSA shall:

a. Be a voting member of the Executive Board elected by the student body in accordance with SBA election procedures at the General Election;

b. Serve as the Chief Facilitator and Chairperson of all elected and appointed class representatives;

c. Administer, in consultation with the SBA President and the Office of Student Life, event planning and a social activities calendar;

d. Be responsible for the fair and efficient allocation of office resources;

e. Conduct, in consultation with the SBA President and the Elections Chair, all student elections to the SBA Executive Board;

f. Be responsible for representing the concerns of all law students to the Executive Board and the law school administration;

g. Coordinate, in consultation with the VPFA and SBA President, student activities and social events;

h. Appoint a Banisters' Ball Committee and Chairperson and Co- Chairs and other event committees and chairs as necessary; and

i. Act as a liaison with the Office of Student Life.

ii. The President may assign reasonable additional duties as necessary to the VPSA.

E. Director of Communications (DOC)

i. The Director of Communications shall:

a. Be a voting member of the Executive Board elected by the student body in accordance with SBA election procedures at the General Election;

b. Update the SBA website and facebook page at least weekly, or at the request of a member of the Executive Board;

c. Act as a liaison to the Office of Public Affairs;

d. Maintain the minutes at the meetings of the Executive Board and

Student Organization Senate;

e. Administer the SBA's public and external communications;

f. Publish the SBA calendar not less than once a month;

g. Publicize SBA events, meetings, and social gatherings; and

h. Facilitate any and all communications between the student body and the SBA Executive Board.

ii. The President may assign reasonable additional duties as necessary to the DOC.

 

§ 4. Class Representatives

A. Class representatives shall be elected to the SBA Executive Board and the Council on Professional Conduct according to election procedures in Article VI of this Constitution and By-Laws in the General and Fall Elections. The ELSA President and the ELSA 1E Representative shall be selected by ELSA according to procedures selected by the evening division. All representatives shall be voting members of the Executive Board and shall have their tasks and efforts coordinated by the SBA Vice President for Student Affairs.

B. One (or two, as necessary) class representative(s) shall also serve as the Community Service (Co-) Chair(s). Additionally, one class representative shall serve as the Intramurals Coordinator.

C. IL Representatives (1D/1E)

i. One representative from each section of the day division shall be elected to the SBA Executive Board from among and by the sitting first year class in the Fall Election.

ii. One representative from the day division shall be elected to the Council on Professional Conduct from among and by the sitting day division of the first year class in the Fall Election.

iii. 1L Representatives shall advocate on behalf of the 1L class.

iv. One additional representative from the first-year class shall be selected from the Evening Law Students Association during its first regular meeting in the fall semester.

v. One representative from the evening division of the first-year class shall be elected to the Council on Professional Conduct from among and by the sitting evening division of the first year class in the Fall Election.

D. 2L Representatives (2D/2E/3E)

i. Three representatives shall be elected from among and by the rising second year day and evening class, and the rising third-year evening class.

ii. 2L Representatives shall advocate on behalf of the 2L class.

F. 3L Representatives (3L/4E)

i. Three representatives shall be elected from among and by the rising third year day class and the rising fourth year evening class.

ii. 3L Representatives shall advocate on behalf of the 3L class.

iii. 3L Representatives shall be members of the Graduation Committee and the Class Gift Leadership Committee.

iv. At least two of the 3L Representatives shall serve as Graduation Committee Co-Chairs.

E. Evening Division Representatives

i. Two representatives shall be selected from among and by the evening division in the spring of the academic year.

a. One of the representatives from the evening division shall be the President of the Evening Law Student Association (ELSA).

b. One of the representatives from the evening division shall be a representative chosen by the ELSA membership either by election or appointment by the ELSA President.

ii. Evening representatives shall advocate on behalf of the evening division.

F. The SBA President may assign additional duties to the representatives as necessary.

 

§ 5. ABA Representative and Class Representatives Collateral

Duties

A. ABA Representative

i. The ABA Representative shall act as a liaison between the SBA and the ABA Law Student Division and Circuit to which the law school belongs.

ii. The SBA President shall appoint the ABA Representative from among the members of the SBA.

B. Graduation Committee Co-Chairs

i. The Graduation Committee Co-Chairs shall:

a. Coordinate all graduation activities with the Office of Student Life and Special Events and the Alumni and Development Office, including organizing a reception prior to graduation for graduating students and their guests; and

b. Promote the Class Gift.

ii. In the absence of volunteers, the SBA President shall appoint the Graduation Committee Co-Chairs from among the 3L Representatives.

C. Community Service (Co-) Chair(s)

i. The Community Service (Co-) Chair(s) shall:

a. Act as principal liaison(s) between the SBA Executive Board and the student organizations;

b. Supervise the student organizations in their completion of at least one community service project each academic year;

c. Determine, in conjunction with the Vice President of Financial Affairs, requirements and procedures controlling the disbursement and revocation of student organization funds, subject to the approval of the budget committee;

d. Organize at least two SBA-sponsored community service events each academic year, for example, a Thanksgiving food drive and a charity run/walk event; and

e. Appoint committee and chairs for SBA-sponsored community service events, as necessary.

ii. In the absence of volunteers, the SBA President shall appoint the Community Service (Co-) Chair(s) from among the class representatives.

D. Intramurals Coordinator

i. The Intramurals Coordinator shall promote the University's intramural program to the SBA and encourage law student participation.

ii. In the absence of volunteers, the SBA President shall appoint the Intramurals Coordinator from among the class representatives.

 

Article IV. Removal and Succession

§ 1. Removal of Member

A. Removal of SBA President

i. The President shall be removed by the approved consent of three-quarters (3/4) of the Executive Board. All removal votes shall be upon the movement of a member of the Executive Board, and shall not be conducted by silent ballot.

ii. Before a vote for removal occurs:

a. The VPAA shall give the SBA President notice of the impending vote for removal with reasons for issuance of the warning; and

b. The President shall have the opportunity for a hearing before threequarters (3/4) of the Executive Board.

(1) The President must receive notice at least three days priorto the hearing in order to prepare remarks or a defense.

iii. The VPAA shall not be eligible to vote in motions to remove the President.

B. Removal of All Remaining Members

i. Should any member of the Executive Board become incompetent, a vote by three-quarters (3/4) of the Executive Board to remove that incompetent member shall suffice to relieve that member of his or her Executive Board responsibilities.

ii. Before a vote for removal occurs:

a. The SBA President shall give the member official notice of the impending vote for removal with reasons for issuance of the notice; and

b. The member given notice by the President shall have theopportunity for a hearing before a three-quarters (3/4) of the Executive Board.

(1) The member must receive warning at least three days prior to the hearing in order to prepare remarks or a defense.

 

§ 2. Succession

A. In the case of removal of the President from office for any reason, the VPAA shall become Acting President for an interim period of no more than three weeks. During said period, the SBA Executive Board shall have the opportunity to vote by a two-thirds (2/3) majority to hold a special election for a new President. If said period expires, the Acting President shall become President. The Line of Succession shall, for interim purposes, continue in the following order: VPFA, VPSA, and then DOC.

B. In the case of removal of an officer for any reason, a new officer shall be selected by the President with the approval of a simple majority of the members of SBA Executive Board presently sitting.

C. In the case of a removal of a representative, the President shall appoint a member of the SBA to fill the vacant position.

 

Article V. Powers and Purposes

§ 1. Powers

A. The Executive Board shall have the power to act in all matters pertinent to the law school community, in a manner consistent with this Constitution and By-Laws and pursuant to a majority vote of the Executive Board.

B. The Executive Board shall override any veto exercised by the SBA President with a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

 

§ 2. Purposes.

The purposes of the SBA Executive Board shall be:

A. To represent law students in all matters pertinent to the law school community, which are brought to its attention by individual students or student organizations or by the administration or faculty;

B. To act as the recognized representative of the body of the law school before the President of the University, the Dean of the law school, and the faculty of the law school;

C. To distribute funds from appropriate student fees to those officially recognized student organizations at the law school requesting such funds;

D. To plan, fund, and implement activities for its members, including but not limited to, social and speaking activities;

E. To appoint student representatives to faculty and university committees; and

F. To promote the University's commitment to community service.

 

Article VI. Election Procedures

§ 1. General

A. Timing

i. In the spring of each year, the SBA Executive Board shall sponsor a General Election to elect the SBA President, the VPAA, the VPFA, the VPSA, the DOC, three 3L Representatives, three 2L Representatives, and the Honor Board for the following academic year. In the fall of each year, the SBA Executive Board shall sponsor a Fall Election to select one representative from each 1L section for the current academic year.

ii. The Elections Chair shall consult with the SBA President and the Director of Student Life to set an appropriate date for the General Election. The Elections Chair shall exercise reasonable judgment in determining an appropriate date for the administration of the Fall Election.

B. SBA Executive Board Elections

i. The President, Officers, and Representatives shall be elected individually.

ii. Members of ELSA shall select ELSA representation to the Executive Board in accordance with Article III, Section 4.

iii. Only students identified by the Registrar as being a member of a particular class or division may vote for representatives of said class or division.

C. Council on Professional Conduct Elections and Student Co-Chair Selection

i. The membership of the SBA general student body shall elect six members to the Council on Professional Conduct. The six candidates who receive the most votes shall be elected to the Council on Professional Conduct without regard to achieving a majority.

ii. The Council on Professional Conduct shall select a student Co-chair from the students elected to the Board. Student members shall be nominated and the entire Board, consisting of faculty and student members, shall designate from the nominees a Co-chair by a plurality vote. Should this procedure produce a tie, the faculty chair may independently select a student Co-chair from amongst the nominees.

iii. In the event of any vacancy on the Council on Professional Conduct, the SBA president is authorized to appoint new members from within SBA, appoint new members from within the student body at large, or conduct a special election for the purpose of filling these vacancies.

iv. All Council on Professional Conduct elections will be in conjunction with all SBA Elections, and will follow all SBA Election rules and regulations.


D. The General Election and Fall Election shall be administered in accordance with elections standing rules created by the Executive Board.

i. These elections standing rules must comport with the requirements of this Constitution and By-Laws, but may contain additional requirements and procedures.

§ 2. Administration of the Elections

The elections shall be jointly administered by the SBA President, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Elections Chair, who the President shall select from among the Executive Board graduating students or an Executive Board member not seeking election. However, should the sitting SBA President choose to seek office in the General Election, the Elections Chair shall administer the elections in conjunction with the SBA Vice President for Student Affairs, and an SBA Executive not-seeking office, in the order of the line of succession. The same rule applies if a sitting Vice President for Student Affairs is seeking office. If no such officer qualifies to assist the Elections Chair, then the Honor Board Chairperson shall assist in the administration of the General Election.

§ 3. Votes Required for Election

A. The SBA President and Officers shall be elected to office by a majority vote of those SBA members who vote in the General Election;

i. If the candidate with the most votes in an election for President or Officer fails to receive a majority of the vote, a runoff shall be held no more than one week after the conclusion of the General Election;

ii. The runoff election shall be held between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes.

B. The SBA Representatives shall be elected by a plurality vote of those SBA members who vote in the annual election.

§ 4. Candidate Restrictions

A. No Candidate, upon return of the election results, shall be permitted to hold more than one Executive Board position at any one time.

B. Candidates for President may not run for a Vice President position.

C. Candidates may not run for more than two Vice President positions.

D. Candidates for President or Vice President may run for the positions of class representative.

E. The candidates for the SBA Executive Board shall not run for a position on the Honor Board and vice versa.

F. Candidates may only run for one representative position.

§ 5. Candidate Qualifications

Any currently enrolled student, in good academic standing and reasonably expected to return for the following academic year, shall be eligible to run for the SBA Executive Board and Honor Board.

§ 6. Candidates Forum

The Elections Chair shall sponsor a forum for all election candidates.

§ 7. Evening Students

The Elections Chair shall work with the Evening Law Student Association to ensure evening student representation on the SBA Executive Board.

  

Article VII. Standing Committees

§ 1.

The SBA shall maintain the following standing committees and councils:

A. The Student Organization Senate

i. The Student Organization Senate shall be comprised of the President of each Student Organization, the Executive Editors of each of the Journals, and the Moot Court Chancellor, or their respective designate;

B. The Faculty Representation Committee

i. The VPAA shall chair the Faculty Representation Committee and shall supervise the appointment of SBA representatives to the various faculty committees;

ii. The Faculty Representation Committee shall be comprised of all SBA representatives to the faculty committees;

a. Each faculty committee shall have two student members;

(1) One such student shall be selected from the SBA Executive Board and the other student shall be selected from the student body members of the SBA;

(2) Notwithstanding the requirement of subsection (a), in the discretion of the VPAA, and in consultation with the SBA President, both of the student members of the Admissions & Recruitment Committee may be selected from the student body members of the SBA;

(3) Each team of students who sit on a faculty committee shall report monthly to the VPAA. This report shall include the topics addressed by the committee on which those students sit, the ideas discussed by that committee, and a strategy for communicating with the students on the matters before the committee;

iii. New student representatives shall be selected each academic year.

 

§ 2. Oversight and Supervision.

The SBA Executive Board shall oversee and supervise the work of all standing committees and councils.

  

Article VIII. Amendments

§ 1.

To amend this Constitution and By-Laws, the proposed amendment(s) must be submitted in writing to the SBA President at least one week prior to the meeting where the amendment will be considered. The SBA President must publish the proposed amendment to the other Executive Board members and post the proposed amendment for other student members of the SBA at least seventy-two hours before the meeting. 

§ 2.

The proposed amendment must be debated. It must be approved by a simple majority of the sitting members of the Executive Board.

§ 3.

Amendments become effective fifteen days after the date of the meeting at which they were approved.

§ 4.

The quorum for a meeting where amendments are considered shall be two-thirds of the current sitting members of the Executive Board. 

§ 5.

Upon a petition signed by 300 members of the SBA expressing disfavor with any proposed amendment, such proposed amendment shall not be considered.

 

Article X. Parliamentary Authority

§ 1.

The rules of parliamentary procedure shall govern all formal proceedings of the Student Bar Association Executive Board, unless the Executive Board, by simple majority, deems a suspension of the rules to be appropriate