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The Presidential Elections Code of Boston College

Revised: November 14th, 2016

Approved by the Elections Committee: November 21st, 2016

Table of Contents

Section 1: General Campaigning Guidelines

A: General Expectations

B: Expectations of Campaign Team

i. Campaign team/EC Liaisons

ii. Drugs and Alcohol

iii. Pre-Campaigning

C: Expectations of the Candidates

i. Candidate Requirements

ii. Forms and Deadlines

iii. Sponsorships

D: Campaign Materials

i. Copyrighted Material

ii. Material Approval

iii. Banners

iv. T-Shirts

E: Electronic Communications and Social Media

i. Solicitation

ii. Facebook

iii. Personal Campaign Page, Twitter, and other Social Media

F: Residential Life

i. Campaigning in the Residence Halls

ii. Residential Life Posting Policy

Section 2: Campaign Procedures

A: Financials

B: Primary and Final Voting

C: Violations, Complaints, and Sanctions

i. The EC Sanction Guideline

ii. Disqualification

iii. Violations

iv. Complaints

v.Students Unaffiliated with a Campaign Team

 


Elections Committee UGBC Presidential Campaigning Code, 2016-2017

In accordance with the authority bestowed upon by the Office of Student Involvement and the Constitution of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (hereafter referred to as “UGBC”), the Elections Committee of Boston College (hereafter referred to as “EC”) will be a body of undergraduate students with the following responsibilities in relation to UGBC Student Assembly (SA) and presidential elections:

Facilitate and manage three separate campaign seasons; fall First Year SA election, spring presidential/vice presidential election, and spring SA election.

Determine the results of all elections and release the results of said elections to the Boston College undergraduate community in a timely manner.

Promote adherence to all Boston College policies and standards as outlined in the student guidebook by all campaigns.

Publicize election information to all candidates. This includes but is not limited to deadlines, dates of events, and election rules.

Publicize voting information to the Boston College community. This includes but is not limited to election dates and instructions on how to vote.

Ensure that individual financial circumstances do not disadvantage the ability of any candidate to run a competitive campaign.

Host public events (e.g. forums or debates) in which candidates can share their platforms with voters.

Appropriately apply sanctions to candidates for any conduct that is inconsistent with the expectations outlined in this document.

Remain unbiased in the completion of all of the functions listed above.

Send the Elections Code to each candidate before the start of the election season.

Section 1: General Campaigning Guidelines

A. General Expectations

Candidates, along with their campaign teams, are expected to act with integrity throughout the entirety of the campaign season.  As leaders of the Boston College community, it is in the best interest of all candidates to act as role models both within and outside of campaigning.

Candidates and members of their campaign team should respect and be mindful of all other campaign teams, members of the student body, Boston College faculty and staff, and the Elections Committee.

Candidates should employ campaign practices that are in accordance with Boston College policies and values. Boston College is Catholic Jesuit institution and candidates are expected to act in adherence to those values.

Candidates are encouraged to infuse energy and creativity into their campaigns and to act in ways that promote the unity of the Boston College community.

The Office of Student Involvement and the Elections Committee reserves the right to expel a candidate from the elections ballot based on unethical conduct. This unethical conduct includes but is not limited to negative campaigning, slander and other violations of this code.

B. Expectations of Campaign Team

i. Campaign Team/EC Liaisons

Candidates must designate one member of their campaign team to serve as a liaison to the Elections Committee to handle day to day communications—including complaints—between the EC and the candidates.

The EC will assign a representative from our committee to act as a liaison with each campaign team to which they are assigned. All communication between the campaign  teams and the EC will be limited to the campaign team liaison and the EC member assigned to them.

The candidate shall be held responsible for all work undertaken on his/her behalf.

Each candidate shall be responsible for assuring that his/her campaign workers are fully acquainted with the Elections Code and the regulations of the EC.

No official UGBC or Student Organization Funding Committee (SOFC) resources, publications, or funds may be used to further any candidacy over another. This shall include but is not limited to the UGBC website.

ii. Drugs and Alcohol

Campaigning is not permitted in the presence of drugs and/or alcohol. Any such violations will be grounds for disqualification of a candidate.

iii. Pre-Campaigning

There shall be no campaigning or information distribution (i.e. electronic, paper, verbal, etc.) before the official start of campaigning as specified by the EC.

Any discussions with individuals on campus before the official start of campaigning cannot involve platform information.

Candidates must abide by Boston College posting policies, which are available in the Office of Student Involvement and online at: www.bc.edu/getinvolved

C. Expectations of the Candidates

i. Candidate Requirements

Any student running for and holding a UGBC Office must be a full-time undergraduate student in acceptable academic standing with a 2.5 GPA or administrative approval. Students running for office must also be in good disciplinary standing with the university.

Candidates must have 250 signatures in order to be nominated to run for office. Candidates must hand the signature form in to the EC by the date provided by the EC at the general interest meeting.

Each candidate must submit to the EC a list of their entire campaign team.  The EC expects each candidate to update this list if they receive new campaign members during the election season.  Failure to do so will result in sanctions or possible disqualification.

ii. Forms and Deadlines

In order to declare candidacy for the UGBC Presidential Elections representatives from campaign teams must attend one of two mandatory informational meetings. Representatives must be two of the three following: candidate for president, candidate for vice president, campaign manager. Only two are required to attend. If campaign teams are unable to attend they must inform the EC by a specific date. If they fail to do so, they will be barred from entering the race.

All Statement of Candidacy forms and guidelines for the offices of President and Vice President will be available at the mandatory informational meeting for all prospective candidates at the beginning of the election period as set by the EC. These forms must be completed and returned to the EC by the specified deadline.

All other required forms specified by the EC must be submitted by the date determined by the EC. Any candidate who fails to turn in these materials by the deadline shall be subject to immediate disqualification at the discretion of the EC.

If only one team declares their candidacy after the mandatory meetings have passed the EC reserves the right to reopen the field and encourage other candidates to run. Likely the EC will host a third informational meeting but any teams late to declare their candidacy would be unable to order t-shirts.

If a team(s) drops out of the prior to campaigning racing leaving only one remaining, the EC will offer them the option to reopen the race.

If all teams except for one drop out of the race during campaigning then the final team wins by default.

iii. Sponsorships

Candidates may not be sponsored or endorsed by off-campus businesses or organizations. Newspapers that are produced on a regular basis, focused on campus news and available to the public are exempt from this (i.e. Heights, Torch, Gavel, etc.).

Candidates may not be sponsored by Boston College organizations. Individuals may endorse a candidate from their position in an organization, but no individual may speak on behalf of an organization. This includes using any organization listservs. The only listservs that can be used are ones you created for your own campaign team.

D. Campaign Materials

i. Copyrighted Material

Any copyrighted material may not be used without the written permission of the copyright holder (i.e. the BC athletics logo, other insignias, fonts, or logos owned by BC, or the intellectual property of any public or private individual or company).

ii. Material Approval

All campaign materials must be approved by the OSI located in Carney 147 between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM (including flyers, quarter sheets, banners, etc.).

No campaign materials will be approved that contain slanderous or defamatory statements or anything inconsistent with the Jesuit/Catholic values of BC. If a statement is determined to be slanderous, the candidate is required to retract the material or statement upon request of the EC. Failure to honor a request by the EC to remove such items may result in sanctions or disqualification.

iii. Banners

Candidates and candidate teams are permitted the use of a maximum of three banners during campaigning. One banner may be placed in the Stokes Lawn, the second banner may be placed on the Commonwealth Avenue Parking Garage, and the last banner may be placed on approved areas on either Newton or Upper Campus. If demand exceeds space, the EC will determine the allocation of banner space through a lottery.

iv. T-Shirts

All t-shirt purchases will be managed by the EC. The EC will establish a system to order approved t-shirts and to supply t-shirts to all candidates interested in purchasing t-shirts. It is the responsibility of the candidate to pay for the t-shirts.

E. Electronic Communications and Social Media

i. Solicitation

Voicemails, emails, text messages, unsolicited phone calls, any form of communication transmitted via social media, or any other form of unsolicited communication shall not be used in excess to the extent that such communications constitute a nuisance or harassment. Failure to abide by this policy will result in punitive sanctions and may result in disqualification at the discretion of the EC.

ii. Facebook

EC Campaign Liaisons must be designated as administrators on all campaign Facebook pages and groups. Prior to the start of campaigning, pages may be built and candidates may put campaign platforms up on these pages. But pages/groups will not go live or be able to invite others to like or join until the start of campaigning.

In terms of Facebook groups, settings must be set such that individuals must accept to join the group. Individuals cannot be automatically added to that group.

Class facebook pages can be utilized to display platform information and voting information, but posts by campaign teams on these platforms is limited to 2 posts a day per class page.

iii. Personal Campaign Page, Twitter, and other Social Media

Candidates are permitted to make their own promotional campaign sites. Like the Facebook pages, these sites may be built prior to campaigning, but they may not go live prior to this time. This applies to Twitter and other social media sites besides Facebook. All personal websites must be shared with the EC. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions.

F. Residential Life

i. Campaigning in the Residence Halls

The EC and Residential Life will work together to grant candidates permission to campaign in the residence halls. The EC will set specific days and times in which candidates and their teams can go door to door and campaign. Each team must provide a list of campaign team members who will be participating in residence hall campaigning. These campaign team members will be checked in and out at the start and close of the events by members of the EC. Campaigning in the residence halls outside of these hours may lead to sanctions and loss of residence hall campaigning privileges. The EC will be working with the RAs and other administrators in Residential Life to monitor campaigning activity in the residence halls.

ii. Residential Life Posting Policy

Flyers and other posting materials may not be posted in residence halls unless it is on an individual person’s door. That individual must give permission to the candidate or campaign member in order for this post to be permitted.

 


Section 2: Campaign Procedures

A. Financials

Campaign teams will have a $300 dollar spending limit, including the cost of t-shirts, for the primary campaign. Candidates will be required to submit receipts for all purchases along with a detailed financial summary, which will be audited by EC financial officers.

Candidate teams that continue on to final voting will be permitted to spend an additional $150 dollars to spend on their campaign. A supplementary financial form must be submitted by these candidates.

All T-Shirts must be bought through the EC using e-market. T-shirts will be valued at a specific dollar amount to create parity.

Any donation of materials or services by a third party will be considered in the candidate team’s total spending limit at “Fair Market Value”, or at the least expensive posted price of the item that the candidate can find. Copies should be valued at 3 cents / black and white and 25 cents / color. T-Shirts may not be donated and have to be bought through the EC.

Any materials used that students would reasonably have free access to, whether through their own means or the means of others, will not be included on a candidate team’s financial form. The EC reserves the right to determine whether or not the material used falls into this category.

Candidates are responsible for funding their own campaigns. Candidates who demonstrate significant financial need have the option of approaching the EC to discuss alternative options for funding.

Late, falsified, or illegal financial forms would be cause for sanctions against a candidate team.

B. Primary and Final Voting

If after the mandatory informational meeting, there are four or less teams running for candidacy, then primary voting will not occur, and all four teams will move on to the final vote. If this occurs, then each team will be allowed to use the additional $150 in the second week of campaigning.

If after the mandatory informational meeting, there are five or more teams running for candidacy, then primary voting will occur, and the three teams with the highest number of votes will move on to final voting


 

C. Violations, Complaints, and Sanctions

i. The EC Sanction Guidelines

Repeated violations on the same sanction level will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the EC.

ii. Disqualification

All candidates are subject to disqualification by a two-thirds vote of the EC if they have not upheld the ethical standards or regulations outlined in the Elections Code.

iii. Violations

The EC has the right to monitor all campaign activity to ensure that no violations of the Elections Code are taking place. The EC will actively monitor social media, university postings, campaigning in the Residence Halls, and all other tasks deemed vital to the campaign season.

For a Level 3 Sanction, there is a baseline of 25 negative votes; however, the amount of negative votes may be higher given EC discretion.

iv. Complaints

Complaints will be received by the EC through the MyBC complaint form website. They can be found at the EC website à www.bc.edu/elections. Complaints will only be reviewed within 24 hours of the incident, or at the discretion of the EC.

Because it is the purpose of the EC to ensure that all campaigns are being run fairly and responsibly, the EC will review and investigate complaints at its discretion in order to determine whether candidates are adhering to reasonable campaigning practices.

If a complaint is valid, the candidate/s will be informed of the impermissible campaign action.

Candidates may appeal EC decisions if they have sufficient evidence to prove that the EC’s decision was rooted in unfairness or prejudice, or if new evidence regarding the EC’s case against the candidate is discovered following the EC’s decision. All appeals must be brought to the Assistant Director of the Office of Student Involvement.

v. Students Unaffiliated to a Campaign Team

If a student that is not a part of a campaign team has a complaint, they may submit it in the same fashion as those on a campaign team (through the complaints form on myBC).

Negative campaigning by students unaffiliated with a campaign team will be reported to the the Dean of Students Office. All students are held to the Code of Student Conduct provided by DOS.