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The Class and School Representatives Campaigning Code of Boston College

Revised: February 26th, 2014

Approved by the Elections Committee: February 26th, 2014

Table of Contents
 


Elections Committee UGBC Student Assembly Elections for Class and School Representatives Campaigning Code, 2014-2015

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):

Facilitate and manage two separate campaign seasons; fall First Year SA 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 outlaid 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.

Section 1: General Campaigning Guidelines

A. General Expectations

Candidates 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 should respect and be mindful of all other candidates, 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 reserve 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 Candidates

i. 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.

ii. 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.

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.

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

Attendance is mandatory at all pre-campaign meetings. The candidate must be present in order to be considered for candidacy.

All Statement of Candidacy forms and guidelines for the Student Assembly positions 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.

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. Individual may endorse a candidate from their position in an organization, but no individual may speak on behalf of an organization.

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 Office of Student Involvement, located in Carney 147, between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM (including flyers, quarter sheets, 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.

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

Candidates are permitted to make their own promotional campaign sites. All personal websites must be shared with the EC. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions. Pages may be built prior to campaigning and candidates may put campaign platforms up, but sites will not go live until the start of campaigning.

F. Residential Life

i. Campaigning in the Residence Halls

The EC will announce a Residence Hall policy before the elections commence. This policy will be sent out to all the candidates and they are expected to abide by it at all times.

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

Candidates will have a $50 dollar spending limit. Candidates will be required to submit receipts for all purchases along with a detailed financial summary, which will be audited by EC financial officers.

Candidates that choose to run with a running mate will be allowed to spend a total of $75 between the two candidates.

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.

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. 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.

iv. Complaints

Complaints will be received by the EC through the MyBC complaint form website. They can be found at the EC website www.bc.edu/elections

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 Candidate

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

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