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The By-Laws of the Youngstown State University Student Government Association
As amended 30 March 2009
As amended 26 April 2010
As amended 25 February 2013
As amended 3 September 2013
As amended 2 March 2015
As amended 28 March 2016
As amended 10 October 2016
As amended 13 February 2017
As amended 18 September 2017
As amended 16 October 2017
As amended 25 October 2019
As amended 15 November 2021 (Justin Shaughnessy, President; Nadine Jones, Parliamentarian)
Article I: Legislative Assembly
Section 1: Standing Rules
- The Student Government Association Standing Rules shall govern the meetings and activities of the Legislative Assembly.
- The Standing Rules shall be reviewed by the President and the Parliamentarian upon taking office and they shall make recommendations on the Standing Rules to the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly shall adopt rules agreeable to it by the second (2nd) general meeting of the fall semester.
Section 2: Meetings
- A regular meeting of the Legislative Assembly is defined as either a full meeting of the Legislative Assembly and its Representatives or the meetings of the Standing Committees. The Legislative Assembly and the Standing Committees shall alternate meetings on a weekly basis, unless the Executive Committee decides otherwise, but all meetings shall be held at the same day and time during the week.
- The Legislative Assembly Rules of Order shall govern all meetings of the Legislative Assembly and committees.
Section 3: Freshman Representatives
The Executive Committee shall solicit applications for the position of Freshman Representative no later than the fourth week of the fall semester and recommend to the Legislative Assembly students to be appointed to those positions no earlier than the second week of the fall semester but no later than the sixth week of the fall semester. Nominations must be confirmed by the Legislative Assembly.
Section 4: Initiative
- For legislation to be brought to the floor of the Legislative Assembly by someone other than the President, Executive Vice President, or a Representative, it should be sponsored by a petition containing not less than one (1) percent of the current student enrollment of the University (full and part-time) as provided by the Registrar’s Office.
- The legislation would be introduced by the Student Sponsor under New Business, and would be read into the minutes.
- The Executive Committee shall verify the petitions presented in support of legislation.
- Such legislation shall be acted upon within a two (2) week period from the date of its introduction on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. If such legislation is not acted upon within that specified period, it shall be automatically placed upon the next regularly scheduled election ballot for approval or rejection by a majority vote of the Student Body.
- If however, the Legislative Assembly approves such legislation, it shall be considered in effect immediately, unless otherwise specified within the legislation. If the Legislative Assembly neither approves nor tables such legislation, the student sponsors will have the option of referendum action.
Section 5: Referendum
- The referendum process can be applied to any Student Government Association By-Law, Article of the Constitution, Piece of Legislation, or Student Government Association Program. This process may also be used if the Initiative Process fails.
- For a referendum to be placed upon the ballot for a referendum vote of the Student Body, the following is needed:
(a) It must be sponsored by a petition containing not less than ten (10) percent of the current Student Enrollment (including name and Student I.D. number, full and part time), as provided by the Registrar’s Office.
(b) It must be presented by a Student Sponsor at a full, formal meeting of the Legislative Assembly under New Business and read into the Student Government Association Minutes.
(c) It must be presented to the Legislative Assembly by the Elections Board at least two (2) full weeks before it can be placed upon any Student Government Association sponsored election. The Elections Board shall have the responsibility of verifying the sponsoring petitions.
(d) It shall be the duty and the responsibility of the Chief of Staff and Parliamentarian to inform the Student Body that a referendum vote shall be on the ballot.
- For approval, the referendum shall require a simple majority of the Student Body voting in that election.
Article II: Committee Procedures
Section 1: General Rules
- All committees shall present a typed report of their meetings and actions at the next Legislative Assembly meeting. This report shall contain the following:
(a) Name of the committee
(b) Date and time of the meeting
(c) Committee members in attendance/absent
(d) Issues discussed
(f) Outstanding issues sent to the committee yet to be resolved
- A report is to be read into the minutes as a statement of fact, not requiring consideration by the body. The Legislative Assembly shall consider any recommendations from the committee during committee reports.
- All committees, except where otherwise specified, shall have the power and responsibility to initiate any project, action, or legislative proposal within the lawfully-defined charge of that committee.
- Committees shall take a proactive approach to reaching out to the Student Body to discover, consider, and evaluate the issues and concerns that present obstacles to them.
- Quorum for all standing committees shall be a simple majority of the entire committee.
- The Parliamentarian shall oversee all committees and act as a liaison between the committees and the executive committee. The Parliamentarian shall not be assigned to any specific committee, but shall be available to answer all questions of procedure during committee meetings, and shall make him/herself available during scheduled committee meetings to assist in any way needed.
Section 2: Standing Committee Procedures
- Standing Committee Membership
(a) Membership on Standing Committees shall be open to Representatives not serving on the Executive Committee.
(b) A Cabinet member, with the approval of the Executive Committee, may serve as an ex-officio member of a Standing Committee appropriate to his/her position.
(c) The Executive Committee shall have the power to appoint one (1) non-Student Government Association member to each Standing Committee as a non-voting member.
(d) The number of members on a Standing Committee may be variable and does not need to be equitable. There shall always be at least three (3) voting members on a Standing Committee.
- During each committee meeting, representatives shall report their efforts to further their constituents’ interests, both within their concentrations and in general. These reports shall be recorded by the committee chair, but not included in the committee report. Representative reports shall not last for longer than two (2) minutes, unless they engender discussion germane to the committee’s charge.
- Interpretation of the Constitution and By-Laws
(a) All questions of interpreting the Constitution, By-Laws, and any other SGA document, shall be determined by the Legislative Assembly, but the matter shall first be committed to the appropriate standing committee or to the Executive Committee.
(b) Any student may file with the Parliamentarian a written request for an interpretation of a section of the Constitution, By-Laws, or any other SGA document, which shall be committed to the appropriate standing committee or to the Executive committee.
- For large, complex issues, Standing Committees shall decide whether the creation of an ad hoc committee would better address the situation.
- Regular meetings of the committee chairs and the President and Executive Vice President shall take place at a predetermined time and location.
Section 3: Standing Committees
- Financial Appropriations Committee
(a) The Financial Appropriations Committee shall review requests for funding from registered student organizations and recommend to the Legislative Assembly, in written legislation, appropriate levels of funding. The Legislative Assembly shall approve, deny, or alter the Committee’s recommendation(s).
(b) The Financial Path shall serve as the official guideline for Student Government Association funding of registered student organizations’ activities. The Financial Appropriations Committee shall have the power to recommend changes to the Financial Path. Any substantive changes or modifications to the Financial Path must follow the same process as that for amending these By-Laws.
- Student Life Committee
(a) The Student Life Committee shall discuss and act upon all issues relating to the following concentrations—
- Student Activities
- Student Services
- Public Relations Committee
(a) This committee shall also be responsible for the advertising and public relations efforts of the Student Government Association within the University, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and signage.
The Public Relations Committee shall discuss and act upon all issues relating to the following concentrations—
- Social Media Management
- Website Management
- Assessment and Enrichment Committee
The Assessment and Enrichment Committee shall discuss and act upon all issues relating to the following concentrations—
- Student Needs
- University Assessment
- University Development
Section 4: Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee is responsible for ensuring the execution of all actions taken by the Legislative Assembly. This execution includes forwarding legislation to the appropriate parties, establishing meetings with appropriate parties to voice Legislative Assembly concerns, and detailing Student Government Association events. The Executive Committee is further responsible for monitoring and aiding the progress of all Legislative Assembly Representatives, Academic Senators, and committees.
- Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall take place at a predetermined time and location.
(a) Special meetings shall be held at any time upon the call of the Executive Vice President or any two Executive Committee members.
(b) The President shall chair all meetings of the Executive Committee and shall vote only in the case of a tie.
- All meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open to any Student Government Association member. Any members in attendance shall have full privileges except that they shall not be permitted to vote in Executive Committee votes.
- Any person who has been removed from an Executive Committee office shall not be eligible for any Executive Committee position for at least one calendar year.
Section 5: Ad Hoc Committee Procedures
- Ad hoc committees shall be established to address a specific task(s) that, for whatever reason, would be inappropriate to be handled by a particular Standing Committee.
- Only the Legislative Assembly can restrict membership on an ad hoc committee that it establishes. Such an action must be stated at the time of the committee’s creation. Concerned or appropriate individuals from the campus or community shall be encouraged to be members of the ad hoc committee.
- All ad hoc committees shall exist for the duration of time determined by the enabling document, whether from the President or the Legislative Assembly.
Article III: Academic Senate
Section 1: Attendance
- Any Academic Senator accumulating two absences per year from a full meeting of the Academic Senate or committee session that are not excused by the Executive Committee shall be removed from the Academic Senate without consideration. After an unexcused absence, the Chief of Staff or his/her designee shall inform the Senator that s/he will immediately be removed if s/he accumulates one more unexcused absence.
- When deciding all excusals, the Executive Committee shall consider the following mitigating circumstances: unavoidable and isolated academic conflicts, familial emergencies, health.
Section 2: Adherence to Academic Senate Policies
All Academic Senators shall abide by the rules and regulations established in the Academic Senate Charter and By-Laws.
Article IV: Public Record
Records shall be compiled by the President or his/her designee at the end of the fall and spring semesters containing the minutes of each Legislative Assembly meeting and any other records deemed appropriate by the Legislative Assembly. Additionally, the spring edition shall include up-to-date versions of the Constitution, By-Laws, the Financial Path, and the Standing Rules. This shall serve as the official account of the proceedings of each semester. All SGA public records shall be available to students in accordance with University policy and all applicable laws.
Article V: Advisors
Section 1: Number of Advisors
There shall be at least one faculty and at least one administrative advisor to the Student Government Association. The Chair of the Academic Senate shall also serve as an ex-officio advisor to the body. The Director of Student Activities shall also serve as an advisor to the body. Each shall serve for a full year, including summer, from the time of their appointment.
Section 2: Approval of Advisors
- The President and/or the Executive Committee shall have the power to nominate individuals as advisors at the first meeting of the Legislative Assembly in the fall semester after completing an application and interview process for the positions during the summer.
- The Legislative Assembly may choose to approve its advisors for the upcoming year at its last meeting of the spring semester.
- Once the Legislative Assembly has approved its advisors, those names shall be forwarded to the University President for his/her official appointment to the Student Government Association as advisors for the upcoming year.
Section 3: Duties
- Advisors shall provide the Student Government Association and its members with advice and guidance on issues and questions relating to the University and the community.
- Advisors shall ensure a smooth transition between administrations.
Section 4: Replacement of Advisors
Should an Advisor resign from his/her position or be removed by the University President, the Executive Committee shall request the University President to appoint an interim advisor until the Executive Committee can fill that vacancy, if such an appointment would be appropriate.
Article VI: Student Trustees to the Board of Trustees
To be qualified to serve as a student trustee on the University Board of Trustees, a student must be registered to vote in the State of Ohio and must have completed sixteen (16) semester hours at Youngstown State University at the time of application. At the time of nomination, nominees must be able to complete a full term (2 years). Nominees must have and maintain good academic standing and be full-time students.
Article VII: Elections
Section 1: Elections Board
- Authority and Jurisdiction
(a) The Elections Board shall have the jurisdiction to oversee all elections for Student Government Association President and Executive Vice President, Legislative Assembly representatives, and Academic Senators, as well as campaigns for student-sponsored legislation.
(b) The Elections Board has the power to enforce all election rules established by the Student Government Association and to impose sanctions on those candidates who violate the rules and the rulings of the Elections Board.
(c) The Elections Board shall set the timeline for the candidate verification process as deemed appropriate based off of method used for petitions while keeping in mind the deadline for elections.
(a) The Elections Board shall consist of one (1) adviser, the Associate Director of Student Conduct, as well as five (5) members and one (1) alternate, appointed by the Associate Director of Student Conduct and confirmed by the Associate Vice President for Student Experience. Members will be appointed based on their ability to perform the tasks delegated to them in a professional, unbiased and accurate fashion. The members will be chosen from both the Student Conduct Board and the Student Academic Grievance Subcommittee. One (1) of these students shall be chosen by the Elections Board appointees to serve as the Commissioner for the entire academic year. The remaining four (4) appointees become Associate Commissioners.
(b) The adviser, the Associate Director of Student Conduct, shall be granted the same rights and privileges as members of the elections board, including engagement in discussion, but will not be permitted to vote on any matter. The Associate Director of Student Conduct will herein be referred to as the adviser. The adviser may provide clarity on University policy, as well as address any questions or concerns stemming from the interpretation of said policy. The adviser may also call the members of the board into a vote. All other members of the Elections Board may vote on any matter. Decisions will be made based solely on a simple majority of the vote.
(c) Any Youngstown State University undergraduate or graduate student, may serve on the Board, with exception to those who are seeking an elected position within the Student Government Association, including the Academic Senate, during the upcoming regular election. Furthermore, appointees to the Elections Board will be vetted by the adviser for any conflicts of interest that would arise. An individual may not serve on the board if said conflicts of interest arise.
(d) The Elections Board shall not convene for any purpose unless a majority of the Commissioners and the adviser are present. If necessary, the Elections Board may vote on any matter via private email correspondence. The adviser shall be included in any such discussion, but will not be permitted to vote on any matter.
(a) If an Associate Commissioner position is vacated, then the adviser shall appoint the alternate member as an Associate Commissioner. If the Commissioner position is vacated, then the remaining Associate Commissioners shall appoint a new Commissioner from amongst themselves, and the vacated Associate Commissioner seat shall be filled by the alternate member. If the adviser vacates his or her position, the Associate Vice President for Student Experience, equivalent, or designee, shall fill the vacancy.
(a) An independent and honorable Elections Board is indispensable to promoting student body confidence in the Board. Members should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct and personally observe those standards to preserve the integrity and independence of the Board. The provisions of these By-Laws are to be construed and applied to further this objective.
(b) Any student, faculty, or staff may bring charges of partiality or impropriety against any Elections Board member to the Office of Student Conduct. Any charges must be filed in writing to the Associate Director of Student Conduct, who will present it to the member of the Elections Board in question.
(c) After the presentation of evidence and testimony against the member and the member is granted a fair amount of time to rebut the accusations made against him or her, the Associate Director of Student Conduct, with the advice and consent of the Associate Vice President for Student Experience, will form a decision on whether to remove the member from the Board. The decision of the Associate Director of Student Conduct is final, and such removal will qualify as a vacancy and will be treated as enumerated in Section 1, subsection 3.
- Timeline of Procedures
(a) The Student Life Committee of the Student Government Association will have the sole responsibility of planning events pertaining to the elections, advertising, room reservations, etc. The Student Life Committee shall commence planning said events during the third (3rd) week of the spring semester and continuing into the remainder of the semester. The Student Life Committee of the Student Government Association will herein be referred to as The Student Life Committee.
Section 2: Candidacy Requirements
- To be a candidate for a Legislative Assembly representative or Academic Senate position, a student must:
- Declaration of candidacy shall be made available to the student body by the Monday of the fifth (5th) week of the spring semester.
(a) Declarations of candidacies must be submitted to the Division of Student Experience, by 5:00PM on the Thursday of the sixth (6th) week of the spring semester.
(b) The declaration of candidacy shall, at minimum, require the student to provide their student ID number, college, major(s), status, and GPA. This information must illustrate that the potential candidate is a student at Youngstown State University, is in good academic standing with an overall GPA greater than a 2.5, and will be able to fulfill all of the requirements of the desired position should the candidate obtain the sought position. The Division of Student Experience shall check all declaration of candidacy for eligibility and notify candidates of their eligibility by 4:00PM on the Monday of the seventh (7th) week of the spring semester.
- The Presidential and Executive Vice Presidential candidates must run as a ticket, and those students must:
(a) File a petition of one-hundred fifty (150) names and Student ID numbers of full or part-time students. This petition may be filed via either paper or electronic mechanisms.
(b) The declaration of candidacy shall, at minimum, require the student to provide their student ID number, college, major(s), status, and GPA. This information must illustrate that the potential candidate is a student at Youngstown State University, is in good academic standing with an overall GPA greater than a 2.75, and will be able to fulfill all of the requirements of the desired position should the candidate obtain the sought position.
- No person that has been impeached by the removal process outlined in Article X of the YSU SGA Constitution shall be eligible for election.
- Election Rules Meetings
(a) All candidates must attend one of the Election Rules Meetings sponsored by the Elections Board and the Student Government Association held for two consecutive days during the seventh (7th) week of the spring semester. The Elections Board may hold an Election Rules Meeting immediately following the deadline for write-in candidates.
(b) All candidates, after attending one of the Election Rules Meetings, must sign a statement acknowledging that they have read and fully ascribe to the election rules. This shall be required to be certified as a candidate by the Elections Board.
(c) All members of the Elections Board shall be present at the Election Rules Meeting. Once made aware of the identities of the members, a candidate may bring charges of partiality or impropriety against any member of the Elections Board. The candidate must file the charges in writing to the Associate Director of Student Conduct, within 24 hours of the Election Rules Meeting which they attend. Within the written charges, a candidate must provide a clearly outlined reason to remove the member from the Board. The Elections Board member in question will be granted 24 hours from the time notified of the accusation, to rebut the charges filed against him or her. Once the time for accusation and rebuttal has elapsed, the Associate Director of Student Conduct, with the advice and consent of the Associate Vice President for Student Experience or equivalent, will form a decision on whether to remove the member from the Board. The decision of the Associate Director of Student Conduct or equivalent is final, and such removal will qualify as a vacancy and will be treated as enumerated in Section 1, subsection 3.
(d) Submission of a declaration of candidacy constitutes an agreement to accept all Elections Board decisions, except as provided in Article VII, Section 2, 4(b), 4(c), and 4(d), of these By-Laws.
(e) All candidates are strongly encouraged to attend the Student Government Association body meeting during the eighth (8th) week of the spring semester.
- Only those students whose declarations of candidacy, petitions for President and Executive Vice President have been verified by the Division of Student Experience shall be certified as candidates for the position that they are seeking and are permitted to campaign for that position. While soliciting signatures for their petitions, candidates may discuss their own platforms but may not discuss the platforms of any other candidates.
- All campaigning shall begin the Monday morning of the ninth (9th) week of the spring semester and shall conclude when the polls have officially closed.
Section 3: Online Electoral Process
- During the twelfth week of the spring semester, the adviser of the Elections Board or designee shall open polls for two consecutive days for the student body to elect, from among those certified candidates, their representatives in the Student Government Association and Academic Senate. The online electoral process described in this section of the By-Laws is to be preferred to the paper ballot process for this election, but the Elections Board shall have final authority concerning the election method.
- The Student Life Committee, with consent of the Elections Board, shall determine and publicize areas around each polling location in which candidates are not permitted to campaign. Such decisions fall at the full discretion of the Elections Board and are final. This information shall be conveyed to the candidates no later than one (1) week prior to the opening of the polls.
The Elections Board will be the sole provider of ballots for any election and will be responsible for ballot security.
- Voting Procedure
During online elections, a student voting will be responsible for the proper spelling of his/her name, E-mail address, student ID number, and his/her personal PIN number.
- Vote Counting and Automatic Recount
Following the closure of the polls, the Elections Board will access the results of the online election. No persons other than the members of the Elections Board, one duly authorized silent observer from the Student Government Association, and one duly authorized, non-student silent observer appointed by the University President may be present at the counting. The silent observers may voice any concern over a discrepancy in the counting method during the acquisition of the vote count.
- Certification of the Vote Count
(a) After the online poll has been closed, the Elections Board will certify the vote count in the contested races. These certified vote counts shall be sealed by the Elections Board, who shall be their sole overseer.
(b) The Elections Board shall unseal and release the results only after the deadline for filing a grievance has passed and all outstanding grievances are resolved. Should a grievance(s) be filed prior to the deadline, the Elections Board may decide by a majority vote whether to release the unofficial results of the races that may or may not be affected by the pending grievance.
(c) Following the certification of all races by the Elections Board, if the University President or designee determines that a clear violation of University policy has occurred within the electoral process, then s/he shall determine the appropriate remedies for the situation.
All ties shall be determined by lot, as designated by the Elections Board in consultation with the candidates.
Section 4: Paper Ballot Electoral Process
- During the twelfth week of the spring semester, the adviser of the Elections Board or designee shall open polls for two consecutive days for the student body to elect, from among those certified candidates, their representatives in the Student Government Association.
- Voting booths must be provided for all Student Government Association- sponsored elections to ensure privacy.
(a) The Student Life Committee, with the consent of the Elections Board, shall determine the number and location of the polling area(s), prioritizing fairness to candidates while maximizing voter turnout, subject to Legislative Assembly approval.
(b) The Student Life Committee, with the consent of the Elections Board, shall determine and publicize areas around each polling location in which candidates are not permitted to campaign. Such decisions fall at the full discretion of the Elections Board and are final. This information shall be conveyed to the candidates no later than one (1) week prior to the opening of the polls.
(c) It is strongly encouraged that voting booths be provided in the Lariccia Lounge of Kilcawley Center. If booths are provided in the lounge, campaigning will not be permitted in both the Lariccia Lounge and the courtyard area outside of the lounge during voting hours.
(a) The Elections Board will be the sole provider of ballots for any election and will be responsible for ballot security. Lot shall determine the order of candidates on the ballot.
(b) Each candidate or team of candidates for each office shall be listed individually under the office for which they are running. Several spaces shall be allotted for write-in candidates in those races in which the Elections Board has certified write-in candidates. A write-in candidate wishing to run must declare himself or herself to the Elections Board, and obtain certification by the Board. A write-in candidate must make this declaration no later than forty-eight (48) hours after the second election rules meeting. The Elections Board may certify write-in candidates for all races, with the exception of the Presidential and Executive Vice Presidential race.
(c) When using a Scantron ballot, each candidate or team of candidates will be assigned a number corresponding to the order in which they are listed on the ballot. One blank space in each office shall be left for voters to select if they choose to vote for a write-in candidate. Voters shall fill in only one circle per line.
(d) When Scantron ballots are used, voters will receive a write-in ballot along with the Scantron ballot. Both ballots shall be numbered so that they are identifiable as a pair. For those offices in which there are certified write-in candidates, spaces shall be provided. Only those votes for write-in candidates with the correct spelling of the candidate’s name, as officially designated by the Elections Board, will be credited towards the said candidate.
- Voting Procedure
(a) The student voting shall fill in all of the appropriate information in the ledger book provided at each poll location, including the student ID number, college, and signature.
(b) Polling officials selected by the Student Life Committee, and confirmed by the Elections Board, shall be present at the polls at all times that the polls are open.
(c) Poll workers will mare a student’s ID with a consistent mark when a student votes, so as not to let any student vote twice.
- Vote Counting and Automatic Recount
(a) Following the closure of the polls, the Elections Board will arrange for the counting of ballots. No persons other than the members of the Elections Board, counters authorized by the Elections Board, one duly authorized silent observer from the Student Government Association, and one duly authorized, non-student silent observer appointed by the University President may be present at the counting. The silent observers may voice any concern over a discrepancy in the counting method during the ballot counting.
(b) An automatic recount will be conducted by the Elections Board on any race that is decided by less than ten percent (10%) of the total vote for that race. The first recount shall be conducted in the same fashion as the original count. If the recount numbers differ, a hand recount will be the final arbiter of an election.
- Certification of the Vote Count
(a) After the ballots have been counted to their satisfaction, the Elections Board will certify the vote count in the contested races. These certified vote counts shall be sealed by the Elections Board, who shall be their sole overseer.
(b) The Elections Board shall unseal and release the results only after the deadline for filing a grievance has passed and all outstanding grievances are resolved. Should a grievance(s) be filed prior to the deadline, the Elections Board may decide by a majority vote whether to release the unofficial results of the races that may or may not be affected by the pending grievance.
(c) Only after the deadline for the filing of a recount has passed and all outstanding recounts are resolved to the Elections Board’s satisfaction shall the Elections Board certify all races as final and complete.
(d) Following the certification of all races by the Elections Board, if the University President or designee determines that a clear violation of University policy has occurred within the electoral process, then s/he shall determine the appropriate remedies for the situation.
- Recount Requests and Ties
(a) Any candidate may also request a recount from the Elections Board, in writing, within twenty-four (24) hours of the release of the results. A request for a recount must include justification for the recount. The Elections Board shall determine if the request for a recount is sufficiently justified. If it is, the Board shall conduct a recount. The first recount shall be conducted in the same fashion as the original count. If the recount numbers differ, a hand recount will be the final arbiter of an election.
(b) All ties shall be determined by lot, as designated by the Elections Board in consultation with the candidates.
Section 5: Campaign Guidelines
- Campaigning shall be defined as the operation undertaken for promotion and/or solicitation to achieve election to a said position.
- Candidates shall not campaign in a manner that violates University policies, as outlined in The Student Code of Conduct.
- The Student Life Committee of the Student Government Association shall schedule events related to the act of campaigning. These include, but are not limited to, debates and open forums for the Youngstown State student body. If a student sitting on the Student Life Committee is concurrently campaigning for either the office of President or Executive Vice-President for the upcoming year, they must recuse themselves from said scheduling.
- Candidates must abide by the following provisions in posting materials on campus:
(a) Only one original or electronic copy of each poster and sign, in support of a candidate, must be approved by the Office of Student Activities, through the Division of Student Experience prior to posting, a decision that will then be communicated to the candidates. Posters and signs have only been approved, if they are marked with an official stamp.
(b) Only candidates themselves may bring in their campaign posters and signs to be approved. A log of all materials approved and by whom they were approved shall be kept by the Office of Student Activities. Furthermore, a paper copy of each approved campaign poster and sign will be kept by the Office of Student Activities. All approved campaign materials must be stamped, regardless of posting location.
(c) Candidates are held responsible for all of their approved campaign material. Approved materials shall be displayed in any location so long as such a posting is in compliance with University policy.
(d) Items to be displayed must be no larger than eight-point-five (8.5) by eleven (11) inches.
(e) Candidates shall not post approved materials earlier than four (4) weeks before the election.
(f) Negative campaigning or “mudslinging” is not appropriate through any media (including but not limited to: posters, flyers, stickers, email, social media, etc.). Issues may be discussed candidly, but personal attacks on candidates are not tolerated. Candidates, as well as campaign teams, should be mindful of their potential liability in making statements that may not be able to be fully supported with factual evidence.
(g) All campaign material, including social media websites, are subject to scrutiny by the Elections Board.
(h) All candidates must be aware of the specific guidelines of each building on campus in which the candidate is campaigning. All campaigning and campaign materials must abide by all University policies.
Section 6: Grievance Procedures
- Any student may file a grievance, to the Elections Board, against an individual for violation of any election by-law or University Policy.
- All grievances must be filed online using the appropriate form located on the Student Government website (sga.ysu.edu) no later than eighteen (18) hours following the closure of the polls. All grievances warranting a hearing will be made available to the public on the Student Government website for the sake of maintaining transparency. Sensitive or personal information of the filer will be omitted. Grievances must contain the following:
(a) The name(s) of the individual(s) filing the grievance, heretofore referred to as the “petitioner”.
(b) The name(s) of the individual(s) against whom the grievance is being filed, heretofore referred to as the “respondent”.
(c) The rules which the respondent(s) is alleged to have broken, and,
(d) A description of how and when the respondent(s) allegedly violated those rules.
- Following the receipt of a grievance, the Elections Board shall convene to determine whether the grievance warrants a hearing. If it does, the Elections Board shall notify the respondent(s) that a grievance has been filed within twenty-four hours (24) and that a response to the grievance must be filed with the Elections Board no later than forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled hearing. The respondent shall receive a copy of the grievance.
- The seventy-two hours prior to the scheduled grievance hearing will be divided in the following way: within the first forty-eight (48) hours, both petitioner and respondent must compile all relevant grievance materials and forward them to the Elections Board, and the final twenty-four (24) hours are given to allow both petitioner and respondent time to review the opposing side’s materials.
- A hearing shall be scheduled no sooner than seventy-two (72) hours following the notification of the respondent(s).
- The Elections Board shall oversee and adjudicate all hearings. Each party shall be permitted to have advisement during these hearings.
- Both parties are given the opportunity to reschedule the grievance hearing one (1) time, if a scheduling conflict would arise in regard to the initial date. The rescheduled hearing must occur within three (3) business days of the initial hearing date. Rescheduling is only warranted for a family emergency, a medical emergency, or for unavoidable academic reasons. If either party’s adviser is unable to attend the initial hearing, this does not warrant a rescheduled hearing. Furthermore, if either party’s witness(es) are unable to attend the initial hearing, this also does not warrant a rescheduled hearing. If a party’s witness is unable to attend the hearing, written testimony from the absent witness(es) is permissible.
- The petitioners shall be permitted an amount of time determined by the Elections Board to present their case. They may present witnesses. Witnesses may be cross-examined by the respondents. The Elections Board may permit redirect and re-cross-examination, so long as both sides have an equal number of times to question the witness. The Elections Board may also question both parties and all witnesses.
- Following the petitioner’s case, the respondent shall present their defense against the grievance and shall be afforded the same opportunities as the petitioner.
- Following the respondent’s case, both sides shall be permitted a short closing statement, with the length to be determined by the Elections Board.
- Following the closing statements, the Elections Board shall recess the hearing and convene in private for the purpose of deliberating the judgment in the grievance. Any finding must be finalized within twenty-four (24) hours of the hearing. If the respondent is found to be responsible for the violations brought forth by the petitioner, then the Elections Board shall determine an appropriate sanction for the actions, including but not limited to the following: Removal of campaign literature; suspension of a candidate’s campaign privileges; removal of a candidate; cancellation or invalidation of any or all races; referral to the Student Judicial Board. Such sanctions shall be imposed to ensure the fair conduction of the election and restore any imbalance caused by the violations.
- The Elections Board shall have the power to impose such sanctions on any member of the Youngstown State University undergraduate or graduate community who violates election regulations. This includes campaign workers or supporters who have campaigned for another in any way.
- If a hearing is conducted, the Elections Board must file a finding that will be posted on the Student Government website for the sake of maintaining transparency. Sensitive or personal information pertaining to the students involved will be omitted.
- Grievance hearings are separate from the University Judicial process and shall not preclude any further action that may be taken through the University Judicial process.
- The scheduling of the grievance hearing is at the final discretion of the Elections Board and the adviser. This discretion does not extend to the privileges granted to both petitioner and respondent as enumerated in Article VII, Section 6, Clauses 4 and 7.
Article VIII: Advertising Policy
Section 1: Authority
- The Student Government Association, through The Code, Article V, Section F, Paragraph 19b, has the power and authority to institute regulations governing individual and registered student organization materials posted on student bulletin boards located in buildings throughout campus (hereafter referred to as “bulletin boards”). These regulations are not applicable to Student Government Association-conducted elections including Homecoming.
- The Student Government Association does not have the power or authority to stamp materials for posting on or in official University/departmental bulletin boards, kiosks, Kilcawley Center, or residence hall facilities (including Christman Dining Commons) (The Code, Article V, Section F, 19a, c,d).
- Material not related to registered student organizations or campus activities must be approved by the News Editor, University Relations, prior to distribution or posting (The Code, Article V, Section F, 19e).
- Homecoming candidates shall abide by the advertising provisions regarding elections contained in Article VII, Section 4 of these By-Laws.
Section 2: Guidelines
- Materials posted on bulletin boards do not need to be approved by the Student Government Association. However, the Student Government Association has the right to remove any literature that is deemed inappropriate or offensive by the Executive Committee or the Legislative Assembly.
- Any literature sponsored and approved by a University department or program shall not be subject to the Student Government Association Advertising Code.
Section 3: Posting of Materials
- Only one (1) piece of literature for each event, activity, or message shall be permitted on any one student bulletin board.
- A student bulletin board shall be defined as a bulletin board not otherwise claimed by another University entity. Student bulletin boards are not necessarily designated as such. As such, individuals and registered student organizations should confirm the ownership of any bulletin board before posting materials.
- No individual or registered student organization shall cover any other material with their material.
- Individuals or registered student organizations are responsible for removing their material no later than five (5) business days after the date of the event being advertised. Individuals or registered student organizations that fail to comply with this provision may be subject to disciplinary procedures outlined in The Code, Article VII.
- The Student Government Association and its designee shall remove any materials found to be in violation of the Advertising Code and shall reserve the right to institute disciplinary proceedings against the individual or registered student organization.
Article IX: Student Government Association Awards
Section 1: Process
- The President shall appoint a Selection Committee during the spring semester that shall accept and recommend nominees to the President. The President shall make the final decision on all awards.
- If the President is a nominee for any of the awards, the Executive Vice President shall make the final decision on that award.
- The Selection Committee shall have the discretion to not recommend nominees for any or all of these awards. The President shall have the discretion not to present any or all of these awards.
Section 2: Awards
- The Dr. Charles McBriarty Award
(a) This award was established by the Student Government Association during the 1992-1993 school year to recognize and remember the commitment and contributions of Dr. Charles McBriarty to students and Student Services during his tenure as Vice President for Student Affairs. Its intent is to recognize individuals within the university community who have a reputation for being exceptionally student-oriented and who possess the traits, ethics, and friendly style exhibited by Dr. McBriarty.
(b) A maximum of one (1) full-time employee from administration, the professional/administrative staff, and/or the classified staff shall be presented with this award each year.
- The Dr. Luke N. Zaccaro Award
(a) This is given each year to a student in memory of the late Luke N. Zaccaro, Chair of the Math Department.
(b) This award is given to a YSU student, who may or may not be a member of the Student Government Association. The individual should have done something exceptional for the university, Student Government Association, or fellow students during the course of the current year.
- The Smith-Murphy Award
(a) The award shall be given to one (1) full-time faculty member each year.
(b) The recipient shall possess the qualities of Lester Smith and Gratia Murphy, displaying a genuine concern for the well-being and success of the students s/he teaches.
- The Student Government Association Spirit Award
(a) The Student Government Association shall give this award to a member of the campus or Youngstown Metropolitan community who has displayed enthusiasm for the work of the YSU Student Government Association over the past academic year.
(b) A maximum of two (2) awards will be given to a student, staff or faculty member, alumnus, administrator, or private citizen.
- The President Cynthia Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award
(a) The recipient of this award shall have exhibited an extended commitment and dedication to serving the student body through various positions in the Student Government Association.
(b) A maximum of one (1) full-time student per year shall be given this award.
- The John J. Gocala Sr. Service Award
This award was established by the Student Government Association to recognize the commitment and contributions of John J. Gocala during his tenure as YSU Police Chief. Its intent is to recognize (1) one individual within the university community who has gone and continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to serve the first-class reputations and traditions of Youngstown State University. The individual must truly work to preserve the interests of the YSU campus and community.
- Martin T. “Marty” Manning Award
(a) The Martin T. “Marty” Manning Award, established during the 2010-2011 academic year by the Student Government Association, is in honor of the late Dr. Martin T. “Marty” Manning. The award is in recognition of the superior student-mentoring abilities of Dr. Manning.
(b) The award shall be conferred to a full or part-time student, administrator, faculty or staff member, or alumnus who has exemplified the student-mentoring capacity that Dr. Manning so avidly displayed throughout his Youngstown State University career.
(c) This award shall be conferred no-more than one (1) time per academic year.
- The Harry M. Meshel Legacy Award
(a) The Harry M. Meshel Legacy Award, established during the 2017-2018 academic year by the Student Government Association, is in honor of the late Mr. Harry M. Meshel. Mr. Meshel was an influential political figure, whose immense contributions to the valley simply cannot be measured. This award is in recognition of the values of: public service, civics, education, culture, and dedication to one’s hometown, each of which Mr. Meshel brilliantly possessed.
(b) This award is bestowed upon a Youngstown State University student, who may or may not be a member of the Student Government Association. The individual must have displayed the qualities Mr. Meshel encompassed, specifically the commitment to public service for the Greater Youngstown Community.
(c) This award shall be conferred no more than one (1) time per academic year.