Student Bar Association

Constitution


01: Name

02: Purposes

03: Membership

04: Officers

05: Student Senator

06: Executive Board

07: Board of Governors

08: Representatives

09: Elections  

10: Removal

11: Vacancies & Absences

12: Internal Committees

13: Student-Faculty Committees

14: Meetings

15: Initiative

16: Student Groups & Organizations

17: Constitutional Amendments

ARTICLE 1. NAME
This organization shall be known as the "Student Bar Association of New York University School of Law."

ARTICLE 2. PURPOSES

Section 1. To act as a means for student self-government.

Section 2. To provide an effective medium for the expression of student's views.

Section 3. To maintain an effective liaison between students, the administration, and the faculty of the Law School .

Section 4. To sponsor and maintain such services and activities as may be deemed beneficial to the Law School community and specifically to the students.

ARTICLE 3. MEMBERSHIP


All registered J.D., J.S.D., and LL.M. candidates at New York University School of Law are hereby declared members of this organization.

ARTICLE 4. OFFICERS


Section 1. Officers Enumerated
1.1. The officers of the Student Bar Association shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, the Executive Secretary, the Social Chair, and the Student Senator.

Section 2. Qualifications for Officers
2.1. All candidates for any office shall be either first or second year students.

Section 3. Membership on the Executive Board
3.1. All officers shall be members of the Executive Board.

Section 4. Duties and Powers of Officers
4.1. President
4.1.1. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Student Bar Association.

4.1.2. He or she shall be responsible for the prompt and orderly execution of all resolutions adopted by the Executive Board and/or the Board of Governors.

4.1.3. He or she shall preside over all duly constituted meetings of the Board of Governors, except as in accord with Section 4.2.3.

4.1.4. He or she shall preside over all duly constituted meetings of the Executive Board.

4.1.5. He or she shall appoint a Parliamentarian who shall be a member of the Student Bar Association; who shall advise the President on procedural matters relating to the Student Bar Association Constitution and Bylaws.

4.1.6. He or she shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors, all committee chairpersons for both standing and ad hoc internal committees of the Student Bar Association.

4.1.7. He or she shall nominate, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors, the student members of all student-faculty committees, except as provided in Article XIII, Section 1.

4.1.8. He or she shall call meetings of the Executive Board and the Board of Governors in accordance with relevant constitutional provisions and/or motions of the Board of Governors.

4.1.9. He or she shall serve as the official representative of the Student Bar Association outside the Law School Community.

4.2. Vice-President
4.2.1. He or she shall be responsible for ensuring communication between the Board of Governors and students serving on student-faculty committees and boards.

4.2.2. He or she shall be responsible for the effective operation of committees whether permanent or ad hoc, as empanelled by the executive Board or Board of Governors.

4.2.3. He or she shall exercise the duties and powers of the President in his or her absence.

4.2.4. He or she shall assume the office of President whenever a vacancy arises.

4.2.5. He or she shall perform such other duties as the President and Board of Governors may assign in the administration of the Student Bar Association.

4.3. Treasurer
4.3.1. He or she shall be the chief fiscal officer of the Student Bar Association.

4.3.2. He or she shall be chairperson of any Student Bar Association Finance committee whether permanent or ad hoc.

4.3.3. He or she shall be in charge of all fiscal matters relating to the collection and disbursement of Student Bar Association funds and keep clear and comprehensive records of all these transactions.

4.3.4. He or she shall prepare financial statements and present them to the Law School community for each fiscal period as defined by agreement between the Law School and the Student Bar Association.

4.3.5. He or she shall post the annual budget, as passed by the Board of Governors, in a conspicuous place.

4.3.6. He or she shall perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Governors may assign in the administration of the Student Bar Association.

4.4. Executive Secretary
4.4.1. The Executive Secretary shall be in charge of keeping all records except those relating to fiscal matters under the purview of the Treasurer. And he or she shall keep accurate and complete minutes of all meetings.

4.4.2. He or she shall be in charge of the administration and the execution of Student Bar Association correspondence.

4.4.3. He or she shall perform such other duties as the President and Board of Governors may assign in the administration of the Student Bar Association.

4.4.4. He or she shall be in charge of public relations for the Student Bar Association under the direction of the Executive Board.

4.4.5. He or she shall issue, publish, and post in a conspicuous place accurate minutes of the Board of Governors meeting as provided for in the By-laws.

4.5. Social Chairs.
4.5.1. The Social Chairs shall coordinate all SBA-sponsored social events for NYU School of Law students.

4.5.2. They shall perform such other duties as the President and the Board of Governors may assign in the administration of the Student Bar Association.

4.5.3. In light of the demanding nature of the position, there shall be two Social Chairs each year.

ARTICLE 5. STUDENT SENATOR


Section 1. Qualifications
1.1. All candidates for Student Senator shall be either first or second year students.

Section 2. Duties and Powers
2.1. The Student Senator shall represent the Law School on the University Senate, and related University-wide councils and committees.

2.2. The Student Senator shall perform such other duties as the President may assign.

2.3. The Student Senator shall be a full voting member of the Board of Governors.

2.4. The Student Senator shall be required to present, at least twice a semester, oral or written reports to the Board of Governors, describing the business conducted at the meetings of the University Senate.

Section 3. Tenure
The tenure of the Student Senator shall be the same as the tenure of the Student Bar Association officers.

ARTICLE 6. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD


Section 1. The Executive and administrative powers and responsibilities of the Student Bar Association shall be vested in the Executive Board.

Section 2. This body shall oversee the operation of all committees. Section 3. This body shall have the power to act for the Board of Governors when the Board is not in session. Any action taken by the Executive Board shall be subject to veto by a majority of the Board of Governors present and voting at a duly called meeting.

ARTICLE 7. BOARD OF GOVERNORS


Section 1. Members: All Student Bar Association officers and representatives are members of the Board of Governors.

Section 2. All legislative powers shall be vested in the Board of Governors where not inconsistent with other provisions of this Constitution. Section 3. The Budget (s) proposed by the Executive Board shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.

ARTICLE 8. REPRESENTATIVES


Section 1. Second and Third Year Classes shall be represented on the Board of Governors by four (4) representatives from each class. The First Year Class shall be represented on the Board of Governors by one (1) representative from each First Year section. The LL.M. Class shall be represented on the Board of Governors by three (3) representatives.  The transfer students shall be represented on the Board of Governors by one (1) representative. This representative shall be elected in his/her first semester as a transfer student at NYU. Only transfer students in their first semester as transfer students at NYU will be permitted to vote for the position of transfer student representative.

Section 2. If there are fewer than four (4) large First Year student sections, each large section shall elect one (1) representative from their section, and the class as a whole shall elect the remaining representative(s) at large. If there are four (4) large sections, each large section shall elect one (1) representative from their section. If there are more than four (4) large sections, all four (4) representatives shall be elected at large, provided that there shall be no more than one (1) candidate from any section.

Section 3. Tenure of Representatives
Representatives shall hold office beginning at the first meeting after the announcement of their election, and until their successors have qualified; except that representatives of the first year, and L.L.M. classes shall hold office from the announcement of final results of their election and, the transfer representative shall hold office from the announcement of the final results of his/her election until his/her successor has qualified.

ARTICLE 9. ELECTIONS


Section 1. Election Coordinator
1.1. There shall be an Election Coordinator appointed by the President, provided that the President is not a candidate for office in the upcoming election. In the event that the President is a candidate in the upcoming election, the next highest ranking (as determined by the order enumerated in the Constitution) member of the Executive Board who is not a candidate for office shall appoint the Election Coordinator. If all of the members of the Executive Board are candidates for office, the Election Coordinator shall be selected by a majority of the Third Year and LLM Representatives. In any event, the appointment of the Election Coordinator shall be made with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors.

Section 2. Election Committee and Rules
2.1. The Election Coordinator shall appoint an Election Committee; for the spring election that committee shall not include first year or second year students. The Election Committee shall establish rules and regulations for the election procedures consonant with relevant sections of the Constitution and By-laws.

Section 3. Nominating Petitions
3.1. In order for the name of any person to be placed on the ballot for one of the officer positions, he or she must submit a petition with fifty (50) nominating signatures of Student Bar Association members to the Election Coordinator; in order for the name of any person to be placed on the ballot for any class representative position or for Student Senator, he or she must submit to the election Coordinator a petition with twenty-five (25) nominating signatures of Student Bar Association members from the constituency which shall elect him or her. This provision shall not apply to the transfer representative position.

Section 4. Voter Turnout Required
4.1. The winners of the elections for representatives shall be determined by plurality vote. No student, however, shall be elected as class representative unless he or she receives the vote of ten percent (10%) of the class from which he or she was elected. The size of the class shall be determined by final registration figures immediately preceding the election.

Section 5. Vacancies
5.1. If from any class less than the number of representatives allotted to each class by ARTICLE 8 Section 1 to serve on the Board of Governors shall be elected, then the President shall, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors, fill any vacant seats with the students from such class.

Section 6. Number of Votes Required
6.1. Candidates running for any other Executive Board position or for Student Senator must receive at least forty percent (40%) of the total vote cast for that office, if the office is contested.

6.2. If the office is uncontested, the candidate for any other Executive Board position or for Student Senator must receive at least fifty percent (50%) of the votes generally cast, as determined by the number of persons voting in the highest contested office. If, in contested elections, no candidate for the Executive Board for the Executive Board position or for Student Senator receives more than forty percent (40%) of the total votes cast for that office, the leading two (2) candidates shall face each other in a run-off election to be held no less than five (5) nor more than seven (7) school days after the original elections according to rules set up by the Elections Committee. This requirement will be printed on every uncontested Executive Board position ballot.

Section 7. Certification of Qualification
7.1. Certification of candidates' qualifications for any elected position, as defined in this Constitution, shall be made by the Election Committee with right of appeal to the Board of Governors.

Section 8. Scheduling of Elections
8.1. All Student Bar Association Elections, except for the election of the entering class, shall be held no later than the end of the first full week of school days in April on a day designated by the Election Committee, but in any event, nominations shall not be due and elections shall not be held on Passover and/or Good Friday.

8.2. The election of first year, LL.M., and transfer representatives shall be held no later than the end of the third week of school days in October on a day designated by the Election Committee. If the Election Committee determines that it is not feasible to hold elections at that time, then elections will be held at the earliest possible date. Such an election will be valid.

ARTICLE 10. REMOVAL


Section 1. Impeachment by Board of Governors
1.1. Upon application of at least six (6) voting members of the Board of Governors, the Board shall conduct a hearing no less than five (5) and no more than ten (10) school days after application to consider the removal of an officer, representative, or committee chairperson for malfeasance, nonfeasance or misfeasance in office. At such hearing, the member shall have the right to face the accusing applicants and offer defense to charges against him or her. At the conclusion of such hearing upon affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the total voting membership of the Board, the so-charged member shall be removed from office.

Section 2. Vote of Confidence by the Student Body
2.1. Upon written petition by twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the body from which an officer or representative was elected, or, where a representative was appointed by the President, upon the written petition by twenty-five percent (25%) of his or her constituency, such person shall be subject to a Vote of Confidence by the relevant constituency

2.2. Such Vote of Confidence shall be held no less than five (5) nor more than ten (10) school days after the filing of any such petition and shall be a yes-no vote to determine whether the person recalled shall remain in office. If a majority of the votes cast in the Vote of Confidence determine that there is no confidence in the officer or representative, they shall be removed from office, and a special election shall be scheduled, in which the removed officer or representative shall be ineligible for the position.

2.3. In no event shall any officer or class representative be subject to a Vote of Confidence before the expiration of thirty (30) days from his or her assumption of office.

2.4. In no event may an officer or representative be recalled unless at least half the number of those who voted in the election at which such person was elected shall vote in such Vote of Confidence.

Section 3. Automatic Removal for Non-Attendance at Meetings
3.1. If any member of the Board of Governors shall be absent from three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the Board of Governors without valid excuse, he or she shall automatically be removed from office. The validity of the excuse shall be determined by the Board of Governors.

ARTICLE 11. VACANCIES AND ABSENCES


Section 1. Temporary Absences
1.1. In the event of a temporary absence of any officer or member of the Board of Governors of the Student Bar Association, the President may appoint a temporary replacement with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors.

Section 2. Permanent Vacancies
2.1. Officers: In the event of a permanent vacancy in the Executive Board, a special election shall be conducted within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of such vacancy.

2.2. In the event of a permanent vacancy in the seat of a representative, the President shall appoint a replacement, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors.

Section 3. For the purpose of this Article, the Board of Governors shall determine whether the absence of any member shall constitute a temporary absence or a permanent vacancy.

ARTICLE 12. INTERNAL COMMITTEES OF THE STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION


Section 1. The President shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors the chairpersons of all internal committees of the Student Bar Association, both standing and ad hoc.

Section 2. The members of committees shall be appointed by the respective chairpersons.

ARTICLE 13. STUDENT-FACULTY COMMITTEES


Section 1. The President shall nominate, with the advice and consent of the Board of Governors, the student members of all student-faculty committees and boards. No later than the last day of classes in the spring semester, first and second year students shall be informed of the positions open on the student-faculty committees and boards. Applications for the committees and boards shall be submitted no later than the last day of the first full week of school days in the fall semester.

Section 2. Neither the President nor the Board of Governors will discriminate in student-faculty committee or other assignments because of color, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or physical handicap.

Section 3. Appointments to student-faculty committees shall be limited to second and third year students.

Section 4. No member of the Board of Governors may be appointed to serve on a student-faculty committee.

Section 5. One student from each student-faculty committee shall be required to present, at least once a semester, an oral or written report to the Board of Governors, describing the business conducted at the meetings of the student-faculty committees. If a student representative on a student-faculty committee or board misses two consecutive meetings, without valid excuse, he or she will be relieved of his or her responsibilities, and a new representative will be appointed in his or her stead according to the procedures outlines herein.

ARTICLE 14. MEETINGS


Section 1. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order where not inconsistent with the Constitution or By-laws of the Student Bar Association.

Section 2. Scheduling of meetings shall be in accordance with the By-laws.

Section 3. The Parliamentarian shall advise the President on procedural matters relating to the Student Bar Association Constitution or By-laws of the Student Bar Association.

Section 4. Regular meetings of the Board of Governors shall be open to the student body at large but the Board of Governors shall have the authority to call an executive session upon two-thirds (2/3) vote of a quorum.

ARTICLE 15. INITIATIVE


Section 1. Any Student Bar Association member may petition the Board of Governors to adopt or rescind legislation by presenting a petition signed by no less than one hundred (100) Student Bar Association members.

Section 2. Upon receipt of such petition, the Student Bar Association Board of Governors shall either enact such legislation or order a referendum to be conducted under the supervision of the Election Coordinator no less than five (5) nor more than ten (10) school days after the filing of any such petition.

Section 3. The Student Bar Association shall be bound by the results of any such referendum, provided that at least one-third (1/3) of the Student Bar Association membership shall have voted in such a referendum.

ARTICLE 16. STUDENT GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS; RECOGNITION; FUNDING
Section 1. Student Group and Organization Recognition
1.1. The Board of Governors of the Student Bar Association has the authority to approve and sanction new student groups and organizations.

1.2. No new student group or organization may use the name of New York University School of Law or receive funding through the School of Law Board of Governors of the Student Bar Association unless the Student Bar Association approve that group's constitution, charter, or by-laws.

Section 2. Student Group Funding
2.1. All approved student groups and organizations are eligible to apply for funding through the Student Bar Association.

2.2. The Treasurer and President of the Student Bar Association will negotiate a Student Bar Association-Student Group and Organization base budget with the administration of the Law School prior to the submission of the Law School budget to the University. The Treasurer and the President will be responsible for insuring that the administration is informed of any known additional groups or extraordinary functions which may require funding during the next academic year. The Treasurer and the President will make every possible effort to insure an adequate appropriation is made from the Law School to the Student Bar Association and the student groups and organizations.

2.3. The Treasurer of the Student Bar Association will establish funding categories including, but not limited to, conferences, printing and equipment, and expenditure reporting procedures for the Student Bar Association, and the student groups and organizations in compliance with university policies.

2.4. The Finance committee of the Student Bar Association will review the funding applications of each student group or organization and recommend the amount of funding each student group or organization will receive for the academic year.

2.5. The Finance Committee, in determining the amount of funding for each student group or organization, will consider the projects and programs proposed by that student group or organization and the impact of those projects and programs on the law school community and the student group organization. The Finance Committee will not consider the political or social goals or beliefs of any student group or organization in making funding decisions.

2.6. The Finance Committee will present its funding decisions to the Board of Governors for final approval. Funds, in fall and spring semester allotments, will be made available to the student groups and organizations upon approval of the budget review by the administration of the budget for compliance with University policy.

2.7. The Student Bar Association will make reasonable funding advances upon request and upon approval of the Board of Governors.

Section 3. Funding Appeal Process
3.1. Any Student Group or Organization has the right to appeal funding decisions made by the Student Bar Association.

3.2. Groups and Organizations will only be allowed to appeal their funding allocation if it represents a reduction of 20% or more from the previous year.

3.3. The appeal request must be initiated within one month of the first day of classes.

3.4. The Appeal Board will consist of five members. Three will be chosen at random from the Student Bar Association Finance Committee. The remaining two will be chosen at random from a list of Student Group Treasurers who have volunteered to serve on the Appeal Board. The Finance Committee will invite all Student Group Treasurers to join this list during the summer. No Student Group Treasurer will be asked to serve on the Appeal Board more than once per school year.

3.5. The Appeal Board shall decide appeals by a simple majority and shall only depart from the established allocation guidelines contained in the bylaws under extraordinary circumstances. If the appeal if found to be valid, the Appeal Board will make alterations in the overall Student Bar Association-Student Group and Organization budget to accommodate any appropriate changes.

Section 4. Budget Amendments and Requirements
4.1. Approved budgets may be amended with the approval of the Board of Governors of the Student Bar Association.

4.2. If additional funds are requested by a student group or organization and are not available in the overall Student Bar Association-Student Group budget, the Treasurer and President of the Student Bar Association will request additional funding through the administration, where appropriate.

ARTICLE 17. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION


Section 1. The Executive Board cannot amend the Constitution.

Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Board of Governors. Such amendments shall require the approval of two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire voting membership of the Board of Governors.

Section 3. Amendments by Initiative
3.1. Amendments to this Constitution may also be proposed by initiative. Any Student Bar Association member may propose an amendment to this Constitution by presenting to the Board of Governors a petition signed by no less than one hundred and twenty five (125) members of the Student Bar Association. An amendment propose by initiative need not be approved by the Board of Governors, and shall be submitted directly to the student body for ratification as provided in Section 4.

Section 4. Ratification of Amendments
Any amendment to this Constitution, whether proposed and approved by the Board of Governors, or proposed by Initiative, shall be subject to ratification by the membership of the Student Bar Association. A ratification referendum shall be held not less that five (5) nor more than ten (10) days after such amendment shall have been presented to the Board (if proposed by initiative). A majority vote of all Student Bar Association members voting shall be required for ratification. No amendment shall be considered ratified unless at least one-third (1/3) of the full-time Student Bar Association membership shall have voted in such a referendum.