Missouri Students Association
University of Missouri – Columbia
An Act to Establish the Board of Elections Commissioners 2009 MSA Senate Handbook
This handbook has been written by the Board of Elections Commissioners to supplement Chapter Five of the Missouri Students Association Bylaws. The rules, procedures and guidelines listed in this handbook carry the same weight as the MSA Bylaws. The Following pages outline what will be expected of you during your candidacy for MSA Senate. If you have any questions please contact a member of the BEC Executive Board.
- I. BEC Contact Information
For further information regarding the Rules and Regulations of MSA Senate Elections, please visit http://www.msasenate.com/2007/05/02/bylaws-chapter-v/ or contact a member of the BEC directly.
BEC Information Contacts—Temporary
Office Location: A022 Brady Commons—Center for Student Involvement
*Any email notices from the BEC Executive Board will come from BEC@mizzou.edu. All such notices are considered official correspondence from the Board and shall have the same power and force as the handbook. Office hours are subject to change but will be posted in the BEC cubicle along with the hours for the Non-Executive Members of the BEC.
II. General Provisions
- As per the MSA Constitution, in order to qualify to be a MSA Senator one must be enrolled as an undergraduate student in the academic college for which they register to represent as defined by the University of Missouri at the time of his or her election.
- All Senators are required to serve one full academic year after being elected to office.
- All rules and regulations of the election as well as all rulings by the BEC shall apply equally to campaigning on and off campus.
- Ignorance of the rules and regulations governing the election shall not be an acceptable defense in response to any offense committed during the election process.
- Candidates must abide by the rules of the BEC as well as the rules, regulations and laws governing the campus and community at-large, including but not limited to the M-book, Residential Life policy, Unions Policy, individual Campus Building Policies, the City of Columbia, state laws and federal laws. In a conflict between policies, the BEC will determine the appropriate policy to apply.
- An item will be considered a campaign material if it contains the name, slogan, or other distinguishing mark of a candidate or his or her campaign of if it is used in any way to encourage the votes of others.
III. Candidate Information Session
There will be two opportunities for candidates to attend BEC Candidate Training. It is suggested that each person who submits an application attend one of these meetings to ask questions of the BEC, learn more about Senator responsibilities, and to obtain paper copies of election forms. Candidates may also submit the Rules Receipt (see section IV) at the Information Session.
The dates, times, and locations of the Candidate Information Sessions are as follows:
Date: February 17th, 2009 Memorial Union S110 6 pm
March 10th, 2009 Memorial Union S110 6 pm
IV. Election Forms
Each person who submits an application will have a packet of information made available to them that includes a copy of the M-Book and BEC Handbook. Candidates are required to submit Election Form 1 Rules Receipt prior to being put on the Ballot.
The On-Line Application will be due on or before March 9th at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Election Form 1 (Rules Receipt) is due on March 11th at 5 PM CDT.
Campaigning may begin once a candidate has submitted a signed rules receipt to the BEC.
It is the responsibility of each candidate to make sure their materials do not break the rules of the BEC, the M-Book, Residential Life, the City of Columbia or any other applicable governing body. Please be aware that the University will charge janitorial costs for the removal of materials in violation of these policies.
V. Restrictions and Additional Rules
1. It shall be a direct violation of these rules for anyone other than a member of the BEC to willfully destroy, deface, interfere with, move or remove posters of any candidate. The BEC will only remove materials in violation of University Policies.
2. The BEC reserves the right to stop the distribution of any campaign materials that are in violation of the rules of the election
3. Candidates may not distribute food for the purpose of campaigning.
4. Per Residential Life policies, a candidate may not solicit votes by going door-to-door in the residence halls. This practice is also not allowed off-campus as it is considered unsolicited communication. (See Rule 7 of this Section).
5. No candidate may state, in any list of qualifications for office appearing on campaign materials or in any statement to the media, the name or support of any organizations, honors, titles, committee or other qualifications to which the candidate is not entitled.
6. The offices and equipment of the Missouri Students Association are for official use only and may not, in any way, be used for campaigning. No MSA branch, department, auxiliary, etc. may endorse a candidate.
Some examples of what this prohibits are listed below. This list is not inclusive:
a) Storage of materials
b) Campaign meetings and/or discussions
c) The use of MSA equipment to make phone calls or send emails related to the campaign
d) The use of MSA supplies or other resources such as a letterhead or mailing list
e) The use of a MSA list-serve to send an email
f) Campaign materials cannot be displayed in or around MSA offices or auxiliaries. (Clothing items are exempt.)
g) The MSA Mailboxes are strictly off limits for campaigning.
7. The sending of unsolicited correspondence to people with whom a candidate has no existing business, professional, or personal acquaintance is prohibited. When dealing with messages to entire organizations, the BEC recommends that you get the permission of the President of the organization so that he or she can state that they gave you permission should the BEC receive a complaint from a member of his or her list-serve.
8. Absolutely no posting of campaign materials may begin until a candidate submits a signed rules receipt to the BEC.
9. No candidate is allowed to make verbal statements or post in any format any type of campaign material that defames, slanders or commits libel against another candidate.
VI. Sanctions and Penalties
- Be advised that the BEC reserves the right to levy penalties and sanctions, including removal of a candidate from the ballot, for rules violations. Additionally, the BEC is required to notify appropriate authorities of relevant violations, which may result in financial loss, expulsion, or even imprisonment.
2. Due to the nature of the structuring of the ballots, a disqualified candidate’s name may appear on the ballot but is still disqualified. Any votes that that candidate received will not be counted.
3. All violations may be appealed to the MSA Court. It is up to the discretion of the MSA Court whether to hear an appeal as filed by a slate. If the Court decides not to hear the case, the BEC ruling stands. The court can be reached at MSACourt@missouri.edu.
4. The BEC will not hold candidates responsible for the unsanctioned actions of a third party. However the BEC reserves the right to ask a candidate to remove any comments or other posted material that is in violation of the rules of the election. The candidate must remove the items in question within 8 hours of being notified by the BEC.
In order for a compliant to be investigated, the complaint must be submitted via the Complaint Form within 24 hours of the initial discovery for it to be investigated. Complaints must cite the exact rule violation(s).