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NATIONAL BLACK LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION

2011 Election Rules and Procedures Packet National Convention March 9-13, 2011


TABLE OF CONTENTS RULES AND PROCEDURES POSITIONS ELIGIBLE FOR ELECTION .......................................................................................................... 3 CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS ....................................................................................................................... 3 CAMPAIGNING ....................................................................................................................................................... 7 ENFORCEMENT OF ELECTION RULES AND PROCEDURES ................................................................. 9 ELECTION DEBATES AND SPEECHES .........................................................................................................10 CHAPTER DELEGATE VOTING .......................................................................................................................11 BALLOT COUNT ...................................................................................................................................................11 ANNOUNCEMENT OF 2011-2012 NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD ................................................11 BALLOT INSPECTION ........................................................................................................................................12 ELECTIONS PROCEDURE CALENDAR .........................................................................................................12 APPOINTED POSITION INFORMATION SESSION ...................................................................................13 NATIONAL OFFICER APPLICATION (must be submitted online) NATIONAL OFFICER CANDIDATE CHECKLIST .......................................................................................14 NATIONAL OFFICER APPLICATION ............................................................................................................15 NATIONAL OFFICER FINANCIAL OBLIGATION FORM .........................................................................16 NATIONAL OFFICER CANDIDATE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND PLEDGE FORM .......................17 NATIONAL OFFICER CHAPTER ENDORSEMENT FORM......................................................................18

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I.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE FOR ELECTION Any member of a 2010-2011 active NBLSA chapter1 may run for office. The following NBLSA positions are eligible for election: 

National Chair

National Vice Chair

National Secretary

National Treasurer

National Director of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition

National Director of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition

National Director of Community Service

National Director of Programming

National Attorney General

To learn more about the duties of each elected position, please refer to the NBLSA Constitution and Bylaws or reach out to the person currently occupying the position. We will also be hosting a live teleconference where you can engage in a candid Q&A session with the current National Board Members. The schedule will be posted on the National website once available. II.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS Any member who completes the documentation and requirements of the pre-certification phase and the final certification phase will qualify as a candidate for the NBLSA Executive Board. A. PRE-CERTIFICATION Each member must declare his or her intent to run for a national position by completing and submitting the documents below at http://www.nblsa.org/2011elections/. Items ii-iii will be

1

An active chapter is a chapter who has paid membership dues and has uploaded a membership roster to the NBLSA Membership database. In order to be considered a

member of a chapter, your name must be included in the chapter’s membership roster.

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included in the delegate’s packet. All the information below must be submitted online at http://www.nblsa.org/2011elections/: i.

Completed Online Application, which includes the signed statement of understanding of financial obligation for office and the signed acknowledgement of the duties and obligations associated with the office sought. Please submit items ii-vii as one PDF in the order listed below.

ii.

Legal Writing Sample (If you are applying for the National Attorney General position, please submit a writing sample that is a minimum of 8 pages and demonstrates your ability to advocate on behalf of an issue);

iii. Statement of Intent with photograph in top left corner (one 8.5x11 page); iv. One 8.5x11 page résumé, including NBLSA positions held (local, regional, or national); v.

One peer and one professional/academic reference letter (no more than 8.5x11 each);

vi. Letter from your law school registrar or dean certifying your enrollment and good academic standing; and vii. Form signed by the President of the local NBLSA chapter in which you are a member, certifying your good standing with the chapter. If you are president of your local chapter, your form must be signed by the Vice-President. You may not sign the form for your own candidacy. All materials must be submitted online no later than 10:00 PM EST on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Further details will be announced at the following link: http://www.nblsa.org/2011elections/ Nominations from the Floor Members who do not submit the required materials by the deadline. 

Any registered delegate may nominate an active member at the National Convention for a National officer position only if there are no candidates running for that position at the opening of the National Convention.

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The officer presiding over plenary will determine the exact time when such nominations would be appropriate.

To make the nomination, the Chapter’s Delegate need only rise and state “I nominate _________________ for the position of ______________.” No second is required. Chapters are only permitted to nominate one person for each officer position.

In the event that a candidate is nominated from the floor, the candidate must meet requirements i, ii, and iii set forth above in the pre-certification requirements within 24 hours of accepting the nomination.

All candidates who are nominated from the floor and elected must submit the documents requested under iv, v and vi of the pre-certification requirements to the National Elections Committee, elections@nblsa.org, by Sunday, March 20, 2011 to avoid forfeiting position.

B. FINAL CERTIFICATION All candidates must meet the following criteria to run for and be elected to office: 

Candidate Meetings: o All pre-qualified candidates for office are invited to participate in a Q&A Forum, which will be available online. All candidates can submit their questions online and a member of the Elections Committee will respond. o All pre-qualified candidates for office are required to attend a mandatory candidates meeting to be held at the 2011 National Convention from 4:30pm 5:30 pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. o All candidates who are nominated from the floor must attend a mandatory candidates meeting to be held at the 2011 National Convention from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 10, 2011.

Campaign Fund Limit o All candidates must submit a detailed accounting for all expenditures associated with their candidacy for a NBLSA National office at the relevant mandatory candidate’s meeting.

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o No candidate for the office of National Chair shall expend more than $1,500 total, excluding travel expenses. o Candidates for all other positions shall not expend more than $1,000, excluding travel expenses. o In-kind donations will be counted toward the budget limit at their fair market value. o In the event that a candidate is under budget, they may expend additional monies up to the budget limit during the National Convention and must submit final receipts at the pre-election meeting. 

Mandatory Pre-Election Meeting o All candidates for office must attend the pre-election meeting to be held thirty minutes prior to the opening of election candidate speeches.

Running for more than one NBLSA office 

No candidate may run for more than one National office simultaneously.

No individual who has been elected to a regional position will be permitted to campaign for a National Executive position.

Post-Election Meeting Any candidate who wins election to a NBLSA National Office is REQUIRED to attend the Transitional Meeting on Sunday, March 13, 2010, 11:30am – 1:30pm. This meeting is mandatory so please make your travel arrangements accordingly. Important Considerations

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Serving on the NBLSA National Executive Board is a significant commitment that requires a substantial amount of travel and extracurricular work. Please take this into consideration when determining whether you will run for office.

Except for limited reimbursement for the National Chair, National Director of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition Director, and National Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition Director, travel expenses are not reimbursed or paid for by NBLSA, therefore, you should consider your financial resources before running for a position. The estimated cost of travel for an officer (excluding Chair and Vice-Chair) is roughly $5,000-$7,500 dollars. National Chair and Vice-Chair candidates should anticipate incurring travel expenses of approximately $10,000 each.

III.

CAMPAIGNING Demeanor Prior to Commencement of Convention Campaign Meeting 

Candidates ARE permitted to verbally announce their intent to run for office prior to the candidate’s meeting with any NBLSA member in any region.

Only the candidate may endorse himself or herself prior to the candidate’s meeting.

With the exception of the Chapter Endorsement Form to be submitted solely to the National Election Committee, Chapters and Regions are prevented from making endorsements prior to the National Convention.

No candidate for NBLSA National Office shall disseminate printed material before the mandatory candidate’s meeting on March 9, 2011.

After a Candidate has received notification from the 2011 Election Committee that his or her application has been accepted, he or she may use MySpace, Facebook, You-Tube, Twitter, a blog, website, or any other electronic method to advertise his or her candidacy. 7


Candidates are strongly encouraged to prepare a short video presentation (no longer than 3 minutes) announcing their candidacy. Videos should be submitted to the National Elections Committee no later than March 2, 2011 to be placed on the NBLSA You-Tube channel.

Campaign Material Approval 

All candidates for National office must submit to the Elections Committee all campaign materials and correspondence for pre-approval no later than March 2, 2011.

All candidates for National office must submit to the Elections Committee copies of all campaign materials and correspondence at the relevant mandatory candidates meeting for approval.

If the candidate incurs any cost related to the use electronic mediums, these expenses must be included in his or her budget.

Candidates may not use any Regional or National Listserv, Work Group, or Storage Server and may not post any campaign material to the NBLSA regional, national or local chapter Facebook group or other social networking sites.

Candidates may not use pictures of them with any Regional, Regional-Elect, or National Executive Board members as a part of their campaign materials, including any and all electronic mediums used (i.e. social networking sites, blogs, etc).

Candidate Endorsement 

Local chapters may not publicly endorse a candidate prior to the National Convention. Local chapters may endorse candidates after the commencement of the National Convention.

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Chapters endorsing a candidate are permitted to hold a chapter-specific reception at the National Convention, but this expenditure will count toward the candidate’s campaign fund limit.

Current National and Regional Board members, as well as Regional-Elect Board members, are prohibited from endorsing any candidate for National office at any time prior to or during convention. This includes posting any pictures of them and candidates up for election on any of their social or professional websites.

Demeanor after Commencement of Official Campaigning 

Candidates are permitted to wear and distribute campaign materials (flyers, buttons, etc.) to attendees at the National Convention.

No campaigning may occur inside of plenary. As such, no delegate is allowed to wear or prominently display any campaign materials within 30 feet of or inside of the room where plenary sessions will be held.

No candidate shall engage in an unfair campaign practice including, but not limited to, infraction or contempt of any campaign rule; libeling or slandering another candidate and/or maliciously disrupting another campaign.

Each candidate is responsible for activity that another undertakes on his or her behalf, as if the candidate is undertaking the activity himself or herself, unless the candidate sincerely and affirmatively discourages such activity.

Termination of Campaigning 

All campaign materials and solicitation of votes must be taken down and cease ONE HOUR prior to the scheduled start of the afternoon plenary session on Saturday, March 12, 2011.

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IV.

ENFORCEMENT OF ELECTIONS RULES PROCEDURES 

Any person registered for the National Convention may file a complaint with any Elections Committee member for violation of elections rules and procedures by sending an email to elections@nblsa.org.

These rules will be enforced and violations will be investigated by the Elections Committee. If any violation is found to have merit, then the offending candidate will be disqualified immediately. The rules will be enforced in an effort to achieve adherence to the goals and principles of NBLSA.

Any decisions made by the Elections Committee that result in the disqualification of a candidate are appealable to the current National Vice-Chair.

The Elections Committee reserves the right to amend or add to the election procedures at any time before the annual meeting not withstanding those specific procedures set out in the National Constitution and Bylaws.

V.

DEBATES AND ELECTION SPEECHES 

All candidates for the position of National Chair must participate in at least one debate.

All candidates for the position of National Chair, and possibly National Vice-Chair (to be determined at the Mandatory Candidate Meeting), must be prepared to stand for one question by the Election Committee during a convention event. Details will be discussed at the Mandatory Candidate Meeting.

All candidates for office are required to give a speech, which should last no longer than one minute, and stand for questions during the Plenary Elections session.

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The order of Candidate Speeches and Questions and Answers will be determined after the Mandatory Candidates Meeting(s) but prior to the pre-election meeting in order to best accommodate the needs of all candidates.

VI.

DELEGATE VOTING PROCEDURES Chapters in attendance 

Any active chapter with a registered delegate for the National Convention who attends at least seventy-five (75) percent of the plenary sessions during the 2011 National Convention is entitled to participate in the election of 2011-2012 NBLSA National Officers.

All delegates will receive their chapter ballot and all relevant proxy ballots prior to the commencement of candidate speeches.

Proxy Vote 

In order to utilize the proxy vote procedure, please refer to the 2011 National Convention Plenary Rules.

VII.

BALLOT COUNT 

The election of officers will be determined by a secret ballot voting method.

The candidate that receives the largest percentage of votes for the position will be declared the winner of the position.

If a candidate is unopposed, he or she must receive a majority of the votes in order to be declared the winner of the position.

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VIII.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE 2011-2012 NBLSA ELECTED OFFICIALS 

All candidates who have won offices sought will be announced during the 2011 NBLSA National Awards Banquet to be held on March 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas.

IX.

INSPECTION OF BALLOTS 

A candidate has a right to inspect all of the electronic submissions or physical ballots submitted for the position to which (s)he was a candidate, before the close of the National Convention.

X.

ELECTION PROCEDURES CALENDAR

ELECTION PROCEDURES CALENDAR Deadline for Chapters to send proxy ballot

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm CST

information for the purposes of election Deadline to submit pre-certification

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm EST

application materials Mandatory Candidates Meeting

Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 4:30-5:30 pm CST

National Board Floor Nominations

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm CST during Plenary Session I

Mandatory Candidates Meeting (Floor

Thursday, March 10, 2011, 5:00 – 6:00 pm CST

nominees) Chair Debate

Friday, March 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm CST during Plenary Session II

Candidates Speeches, Q&A and Voting

Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm CST during Plenary Session IV

NBLSA Transition Meeting

Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 11:30am-1:30 pm CST

Deadline to submit certification materials for

Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm CST

officers elected from the floor **The Election Committee reserves the right to extend or alter the dates above if deemed necessary.

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XI.

APPOINTED POSITION INFORMATION SESSION

All persons interested in being appointed to the following positions should attend an information session, which will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2011 from 10:30 – 11:30 am. 

National Director of Communications

National Director of Corporate Relations

National Director of Membership

National Director of Education & Career Development

National Financial Secretary

National Convention Coordinator

National Parliamentarian

National Director of Academic Retreat

National Historian

National Director of Alumni Affairs & Development

National Director of the College Student Division

National Director of International Negotiations Competition

National Director of Public Relations

National Chief of Staff

National Director of Social Action

Director of International Relations

To learn more about the duties of each appointed position, please refer to the NBLSA Constitution and Bylaws or reach out to the person currently occupying the position.

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NATIONAL OFFICER APPLICATION

NATIONAL OFFICER CANDIDATE CHECKLIST 1

Completed Online Application, which includes the signed statement of understanding of financial obligation for office and the signed acknowledgement of the duties and obligations associated with the office sought.

2

Legal Writing Sample (If you are applying for the National Attorney General position, please submit a writing sample that is a minimum of 8 pages and demonstrates your ability to advocate on behalf of an issue);

3

Statement of Intent (goals and agenda) with photograph in top left corner (one 8.5x11 page).

You may include any experience that may be related to the

position, any honors and awards, and any other additional information that you would like people to learn about you. There is a 1000 word limit on statements. Included in Delegates Packet.

4

One 8.5x11 page résumé, including NBLSA positions held (local, regional, or national).

Please do not include any sensitive information such as grades

or class ranking. You may include academic honors. Included in Delegate’s Packet.

5

One peer and one professional/academic reference letter (no more than 8.5x11 each).

6

This will be included in Delegate’s Packet.

Letter from your law school registrar or dean certifying your enrollment and good academic standing.

7

Form signed by Chapter President of an active NBLSA chapter in which you are a member, certifying your good standing with the chapter and the chapter’s endorsement of your candidacy for the 14


NBLSA office sought. 8

Accounting of candidacy related expenses, excluding traveling expenses.

Bring with you to the mandatory candidate’s meeting.

Please submit documents 2-7 in the aforementioned order as one PDF document along with the online submission of your application by 10:00 PM EST on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

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APPLICATION

1225 11th Street. N.W., Washington, DC 20001 2011 NBLSA Election Application All materials are due March 2, 2011 10:00pm EST (NO EXCEPTIONS) Name: ______________________________

School: __________________________

Phone: ____________

Email: ____________

Year: ____________

Position applying for: _________________________________________________________________ What other positions will you hold, apply, or run for election in any organization for 2011-2012? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Have you ever run for or held an office on the local, regional, or national level? If so, which position(s)? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your plans for the summer of 2011? Where will you be located? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Statement of Understanding of Financial Obligation Please use the space below to discuss how you will pay for expenses as a National Board Member. Please include hotel, travel, and food arrangements. Estimated Cost is $10,000 for Chair and Vice-Chair and $5,000 for all other positions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I, <Type Here>, hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood the financial duties and obligations of an elected official of the National Executive Board of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) as set forth in the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constitution, by-laws and election materials. Please initial <Type Here> Typing your name below indicates that you understand your financial obligations as a Board Member.

Signature (Simply type name)

Date

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NATIONAL OFFICER CANDIDATE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND PLEDGE

<Type Here>

<Type Here>

NAME

POSITION APPLYING FOR

<Type Here>

<Type Here>

Email Address:

YOUR SCHOOL: <Type Here>

<Type Here>

YEAR IN SCHOOL: <Type Here>

I, <Type Here>, hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand the duties and obligations of an elected official of the National Executive Board of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) as set forth in the organization’s constitution and by-laws. Please initial <Type Here> I further pledge that if elected I will undertake any further preparation necessary to serve competently as a member of NBLSA’s Board of Directors. Please initial <Type Here>.

Typing your name below indicates that you have read the acknowledgement and pledge and will abide by them to the best of your ability.

Signature (Simply type name)

Date

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CHAPTER ENDORSMENT OF CANDIDATE

CHAPTER NAME:

CANDIDATE NAME: <Type Here>

CHAPTER OFFICIAL:

POSITION APPLYING FOR

<Type Here>

<Type Here>

EMAIL ADDRESS OR PHONE NO. FOR CHAPTER CHAPTER NAME: <Type Here> OFFICIAL: <Type Here>

CHAPTER CONTACT INFO: <Type Here>

I, <Type Chapter Official Name and Position Here>, an elected official of <Type School Name Here> BLSA chapter, hereby certify that <Type Candidate Name Here> is a member in good standing of our chapter. I further acknowledge that I read the duties and obligations associated with the position for which <Type Candidate Name Here> seeks a National NBLSA office and confidently endorse him/her for election to this position.

Typing your name below indicates that you, as a representative of your local chapter, have read the certification form and relevant portions of the NBLSA constitution and by laws and therefore, based upon this understanding have endorsed the above candidate for NBLSA office.

Signature (Simply type name)

Date

If you choose not to endorse the candidate listed above, please do not sign the statement and attach a document stating your reasons. 19


NBLSA 2011 National Election Procedures