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Barnard Student Government Association: Elections Guidelines

SGA exists to support and advocate for the student body and Barnard as a whole. We aim to foster and enrich our community by facilitating communication and collaboration between the administration, the Board of Trustees, and the students.


Student Leadership Collective Office: 101 Diana (Anna Quindlen Room)





SGA Elections Mission Statement on Fairness

All Barnard College students, by virtue of having paid student activities fees, are members of the SGA. In accordance with the mission statement of SGA, elections are held in the Fall and the Spring to allow for active student participation within their government.  To ensure that a diverse range of student interests are represented, all students are welcome and encouraged to run and apply for open positions.

The SGA Elections are a free and fair process in which candidates are encouraged to fully express their opinions, while respecting their fellow candidates and classmates. The Elections Guidelines exist not only as a rule book but as a community code of conduct that  should motivate each candidate to act in accordance with these values.

It is of utmost importance that all interested candidates and all their affiliates familiarize themselves with our elections guidelines. If there are any concerns or questions regarding the fairness of these elections, please contact the Elections Commission, which oversees this process.

The Elections Commission consists of four SGA representatives and a representative from the Barnard Honor Board.


The Elections Commission: sgaelections@barnard.edu

President of SGA: Maddy Popkin

Senior Rep. to the Board of Trustees: Ayelet Pearl

Junior Rep. to the Board of Trustees: Ashiana Jivraj

University Senator: Kalliope Kyriakides

Honor Board Representative: Sarah Schreiber




The guidelines below outline the rules and structure of the SGA Elections as they apply to candidates interested in all elected positions. Students interested in applying for positions on the Class Council or any SGA committee should see the information regarding appointments and committees, available on our website.

The Representative Council meets every Monday from 8-10pm and consists of elected representatives that serve to promote and listen to the voices of the Barnard community. At these weekly Rep Council meetings, campus policies, events, and other issues are discussed with the student body, administrative guests, and internally as a council. As a member of Rep Council you will develop and strengthen your leadership skills by collaborating with students and administrators to recognize and resolve issues on campus, as well as work independently on project directly related to your specific position. For a list of all available positions, please see the Available Positions document.


Table of Contents

Section I: Eligibility, Requirements and Voting

Section II: Campaigning

Section III: Compliance

Section IV: 2014 Timeline


Section I. Eligibility, Requirements, and Voting


A. Eligibility:

Eligibility will be confirmed by the relevant administrators.


1. General Requirements

Candidates may only run for one position and must be familiar with the responsibilities of that position.

Candidates are required to adhere to the rules set forth by the Elections Commission.


Academic Requirements:

Candidates are required to maintain at least a 2.5 overall GPA and be in good academic standing while in office.


All requirements below are in addition to fulfilling these general eligibility requirements.


2. Executive Board Positions

Only rising juniors and seniors are eligible to run for Executive Board Positions.

Only rising seniors are eligible to run for SGA President.


3. Non-Executive Representative Positions

All current Barnard students who fulfill the eligibility requirements above may run for any general representative position.


4. Class Council and Class Specific Positions

All rising seniors may run for the Senior Class President and Vice President positions.

All rising juniors may run for the Junior Class President and Vice President positions, and Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees.

All rising sophomores may run for the Sophomore Class President and Vice President positions.


5. Study Abroad and Special Circumstances

Please see the Study Abroad Accommodations document for more information

For other unusual circumstances, please see the Special Accommodations document, or email the Elections Commission.


6. Campaign Managers

In the event that a student is studying abroad or unable to be on campus during the Elections period, they are to appoint a campaign manager who will serve as their proxy throughout campaigning. The campaign manager need not meet the eligibility requirements, but must complete all the work and adhere to all standards required of the candidate.


The Elections Commission must pre-approve all requests for a candidate to have a campaign manager via email by April 6th at 11am. The identity of the campaign manager need not be approved by the Elections Commission, and is required only by April 9th on the Intent to Run form.


B. Candidate Requirements:


1. Information Sessions:

All interested candidates or their campaign managers must attend an information session.

Information sessions are roughly 10-15 minutes and are offered throughout the following time slots:


2014 Mandatory Information Sessions:

Sunday, April 6  | 12pm - 2pm | 7pm - 9pm | SLC Office

Monday, April 7 |12pm - 2pm| SLC Office

Tuesday, April 10 | 12pm - 2pm | 7pm - 9pm | SLC Office

Wednesday, April 9 | 12pm - 2pm | SLC Office


2. Intent to Run:

Each candidate must submit their completed electronic Intent to Run form by the required deadline, Wednesday, April 9, at 5pm. There are no exceptions. Upon attending an information session, the Intent to Run form will be sent in an email along with a copy of the Elections Packet. The Intent to Run must include:


Platform: The platform will be placed on myBarnard and given to campus publications. The platform has a strict word limit of 500 words, and includes all words written, including the heading. The Commissioners, without consultation of the candidates, will delete those words that  exceed the limit.  Please note that it is likely that campus publications will edit platforms.  It is helpful to include the position sought, your name, goals for office, and relevant past experience in your platform.

Photograph: Your official Barnard ID photo will be placed on myBarnard; should you want a different photograph to be used, please submit one by email to the Elections Commission.

Campaign Manager: Should a candidate have been approved to have a campaign manager, the name of the campaign manager must be provided on this form.


3. Candidates Forum:

All candidates are required to attend the Candidates Forum on Thursday, April 10, at 6:00pm. Each candidate will prepare a speech no longer than two minutes, and should be prepared to answer questions from student attendees.  All speeches will be stopped at the two minute mark.


Students who are unable to attend the Candidate’s Forum must have already been in communication with the Elections Commission and have provided their speech by 5:00pm that day.


C. Voting:


1. All Barnard students, including those running, are eligible to vote for all representative positions, except for President and Vice President of class councils. Students may only vote for the class council President and Vice President for their particularly year.

Graduating seniors are eligible to vote.


2. Voting takes place on myBarnard during the week of program filing, from April 14 at 9am - April 18 at noon.  Students must be logged into myBarnard in order to vote.


3. Results will be announced the day that voting closes, no later than 5pm the evening of Friday, April 18th.


Section II. Campaigning


A. General Campaign Rules:



Campaigning should be positive, solely promote the candidate running, and uphold Barnard’s community standards of respect, integrity, and accountability.

All reasonable campaigning, in compliance with Barnard College policy, is subject to the limitations prescribed in the following page shall be permitted. Failure to follow these rules constitutes grounds for disqualification.

Candidates are responsible for ensuring that their affiliates are familiar with these guidelines.



Campaigning of any type is not allowed in any computer lab.

Print campaigning is subject to the Barnard College posting policy.

Specific rules for other types of campaigning are outlined below.



No giveaways of any kind are permitted. Flyers do not count as giveaways, but all flyers that are given must adhere to rules for print campaigning.

No campaign should require any monetary expenditures. Any necessary campaign supplies can be provided by SGA.

SGA reserves the right to determine if money has been used improperly.


Use of Professional Resources

Only professional services originating from a current member of the Barnard student body, without charge,  may be utilized.


B. Informal Campaigning:

Definition: Informal campaigning consists of one-on-one or conversational statements of a candidate’s interest in running for a particular position. Informal campaigning should occur naturally; for example, responding if a friend asks if you might be running for a position. Approaching groups of students and urging them to vote for a particular candidate is an example of more formal vocal campaigning, the rules of which are outlined below. Please use common sense in understanding this difference.

When it Begins: Candidates are permitted to informally campaign at any point.


C. Formal Campaigning:

Definition: Formal campaigning consists of three dimensions: Vocal, Print, and Electronic. The rules as they apply to each of these categories are outlined in this section.

When it Begins:

Vocal and Electronic campaigning: begins upon email confirmation of candidacy from the Elections Commission on Wednesday, April 9, at 6pm.

Print campaigning: begins upon official SGA approval at the Candidate’s Forum on Thursday, April 10.


1. Vocal Campaigning

Definition: This includes speaking, singing, yelling, yodelling etc.


a. Speaking with campus publications is permitted

b. Speaking at meetings of student groups or clubs, upon invitation, is allowed, as long as these groups are not SGA committees. Candidates are encouraged to reach out to individual group leaders in advance of group meetings after formal campaigning begins.

c. Vocal campaigning is not permitted at any event for which there is an entry fee.


2. Print Campaigning

Print campaigning qualifies as all print promotions, and is limited to 100 sheets of 8.5x11 paper [flyers] and 2 (two) 6x6 pieces of paper provided by SGA [posters]. Paper and craft materials will be provided in the SGA office.


a. Flyers:

Þ Flyers may be drawn by hand.

Þ For all printed flyers, candidates must email  all files, in PDF format, to sgaelections@barnard.edu by Wednesday, April 9th, at  11:59pm. Candidates may not print flyers on their own.

Þ Flyers may be printed on any color paper, which should be indicated in the email. Only black printer ink will be used.

Þ Printed flyers will be distributed at the Candidate’s Forum on Thursday, April 10th. Candidates may then draw on printed flyers with colored markers that SGA will provide. Flyers may be cut or folded into any shape or design. No changes may be made after the flyers are approved.

SGA is not responsible for any mistakes done by copy services


               b. Posters:

Þ Posters may not be printed or professionally designed.

Þ Posters paper is available in the SGA office.


c. Approval and Restrictions:

Þ All hand designed flyers and all posters must be brought to the Candidates Forum on Thursday, April 10, to be approved and stamped by the Election Commissioners. This will be the only opportunity where flyers will be approved.

Þ All flyers, posters, etc. must follow Barnard College’s Posting Policy (http://barnard.edu/general-counsel/posting-policy)

Þ Space cannot be reserved to hang up flyers.

Þ Campaigning flyers and posters are not permitted within ten feet of any public computer terminal.

Þ Campaigning fliers and posters should not cover already posted fliers and may not cover or replace the campaign flyers or posters of another candidate.


3. Electronic

Electronic Campaigning qualifies as the use of any sort of technology to promote a campaign. No mass messages of any kind may be sent. This means only one recipient per electronic message, and applies to email, text messages, and social media sites.


a. Email

Listservs qualify as mass messages and cannot be used to campaign.

An email alias that reaches more than one individual cannot be used to campaign.


b. Social Media Websites

Þ Posting images and information on personal profiles of free Social Media platforms such as Google+, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are allowed. Tagging in these posts is not permitted.

Þ The creation of public Facebook pages and events  are allowed. Posting is not allowed in already existing groups.

Þ Private messages may be sent to one individual at a time.


c. Texting and other apps

Þ Texts and instant messages are permissible if they are sent to one individual at a time.


d. Additional Electronic Resources

Þ Youtube and other videos are permissible.

Þ Personal websites may be created using a free service. However, buying or using a previously bought domain to campaign is not allowed.


D. Third Party Campaigning

Candidates are responsible for ensuring that those campaigning on their behalf are familiar with the elections guidelines, as outlined above. If a candidate becomes aware of a violation that has occurred within their campaign, it is their responsibility to inform the elections committee, as outlined below.  Policy guidelines are publicly accessible and candidates should consider sharing them with anyone who will be campaigning on their behalf.


Section III. Compliance


A. Expectations

All students are expected to see that their campaigns are positive, solely promote the candidate running, and uphold Barnard’s community standards of respect, integrity, and accountability.


B. Reporting Violations

Students who are made aware of a campaign violation should submit an online Violations Claim, which will be accessible to the entire student body. Any student may submit a Violations Claim, which will only be investigated if all information required is provided. Violations that are reported to a member of the Elections Commission through any other media cannot be investigated; violations that are directly reported to another SGA member or an administrator will not be investigated.


C. Accountability and Consequences

Once a Violations Claim is submitted, the Elections Commission will investigate the alleged violation. This elections cycle, the Elections Commission will be trying out a new system of collaboration with the Barnard Honor Board in order to better structure and systematize the processing of reported violations. Again, we hold Barnard students to an ethics of responsibility, integrity, and accountability, and expect that all students will conduct themselves in accordance with SGA’s and Barnard’s community standards.


Section IV. 2014 Timeline


Sunday, April 6 - Wednesday, April 9

Mandatory Information Sessions:

Sunday, April 6  | 12pm - 2pm | 7pm - 9pm | SLC Office (located in Liz’s Place)

Monday, April 7 |12pm - 2pm| SLC Office

Tuesday, April 10 | 12pm - 2pm | 7pm - 9pm | SLC Office

Wednesday, April 9 | 12pm - 2pm | SLC Office


Monday, April 7

11am: Candidates must inform the Elections Commission if they will be appointing a campaign manager


Wednesday, April 9

5pm: Intent to Run due

6pm: Confirmation of Candidates. Electronic Campaigning begins

11:59pm: All flyers must be submitted via email to the Elections Commission.


Thursday, April 10

5pm: Speeches due for candidates unable to attend the Candidate’s Forum

6pm: Candidate’s Forum [Ella Weed Room, Millbank Hall]

Fliers will be distributed after the forum and print campaigning begins

Printed flyers will be returned to candidates

Hand-drawn flyers must be brought for approval

Candidates will have the opportunity to draw on their flyers


Monday, April 14

9am: Voting begins on myBarnard


Friday, April 18

12pm: Voting closes on myBarnard at noon

5pm: Results will be announced