The Protection of Student Group Voting Rights Act
1. WHEREAS, the Johns Hopkins University Student Government Association (hereafter, “SGA”) Constitution’s Bill of Rights states: “All person enrolled as undergraduates in the Homewood Divisions of the School of Arts and Sciences and the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering have equal rights as students under this Constitution, as do persons under this Constitution, as do person who may be extended such status by the Student Government Association.”
2. WHEREAS, the Office of Student Life’s Undergraduate Student Organizations Guide states: “Student organizations must be open to all persons of the University community without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national or ethic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, citizenship, or handicap.”
3. WHEREAS, it is the firm belief of the SGA that all students in all student groups must have equal rights as members of said groups.
4. WHEREAS, it is the firm belief of the SGA that while the right to vote in a group election is a universal value that must be protected.
5. WHEREAS the SGA recognizes that an individual group may have a specific reason—related to the impending graduation of a class of group members—as to why graduating members should not be allowed to vote in an election preceding the semester in which they are set to graduate.
6. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the following section hereby be added to the SGA Bylaws, Section VI. Miscellaneous: “Student groups may not disallow any member the right to vote with regard to race, color, creed, religion, national or ethic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, citizenship, or handicap. This requirement may be waived in circumstances in which an individual group has a specific reason—related to the impending graduation of group members—as to why members set to graduate in the academic year following the election should not be allowed to vote in a group election. If the group wishes to waive this requirement, they must present a case to the SGA Appointments and Evaluations Committee explaining why graduating members should not be allowed to vote in an election. If the SGA rules in the group’s favor, then the class of graduating members will not be allowed to vote. The disallowance of graduating members, if approved, must apply to every member of the group, without exception, who is to graduate in the semester following the election. Any alterations to this section shall require a ¾ vote of the total membership of the SGA Senate.”
7. THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that once the SAC board has approved the group’s prevention of voting for graduating members, the group must establish the prevention of the ability of graduating members to vote in the bylaws of the group’s constitution. The group may determine its own procedure for the repeal of the bylaw.
8. THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this bylaw will apply only to student groups under the purview of the SAC. It will not apply to student groups approved by the SGA, but not under the purview of the SAC.
9. THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this bill shall take effect after the conclusion of the Spring 2010 semester and that SAC Green Book policies and student group constitutions shall be updated to reflect this bill.
10. THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that nothing in this bill shall limit the requirements for officer qualifications and that its effects are solely limited to the election procedures of student groups and the SGA.
11. THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a student group may bring a case to the SGA pursuant to a simple majority vote of the group membership.
Sponsor: Jake Meth
2/3 of Senate membership required = 18 votes to pass (2/3 times 27)
Vote: 18 In Favor 8 Opposed 0 Abstention
Therefore, the bill: PASSES
Evan Lazerowitz, SGA Vice President