Constitution

Constitution of the Cornell Law Students Association

Article I. Name and Purpose

A. NAME. The name of this organization shall be the Cornell Law Students Association (CLSA).

B. PURPOSE. The CLSA’s purpose shall be to promote the general
welfare of Cornell Law School students.

Article II. Membership

A. The CLSA’s membership shall consist of all students enrolled in the Cornell Law School.

Article III. Officers and Elections

A. ORGANIZATION. The CLSA’s governing body shall be the Executive Committee, which shall consist of:

  1. 1. The Officers:
    1. i. President
    2. ii. Executive Vice President
    3. iii. Vice President
    4. iv. Secretary
    5. v. Treasurer
    6. vi. Information Technology (IT) Coordinator
    7. vii. Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) Representative
  2. 2. The Class Representatives
    1. i. One (1) Third-Year Representative
    2. ii. Two (2) Second-Year Representatives
    3. iii. Two (2) First-Year Representatives
    4. iv. One (1) LL.M. Representative

B. AUTHORITY.

  1. 1. Derivation. The Executive Committee derives
    its authority from the electoral process by which the
    student body expresses its views.
  2. 2. Powers. Funds. Receive, manage, and
    disburse CLSA funds for the benefit of Cornell law students subject to Article IV and the Bylaws.
  3. 3. Acts. Act in the name of Cornell law students when the Executive Committee considers it
    advisable to do so.
  4. 4. Activities. Plan and execute any activity
    designed to promote the academic, professional, or
    social well-being of Cornell law students.
  5. 5. Construction. The above sections shall not be construed as limiting the right of any student(s) to initiate recommendations.

C. TERMS.

  1. 1. Length. Each Executive Committee member’s
    term shall last until the Sunday after the next annual
    election for the member’s position, with the exception
    of the 3L Representative and the LL.M. Representative,
    whose terms shall last until the day of the Law School
    Convocation following the next annual election.
  2. 2. Consecutive Terms. An Executive Committee
    member may serve consecutive terms.
  3. 3. Concurrent Terms. No Executive Committee
    member shall hold concurrent CLSA-elected offices.

D. DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS.
The Executive Committee members’ duties shall include, but
not be limited to, the following:

  1. 1. The President shall:
    1. i. have the authority and responsibility for the
      execution of this Constitution and for the
      supervision of all activities undertaken by the
      CLSA;
    2. ii. call Executive Committee meetings;
    3. iii. preside over Executive Committee meetings;
    4. iv. set the agenda for Executive Committee meetings
      and distribute copies Executive Committee members
      before each meeting. However, any Executive
      Committee member may bring up an issue not on the
      agenda;
    5. v. serve as CLSA liaison officer between the CLSA
      and the Law School administration and the university
      community;
    6. vi. appoint student members to faculty committees,
      CLSA committees and positions with the Executive
      Committee’s consent;
    7. vii. have the power to remove presidential appointees
      for cause with the Executive Committee’s consent;
    8. viii. help the Executive Vice President and Treasurer form a calendar of activities and budget;
    9. ix. serve on the Academic Integrity Hearing Board;
    10. x. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    11. xi. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing;
    12. xii. commit to serve for one (1) year on campus, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
  2. 2. The Executive Vice President shall:
    1. i. perform the responsibility of assisting the
      President;
    2. ii. perform the President’s duties in the
      President’s absence and with the President’s
      consent;
    3. iii. succeed to the office of President for the
      remaining portion of any unexpired term if that
      office should become vacant;
    4. iv. help the President and Treasurer form a calendar
      of activities and budget;
    5. v. foster student contact with Cornell Law School
      alumni;
    6. vi. serve on the Academic Integrity Hearing Board;
    7. vii. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    8. viii. perform any other duties that the President may
      delegate.
    9. ix. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  3. 3. The Vice President shall:
    1. i. represent the CLSA’s best interests to the
      American Bar Association;
    2. ii. serve as the chairperson of the Cornell Chapter,
      ABA Law Student Division;
    3. iii. submit a written report following attendance at
      American Bar Association Functions;
    4. iv. actively foster student involvement with the ABA
      and other professional associations;
    5. v. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    6. vi. perform any other duties that the President may
      delegate;
    7. vii. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  4. 4. The Secretary shall:
    1. i. record the minutes of all Executive Committee
      meetings;
    2. ii. distribute minutes to the Executive Committee
      and, after the Executive Committee’s approval, post
      them on the CLSA Bulletin Board and distribute them
      to any others upon the President’s request;
    3. iii. maintain a record of attendance for all
      Executive Committee meetings;
    4. iv. maintain a record of all votes;
    5. v. maintain a current record of addresses and
      telephone numbers of all Executive Committee
      members;
    6. vi. maintain files of all records of the CLSA and
      its committees;
    7. vii. makes minutes and records of the Secretary
      available to any CLSA member;
    8. viii. prepare the general correspondence of the CLSA
      and the Executive Committee;
    9. ix. maintain a roster of the presidents and
      treasurers of all organizations receiving funds from
      the Executive Committee;
    10. x. maintain and update the Organization Bulletin
      Boards;
    11. xi. notify each Executive Committee member of
      forthcoming Executive Committee meetings pursuant to
      Article V(H);
    12. xii. notify the students of each forthcoming
      Executive Committee meeting by posting a notice on
      the CLSA Bulletin Board;
    13. xiii. maintain current copies of the CLSA Constitution and Bylaws;
    14. xiv. obtain timely reports from all CLSA committees
      and Appointees;
    15. xv. perform any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  5. 5. The Treasurer shall:
    1. i. serve as CLSA comptroller;
    2. ii. help the President and Executive Vice President
      form a calendar of activities and budget;
    3. iii. collect all monies due the CLSA;
    4. iv. provide for a safekeeping of all CLSA money;
    5. v. disburse CLSA funds when authorized to do so;
    6. vi. keep complete written records of all revenues
      and expenditures according to standard accounting
      principles;
    7. vii. organize and maintain archival files for all
      matters related to finances, including allocation
      summaries and reports of CLSA expenditures for
      recent years;
    8. viii. maintain a log of all funding applications made
      to the CLSA and the CLSA’s funding decision;
    9. ix. submit a financial status report in writing to
      the Executive Committee at the start of each
      semester and at any other time the Executive
      Committee shall deem it necessary;
    10. x. serve as liaison between the CLSA and the
      Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance
      Commission;
    11. xi. notify all recognized law student organizations
      of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly
      Finance Commission budget hearings and give them
      advice regarding their budgets;
    12. xii. furnish the secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    13. xiii. perform any other duties that the President may
      delegate;
    14. xiv. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  6. 6. The IT Coordinator shall:
    1. i. ensure that the CLSA Constitution and Bylaws and
      Executive Committee minutes are available on the
      CLSA website;
    2. ii. regularly maintain the CLSA website;
    3. iii. ensure that the CLSA Constitution and Bylaws and
      Executive Committee minutes are available on the
      CLSA website;
    4. iv. ensure that all CLSA elections are publicized on
      the CLSA website;
    5. v. perform any other duties that the President may
      delegate;
    6. vi. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  7. 7. The GPSA Representative shall:
    1. i. represent the law school at regular meetings of
      the GPSA;
    2. ii. serve as a liaison between the law school and
      the graduate student community as a whole;
    3. iii. report on a weekly basis to the CLSA Executive
      Committee as to developments in the GPSA and the
      graduate student community as whole.
    4. iv. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    5. v. perform such other duties as the President may
      delegate;
    6. vi. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  8. 8. The Third Year Representative shall:
    1. i. regularly contact various members of the third
      year class to encourage participation in upcoming
      CLSA events and solicit suggestions related to the
      function of CLSA;
    2. ii. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    3. iii. perform such other duties as the President may
      delegate;
    4. iv. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  9. 9. The Second Year Representatives shall:
    1. i. regularly contact various members of the second
      year class to encourage participation in upcoming
      CLSA events and solicit suggestions related to the
      function of CLSA;
    2. ii. participate in the planning and execution of
      First Year Orientation events;
    3. iii. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    4. iv. perform such other duties that the President may
      delegate;
    5. v. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  10. 10. The First Year Representatives shall:
    1. i. regularly contact various members of the first
      year class to encourage participation in upcoming
      CLSA events and solicit suggestions related to the
      function of CLSA;
    2. ii. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    3. iii. perform any other duties that the President may
      delegate;
    4. iv. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.
  11. 11. The LL.M. Representative shall:
    1. i. seek to involve all non-J.D. candidates in the
      Law School community;
    2. ii. furnish the Secretary with a copy of all
      correspondence made on behalf of the Executive
      Committee or the CLSA;
    3. iii. perform any other duties that the President may
      delegate;
    4. iv. take any other action necessary and proper to
      perform the foregoing.

E. ELECTIONS

  1. 1. Voter Eligibility.
    All CLSA members may vote in any CLSA election, except
    that only members of each class may vote for their
    respective Class Representatives.
  2. 2. Candidate Eligibility.
    Each candidate for an Executive Committee member
    position must comply with the following:

    1. i. Completion of at least one semester at the
      Cornell Law School, except First Year Representative
      and LL.M. Representative candidates who must be enrolled in their first semester.
    2. ii. Attainment of at least twenty-five (25)
      signatures, except for the LL.M. Representative
      candidates who must obtain seven valid signatures,
      on a CLSA nominating petition for that office.
      Students may sign more than one petition, providing
      their signature is valid. A signature is valid if
      the signing student is qualified to vote for the
      candidate in the election.
    3. iii. Compliance with all election rules in the
      Bylaws.
    4. iv. If only one candidate qualifies as eligible by
      the deadline for nominating petitions, that person’s
      name shall nevertheless appear on the ballot.
  3. 3. Election Subcommittee.
    1. i. Organization. The Election Subcommittee
      shall consist of the CLSA Officers as defined in
      Article III(A)(1). Those Officers shall elect an
      Election Commissioner from among them.
    2. ii. Duties. The Election Subcommittee shall
      conduct all CLSA elections and any other elections
      in the law school that the Executive Committee
      authorizes. The Subcommittee shall promulgate
      election regulations subject to Executive Committee
      approval, certify candidates, supervise balloting,
      certify the election results, and hear and resolve
      any election disputes by majority vote. After a full
      hearing, the Election Subcommittee may award such
      sanctions as it seems appropriate, including
      disqualifying the offender(s) and voiding the
      election result(s).
    3. iii. Recusal. Any Election Subcommittee
      member who is a candidate for an Executive Committee
      position shall not serve on the Subcommittee.
  4. 4. Notice of Election.
    1. i. Timing. The Election Subcommittee shall
      give notice to the student body of any CLSA election
      at least ten days before any election.
    2. ii. Contents. The notice shall include:
      1. a. the date of the election.
      2. b. the dates for circulation of the nominating
        petitions if the election is for an Executive
        Committee position.
      3. c. the location where students may obtain
        nominating petitions and copies of the CLSA
        Constitution and Bylaws if the election is for
        an Executive Committee position.
  5. 5. Date of Election.
    1. i. General Election. This election of all
      Officers, Second and Third Year Representatives
      shall take place in February as
      specified by the Election Subcommittee.
    2. ii. First Year Representatives and LL.M. Elections
      shall take place in September.
    3. iii. Special Election. An election to fill an Executive Committee mid-term vacancy shall take place when the Executive Committee deems it
      necessary.  If the office of President shall become vacant and if the Executive Vice President chooses not to succeed, the Executive Committee will hold an election to fill the vacant position within ten school days.
    4. iv. Recall Election. The Election
      subcommittee will hold this election within ten
      school days after one-third of an Executive
      Committee member’s constituency recall the member by
      following the procedures in Article III(E)(10).
  6. 6. Ballot Design.
    1. i. Order. All certified candidates shall
      be listed alphabetically by office.
    2. ii. Write-ins. Each position shall have a
      place for voters who wish to write-in the name of an
      eligible student.
    3. iii. The portion of the ballot that lists the candidates for Executive Vice President shall include a reminder to the voter that the Executive Vice President shall succeed to the office of President, should the President vacate the office of President
  7. 7. Method of Voting.
    1. i. Officer Election. Each eligible student may cast one vote each for the offices of President,
      First Vice President, Executive Vice President,
      Secretary, and Treasurer.
    2. ii. Class Representative Election. Each
      eligible student may cast two votes for the
      positions of Second Year Representative and First
      Year Representative and one vote for the Third Year
      Representative.
    3. iii. LL.M. Representative Election. All
      non-J.D. candidates may cast one vote for the
      position of LL.M. Representative.
    4. iv. Secrecy. All elections shall be by
      secret ballot.
  8. 8. Election Results.
    1. i. Elections for President, Executive Vice President,
      Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Third-Year
      Representative, and the LL.M. Representative:

      1. a. If, on the initial balloting, no candidate
        receives more than 50% of the votes cast, there
        shall be a runoff between the top two
        candidates.
      2. b. In the event of a tie for the most votes,
        there will be a special run off election.
    2. ii. Elections for First-Year and Second-Year
      Representatives:

      1. a. If the top three (3) candidates obtain 60%
        or greater of all the votes cast, the two (2)
        individuals with the most votes will be declared
        the winners.
      2. b. If the top three (3) candidates receive less
        than 60% of all the votes cast, there will be a
        special run-off election between the top three
        (3) candidates.
      3. c. In the event of a tie between any of these
        three candidates there will be a run-off
        election.
    3. iii. Recall Election. The recalled Executive
      Committee member must vacate his position if
      three-fourths of those voting support recall.
    4. iv. Tie. If a tie exists, the Election
      Subcommittee will hold a special election between
      the tied candidates within ten school days.
    5. v. The results of all election, including vote
      tallies for the candidates, shall be available to
      any student upon request.
  9. 9. Procedure for Unfilled Elected Positions. If no petition is timely filed for an elected position, the deadline for filing shall be extended and
    appropriately publicized. Beginning four weeks from the
    original election date, if no valid petition is
    received, the Executive Committee may vote to close the
    filing period and appoint a qualified student to the
    vacant position.
  10. 10. Removal of Executive Committee member. Removal proceedings may be initiated against any
    Executive Committee member(s) by a petition containing
    the signatures of at least one-third of that member’s
    constituency. Upon receipt of this petition, the
    Election Subcommittee (minus any members whom the
    petition concerns) shall conduct a recall election by
    following the procedures of Article III(E).

Article IV. Finances

A. DISBURSEMENTS. The Executive Committee shall have
discretion over disbursements subject to the
restrictions in this Constitution and the CLSA Bylaws.

  1. 1. Who may receive CLSA funding. The CLSA
    may fund requests from any law student or group of
    law students subject to Article IV(A)(5). This shall
    not prevent the Executive Committee from request
    funds for outside events deemed worthy of funding.

    1. i. Procedure.  Funding requests are to be presented at the regularly scheduled CLSA meetings.  A law student or group of law students may choose to make a presentation, at the conclusion of which, the Executive Committee may ask questions for a period of five (5) minutes.
    2. ii. Emergency Funding Requests.  A law student or group of law students may submit an emergency funding request to the Treasurer, who will transmit it to the Executive Committee to be voted upon.  This mode of request may not be abused.
  2. 2. Pecuniary gain prohibition. Executive
    Committee members shall not receive any wages or
    salary from the CLSA for their work. However, the
    CLSA can compensate an Executive Committee member
    for reasonable and necessary expenditures made on
    the CLSA’s behalf.
  3. 3. Authority. All CLSA expenditures must
    be authorized in one of the following ways:

    1. i. Executive Committee. The Executive
      Committee may approve an expenditure by a
      majority vote of those present at a meeting held
      in advance of the disbursement.
    2. ii. Officers. Each Officer shall have
      the authority to expend up to $ 100 without
      Executive Committee action. The responsible
      Officers must report any such expenditure at the
      next Executive Committee meeting. The Executive
      Committee shall, by a two-thirds vote of those
      not involved in approving the expenditure, have
      the power to terminate any action taken by the
      Officers pursuant to this subsection. If the
      Executive Committee terminate any action taken
      by the Officers pursuant to this subsection. If
      the Executive Committee terminates the action,
      those Officers who approved the expenditure must
      assume full financial responsibility for the
      expenditure. If the expenditure is not paid
      within ten school days, then the Officers who
      approved the expenditure must vacate their
      positions and the Election Subcommittee will
      call a special election.
  4. 4. Balanced Budget. Neither the Executive
    Committee nor the Officers can authorize an
    expenditure that would exceed the CLSA’s available
    funds.
  5. 5. Non-discriminatory events. The CLSA
    shall not fund any event that excludes any law school community members for reasons of race,
    religion, gender, national origin, sexual
    preference, or any other demonstrable form of
    discrimination.

Article V. Executive Committee Meetings

A. WHO MAY CALL. Meetings may be called in one of the
following ways:

  1. 1. Presidential discretion. The President
    shall set the date and time of meetings.
  2. 2. Petition for meeting. If twenty CLSA
    members petition the Executive Committee for a
    meeting, the President shall call a meeting during
    the first day the President can obtain a quorum.

B. WHEN. The President must make a reasonable effort to
call meetings at a time when all Executive Committee
members can be present.

C. WHERE. The President shall have discretion to set a
reasonable place for the meeting.

D. WHO MAY ATTEND. Any law school community member may
attend any meeting.

E. SUNSHINE PROVISION. The Executive Committee does not
have the right to conduct deliberations or votes in
private during weekly, scheduled meetings.

F. PROCEDURE. The President shall preside over all
meetings. In the President’s absence or recusal, the
Executive Vice President shall preside. If the Executive Vice
President is not willing or able to preside, the
Executive Committee shall appoint one of its other
members to preside.

G. QUORUM. Half of the current members of the Executive
Committee shall constitute a quorum.

H. NOTICE.

  1. 1. Weekly Meetings. Notice of a meeting
    shall be given at least 24 hours before that meeting
    by pendaflexing all Executive Committee members and
    by posting a notice on the CLSA Bulletin Board.
  2. 2. Emergency Meeting. Oral notice to
    Executive Committee members shall be sufficient if
    the President reasonably deems the meeting an
    emergency meeting.

I. VOTING.

  1. 1. Amendments. A two-thirds vote of a
    quorum is required to amend the Bylaws or to propose
    a Constitutional amendment.
  2. 2. Termination of Officers’ Expenditure. A
    two-thirds vote (minus the concerned Officers) is
    required to terminate an expenditure of CLSA funds
    by Officers pursuant to this Constitution.
  3. 3. Other Actions. A majority vote of a
    quorum is required to approve any other action. If a
    tie vote occurs, the president’s vote will break the
    tie.
  4. 4. Absentee votes. Absentee votes shall
    not be allowed except as provided in the CLSA
    Bylaws.
  5. 5. Public record. The Secretary shall
    record the votes of all members on all motions and
    publish them in the minutes.
  6. 6. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ACTION DEFINITION. No members of
    the Executive Committee shall take any action in the
    Executive Committee’s name unless the Executive
    Committee duly approved the action. This provision shall
    not be construed to prohibit any of the Officers, or the
    Officers collectively, from taking any action in their
    own name(s) within their constitutional powers.

Article VI. Amendments

A. PROPOSAL. Constitutional amendment may be proposed
in the following ways:

  1. 1. Executive Committee. The Executive
    Committee can propose an amendment by a two-thirds
    vote of a quorum.
  2. 2. Petition. Members of the student body
    can propose an amendment by submitting a petition
    containing the signatures of 25% of the student body.

B. RATIFICATION. Ratification of a proposed amendment
requires a two thirds vote of those cast in a referendum
during an election for at least one Officer position.

Article VII. Adoption

A. WHEN. All prior CLSA Constitutions shall be repeated
and this Constitution shall take effect on the day after
the Cornell Law student body approves it by a majority
of those voting.

B. EFFECT. None of the Constitutional provisions shall
have any retroactive effect.

Article VIII. Constitutional Dispute

The Executive Committee will serve as the final arbiter of
any disputes about the interpretation of this Constitution.

Amendment 1. Honor Code

A. CONSISTENCY. This constitution shall be interpreted
to be consistent with the Law School Honor Code and the
Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity.

B. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY HEARING BOARD. This board,
described in the Law School’s Honor Code, shall have
three CLSA members: the President, the Executive Vice
President, and the student member of the Academic
Standards Committee. If any of the student representatives are unable to participate on the board,
they shall designate an appropriate replacement form the
CLSA Executive Committee.

C. DUTY TO REPORT SERIOUS VIOLATIONS. Law students have
a duty to report serious violations of the above honor
codes if the violation is of such a nature that the
violating student knowingly allows himself or herself or
others to gain an unethical advantage over his or her
fellow students.

D. EFFECT. This amendment shall have no retroactive effect.