Table of Contents
I. Corporate Identity and Definitions 2
II. Purpose and Affiliation 4
III. Membership 4
IV. Executive Board Officers 5
V. Board of Directors 11
VI. Student Senate 16
VII. Committees 20
VIII. Attendance 22
IX. Elections 24
X. Impeachment, Removal, and Recall 27
XI. Fiscal Matters 29
XII. External Groups and Meetings 44
XIII. Chartering of External Student Organizations 45
XIV. Amendments 48
XV. Reference to Other Documents 49
XVI. Honor Code, Discrimination, & Sexual Harassment 49
XVII. Death Contribution Policy 50
XVIII. Bylaw Interpretations: Rules Committee 51
XIX. Nonprofit Compliance 56
XX. ABA/LSD Bylaws 59
XXI. The Pillar Bylaws 67
XXII. Judicial Board Bylaws 76
XXIII. Addendum 1: Rules for Senate Meetings 84
CORPORATE IDENTITY and DEFINITIONS
A. Name: The name of the corporation is the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Student
Bar Association, referred to in these Bylaws as the SBA.
B. Authority: The SBA is a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of
Michigan chartered on July 4th, 1983.
C. Fiscal Year: The fiscal year of the SBA is the calendar year.
1. ABA/LSD President: is the Representative of the American Bar
Association/Law Student Division.
2. Graduate: A student is considered to have graduated and no longer eligible
to be a member of the SBA in any capacity the last day of the final
examination period of the last term they are enrolled and not to be extended
until they have received their diploma.
3. Good Academic Standing: a student who has a 2.0 GPA or higher on the date
s/he is sworn into his/her official position.
4. Internal Groups: groups that operate within the SBA itself. In order to
obtain funding, each group must submit a budget pursuant to the rules of the
Budget & Finance Committee. As of September 1999 the internal groups are
the ABA/LSD, The Pillar Newspaper, Class Senators and their respective Class
5. Quorum: Consistent with the default rule of the parliamentary authority, a
majority of all the members of body on which they serve.
6. Parliamentary Authority: The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly
Revised (RONR) will govern the conduct of all meetings. All groups of the SBA will use
RONR as its parliamentary authority. This includes, but is not limited to, the
Executive Board, the Board of Directors, the Senate, and Committees.
a. Consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, strict formal adherence to
Robert’s is not required in all meetings, especially those with 12 or fewer
members. (RONR 10th ed. p. 470, l. 17 et seq..) However, the meeting must be run
efficiently while maintaining respect for all members. Additionally, all rules that
protect the rights of members individually, and as a minority faction, must be
followed at all times. JDS
b. While the Parliamentarian should be familiar with the official version of Robert’s
Rules of Order Newly Revised, for most other people reading this document a
well-written guide will provide sufficient guidance. The Idiot’s Guide to Robert’s
Rules of Order, by Nancy Sylvester, is recommended. JDS
7. SBA Leaders. SBA Leaders are Executives, Directors, and Senators of the SBA.
8. Supermajority. Unless otherwise qualified, a supermajority means passage of a
measure by a 2/3 vote.
9. Joint Board. The Joint Board is the combined Executive Board and Board of Directors.
10. Editor’s Notes: Occasionally editorial notes may be left in the SBA bylaws to assist
those who are new to this document. They are not an official part of this document,
unless otherwise stated so, and may be altered or removed by future editor’s. They
have no binding authority. Precedentially, they may be considered a form of
persuasive authority as they provide historical content and application analysis.
PURPOSE and AFFILIATION
A. Purpose: The purpose of the Thomas M. Cooley SBA, as stated in its Articles of
1. To promote, establish and run such activities and organizations as are
deemed beneficial to its members and the School.
2. To promote social and academic interaction among the students, faculty,
and administration of the School.
3. To develop a mutual awareness and appreciation of the profession of law
among the School and community at large.
4. To promote professionalism among the students of Thomas M. Cooley Law
School by providing an opportunity to participate in an integrated Bar
modeled on the State Bar of Michigan.
B. Affiliation: The SBA is affiliated with the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and the
use of the school’s name as part of the name of the SBA is by permission of the
Thomas M. Cooley Law School, referred to in these Bylaws as the School.
A. Definition: Every student enrolled in Thomas M. Cooley Law School, regardless
of which campus, shall be a member of the SBA (Member) and shall be entitled to
vote at every general or special election of the SBA.
B. Class Designation: Every student of the School shall be a Member of and shall
vote with the program that they matriculate. Thereafter, the students whose
class has graduated shall continue in the name of their matriculated class for no
more than the scheduling option for which they are enrolled in. If the class the
student originally matriculated with has graduated, the student will maintain
their class status until their own graduation.
C. Fees: Members of the SBA shall pay student activity fees collected by the School
for the use and benefit of the SBA. The amount of such fee shall be determined
from time to time by agreement of the SBA and the School. The activity fee will be
deposited in the SBA account where the student attends the majority of there
EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICERS
A. The Executive Board is the SBA President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary,
Parliamentarian, ABA/LSD President, Pillar Editor in Chief, and Historian.
B. The Executive Board Officers of the SBA shall carry out the administrative
functions necessary for the day to day operation of the SBA.
C. There are no proxies for Executive Board members.
D. Duties of the Executive Officers:
1. The SBA President shall:
a. Preside at all meetings of the Senate;
b. Preside at all meetings of the Board;
c. Have power to preside over meetings of the Internal and External
Groups and the SBA as stated under Article XII of the Bylaws;
d. Call special meetings at his/her discretion;
e. Appoint all committees not otherwise provided for in these Bylaws;
f. Make provisions for the discharge of necessary duties of absent or
suspended Executive Officers and Senators;
g. Co-sign all checks on the treasury of the SBA;
h. See that the Bylaws of the SBA are enforced;
i. Carry out assignments and instructions given by vote of the Senate;
j. Have standing to vote only in the case of a tie on any matter before
the Senate and Board;
k. Perform such other duties as shall be required by Statute and
Bylaws or as directed by the Senate or Board;
l. Appoint a Parliamentarian for the purpose of aiding in procedures
and conduct of meetings;
m. Sit on the Executive Board of the ABA/LSD; and
n. Appoint students to sit on Faculty Committees and other student
appointed committees upon approval by a 2/3 vote of the Senate.
A student representative may only be removed for cause through a
motion, and by a majority of the Senate.
o. The SBA President may receive a stipend each term in the form of a
$900 reimbursement. The stipend shall be made out at the end of
week 13. This stipend shall be paid by the SBA and budgeted out of
the 10% portion allocated to the SBA Office.
p. Appoint a Historian for the purpose of aiding in procedures and
2. The Vice-President shall:
a. Attend all meetings of the Board and of the Senate;
b. Be an aide to the SBA President;
c. Act as a liaison between the student body and the Executive
Officers of the SBA;
d. Supervise the activities of all committees and coordinate their
efforts. The Vice-President shall serve as an advisory member of all
e. Have the power to assign, reassign, or remove any committee
member, as he/she deems appropriate;
f. Have the power to give or excuse the absences of SBA Senators,
Class Directors and Executive Board to all attendance required
events if the person can show reasonable cause for the absence;
g. If there is a discrepancy with the granting or denial of an excuse,
then the person may petition the Executive Board in writing
advising the Executive Board of the problem. The Executive Board
shall then decide upon the matter by a majority vote.
h. Be a voting member of the Board of Directors
3. The Secretary shall:
a. Record the minutes of the meetings of the Board and of the Senate;
b. Be the custodian of the official corporate records;
c. Certify the authenticity of corporate records, and, with the SBA
President, execute documents on behalf of the SBA;
d. Issue notice of meetings and agenda after consultation with the SBA
e. Maintain an official record of the attendance of all Board members
at regular or special meetings of the Board and shall report the
same at every regular meeting of the Board;
f. Maintain an official record of the attendance of all members of the
Senate at all regular or special meetings;
g. Provide members with written notification when two absences are
h. Notify members of the Senate and initiate expulsion measures
when absences exceed the number allowed;
i. Conduct the correspondence of the SBA and Senate;
j. Announce during the eighth week of the term to the open Senate,
the provisions contained in Article V, § D, concerning selection of
k. Be an advisory member of the Budget & Finance Committee;
l. Shall have the power to give or excuse the absences of the Vice-
President to all SBA meetings if the Vice-President can show
reasonable cause for the absence.
m. Be a voting member of the Board of Directors
4. The Treasurer shall:
a. Maintain the financial records of the SBA;
b. Receive all money due to the SBA and give receipt thereof;
c. Render statements of accounts to the Board. The Treasurer shall
also report to the Senate at each meeting; the balance of the SBA
account, the total dollar amount allocated over the preceding week,
and the remaining amount budgeted but not yet spent;
d. Make such payments from the funds of the SBA as shall be
approved by the Board;
e. Make all books and records of the Treasurer open to public
inspection upon written notice two school days prior to inspection;
f. Publish to the students a financial statement three times annually;
g. Be responsible for the completion and filing of any and all tax
h. Be an advisory member of the Budget & Finance and Student
i. Be a voting member of the Board of Directors
5. The ABA/LSD President shall:
a. Represent the SBA in the councils of the Law Student Division
(LSD) of the American Bar Association;
b. Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Law Student
Division or directed by the Board;
c. Serve as liaison between the Senate and the Board and the eighteen
students serving as Class ABA/LSD Representatives who in turn
shall serve as liaison between the ABA/LSD Representatives and
their respective classes;
d. Be an advisory member of the Social and Public Relations
e. Be a member of the ABA/LSD.
f. Be a voting member of the Board of Directors
6. The Parliamentarian shall:
a. Be a non-voting member of the Board;
b. Co-chair of the Rules and Election Committees;
c. Be informed of the Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order; the
Parliamentarian’s powers shall be advisory to the Senate, the Board
and the Executive Board;
d. Enforce parliamentary procedure during Senate and Board
e. The Parliamentarian can be both a Senator and Parliamentarian at
the same time as these positions are compatible.
7. The Pillar Editor in Chief shall:
a. Be a voting member of the Board of Directors.
b. Represent the Pillar
c. Be present at weekly Student Bar Association Board of Directors'
d. Report to the Board of Directors weekly progress of the Pillar,
including dates of publishing, etc.
e. In the event the Pillar Editor in Chief cannot be present, he/she
shall notify the SBA Secretary no later than 24 hours before the
Board of Directors' meeting; and shall give a proxy vote to a Pillar
representative no later than 24 hours before the Board of
Directors' meeting, who will cast Pillar Editor in Chief's proxy vote.
7. The Historian shall:
a. Be a non-voting member of the Board.
b. Co-chair of Student Services Committee.
c. Be informed of the Archives, Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of order;
the Historian’s powers shall be advisory to the Executive Board,
Board and Senate.
d. Maintain Archive the minutes of all Executive Board, Senate and
e. The Historian can be both a Senator and Historian at the same time
as these positions are compatible.
E. Term of Office: All officers shall attend the Board meeting and be officially sworn
in at the first Senate meeting upon winning the election. Executive Officers shall
serve for a term of one year (three terms) or until the Officer graduates, or
resigns, whichever is shorter.
F. Filling of Vacancies: Upon vacancy or written resignation to the SBA President,
the SBA President shall notify the Elections Chair who shall follow procedures
designated in the Elections Working Principles, subject to the following
1. If the office of the SBA President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall
fill that position for the remainder of the elected term subject to a 2/3 vote
of both the Board and Senate.
2. If the office of Vice-President becomes vacant, the Secretary shall notify
the student body within one week of the vacancy. Resumes will be
accepted for a period of seven calendar days. After that, the Board of
Directors shall select an interim Vice-President replacement subject to a
2/3 vote of both the Board and Senate. The position will then be available
at the next term’s general election.
3. If the office of the SBA President and Vice-President become vacant at the
same time, an election shall be held to fill both positions. The interim
offices will be filled by the Treasurer, then Secretary, and then ABA/LSD
President until the next general election.
4. In the event that the entire Executive Board becomes vacant, for whatever
reason, then the Director with the most seniority (time served) on the
Board of Directors shall act as interim SBA President until a general
election can be held.
5. If any Executive Office, other than the President or Vice-President, becomes
vacant the following procedure will apply:
1. The Student Bar Association (SBA) President will notify the secretary, or if
the secretary is not available, the SBA president will notify another individual
(President’s designee) on the board of directors or in the senate;
2. The secretary or designee will notify the student body within seven (7)
calendar days of the vacancy;
3. Resumes will be accepted for seven (7) calendar days following notification
4. The board of directors will select a candidate from the applicant pool; and
5. Confirmation of the position is subject to:
a) A two-thirds vote by the board of directors; and
b) A two-thirds vote by the senate.
The newly appointed officer will complete the remainder of the predecessor’s term
of office. The Executive Board term of office runs from January 1st to December 31st.
6. If any Executive Officer elects to run for SBA President, s/he shall forfeit
his/her present position as an Executive Board member. The current
acting SBA President will then appoint an interim person to serve in the
vacant position. The vacated Executive Board position will then be up for
election at the same time as the general election.
7. If for any reason a vacant position cannot be filled through the procedures
provided in this Section, a general election shall be held to fill the vacancy.
G. Eligibility: No person may be eligible for election to an office under this Article
unless s/he is a student of the School in Good Academic Standing.
1. Any person elected to a position on the Executive Board must maintain,
throughout their term in office, Good Academic Standing in accordance
with the Student Policy Manual.
H. Forfeiture: Any officers of the SBA, who shall graduate, resign, withdraw, or be
dismissed from the School shall forfeit his/her office.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A. Function: The business and affairs of the SBA shall be managed by its Board of
B. Forfeiture: Any members of the Board who shall graduate, resign, or be
dismissed from the school shall forfeit membership on the Board of the SBA, and
such vacancy shall be filled as provided by these Bylaws.
C. Eligibility: Any person selected to serve on the Board of Directors shall maintain
Good Academic Standing, for the duration of their selection, as defined by the
Student Policy Manual.
D. There are no proxies for Directors.
E. Class Directors - First Selection:
1. The Class Directors shall oversee the week to week affairs of the SBA.
Their duties shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Attend regular meetings;
b. Attend special meetings as needed;
c. Chair one of the eight standing committees;
d. Approve weekly expenditures of SBA funds;
e. Attend to all affairs brought before the Board for consideration;
f. Carry out all other duties designated by this document, resolution,
2. The position of Class Director shall be available to all interested members
of that class who are in Good Academic Standing. The position of Class
Director shall be filled by the following process:
a. During the eighth week of the term, the Secretary shall announce to
the Senate that the position of Class Director is available. If the
Secretary fails to make this announcement, then the position shall
be filled by general election.
b. First term Senators shall announce to all first term classes that the
position of Class Director is available. This announcement shall be
made no later than the ninth week of class. The announcement
shall consist of, but is not limited to, the following:
i. A brief description of the qualifications and duties of the
ii. A brief description of the application and selection process;
iii. The Secretary shall also make a written announcement
regarding the Class Director position which shall be printed
in the next Pillar and consist of:
(a) the responsibility of Class Director;
(b) those who are interested members of that class and
who are in good academic standing may be deemed
(c) selection of Class Director shall be by interview and
majority vote of the Senators of that class;
(d) The newly chosen Class Director must be selected by
the first week and sworn-in at the first meeting
during the second week of the term;
iv. If the Senators cannot arrive at a majority decision, then the
position shall be determined by a general class election.
Senators shall report to the SBA President that no majority
has been reached. The report shall be made no later than
the end of the first week of the following term;
v. The general election shall be conducted according to Article
IX. The election shall be an in-class election conducted by
members of the Election Committee.
c. If substantial performance of the above criteria is not met, it shall
be resolved by a general class election to take place with the
general election the following term. If there is no challenge to the
above procedure by the time the Class Director is sworn in, then
the challenge is waived.
3. Terms of Office: Members of the Board chosen as Class Directors for each
class admitted to the School shall take office at the first meeting of the
Board held during their second term unless chosen by general election.
The person shall hold office until the last meeting of their last term. A
person chosen to fill a vacancy of Class Director shall take office
immediately upon their selection or election. Any member may be
removed from office or such office declared vacant as provided in the
4. Ineligibility: A Senator who becomes a Class Director shall forfeit the
Senate seat, as these two offices are incompatible positions.
F. Class Directors - Vacancies: Should the position of Class Director become vacant
due to resignation, expulsion, absence from school for remote externship
placement, foreign/abroad study, the individual is enrolled in the 15/15/0 credit
hour program and has one term off during the year, or the Class Director takes
over a position on the Executive Board, then the four class Senators shall select an
interim director and appoint that person to the Board. However, the Class
Director reinstatement shall be left up to the discretion of the Class Senators for
vacancies due to any reason not mentioned above.
1. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Board by a majority
2. The vacant Senate seat shall be filled by the Alternate Senator.
3. When the Class Director returns, s/he shall have the full status of Class
Director as long as they are in good academic standing. The Senator
currently holding the Class Director’s seat during the absence will be
returned to the status as Senator. The Alternate Senator currently holding
the Senator’s seat during his/her absence will be returned to the status of
4. If no Senator chooses to accept the position, then the selection will
continue by § C (2) of this Article.
G. Regular Meetings: The Board shall meet every week at a time that shall be
established by resolution of the Board.
H. Special Meetings:
1. Upon reasonable notification, which constitutes five days’ notice for extra
or unscheduled meetings, the SBA President may call a special meeting of
the Board; or
2. Upon the request of any three members, the SBA President shall convene a
special meeting of the Board.
3. Absences will be excused if a Class Director is unable to attend a special
I. Parliamentary Authority: The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly
Revised shall be followed for the conduct of all meetings except where noted in
these Bylaws or countermanded by mutual agreement of those in attendance.
J. Lack of Quorum: Any number of Board members, less than a quorum, may:
1. Adjourn any regular or special meeting of the Board to a date to be
2. Sit as a committee to make recommendations to the full Board;
3. Observe and record the attendance of members at any regular or special
meeting of the Board, take notice of resignations or forfeitures of office,
and calculate the number of Class Directors currently elected and serving,
and the number necessary to constitute a majority thereof.
A. Composition: The Student Senate shall consist of:
1. Four Senators and one Alternate Senator to represent each of the classes in the
2. One Diversity Committee Liaison.
1. The Senate shall:
a. Represent the student body of the School;
b. Establish policy for the SBA;
c. Act on behalf of the student body in all matters of correspondence
with the administration and faculty of the school;
d. Approve and recognize such social, fraternal, professional, athletic,
political, academic, or other organization or students at the School
as it deems appropriate from time to time, and it may determine
which activities, programs, and organizations should be supported
by the SBA and recommend to the Board the amount and priority of
appropriations to each. The procedure for the execution of this
power is set forth in Article XI of these Bylaws;
e. Approve the disbursement of all funds of the SBA;
f. Prepare & adopt a budget for the Senate’s operation;
g. Receive & expend such sums of money as shall be charged to each
registering student for the Senate’s operation;
h. Acquire and expend any further sums that may come to the Senate
by gift or any lawful function or enterprise conducted by the
i. Adopt rules for its own proceedings;
j. Judge the election and qualification of its members;
k. Summon the attendance of its members and discipline and expel
l. Declare & fill all vacancies in the Senate;
m. Approve appointments made by the SBA President by a 2/3 vote
for vacancies in the offices of Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer,
ABA/LSD President, Faculty Committees and other student
n. Have such other and further powers as shall be appropriate to a
parliamentary representative assembly not inconsistent with the
laws of the State of Michigan or these Bylaws.
2. The Diversity Committee Liaison shall:
a. Serve as the liaison between the Diversity Committee and the SBA.
b. Attend all regularly scheduled Senate meetings.
c. Attend all regularly schedule Diversity Committee meetings.
d. Report all relevant information to SBA Senate at regularly scheduled
e. Provide guidance as to SBA policies, procedures, and requirements to
the Diversity Committee as reasonable and necessary.
f. Complete the annual budget request on behalf of the Diversity
Committee according to the policies and procedures of the SBA
Budget & Finance Committee.
g. This position is compatible with SBA Senator positions.
h. This position does not, standing alone, provide voting privileges in the
i. This position will be appointed by the SBA President.
1. All regular and special meetings of the Senate shall be open to all members
of the SBA. All students enrolled in TMCLS are members of the SBA.
Members shall be allowed to address the Senate, subject to the discretion
of the SBA President as to time and purpose.
2. The SBA President shall convene the Senate the second week of every
term and the Senate shall not adjourn before the thirteenth week of the
3. Special meetings of the Senate may be called at any time by the SBA
President, by the Executive Board, or upon petition of any five Senators
who present their request in writing to the Secretary.
4. Five days’ notice will be given for special meetings. All pertinent
documents will be made available at least one day before a special
5. Due notice of the calendar and proceedings of the Senate shall be
conspicuously posted in the School.
D. Assumption of Office: Senators shall assume office at the first meeting after their
election and shall serve for a term of one year or until successors have been duly
elected and qualified or until s/he graduates. Senators shall be eligible to succeed
E. Vacancies: Upon vacancy or written resignation to the SBA President, the SBA
President shall notify the Elections Chair and that class’s remaining Senators and
Director. The Elections Chair shall then post notices of the vacancy in at least
three places throughout the school. The application deadline shall be a week
after notification at 5:00 p.m. Interested parties should deliver five (5) copies of
their resume to the SBA Office Secretary. (One for each Senator and Class
Director of the class in which the vacancy has occurred and one to remain with
the SBA Office Secretary.) The Senators should then interview each applicant and
vote on a replacement. The chosen Senator will then be presented to the Senate
for approval by a majority vote of the Senate.
1. Notice to class of vacancy; minimum requirements: The announcement
should include class name, applicant qualifications, date and time of
deadline, and procedures to be followed by applicant; more specifically:
a. qualifications: applicant must be a member of the appropriate class
(to be determined by which class s/he matriculated with) and in
good academic standing as defined by the student policy manual;
2. The process of filling a vacancy will not proceed until the above guidelines
are properly followed or alternative methods are approved by a majority
of the Senate upon a recommendation by the Elections Chair and Vice-
3. The Appointment is good until the next required election.
4. The above procedure is to be followed if a vacancy occurs after the
regularly scheduled elections for that respective academic term.
F. Alternate Senators:
1. Each class shall have five (5) Senators and one (1) Class Director.
2. The four elected Senators shall appoint, subject to approval of the full
Senate, from the existing petitions of the prior election, an Alternate
Senator. Should there be no viable petitions from the prior election from
which to select an Alternate Senator, the Alternate Senator shall be
appointed pursuant to the filling of vacancies contained in these Bylaws.
3. The Alternate Senator is not required to hold office hours in the SBA
Office, nor required to sit on one of the eight standing committees unless
filling a vacancy pursuant to this Article. However, the Alternate Senator
is encouraged to participate in SBA meetings, committees and activities so
that they may be knowledgeable of the goings on of the organization.
4. The Alternate Senator shall not be entitled to the power of a Senator until
one of the four Senate positions becomes vacant due to resignation,
expulsion, temporary or permanent appointment to the Board, absence from
the school for remote externship placement, foreign/abroad study, or
because the individual is enrolled in the 15/15/0 credit hour program and
has one term off during the year. However, Alternate Senator shall have
general proxy in the event that the regular Senator cannot attend any SBA
meeting. This general proxy must be written and given to the SBA Vice-
President at least twenty four (24) hours presiding meeting to be missed.
5. Should a Senate seat become vacant because of one of the aforementioned
reasons, the Alternate Senator shall fill that vacancy, having the full
powers and duties of a Senator.
5. Should a Senator who had vacated his/her seat for one (1) term for any of
the above mentioned reasons wish to return to his/her position, s/he will
be returned to his/her seat having full status as a Senator. The returning
Senator shall return having full status as a Senator as long as they are in
good academic standing. The Alternate Senator currently holding the seat
will be returned to the status of Alternate Senator pursuant to this Article.
G. Eligibility: Any person, elected to the position of Senator, must maintain Good
Academic Standing as defined by the Student Policy Manual for the duration of
their term of office.
A. Standing Committees: There shall be eight (8) standing committees of the SBA,
which shall perform the functions discussed in these Bylaws and such other and
future duties as may, from time to time, be directed by the Board.
B. Chairs: Each committee shall be chaired by a member of the Board who is not an
Executive Officer, i.e., a Class Director has to be a Chair. No two standing
committees shall be chaired by the same Class Director. Exception: when there
has been a resignation of the Chair from the Board of Directors, the SBA President
may act as chair or appoint an interim chair. Each Senator shall choose a
committee of which s/he shall be a member subject to the approval of the Vice-
C. Removal of Committee Members: The Board may remove any committee
member, except its Chair and advisory members. The Vice-President shall have
the power to assign, reassign, or remove any committee member, as he/she
D. Removal of Committee Chair:
1. On a motion from the floor of the Senate, or recommendation of the SBA
President, a Committee Chair may be removed. Grounds for such removal
shall be misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance or other just cause
specified by the Senate.
2. The party moving for removal of any chair shall give that Chair notice of
charges at least one week prior to the motion on the floor of the Senate.
E. Special Committees: Special committees must be created by resolution of the
Board. If no provision for the appointment of members of a special committee is
made in the resolution, the SBA President shall appoint.
F. Standing Committees:
1. Budget & Finance Committee: It shall be the duty of the Budget &
Finance Committee to review all requests for disbursement of SBA funds;
to ensure that if any future SBA Office stipends should be created, they
must come through the Budget and Finance Committee since they are in
the best position to evaluate the fiscal feasibility of the SBA. Additionally,
to report to the Board respecting propriety of any expenditure within the
budget, these Bylaws and the controlling statutes; to consider all matters
of the business and financial affairs of the SBA and to make
recommendations thereon to the Board and Senate. The Treasurer and
the SBA President shall be advisory members of this committee. The
Budget & Finance Committee Chair will preside over meetings of the
External Groups as stated under Article XII of the Bylaws. Refer to the
Budget and Finance Committee Working Principles for all other duties not
2. Rules Committee: It shall be the duty of the Rules Committee to review
the agenda for meetings of the Board and the Senate; to make
recommendations concerning the referral of matters to the several
committees and to consider all matters touching upon the rules of the SBA
and make recommendations thereon. The Secretary and SBA President
shall be advisory members of this committee. The Parliamentarian shall
co-chair said committee.
3. Intramural Committee: It shall be the duty of the Intramural Committee
to plan, organize and supervise the various intramural sports; and it shall
be the duty of said committee to buy and store all related athletic
equipment. The ABA/LSD President and the Vice-President shall be
advisory members of this committee.
4. Academic Affairs Committee: It shall be the duty of the Academics
Committee to organize and administer a Student Tutorial Service; to
consider and make recommendations to the Board and the Senate
concerning all matters having to do with curriculum, examinations,
grading and instruction. The Vice-President and Secretary shall be
advisory members of this committee.
5. Social Committee: It shall be the duty of the Social Committee to
investigate and encourage social, athletic, recreational and cultural
activities among students, faculty, and the legal profession and the
community; it shall consider and make recommendations to the Board and
Senate concerning all matters relating to the social life of the SBA. The
Secretary and ABA/LSD President shall be advisory members of this
6. Elections Committee: It shall be the duty of the Elections Committee to
oversee the conduct of all elections and referenda of the SBA; to canvass
the votes and rule on challenges thereto; to report to the Board and the
Senate regarding the final vote in all elections. The SBA President and
Vice-President shall be advisory members of this committee. No member
of the Elections Committee may be a candidate in any election.
7. Student Services Committee: It shall be the duty of the Student Services
Committee to supervise such student services as shall be provided by the
SBA, including, but not limited to, the SBA Office, the Student Lounge, and
the like, and it shall study and make recommendations to the Board and to
the Senate concerning all student services, included those provided by the
School such as the Library, Bookstore and Career and Student Services
Office. The Treasurer and the Vice-President shall be advisory members of
8. Public Relations Committee: It shall be the duty of the Public Relations
Committee to advance general knowledge of the appreciation for the SBA
and the School among their several constituencies; it shall make
recommendations concerning The Pillar and other student publications.
The SBA President and ABA/LSD President shall be advisory members of
G. Standing Rules: Each standing committee within the Student Bar Association
should present to the Board for their recommendations of that committees
standing rules. The rules will address the operating, procedural, and
administrative workings of each committee. The standing rules for each
committee will not conflict with the Student Bar Association By-Laws. Further, if
a matter is not mentioned within the Student Bar Association By-Laws, please
refer to the standing rules of that committee.
1. Approval, changes, and amendments to the standing rules of a committee
shall be made by a two-thirds vote of that committee.
A. Office Hours:
1. Weekly Office Hours: Each member of the Executive Board, Board of
Directors and Senate of the SBA shall provide one (1) office hour each
week within the SBA office to confer with constituents and carry out other
2. Weekend Students: Weekend students may complete their office hour on
3. Weekend Office Hours: In addition to the weekly office hour each member
of the Executive Board, Board of Directors and Senate will be required to
provide one (1) weekend office hour every term.
4. Notice: Notice of this requirement shall be given to all responsible persons
during week 1 of each term by email with reply requested to ensure
receipt of notice.
1. Class Directors, Senators, and Executive Board Members will regard
attendance at all meetings as a primary obligation. One absence means:
a. One (1) unexcused office hour absences;
b. Unexcused absence at a regularly scheduled meeting or special
called meeting where proper notice of three (3) days has been
Editor’s Note: the Senate bylaws were changed in Hilary 2011 to make five
days’ notice the standard. This provision in, by the last shot doctrine,
needs to be read as 5 days until it is properly amended.
c. Unexcused absence at a scheduled committee meeting; however, a
Committee Chair shall have the power to give or excuse an absence
for missing a committee meeting.
2. Absences will be excused for Executives, Directors, or Senators who are
unable to attend special meetings for reasonable cause.
3. An absence will be excused, if it is due to:
a. Work or illness (must be reported at least three hours prior to the
scheduled meeting to the Secretary or the SBA office);
b. Family emergency;
c. Unforeseen circumstances, which is up to the discretion of the
d. School related function.
e. All persons must provide written notification of the above excuses
to the Secretary within three days of the absence. Failure to do so
will result in the absence being unexcused.
4. Absences shall be reported to the Secretary. Three unexcused absences
per term of either regularly scheduled meetings or committee meetings
combined may result in removal from their position in the SBA. Unexcused
absences are to have a rebuttable presumption that they were without
5. A third unexcused absence may be grounds for dismissal from the SBA.
Such person shall be notified that there is an automatic scheduling of a
meeting with a panel that consists of the SBA President, Vice-President,
Secretary and members of the Rules Committee. This panel shall review
the absenteeism and on a majority vote of the panel, the senator or Class
Director shall be removed. A person that is up for dismissal is allowed the
standard of a rebuttable presumption that the absences were without
6. All unexcused office hours, including weekend office hours, may be made
up until the next assigned office hour which shall be NO LATER than one
(1) calendar week from the original scheduled office hour missed. This
make-up of the missed office hour must be marked as "make up from week
__" with the member's initials making up the missed office hour on the
Student Bar Association attendance sheet. Office hour make-ups shall NOT
occur during the office hour in which another SBA member is scheduled to
work, regardless of his/her attendance or lack of during his/her regularly
scheduled office hour; unless prior approval has been obtained from the
SBA Office Administrator or Work-Study Student. Failure to adhere to the
above will result in an unexcused absence for the previously missed office
A) Petitions. All candidates must complete a petition to be placed on the election ballot.
Petitions must be submitted to either the Elections Chair or the SBA Office
Administrator. Students may only sign petitions for candidates who would be
representing the members as a constituent.
1) Executive Officer petitions require twenty signatures.
2) Senator petitions require five signatures.
B) Eligibility. All candidates for SBA positions must be in good academic standing
(Article I, infra.) Candidates for SBA President must be in at least their second term at
Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
C) Timing of Elections.
1) Elections will be during either Week 5 or Week 6 each term. It will occur during
Week 5 unless the Elections Committee changes it to Week 6.
(a) Changing the election to week 6 requires a 2/3 vote of the Committee, and the vote
must be taken by the end of Week 2.
2) The election poll will be open for one week.
(a) By default the election week will begin on Sunday at 12:00 AM, and will continue
until 11:59 PM the following Saturday covering the week of the election.
(i) The election week may be changed by a 2/3 vote of the Elections Committee, but
only if done before the end of Week 3. The polling week must still cover the
majority of the calendar week of election week and run an entire week.
3) Executive board elections will occur during Michaelmas term each year.
D) Method of Conducting Elections. Every student will may exercise her right to vote in
every election which affects her constituency.
1) The Elections Committee will determine the procedure for casting votes. The
procedure will be stated in its working principles. Any change to this procedure must
be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Senate.
2) Constituency Membership. All students are constituents of the Executive Board, and
may vote in any Executive Officer election. Only members of a respective academic
class are eligible to vote for positions determined by academic class membership.
One’s academic class is the class one matriculates with and remains so until the person
3) Notice. At least ten days’ notice of elections must be provided for all regularly
scheduled elections. The manner of providing notice will be provided in the working
principles of the Elections committee. Any changes made to the provision of notice
must be approved by the Senate by a 2/3 vote.
(a) There will be a meeting held to apprise candidates of SBA election rules. The
meeting will be provided for in the working principles of the Elections Committee.
Any change in timing of the meeting must be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Joint
4) The Elections Committee is responsible for counting election results within eight days
of the election’s end. Ballots and results of the election will be retained until the end of
Week 11 of the term. Any challenge to an election must be made before the end of
5) The ABA LSD will conduct its elections in conjunction with the SBA unless it chooses
to do otherwise. ABA LSD Representatives will follow rules for Senators, and its
Executive Officers will follow the same rules for SBA Executive elections.
E) Executive Officers-Elect. After completing the election, Executive Officers-elect will
be officially sworn into their positions. From then on, they must attend meetings of the
Senate and Joint Board, complete office hours, and serve on a committee.
1) If the President-elect appoints a Historian and Parliamentarian, they will meet the
same requirements as Officers-Elect.
2) If an Officer-elect is already a Senator, Director, or Executive officer, he will carry on
his duties in that position until the term in his new position begins.
3) All Officer-elect positions are for training and transition purposes only. Officers-elect
do not have the full rights of the position they will assume, including the right to vote,
by virtue of their position as Officers-elect. This provision does not affect the rights
that officers-elect may have through positions held prior to being elected to the
4) Officers-elect will assume their new positions on the last day of exams in the term in
which they were elected.
F) Executive Vacancies.
1) Any person who fills a vacant office will hold that office until her successor is chosen
and assumes office after Michaelmas exams.
2) The Vice-president will succeed the President and serve the remainder of the term if
the presidency becomes vacant.
3) If the offices of Vice-president, Secretary, or Treasurer become vacant, their
replacements will appointed by the President. Appointments are subject to a 2/3 vote
of the Senate and ratification by the Board of Directors.
(a) The President may, at her discretion, convene a selection committee of either five
or seven of the longest serving SBA Leaders to assist in this process with the
President serving as chair of the committee. If the committee is convened, then it
chooses replacements instead of the President alone.
(b) Before a vacancy appointment may be made, at least one week’s notice must be
given, and each interested member of the SBA must have a reasonable opportunity to
interview for the position.
(c) All Students will be allowed to speak and question potential appointees in the
Senate when it meets to vote on approving the appointee.
4) If the offices of President and Vice-president become vacant simultaneously, then a
special election will be held to fill them.
(a) In the interim, the Treasurer, Secretary, and ABA/LSD President, in this order, will
fill the vacancies.
(i) In the event that the entire Executive board is vacated, the Director with the most
time served in the SBA will be the interim SBA President until a special election is
5) If for any reason a vacant position cannot be filled through these procedures, a special
election will be held to fill the vacancy. The Officer-elect will hold that position until
the next October election.
G) Multiple offices. Except as provided below, an SBA member may hold only one of the
offices among the SBA Leadership and the ABA LSD executive board.
1) An SBA Senator may hold any ABA LSD executive office except the presidency.
2) A Senator may also serve as Parliamentarian or Historian.
H) Elections Committee Working Principles. These specific working principles of the
Elections Committee may only be changed with the consent of the Senate.
1) Elections will be conducted through the Cooley Law School Portal.
2) Notice of elections must be reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to
apprise interested parties of the pendency of the election and afford them an
opportunity make their voice heard.
(a) Notice of elections may be provided by mass email sent to the student body,
3) The election notice meeting, covered under Art IX B(3)a in the SBA Bylaws, must be
held at least 10 days before the election.
IMPEACHMENT, REMOVAL, and RECALL
A. Executive Officers:
1. Impeachment and Removal:
a. Any Executive Officer may have impeachment and removal
proceedings be initiated upon a motion by any Senator, Class
Director, or Officer on the grounds of misfeasance, malfeasance,
nonfeasance or other just cause. This motion must be seconded.
b. The Senator, Class Director, or Officer making the motion shall
present to the entire Senate and Board, within one week, a Bill of
Particulars specifically enumerating the grounds for impeachment.
c. The Senate and Board shall then, by 2/3 vote of those members
present, determine if there is just cause for the continuation of the
d. If just cause is determined by such vote, then a trial shall be
conducted during a joint meeting of the Senate and Board one week
thereafter. The proofs of the grounds for impeachment shall then
be presented against the Officer charged. The Officer shall present
his/her defense at that time.
e. The Presiding Officer during the trial shall be the Chair of the
f. Actual removal from office shall require a 2/3-majority vote of both
the entire Senate and Board. The “entire senate” is the number of
Senators holding office at that time and not the total number of
senate seats. However, if a Senator is absent they shall still be
counted in determining the two-thirds vote necessary to remove a
person from office. This is to indicate the serious nature of the
proceedings and strongly encourage that every elected Senator is
a. Any Executive Officer is subject to recall/removal by his/her
constituents (student body of TMCLS) under the following
i. Filing of a petition with signatures equaling one-fourth or
twenty-five percent of the persons represented by the
Executive Officer. The petition shall state grounds for the
recall request and the petition shall be filed with the
ii. A special recall election shall be held within two weeks of
the filing of such petition.
iii. A majority vote of the Official’s constituents is required for
removal of any Executive Officer.
B. Senators and Class Directors:
1. Impeachment and Removal: A Senator or Class Director may be
removed for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance. A Senator shall be
removed by a 2/3 vote of the Senate present provided that quorum has
been met. A Class Director may be removed by a 2/3 vote of the Board
present provided that quorum has been met. Prior to a vote being taken,
the one sought to be removed shall be notified of the allegations and have
the right to a hearing at the next scheduled meeting.
a. Any Senator or Class Director is subject to recall/removal by
his/her constituents (student body of TMCLS) under the following
i. Filing of a petition with signatures equaling one-fourth or
twenty-five percent of the persons represented by the
Senator or Class Director. The petition shall state grounds
for the recall request and the petition shall be filed with the
ii. A special recall election shall be held within two weeks of
the filing of such petition.
iii. A majority vote of the Senator or Director’s constituents is
required for removal of any Senator or Class Director.
A. Liability Insurance: The Board of Directors (“Board”) shall determine the
adequate amount of general liability insurance that the SBA shall maintain, taking
into consideration all of the events that the SBA shall sponsor during each fiscal
year. The Board may also approve special liability insurance as the need arises.
B. Fidelity Bonding: The SBA shall provide fidelity bonding in an amount
determined by the Board, which is adequate to insure protection for the SBA in
the event of, but not limited to, theft, embezzlement, and/or misappropriation of
funds. The Board shall inform the Senate, on the record, when the SBA becomes
C. Budget & Finance Committee: The Budget and Finance Committee (“BFC”) shall
consist of a Chairperson, who shall be a class director: the SBA Treasurer, as an
advisory member; and at least four senators. A BFC member who is a member of an
internal or external organization submitting a budget must disclose his or her
membership in that organization. That BFC member shall take no part in the
discussion of that organization’s budget proposal, unless requested to do so by the
1. Duties of the Committee Chairperson: Duties of the Committee
Chairperson are found in the Working Principles of the Committee
2. Duties of the Committee: The Committee shall compile and recommend a
proposed budget of the Student Bar Association, Inc.’s External and
Internal organizations. The Chairperson shall submit this budget to both
the Board and Senate no later than the eighth week of Michaelmas Term.
a. The Committee shall impose any and all sanctions that the
Committee deems appropriate to be taken against an organization
for non-compliance with the budget process.
b. The Committee shall assist the Treasurer with the preparation and
filing of any and all tax forms.
c. The Committee shall create and maintain a Working Principles
document to be used as a guideline in preparing the internal and
external budgets. The Working Principles will provide what
documentation organizations need to submit to the Committee. To
accommodate the changing nature of SBA revenues, the Working
Principles will remain flexible in regard to specific budget
consideration matters. All organizations shall receive a copy of the
Working Principles and Article XI of the SBA Bylaws to better assist
them in preparing their budgets.
d. The Committee shall perform all investigations of the financial
transactions of the SBA when so directed, and shall make their
findings known, in writing, to the Board.
3. Budget Packet Distribution: The Budget Request Packets will be
distributed by Week Eight of Trinity Term. The packet will include a copy
of the organization’s previous year’s budget allocation.
4. Preliminary Budget Meeting: The Committee will hold a Preliminary
Budget Meeting during week three of Michaelmas Term to answer
questions from organizations about the budgeting process.
5. Preliminary Budget Deliberation Process: Copies of the Budget Request
Package (“BRP”) must be submitted to the SBA Office no later than the
deadline authorized by the Budget & Finance Committee Chair. Failure to
submit the BRP by the due date and time may result in forfeiture of any
requested SBA funding. The preliminary deliberation process occurs at a
time after the BRPs are submitted and before the Budget Hearings. The
purpose of this deliberation is to provide the Committee members an
opportunity to discuss each budget request and each line item, giving
consideration to the SBA Bylaws and the Committee’s Working Principles.
The Committee has complete discretion to disregard any line item that is
improperly or incompletely prepared.
6. Budget Considerations: Budget considerations that the Committee will
apply in approving the organization’s budget requests are found in, but
not limited to, the SBA Bylaws and the Working Principles of the
7. Budget Hearings: The Budget Hearings shall be conducted during the
Seventh Week of Michaelmas Term. Each organization that submits a
budget may present its budget request and respond to Committee
questions at the hearing. No organization will be required to attend the
hearings unless requested to do so by the Committee. Any organization
which requests budgetary funding through the SBA, yet fails to properly or
completely prepare the necessary documentation, will have an
opportunity to do so at the hearing. However, the organization will have
to overcome a presumption that there is not justification for requesting
8. Power: Upon any request, by the Committee, organizations must submit:
a. All receipts, check stubs, work orders, or other documentation in
relation to the expenditure of organization funds; and/or
b. All ledgers, balance sheets, deposit receipts, bank passbooks,
checkbooks, or other documentation in relation to the
organization’s assets and liabilities; and/or
c. Any other relevant information relating to the organization’s
receipt, expenditure, or transfer of any organization funds; and/or
d. An inventory of items appropriated using SBA funds.
9. Upon a majority vote of the Committee, with the exception noted in 8(d),
failure of any organization to submit the above requested documentation
shall subject that organization to one or more of the following sanctions:
a. The request and receipt of the SBA funds for the following year will
b. The request and receipt of supplemental funding for the current
year will be denied;
c. The receipt of any funds budgeted but not yet received for the
current year will be denied;
d. Any other reasonable sanction supported by a majority vote of the
Committee and approved by a majority vote of the Board.
D. Budget Allocation: Total revenue from the Student Activity Fee will be allocated by
the SBA Budget & Finance Committee according to the following percentages:
1. 6.5% to a reserve fund for emergencies and long term projects;
2. 13.5% to The Pillar;
3. 10% for SBA Office functions;
4. 20% to non-academic activities, to include social and recreational
activities and sports clubs;
5. 50% allocated to academic related activities and events, promoting academic
achievement, professional development (including conventions [see § E, 2.]),
and leadership development activities.
E. Restrictions and Limitations:
1. The ultimate distribution of funds from the SBA to eligible requesting
organizations and upon the recommendation of the Committee to the
Board are subject to the following restrictions:
a. SBA activity fees will not be used for organization appreciation. This
includes, but is not limited to organizational certificates, appreciation
dinners, or founders’ plaques. However up to 10% of funds raised by
the Student Bar Association (sales of outlines, tapes, and exams and
other products and materials) during that term, may be used for the
purchase of appreciation gifts, certificates, dinners and plaques only
after fiscal review by the Budget and Finance Director and a
concurring recommendation by the Budget and Finance Director and
the Treasurer to the Senate for a simple majority approval by the
b. No student activity fee will be used to purchase alcohol;
c. SBA funds will not be used to support fund raisers or an event that
an organization holds that is primarily to make money for the
organization’s operating budget;
d. SBA funds will not be used to support any organization that fails to
comply with Committee procedures; and
e. SBA funds will not be used to pay any national dues, membership
fees, or incorporation fees.
2. In order for an organization to receive continuing financial support for
conventions, the following convention reporting conditions must be
a. An article in The Pillar outlining information from the convention
must be submitted by the second Pillar deadline after the
b. A presentation to the sponsoring group must be scheduled for the
first meeting after the convention and the faculty advisor must sign
a statement that a presentation did occur;
c. A presentation to the SBA Senate must be scheduled for the first
meeting after the convention;
e. The “Convention Check List” must be submitted to the SBA Office
no later than three days after requirements a-c have been
These provisions will be administered by the SBA Public Relations
Committee. The penalty for not complying with the convention reporting
requirements will be denial of convention funding for the next budget
3. All budgeted money not used in the allocated year will not be carried over
into the next year pursuant to Provision C (8) of this Article unless
reasonable, special circumstances are present. This proposal must be
presented to the Budget & Finance Committee and approved by a majority
vote of the Board.
4. The use of SBA funds for those restricted activities in this provision will
subject the organization, if in violation, to sanctions by the committee
pursuant to Provision C (9) of this Article.
F. Budget Enactment:
1. Board Approval: The Board shall approve an annual budget during the
Eighth Week of Michaelmas Term. Upon approval by the Board, the
proposed budget shall be put forth to the Senate.
2. Senate Approval: The Senate shall then either approve or disapprove the
a. Approval: Upon approval by a simple majority of the Senate, the
budget shall be forwarded to the Budget Review Panel.
b. Disapproval: If the budget is not approved by a simple majority of
the Senate, the budget shall be voted on line-by-line.
(1) If the Senate approves a particular line by a simple majority,
there will be no discussion on that line.
(2) If the Senate fails to approve a particular line item by a
simple majority, a new motion must be brought and
seconded to allow for discussion of that line item.
(3) After discussion of a particular line item the Senate shall
then vote on that line item.
(a) Approval: Upon approval of a particular line item by
a simple majority, the Senate will consider the next
(b) Disapproval: Upon disapproval by a simple majority,
the SBA President shall appoint a special committee
consisting of the disapproving majority who shall put
forth a written proposal to the Board by the next
Board meeting. The proposal must consist of
language remedying the faults in the line item. The
Board, upon the recommendation of the Committee
Chairperson, shall vote without an amendment by a
simple majority whether to accept the proposal. If
the Board does not accept the proposal, then the line
item will be deleted from that Term’s budget. Failure
to submit the written proposal shall result in that line
item being passed as stated on the proposed budget.
(4) If the vote on either the entire budget or the line-by-line
budget results in a tie, it will be deemed to be a simple
3. Budget Review Panel Approval: Once the budget is approved by the
Board and the Senate, it will be forwarded to the Budget Review Panel.
a. The Panel will be composed of 1 dean, 2 faculty members, and 3
students. The students shall be chosen by the SBA President, SBA
Treasurer, and the SBA Budget & Finance Director. One student
must be from the Student Support and Retention Committee. The
other two students shall be chosen from the student body at-large.
The student members shall be approved by a 2/3 vote of the
b. The purpose of the Panel is to ensure that the budget allocation is
consistent with the purpose of the SBA.
c. The Panel shall review and vote on the budget during Week Nine of
d. Approval of the budget requires a simple majority vote of the entire
Panel. If the Panel fails to approve the budget, it shall give reasons
for its disapproval and suggestions for appropriate allocations.
4. If the Panel fails to approve the budget, a joint meeting of the Board,
Senate, and Panel shall be held during the Tenth Week of Michaelmas
Term. The final budget must be approved by a simple majority of each
group (i.e. Board, Senate, and Budget Review Panel).
5. The Budget & Finance Committee has the discretion to determine what is
an appropriate expenditure. However, the Board retains the right to
overrule the Budget & Finance Committee’s decision by a 2/3 majority
G. Accounting Principles:
1. The SBA will review accounting software to allow for more extensive
reports to be generated.
2. Line-item monthly statements will be generated and distributed to every
organization receiving money from the SBA.
3. A designee of the Assistant Dean of Students Office will enter account data
into the software file and review all transaction statements.
4. No reimbursements, advances, or reallocations will be accomplished
without receipts, vendor contracts, price quotes, cancelled check
indicating for organization use, or other appropriate documentation.
5. The procedures for collecting money will include provisions for receipts
and use of the cash register according to the guidelines established by the
Student Services Committee of the SBA.
7. Each day, the SBA Office Administrator or designee will reconcile the cash
register and deposit the money into the office safe.
H. Bank Accounts: The SBA shall maintain a principal bank account as approved by
the Board. A credit union share draft account may be used as the principal bank
I. Disbursement Resolution: At each weekly meeting of the Board, the Treasurer
shall present a disbursement request (“transaction report”) to the Board for
approval. The transaction report shall contain:
The payee to whom the disbursement is to be made;
The purpose of the disbursement;
The account to which the disbursement is to be charged;
The amount of the disbursement; and
Acknowledgment of the receipt by the Treasurer.
1. No withdrawal from draft upon the primary SBA account maintained by
the SBA shall be made without prior Board approval.
2. Notwithstanding the above provisions, the SBA shall maintain an interest
account. The exact amount of this account will be set by the Board, and is
to be reimbursed by appropriate resolution pursuant to Provision L. The
SBA Treasurer and the Budget & Finance Director shall have authority to
disburse funds from this account for emergency situations without Board
approval, subject to ratification by the Board.
K. Inability to Submit Timely Reimbursement Requests: If an organization fails
to submit its requests for reimbursement by the deadline designated by the
Treasurer, the organization will not be reimbursed unless a representative from
the organization appears at the Board meeting prior to the deadline date for the
current Term, or at the first Board meeting of the following Term, to explain why
the reimbursement request cannot be submitted until the following Term. The
Board may approve the delayed reimbursement request, or approve some other
arrangement for payment. Further requirements for reimbursement requests are
contained in Provision R of this Article.
L. Cash Handling: Only the Executive Officers of the SBA or an employee of the
School specially designated by the School, shall be authorized to receive cash of
more than $50.00 on behalf of the SBA and give receipts thereof. No person shall
be authorized to disburse SBA funds in cash, except with the permission of the
SBA President and Treasurer.
L. Contract Authorization Resolution: No person shall be authorized to incur any
obligation or enter into any contract on behalf of the SBA without the prior
authorization by a resolution of the Board. The resolution shall specify:
1. The name of the vendor;
2. The purpose of the undertaking;
3. The account to which the disbursement, when made, will be charged;
4. The name of the officer or agent of the SBA empowered to act on its behalf;
5. The amount of the obligation authorized.
M. Supplemental Funding: can be requested for either: (1) funds in excess of the
budgeted amount; (2) unforeseen budget needs; or (3) failure to request a
budget. A request for supplemental funding must first be presented to the Budget
& Finance Director and at his or her discretion, may authorize supplemental
funds, not in excess of $300. The discretionary power is limited to a one time
approval by the Director and shall be exercised once per internal/external
organizations during a term. A supplemental funding request in excess of $300
by an executive internal organization will be presented to the Budget and Finance
Director for preliminary review and recommendation by the Budget and Finance
Director must be presented to the board for approval by 2/3 vote. A
supplemental funding request in excess of $300 by an internal or external
organization must be presented to the Budget and Finance Director for
preliminary review and the Director shall make a recommendation to the Budget
& Finance Committee for approval or disapproval. In special circumstances, and
at the discretion of the Budget & Finance Director, requests for supplemental
funding in excess of $300 must be presented to the Board of Directors for
approval. This power shall be at the sole discretion of the Budget & Finance
1. No supplemental funding from the SBA in excess of $300 shall be granted
a. A request for such amount has been reviewed by the Budget &
Finance Director and the Budget & Finance Committee;
b. The request for Supplemental Funding shall be made by a
representative of the requesting organization at a Budget & Finance
Committee meeting at a time designated by the Budget & Finance
c. The request shall be specific and reasonable in nature for any single
2. The Budget & Finance Committee, only after full evaluation of the
supplemental request and upon a recommendation by the Budget and
Finance Director, shall vote to either approve or disapprove the request by
a 2/3 vote. The Director may inform the Board of the Committee’s
recommendation to determine what is reasonable. The Board may
override the Committee’s decision on any supplemental request by a 2/3
majority vote with the recommendation of the Budget & Finance Director.
a. A request for such amount has been approved by the Board, after
making a funding of special necessity, by a 2/3 majority vote.
b. The request for supplemental funding shall be made by a
representative of the requesting organization at a meeting of the
3. Supplemental Funding may be provided for newly chartered organizations
that were chartered after the yearly budget allocations.
a. The newly chartered organization will be required to present to the
Board of Directors, an approximation of their expenses and events
in writing for the semester in which supplemental funding is
b. Supplemental Funding for the newly chartered organization shall
not exceed $250.00 for each term
c. The Supplemental Funding request must meet the guidelines as
enumerated in items 1 and 2 of this section.
4. Supplemental Funding may be provided for the two classes that will
sponsor the “Half-Way Party.”
a. Supplemental Funding for the “Half-Way Party” shall not exceed
$800.00 in total for the event, including catering, entertainment,
rental facilities, taxi service and any and all other costs incurred.
b. The Supplemental Funding request must meet the guidelines as
enumerated in items 1 and 2 of this section.
N. Cash Advances:
1. Internal and External organizations may obtain cash advances from the
SBA based upon need and/or special circumstances. Any request for a
cash advance must be reviewed by the Committee Chair and SBA
Treasurer prior to presentation to the Board for approval. The cash
advance must be approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the Board.
2. The organization requesting the cash advance must demonstrate in its
request that the cash advance will come from their budget for the Term.
3. No organization is automatically entitled to receive a cash advance from
the SBA. Approval of a cash advance is discretionary and dependent upon
the available funds budgeted to the organization.
O. Return of SBA Monies Already Dispensed:
1. A funded organization, upon Termination of an event or function funded
by SBA money, shall return unused funds to the Treasurer accompanied by
proper, substantiated receipts of all monies spent.
2. If the funded organization has no funds to return, the organization shall
forward to the Treasurer receipts for all monies spent pursuant to
Provision L of this Article.
P. Sanctions: In the event that the procedures outlined in this Article are not
followed, the Senate shall be informed, by the Treasurer and the Budget &
Finance Committee Chair, of the circumvention. The Treasurer and the
Chairperson shall recommend the appropriate action to the Senate. In the event
money has been in any way mismanaged, embezzled, or fraudulently obtained,
and the perpetrator is a member of the SBA, as an Officer, Board member, or a
Senator, the Treasurer shall recommend their immediate dismissal from office. If
the perpetrator is an organization or one of its members, sanctions may also
include suspension of an organization’s funding for a period of time, or other such
sanctions as determined by the Committee Chair and the Treasurer, and
approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the Board including, but not limited to,
reporting the perpetrator(s) to the Dean of Students with a request that the
student be charged with an Honor Code or Disciplinary Code Violation.
Q. Treasurer and Budget and Finance Director Violations: If it is found that the
Treasurer is guilty of any infractions of the above section, he or she shall be
subject to the same penalties with the recommendation coming from the Budget
and Finance Director. If the Budget and Finance Director is guilty of any
infractions of the above section, he or she shall be subject to the same penalties
with the recommendation coming from the Treasurer.
R. Duties of the Treasurer: All SBA related expenses and/or financial
correspondence is to be handled by the SBA Treasurer.
1. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining financial statements
each Term that shall consist of the following:
a. a general ledger;
b. an accounts journal;
c. an income statement; and
d. a balance sheet.
2. Financial Correspondence: A listing of cash and/or checks received shall be
prepared under the supervision of the Treasurer. The listing of the cash
receipts shall include the name, amount, discount taken, invoice number,
date, and total of all receipts.
3. Endorsement of Checks: In situations where cash receipts are received
directly by the SBA, checks shall be restrictively endorsed immediately.
4. Bank Deposits: All cash sales and check remittances shall be deposited
within a reasonable amount of time during the academic term by either the
SBA Vice-President or SBA Secretary.
5. Reconciliation: Records of cash receipts and summaries shall be compared
to deposit slips and bank statements by the SBA Budget & Finance Director
and the SBA President each month.
6. Summarize Cash Receipts: Records of cash receipts shall be summarized
and totals documented in the cash receipts journal.
7. Disbursements from Bank Account: Checks and bank transfers shall be
prepared based on the determination that the transaction is valid and is in
accordance with the following SBA procedures:
a. A determination that the transaction is valid shall be accomplished by
reviewing the following supporting documentation as applicable:
ii. check requisitions; and
All supporting documentation shall be signed by a responsible
official indicating proper authorization.
b. Checks and bank transfers shall be designed or completed in such a
way to make subsequent unauthorized alteration difficult through
the use of protective paper, check imprint, and so on.
c. The following procedures shall be prohibited:
i. checks made payable to “bearer” or “cash”;
ii. checks signed in blank; or
iii. altered checks and bank transfers.
8. Check Signing: Checks shall be signed by the SBA Treasurer and SBA
President. In the event that one of the above is not available, the SBA
Office Administrator will have the power to sign checks. The Treasurer
shall have no vote in the approval of the weekly transaction reports.
9. Maintenance of Check Control Log: A separate record of checks being
processed shall be maintained by using a computer program and check
control log capable of containing:
a. the sequence of checks issued;
b. the name of the person to whom the checks are issued;
c. the date the issue was made;
d. the signature of the custodian in charge of the supply of unissued
e. if applicable, the sequence of checks returned and/or voided; and
f. the signature of the person who has returned voided or unused
10. Check Supply Storage: Supplies of unissued checks shall be properly
safeguarded in the SBA office.
11. Summarize Cash Disbursements: All checks and bank transfers shall be
summarized and recorded in the appropriate books of original entry,
including the accounts journal and the general ledger.
S. Taxation Matters: The Treasurer shall have the proper tax forms prepared for
tax purposes. A local accounting firm shall be retained to assist the Treasurer in
the preparation of these necessary tax forms. The Treasurer and accountant,
with assistance from the Chairperson, shall work together to compile the tax
return and the year end financial statements.
T. Licensing: The Treasurer and Secretary shall be responsible for ensuring that all
of the requirements regarding the Articles of Incorporation for the SBA in the
state of Michigan are followed.
U. Charities/Scholarships: The President Thomas E. Brennan Student Leadership
Scholarship (“Scholarship”) shall be allocated from The Thomas M. Cooley Law
School Student Bar Association annual budget. The Scholarship is a minimum of
$1,000.00. There will be a minimum of three (3) scholarships awarded each year.
It will be allocated according to the four-tier system. The first tier will be taken
from the excess funds of the remaining annual budget. The second tier will be
taken from the designated investment account. The third tier will be taken from
the President Thomas E. Brennan Student Leadership Scholarship account and
the fourth tier will be taken from the SBA Reserve fund. Funding for the
scholarship will be first taken out of the excess funds of the annual budget. If the
funds are not available from the annual budget, it will then be taken out of the
Investments Account. If the funds are not available from the Investments
Account, it will be taken out of the Scholarship Account. Finally, if the funds are
not available from the Scholarship Account, it will be taken out of the SBA
Reserve Account. It shall be awarded annually at the Hilary Term Honor’s
Convocation; thus the monies from the annual budget will already be allocated
from the prior term. The “scholarship” is governed by the rules of the Thomas M.
Cooley Law School Student Bar Association Bylaws and in accordance with the
Budget and Finance Committee’s Annual Budget Working Principles.
1. The Budget and Finance Committee’s Responsibility: The Budget and
Finance Committee will be responsible for allocating the appropriate
funds to provide for the scholarship at the end of Michaelmas Term. The
Budget and Finance Committee must consider all necessary expenditures,
financial responsibilities and tax consequences before designating the
appropriate funds for the scholarship.
2. Funding: Funding for the scholarship will be allocated from the excess
funds remaining in the annual budget during Michaelmas Term. If the
funds are not available it will be then taken out of the Investments
Account. However, if the funds are not available from the Investments
Account then it will be taken out of the Scholarship Account. Finally, if the
funds are not available, it will be taken out of the Reserve Account. This
determination must be made by the Budget and Finance Committee no
later than week 13 of Michaelmas Term.
3. The Scholarship Committee: A deciding committee consisting of the
Student Bar Association Treasurer, Budget and Finance Director, one ABA
member, one member of the Pillar, one faculty advisor and two members
of the general student body shall be created. This committee will review
the “two page” personal statements of all the perspective candidates. All
non-appointed positions will be posted in the Pillar and approved by the
Senate. All positions will remain anonymous. These positions will be held
annually. This committee will be provided with a “working principles” to
guide the decision making process.
4. Prospective Students: All students are eligible for this scholarship. The
scholarship puts an emphasis on leadership skills, the same skills
President Brennan exemplified when founding Thomas M. Cooley Law
School. It takes into consideration all extracurricular activities (in terms
of responsibilities and extent of involvement both inside and outside the
academic realm), and requires a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA. All
students will be held to the standards of Honor Code system.
5. Application Requirements: All students will be asked to complete a
maximum of a two page personal statement. The statement will be
submitted only with the student’s personal student number. This will be
done in efforts to make the decision making process as fair as possible.
Notice of the scholarship will be posted during week 4 of Hilary term.
Applications will be made available to the student body in the SBA Office
and Career Service Office. The deadline to submit the scholarship will be
Monday of week 8. This deadline will be strictly enforced and no
accommodations will be made. The Scholarship Committee will make
their final decision by week 10. Announcement of the scholarship
recipient will be awarded at the Hilary Term Honors Convocation.
V. Fiscal Matters Concerning External Organizations:
1. Spending Approval: All external organizational spending (at a minimum)
must be presented and approved by an executive board consisting of a
President or the like, a Vice-president or the like and a Secretary and a
2. Negotiable Instruments: Upon proper approval of all spending, all checks
written by an organization must provide two unlike signatures on each
check. One of the Signatures must be the Treasurer. In the absence of the
Treasurer the check must be signed by the President and the Vice-president
only after the general membership have approved the expenditure. The
President or the like, Vice-President or the like and Treasurer must be the
signatories on the account. No account may be created without the approval
of the executive board and full disclosure of the account and its purpose to
the general body of the organization and to the Budget and Finance Director
and the Treasurer of the SBA. No external organization or the pillar or the
ABA may possess or otherwise utilize bank cards, credit cards or debit cards
or any other type of check cards or the like. All cash taken by any
organization must be recorded on a ledger which is to be kept on accounting
software and deposits of cash must be made by either the Treasurer or the
Vice-President or the like.
3. Monthly Reports: All external organizations and the American Bar
Association and the Pillar must submit an organizational financial
transaction report and a current organizational bank statement for that
month. The transaction reports and bank statements will be due on the
fifteenth day of the following month. The transaction report should include
(but is not limited to) all cash received, all checks received and all monies
paid out and to and from whom respectively and for what purpose.
4. Absence of a complete Executive Board: In the absence of a complete
executive board, the present officers must present all potential expenditures
to the general membership for two-thirds approval. The organizational
minutes must reflect the approval method.
EXTERNAL GROUPS and MEETINGS
A. Purpose: In recognition of the importance of maintaining an active dialogue
between the SBA and each of the external groups, a mandatory Preparatory
Budget Meeting, and regular meetings are being created.
B. Representatives: Each external group shall have at least one SBA Member as an
active member of their External Group. In addition, an External Group shall
become incorporated, shall have Bylaws, and at least three officers serving on its
own Executive Board.
1. Mandatory Preparatory Budget Meeting: The Chair of the Budget &
Finance Committee shall organize and conduct the meeting. The Chair
shall notify each group of the date of the meeting by the second day of that
term. The notice shall be in writing and placed in the group’s mailbox in
the SBA Office and be placed on the bulletin board outside the SBA Office.
2. Regular Meetings: The SBA President may hold regular meetings at
his/her discretion. Notices shall be provided in the same manner
provided above, not less than one week prior to the meeting to effectuate
the mandatory attendance requirement.
3. Student Bar Association Senate Meetings: Each external group shall
attend one Senate meeting per semester.
a. All organizations shall submit a written report, for the purpose of
accountability and attendance, and present an oral report, NOT to
exceed two (2) minutes.
b. All organizations are required to sign up for a senate meeting at the
required social calendar meeting:
i. Each Senate meeting will be limited to five (5) organizations
submitting and presenting their respective reports.
ii. Failure to sign up for a Senate meeting for that semester, at
the social calendar meeting, will result in forfeiture of funds
for that semester.
1. Attendance: When any group fails to attend a mandatory meeting, the
group may forfeit 100% of its budget request. This is at the discretion of
the Budget & Finance Committee.
2. Any group who misses two or more meetings in one term shall have their
chapter revoked. The group must go through the procedures set forth for
starting a chapter to have their chapter reinstated.
3. An absence may be excused at the sole discretion of the Budget & Finance
Chair if the missed meeting is the Mandatory Preparatory Budget Meeting
or at the sole discretion of the SBA President if the missed meeting is a
4. Any dispute arising out of these procedures shall be resolved by a 2/3 vote
of the Board upon recommendation of the Vice-President of the SBA.
CHARTERING OF EXTERNAL STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
A. Obtaining A Charter: Any external student organization that seeks to gain the
sanction and support, financial and otherwise, of the SBA, must obtain a charter
from the Senate.
1. The founders of an organization must contact the Michigan Department of
Consumer and Industry Services to obtain forms for filing Articles of
Incorporation. The phone number is (517) 373-1820. Articles of
Incorporation must be filed with the Department of Consumer and
2. The founders must contact the Internal Revenue Service for an application
request for an Employer Identification Number (SS-4 Form). A request
must be completed and sent to the IRS in Cincinnati, OH 45999 (or call 1-
800-829-1040). A number will be assigned and sent to the founders of the
3. The founder must draft Bylaws which should include at least:
a. The name and purpose of the organization;
b. Membership and dues description;
c. Scheduling of meetings and how they are to be conducted;
d. Description of Officers, their duties and their qualifications;
e. Procedure for Amendments to the Bylaws; and
f. Procedure for Impeaching Officers.
4. The organization must contact the SBA President, so that the issue of
chartering a new organization may be put on the agenda of the Senate
meeting. At the Senate meeting, the founders shall have a representative
present to make an oral presentation to the Senate as to its purpose and
goals and be prepared to answer questions about the organization’s
purpose, finances and other relevant questions. The Senate shall then
determine, by the usual method of motion, debate and vote, and by any
criteria or procedures it may in the future adopt, whether SBA support of
the organization is in the best interest of the student body and should,
therefore, be granted a charter. The founders will need a majority vote of
the Senate in order to receive its approval for chartering of the new
B. Granting a Charter:
1. After approval, the SBA will provide the new organization with a three-
ring binder. All the above-mentioned documents must be kept in this
binder on file in the SBA Office. Copies of the minutes of all meetings and a
list of activities that the organization is planning or has done in the past
must also be kept in this file.
2. The organization will be assigned a mailbox in the SBA Office. Notices
from the SBA’s internal committees and any outside information sent to
the organization will be placed in this mailbox.
3. The organization will be required to draft a budget each year. The Budget &
Finance Committee requests that at least 50% of an organization’s finances
are provided by the organization itself. At the conclusion of the budgeting
process, each organization will be required to submit the dates of their major
events for the budget year to the Budget and Finance Director.
4. Each organization must do the following:
a. Submit the following information to the SBA Office Administrator by
January 15, when changes occur, when an organization is newly
chartered or re-chartered:
1. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least four
2. Signature from a faculty or staff member agreeing to serve as
3. Organization’s official constitution/bylaws (used for
4. Signed statement, which is provided by the SBA, agreeing to
abide by the School’s anti-discrimination policy; and
5. Signed statement, which is provided by the SBA, agreeing to
abide by the established accounting procedures.
b. The financial officer of each organization must attend a training
session (organized by the SBA Treasurer and the Associate Dean of
Enrollment and Student Services) before disbursement of funds can
c. The president or chairperson(s) of each organization must attend a
training session (organized by the Associate Dean of Enrollment and
Student Services) on running an organization and organizational
d. Each organization must have a faculty or staff advisor.
C. Effect: The granting of a charter shall be effective immediately and shall remain
in effect until the fourth week of Michaelmas Term when the Senate will
authorize renewals. Upon the renewal of a charter, the charter will be effective
for a period of one year subject to the annual review by the Senate. The granting
of a charter will give an organization eligibility to submit a request for financial
support to the Budget & Finance Committee. The Budget & Finance Committee
shall recommend an allocation for any chartered group based on the group’s
needs; the constraints of the overall SBA budget; and the internal procedures of
D. Renewal of Charters: The charters of all student organizations shall be eligible
for renewal by the Board on an annual basis. The Board shall address the
renewal of all charters no later than the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. It shall
be the responsibility of the Board to renew charters, and no organization’s
charter will lapse by failure of the Board to act. Charters shall be renewed by a
simple majority vote of a quorum of the Board It shall be the responsibility of the
chartered organization to renew their Articles of Incorporation annually with the
State of Michigan. If the Board fails to renew a charter, the group in question may
make a presentation to the Board in support of its renewal. This procedure shall
be set in motion annually by the Vice-President of the SBA.
E. Revocation of Charters: The Senate may at any time revoke the charter of a
student organization if the Senate shall determine that the organization in
question fails to serve the best interest of the student body or fails to meet any
criteria the Senate may adopt for a chartered organization. Upon a motion in the
Senate, and a majority vote of a quorum, the organization in question shall be
given notice and an opportunity to be heard at the next regular Senate meeting.
Thereafter, upon a vote of 2/3 of the Senate the organization’s charter shall be
F. Re-Chartering: Any organization whose application for initial charter has been
denied; or whose charter renewal has been denied; or whose charter has been
duly revoked, may reapply for charter under the terms of §§ A and B of this
Article in the term following the aforementioned rejection.
G. Appeal: Should the proposed organization fail to obtain a charter from the
Senate, its members may cause a referendum of the student body to be held in
accordance with the following procedures. The proposed organization must
obtain a petition of thirty student signatures calling for a referendum. Upon
presentation of the petition to the SBA, the Elections Committee shall hold a
referendum at its discretion but no later than three (3) weeks after the filing of
the petition. Voting will be held for two (2) consecutive days and may be held in
conjunction with a general election if circumstances so permit. In order to be
successful on appeal, the results of the referendum must be that the affirmative
votes are in the majority and that the total affirmative votes number at least five
percent (5%) of the registered student body. Upon the achievement of such a
result the organization shall be granted a charter.
H. Grandfather: Any organization which was supported by the SBA as of the
approval of the final budget for Michaelmas Term 1989, is automatically
chartered by the adoption of this Article and is subjected to the renewal
procedure under § D of this Article.
These Bylaws may be amended at any Senate and Joint Board Meetings. The
amendment procedure to be used by both bodies is:
1. Upon one week notice to the Senate and the Joint Board, an amendment may be made to
a. Less than one week notice is allowed if notice is given at a joint meeting of the Senate
2. The amendment must be in writing, include the modifications to the Bylaws which are
required by the proposed amendment, and include the rationale for the changes. The
Resolution format is strongly recommended.
3. Discussion is controlled by the chair for the body to debate and perfect the resolution.
4. The chair may allow a question and answer format of the debate with a sponsor of the
amendment when it is believed to be more productive.
5. The resolution must pass by a 2/3 majority of the Joint Board and Senate.
6. Scope of notice: consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order, a bylaw amendment may not
exceed its scope of notice.
REFERENCE TO OTHER DOCUMENTS
Incorporation by Reference: The Pillar Bylaws, The Judicial Board Bylaws and Thomas
M. Cooley Honor Code are hereby incorporated by Reference into these Bylaws and shall
have the same effect as these Bylaws.
HONOR CODE, DISCRIMINATION & SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
A. Honor Code Policy: The SBA fully supports the application of the Thomas M.
Cooley Law School Student Honor Code. Any process of procedure set forth in
these Bylaws shall also be subject to the provisions of the Honor Code.
B. Discrimination Policy: The SBA condemns discrimination on the basis of race,
sex, national origin, religion, age, handicap, sexual orientation, or gender identity
and will tolerate none by any student, officer, or group. Any student who believes
that s/he is a victim of discrimination should submit a report in writing to the
SBA President and describe the incident(s) within sixty (60) days of its alleged
occurrence. In the event the complaint identifies the SBA President as the alleged
discriminator, the complaint shall be filed with the SBA Vice-President.
Complaint procedures will be administered in the same manner as the Thomas M.
Cooley Law School’s Sexual Harassment Policy with reference to the Dean
substituted with the SBA President.
C. Sexual Harassment: The SBA condemns sexual harassment of students, faculty,
and staff. The class representative should immediately report any allegations of
sexual harassment to the Dean. The class representative shall keep the identity of
complainant and any and all information obtained absolutely confidential.
Breach of confidentiality shall result in, at an absolute minimum, removal from
office. [See Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Sexual Harassment Policy for more
DEATH CONTRIBUTION POLICY
A. Should a current or immediate-past member of the Thomas M. Cooley faculty,
administration, staff, or an enrolled student die, the Board, with approval by 2/3
of the Senate present at a regularly scheduled meeting, shall have the authority to
approve, the following:
1. If a memorial fund has been set up in the name of the deceased, any
amount up to $150.00 should be donated to said fund on behalf of the SBA;
2. If the family has designated a charity for donations, up to $150.00 should
be donated to said charity on behalf of the SBA; or
3. Up to $150.00 worth of flowers should be sent to the family of the
deceased on behalf of the SBA; or
4. If, by majority vote of both the Board and the Senate Body, the above
suggestions are deemed inappropriate, both the Board and Senate may
fund up to $150.00 for such other means as deemed appropriate. These
other means must be approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the members
present at a regularly schedule meeting (i.e. candlelight vigil, scholarship,
B. Should an immediate family member (includes only: a parent, spouse, child,
brother or sister) of a current member of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School
faculty, administration, or student die, the Board, with approval of the Senate,
shall have the authority to approve, by majority vote of the members present at
regularly scheduled meeting, the following:
1. If a memorial fund has been set up in the name of the deceased, up to
$150.00 donation should be given to said fund; or
2. If the family has designated a charity for donations to go to, up to $150.00
should be given to said charity; or
3. Up to $150.00 worth of flowers should be sent to the deceased family on
behalf of the SBA.
C. Should the Board deem it necessary to make a contribution to a party not
mentioned above, a $50.00 limit shall be imposed, and it will require the approval
of 2/3 of both the Board and the Senate at a regularly scheduled meeting.
D. Should the above measures fail to produce a favorable result, a card shall be sent
on behalf of the SBA, unless there is a general consensus not to do as such.
Bylaw Interpretations: Rules Committee
A. Grievance defined:
1. A “grievance” within this article means:
a.) A situation where the Senate, the Board of Directors, the SBA Executive
Board, or an SBA Internal or External organization seeks interpretation of a
bylaw, that they feel the Senate, the Board of Directors, the SBA Executive
Board, or an SBA Internal or External organization has misinterpreted or
B. Purpose: A grievance can be heard by either the Rules Committee by following the
procedures set forth in this article or the Judicial Board by following the procedures set
forth in the Judicial Board Bylaws. This article is not intended to be a mandatory step prior
to a Judicial Board hearing; this article is merely an option for the Senate, Board of
Directors, Executive Board, or an SBA Internal or External organization to pursue.
1. This article will be applicable to all situations that involve the interpretation of
the SBA bylaws except fiscal matters that touch and concern Articles IV, V, VI,
2. This article will not be used to interpret the Judicial Board Bylaws.
C. Filing a Complaint: Grievances can only be filed during SBA office hours when Thomas
M. Cooley is in session and no later than week nine of an academic term. The grieving party
will fill out the appropriate form, which can be found in the SBA office titled “Grievance
Form”. The grieving party will hand the grievance form to the SBA Office Manager or their
replacement in the SBA office, and the SBA Office Manager or their replacement will record
the date and time the moment they receive the grievance form. The SBA Office Manager
will then place the grievance form into the designated lock box. The Rules Director will
determine whether to approve of the grievance according to section D of this article. The
Rules Committee must serve the opposing party within seventy-two (72) hours of the time
that the grievance form was filed in the SBA office.
1. The Senate requires a 2/3 vote to bring a grievance against the Board of
Directors, the SBA Executive Board or an SBA Internal or External Organization.
The Senate does not need the Board of Director’s approval to file a grievance. This
article will not remove or infringe upon the Senate’s power enumerated in Article V
of the Judicial Board Bylaws.
2. The Board of Directors require a 2/3 vote to bring a grievance against the Senate,
the SBA Executive Board or an SBA Internal or External Organization. The Board of
Directors does not need the Senate’s approval to file a grievance. This article will
not remove or infringe upon the Board of Director’s power enumerated in Article V
of the Judicial Board Bylaws.
3. The SBA Executive Board requires a 2/3 vote to bring a grievance against either
the Senate the Board of Directors or an SBA Internal or External Organization. The
SBA Executive Board does not need the Senate or the Board’s approval to file a
grievance. This article will not remove or infringe upon the SBA President’s power
enumerated in Article V of the Judicial Board Bylaws.
4. In the case of a grievance that any SBA External Organization has
a.) against any other SBA External Organization, the grievance will be
handed to the SBA Office Manager or their replacement in the SBA office
during SBA office hours while Cooley is in session. The SBA Office Manager
will then follow the procedures in section B of this article; OR
b.) if the grievance is against the SBA Executive Board, the Board of
Directors, the Senate or an SBA Internal Organization, the complaint will be
handed to the SBA Office Manager or their replacement in the SBA office
during SBA office hours while Cooley is in session. The SBA Office Manager
will then follow the procedures in section B of this article.
5. In the case of a grievance that any SBA Internal Organization has
a.) against any other SBA Internal Organization, the grievance will be
handed to the SBA Office Manager or their replacement in the SBA office
during SBA office hours while Cooley is in session. The SBA Office Manager
will then follow the procedures in section B of this article; OR
b.) if the grievance is against the SBA Executive Board, the Board of
Directors, the Senate or an SBA External Organization, the complaint will be
handed to the SBA Office Manager or their replacement in the SBA office
during SBA office hours while Cooley is in session. The SBA Office Manager
will then follow the procedures in section B of this article.
D. Response: Once a party has been served, they will have seven (7) days from the date of
their next meeting to file a response with the Rules Director. If the grieving party is not
satisfied with the detail of the grievance form they can submit a brief to the Rules Director
by following section C(2) of this article. If a brief is filed, the Rules Director will provide a
copy of the brief to the opposing organization. The brief cannot amend the grievance in
any way. If the grievance has been amended the Rules Committee will disregard any new
1. In the event that an organization meets bi-weekly or once a month or any other
pattern of meetings that are beyond meeting once a week, that organization will
have ten (10) days to file their response from the date of service of process.
2. Responses and Briefs shall be sent directly to the Rules Director student e-mail
account with the subject heading “PENDING GRIEVANCE”.
3. In the event that no response is filed, the Rules Committee reserves the right to
rule on the merits after a hearing according to section E of this article.
E. Frivolous Procedures
1. After reviewing the grievance form, the Rules Director will make a preliminary
review and recommendation of the grievance, by either approval or disapproval, in
order to determine if the grievance is legitimate and within the powers of the Rules
Committee to hear.
a.) If the grievance is approved, the Rules Director will proceed according to
the committees working principles and the procedures of this article.
b.) If the grievance is disapproved, the Rules Director will present the
grievance, with the recommendation, to the Rules Committee by calling a
special meeting. The Committee will then vote to either approve or
disapprove by a 2/3 vote to hear the grievance.
i.) If approved by the committee, they will proceed according
to the committee’s working principles and the procedures in
ii.) If disapproved by the committee, the grieving party will be
notified that the grievance form will not be heard by the Rules
Committee within twenty-four (24) hours of this meeting.
a. It is the duty of the Rules Director to inform the
grieving party that the grievance will not be heard
by the Rules Committee.
b. In this instance, the Rules Director does not need to
give an explanation as to why the Rules Committee
will not hear the grievance.
F. Hearings: The Rules Director will schedule a hearing within three (3) days of receiving
the response or in the event that no response was filed, three (3) days from the deadline to
file a response.
1. In the event that a party did not file a response with the Rules Director prior to a
hearing, that party will still be heard at the hearing.
2. Where a party does not show up to a hearing, the party that does appear will still
be heard, and the Rules Committee reserves the right to rule on the merits.
3. No more than four (4) members from either party will be permitted to attend the
hearing, and one member will be appointed by the party as the spokesperson. The
other attending members can confer with the spokesperson throughout the
deliverance of their case, but will not be permitted to address the Rules Committee
4. Length of Hearing and Procedures
a.) There is no subpoena power.
b.) First the complainant will have 20 minutes to present any information to
be considered, including calling witnesses.
c.) The respondent will then have 20 minutes to present any information to
be considered, including calling witnesses.
d.) The complainant will then have 10 minutes to question the respondent
and her witnesses.
e.) The respondent will then have 10 minutes to question the complainants
and their witnesses.
f.) The respondent will then have the opportunity to make a 5 minute closing
statement (no new testimony can be submitted at this time).
g.) The complainants will then have the opportunity to make a 5 minute
closing statement (no new testimony can be submitted at this time).
h.) The Rules Committee will then have twenty (20) minutes (ten (10)
minutes for each side) to question the parties.
a.) The Rules Director will inform both parties of the Rules Committee’s
holding accompanied with a brief description of the reasoning.
b.) The Rules Director will use the Thomas M. Cooley e-mail address of the
parties as found on the grievance form to notify the parties of the holding.
c.) A decision made by the Rules Committee in regards to understanding of
bylaws or their interpretations does not have the effect of a bylaw
amendment. Any changes to bylaws will require the normal specified
process as enumerated, respectfully, in the SBA bylaws under Article XIV.
d.) The Rules Director will only have a vote under this article in the event
that there is a tie.
G. Appeals: A motion to reconsider can be brought to the Rules Committee within three
(3) days of the decision. The motion to reconsider will be handed to the SBA Office
Manager or their replacement during SBA office hours by the close of the office on the third
day. Once the motion has been filed in the SBA office, the party filing the motion to
reconsider will also notify the Rules Director through the Director’s student e-mail account
under the subject heading “Motion to Reconsider”. The Rules Director reserves the right to
deny a motion to reconsider. The Rules Director must rule on the motion to reconsider
within forty-eight (48) hours from the time that the motion was filed in the SBA office.
1. In the event that the Rules Director grants a motion to reconsider, the Rules
Director will call a special meeting according to the Rules Committee working
principles, within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving the motion to reconsider.
a.) The motion to reconsider will be discussed and the merits will be decided
at the special meeting referred to in section F(1) of this article.
b.) The Rules Director will notify the parties of the decision via the parties e-
mail accounts as listed on the filed grievance form.
H. Precedential Value: All decisions by the Rules Committee establish persuasive
precedent, which subsequent Rules Committees are entitled to respect and give careful
consideration when making future decisions on similar issues. However, NO decision by a
Rules Committee will have binding precedent upon future Rules Committee decisions.
I. Rules Committee Procedures: The procedures that the Rules Committee shall
follow are found within the “Working Principles” of the Rules Committee.
A. Document Retention, Destruction, and Availability Policy
1. Purpose: The SBA is committed to competent and systematic management of its
administrative and financial records, as well as transparency in its dealings and
affairs. To that end, the following policies shall govern the retention,
destruction, and availability of SBA records.
2. Scope: The following documents are subject to the terms of this policy:
i. The SBA Treasurer’s weekly transaction reports;
ii. Receipts of all duly approved expenditures or reimbursements;
iii. All bank statements representing the SBA’s current available funds;
iv. The SBA’s annual budget;
v. The SBA’s annual tax returns;
vi. Minutes of all Senate and Board meetings for which quorum is
present, including an attendance report;
vii. The SBA’s Articles of Incorporation;
viii. The SBA’s approval of 501(c) status from the IRS; and
ix. These Bylaws in their entirety.
3. Duration: The SBA Secretary shall maintain hard copies of the documents
described in 2(A)(i-ii) for a period of three years, and shall be updated no less
than five times per term. Documents under 2(A)(iii-iv) shall be kept for a period
of seven years, and are to be updated annually upon availability of current
statements. All documents under 2(A)(i-iv) shall be destroyed by cross-
shredding after proper filing for the prescribed period. The documents
described in 2(A)(v-viii) shall be maintained permanently, and updated as
changes in those documents shall make necessary.
4. Availability: Upon written request, Students may obtain copies of any and all
records subject to this policy from the SBA office.
B. Joint Venture Review Policy
1. Purpose: In compliance with state and federal laws regulating the approval and
management of any joint venture entered into by nonprofit organizations, the
following guidelines are applicable to any and all joint ventures undertaken by
2. Scope: For the purposes of this policy, the term “Joint Venture” is defined as any
arrangement, including contractual or more formal arrangements undertaken
through a limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, through which
the SBA and another entity jointly undertake any activity or business venture, or
otherwise agree to joint ownership of any asset. A Joint Venture may include
both taxable and tax-exempt activities.
3. Oversight: Before making any decision to participate in a Joint Venture, the SBA
will ensure that the Joint Venture furthers the SBA’s stated purposes, pursuant
to Article II of these Bylaws. The SBA will negotiate at arm’s length contractual
and other terms of participation that safeguard the SBA’s exemption from
federal income tax. Such terms shall be in writing in the operating agreement of
the Joint Venture and shall include the following minimum requirements:
a. With respect to any whole joint venture (that is, a joint venture in which
the SBA contributes substantially all of its assets to the enterprise), SBA’s
control over the Joint Venture through fifty-one percent (51%) or more of
the voting rights and/or veto power;
b. With respect to any ancillary joint venture (that is, a joint venture to
which a portion of SBA’s resources are contributed), the SBA will, at a
minimum, maintain sole control over the tax-exempt aspects of the Joint
Venture and would have voting and ownership interests in the Joint
Venture that are consistent with the SBA’s capital contributions;
c. Pursuit of any Joint Venture under the auspices of this Article must give
priority to the SBA’s stated Purposes and Affiliation as provided by these
Bylaws, and shall not be undertaken when such a Venture would
jeopardize the governing goals and ethics of the SBA. To that end,
participation in a Joint Venture will not endow a partner organization of
the SBA with preferred status in any other business dealings.
d. Such Ventures must give priority to retaining the SBA’s nonprofit status,
and activities that would jeopardize this status are prohibited.
C. Conflict of Interest Policy
1. Definition: Conflict of interest arises whenever the personal or professional
interest of a Senator, Director, Executive Board member, or other authorized agent
of the SBA is potentially at odds with the best interests of the SBA or general student
2. Duties of Individual Members: If an issue is to be decided by a body of the SBA
that involves potential conflict of interest for a voting member of that body, it is the
responsibility of the voting member to:
a. Identify before the body the potential conflict of interest.
b. Not participate in discussion of the program or motion being considered.
c. Not vote on the issue.
d. Complete and submit to the SBA Secretary the Conflict of Interest
Disclosure form provided in the Appendix to these Bylaws.
3. Duties of the Body: It is the responsibility of the body to:
a. Decide to hire or contract with the voting member only if they are the best
qualified individual available, and the expenditure authorized has value for
the organization independent of the recipient of the expenditure.
b. Record in the minutes of the meeting the potential conflict of interest, and
the use of the procedures and criteria of this policy.
4. This policy shall not be construed to preclude the reimbursement of voting
members for personal expenditures undertaken pursuant to SBA business.
Situations may arise where Senators, Directors, Executive Board members, or other
authorized agents of the SBA are commercially engaged by the SBA, or receive
directly or indirectly the benefits of SBA expenditures. The body to which such
potential conflict of interest is disclosed shall have the authority, by a 2/3 vote, to
declare the absence of a conflict of interest. In this event, the voting member with a
potential conflict shall be permitted full participation in discussion and voting on
D. Whistleblower Policy
Policy: If any Student reasonably believes that some policy, practice, or activity
of the SBA, or a Senator, Director, Executive Board member, or other authorized agent of
the SBA is in violation of these Bylaws, the laws of the State of Michigan, or the laws of the
United States, a written complaint may be filed by that Student with the SBA President. In
the event the SBA President is the subject of the violation, such complaint may be filed with
the SBA Vice-President.
The SBA will not retaliate against a student who, in good faith, has made a protest or raised
a complaint against some practice of the SBA, or of another individual or entity with whom
the SBA had a business relationship, on the basis of a reasonable belief that the practice is
in violation of these Bylaws, the laws of the State of Michigan, or the laws of the United
The SBA will not retaliate against a Student who discloses or threatens to disclose to the
relevant authority any activity, policy, or practice of the SBA that the Student reasonably
believes is in violation of a law, or a rule, or regulation mandated pursuant to law or is in
violation of a clear mandate or public policy concerning health, safety, welfare, or
protection of the environment.
Violation of this policy by any aforementioned officeholder in the SBA shall be cause for
removal from office pursuant to the policies set forth in Article X.
American Bar Association/Law Student Division
1.0 Name. The name of this organization shall be the Thomas M. Cooley American Bar
Association/Law Student Division (hereinafter “TMC ABA/LSD”).
1.1 Mission and Purpose. The mission and purpose of this organization is to provide
leadership in the legal profession, to represent the interests of law students to the
Association, and to promote excellence in legal education. To accomplish its mission, TMC
ABA/LSD shall further the objectives of this Chapter, the Circuit, the Division, and the
Association; create a forum for the exchange and expression of law students’ viewpoints,
stimulate the interest and participation of law students in the activities of our Chapter,
Circuit, Division, and Association; conduct programs of interests and value to law students;
assist the Circuit, Division, Association and its other divisions and sections; assist in
establishment, improvement, and coordination of law school organization, and promote the
involvement of law students, in public service activities.
1.2 Tax Exempt Status. Other sections of these Bylaws notwithstanding, the TMC ABA/LSD
shall engage in no activities that would make it ineligible for tax exempt status. To that end,
the TMC ABA/LSD shall contribute to the personal benefit of, or be distributed to its
members, officers, or other private persons except as reasonable compensation for services
rendered or expenses incurred.
1.3 Authority. These Bylaws and any action taken under their authority shall not be
inconsistent with the Association’s constitution and Bylaws or action taken under their
authority, shall not be inconsistent with the Division’s Bylaws or action taken under their
authority, shall not be inconsistent with the Sixth Circuit’s Bylaws or actions taken under
their authority and shall not be inconsistent with the Thomas M. Cooley Student Bar
Association’s constitution and Bylaws or action taken under their authority. These Bylaws,
when not inconsistent, shall be the basis for the conduct of all business conducted in the
Chapter. In the event of a conflict between these Bylaws and the Bylaws of the Association,
the Division, or the Circuit and the compromise cannot be reached, the Association, the
Division, or the Circuit Bylaws will dictate. In the event of a conflict between these Bylaws
and the TMC SBA Bylaws, the President of the TMC ABA/LSD and the President of the TMC
SBA shall work together to reach a reasonable compromise. Failure of a reasonable
compromise will result in the Bylaws of the Association dictating the situation.
1.4 Anti-Discrimination. TMC ABA/LSD shall not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry,
color, or race; cultural or ethnic background, citizenship, economic status, gender,
ideological, philosophical, or political belief or affiliation; marital or parental status,
national or regional origin, physical disability, religion or religious or denominational
affiliation, or sexual orientation. TMC ABA/LSD shall not encourage or condone
discrimination, either implicitly or explicitly and shall actively discourage discrimination
on any above stated basis.
2.1 Members. A person shall become a member of the TMC ABA/LSD by payment of
national dues to the ABA/LSD for the year. A Thomas M. Cooley student who is a member of
the ABA/LSD is automatically a member of the TMC ABA/LSD.
2.2 Membership. Membership shall be open to all students of the Thomas M. Cooley Law
2.3 Chapter Assembly. Members present at any given TMC ABA/LSD meeting.
2.4 Dues. Dues shall be set by and paid to the national ABA/LSD.
3.1 General Meetings. General meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD membership shall be held
whenever called by the Executive Board, but in any case no less frequently than once every
other week. The first meeting of the term must be held no later than the second week of the
term and the last meeting of the term must be held at least one week prior to review week
of each term. The meeting time and place shall be determined by the Executive Board and
shall be announced and publicized at least three days prior to the meeting. General body
meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD are open to all members of the Thomas M. Cooley
3.2 Executive Board Meetings. Executive Board meetings shall be held whenever called by
any member of the Executive Board or whenever requested by a member for special
business. Notice of an Executive Board meeting must be given at least five days prior to the
3.3 Minutes. The Secretary shall take the minutes of all meetings. The minutes shall be
distributed to all Executive Board members, all class representatives, and any other
members who request them. The minutes of each meeting shall also be filed in the TMC
ABA/LSD organizational files.
3.4 Attendance. Executive Officers and Class Representatives are expected to attend each
meeting. If an officer or a representative cannot make a meeting, he/she must contact a
member of the Board, within a reasonable time in advance, to explain the reason for not
attending. An officer or representative is allowed two unexcused absences per term, upon
receiving the third they shall come before the Board to determine if they should remain a
representative. Pre-excused absence are exempted from this provision and are given at the
discretion of the members of the Board.
3.5 Quorum. The Executive Board officers and the Class representatives present at a
meeting shall constitute a quorum for doing business at a meeting, only if this constitutes a
majority of the officers and representatives currently in office.
3.6 Proxy. In the event that an executive member or a class representative is unable to
attend a meeting, they may proxy by any form of communication, as long as the proxy is
given to the president or acting president and 24 hours notice of the proxy has been given
to a member of the executive board. The proxy will be treated as if the executive board
member or class representative had attended the meeting and will not count as an absence.
The secretary shall note the person who has been given the proxy vote in the minutes and
in the attendance book.
4.1 Function. The Chapter Assembly shall establish TMC ABA/LSD policies. It shall hear,
consider, and act upon such resolutions and matters presented to it by members. It shall
elect the Vice President, the treasurer, and the secretary by the third week of October each
4.2 Representation. The Executive Board Officers and Class Representatives shall meet at
each meeting of the Chapter. The Executive Board (except Parliamentarian) and all Class
Representatives each have one vote in all matters which require a vote. If current general
members become active and have attended two-thirds of the meetings of the immediate
previous term and have attended two-thirds of the current term meetings, both the officers
and representatives currently in office, may vote by a two-thirds vote to allow these
members a vote.
4.3 Rules of Proceedings. The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order (newly
revised) shall govern all meetings.
5.1 President. The President of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected during the SBA and
ABA/LSD elections held on the first Tuesday and Wednesday and preceding Saturday of
October. The President shall be elected according to SBA Bylaws. The President shall serve
as the official ABA/LSD Representative for Thomas M. Cooley Law School at all ABA/LSD
meetings, conferences and events in the Circuit, the Division, and the Association. The
President shall serve as a voting member on the Executive Board of the SBA, and shall work
closely with the SBA to assure a good working relationship. The President shall preside
over all meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD which the President is present or shall designate a
replacement, preferably the Vice-President. He/she shall also work closely with the Circuit,
the Division, and the Association to assure the organization is promoting the ABA to the
best of its abilities within the structure of the ABA and to promote the Cooley Chapter
throughout the Circuit, the Division, and the Association. The President shall have the
power to call meetings of the Executive Officers and Class Representatives, as he/she shall
see fit. The President may create and appoint any necessary office or committee with the
approval of the entire Executive Board. The President shall also have the power to remove
any officer or committee appointed or created by him/her.
5.2 Vice-President. The Vice-President of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than
the last week of October. The election, by secret ballot, shall be decided by a majority of the
officers and class representatives currently in office. The Vice President shall be
responsible for overseeing and assisting all standing, special and ad-hoc communities of
the TMC ABA/LSD. The Vice-President will ensure that Chapter, SBA, and ABA/LSD rules
and Bylaws are followed by the committees.
5.3 Treasurer. The Treasurer of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than the last
week in October. The election, by secret ballot, shall be decided by a majority of the officers
and class representatives currently in office. The Treasurer shall, with the President, be
responsible for keeping the books of the TMC ABA/LSD. The Treasurer shall assure that
funds are disbursed correctly and may be answerable to the SBA if questioned on the
disbursement of funds. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the formulation of a TMC
ABA/LSD budget at the beginning of each term and be responsible for any dealings with the
Budget and Finance Committee. The Treasurer shall present to each officer if requested a
cash flow sheet to explain all incoming and outgoing transactions conducted within a given
term. The Treasurer will be expected to allow inspection of the Chapter’s books upon
request of any officer.
5.4 Secretary. The Secretary of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than the last
week in October. The election, by secret ballot, shall be decided by a majority of the officers
and class representatives currently in office. The Secretary shall record the minutes of each
meeting and give a copy of those minutes to each officer, representative, and general
member if requested, by the following meeting. The Secretary shall be responsible for all
records of TMC ABA/LSD and shall supervise the file cabinet drawer and binder located in
the SBA office. The Secretary shall take roll at each meeting and keep the attendance
records of the organization. The Secretary shall inform officers and representatives of the
attendance record and promptly inform them after one unexcused absence. The Secretary
shall inform the President and Vice-President after an officer or a representative
accumulates two unexcused absences within one term.
5.5 SBA President. The SBA President shall sit, with a vote on the ABA e-board and shall
attend all conventions and the Annual Meeting.
5.6 Parliamentarian. The Executive Board shall appoint a parliamentarian to serve without
a vote on the Board.
5.7 Vacancy. The Executive Board shall appoint someone to fill any vacancy of Vice-
President, Treasurer, or Secretary. If an officer is unable to complete his/her term, the
vacancy shall be filled according to the following procedures: 1) the notice of position must
be posted for two weeks; 2) the applicant must submit five copies of his resume to the TMC
ABA/LSD Secretary; and 3) the election, by secret ballot, shall be decided by a majority of
the remaining officers currently in office. The appointee must be approved by 2/3rd of the
existing Executive officers and Class representatives. The President may appoint any Class
representative to fill any vacancy of a Committee Chairperson. If the President is unable to
complete his/her term, the vacancy shall be filled according to the SBA bylaws or as agreed
by the SBA President and the ABA Chapter.
5.8 Removal. Any officer may be removed for lack of attendance, malfeasance, misfeasance,
or non-feasance. A challenge to any officer position must be made in writing by at least (2)
officers or representatives. The writing must be presented to the President and removal
passed by a 2/3rd vote all officers and representatives currently in office after a fair open
hearing. Removal of the President must follow SBA stated Bylaws. A fair open hearing
means that the person is notified of the allegations and has an opportunity to respond to
the General Assembly of this organization.
6.1 Class Representative. There shall be three representatives for each class. Each Class
representative shall be elected no later than normal SBA elections held each term. Class
Representatives shall be elected according to SBA Bylaws. The first meeting of the
representatives shall be the first meeting following his/her election. Class Representatives
shall serve as chairpersons for standing, special or ad-hoc committees when requested to
do so. The representatives shall promote ABA/LSD activities to their fellow students.
He/she shall be expected to attend ABA/LSD conventions whenever possible and represent
Thomas M. Cooley Law School in a professional and friendly manner.
6.2 Vacancy. If a Class Representative is unable to complete his/her term, the vacancy shall
be filled according to the following procedures: 1) the notice of the position must be posted
for two weeks; 2) the applicant must submit five copies of his resume to the TMC ABA/LSD
Secretary; and 3) the person chosen by the Executive Board shall fill the vacancy. If there is
only one applicant, that person must be approved by the majority of the Board. If the
person is not approved, repeat steps 1-3.
6.3 Removal. A Class Representative may be removed for lack of attendance, malfeasance,
misfeasance, or non-feasance. Removal of a representative must follow SBA stated Bylaws.
7.1 Standing Committees. The following Committees shall be standing Committees of the
TMC ABA/LSD: Communications (Pillar and bulletin board); Fund-raising; Tutorials;
Membership/Rush and speaker; Elections; VITA and Work-a-Day; and Public Interest.
7.2 Special/Ad-Hoc Committees. The President may, at his/her discretion, create any
necessary, special or ad-hoc committee (i.e., Rules and Bylaws, Philanthropic Activities,
Conventions, Michigan Liaison, etc.). The President may also, at his/her discretion, remove
any special committee which has been formed.
7.3 Committee Chairpersons. The President shall appoint class representatives to the
positions of Chairperson of specific standing, special or ad-hoc committees. The President
alone has the power to appoint and remove any committee chairperson.
ABA/LSD REPRESENTATION AT CONVENTIONS
8.1 Thomas M. Cooley Law School ABA/LSD Representative. The President of the TMC
ABA/LSD shall serve as the official ABA/LSD Representative for Thomas M. Cooley Law
8.2 Thomas M. Cooley Law School Representatives. At all official ABA/LSD meetings,
conferences, and events in the Circuit, Division, and the Association, were applicable,
Thomas M. Cooley Law School will receive two votes: one being the ABA/LSD
representative and the other being the President of the SBA.
8.3 Proxy. If one or both of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Representatives cannot
attend a specified meeting, conference or event, a written proxy may be taken in order to
retain one or both of the votes where applicable.
9.1 Who May Attend. All TMC ABA/LSD officers, class representatives, and active members
may attend any ABA/LSD convention. If not enough money is allocated during a term a list
may be followed. The conventions chair shall keep such a list. The first name on the list
shall be the ABA President; the next level is circuit or national positions; and the names
thereafter shall be determined by many factors including but not limited to: length in the
Cooley Chapter of the ABA, graduation, attendance, and dedication to the chapter The E-
board shall, at its discretion, have the power to disallow an individual’s attendance at a
convention if an individual has not fulfilled their duties in the ABA. The SBA president and
any other SBA Representative shall be funded under a separate budget through the SBA. All
TMC persons who hold any ABA/LSD Circuit or National position may attend any ABA/LSD
convention and be funded by the TMC ABA/LSD if the above criteria are met.
9.2 Attendance Policy. All TMC persons attending any ABA/LSD convention must attend
ALL non-social convention meetings.
9.3 Reimbursement for Convention Expenses. All TMC persons attending ABA/LSD
conventions may be reimbursed for part or whole of their expenses as decided prior to the
convention. The stated attendance policy must be followed in order to qualify for
10.1 Suspension of Bylaws. A motion to suspend these Bylaws may be brought by any
voting member. The motion must be seconded and then passed by a 2/3rd vote of the
quorum in order to take effect.
11.1 Proposals. Any proposed changes to these Bylaws and/or amendments to these
Bylaws must be submitted in writing to the President, the Executive Board and all Class
Representatives. There must be reasonable notice before a vote on the changes and/or
amendments can take place.
11.2 Approval. All changes and/or amendments must be approved by a 2/3rd majority of all
the Chapter Assembly voting members.
The Pillar Bylaws
Section 1: There shall be a student newspaper which shall be known as The Pillar.
Section 2: The Pillar shall be governed by these Bylaws.
Section 3: These Bylaws shall be incorporated into and become part of the Bylaws of the
Student Bar Association (hereinafter SBA).
Section 4: The procedure for amending these Bylaws shall be the same as that
for amending the other Bylaws of the SBA along with Article IX of these Bylaws.
Section 5: Any person receiving compensation from the Pillar shall be a currently
enrolled student in academic good standing (2.0 grade point average). A
person may receive compensation when properly excepted from this
provision as provided in subsection A, below.
A: A non-student may receive compensation from the Pillar for a period of
one year if the following criteria are met: (1) a written
recommendation for the exception must be approved by a majority of
the Pillar Editors, and (2) the recommendation must be approved by a
majority of the joint Board of Directors and Executive Board.
Section 6: The Pillar Bylaws are subordinate to the SBA Bylaws and subject to the
Thomas M. Cooley Law School Honor Code.
Section 7: The Pillar shall be an independently incorporated entity with its own tax
identification number. It shall have both a federal and state tax identification number.
A: Incorporation can be accomplished by contacting the Michigan
Department of Consumer and Industry Services to obtain forms for filing
Articles of Incorporation. Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the
Department of Consumer and Industry Services.
B: A federal and state tax identification number may be obtained by
contacting the Internal Revenue Service for an application request for an
Employer Identification Number (SS-4 Form). A number will be assigned
and sent to the founders of the organization.
Editors - Membership and Qualifications
Section 1: The Pillar shall be directed by an Editor-in-chief.
Section 2: The Pillar shall have five (5) additional editors that shall be known as managing
editor, copy editor, features editor, sports editor, and advertising manager.
Section 3: All editors when appointed and at all times, shall be enrolled as students at
Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Section 4: The following may not serve as editor of The Pillar: ABA/LSD president;
president, vice president, secretary, treasurer or assistant treasurer of the SBA;
Any member of the board of directors; and any person(s) filling newly created
SBA executive board positions.
Section 5: The provisions of section four allowing a member of the student senate from
serving as an editor of The Pillar will become effective starting Michaelmas
Editors - Ethics
Section 1: No editor shall accept anything of tangible worth, or not, in consideration for
the publication or non-publication of any matter, excepting such commissions
on sale of advertising as are authorized by these Bylaws, and excepting such
stipends as are authorized and paid to the editors by the administration or
Section 2: Violation of this Article of the Bylaws shall be considered by the SBA as a
violation of the Honor Code and shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
Editors - Appointment
Section 1: General Requirements
A. All applicants will submit a resume by a reasonably set deadline.
B. All applicants will currently be attending the Thomas M. Cooley Law
C. All applicants shall be in good academic standing (2.0 or better).
Section 2: Editor-in-Chief
A. The editor-in-chief shall be appointed by the president of the SBA
subject to confirmation by the SBA board of directors and student
B. Upon vacancy or written resignation of the editor-in-chief to the
president, The Pillar, will post notice to the student body of the
C. All applicants for editor-in-chief shall be interviewed by the SBA
president. Interviews should begin within a reasonable amount
of time after the posting of the vacancy.
D. All interviews will be open to the student body, interested members of
the public, and the press.
E. Editors may, but are not required to, attend any or all of the
interviews, participate in the questioning of applicants and make their
own individual recommendations concerning the applicants.
F. After interviewing all candidates, the president shall make his/her
appointment within a reasonable amount of time.
Section 3: Other Editors
A. All other editors will be appointed by the editor-in-chief with the
advice and consent of the SBA president.
B. Upon vacancy or written resignation of an editor to the editor-in-
chief, The Pillar, will post notice to the student body of the vacancy.
C. All applicants will be interviewed by the editor-in-chief. Interviews
should begin within a reasonable amount of time after the vacancy
D. The SBA president may interview applicants for the other editorial
positions at their discretion.
E. Editors may, but are not required to, attend any or all of the
interviews, participate in the questioning of applicants and make their
own individual recommendations concerning the applicants.
F. After interviewing all the candidates, the editor-in-chief will fill the
vacancy within a reasonable amount of time.
Section 4: Vacancies
A. Upon resignation or removal of the editor-in-chief, the managing
editor will become the acting editor-in-chief.
B. In cases of ongoing vacancy, the editors, shall use their discretion in
fulfilling those duties left vacant.
Section 1: Subject to restrictions set forth elsewhere in these Bylaws, the editors shall
have and exercise complete editorial discretion over the content and the form
of The Pillar.
A. The Editors shall not publish or accept for publication any anonymous
B. The Editors shall not publish or accept for publication articles containing
anything other than an opinion or factual reporting or school events and /
or current political and legal affairs, including articles. Footnotes must
comply with the Harvard Bluebook form.
C. The Editors shall not publish or accept for publication any photographs,
cartoons, drawings, tables, charts or other pictorial images created or
owned by anyone not associated with The Pillar without that person’s
express written permission.
D. The Editors shall not publish or accept for publication any advertisement or
articles that offer for sale any copyrighted or otherwise protected
intellectual property, including music, drawings, writings, ideas,
photographs, or pictorial images, without the owner’s express written
Section 2: Editors may recruit and appoint other students to positions on The Pillar staff
including, but not limited to: reporters, photographers, assistant editors, and
advertising representatives, as they deem necessary in their editorial
discretion, to carry out duties assigned to the editors by these Bylaws. The
editors shall have the power to remove staff members.
Section 3: The editors may, but are not required to attend any meeting of the SBA board of
directors or the student senate.
Editors - Duties
Section 1: Editors - General
A. The editors shall produce 6 (six) issues of The Pillar to be published and
distributed to the student body each term.
B. Editors shall use due diligence to prevent the publication of material in The
Pillar that is libelous or in bad taste.
C. Editors shall exercise reasonable skill and sound judgment, in gathering and
publishing The Pillar, news concerning Thomas M. Cooley Law School, its
student body, governance, and organizations and other subjects.
D. Editors shall take due care that property of the SBA and Thomas M. Cooley
Law School used by The Pillar is not abused or used for purposes not related
to The Pillar.
E. Editors shall have such other duties as affirmatively stated elsewhere in
F. Editors must remain objective and impartial. Personal preferences are to be
limited in scope and not to be in public forum unless in the form of an
G. Each editor shall receive a stipend as a reimbursement for their efforts. The
amount shall not be reduced and an increase will not take effect until the
Section 2: Editor-in-Chief - Duties
A. The Editor-in-Chief shall be responsible for the entire set up of preparations,
including but not limited to: buying materials, selecting staff, organizing
office space, writing, communicating with the printer and the SBA.
B. The Editor-in-Chief shall oversee all editors and staff.
C. The Editor-in-Chief shall coordinate the entire staff into one cohesive unit
that can work for the common goal of getting the paper published.
D. The Editor-in-Chief must be a multi-talented and multi-skilled individual who
has the desire to do a quality job and has the perseverance to complete it.
E. The Editor-in-Chief should know how to organize, type, budget, have a
working knowledge of advertising, and other tasks associated with
publishing a paper. (Many hours may be necessary so the editor-in-chief's
schedule must be flexible).
F. The Editor-in-Chief will set the tone and direction of the paper. He will have
final editorial discretion in disagreements among the other editors.
G. The Editor-in-Chief shall use due diligence and make reasonable decisions in
the operation of The Pillar.
H. The Editor-in-Chief shall hold his/her position until he/she graduates or
I. All decisions effecting the operation of The Pillar shall be made with the
advice of the Editor-in-Chief.
J. The Editor-in-chief shall receive a stipend per term from the Administration
as reimbursement for their contribution to The Pillar.
Section 3: Managing Editor
A. The managing editor is the assistant to the editor-in-chief.
B. The managing editor shall fill in for the editor-in-chief in his/her absence.
C. The managing editor must be able to organize, work with people, and learn
all aspects of the paper's production.
D. The managing editor will be in charge of accounting for The Pillar.
E. The managing editor shall know how to type, write, and have a working
knowledge of advertising.
F. The managing editor will coordinate staff members in charge of Opinion
Notes, The Docket, Upcoming Events, Professor Comment s, and any non-
news related articles.
G. The managing editor shall be in charge of all Dictum articles.
H. The managing editor shall receive a stipend per term from the
administration as reimbursement for their contribution to The Pillar .
Section 4: Features Editor
A. The features editor will be responsible for articles dealing with newsworthy
events on and off campus.
B. The features editor shall coordinate staff members in charge of School News,
Club News, SBA News, Financial Aid, Registration, Faculty News and Court
C. The features editor shall receive a stipend per term from the administration
as reimbursement for their contribution to The Pillar .
Section 5: Copy Editor
A. The copy editor shall know how to use Word and WordPerfect, PageMaker
and other publishing programs, create layouts, choose photos, determine
space allotments, and other tools used in publishing a paper.
B. The copy editor shall have page design experience.
C. The copy editor shall handle each department and select final copy.
D. The copy editor shall check to make sure that grammar, punctuation, and
continuity in articles published are of the highest quality.
E. The copy editor shall receive a stipend per term from the administration as
reimbursement for their contribution to The Pillar .
Section 6: Sports Editor
A. The sports editor will be responsible for articles dealing with sports events
involving Cooley students.
B. The sports editor will cover other athletic events that the student body may
find of interest.
C. The sports editor shall be knowledgeable of sports and related activities.
D. The sports editor shall receive a stipend per term from the SBA as
reimbursement for their contribution to The Pillar.
E. The term stipend for the Sports Editor will be included in the stipend
allocation that The Pillar receives at the beginning of each term.
1. A separate check from the SBA will not be withdrawn to represent the
term stipend for the Sports Editor
2. The Pillar will be responsible to adequately compensate the Sports
Editor for their contribution from the term budget allocation.
Section 7: Advertising Manager
A. The advertising manager shall be responsible for selling advertising space in
each issue of The Pillar.
B. The advertising manager shall solicit new accounts and maintain existing
C. The advertising manager shall keep the records reporting income from
D. The advertising manager shall be responsible for billing the advertisers.
E. The advertising manager will make sure all accounts are current and that
they are not in arrears.
F. The advertising manager shall be subject to the provisions found elsewhere
in these Bylaws.
G. The advertising manager shall receive a stipend per term from the SBA as
reimbursement for their contribution to The Pillar.
H. The term stipend for the Advertising Manager will be included in the stipend
allocation that The Pillar receives at the beginning of each term.
1. A separate check from the SBA will not be withdrawn to represent the
term stipend for the Advertising Manager.
2. The Pillar will be responsible to adequately compensate and
distribute the stipend to the Advertising Manager for their
contribution from the 13.5% budget allocation.
The Advertising Manager shall receive a commission on all advertising sales realized
during the term while in the position of Advertising Manager. He/she will have no claim on
any commission after his/her resignation, removal, or graduation regardless of when the
advertisements were sold. The right to collect commissions from previous terms will be
forfeited to The Pillar at the deadline date for the first issue in the new term.
Editors - Removal
Section 1: The SBA board of directors and student senate recognize the important and
vital role of The Pillar as a source of unbiased information to the student
body and that the power to remove editors must not be misused.
Section 2: Any member of the editors may be removed by action of the SBA board of
directors and student senate using the procedure stated below.
Section 3: The SBA president, or any member of the board of directors or student
senate, may at any regular meeting make a Motion for the Removal of any
member of the editors. The Motion shall state the reasons for it, which must
constitute willful malfeasance, gross incompetence, or violation of these
Section 4: The Motion for Removal may be proposed at any regular meeting of the
board of directors or student senate. It shall not be discussed or voted on at
that meeting, but when made and seconded it shall be immediately treated as
if a Motion to Table it had been moved, seconded and passed.
Section 5: Immediately following the meeting at which the Motion for Removal is made
and seconded the secretary of the SBA shall use the utmost reasonable
efforts to notify as soon as possible the member of the editors that is
proposed to be removed. Such notice shall in any case be given no later than
48 hours before the next regular meeting of the SBA board of directors or
student senate, depending on which body the Motion for Removal was made
Section 6: At the next regular meeting of the body which made the Motion for Removal,
it shall be the first order of business and treated as if a Motion to Take had
been made, seconded, and passed. At that time the senator or director that
made the motion will be allowed to speak on the matter. The member of the
editors that is to be removed shall be allowed to attend and speak in his or
her own defense. Following discussion, the Motion shall be voted upon, and
shall pass if a 2/3 majority is in favor of it.
Section 7: If the Motion for Removal passes in the body that made the motion it will go
to the other body to be voted on. The member of the editors to be removed
will have an opportunity to speak in his own defense before that body as
well. The motion shall pass if 2/3 of the body voting are in favor of it passing.
Section 8: If the Motion for Removal passes both bodies then the editor-in-chief must
remove that editor.
Section 1: The SBA recognizes the importance of The Pillar and will provide adequate
financial support, in their sound discretion and consistent with available
Section 2: The editors shall cause to be prepared each term a budget for The Pillar in
accordance with sound management principles and the requirements of
these Bylaws. A copy shall be provided according to the SBA Bylaws
regarding organization budgets.
Section 3: The budget of The Pillar shall provide for the receipt of monies from the sale
of advertising. The Editors will use due effort in soliciting
advertising revenues. These efforts of the editors may include the
appointment of students as advertising representatives, and insofar as
allowed by Michigan and Federal law, the payment of commission to these
advertising representatives and to the editors who personally sell
Section 4: The Pillar shall have a sub-account to hold ad revenue and disperse
commission checks, petty cash, and office supplies. The editor-in-chief and
managing editor or an editor in a treasurer capacity shall be on The Pillar’s
Section 5: The Pillar will provide the Lansing SBA a yearly projected budget. This
budget will include all of its expected revenue and expenditures, including
but not limited to its ad revenues.
Section 6: The Lansing SBA will provide The Pillar its allotted funding from the Lansing
campus only, no later than week 9 of each term in the form of a check made
out to The Pillar upon the receipt of its budget. This check will be deposited
into a Pillar checking account currently known as The Pillar/SBA account.
Two members of The Pillar editorial board shall be signers on this account.
Section 7: The Pillar editorial staff will provide the SBA treasurer a monthly accounting
report of the above-mentioned Pillar/SBA account.
Action by the SBA affecting The Pillar or these Bylaws
other than the removal of a member of the Editors
Section 1: At least one member of the editors must be contacted by a member of
the SBA board of directors at least 48 hours prior to any vote on any
motion that affects The Pillar or these Bylaws.
Section 2: Any motion which is made during a meeting of the SBA board of directors or
student senate which would affect The Pillar or these Bylaws must be tabled
until the notice provided above can be given.
Changes in The Pillar - Notification to SBA
Section 1: The editors shall notify the SBA board of directors and the student senate of
any change in The Pillar that ventures outside the express written authority
given to the editors by these Bylaws.
Section 2: Once the SBA board of directors and student senate have been informed of
the change, they can disapprove it by a 2/3 vote.
Section 3: Editors may, but are not required to, attend meetings of the SBA board
of directors and student senate and comment on the proposed changes.
Section 4: In considering the change in The Pillar, the board of directors and student
senate will give great deference to the experience, skill and discretion of the
Section 1: The editors will have complete discretion over content and form of
Section 2: In the case of a disagreement over editorial discretion, the decision of the
editors will be final.
Section 3: Any disagreement with the editorial discretion of The Pillar should be
immediately brought to the attention of the editors and dealt with in a
fair and equitable manner.
Section 4: The Pillar recognizes the need for an open forum for views and opinions of
the student body and will not overstep their editorial discretion.
Section 5: The SBA and administration realize the importance of an independent paper
and will give deference to the editors regarding editorial decisions.
Judicial Board Bylaws
PURPOSE AND AFFILIATION
A. Purpose: The purpose of the Judicial Board is:
1. To fairly interpret the SBA bylaws.
2. To promote the will and the intent of the Senate and the Board of Directors in
union with the SBA bylaws.
3. To promote and protect the integrity of the SBA and its bylaws.
4. To promote professionalism and equality among Student Bar Association
5. To resolve conflicts specifically dealing with matters of SBA duties, day-to-
day operations, bylaws, or other pertinent matters concerning the SBA.
The Judicial Board shall not be used for personal matters regarding SBA members, officers,
board members, Senators, and Directors.
B. Affiliation: The Judicial Board is affiliated with the Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Student Bar Association. It is bound to the bylaws of this organization and to the
Thomas M. Cooley Law School Honor Code and to the laws of the state of Michigan
and the laws of the United States of America.
A. Composition: The Board shall consist of five Justices, one Vice-Chief Justice and one
Chief Justice. No Senators, Directors, or Executive Board members shall sit in the
B. Requirements: Every student enrolled in Thomas M. Cooley Law School for more
than one term, and who are in good academic standing shall be eligible to be a
C. Chief Justice: Only a student who meets the aforementioned requirements and is at
or beyond his/her third term may sit as Chief Justice. The SBA President shall
nominate the Chief Justice. Approval of the nomination shall be made by a 2/3 vote
of the Senate and the Board. The Chief Justice may hold the position only for a
period of one year. No Chief Justice may be an officer in any external or internal
organization. The Chief Justice may not serve on any appointed or approved SBA
standing or ad hoc committee.
D. Justice: No Justice may be a first term student. No Justice may be on academic
probation. No Justice may serve as a Justice for more than two years. Justices,
including the Vice-Chief Justice, may not serve on any appointed or approved SBA
standing but may serve on an appointed ad hoc committee.
a.) The Chief Justice of the Judicial Board must notify the Student Bar Association
(SBA) President by week five of each term if any Justices will graduate or vacate
their position the following term. This will allow the Judicial Board to choose and
fill their vacant positions before the vacating Justice steps down. After the Chief
Justice notifies the SBA President, the vacancy must be filled by the appointment
procedure in this section of Article II.
b.) If any Judicial Board seat, other than the Chief Justice, becomes vacant, the
following procedure will apply:
1. The SBA President will notify the secretary by week six, or if the secretary is
not available, the SBA president will notify another individual (President’s
designee) on the board of directors or in the senate;
2. The secretary or designee will notify the student body of the vacancy within
seven (7) calendar days;
3. Resumes will be accepted for seven (7) calendar days following notification
to the student body of vacancy; and
4. After resumes are collected from the student body for seven (7) days, the
current judicial board justices will select a candidate from the applicant pool
within fourteen (14) calendar days.
c.) Confirmation of the vacant position is subject to:
1. A two-thirds vote by the board of directors; and
2. A two-thirds vote by the senate.
The Justices shall carry out the administrative functions necessary for the day-to-day
operation of the Judicial Board.
A. Duties and Powers of the Justices:
1. The Chief Justice shall:
a. Preside at all meetings of the Judicial Board.
b. Preside at all hearings of the Judicial Board.
c. In the absence of a decisive vote of the Judicial Board (i.e. a tie vote),
by simple majority, the Chief Justice shall have the power to decide
which ‘questions and conflicts’ the Judicial Board will hear.
d. Have the power to convene special meetings of the Judicial Board at
e. Have the power to schedule hearings for the Judicial Board.
f. Write the opinions of the Judicial Board or assign a Justice to write the
opinions of the Judicial Board.
g. Publish any and all actions or decisions of the Judicial Board to the
SBA Rules Director and the Chair of the Senate.
h. Submit a docket of all questions and conflicts to the SBA President and
shall inform the President of scheduled hearings in a timely manner.
i. Perform such or other duties as shall be required by statute, bylaws or
as directed by the Senate and Board.
j. Appoint a Vice-Chief Justice from the six Justices.
k. Have one vote in the Judicial Board.
2. The Vice-Chief Justice shall:
a. Attend all the meetings of the Judicial Board
b. Be an aid to the Chief Justice
c. Record the minutes of the meetings
d. Certify the authenticity of the Judicial Board records.
e. Maintain an official record of the attendance of Judicial Board
f. Provide members of notice when two absences have accrued.
g. Notify the SBA Rules Director and initiate expulsion measures when
absences exceed the number allowed by the SBA bylaws.
h. Inform the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Senate, of any
circumvention of the SBA bylaws by the Judicial Board.
i. Inform the SBA President of the necessity for new Justices in the
j. Have the power to excuse absences of a Justice, only if the Justice can
show reasonable cause.
k. Have the power to preside at meetings when directed by the Chief
Justice to do so.
l. Have the Power to preside at hearings when so directed by the Chief
Justice and approved by the SBA President.
m. Have the power to act as Chief Justice if the post becomes vacant, and
until such time as another Chief Justice is appointed.
n. Supervise the Justice members and assist the Justices in preparing a
o. Have one vote in the Judicial Board
p. Have the power to break a tie in the event the Chief Justice is absent.
3. The Justices shall:
a. Attend all meetings and hearings of the Judicial Board
b. Establish and maintain a set of working principles for the Judicial
c. Each has one vote in the decisions of the Judicial Board.
d. Adopt rules for its proceedings.
e. Prepare and adopt a budget for the Judicial Board’s operation.
f. Vote collectively as to which ‘questions and conflicts’ the Judicial
Board will hear. The approval of which shall require a simple
JUDICIAL BOARD POWERS
A. Judicial Board Powers: The Judicial Board as a whole- and with no less than five of
its seven members present including either the Chief Justice or the Vice-Chief
Justice- shall have the power to hear, deliberate, and decide an issue with finality of
any questions and conflicts as defined in Article IV Section B.
B. Questions and Conflicts Defined: An issue does not become a question or conflict
until the issue has been heard and decided by both the Board of Directors (Including
the Executive Board) and the Senate. If the decision of both the Board and the
Senate are unanimous then the Judicial Board shall have no say in the matter. If
there is no unanimity in both the Senate and the Board, by simple majority vote, the
Justices, to include the Vice- Chief and Chief Justice when required, will then decide
in a timely manner if the Judicial Board will hear the question and/or conflict. The
Chief Justice must get confirmation, in writing, from the SBA Secretary of the issue
and the vote on the issue before he/she may begin to contemplate the Judicial Board
hearing the issue.
1. The Mediation Clause, which is found in Article IV Judicial Board Powers
Section D Limitations of Judicial Board Powers § 4 also applies to this
C. Finality Defined: If the Judicial Board hears, deliberates, and decides a question or
conflict, then that matter is considered adjudicated, and may not be reheard by any
other body. The Judicial Board’s decision is final. However, decisions made by the
Judicial Board in regard to understanding of bylaws or their interpretations do not
have the effect of a bylaw amendment. The decisions and opinions of the Judicial
Board, though final and binding, are neither additions nor modifications to any
existing bylaws. These decisions and opinions are simply providing the final
interpretation of the bylaws as they stand before the Judicial Board. Any changes to
the Bylaws will require the normal specified process as enumerated, respectfully, in
the SBA bylaws under Article XIV.
D. Limitations of Judicial Board Power: The Judicial Board may not interfere with
the day-to-day operations of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Student Bar
Association. In accordance with all SBA bylaws, these may only be amended or
dissolved by 2/3 vote in the Senate and the Board.
Any and all fiscal matters concerning the SBA’s day-to-day operations may only be
brought before the Judicial Board if there is concurrence by the Treasurer, Budget
and Finance Director, and the SBA President. Any and all fiscal matters not
concerning the SBA’s day-to-day operations may be brought before the Judicial
Board with a simple majority vote of the Senate. Only the SBA President may
declare an issue a day-to-day fiscal matter.
If an issue has been decided in both the Senate and the Board of Directors with
unanimity, it may not under any circumstances, be heard by the Judicial Board.
Future Judicial Boards are not bound by past J-Board decisions. However, serious
weight and consideration must be given to past Judicial Board decisions on similar
Every party with a dispute pending resolution by the Judicial Board may first
exercise the option for mediation. If the parties choose to exercise the option for
mediation, it must be submitted to the SBA President and SBA Secretary. Mediation
will be conducted by members of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board. The
mediators shall be named and appointed by the Vice-Chief Justice from the ADR
Board. However, if for some reason the ADR Board is incapable of serving in this
capacity, the SBA President will appoint mediators who have successfully completed
the ADR Course. All parties shall have one week for mediation. If mediation is not
successful, the issue will be brought before the Senate or Board where appropriate.
Upon ruling of the Senate and/or the Board, the parties may appeal to the Judicial
Board. The decision of the Judicial Board is final and binding to all parties. Under
extreme circumstances, the SBA President may give an extension for mediation for
no more than three (3) days. Any request for extension must be submitted in
writing to the SBA President.
SPECIAL JUDICIAL REVIEW
A. Executive Bylaw Questions: Upon the recommendation of the SBA President and
with 2/3 quorum vote of the Board of Directors (including Executive Board
members entitled to vote), or by a vote of simple majority of eligible Senate
members, the SBA may ask the Judicial Board for a Special Review of a bylaw
without bringing that question through the procedures defined in ARTICLE IV
section B QUESTIONS AND CONFLICTS.
The SBA Vice-President will inform the Judicial Board Chief Justice of this order of
Special Judicial Review. The Judicial Board must respond in a timely fashion.
Only the SBA President may make the recommendation for Special Judicial Review.
The Chief Justice has the authority to deny special review. By denying special
review, the issues requested for special review must follow the process as specified
in Article IV, section 4.
IMPEACHMENT OF A JUSTICE
A. Impeachment Charges: Any Justice, where founded, may be charged with
misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance. Any Justice, where founded, may be
charged with abuse of discretion. Any Justice, where founded, may be charged with
any other charge brought by any member of the SBA.
B. Impeachment Procedures: The SBA President shall inform the Senate of the
charge. The Senate will be given one week to review the charges. The accused Justice will
then testify to the Senate in his/her defense. The accuser will testify to the same regarding
the nature of the offense alleged. The Senate will then decide by 2/3 quorum vote for
sanctions and/or expulsion.