Section 6.35

 

RULES FOR CAMPAIGNING FOR SOCIETY OFFICE

 

The primary intent of these rules is to encourage a fair, professional, and ethical approach to the election process and to ensure equal treatment and opportunity for all candidates for a particular Society office. The following campaign restrictions apply to a candidate and nominees after they submit their candidate materials to the Nominations & Elections Committee or the Regional Nominations & Elections Committee, in the case of Regional Candidates. The following campaign restrictions apply to Society units (Practice Specialties, Branches, Common Interest Groups, Regions, Sections, Chapters and Area) when the Candidate Slate is announced.

In order to determine how these rules apply to candidates and nominees refer to Article I; to Society units refer to Article II; to individual ASSE members refer to Article III.

 

I. CAMPAIGN RULES AND RESTRICTIONS FOR CANDIDATES AND NOMINEES

 

a.      Candidates are expected to understand the rules governing campaigning during an election.  Candidates who violate campaign rules are subject to the actions described, in Section V Infractions of Campaign Requirements.

b.      Candidates may:

 i. Make a personal presentation before their primary chapter of record, without the participation of other candidates for the same office, including soliciting support.

 ii. Solicit support from members of their home chapter in private, face-to-face discussions.

 iii. Solicit support from members known to them personally in private, face-to-face discussions, letters/emails, phone calls, and social media where only those members known to them personally will see or hear the communication.

 iv. Engage in public dialogue, including social media, about their candidacy, qualifications, or platform statements/positions if all candidates for that same office have been invited to participate with reasonable notice.

 v. Respond to personal communications about their qualifications, platform, or positions.

 vi. Continue their normal functions and activities related to their positions on Society units, so long as the candidate does not use that position to communicate their candidacy or garner support.

vii. Participate in social media group discussions unrelated to the election.

 viii. Encourage members to vote in Society elections and refer to Society election materials.

 ix. Participate in any activity organized by the Society to disseminate election information.

c.      Candidates may not:

 i. Engage in any new activity or take any new action that creates an unfair advantage. For example, a candidate/nominee also serving as a Practice Specialty/Chapter Officer distributes a newsletter each month, which normally does not include their picture.  After their nomination is submitted the officer begins to include their picture in the newsletter.  This new behavior could be considered a campaign violation, because it is a new action or behavior that could give them an unfair advantage, by putting their face and/or name in front of the voting members. 

ii. Communicate their candidacy or solicit support via email, websites, social media, or any other public communication media where it is foreseeable for members not known to them personally to receive the communication.

iii. Engage in public dialogue, including social media, about their candidacy, qualifications, or platform statements/positions when all candidates for the same office have not been invited to participate with reasonable notice.

 iv. Engage in behavior which is unethical or slanderous against another candidate.

 

 

II. CAMPAIGN RULES FOR SOCIETY UNITS AND OFFICERS

 

a. Society unit officers are expected to understand the rules governing campaigning during an election.  Society units and/or their officers who violate campaign rules are subject to the actions described, in Section V Infractions of Campaign Requirements.

b.  Society units may:

i. Host meetings or forums to engage the candidates in public dialogue about their candidacy, qualifications, or platform statements/positions if all candidates for the same office have been invited to participate with reasonable notice.  The only exception to this rule is that a candidate’s primary Chapter may allow the candidate to make a presentation without the participation of other candidates for the same office. 

 ii. Publish official election materials maintained by the Society, provided they simultaneously publish the same materials for all candidates for the same office.

iii. Provide social media groups which are open to all Society members, and on which members may engage in discussions about Society elections and candidates in an open and free environment, provided members follow the rules in this SOG.

 iv.  Encourage members to review official campaign materials and participate in the election.

c.      Society units may not:

 i. Engage in new any activity or take any new action that creates an unfair advantage. For example if a Practice Specialty or Chapter newsletter is published and it mentions by name that one of their members is a candidate for office in the upcoming Society election, to prevent a potential campaign violation the newsletter should also mention the other candidate’s name and direct members to Society official campaign materials. 

 ii.  Endorse a candidate or express any editorial preference.

iii. Engage a candidate in public dialogue about their candidacy, qualifications, or platform statements/positions when all candidates for the same office have not been invited to participate with reasonable notice.

 iv. Engage in behavior which is unethical or slanderous against a candidate. 

 

III. CAMPAIGN RULES FOR MEMBERS

 

a. While the general membership is not expected to understand the specific rules governing campaigning during an election, they are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner.  Members who violate campaign rules are subject to the actions described in Section V Infractions of Campaign Requirements.

b. Members may:

i.  Engage in dialogue about the candidates, their qualifications, and platforms/positions.

ii. Personally endorse a candidate during dialogue about the election, provided they do not utilize Society resources to do so. 

iii. Encourage other members to review official campaign materials and participate in the election.

c.      Members may not:

i. Create or send blast e-mails nor forward communications from a candidate regarding their candidacy or publish and distribute campaign materials that would not otherwise be allowed.

ii. Engage in behavior which is unethical or slanderous against a candidate.

d.      Special rules for Society Officers:

i. Members of the Executive Committee and Nominations and Elections Committee are prohibited from providing support, backing or endorsement to any candidates.

ii.  ASSE Board of Directors shall not utilize Society resources, their ASSE title, or in any manner, publicly support, back or endorse any candidate.

 

IV. OTHER PROVISIONS AND REQUIREMENTS

 

a. Any information submitted by a candidate to any Society entity must be factual, accurate and correct. Such data will be verified by the Nominations and Elections Committee.

b. Official election material on candidates will be maintained by Society staff and provided for reproduction upon request. These materials will also be available for access on the Society web site.

c. The use and distribution of printed materials, advertising, stickers, posters, buttons and similar media, are prohibited, except as allowed in this SOG.

 

V. INFRACTIONS OF CAMPAIGN RULES

 

a. The Nominations and Elections Committee is responsible for the administration and oversight of the Society elections, inclusive of campaign rules and requirements.

b. Any alleged infraction of campaign rules and requirements should be brought before the Committee by contacting the Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee, or the staff liaison, Director of Member/Region Affairs in writing.

i. Confirmation of receipt of the allegation will be sent to the alleging member within 2 working days;

ii. The allegation will be forwarded to the Committee Chair within 3 working days of receipt;

iii. The Committee will investigate each allegation presented to them to the extent necessary to reach an informed decision;

iv. The member registering the allegation will be notified in writing of the Committee’s findings and decision, along with a summary of the findings;

v. The findings and decision of the Committee may be appealed to the Board of Directors. Such appeals will be heard by a 5-member ad hoc panel consisting of 4 Board members and one member of the Committee, all of whom are to be appointed by the Society President;

vi. The aggrieved party may appear before the Committee and/or the ad hoc panel, to offer justification for any alleged campaign infractions. The ruling of the panel shall be final;

 vii. The ruling of the Committee and/or panel shall be referred to the Council on Professional Affairs for possible action under the Code of Professional Conduct.

c. Candidates who violate campaign rules and requirements may be subject to actions described below, or other actions as determined appropriate by the Nominations & Elections Committee following its investigation. Such actions may include:

i.  Prohibition from running a second term (VP positions), if elected.

ii. Immediate removal from the election slate or forfeiture of the election.

iii.  Prohibition from subsequent nominations in any future year.

 iv. Loss of voting rights on the Board for one year (if a current Board member).

v. Submission of the violation and finding to the Professional Conduct Committee.

d. Society Units who violate the campaign rules and requirements may be subject to actions described below, or other actions as determined appropriate by the Nominations & Elections Committee:

 i. Elimination from consideration for Chapter Awards for the year of the infraction.

 ii.  Have all votes cast in the protested race negated and invalidated by the Tellers Committee.

 iii. Multiple infractions of the campaign rules may result in the suspension of a Chapter's Charter as recommended to, and determined by the Board of Directors.

e.      Members who violate campaign rules and requirements may be subject to actions described below, or other actions as determined appropriate by the Nominations & Elections Committee following its investigation.  A graded approach to actions is appropriate for the general membership, depending on their knowledge of Society SOG’s and the particular behavior leading to the violation.  Such actions may include:

 i. Warning from the Chair of the Nominations & Elections Committee to cease and rectify the situation.

ii. Elimination of vote cast during current election.

iii. Loss of all Society voting rights for up to five years.

iv. Prohibition from nomination as a candidate in future elections for up to five years.

v. Prohibition from service as a chair of a Society committee or leadership position in a Practice Specialty, Region, Area, Chapter, Section or Common Interest Group for up to five years.

vi. Submission of the violation and finding to the Professional Conduct Committee.

 

Any questions concerning campaign rules and regulations, or campaigning actions being considered, should be directed to the Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee, or to the staff liaison, Director of Member/Region Affairs no later than April 1st of the election year. A verbal or written response will be provided at the soonest possible time.


Approved By/Date: Board of Directors 06/14, House of Delegates 10/14

Replaces Edition Dated: 06/13

Next Revision Due: 06/17

 
 

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