How to Submit a Referendum

You must notify the USG Vice President of a referenda idea at least five weeks before the USG election. This deadline will be announced at least 6 weeks before the election by the USG President, and open houses will be held the week before regarding the referenda process.

  • Email the USG Vice President

    Please e-mail the USG Vice President with your referendum idea by Monday noon, 5 weeks before the election voting period. Your referendum question does not have to be fully formed yet.

  • USG VP and ExCom confirm the referendum text

    The USG Vice President and Executive Committee will work with you to formulate the text of the referendum and ensure that the USG can affect changes should the referendum pass.

  • Collect the signatures for 10% of undergraduates

    Each sheet with signatures must include the text of referendum exactly as it will appear on the ballot. Otherwise, the signatures on the sheet will not be counted. You will have one week to collect the signatures.

  • Opposition party forms

    If you successfully collect signatures for and submit the referendum, there will be a week when an opposition party can form by communicating with the Chief Elections Manager. There will be no campaigning by either party during this period.

  • Both parties campaign

    For a week, both the referendum and opposition parties will campaign. There will be pro/con statements facilitated by USG, and debates and forums are encouraged. Any violations of the Referenda Handbook and Rights, Rules & Responsibilities will be penalized by the Chief Elections Manager.

  • The referendum will go up for a vote

    When the ballot for the USG election goes live. If the referendum passes (at least 1/3 undergraduates vote, >50% vote in favor), the USG Senate will write a formal position paper with action steps and forward it to the administration.


  • Your referendum may be brought up for review at a Senate meeting if it is thought to be frivolous. The Senate can remove it from the ballot with a 5/6 majority vote. You will be notified if the Senate is reviewing your referendum. And as recourse, if you have 1/3 of the Undergraduate student body sign a petition to get the referendum back on the ballot, it will be placed on a ballot within three weeks.
  • Referenda affecting the Honor Code require a 3/4’s majority vote.