Definition, Ratification and Voter Information:

  • Per the UBE’s Rules & Regulations, a referendum is “a question that has been certified to appear on an official ballot in an election administered by the University Board of Elections pursuant to these rules and the qualifications established by the constitution of the relevant student governing body, if applicable.”
  • An amendment to the Student Council Constitution must be ratified by two-thirds of those students voting in a referendum election.
  • An amendment to the Honor Committee Constitution must be ratified by three-fifths of students voting in a referendum election, provided that at least ten percent (10%) of the entire eligible voting population has voted in favor of such an amendment.
  • An amendment to the University Board of Elections Constitution must be ratified by a majority of those students voting in a referendum election.
  • For more information regarding University referendum, please consult Section III, Subsection E of the UBE’s Rules & Regulations, found here.
  • Voters may exit out of the ballot before voting on the proposed referenda. Votes for the other elected offices will be saved. Voters may return to the ballot at any time within the voting period of Wednesday, February 21st at 10:00am to Friday, February 23rd at 4:00pm. Voting on the proposed referenda is optional – voters may choose to vote on some, all, or none.

Important Referenda Information:

Please refer to the University Board of Elections Rules and Regulations for information regarding student referenda. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Individuals or organizations seeking the certification of a question to be a referendum item must submit a petition pursuant to these rules:

  • A petition for a referendum on a non-binding question of opinion to be put to the entire student body shall be made on a form provided by the UBE and shall be signed by not less than 950 students.
  • A petition for a referendum on a non-binding question of opinion to a particular school or undergraduate class must be signed by five percent (5%) of full-time students in that particular school or class. Individuals or organizations collecting school or class referendum petitions should request that the UBE provide them a signature minimum based on up-to-date enrollment figures.
  • A petition for a referendum on a binding constitutional amendment to be put to the entire student body shall be made on a form provided by the UBE and shall be signed by a number of students governed by the requirements established in the existing constitutions of the governing body for which the amendment applies; the specific number, when set as a percentage of a student population, will be determined by the governing body using the previous semester’s enrollment numbers. If the constitution of the governing body does not specify a required number of signatures, the University Board of Elections shall require a petition signed by no less than 1,250 students.

    Only official petition packets created by the UBE that include the referendum text on each signature page will be accepted.

    1. Download and complete the Referenda Proposal.
    2. Submit the completed proposal by email to [email protected] from your U.Va. email address.
    3. The UBE will create the official petition packets with the text, and it will be available for pickup in the Programs & Councils Office (Newcomb Hall 164) or at another mutually agreed upon location within 48 hours. The packet will be available by Feb 8th after approval by the General Council. If a review of your proposal cannot be completed within 48 hours you will receive notification from the UBE.
    4. You may only gather signatures with the official petition forms; duplicates may be permitted in some circumstances.

    The UBE will not reject any properly submitted referendum proposal based on content except in special circumstances; the purpose of the proposal submission is to verify sponsor and referendum information.

    Constitutional Amendments:

    For referenda that affect the constitutions of the Honor Committee, University Judiciary Committee, Student Council, School Councils, or Class Councils, the UBE strongly recommends that you work with the Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer to help you with the text of the referendum to ensure its legality. While the UBE may not remove referenda from the ballot if a proposed constitutional amendment might be illegal, an amendment with questionable legality may not be approved by the Board of Visitors, even if passed by the student body. The UBE would like to prevent these sorts of situations as they can confuse and upset the student body and reflect poorly on all involved.