BAC Nominations and Elections

Thank you for your interest and participation in the Black Alumni Council (BAC) of Columbia University. The BAC holds elections for its executive board every two years, in accordance with the BAC bylaws.

Nomination Period (concluded May 3, 2021)

Biennial nominations for executive officer positions on the BAC Board of Directors take place in the spring of each election year (years ending in odd numbers). An Elections Committee of alumni is activated to determine processes and timelines for nominations and elections as instructed by the Board leadership.

Nominations must contain the nominee’s first and last name, contact email, school, graduation year, desired position, and a brief statement of support (not to exceed 200 words). Please only nominate others after having received their consent for nomination. Alumni may also nominate themselves. Submissions will be reviewed and a slate of nominees for elections will be announced by the Nominating Committee.

Below are elected officer position descriptions:

President: The President of the Board shall preside over all meetings, provide meeting agenda, act as liaison with the Columbia Alumni Association, appoint committee chairs, and with the secretary and treasurer, sign all written contracts on behalf of BAC.

Vice President: The Vice President shall assist the President and perform his or her duties in the event of the President’s absence or inability to act. The Vice President may be designated by the President to preside over Advisory Committee meetings, and shall assume principal responsibility and supervision of special committees.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall keep all financial records and shall report annually to the Board on the financial status of the BAC. He/she with the President shall sign all financial contracts on behalf of the BAC except as otherwise provided by the Board of Directors.  

Secretary: The Secretary shall prepare meeting minutes and keep records of attendance at Board and Committee meetings. He/she shall with the President sign all written contracts on behalf of the BAC except as otherwise provided by the Board of Directors.

Programming Officer: The Programming Officer shall find venues for events and programming, find content and speakers for programming and events, and develop engaging social, intellectual, and career-driven programming to help foster volunteer engagement, build membership and alumni engagement.

Communications Officer: The Communications Officer shall draft email messages, newsletters and prepare templates for invitations to events, maintain all social media accounts, monitor and report on registration counts for events and communicate whether venue changes are necessary.

Elections Committee

Barbara Lee Jackson '78PH, Chair
Anthony Sanford '16SIPA
Bridget Patterson-Marshall, MD '85EN, '92VPS
KaTrina Rawlins, Esq '99BC
Paul Mitchell '97EN
Yma Gordon-Reid '97SIPA
Menen Mathias-Fredericks, MD '86GS

The BAC Election Committee (EC) convened for 2021 are volunteers who initiated a process based upon:

  • Reviewing the Bylaws that stipulate the roles and responsibility of the EC and future Officers.
  • Working with the Chair of the previous BAC EC, we established a streamlined process for candidates to showcase their plans for the future and answering questions from the eligible voters in BAC.
  • Distributing and creating the electronic correspondence including the ballots for the election to be held the last week in mid-June
  • Plans for the EC members to tally, confirm and announce the election results

Elections (June 16 - 23, 2021)

Once the nominating process is closed, the members of the Nominating Committee will compile the submitted information on each nominee, verify their interest and eligibility to seek office, and ask for a brief bio of qualifications and interest for distribution. A digital correspondence is prepared with a ballot (or link to a ballot), submitted candidate information, and a closing date for all ballots to be received. Reminders will be sent at least once during the balloting period. 

Voter Eligibility

Ballots are sent to eligible members of the BAC contact list. Eligibility is determined each cycle by the board in preparation for elections. In the 2021 election, the board voted to send ballots to all "active" BAC members, with active status determined by documented engagement in a number of ways:

  • Attendance (in-person or remotely) at events or meetings (including General Body meetings, 2019 Homecoming,  2020 Virtual Homecoming, Heritage programming, happy hours, BAC-LA programming, networking and preprofessional events, student connect/networking events, etc.);
  • Contributions to the BAC Scholarship Fund, Graduation Stoles, or other fund raising activity;
  • Registration and profile creation on BlackColumbia.org.
  • All graduates in the classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 are also considered eligible, regardless of the above criteria.

As per BAC By-Laws, the Board retains the right to determine eligibility criteria for elections, membership, and active participation.  

Please refer all questions or concerns via e-mail to [email protected].

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