A referendum is a question posed to the electorate by the elected body to determine direction for relevant matters. The ability to poll the student body regarding pertinent matters informs the Student Assembly of student opinion and enable it to act in accordance with the desires of its constituents. There is no limit on the number of questions that may be posted on the ballot.
Referenda can be initiated in three ways:
- Every academic spring term during the Student Assembly’s elections, questions may be placed on the ballot for the student body to vote upon.
- The ballot platform can also be used to pose referendum questions for the student body at any point in the year, given that the referendum complies with guidelines.
- In the event that 500 different William and Mary students sign a petition requesting for an emergency referendum to be held on a particular question, the Elections Commission must select a calendar date within 15 academic days of receiving the petition to hold the referendum.