Bylaws of the Student Government Association
I. Legislative Committees
- Committee Structure and Procedures
- This section shall apply to all committees within the Student Government Association.
- The following committees are established: Finance, Student Organizations, Academic Affairs, Health and Safety, Constitution and Bylaws, Judiciary, Student Services, and Safety, Sustainability, and Development.
- The Executive Treasurer shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Finance and Student Organization committees. The Executive Vice President shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Constitution and Bylaws and Judiciary committees.
- All SGA Senate members must serve on one committee but may serve on at most two permanent committees as a full, voting member at the discretion of the Executive Vice President.
- Committee Chairmen
- Each committee, upon its first meeting, shall elect a chairman from among themselves, in accordance with the following procedure
i. Those wishing to be chairman shall make a speech not to exceed 2 minutes, describing why they are qualified to be chairman.
ii. Voting shall then proceed, with each Senator’s vote individually recorded.
1. If there is a dispute as to the counting of the votes, the SGA Secretary shall serve as the official recorder of the meeting.
iii. The Senator with a plurality of the votes shall be elected as Chairman
1. If no Senator receives a plurality, then the Executive Vice President shall cast a tie breaking vote and choose the committee Chairman.
i. Committee chairmen shall
1. Create the agenda for each meeting
2. Take minutes
a. Send a copy of the minutes to the SGA Secretary in a timely manner
3. Issue a committee report at the general SGA meeting
4. Meet with the SGA President every other week to report about the operation of the committee
- Each committee shall be required to regularly meet at least once every two weeks with expressed exception of the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws and the Committee on the Judiciary, which shall meet as needed at the discretion of the committees’ chairmen.
- Each committee shall operate according to a plurality vote system – more members must vote in the affirmative than the negative to pass a motion.
i. A tie brings the matter before the Senate with no recommendation in favor or against,
- Committee actions, unless otherwise specified, must be ratified by the Senate before they take effect.
- Each committee shall develop its own procedures, ratified by a majority vote of the Senate, to conduct its business.
- All committee meetings shall be open to the public, except when discussing personnel matters.
i. Voting MUST take place in public, discussion may be in private, but actual votes must be individually recorded, per the constitution.
- Finance Committee
- Student Organizations Committee
- Academic Affairs Committee
- Student Services Committee
- Health and Safety Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Sustainability and Development
II. Senate Meetings
- Senate meetings shall follow the procedures outlined in the “SGA Senate Procedural Rules” document.
- Senate rules can be suspended by a 2/3 vote.
- The Senate shall meet at least once per week during the Academic year
- Quorum for a meeting shall consist of no less than 2/3 of the total present membership of the Senate, plus the Chair.
- Absence Policy
- Excused absences consist of health issues, family emergencies, interviews, or other legitimate reasons as decided by the Vice President. Missing meetings for religious holiday shall count as neither an excused or unexcused absence
- The vice president can only grant up to six excused absences for one senator in any given year, regardless of reason.
- Lateness to general body meeting will be counted as 1/3 of an absence.
- Committee absence will be counted as 1/3 of a meeting absence. Excuses can be granted by the committee chair at his or her discretion.
- Class Council absence will be counted as 1/3 of a meeting absence. Excuses can be granted by the Class Council President at his or her discretion.
- The Executive Vice President shall chair all SGA Senate meetings, except as otherwise stated in the Procedural Rules.
III. Class Presidents
- Class Presidents shall:
i. Meet with members of their class
ii. Ensure proper communication between their class council and members of their class
iii. Serve on the Class Council Task Force
iv. Perform all regular Senatorial duties
IV. Student Activities Commission
- The Student Activities Commission, hereafter referred to as SAC, shall hereby be created as a subsidiary group of the Student Government Association
- The SAC shall be tasked with providing funding for approved student groups classified into the following six categories:
- Advocacy and Awareness
- Performing Arts
- Publications and Journals
- Religious and Spiritual
- Special Interest and Hobby
- The SAC shall be tasked with providing all amenities entitled to all approved student groups in a viewpoint neutral fashion. This will require that the process for funding student groups be based on criteria not tied to viewpoint such as fiscal responsibility, relevance to mission, and level of services provided.
- The SAC shall be comprised of nine voting Commissioners, appointed by the SGA Executive Treasurer and approved by the SGA Senate
- In the event of a vacancy, the SGA Executive Treasurer may appoint replacement members with SGA senate approval or divide responsibilities among the remaining SAC Commissioners
- The SGA Executive Treasurer shall chair the SAC but shall only vote when a tie exists
- Quorum shall be set at half plus one of the membership SAC
- The SGA Senate is hereby ordered the overseeing body of the SAC
- At least one member of the SGA Finance Committee shall be present at all SAC meetings
i. Finance Committee members are non-voting observers but may ask questions or comment on meeting procedures and decisions
- Decisions of the SAC may be challenged by the SGA Senate under these two methods:
i. A funding decision may be appealed to the SGA Senate and amended by a ⅔ majority vote
ii. In the event of suspected improprieties on behalf of the SAC, a member of the Finance Committee may motion to bring up a decision for discussion at the SGA Senate meeting:
- Any financial or confidential information about student groups must be discussed in closed meeting
- A ⅔ majority vote of the Senate is needed to amend an SAC decision
- Decisions of the SGA Senate are final regarding funding matters, appealable only to the SGA Judiciary, upon constitutional or other violations-related grounds.
1. Senatorial Vacancy
- In the case of senatorial vacancy, the remaining members of the class shall choose a new senator, following a process that they deem to be fair and balanced
- Voting to confirm a new senator shall follow the plurality scheme, the candidate receiving the most votes shall be elected.
- Once chosen, no further action is required by the Senate to approve a new senator, so long as he meets all the requirements set forth in the constitution
2. Class Presidential Vacancy
- In the case of a Class Presidential vacancy, the remaining members of the class shall choose a new President from among themselves, following a process that they deem to be fair and balanced
- Voting to confirm a new class president shall follow the plurality scheme, the candidate receiving the most votes shall be elected.
- Once chosen, no further action is required by the Senate to approve a new class president, so long as he meets all the requirements set forth in the constitution.
VI. Miscellaneous (NOTE: THIS SECTION EFFECTIVE FALL 2010)
- Student groups may not disallow any member the right to vote with regard to race, color, creed, religion, national or ethic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, citizenship, or handicap. This requirement may be waived in circumstances in which an individual group has a specific reason—related to the impending graduation of group members—as to why members set to graduate in the academic year following the election should not be allowed to vote in a group election. If the group wishes to waive this requirement, they must present a case to the SGA Appointments and Evaluations Committee explaining why graduating members should not be allowed to vote in an election. If the SGA rules in the group’s favor, then the class of graduating members will not be allowed to vote. The disallowance of graduating members, if approved, must apply to every member of the group, without exception, who is to graduate in the semester following the election. Any alterations to this section shall require a ¾ vote of the total membership of the SGA Senate
VII. Executive Treasurer (NOTE: THIS SECTION EFFECTIVE FALL 2011)
- The duties of the Executive Treasurer of the SGA shall be:
- To report all SGA financial transactions, not including SAC transactions, at all SGA full body meetings
- To work with the SGA Finance Committee to create a competitive application process for SAC liaisons and to run effective SAC meetings
- To report all student groups approved for SAC funding grants at the most recent SAC meeting, but not specific financial numbers
- To publish and co-manage a specific page of the SGA’s website reserved to the information aforementioned in the SGA bylaws, section VII, subsections 1.i and 1.iii, with the SGA Finance Committee
- To ensure that Article 4, subsection 4.05a of the SGA Constitution is upheld to its fullest extent
- To publish the yearlong SGA budget to the SGA website, and to publicly report any deficits and surpluses at the end of each semester
- To attend all Finance Committee meetings as a non-voting member and offer advice and counsel for all committee members.
- The duties of the Executive Treasurer shall not be exclusively bound to those listed under Section VII, subsection 1, of the SGA bylaws, but may include other duties as necessary.
- The Executive Treasurer shall be subject to the same rules of attendance as all Finance Committee members.
VIII. Conduct of SGA members during elections
- “Members of the SGA who are found to have violated campaign procedure set out in the CSE Constitution or to have abused their internal knowledge of the workings and dynamics of the Student Government Association in order to interfere in the election process by other members of the Student Senate and the Executive Board will be put forth in front of the body in impeachment proceedings pursuant to the procedures for impeachment as set for by the SGA Constitution.”