By Laws

BYLAWS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE
Revised by the Executive Committee, 2009-2010

 
ARTICLE I—COMMITTEES

Section A.

The committees established under the SGA Constitution are Constitutional Amendments and Elections, Communications and Publicity, Student Concerns, and Activities and Allocations. The student senators shall be members of a committee. The committees should have equal representation of student senators. No more than half of the committee can be made up of senators from the same organization.

Section B.

Constitutional Amendments and Elections Committee.
   1. Members of the committee:
      a. Chair appointed by the Executive Committee 
      b. Positions filled by volunteers from the student senate or by appointment of the Executive Committee

   2. Duties of the committee:
      a. Creation and recommendation of Constitutional Amendments
      b. Supervise and coordinate all student body elections and referendums; including, but not limited to: fall and spring elections, any run-off or recall elections, and any special election or referendum called for by the senate or ten percent (10%) of the student body during their tenure on the committee.

Section C.

Communications and Publicity Committee
 
1. Members of the committee:
   a. Chair appointed by Executive Committee
   b. Positions filled by volunteers from the student senate or by appointment of the Executive committee

2. Duties of the Committee:
   a. Post flyers for events and elections
   b. Keep Student Government Association Website updated
   c. Update student body of SGA activities in Collegian.

Section D.

Student Concerns Committee.
   1.  Members of the committee:
      a. Chair appointed by Executive Committee
      b. Positions filled by volunteers from the student senate or by appointment of the Executive Committee

   2. Duties of the committee:
      a. Assess the academic/social/economic needs of the student body.
      b. Propose recommended changes to the student senate for appropriate action.
      c. Assess the needs of the campus regarding campus-wide concerns.

Section E.

Activities and Allocations Committee.
   1. Members of the committee:
      a. Chair appointed by the Executive Committee
      b. Positions filled by volunteers from the student senate or by appointment of the Executive Committee

   2. Duties of the committee:
      a. Coordinate campus events (e.g. organizational fundraisers and SGA sponsored activities)
      b. Assist student organizations in writing legislation and resolutions for planned programs or travel expenses.
      c. Assist student organizations in writing legislation for planned fundraising activities and resolutions.

Section G.

All committee chairs will report on the affairs of their respective committees to the student senate at the request of the SGA Executive Committee.

ARTICLE II—ELECTIONS PROCEDURE

Section A.

1. Nominations for Executive Branch and Senators SGA President, SGA Vice President, and SGA Secretary 

   a. Any full-time undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 shall be eligible for election upon submission and certification of an official petition to the election committee.
   b. The petition shall be submitted to the election commission at least one week prior to the election of these officers. The petition shall include the name of the person running for office, office for which the person is a candidate, cumulative GPA, and one-hundred (100) different signatures, without and repeat or infringement of signatures, of full-time Southwestern College students.  Elections will be held during the spring semester each year.

2. Elected senators
   a. Any full-time undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA of 2. 5 shall be eligible for election as a student senator upon submittal and certification of an official petition to the election committee.
   b. The petitions shall be submitted to the election commission at least one week prior to the election of senators. The petition shall include the name of the person running for office, type of senator, and cumulative GPA. Petitions must include 25 signatures.

3. Class Presidents
   a. Each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior class) shall have a president elected by the members of their respective class, according to the current SC undergraduate catalog:
      1. Freshman: 1-24 hours completed, and consideration of matriculation year
      2. Sophomore: 25-49 hours completed, and consideration of matriculation year
      3. Junior: 50-84 hours completed, and consideration of matriculation year
      4. Senior: 85+ hours completed, and consideration of matriculation year
   b. Any full-time undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 shall be eligible for the office of class president upon submission and certification of an official petition to the election committee.
   c. The petition shall be submitted to the election committee at least one week prior to the election of these officers. The petition shall include the name of the person running for office, potential office, and cumulative GPA. The petition must be signed by 25 different members of the represented class.
   d. Duties of the class president:
      1. Represent the interest of the elected class in meetings of the student senate.
      2. When necessary, call and preside over class meetings.
      3. Coordinate and organize class activities
      4. Senior class president shall:
         a. Assist the faculty and administration in the preparation of baccalaureate and       commencement activities.
         b. Work with the class in the selection of announcements
         c. Chair the Class Gift Selection Committee, which should have one member from each division: Music/Performing Arts, Math/Science, Nursing, Business, Communications, Social Science, Education, in selection of announcements and class gift.
   e. The elections for freshman class president shall be held in the fall of each academic year.

4. Each full-time student may sign only one petition per office.

5. Certification of Petitions
   a. The election committee shall have the sole power to certify petitions.
   b. Criteria for certification shall include:
      1. Proper grade point average.
      2. Adequate number of signatures.
      3. Each signature shall appear only once per petition, and each student may sign only as many petitions as there are positions available.
      4. The candidate in question shall be running for only one Student Government Association or one Student Activities office at any one time. 
   c. Anyone submitting a petition with an error(s) shall be informed so within twenty-four (24) hours of discovering the error(s), and shall be given forty-eight (48) hours to correct any mistakes and to resubmit the petition.

Section B.

Student Senate Representation

1. The student senate will consist of the following members:
   a. Fourteen (14) senators based on academic division
   b. Five (5) at-large senators
   c. Four (4) class presidents
   d. (Five) Members of the SGA Executive Committee
   e. Student Foundation President
   f. Director of Campus Life

2. Academic representation
   a. The Elections committee will follow the procedures in the Elections Handbook obtained from the Campus Life Office.
   b. The Senate shall be composed of 2 senators from the following categories:
Music/Performing Arts, Math/Science, Nursing, Business, Communications, Social Science, Education in addition to the four class presidents, an additional five (5) at-large senators, and the StuFu President. 

Section C.

The Student Government Association shall hold elections in the spring of each academic year to elect executive officers, class presidents (for sophomore, junior, and senior classes), and student senators. Elections shall be conducted within the following guidelines:

1. The spring election is to be held at least five (5) weeks prior to the end of the spring semester. The exact date will be proposed each year by the election committee. The fall election is to be held within three (3) weeks after the first day of class for the fall semester. The exact date will be proposed each year by the election committee. If the election commission finds it necessary to disqualify the election because of irregularity, the subsequent election shall be held within six (6) academic days after the preceding election.

2. A run-off election for either the spring election or the fall election, if needed, shall be held exactly one week after the respective election. Any subsequent run-off will be held exactly one week after the preceding run-off.

Section D.

All Student Government Association elections and run-off elections shall be conducted according to the following procedures:

1. Voting rights are determined by the consideration of matriculation year and the current SC undergraduate catalog:
   1. Freshman: 1-24 hours completed
   2. Sophomore: 25-49 hours completed
   3. Junior: 50-84 hours completed
   4. Senior: 85+ hours completed

2. If there is a discrepancy of voting procedures, disclosure to the Executive Committee of an individual’s vote will result in a cancellation of that vote.

3. Any SGA election shall be announced not less than ten (10) academic days prior to the first day of the election. The Election Chair shall be responsible for publicizing the date of the elections.

4. Students wishing to run for an elective office may obtain a petition and copies of office qualifications from the SGA office or the SGA election committee. Petitions for office will be accepted no later than one week prior to the first day of the election. Petitions must be submitted to the election commissioner.

5. The election committee shall ensure that each petitioner’s qualifications are verified by the office of academic records. Each petitioner must sign a statement permitting the director of academic records to verify their qualification for office.

6. No candidate may run for more than one elected SGA office in the same election.

7. All SGA elections are posted online and announced through the JinxTale.

8. If a candidate wishes to protest the election results on a procedural irregularity, they may submit a written protest to the Student Life Director. All protest must be received within one hour of the closing of the polls.

9. The Student Life Director must verify the election and address any protests within 24 hours following the election. Election results and any irregularities must be reported to the SGA President within 24 hours following the closing of the polls by the Election Committee Chair

10. In the event that the person with the highest number of votes is tied with another candidate, then those two candidates will be placed in a run-off election to be held within a week of the previous election.

11. A write-in candidate will be eligible if the candidate meets the qualifications for that particular office and receives at least five write-in votes for the same office. The eligibility of a write-in candidate shall be examined by the election commission after such a candidate is duly elected. In the event that an elected write-in candidate is found to be ineligible for the office, the runner-up for that office shall fill the vacancy. If the runner-up is also a write-in candidate, the above procedure will again be followed.

12. The results of any election are open to public inspection, and shall be coordinated through the office of the Campus Life Director and/or any designee.

13. The official results of any SGA election shall be announced no later than 9:00 a.m. on the second academic day following the election. Written results shall be posted across campus and on the Jinx Tale and given to the SGA Secretary by the Election Committee Chair.

14. The official results of any SGA election shall be retained in the Student Life Office for a period of ten (10) academic days following the closing of the polls. Any candidate desiring a recount may request the recount within three (3) academic days following the election. If a candidate desires to challenge an election, they must notify the election committee chair within three (3) academic days following the election. The Election Committee Chair shall hold a hearing to determine the validity of the challenge within 24 hours following the notification of intent to challenge. Presentation of evidence of contested elections will then be sent to the student supreme court for a final determination.

15. No person shall be elected to more than one SGA office. A candidate, once elected to an SGA office, must agree to relinquish and not accept any conflicting responsibility.

16. The election commission will have the responsibility to ensure that no campaigning shall take place within thirty-five (35) feet of the polls. No campaign matter of any type shall be permitted within fifty (50) feet of the polls. Election committee members will remove and dispose of any printed campaign material in violation of this rule. Election commission members will ask that individuals not verbally campaign within thirty-five (35) feet of the polls. 
 

ARTICLE III—INAUGURATION

Section A.

The Student Conduct Advisor shall administer the oath of office to the SGA President and SGA Vice President within one week following their election in the spring preferably at a session of the Student Senate. The SGA Student Conduct Advisor shall administer the oath of office to all class presidents and senators in the fall at the first meeting of the student senate. All appointees to these offices shall be administered the oath of office as soon as possible following their confirmation by the student senate.

Section B.

The oath of office is as follows: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office to which I am elected (appointed) and uphold the Constitution of the Student Government Association of Southwestern College.”

ARTICLE IV—VOTING PRIVILEGES

Each authorized member of the Student Senate, as stated in Article VI of the SGA Constitution, shall be entitled to one (1) vote on any action proposed by the Student Senate, except the SGA Vice President who in the capacity as President of the senate shall vote only in case of a tie.

ARTICLE V—QUORUM

Section A.

All class presidents and senators may not be absent from more than four regularly scheduled sessions of the senate. Absences will be excused only by the executive committee. If they accrue additional absences, the senate will be required to vote on whether to censure the senator. If the senator misses more than eight sessions, the senate shall be required to begin impeachment proceedings.

Section B.

Prior to freshman class elections, a quorum will consist of at least forty percent (40%) representation of the total number of senators and executive officers represented in the spring semester of that same year. Following freshman class elections, a quorum will consist of fifty-one percent (51%) of the total number of senators, class presidents, and executive officers.

Section C.

The President of the Senate will make the final determination of whether a quorum is present.

ARTICLE VI—BILL BOOK

In accordance with Article V of the Constitution, the SGA Executive Officers shall compile and maintain, separate from the minutes, a written record of all legislation enacted during their term of office. These yearly records shall be maintained indefinitely by the SGA Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VII—STIPEND PRORATION

In accordance with Article V (Executive Branch) and Article X (Impeachment) of the SGA Constitution, Executive Officers receiving a stipend shall be required to return to the Student Government Association any remaining balance upon vacancy of the position, prorated from the date of vacancy. Any officer appointed to fill a vacancy due to impeachment or other circumstances, shall receive the remaining balance.
 

ARTICLE VIII—RECOGNITION OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND WITHDRAWAL OF RECOGNITION

Section A.

Any student organization, in order to receive SGA funds or participate in fundraising at Southwestern College, must be given official campus recognition. The following procedures must be followed to obtain proper recognition:

   1. Obtain an “Application for Recognition” form from the campus life office.

   2. Submit or draft a constitution. This document should state the name, purpose, criteria for membership, offices, functions, and rules of the organization.

   3. Receive approval from the appropriate divisional chair if the proposed organization is an academic departmental organization.

   4. Submit the completed “Application for Recognition” and three copies of the proposed constitution and a list of members to the Director of Campus Life. Three copies shall be distributed to the following:
      1. Director of Campus Life
      2. SGA President
      3. SGA Secretary

   5. Distribute copies of the SGA Constitution and By-Laws to each official campus organization at the beginning of each academic year.

Section B.

The Campus Life Office will present the information supplied by the organization to the Student Government Association for approval.

Section C.

SGA will recognize active organizations upon annual renewal of the organization application.

Section D.

At the beginning of each semester, each organization must submit a list of officers and a copy of its current and updated Constitution and By-Laws to the Campus Life Office. It is the responsibility of each organization to ensure that any changes in information submitted to the Campus Life Office are reported when they occur. Failure to provide the information listed may result in the organization’s loss of recognition.

Section E.

The Student Government Association reserves the right to review, at any time, the constitution and minutes of any recognized student organization for compliance with SGA rules and regulations.

Section F.

The Director of Campus Life and/or the student senate reserves the right to revoke the privileges or status of any recognized student organization for non compliance of SGA rules and campus policies and regulations.

ARTICLE IX—AGENDA INPUT

Deadline for submitting an item for senate agenda consideration shall be one (1) calendar days prior to the scheduled meeting. The agenda item must be in writing and presented to any member of the executive committee.

ARTICLE X—ARCHIVES

In compliance with Article V, Section C (Duties and Responsibilities) of the SGA constitution, records will be maintained by the Student Government Association. The official archives shall be kept on a computer disk, with back-up files, and paper documentation. A printed copy of the Constitution and By-Laws will be made each time a change is ratified. The current version of these documents will be open for public inspection any time during regular office hours in the Student Life Office and on the SGA website, found at <http://www.sckans.edu/sga>.

ARTICLE XI—AMENDING THE BY-LAWS

Amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed by any member of the student senate or by a petition signed by not less than ten percent (10%) of the student body of Southwestern College. A proposed amendment shall be effective when ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those senate members present. Proposed amendments must be presented for inspection by the student senate at least one regular meeting prior to the final vote on the amendment.

ARTICLE XII—VETO

In order to Veto a bill, resolution, or other written document passed by the majority of the Student Senate, the President of the Student Government Association needs to take the following action:

   1. The President of the Senate needs to write a written document to the organization effected by the decision explaining reasoning of the Veto.  This can include not signing the passed document by letting it sit for six (6) school days after the involved parties are informed.

   2. The Student Senate may override the Veto by passing the recognition of the overriding of the Veto during a Senate meeting with a two-thirds (2/3) vote or by letting the Veto follow through and re-writing the document completely with new wording and allocations suggestions (this would have to be clarified with the Student Life Director).

   3. The Student Government Parliamentarian should be available to answer any questions or concerns according to the Robert’s Rules of Order procedure.