CONSTITUTION OF THE
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
AT SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE
Revised by the Executive Committee 2009-2010
WE, the members of the student body of Southwestern College, in order to form an effective system of Student Government, representative and responsible to ourselves; to clearly define the powers and duties of the students; to secure for the students experience in leadership and self-government; to establish an organizational framework through which the concerns and needs of the student body can be heard and supported; do hereby ordain and establish, in coordination with Student Organizations, the Faculty, and the Board of Trustees, this Constitution for the Student Government Association of Southwestern College.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Student Government Association, but shall also be commonly known by its acronym, SGA.
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP
All undergraduate students of Southwestern College have the opportunity to participate in the proceedings of SGA. All undergrad students are eligible to vote in general and special elections; including, but not limited to: election of student senators and ratification of constitutional amendments.
All elected or appointed senators are eligible to create, discuss, and vote on legislation.
ARTICLE III: PURPOSES
The purposes of the Student Government Association shall be to:
a. provide the means whereby the members of the student body may express themselves effectively through programs in areas which directly affect their intellectual, educational, social, financial, physical, and spiritual welfare
b. establish equitable representation and participation for the student in the college community
c. promote mutually beneficial cooperation among students, faculty, administration, and the Board of Trustees in furthering the purposes for which the college was founded
d. promote democratic participation in the decisions of the college community
e. coordinate and regulate the activities of the student organizations for the benefit of the entire college community.
ARTICLE IV: JURISDICTION
All students registered at Southwestern College shall be subject to this constitution and its by-laws. This Constitution and all rules made pursuant to the authority of this Constitution shall be the supreme law over all non-academic student affairs, the rules of any organization to the contrary notwithstanding.
ARTICLE V: THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
The Executive Branch of the Student Government Association shall be vested in an Executive Committee composed of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the SGA Student Conduct Advisor. The officers of SGA shall be awarded management grant each semester from the college to be determined by the Campus Life Director.
1. The SGA President and SGA Vice President must:
a. Be a full-time (minimum of 12 semester hours) under-graduate student and have attained at least a sophomore class standing (30 semester hours earned).
b. At the time of inauguration, have attended Southwestern College for two consecutive semesters including the current semester.
c. Not be on disciplinary probation or scholastically deficient (cumulative GPA below 2.5) before and during the term.
d. Cannot be the president of another recognized student organization.
2. The SGA Secretary, SGA Treasurer, and SGA Student Conduct Advisor must:
a. Be a full-time (minimum of 12 semester hours) undergraduate student and have earned a minimum of 15 semester hours.
b. At the time of appointment, have attended Southwestern College for at least one semester preceding the current semester.
c. Not be on disciplinary probation or scholastically deficient (cumulative GPA 2.5) before or during their term.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. The duties and responsibilities of the SGA President shall be to:
a. Serve as chief executive officer of the Student Government Association.
b. Uphold, administer, and enforce the SGA Constitution and By-Laws.
c. Call special sessions of the Student Senate.
d. Make recommendations for legislation to the Student Senate.
e. Appoint, with the ratification of the Senate, student members to college committees, standing and special committees of The Senate, and any other official deemed necessary for the conduct of SGA responsibilities.
f. Preside over the SGA Executive Committee.
g. Appoint Administrative Assistants to aid the President in fulfilling his or her responsibilities.
h. Coordinate the functions of the student representatives to the college committees and the standing and special committees of the Student Senate.
i. Remove any appointed officer, committee member, or official, except SGA executive officers, elected and or appointed senators, or class presidents.
j. Initiate impeachment proceedings against any SGA executive officer, senator, class president, or justice who is guilty of misconduct or neglect of duties.
k. Serve as one of the two student liaisons to the Trustee Student Development Committee.
l. Fill, with the ratification of the Student Senate, vacancies among the Student Senate, either elected or appointed positions.
m. Sign acts of legislation passed by the Student Senate.
n. Have the power to veto acts of the Student Senate, provided that the veto is exercised within six (6) school days of passage and the veto is accompanied by a written justification and or explanation (see Article XIII of the By-Laws).
o. Attend all meetings of the Student Senate.
p. Attend all scheduled Student Development Board of Trustees meeting.
q. Attend the monthly Admissions and Retention meeting.
r. Work with the incoming SGA President in preparing that person for his or her duties
2. The duties and responsibilities of the SGA Vice-President shall be to:
a. Serve in lieu of the SGA President in the absence or disability of the President. Communicate to the SGA President all Acts and Resolutions of the Student Senate passed during the SGA President’s absence.
b. Succeed to the office of the SGA President should the office become permanently vacant.
c. Preside over and serve as Chairman of the Student Senate, using Robert’s Rules of Order.
d. Have the sole power to declare vacancies in its membership.
e. Serve as one of two student liaisons to the Trustee Academic Affairs Committee.
f. Appoint the chairs of each Senate committee from within the Senate membership, subject to the approval of the Student Senate.
g. Serve as an ex-officio member of all Student Senate committees.
h. Serve as Freshman Class President, in a figurehead position, until a successor is elected from the freshman class.
i. Assist the SGA President in any official capacity deemed necessary for the conduct of SGA responsibilities.
j. Attend all scheduled Academic Affairs Board of Trustees meetings.
k. Attend the monthly Curriculum Committee meetings.
l. Work with the incoming SGA Vice-President in preparing that person for his or her duties.
3. The duties and responsibilities of the SGA Secretary shall be to:
a. Provide for the compilation and publication of legislation to ensure the student body is informed.
b. Record and preserve the minutes of all Student Senate meetings.
c. Make available copies of minutes of each Student Senate meeting to each senator, the President of the College, the Dean of Students, the Academic Dean, a campus-wide college bulletin, and others deemed necessary by the SGA President or other interested parties.
d. Present, at each meeting of the Student Senate, the minutes of the previous Student Senate session for the approval of the membership.
e. Maintain the role of the senators, and keep accurate records pertaining to each member’s attendance at all Student Senate meetings.
f. Send, receive, and distribute all official SGA correspondence.
g. Maintain the archives in which shall be placed an official copy of all SGA rules, regulations, resolutions, official correspondence, as well as other pertinent reports including Trustee materials.
h. Assist the SGA President in any official capacity deemed necessary for the conduct of SGA responsibilities.
i. Assist the SGA Treasurer in preparing a proposed annual budget to be submitted in writing to the college administration and approved at the discretion of the Executives.
j. Attend all meetings of the Student Senate.
k. Attend all scheduled Academic Affairs Board of Trustees meetings.
l. Attend the monthly Admission & Retention Committee meetings.
m. Work with the future Secretary in preparing that person for his or her duties.
4. The duties and responsibilities of the SGA Treasurer shall be to:
a. Maintain a public written record of all funds of the SGA received and disbursed.
b. Deposit all proceeds into the SGA Treasury and withdraw funds necessary from the Treasury.
c. Present an SGA financial report at Student Senate meetings after changes.
d. Prepare an official written financial report by the end of each semester and distribute copies of the report to each senator, the President of the College, the Student Life Office, and a campus-wide college bulletin.
e. Audit, at the discretion of the SGA President, the financial records of any student organization.
f. Be responsible for all expenditures made directly by all components and committees.
g. Assist the SGA President in any official capacity deemed necessary for the conduct of SGA responsibilities.
h. Communicate with the college administration in approving the annual budget.
i. Attend the monthly Academic Affairs meetings.
j. Work with the incoming Treasurer in preparing that person for his or her duties.
5. The duties and responsibilities of the SGA Student Conduct Advisor shall be to:
a. Interpret the Constitution and By-Laws of the Student Government Association.
b. Administer the oath of office to all elected officers and senators at the first session of the Senate.
c. Educate students regarding the Southwestern College disciplinary process.
d. Attend all student conduct hearings.
e. Attend all scheduled Student Development Board of Trustees meetings.
f. Attend the monthly Academic Affairs meetings.
g. Work with the incoming Student Conduct Advisor in preparing that person for his or her duties.
6. The duties and responsibilities of the entire Executive Committee are:
a. Have the power to recognize or to withdraw recognition of student organizations and only those organizations that have completed the procedure for recognition as prescribed by the SGA By-Laws.
b. Attend weekly Executive Committee Meetings.
c. Set five office hours weekly that consist of the Executive Committee Meeting, the Student Senate Meeting, and three hours in the SGA office located in Campus Life.
The executive officers shall maintain, in good conduct, their respective offices for a term of one year from the date of their inauguration in the spring of the year of their election, until the succession of new officers in the spring of the following year.
ARTICLE VI: THE STUDENT SENATE
The Student Senate shall be the legislative branch of the Student Government Association.
The membership of the Student Senate shall be composed of the following members:
a. Fourteen (14) elected academic division representatives
b. Five (5) at-large members
c. Elected (four) class presidents.
d. (Five) Members of the SGA Executive Committee
e. Student Foundation President
f. Director of Campus Life and or designee
The duties of the Student Senate shall be to:
a. Have the power to make rules and regulations governing the non-academic conduct of the student body subject to the approval of the College Board of Trustees.
b. Establish procedure for the conduct of SGA business.
c. Enact, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present, By-Laws to this Constitution.
d. Propose, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present, By-Laws to this Constitution.
e. Ratify, by majority vote of members present, all appointments made by the SGA President.
f. Open all meetings to the public, unless designated by the SGA President or majority vote of the Senate members present as an executive session.
g. Have the power to censure any member of the Senate by majority vote of the members present.
h. Have the power to initiate impeachment proceedings against any member of the Executive Committee as described in Article X.
i. Have the power to pass regulations or resolutions by majority vote of members present.
j. Have the power to review and approve the budget of the Student Government Association.
k. Establish and abolish such subordinate offices and committees within the Student Senate as it shall deem necessary in completing its responsibilities.
l. Override, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members, any veto by the SGA President.
m. Have the authority to make all rules and regulations deemed necessary and proper for the upholding of the provisions of this Constitution.
n. Provide for the holding of referendums on issues pertinent to the student body.
o. Take legislative action on motions proposed by the Senate, by Senate Committees, or Members of the Senate.
The qualifications for Senators are defined as follows:
a. Be a full-time student (minimum of 12 semester hours).
b. Be a representative of the constituents they represent.
c. Not be on disciplinary probation or scholastically deficient (cumulative GPA below 2.5) before or during their term.
The senators shall maintain good conduct for the duration of their respective office. The committed time for a senator is one (1) academic school year.
Committees or components can be formed or abolished by the Senate by two-thirds (2/3) vote or by Presidential mandate. Student Foundations is exempt from this provision. The committees established under this constitution are Activities/Allocations, Student Concerns, Communications, Elections and Constitutional Amendments. The compilation and duties of committees shall be outlined in the SGA By-Laws. Other committees may be established when deemed necessary.
A Senator shall receive immunity for what he/she says on the floor of the Senate and shall lose this right when such comments are deemed obscene, vulgar, and/or libelous or that violate established college regulations such as, but not limited to the current policies on sexual and racial harassment.
ARTICLE VII: THE JUDICAL SYSTEM
The judicial power of the Student Government Association shall be vested in the Student Conduct Hearing Board and policies listed in the Southwestern College Student Code of Conduct (Southwestern College Policy Manual, 8.7).
Composition of the Student Conduct Hearing Board
a. The Student Conduct Board consists of students, faculty, and staff. The students are appointed by the Incident Review Committee, ratified by the Student Senate, and approved by the President of the College. The faculty members are appointed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and approved by the President of the College. The staff are appointed by the Vice President of Student Life and approved by the President of the College. The board will consist of 15 members (6 students, 6 faculty, and 3 staff members).
b. For the hearing, the Director of Campus Life selects a panel of 2 students, 2 faculty, and 1 staff person to hear the incident from the Student Conduct Board membership.
c. The Director of Campus Life will serve as the administrative coordinator to the Student Conduct Hearing Board and is responsible for organizing and presiding over all student conduct board hearings. He or she participates in deliberations and discussions, but does not vote.
d. The Student Conduct Advisor will be present at all conduct board hearings. He or she participates in deliberations and discussions, but does not vote.
Qualifications of Student Conduct Hearing Board Members
a. Be full-time undergraduate student (minimum of 12 semester hours).
b. Not be on disciplinary probation of scholastically deficient (cumulative GPA below 2.5).
If a student member of the Student Conduct Board is charged with a violation of the policies, rules, and regulations of the college, he or she may be suspended from their position by the Vice President of Student Life. Members found responsible of any such violation or offense may be disqualified from any further participation in the college disciplinary system.
ARTICLE VIII: STUDENT FOUNDATIONS ASSOCIATION
Student Foundations (StuFu) is a coordinate component of the Student Government Association. The objective of the organization is to coordinate, initiate, and administer activities involving the educational, recreational, and social interests of the college community.
President of StuFu shall serve as a voting member of the Student Government.
ARTICLE IX: INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
The student body shall have the power to initiate and act within the power of the Student Senate and to call for a ballot on any act of the Senate, provided that ten percent (10%) of the student body signs a petition calling for a referendum.
The SGA President and/or Vice-President may for misconduct, violation, or disregard of any part of this Constitution be removed from office. Petitions for a recall ballot may be called for providing that ten percent (10%) of the student body signs such a petition. If the petition is approved, the officers may be removed with a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast in a general recall election.
Appointed officers may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Senate, upon recommendation of the President.
ARTICLE X: IMPEACHMENT
Any elected SGA Executive Officer, class president, senator, or appointed official may be impeached for reasons of negligence or dereliction of duties.
Impeachment proceedings shall be initiated by the Student Senate or any member. A two-thirds (2/3) vote shall be required to recommend impeachment.
Upon adoption of a resolution of impeachment, the following shall occur:
a. Notice of Impeachment of any officer shall be served by the SGA Secretary to the SGA President. In case of impeachment of the SGA President, Notice of Impeachment shall be served by the SGA Secretary to the Director of Campus Life.
b. The SGA President and/or Director of Campus Life shall call a session of the full Student Senate within ten (10) academic days of the Notice of Impeachment.
c. Conviction by the Student Senate shall take a two thirds (2/3) vote concurrence of the members of Student Senate.
d. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall be limited to removal from office held in the Student Government Association.
e. No Executive Officer shall exercise any official duties or receive any stipend following conviction.
f. Once convicted, the removed officer shall not be eligible for membership in the Student Government Association in any capacity for a period of two (2) consecutive semesters.
g. Upon acquittal, all official rights and responsibilities shall be reinstated.
The decision of the Student Senate is final. Any applicable stipend shall be prorated according to the date of the removal from office with the remaining balance being returned to the college.
ARTICLE XI: ADVISOR
The Advisor for the Student Government Association shall be the Director or Assistant Director of Campus Life.
The SGA Advisor shall be the authority on questions regarding parliamentary procedure according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE XII: BY-LAWS
This constitution shall have by-laws drafted to serve as an extension in detail of the laws as stated in the constitution and certain operating rules and procedures of the Student Government Association.
ARTICLE XIII: ADMENDMENTS
An amendment to the Constitution may originate in the Senate by a majority vote or in the student body by the process described in Article IX of this Constitution. Any amendment shall be published in the Collegian or other college bulletins one week before the amendment is/are to be voted on by the student body.
In order for an amendment to be ratified, the measure must pass by at least two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the students voting on the measure. Any amendment ratified will take effect upon passage.
ARTICLE XIV: RATIFICATION
This Constitution shall be considered ratified by the student body when passed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those students voting. This constitution shall take effect upon passages, and upon taking effect will supersede all previous constitutions. Previous governing documents will be declared null and void. This Constitution shall become the instrument of Student Government at Southwestern College.