SGA Constitution

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NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
Alva, Oklahoma

CONSTITUTION
Last Revision -- 1994

ARTICLE I
The Student Senate

Section 1.

Legislative power shall be vested in the Student Senate. The Student Senate shall be composed of members chosen every year by the students. There shall be as nearly as possible one senator for every fifty (50) students or, when necessary a major fraction thereof. For this purpose twenty-five (25) students will be considered a major fraction.

Section 2.

There shall be representation from two districts, on-campus and off-campus.

Section 3.

The members of the Student Senate shall be elected for a term of one (1) year by a majority vote of the students. Voting will be secret ballot and a voting poll will be established in a central location. The election shall be held no later than the third Thursday following the final day of registration for the fall semester.

Section 4.

Supervision of the initial Senate elections shall be the duty of the elected officers of the Student Body. All other elections will be administered by the elections committee.

Section 5.

If a member moves from the district from which he was elected, the member shall remain as a senator after the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Senate quorum.

Section 6.

The Student Senate shall be responsible for establishing its rules of procedure with the limitation that a majority of the entire Senate is required as a quorum for the conduction of business.

Section 7.

The Student Senate shall hold at least two regular meetings each month of the academic year. The first Senate meeting of each year shall be held on or before September 30. Notice of the meetings shall be distributed to each senator and sponsor at least one day in advance.

Section 8.

Every bill or recommendation, which shall have passed the Senate, before it will be enacted or presented to the proper administrator, must be presented to the President of the Student body for his/her approval. Failing this approval, the bill or recommendation will not become effective unless repassed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Student Senate. If any bill or recommendation shall not be returned to the Senate at the next regular meeting following its passage, together with the President's objections to said bill, the same shall be enacted or presented to the administrator without the Student Body's approval.

Section 9.

The constitutionality of a Senate action may be challenged by presenting a petition to the Judicial Council. The petition must be signed by five senators or 50 students.

Section 10.

The Student Senate shall adhere to the guidelines established by the administration of Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

The Student Senate shall represent the Student Body of Northwestern Oklahoma State University in matters of general concern and shall serve as the official representative of the student community in expressing opinion and interest to the appropriate faculty, administrative, and student organizations.

The Student Senate shall have the power to: collect monies by fund raising projects or from such funds that are made available by the college, in order to carry out its duties and functions; administer such social functions as deemed necessary; engage public speakers; appropriate scholarship funds, sponsor school spirit activities; approve by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a Senate quorum the nominations to the internal committees, approve the Student Body President's student appointments to Faculty-Senate Committees by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a Senate quorum; authorize and supervise the disbursement of all Senate funds; remove the President, Vice President, or any officer or senator upon the presentation of impeachment charges by a petition signed by one-third (1/3) of the members of the Senate and the conviction of a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Student Senate; and approve the campaign rules as established by the Elections Committee to serve as the official campaign rules for all Student Senate elections.

ARTICLE II
The Executive

Section 1: The Executive

Executive power shall be vested in the President of the Student Body. The President shall hold the office for one year beginning with the last meeting of the academic year during which he/she was elected and, together with the Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by a popular majority of all students voting in April. The election will be administered by the Elections Committee.

Section 2: The President

The President shall:

  • A. have the responsibility to appoint a Parliamentarian to assist in the execution of acts of the Student Senate.
  • B. have the power to appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate and the members of the Student Senate Council.
  • C. introduce to the Senate such legislation and/or recommendations as he/she favors. In the event that the President disapproves of a Senate bill or recommendation, the President may veto such a bill or recommendation.
  • D. prepare and submit a proposed budget for Senate approval at the second regular meeting of each semester.
  • E. appoint students form the Student Body or Student Senate to serve on Faculty-Senate Committees requested by the President of Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Section 3: The Vice-President

The Vice-President shall:

  • A. possess the position of Chairman of the Senate and preside over all meetings of the Student Senate.
  • B. assume the responsibilities of the President if the President is temporarily unable to discharge his duties.
  • C. have the power to appoint the members of all Standing Committees.
  • D. assume the duties of the President in the case of removal of the President from office, death of the President, or resignation of the President.

The resulting vacancy of the Vice-President shall be filled by a senator nominated by the Student Senate. If more than one nomination for the position is received, an election within the Student Senate will occur. The nominee who receives the most votes will then be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Student Senate.

Section 4: The Secretary

The Secretary Shall:

  • A. possess the responsibility of maintaining all permanent records of the Student Senate.
  • B. maintain a record of all proceedings as provided for in Article I and provide copies of the minutes to Senate members, faculty sponsors, and appropriate administration officials.
  • C. maintain an attendance record of all Senate meetings.
  • D. notify the Student Government Senators of the place, day, and time of all Senate meetings by written memorandum.

Section 5: The Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

  • A. possess the position of Chairman of the Finance Committee.
  • B. maintain and present itemized statements of receipts and disbursements of all Senate activities.
  • C. collect, deposit, and spend funds as directed by the Student Senate.
  • D. make a monthly Treasurer's report to be presented to the Senate.

ARTICLE III
The Student Judicial Council

Section 1: The Judicial Council

Judicial power shall be vested in a Student Judicial Council. The Judicial Council shall be composed of a Chief Justice and four (4) Justices. The organization and procedure of the Council shall be determined by a majority of the members thereof.

Section 2: Responsibilities of the Judicial Council

Judicial Council shall:

  • A. by a judgment of at least four (4) Justices
  1. declare any action of the Senate, which conflicts with the Constitution or By-Laws unconstitutional.
  2. issue temporary restraining orders dealing with specific Senate activities.
  3. rule on questions of the Constitution and/or other matters concerning violations of the rules or procedures of the Senate.
  • B. conduct any investigation of
  1. impeachment and preside over the Senate without voting privileges during impeachment proceedings.
  2. violations of election By-Laws or campaign guidelines, and by a judgement of at least four (4) Justices, disqualify a candidate or declare void an election determined to be unconstitutional or fraudulent.
  • C. give final interpretation of the Constitution and By-Laws and to any other laws or resolutions passed by the Senate.
  • D. hold no other office provided for in the Constitution, but shall not be construed to exclude any members from holding office in any club or comparable organization.

Section 3: Meetings

Meetings will be called by the Chief Justice or a majority of the Council with notice posted at least 24 hours in advance. A quorum shall consist of four (4) Justices. Any student may present a case at any Judicial Council meeting in accordance with Council policy.

Section 4: The Chief Justice

The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at the Student Senate's second meeting of the fall semester.

The Chief Justice shall:

  • A. be excluded from membership of the Student Senate.
  • B. preside over meetings of the Judicial Council.
  • C. call a meeting of the Judicial Council when he/she deems it necessary.
  • D. call a meeting of the Judicial Council to consider the constitutionality of a Senate action upon receipt of a petition signed by five Senators or fifty students.
  • E. call and preside over the Judicial Council to try any Senate officer or member upon receipt of a duly filed impeachment petition.

Section 5: Justices

Justices shall be appointed in the same manner as the Chief Justice.

The Justices shall:

  • A. be excluded from membership of the Student Senate.
  • B. familiarize themselves with the regulations concerning Northwestern students.

Section 6: Term of Office, Vacancies, and Removal of Justices

The term of an office shall be for one year beginning at the same time as the Student Senate.

Vacancies shall be filled immediately for the remainder of the term with the Judicial Council acting as the Nominating Committee. Students nominated to the Judicial Council will be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Student Senate.

Any Justice may be impeached in the same manner as a Student Senator.

ARTICLE IV
Amendments

Section 1.

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by two-thirds (2/3) of the Student Senate or by two-thirds (2/3) of the Student Body on a signed and authorized petition.

Section 2.

Ratification of proposed amendments must be by two-thirds (2/3) of those students voting in a general election.

ARTICLE V
Ratification

This Constitution will be enacted in its entirety following its publication in the Northwestern Oklahoma State University newspaper and approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the students voting in a general election.

BY-LAWS
Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Section 1.

Eligibility for Senators and Officers:

  • A. No undergraduate student shall be a senator who is not enrolled in at least twelve (12) hours at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and who has not submitted five days before the election date, a petition stating his/her intention to be a candidate. Such petitions must be signed by at least ten residents of the district he/she seeks to represent. He/she must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale at the time of his petitioning and during his term of office.

    Graduate students must be enrolled in at least eight (8) hours and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale at the time of their election and during their term of service. Graduate students follow the same requirements for filing for office that apply to undergraduates.
  • B. To be eligible for election, a candidate for an office of the Student Body must be a regularly enrolled student (12 hours or more) at the time of taking of office and during his/her term of office and must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale. The candidate must have completed or is completing not less than 30 semester hours at the time of taking office. No student shall be a candidate for an officer's position without submitting, five days prior to the election, a petition stating his/her intention to be a candidate. Such petitions must be signed by at least 25 NWOSU students.

Section 2.

Elections and Voting Procedure

  • A. In conducting elections the Elections Committee shall abide by the following general guidelines:
  1. Polls shall be open for a minimum of six hours during all elections.
  2. Polls shall be centrally located.
  3. Voting shall be by secret ballot.
  4. Each student shall be allowed to vote only once.
  5. Each voter must present his student identification card or proper identification to the Student Senator or Student Body Officer supervising the election.
  • B. Notice of upcoming elections for officers must be given at least 21 days in advance of the first primary election through the university newspaper.

Section 3.

Meetings of the Senate

  • A. Attendance at all Senate meetings shall be mandatory for senate members unless that member is excused. An excused absence shall be recorded when the person has submitted a written excuse to the Senate Secretary prior to the meeting or within three days thereafter. The Senate Secretary shall then consider each excuse to determine whether or not it shall be considered legitimate. Decisions of the secretary may be appealed to the Senate. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the senators present, at the meeting, in which a written excuse is presented, is required to render a written excuse legitimate.
  • B. Two unexcused absences or four excused absences will automatically terminate membership in the Student Senate. Such terminations may be appealed to the Student Senate. A two-thirds (2/3) vote will be required from the Student Senate to retain a senator.
  • C. Vacancies of the Senate
  1. Senator vacancies occurring during the fall term will be filled by student applicants. Applicants must meet the requirements of the Constitution. Article I. Section 5. and of the By-Laws, Section 1A. Applications must be entered no later than the last Student Senate meeting of the fall term. If there are more applicants than vacancies by the application deadline, a general election will be held; otherwise, all applications will be accepted.
  2. The second fall-semester general election will be held after the first Thursday in November and no later than the last Thursday of the fall term. Voting will be by secret ballot and a voting poll will be established in a central location. Notice of the election, available Senate vacancies, and location for obtaining and entering applications will be given at least 14 days in advance of the election.
  3. Students elected to the Senate at the end of the fall term will be a senator beginning on the first day of the subsequent spring semester and ending the last day of the subsequent summer semester.
  4. If the vacancy occurs during the spring semester or summer months, such vacancies shall be filled during the first fall-semester general election as specified in Article I., Section 3.
  • D. Vacancies in the offices of President of Vice-President of the Student body shall be filled in accordance with Article II, Section 3. of the Constitution.
  • E. Vacancies of the offices of Secretary, Treasurer, Chairman of the Judicial Council, or members of the Council shall be filled by the appointment of a qualified student by the President of the Student Body. Such appointments must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the Student Senate members.
  • F. Removal from Office
  1. The causes for impeachment of Senate officers shall be as follows: malfeasance in office, non-performance of duty, and/or refusal to uphold the Constitution of the Student Senate.
  2. Charges against officers may be brought to the attention of the Senate by the Judicial Council or by a petition signed by one-third (1/3) of the Student Senate.
  3. The accused shall have the right to protest said charges.
  4. The chairman of the Judicial Council shall preside over the impeachment and removal proceedings, with no less than a quorum of the Student Senate shall be necessary for removal.

Section 4.

Committees of the Senate

  • A. Standing committees shall be organized by the Senate no later than the Second Student Senate meeting of the academic year. These committees shall be the Elections Committee and the Admissions Committee.
  • B. Each committee shall be composed of at least five members appointed by the Chairman of the Senate from the membership of the Senate. No senator shall serve on more than one standing committee of the Senate at one time.
  • C. At the time of appointment, the Chairman of the Senate shall designate one senator to serve as committee chairman.
  • D. Upon introduction in the Senate all bills or resolutions must be referred to the appropriate standing committee. The standing committee shall then consider the bill and report its findings and recommendations to the Senate together with any alterations or amendments to the bill which the committee deems necessary.
  • E. In the event that a bill or resolution is of such a nature that it must be acted upon immediately without time for consideration by the appropriate committee, the Senate may declare an emergency and pass the bill or measure without referral to the appropriate committee. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of a Senate quorum is needed to declare an emergency.
  • F. In the event that a committee member missed two meetings of the committee without sufficient reasoning, the chairman of the committee shall inform the Chairman of the Senate shall then appoint a new member to the committee with the consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the Student Senate. The chairman of the committee shall be the judge of the validity of the member's reasons for missing the meetings. The member may appeal the chairman's decision to the Student Senate.
  • G. Responsibility for notifying committee members of meetings rests with the committee chairman.
  • H. The power and duties of the committees shall be as follows:
  1. The Admissions Committee shall develop plans for encouraging qualified students to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
  2. The Activities Committee shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to student entertainment, as well as matters relating to Homecoming.
  3. The Finance Committee shall have jurisdiction over the budget of the Senate and all appropriations bills. It shall have the responsibility for assuring that Senate funds are expended in conformity with the requirements of the Constitution and By-Laws.
  4. The General Affairs Committee shall have jurisdiction over all bills and resolutions not within the jurisdiction of the other standing committees or within the jurisdiction of such special committees as the Senate may create. It shall have jurisdiction over bills outlining election procedures.
  5. The Elections Committee shall have charge of all elections conducted under this Constitution, excluding the initial Senate elections.
  • I. The Senate shall have the power to establish such special committees of limited life as it shall desire. Said committees shall be appointed by the chairman of the Senate. Special committees shall not be set up so as to preempt the jurisdiction of a standing committee.

Section 5.

Expenditure of Senate Funds

  • A. No Student Body officer, Student Senator, or any other person shall spend or authorize to be spent any funds which shall not have been authorized and appropriated by the Student Senate, except when the Senate cannot be called into session. In such case, the President of the Student Body shall be allowed to spend or authorize to spend up to $300.00 (three hundred dollars) per year without specific Senate approval, provided when possible, he/she shall give (1) notice of such expenditures to the Finance Committee in advance of the expenditure and (2) full explanation of the use of the funds at the next Senate meeting.

Section 6.

Student Activity Fee Provision

  • A. A student activity fee, equal to six-tenths (.6%) of one percent of the total amount of tuition shall be charged per semester per student. The student activity fee will be paid at the Business Office when tuition is paid.
  • B. Funds from this fee will be used only for student programs. Selection of or arrangements for entertainment will be the responsibility of the Student Senate. Income from the fee will go directly to the Student Senate treasury.
  • C. Only undergraduate students enrolled in at least seven (7) semester hours will be charged this fee for the fall semester and for the spring semester. Only graduate students enrolled in at least six (6) semester hours will be charged this fee.

Section 7.

Amendments to the By-Laws must be voted on at the next regular meeting after they are proposed. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Student Senate shall be necessary to approve a change in the By-Laws.

Section 8.

The procedure for adoption of this constitution is set forth in Article V. Adoption of the By-Laws shall be enacted in their entirety following their publication in the university newspaper and approval by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of students voting in a general election.

Section 9.

In all matters not covered by this document in regards to procedures, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern.