SGA Constitution 2013 - 2014

Constitution

Student Government Association

 Western State Colorado University

Preamble,

We, the students of Western State Colorado University do hereby establish this Student Government Association in order to preserve rights and privileges; provide a means for student expression; and provide for meaningful operation of self-government, declare this Constitution to act as the official doctrine of the Associated Student Body.

ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE

Section 1. The name of the organization established by this Constitution shall be the Student Government Association of Western State Colorado University, hereafter referred to as SGA of Western State Colorado University. The Senators of the Student Government Association are hereafter referred to as the Student Senate.

Section 2. The purposes of the SGA shall be:

1. To act as the official voice of the Associated Student Body of Western State Colorado University, hereafter referred to as the ASB of Western State Colorado University

2. To protect the rights and privileges of the ASB in the process of shared governance of Western State Colorado University

3. To accurately represent the concerns of the ASB to the administration, faculty and staff of Western State Colorado University

4. To oversee the allocation and distribution of all appropriate student fees to all subcommittees and student organizations

5. To maintain the fiscal authority over all SGA funds

ARTICLE II. STUDENT RIGHTS

Section 1. As outlined in this Constitution, a person shall be entitled to all rights and subject to all restrictions pertaining to the ASB by being a currently enrolled student at Western State Colorado University.

Section 2. All members of the ASB shall be treated with equality and fairness in matters concerning SGA. Members of the ASB shall not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

Section 3. All members of the ASB have the right to request or receive accurate and timely information of SGA on matters of policy that affect all realms of student life.

Section 4. All members of the ASB have the right to freely express their opinions about Western State Colorado University to the SGA.

Section 5. All members of the ASB, with a student identification number, have the right to vote in the General Election and any Special Election.

Section 6. Powers of the ASB:

1. All members of the ASB have the right to petition SGA for initiatives, inquiries, complaints, and/or grievances.

2. Petitions

a.  Guideline

i. A petition may be submitted to the Student Senate on any given issue

ii. The petition shall be valid for a period of six months from the date of the earliest signature on the petition

iii. A petition must state the proposed legislation on the top of each and every page of signatures

iv. A petition must contain full printed name, signature, date, and student identification number of the student

v. Any elected member must report developments of a proposed petition to the Student Senate at the next scheduled SGA meeting

vi. Any elected member of SGA must give petition protocol to any inquiring member of the ASB

b.  Procedure

i. Upon receiving the petition, the Senate shall have responsibility to determine the validity of the petition based on the aforementioned criteria

ii. If ten percent of the ASB validly sign the petition, then the petition will be submitted to the Student Senate as a piece of legislation for consideration

3. Initiative

a. Ten percent of the ASB may initiate legislation by signing a petition requesting a special election on a stipulated issue. The initiating party or parties of the petition must make their intentions known to any elected member before such petition is circulated or the petition will be considered null and void

b. Upon receiving a petition calling for the initiation of this legislation, the Election Committee shall set, and the Student Senate approve, a date for an Initiative Election at which time the issue shall be resolved

c. The date of the Special Election shall be held no later than four academic weeks following the presentation

d. The issue shall be resolved by a plurality of those members of the ASB casting ballots

e. Notice of the election and the issue to be resolved shall be made known via the campus media

4. Referendum

a. Any issue which has been cleared from the agenda of the Student Senate, which may be facing controversy from the ASB, may be resolved by a petition

b. Upon receiving a petition calling for the initiation of this legislation, the Election Committee shall set and the Student Senate approve, a date for the Referendum Election at which time the issue shall be resolved

c. The date of the Referendum Election shall be no later than four academic weeks following the presentation

d. The issue shall be resolved by a plurality of those members of the ASB casting ballots

e. Notice of the election and issue to be resolved shall be made known via the campus media

5. Recall Elections

a. Ten percent of the ASB may call for a recall of any member of SGA, either elected or appointed, by signing a petition stating the name of the member of SGA in question and a list of charges

b. Upon receipt of a petition for the Recall Election, the Student Senate will review the charges brought against the official in question, by the next regularly scheduled SGA meeting and rule whether the charges are sufficient grounds for a recall election

c. The date of the Recall Election shall be no later than four academic weeks following the presentation of the petition

d. The issue shall be resolved by a simple majority of the ASB, provided that at least thirty percent of the ASB casts ballots in the election

e. Should less than thirty percent of the ASB cast online ballots at the Recall Election, charges shall be dropped and the election shall be declared invalid

ARTICLE III. STUDENT FEES

Section 1. All students who are currently enrolled in Western State Colorado University shall pay a semesterly SGA fee to fund any extracurricular activities, clubs and events, dedicated to serving a sizeable portion of the ASB

Section 2. The SGA fee will be distributed between the General Fund and the Fund Reserve

1. The General Fund consists of the following permanent sub-committees:

a. SGA Operational Budget

b. Council for Creative Expression

c. Inter-Club Council

d. Intramural Sports

e. Program Council

f. Wilderness Pursuits

g. Club Sports

h. SGA fees may be distributed into the Fund Reserve when the SGA deems necessary to maintain the minimun cap

Section 3.  Student Initiated Fee Changes

1. Any student and/or student organization of the ASB may place a referendum or initiative concerning a student fee increase or decrease, on the ballot of an election by obtaining a petition signed by at least ten percent of the ASB; student and or student organization must then go before Student Senate and SGA budget committee

2. Any student fee increase or decrease proposed by the Administration, Student Senate and/or SGA Budget Committee must go before the SGA Budget Committee and the Student Senate

3. The Student Senate will vote to forward the recommendation to the President's Cabinet of Western State Colorado University . The vote requires a two-thirds vote to be forwarded.

4. See the Institutional Plan for Student Fees for further information

Section 4. A currently enrolled student may waive the SGA fee via a petition if they meet the following requirements:

1. Have special circumstances where the student will be enrolled through Western State Colorado University, but participating in an educational setting outside of the campus and community of Gunnison, Colorado

a. National Student Exchange (NSE) students are not eligible to have the fee waived

2. The petition must be signed by the academic department chair, the student, and the President of SGA

3. Waivers are subject to the final approval of the acting President of SGA

4. Any denials for a waiver may be brought in the form of a grievance before the Appeals Board

ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP AND STRUCTURE OF STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

Section 1. Membership Requirements

1. All full-time (12 plus semester credit hours), degree seeking members of the ASB shall be eligible to be a member of SGA

2. All members of the SGA must be in good standing with the Registrar’s Office to remain in or run for office

a. If a member falls below good standing requirements, a one-semester probationary period will be enforced that includes revocation of pay. Termination of membership will occur if good standing is not met after the probationary period.

3. All members must have at least one full academic year remaining at Western State Colorado University before taking office

Section 2. SGA consists of five branches:

1. Executive Committee consists of the President, Vice-President of Internal Affairs, Vice-President of External Affairs, Treasurer, Secretary, and Senate Chair

2. Advisory Committee consists of the President, Athletic Ambassador, Council for Creative Expression Director, Inter-Club Council Director, Intramural Sports Director, Program Council Director, Student Affairs, Club Sports Ambassador, Sustainability Coordinator, and Wilderness Pursuits Ambassador

3. Student Senate consists of thirteen students of the ASB who meet the aforementioned criteria

4. Senate Associates consists of any student of the ASB who seek admission to SGA

5. Grievance Board consists of any member of the ASB, who shall remain anonymous, who meet the previously mentioned membership requirements

ARTICLE V.  EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section  1. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the necessary and pertinent operational guidelines as may be required for the enforcement of the actions of the Student Senate

1. The Executive Committee shall hold weekly meetings to discuss matters surrounding SGA and to ensure proper execution of all SGA duties as defined by the By-laws

ARTICLE VI. ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Section 1. The Advisory Committee shall represent their respective sub-committees and shall determine necessary guidelines for its operation

1. No sub-committee shall receive funding unless a student chair, or advisory, is in place

2. If a sub-committee chair, or advisory, seat remains vacant for a period existing four academic weeks Senate has the authority to appoint a temporary chair, by a two-thirds vote

3. All advisors, who serve as a chair of a sub-committee, must allocate funds using a majority vote of their prospective sub-committee

ARTICLE VII. ELECTIONS

Section 1. General Elections

1. The following positions are elected by a simple majority vote of the ASB:

a. President

b. Vice-President of Internal Affairs

c. Vice-President of External Affairs

d. Twelve Senators

2. All elected positions shall serve one year terms to begin with the summer term following the election

3. Constitutional and Student Fee changes may be included on the ballot, if necessary

4. General Elections will be held no later than four weeks prior to the end of the spring semester

Section 2. Qualification for Candidates

1. Persons running for elected SGA offices shall obtain applications for the various positions from the SGA office, College Center front desk or SGA website. Applications shall be made available at least three weeks prior to the General Election. The applications must be filed with the Election Committee chair and approved by the Election Committee at least one week prior to the Election

2. Persons must be in good standing at Western State Colorado University at the time of application to SGA

3. The application must be certified by the registrar's office

4. It shall be the responsibility of the candidate to make sure that the application is valid, complete, and turned into the Election Committee Chair by the specified deadline. If the candidate takes his/her application and tries to validate it and he/she does not have it back to Election Committee chair by the deadline, the application will not be accepted

Section 3. Candidate’s Meeting

1. One week prior to the General Elections, the Election Committee shall have a meeting with all candidates to approve them and inform them of election regulations. No campaigning can take place until candidates have received approval

2. Attendance to candidate meeting is mandatory by all candidates unless special arrangements have been made with Election Committee; failure to do so shall render the application void

Section 4. Rules for Campaigning

1. All campaign materials shall be posted only with approval by appropriate building director

2. Campaign materials shall not deface state property, candidates will be held responsible for any damages

3. Campaign materials shall not attack another candidate in an offensive manner as defined in the Student Handbook; offensive materials will result in candidate being removed from the election

4. No campaign materials shall be posted in the SGA office or on any SGA boards

5. No candidate shall post campaign materials concerning preliminary or false election results at any time

6. Candidates shall be prepared to submit a statement and photo to the campus media and campus media shall provide equal opportunities for campaigning

7. Candidates shall remove campaign materials within two days after the election

Section 5. Rules for Elections

1. All voting will be done on an official online ballot.  Absentee ballots will be accepted for two school days prior to the election

2. The order in which the candidates are placed on the ballot will be determined through a random drawing by a member of the Election Committee

3. Polls will remain open for a minimum of twelve hours over two, or more, school days

4. Tallying of the votes shall begin within one hour of the polls closing

5. Election results shall be made known, first, to the candidates via a phone call or other accommodations and secondly, a sign of election results shall be posted at the University Center SGA board  and made available to campus media within twenty-four hours of the counting of ballots

6. Results shall be in a secure place for a minimum of three weeks in case of recall

7. If necessary, runoffs will be held within fourteen calendar days of the posting of the results of the election

8. The count of the Election Committee is final unless an appeal is filed

9. In the case of an appeal concerning election results the appellate must address concerns to the Election Committee and if necessary the Student Senate within one week of election results

10. Infraction of any of the above rules will be handled and ruled on by the Election Committee with the right to appeal to the Appeals Board for the final decision

11. Any regulation needed to facilitate these rules must be stated no later than one week prior to the election date in a public forum

12. Newly elected officials will take an oath of office at the annual Induction Ceremony. Their term will begin following the last SGA meeting of the spring term in which they were elected

13. All regulations for Special Elections are the same as those outlined

a. Changes to procedures in order to accommodate time constraints must be presented to the Student Senate prior to the election

b. The constitution may not be submitted for approval of changes during a special election

14. A paper ballot will be used in the case of an online malfunction

Section 6. Special Elections

1. When three or more vacancies of the Student Senate occur at any point in time, a Special Election will be held to fill the vacancies

2. When vacancies occur at any point in time in the Executive committee, a Special Election will be held

3. Special Elections must be held within three weeks after the vacancies occur

ARTICLE VIII. APPOINTMENTS

Section 1. Appointed positions of the Student Government Association shall be as follows

1. Council for Creative Expressions Director

2. Athletics Ambassador

3. Inter-Club Council Director

4. Club Sports Ambassador

5. Intramural Sports Director

6. Program Council Director

7. Secretary

8. Treasurer

9. Wilderness Pursuits Ambassador

10. Incoming Student Senator

Section 2. The President shall have the power to fill any vacancy on the Student Senate with a Temporary Senator upon approval of the Student Senate

1. Only two temporary senators may be seated on the Senate per academic year

Section 3. A Review Committee consisting of at least but not limited to; the newly elected President, Vice-President of Internal Affairs, Vice-President of External Affairs, and two newly elected Senators appointed by the President, shall be utilized to provide support to the newly elected President in reviewing applications and interviewing for all appointed positions

Section 4. Regulations

1. Applications for available positions will be made available at the University Center Front Desk, SGA office, and the SGA website at least ten days prior to the interview dates

2. All applications must be turned in directly to the SGA office, room 121A, located in the University Center

3. All interviews will be scheduled by the Review Committee

4. All candidates will be called to verify the final outcome of the hiring process

5. In the case of discrepancies in sub-committee appointments of monetary positions in their realms, concerns can be brought to the appeals board for reconsideration

ARTICLE IX. STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION COMMITTEES

Section 1. There will be standing committees essential to the internal operations of SGA which consist of the Budget Committee, Constitution Committee and Election Committee

Section 2. The Budget Committee

1. The Budget Committee should regularly consist of:

a. Treasurer as Chair

b. SGA Advisor

c. Representative of Finance Department

d. Vice-President of External Affairs

e. Vice-President of Internal Affairs

f. Council for Creative Expression Director

g. Council of Creative Expression Advisor

h. Club Sports Ambassador

i. Club Sports Advisor

h. Intramural Sports Director

j. Intramural Advisor

k. Inter-Club Council Director

l. Inter-Club Council Advisor

m. Program Council Director

n. Program Council Advisor

o. President of SGA

p. Wilderness Pursuits Ambassador

q. Wilderness Pursuits Advisor

r. Senate Chair

s. Secretary

2. The Budget Committee should regularly consist of:

a. Senate Bill Sponsored

b. Party Requesting Funds

3. All members of the Budget Committee shall be voting members except for the Representative from the Finance Department, the or the officially appointed representative, and the Senate Chair

4. The Budget Committee shall have the next fiscal year’s student budget proposal presented to the Student Senate for approval no later than the second scheduled meeting in April

5. Guidelines and procedures of the Budget Committee shall be outlined in the By-Laws

Section 3. The Constitution & By-laws Committee

1. The Constitution Committee shall consist of the President, Vice-President of Internal Affairs, Vice-President of External Affairs, Senate Chair and at least three other members of SGA

a. Responsible for any amendment recommendations to the Constitution & By-Laws which must be presented and approved first by the Student Senate in a two-thirds affirmative vote, then approved by the ASB in the General Election by a simple majority affirmative vote

b. Amendments to the Constitution & By-Laws take effect upon completion of the previously mentioned criteria

Section 4. The Election Committee

1. The Election Committee shall consist of the Vice President of Internal Affairs as Chair,  Vice-President of External, and at least four other members of the SGA not running for office

a. If the Vice-President of Internal Affairs is running for office, the President will take over as chair.

2. Responsible for proper execution of the SGA elections, as outlined in Article VII of the document

3. Members of the Election Committee cannot participate in campaigning efforts on behalf of any running candidate

Section 5. Ad Hoc Committees

1. The Student Senate may form any ad hoc committee pertaining to any issue brought forth to the Student Senate as deemed necessary

2. A senator must chair the ad hoc committee and be responsible for proper representation of all involved parties concerning the issue

3. The guidelines and procedures of any ad hoc committee shall be determined by the committee

4. The ad hoc committee shall terminate its existence upon resolution of the issue

ARTICLE X. GRIEVANCE BOARD

Section 1. The Grievance Board shall consist of five members of the ASB appointed by the previous President and filed with the faculty advisor

1. The  members of the Grievance Board shall consist of five random students on the ASB and shall be contacted by the SGA faculty advisor at the time a grievance is presented.

Section 2. Grievance Process

1. If at any time, any member of SGA or the ASB feels that a SGA member is abusing their power, the grieving members may create a petition with the individual’s name and a list of grievances which must be submitted to the Grievance Board for review

2. The grievance procedure shall be as follows:

a. The grievant must first contact the individual verbally and describe the grievance

b. If step one fails to bring out satisfactory results, the grievant may then verbally contact the SGA Faculty Advisor to voice the grievance and the faculty advisor will contact the individual whom was grieved upon.

c. If step two fails, the advisor must then file a written complaint with the Grievance Board for action

ARTICLE XI. APPEAL PROCESS

Section 1. The appellant(s) must submit a letter to the Appeals Board stating justification for an appeal within seven days of the receipt of the party’s original action(s) that are being appealed

Section 2. The Appeals Board must decide whether or not to hear the appeal within seven days of receipt of the appellant’s written request. The Appeals Board decision must be recorded in writing.

Section 3. After acceptance of the appeal, the Appeals Board has seven days to rule upon the Grievance Board’s original decision and then the following procedure shall be observed:1. Each party shall be allowed fifteen minutes to present their case without the presence of their opposition. The Appeals Board has the authority to strengthen, uphold, dilute or repeal the decision of the Grievance Board

a. All decisions of the Appeals Board shall be reached by a simple majority vote

b. The Appeals Board shall notify affected parties of their decision in writing within seven days of the hearing

c. All decisions of the Appeals Board are final

ARTICLE XII. ENACTMENT

Section 1. This Constitution, along with consequential amendments shall take effect following Senate and ASB approval, in the year two-thousand thirteen, in accordance with this Constitution and By-Laws

Section 2. Full faith and credit shall be given to all former administrations, their actions, records, and elections