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Preamble

The students of Westminster College have an indispensable and important role in its total educational environment--academic, cultural, and social. The College's governmental structure is composed of the Board of Trustees, Administration, Faculty, and the student body. It is recognized that mutual respect for the rights and responsibilities of each of these constituents is essential for the general and harmonious welfare of the College.

I. Name

This organization shall be known as the Student Government Association (SGA) of Westminster College.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this SGA is to contribute to the social, recreational, cultural, and educational development of the students, through programs and services conducted by the members and committees of the Westminster College Student Government Association. The SGA will strive to serve as a unifying force in the life of the college, cultivating enduring regard for and loyalty to the college.

III. Membership

The Student Government Association of Westminster College shall be composed of all enrolled full-time undergraduate students who pay the student activity fee.

IV. Organization

  1. The organization of the Student Government Association shall be the Student Body, the Senate, the Executive Committee, and the Executive Council.
  2. The SGA Senate shall be composed of full-time student activity fee paying undergraduate students elected from the Student Body.
  3. The SGA Executive Council (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) shall consist of full-time student activity fee paying undergraduate students duly elected from the Student Body.
  4. The SGA Executive Committee (the SGA Standing Committee chairpersons) shall consist of full- time student activity fee paying undergraduate students.

 

V. Senate

Section A. Composition

The Senate shall consist of 48 Senators (12 Senators per student class.)

Section B. Qualifications for Senator

  • Upper-class students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the time of filing in order to be eligible. Elected Senators must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA each semester in order to remain in office as a Senator each semester.
  • A student must be registered for classes on campus during the semester of filing in order to be eligible. Elected Senators must remain registered for classes, on campus, for each regular academic semester (fall and spring) during the term in office.

Section C. Installation of Senators

  • Installation of the newly elected Senators shall be in a meeting of the Senate.
  • Each Senator shall take the Oath of Affirmation at the time of installation.

Section D. Organization of the Senate

  • The President of the SGA shall serve as the presiding officer of the Senate. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President of the SGA shall serve as the presiding officer of the Senate.
  • Each Senator shall have one vote in the Senate. The President of the SGA or, in case of absence, the officer presiding at the Senate meeting, shall vote only in the case of a tie.
  • The members of the SGA Executive Council and Executive Committee shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Senate.

Section E. Powers of the Senate

  • All legislative power of the SGA is vested in the Senate. The Senate shall have the power to investigate students' concerns, make recommendations, and enact legislation.
  • The Senate shall approve the SGA Yearly Budget as submitted to it by the Executive Council and Executive Committee.
  • The Senate shall have the right to nominate and approve appointees for vacancies and unfilled positions of the Senate.
  • The Senate shall nominate and elect a Parliamentarian and a Chaplain from among the Senate membership.
  • The Senate shall approve or reject all student appointments to faculty and administrative committees as submitted by the Executive Council and Executive Committee.
  • The Senate shall also approve or reject Student Standing Committee chairperson nominations.
  • The Senate shall have the power to establish and revise the By-Laws of this Constitution.

 

VI. Executive Council

Section A. Composition

Section B. Qualifications for Executive Council Members

  • A student must have a 2.0 QPA at the time of filing in order to be eligible. Elected Executive Council members must maintain a 2.0 cumulative QPA each semester they are in office in order to remain eligible for office.
  • A student must be registered for classes on campus during the term of filing in order to be eligible. Elected members must remain registered for classes on campus for each regular semester during the term in office.

Section C. Installation of Executive Council

  • Installation of the newly elected Executive Council shall be in a Senate meeting.
  • The Oath of Affirmation shall be taken by each Executive Council member at the time of installation.

Section D. Powers of the Executive Council

  • All executive power not herein specifically granted to another body shall be vested in the Executive Council.
  • The Executive Council shall serve as the Nominating Committee to the Senate for Standing Committee chairpersons, vacancies, and unfilled positions in elected or appointed SGA offices, and for any other SGA representatives whose nomination is not specifically delegated to another body.
  • The Executive Council shall propose a yearly budget (SGA grant fund and operating budget) to the Executive Committee and ultimately to the Senate for final approval.

 

VII. Duties of Executive Council Members

Section A. Duties of the President

The SGA President shall:

  • Serve as the official representative of the SGA to the Board of Trustees, the college administration, the faculty, the college community, and the public;
  • Preside at all Executive Council and Senate meetings;
  • Sign all Senate legislation;
  • Review, approve, and sign all contracts involving the SGA.
  • Serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of all SGA committees.

Section B. Duties of the Vice-President

The SGA Vice-President shall:

  • Preside at all meetings of the Executive Council and Executive Committee;
  • Assume all duties of the SGA President when the president is absent;
  • Assume the office of the President if the office becomes vacant.

Section C. Duties of the Secretary

The SGA Secretary shall:

  • Serve as corresponding secretary for the SGA;
  • Take roll, tally votes, and serve as secretary of the Senate;
  • Take and distribute minutes of the Senate;
  • Take minutes at all Executive Council and Executive Committee meetings;
  • Perform all other duties normally assigned to the secretary.

Section D. Duties of the Treasurer

The SGA Treasurer shall:

  • Conduct the financial transactions of the SGA in accordance with the guidelines stated in the Treasurer’s Manual;
  • Review and sign all check vouchers pertaining to the SGA.

 

VIII. Executive Committee

Section A. Composition

The Executive Committee of the SGA shall be composed of the chairpersons of the Student standing Committees of the SGA.

Section B. Qualifications for Executive Committee Members

  • A student must have a 2.0 QPA at the time of selection or appointment in order to be eligible. Elected Executive Committee members must maintain a 2.0 cumulative QPA each semester they are in office in order to remain eligible for office.
  • A student must be registered for classes on campus during the term of filing in order to be eligible. Elected members must remain registered for classes on campus for each regular semester during the term in office.
  • Members of the Executive Committee shall not serve as Senators during their terms of office on the Executive Committee.

Section C. Powers of the Executive Committee

  • The Executive Committee (after receiving a proposal of a budget from the Executive Council) shall propose a yearly budget (SGA Grant Fund and Operating Budget) to the Senate for final approval.
  • The Executive Committee shall establish goals for the SGA and work through the Senate and the standing committees for the achievement of those goals.
  • Members of the Executive Committee shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Senate.
  • Members of the Executive Committee shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Senate.

 

IX. Student Standing Committees

Section A. Types of Student Standing Committees

The Executive Council may create additional Student Standing Committees to carry out the business of the SGA.

Section B. Student Standing Committee Membership

  • Each Student Standing Committee shall have a chairperson as established in the By-Laws.
  • The Executive Committee shall assign each member of the Senate to serve on a Student Standing Committee. Appointment of committee members shall be completed by the second meeting after Senator installation. A Senator may serve on no more than one Student Standing Committee.

Section C. Terms of Office

  • The term of office for Student Standing Committee chairpersons shall be for one calendar year.
  • The term of office for Student Standing Committee members shall be for one calendar year.
  • Student Standing Committee member vacancies occurring during the academic year shall be filled by a Senator of the chairperson's choosing.

Section D. Duties for the Student Standing Committees

  • The duties of each Student Standing Committee shall be established through the By-Laws.
  • Each Student Standing Committee shall report regularly to the Senate.

Section E. Duties for the Food Service Advisory Committee

  • This committee will be comprised of volunteers from the Senate, and in some cases outside individuals passionate on matters dealing with the FSAC.
      This committee shall meet on a monthly basis as established by the Food Service Department and the Judicial Chair, dates and times are subject to change.
  • The committee will be responsible for gathering an agenda prior to each FSAC meeting to discuss certain areas of concern. The members of this committee must be willing and cooperative at all times to ensure decisions are made for the good of the whole, and not on and individual level.
  • In the absence of the Judicial Chair the Treasurer will be responsible for chairing the committee.
  • In the absence of a committee member a replacement maybe picked from the Senate if willing.

 

X. Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils, And Boards

Section A. Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils, And Boards on Which Students Serve

  • Students shall serve on Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils, and Boards as determined by the Faculty Handbook and the Handbook for Students. The number of students who serve on each body is also determined by the Faculty Senate and the Handbook for Students.
  • Descriptions of the Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils and Boards on which students serve, shall be provided for general distribution to the student body prior to the elections of the student representatives to these bodies.

Section B. Qualifications for Students Members

  • A student member of a Faculty Standing College Committee, Council, or Board must have a 2.0 cumulative QPA at the time of election or appointment in order to be eligible. Each student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative QPA each term in order to remain eligible for office.
  • A student must be registered for classes on campus during the term of filing in order to be eligible. Members must remain registered for classes on campus for each regular semester during the term in office.
  • In all appointed positions, the SGA shall make every effort to appoint students who have an interest in the matters of the particular body.

Section C. Selection of Members

  • Student members of the Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils and Boards shall be chosen through a campus wide election, except for one position on each body which will be filled by appointment of SGA Senators as established in the By-Laws.
  • Any unfulfilled student position on Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils, and Boards following elections and appointment of Senators shall be filled by nominations of any qualified member of the student body and ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senators present.

Section D. Terms of Office

  • Student members shall serve on Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils, and Boards for one academic year.
  • The student Senate may disqualify by a three-fourths vote of the Senators present any student member of a Faculty Standing College Committee, Council or Board for failure to attend meetings.

Section E. Duties Of The Student Members Of Faculty Standing College Committees, Councils, And Boards

  • Student members are to regularly attend the meetings.
  • Student members are to report activities of their group to their constituents and to make student concerns known to other group members.
  • The Senator member of the body shall make regular oral reports to the Senate after every meeting.
  • The student members of a body shall submit an oral report to the Vice President at the end of the spring semester.

 

XI. Advisors

  • One faculty member shall be selected by the Executive Council and confirmed by the Senate.
  • The Faculty Advisor shall serve a term of two academic years.
  • Should a vacancy occur during a term of service, the Executive Council and the Senate shall confirm a faculty member to complete the term of the faculty member leaving.
  • The administrative advisor shall be the Dean of Students or his/her designate.
  • The administrative advisor or his/her designate shall sign all contracts involving the SGA.

 

XII. Oath of Affirmation

All SGA officers, both elected and appointed, shall be bound to support this Constitution by the following Oath of Affirmation:

"I (state your name) sincerely pledge to uphold the ideals and regulations set forth in the Constitution and By Laws of the Student Government Association of Westminster College, to perform my duties faithfully and capably, and to work for the benefit of the Student Government Association and Westminster College with the help of God."

XIII. Admendments

  • An amendment to the SGA Constitution shall be presented in writing to the Senate by any Senator, member of the Executive Council or Executive Committee, or by petition of at least one third of the members of the Student Government Association.
  • After discussion in the Senate, the proposed amendment shall be sent to the Judicial Committee for further study.
  • If the Judicial Committee decides that the proposed amendment should be considered, it will present a written version to the Senate at least one week prior to debate of the proposed amendment.
  • Following debate, the proposed amendment must be passed by a two-thirds majority vote by the Senators present.
  • When the SGA Constitution is revised, the Constitution with proposed amendments shall be available to all students to review. Copies will be available in all libraries, the SGA office, the Student Affairs Office, sent out via the e-mail and any other means of communication available to students.
  • Ratification must be by a two- thirds majority vote of the students voting.
  • Any amendments ratified by the Student Body shall be added to this Constitution as part of Article XV.

XIV. Effective Date of Constitution

This Constitution, when ratified by a two-thirds majority vote of the student body shall become effective immediately.

XV. Amendments

Section A. Student Representatives to the Board of Trustees

  • A student must have a 2.0 QPA at the time of filing in order to be eligible. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative QPA each semester they are a Trustee in order to remain eligible for the position.
  • A student must be registered for classes on campus during the time of filing in order to be eligible. Elected members must remain registered for classes on campus for each regular semester during the position.
  • The SGA President shall be a student representative to the Board of Trustees. The term of representation shall begin at the May meeting and end at the February meeting.
  • Two other students shall be selected by a Nominating Committee. The term of representation shall begin with the October meeting and end with the May meeting.
  • A Nominating Committee shall be organized and run by the President of the SGA and be composed of the 3 out-going Student Board of Trustees; and 2 Senators elected by the Senate for a total of five persons. The President of the SGA shall seek applicants for the positions during the Spring Semester but not vote. If a Student Trustee wishes to reapply, that position on the Nominating Committee shall be filled by an Executive Council member (and if they are applying, the position shall be filled) or by a senator elected by the Senate if all Executive Council members intend to apply. 
  • The Nominating Committee shall recommend the students to the Senate before the last meeting in the Spring Semester. Each student (nominate) nominee shall be granted time to speak before the senate. After all presentations the senate shall vote for two Trustees.

Section B. Outgoing Senior Senators

  • Following the induction of newly-elected sophomore, junior, and senior Senators in the spring, the outgoing senior senators are to be given the option to remain in office until the last Student Government Association meeting of that semester.
  • Quorum will be modified to include the senior Senators who continue their term.
  • These outgoing seniors will be granted all privileges, responsibilities, and duties of a Senator. They must also adhere to the requirements of the Senate, such as maintaining a 2.0 cumulative GPA and the attendance policy.
  • If one of these Senators is dismissed from the Senate, either through failure to adhere to the duties of a Senator or by their own choice, quorum will be lowered and the position shall not be filled.



Ratified March 4, 2015

Updated April 6, 2016