Belmont Abbey College Student Government Association Constitution

PREAMBLE
We, the students of Belmont Abbey College, do establish this constitution for the STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF BELMONT ABBEY COLLEGE, a permanent body operating under the authority of the President of the College. We do this in order to:

• Better contribute to the well being of the general College community.
• Promote the general welfare of the student body.
• Facilitate communication of reasonable opinions among and within the student body and between the administration and faculty of the College.
• Participate more effectively in the internal governance of the College under the guidance of the administration and faculty.

ARTICLE I – Functions
The functions of the Student Government Association (SGA) of Belmont Abbey College shall be to:
Section 1. Express opinion on College affairs as the SGA deems appropriate and necessary.
Section 2. Establish, within the laws applicable to Belmont Abbey College, an effective means for advising and responding to College committees, the administration, faculty, and other officers of the College.
Section 3. Participate through appropriate bodies in the formulation of academic and educational policies of Belmont Abbey College.
Section 4. Consider policies, programs, and other matters as the administration, faculty, and student organizations propose.
Section 5. Promote procedures whereby communication within the College may flow freely and systematically.
Section 6. Assist in the creating and maintaining a college environment conductive to the cultivation of scholarship, culture, service, and community under Benedictine tradition.
Section 7. Accept and share responsibility with the administration and faculty in all efforts to improve the status and usefulness of Belmont Abbey College.
Section 8. Disburse funds from the treasury of the SGA, including, but not limited to, allocation of funds available to student organizations.

ARTICLE II – General Organization and Membership
Section 1. Membership of the Student Government Association of Belmont Abbey College shall be comprised of the Executive Officers, the Student Senate, and Major Group Representatives as specified in this Constitution.
Section 2. Major Group Representatives will come from Greek Life, Residents Life, Campus Activities Board (CAB), Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), Commuter Council, Hintemeyer program, Honors Institute, and the Adult Degree Program (ADP) as well as any other group approved by the Executive Board whose presence represents students on campus. These Representatives cannot be an already existing member of SGA (on the Executive Board or part of the Senate) and do not have to be voted in as part of the SGA election. These groups will vote within the group to choose their representative.
Section 3. Eligibility for membership is open to all students enrolled in the traditional program, who have met all requirements of the position sought as established by this Constitution, and who have been properly elected as prescribed by this Constitution or bylaws. These representatives shall possess full voting rights in all matters before the SGA.
Section 4. No otherwise qualified student may be excluded from membership of the SGA on basis of race, age, religion, sex, nationality or physical impairment.

ARTICLE III – Executive Officers
Section 1. The Executive Officers of the SGA are the President, Vice President/Treasurer, Secretary, and Public Relations Officer.
Section 2. Duties and Powers of the Officers:
A. The President shall:

1. Serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the SGA.
2. Supervise the execution of all actions of the SGA authorized by this
Constitution.
3. Vote in all matters before the SGA only in the case of a tie.
4. Recommend for appointment to the SGA representatives to all
committees.
5. Meet with the advisor and vice-president at least once a week to
develop an agenda for the meeting and receive any news of feedback.
6. Preside at all meetings of the SGA.

B. The Vice President shall:

1. Assist the President in the fulfillment of his/her duties.
2. Assume the Office of the President in the event of the President’s
resignation, ineligibility, or impeachment.
3. Be responsible for coordination of all SGA elections.
4. Post updates and news from SGA on the college website.
5. Submit a regular column of SGA news for publication in The Crusader.
6. Possess full voting rights in all matters before the SGA.

C. The Secretary shall:

1. Keep, file, and distribute the minutes of the SGA meetings and other
documents necessary to the efficient operation of the SGA.
2. Complete and maintain a file of all correspondence relative to the
actions of the SGA.
3. Certify with the assistance of the Student Life Office that each member
of the SGA is eligible to serve based upon his/her cumulative grade point average.
4. Call roll at all meetings and maintain records of attendance.
5. Inform all members when they are 1 absence away from their limit.
6. Possess full voting rights in all matters before the SGA.

D. The Treasurer shall:

1. Inform the SGA of weekly balances.
2. Work with the Advisor and VP of Finance regarding the SGA financial
account and keep the SGA informed of its status.
3. Possess full voting rights in all matters before the SGA.

ARTICLE IV – Class Offices
Section 1. In accordance with this Constitution students shall elect a President, Vice President, and two (2) Senators from each class.
Section 2. The duties and responsibilities of the Class Officers:

A. The President shall:

1. Hold a monthly class cabinet meeting and submit minutes to SGA.
2. Serve on any committees appointed to.
3. Present any concerns or ideas on behalf of their class.

B. The Vice-President shall:

1. Assist the President in holding a monthly class cabinet meeting.
2. Serve on any committees appointed to.
3. Assume the Office of the President in the event of the President’s absence, resignation, ineligibility, or impeachment.

C. Senators shall:

1. Assist the President in holding a monthly class cabinet meeting.
2. Serve on any committees appointed to.
3. Assume the Office of the Vice-President upon the request of the Executive Board in the event of resignation, ineligibility, or impeachment.

Section 3. All class officers possess full voting rights in all matters before the SGA.

Section 4. All class officers are to assist in the planning, promotion, implementation, and evaluation of SGA programs and projects.

ARTICLE V – Meetings of the Student Government Association

Section 1. The SGA shall meet on a regular basis throughout the academic year. The time and location of meetings will be set at the beginning of the semester, and the board will be notified if any changes occur.
Section 2. A meeting is considered valid if the advisor and either the president or vice president is present.
Section 3. The President of SGA, a majority of the SGA membership, the Coordinator of Student Activities, the Assistant Dean of Students, or the President of the College may call a special meeting to order.
Section 4. Meetings of the SGA are open to the College Community, but upon vote by the majority of the membership a meeting may move to executive session.
Section 5. Meetings shall be conducted according to parliamentary procedures.
Section 6. A quorum is defined to be 2/3 of its membership. A quorum must be present for business to be conducted and for votes to be binding.
Section 7. Attendance at meetings is expected of all members. Any member who is not available to attend must inform the Secretary of SGA or the Assistant Dean of Students prior to the meeting. An absence is considered excused if the member makes proper notification and if the absence is due to a College function, illness, or emergency situation. An absence is considered unexcused if proper notification is not made or if it is not related to a College function, illness, or emergency situation.
Section 8. Meetings will be closed during executive session in which discussion by SGA members upon a vote is taking place. After the conclusion of the vote, the meeting is reopened, and the results will be made public.

ARTICLE VI – Qualifications of the Officers, Senators, and Organization Representatives
Section 1. To assume and hold the office of President the student must be enrolled full-time in the traditional program. They must also have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and have earned enough academic credits to be classified at least a Junior, as well as have already served on SGA for at least 2 semesters. Should the Vice President be required to assume the office of the President in accordance with this Constitution, he/she does not have to meet the requirement of being at least a Junior.
Section 2. To assume and hold the office of the Vice President the student must be enrolled full-time in the traditional program. They must also have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and have earned enough credits to be classified at least a Sophomore, as well as already served on SGA for at least 2 semesters.
Section 3. To assume the office of Secretary or Treasurer the student must be enrolled full-time in the traditional program. They must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and have earned enough academic credits to be classified at least a Sophomore.
Section 4. To assume the office of Senator, or to assume a membership seat assigned to a major group organization, the student must be enrolled full-time in the traditional program. They must also have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.25 and have earned enough academic credits to be a member of the class, or organization he/she is representing.

ARTICLE VII – Office Vacancy Appointments
Section 1. Should the office of the President become vacant for any reason at a time other than established elections, then the Vice President shall assume the office of President.
Section 2. Should any Executive Office other than President or any Senator Office become vacant at any time other than established election, then the following procedures should be followed:

A. Notice of the vacant position and the associated qualifications should be e-mailed to all traditional students.
B. Any student qualified for the position who wishes to be considered for appointment should present him/herself to the SGA at the next scheduled meeting.
C. The office shall be filled by majority vote of the SGA.

Section 3. Should any seat assigned to a student organization become vacant for any reason, the organization shall select a qualified student to fill the seat.

ARTICLE VIII – Elections
Section 1. Elections are to be coordinated by the Vice President. Should the Vice President be a candidate in the election, the SGA shall elect a member who is not a candidate to coordinate the election.
Section 2. To be nominated for an office a student must complete and return a nomination form as announced by SGA. Nominations for an Executive Officer shall require at least 50 student signatures and nominations for a Class Officer shall require at least 25 student signatures. The period of time for nominations should be at least 3 days and not more than 7 days. Students completing the nomination process as prescribed by SGA shall be listed on the election ballot. Ballots shall also allow for a write-in candidate for each office.
Section 3. Campaigning for election should be at least 5 days and not more than 10 days. All candidates must abide by college policies with regards to posting, advertising, etc. Any candidate who does not abide by College policy may face disciplinary sanction in accordance with the Student Handbook, and may upon the vote of SGA be denied listing in the ballot. No campaigning is permitted within 30 feet of the election poll.
Section 4. Elections shall be held on one day at the conclusion of the campaigning period. SGA shall establish polling time and locations to encourage maximum voter participation.
Section 5. The SGA advisor and two members of the SGA who are not candidates in the election shall count the ballots.
Section 6. Any disputed election shall be decided by a panel of College faculty, staff, and students appointed by the Dean of Students. The panel’s decision shall be final.
Section 7. Elected officers and senators shall assume office on Commencement Day and serve until the following Commencement Day. The Senior Class Senators and Officers are an exception to this; See Article V.

ARTICLE IX – Removal from Office/Attendance
Section 1. Any member of SGA may be impeached for unethical conduct, failure to perform duties, failure to maintain minimum qualifications, excessive absences from SGA meetings, significant violation of College policy, or inability to hold office for an reason.
Section 2. Recommendation for impeachment must be made by an Executive Officer and at least four (4) Class Officers. Such recommendation is to be made at a meeting of the SGA.
Section 3. A member will be able to present a rebuttal.
Section 4. A member shall be impeached and removed from office upon a 2/3 majority vote of the SGA members present. While voting takes place, the individual being voting upon must temporarily remove him/her self from the meeting and return upon conclusion of the vote.
Section 5. The advisor can override the impeachment decision.
Section 6. In the case of the removal of the President, the Vice President shall assume the office. In the case of removal of any other member, Article VII shall be followed.
Section 7. Attendance is expected of all members; should any position on SGA miss more than one (1) unexcused and three (3) excused meetings within the timeframe of a semester, the procedure for impeachment will then follow.

ARTICLE X – Advisor
Section 1. The VP of Student Affairs, in accordance with the wishes of the President of the College, shall designate the advisor of SGA. If the advisor were to be absent, the VP of S.A. would ultimately be responsible for finding a suitable proxy.

ARTICLE XI – Recognition and Funding of Student Organizations

Section 1. The SGA shall set standards and procedures for recognition and funding of student organizations.
Section 2. For recognition of a student organization the SGA shall require at minimum a written petition by the organization to the SGA that includes the group’s name, statement of purpose and constitution, statement of obligation to follow the rules and regulations of the College, list of proposed Officers if any, names of the organizations founding members, and signature of group’s advisor or moderator. A representative of the group must be present at the SGA meeting when the petition is to be considered.
Section 3. A majority vote of the SGA shall be required for recognition to be granted.

ARTICLE XII – Bylaws and Amendments
Section 1. The SGA shall establish such amendments as necessary to enact this Constitution. Amendments to this Constitution must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the SGA. Having successfully passed, the SGA amendments must be voted upon by the student body. A simple majority of those voting shall be necessary for the amendment to be adopted.

Adopted by vote of the student body on March 22, 2001.

Last revised on April 21, 2010