Constitution

 

Constitution of

The Student Association of

Black Hills State University

 

Preamble

 

We, the students of Black Hills State University, in order to provide an effective and industrious student government, establish this Constitution with the following goals:

The Student Senate shall be the voice of the entire student population.

The Student Senate shall foster productive communication among students, administration, faculty, and staff.

The Student Senate shall work in cooperation with student organizations, administration, faculty, and staff.

The Student Senate shall ensure student representation in decisions affecting the quality of student life and education for all students of Black Hills State University.

The Student Senate shall take a primary role in educating the students of Black Hills State University in the importance of participating in the governing and leadership of their campus.

 

Article I: Student Government

1.     Name

a.     The name of this organization shall be the Student Association of Black Hills State University.

2.     Membershipa.     Of which all current students who have paid the activity fee, are a member of the student body and Student Association.

3.     Representative Body

a.     The Governing body of the Student Association shall be the Student Senate, hereafter referred to as the Senate.

Article II: Qualifications of Student Senate Membership

 

Prior to assuming office, and during their term of office, Student Senators shall have the following qualifications:

1.     Must be working toward a major or minor in the college that he/she is representing, with the exception of Freshman Senators.

2.     Shall be a Student Association member and maintain said qualifications throughout their term(s) of office.

3.     Senators must be currently enrolled in at least twelve (12) credit hours.

4.     Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. The Freshmen Senators must obtain the required GPA by the first available posting of semester grades after being elected to office.

5.     Elected and appointed Student Senators shall serve a term that concludes when the new administration is sworn in. If any obligations preclude a Student Senator from fulfilling all the requirements, the said Student Senator must submit their resignation in writing to the President.

6.     No Student Association member can hold the office of President of the Student Association and/or the director of the Activity Grants Committee and President of the Campus Activities Board at the same time.

Article III: Oath

 

The following will be proclaimed by any Senator or Executive Officer taking office before they are granted their powers and duties:

 

For Senators:

“I (state your name) do solemnly swear, that I shall faithfully execute the office of

Senator representing the (state your college or respective constituency) students of the Black Hills State University Student Association. I shall, to the best of my ability, uphold the Constitution and serve in the interests of the Black Hills State University student body.”

 

For Executive Officers:

“I (state your name) do solemnly swear, that I shall faithfully execute the Executive office of (state your Executive Office) on behalf of students of the Black Hills State University Student Association. I shall, to the best of my ability, uphold the Constitution and serve in the interests of the Black Hills State University student body.”

 

Article IV: Duties and Responsibilities of the Senate

1.     The Senate shall appropriate funding to active and recognized university clubs and organizations. Appropriations must have a two-thirds (2/3) majority to pass. Voting on appropriation issues shall be done in a roll call manner. Said voting record shall be maintained by the Office Administrator and shall be available, upon request, in a timely manner to any member of the Student Association.

2.     The Senate shall approve the constitutions and bylaws of student organizations by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

a.     New student organizations, upon majority request of the Senate, shall present the purpose and intent of their organization at an agreed upon Senate meeting.

3.     Shall actively support the Student Association, advocate on their behalf, and serve as a liaison to the BHSU administration.

4.     The Senate shall hold weekly meetings and emergency meetings when necessary, as determined by the President.

5.     Student Senators must attend all meetings and may not accumulate more than one (1) unexcused absence, or disciplinary action will take place as determined by the Ethics Committee.

a.     An excused absence includes: illness, class excused absence, and personal emergency, such as but not limited to family death or illness.

b.     An unexcused absence is any absence that is not covered by the stipulations of an excused absence.

6.     Senate Officers

a.     All Senate Officers shall serve at least three (3) office hours per week, Monday through Friday.

b.     All office hours shall be accurately reported in whatever medium is provided.

c.     Encouraged to hold office hours during regular class time (8:00am-5:00pm) but not required.

d.     Office hours can be fulfilled by attending one (1) Senate sponsored event, which they must record and report; hosting a table in the Student Union atrium where Senate Officer responsibilities are fulfilled; and/or at the Senate desk.

e.     Office hour locations may vary, but Senate Officers must have one (1) hour per week at the Senate office.

7.     The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern Senate meetings in all cases.

Article V: Powers and Duties of Executive Officers

1.     President

a.     Shall convene and preside over all regular and special Senate meetings excluding committee meetings.

b.     Shall have the power to veto any motions passed by Senate within four (4) days and must notify Senate within twenty-four (24) hours prior to the next regular Senate meeting. Senate may override any veto by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of quorum.

c.     Shall appoint standing and non-standing committee member(s) with a two-thirds (2/3) Senate approval. If necessary the President may appoint temporary committee members between Senate meetings. President must notify Senate of appointments.

d.     Shall chair the student representation at the General Activities Fund (GAF) Committee meetings and appoint six (6) total representatives to the committee. Two (2) of the representatives will be from the student body at large; one (1) representative will be non-voting.

e.     Shall represent Senate at all University and Senate functions.

f.      Shall chair the Executive Committee and shall report on it as necessary.

g.     Shall appoint an Executive Officer to fulfill the duties of Vice President or Office Administrator in lieu of their absence.

h.     Shall appoint vacated Senate seats upon nominees meeting requirements and two-thirds (2/3) approval of Senate. Shall appoint vacated seats upon nominees meeting requirements from previous election and/or interest in the Senate. Two-thirds (2/3) vote and prior discussion to appointment is required.

i.      Shall be responsible for making on-the-spot decisions regarding courses of action of Senate, when Senate cannot convene to address the issue being decided upon. All decisions shall then be reported to Senate at the next regular Senate meeting and communicated via email with twenty-four (24) hours of the decision.

j.      Shall have the right to cast one (1) vote in the event of a tie and shall have the right to vote on procedural measures.

2.     Vice President

a.     Shall temporarily assume all powers and duties of President in lieu of his or her absence.

b.     Shall permanently assume the position of President upon resignation or removal of President.

c.     Shall maintain a list of filled and vacant position on standing and non-standing committees.

d.     Shall chair the FED/SHED (Student Federation/Students for Higher Education Days) Committees and coordinate efforts to attend these meetings. This power shall be shared will all executive members.

e.     Prepare all Senate and executive committee travel requests, reimbursements, and honorariums. This power shall be shared will all executive members.

f.      Shall appoint Senators to represent the Student Association at standing University committees that has the need of student representatives.

g.     Shall only vote on procedural measures.

3.     Office Administrator

a.     Shall keep accurate minutes of Senate meetings and distribute the current agenda at all regular meetings.

b.     Shall distribute a copy of the previous weeks’ minutes in the senate office and/or to standing Senators no later than forty-eight (48) hours before the next regular meeting for Senators to approve.

c.     If minutes are not approved prior to the next regular meeting they will be presented and approved at the meeting. 

d.     Shall keep accurate attendance and voting records of Senate members.

e.     Shall work with the advisor to prepare necessary materials and organize training for returning and new members of the Senate on or prior to the first Senate meeting.

f.      Shall be responsible for all GAF matters outside of the powers held and duties performed by President.

g.     Shall keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures of the Senate’s operating budget.

h.     Shall keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures of the Senate’s allocation budget for BHSU student organizations.

i.      Provide an accurate financial report to Senate and/or Senate member(s) upon request.

j.      Audit Senate’s operating and allocation budget with Senate’s advisor once a month and/or upon the request of the Student Association.

k.     Shall chair the Budget Committee and attend all other meetings pertaining to Senate budget and to funds allocated to student organizations.

l.      Provide training to Student Organizations on how to spend their funds and inform them of the spending scope of their funds.

m.   Shall temporarily assume all powers and duties of President in lieu of President and Vice President’s absence.

n.     Shall have the right to vote. 

o.     Shall attend all Activities Grants Committee meetings, and report back to the Senate .

4.     Campus and External Relations Officer

a.     Shall coordinate Senate programming upon majority approval of Senate.

b.     Shall coordinate all social media advertising and updates.

c.     Shall attend the monthly All Student Organization meeting.

d.     Shall attend one Spearfish City Council meeting per month.

e.     Shall delegate advertising and supplying information on behalf of Senate.

f.      Club involvement:

                                               i.     Serve as a liaison to all student organizations by reaching out to them via the Student Engagement and Leadership Center.

                                             ii.     Serve as the representative from Senate for student organization meetings.

g.     Shall coordinate freshman elections and the subsequent election committee to run them.

h.     Shall have the power to make on-the-spot decisions regarding Senate external activities, excluding programming.

i.      On-the-spot decisions must be reported to Senate members via email within twenty-four (24) hours and make a report to Senate at the next meeting.

j.      These decisions shall be discussed and voted on by Senate upon request of any Senate member.

k.     Shall report back to the senate as necessary.

l.      Shall have the right to vote.

5.     Succession of Authority

a.      In the event that both President and Vice President are permanently unwilling or unable to fulfill the obligation of their executive positions the following shall occur:

                                               i.     The Office Administrator, shall assume the powers and duties of President temporarily. Should the Office Administrator be unable to accept the powers and duties of President, the Senate shall with majority vote appoint a Senator who shall assume the duties temporarily.

                                             ii.     Within four (4) weeks of the appointment of the temporary President, a presidential election must take place to elect a new President and Vice President for the remainder of the current term.

                                            iii.     Should the temporary President not be elected as President to complete the remainder of the term, they may assume their position prior to accepting the position of President.

                                            iv.     Compensation for temporary President will be left to the discretion of Senate.

6.     The Executive Officers shall be paid the following stipulating yearly GAF negotiations:

a.     The President shall receive a $1,500 stipend to be paid out over an eight (8) month period beginning in September and ending in April. The monthly amount shall be $187.50.

b.     The Vice President shall receive a $1,300 stipend to be paid out over an eight (8) month period beginning in September and ending in April. The monthly amount shall be $162.50.

c.     The Office Administrator shall receive a $1,300 stipend to be paid out over an eight (8) month period beginning in September and ending in April. The monthly amount shall be $162.50.

d.     The Campus and External Relations Officer shall receive a $1,300 stipend to be paid out over an eight (8) month period beginning in September and ending in April. The monthly amount shall be $162.50.

e.     In the event an Executive Officer resigns or is formally removed from office, they will not receive the remainder of their stipend. If the Executive Officer resigns or is formally removed from office prior to the end of a paid month, the amount they will receive for that month will be prorated by the number of days left in the month. The amount to be prorated will be calculated and approved by a majority of the Senate. Following approval, the Human Resources office will be properly notified prior to the regular distribution of the stipend.

                                               i.     If an Executive Officer starts their position after September 15th in the Fall Semester or January 31st in the Spring Semester, their stipend shall be prorated according to the number of days not in office. The prorated amount will be calculated and approved by a majority of the Senate. Following approval, the Human Resources office will be properly notified prior to the regular distribution of the stipend.

f.      Duties of Executive Officers are exercised over a twelve (12) month term even their stipend is paid out over eight (8). Likewise, outstanding duties are not exhausted when the new Senate is sworn in. 

Article VI: Powers and Duties of Senators

The following constituencies shall be represented:

1.     Three (3) College of Liberal Arts Senators shall represent members of the Student Association who have declared a major or minor in the College of Liberal Arts.

2.     Three (3) College of Business and Natural Sciences Senators shall represent members of the Student Association who have declared a major or minor in the College of Business and Natural Sciences.

3.     Three (3) College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Senators shall represent members of the Student Association who have declared a major or minor in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

4.     Two (2) Freshmen Senators shall represent members of the Student Association with freshman status.

Senators shall:

1.     Attend all Senate and appointed committee meetings.

2.     Schedule, serve, and log a minimum of three (3) hours per week.

3.     Serve on committees as appointed by the Executive Committee and approved by Senate.

4.     Be responsible for meeting with the Deans of respective colleges at least three (3) times each semester and report back to the Senate.

5.     Have the right to vote.

Article VII: Committees

Following the fourth Senate meeting of the academic year, standing committees shall be formed and meet according to individual standing committee guidelines.

1.     All committees, excluding Executive Committee and Budget Committee, are open to any member of the Student Association body.

2.     Standing Committee Guidelines

a.     Executive Committee

                                               i.     Shall consist of the President, Vice President, Office Administrator, and Campus and External Relations Officer.

                                             ii.     Shall hold weekly meetings to discuss the upcoming agenda and other Senate related business.

                                            iii.     Shall be responsible for conducting interviews with those wishing to serve on the GAF committee.

                                            iv.     Shall be responsible for handling matters with the Student Federation (FED) and Students for Higher Education Days (SHED).

1.     Shall determine the number of participants based on funds available and will administer interviews to determine who shall attend.

2.     SHED attendees will participate in all planned functions and promote Black Hills State University in a favorable light.

b.     Budget Committee

                                               i.     Shall be in charge of appropriating funds to recognized student organizations through creating a budget recommendation to be approved by Senate.

                                             ii.     Operational budget hearings, for the next fiscal year, to approve funding for recognized student organizations shall be held prior to university determined finals week.

1.     Notice of hearing dates must be posted at least one (1) week in advance.

                                            iii.     Senate reserves the right to zero (0) fund any recognized student organization with appropriate justification.

                                            iv.     Only the membership of the Budget Committee may be present and participate in deliberations over budget proposals. 

                                             v.     The exiting Office Administrator shall serve as a non-voting advising member of the Budget Committee during spring and fall, if needed.

c.     Elections Committee

                                               i.     Composition

1.     During spring general elections, the committee shall consist of no more than four (4) non-returning and unaffiliated student Senators appointed by the Senate President. The chairperson of the committee will be determined by the committee members. In the event that no Senator is eligible, the chairperson may be any Student Association Member not seeking election. The remaining seats shall be filled by any student not seeking election. The Senate President will announce appointees no later than the second Senate meeting of the spring semester.

2.     During freshman and special elections, shall be composed of the two (2) most senior Senators and chaired by the Campus and External Relations Officer. The Senate President will announce appointees no later than the first Senate meeting of the fall semester.

                                             ii.     Duties

1.     Shall outline election procedures including rules and timelines unstated in the Constitution and be responsible for handling any candidate questions or complaints.

2.     Will construct the ballot for all campus wide elections.

3.     The Senate shall approve the following items: ballots, election dates, qualifications of candidates, and final approval of all candidates.

4.     Shall enforce all election rules. Unfair election practitioners shall be penalized in an appropriate manner by the Elections Committee upon approval of the Senate.

5.     These duties take effect immediately following announcement of appointments.

                                            iii.     Petitions

1.     Candidates for President and Vice President must run on the same ticket and will be officially nominated once a petition having one-hundred (100) valid signatures of Student Association members is submitted to the committee.

2.     Candidates for Office Administrator must run independently of all other executive offices and will be officially nominated once a petition having fifty (50) valid signatures of Student Association members is submitted to the committee.

3.     Candidates for Campus and External Relations Officer must run independently of all other executive offices and will be officially nominated once a petition having fifty (50) valid signatures of Student Association members is submitted to the committee.

4.     For a signature to be valid in respect to the preceding positions, the Student Association members shall sign only one (1) petition per office per election. Petitions must be presented to the Elections Committee no later than one (1) week prior to the election.

5.     Candidates for a Senator seat will be officially nominated once a petition having twenty-five (25) valid signatures of students from his/her respective college is submitted to the committee. For a signature to be valid, the member from his/her respective college shall sign only one (1) petition per office candidate per election. Petitions must be presented to the Elections Committee no later than one (1) week prior to the election.

6.     Candidates for a Freshman Senator seat will be official nominated once a petition having twenty-five (25) valid signatures of Student Association members is submitted to the committee. The validity of signatures for Freshman Senatorial candidates follows the same guidelines for the Executive Officers.

7.     If the Election Committee finds a petition to be invalid, it shall immediately notify the candidate who shall have two (2) school days from notification to make any necessary corrections.

                                            iv.     Election Dates

1.     Election of the Executive Officers shall be held during the first (1) full week after Spring Break and election of Student Senators shall be held during the fifth (5) full week after Spring Break.

2.     Executive Officers and Student Senators shall be sworn into office the first meeting following the Senatorial election.

3.     Freshman Senators shall be elected in the fall semester of each academic year by the end of September. Freshman Senators shall be sworn into office the first meeting following their election.

                                             v.     Voting

1.     Any member of the Student Association has a right to vote in Student Senate elections.

                                            vi.     Campaigning

1.     All candidates shall adhere to the regulations of the campaign as set forth by the Student Senate Constitution and the reasonable regulations of the campaign as set forth by the Elections Committee.

2.     Any violations of regulations by Executive or Senatorial candidates brought to the committee shall be investigated and may result in removal from the election ballot.

3.     Candidates shall adhere to all Black Hills State University policies.

d.     Student Feedback Committee

                                               i.     Shall determine the concerns of the Student Association on a regular basis and keep up with current issues that pertain to the interest of students.

                                             ii.     Shall take appropriate measures to investigate concerns, develop strategies to address concerns, and propose strategies to Senate for authorization to execute strategies.

                                            iii.     Shall hold meetings as needed and/or under the request of Senate.

3.     Non-Standing Committees

a.     Ethics Board

                                               i.     Purpose

1.     Shall conduct hearings to determine the validity of charges in violation of the Constitution brought against any Senator or Executive Officer.

2.     May formalize charges and present them for hearing before Senate, or dismiss the charges. The formalized charged must be reviewed by the initial member who brought up the charges. If the charges are found to have merit, the Ethics Board will then present the formal charges at the next regular Senate meeting.

                                             ii.     Positions

1.     Shall be composed of a Chair and four regular members.

a.     Whoever brings forth the charges cannot serve on the Ethics Board.

b.     The Chair shall be the most senior Senator.

2.     If two or more Senators have served equal time, then an election between the Senators will take place during the Senate meeting to decide who the senior Senator shall be.

3.     If charges are being brought against the senior Senator, the next most senior Senator shall take their place as chairperson.

4.     The remainder of the Ethics Board shall be composed of two (2) Student Association members selected by Senate, and two (2) Student Association members appointed by the President.

5.     The Student Association appointments may include, but are not limited to, members of Senate.

6.     All Ethics Board members must have a scheduled review together over the Constitution.

                                            iii.     Disqualification

1.     After the formation of the Ethics Board, if charges are brought against any Ethics Board member, that member shall be temporarily suspended until a decision has been made.

2.     By a two-thirds (2/3) vote, Senate shall select a replacement member to serve for the duration of the Ethics Board hearing.

3.     Replacement members must be Student Association members.

4.     Senators and Executive Officers failing to perform or meet their duties and qualifications specified in the Constitution are subject to jurisdiction of the Ethics Board.

                                            iv.     Procedure for Initiating Proceedings

1.     Any Student Association member may present charges against Senators or officers to the chairperson.

2.     Charges must be presented in writing with supporting documentation, the signature of the person(s) making the charges, and the date charges are being brought.

3.     Upon receipt of charges, the Ethics Board shall be appointed and will convene.

4.     At least one (1) week before the hearing to review the charges, the chairperson of the Ethics Board will present the charged member with written notification.

5.     The notification shall include the charges and the time and place of the hearing.

6.     The Ethics Board reserves the right to seek outside information and request experts’ interpretations as deemed necessary.

7.     The Ethics Board, while charged with the responsibility of delivering a timely recommendation, reserves the right to make a careful and slow deliberation.

8.     All decisions of the Ethics Board and Senate are binding.

9.     There is no appeal.

                                             v.     Confidentiality

1.     All proceedings and events discussed while the Ethics Board is in session are confidential.

2.     Under no circumstances shall an Ethics Board member reveal to any non-Ethics Board member the charges made against the Senator or Executive Officer.

3.     The name of the charged Senator or officer shall remain confidential.

                                            vi.     Rights of the Charged Senator or Executive Officer

1.     Shall receive written notice one (1) week prior to commencement of any hearing(s) relevant to the charges.

2.     Has the right to have counsel present at the Ethics Board hearing and the charged member may present to the Ethics Board any information in his/her defense.

3.     Counsel will be allowed to offer advice, but will not be entitled to participate in the Ethics Board hearings in any other capacity.

                                          vii.     Proceedings for Initiating Senate Hearings

1.     A unanimous vote in favor of the charges is required by the Ethics Board members for a Senate hearing, otherwise the charges will be dismissed. If the charges are not dismissed the chairperson shall place the ethics violation on the next regular Senate agenda.

2.     Senate shall by a two-thirds (2/3) vote take action on the recommendation by the Ethics Board.

3.     The sole penalty Senate may impose is a removal from office.

4.     The charged Senator or Executive Officer shall be suspended at this time and therefore have no vote in these proceedings.

Article VIII: Amending the Constitution

Amendments to this Constitution must be proposed and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote from Senate or a petition bearing the signatures of ten percent (10%) of the Student Association membership. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the votes cast by the Student Association are necessary for the amendment to pass.

Glossary

1.     Student Association: The entire student body.

2.     Senator: Any member of Senate that is not an Executive Officer.

3.     Executive Officer: President, Vice President, Office Administrator, and Campus and External Relations officer of Student Senate.

4.     Senate Officer: All members of the Senate including Senators and Executive Officers.

5.     Regular Meetings: Weekly meetings.

6.     Senate Sponsored Event: Any event or activity where Senate is the primary host or a key supporter in monetary, social, laborious, etc. terms.

7.     GAF: General Activity Fee paid by all members of the Student Association. The committee that agrees on how these funds shall be allocated meets every spring per Board of Regents policy.

8.     Procedural Measures: motions that run the course of Senate meetings as outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.


This Constitution was Ratified on 25 March 2015.