THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT BODY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF RIO GRANDE AND RIO GRANDE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
(Revised March 2011)
We the students of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College do ordain and establish this constitution for the student body of the University of Rio Grande. The philosophy of this constitution is to secure more effective participation by students in all concerns of the University and in the common efforts of all members of the Rio Grande Community and its future. This Constitution is adopted to maintain and strengthen the University of Rio Grande as a distinctive kind of institution which recognizes the responsibilities of all members, students, faculty, administration, and trustee and encourages them to express their views and pursue their interests in a non-discriminating and rational way.
Hereby in this constitution the words “Rio Grande” will be in reference to both institutions.
ARTICLE I – THE STUDENT BODY
The Student Body of Rio Grande shall consist of all enrolled Post Secondary Option (PSO) (for Student Senate purposes PSO students will be what Records Office classifies them as), Undergraduate, and Graduate students.
ARTICLE II – THE STUDENT CONGRESS
At the discretion of the Dean of Students, a Student Congress may be enacted to assure that proper representation is being given to the students at RIO. A Student Congress consists of a campus wide meeting for all represented (organizations) and unrepresented students to voice their opinions and concerns. The Student Congress will express the student voice to the Student Development Committee by submitting proposed resolutions.
- The Student Congress will follow Robert’s Rules of Order.
- The Student Congress will be moderated by the Dean of Students and/or the Director-Office of Resident Life.
- The Student Senate will represent all unrepresented students in the Congress.
- The Student Congress will meet one time per month.
ARTICLE III – THE STUDENT SENATE
Section I. The Student Senate shall consist of three officers and up to fifteen (15) representatives elected at large by the student body during the Spring Semester of the preceding academic year.
Senators may be selected from among the freshman class in the first week of Spring Semester. Freshman positions shall be filled through an application and interview process conducted by the Senate using a simple majority vote. The Student Senate will answer directly to the Dean of Students.
Section 2. Each student Senate representative must have completed at least one academic term as a full-time student of Rio Grande. Senators are strongly encouraged to maintain a Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of 2.25 or above.
Section 3. Advisor
- Will be Director of Student Activities
- The advisor(s) of the Student Senate shall have a voice in all
- motions presented in Student Senate.
- The advisor(s) shall have no vote on any motion.
- The advisor(s) for a new academic year shall be appointed at first meeting by a simple majority vote.
Section 4. The Student Senate shall receive a determined amount of money allocated after the annual budget is established by the Accounting Office and the Board of Trustees. This amount can fluctuate year to year and is not guaranteed.
Section 5. Expenditures and Fees
- All expenditures of student monies over the amount of $50.00 shall be approved by the Dean of Students.
Section 6. Any student shall have the right to attend any regular Student Senate meeting. Such a student may neither propose nor vote, but may speak to any and all motions.
Section 7. The three (3) officers of the Student Senate shall be: a president, a Vice President and a Secretary. These officers must have a 2.50 cumulative grade point average at the time of their election and must have completed at least 24 credit hours from Rio Grande at the time of their election.
Section 8. The Executive Committee of the Student Senate shall be comprised of the President, Vice President, and Secretary of the Student Senate. The Secretary shall be elected for the Student Senate by a simple majority vote during the first meeting of the academic year.
Section 9. The President
- The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Student Senate.
- The President shall officially represent the Student Body at all required University functions or designate another member to do so in his/her absence.
- The President shall make all appointments necessary and proper to the fulfillment of the office.
- The President shall be responsible for the general execution of all decisions of the Student Senate and its Executive Committee.
- The President shall perform such duties as are assigned to him/her by this constitution and shall uphold the will of the students.
- The President shall be empowered to call special assemblies of the student body if deemed necessary.
- The President shall be empowered to call after consultation with the Executive Committee of the Student Senate, all meetings of the Student Senate, and special meetings of any Student Senate Committee.
- A Senate representative is expected to attend each LA 101class.
- The President shall act as a liaison between the administration of the University and the Student Senate, making recommendations and suggestions to University administration from action that has been approved by the student Senate.
- As chief administration officer of the Student Body, he/she shall supervise the work of all student committees and officers.
- The President shall be ex-officio member of all Student Senate committees.
- The President shall serve a mandatory voting representative of the Administrative Council of the University of Rio Grande.
- The President shall serve as chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Student Senate.
- The Student Senate President shall receive a $1,000.00 per year stipend which may be equally divided between the terms of the academic school year.
Section 10. The Vice President
- The Vice President shall assume the Office of the President in case of the President’s absence, removal, death, resignation or disability.
- The Vice President shall assume such special executive and administrative responsibilities as delegated to him/her by the President of the Student Senate.
- The Vice President shall receive a $750.00 stipend per year which may be equally divided between the terms of the academic year.
Section 11. The Secretary
- The Secretary shall keep attendance and take accurate minutes of all Student Senate and Executive committee meeting.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for the orderly maintenance of all minutes, files and records of the Student Senate, including minutes of all committee meetings.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for reserving rooms for all Student Senate meetings and functions.
- The Secretary must make available for examination any and all records at any time to any member of the student Senate.
- The Secretary shall serve as a member of the Constitution and Rules Committee and shall maintain an orderly portfolio of all rules and standing resolutions passed by the Student Senate.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for transcribing the minutes and distributing the minutes to the appropriate administrative personnel in a timely manner.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for all correspondence from the Student Senate.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for all copying and printing tasks as directed by the president of the Student Senate.
- The Secretary shall receive a $500.00 per year stipend which may be equally divided between the terms of the academic year.
Section 12. Offices of the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Student Senate shall begin after the Spring Semester that they were elected in.
ARTICLE IV – POWERS OF THE STUDENT SENATE
Section 1. The Student Senate shall have the power to make allocation of its own budget, Student Body collection and earnings. The Student Senate shall have the same right to hold fund-raisers as other organizations on campus.
Section 2. The Student Senate shall have the power to make recommendations for the improvement of any phase of campus policies.
Section 3. The Student Senate shall have the power to determine the time and place of its meetings.
ARTICLE V – ELECTIONS
Section 1. The petitions for candidates for Student Senate Government Offices shall be made available during the first week of March and will be due by a designated posted deadline.
The general election for Student Government shall be held on the same day of Spring Fling Queen/King election. These dates may change according to academic term, but will be posted on campus.
Section 2. Individuals desiring nomination to any elected Student Government positions must submit a petition bearing the valid signatures of fifty (50) students with ID numbers included.
Section 3. The validity of the signatures appearing on all such petitions and the eligibility of the candidates shall be determined by the University Records Office and the student’s ID number provided from that office.
Section 4. The Student Senate shall coordinate a voluntary Student Body assembly which shall serve as a candidate review for candidates for Student Senate Officers and Student Judiciary Council Justices not more than ten (10) days after the petition deadline defined by the Elections Committee.
Section 5. Individuals willing to run for the positions of Student Senate President and Vice President must have served on Student Senate for at least one whole academic year, or two full semesters (at least 24 credit hours).
Section 6. Elections Involving Ties
- Elections involving ties in Student Senate shall be settled by a run-off election held within forty-eight (48) hours after said election.
- Other elections supervised by the Student Senate involving a tie shall be settled by the Student Senate Organization.
Section 7. Procedures for Voting
- All ballots shall be marked in secret and private.
- The voting place shall be in one (1) centrally located place on campus, as decided by the Student Senate.
- At the polls, a member of Student Government not running for office or other designated representative shall supply each voter with a ballot.
- No proxy voting will be permitted.
- Absentee voting will be allowed.
Section 8. Procedure for Absentee Voting
- The absentee voter must complete and return an application to the Student Services Office.
- The application for absentee voting can be obtained three (3) days prior to the election and must be returned one (1) day before election.
- Absentee ballots can be obtained from the Student Services Office the day before the election.
- Absentee ballots must be returned before the polls are scheduled to open.
Section 9. Counting of Election Ballots
- All election ballots shall be counted in the presence of a member of the University’s faculty or administration.
- The complete results of the elections shall be announced immediately upon the completing of the counting of the ballots with the exception of Homecoming and Spring Fling Queen/King candidates. The results shall be announced at the dance following the election.
- All election ballots shall be kept at least three (3) weeks following the election.
Section 10. The term of office for all Student Senate members shall be for one (1) academic year except for those who fill an un-expired term, in which case the term of office shall be limited to the un-expired term.
Section 11. Student Senate members will assume office on the first day of the academic school year.
Section 12. No pictures of candidates are permitted in the hallway of the voting table unless organized by Student Senate.
Section 13. No person is allowed to be campaigning outside, near, or inside of the Food Court during the day of voting. (If this should occur please inform the person campaigning in that area that this is prohibited and the person may be disqualified).
Section 14. No other students are permitted to be sitting at the voting table except for Student Senators not seeking the office of President or Vice President.
Section 15. Greeks may not wear shirts with letters while at the voting table.
Section 16. Student Senators may not wear a shirt advertising Student Senate candidates while at the voting table or state personal opinions of any candidate seeking election.
Section 17. All students voting must sign his/her name on the registration sheet.
Section 18. All students voting must put their ID. number on the ballot or their ballot will be disqualified.
Section 19. Homecoming and Spring Fling Requirements. All groups and organizations will have one (1) nomination for Homecoming and one (1) nomination for King or Queen. Once a person is named King or Queen he/she is no longer allowed to run for a King or Queen position. All King, Queen, and escorts must wear proper formal attire.
Section 20. Special Elections The Dean of Students shall have the power to hold special elections for the purpose of operational necessity.
ARTICLE VI IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL
Section 1. After two (2) infractions, no student shall continue to hold any elective position while on disciplinary probation. Any student holding an elective position shall be replaced if he/she loses membership in the Student Body of Rio Grande.
Section 2. The Student Senate shall consider the removal of its President, Vice President, Secretary, Senators, and members either upon action taken by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members of the Student Senate or recommendation from the Dean of Students.
Section 3. The Student Senate shall consider the removal of any of its members who have three (3) unexcused absences from regularly scheduled Student Senate standing committee or University Committee meetings. A two-thirds (2/3) vote will result in the removal of this member.
Section 4. An Advisor of the Student Senate shall be removed with two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Student Senate.
Section 5. The procedures for impeachment of any member of the student government shall be as follows: Notification of alleged violations(s) shall be provided to the accused one (1) week prior to the said hearing. The combined Student Senate shall hear the case. Vote shall be by secret ballot. The President shall interpret the case to the Student Senate.
If the President is on trial, the next highest ranking officer shall interpret the case to the Student Senate.
Section 6. If a petition for reinstatement containing valid signatures of twenty percent (20%) of the members of the Student Body is presented to the Student Body Senators within ten (10) days of the date of such removal, a special election shall be held within ten (10) days of the presentation of such a petition with a majority student vote for reinstatement.
Section 7. President has the power to appoint a person to fill the vacant office with two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Student Senate.
Section 8. If the Office of Vice President becomes vacated, the President of the Student Senate shall appoint a Vice President from among the Student Senate members with the approval of two thirds (2/3) of the remaining Student Senate members; if the Vice President assumes the President’s Office in the case of a vacancy, he/she shall appoint a succeeding Vice President from among the Student Senate members with the approval of two thirds (2/3) of the remaining Student Senate members. Resulting vacancies in the Senate shall be filled as specified in Section 7 of this article.
Section 9. Dean of Students shall have the right to remove any Senator with just cause.
ARTICLE VII – TEMPORARY COMMITTEES
Section 1. Any committee may be established whenever deemed necessary by the President of the Student Senate.
Section 2. All temporary committees shall report to the Dean of Students as they deem necessary to the progress of said temporary committee.
Section 3. The membership, duties, and duration of any temporary committee shall be determined by the Dean of Students.
ARTICLE VIII – ALL GREEK COUNCIL
Section 1. Whereas, the All Greek Council is considered a part of the Student Government separate from and equal to the Student Senate. The primary purpose of the All Greek Council is to coordinate activities, programs and regulations of the All Greek Organization.
ARTICLE IX – SCHEDULING OF TABLES
Section 1. The scheduling of tables shall be directed strictly through the Dean of Students.
Section 2. The tables will be defined as the locations used for fund raising, voter registration, approval of off campus sales people, and other approved student oriented activities.
Section 3. The locations will be limited to the following:
- Wood Hall Lobby
- The residence halls including a 100 foot radius out side each building
- Entrance area to the Student Annex
- The Food Court in the Student Center
- Public areas (outside)
Section 4. Only formally recognized organizations and certain off-campus vendors, which are approved by the Student Senate, will be permitted to utilize the tables.
Section 5. Priority will be given to written notices over phone and other forms of messages. The tables will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Section 6. Scheduling of the tables shall be done on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis. An organization is permitted to schedule no more than two locations in any given day and is limited to reserving tables only ten days or two weeks in a given month.
Section 7. Organizations that have scheduled the tables may yield the right of their tables to another organization after notifying the Dean of Students of the arrangement.
Section 8.Any and all complaints by an organization regarding an alleged infraction of this policy must be submitted to the Dean of Students in writing, seven (7) days after the incident.