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Student Government Association

Constitution of Washington College

Below is the Constitution of the Washington College by Student Government Association as of February 25, 2014. You can download the constitution here.

Preamble

We the students of Washington College in order to promote our welfare, represent our opinion, endorse social feeling, protect the best interest of our college, and foster cooperation among ourselves and our community do herby ordain and establish this Constitution for the Washington College Student Government Association.

Article I. Legislative Powers

Section 1.

The legislative power of the Student Government Association shall be vested in the Senate.

Section 2.

The Senate shall be composed of members who are elected yearly, by their respective constituents.

A. The Presidents of each class shall serve as a Senator representing their respective classes.

B. Members will be elected at the beginning of each fall semester, except class Presidents.

C. The Speaker will be elected the week before spring break in the spring semester.

  1. Each of the Senators, excluding the nominees, will vote by secret ballot for one of the nominees.
  2. The Speaker shall serve his position either until the next scheduled Speaker election, his impeachment, or his vacating of his office.

D. The amount of representatives from each dormitory will be prescribed by the number of residents given in the by-laws.

Section 3.

The Senate shall convene for the first session on the third Tuesday of the fall semester.

Section 4.

Each senator shall hold one vote; the Speaker shall not cast a vote unless in the event of a tie.

Section 5.

The Senate shall hold the power to:
A. Allocate and administer the funds obtained from the Student Activities fee;
B. Officiate in all elections held by the Student Government Association;
C. Elect a Speaker;
D. Introduce, discuss, and vote upon legislation affecting the student body or representing their views;
E. Establish permanent and temporary committees as needed to conduct the business of the Student Government Association;
F. Establish, with urging from the President, executive departments to carry out the wishes of the Senate and the students they represent;

Section 6.

The Senate shall provide the direction of the Student Government Association.

Section 7.

Elections for Senate shall take place no later than the second Tuesday of the fall semester.

Section 8.

The Senate may override a Review Board veto with a 4/5ths vote.

Section 9.

The Parliamentary authority of the Senate shall be Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised 10th Edition.

Section 10.

If the Speaker of the Senate becomes vacant, the Parliamentarian will call the next Senate meeting to order, move for new elections, and then turn the gavel over to the
new Speaker.

Article II. Executive Powers

Section 1.

The Executive power of the Student Government Association shall be vested in a President, Vice President, and Financial Controller to be elected to one year terms as follows:

A. The President, Vice President, and Financial Controller shall be elected separately and will serve a term of one year unless he or she is removed from office or resigns. In the event the President vacates office, the Vice President shall assume all duties of the office and become President. If for any reason the Vice President or the Financial Controller vacates their office, the President within two weeks shall name a successor who must be confirmed by a 3/5 vote of the Senate.

Section 2.

The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Student Government Association with the Vice President serving as his/her principle assistant.

Section 3.

The permanent executive departments outlined in the by-laws will be headed by Secretaries chosen by the review board. These Secretaries will be chosen every spring by the new Review Board.

Section 4.

The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, and the Secretaries of all departments outlined in the by-laws. The President is the chair of the Executive Board.

Section 5.

The Financial Controller shall be the principle executor of the student activities fee and shall have the power distribute funds as the Senate prescribes. The Financial Controller shall also advices the Senate on all actions concerning Student Government Association fund and work to maintain the health of the Student Government Association’s monetary position through advocating fundraising and responsible
spending.

Section 6.

The President with the assistance of the entirety of the Executive Board shall
assist in the coordination of all student activities and functions of the student body.

Section 7.

The election of the President, Vice President, and Financial Controller shall be held one week before spring break and will take office at the second Senate meeting after spring break in accordance with prescribed Student Government Association procedures. Within one week of returning from spring break secretaries shall be selected within the prescribed Student Government Association procedures.

Article III. Judicial Powers

Section 1.

The Judicial power of the Student Government Association shall be vested in an Honor Board.

Section 2.

The amount of members, operation, and procedure of the Honor Board shall be prescribed by the Student Government Association by-laws, student handbook, and the faculty authorities.

Section 3.

The Honor Board Chair will be selected by a majority vote of the sitting Review Board prior to the new Executive Board assuming office.

Section 4.

The Honor Board Members are selected by the Review Board.

Article IV. Review Powers

Section 1.

The power to interpret this Constitution and its by-laws shall be vested in the Review Board, chaired by the Parliamentarian.
A.The new Parliamentarian shall be selected by a majority vote of the sitting Review Board prior to the new Executive Board assuming office
B. If the Parliamentarian vacates his/her office, the remaining members of the Review Board appoint a successor by a majority vote. If the Review Board
vote is a tie after 5 ballots, the vote shall be put to the Senate with the Parliamentarian candidate receiving the most votes assuming the office immediately.

Section 2.

The Review Board shall include the Parliamentarian, Speaker of the Senate, Financial Controller, President, and Honor Board Chair.

Section 3.

The Review Board shall act as a liaison between the branches of government, solve disputes and power struggles between branches, and acts a steering committee for the Student Government Association.

Section 4.

At least 3/5ths of the Review Board must affix their signatures to any piece of legislation passed by the Senate for the legislation to have the full force of the Student Government Association. In the case that the legislation in question is the Budget, the Financial Controller must account for one of those three signatures. If the 3/5ths requirement or budget clause is not met the legislation shall be considered vetoed.

Section 5.

If a veto is overridden by the Senate the budget clause no longer applies, and the Speaker, Parliamentarian, and President must immediately sign the legislation giving
it the full force of the Student Government Association.

Section 6.

All appointments to the Executive Board will be filled by a vote of the Review Board. The Parliamentarian will only vote on appointments in the case of a tie.

Article V. Class Officers

Section 1.

Each Washington College Class shall elect four officers.
A.The elections for rising Senior, Junior, and Sophomore officers shall take place during the second week in April and shall take office during the final Senate meeting of the year.
B. All First Year elections shall take place during the last week of September.

Section 2.

The officers shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 3.

The President shall be a member of the Senate.

Section 4.

Any vacancy shall be filled by appointment from the respective President with approval from the Review Board. If the Presidency is vacated the Vice President shall
become President.

Section 5.

The Class Treasurer and President will be ultimately responsible for all class funds.

Section 6.

The Class officers shall have the express power to
A. Create a class government including a cabinet
B. Advocate for the best interests of their class

Article VI. Ratification and Amendment

Section 1.

Once ratified this Constitution and the by-laws included with it will take effect at the beginning next Student Government Association Executive Board elections cycle

Section 2.

This Constitution shall be considered ratified when passed by a 4/5ths vote of the Senate

Section 3.

The Senate may propose an amendment to this Constitution by a 4/5ths vote; that amendment will be considered accepted when a plurality of the Washington College Student body at large ratifies the amendment through a referendum at such time that is appropriate and convenient.

Section 4.

Student Government Association by-laws and amendments to by-laws must be voted on at two Senate meetings in a row and passed by a 3/5ths vote of Senate each time voted on.

Article VII. Impeachment and Removal

Section 1.

Any officer of the Student Government Association may be impeached by a petition signed by thirty percent of his/her or her constituency.

Section 2.

If an officer is impeached he or she will be tried with the Senate acting as the jury. A 3/5ths vote of the Senate shall be needed in order to remove the officer from his/her or her post.

Section 3.

A convicted officer may appeal to the Review Board on the grounds of improper or unfair trial procedures. The Review Board shall need a 2/5ths vote to accept the appeal and a 4/5ths vote in order to overturn or remand the Senate’s decision.

Article VIII. Conflict of Interest

Section 1.

Any Executive Officer may not hold a legislative, judicial, or class officer position.

Article IX. Supremacy

Section 1.

This Constitution and its by-laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme authority of the Washington College Student Body; and the officers of every organization shall be bound thereby to any thing in this Constitution and its by-laws; and any constitution, by-laws, laws, or regulations of any Student Government Association sponsored organization in conflict with this Constitution are hereby invalid.