Fairfield FUSA Constitution

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					      The Constitution of the

          Constitutional Convention Committee 2009

         Daniel Lamendola „09, Chair of Senate (Chair)

                   Frank Fioretti „10, Senator

                    John Tiene „11, Senator

              Alexandra Ghiorzi „09, Chief Justice

               Chris Jones „10, Associate Justice

               Samar Coyle „11, Associate Justice

                  Jeffrey Seiser „10, President

     Michelle Serratelli „09, Director of Lectures (Secretary)

   Alessandra Fiorenza „10, Director of Cultural Celebrations
                           The Constitution of the Fairfield University Student Association


We, the undergraduate students a t Fairfield University, hereby organize and establish the Fairfie ld University
Student Association.     As the representative government of the undergraduate student body, the student
association shall be charged with the following roles:      To represent a nd advocate student issues, needs and
concerns, to promote a diverse array of social, educational and cultural programs and initiatives, to be a valuable
partner in the academic and administrative processes of the University and to govern ourselves in a manner that
is both respectful of individual rights and consistent with the needs of the University and the larger community.
This Constitution seeks to create a government that is accessible to all students.        It is our intention that the
student association be an open forum for the vigorous exchange of ideas, that it be committed to fostering
individual growth and advancement, and that it take the lead in improving learning and living here on campus.
We establish this government in the tradition of the Jesuit ideals.


Section 1.1 – Name
    The name of this organization shall be the Fairfie ld University Student Association hereafter referred to as

Section 1.2 – Membership
    All fulltime, matriculated, undergraduate students are members of FUSA.


Section 2.1 – Expression
    Members of FUSA have the right to express individual opinions both publicly and privately. Members shall
    have the right to assemble. All student media, which is funded by FUSA, shall be free of prior approval, so
    long as it is in compliance with the Student Handbook.

Section 2.2 – Hearings
    Members of FUSA have the right to a hearing when violations of the student code -of-conduct or other
    University policies are alleged. Such a hearing must occur in accordance with the prescribed disciplinary or
    grievance procedures set forth in the student handbook.

Section 2.3 – Public Records
    Members of FUSA have the right to request and review official FUSA records.

Section 2.4 – Meetings
    FUSA meetings shall be open to the public except in instances when rules of procedure require that they be
    closed, or an executive session is called by the meeting chairperson with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the
    Senate in favor of a closed session. The closed session policies and procedures are further described in the
    house rules of each branch of FUSA.

Section 2.5 – Conduct & Ethics
    Members of FUSA serving in the undergraduate government a gree to conduct themselves in a fashio n that
    reflects the highest level of honesty and inte grity and to execute their offices fully, faithfully and in a manner
    consistent with the representation of the student body. All appointments shall be made with these principles
    in mind. All hearings shall be unbiased and all individua ls subject to review shall be accorded all due respect
    and dignity.


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                          The Constitution of the Fairfield University Student Association

Section 3.1 – Referendum
     Any action of FUSA is subject to a referendum if one-fourth (1/4) of FUSA‟s members sign a petition and
     present it to the Judiciary Council Chair.   A valid petition will result in a referendum within ten (10) class

Section 3.2 – Petition
     Any member of FUSA may petition the Senate regarding an issue. However, only a member of the Senate
     may put forward a motion before the Senate for a resolution.

Section 3.3 – Service
     No member of FUSA may serve in more than one position at one time.

Section 3.4 – The General Fee
     FUSA‟s funding shall derive from the University‟s General Fee. If the actual collection of fees exceeds the
     budget projection, FUSA shall receive its portion of the excess funds in the following fiscal year. Similarly, if
     FUSA overspends its annual budget, the deficit sha ll affect the following fiscal year.

Section 3.5 – Terms
1. The term of elected officia ls shall begin at noon on the first Tuesday of April following the Spring FUSA
     Election, thus terminating the previous term of office. Freshmen elected in the Fall FUSA Election sha ll begin
     at noon on the day following the Fall FUSA Election.

2.   The term of appointed members shall begin at noon on the first Tuesday of April, or if after that date, the
     day following approval by the Senate.

3.   Executive and Legislative terms are to extend no longer than one year and terminate at noon on the first
     Tuesday of April. The term of the Judiciary Branch shall extend for two years with an option for renewal.

Section 3.6 – Involvement with the Office of the Dean of Students
1.   The University recognizes that the FUSA President and the Judiciary Council Chair are to work in conjunction
     with the Dean of Students Office in the selection process of students to serve as members of the Peer
     Conduct Board.

2.   The students serving on the Peer Conduct Board shall meet at least once per semester with the Judiciary
     Council to provide trend reports and to discuss student concerns relating to the ir respective work.


Section 4.1 – Legislative Branch: The Senate
1.   The Senate shall be composed of eight Se nators per class who are elected by the members of their respective
     undergraduate classes. The entire Senate shall be composed of thirty two voting Senators, a Chair of the
     Senate, Vice Chair of the Senate and the Vice President of FUSA.

2.   All Senators have one vote and in the case of a tie by the Senate, the power to break that tie shall rest in the
     Vice President of FUSA, who must attend all Sena te meetings.

3.   The Chair of Senate shall preside over all Senate meetings and shall hold all these meetings according to
     Parliamentary Procedure set forth by the Robert‟s Rules of Order, unless procedures are otherwise stipulated
     in the Senate House Rules.

4.   In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair will assume this role. In the absence of both the Chair and the
     Vice Chair, the Senate may elect a Chair Pro-Tempore for this time.

5.   Prior to the Spring FUSA Election, the Senate shall be responsible for electing, by closed ballot, the Chair and
     Vice Chair of Senate who will serve the newly elected session.

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6.   In the case of an open seat in the Senate, the respective Class Council shall petition the class and
     recommend a qualified candidate to the Chair of Senate, who shall make the appointment.

7.   The Senate shall have two sta nding committees: An Academics Committee and a Student Life comm ittee.
     The Senate may establish other, ad hoc, committees as needed. At the beginning of each new session, each
     Senator shall indicate committee preferences to the Chair of the Senate who shall then appoint
     representative to the committees.

8.   The Senate shall have a standing Finance Council that meets regularly with the FUSA Secretary of the
     Treasury, the Programming Director of Finance and the SOBOG Vice Chair of Finance to review the budget

Section 4.2 – Duties and Powers of the Senate
1.   All le gislative authority and functions within FUSA shall rest within the Senate.

2.   Senators, as elected representatives of FUSA, are responsible for soliciting and deliberating upon student
     issues, and using the legislative process as a means to advance or re solve such issues.

3.   The Senate shall review and approve the annual budget submitted by the President. The Senate shall have
     the authority to accept or reject the proposal by majority vote.

4.   The Senate must approve any single FUSA activity budgeted greater than $10,000 after review by the Finance

5.   Resolutions passed by the Senate and signed by the President will become the official position of the
     undergraduate government. Resolutions are to serve and protect the interest of the student bod y.

6.   Any resolution passed by the Senate may be vetoed by the President. The President has ten (10) class days
     to respond to a resolution. If no action is taken within te n (10) class days, the resolution becomes official.

7.   Resolutions that are vetoed by the President may be overridden with three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Senate
     and will become official policy of FUSA.

8.   The Senators are to be informed of and work in collaboration with their respective Class Council to address
     issues of interest or concern affecting tha t class and resolutions recognized by the University.

Section 4.3 – Executive Branch

1.   All executive authority and functions within FUSA shall rest with the President of FUSA.

2.   The President and Vice President shall be elected by the full-time undergraduate student body.

3.   The President shall act as the primary spokesperson for FUSA.

4.   At least once per academic year, the President must issue a “state-of-the-university” address to keep the
     student body informed on FUSA‟s initiatives on campus.

5.   The President is responsible for forming and defining the FUSA budget. Prior to the forming of the budget,
     the President is required to hold a public forum where elected and appointed members of FUSA are asked to
     voice their opinions on any budgetary changes for the upcoming session. After this forum, the President
     shall meet with the newly appointed Executive Cabine t and form the budget. Once the budget is formed, the
     President must bring the budget to the Senate for final approval.

6.   The President shall convene an Executive Cabinet which together with the Vice President shall consist of the
     Secretaries of Academics, Student Life, Marketing and Public Relations, the Treasury and the Interior along
     with an Executive Director of Programming and the Student Organization‟s Board of Governors (SOBOG)

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     Chair. The Executive Cabinet shall advise and assist the President in all matters that may be necessary and
     appropriate in the fulfillment of the President‟s duties of this constitution.

7.   The Vice President shall assist the President in the fulfillment of his/her responsibilities.

8.   The Executive Director of Programming shall chair the Programming Board, which shall consist of appointed
     directors of finance, publicity and of specific areas of interest to include: Concerts, Special Events, General
     Events, Cultural Celebrations, Athletics and Lectures. The Programming Board shall be responsible for
     sponsoring programming to meet student needs.

9.   The SOBOG shall act a resource and administrative body for the collective representation of the registered
     student clubs and organizations. The SOBOG shall be comprised of a Chair, a Vice Chair of Communica tion,
     a Vice Chair of Finance and eight Governors. The Chair shall be appointed by the FUSA Pr esident and the
     Vice Chairs of Communication and Fina nce shall be appointed by the SOBOG Chair a nd all three positions do
     not retain voting rights on the board. The Eight governors shall be elected by an in-house election process.
     The Chair shall moderate and chair the SOBOG and serve as the liaison to other FUSA groups. The Vice
     Chairs of Finance and Communication sha ll communicate regularly with the Secretary of the Treasury and the
     Secretary of Marketing a nd Public Relations, respectively. The SOBOG is responsible for the approval of club
     and organization‟s constitutions, the allocation of funds and services to the registered clubs and
     organizations and for holding a General Assembly once each month for the purpose of exchanging and
     distributing information a nd encouraging collaboration a nd co-sponsorship among student groups.              The
     procedures of the SOBOG Board shall be detailed in their house rules, as a subset of the Executive Branch
     House Rules.

10. The Class Councils shall each consist of a President, Vice President, and Treasurer who will be elected by
     their respective undergraduate class. The Class Council is responsible for the coordina tion and execution of
     activities and initiatives aimed at promoting unity and identity for individua l classes.       The Class Councils
     shall be informed of and work in collaboration w ith their respective Class Sena tors to address issues of
     interest or concern affecting that class.

Section 4.4 – Executive Succession
1.   Should the office of the President become vacant, the Vice President shall become President.

2.   In the event that the President is temporarily unable to perform the duties of the office, the Vice President
     shall assume all duties of the President for that time.

3.   Should the office of the Vice President become vacant, the President shall appoint a successor with the
     approval of a majority vote of the Senate.

4.   Should the office of the President and Vice President become vacant, the Chair of Senate shall become
     President and the Vice Chair of Sena te shall become Chair of Senate.

Section 4.5 – Class Council Succession
1.   Should the office of Class Council President become vacant, the Class Council Vice President shall become
     President. In the event that the Class Council President is temporarily unable to perform the duties of the
     office, the Class Council Vice President shall assume all duties of the President for tha t time.

2.   In the event of a vacancy of Class Council Vice President or Secretary, the Class Council President shall be
     responsible for appointing a new ind ividual, to be approved by a majority vote of the respective Class

Section 4.6 – Joint Sena te - Class Council Committee

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1.   The joint Sena te - Class Council Committee shall be comprised of one Sena tor and one Class Council
     member per class. The Senators shall be appointed by the Chair of Senate and each Class Council President
     shall appoint their representative.

2.   The Committee shall be convened for the purposes of reviewing all appointed positions prior to approval by
     the Se nate and is to serve as a hearing body for impeachment and expulsion of members of the Judiciary

Section 4.7 – Judiciary Branch
1. All judicial authority and functions shall rest within the Judiciary Council.

2.   The Judiciary Council shall consist of a Council Chair and a minimum of four council members. Members are
     to be appointed by the Council Chair, reviewed by the joint Senate - Class Council Review Committee and
     approved by the Senate.

3.   The Judiciary Council shall be responsible for mediating disputes within FUSA and may be called upon by the
     University or the President of FUSA to do so.

4.   The Judiciary Council shall serve as a hearing body for adjudicating all ma tters concerning FUSA membership
     performance and shall supervise and conduct all FUSA elections in accordance with the election code, located
     within the Judicial Branch House Rules.

5.   The Judiciary Council is called upon by FUSA to serve as a peer-advocate board, in accordance with the
     student code-of-conduct and conduct procedures, to support students involved in conduct hearings.

6.   The Judiciary Council shall be responsible for reviewing and producing feedback on University policies and
     work with the Secretaries of Student Life and Academics, to address concerns with appropriate University


Section 5.1 – Charges
1.   Charges may be brought against any member of FUSA based on non-performance, absences, misconduct,
     and violation of this Constitution and/or House Rules.

2.   Charges are to be submitted, in writing, to the Judiciary Council Chair, who is responsib le for communicating
     these charges to the individual. In the event that charges are brought against a Judiciary Council Member,
     the Chair of Senate shall assume the responsibilities of the Council Chair.

3.   The President, Vice President and Senate Chair must be notified of all charges.

4.   The individual member in question shall have five academic days to present a reply.

5.   The member in question may request a hearing.

Section 5.2 – Hearings
1. The Judiciary Council shall, with the Council Chair presiding, hold a hearing for members of the Executive
     and Legislative branches.

2.   The joint Se nate - Class Council Committee, with the Chair of Senate presiding without voting rights, shall
     hold the hearing for members of the Judiciary Branch.

3.   Any members with a direct interest in the matter are require d to abstain from voting.

Section 5.3 – Removal

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     Any member of the Executive and Legislative Branch may be removed by a majority vote of the Judiciary
     Council, after charges have been filed and a hearing has taken place. A member of the Judicial Branch may
     be removed by a majority vote of the joint Sena te – Class Council Committee, after charges have been filed
     and a hearing has taken place.


Section 6.1 – General Elections
1.   A member of FUSA may only run for election to one position in FUSA at a time.

2.   The Spring Election shall be held on the third Tuesday of February. The Fall Election shall be held on the last
     Tuesday of September. In the event that the date conflicts with the University Calendar, the Judiciary Council
     Chair shall set an appropriate date.

3.   Members shall be elected to the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior class positions in the Spring FUSA Election.
     Members shall be elected to positions for the Freshma n Class in the Fall FUSA Election.

4.   All FUSA elections shall be conducted in accordance with the FUSA Election Code , located in the Judiciary
     Branch House Rules. The Election Code shall be approved by the Senate in advance to any election and shall
     conta in appropriate provisions detailing campaign policies, hearing procedures and vote counting

5.   The Judiciary Council has final authority on adjudicating all election disputes.

Section 6.2 – Appointments
     All appointments are subject to review by a joint Senate and Class Council Committee and shall be brought
     to the Senate for final approval.


1.   This constitution shall be amended when these lines are proven insufficient for future circumstances.
     Amendments shall be kept in the spirit of this Constitution and shall address the needs of the student body.

2.   This Constitution takes precedence over all former Constitutions. Furthermore, all resolutions, rules and by-
     laws of FUSA must adhere to this Constitution.

3.   Amendments to this Constitution are to be made, in resolution form, and approved by a two-thirds vote of
     the Sena te. Upon signing of the resolution, the FUSA President mus t present it to the Division of Student
     Affairs for University approval.

4.   A convention may be convened by a Senate resolution approved with a two-thirds vote of the Senate or by
     referendum and majority vote of the student body. The convention‟s membership shall be determined by
     the Senate, and shall be fairly representative of FUSA and its constituents. The Convention, in accordance
     with the Senate Resolution convening it and the FUSA Constitution, shall adopt its own rules of procedure. A
     convention shall convene at least every four (4) years, but need not result in cha nges to the most current
     form of the constitution.

2004-05     - Revised by the Senate Established Constitution Convention Committee

02/22/09 - Amended by the Constitutional Convention Committee 2009 & Senate Resolution S45-07

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