Constitution of the Student Government Association Of Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, The Capital College We, the students of the Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, the Capital College do hereby form ourselves into an association under this Constitution, its Bylaws and University Policy; in order to govern ourselves, promote the welfare of students, and direct activities of student organizations in the best interest of the student body. This constitution and the Student Government Association of Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College are hereby established as the authoritative source of rule for all student organizations at Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College. Article I – Name The name of this body shall be the Student Government Association of Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, the Capital College and hence to be known as the SGA. Article II – Structures Section 1 The SGA shall consist of Executive, Legislative, and the Judicial Branch. Section 2 The Executive Branch shall consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Chief of Staff, Community Liason, and Communications Director. Section 3 All Legislative power shall be invested in the Senate. Each academic division shall be entitled to representation. A) There shall be a maximum of four Senators to represent each academic college. (4) Senators from the School of Behavioral Science and Education (4) Senators from the School of Business Administration (4) Senators from the School of Humanities (4) Senators from the School of Public Affairs (4) Senators from the School of Science, Engineering and Technology (4) Senators from the School of Division of Undergraduate Studies B) There shall be no class delineation within each academic school. C) There shall be a maximum of two senators representing the graduate program at Penn State University Harrisburg, the Capital College Section 4 All Judicial powers shall be vested in the Student Court. There shall be a Chief Justice and a minimum of four Associate Justices. At SGA meetings the student court shall be recognized as a Judicial Branch. Article III – Powers and Duties of the Executive Branch Section 1 All members of the Executive Branch must adhere to the following guidelines or they may be discharged by the President: A) No member of the Executive Branch shall have a vote in the Senate, except in the event of a tie. Then the Vice President shall cast the tie-breaking vote. B) Shall not miss more than two unexcused meetings per academic semester C) Shall serve on the Executive Board that is chaired by the President. D) Must hold office hours in the SGA office totaling no less than one hour per week. In addition, the President may require more time for working on projects outside or inside the office. E) Must instruct the officer-elect in their responsibilities before they assume office. F) Shall not hold an office in the Senate or the Student Court. G) May serve on other committees at the discretion of the President. Section 2 President A) Shall execute the proposals enacted by the Senate. B) Shall not hold an office in any other student club or organization. C) Shall preside over all General Sessions. D) Shall interpret Robert’s Rule of Order and enforce parliamentary procedure. E) Shall exercise the power to call special meetings of the Senate with 48 hours notice. F) Shall appoint chairpersons to all committees with majority approval of the Senate. G) Shall appoint all positions of the Executive Branch, except the Vice President without approval from the Senate. If the Vice President resigns then the President may appoint a new Vice President. H) Will not serve as a chairperson on any SGA committees other than the Executive Committee I) Shall fill vacancies within the Executive Branch, without Senate approval. J) Shall fill vacancies within the Senate with a majority vote and the student Court with a two-thirds majority vote K) Shall be allowed to discharge any member of the Executive Branch, except the Vice President, without going through the impeachment process. L) May establish new ad hoc committees with majority approval of the Senate. M) May establish new standing committees with two-thirds majority approval of the Senate. N) May veto any proposal or legislation passed by the Senate. After a proposal is passed, the veto must be presented in writing to every Senator at least 48 hours before the next meeting session. The President must explain in writing the reasons for the veto, and must offer suggestions for revision. The Senate can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote. O) Shall sign checks to be co-signed by the SGA advisor in the absence of the Treasurer. P) Shall create and distribute the agenda for the SGA meetings. Q) Shall enact any rulings handed down from the Student Court. Section 3 Vice President A) Shall have a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. If the Vice President is absent, and there is a tie vote, no one else in the Executive Branch shall break the tie, and therefore the legislation will fail, unless a proxy has been given. B) Shall be in contact with all clubs on campus and provide assistance to the clubs. C) All clubs are required to have a member of their executive board meet with the Vice President at least twice a semester. All clubs must have a member of their executive board attend two SGA meetings within the first four SGA meeting sessions of the fall semester and one of the final four SGA meeting sessions in the Spring semester. Clubs that do not meet these requirements will have their funds frozen. Exceptions to this rule shall be considered on a case by case basis as outlined by the guidelines in Item J. D) Shall monitor all club activities and serve as the main coordinator. E) Shall temporally preside over the Senate in the absence of the President F) Shall preside over the impeachment hearing of any justice of the court. G) Shall serve as the chief liaison to the Council of Commonwealth Student Government. H) Shall assume the office of the President if there is a vacancy, and shall finish out the remainder of the term I) Shall carry out other assigned duties given by the President J) A set of guidelines to be used as exceptions to Item C shall be written by the Vice President. Section 4 Treasurer A) All financial requests must be in writing, and copies shall be distributed to the Treasurer, as well as the Senate Leader. The Senate Leader will then distribute the requests to the entire Senate. B) Shall be the Chairperson for the Finance Committee, and will only vote in the case of a tie. C) Shall not hold an office in any other student club or organization. D) Shall manage and keep records of SGA and club finances. E) Shall establish and maintain an auditing system for all campus organizations in accordance with University policy. F) Shall resent financial reports to the Senate and, if the Senate should want to see a line item budget, the Treasurer must supply the Senate with the records. The Senate needs a majority vote in order to request a line-item budget. G) Shall sign all checks to be co-signed by the SGA advisor. H) Shall submit a statement to each active and registered student organization within the first three weeks of each semester as to their financial status. I) All club budget requests must be submitted to the Finance Committee Chair by a date established by said chair. Exceptions to this deadline will be considered on a case by case basis as outlined in Item J. J) The Treasurer, acting as Finance Committee Chair, shall create a set of guidelines for use in considering exceptions to the rule as outlined in item I. If the Finance Committee does decide to grant an exception that exception will need to be approved by the Senate through a two-thirds majority vote before voting on that particular budget. K) All clubs must have a member of their Executive Board, that is not a member of SGA, attend an informational meeting with the Treasurer after new SGA elections are approved and until the end of the Spring semester. Section 5 Chief of Staff A) Shall assist the President in creating and establishing an agenda. B) Shall assist the Vice President in monitoring club activities. C) Shall maintain and keep a permanent record of the Constitution. D) Shall maintain, record, and post complete minutes of each Executive Committee Meeting. E) Shall approve or disapprove absences. F) Shall serve as a liaison to the Senate. G) Shall maintain the voting record of the Senate. H) Shall maintain a copy of all Senate minutes. I) Shall assist the President in any additional tasks. Section 6 Community Liaison A) Shall coordinate community service projects for SGA. B) Shall have a working relationship with a charity that is decided upon by the Senate. C) Shall take concerns to local municipalities, as well as be aware of local community issues, especially the issues that affect the student body. D) Shall assist the President in any additional tasks. Section 7 Communications Director A) Shall create and maintain an active website and display showcases of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial bodies. B) Shall serve as a spokesperson for the SGA. C) Shall reach out to the student body through numerous media outlets. D) Shall be in contact with other Penn State Campuses. Article IV – Powers and Duties of the Senate Section 1 – Senate Leader A) There shall be a Senate Leader position established. B) The Senate Leader shall be nominated and elected by the Senate at the first meeting session. C) In the vacancy of both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency, the Senate Leader shall take over the Presidential Office. He or she shall then nominate a Vice President. The Senate will confirm the appointment of the Vice President with a two-thirds vote. D) The Senate Leader shall preside over all the functions of the Senate and coordinate the Senate’s activities. E) The Senate Leader shall fill the committees F) The Senate Leader shall serve as the main spokesperson for the Senate. G) The Senate Leader shall maintain contact with the Executive Branch and the Student Court. H) May call Mandatory meetings of the Senate within 48 hours notice. Senate leader shall preside over attendance. Section 2 – Senate A) Shall not hold another position on the Student Court or in the Executive Branch. B) Shall present proposals and legislation during General Session. C) Approve new ad hoc committees with a majority vote. D) Approve new standing committees with a two-thirds majority vote. E) Approve chairpersons for all non executive committees with a majority vote. F) Approve any appointments made to the Senate with a majority vote, and to the Student Court with a two-thirds majority vote. G) Amend the Constitution by a three-fourths vote of the Senate. However, an amendment must be discussed for three voting sessions before a vote can take place. H) Amend the bylaws with a two-thirds vote. I) Each Senator must serve on a minimum of one committee per academic semester in office. J) Each Senator may only be a chairperson for one committee per academic semester in office. K) Shall be expected to follow and know parliamentary procedure as stated in Robert’s Rules of Order. L) Cannot accumulate an excess of one unexcused SGA meetings per academic semester while in office. M) Must meet with their respective school directors at least twice a year. N) Must hold an open forum with their schools at least once a semester. In addition, Senators are required to hold a town hall meeting at least once a semester. O) If a senator is a member of any University club or organization, other than the SGA, which submits a budget proposal or request, the senator in question must abstain from voting due to a conflict of interest. P) Must provide at least 1 hour of service to the SGA per week. Article V – The Student Court The Student Court is a tribunal charged to exercise all judicial powers relating to student clubs and organizations vested in it by the Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, the Capital College; all of its affiliates and sub-affiliates. When present at SGA meetings, the Student Court will be recognized as a Judicial Branch. For further details, refer to the Student Court Constitution. Section 1: Appeals. Any decision that has been handed down by the student court may be appealed within 48 hours of the decision being handed down. Appeals will be brought before appeals board, and should merit be granted, the court shall allow for an appellate hearing. A) The appeals board shall consist of five people, two from the executive, two from the Senate, and a Justice of the Student Court. The Senate Leader and one Senator to be appointed by the senate leader shall represent the Senate, while the President and Vice President shall represent the executive. The Student Court Justice shall be chosen by the Chief Justice of the student court. In the event of a conflict of interest, the SGA advisor will randomly choose a SGA member from the respective branch to temporarily sit on the missing person(s) seat. B) Three fourths majority vote of all members is required for a case to be granted merit for being re-heard. C) Appeals shall be delivered in writing or via email to the court, the chief officer of each branch of SGA, as well every member of the appellate board within the allotted time, as described in Article V, Secion 1. D) The appeals board shall be chaired by the member of the board representing the Judiciary. Article VI – The Election Process Section 1 A) There shall be one election process every academic year. Every position applicable, including all Senate seats, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency, shall be up for election. Elections take place every year during the month of April. B) All candidates must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0/4.0 in order to run for office. All SGA members must maintain this minimum. The registrar will verify the grade point average. C) In order to run for President of SGA, a student must have been a student at Penn State Harrisburg for at least one semester. D) If the President appoints a first year student in the fall, their grade point average requirement shall be garnered from their high school transcripts. E) Students have the right to know the results of the elections. F) Candidates have the right to contest their election results within a period of time designated by the election code. G) Runoff elections shall determine the winner of an election that is tied. Section 2 – Oath of Office This shall be the official inauguration of any member of the Executive Branch, Senate, or Student Court. The Chief Justice shall administer the oath of office. In the absence of the Chief Justice any one of the Associate Justices shall administer the oath. “I do swear (or affirm) that I shall fulfill the duties of the office with which I have been invested by the Student Body of Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College, to the best of my ability. As the holder of such office, I shall do my best to uphold the principles of this College, its Student Government Constitution, and the interests of its Students.” Article VII – Vacancies Section 1 A) If a vacancy should occur in the Senate, the President shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy with Senate approval. B) If a vacancy should occur in the Office of the Vice Presidency, the President shall appoint an individual to serve the remainder of the term. The Senate has the power to confirm or deny the President’s Vice Presidential nominee. C) If a vacancy occurs in the Executive Branch, the President has the power to appoint an individual to complete the term. D) If a vacancy should occur in the Student Court, the President shall appoint a student to fill the vacancy with a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate. Section 2 A) Elections are to be held online via the voting system that is available through University Park Campus. SGA is to be responsible for the monies needed. B) The chief justice shall oversee the election. C) The results of the election are to be given to the chief Justice, SGA advisor, and Senate leader to be confirmed, barring conflict of interest. D) Elections shall be held over a 24 hour period, and shall not be held on two different days. E) Use of listserves of any type by any candidate is strictly prohibited F) Email notification of the election day shall occur on three separate occasions. The first is to occur approximately 2 weeks before elections. The second shall occur one week before elections, and the final shall be the day before the scheduled election. G) Elections may be contested until the next SGA meeting occurs or within 3 days, whichever is longer. H) Peoples that have won their respective elections shall be sworn into their positions at the last SGA meeting to be held in the Spring Semester. Article VII Section 2, Item H, shall be invalid in the case of an “emergency election’ should succession measures fail, as defined by the senate. Article VIII – Succession Section 1 A) Vice President is first in line of succession. Once the Vice President becomes President, he/she then selects his/her Vice President. B) If the President’s office and Vice President’s office are vacated simultaneously, then the Senate Leader will become the President. C) If the Senate leader and/or the Vice President are unavailable to take on the position of President in the event of a vacancy, then the senate shall have the discretion to fill the vacancy by a special election that is to adhere to election code. Article IX – Impeachment and Removal from Office Section 1 – Impeachment A) Any member of the three branches who damages the image of or infringes upon the Constitution of the SGA, or University Policy shall be subject to impeachment. B) In order for a member of the SGA to be impeached, a student must submit in writing to the Chief Justice a briefing that states the reason(s) why the individual should be impeached. If the Chief Justice is the subject of impeachment, then the briefing should be delivered to the Vice President. C) Whether the initial briefing goes to the Chief Justice or the Vice President, depending upon the situation, copies of the impeachment briefing must be given to the highest- ranking members of the other 2 branches. D) Once the briefing is delivered, the impeachment board will convene to discuss the charges. The impeachment board shall consist of the Chief Justice, who is the chair of the board, two associate justices, and two executive branch members. If the Chief Justice is the subject of impeachment, then the board shall consist of the Vice President, who is the chair of the board, two associate justices, and two executive branch members. E) All members of the impeachment board are granted a vote. F) Impeachment board members shall be chosen at random by the advisor. G) All members of the board must be present to pass a binding decision. H) If the board feels that the charges are valid, then the board will refer the situation to the Senate, which will then hold a removal hearing. In order for the situation to progress to the Senate, the impeachment board must validate the charges by having a simple majority vote of board members present. Section 2 – Removal A) The SGA Senate will be presided over by the Senate Leader for a removal hearing of a member of the SGA. B) The Senate will hear testimony from all members of the impeachment board. C) The impeached member may address the Senate, as well as have other students, be they in the SGA or the student body, testify on his/her behalf. D) In order for the impeached member to be removed from office, a two-thirds majority vote of all Senate members is necessary. Article X – Amendments and Bylaws Section 1 – Amendments A) The Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths vote of the Senate. B) The amendment must be discussed for a minimum of three voting sessions before a vote can take place. C) The amendment must be publicly advertised from the time the amendment is suggested up through the time it is voted upon. Section 2 – Bylaws A) The bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. B) The SGA bylaws may neither contradict nor supersede the SGA Constitution. Article XI This Constitution shall become effective immediately after two-thirds of the Senate’s concurrence.
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