RIVER PARISHES COMMUNITY COLLEGE
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
By-Law I. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND SENATORS
Section 1. Election of Officers
- The regular election of Executive Officers shall be held in the latter part of the spring semester.
- Elections for any vacant seat may be held in the beginning of the following fall semester or the beginning of the following spring semester, if deemed necessary by the VCASA, Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO), and/or SGA Advisor.
C. In the event of a vacancy of an officer position that requires a short-term need, emergency fill-in needs or under special circumstances, the following shall apply:
- The Vice-President shall succeed the President of SGA.
- The Secretary shall succeed the Vice-President.
- The Treasurer shall succeed the Secretary.
- The SGA Advisor will take over the Treasurer duties.
Section 2. Election of Senators
- The top ten students shall be elected. Should less than ten Senators run for a position in the Senate, no election is necessary as all students running will automatically assume a senator position.
- All senators elected must receive a simple majority of the currently enrolled student body voting.
- Election of the Executive Senator position will be done at the first senate meeting of the term. Only senate members will vote for these positions.
- In the event that less than ten students are elected to the senate or vacancy of a senator position that requires a short-term need, emergency fill-in needs or under special circumstances, the SGA President, with the endorsement of the SGA Advisor and approved by two-thirds (2/3)-majority vote of the Senate, will appoint qualified students of the student body to fill the vacant Senator positions
By-Law II. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1. Student Senate
All members of the SGA Senate shall:
- submit to the College Administration any legislation concerning the students.
- take an active part in promoting ethical conduct and in maintaining all worthwhile customs of the college.
- receive proposals and pass resolutions regarding the expenditure of budgeted money.
- consider written petitions, which have been signed by at least 10 percent of the student body and have been submitted to any member of the Senate. Such petitions shall be added to the Senate agenda.
- require a (2/3)-majority vote to call a special meeting of the Senate.
- use as the parliamentary authority of the Senate, the current edition of the Scott, Foresman Roberts Rules of Order (Newly Revised).
- enforce observance of the Constitution, By-Laws, Policies and Procedures and any amendments to these
- continually uphold the goals of the SGA and, by his/her conduct, the reputation of the college.
- have no power other than what is given to him/her by the Constitution and By-Laws.
- provide and attend functions and activities for the welfare of the student body.
- attend Senate meetings when scheduled.
- attend and respond promptly to all correspondence of the Senate and the Executive Board.
- hold the required number of office hours per week in the SGA office.
- perform all duties assigned by the SGA Advisor.
Section 2. President
In addition to the stated duties under Section 1, the President shall:
- be the chief executive officer of the SGA
- call and preside at all meetings of the Senate
- recognize a quorum before conducting any business
- assume a neutral position on all matters brought before the SGA for which he/she has opened the floor for discussion and cast a vote only in the event of a tie
- prior to the expiration of his/her term of office, provide copies of senate meeting minutes from their term to be read by the incoming President prior to the first meeting over which he/she presides
- after consulting with the SGA Advisor, may call a special Senate meeting with forty-eight hours’ notice
- serve as Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee
- serve or designate someone to serve (with the endorsement of the SGA Advisor) as the representative for the Student Body on the Technology Fee Committee, the Recruitment & Retention Committee and any other committees designated by the Institution
- appoint the co-chair of each committee and other student-body members to committees (including the three non-SGA students to the Internal Affairs Committee)
- represent or designate an SGA member (to attend by proxy) to represent RPCC at all COSBP meetings
Section 3. Vice-President
In addition to the stated duties under Section 1, the Vice-President shall:
- be the assistant to the chief executive officer of SGA
- fulfill the duties of the President in his/her absence.
- be the chair of the Election Board Committee
- be the chair of the Public Relations Committee
- supervise (with counsel from the President), monitor duties, meetings, and activities of all SGA standing and special committees and appointees that were made to college committee.
Section 4. Secretary
In addition to the stated duties under Section 1, the Secretary shall:
- be the clerical officer for SGA
- keep minutes of each and every meeting of the Senate, and Executive Board. The minutes shall be sent to the rest of the Senate and SGA Advisor via email at least forty-eight hours before the next meeting. The minutes must be approved and adopted as the first item of business at the beginning of each subsequent meeting
- have an updated copy of the Constitution, By-Laws, Policies and Procedures and any amendments to these at every meeting of the Senate, and the Executive Board
- have any proposed constitutional amendments ready to present to Senate members during the meeting in which the proposed amendment will be voted on
- be the co-chair of the Public Relations committee
- keep record of any absences submitted by SGA senate members prior to a meeting and also records of all absences of every SGA senate member
Section 5. Treasurer
In addition to the stated duties under Section 1, the Treasurer shall:
- keep a correct running total of all SGA moneys
- meet with the SGA Advisor to keep accurate monthly financial statements of all receipts and disbursements of the SGA finances. This information should be reported to the senate at each meeting.
- work with the Executive Board and the SGA Advisor to develop a budget for the entire academic year. The budget must be presented to the senate the first meeting of the Senate to be approved
- present a report at the first and last meeting of each semester regarding the financial situation from that semester
- be appointed to sit on any Institutional committee that is meeting regarding student fees. If such a meeting is attended, the Treasurer must give a report about the committee meeting at the next regular senate meeting
Section 6. Senators Officers and All Senators
In addition to the stated duties under Section 1, the Senators shall:
- chair the Student Activities Committee, if they are elected as Executive Senator
- serve on the Student Activities Committee, the Public Relations Committee and one other standing committee. This is a duty of all senators.
- serve on any ad-hoc committees. This is a duty of all senators.
- get recommendations from the RPCC student-body regarding how the SGA student-accessed fee and the technology fee should be allocated. The technology fee should be spent in accordance with Tech Fee Law and written plan.
By-Law III. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OR POSITION
- Any senate member of the SGA, committee chair, or committee co-chair may be impeached, including members of the Executive Board. After consultation with the VCASA, CSAO, and SGA Advisor, the Senate shall initiate and try all cases of impeachment.
- The President of the SGA shall preside in all cases except when the President of the SGA is being impeached. In that case, the Vice-President shall take over the duties of the President. In any case in which the Vice-President cannot preside, the Senate shall elect a presiding officer.
- It shall require a two-thirds (2/3)-majority vote of the Senate to pass an article of impeachment.
- In order to convict, it shall require a three-fourths (3/4)-majority vote of the Senate and the final approval of the VCASA, CSAO, and/or SGA Advisor.
- If a member disagrees with a dismissal from SGA, he or she may appeal the action to the VCASA, CSAO, and/or SGA Advisor. An appeal letter must be submitted with a complete explanation of the reason for the appeal including documentation.
B. Automatic Removal
- For Executive Officers, failure to maintain a 2.5 grade point average will result in loss of tuition waiver and Executive Board position.
- For Senators, failure to maintain a 2.0 grade point average will result in loss of loss of stipend and Senator position.
- The Executive Board shall, upon receipt of a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the number of currently enrolled members of the Student body, conduct a recall election naming the officials to be recalled.
- Three-fourths (3/4)-majority votes cast shall be required to remove an individual from office.
D. Resignation from the college or senate position
- A student who wishes to withdraw from the SGA office of which they were elected, should do so officially by submitting a letter of resignation to the SGA Advisor or the SGA President. If the SGA President is the officer wishing to withdraw, the letter must be submitted to the SGA Advisor.
- If any senate member resigns from the college and/or their current senate position during a fall semester or after a fall semester has ended, a “special” election will be held to fill that position for the remainder of their term.
- Anyone elected to fill a vacated position during a term already in progress will fulfill the duties of that position until the end of that term.
- Those senate members elected during a “special” election (as stated above) may be eligible to hold the same senate office during the next term, if re-elected.
By-Law IV. Meetings
Section 1. Requirements of Meetings
- The SGA senate shall meet at least twice a month for the entire term they were elected. Exceptions would be during the months of January, May and December.
- Business conducted by the Student Government Association will be held only during the academic year, during the fall and spring semesters.
- A quorum must be present at all meetings during which official business is discussed. A quorum shall be defined as a simple majority of the SGA senate.
- The parliamentary authority of the Senate shall be the current edition of Scott, Foresman Robert’s Rule of Order (Newly Revised).
- During the summer months (June and July) the SGA senate will be required to meet once a month.
- Meetings held in the summer will be limited to orientation and planning. No official business will be conducted that will affect the student body or any portion thereof.
Section 2. Voting
- Each SGA senate member, except the President, shall be granted one (1) vote on all matters brought before SGA at regularly scheduled SGA meetings.
- In the event of a tie, the SGA President shall cast the deciding vote.
Section 3. Attendance and Absences
- Attendance at SGA meetings will be checked every meeting.
- All absences due to school-sanctioned activities, mandatory military exercises, validated illness with doctor’s excuse, and jury duty are excused. Work responsibilities are not excused absences. Examples of acceptable forms of excusable documentation are doctor’s excuses if you miss because you are sick or an obituary if you miss because of a death in the family. Other absences may or may not be excused at the discretion of the SGA Advisor.
- Tardiness (showing up after the approval of the minutes) is treated as an absence unless an excuse is accepted by the advisor.
- SGA members will be allowed three excused absences at SGA meetings and SGA functions per semester. An absence is excused if the absent member submits a valid excuse in writing to the SGA Advisor or SGA Secretary, at least forty-eight hours prior to a meeting. In the event that it is not possible to submit an excuse forty-eight hours prior to the meeting, it is the senate member’s responsibility to submit acceptable documentation immediately after the meeting. Any member who exceeds three excused or two unexcused absences may be subject to impeachment.
- SGA President or by proxy any executive officer shall not be penalized for any absences maintained at COSBP or LCTCS.
- If an SGA senate member has accumulated a total of two weeks of unexcused absences, he/she will receive notification of dismissal from SGA.
Section 4. Agenda
The following shall be protocol for conducting business at regularly scheduled SGA meetings:
- Roll Call
- Approval of minutes
- Executive Board Reports
- Senator Reports
- Committee Reports
- Old Business
- New Business
- Advisor Report
By-Law V. COMMITTEES
Section 1. Committee Rules
- All Standing Committees shall meet at least once a month during the term of the elected members of the SGA senate.
- Each Committee shall have a chair and co-chair. The chair of the committee is assigned as a duty to a Senate member. The SGA President shall appoint the co-chair of each committee, unless otherwise noted as a duty of an officer or senator.
- Minutes of all senate meetings must be submitted to the Secretary of the SGA at the next Senate meeting.
- Any appointed student-body member appointed to a committee must be approved by the SGA Senate and he/she must be present at the meeting for approval. Any appointed representative must meet all requirements for attendance stated in the Constitution.
Section 2. Duties of Committee Officers
The chair and co-chair of SGA’s standing committees shall be required to execute the duties outlined herein. Failure to do so will result in removal of the individual from that position and potentially from the committee. Any vacancies on the committees shall be filled as needed.
A. The committee chair shall:
- be the head of the committee
- call and preside over all regularly scheduled committee meetings
- reserve the authority to call special committee meetings
- prepare an agenda for each committee meeting
- recognize a quorum before conducting any business
- vote only in the event of a tie
- assign tasks of committee members
- give a report of meetings at each regular Senate meeting
- work with the Vice-President of SGA to ensure duties of the committees are being accomplished
- perform any other duties assigned by the SGA Advisor
B. The committee co-chair shall:
- record the minutes of all meetings
- submit the minutes to the Secretary of the SGA before the next regular Senate meeting
- preside over meetings in the absence of the committee chair
- assume the position of committee chair should the office become vacant
- perform any other duties assigned by the committee chair
Section 3. Duration of Committee Appointments
- Upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3)-majority vote of the SGA senate, the newly appointed committee chairs and co-chairs shall assume their duties. The appointed committee members shall assume their duties upon being named to their respective committees by the SGA Executive Officers.
- The committee chair, co-chair, and committee members’ term shall run concurrently with the term of the elected SGA’s Executive Officers.
Section 4. Duties of Standing Committees
- Election Board Committee
- The Election Board Committee shall be composed of the Vice-President as Chairman, four Senators, and the SGA Advisor
- The Election Board Committee shall address matters concerning SGA sponsored elections and conduct all elections and follow the election rules adopted either by the Election Board or the Senate.
- The Committee shall supervise the counting of all ballots. The SGA advisors must be present when counting votes. The Committee shall settle a tie vote by conducting elimination elections.
- The Committee shall declare ineligible to run any candidate violating any election rules. The Committee shall hear claims of election rule violations by candidates according to procedures of due process. Each side will have the opportunity to present its case. The candidate that is ruled against may appeal to the VCASA, whose decision is final.
- The Committee shall make interpretations pertaining to elections where questions exist that are not otherwise answered.
- The Committee will also work with any amendments, petitions or recalls from the student body
2. Internal Affairs Committee
a. The Internal Affairs Committee shall be composed of the SGA Advisor, the SGA President (who will chair the committee), three senate members from the Student Government Association, and three students not senate members within the Student Government Association. The SGA President will appoint the three non-SGA students and the SGA senate members will be voted on by secret ballot. If any member of the Internal Affairs Committee is not able to render a non-bias verdict for any reason, that person will be asked to temporarily step down from their position and the remaining committee members will elect a non-bias person to fill in. A vote of the Internal Affairs committee will be taken to ask the committee member to temporarily step down. The SGA Advisor has no voting power.
b. The Internal Affairs Committee shall be charged with:
- reading through SGA senate meeting minutes
- addressing any SGA senate member who fails to meet requirements of the Constitution or By-Laws and those requirements mandated by the Senate.
c. When reading through SGA senate meeting minutes, the Internal Affairs Committee shall:
- ensure that business items discussed at the meeting are being taken care of by the SGA
- ensure motions were noted properly
- ensure spending of SGA money is being followed properly
d. If addressing any SGA senate member for failing to meet requirements, the Internal Affairs Committee shall:
- notify any members of the SGA who are summoned before the IA Committee by a letter, placing the hearing two weeks after the dated notification letter.
- Not discuss the allegations before or after the hearing, or proper disciplinary actions will be taken.
- Notify each IA Committee member by letter of the allegations to be heard at the hearing.
- Be required to attend the hearing, which will be conducted by the Chair of IA Committee, with proper discussion time being allocated to the floor.
- Submit all questions in writing to the Chair prior to the meeting.
- Meet and reach a decision within one school day of the hearing.
- Be granted one (1) vote on all matters brought before the committee. In the event of a tie, the committee chair shall cast the deciding vote.
- Notify the member alleged of the decision by letter within three school days of the hearing.
- Present a report, by the Chair, of the proceeding at the next scheduled SGA meeting, unless a special session is deemed necessary.
- After consultation, the Internal Affairs Committee may place any person on probation, refrain from taking any action against the individual, or seek approval from the VCASA, CSAO and SGA Advisor to bring impeachment charges against the individual.
- Violation of probation is defined as the commission of one or more offenses during the semester of probation. Such a violation commences automatic impeachment proceedings as described in this Constitution.
e. The powers of the Internal Affairs Committee may not supersede the guidelines of the Constitution and By-Laws. However, in special circumstances, change can be made with approval by the VCASA and a two-thirds (2/3)-majority vote of the senate.
3. Student Activities Committee
- The Student Activities Committee shall be composed of all SGA Senators, with the Executive Senator as Chairman.
- This committee shall be charged with addressing matters concerning SGA sponsored activities and developing a calendar of events
- This committee will work in conjunction with Student Services to plan, organize, advertise, and implement the activities and events scheduled
4. Public Relations Committee
- The Public Relations Committee shall be composed of all SGA Senators, with the SGA Vice-President as Chairman and the SGA Secretary as the co-chair
- This Committee shall work to address matters concerning the internal and external communications of SGA
- This Committee will be responsible for posting notices of all SGA events throughout each campus one month in advance of the event and provide details of events to Student Services for displaying; this duty requires the removal of all notices, flyers and signs from the campus immediately after the SGA event
By-Law VI. PETITIONS
A. The Election Board Committee shall certify the authenticity of the signatures upon receipt and shall edit the petition for proper language.
B. A properly submitted or valid petition must contain the following:
- The name of the student in legible print
- The signature of the student.
- The ID Number of the student.
- The date signed by the student.
- The address of student
- The phone number of the student
- A statement on each page of the petition stating its purpose.
- Signatures from at least ten percent (10%) of the total enrollment of the student body.
C. The Student Body shall have the right to submit, collect, and circulate as many copies of a petition as it feels necessary to attain the required number of signatures.
D. Thirty days may be allowed for any valid petition from the date of the first signature until the last.
E. When a petition mandates a Student Body election the following results will be necessary:
- 1. A recall election will require two-thirds (2/3)-majority of votes cast to be in favor of removing an official from his/her office.
- 2. Any other type of election not mentioned herein will require a simple majority of all votes cast.
By-Law VII. AMENDMENT PROCESS
Section 1. Constitution Amendments
Upon receiving a proposed amendment to the Constitution, the following actions will take place:
- The Election Board shall see that amendments are placed on the ballot in statement form with the following question and responses preceding the wording of the amendment:
- Do you favor the adoption of the following as an amendment to the Student Government Association Constitution? — YES ____ NO
- The amendment shall be adopted if a majority of the voting membership replies in the affirmative.
- Following the adoption of an amendment, a revised version of the Constitution of the Student Government Association of River Parishes Community College (SGA of RPCC) shall be distributed to SGA senate members, the SGA Advisor and the RPCC student-body
Section 2. By-Laws Amendments
- Amendments to the By-Laws shall be proposed by a typed version of the proposed amendment submitted by a Senate member to the SGA President or the SGA Advisor. The proposed amendment must be approved by the VCASA, CSAO and the SGA Advisor. Once approved by the above authorities, a two-thirds (2/3)-majority vote of the Senate with the authorized signature of the SGA President may approve a change to the By-Laws.
- By-laws may be rescinded or suspended by a two-third (2/3)-majority vote of those present and voting at a duly constituted meeting of the Senate.
Revised March 2019