Constitution

PREAMBLE

WE, the undergraduate students of Appalachian State University, affirm the fundamental right of all students to fair and equal representation through Student Government. Thus, the chief purposes of the STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY shall be to communicate the concerns of students to the university administration and to promote the universal wellbeing of the undergraduate student body. The Student Government Association shall additionally ensure and protect the right of individual students and student organizations to openly voice their opinions and, furthermore, shall ensure the integrity of the STUDENT BILL OF RIGHTS cited herein. To these ends, we do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University.

 

ARTICLE I – NAME AND MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the “Student Government Association of Appalachian State University,” here after referred to as "ASU-SGA."

 

Section 2. Every undergraduate student registered at Appalachian State University shall be a member of this organization.

 

ARTICLE II - AUTHORITY

Section 1. The ASU-SGA shall be empowered to govern those individuals, groups, and organizations it represents.

 

Section 2. Nothing in this Constitution shall preclude the right of the University or other University groups or organizations to organize representative bodies, establish committees, develop rules and or procedures, or make policies, provided that such actions pertain solely to matters within said agencies, bodies, or committees. Such actions that conflict with the policies of, or actions taken by, the ASU-SGA or that enter the sphere of jurisdiction or authority of said Association, as outlined in Article II, Section 1 of this Constitution, shall be subject to review by the Student Senate.

 

Article III - THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GOVERNING POWERS AND THE SEPARATION OF SAID POWERS

Section 1.The Student Body of Appalachian State University shall be governed by two distinct branches: The Executive and The Legislative.

Section 2. No one shall hold office in more than one branch of the ASU-SGA concurrently.

 

ARTICLE IV-THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Section 1. The Executive Branch shall consist of the President and any of his/her appointees considered necessary to properly carry out the duties of the Presidency; including, but not limited to, Secretary, Treasurer, Director of Elections, and the Chief of Staff.

 

Section 2. The President

A. The President shall be at least a Junior in standing as of the date he or she is inaugurated or assumes office. In addition, he or she shall be required to have attended Appalachian State University the previous Fall and Spring Semesters prior to the first day of classes of the Fall Semester following the inauguration of the candidate in question.

B. Any candidate for the Office of the President of the ASU-SGA must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5, as of the date he or she files an intent to run in order to qualify, and must maintain a current GPA of 2.5 throughout his or her term.

C. The President shall have the power and duty to:

1. Sign or veto legislation, provided that he or she exercises such power within ten (10) school days after its passage by the Senate. If the President does not exercise his or her power to veto such legislation within the previously mentioned period of time, the legislation shall automatically take effect without his or her signature.

2. Forward all legislation to the appropriate administrator.

3. Make any recommendations to the Student Senate that he or she may deem necessary.

4. Represent the Student Body of Appalachian State University in all dealings with the faculty, staff, or administration.

5. Appoint the officers of the Executive Branch referred to in Article IV, Section 1, which he or she considers necessary to properly carry out the duties of his or her office, with the consent of the Student Senate.

6. Dismiss for sufficient reasons any executive appointees from office. 7. Give a "State of Affairs" address to the Student Senate once each semester.

8. Call for additional sessions of the Student Senate when he or she deems necessary.

9. Present a progress report to the Student Senate on each piece of legislation enacted by the said body within five (5) regular Senate meetings of the date the particular piece of legislation is passed.

10. Serve as a member of the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees, pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 116-31.

11. Appoint and/or remove students to University Committees.

12. Have the option to pursue successive or additional terms if eligible by the standards established in Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph B.

13. Take the following oath of affirmation before assuming the Office of President to be administered by the Chancellor of the University: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University."

D. In the event the Office of the President is vacated for any reason: through removal, resignation, declaration of academic ineligibility, or death; the Vice President shall be sworn in immediately and assume the duties of the Office.

 

Section 3. The Treasurer

A. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the President of the ASU-SGA for a term of one year, with the approval of the Student Senate. The President may consult with the Vice President in the appointment of this position. The Treasurer shall be at least a Sophomore in standing and must have and maintain a 2.25 GPA.

B. The Treasurer shall have the power and duty to:

1. Receive and disburse all ASU-SGA funds, maintain control over said funds, and ensure that no accounts are overdrawn. The Treasurer shall additionally have the responsibility of assuring that no ASU-SGA funds are misappropriated or otherwise misused.

2. Maintain permanent records of all financial transactions of the ASU-SGA.

3. Keep all records and files in working order so that they may be presented for audit upon request by authorized individuals.

4. Act as Co-Chairperson of the Student Development Budget Council.

5. Be responsible to the Student Senate for all financial transactions and additionally be required to report to the Senate at the beginning of the academic year, with the proposed budget, at least once in the second semester, and at any other time when requested by the presiding officer of the Senate.

 

Section 4. The Secretary

A. The Secretary shall be appointed by the President of the ASU-SGA for a term of one year, with the approval of the Student Senate. The President may consult with the Vice President in the appointment of this position. The Secretary shall be at least a Sophomore in standing and must have and maintain a 2.25 GPA.

B. The Secretary shall have the power and duty to:

1. Keep complete and accurate notes and minutes of all Senate meetings and arrange a permanent compilation of all said materials.

2. Maintain official records of the Constitution, all ASU-SGA Bylaws, and other rules or regulations pertaining to said association.

3. Keep accurate records of Senate attendance and report all violations of the Senate attendance policy to the Vice President.

4. Be responsible for carrying out all clerical duties deemed necessary by the President or the Vice President.

5. Be an ex-officio member of Senate.

6. Keep an accurate record of all roll call votes taken in the Student Senate.

 

Section 5. The Director of Elections

A. The Director of Elections shall be appointed by the President and Vice President of the ASU-SGA for a term of one year, with the approval of the Student Senate.

B. The Director of Elections shall have the power and duty to:

1. Oversee all administrative aspects of ASU-SGA elections, including the Presidential/Vice Presidential election, Homecoming election, and any senatorial elections.

2. Keep complete and accurate records of all elections which they administer.

3. Work with any relevant individuals to promote elections.

4. Adhere to any and all additional responsibilities and requirements included in the elections bylaws.

C. Any individual who holds the position of Director of Elections is specifically disallowed from running in any election which the Director of Elections oversees during the academic year in which they hold the position, with the exception of the spring senatorial election. This restriction will apply even if the individual no longer holds the position.

 

Section 6. Executive Appointees

A. All Executive appointees will be required to attend all meetings of the Student Senate as ex-officio members.

B. All Executive appointees shall answer directly to the President of the ASU-SGA.

C. All Executive appointees must maintain a 2.25 cumulative GPA to hold office in the Executive Cabinet.

D. When an Executive Cabinet position becomes vacant, the President must accept applications again before filling the aforementioned position.

E. Cabinet members shall be both appointed and confirmed by Senate during the Spring Semester previous to new administration by which they have been appointed.

a. In the event that a cabinet position cannot be appointed and/or approved by the Student Senate in the previous spring semester, then the position must be approved before the third official Student Senate meeting in the following Fall Semester.

 

ARTICLE V - THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Section 1. The Legislative Branch shall consist of the Vice President and his or her legislative appointees to the chairmanships of the standing Student Senate Committees and the Student Senate.

 

Section 2. All legislative power of the ASU-SGA shall be vested in the Student Senate.

 

Section 3. The Vice President

A. The Vice President shall be at least a Junior in standing as of the date he or she is inaugurated or assumes office. In addition, he or she shall be required to have attended Appalachian State University the previous Fall and Spring Semesters prior to the first day of classes of the Fall Semester following the inauguration of the candidate in question.

B. Any candidate for the Office of the Vice President of the ASU-SGA must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5, as of the date he or she files an intent to run in order to qualify, and must maintain a current GPA of 2.5 throughout his or her term.

C. The Vice President shall have the power and duty to:

 1. Serve as the President and Chairperson of the Student Senate. a. The Vice President shall be a nonvoting member of the Student Senate; however, the Vice President shall retain the right to vote on motions presented on the floor of the Student Senate only in the event of a tie vote. In such a case, his or her vote will be decisive.

 b. The Vice President shall retain the right to debate pending motions providing he or she turns the chairmanship of the Senate over to the Chairperson Pro-Tempore.

2. Call meetings of the Student Senate.

3. Assume temporarily the duties of President in the event of his or her absence.

4. Forward all legislation to the President within three (3) school days after its passage.

5. Appoint all chairpersons to the standing and ad hoc Student Senate Committees, with the approval of the Student Senate.

6. Dismiss for any sufficient reasons any legislative appointees from office.

7. Appoint and/or remove a Chairperson Pro-Tempore of the Student Senate, a Parliamentarian, a Sergeant at Arms, and any other Legislative officers deemed necessary with the advice and consent of Student Senate within twenty (20) days of the first Senate meeting.

8. Assign and remove Senators to and from standing Student Senate Committees as necessary.

9. Set up and appoint Senators to any special legislative committees deemed necessary.

10. Have the option to pursue and serve additional terms if eligible by the standards established in Article V, Section 3, Paragraph A and Paragraph B.

11. Take the following oath or affirmation before assuming The Office of the Vice President to be administered by The Chancellor of the University:

 

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of Vice President of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University."

 

D. In the event the Office of the Vice President is vacated for any reason through removal, resignation, declaration of academic ineligibility, succession to the Presidential position, or death, the President Pro-Tempore will assume the duties of the Vice President immediately and will remain acting Vice President until the President of the Student Government Association appoints a Vice President that has been confirmed by the Student Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those Senators present. Should the President Pro-Tempore be unable to assume the duties as Presiding Officer of the Senate, he or she shall appoint a senator to assume that role.

 

Section 4. The Student Senate

A. The Student Senate shall be composed of 86 senate seats, with members selected according to the following criteria:

1.) 48 seats will be elected by members of each undergraduate academic class, 12 per class (freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior).

2.) 14 seats will be elected by undergraduates affiliated with the following academic colleges, 2 per college.

a. College of Arts & Sciences

b. Walker College of Business

c. Reich College of Education

d. College of Fine and Applied Arts

e. College of Health Sciences

f. Hayes School of Music

g. University College

3.) 11 seats will be divided amongst the total amount of undergraduates affiliated with the clubs and organizations that fall under the following communities. Students must be registered by Jan. 1st under the Student Development Records to be able to run. After the total amount of students are configured, each community will be divided by 11 and whatever the equals, that is how much the community receives for that election period. No community can have less than one(1) seat.  The following communities are:

a. Honors/Academics

b. Multicultural Affairs

c. Sports

d. Service Initiatives

e. Special Interest Groups

4.) 8 seats will be reserved for the organizations that Student Government maintains consistent working relationships. (Appointed by the individual groups -- not a part of the elections process)

a. Renewable Energy Initiative (REI)

b. Women’s Center

c. Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center

d. Residence Hall Association (RHA)

e. Club Council

f. Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT)

g. Appalachian Popular Programming Society (APPS)

h. Multicultural Center

5.) 2 Transfer seats will be elected by undergraduate students who have transferred to Appalachian State University. The students who run for these seats must be Transfer students.  (Just transfer students eligible to vote for these seats)

6.) 3 seats will be reserved for member of Greek Life organizations.  The following 3 council seats will be voted upon only by the organizations that constitute each council.  Students must be registered by Jan. 1st under the Student Development Records to be able to run. The following councils are:

  1. Interfraternity Council (IFC) - IFC Fraternities
  2. PanHellenic Council (PHC) - PHC Fraternity/Sororities
  3. National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) - NPHC Fraternity/Sororities

B. If in an event that any academic college, academic class, is created, renamed, or disbanded, or by any means altered, the Vice President will immediately establish a committee to review Student Senate representation and propose changes accordingly in order to maintain transparent representation.

C. Senators must take the following oath of affirmation before assuming the office of Senator to be administered by The President of the Student Senate: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of a Student Senator of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the Student Government Association of Appalachian State University."

D. The Student Senate shall have the power to draft its own constitutionally acceptable bylaws, with the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present, in order to govern Senate procedure(s) and ensure the orderly conduct of business.

E. There shall be four standing committees, the Student Affairs Committee, the Academic Affairs Committee, the External Affairs Committee, and the Senate Rules Committee. Each of these committees shall be empowered to draft constitutionally acceptable committee bylaws, with a majority approval of the Student Senate.

F. The Student Senate shall have the power and the duty to:

1. Approve by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present all appointments by the President or Vice President of the ASU-SGA.

2. Override a presidential veto with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those Senators present.

3. Take final action prior to the proposed budget being sent to the Student Budget Council.

a. The Fiscal Year Budget

i) The Fiscal Year Budget shall be proposed to the ASU-SGA Senate no later than its third meeting.

ii) The said Budget shall be in effect from the day passed to the last of the Fiscal Year.

iii) The said Budget must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those members present.

4. Recommend and pass legislation deemed necessary and proper to carry on business and promote the universal wellbeing of the Student Body.

5. Review the appointments of students to University Committees and require reports from said students upon request.

6. Require reports from any members of the Executive Branch on request.

7. Initiate the Impeachment Process and refer allegations to the Senate Rules Committee for investigation (Refer to Article VI):

a. The power of impeachment shall rest solely with the Senate, but three-fourths (3/4) of the Senators present at the Senate meeting in which the motion of impeachment is presented must agree.

b. The Senate also reserves the right for a motion to censure any public official within the ASU-SGA.

G. When any Senate seat, with the exception of the reserved organization seats, becomes vacant during the course of an academic term, the Director of Elections will schedule a special election within twenty (20) school days of the senator’s last day in office or within twenty (20) school days of the first day of class of the following semester. This election will be subject to all constitutional requirements for senatorial elections and any applicable elections bylaws.

.

Section 5. Legislative Appointees

A. All chairpersons and assistant chairpersons of standing committees of the Student Senate will be required to attend all meetings of the Student Senate as ex-officio members.

B. All Legislative appointees shall answer directly to the Vice President of the ASU-SGA.

C. All Legislative appointees must maintain a 2.25 cumulative GPA to hold office in the Legislative Cabinet.

D. When a Legislative Cabinet position becomes vacant, the President or Vice President must accept applications again before filling the aforementioned position.

E. Cabinet members shall be both appointed and confirmed by Senate during the Spring Semester previous to new administration by which they have been appointed.

a. In the event that a cabinet position cannot be appointed and/or approved by the Student Senate in the previous spring semester, then the position must be approved before the third official Student Senate meeting in the following Fall Semester.

 

Section 6. The Parliamentary authority shall be Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised Edition, and any other Parliamentary authority specified in the Student Senate Bylaws that may aid the Student Senate.

 

ARTICLE VI - THE IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL PROCESS

Section 1. The Student Senate shall have the power to consider motions of impeachment or censure of any ASU-SGA officer, or elected or appointed officials.

Section 2. A resolution of impeachment must be approved by a two-third (2/3) vote of the Senators present at the Senate meeting at which the motion of impeachment is voted upon.

Section 3. Grounds for impeachment or censure of any person include, but are not limited to, violations of The Student Code of Conduct, failure to execute responsibilities, unethical conduct, and/or malfeasance in office.

Section 4. Upon introduction of a motion for impeachment, said resolution will be reviewed by the Rules Committee to investigate the complaint. Hearing evidence by all parties, the Committee will make a determination as to the validity of the complaint and send their recommendation to the Senate.

Section 5. No motion for impeachment may be voted upon at the Senate meeting during which it is introduced without review of the Rules Committee and no less than seven (7) days after it is introduced.

Section 6. The Senate then reserves the power to remove the said official by a vote of no less than three-fourths (3/4) of the Senators present. The general policies for conducting the Student Senate shall still apply in the case of an impeachment process. Any accused person(s) for impeachment shall have the right to speak on their own behalf during the impeachment hearing.

Section 7. In the case that the Vice President is the accused, the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate shall assume the duties of Presiding Officer of the Student Senate.

 

ARTICLE VII - ELECTORAL PROCEDURES AND TERMS AND QUALIFICAFTIONS FOR OFFICE

Section 1. The Student Senate shall have the power to establish constitutionally acceptable bylaws that further pertain to electoral rules, regulations and procedures not herein.

 

Section 2. Electoral Procedures A. Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections

1. The Presidential and the Vice Presidential candidates shall run together as one (1) ticket and shall be elected at large from the Student Body.

2. In order for winners to be declared in a Presidential/Vice Presidential election, a ticket must receive fifty percent plus one (50% plus 1) of the total vote counted. In the case that no one ticket can obtain the required number of votes, a runoff election between the two top finishing tickets in the General Election must be held within ten (10) school days after the General Election if requested by the second place ticket. If the second place ticket chooses not to request a runoff, the first place ticket in the first election will be declared the winner. The ticket that receives the highest number of votes in the runoff election will be declared the winner.

3. If a second place ticket fails to request a run- off election within three (3) school days of the announcement of winner, then the first place ticket will be declared winner.

 

B. Senatorial Elections and Representation

1. Senatorial Elections will take place concurrently with the Presidential/Vice Presidential election, with the exception of seats designated for freshmen and University College.

2. Candidates for President and Vice President may run in the concurrent Senatorial Elections. In the event that an individual wins both elections, they are required to resign the Senate seat within five school days of the certification of election results.

3. Elections for freshman and University College senators, as well as any other seats left vacant by the first day of class of the fall semester, will take place within twenty (20) school days of the first day of class of the fall semester.

4. Determination of electoral victory for Senator shall be outlined in the ASU-SGA Elections Bylaws.

5. A person running for a Senate seat in a General Election must receive a minimum of twenty-five (25) votes before he/she can be declared an elected Senator.

6. A person elected to a Senate seat will represent the constituency from which they were originally elected for the duration of their term, regardless of any change in their academic class or college, unless they resign or are removed from office.

 

Section 3. Qualifications and Terms for Office A. No student with a GPA below 2.25 or carrying less than twelve (12) hours of academic credit shall be allowed to run or hold an office in the ASU-SGA. All existing ASU-SGA Executive and Legislative officials, whether elected or appointed, who are placed on academic probation shall forfeit their ASU-SGA positions.

B. Undergraduate students who plan to graduate before the completion of a potential term in office shall be barred from running for or holding the Presidential, Vice Presidential, or any Executive and Legislative offices.

C. All ASU-SGA Executive and Legislative officers shall assume their duties on reading day of Spring Semester preceding their term and shall serve a term of one year.

D. Unless otherwise stated all ASU-SGA Executive and Legislative officials shall have until the first day of classes of the Fall Semester to meet all the academic requirements of their respective offices.

 

ARTICLE VIII - INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM

Section 1. Initiative A. The Student Body reserves the power by means of petition to propose legislation and amendments to this Constitution. The Student Body additionally retains the right to petition the ASU-SGA to submit for the Student Body's approval on any or all existing pieces of legislation. All petitions shall consist of the names and corresponding student identification numbers of ten percent (10%) of the full-time, undergraduate students enrolled at Appalachian State University.

B. Upon verification that a petition proposing legislation has met all the specifications outlined in the Senate Bylaws, the proposed legislation shall be delivered to the Office of the Chairman of the Student Senate Rules Committee for documentation and subsequent screening by the aforementioned committee. The general assembly of the Student Senate shall then have the power to act on such legislation in the manner it deems appropriate as outlined in Article V, Section 4, Paragraph E, Subparagraph 4 of this Constitution.

 

Section 2. Referendum A. Upon verification of a petition asking for the remand of an existing piece of ASU-SGA legislation before the Student Body in the form of a referendum, the proposed referendum shall forthwith be scheduled no less than twenty-one (21) days after the receipt of the petition.

B. Upon the verification that a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution has met all the specifications outlined in Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraphs A and B of this Constitution, a referendum shall be scheduled no less than twenty-one (21) days after the receipt of the petition so that the proposals may be voted on by the entire undergraduate Student Body.

C. The Student Senate, through appropriate legislation approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those Senators present, shall have the power to call for a referendum on any proposal. The introducer of the referendum need not be a member of the Student Senate. In the case of a referendum, the introducer shall be the “Student Body of the Appalachian State University.” Any such referendum shall be held no less than twenty-one (21) days from the date on which the Student Senate sanctioned the referendum.

 

ARTICLE IX - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

PROCEDURES

Section 1. Initiative A. The specifications for Student Body initiated proposals to amend the Constitution are as outlined in Article VII, Section 1 of this Constitution.

B. Amendments to the Constitution that are proposed in the Student Senate shall be screened in the Senate Rules Committee and approved for the referendum process by the general assembly of the Student Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those Senators present. Section 2. An amendment shall become effective upon the: A. Ratification by a simple majority of fifty percent plus one (50% plus 1) of voting students.

B. Approval by the Board of Trustees or by the Chancellor acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

C. Constitutional Review Committee:

1. Effective as of spring 2013, every three years, the sitting Vice-President will form a Constitutional Review Committee.

2. This committee is required to include a least one senator that has been a member of Student Government for the two semesters prior to the time the committee is formed.

3. The Constitutional Review Committee will consist of no more than 10 members, with no less than 6 members.

4. The Constitutional Review Committee will be tasked with reassessing the Constitution as a whole, and proposing any necessary or desirable amendments, subject to the ratification process.

 

ARTICLE X - CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDATION

Section 1. This Constitution shall go into effect upon ratification of the Student Body, provided that it has met the requirements for amendment outlined in Article IX, Section 2 of this Constitution.

Section 2. Be it resolved that all previous Constitutions of the ASU-SGA are, hereby, declared null and void.

 


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