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BYLAWS TO THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION

Preamble, Articles I - II

PREAMBLE

The Bylaws to the SGA Constitution, from their inception, included feminine pronouns in officer descriptions and duties. In the spring of 2003, the student body voted to replace the pronoun “she” with the phrase “the student.” This decision was made in order to create language in the Bylaws that was more inclusive of Smith’s dynamic student population, which includes a number of students who do not identify with the pronoun “she.” The SGA recognizes and respects Smith’s long history of cultivating leadership skills in women, and continues to work to be an empowering source for developing woman leaders. The SGA and the student body remain strong in their commitment to the tenets upon which Smith College was founded, including the goals of women in leadership and the continuing education of individuals who struggle with gender oppression.

Article I. Cabinet

SECTION 1. MEMBERS

  1. The president of the SGA;
    1. The student shall be the president-elect, a rising senior, and elected in a spring all-college election for a term of one year and not subject to re-election.
    2. The term shall begin at the cabinet meeting following the regular spring election. It shall end at the cabinet meeting following the regular spring elections the following academic year. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    3. The student shall call, create an agenda for, and preside over all meetings of the cabinet. The agenda shall be distributed to all members of cabinet before the meeting.
    4. The student shall not have a vote in any cabinet meetings except in the case of a tie.
    5. The student shall be responsible for receiving petitions and requests from the student body and directing questions to the appropriate student or administrative body for action.
    6. The student shall be responsible for maintaining regular communications between the administration and the student body.
    7. At least once a semester, the student shall call for reports from the students on college and cabinet committees, and shall conduct investigations or surveys on issues that become necessary.
    8. The student shall sit on college and ad hoc committees at the discretion of the president of the college.
    9. The student shall sit on the Five College Student Coordinating Board.
    10. The student shall attend senate meetings regularly.
    11. The student shall meet weekly with the director of the office of student engagement and as necessary with the president of the college, the dean of the college, the dean of student affairs, and other members of the college community.
    12. Upon graduation, the student shall serve on the Board of Trustees for two years.
    13. In the event that the office of president is vacated, it shall be filled, for the remainder of the term, by the vice-president of the SGA.
  2. The vice-president of the SGA; [See Article II]
  3. The secretary of the SGA;
    1. The student shall be a rising sophomore, elected in the spring all-college election for a term of one year.
    2. The term shall begin at the cabinet meeting following election. It shall end at the cabinet meeting following the successor's election. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    3. The student shall record minutes of cabinet meetings and make them available on the SGA webpage.
      1. The student shall be responsible for documenting and maintaining SGA cabinet meeting attendence policies.
    4. The student shall handle the correspondence of the cabinet.
    5. The student shall be responsible for cabinet publicity.
      1. The student shall maintain public SGA bulletin boards. This can be in accordance with the help of the SGA Office Manager and Student Resource Center.
      2. The student may choose to publish SGA news and publicize events through a newsletter, established relationship with the Smith Sophian, and other forms of social networks, i.e. Facebook, the SGA website on the Smith College SGA page and Smith Social Network, Twitter, and Tumblr.
      3. The student may also form a committee of senators to aid with maintaining SGA's visibility both on and off campus.
    6. The student shall be responsible for coordinating and maintaining 7 Sisters Coalition relationships and is a member of the 7 Sisters Coalition Coordinating Board.
    7. The student shall be responsible for accompanying the SGA president to teh Five-College Student Coordinating Board meetings and is an active member of the Five-College Student Coordinating Board.
    8. In the event that the office of treasurer is vacated, the student will take on the duties of treasurer along with their secretarial duties, until a new treasurer is elected.
    9. In the event that the office of secretary of the cabinet is vacated, it shall be filled, for the remainder of the term, by a member of the association, elected by a simple majority of the senate.
  4. The treasurer of the SGA;
    1. The student shall be a junior or a senior, elected in the spring all-college election for a term of one year.
    2. The term shall begin at the cabinet meeting following the spring election. It shall end at the cabinet meeting after the following year's spring election. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    3. The student shall supervise operational finances of the SGA.
    4. The student shall prepare the budget for the following year.
    5. The student shall chair the funding subcommittee and bring for deliberation all student applications for funding of events and coordinate allocations of funds to organizations and students.
    6. In the event that the office of the treasurer is vacated, it shall be filled by a junior or a senior, elected in an all-college election.
  5. The chair of the House Presidents' Association; [See Article III]
  6. The chair of the Curriculum Committee; [See Article IV]
  7. The chair of the Organization Resources Committee; [See Article V]
  8. The chair of the Social Justice and Equity Committee; [See Article XI]
  9. The chair of the Academic Honor Board; [See Article VI]
  10. The chair of the College Judicial Board; [See Article VII]
  11. The chair of the Committee on Elections and Appointments; [See Article VIII]
  12. The senior class president; [See Article IX]
  13. The junior class president; [See Article IX]
  14. The sophomore class president; [See Article IX]
  15. The first-year class president; [See Article IX]
  16. An Ada Comstock Scholars co-president; [See Article IX]
  17. The chair of the Sustainability Committee. [See Article XII]

SECTION 2. DUTIES AND POWERS

  1. The cabinet shall meet weekly.
  2. At cabinet meetings, all members, except for the SGA President in the case of a tie, shall have a vote.
  3. A quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the voting members of the cabinet. A quorum must be present to conduct any vote.
  4. All proceedings of the cabinet shall be confidential as deemed necessary.
  5. All cabinet agendas must be presented to all members of the cabinet prior to all cabinet meetings. This will ensure that all members of cabinet are aware of any proceedings so that they may request to be added to the agenda if necessary.
  6. All cabinet minutes shall be distributed to all members of the cabinet.
  7. A weekly written report based upon the minutes must be produced and distributed to the senate, and shall be available in the SGA office.
  8. The cabinet shall consider any question referred to it by the administration, any committee of the senate, organizations, or members of the student body, and shall refer pertinent issues to the senate for legislation, and to the administration for policy resolution.
  9. The cabinet shall allocate money to support events, groups, and individuals who are benefiting the Smith College community.
  10. The cabinet shall appoint qualified students to ad hoc and college committees.
  11. The cabinet shall ensure the financial stability of the SGA. With the ORC and the appropriate administrative body, it shall manage and oversee the SGA reserve account.
  12. All cabinet members shall return to campus approximately five to seven days prior to opening convocation to participate in an orientation and training program.

Article II. Senate

SECTION 1. MEMBERS

  1. The vice president of the SGA;
    1. The student shall be a rising junior or senior elected in the spring all-college election for a term of one year and not subject to re-election.
    2. The student shall have been a senator for a minimum of two semesters prior to the election.
    3. The term shall begin at the cabinet meeting following the election. The term shall end at the cabinet meeting following the successor's election. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    4. The student shall call, preside over, and set the agenda for all senate meetings.
    5. The student shall be available to meet weekly with the director of the office of student engagement or an alternate member of the administration designated by the dean of the college.
    6. The student shall give a weekly update on cabinet activities at senate.
    7. The student shall have a vote in the senate in the case of a tie.
    8. At the student’s discretion, the student shall call for reports from students on all-college and senate committees and shall conduct any investigations or surveys on issues that become necessary.
    9. The student shall sit on college and ad hoc committees at the discretion of the president of the college.
    10. The student shall fill the office of president of the SGA if it is vacated.
    11. In the event that the office of vice president of the SGA is vacated, it shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a member of the senate who shall be self-nominated and elected by a simple majority of its membership. The student must have been a senator for at least one full semester and must have attended Smith College for at least two semesters.
    12. The student shall sit on cabinet.
  2. The secretary of the Senate;
    1. The student shall be elected in the spring by a simple majority of the outgoing senate. The student may run for and be elected for the secretary of the senate for up to two terms.
    2. The student shall have served as a senator for a minimum of one semester prior to election.
    3. The term shall begin at the senate meeting following election. The term shall end immediately prior to the senate meeting following the successor's election. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    4. The student shall be a non-voting member of the senate.
    5. The student shall record minutes of senate meetings and shall publish them on the SGA webpage.
    6. The Student shall be responsible for all senate correspondence.
    7. The student shall be responsible for senate publicity.
      1. The student may choose to publish senate news and publicize events through a newsletter or other means.
      2. In collaboration with the SGA Vice President, the student may lead a Publicity Committee within Senate in order to communicate to the student body the work of Senate, Cabinet and, if necessary, other SGA-affiliated committees.
    8. In the event that the office of secretary is vacated it shall be filled by a member of the current senate who shall be self-nominated and elected by a simple majority of the senate membership.
  3. The parliamentarian of the student senate;
    1. The student shall be elected in the spring by a simple majority of the outgoing senate. The student may run for and be elected for the parliamentarian of the senate for up to two terms.
    2. The student shall have served as a senator for a minimum of one semester prior to election.
    3. The term shall begin at the senate meeting following election. The term shall end immediately prior to the senate meeting following the successor's election. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    4. The student shall be a non-voting member of the senate.
    5. The student shall be available to the vice president and the members of senate for consultation regarding matters of parliamentary procedure.
    6. The student shall make known to the vice president or the senate any improper procedures that interfere with the rights of any individual or group.
    7. The student shall preside as chair of the Rules Committee [see Article X].
    8. In the event that the office of parliamentarian is vacated it shall be filled by a member of the current senate who shall be self-nominated and elected by a simple majority of the senate membership.
    9. The student shall preside over the senate in the temporary absence of the chair of senate.
  4. Senators
    Senate will consist of the following members:
    1. House senators;
      1. One senator shall be elected for every house or house complex, as defined below, in which reside 50 or fewer members of the association at the time of fall house elections. Two senators shall be elected for every house or house complex, as defined below, in which reside or are assigned more than 50 members of the association at the time of election.
      2. Houses and house complexes will be defined as the following: Albright, Baldwin, Chase, Conway, Dawes, Duckett, Gillett, Northrop, 150 Elm, Friedman Apartments, Haven and Wesley, Hopkins, Park and Park Annex, Parsons and Parsons Annex, Sessions and Sessions Annex, Tenney, Chapin, Hubbard, Lawrence, Morris, Tyler, Washburn, Comstock, Cushing, Emerson, Morrow, Wilder, Gardiner, Jordan, King, Scales, Wilson, Cutter, Lamont, Talbot, Ziskind, and Bedford Terrace.
      3. House senators shall be elected by a majority vote during their first house meeting in the fall. Uncontested elections may be decided by a show of hands; contested elections must be decided by secret ballot. The election is subject to approval by the Committee on Elections and Appointments.
      4. One senator shall be elected to represent the Ada Comstock Scholars. This representative shall be elected by a simple majority of Ada Comstock scholars in a venue to be decided by the Ada Comstock co-presidents.
      5. One senator shall be elected to represent commuter students in the Fall all-college election.
      6. In the event that a senatorial office is vacated, it shall be filled, for the remainder of the term, through an election within the vacating senator's house. The election is subject to approval by the Committee on Elections and Appointments and by the chair of senate.
    2. Class vice presidents;
      1. The vice president of each of the five classes within the association (first-year, sophomore, junior, senior, and Ada Comstock Scholars) shall serve as voting members of the senate.
      2. It will be the responsibility of the vice presidents to confer regularly with their respective class presidents, class cabinets, and constituents as to issues brought before the senate.
      3. The senate term of the vice presidents shall be equal to that of their vice presidential term.
    3. Representatives from cabinet organizations;
      1. Each organization or committee represented in the cabinet, namely, Academic Honor Board, College Judicial Board, Committee on Elections and Appointments, Curriculum Committee, Organization Resources Committee, and Sustainability Committee, shall have at least one member of their organization or committee as a voting member of senate. If at least one member of their organization or committee is not already a voting member of senate, they must elect one of their members to be a voting member of senate.
      2. The House Presidents' Association is encouraged but not obligated to elect a voting member of senate from among their membership.
      3. In the event that a representative from a cabinet organization is unable to fulfill their duties as a senator, a replacement may be elected through their respective organization.
    4. Non-voting members;
      1. All members of the association shall be non-voting members of the senate. All are encouraged to attend senate meetings and/or confer with their respective senators.
      2. The chair of the Committee on Elections and Appointments.
      3. The vice chair of chartering of the Organization Resources Committee.
      4. The following individuals are encouraged to attend senate meetings on a regular basis:
        1. Representatives of chartered organizations;
        2. Cabinet members;
        3. Coordinator of house events;
        4. Head(s) of Student Academic Advisers;
        5. Representatives from Unity House.

SECTION 2. DUTIES AND POWERS

  1. The senate shall meet weekly and be open to all students.
  2. The senate shall enact legislation within the framework of the Grant of Powers. All pieces of legislation must be made public to the senators and their constituents at least one week before the vote is conducted.
  3. It shall consider suggestions referred to it by the cabinet, by any senate member or any committee of the senate, or by any member of the association.
  4. It shall elect committees (ad hoc or permanent) for purposes of investigating suggestions or recommendations presented to it by any member of the association. These committees shall report to the senate at the discretion of the chair on the results of their investigations or activities and shall submit written reports as requested.
  5. The Senate has the power to endorse and create resolutions to be passed on to the appropriate administrators. These resolutions will be passed through a two-thirds majority of the Senate and must have the endorsement of at least one member of the SGA Cabinet.
  6. All voting members shall sit on all-college, standing, and ad hoc committees. Senators and members of the association shall fill committee positions.
  7. The senate shall inform students about the activities of the SGA through its members and affiliates.
  8. Any organization that desires to receive support from the student activities fee (SAF) must be approved by the senate. Any organization whose charter has been accepted by a two-thirds majority of the senate shall be considered chartered.
  9. The senate shall review and approve the budget proposed by the ORC before the SAF is submitted to the SGA for approval.
  10. The cabinet and senate shall confer together as needed to keep each other informed of their respective activities. They may ask any student group to meet with them to report its activities.

SECTION 3. MEETINGS

  1. All senate meetings shall be open to all members of the association. Minutes shall be posted online on the SGA website.
  2. All senate meetings shall reserve time for any member(s) of the association to voice any concerns or announcements.
  3. All senate committees have the right to report their activities to senate at any senate meeting.
  4. All people or groups requesting to be placed on the agenda must contact the chair at least forty-eight hours in advance.
  5. The senate shall meet once a week.
  6. Quorum must be met in order to vote on any issue at a senate meeting. Quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the voting members of the senate.
  7. Attendance at senate meetings shall be mandatory for all senators. Senators may miss up to two meetings per semester provided that they have been granted approval to be excused by the chair of the senate. After two unexcused absences in a given semester, the senator shall be replaced through a reelection in the appropriate house or organization. Such an election is subject to approval by the Committee on Elections and Appointments. Excused absences are to be decided at the discretion of the chair of the senate. Emergency situations will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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