Student Handbook

Bylaws of the Student Government Association of Smith College

Articles I - II

PREAMBLE

The Bylaws to the SGA Constitution intend to outline the policies and procedures of all SGA activity. In order to ensure that our policies are clear and accessible to the studet body, every effort will be made to assure that these Bylaws remain updated and accurate to the actual practices of the SGA. Being that the purpose of the SGA is to encrouage active cooperation and engagement, it is necessary that our procedures are transparent to allow students access to their own government.

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, and shall not be eligible for a split ticket position.
    2. The student chall have served on SGA for at least two semesters. The sttudent must have either been a member of he Senate, the Sabinet, and SGA committee, or a class-year Cabinet.
    3. The student shall be an enrolled and on campus for the full year. A student either studying abroad or graduating early is not eligible to run for this position.
    4. The term shall begin at the first cabinet meeting of the academic year following the regular spring election. It shall end on the last cabinet meeting in that same academic year. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    5. 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.
    6. The student shall not have a vote in any cabinet meetings except in the case of a tie.
    7. 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.
    8. The student shall be responsible for maintaining regular communications between the administration and the student body.
    9. 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.
    10. The student shall sit on college and ad hoc committees at the discretion of the president of the college.
    11. The student shall sit on the Five College Student Coordinating Board.
    12. The student shall attend senate meetings.
    13. 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.
    14. The student shall be responsible for actively pursuing their degree at the discretion of the Dean of the Senior Class and the Director of Student Engagement, in accordance with the academic standards of Smith College.
    15. 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, junior, or senior, elected in the spring all-college election for a term of one year.
    2. The student shall be an enrolled and on campus for the full year. A student either studying abroad or graduating early is not eligible to run for this position.
    3. 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.
    4. The student shall record minutes of cabinet meetings and senate meetings and make them available on the SGA webpage.
      1. The student shall be responsible for documenting and maintaining SGA cabinet meeting attendance policies.
    5. The student shall handle the correspondence of the cabinet, regularly checking the SGA email.
    6. 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.
    7. The student shall be responsible for coordinating and maintaining 7 Sisters Coalition relationships and is a member of the 7 Sisters Coalition Coordinating Board.
    8. The student shall be responsible for accompanying the SGA president to the Five-College Student Coordinating Board meetings and is an active member of the Five-College Student Coordinating Board.
      1. If the student is unable to attend, they are responsible for appointing an alternate member of the Cabinet to accompany the SGA president.
    9. 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.
    10. 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 chair of ORC also known as the vice president of finance; [See Article V]
  5. The chair of the House Presidents' Association; [See Article III]
  6. The senior class president; [See Article X]
  7. The junior class president; [See Article X]
  8. The sophomore class president; [See Article X]
  9. The first-year class president; [See Article X]
  10. An Ada Comstock Scholars co-president; [See Article X]
  11. The chair of the Social Justice and Equity Committee. [See Article XII]

SECTION 2. DUTIES AND POWERS

  1. The SGA President, SGA Vice President, HPA Chair will attend all weekly Senate meetings. Class cabinets shall be represented in the Senate body by their elected Vice Presidents or another member from class cabinet approved by the chair of committee. The Senate Finance Committee and ORC shall be represented in Senate by the vice chair.
  2. At cabinet meetings, all members, except for the SGA President shall have a vote. In the case of a tie, the SGA President 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 or verbal update in senate 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 and is not eligible to be a split ticket position.
    2. The student shall have been a member of the Senate for a minimum of two semesters prior to the election.
    3. The student shall be an enrolled and on campus for the full year. A student either studying abroad or graduating early is not eligible to run for this position.
    4. The term shall begin at the first cabinet meeting of the academic year following the regular spring election. It shall end on the last cabinet meeting in that same academic year. The student shall be available for counsel to the successor for the remainder of the academic year.
    5. The student shall call, preside over, and set the agenda for all senate meetings.
    6. The student shall be available to meet weekly with the director of student engagement or an alternate member of the administration designated by the dean of the college.
    7. The student should handle the correspondence of the Senate and regularly check the SGA Senate email.
    8. The student shall have a vote in the senate in the case of a tie.
    9. The student shall be responsible for sending out an email with a summary of the past Senate meeting with minutes attached to the student body with the assistance of the secretary or volunteers from the Senate if necessary.
    10. 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.
    11. The student shall sit on college and ad hoc committees at the discretion of the president of the college.
    12. The student shall fill the office of president of the SGA if it is vacated.
    13. 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. If the newly elected vice president previously held another position in the Senate body, there will be an election within Senate to fill that position. In the event that no senate member is self-nominated and/or elected, the office of the vice president of the SGA shall be assumed by the Senate Parliamentarian.
    14. The student shall meet with the SGA president at the president's discretion.
    15. The student shall sit on cabinet.
    16. The student shall dedicate the last 30 minutes of every meeting to an Open Forum, where Senators, Committee Chairs, and Vice Presidents can discuss concerns relevant to the well-being of the greater Smith community. Before Open Forum begins, the student shall take names of any Senate or community member and receive a time estimate of the anticipated discussion. Open Forum shall not last longer than 30 minutes without extension.
  2. The secretary of the SGA [See Article I]
  3. The parliamentarian of the student senate [see Article XI];
    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 first cabinet meeting of the academic year following the regular spring election. It shall end on the last cabinet meeting in that same academic year. 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 be responsible for any bylaw and constitutional change regarding SGA.
      1. If committees, senate, orgs etc. would like to make bylaw or constitutional changes, it is the job of the parliamentarian/chair to work with said people to detail these changes in a proposal and the edited bylaws in order to be presented to the senate to be voted on.
    7. 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.
    8. The student shall preside as chair of the Rules Committee [see Article X].
    9. 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.
    10. The student shall preside over the senate in the temporary absence of the chair of senate.
    11. The Parliamentarian shall adjourn the Senate meeting after the Vice President announces the end of Open Forum.
    12. The student shall be responsible for coordinating and maintaining 7 Sisters Coalition relationships (along with the SGA Secretary) and is a member of the 7 Sisters Coalition Coordinating Board.
  4. Senators
    1. Senate will consist of the following members:
      1. All Campus Senators;
        1. Senators regardless of class year or area will be elected in the All Campus Elections to represent the student body; 15 Senators in the Spring All Campus Elections, and the remainder 15 in the Fall All Campus Elections. In the case that not all 15 spots are filled in the Spring All Campus Election the vacant spots shall be added to the ballot in the Fall All Campus Elections.
        2. Two senators will be elected to specifically represent the Ada Class.
        3. In the event that a senatorial office is vacated, it shall be filled, for the remainder of the term, through an application process run by the SGA vice-president and the Elections and Appointments Committee Chair.
      2. SGA cabinet;
        1. The president of the SGA, who shall serve as a non-voting member;
        2. The vice-president of the SGA, who shall serve as chair of Senate as a non-voting member (except in the case of a tie);
        3. The secretary of the SGA as a voting member;
        4. Class Presidents are responsible for ensuring the Vice President attends all meetings. If the Vice President cannot attend, the Class President must send a representative from their Class Cabinet;
        5. The parliamentarian of the senate as a non-voting member;
        6. VP of Finance or vice chair of chartering as a voting member;
        7. The Chair of the House Presidents’ Association as a voting member;
        8. The senate term of the cabinet members shall be equal to that of their cabinet terms.
      3. Representatives from cabinet organizations;
        1. Each organization or committee represented in the cabinet, namely, 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 chair or vice chair of the House Presidents' Association shall attend senate meetings as a voting member of the senate.
        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. The vice chair of chartering of the Organization Resources Committee as a non-voting member [see Article V]
      5. 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 following individuals are encouraged to attend senate meetings on a regular basis:
      1. Representatives of chartered organizations;
      2. Coordinator of house events;
      3. Head(s) of Student Academic Advisers;
      4. Head(s) of New Students (HONS);
      5. Representatives from Unity Presidents Council.

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 Smith Social Network.
  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 request time during Open Forum or have a Senator request time for said group or individual.
  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 an appointment process through senate. 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.
  8. Senate shall vote on any items to add to the following week's agenda before the current meeting ends.