Student Handbook

Bylaws of the Student Government Association of Smith College

Articles XII - XIV

Article XII. The Rules Committee

SECTION 1. MEMBERS

  1. The chair;
    1. The student shall be the Parliamentarian of senate. [See Article II]
    2. The Vice Chair shall be the Vice Chair of Finance, as elected through Finance Committee.
    3. The chairs shall only vote in the event of a tie.
    4. The chairs shall be responsible for any and all communication regarding org chartering, org recognition, and constitutional amendments to organizations.
    5. The chairs shall be the first point of communication with both orgs in the process of forming organization and those preexisting.
    6. Prior to submitting a new charter to Rules Committee, the chair(s) will meet with the students to review the chartering process and show copies of sample charters.
      1. The organization will then draft a charter or amend an existing charter and submit it to the co-chairs for chartering. Amendments to existing charters must comply with the Method to Amend article in the organization’s existing charter.
    7. The chairs shall be responsible for providing information on the status of each organization’s charter to each member of Rules Committee.
    8. The chairs shall act as advocates for all student organizations who bring a charter before the Senate.
      1. If in any case the representative from an org cannot attend a Senate meeting to present their charter, the chair and co-chair can present the org in their place.
    9. The chairs shall be responsible for documenting any bylaw and constitutional change regarding the Smith 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 edited bylaws in order to be presented to Senate.
    10. The student shall only vote in the event of a tie.
  2. Members-at-large;
    1. There shall be no fewer than three members-at-large in Rules Committee.
    2. The members of the association at large shall be elected through the senate. They shall be elected for a term of one year.
    3. They shall serve as voting members of the committee but shall not vote on any issue pertaining to an organization with which they are affiliated.
    4. They shall attend all meetings called by the chair, and are eligible for impeachment after two unexcused absences.
    5. In the event that a member-at-large position is vacated, it shall be filled from the body where the member was from.
    6. A secretary shall be elected from among the membership.
      1. The student shall record and publish the minutes.
      2. Minutes which discuss specific matters of legislation, guidelines, bylaws and amendments shall be distributed to the appropriate committees.
      3. All minutes shall be available on the SGA webpage.

SECTION 2. DUTIES AND POWERS

  1. To read and review all legislation, guidelines, bylaws and amendments prior to a vote in the senate.
    1. To check for consistency with the constitution, bylaws, and other pieces of legislation.
    2. To consider the implications when reviewing the document(s).
    3. To make recommendations based upon the findings of the committee.
    4. They shall have the authority to approve or deny the formation of recognized orgs with a majority vote within Rules Committee
      1. In the event of a tie, they will then bring the org to the senate body.
      2. After two semesters of recognition, should a recognized org like to change their status to Chartered, Rules committee shall assist them in their chartering process.
    5. All Organizations must update their charter every five years, in which their Orgs.’ status will be reviewed by Rules Committee.
    6. All active organizations must submit a current recognition form through the Smith Social Network each year.
    7. The Rules Committee will review the charter, checking for proper grammar and spelling, consistent language, punctuation, and syntax.
    8. The Rules Committee will check that the charter contains the following sections:
      1. Name
      2. Purpose
      3. Goals (optional)
      4. Membership
      5. Officers and Duties
      6. Election Procedures
      7. Organization Advisor (optional)
      8. Sources of funding
      9. Method to Amend
      10. Method to Impeach Officers
      11. Hazing and Non-Discrimination Clauses
    9. The Rules Committee will check that the charter is consistent with the Smith College Rights Policy on Academic Freedom, the Social Code of Conduct, the Smith College Academic Honor Code, and state, federal and local laws.
    10. The Rules Committee will write recommendations for the charter, and the chairs of the committee will meet with the organization to review these recommendations in a timely manner.
    11. Rules Committee will forward the approved constitution for chartered organizations to Senate who will have two weeks to review the charter: one week to conduct a charter presentation and one week to vote on the charter.
    12. A two-thirds majority vote of the SGA Senate is required to approve a charter. The organization’s members have the ultimate decision in the content of their charter. It is not the duty of the Rules Committee or the Senate to interfere with the wishes of the organization, so long as those wishes are consistent with Rules Committee, SGA, and Smith College policies.
    13. Rules Committee shall recognize orgs with a majority vote within the committee.
    14. New amendments and/or changes to any charter will be voted on by Rules committee. In the event of a tie, the proposed amendment shall go in front of Senate.
      1. If the proposed amendment comes from a Chartered org and the committee feels the amendment is significant enough to substantially change the purpose of the org, the amendment will go to Senate for approval.
  2. To work with the appropriate committee or group of students on proposed legislation.
    1. To meet bimonthly or as needed.
    2. They shall not have the authority to prevent legislation from being presented to and voted upon by senate or the student body.
    3. Rules Committee shall meet once a week to review all charters submitted to the co-chair before that week’s meeting.
    4. Rules Committee shall be responsible for the elimination of bias within its members, without regard to political bent or personal interactions.
    5. The Rules Committee shall be responsible for recognizing orgs with a majority vote.
    6. The Rules Committee, when organizations are presenting their charters to Senate, can make a recommendation to the Senate prior to voting.
    7. Rules Committee shall have the responsibility of reaching a two-thirds quorum of the voting members of the committee at the occasion of any chartering application.

SECTION 3. CHARTERED AND RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS

Chartered Organizations

  1. Chartered Orgs have the capabilities to host meetings, events, fundraisers etc. with or without funded support from Smith College SGA and ORC, use the College’s meeting facilities when needed, have an email address and page on the Smith Social Network, and have a table for the Org. Fair.
  2. Chartered Orgs can apply for funding through the ORC.
  3. Chartered Orgs must meet with one of the Co-Chairs of Rules Committee before having their charter reviewed by Rules Committee.
  4. Rules Committee must approve a Chartered Org by a majority vote to move on to Senate.
  5. Amendments and changes to charters must be approved by Rules Committee by a majority vote.
    1. In the case of a tie, the charter will be brought to Senate.
    2. If the proposed amendment comes from a Chartered org and the committee feels the amendment is significant enough to substantially change the purpose of the org, the amendment will go to Senate for approval.
  6. Chartered Orgs must be approved by Senate by a majorty vote to be officially chartered by Smith College SGA.
  7. Once a charter is approved, the organization must file recognition forms with the director of the Office of Student Engagement to become active.
  8. Once active, a newly chartered organization will be subject to a trial period in which they are a “zero-year organization.”
    1. A zero-year organization shall be any organization that has been chartered for less than two semesters, including the semester they were chartered in and the following semester.
    2. Zero-year organizations will be limited to receiving $200 from ORC per semester.

Recognized Organizations

  1. Recognized Orgs have the capabilities to host meeting, events, fundraisers etc., without funded support from Smith College SGA and ORC, can use the college’s meeting facilities when needed, have an email address and page on the Smith Social Network, and have a table for the Org. Fair.
  2. Recognized orgs must be approved by Rules Committee by a majority vote in order to be officially recognized.
  3. Amendments and changes to charters must be approved by Rules Committee by a majority vote.
  4. After being a recognized org for 2 full semesters, should the org wish to be a funded org and thereafter be a chartered org, they must bring their revised constitution to the Rules Committee for review and after be approved of by the SGA Senate.
  5. Once a charter is recognized, the organization must file recognition forms with the director of the Office of Student Engagement to become active.

SECTION 4. REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

  1. The organization cannot fulfill the same purpose as any other existing organizations.
  2. The organization must provide a demonstrable benefit to the Smith community.
  3. There must be demonstrated student interest for the organization.
    1. Organizations wishing to be recognized must submit a list of 10 interested members to the Rules Committee when undergoing the recognition process.
    1. Organizations wishing to be chartered must submit a list of 15 interested members to the Rules Committee when undergoing the chartering process.
  4. No student organizations may exclude any members for any reason except for on the basis of measurable skills.
  5. Membership in any student organization shall be open to all students in good standing currently enrolled at any of the Five Colleges regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, or with regard to the bases outlined in the Veterans Readjustment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ARTICLE XIII. The College Sustainability Committee

SECTION 1. MEMBERS

  1. The chair of the Sustainability Committee;
    1. The chair shall be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior, elected in the spring all-college election for a term of one year and subject to re-election.  If the position is not filled at the start of the fall, then the chair shall be chosen in the fall all-college election.
    2. The term shall begin at the last 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.
    3. The chair shall sit on senate as a voting member.
    4. The chair shall call, create and agenda for, and preside over all meetings of the Sustainability Committee.
    5. The chair shall be responsible for maintaining regular communications between all administrative staff that work on environmental sustainability at Smith.
    6. At the start of each semester, the chair shall call a meeting with the Sustainability Committee to create open channels of communication and to outline semester goals to foster sustainability awareness.
    7. The chair shall be responsible for receiving sustainability-related requests and recommendations from the student body and student organizations directing questions to the appropriate student or administrative body for action.
    8. The chair shall continue to monitor the progress in administrative changes towards making Smith College a more sustainable campus.
    9. In the event that the office of chair of the Sustainability Committee is vacated, the vice-president of the Sustainability Committee shall fill it.
  2. The vice-chair;
    1. The student shall be a member of the Sustainability Committee, elected in the fall from the committee’s membership for a term of one year.
    2. In the event that the office of vice-chair of the Sustainability Committee is vacated, another committee member, who shall be self-nominated and elected by a simple majority of the Sustainability Committee, shall fill it.
  3. The secretary;
    1. The student shall be a member of the Sustainability Committee, elected in the fall from the committee’s membership for a term of one year.
    2. The student shall be responsible for all correspondence and minutes from the Sustainability Committee
  4. The members of the Sustainability Committee;
    1. Members of the Sustainability Committee shall be selected from the current senate body and organizations that address sustainability.
    2. The committee chair will work with the chair of the appointments committee to select up to three at large members.
    3. Members shall sit on meetings, no less than two times each month, called by the committee chair.
    4. Members shall be an active liaison, with their respective organizations, CEEDS and Senate, to campus-wide sustainability related events and challenges.
    5. Members shall creatively promote sustainability and awareness in their organizations and the Senate, respectively.

ARTICLE XIV. The Advocacy for Equity Council (AEC)

SECTION 1. MEMBERS
The committee shall consist of;

  1. The Chair/Co-Chair;
    1. The chair(s) shall be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior, elected in the spring all-college election for a term of one year and subject to re-election.  If the position is not filled at the start of the fall, then the chair shall be chosen in the fall all-college election.
    2. The term shall begin at the last 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.
    3. The chair/co-chairs will include at least one member of the SGA.
  2. Committee Secretary;
    1. The student shall be a member of the AEC, elected in the fall from the committee’s membership for a term of one year.
    2. The Secretary will be responsible for meeting notes, surveys, and other communications.
  3. Campaign Members;
    1. All positions (campaign leader, campaign secretary, campaign researcher) will be voluntarily filled, but must all be filled before the committee moves forward with the campaigns.
    2. No more than 2 members can hold a single campaign position.
    3.  Responsibilities can be flexible based on students’ interests and skills, but there must be a minimum of 3 positions for each campaign to maximize delegation, and an even spread of participants amongst set campaigns.
    4. The campaign teams must have a tentative timeline and articulated goals for the duration of the campaign.
  4. Campus Pulse Taker;
    1. The position will be voluntarily filled, and functions independently from the executive team as well as the campaign teams.
  5. Social Media Manager(s);
    1. The position will be filled by a member of the committee.
    2. The responsibilities include managing the Instagram, committee website, and committee email.
    3. There can be more than one manager, but no more than two.
    4. If two students volunteer to fill this position, there must be consistency of communication responsibility through the committee website and the other social media accounts.

SECTION 2. DUTIES AND POWERS

  1. The Chair/Co-Chairs;
    1. Responsible for planning, organizing, and managing committee meetings, which must happen at least once a week.
    2. There will be no more than two chairs.
    3. The chair/co-chairs will include at least one member of the SGA.
    4. The chair/co-chairs will form an executive team along with the Secretary.
  2. The Chair/Co-Chairs must focus on connections, communications, and coalitions across campus as a crucial function of the committee. This entails:
    1. Aligning the vision and values of the committee with the selected campaigns and the fluctuating needs of marginalized students.
    2. Outreach and collaboration with other student committees, clubs, or organizations.
    3. Outreach and collaboration with administration/administrators, departments, and offices of the college, particularly the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
    4. Intra-committee bonding activities to strengthen the committee community.
  3. The committee shall be active during the academic year;
  4. The committee must position itself every term as not only an advocacy group and a liaison between the student body and administration, but also engage in monitoring administration to hold those in power accountable to harmful/uninformed decisions and actions.
  5. The committee as a whole will meet at the beginning of every semester to brainstorm and then vote to choose 2 or more campaigns that will be umbrella topics dealing with a number of action items.