Student Government Association Constitution

Preamble

We, the students of Bucks County Community College, deriving our authority from the Bucks County Community College Board of Trustees, hereby establishes the Bucks County Community College Student Government Association, which shall be the governing body of the Bucks County Community College Student Association, to act on the behalf of the interest of the Student Association and all Clubs and Organizations.

Article I

Name and Membership

This organization shall be known as the Bucks County Community College Student Government Association (SGA). All persons enrolled in a course or courses for credit at Bucks County Community College shall automatically be members of the Student Association and shall have the right to vote in the general elections of Student Government Association Officers and Councilors.

Article II

Purposes

The purpose of the Student Government Association shall be to form a representative, constructive and responsible student government; to promote beneficial understanding among the students, faculty, and the administration; to foster the recognition of the rights and responsibilities to the students in such a capacity as to further their interest and well-being.

  1. To represent the student body in all dealings with the Board of Trustees, the administration, faculty organizations, and the public.
  2. To promote maximum effective participation by students on college committees in the college governance structure.
  3. To receive, consider, and as appropriate, act on expressions of concern by students about college policies or practices.
  4. To gather and disseminate to the student body information not otherwise available that will be helpful to students in making the most effective use of their time at Bucks County Community College.
  5. To administer the Student Activities Fee in the best interest of the student Association.
  6. To oversee and assist in the development, and the activities, of Student Association clubs and organizations.
  7. To facilitate an on-campus program of social and recreational activities by financing the Union Program Board for students.

Article III

Powers of Student Government

  1. The Student Government Association shall be the policy making body of the Student Association within its area of responsibility.
  2. The Student Government Association may require any Officer or any Councilor to account to it for his/her activities, whether through regular scheduled reports or special hearings. It may on the basis of such accounting or reports, give appropriate guidance or direction to the officer or councilor concerned.
  3. The Student Government Association shall have the power to remove elected officials from office, as provided in Article XI and to declare an elective office vacant, as provided in Article XII.
  4. The Student Government Association may place on the ballot at any regularly scheduled election a referendum question or questions relating to the activities of the Association under its jurisdiction. Such referenda shall be advisory in nature.
  5. The Student Government Association may enact such by-laws consistent with this Constitution, as it considers advisable. When enacted, by-laws shall be recorded in the appropriate handbook of standing operating procedures.
  6. The Student Government Association shall have the exclusive power to appropriate Student Activities Fees from available appropriations to Student Association club and organization activities. For so long as the Student Government Association shall be allocated one hundred percent (100%) of the Students Activities fee, 32% is allocated to the Student Government Association to be distributed to Clubs and Organizations, 12% is to be distributed to Cultural Affairs, 33% is to be distributed to Sports and Intramurals, 5% is to be distributed to the Intercollegiate Competition Fund, and 18% shall be distributed to the Union Program Board.
  7. The Student Government Association shall have the power to approve and revoke the charters of campus clubs and organizations. Charters shall be granted by simple majority vote and revoked by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, following a formal hearing or hearings if requested by the club or organization concerned.
  8. The Student Government Association shall nominate the members of the Student Judiciary Committee.

Article IV

Student Government Association Offices

The Student Government Association shall consist of five (5) Officers:

President, Vice President of Executive Orders, Vice President of Activities, Treasurer, and Secretary; and five (5) Councilors; for Student Involvement, for Public Relations, for Clubs and Organizations, for Student Advocacy and a Councilor at large.

Article V

Eligibility, and Term of Office

  1. Eligibility
    Officer or Councilor must:
    1. Be enrolled at Bucks County Community College for 3 (three) or more credits.
    2. Have achieved at the time of his/her election or appointment a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better. This provision will not apply to a student in his/her first academic semester.
    3. Maintain thereafter a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  2. Term of Office
    1. Executive Officers shall serve a one (1) year term running from the Annual Student Awards Luncheon in May, following the election, until the Annual Student Awards Luncheon in May of the following year. An incumbent officer who has served for not more than two (2) semesters and had the sincere expectation of being a student at Bucks County Community College for the entire following academic year may run for reelection. This does not include the President position, see Term of Office #3.
    2. Councilors shall serve a one (1) year term running from the Annual Student Awards Luncheon in May, following the election, until the Annual Student Awards Luncheon in May of the following year. An incumbent officer who has served for not more than two (2) semesters and had the sincere expectation of being a student at Bucks County Community College for the entire following academic year may run for reelection.
    3. Executive Officers (this does not include President) and Councilors may not serve in the same office for more than two consecutive academic years.  The Office of the President is a one term position and may not be held by the same student more then one term.

Article VI

Duties and Responsibilities

Each Office and Councilor shall maintain a handbook for standing operating procedures for his/her office. These handbooks shall be policy documents of the Executive Board and may be amended by the resolution of the Executive Board. At the completion of his/her term of office each Officer and Councilor shall recommend to the executive Board and call to the attention of his/her successor any changes in the handbook for his/her office. Officers and Councilors may involve members from the Student Association to assist them in performing their functions. In doing so they must provide for orderly continuity in the affairs of the Student Government Association. Each elected person of the Student Government Association shall miss no more than two (2) scheduled meetings per semester without proper authorization.

  1. Duties of Executive Officers
    1. President
      1. President at Student Government Association and Executive Board meetings.
      2. Represent the Student Government Association in all dealings with the administration, Faculty, or Board of Trustees.
      3. Oversee and coordinate all activities of the Student Government Association.
      4. Provide for the orderly conduct of functions of temporarily vacant offices.
      5. Organize and chair all meetings of the Student Judiciary Committee.
    2. Vice President of Executive Orders
      1. Oversee the internal management of Student Association Affairs.
      2. Serve as the Parliamentarian of Student Government Association.
      3. Administer the process for declaring the filling vacancies, including impeachment proceedings.
      4. Be a non-voting member of all sub-committees.
    3. Vice President for Activities
      1. Achieve the goals and purposes of the UPB.
      2. Organize and chair all meetings of the UPB.
      3. Represent the UPB in dealings with the College.
      4. Ensure the coordination and implementation of educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs.
      5. Act in accordance with the recommendations of the Executive Board.
      6. Appoint students to the Union Program Board committee with the approval of the Executive Board.
      7. Be a non-voting member of all sub-committees.
    4. Treasurer
      1. Organize and chair all meetings of the Budget Committee.
      2. Maintain accounts of all receipts and disbursements for the Student Government Association.
      3. Maintain accounts of all receipts and disbursements for all Clubs and Organizations.
      4. Maintain financial records and prepare regular financial reports as directed by the Student Government Association.
    5. Secretary
      1. Record minutes of the Student Government Association Meetings.
      2. See to the timely dissemination of minutes to Student Government members and other interested persons.
      3. Serve as exclusive custodian of the records of the Student Government Association.
  2. Duties of Councilors
    1. Councilor for Student Involvement
      1. Recruit students to serve on College Committees.
      2. Coordinate the task of advising the Administration as to student opinion, and, as required, ascertain Student opinion through scientific sampling.
      3. Conduct any program of teacher or course evaluation that the Student Government Association may initiate.
    2. Councilor for Public Relations
      1. Inform the student body of all Student Government Association activities.
      2. Organize and chair all meetings of the Public Relations Committee
      3. Assist members of the Student Government Association with public relations.
      4. Coordinate, as necessary, Student Government Association public relations events with the College.
    3. Councilor for Clubs and Organizations
      1. Serve as the liaison between the Student Government Association, Student Life, and all Clubs and Organizations.
      2. Organize and facilitate all Clubs and Organization meetings.
    4. Councilor for Student Advocacy
      1. Serve as the liaison between the Student Association and the Student Government Association.
      2. Receive, and organize all Student Association concerns, comments, and questions.
      3. Report valid and substantiated concerns, comments, and questions to the Student Government Association.
      4. Research concerns, comments, and questions and aid the Student Government Association in presenting responses and/or solutions.
      5. Organize and chair all meetings of the Student Advocacy Committee.
    5. Councilor at Large
      1. Serve, if appointed by the Student Government Association, as a temporary replacement for an Officer, or Councilor.
      2. Perform other special assignments as the Student Government Association may direct.

Article VII

Executive Board

The Executive Board shall consist of the executive Officers of the Student Government Association.

The Executive Board shall:

  1. Prepare the agenda for all Student Government Association meetings.
  2. Advise and assist the President in the oversight and coordination of all Student Government Association activities.

Article VIII

Student Government Association Standing Committees

There shall be five (5) standing committees of the Student Government Association. Each committee chairperson shall maintain a handbook for standard operating procedures. At the completion of his/her term, each chairperson shall recommend to the Executive Board and call to the attention of his/her successor any changes in the handbook for his/her committee.

The five standing committees shall be:

  1. Union Program Board
    1. Function. The Union Program Board (UPB) shall be charged with presenting the Student Association a well organized co-curricular program that shall promote educational, cultural, social, and recreational activities. The Union Program Board shall, whenever possible, assist and cooperate with other campus organizations in the planning of their respective programs.
    2. Members The Union Program Board shall be chaired by the Vice President for Activities of the Student Government Association. The Union Program Board shall consist of at least three (3) members, nominated from the Student Association and appointed by the Student Government Association President upon an affirmative vote of the Student Government Association. Such appointments shall last a term of one academic year ending at the Annual Student Awards Luncheon. When the Student Government Association determines that a vacancy exists, it shall make a nomination to fill the remainder of the term.
  2. Student Judiciary Committee
    1. Function The Student Judiciary Committee shall participate in disciplinary proceedings when called upon under current policies of Bucks County Community College and the Student Government Association Constitution.
    2. Members The Student Judiciary Committee shall be chaired by the President of the Student Government Association. The Student Judiciary Committee shall consist of seven (7) members, nominated from the Student Association and appointed by the Student Government Association President upon an affirmative vote of the Student Government Association. Such appointments shall last a term of one academic year ending on spring Commencement Day. No less than 3 of those 7 members on the Judiciary shall preside over the hearings. However if a conflict occurs, and the dispute involves the member's own club, that member must disqualify him or herself from the hearing on the basis of a conflict. When the Student Government Association determines that a vacancy exists, it shall make a nomination to fill the remainder of the term.
  3. Budget Committee
    1. Function The Budget Committee shall implement a process to allocate funds for all Clubs and Organizations and make a budget recommendation to the Student Government Association.
    2. Members The Budget Committee shall be chaired by the Executive Treasurer of the Student Government Association. The Budget Committee shall consist of seven (7) members, nominated from the Student Association and appointed by the Student Government Association President upon an affirmative vote of the Student Government Association. Such appointments shall last until the budget has been approved by the Student Government Association. When the Student Government Association determines that a vacancy exists, it shall make a nomination to fill the remainder of the term.
  4. Public Relations Committee
    1. Function The Public Relations Committee shall be charged with informing the Student Association of all Student Government Association and Club and Organization activities.
    2. Members The Public Relations Committee shall be chaired by the Councilor for Public Relations of the Student Government Association. The Public Relations Committee shall consist of four (4) members nominated from the Student Association and appointed by the Student Government Association President upon an affirmative vote of the Student Government Association. Such appointments shall last a term of one academic year ending at the Annual Student Awards Luncheon. When the Student Government Association determines that a vacancy exists, it shall make a nomination to fill the remainder of the term.
  5. Student Advocacy Committee
    1. Function The Student Advocacy Committee shall assist the Councilor for Student Advocacy in receiving, researching, and responding to all valid comments, questions, and concerns of the Student Association. The Student Advocacy Committee shall also assist in recommending proper course of action to the Student Government Association.
    2. Members The Student Advocacy Committee shall be chaired by the Councilor for Student Advocacy of the Student Government Association. The Student Advocacy Committee shall consist of five (5) members, nominated from the Student Association and appointed by the Student Government Association President upon an affirmative vote of the Student Government Association. Such appointments shall last a term of one academic year ending at the Annual Student Awards Luncheon. When the Student Government Association determines that a vacancy exists, it shall make a nomination to fill the remainder of the term.
  6. Special Allocations Committee
    1. Function The Special Allocation Committee shall implement a process to allocate special funding to clubs and Organizations.  The Special Allocations Committee will meet upon request to decide on any special allocation requests for recognized Clubs and Organizations.
    2. Members The Special Allocations Committee shall be chaired by the Executive Treasurer of the Student Government Association.  The Special Allocation Committee shall consist of (7) members, nominated from the Student Government Association and appointed by the Student Government Association President, upon an affirmative vote of the Student Government Association.  Such appointments shall have a term of (1) year.  The term shall run from March 1 to March 1 of the following year.  When the Student Government Association determines that a vacancy exists, it shall make a nomination to fill the remainder of the term.  The Director of Student Life will be the Advisor.

Article IX

Conduct of Meetings

  1. Meetings - the Student Government Association shall meet at least bi-weekly, with additional meetings called when necessary. The time and place of both regular and specially called meetings shall be given appropriate publicity.
  2. Quorum - a quorum shall consist of five (5) members. A simple majority of the members present and voting at a meeting is necessary to approve any motion except a constitutional agreement as set forth in Article XIV.
  3. Voting - the presiding officer shall vote only to break a tie vote.
  4. Procedure - Robert's Rules of Order shall be followed except where other provisions are made in this Constitution or in by-laws duly adopted.

Article X

Elections

  1. Elections for Executive Officers and Councilors are held once annually and shall be held no later than the last week in April each academic year.
  2. Elections are coordinated through the Student Life Office. All policies and procedures can be obtained from the director.
  3. All members of the Student Association will be eligible to vote. Each voter will have one (1) vote for each office. The candidate receiving the plurality of votes will be elected. Tie votes will be resolved by the casting of votes during a second election. If a tie remains then the position shall be filled by appointment as per Article XII.

Article XI

Removal from Office

  1. A bill of impeachment may be brought against any elected member of the Student Government Association by five (5) members of the Student Government Association or one hundred (100) Members of the Student Association. Such a bill shall state the specific grounds for impeachment and specify the actions or inactions constituting the alleged offense.
  2. Grounds for impeachment shall be:
    1. Direct violations of this constitution.
    2. Misuse of money.
    3. Failure to carry out assigned responsibilities, including attendance and responsibilities as a member of the Student Government Association.
  3. The Student Government Association shall sit as a Court of Impeachment. Impeachment proceedings shall be open to the Student Association. The accused is entitled to present such evidence, call such witnesses, or make such statements as she/he may desire as his/her own defense.
  4. If at the end of the impeachment proceedings the defendant is found guilty by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Court of Impeachment, present and voting, she/he shall be removed from office.

Article XII

Filling Vacancies

The Student Government Association shall declare an elective office vacant when:

  1. The incumbent submits a written resignation.
  2. An Officer or Councilor fails to maintain at least three (3) credits.
  3. An incumbent's cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0.
  4. An impeachment proceeding under Article VII results in the decision to remove the person from office.

If the Office of President falls vacant, the Vice President of Executive Orders shall become President, and the Vice President of Executive Orders position shall fall vacant.

Vacancies occurring in offices other than that of President between twenty-eight (28) and (7) calendar days before the first day of a regularly scheduled election shall be filled by election by the Student Association at the said election.

Vacancies in offices other that President at all other times shall be filled by appointment by the President of Bucks County Community College on nomination by the Student Government Association. The sincere inability to assemble a quorum shall not invalidate such nominations. Persons so appointed shall serve until the position is filled by election, which shall take place at the next regularly scheduled election.

Article XIII

Constitutional Violation

Such allegations shall be heard by a Constitutional Court consisting of the Student Judiciary Committee and the student members of the Traffic Appeals Panel using the procedures specified for impeachment as specified in Article IX. Should there be a finding of Constitutional violation, the Constitutional Court in consultation with the Executive Board shall have the power to prescribe appropriate remedies to restore good order to the affairs of the Student Association.

Article XIV

Amendments and Redrafts

  1. One hundred (100) members of the Student Association may propose amendments by petition. Such proposed amendments shall be publicized to the college community and shall lie on the table for at least one (1) month before a vote is taken. There shall be at least one public hearing prior to voting to be conducted by the Student Government Association.
  2. The Student Government Association shall have the power to amend those portions of Article II, VI, VII, IX and XI peculiar to themselves. The affirmative votes to two-thirds (2/3) of the then qualified members of the responsible operating agency shall be required to adopt the amendment.
  3. The power to amend the other articles of the Constitution shall be vested in a Constitutional Convention consisting of all members of the Student Government Association. An amendment shall be adopted by a three-fifths (3/5) majority vote of the members of the Convention, provided that those voting affirmatively shall also make up simple majorities of the then qualified members of the Student Government Association.
  4. The Student Government Association shall have the right to redraft the constitution in its entirety so long as the Student Association is given ample opportunity to review the proposed redraft and the redraft shall lie on the table for at least one (1) month. The proposed redraft must have the affirmative vote of all present members of the Student Government Association.