SGA Constitution

Final, July 2015 (Approved)
Austin Community College District Student Government Association
Constitution
Preamble
We the Student Government Association of the Austin Community College District having been
duly elected from the student body of the Austin Community College District, in order to
facilitate a greater understanding of democracy in our college, to engender leadership among our
members, increase and promote skills, communication and cooperation, to promote
understanding and involvement among all members of the college community, to make the
interests of the student body heard in our college’s affairs and be the official voice of the
students in academic, institutional and campus affairs, do hereby establish this Constitution as
the basic governing document of our body.
Table of Contents
Article 1. Name …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Article 2. Affiliations …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Article 3. Purpose ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Article 4. Membership Requirements …………………………………………………………………………… 2
Article 5. Elections …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Article 6. Officers ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Article 7. Faculty Sponsor ………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Article 8. Meetings …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Article 9. Quorum ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
Article 10. Attendance and Removal ……………………………………………………………………………. 13
Article 11. Amendments …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Article 12. General Provisions …………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Article 13. Ratification ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
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Article 1. Name
1.1. The name of this organization shall be the Austin Community College District
Student Government Association and shall hereinafter be referred to as the
Student Government Association.
1.1.(a). The Austin Community College District shall hereinafter be referred to as
ACC.
Article 2. Affiliations
2.1. The Student Government Association officers and appointed members that
coordinate with ACC administrators, Faculty, Board of Trustees, associations,
committees, organizations, groups, or organized bodies shall do so as official
representatives of the Student Government Association.
Article 3. Purpose
1. To promote the knowledge of and respect for a free and democratic
society;
2. To act as the liaison between the students and administration, faculty and
staff of ACC, to mediate the concerns of students with administration and
faculty;
3. To offer practical services to the students;
4. To provide a forum to express and discuss student issues and concerns
with the administration, faculty, and staff;
5. To promote and support significant college wide programs and activities;
6. To promote and support student activities and student involvement at
ACC;
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7. To represent the students of ACC at the college, community, state, and
national level.
Article 4. Membership Requirements
4.1. Non-voting members of the Student Government Association shall consist of any
and all students enrolled at ACC.
4.2. Voting members of the Student Government Association shall consist of officers
elected or appointed to Student Government Association as provided by the
Constitution governing the Student Government Association and will be referred
to hereinafter as Officers.
4.2.(a). Officers must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours during both
the fall and spring semesters, maintain a cumulative grade point average
of 2.5, and must not be on either academic or disciplinary probation at
ACC during their term of office.
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4.2.(b). Officers may not have more than (3) unexcused absences in a semester
from regularly scheduled Student Government Association meetings. To
qualify for an excused absence, an Officer must give seventy-two hours (3
days) prior written notice of the absence to the Parliamentarian unless
there is a justified emergency as determined by the Parliamentarian and
approved by the Faculty Sponsor. Upon notice of an impending absence,
the Parliamentarian shall announce whether the absence is approved and
inform the requesting Officer no later than one (1) day before the meeting.
The Officer may appeal the decision of the Parliamentarian to the Faculty
Sponsor. If approved by the Faculty Sponsor, a hearing may be held
during the next regularly scheduled Student Government Association
meeting. At such a hearing, the Officer shall be given an opportunity to
explain the absence to the Student Government Association.
4.3 Students who wish to participate with the Student Government
Association activities but who do not want to hold elected office, may
assist their campus Senators and be part of special ACC wide events by
becoming part of the SGA Campus House of Representatives.
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Article 5. Elections
5.1. A student must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours during the fall or
spring semesters, have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5, and must not be
on either academic or disciplinary probation at ACC to be eligible to campaign
for an elected office. Students who are in their first semester at ACC are
exempted from any grade point average requirement to campaign for an elected
office.
5.2. The Election Code shall establish the rules governing election campaigns.
5.3. The date(s) of an election shall be determined at least one (1) year prior to the
proposed election date(s) upon the recommendation of the Student Government
Association Coordinator and approved by the Faculty Sponsor.
5.4. Elections shall be held once a year during the spring semester.
5.5. Each student shall have one (1) vote for each Officer position on the election
ballot. In cases where there are two (2) Senator Positions, a student shall have two
(2) votes.
Article 6. Officers
6.1. The Student Government Association shall consist of an Executive Board, the
Senate, and two permanent committees and such other ad-hoc committees as shall
be created and appointed.
6.1.(a). The Executive Council Board of the Student Government Association
shall be comprised of the following:
1. President
2. Vice-President
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3. Secretary
4. Senate Chair
5. Treasurer
6. Director of Communications
7. Parliamentarian
8. Historian
6.2. Duties of the Executive Board
In addition to duties belonging to executive board members as per their office,
and as outlined for all executive board members outlined above, the following
duties are required.
6.2.(a). The Executive Board shall meet on the Tuesday before the SGA meeting
to discuss any items of business to be placed on the agenda, and to
approve the agenda presented by the President.
6.2.(b). In case of unforeseen circumstances where a previously unscheduled SGA
meeting is deemed necessary, such a meeting may be called by the
Executive Board. This requires a majority vote of the Executive Board.
6.2.(c). Quorum for the Executive board is a majority of all Executive Board
members. Failure to meet quorum means that NO business can be
conducted by the Executive board.
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6.2.(c).1. If this occurs, the agenda is still presented, along with
reports presented at Executive Board meetings, but they
cannot be voted upon. The agenda must then be presented
as proposed by the SGA President and not as approved by
the Executive Board. However, the agenda for the meeting
must still be publicly distributed no later than Noon on the
Wednesday before the meeting and posted on every campus
and distributed by email to every officer and senator of the
SGA.
6.2.(c).2. The President and the secretary are to compile the Exec
Board report, with minutes from the Executive Board
meeting attached.
6.2.(d). The Executive Board is NOT invested with the authority to make
decisions on behalf of the SGA body as a whole.
6.2.(e). Schedules
6.2.(e).1. The Executive Board is invested with the power to approve
of the tabling and event schedules presented to them by the
individual Senators and Officers.
6.2.(e).1.a Once approved, the schedules should be prepared by
the Secretary, and distributed by the Secretary to all
SGA members and the Faculty Sponsor. Senators
should post schedules on all campuses, and provide to
campus administration.
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6.2.(e).1.b These schedules should contain tabling, event and
office hours for all elected members of SGA
6.2.(e).2. Executive Board meetings are open meetings. However,
while non-members may attend, they may not participate,
except at the beginning of meetings for visitors and reports,
or unless specifically called upon during said meeting by
the Chair of the meeting. Non-Executive Board members
may not vote on Executive Board matters.
6.3. The Senate of the Student Government Association shall be comprised of a Senate
Chair, Senate Vice-Chair, and then senators as specified in this Constitution. The
Senate of the Student Government Association elects its Senate Chair, Senate
Vice-Chair from among its membership. Members of the Executive Council do
not have a vote for these positions. If the Senate Chair position shall become
vacant for any reason then the Senate Vice-Chair shall succeed to the position and
a new Vice-Chair shall be elected at the next Senate meeting using the rule for the
original election. If the Vice-Chair position becomes vacant for any other reason a
successor shall be elected at the next Senate Meeting using the rules for the
original election.
6.4. All Senators shall be elected at the time, shall meet the same qualifications and
be required to meet all the same standards to retain their ability to serve. The
procedure for electing Senators for the constituencies or by campus shall be
established by the Election Code.
6.4.(a). Each ACC campus shall have no more than (2) Senators.
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6.4.(b). Each of the following constituencies shall have no more than (2) Senator
positions:
1. Student Accessibility Services
2. Veteran Students
3. International Students
4. Hispanic Students
5. African American Students
6. Asian American Students
7. LGBT Students
6.5. Committees
6.5.(a). The Student Government shall have two standing committees. These are
the Election Commission, and the Disciplinary committee. The SGA
Faculty Sponsor is a non-voting, ex officio member of all standing
committees. The Student Government may also form ad-hoc committees
as deemed necessary for projects and issues that arise throughout each
year.
6.5(b) Members of the SGA Campus House of Representatives shall be
recommended by their Campus Senator (3 per Senator) and confirmed by the
Student Government Association in open session. There shall be no more than 6
SGA Campus House of Representatives per campus.
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6.5(c) SGA Campus House of Representatives has no voting privileges in the
SGA. However the members of the SGA Campus House of Representatives will
elect their own Speaker, Vice Speaker, and Secretary.
6.5(d) Duties and Responsibilities of Representatives
1. Report to Campus Senators and assist Senators to conduct
successful events on their campus. This also requires
Representatives to be available as their schedules allow for
meetings with their Campus Senators.
2. Volunteer when possible for SGA and ACC wide events,
workshops, and drives.
6.5(e) A Representative is eligible to become a Senator if a vacancy occurs.
6.5 (f) A Representative may be removed by a vote of the SGA in open session if
their Senator can show they have been inactive without justification or have failed to
meet their duties as required.
6.5 (g) Committee meeting dates must be published in the SGA calendar. All the
committees are open to the public, with the exception of the Disciplinary Committee.
Minutes and committee reports are due to the President and the Secretary by 5pm on the
Monday before an SGA meeting, so as to be included in the agenda for the meeting.
6.5(h) Standing Committees
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6.5(h) .1The Election Commission shall consist of 5 members who are not
seeking to return to the Student Government Association the following
academic year. The election commission members are responsible for
preparation of the election packets and promotion of elections in a timely
fashion. They, along with the SGA Advisor must ensure that all
candidates are valid candidates and meet all requirements as outlined in
the election code.
6.5(h).2The Disciplinary Committee is to be comprised of the executive
Board, and is to be convened when necessary at Executive Board
meetings, in executive (private) session. The chair of the Disciplinary
Committee is the Parliamentarian.
6.5(h).3Ad-hoc Committees must be formed by vote of the Student
Government Body, and the chair of any ad-hoc committee must be an
officer of the Student Government Association in good standing. Ad hoc
committees cease when they have finished their stated business in the
original proposal to form them. Membership of all ad hoc committees is
open to the entirety of the ACC student body.
6.6. Elected Officers shall take office immediately following their recitation of the
Oath of Office, which shall be administered at the next regularly scheduled
meeting following elections. Appointed Officers shall take office effective
immediately upon their appointment and recitation of the Oath of Office.
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6.6.(a). The Oath of Office shall be the following: “I, (name), promise to uphold
and execute the Constitution and Bylaws of the Austin Community
College District Student Government Association, regulations and policies
of Austin Community College and the duties of my position to the best of
my ability. I pledge my dedication through my time, talents, and other
efforts to faithfully preserve and improve the quality of the academic and
student life of my constituents and the student community of the Austin
Community College District.”
6.7. All Officers shall have one (1) vote in any official vote taken by the Student
Government Association.
6.8. If an officer is awaiting appointment to an open position for more than two
consecutive meetings and quorum has not been met, he/she may be considered for
administrative appointment if recommended by the Senate Chair and seconded by
the President. This appointment is contingent upon confirmation by majority vote
of the Student Government Association, once quorum has been met.
6.9. Duties of Officers
6.9.(a). In addition to a full listing of all duties as presented in the SGA
Handbook, all members of SGA are required to attend and participate in
meetings. All duties listed in the SGA handbook are required as well, and
failure to meet duties as listed therein will lead to disciplinary action.
6.9.(b). All members of SGA are required to actively participate and interact with
students on their respective campuses, or with their respective
constituencies.
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6.9.(c). Executive Board Officers are required to do the same with students on
their main campus of attendance.
6.9.(d). The President of SGA is expected to visit each campus for tabling and
outreach at least once a semester. All other executive board officers are
also encouraged to do so.
Article 7. Faculty Sponsor
7.1. The Director of the Center for Public Policy & Political Studies shall appoint the
Faculty Sponsor in consultation with the Vice President, External Affairs and
Provost.
7.2. The Student Government Association shall meet with the Director of The Center
for Public Policy & Political Studies annually.
Article 8. Meetings
8.1. The Student Government Association shall hold meetings twice monthly.
8.2. All proposed legislation must be presented in writing to the President in time to be
included on the agenda for the meeting and should be distributed with copies of
the agenda at the meeting.
8.3. The Student Government Association President shall, upon consultation with the
Student Government Association Coordinator, establish the dates, times, and
location of Student Government Association meetings. The date of a meeting
must be communicated to the Officers no later than ten (10) days before the
proposed meeting date.
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8.4. The Student Government Association shall have the authority to convene itself by
written request of one-third (1/3) of the total voting membership of the Student
Government Association provided to both the President and Secretary of the
Student Government Association. The Student Government Association shall
also have the authority or right not to convene by request of two-thirds (2/3) of
the total voting membership of the Student Government Association provided to
both the President and Secretary of the Student Government Association. This
right shall not supersede Article 8 Section 01.
8.5. No formal action can be taken by the Student Government Association without a
quorum present.
Article 9. Quorum
9.1. To conduct official business of the SGA, a quorum must be reached as outlined in
this section
9.2. A quorum at a meeting of the Senate shall consist of a majority of the members
being present.
9.3. A quorum at Executive Board meetings shall consist of a majority of the SGA
Executive Board officers.
Article 10. Attendance and Removal
10.1. Violation of College rules or failure to maintain appropriate academic standing
will result in immediate removal from office. There is no exception to this rule.
10.2. Senate Meetings
10.2.(a). All SGA Senate called meetings are mandatory for the Executive Board,
and Senators.
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10.2.(b). The Executive Board and Senators are permitted a total of four (4)
excused absences per year unless permitted by the President due to
special circumstances.
10.2.(c). The Executive Board and Senators are permitted only one (1) unexcused
absence. At the time of this unexcused absence a warning letter will be
sent by the Secretary (or if the Secretary is the absent officer by the
Parliamentarian). Should there be other indications that the Officer is not
fulfilling his/her duties and responsibilities the Officer will also be
required to attend counseling with the SGA Faculty Sponsor.
10.2.(d). If counseling is required, the Student Government Association
Coordinator will document the progress of the Officer and evaluate if the
Officer is demonstrating improvement in performance.
10.2.(e). Failure to improve during counseling shall be grounds for initiating an
impeachment process against an Officer. If the Student Government
Association Coordinator determines that a counseling process will
achieve no positive effects, they shall send written notification to the
Parliamentarian of the failure of the counseling process. The
Parliamentarian shall issue a letter of Impeachment to the Officer. An
Officer must sponsor an impeachment resolution to the senate.
10.2.(f). Officers may be impeached and removed from office for failure to fulfil
the duties and responsibilities mandated by the Constitution and By-
Laws of the Student Government Association.
10.2.(g). An Officer must sponsor an Impeachment Resolution in the Senate.
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10.2.(h). The Student Government Association Coordinator, the Director of The
Center for Public Policy & Political Studies, and the Student
Government Association Faculty Sponsor shall judge whether the
impeachment charges against the officer are justified and valid. If
invalid, the charges of impeachment are dismissed.
10.2.(i). At the meeting where an Impeachment Resolution is to be heard, a
removal hearing shall be the first order of business of the Senate
meeting. A three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the Senate present and
voting shall be necessary to remove an officer. The Faculty Sponsor and
Coordinator shall be present at all removal hearings.
10.2.(j). Any officer subject to impeachment shall be notified at least five (5)
days in advance of their removal hearing and notified by email receipt
requested, telephone, and certified U S Postal mail to the official address
as recorded at Admissions and Records. No hearings shall be set during
the respondent’s class.
10.2.(k). Violation of College rules or failure to maintain appropriate academic
standing will result in immediate removal from office. There is no
exception.
10.3. Executive Board meetings
10.3.(a). The Executive Board called meetings are mandatory.
10.3.(b). Guests may be permitted at Executive Board meetings to speak at the
discretion of the Executive Board when deemed useful or necessary.
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10.3.(c). Attendance at the Executive Board shall be handled by the same rules as
those as the Senate.
10.3.(d). The impeachment of any Executive Board member shall be by the
Senate under the same procedures laid out in 10.1
Article 11. Amendments
11.1. Any proposed amendment to this Constitution shall be made available for public
inspection and forwarded to the Student Government Association Coordinator
within two (2) weeks of the regular scheduled meeting where the amendment will
be voted on. Amendments shall be voted on at regular meetings provided the
appropriate steps outlined in this Constitution were followed.
11.2. Any amendments to this Constitution proposed within the Student Government
Association must be passed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Student
Government Association. Such amendments shall be presented to the members of
the Student Government Association as well as to the Student Government
Association Coordinator.
11.3. If an amendment receives the majority of votes cast, the Student Government
President shall forward the amendment to the Vice President, External Affairs
within one (1) week for acceptance or rejection.
Article 12. General Provisions
12.1. The same person shall not hold Two (2) elected offices simultaneously, nor shall
two (2) persons simultaneously hold the same elective office.
12.2. The Student Government Association may not make any endorsements in any
campus elections.
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12.3. This Constitution supersedes all previous Constitutions of the Student
Government Association. This constitution shall take immediate effect upon
ratification.
12.4. This Constitution and its associated rules and regulations are subject to ACC
policies.
Article 13. Ratification
13.1. Upon ratification this constitution shall become effective as the constitution of the
Student Government Association of the Austin Community College District
superseding the Constitution currently in effect.
Distribution / Approvals

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