Senate By-Laws

PRAIRIE VIEW A & M UNIVERSITY STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION STUDENT SENATE BY-LAWS

 

Established: March 1982

Revised: August 05, 2013

Enacted: August 10, 2013

 

ARTICLE I. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

 

SECTION I. Preamble

 

  1. a) The legislative powers shall be vested in the Student Senate of the Student Government Association of Prairie View A & M University. The Student Senate shall be the official entity that shall identify students’ concerns and formulate student policy.
  2. b) It shall create a senatorial agenda for the entire academic year. This agenda will be in agreement with the Student Government Association President’s goal-oriented plan. These agendas shall be presented for a majority approval of the full Senate after the fall elections by the senate leadership.

 

SECTION II. Rule of order and Precedence

 

  1. a) The Student Senate of Prairie View A & M University will operate under the guidance of Robert’s Rule of Order Revised.
  2. b) Should Robert’s Rule of Order Revised conflict with the Student Government Association Constitution or Senate By-Laws, the Constitution will stand as the preeminent document followed by the Senate By-Laws and subsequently Robert’s Rule of Order Revised.

 

SECTION III. Powers of the Senate

 

  1. a) The Student Senate shall have all the powers conferred on it by the Student Government Association Constitution.
  2. b) All powers vested on it by any such bills that have been duly passed by the student body, by an administrative rules or regulations, any implied powers by virtue of the constitution, the by-laws- shall also be exercised by the student senate.
  3. c) The student senate shall have the powers of the purse and to summon, investigate, or question such acts of person or persons that expend monies appropriated by it.
  4. They may appropriate any monies to any branches of SGA or outside entities. They may also request to have appropriated monies return to the SGA budget by a two-third (2/3) vote with quorum if deemed that the money was not appropriately used.
  5. d) Shall have the power to censure members of the student government- the legislative, executive or judicial branches.
  6. A person who is censured must be notified of the reason in writing within forty eight (48) hours of the senate sitting. The ability to censure a person must be made by a majority vote of the Select Committee and must be on the senate sitting agenda.
  7. e) To offer advice in any form to the President of the Student Government Association, in matters concerning the bureaucracy.
  8. f) Shall by virtue of these foregoing provisions make such laws for the lawful governance of the student body in general.
  9. g) Shall have the power to temporarily suspend a law. There must be present in sitting, a majority vote with quorum, of the Select Committee to begin this process.
  10. This process must be used in extreme emergency situations and includes all governing documents except the Constitution.
  11. Senators must be notified of the law to be suspended forty eight (48) hours before the senate sitting and it must be present on the senate sitting agenda to be eligible to vote.
  12. This process requires a two-third (2/3) vote with quorum to pass.

 

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP

 

SECTION I. Senate Apportionment

 

The Student Senate shall be composed of fifty (51) senator positions. Two-thirds of which shall be elected constituency positions and one-third shall be by appointment of the President of the Student Senate.

 

  1. a) The fifty (51) senate positions shall be:

 

ai The Constituency Senators of the :

  1. College of Business I- Marketing
  2. College of Business II- Business
  3. College of Arts & Science- Sciences
  4. College of Arts & Science II- Military Science and Army ROTC
  5. College of Arts & Science III- Music and Theatre
  6. College of Arts & Science IV- Social and Behavioral science
  7. College of Arts & Science V- Communications and languages
  8. College of Arts & Science VI – Military Science and Naval ROTC
  9. College of Education I- Human Performance
  10. College of Education II- Education
  11. College of Engineering I- Engineering
  12. College of Engineering II- Engineering Technology
  13. College of Engineering III- Computer Science
  14. College of Nursing I- Houston
  15. College of Nursing II- Prairie View
  16. College of Juvenile Justice I- Psychology
  17. College of Juvenile Justice II- Criminal and Juvenile Justice
  18. College of Agriculture and Human Sciences I- Agriculture
  19. College of Agriculture and Human Sciences II- Human Sciences
  20. School of Architecture
  21. Graduate School
  22. Housing I- University College
  23. Housing II- University Village
  24. Housing III- University Village North
  25. Housing IIII – University View
  26. Panther Advisor Leaders
  27. Pan-Hellenic Council
  28. Council of Student Organizations
  29. Freshman Class President
  30. Sophomore Class President
  31. Junior Class President
  32. Senior Class President
  33. Campus Activities Board
  34. Band
  35. Ministries

 

aii. The Non-constituency Senators of:

 

  1. External Affairs
  2. Athletics
  3. Health Services
  4. Safety
  5. International Students
  6. Parking
  7. Auxiliary Services
  8. Career Services & Cluster
  9. Alumni Affairs
  10. Information Technology
  11. Community Development
  12. Memorial Student Center
  13. Intramural Sports
  14. Enrollment Management
  15. Professional and Departmental Organizations
  16. Parks & Recreation
  17. Human Resources & Student Employment

 

  1. b) Every constituency shall be contested in the fall or spring elections, at the various constituencies, in the manner prescribed by the existing electoral code.
  2. c) All non-constituency positions shall be appointed by the President of the Student Senate and shall meet after the spring elections in the manner prescribed by these by-laws either in full or partial, but not less than three-fifth (3/5) of expected appointees (i.e. nine).
  3. d) All voting positions added will not go into effect until the beginning of the following semester.
  4. e) Graduate students wishing to apply for a position in Student Senate must have at (12) semester hours in residence at Prairie View prior to assuming office, whether they are undergraduate of graduate hours.
  5. f) All Academic Senators must be registered and in good academic standing within the college of which they will represent.

 

SECTION II. Officers of the Senate

 

  1. a) The officers of the Senate shall be defined as the following: the Senate President, Senate Pro-Tempore and the heads of the standing committees.
  2. b) The comptroller shall be an advisor to the senate in session.
  3. c) The ex-officio positions shall consist of:
  4. Faculty Senate Liaison
  5. Which shall serve as the liaison between the Student Senate and the Faculty Senate.
  6. Parliamentarian
  7. Who shall make sure the Senate follows the proper procedure and rules of Robert’s Rules of Order.
  8. Sergeant-at-Arms
  9. Whom shall maintain order in all Senate sittings. This shall include but is not limited to: Escorting guest in and out; escorting unruly members, including senators, from the area; insure that rightful members enter in the senate sittings.
  10. Chaplain
  11. Who shall pray and bring all the religious perspective to the senate sittings and the standing committee meetings.
  12. Corresponding Secretary
  13. Who shall work for the Senate President and do tasks assigned by him or her, the senate pro-tempore, and the standing committee chairs.
  14. Recording Secretary
  15. Who shall record minutes at the senate sittings
  16. Assistant Recording Secretary
  17. Who shall record minutes at the senate standing committee meetings. This position may be open or closed for filing by the majority vote of the Select Committee.
  18. Historian
  19. Who shall work to preserve the history of the senate and shall file such documents in the SGA Archives. As stated in the Judicial By-Laws, the Historian may work in conjunction with the Archivist in the maintenance of the SGA Archives.
  20. g) The ex-officio positions shall be filled by the officers of the senate. Each with one nominee. The positions apportioned to each officer shall be determined by the Senate President prior to the meeting of the leadership.

 

 

SECTION III.       Ranking Members

  1. a) A ranking member shall be defined as voting member of the Student Senate that has held a position for an academic year, not including summer sessions.
  2. b) All activity of any Student Government Association member shall be recorded and filed in the SGA Archives and shall include but is not limited to, SGA Committees, Executive, Senatorial, or Judicial positions, and ad-hoc committees.
  3. c) In the case that a senator is removed by internal affairs the rank of that senator is erased and must be recorded anew when the term of suspension has expired if the person chooses to return to the organization.
  4. d) In the case that a member of the Student Government Association chooses to resign, or not participate in the organization their rank is upheld within one full academic year; thus after one year the candidate’s rank would be considered anew.

 

ARTICLE III. SCHOLASTIC AND CONDUCT POLICY

 

SECTION I. Scholastic conduct

  1. a) No MEMBER OF THE STUDENT SENATE SHALL BE ON SCHOLASTIC OR CONDUCT PROBATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY. All officers and members must comply with the academic standards as set forth in the University Handbook, as well as have a 2.5 GPA, excluding Senate President who needs a 2.8 GPA cumulative, or higher at the time of their appointment. Senators, Senate Officers, and Senate ex-officio Officers shall maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA as well as a minimum 2.5 GPA for every semester (spring, summer, and fall) while in office. In the event that these requirements are not met and a grade appeal is filed, this requirement will be waived until a final decision on the appeal is made. The senate or officer has one week to file the appeal after the day of notification of the grade deficiency. This appeal should be filed through the Senate President in order to be considered by the Internal Affairs Committee. The decision shall be rendered within one week following the filing. The primary Student Government Association Advisor shall handle any further appeals.

 

  1. b) Cumulative grade point average requirements shall apply for all semesters at Prairie View A & M University. Including the summer sessions regardless of the number of hours attempted.

 

  1. c) The Senate President shall request from all Senators, Senate Officers, Ex-officio Officers and the Student Government Association President a statement reporting their overall grade point average, their grade point average for the previous semester, and a confirmation that they are not on any form of probation with the university. Likewise, the Student Government association president shall request the same form of the Senate President. This statement shall be requested within twelve (12) class days at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, as well as at the time of their appointments, if so applicable. The ultimate responsibility rests with the Student Government Association Advisor to make sure these reports are made.

 

 

SECTION II. Absence Policy

  1. a) If a Senator accumulates one (1) unexcused absence during one full semester, he/she has an option of being reviewed by the Internal Affairs committee before being automatically removed from his/her office. Excused absences will be limited to two (2) per semester. Once the two (2) excused absences have been granted then all subsequent absences will be considered unexcused unless the Senate President grants permission.
  2. b) An excused absence shall be defined as:
  3. A university excused absence as outlined in the new class attendance policy (illness, attendance at university-approved functions, religious holidays, family and/or other emergencies).
  4. An absence due to a scheduled class or exam.
  5. An absence that the Officers of the Senate deem of merit

 

  1. c) All absences are to be considered conditionally unexcused. For an excused absence to be granted, the Senator must show reasonable cause for the absence as well as submit documentation with the signature of the appropriate person(s) and the date.

 

  1. d) All senators are mandated to attend each and every Student Government Association General Meeting. Failure to do so will constitute as one absence and would face the penalty.

 

  1. e) The corresponding secretary shall enforce these rules, in concert with members of the Internal Affairs committee.

 

  1. f) It is mandatory for all elected and appointed senators to attend their respective committee meetings (standing committees) as outlined in the Senate Bylaws, and failure to comply and/or attend these meetings will result in an unexcused absence and referral to the internal affairs committee for disciplinary action.

 

  1. g) Committee Meeting Attendance Policy allows senators to have two (2) excused absences and one (1) unexcused absence from a committee meeting. If a voucher is not completed for every excused absence, it will count as an unexcused absence. A violation of this attendance policy will result in referral to the internal affairs committee.

 

ARTICLE IV. INTERNAL BUSINESS OF THE SENATE

 

SECTION I. Senate Sittings

 

  1. a) There shall be for the senate a sitting.
  2. b) The Senate President is the head of the Senate.
  3. c) The Senate President shall physically preside over senate sessions.
  4. d) The Senate Pro-tempore shall preside over senate sessions in the absence of the Senate President.
  5. e) The Senate Pro- tempore is the administrative head of the senate.
  6. f) The Senate shall conduct the activities in the manner prescribed by the constitution, senate bylaws, code of ethics and Roberts’ rules of order (revised).

 

SECTION II. Details of Composition and Procedures of appointment

 

  1. a) All business of the senate shall be conducted through the committee system.
  2. b) There shall be for the senate six (6) standing committees. These shall be the Internal Affairs committee, Rules and Administration Committee, Finance & Appropriations Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, Student and Auxiliary Services Committee and the Select Committee.
  3. c) All voting senators shall be members of at least one committee.
  4. All new senators voted in throughout the year, shall at their first senate sitting; announce which standing committee they shall sit on.
  5. d) All members of the standing committee with the exception of the Senate President pro

tempore and the committee heads shall be nominated by the Senate President in

consultation with the President, subject to the approval of the select committee.

  1. e) Every committee except the select committee shall have a minimum of five members.
  2. It shall require four to deliberate in such committee meetings, but at least five to vote.
  3. If at any time, membership of any standing committee falls below the five (5) member mark, the Senate President, in consultation with the Pro-Tempore, may request any senator to join the committee in question.
  4. If at any time, membership of a standing committee falls below the five (5) member mark, due to a low amount of filled senate positions, the Select Committee must take up the task of the non-working standing committee. They shall follow the proper procedure as stated in the Senate By-laws.
  5. f) Heads of standing committees shall give priority to old senate members while nominating the committee co-chair (ranking members).
  6. The committee chair shall be able to pick legislative aides in consultation with the ranking member.
  7. The Vice President shall appoint committee heads of Rules and Administration, Finance & Appropriations, and Internal Affairs Committees, persons of one semester prior experience in the committees and a year experience in the student senate.
  8. If for some reason, there are no persons who wish to head these committees or who meet the requirements, they senate may nominate a senator, whom they deem fit, with a two-third (2/3) vote to head the aforementioned committees.
  9. g) Every committee shall have a ranking member that would oversee and coordinate committee activities in the absence of the committee chair.
  10. The ranking member shall be nominated by the committee chair and approved by members of the committee.
  11. h) When bills get to the floor of the senate, the select committee shall determine if an ad hoc committee shall be set up, and in this committee all competing interests shall be adequately represented.
  12. The nomination and workings of the ad hoc committee is subject to the provisions of this by law.
  13. i) The Vice President shall appoint committee heads of Rules and Administration, Finance & Appropriations, and Internal Affairs Committees, persons of one semester prior experience in the committees and a year experience in the student senate.
  14. j) All committees must keep a record of membership roster and meeting minutes. The Senate must keep a record of when a person first joined a committee. These documents must be submitted to the SGA Archives for filing.
  15. k) If a person sends a written request, via email or letter, wishing to have a meeting with a committee, the committee chair must reply within forty-eight (48) hours of the request, informing the person of the next meeting time which must be scheduled within seven (7) days.

 

Section III. Committees in the Senate

 

  1. a) Select Committee:

 

  1. The head of the select committee shall be the Senate President.
  2. The senate pro-tempore shall be the ranking member of this committee.
  3. He or she shall preside over all senate sittings in the absence of the Senate President.
  4. The Senate pro-tempore cannot initiate a motion or support one while presiding over senate meeting. He/ she cannot chair a senate committee.
  5. No part of this provision can deprive him/her the right to vote on any motion raised on the floor of the house, even while presiding.
  6. He or she shall also have the legal binding right to decide which committee a proposed bill shall at first proceed through.
  7. The select committee shall include all heads of the standing committees and the senate pro-tempore duly nominated by the Student Government Association Vice-President.
  8. The Select Committee shall meet as needed to deliberate on matters affecting the senate and make such recommendations to the senate; it shall also make agendas for senate meetings and produce the orders sheets for the same.
  9. The agendas, order sheets and notice of meeting shall be transmitted to senators by the corresponding secretary four-eight (48) hours before a formal sitting and twenty-four (24) hours before any other such sitting that might be predicted by this by-law.
  10. The Select Committee shall exercise all such powers conferred on it by any provision of these by-laws or bodies of laws duly passed on the floor on the Senate and shall be subject to such rules and procedures governing the operation of committees.
  11. The Student Government Association President can sit in on select committee meetings and make arguments or presentation on behalf of the executive branch. The Chief Justice or the Judicial Advocate may do the same for the judicial branch.
  12. Heads of committees can be removed by the Senate President with or without the recommendation of the Student Government Association President however, such removal must be presented to the full senate for approval with the a majority vote.
  13. The President pro-tempore can only be removed by a majority vote of senate members present with quorum.
  14. As referred in the Judicial By-Laws, The Select Committee shall hold a hearing on any Justice if s/he is found guilty of violating the SGA or school Scholastic and/or Conduct policy.

 

  1. b) Internal Affairs Committee:

 

1)      Every internal business within the senate is brought before the committee.

2)      The senate pro-tempore can file allegations or complaints against a senator   regarding his/her activities directly to the internal affairs committee for immediate consideration.

3)      Any allegations against a senator including breaking senate ethics, absentee policy, or scholastic policy as well as incompetence shall be brought before the committee for investigation.

4)      If senators are found guilty, two-thirds (2/3) majority may make recommendations of punishment of suspension not to exceed two (2) years to the full senate for a majority approval with quorum or a recommendation of expulsion shall be presented to the Senate select committee for a two-third (2/3) approval.

  1. Any recommendation can be contested at the judicial branch, if the senator feels aggrieved.

5)      The committee shall act as the interviewing board for all vacant senate positions.

6)      The decision to admit any senator to the floor to fill such vacancies need be approved by a simple majority vote of senators sitting in quorum or unanimous vote of the select committee.

7)      All applications must be submitted to the SGA Archives for filing. If an applicant was not voted for recommendation for a position, their application still must be filed in the Archives for at least two (2) years.

 

  1. c) Rules and Administration Committee:

 

1)      They make all the rules which the senate and his/her committee abide by.

2)      They will review, write and/or rewrite the Senate by-laws, judicial by-laws, e-board codes, election code and the code of ethics and recommend such to the senate for approval by simple majority.

3)      The committee shall investigate any resolution, bill or petition; and deem any bill ready to be voted on by the Student Senate.

4)      Chairman of the committee shall be the chief advocate of Senate rules, procedures and by-laws and can cause such to be effected by the Judicial branch.

 

 

  1. d) Academic Affairs Committee:

 

1)      Shall be representatives from each college or school.

2)      Committee shall deal with academic issues requiring the attention of the senate.

3)      They shall conduct hearing and recommend censor or resolution to the full senate to deal with pertinent issues.

4)      They shall bring to the floor of the senate for consideration such proposals that would advance the cause of excellence of the general student body.

5)      Each College and Department must hold a town hall meeting for the Student, Faculty, and Staff before the end of each semester.

6)      The Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee shall sit on the University Academic Dishonesty Disciplinary Committee.

 

  1. e) Finance & Appropriations Committee:

 

1)       Shall serve as the ad hoc committee, or clearing house of all requests for financial assistance emanating from other branches and organizations.

2)       Presentations by agents of such bodies or organizations to justify requests of funds can only be mandated by four of nine committee members.

3)      Request for funds shall be made two weeks prior to the senate meeting that the request are intended for approval.

4)      The committee shall forward finished recommendations to the senate in bill form.

5)      The full senate can amend such bill, by increasing or decreasing amount up to 15% for such monies.

6)      Subsection (5) foregoing can be amended extempore by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of senators sitting.

7)      The committee can recommend funds to be withheld for organizations, such killing the bill. Only the chair of the committee or the president of the Senate can then force the money bill out.

8)      Senate can vote for a money bill with disapproval and send such to the president for necessary action.

9)      Committee actions are subject to normal senatorial procedures, unless such contradict any provision of this section.

10)  The Committee Chair of this committee must report all passed bills to the SGA President no longer than twenty (24) hours after a senate sitting.

11)  All organizations requesting funds must file a follow up report. This consists of the application and the receipts and documentation of all purchases.

12)  If finding that any organization does not use the money in the proper manner or does not follow the proper procedure set forth by the Finance & Appropriations Chair in filing for the request, before or after, the Committee, by simple majority vote, may request to withhold the money from the organization for up to two (2) years. This then must be sent to the senate floor for approval by a simple majority vote with quorum. If the organization feels aggrieved they may file an appeal with the Judicial Board. Letters to the organization stating the Senate’s decision must be filed in the SGA Archives.

13)  No member of SGA nor the Advisor of their particular organization or any organization can be allowed to represent their organization if seeking funds from the Senate through Finance and Appropriations

14)  An organization can only acquire funds from SGA through Finance and Appropriations or in bill form once a year.

15)  This committee can not appropriate funds for organizations that receive any funding from the Student Service Fee Allocation.

16)  The funds will not be allocated to the organization that request:

  • Food (personal travel meals and profit)
  • Travel (shuttles to and from airport, gas, rental cars, metro, taxis, nor payment of keeping transportation at the airport or parking facilities
  • Scholarship and awards (gifts, trophies, gift cards, gift baskets)
  • Advisors, chaperones, mentors, administrators, faculty and staff
  • Profit or fundraisers events

 

 

  1. f) Student Services and Auxiliary Committee:

 

1)      Committee shall deal with all matters concerning housing, safety and any such matter that might be connected to student services on or off campus.

2)      Members of this committee shall be representative of this interest in the senate.

3)      Committee shall conduct hearings on pertinent issues, prepare resolutions for the attention of the rules and administration committee and make useful recommendations for onward passage to the full senate.

4)      The committee shall be subject to all senatorial procedural rules.

5)      The senators that represent any student services that include but are not limited to: housing, auxiliary services, MSC, and parking.

6)      The Senators that represent an organization or council are required to sit on this committee as well.

 

SECTION IV – Enforcement Procedures

  1. a) The President of the Senate shall reserve the right to recommend qualifying students for vacant senate positions
  2. b) The President Pro-tempore shall have the legal binding authority to declare any senate position vacant, however subject to the review of the select committee.
  3. c) The internal affairs committee shall compile rules for interviewing and admitting new members within two weeks before such members shall resume sitting in the formal session of the senate.
  4. d) Absence Policy Enforcement Procedures
  5. If the Senate President or the corresponding Secretary is unable to contact a Senator in violation of the absence policy by phone or email within seven (7) calendar days after the first unexcused absence, then a registered letter shall be sent out to the senator informing him or her of his/her imminent removal.
  6. If the above mentioned Senator does not respond within (7) calendar days, the proper authority shall declare the Senate seat vacant.

 

SECTION V.   Sessions & Sittings of the Senate

 

  1. a) For the purpose of senate by-laws, the senate session shall run in two consecutive semesters, the first beginning from the official beginning of the fall semester and the second at the beginning of the official spring semester on the school calendar.
  2. b) Each session of the senate shall convene at regular intervals as determined by any such laws mentioned in these by-laws or the constitution.
  3. c) These intervals shall be known as sittings, and they shall convene no more than once a week.
  4. d) The senate can enter into five types of sittings.
  5.    Executive sitting: Called by the select committee, and shall have in

attendance all voting members of the senate, the Senate President and

the corresponding secretary. The senate can admit into this sitting, and

they shall be every two weeks.

  1.    Formal sitting: called at the request of the Senate President by the

select committee, complying with the sections guiding the sitting of the senate. The select committee shall set its agenda and order sheet. It is open to all members of the student body

  1. Emergency sitting: Called at the request of the President of the Student Government Association by the Senate President. The President of the Student Government Association shall set agenda.
  2. Public Sitting: A public hearing conducted by committees, individual senators, ad hoc committees or the senate leadership. It is open to all members of the public.
  3. Censorship Sitting: A closed-door hearing for any member of the three branches of the association. To administer caution or prescribe sanction in order to exercise the oversight functions of the student senate. This sitting shall not act prejudicially.
  4. e) For the normal conduct of senate business, senators or committees shall schedule meetings to carry out activities related to senatorial business. Prior to such meetings, a schedule needs to be deposited with the senate select committee.
  5. f) At the beginning of all sessions of the Senate, the presiding officer shall announce the purpose for calling the sitting, and items relating to the purpose may be considered and voted upon by the Senate. Sessions of the Senate shall be subject to the Senate By-Laws and shall be governed by the Robert’s Rule of order (revised).

 

SECTION VI. Voting Procedures

 

  1. a) Each member of the Senate shall hold only one (1) vote in person. This vote may cast as yes, no, or abstain. Abstain shall mean ‘present and not voting’ and shall not count as part of the total number of votes.
  2. b) Voting format shall be at the discretion of the chair
  3. c) If the need arises, the presiding senator can ask for a roll call vote, and/or any senator with one-third (1/3) approval of the senate members sitting.

 

SECTION VII.  Quorum

 

  1. a) Two-Thirds (2/3) of the members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum. The number of Senate seats currently filled shall determine the number of members.
  2. b) However where such seats is less than two-thirds (2/3) of available senate seats, it shall require three-fifths (3/5) of members to constitute a quorum.
  3. c) The rule of quorum does not apply to senate in transition- rather a simple majority of such senators shall constitute a quorum.
  4. d) At any time during a sitting, a senator may ask for the status of quorum. The presiding officer shall at that time certify the status of quorum.
  5. e) All decisions presented for a vote in any senate sitting and standing committee meetings must have quorum.

 

SECTION VIII.  Speaking Privileges

 

  1. a) The presiding senator may grant speaking privileges to persons who wish to address the Senate.
  2. b) Persons giving a report scheduled on the agenda shall have the power to yield the floor to anyone for the duration of their report.
  3. c) A primary sponsor of legislation before the Senate shall have the right to speak if so desired for any such bills, petitions or resolution before the senate. He/ she shall however not exceed ten (10) minutes, in compliance with senate floor procedures. He/she can yield the floor if his/her allotted time period is not fully exhausted.

 

SECTION X. Office Hours

 

  1. a) Each Senator shall be required to maintain office hours in the Student

Government Association Office.

  1. b) Each senator shall maintain a minimum of two (2) hours a week, reported to the Internal Affairs Committee weekly.
  2. c) All Senators shall at the beginning of every semester establish their office hours with the select committee, if the committee requests to do so. If for any reason a Senator is not able to maintain office hours, then a letter of excuse must be filed with the an Officer of the Senate. This letter must state the reason for unavailability and an alternate plan of action. The letter must also be certified with the appropriate individual’s signature (i.e. employer, dean, etc.).
  3. d) The letter of excuse must be submitted within one (1) week after notifying the Senate President and/or Corresponding Secretary at the time of a Senator’s unavailability.
  4. e) Failure to maintain office hours will result in a referral to the Internal Affairs Committee.

 

SECTION XI. Transition Procedures

 

  1. a) The new Senate refers to the session of the Student Senate that will assume office before the end of the spring semester in question. The term old Senate refers to the session of the Student Senate that will end at the spring semester in question.
  2. b) A senate shall enter a lame duck session after the newly elected executive members are sworn in. No legislation can be amended in the lame duck session; this also includes the senate bylaws and the constitution, and codes.
  3. c) All legislation passed at the last sitting of the old senate shall be subject to ratification of the new senate before it shall have the force of law.
  4. d) After spring elections, the new senate shall have two (2) meetings prior to the end of the spring semester.
  5. The Newly appointed President, Vice President, and Comptroller must be sworn in at the first senate sitting following the confirmation of the election results of the Student Court.
  6. The old senate president, president pro-tempore and chair of the rules and administration committee of the old senate, shall cause the new President and Senate President to be properly briefed about the rules of transition, and senate by-laws guiding appointments.
  7. The Senate President of the old Senate in consultation with the President of the new senate shall arrange the first meeting of the new Senate. The former Senate President shall hand-over notes from their office to the officers of the new Senate.
  8. He/She shall cause to be delivered to the officers of the new senate hand-over notes from their predecessors in office.
  9. The second meeting shall coincide with the final meeting of the old Senate, which must occur before the beginning of the final examination period of the spring semester. During this meeting the session of the old Senate shall end, and the new session of the new Senate will begin.  Both senates shall sit together.
  10. e) Before the new fall session begins, the existing leadership of the new Senate must meet to appoint at least three (3) of the ex-officio members of the senate.
  11. f) After the spring election results are announced the old Senate must approve the positions appointed by the newly elected President and Vice President before the end of the Spring Semester.
  12. The term of the positions approved shall begin at the time they are sworn in.
  13. If no positions are approved, they must follow the guidelines and procedures mentioned in the SGA constitution, by-laws, and codes.
  14. g) When the Senate President of the new Senate gains the chair, the Senate session ends and the new senate session begins. A motion to adjourn is out of order until the Senate session begins, and the meeting cannot end until the new session has begun.
  15. h) The new senate can meet extempore during the summer semester, but their decisions shall be advisory, shall have the weight of law if it is ratified at the beginning of the fall session.
  16. i) The Student Government Association President or Vice President may conduct summer meetings.
  17. j) No new senator shall resume office hours, attend senate meetings or sittings or carry out activities related with the office of a senator, if he/she does not undergo a compulsory period of orientation by the new Senate President.

 

ARTICLE V. PROCEDURES

 

SECTION I. Legislature procedures

 

  1. a) A bill shall be eligible for consideration if documentation and details of such bills are filed with the Senate Pro-Tempore and the Select Committee.
  2. b) At the next Select Committee meeting, the Senate Pro-Tempore, with the consultation of the Senate Officers, shall decide which six (6) Standing Committee the bill shall proceed through for further investigation.
  3. c) The senate standing committee, selected by the Pro-Tempore, shall hold the first hearing for the bill. This may include interviews in the case of approvals. No debate shall take place at this session, only questions can be asked (directed at the Senate leadership or originators of the bill).
  4. d) The senate standing committee members, shall after the sitting, make recommendations on the bill to be considered by the full senate.

1.The Standing Committee may take actions such as: Research the bill, Interview all persons involved and/or table the bill till the next Standing Committee meeting where it must be voted on and may not be tabled further.

2.The Standing Committee may make recommendations such as: Approve the bill, approve the bill with recommendations of the Standing Committee, kill the bill, and/or recommend a second reading by the full senate where debate is entertained.

3.All recommendations require a simple majority vote by the Standing Committee members.

4.If recommended to approve the bill, the Standing Committee Chair may designate him/herself or any other respective Standing Committee member to put the bill into bill format for the full senate.

  1. e) After proceeding through a Standing Committee, the senate shall hold the first hearing for the bill, with the recommendations of the previous standing committee. No debate shall take place at this session, only questions can be asked (directed at the Senate leadership or sponsors of the bill).

1.A bill shall be introduced to the floor only after it has been included in the order sheet as prepared by the Senate President and approved by the Select committee.

2.Two (2) voting members, must appear on the order sheet as sponsors of any proposed bill.

3.The senate may approve the recommendations given by the Standing Committee by a two-third (2/3) vote with quorum.

4.The senate may deny the recommendations given by the Standing Committee by a simple majority vote with quorum.

5.Amendments to the bill including killing the bill, at this point, require a two-third (2/3) vote with quorum.

  1. f) A bill may be eligible for second reading during which debate can be entertained, if it is recommended to the floor, for consideration, by a Senate Standing Committee and approved by the full senate.
  2. Consideration of bills can take either of three forms, being-section-by-section, amendment-by-amendment, or wholesale. Decision to consider bills in either form or the other shall be taken by the Senate select committees.
  3. Where there is any conceivable dissent, determined by the Senate, two (2) presentations from each side of the divide shall be entertained for five (5) minutes for such, making twenty minutes (20) of cumulative period of debate.
  4. A senator can yield parts or all of his/her time to another provided the allotted minutes is not exceeded.
  5. Members of the senate can force a debate by one-thirds (1/3) vote of members sitting in quorum.
  6. All amendments to the Constitution, Codes, and By-Laws must have a second reading.
  7. g) After the conclusion of debate a recorded vote shall be taken, the manner of which shall be open and determined by the presiding officer.
  8. h) The senate can also cause his/her (senate committee chair) to be reviewed by the full committee in sitting.
  9. i) The proceedings on the floor shall accompany final documentation of bills for record by the Recording Secretary, the Rules and Administration Chair and the Senate Pro-Tempore.
  10. j) Once properly approved and passed by the senate, the bill becomes a Law/Code/Act and proceeds to the President’s desk in twenty-four (24) hours for an approval or veto.
  11. k) Legislation may be considered void by the Judicial Branch, if proper procedure was not met.

 

SECTION II.  Emergency Legislation

 

  1. a) Emergency legislation shall be defined as, “any bill which requires immediate action and should therefore be acted upon without a second reading or debate.”
  2. b) A bill that may acquire emergency legislation status:
  3. Prior to the senate meeting: If such action is approved by a unanimous vote of the Select Committee with quorum.
  4. Prior to the senate meeting: If such action is called for by the author of the bill and approved by a unanimous vote of the Select Committee with quorum.
  5. c) Once approved, the Senate Pro-Tempore may designate him/herself or any other respective Select Committee member to put the emergency bill into bill format for the full senate to approve.
  6. d) In its final form however, this bill shall require to be legally overruled by the Senate Pro-Tempore or any Standing Committee Chair, in writing to the Senate President, within twenty-five (25) hours.
  7. e) Once the emergency bill has proceeded to the senate floor, it shall proceed with the procedures as mentioned in the senate by-laws with exception to a second reading.
  8. f) The Student Senate may overrule the emergency legislation by a simple majority vote with quorum.
  9. g) The Student Senate must approve the recommendations given by the Select Committee by a two-third (2/3) vote with quorum for it to proceed to the Student Government Association President for immediate approval or veto.
  10. If legally overruled, this bill shall restart at the beginning, with the Senate Pro-Tempore, where he or she shall decide with Standing Committee the bill shall proceed.
  11. If an emergency bill has been overruled, that same bill cannot go through the Emergency Legislation process again.
  12. If an emergency bill has been vetoed by the Student Government Association President, then it must proceed to the Senate for a two-third (2/3) vote with quorum to overrule the veto.
  13. h) At any given time, NO Constitutional, By-Law, or Code Amendment shall ever be considered as Emergency Legislation.

 

SECTION III.  Bills

 

  1. A bill shall be any law or body of laws, proposed to the student senate for approval.
  2. All forms of appropriation proposals, resolutions and agreements requiring ratification by the student senate, shall be introduced in the form of a bill by virtue of the foregoing provision.
  3. A bill shall be deemed to be adopted if it has been considered on the floor of the senate after the sections on procedures has been duly adhered to.
  4. With the consent of the Senate officers and one third of the senate members (by signature) the provision of subsection shall be suspended.
  5. Wherein a bill has been considered it shall become a finished law (ready for approval of the President of the Student Government Association) if on approval by majority of senators present at sitting.
  6. Wherein a bill is passed and approved by the senate it shall require the consent of the President, at such timely manner determined by the constitution, for it to be formally adopted by the Student Government Association.
  7. Wherein the time period for signature by the President is exceeded, or the President exercises his veto powers, the bill shall be reconsidered on the floor of the Senate for uninhibited adoption by the Student Government Association.
  8. By uninhibited adoption, subsection (c) and (d) shall be deemed to have been suspended and such laws shall come to the Senate floor for up/down vote in the time and manner prescribed by the senate leadership.
  9. All bills must be filed in the SGA Archives to be adopted by the Student Government Association.

 

SECTION IV.  Legislation

 

All legislation shall be made available to the members of the Senate, not less than one (1) class day prior to the day of the Senate meeting at which time it is to be considered.

 

a.)    Bills: A bill is a draft of a proposed statement of the Senate calling for a specific action in its implementation (once it has been put into effect as a law, act or code). A bill is subject to approval or veto by the Student Government Association President to be valid.

 

b.)    Approval: An approval is a proposed action that calls for the consent of the Senate for its implementation. This shall include position nominations, suspensions, expulsions, and other actions deemed necessary as stated in the Student Government Association Constitution, By-Laws and Codes. An approval is not subject to approval or veto by the Student Government Association President to be valid.

 

c.)    Proposals: A proposal is a statement of request of the Senate or outside entity. Proposals usually are submitted as a request for financial assistance from the Student Senate for a particular endeavor. A Proposal becomes a bill after it has been properly recommended to pass through a senate standing committee.

 

d.)    Resolutions: A resolution is a non-binding statement of opinion, enumerating the feelings of the general student body, which the senate represents.  A resolution requires a majority vote of the members present and voting.  A resolution may be voted upon at the meeting in which it is introduced and is not subject to approval or veto by the Student Government Association President.

 

e.)    Law/Code/Act: Is the properly moved and passed work of the senate in sitting, which is binding and shall be executed by the executive branch ( if approved). The judiciary shall also interpret it if a legal entity seeks such clarification.  It shall be presented for the signature of the President within twenty-four (24) hours of approval or veto by the clerk in charge of committee and senate business, with an accompanying letter stating the manner, purpose and time in which it was passed.

 

 

ARTICLE VI: POSITION DESCRIPTION

 

Senators for schools and colleges

College of Agriculture and Human Sciences

School of Architecture

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Business

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of Juvenile Justice

College of Nursing

Graduate School

 

Shall serve as liaison between the student government and their respective schools and colleges.  The senator shall initiate projects within their respective college to increase the productivity and success of the students as well as advance the interests of their college as a whole. Additionally, he/she shall provide a committee report at each senate meeting. Also, they shall represent all Honor societies and Dept. Professional organizations as stated in the student handbook.

 

Senator for International Students-

Shall serve as liaison between Prairie View’s international community and student government. The senator shall advance the interests of the Prairie View’s international community in the Student Government. Additionally, they shall help in the organization of all cultural festivities and holidays. He/she shall be appointed by the president on the recommendation of the International Student advisor of the university.

 

Class Presidents

Freshman Class President

Sophomore Class President

Junior Class President

Senior Class President

 

Shall be the liaison between their respective class and the student government and is responsible for developing the class projects through the academic year. Each president is responsible for sponsoring at least one (1) event per month. These include a meeting, seminar, or a social activity.

 

Other Constituency Senators-

Band

Panther Advisory Leaders

Pan-Hellenic Council

Council of Student Organizations

Campus Activities Board

 

Shall serve as liaison between their constituents and Student Government He/She shall be elected from his/her constituency and shall attend to the needs of his/her constituents; The aforementioned senators above can be appointed by the Senate President in the absence of the position being filled on the day of elections, which must be approved by a simple majority vote through the Senate.

 

Other non-constituents senators-

Shall serve as liaison between the various offices within their jurisdiction and the student government. They shall be made to pursue the achievement of the Student Government Association President agenda for these offices and areas of operation. They shall advocate on the floor of the senate for the needs of students too. Additionally, the Senate President shall appoint them.

 

ARTICLE VII: LINE OF PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION, LEGISLATIVE PRECEDENCE AND, JUDICIAL VACANCIES

 

Line of Presidential Succession

Section 1:

  1. In the case of an event that causes the President of the Student Government Association to experience incapacitation, death, impeachment, or inability to perform, the line of succession shall follow in the descending order of:
  2. Executive Vice President
  3. Senate Pro-Tempore

iii.      Rules and Administration Chair

  1. Comptroller
  2. Chief of Staff
  3. In the event that none of these positions are able to take up the task of Presidency, the Senate shall nominate and approve a qualifying individual as the Student Government Association President as stated in the Student Government Association Constitution.
  4. All other Branch Leaders, in the case of Senate Officers and the Chief Justice shall follow the line of Secession as stated in their respective by-laws and codes.

 

Legislative Order of Precedence

   Section 1:

  1. Wherein the senate president is absent from a senate session, the senate pro-tempore shall preside in his/her absence.

b.Wherein the senate pro-tempore is unavailable or unwilling to perform his/her roles as chair of the senate in the circumstances described in section 1, subsection (a) above the most senior chair of the standing committees shall preside.

  1. Wherein the chairs of the standing committees shall have coordinate seniority in the senate, the chair of the rules and administration, internal affairs, appropriations, academic affairs and student services shall preside over the senate in such precedence of order as mentioned.

d.A standing committee head shall take control of the floor of the chambers, on being requested to do so, and on confirmation of compliance by relevant senate leaders and such delegated official from the office of the student government association President in absentia or attendance.

  1. In the occasion that a committee head duly appointed to preside over the senate decline to do so, the order of precedence rule without prejudice to sub-section 2(b) above shall prevail.
  2. No officer of the senate shall at any occasion preside over the affairs of the floor.

g.No leader of the senate, including the senate president shall preside when he/she is on the agenda of the senate for discussion, vote or censure.

h.Wherein subsection 1(g) above takes effect; this order of precedence rule shall prevail in determining who presides over the senate.

  1. The student government association President may not preside over senate meetings or sessions, regardless of nature, type or circumstances.
  2. Wherein this order of precedence breaks down, the senate shall elect among itself, a senator to preside over the duration of the meeting at the pleasure of the senators.

 

Judicial Vacancies

   Section 2:

  1. Whereas the senate properly constituted and sitting in quorum shall decide that the Judicial Branch is unable to perform its duty due to any existing vacancies the senate shall be empowered to set up a panel of senators to execute such functions as may be required of the Judicial Branch.

b.Such panel shall be called a Panel of Inquiry and shall have the powers of summon, investigate and reach conclusion to such specific matters the senate might direct it to act on, upon request by one or more parties affected by such.

  1. Any decision taken by the Panel of Inquiry shall be deemed to have judicial weight.

d.Such panels of inquiry shall have no less than five (5) members, and not more than seven (7) members and a secretary appointed among the crop of subsisting senate officers.

  1. The secretary of the Panel of Inquiry shall not have voting powers.
  2. The head of the Panel of Inquiry must be at least a ranking member of a senate standing committee.

g.The panel shall be able to sit if one less than a majority of its members are in attendance, but shall be able to implement a vote or make a decision only if a majority quorum exists.

h.The senate shall be empowered to fix the life, composition and powers of a panel of inquiry by a bill properly passed and enacted by the senate.

  1. The senate shall be empowered to grant observer status to no more than two executive board members, such observers shall be able to participate in panel of inquiry sittings or meetings, but shall not be able to cast a vote.
  2. No member of the panel may be removed unless such persons serve out the life of their appointment or voluntarily resign.

k.A member of the panel may voluntarily refuse him/herself from committee duties if he/she feels compromised by one of the parties by virtue of a reasonable pre-existing condition.

In the occasion of voluntary recursion or resignation, the senate shall be empowered to add on a new member to serve out such partially fulfilled term on the panel of inquiry.

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