Senate By-Laws

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

Established: October 7, 1998
Revised: February 24, 2010
Enacted: August 30, 2010

ARTICLE I PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Section I Preamble
Section II Rule of Order and Precedence
Section III Powers of the Senate
ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP
Section I Senate Apportionment
Section II Officers of the Senate
ARTICLE III SCHOLASTIC AND CONDUCT POLICY
Section I Scholastic Conduct
Section II Absence Policy
ARTICLE IV INTERNAL BUSINESS OF THE SENATE
Section I Senate Sittings
Section II Details of Composition and Procedures
Section III Committees in the Senate
Section IV Enforcement Procedures
Section V Sessions & Sittings of the Senate
Section VI Voting Procedures
Section VII Emergency Legislation
Section VIII Quorum
Section XI Speaking Privileges
Section X Office Hours
Section XI Transition Procedures
ARTICLE V PROCEDURES
Section I Legislature Procedures
Section II Bills
Section III Legislation
ARTICLE VI POSITION DESCRIPTION
ARTICLE VII LEGISLATIVE PRECEDENCE AND JUDICIAL VACANCIES

ARTICLE I. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

SECTION I. Preamble

  1. 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. 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. The Student Senate of Prairie View A & M University will operate under the guidance of Robert’s Rule of Order Revised.
  2. 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. The Student Senate shall have all the powers conferred on it by the Student Government Association constitution.
  2. 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. The student senate shall have the powers to summon, investigate, or question such acts of person or persons that expend monies appropriated by it.
  4. Shall have the power to censure members of the student government- the legislative, executive or judicial branches.
  5. To offer advice in any form to the President of the Student Government Association, in matters concerning the bureaucracy.
  6. Shall by virtue of these foregoing provisions make such laws for the lawful governance of the student body in general.

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP

SECTION I. Senate Apportionment

The Student Senate shall be composed of forty-eight (48) senator positions. Two-thirds (2/3) of which shall be elected constituency positions and one-third (1/3) shall be by appointment of the President of the Student Senate.

  1. The forty-eight (48) senate positions shall be:
    1. 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 ROTC
      5. College of Arts & Science III- Music and drama
      6. College of Arts & Science IV- Social and Behavioral science
      7. College of Arts & Science V- Communications and languages
      8. College of Education I- Human Performance
      9. College of Education II- Education
      10. College of Engineering I- Engineering
      11. College of Engineering II- Engineering Technology
      12. College of Engineering III- Computer Science
      13. College of Nursing I- Houston
      14. College of Nursing II- Prairie View
      15. College of Juvenile Justice I- Psychology
      16. College of Juvenile Justice II- Criminal and Juvenile Justice
      17. College of Agriculture and Human Sciences I- Agriculture
      18. College of Agriculture and Human Sciences II- Human Sciences
      19. School of Architecture
      20. Graduate School
      21. Housing I- University College
      22. Housing II- University Village
      23. Housing III- University Village North
      24. Panther Advisor Leaders
      25. Pan-Hellenic Council
      26. Council of Student Organizations
      27. Freshman Class Senator
      28. Sophomore Class Senator
      29. Junior Class Senator
      30. Senior Class Senator
      31. Campus Activities Board
      32. Band
    2. 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. Scholarships and Financial Aid
      15. Professional and Departmental Organizations
      16. Parks & Recreation
  2. Every constituency shall be contested in the fall elections, at the various constituencies, in the manner prescribed by the existing electoral code.
  3. All non-constituency positions are elected in the Spring General Elections or 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).

SECTION II. Officers of the Senate

  1. 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. The comptroller shall be an advisor to the senate in session.
  3. The ex-officio positions shall consist of:
    1. Faculty Senate Liaison
    2. Parliamentarian
    3. Sergeant-at-Arms
    4. Chaplain
    5. Corresponding Secretary
    6. Recording Secretary
    7. Historian
  4. 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.

ARTICLE III. SCHOLASTIC AND CONDUCT POLICY

SECTION I. Scholastic conduct

  1. 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 2.7 GPA, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. If a Senator accumulates one (1) unexcused absence during one full semester, he/she has an option to be reviewed by the judiciary board 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 Senate President grants permission.
  2. An excused absence shall be defined as:
    1. 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).
    2. An absence due to a scheduled exam
    3. An absence that the Officers of the Senate deem of merit
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The corresponding secretary shall enforce these rules, in concert with members of the Internal Affairs committee.
  6. 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.
  7. Committee Meeting Attendance Policy allows senators to have two (2) unexcused absences and one (1) excused 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. There shall be for the senate a sitting.
  2. The Senate President is the head of the Senate.
  3. The Senate President shall physically preside over senate sessions.
  4. The Senate Pro-tempore shall preside over senate sessions in the absence of the Senate President.
  5. The senate pro tempore is the administrative head of the senate.
  6. The Senate shall conduct the activities in the manner prescribed by the constitution, senate bylaws, and Roberts’ rules of order (revised).

SECTION II. Details of Composition and Procedures of appointment

  1. All business of the senate shall be conducted through the committee system
  2. 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. All voting senators shall be members of at least one (1) committee.
  4. All members of the standing committee with the exception of the 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.
  5. Every committee except the select committee shall have a minimum of five (5)   members
  6. It shall require four (4) to deliberate in such committee meetings, but at least five (5) to vote.
  7. Every committee shall have a ranking member that would oversee and coordinate committee activities in the absence of the committee chair.
  8. The ranking member shall be nominated by the committee chair and approved by  members of the committee.
  9. Heads of standing committees shall give priority to old senate members while nominating the committee co-chair (ranking members).
  10. The committee chair shall be able to pick legislative aides in consultation with the ranking member.
  11. 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. Every committee shall perform additional functions assigned to it by the Student Government Association President or Vice President.
  14. The Vice President shall appoint committee heads of Rules and Administration, Finance & Appropriations, and Internal Affairs Committees, persons of one (1) semester  prior experience in the committees and a year experience in the student senate.

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. 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.
    7. The select committee shall meet weekly 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.
    8. 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 hours (24) before any other such sitting that might be predicted by this by-law.
    9. 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.
    10. The Student Government Association President can sit in on select committee meetings and make arguments or presentation on behalf of the executive branch.
    11. 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 majority vote.
    12. The President pro-tempore can only be removed by a majority vote of senate members present with quorum.
  2. 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 shall be recommendations of punishment up to suspension to the full senate for approval or recommendation of expulsion shall be presented to the Senate select committee for two-third (2/3) approval.
    5. Any recommendation can be contested at the judicial branch, if the senator feels aggrieved.
    6. The committee shall act as the interviewing board for all vacant senate positions.
    7. 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.
  3. 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, and the election codes and recommend such to the senate for approval by simple majority.
    3. They will act as the election committee and be responsible for all elections in the Student Government Association.
    4. The committee shall investigate any resolution, bill or petition.
    5. 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.
  4. 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. 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 (2) weeks prior to the senate meeting that the request are intended for approval.
    4. The committee shall forward finished recommendations to the rules and administration committee, which is mandated to present to the full 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 comptroller no longer than twenty (24) hours after a senate sitting.

               

  6. 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 Housing are required to sit on this committee.

SECTION IV – Enforcement Procedures

  1. The President of the Senate shall reserve the right to recommend qualifying students for vacant senate positions
  2. 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. 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. Absence Policy Enforcement Procedures
    1. 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.
    2. 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. For the purpose of senate by-laws, the senate session shall run in two (2) 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. 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. These intervals shall be known as sittings, and they shall convene no more than once a week.  
  4. The senate can enter into five (5) types of sittings.
    1. 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 (2) weeks.
    2. 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
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Censorship Sitting: A closed-door hearing for any member of the three (3) 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. Each member of the Senate shall hold only one (1) vote.  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. Voting format shall be at the discretion of the chair
  3. 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.  Emergency Legislation

  1. Emergency legislation shall be defined as, “any bill which requires immediate action and should therefore be acted upon without a second reading.”
  2. In its final form however, this bill shall require to be legally overruled by the rules and administration chair in twenty-five (25) hours.
  3. It can be forced away from the committee with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of senate members sitting, direction such to the Student Government Association President for immediate approval or veto.
  4. A bill that may acquire emergency legislation status:
    1. Prior to the senate meeting: If such action is approved by majority of the officers of the Senate.
    2. During a Senate meeting: If such action is called for by the author of the bill and approved by two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members of the Senate present and voting.

SECTION VIII.  Quorum

  1. 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. 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. The rule of quorum does not apply to senate in transition- rather a simple majority of such senators shall constitute a quorum.

SECTION IX.  Speaking Privileges

  1. The presiding senator may grant speaking privileges to persons who wish to address the Senate.
  2. 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. 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. Each Senator shall be required to maintain office hours in the Student Government Association Office.
  2. Each senator is required to have sponsored or co-sponsored legislation before the expiration of his/ her term. An evidence of activities related to fulfilling this requirement must exist at least six (6) weeks into the spring session of the senate.
  3. Each senator shall maintain a minimum of two (2) hours a week, reported to the Internal Affairs Committee weekly.
  4. All Senators shall at the beginning of every semester establish their office hours with the select committee. If for any reason a Senator is not able to maintain office hours, then a letter of excuse must be filed with 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.).
  5. 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.
  6. Failure to maintain office hours will result in a referral to the Internal Affairs Committee.

SECTION XI. Transition Procedures

  1. 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. A senate shall enter a lame duck session immediately after the election of new executives.
  3. No legislation can be amended in the lame duck session; this also includes the senate bylaws and the constitution. 
  4. 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.
  5. After spring elections, the new senate shall have two (2) meetings prior to the end of the spring semester.
    1. 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.
    2. 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. 
    3. He/She shall cause to be delivered to the officers of the new senate hand-over notes from their predecessors in office. 
    4. 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.
  6. Before the new fall session begins, the existing leadership of the new Senate must meet to appoint at least three of the ex-officio members of the senate.
  7. After the spring election results are announced the old Senate cannot approve nominees to appointed positions.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The Student Government Association President or Vice President may conduct summer meetings.
  11. 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 bill shall be eligible for consideration if documentation and details of such bills are filed with the rules and administration committee two (2) weeks before a normal senate session when it would be considered. Such documentation shall also be filed with the officers of the senate, which shall establish an ad hoc committee to examine such bills.
  2. An ad hoc committee shall consist of five (5) members, representing the various competing interest and duly nominated and approved by the senate select committee, which shall be the officers of the senate.
  3. The ad hoc committee shall then make recommendations to the Senate Rules and administration committee following one (1) week of deliberation.
  4. The senate shall hold the first hearing for the bill.  No debate shall take place at this session-only questions can be asked (directed at the Senate leadership or originators of the bill).
  5. The senate standing committee of rules and administration shall after the sitting decide to introduce such bills to the senate floor or to do away with them following consideration of the recommendations of the ad hoc committee and any such constraints that the committee might have determined internally.
  6. The standing committee on rules and administration shall be compelled to inform all senate members in writing of bills withdrawn for floor considerations, within twenty four (24) hours after such decisions are taken.
  7. Any bill done away with at this stage can be forced away from the committee only by a vote of three-fifth (3/5) of senate members.
  8. The committee if it deems it necessary shall deliberate on bills and put them in final form for floor consideration.
  9. 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.
  10. Two (2) voting members, one (1) of which must be at least a ranking member of a standing committee must appear on the order sheet as sponsors of any proposed bill.
  11. A bill shall be eligible for second reading during which debate can be entertained, if it is passed to the floor for consideration by the rules and administration committee.
  12. Consideration of bills can take either of three (3) 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.
  13. Where there is any conceivable dissent, determined by the Senate select committee, two (2) presentations from each side of the divide shall be entertained for five (5) minutes for such, making twenty (20) minutes of cumulative period of debate.
  14. A senator can yield parts or all of his/her time to another provided the allotted minutes is not exceeded.
  15. Where the senate select committee shall determine that no debate would be entertained, members of the senate can force a debate by one-thirds (1/3) vote of members sitting in quorum.
  16. Section (n) and (o) can be suspended by a unanimous vote of sitting senators.
  17. After the conclusion of debate a recorded vote shall be taken, the manner of which shall be open and determined by the presiding officer.
  18. For all money bills, requests or petitions before the senate select committee, the senate appropriation committee shall be considered the ad hoc committee.
  19. Floor amendments to bills presented by the rules and administration committee shall be effected immediately by the clearance of the rules and administration chair, deeming such constitutional.
  20. The senate shall cause the decision of the rules and administration chair be over ruled by unanimous vote.
  21. The senate can also cause his/her (senate committee chair) to be reviewed by the full committee in sitting.
  22. The proceedings on the floor shall accompany final documentation of bills for record by the Senate Clerk in charge of records and the head of the rules and administration committee.

SECTION II.  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.

SECTION III.  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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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 the 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.

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: LEGISLATIVE PRECEDENCE AND JUDICIAL VACANCIES

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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. No officer of the senate shall at any occasion preside over the affairs of the floor.
  7. 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.
  8. Wherein subsection 1(g) above takes effect; this order of precedence rule shall prevail in determining who presides over the senate.
  9. The student government association President may not preside over senate meetings or sessions, regardless of nature, type or circumstances.
  10. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Any decision taken by the panel of inquiry shall be deemed to have judicial weight.
  4. 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.
  5. The secretary of the panel of inquiry shall not have voting powers.
  6. The head of the panel of inquiry must be at least a ranking member of a senate standing committee.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The senate shall be empowered to grant observer status to no more than two (2) 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.
  10. No member of the panel may be removed unless such persons serve out the life of their appointment or voluntarily resign.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

GENERAL PROVISION

Section 3:

  1. Coordinate seniority shall mean a situation exists where two (2) senators have spent an equal period in the senate continuously.

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