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Constitution

Revised April 18, 2008    

 

PREAMBLE

We, the students of Doane College, in order to establish a representative government; to encourage the development of leaders and participants of the college, community, and nation; to maintain a spirit of cooperation between the student body and the administration and faculty; to secure the highest degree of coordination among the various campus organizations; to advance the aims of the student body; and promote the general welfare of the college, do ordain this constitution of the Student Congress of Doane College.  


ARTICLE I.  NAME

The name of this organization shall be the “Student Congress.”  


ARTICLE II.  OBJECT

The object of the Student Congress shall be to promote the aims of the student body as set forth in the preamble.  


ARTICLE III.  MEMBERS 

Section I.  The Student Congress shall have four officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

  1. The President and Vice-President shall be elected by a ballot vote of the student body by a general election, held in the spring of each year.
  2. The President and Vice-President must be of either junior or senior standing when assuming office in the fall semester; be a full-time student as defined by the Registrar; and maintain a minimum of a two-point (2.0) accumulative grade point average.
  3. Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates must have served on the Congress for at least one semester.
  4. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed by the President, subject to majority approval by the Student Congress.  If the majority approval is not met, then the senators have the right to nominate candidates.  The voting procedure will continue until a majority is obtained.    

Section II.  The Student Congress shall have thirteen (13) senators.

  1. Ten (10) of these senators shall be elected at large by a ballot of the student body in the general spring election.
  2. The remaining three (3) freshman senators will be elected in the fall semester by a ballot vote of the freshman students.

Section III.  All nominees seeking a senator position must be full-time students as defined by the Registrar and have a two-point (2.0) accumulative grade average. 

Section IV.  The officers and the senators-at-large will serve for one year, or until their successors are elected.  The freshmen senators shall serve from the time they are elected until the new officers and senators-at-large assume their positions in the respective spring/fall semester.   

Section V. 

  1. All members of this organization must maintain a two-point (2.0) grade average.  Members failing to maintain the average will be required to resign.
  2. Attendance of members is required at all meetings.  Any uninformed absences will require a review before the next meeting by the executive council; missing this meeting will result in a recorded absence.  Members must get their absences excused by the President prior to the meeting.  After three (3) absences per academic year, members will be reviewed by the executive council.  Members may appeal their review recommendation before the Congress.  Majority vote will rule.
  3. Each member of Student Congress is required to have a Personal Project each semester; the Personal Project must be approved by the executive council.  Failure to complete a Personal Project will result in disciplinary action at the discretion of the executive council.
  4. If a senator is required to resign, they hold the right to appeal.  All appeals must be submitted, in writing, to the President.  After being notified of their required resignation, senators have until the next meeting to submit their appeal.  Along with their written appeal, senators may also be given time to appeal verbally to Congress at the next meeting.  Congress will decide during that same meeting whether or not the resignation will stand.  Majority vote will rule. 

Section VI. 

  1. Whenever vacancies occur in the Congress, the President may convene the elections committee to arrange for a special election to fill the vacancy.  Or, with the advice and consent of a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Congress, the President may appoint a student to fill the vacancy. 
  2. In the event that a special election is held, it shall be conducted in the manner prescribed for the regular election and the vacant office. 
  3. Action must be taken no later than two weeks after the occurrence of the vacancy.

Section VII.  

The Dean of Students shall serve as the advisor to the Student Congress.  The Congress may also annually elect a faculty member to serve as a co-advisor along with the Dean of Students.

  1. The advisors shall be encouraged to participate in meetings.
  2. The advisors do not have voting rights.

ARTICLE IV. DUTIES OF THE MEMBERS 

Section I. The President Shall:

  1. Preside at all meetings and shall have the power to call special meetings to order.
  2. Appoint all necessary committees with approval of the Congress.
  3. Act as an ex-officio member of all committees.
  4. Have the power to call together for an advisory discussion group the presidents of campus organizations (“Council of Presidents”).
  5. Have the power to make executive decisions and take action on questions without a vote of the Congress at times when the situation at hand demands immediate action.
  6. Perform all the duties prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Congress not already set forth in this Constitution or the Congress’ By-laws.

Section II.  The Vice President Shall:

  1. Assume the duties of the President in case of temporary absence. 
  2. Act as parliamentarian for the Congress.
  3. Perform all duties prescribed in the parliamentary authority adopted by the Congress not already set forth in the Constitution or the Congress’ By-laws.

Section III.  The Senators Shall:  

Perform the duties as prescribed by the parliamentary authority not clearly set forth in this constitution or the Congress’ By-laws.  


ARTICLE V.  ELECTIONS 

Section I.  The general election will be held in the latter part of the spring semester to elect the President, Vice President, and senators-at-large for the following school year.  

Section II.  The President shall appoint an Election Committee to determine the eligibility of candidates; to draw up the official ballot for the elections; to be responsible for conducting the elections; and to publish the results of the elections.  The Vice President shall chair the Election Committee. 

Section III.  The election of freshmen senators will be held after four (4) weeks of school have elapsed in the fall semester. 

Section IV.  All candidates for positions on the Congress must meet the qualifications for the position as described in this constitution. 

Section V.  Senators elected at-large shall achieve office through the following procedure:

  1. By presenting his/her name before the Election Committee two weeks before the primary election.
  2. A primary election will take place if necessary to reduce the field of candidates.
  3. From the candidates successfully completing the above procedure, the ten at-large candidates will be determined in the general election.  Those ten candidates receiving the most votes in the general election will be seated as the incoming senators to the Student Congress.

Section VI.  Freshmen senators shall be elected by these procedures:

  1. A freshman student wishing to run shall present his/her name to the Election Committee by completing a form with at least twenty signatures, two days before the election.
  2. The three candidates receiving the most votes in a vote by the freshman class will be seated as senators in the Congress.
  3. The Election Committee shall hold a meeting with the freshmen candidates on the evening applications are due to inform them as to the election procedure and responsibilities of Student Congress senators.

Section VII.  

In the event of a tie by ballot vote, the presiding representatives of Student Congress have the power to act upon the matter by consent of a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Congress where upon discretion of the matter is entirely up to the representatives.  The preferred method to resolve a tie vote shall be a run-off election of the candidates who tied.  Tied candidates must agree to participate in the election.  The Congress cannot personally accept one candidate over the other(s).  

Section VIII.  

Throughout the duration of election hours for Student Congress Representatives, no advertisements or publications of any kind shall be allowed to exist on or near the immediate premises of the voting booth.  Violation of the previous decree gives the Student Congress and its representatives the power to relocate publications and/or advertisements.   


ARTICLE VI.  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CONGRESS 

Section I.  The Congress shall have the power to exercise the right of the recommendation and/or petition to the faculty and administration, with the additional right to appeal to the Trustees, on all matters affecting the student body.  In accordance with this provision, the Student Congress may draw up a written report to present to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees. 

Section II.  The Congress shall have the power to enforce its own regulations.  In addition to the implied means of enforcement stemming from the nature of the Congress, the Congress also reserves to itself the power to refer questions to the Student Life Committee. 

Section III.  The Congress shall have the authority to carry out, in addition to the powers herein stated or implied, any measure for advancing the aims as set forth in the Preamble. 

Section IV.  The Student Congress shall appoint members to the Student-Faculty Standing Committees on the Student Leadership, Academic Affairs, Teaching and Learning, Library, Teacher Education (nominations received from Education department), the Five-Year Planning Committee, Student Representatives to Board of Trustees Committee, and all current and future committees requiring student representation.  A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Congress shall constitute appointment, except in exceptional cases, to be determined by a two-thirds vote.  No student shall be appointed to serve either as a full-time or alternate member on more than one committee in the same academic year. 

Section V.  Upon recommendation of the appropriate committee and a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Student Congress; or a two-thirds vote of the Congress, the Congress may remove appointed student members of any committee.  Grounds for removal shall include excessive absences, five (5) for the academic year, unsatisfactory performance of their duties of office, or failure to maintain a two-point (2.0) grade average.   

Section VI.  The Student Congress reserves the right to appoint, remove, and supervise the editor(s) of the Doane College yearbook and the staff thereof. 

Section VII.  The Congress shall allocate all funds that are designed for student organizations, by the Doane College administration in an allocation meeting once a year, distributing funds for each upcoming semester.  Emergency fund requests may be made to the Congress any time throughout the semester.  

Section VIII.  Organizations wishing to appeal for reallocations shall have the remaining time after allocations in the spring and two weeks into the following fiscal year (fall semester) to formally notify the Student Congress of their intent. 

Section IX.  The Congress shall have the right to review and approve the constitutions of all clubs and organizations seeking official campus recognition.  Constitutions will be approved by a simple majority of the Congress.  Constitutions will be forwarded to the Congress after the VP for Student Leadership has determined that the group has completed the procedures for recognition.  Any club or organization which fails to gain the approval of the Student Congress shall have the right to appeal the decision to the VP for Student Leadership. 

Section X.  The Student Congress shall have the right to oversee all recognized student organizations and clubs.  This responsibility includes monitoring the groups’ activities to determine the active or inactive status of the group.  


ARTICLE VII.  MEETINGS 

Section I.  The Congress shall meet at least twice a month on a specified day and at a specified time.  Students are invited to attend Congress meetings and present their views. 

Section II.  The President shall call all meetings and shall be required to call a meeting at the written request of any four members of the Congress. 

Section III.  Two-thirds (2/3) of the Senators of the Congress shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  


ARTICLE VIII.  RECALL AND PETITION 

Section I.  Recall:  The student body shall at all times possess the right of petition for a vote to recall any member of the Congress.  This petition must be signed by 30% of the constituency in the case of senators and appointed officers, and by 35% of the student body in cases concerning the President and Vice President.  The Congress shall, upon the presentation of this petition, conduct a vote of the proper body.  A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the constituency shall be necessary to recall a Congress member form his or her position.   

Section II.  Petition: 

  1. If a petition signed by 20% of the students is submitted to the Congress, objecting to a specific piece of legislation passed by the Congress, a vote of the student body shall be held by which a two-thirds (2/3) vote will automatically declare this piece of legislation void.
  2. The students reserve to themselves power by petition to propose amendments to this constitution, and directly to enact or reject such amendments at the polls.  The procedure for petition on legislation shall be as follows:

a. The students shall frame the proposed measure.

b. A petition shall be circulated among the students to gain the signatures of at least 20% of the student body.  

c. This petition shall be presented to the Secretary of the Congress who will determine the validity of the signatures.

d. There shall be an open hearing at the next scheduled meeting of the Congress concerning the proposed legislation.

e. The Student Congress must take action within two weeks of the open hearing.  


ARTICLE IX.  AMENDMENTS 

Section I.  General Amendment Procedure:  The students reserve to themselves the power to petition, to propose amendments to this constitution, and to directly enact or reject such amendments at the polls.  The Congress shall accept amendments to this constitution whenever two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Congress shall deem it necessary or whenever a petition is signed by 20% of the student body.  In either case, any proposed amendment shall become valid as a part of this constitution when ratified by a majority vote of the student body.   

Section II.  Amendments to Article XI:  The Students shall have the power to amend and ratify Article XI concerning Standing Committees subject to a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Student Congress. 


ARTICLE X.  PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

In all parliamentary questions not settled by this Constitution, Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Congress.  


ARTICLE XI.  STANDING COMMITTEES 

Section I.  The Food Service Committee shall work with the students and the Food Service provider serving as a liaison, working to improve the quality of food service, and serve as an outlet for student comments and concerns.

  • The food service committee shall be chaired by one or two active senators of Student Congress.
  •  The food service committee shall meet on a monthly basis with the food service provider and students shall solicit student comments and concerns using a food service website and e-mail account.
  • The committee shall be open to all students willing to participate.

Section II.  The Student Rights Committee shall be to serve as an advisory committee to the Student Congress, to serve as a resource for students seeking knowledge of Doane College policy, to serve as peer appeals advisors, to actively pursue input from the student body, and to give input to the Doane College administration on behalf of the student body on matters of institutional policy.

  • The Student Rights Committee will be chaired by two active senators of Student Congress, one serving as the chairperson and the other serving as the vice-chairperson.
  • The Student Rights Committee shall select members based on the procedure outlined in the Student Rights Committee guidelines (Appendix A).
  • The Student Rights Committee shall meet on a regular basis.

Section III.  The Student Congress shall have the right to form a new standing committee when the congress deems it necessary.