SGA By-Laws



Cameron University Student Government Association Standing Rules for Conducting Business of the SGA
as amended Spring 2008

I.  General

1.  Application

A. From the time their adoption by majority of the voting members of the Cameron University Student Government Association (SGA), the following rules shall be the rules for the conducting of business by the SGA, except where in these rules are found to be in conflict with the Cameron University Constitution, in which case shall not be valid, notwithstanding SGA approval.

2.  Purpose

A. Provide the members of SGA with uniform, easily understood procedures for the conducting of business expeditiously.

3.  Interpretation

A. The rules shall be interpreted consistent with the purpose herein stated. Interpretation of the rules shall be made by the presiding officer of the SGA. Such interpretation shall be final unless an appeal of the ruling in made successfully in the following manner:

(1) Following the ruling of the presiding officer but before other business is transacted by the SGA; a member may appeal the ruling by offering a substitute ruling.
(2) Once a motion to adopt a substitute ruling is made no other business shall be transacted until the motion is disposed of by the SGA by proper parliamentary procedure.

4.  Amendment

A. These rules may be amended upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members of the SGA present.

B. All amendments must be made in writing and presented to the secretary of the SGA prior to being moved.

5.  Suspension

A. These rules may be suspended upon two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members of the SGA present.

 
II.  Session General

1.  Time and place of sessions

A. The time and place of regular sessions will be set forth by President of SGA at the beginning of each fall semester.

B. The President of SGA may call special sessions of SGA provided notifying all members of SGA a minimum of three days prior to the special sessions.

2.  Attendance

A. No business of the SGA shall be conducted without quorum of its voting members being in attendance.

B. A majority plus one of the voting members of the SGA shall constitute a quorum.

3.  Quorum Call

A. Any member of the SGA may, at any time, request the presiding officer to question the presence of quorum.

B. Upon the request; the presiding officer shall determine whether or not a quorum is present, and no further business shall be conducted until it is determined that a quorum is present.

4.  Decorum in SGA chambers

A. Courtesy in speaking

(1) Refrain from continuing to speak on the floor when not recognized by the presiding officer.
(2) Refrain from the use of profanity on the floor.
(3) Show respect for colleagues by not using speech on the floor that would or could be constructed as slander or defamation of character.
(4) Address all statements and questions to the presiding officer.

B.  Decorum of the floor

(1) Refrain from smoking in the chambers.
(2) Remove caucusing on the floor to the rear of the chamber when more than two persons are involved.
(3) Approach the presiding officer only upon request or permission to do so has been granted, except calling for debate like stated in  II.2.D.(3) or on Personal Privilege.
(4) Refrain from passing between the presiding officer and a speaking member in SGA or any guest who has been recognized.

C.  Tardiness and Absence

(1) Any SGA member having three (3) unexcused absences in a semester will be dropped from the rolls.
(2) If a club representative is dropped from the rolls during the school year (fall to spring semester), the club may select a new representative, but must inform the SGA secretary in writing of the changes.
(3) If a school senator is dropped from the rolls during the school year (fall to spring semester), the dean of that school may select a new senator, but must contact the SGA secretary in writing of the change.
(4) Any openings on permanent committees may be filled at the discretion of the committee chairperson, but all replacement members must be approved by the SGA body.
(5) Absences for emergencies at the last moment must be cleared within three (3) working days after the meeting at which the absence was accrued by any officer of the SGA. It is the responsibility of the member absent to contact the officers about this matter. Any emergency not within the time stated above will be counted as an unexcused absence.
(6) If the absence is not an emergency (i.e. special classes, work schedule) then the member must contact an officer of the SGA no less than two (2) working days before the meeting at which the member will not be present. Any non-emergency absence not cleared within the time stated above will be counted as an unexcused absence.
(7) No member will be excused for class regularly scheduled during the scheduled meeting times for all regular SGA meetings.
(8) If a special meeting is called, anyone not able to attend because of class or work conflicts, illness, inability to acquire child care, or other valid reasons should contact the President or Secretary of SGA, preferably before the meeting is held, but no later than two (2) working days after the meeting.
(9) If an organization must replace a representative more than three (3) times, they consequently lose their travel request monies for that year.
(10) If a member is more than five (5) minutes late after session has begun, they will be counted as tardy. If a member leaves before session adjourns and the time passed is less than an hour since Call to Order, they will be counted as tardy. If a member receives three (3) unexcused tardy times, they will receive one unexcused absence.
(11) To receive an excused tardy, the member must notify an officer of the SGA at least 15 minutes before session starts.

D.  Floor Privileges

(1) Floor Privileges are extended only to official senators, representatives, executive officers, Supreme Court justices, and advisors. No one else may address the body in any way other than in an informative way.
(2) The President may grant upon request of a SGA member floor privileges on a temporary, individual basis to those people who can offer knowledge on facts on the pertinent subjects.

5.  Personal Privileges

A.  Personal Privileges will be granted to a member of the SGA only to permit such member to respond to public attack on the rights, integrity, or reputation of a member of the SGA or upon the SGA collectively or any of the SGA.

B.  Remarks made by a member of the SGA who is granted personal privilege shall be confined to such response.

 III. Agenda and Business

1.  Agenda

A.  The agenda for all meetings of the Cameron SGA will be handed out at the beginning of every meeting.

2.  Legislation

A.  All legislation considered by the Cameron University SGA must be submitted by a voting member of the SGA.

B.  Legislation considered by the Cameron University SGA must be submitted by a voting member of the SGA in the following manner:

(1) All legislation has to be heard by the Legislative Committee at their meeting prior to being scheduled on the agenda.
(2) Seventy (70) copies of all legislation will be made using operating expenses of the SGA unless copies are provided with the legislation submitted.
(3) All proposed legislation will be assigned a number by the secretary of the SGA and will be introduced to the SGA body as “First Reading” on the agenda under new business.

a. The number assigned will have a six digit notation set up where the first number is a 1, 2, or 3. A 1 stands for spring semester, 2 for summer semester, and 3 is for fall semester. The next two (2) digits are the last two (2) digits in the year that legislation is presented. The final three (3) digits are reserved for the secretary to assign numbers in sequential order as legislation turned in.

C.  First Reading

(1) First reading is the first classification of legislation under new business and will be conducted in the following manner:
(2) The proposed legislation is read by number and title by the secretary of the SGA. Also the recommendation of the Legislative Committee will be told.
(3) Author’s Explanation

a. The author of each piece will be given the opportunity to explain his or her reasons for writing the legislation or amendment in present form.
b. Author’s explanation will take place at the time the piece of legislation or amendment is presented.
c. The amount of time given for author’s explanation will be two (2) minutes.
d. During the author’s explanations, the speaker may not debate the legislation or amendment.

(4) Questions to the author

a. Members of the SGA will have the opportunity to ask the author of a piece of legislation or amendment in its present form.
b. Questions to the author will take place directly after author’s explanation.
c. There will be no debate during questions to the author.
d. The time for questions to the author will be two (2) minutes.

(5) Friendly Amendment

a. Friendly amendments are amendments that take place during questions to the author in the following manner:
b. The author of a friendly amendment must state the amendment and ask the author of the legislation if he or she will accept it.
c. The author of the legislation to be amended may ask the author of the amendment at the discretion of the presiding officer why the amendment would be desirable.
d. The author of the legislation must then declare whether or not the friendly amendment will be accepted.
e. If the amendment is accepted, then the author of the amendment must write the amendment onto an amendment form and hand it to the secretary of the SGA to be engrossed in the legislation.

(6) Once the questions to the author has been completed, the legislation is then advanced to Second Reading which will take place during old business of the next regular scheduled SGA meeting.

a. The presiding officer may advance the piece of legislation directly to second reading and proceed but only in emergency situations and the presiding officer must have a two-thirds (2/3) majority approval of the voting members of SGA present.

D.  Second Reading

(1)   Second Reading begins with the reading of the numbers and the title of the legislation by the secretary of the SGA.
(2)   Author’s explanation and questions to the author will follow like stated in III.2.C.(3)+(4). During Author’s explanation and questions to the author, amendments to the legislations can be turned in and will be conducted in the following manner:

a. The author of the amendment must fill out an amendment form and hand it to the secretary of the SGA.
b. Each amendment will be numbered by the secretary of the SGA in order that they are received, and the author will be told what number his or her amendment is.
c. After author’s explanation and questions to the author has been completed as stated in III.2.C.(3)+(4), there must be a motion in order to consider a specific amendment.
d. Following questions to the author, the body may debate the motion as stated in rule III.2.D.(3).
e. The voting members of SGA must then vote whether or not to accept the amendment.
f.  All amendment must be proposed by members of SGA.

(3) Debate

a. Only members of the SGA may be recognized by the presiding officer to debate. Once recognized, the speaker may yield the floor to any SGA member.
b. Debate may be limited as deemed necessary by the presiding officer.

i. The presiding officer may limit debate to six (6) minutes with three (3) minutes allowed for opponency and three (3) minutes for proponency.

c. All debate must be directly towards the legislation on the floor and proper conduct is expected by the SGA with regards to rules II.4. and II.5.

d. On special issues which are either highly volatile or which have generated an inordinate amount of interest from students across campus, the SGA body may appoint SGA members to hold a public hearing to obtain direct student opinion and report back to the SGA body.

(4) During second reading the following motions pertaining to the legislation are allowed (as outlined in “Roberts Rules of Order”):

a. Lay on the table
b. Previous question
c. Open, close, or extend debate
d. Postpone definitely
e. Refer to committee
f.  Amend
g. Postpone indefinitely

(5) Following debate, the legislation is advanced to final passage.

E.  Final Passage

(1) Final Passage takes place when the voting members of SGA vote on the legislation.
(2) Once the vote has taken place and before the end of a legislative day and not during another piece of legislation being considered a motion to reconsider a piece of legislation would be in order. Reconsideration can only be used once.
(3) If the legislation fails to achieve a majority vote on the voting members of SGA, legislation is off the floor and sent out of the system.
(4) If the legislation passes by a majority vote of the voting members of SGA, the legislation is sent to the President of SGA for the President’s approval.
(5) The President of the SGA may sign the legislation in which time the legislation becomes an act of the SGA and is immediately put into full effect.
(6) If the President of the SGA decides to, he may veto the legislation.
(7) If the President of the SGA does veto the legislation, the voting members of SGA may override the veto within two (2) regularly scheduled meetings of the SGA and this must take place during new business and requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members present to achieve an override.
(8) If legislation is vetoed, the President of the SGA has to explain the reasons for the veto the following regular meeting after vetoing.
(9) The President has either to sign or to veto within two (2) weeks after the legislation passed.
(10) If the legislation passed within the last two (2) weeks of spring semester and the President of the SGA does not sign it, the right to veto the legislation goes on to the new elected President of the SGA giving time till before the second regular meeting in fall semester to either sign or veto.
(11) A voting member is only allowed to vote in one of three ways:

a. Yes
b. No
c. Abstention

(12) Proxy votes are not allowed.
 

IV.  Parliamentary Authority

1.  Robert’s Rules of Order

A. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order is hereby adopted as the parliamentary authority of the SGA, questions as to motions shall be answered by this authority.