Constitution

Bates College Student Government Working Constitution

PREAMBLE

PREAMBLE

We, the Bates College Student Government, in order to ensure that the students of Bates College have an accessible structure through which they can express their opinions and enact change, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the government of our association.

ARTICLE I: Name

ARTICLE I: Name

The name of this organization shall be Bates College Student Government, hereafter referred to as BCSG.

ARTICLE II: Purpose

ARTICLE II: Purpose
Section 1: BCSG

The purpose of this organization shall be to 1) serve as a representative body of all students to the administration of Bates College; 2) be attentive to student needs and advocate for and address such needs accordingly; 3) support student clubs through approval, review, funding, and training of club leadership; and 4) create and execute programs that materially contribute to Bates College culture and improve the quality of life for all students. The Executive Board and the Assembly shall constitute the General Body of BCSG.

Section 2: The Executive Board

The purpose of the Executive Board, hereafter referred to as the E-Board, shall be to serve as a direct conduit to members of the administration regarding student concerns, and to set and drive vision for the entire Student Government.

Section 3: The Assembly

The purpose of the Assembly shall be to serve as direct representation for specific class years enrolled at Bates College, to communicate the concerns of their constituents to the E-Board, and to propose and vote on motions that come before BCSG.

Section 4: Advisors

The purpose of advisors to BCSG shall be to serve as guidance to both the E-Board and the Assembly in information gathering and decision making.

ARTICLE III: Membership

ARTICLE III: Membership
Section 1: Composition

The General Body of BCSG must be comprised of students currently enrolled full time and studying on campus at Bates College. The Assembly must contain sixteen (16) members and must be comprised of an equal number of students from each class year.

Section 2: Privileges and Responsibilities

The privileges and responsibilities of membership include an obligation to the student body of Bates College to accurately assess and convey the needs and concerns of constituents, and to have direct access to members of the administration of Bates College to seek counsel or advocate for the student body.

Section 3: Revocation

Membership may be revoked if any member of the organization is not upholding their responsibilities, as defined in this document. Any member of the student body may present their concerns regarding a member to a Parliamentarian, who may initiate an anonymous impeachment vote at the next meeting. Any member removed by impeachment shall no longer be eligible to serve in BCSG in any capacity. Membership is automatically revoked when BCSG receives notification that a member is no longer enrolled full time and/or studying on campus at the College.

Section 4: Nondiscrimination Policy

Membership shall be open to all currently enrolled students of Bates College, regardless of age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, national origin, or status as a veteran. This list is not exhaustive.

ARTICLE IV: Officers

ARTICLE IV: Officers
Section 1: Positions

The E-Board of BCSG shall be comprised of the President and the Vice President, the Secretary, the Chair of the Committee Selection Board, and the Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board. The Assembly shall be comprised of four (4) members of the first year class, four (4) members of the sophomore class, four (4) members of the junior class, and four (4) members of the senior class. Student advisors to BCSG shall be two (2) Parliamentarians and the Chase Hall Programming Board President. Professional advisors to BCSG shall be the Assistant Director of Campus Life, and the Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life.

Section 2: Appointment and Terms

The President, Vice President and Assembly shall be appointed by popular election of the entire student body. The Chair of the Committee Selection Board, the Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board, and the Chase Hall Programming Board President shall be appointed via election procedures internal to their respective organizational bodies. The Secretary and Parliamentarians shall be appointed via the process of the Committee Selection Board. The terms of the President, Vice President, Assembly, Chair of the Committee Selection Board, Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board, Chase Hall Programming Board President, and Secretary shall be for one (1) year, commencing from their respective date of appointment. The term of a Parliamentarian shall be indefinite, commencing from their date of appointment. There shall be no term limits for any position. No single individual may hold more than one position simultaneously.

Section 3: Duties
  1. President
    1. The President is the Chair of the Executive Board, setting agendas for Executive Board meetings and determining the overall direction of Student Government.
    2. The President is able to call emergency meetings of the Student Government when the student body is needed to speak and a regular meeting is not scheduled soon enough for the Student Government to appropriately react.
  2. Vice President
    1. The Vice President has the responsibility to oversee members of the Assembly, maintaining contact with and creating relationships with all Assembly members, in the interest of supporting them and ensuring that they are fulfilling their duties.
    2. The Vice President holds the responsibility of maintaining order during General Body meetings.
  3. Secretary
    1. The Secretary documents the proceedings of all General Body and E-Board meetings. Minutes must include, at minimum, all proposed legislation, votes, attendance of each meeting, as well as important points made by various members of BCSG during the meeting.
    2. Minutes from General Body meetings must be posted to the BCSG website within 48 hours of the meeting’s occurrence. Minutes from E-Board meetings must be communicated to members of the Assembly within 48 hours of the meeting’s occurrence.
    3. The Secretary must be present at all Student Government meetings, including, but not limited to, the regular full Student Government meetings and Executive Board meetings
  4. Chair of the Committee Selection Board
    1. The Chair of the Committee Selection Board leads the Board in its operation, per its organizational constitution, and reports to the E-Board and General Body concerning appointments of importance.
  5. Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board
    1. The Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board leads the Board in its operation, per its organizational constitution, and makes regular reports to the E-Board and General Body concerning the financial health of BCSG, the state of club budgets, and the opportunities for further development of student clubs and their relationship with BCSG.
  6. Assembly Members
    1. Assembly Members are responsible to gather the observations, concerns, and questions of members of their respective class year. Each Assembly Member must therefore create and maintain relationships with their respective peers.
    2. Assembly Members should bring these business items to each General Body meeting as they arise for discussion and deliberation by other General Body members.
    3. Upon resolution of the business item, the Assembly Member who brought the item should correspond with the constituent from whom the item originated to communicate action, if any, BCSG has voted to take on their item.
  7. Parliamentarians
    1. Parliamentarians serve as Co-Chairs of the Elections and Oversight Board and in this role lead the Board in its operation, per its organization constitution.
    2. Parliamentarians are responsible for ensuring the operation of Student Government adheres to this document at all times.
    3. Parliamentarians are responsible, through their work with the Elections and Oversight Board, for organizing all elections for BCSG.
    4. Parliamentarians also act as advisors to BCSG, attending all General Body meetings as non-voting members.
  8. Chase Hall Programming Board Co-Presidents
    1. The Chase Hall Programming Board Co-Presidents serve as the leaders of the Chase Hall Programming Board, per its organizational constitution.
    2. The Chase Hall Programming Board Co-Presidents act as advisors to BCSG, particularly for business relating to student programming, attending all General Body meetings as a non-voting members.
  9. Senior Class Co-Presidents
    1. The Senior Class Co-Presidents serve as event/program coordinators for the senior class from the date of their election until commencement.
    2. The Senior Class Co-Presidents organize class events, including Senior Week, in collaboration with the Office of Campus Life, the Office of College Advancement, and the Office of Dining, Conferences, and Campus Events.
    3. The Senior Class Co-Presidents serve as a bridge for communication between members of their class and a variety of campus offices.
    4. The Senior Class Co-Presidents prepare and submit a yearly budget for approval by the Budgets & Clubs Board and BCSG Assembly.
    5. The Senior Class Co-Presidents also staff the winter semester Grad Fair to promote Senior Week events, the Ivy Stone, and the Senior Dinner.
    6. The Senior Class Co-Presidents also serve as members of the Senior Class Gift Committee to provide insight and input into planning the senior gift and related events. In this capacity, they work closely with the Senior Gift Co-Chairs.
    7. The Senior Class Co-Presidents act as advisors to BCSG, particularly for business relating to seniors and senior class programming, attending all General Body meetings as non-voting members.
Section 4: Succession
  1. If the President vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Vice President assumes Interim President responsibilities until the Elections and Oversight Board organizes a special election to fill the position permanently.
  2. If the Vice President vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Assembly appoints an Interim Vice President from the Assembly to serve until the Elections and Oversight Board organizes a special election to fill the position permanently.
  3. If the Secretary vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Assembly appoints appoints an Interim Secretary from the Assembly to serve until the Committee Selection Board appoints a new Secretary permanently.
  4. If the Chair of the Committee Selection Board vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Committee Selection Board selects a new Chair, per its organizational constitution.
  5. If the Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Budgets and Clubs Board selects a new Chair, per its organizational constitution.
  6. If an Assembly Member vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the President appoints a new Assembly Member from their class year, and, with approval from the Assembly, that person serves until the next election.
  7. If a Parliamentarian vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Committee Selection Board selects a new Parliamentarian.
  8. If the Chase Hall Programming Board President vacates office before their term expires, voluntarily or involuntarily, the Chase Hall Programming Board Executive Board selects a new President, per its organizational constitution.

ARTICLE V: Meetings and Procedures

ARTICLE V: Meetings and Procedures
Section 1: Meetings

General Body meetings of BCSG shall be held weekly, at a regular day and time to be determined by the E-Board and approved by the Assembly. The President and Vice President have the right to call General Body meetings. As General Body meetings are open to the Bates community, they must occur at a consistent day, time, and place, and may only be changed by majority vote of the Assembly. E-Board meetings shall be held weekly, at a regular day and time to be determined by the E-Board. The President has the right to call E-Board meetings.

Section 2: Quorum

Two-thirds of the Assembly as well as the presence of the President, Vice President, and Secretary shall constitute a quorum to transact business. Only the Assembly shall have the power to vote on business that comes before the General Body of BCSG. A majority of those voting shall constitute an affirmative vote of the Assembly. Each member of the Assembly shall be entitled to one vote and the vote of the majority of the Assembly at any meeting at which there is quorum shall be sufficient to transact business. Business may be proposed by any member of the Bates community recognized by the Vice President, however only members of the Assembly may make motions from the floor with the intention of initiating a vote on such business.

Section 3: Rules of Order

The Vice President maintains order during General Body meetings. This order is outlined as follows, but must remain open to the shifting needs of this organization and the Bates community:

  1. Introductions from any non-Student Government members
  2. Status updates on previous meeting business items in the following order:
    1. President on Executive Board business
    2. Chair of Budgets & Clubs Board on Budgets & Clubs Board business
    3. Chase Hall Programming Board President on student programming business
    4. Chair of Committee Selection Board on Committee Selection Board business
    5. Assembly Members
  3. New Business
    1. Presentations of the non-Student Government members and discussion to follow, if needed.
    2. New business items from the Executive Board.
    3. New business items from the Assembly.
    4. New action members of the Student Government wish to discuss based on the three previous segments.
  4. Dismissal by majority vote of the Assembly.
Section 4: Attendance

All members of the General Body are expected to attend each General Body meeting. All members of the E-Board are expected to attend each E-board meeting. A maximum of two absences per semester are permitted due to extenuating circumstances. The absent BCSG member is responsible for reading the minutes of the meeting in order to stay abreast of the latest actions taken by BCSG. If any member of BCSG misses more than two meetings in a single semester, the Parliamentarian will initiate impeachment proceedings against them.

    1. If the President is not able to attend a BCSG meeting, they must let the Vice President know at least 24 hours before and share their announcements so that the Vice President may announce them.
    2. If the Vice President is not able to attend a BCSG meeting, they must inform a Parliamentarian at least 24 hours in advance and the Parliamentarian will assume responsibility of the meeting.
    3. If the Secretary is not able to attend a BCSG meeting, they must inform a Parliamentarian at least 24 hours in advance and the Parliamentarian will assume responsibility of documenting the meeting. The Secretary must also notify the Vice President of their absence.
    4. If the Chair of the Committee Selection Board is not able to attend a meeting, they must appoint a proxy from the Committee Selection Board to attend the meeting in their stead at least 24 hours in advance and notify the Vice President of their absence.
    5. If the Chair of the Budgets and Clubs Board is not able to attend a meeting, they must appoint a proxy from the Budgets and Clubs Board to attend the meeting in their stead at least 24 hours in advance and notify the Vice President of their absence.
    6. If an Assembly Member is not able to attend a meeting, they must notify the other Assembly Members from their class year at least 24 hours in advance and provide them with business items they intended to bring to the General Body, if any. They must also notify the Vice President of their absence at least 24 hours in advance.
    7. If a Parliamentarian is not able to attend a meeting, they must appoint a proxy from the Elections and Oversight Board to attend the meeting in their stead at least 24 hours in advance and notify the Vice President of their absence.
    8. If the Chase Hall Programming Board President is not able to attend a meeting, they must appoint a proxy from the Chase Hall Programming Board to attend the meeting in their stead at least 24 hours in advance and notify the Vice President of their absence.

ARTICLE VI: Elections

ARTICLE VI: Elections
Section 1: Elected Positions

The President, Vice President, Senior Class Co-Presidents and Assembly members are elected by popular vote of the student body of Bates College. The President and Vice President are elected by the entire student body, and Senior Class Co-Presidents and Assembly Members are elected by members of their respective class year.

Section 2: Coordination

Elections are coordinated by the Elections and Oversight Board and led by the Parliamentarians. The Board is responsible for 1) elections publicity and outreach; 2) organizing presentations, talks, and debates by candidates; 3) organizing and publicizing the balloting process; and 4) announcing election results.

Section 3: Timeline

There are two regular election periods during the academic year: one in the winter, and one in the fall. The Elections and Oversight Board also holds special elections to fill vacant elected office seats whenever this is required, following the same cadence noted below.

  1. Winter Election: For President, Vice President, and Assembly Members from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes.
    1. Nomination period begins on the first Monday after February break and closes the following Wednesday at 11:59am.
    2. Campaigning may begin at the moment a candidate’s nomination is submitted.
    3. Election programming begins on the first Wednesday after February break and continues through the second Monday after February break, concluding prior to polls opening.
    4. Election polls open on the second Monday after February break and close the following Friday at 11:59am.
    5. Election results are announced no more than 6 days after the election polls close.
  2. Fall Election: For Assembly Members from the first year class, Senior Class Co-Presidents, and interim Assembly Member representatives, i.e. Junior Representatives who are abroad.
    1. Nomination period begins on the third Monday of September at 12:01 am and closes after 7 days (Monday to Monday).
    2. Campaigning may begin once a candidates’s nomination is submitted and may continue through the election period. 
    3. Election polls open ten (10) days after the nomination period ends at 12:01 am (the following week’s Wednesday)
    4. Polls close after 5 days at 12:01 am, on Monday at 11:59 pm
    5. Election results are announced no more than 6 days after the election polls close.