Constitution of the Student Body of The Student Government Association of the University of North Carolina Asheville

A printable version of the constitution is available here.

We the students of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, acting in the belief that the student is the basis of the University, and that all students have the right to fair and equal representation, do hereby establish and ordain this Constitution for the Student Body of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Article I. Derivation and Delegation of Power

Section 1. The Student Government Association

There shall be a Student Government Association of the Student Body of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. This self-governing body derives its power and authority from the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor of the University under provisions of the Board of Governors and the North Carolina General Assembly. Under this Constitution, the Student Government Association reserves the right at all times to appeal to the Chancellor and to the Board of Trustees of the University.

Section 2. The Purpose of the Student Government Association

The purpose of the Student Government Association is to represent and protect the rights of individuals, groups, and formally recognized organizations of the Student Body in all matters concerning University policy.

Section 3. The Two Branches of the Student Government Association

In order for the Student Government Association to achieve its purpose, two distinct and separate branches shall exist; the Legislative and the Executive. There shall be clearly established boundaries between these branches, and they shall not be altered by any individual holding an office in more than one branch.

Article II. The Legislative Branch

Section 1. Delegation of Power

The sole power and authority of the legislative branch shall be vested in a Student Senate comprised of the duly elected or appointed representatives of the Student Body.

Section 2. The Organization of the Senate

[1] The Student Senate shall be composed of eighteen senators: three senators from each of the senior, junior, sophomore, and freshman academic classes as well as three senators from the commuter and three senators from the residential housing classification.
    
[2] Each senator shall have one vote in the legislative body.
    
[3] The leadership offices of the Senate shall be defined by the Student Government Association Bylaws and shall be appointed from the Vice President of the Student Body and confirmed by the Senate by a majority roll call vote.
    
[4] There shall be three standing committees formed from the membership of the Student Senate. Each senator shall be assigned to serve on one standing committee. The three standing Committees shall be the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Aesthetic Affairs, and the Committee on Student Affairs. The roles and function of these three committees shall be defined within the Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

Section 3. The Qualifications of the Student Senate

Each member of the Student Senate shall conform to the following requirements of their office:

(A) All senators shall be students at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and shall be elected by the members of their appropriate academic class and residential classification.

(B) All senators shall have attained the appropriate residential or academic classification for their seat by the beginning of the fall semester following their election.

(C) Senators shall have and maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, with the exception of senators in their first semester at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

(D) All senators shall maintain and complete a minimum course load of at least six semester hours during their term.

(E) Each senator shall serve for the duration of the session they were elected or appointed to serve in, or until they have formally submitted their resignation before the Senate.

Section 4. The Powers of the Student Senate

The Student Senate shall have the power:

(A)  To approve formal resolutions necessary and proper to promote the general welfare of the Student Body by a majority roll call vote of senators present.
         
(B)  To approve all appointments originating from the President of the Student Body and the Vice President of the Student Body by a majority roll call vote of senators present.


(C)  To amend and approve the proposed budget of the Student Government Association prior to funding by the University through established procedures by a three fourths majority vote of those senators present.

(D)  To amend and approve requests for funds allocations from formally recognized University student organizations as well as other groups as deemed necessary.

(E)  To enact and amend the Bylaws of the Student Government Association by a two thirds majority vote of the entire sitting Student Senate.
            
(F)  To begin the impeachment procedure defined by the Bylaws of the Student Government Association against any member of the Student Government Association by a simple majority roll call vote of all present senators of the Student Senate under the pretenses of malfeasance, misfeasance and/or nonfeasance.

(G)  To override a presidential veto of any legislation by a two thirds majority roll call vote of any legislation originally passed by a simple majority vote, or a three fourths majority roll call vote for any legislation passed by a two thirds majority vote by all senators present.

(H)  The Senate shall annually attend a tuition and fees meeting or with permission from the Vice President an individual may send a proxy or discuss other alternatives.
            
(I)  The Senate shall annually submit a bill outlining its recommendations on tuition and fee policies, to be passed by two-third majority roll call vote.

Section 5. The Requirements of the Student Senate

Each Member of the Student Senate shall be required:

(A) To attend all meetings of the Student Senate with an allowance of two unexcused absences per semester.

(B) To faithfully uphold at all times, this Constitution, the Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

(C) To duly fulfill any additional responsibilities of their office as outlined by the By-Laws of the Student Government Association.

Section 6. The Compensation of Senators

Senators of the Student Senate shall receive a stipend as outlined by the budget of the Student Government Association as approved by the Student Senate, provided that all requirements of the office have been met and duly fulfilled.

Section 7. On the Replacement of Student Senators              

In the event of the resignation or removal from office of a Senator of the Student Senate, the Vice President of the Student Body shall be required to find another student who fulfills the requirements of the previous Senator and appoint that individual, with the consent of the Student Senate.

Article III. The Executive Branch

Section 1. The Delegation of Power

The sole power and authority of the Executive Branch shall be vested in the President, the Vice President of the Student Body and the Executive Cabinet of the Student Government Association.

Section 2. The Organization of the Executive Branch

[1] The Executive Cabinet of the Student Government Association shall be comprised of offices as defined by the Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

[2] The powers and responsibilities of these offices shall be defined under the Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

[3] The Executive Cabinet of the Student Government Association shall convene once per week except for those weeks which the President of the Student Body deems necessary.

Section 3. The Qualifications of the President of the Student Body

The President of the Student Body shall be a student at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and shall be elected by the Student Body and shall serve if they meet the following requirements.

(A) The President of the Student Body shall be of at least junior standing during the semester in which the election is held.

(B)  The President of the Student Body shall have attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville for at least two consecutive semesters, excluding summer sessions, prior to the semester elections are held.

(C)  The President of the Student Body shall have and maintain a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and must also maintain and complete a minimum course load of six semester hours per semester during their term.

(D) The President of the Student Body shall serve a term of one calendar year or until they have formally submitted their resignation before the Student Senate.

Section 4. The Powers of the President of the Student Body

The President of the Student Body shall have the power :

(A) To accept or veto all legislation emerging from the Student Senate within seventy two hours of its passage; otherwise the legislation shall be deemed to have automatically been approved by the Executive Branch. If the President chooses to veto legislation, the vetoed legislation shall be returned to the Senate the next time it convenes with the objections of the President.

(B) To appoint all positions of the Executive Cabinet as well as other posts deemed necessary by the Bylaws.

(C) To appoint any member of the Student Government Association to official University committees and boards as requested by the University.

(D) To call special sessions of the Student Senate as deemed necessary.

(E) To call and preside over special sessions of the Cabinet meetings as deemed necessary.

Section 5. The Requirements of the President of the Student Body

The President of the Student Body shall be required:

(A) To preside over Executive Cabinet sessions each week during the course of their term.

(B) To deliver addresses on the state of the University to the Student Government Association and to recommend measures as judged necessary.

(C) To fulfill the responsibilities of ex-officio membership of the University of North Carolina Asheville Board of Trustees as prescribed by the University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors and the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina.

(D) To faithfully administer and abide by this Constitution, the By-Laws and student laws of the Student Government Association in all matters of the Student Government Association.

(E) To duly carry out any additional responsibilities of the office as defined by the By-Laws of the Student Government Association.

Section 6. The Compensation of the President of the Student Body

The Student Body President shall receive a stipend as outlined by the budget of the Student Government Association as approved by the Student Senate, provided that all requirements of the office have been met and duly fulfilled.

Section 7. On the Replacement of the Student Body President

If, for any reason, the office of the Student Body President is vacated, the Vice President of the Student Body shall immediately assume all responsibilities of said office and vacate the office of the Vice President of the Student Body.

Section 8. The Qualifications of the Vice President of the Student Body

The Vice President of the Student Body shall be a student of the University of North Carolina at Asheville and shall be elected by the Student Body provided that they meet the following requirements.

(A) The Vice President of the Student Body shall be of at least junior standing during the semester in which the election is held.

(B) The Vice President of the Student Body shall have attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville for at least two consecutive semesters, excluding all summer sessions, prior to the semester elections are held.

(C) The Vice President of the Student Body shall have and maintain a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and shall have and complete a minimum course load of six semester hours while in office.

(D) The Vice President of the Student Body shall serve a term of one calendar year or until their resignation has been submitted to the Student Senate.

Section 9. The Powers of the Vice President of the Student Body

The Vice President of the Student Body shall have the power:               

(A) To determine the time and place of the meetings of the Student Senate and to preside over those meetings.

(B) To cast a vote if the Student Senate is equally divided during the consideration of legislation.

(C) To determine when legislation shall be presented to the Student Senate.

(D) To appoint an individual to the office of Senator in such cases where said office has been vacated.

(E) To appoint senators to the five offices of the Senate and to the chairmanship of the Standing Committees.

(F) To assign each senator to membership in the Standing Committees as well as remove each senator from membership in a Standing Committee as necessary.

Section 10. The Requirements of the Vice President of the Student Body

The Vice President of the Student Body shall be required:

(A) To preside over sessions of the Student Senate as prescribed by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

(B) To forward all legislation passed by the Student Senate to the President of the Student Body within twenty-four hours of its passage.

(C) To duly fulfill any requirements of the office as defined by the Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

Section 11. The Compensation of the Vice President of the Student Body

The Vice President of the Student Body shall receive a stipend as outlined by the budget of the Student Government Association as approved by the Student Senate, provided that all requirements of the office have been met and duly fulfilled.

Section 12. On the Replacement of the Vice President of the Student Body

In the event that the Office of the Vice President of the Student Body is vacated for any reason, the President Pro Tempore of the Student Senate shall immediately assume all responsibilities and duties of said office. At such time, the new Vice President of the Student Body shall immediately appoint a new President Pro Tempore with the consent of the Student senate.

Section 13. The Qualifications of Members of the Executive Cabinet

The officials of the Cabinet of the Student Government Association shall be appointed by the Student Body President with the consent of the Student Senate provided that they fulfill the following requirements.

(A) All officials of the Cabinet of the Student Government Association shall have attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville for at least one semester prior to the confirmation of their appointment by the Student Senate.

(B) All officials of the Cabinet shall have and maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and must also maintain and complete a minimum course load of at least six semester hours while serving in their office.

(C) All officials of the Cabinet shall serve for the duration of the Administration which they were appointed under or until their resignation has been submitted to the Student Senate.

Section 14. The Powers of Members of the Executive Cabinet

Each official of the Cabinet of the Student Government Association shall have the power:

(A) To execute the specific duties of their office as defined by the Bylaws of the Student Government Association.

(B) To advise and inform the President of the Student Body on all relevant matters of their office.

Section 15. The Compensation of Members of the Executive Cabinet

All officials of the Executive Cabinet of the Student Government Association shall receive a stipend outlined by the budget of the Student Government Association provided that all requirements of their office have been duly fulfilled.

Section 16. On the Replacement of Members of the Executive Cabinet

In the event that the office of an official of the Executive Cabinet of the Student Government Association is vacated, the President of the Student Body shall appoint another individual to that office with the consent of the Student Senate.

Article IV. The Rules and Regulations of Student Government Elections

Section 1. The Timing of Elections

The mandatory time frame for Student Government Association elections shall be as follows:

(A) The Student Government General Election shall be held in the spring semester between the fifteenth of February and the thirty-first of March for the offices of the President of the Student Body, Vice President of the Student Body, and Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Residential and Commuter Senators.

(B) The Student Government Freshman Elections shall be held by the end of the sixth week of the Fall Semester of each year for the office of Freshman Senator.

Section 2. The Organization of Elections

All elections, excluding runoffs, shall consist of the following consecutive period: a period of no less than one calendar week for the filing of candidacy, and a period of five consecutive days for campaigning which shall include at least two consecutive week days of at least ten hours of polling per day, for voting. A University holiday may occur between the periods but not during the periods.

Section 3. Requirements to Vote

A student may be eligible to vote under the following conditions:

(A) Students may vote for the offices of President of the Student Body and Vice President of the Student Body provided that they are enrolled in one or more credit hours of courses.

(B) Students may vote for the office of Senior, Junior, or Sophomore Senator if they will have attained the appropriate academic classification at the end of the semester in which the election occurs.

(C) Students may vote for the office of Freshman Senator, if, as voters, they have twenty-nine or less credit hours at the date of voting.

(D) Students are eligible to vote for the offices of Commuter Senator if they do not reside in any housing administered by the University of North Carolina at Asheville at the time of voting. Students may vote for Residential Senator if they reside in housing administered by the University of North Carolina at Asheville at the time of voting.

Section 4. Certification of Elected Officials

An individual shall be elected to membership in the Student Government Association provided that the following requirements are met.

(A) For the offices of President of the Student Body and Vice President of the Student Body, the candidate who receives the highest sum total of votes for each office shall win. In the event of a tie, a runoff election shall occur.

(B) For the offices of Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshman, Commuter or Residential Senator, the three candidates with the highest tally of votes for each office shall win. In the event that there is a tie, causing more than three individuals to have the highest sum total of votes, a runoff election shall be held between tied candidates within seven days after the previous election.

Section 5. Announcement of Results

Candidates shall be notified within twenty four business hours of the closing of the polls of the election results. Any candidate may exercise the right to call for a recount within twenty four business hours of the posting of the election results.

Section 6. Transition Period

The President of the Student Body-Elect, the Vice President of the Student Body-Elect and Senators-Elect shall assume office no less than three but no greater than five weeks following the last day of voting. The interim period shall serve a training period for the new members.

Section 7. Inauguration

An Inauguration Ceremony shall occur at the end of the interim period and shall consist of the following procedures:

(A) During the inauguration the Oath of Office shall be administered to the President of the Student Body and Vice President of the Student Body successively by their predecessors. At such time, power is transferred.

(B) Immediately following the inauguration of the President of the Student Body and the Vice President of the Student Body, the Vice President of the Student Body shall administer the Oath of Office to the new members of the Student Senate.

(C) The Oath of Office shall be as follows: “I do hereby affirm that I will faithfully administer the duties of my office, and will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Student Government Association at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.”

Article V. Referendums and Amendments

Section 1. The Submission of Student Legislation

Any member of the Student Body has the right and power to initiate any resolution or legislation to the Student Senate for approval as long as it is submitted by a member of the Student Senate.

Section 2. The Procedure of Student Senate Amendments to the Constitution

The Student Senate may amend this document by a two thirds majority roll call vote with final approval by the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Article VI. Supplementary Documents

Section 1. Establishment of the Bylaws

The Bylaws of the Student Government Association shall act as a supplementary document to this Constitution to establish operational procedure for aspects of the Student Government Association.

Section 2. Restrictions of the Bylaws

The Bylaws of the Student Government Association shall exist as a separate document empowered by this Constitution and may not under any conditions contradict this document.

Article VII. Ratification

Section 1. Ratification Procedure

This Constitution shall become effective upon approval of the Student Senate by unanimous consent of all sitting members of the Student Senate, approval of the Student Body President, and a majority of students casting ballots in a constitutional referendum and finally approval by the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Section 2. Post-Ratification

Upon passage, this document shall replace all previous Constitutions of the Student Government Association of the University of North Carolina at Asheville and invalidate student laws previously passed which are in conflict with this document.