Constitution

Ratified November 30, 1999 | Amended April 2017

Preamble

We, the undergraduate students of Emerson College, in order to establish an effective student government, represent student interests, facilitate all recognized student organizations, act as a liaison between the student body, the administration, and the Board of Trustees, and promote and protect the rights of the students indiscriminate of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, or religion do hereby establish this constitution for the Student Government Association of Emerson College.

ARTICLE I: Name

The name of this organization shall be The Student Government Association of Emerson College. (Hereafter referred to as SGA.)

ARTICLE II: Purpose

The purpose of SGA includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Represent student interests, rights, and concerns;
  • Stimulate student awareness of and involvement in the many organizations, activities, and opportunities available in the Emerson Community;
  • Promote student awareness and appreciation of the values and traditions of Emerson College and the SGA;
  • Enhance communication/cooperation between all segments of the campus community;
  • And, allocate funding for student activities and organizations through a fair and representative organizations annual process, and as deemed as appropriate by Joint Session throughout the year, as needed.

ARTICLE III: Membership

Active membership includes all currently registered Emerson College undergraduate students who are enrolled in a degree-granting program and have paid a student activities fee. An active membership entitles individuals to:

  • Vote in all SGA elections;
  • Be represented by SGA officers;
  • Hold SGA office (See Article VII);
  • Participate in SGA sponsored organizations and events;
  • And other rights, privileges, and benefits established by SGA bills, resolutions, and recommendations.

ARTICLE IV: Governmental Organization

The government shall be a democracy based on four branches: the executive (Executive Officers and Commissioners’ Council), the representative (Senate), the financial (Financial Advisory Board) and judicial (Chief and Deputy Justices).

Section I: Executive Branch

a. The Chief Executive of SGA shall be the President.

b. The Executive Board shall consist of the following officers:  President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Chief Justice.

c. The Executive Board shall meet weekly with the advisor(s) to SGA to discuss pending agenda and business items.

d. At least once a semester, the four Class Presidents will be invited to participate in Executive Board meetings.

Powers and Responsibilities of Elected Officers

President

a. The President is the official representative of the student body.

b. The President shall be elected to a term not to exceed one (1) academic year unless re-elected.

c. The President is responsible for executing legislation and directing programs as established by the Senate and Commissioners’ Council and provided for in the SGA budget.

d. The President must either approve or veto any legislation passed in Joint Session. To veto legislation, the President must submit a written statement of objections to all SGA officers and advisors within five (5) school days. If the President does not take action within this specified period, the legislation shall become law. A veto may be overturned by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of a Joint Session.

e. The President shall report on the state of the student body at the first and last Joint Session of each academic year. The meetings shall be advertised and promoted throughout the College community.

f. The President will appoint all committee members as requested by the College administration.

g. The President shall chair all Commissioners’ Council and Joint Session meetings and shall only have a vote in the case of a tie.

h. The President shall have the power to call special Commissioners’ Council and Joint Session meetings as deemed necessary.

i. The President of SGA shall meet on a regular basis with appropriate members of the College administration.

j. The President shall meet bi-weekly with the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

k. The President shall call an All Student Assembly at least once every academic year.

l. The SGA President shall handle all correspondence.

Vice President

a. The Vice-President shall assume the office and duties of the President if the office becomes vacant within the one (1) year term.

b. The Vice-President shall be elected to a term not to exceed one (1) academic year unless re-elected.

c. The Vice-President is the presiding officer of the Senate and may only cast a vote in the case of a tie, in accordance with Senate By-laws. The Vice-President is also the liaison between the Senate and the Executive Board. (See also Senate By-Laws)

d. The Vice-President shall have the power to call special Senate meetings as deemed necessary.

e. The Vice-President shall have a vote at all Executive Board and Joint Session meetings.

f. The Vice-President shall be the co-chair of the Organizational Recognition and Review Board (ORRB) with the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee. (See Glossary)

g. The Vice-President shall serve as the liaison between SGA and student organizations.

h. The Vice-President shall record and maintain written records of the Executive Board and Joint Session proceedings in the absence of the Executive Secretary if no other member of Student Government volunteers to maintain written records for Executive Board and Joint Session proceeding.

Treasurer

a. The Treasurer shall have a vote at all Executive Board and Joint Session meetings.

b. The Treasurer shall be elected to a term not to exceed one (1) academic year unless re-elected.

c. The Treasurer, in conjunction with the President, is responsible for conducting and overseeing all financial workings of SGA.

d. The Treasurer is the presiding officer of the Financial Advisory Board (FAB) and may only cast a vote in the event of a tie. The Treasurer is also the liaison between the FAB and the Executive Board. (See Article IV, Section V])

e. The outgoing Treasurer, in conjunction with the Treasurer-elect if an election has already taken place, is responsible for preparing the annual SGA budget for the following academic year. The budget must be prepared in time to be submitted to the Financial Advisory Board.

f. The Treasurer must endorse any Vice-Treasurer who is to be appointed by the President and confirmed by Joint Session.

g. The Treasurer is responsible for closing the budget for the fiscal year.

h. The Treasurer of SGA shall meet on a regular basis with the appropriate members of the College administration.

Class Presidents

a. Class Presidents shall be elected to a term not to exceed one (1) academic year unless re-elected.

b. Class Presidents shall represent the interests and concerns of their respective classes as outlined in their class constitution.

c. Class Presidents shall be the liaisons between their respective classes and Joint Session.

d. Class Presidents shall act as the Chief Executives of their respective class governments and are thus responsible for their conduct.

e. Class Presidents shall attend Executive Board meetings as requested by the other Executive officers (see Article IV, Section One, Part B.2).

f. In the case that the office of Class President becomes vacant before their term has ended, their seat will be filled according to the procedures outlined in their respective class constitution.

Commissioner's Council

a. The  Commissioners’ Council shall consist of the President and all appointed Commissioners. All officers shall have one (1) vote in the Commissioners’ Council meetings with the exception of the President, who shall vote only in the case of a tie. (See Article IV, Section One, G.1.g) (See Glossary)

b. Once appointed, these officers shall serve until the end of the academic year during which they are appointed.

c. All appointments to the Commissioners’ Council shall be confirmed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of Joint Session

d. The Commissioners’ Council shall meet weekly, but may meet more frequently when deemed necessary by the President.

e. The Commissioners’ Council, by their third meeting of the semester, shall elect a Vice President, who shall preside over Commissioners’ Council meetings in the President’s absence.

f. The Commissioners’ Council shall be responsible with planning and executing events and campaigns at the direction of the President, or as referred by Joint Session.

g. The Commissioners’ Council may, by a majority vote, refer specific items of business to the Senate.

h. Commissioners are responsible for advising the President on the state of their specific constituencies.

i. Commissioners shall be in consistent contact with student organizations that fall under their constituencies.

j. Commissioners shall meet, at least once a semester, with the appropriate offices or staff members that offer services to their specific constituencies.

k. The Executive Board shall resolve any disputes or confusion over what organizations and/or offices fall under a specific constituency.

Powers and Responsibilities of Appointed Officers

Intercultural Commissioner

a. The Intercultural Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and culturally based groups on campus

b. The Intercultural Commissioner shall advise SGA on any culturally sensitive matters.

c. The Intercultural Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or the Commissioners’ Council.

Spiritual Life Commissioner

a. The Spiritual Life Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and the spiritual community at Emerson.

b. The Spiritual Life Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to Spiritual Life.

c. The Spiritual Life Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or the Commissioners’ Council.

Athletics Commissioner

a. The Athletics Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and the athletics department.

b. The Athletics Commissioner shall advise SGA on any sensitive matters pertaining to athletics at Emerson.

c. The Athletics Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or the Commissioners’ Council.

Fraternity/Sorority Life Commissioner

a. The Fraternity/Sorority Life Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and Fraternity/Sorority Life.

b. The Fraternity/Sorority Life Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to Fraternity/Sorority Life.

c. The Fraternity/Sorority Life Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or the Commissioners’ Council.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, + (LGBTQIA+) Commissioner

a. The LGBTQIA+ Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and the GLBT community.

b. The LGBTQIA+ Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to the GLBT community.

c. The LGBTQIA+ Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or the Commissioners’ Council.

On Campus Commissioner

a. The On Campus Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and RHA.

b. The On Campus Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to RHA.

c. The On Campus Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

d. The External Programs Commissioner may be currently enrolled in an external program when they are in office.

Off Campus Student Commissioner

a. The Off Campus Student Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and students living Off Campus.

b. The Off Campus Student Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to students living Off Campus.

c. The Off Campus Student Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Education Abroad and Domestic Programs Commissioner

a. The Education Abroad and Domestic Programs Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and students at an Education Abroad and Domestic Programs.

b. The Education Abroad and Domestic Programs Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to students at an Education Abroad and Domestic Programs.

c. The Education Abroad and Domestic Programs Commissioner shall communicate with at least one representative from each of Emerson's Education Abroad and Domestic Programs.

d. The Education Abroad and Domestic Programs Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Executive Advisory Council.

Transfer Student Commissioner

a. The Transfer Student Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and Transfer Students.

b. The Transfer Student Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to Transfer Students.

c. The Transfer Student Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Service Learning Commissioner

a. The Service Learning Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and Service Learning Community.

b. The Service Learning Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to the Service Learning community.

c. The Service Learning Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Student Disabilities and Accessibility Commissioner

a. The Student Disabilities and Accessibility Commissioner shall serve as a liaison between SGA and students with learning, physical, psychological and/or medical disabilities.

b. The Student Disabilities and Accessibility Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to students with disabilities.

c. The Student Disabilities and Accessibility Commissioner shall advocate for policies that provide qualified students with disabilities equal access to the College’s programs, classes, activities and services.

d. The Student Disabilities and Accessibility Commissioner shall be responsible for raising awareness for needs of students with disability and access issues with all students at Emerson College.

e. The Student Disabilities and Accessibility Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Sustainability Commissioner

a. The Sustainability Commissioner shall serve as the liaison between SGA and sustainability at Emerson College.

b. The Sustainability Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to sustainability.

c. The Sustainability Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

International Student Commissioner

a. The International Student Commissioner shall serve as a liaison between SGA and international students.

b. The International Student Commissioner shall advise SGA on any matters sensitive to international students.

c.  The International Student Commissioner shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Other Appointed Officers

Secretary

a. Once appointed, the Secretary shall serve until the end of the academic year during which they are appointed.

b. The Secretary shall have a vote in Executive Board meetings.

c. The Secretary shall record and maintain written records of all Executive Board and Joint Session  proceedings. In the absence of the Secretary, the Vice-President shall assume this duty.

d. The Secretary shall distribute the minutes of each meeting to all officers within forty-eight (48) hours.

e. The Secretary shall post, for public viewing, the minutes of each meeting within forty-eight (48) hours. The minutes shall be approved no later than the following joint-session meeting.

f. The Secretary shall maintain the SGA office in an efficient and organized manner.

g. The Secretary shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Executive Board.

Vice-Treasurer

a. Once appointed, the Vice Treasurer shall serve until the end of the academic year during which they are appointed.

b. The Vice-Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer on all financial proceedings as deemed necessary by the Treasurer.

c. The Vice-Treasurer shall attend Joint Session meetings as deemed necessary by the Treasurer.

d. The Vice-Treasurer shall serve as the Vice-Chair of the Financial Advisory Board. (See Article IV, Section V)

e. The Vice-Treasurer shall take on the financial responsibilities of the SGA in the absence of the Treasurer.

f. If the office of Treasurer should become vacant at any time during the regular term of office, the Vice-Treasurer shall temporarily assume the office and duties of the Treasurer until such time as a special election has been held to fill the vacancy.

g. The special election shall be called according to the guidelines for special elections put forth in the Elections Bylaws.

h. The Vice-Treasurer shall be an eligible candidate for the position provided they meet the guidelines set forth for candidacy in Article VII, Section Two, Part A.

i. The Vice-Treasurer shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Executive Assistant

a. Once appointed, the Executive Assistant shall serve until the end of the academic year during which they are appointed.

b. The Executive Assistant shall assist the President of SGA in all duties deemed necessary by the President of SGA.

c. The Executive Assistant shall attend all executive council meetings.

Section II: Representative Branch

Senate

a. The Vice-President of SGA shall preside over the Senate. All seats in the Senate shall have one (1) vote each and be determined in the following manner:

  • One seat for each degree-granting department of the College;
  • One seat for each class government.

b. The Senate shall, by the third meeting of the semester, elect a president pro tempore to preside over Senate meetings in the absence of the Vice President.

c. The Senate shall, by the third meeting of the semester, draft and vote on Senate bylaws.

Powers and Responsibilities

a. The Senate shall act as the chief liaison between students and the SGA.

b. The Senate may initiate legislation, initiatives, and acts within SGA.

c. The Senate shall address all items of business referred to them by Joint Session and the Commissioners’ Council.

d. Each Senator shall have one (1) vote in Senate and Joint Session meetings, in accordance with Senate By-laws

e. The Senate shall meet weekly, but may meet more often if deemed necessarily by the Vice President.

Other Duties

a. Departmental senators shall be the official liaisons between their department and SGA

b. Class senators shall be the official liaisons between their class and SGA

c. Departmental senators shall be responsible for meeting with their respective department chair at least once a semester

d. All Senators shall be responsible for creating, debating, and voting on legislation as requested by Joint Session for recommendation.

Section III: Judicial Process

The judicial powers of the Student Government Association shall be vested in the Chief Justice.

Appointment

a. The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the SGA President and subject to approval of a Joint Session.

b. The Chief Justice may remain in office as long as eligibility is maintained, not to exceed eight (8) semesters (summer sessions not included).

c. The Chief Justice must have been enrolled at Emerson College for at least one (1) semester prior to appointment.

Duties and Powers

a. The Chief Justice shall, upon request of a member of SGA, interpret the Constitution and review the constitutionality of any action or legislation.

b. The Chief Justice shall be charged with the responsibility of reviewing all SGA recognized club constitutions to ensure their compliance with the SGA constitution.

c. The Chief Justice may enact impeachment proceedings of any SGA officer. (See Article VIII)

d. The Chief Justice shall preside over impeachment hearings of all SGA officers in accordance with Article VIII.

e. The Chief Justice shall hear all organizational and student grievances and recommend a course of action.

f. The Chief Justice shall oversee all general and special elections.

Deputy Chief Justice

a. The Chief Justice must endorse a candidate for Deputy Chief Justice who is to be appointed by the SGA President, and subject to a two-thirds (2/3) vote of approval of Joint Session.

b. The Deputy’s duties will include assisting the Chief Justice in their duties as requested.

c. The Deputy is not required to attend Joint Session meetings, except by the request of the Chief Justice.

d. The Deputy Chief Justice will assume the authority of the Chief Justice:

  • in the event that the Chief Justice recuses themselves from any case.
  • in the absence of the Chief Justice

e. If the position of Chief Justice is vacated before the end of an academic year, the Deputy will assume the authority of the Chief Justice until a new appointment to the position can be made.

f. The Deputy Chief Justice may be considered as an eligible candidate for the position.

g. The term of the Deputy Chief Justice will end when the term of the Chief Justice under whom they were appointed has ended.

Section IV: Other Officers

Public Relations Chair

a. The Public Relations Chair shall be appointed by the SGA President, and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of Joint Session, and serve until the end of the academic year during which they are appointed.

b. The Public Relations Chair shall publicize and promote SGA throughout the College community.

c. The Public Relations Chair is responsible for maintaining all official SGA communicative channels, including the SGA website.

d. In the absence of a Public Relations Chair, the responsibility of maintaining the SGA website falls to President and/or their designee(s),

e. The Public Relations Chair shall take on additional responsibilities as deemed necessary by the President and/or Commissioners’ Council.

Elections Chair

a. The Elections Chair shall be appointed by the SGA President, and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of Joint Session

b. Once appointed, the Elections Chair shall serve until the end of the academic year during which they are appointed.

c. The Elections Chair shall be responsible for conducting all standard and special elections as they are outlined in the SGA Constitution and the Elections Bylaws.

d. The Elections Chair may not be a candidate on the ballot during an election they are conducting.

Section V: Financial Branch

Financial Advisory Board (FAB)

a. The Treasurer of SGA shall preside over the Financial Advisory Board as Chair. The Chair will only vote in the event of a tie.

b. The Vice-Treasurer of SGA, or alternate designee as determined by the FAB, shall Vice-Chair the FAB. The Vice-Chair will serve as a non-voting member.

c. The SGA Chief Justice and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, or their designees, may sit on the Financial Advisory Board as non-voting members.

d. Each voting seat on the Financial Advisory Board has one (1) vote on Financial Advisory Board. Voting seats are granted to:

  • The Treasurer of each Class Council, OR a Council’s appointed designee;
  • A representative from the Organization Recognition and Review Board, as appointed by the chair of the ORRB;
  • Additional representatives as directed by the bylaws of the Financial Advisory Board and Student Government Association.

Powers and Responsibilities

a. The Financial Advisory Board is charged with enacting and maintaining Financial Policies and Guidelines set forth in the SGA Treasurers’ Handbook.

b. The Financial Advisory Board is charged with holding hearings for Budgetary Appeals made to the Student Government Association.

c. The Financial Advisory Board is charged with developing recommendations for the overall budget of the Student Government Association.

Meetings

a. The Financial Advisory Board will meet as directed by the Financial Advisory Board’s bylaws. The SGA Treasurer may call additional meetings as necessary.

b. Quorum for the Financial Advisory Board consists of two-thirds (⅔) of its the voting membership.

Financial Recommendations

a. Recommendations to Joint Session made by the Financial Advisory Board must pass by a simple majority (51%) of board’s present voting membership.

b. Recommendations formed by the Financial Advisory Board are presented to Joint Session by the Chair of the Financial Advisory Board, and are acted upon as determined by the Student Government Association’s bylaws.

Treasury Policy

a. Policies set forth in the SGA Treasurers’ Handbook are superseded by the policies of Emerson College.

b. Additions and modifications to the Treasury Handbook must pass approval of the Financial Advisory Board by a simple majority (51%) of the board’s present voting membership.

c. The SGA Treasurer may veto modifications to Treasury Handbook. To veto, the Treasurer must submit a written statement of objections to all members of the board within five (5) school days. If the Treasurer does not take action within this specified period, the legislation shall become law. A veto may be overturned by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Financial Advisory Board.

Section VI: Organization Recognition and Review Board (ORRB)

a. The ORRB shall have the responsibility to create and/or deny any new SGA recognized organizations or interest groups.

b. The ORRB shall be co-chaired by the Vice President of SGA and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee.

c. The ORRB shall consist of one (1) representative from each class, one (1) faculty member, the chair of FAB, and two (2) Student Government representatives

d. The faculty representative may be optional pending faculty availability and interest.

e. The ORRB will conduct the full recognition and review process during the fall semester according to the ORRB bylaws.

f. The board will hold workshops in the fall semester for organizations wishing to prepare for the recognition process.

g. The board will run a review process for all active SGA recognized organizations

h. Additional ORRB hearings shall follow the ORRB Bylaws.

i. Student organizations with restrictive/exclusive conditions of membership may file for SGA recognition and funding as long as they maintain the college’s mission of Inclusive Excellence. (See Article VI)

j. Recommendations formed by the Organizational Recognition and Review Board are presented to Joint Session by the Chair of ORRB and are acted upon as determined by the Student Government Association’s bylaws.

Section VII: Advisors

a. There shall be two (2) advisors for this organization: the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee and a full-time faculty member to be selected by each administration.

b. The faculty representative shall be optional contingent upon faculty interest and availability.

ARTICLE V: Meetings

All SGA official meetings shall:

a. Follow the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

b. Be open to all Emerson students.

b.1. A meeting may only be closed by a motion to enter into executive session in the case of a sensitive issue.

c. Be documented in the form of minutes and include all motions made and votes taken.

Quorum shall be obtained when half or more of the voting members are present, and is necessary in order to vote on any matter of business.

Attendance is required for all elected officers, commissioners, the Secretary and the Chief Justice.

a. Additional attendance requirements shall be outlined in the bylaws for each governing body.

ARTICLE VI: Student Organizations

All organizations must have on file an approved constitution.

All organizations must stay within the approved SGA budget allocation set forth by FAB.

All SGA funding must be spent for the benefit of undergraduate students.

All SGA funded organizations must:

  • Advance the mission and values of Emerson College;
  • Commit to Emerson College’s Inclusive Excellence goals; AND
  • Benefit the general undergraduate student population

The Student Government Association may fund events and organizations through two processes:

  • Annual budgetary allocations (see article IV, section V)
  • Pro re nata appeals (see article IV, section V)

All organizations must comply with Registration and Hazing Requirements established by the Office of Student Life.

ARTICLE VII: Elections and Appointments

Section I: Elections

Elections shall be handled as specifically outlined in the Elections Bylaws.

Section II: Qualifications

President, Vice-President, and Treasurer

a. Must have completed one (1) full academic year of enrollment in Emerson College.

b. Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average as indicated in the student handbook prior to elections and during term of office.

c. Must have submitted a petition to run for office to the SGA Elections Commissioner with no less than fifty (50) valid signatures and ID numbers of registered Emerson College undergraduate students.

d. Must comply with all election procedures as stated in Article VII and the Elections Bylaws.

e. Must be an undergraduate student registered and enrolled in a minimum of twelve (12) credits at the Boston campus throughout their term.

All other elected and appointed officers

a. Must have a minimum grade point average as indicated in the student handbook prior to elections and during term of office. If the student is a first semester student, they must have approval from their academic advisor.

b. Must comply with all election procedures.

c. Must have submitted a petition to run for office to the SGA Elections Commission with no less than fifty (50) valid signatures and ID numbers of registered Emerson College undergraduate students.

d. Must be registered and enrolled in a minimum of four (4) credits at the Boston campus throughout their term.

Section III: Seating

To be elected, all candidates must receive a majority (at least 51%) of all votes cast in a general election of the entire Emerson College, Boston campus, undergraduate population. In the case that there is no majority, another election must take place within five (5) school days between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the first election.

No SGA officer shall serve in more than one (1) elected or appointed position concurrently.

Senators shall be elected by their respective constituent bodies. Departmental senators may only be elected by undergraduate students majoring in their respective divisions, and class senators shall only be elected by their respective classes.

If the Vice President, Treasurer, or any departmental senator's position becomes vacant in the second semester of an academic year after the midterm elections process has commenced, the SGA president shall appoint a replacement for the rest of the semester, subject to a two-thirds (2/3) approval by a Joint Session. (See Elections Bylaws)

If any class senator position becomes vacant in the second semester of an academic year after the midterms elections process has commenced, the respective class president shall appoint a replacement for the remainder of the semester, subject to a two-thirds (⅔) approval by Joint Session.

Section IV: Timeline

Elections for the following academic year shall be held on either the last week of March or the first week of April.

The period from the election of new officers through the end of the academic year shall be a mandatory interim training session where all former officers train the newly elected officers.

As the last item of business at a Joint Session of the outgoing administration, an inaugural ceremony shall pass all powers of office to the incoming administration.

Section V: Standard and Special Elections

There shall be one (1) midterm election each year, to fill freshman class council positions and any vacant positions and one (1) SGA general election, for all elected positions for the following academic term.

Special elections shall comply with all special election procedures as outlined in the Elections Bylaws. (See Elections Bylaws)

Special elections shall be called by the President of SGA when mandated by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of a Joint Session, or by initiative, referendum, or recall actions. (Refer to Article IX: Sections One, Two, and Three)

In the event that there is no Elections Chair at the time a special election is called, the election shall be conducted by a member of Joint Session appointed by the President and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of Joint Session members.

All elections shall be conducted according to the Australian Ballot System. (See Glossary)

ARTICLE VIII: Impeachments

Section I: Grounds for Impeachment

Any officer of SGA who knowingly evades their duties as set down by this constitution, or commits any act that is determined to be detrimental to the welfare of the student body is subject to impeachment.

No officer may be brought up under the same charges twice.

Section II: Impeachment Initiation

If the accused officer is the President, the Vice President shall assume all duties of the President until such time as the proceedings have concluded.

If the accused officer is the Treasurer, the Vice Treasurer shall assume all duties of the Treasurer until such time as the proceedings have concluded.

Accused officers must abstain from all votes pertaining to the impeachment process.

Impeachment proceedings may be initiated by the Chief Justice or a majority (51%) vote of the Senate. Initiation is the act of bringing the officer in question up for review before a Joint Session.

Notification of the initiation of impeachment proceedings shall be sent to all SGA officers and advisors within 24 hours, or before the next Joint Session meeting, whichever is sooner, in order to continue with the proceedings.

The review of the complaint and of the officer in question will be the first item of Old Business at the Joint Session immediately following notification.

Upon review of the officer in question, a vote shall be taken as to whether or not to continue with impeachment proceedings.

A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of Joint Session is required to continue impeachment proceedings.

If the motion carries, the impeachment process shall be considered tabled and will become the first item of Old Business at the next Joint Session, which shall take place no sooner than seven (7) days after the initiation of proceedings.

The officer charged must be notified in writing — of the impeachment proceedings and their right to appear — within forty-eight (48) hours or the impeachment must be dropped.

Section III: Impeachment Proceedings

The Chief Justice shall preside over all impeachment hearings. In the event that the Chief Justice is accused, the SGA President shall be the presiding officer.

A motion shall be made and seconded to review the officer in question.

The officer in question shall be given the opportunity to speak in their own defense and offer evidence as they deems necessary.

Following full discussion, the motion shall be voted on immediately.

If the officer in question holds an appointed position, following a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote to impeach them, that officer is terminated. If the officer in question is an elected officer, following a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote to impeach them, a special election for impeachment shall be called. (See Article VII, Section Four)

Impeachment elections shall follow the guidelines for special elections, or in cases where these are not clear or written, for the officer’s original election.

ARTICLE IX: Initiative, Referendum, Recall

Section I: Initiative

Any member of the student body may initiate legislation by petition. The petition shall have signatures and ID numbers of at least five percent (5%) of the current semester’s enrollment. This petition shall be submitted to the President of the SGA. The President shall present the initiative at a Joint Session, where it shall either be passed or submitted within ten (10) school days to a vote of the student body. At least five percent (5%) of the student body must vote in the election. A majority vote (51%) of all votes cast shall be necessary for adoption. (See Glossary)

Section II: Referendum

All sections of this government shall be subjected to a referendum vote of the student body. A written petition with signatures and ID numbers of at least five percent (5%) of the current semester’s enrollment shall be necessary for referendum. This petition shall be presented to the President of the SGA. The President shall present the referendum at a Joint Session. The Joint Session shall either rescind the action or call an election within ten (10) school days after the filing of the said petition. At least five percent (5%) of the student body must vote in the election. A majority vote (51%) of all votes cast shall be necessary to rescind the action. (See Glossary)

Section III: Recall

All elected officers of this organization shall be subjected to recall by the student body. A written petition with signatures and ID numbers of at least ten percent (10%) of the current semester’s enrollment shall constitute a request for recall. Upon presentation of said petition to a Joint Session of SGA, a recall election shall be called within fifteen (15) school days. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast shall be required to recall an elected officer, with this number being at least two-thirds (2/3) the number of votes cast in the officer’s original election. (See Glossary)

ARTICLE X: Amending Procedure

Section I

Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by a three-quarter (3/4) vote of a Joint Session or by a petition signed with ID numbers of at least ten percent (10%) of the current semester’s enrollment of the student body and presented to the Joint Session.

Section II

Proposed amendments to this Constitution shall be posted on the Boston campus at locations specified by the Bylaws for at least three (3) days, not to exceed ten (10) school days before submission to the students for voting. A simple majority (51%) of all votes cast shall be necessary for adoption. The external campuses shall be notified of any proposed amendments.

ARTICLE XI: Bylaws

Each branch of this government shall develop and adopt Bylaws to serve as more specific guidelines.

These branches include, but are not limited to: Joint Session, Senate, Commissioners’ Council, FAB, and ORRB.

These Bylaws shall elaborate on duties, responsibilities, and objectives set forth by this Constitution, as well as any other guidelines necessary for operation of each prospective branch.

Bylaws should be developed and adopted by the third meeting of each branch of the fall semester.

A majority vote (51%) of each prospective branch is necessary for adoption of their own Bylaws.

ARTICLE XII: Parliamentary Authority

In all instances not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws, the Parliamentary Authority shall be the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised).

ARTICLE XIII: Adoption

This Constitution, upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast in an election, has been in effect as of November 30, 1999.

GLOSSARY

  • Australian Ballot System: An official ballot listing candidates for election to public office and distributed inside the polling place to be marked by the voter in secret: it originated in Australia and is widely used in the United States. This is the voting format that will be used for SGA Elections. (See Article VII)
  • By Laws: A secondary law or rule adopted by an organization or assembly for governing its own meetings or affairs.
  • Initiative: The right of a legislature to introduce new legislation on some specified matter; the right of a group of citizens to introduce a matter for legislation either to the legislature or directly to the voters; the procedure by which such matters are introduced, usually a petition signed by a percentage of the voters. (See Article IX, Section One)
  • Joint Session: A meeting where the Commissioners’ Council and the Senate meet together; this meeting takes place every week.
  • Organizational Recognition and Review Board: A recognition and review board for the student organizations of Emerson College.
  • Recall: The process of removing, or right to remove, an official from office by popular vote. (See Article IX, Section Three)
  • Referendum: The submission of a law, proposed or already in effect, to a direct vote of the people; the right of the people to vote directly on such laws, superseding or overruling the legislature; the vote itself. (See Article IX, Section Two)
  • Term: A set period of time; duration of time in which an officer may hold office (one (1) academic year) (See Article IV, Section One)