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Student Government Association Constitution

PREAMBLE

Whereas, the mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is to educate and develop individuals to assume leadership in their communities, it is necessary that this tradition be upheld.  We, the undergraduate students of Bowie State University, in order to secure to ourselves the right of self-government and a holistic education, while sustaining and fostering the mission, and ideals upon which this university was founded, do hereby establish this constitution to be the fundamental law governing the student body.  This document shall also serve to ensure undergraduate students' roles and responsibilities in overall university governance.

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this organization will be the Student Government Association of Bowie State University.  It will consist of three (3) distinct, separate branches:  the EXECUTIVE BRANCH, the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH (Student Senate), and the JUDICIAL BRANCH.

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

This Constitution and all amendments to it will govern all undergraduate students and student activities at Bowie State University.

ARTICLE III - EXECUTIVE BRANCH

SECTION I:  PURPOSE

The purpose of the Executive Branch is to enforce all approved bills and policies of the Student Government Association.  The Executive Branch should also examine problems or possible projects for the student body and make proposals to the Legisla­tive Branch (Student Senate) for their approval.

The role of the Executive Branch is as follows:

(1) The Executive branch must approve or veto all actions of the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) before such actions will have the force of law.

(2) Should the Executive Branch fail to act upon a Legislative Branch (Student Senate) decision of which it has been notified, the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) decision will have the force of law after the 14th day from the date of the notification.

(3) The Executive Branch may submit proposals for Legislative Branch (Student Senate) approval. Bills originating in the Executive Branch have the force of law after Legislative Branch (Student Senate) approval.

SECTION II:  MEMBERSHIP

The Executive Branch will consist of the President, Vice-President, Class Presidents, Committee Chairpersons, Executive Member-a-Large, Treasurer, Executive Secretary, Miss Bowie, Mr. Bowie, the Student Activities Coordinator, the Residence Hall Association President and the Commuter Student Association President.

SECTION III:  PRESIDENT

The role of the President shall be as follows:

(1) The President of the Student Government Association will serve as Chairperson of the Executive Branch and will call and preside at all executive and joint executive-legislative meetings and will vote only in the case of a tie.

(2) The President or designee, by virtue of the position, will automatically be one of the student representatives on the BSU University Council and will serve on all University committees that require such representation.

(3) The President will meet with the University President once a month during the regular semester.

(4) The President will provide the student body each month with information concerning the operation and activities of the Student Government Association and about general university/system wide issues.

(5) The President will present to the Student Senate on the seventh week of both regular academic semesters a comprehensive report on the State of the SGA.

(6) The President will be bound by the oath of office to provide leadership for the student body.

(7) The President will appoint students to represent the university at intercollegiate and national activities; will advise the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) for its approval; and will submit proposals including the budget to the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) of such appointments.

(8) The President must execute bills passed in the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) and approved by the Executive Branch.

(9) The President shall have veto power of all legislation passed by the Student Legislative Branch (Student Senate) within ten (10) school days.

(10) The President will appoint and receive Ambassadors, and appoint committees to non-policy posts, without Legislative approval.

(11) The President-elect will have the power to appoint people to any elected office in the event that no one seeks to run for that perspective office.

(12) In the event that no one seeks to run for the office of the President of the SGA, the existing President of the SGA will have the authority to appoint a successor with the approval of the existing Legislative Branch (Student Senate).

(13) The newly appointed President will have the authority to appoint a Vice-President with the approval of the existing Legislative Branch (Student Senate).

(14) The President will reserve the right to declare a state of emergency and to use such powers as deemed necessary until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Legislative Branch (Student Senate).

(15) The President will have the power to call emergency meetings.

(16) The President shall have the power to call the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) to a special session.

(17) In case of the removal of the President of the SGA from office or in case of the President's absence, resignation, death or inability to discharge the duties of the office, the line of succession is as follows: Vice-President, Vice-Chairperson of the Legislative Branch, Senior Class President, and Junior Class President.

(18) The President is authorized to act in the best interest of the student body and the SGA during the summer months. Some decisions made, such as appoint­ments to policy posts and appointment of the Treasurer, will be valid for the summer, but will require legislative approval when the newly elected Student Legislature reconvenes.

(19) The President shall have the authority to suspend, with the approval of the Executive Branch, any SGA officer for failure to fulfill three (3) or more duties as assigned within a semester. Suspensions may not last longer than a period of thirty (30) days.

(20) The President will have their room charges covered by SGA. This remuneration will not include board charges, which will be the responsibility of the SGA President. Should he/she elect to receive a stipend in lieu of have the room charges paid for, the amount of the stipend will be sanctioned by the finance committee.

SECTION IV:  VICE PRESIDENT

The Vice President shall serve a dual role by acting as co-chair of the Executive Branch and chair of the Student Senate.  Additional roles and responsibilities of the Vice President are stated in Article IV, Section III of this Constitution.

(1) The Vice President will, at all times, work in close cooperation with the President of SGA.

(2) As a member of the Executive Branch, the Vice President will present all bills passed in the Student Senate to the Executive Branch for approval or veto. The Vice President will keep the Executive Branch and the President informed of all Student Senate activities.

(3) In case of the removal of the Vice President of the SGA from office or in case of the Vice President's absence, resignation, death or other inability to discharge the duties of the office, the line of succession is as follows: Vice President, Senior Class Vice President, Junior Class Vice President.

(4) The successor to the office of the Vice President will only hold office temporarily, and elections will be held by the Student Senate for a new Vice President within 72 hours of the original vacancy.

(5) The Vice President will have the authority to act in the best interest of the student body and the SGA during the summer months. Some decisions made will be valid for the summer, but will require legislative approval when the Student Senate reconvenes.

(6) Additional roles and responsibilities of the Vice President are stated in Article IV, Section III of this Constitution.

(7) The Vice President will have their room charges covered by SGA. This remuneration will not include board charges, which will be the responsibility of the Vice President. Should he/she elect to receive a stipend in lieu of having the room charges paid for, the amount of the stipend will be sanctioned by the finance committee.

SECTION V:  CLASS PRESIDENTS

The role of each Class President shall be as follows:

(1) The Class Presidents of the various Executive Branch member classes will serve as liaisons between their respective classes and the Executive Branch.

(2) They will inform their constituents of Executive Branch action, and they will inform the Executive Branch of their class actions.

(3) They will submit proposals to the Executive Branch for their approval.

(4) They will carry out duties and directives as assigned by the Executive Branch Chairperson.

(5) They will attend all Executive Branch meetings or send a delegate.

(6) They are required to meet with Class members once a month to give updates on relevant issues.

(7) They shall prepare a monthly report to be submitted to the Executive Branch outlining all activities that occurred during the month.

SECTION VI:  EXECUTIVE BRANCH MEMBER-AT-LARGE

The role of the Executive Branch Member-at-Large shall be as follows:

(1) The Executive Branch Member-at-Large is not responsible to any particular class or organization but instead represents the general welfare of the student body.

(2) The Executive Branch Member-at-Large should vote with the general welfare of the entire student body in mind.

(3) The Executive Branch Member-at-Large must participate on at least one committee and in one SGA project during each semester.

(4) The Executive Branch Member-at-Large must attend all Executive Branch meetings.

(5) The Executive Member-at-Large is responsible for following up on all official student complaints submitted to the Student Government Association.

(6) The Executive Member-at-Large is responsible for coordinating all committees as designated by the SGA President.

(7) The Executive Member-at-Large shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee.

(8) The Executive Branch Member-at-Large will receive a stipend in an amount sanctioned by the Finance Committee.

SECTION VII:  TREASURER

The role of the Treasurer shall be as follows:

(1) The Treasurer will be appointed by the President of the SGA with the approval of the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) at its first scheduled meeting.

(2) The Treasurer will keep an accurate record of all income and expenditures of the SGA and its members Organizations whenever State funds are used.

(3) The Treasurer will work in collaboration with the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) in the preparation of financial reports.

(4) The Treasurer will give a full financial report bi-weekly to the President of the SGA and the Director of Student Life. The Treasurer will prepare a monthly full financial report and make it available to the Student Body.

(5) The Treasurer, along with the President of the SGA and the Director of Student Life, shall be the only authorized signatures on all financial transactions.

(6) The Treasurer, along with the President, will submit all budget transactions to the Director of Student Life for verification of funding and approval.

(7) The Treasurer, along with the President, will meet once a month with the Director of Student Life, for the purpose of being knowledgeable of the University's budget process and reconciliation of budget records.

(8) The Treasurer will serve as the chair of the Finance Committee.

(9) The Treasurer will receive a stipend in an amount sanctioned by the Finance Committee.

SECTION VIII:  EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

The role of the Executive Secretary shall be as follows:

(1) The Executive Secretary will be appointed by the President of the SGA.

(2) The Executive Secretary will prepare the agenda for meetings, keep and read the minutes of meetings, notify members of election or appointment to office, maintain communication between branches with respect to instruction and reports, act as custodian of the records, and perform all other duties as assigned by the President of the SGA.

(3) The Executive Secretary will receive a stipend in an amount as decided by the Finance Committee.

SECTION IX:  STUDENT ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR

The role of the Student Activities Coordinator shall be as follows:

(1) The Student Activities Council* shall be under the leadership of a Student Activities Coordinator.

(2) The Student Activities Coordinator is responsible for SGA events regardless of branch origin.

(3) The Student Activities Coordinator is responsible for submitting a schedule of events to the Executive Branch one month prior to the start of a new semester or as indicated by the SGA Vice-President.

(4) Periodic updates on events will be furnished by the Student Activities Council upon request from the SGA President or Vice-President and/or Director of Student Life.

(5) The Student Activities Coordinator, designated council representatives and other SGA officials should plan (per budgetary restraints) to attend the annual National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Conference or other professional development opportunities relevant to planning campus activities.

(6) The Student Activities Coordinator should work closely with the Treasurer as all funding for programming has to be presented to the Finance Committee for approval.

(7) The Student Activities Coordinator should meet at least bi-weekly with the Director of Student Life or designee for the purpose of coordinating/updating events and activities schedules.

(8) The Student Activities Coordinator will receive a stipend in an amount as sanctioned by the Finance Committee.

The Student Activities Council will consist of eight (8) students - including the Student Activities Coordinator and will be responsible for the planning and coordination of all events that are sponsored by the SGA.  The Council should prepare and make available an activities calendar of all proposed events for the semester for the approval of the Executive Branch.  The membership will be appointed by the Student Activities Coordinator with the approval of the Executive Branch.

SECTION X:  MR. AND MISS BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY

The role of Mr. Bowie and Miss Bowie shall be as follows:

(1) Represent the SGA and the University at official functions as designated by the President.

(2) Serve as ambassadors of the University and the SGA. During each regular semester they will be required to perform at least three (3) community service projects each, which should be approved by the SGA Executive Branch and the SGA Advisor. These community service projects shall be designed to enhance the Bowie State Community or the community at large. Each project is to be documented and reported to the SGA President and the Miss Bowie/Mr. Bowie Advisory Council respectively. Should Miss Bowie or Mr. Bowie fail to meet or perform the requirements of the title, the crown shall be removed.

(3) In case of removal from office or resignation, death, or other inability to discharge the duties of Mr. Bowie or Miss Bowie, the line of succession shall be as follows: first runner-up, second runner-up, etc. In case there exists no runner-up, the SGA President along with the Miss Bowie/Mr. Bowie Advisory Council shall have the power to designate the manner in which the new Miss or Mr. Bowie is selected.

(4) Miss Bowie and Mr. Bowie shall receive financial support for sponsored activities and events as decided by the Finance Committee. A proposed budget should be submitted for approval at the start of every semester outlining all projected activities, service projects and events.

(5) Miss Bowie and Mr. Bowie shall serve on committees as designated by the President.

(6) Mr. Bowie will organize the Mr. Bowie competition, and Miss Bowie will organize the Miss Bowie pageant. This will be done in conjunction with the Director of Student Life or designee, the Elections Committee and the Mr. and Miss Bowie Advisory Committee.

(7) Miss Bowie and Mr. Bowie will have their room charges covered by SGA. This remuneration will not include board charges, which will be the responsibility of Mr. and Miss Bowie. Should Miss Bowie and Mr. Bowie elect to receive a stipend in lieu of having their room charges paid for, the amount of the stipend will be sanctioned by the Finance Committee.

SECTION XI:  ATTENDANTS TO MR. AND MISS BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY

There shall be two attendants to Mr. and Miss Bowie State University and they shall be officially named Mr. and Miss Black and Gold and Mr. and Miss Essence.  These positions are not SGA officer positions and will not have representation on the Executive Board, unless they are designated by Mr. and Miss Bowie State to represent them.  In this event, there shall be only one vote submitted for Miss BSU and one submitted for Mr. BSU.

The roles and responsibilities of the attendants to Mr. and Miss Bowie State University are as follows:

(1) Shall be appointed by Mr. and Miss BSU. They must meet the qualifications set forth for all appointed SGA positions and the approval of the Mr. and Miss Bowie State University Advisory Committee;

(2) Shall assist Mr. and Miss BSU with their platforms and programs;

(3) Be prepared at all times to fill in for Mr. and Miss BSU when needed;

(4) Assist and provide input and feedback to Mr. and Miss BSU in determining all programs done on behalf of the Royal Court.

(5) Assist Mr. and Miss BSU in producing monthly reports to SGA informing them of the status of the Royal Court (i.e., upcoming events, needs, outcomes of programs, etc.); and

(6) Represent the BSU Royal Court at all on and off campus programs and events when such representation is deemed appropriate.

SECTION XII:  UNIVERSITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES (3)

The following persons shall serve as Voting Members of the University Council:  The President of the Student Government Association or designee, the Vice President and the Executive Member-at-Large.  If other student representatives are needed for Standing Committees, they will be appointed by the President.

Student representatives to the University Council and the University Council Standing Committees are responsible for conveying information from the Council/Committees to the student body at regularly scheduled SGA student body meetings.  A monthly report should be submitted to the Executive Branch and Student Senate.  The term for student representatives to the University Council and the University Council Standing Committees shall be for one year.

SECTION XIII:  FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Finance Committee shall approve the budget for the Student Government Association.  They shall also be responsible for approving all financial requests by registered clubs and organizations.  The Committee will consist of seven members, none of which can hold a position in SGA.  The role of the Finance Committee shall be as follows:

(1) The SGA Treasurer will act as Chairperson of the Finance Committee. In addition to the SGA Treasurer, the Committee will be composed of five members elected among Legislative Branch and an appointed member by the Branch. The SGA President, Vice President and the Executive Member-at-Large will serve as ex-officio members.

(2) The Finance Committee will formulate a proposed budget one month prior to the start of a new semester or as indicated by the SGA President.

(3) The Finance Committee must meet every two weeks throughout the regular semester.

(4) The Finance Committee will be responsible for establishing a means by which open communication regarding financial matters occurs between all branches.

(5) The Finance Committee is solely responsible for informing and advising the President on all financial matters, transactions and/or problems relevant to the SGA budget.

(6) During the last meeting of the Spring Semester, the Student Senate shall select its four (4) members of the Finance Committee for the upcoming year. Once SGA Elections are held, the new President shall see that the three (3) Executive Branch appointees are selected.

(7) All stipends for elected and/or appointed SGA officials, as stipulated in this Constitution, must be sanctioned by the Finance Committee*.

*Student stipends are a provision that this Constitution allows for students who dedicate their time and efforts to the positions that they were elected.  Stipends are not meant to be designated as salaries for SGA officers.  As such, stipend amounts cannot exceed one thousand dollars ($1000.00) for any one position in a semester.  Final approval of stipends must come from the Director of Student Life and the Dean for Student Affairs and Campus Life.

ARTICLE IV -  LEGISLATIVE BRANCH (STUDENT SENATE)

SECTION I:  PURPOSE

The Legislative Branch is the law-making body of the SGA and will be called the Student Senate.  The role of the Legislative Branch (Student Senate) shall be as follows:    

(1) Make all laws necessary as proper for the functioning of its Student Govern­ment in accordance with its stated constitutional purposes.

(2) The Student Senate may, by two-thirds (2/3) vote, override an Executive Branch veto, and bills originating in the Student Senate will then have force of law.

(3) The Student Senate shall meet every first and third week of the month. The specific day shall be determined by the Chairperson.

SECTION II:  MEMBERSHIP

The Student Senate will consist of a Chairperson (Vice-President of SGA), a Vice-Chairperson, member organization Presidents or other appointed representative, class Vice-Presidents, and a maximum of eight (8) members-at-large.

SECTION III:  VICE PRESIDENT OF SGA

The role of the Vice President shall be as follows:

(1) The Vice President will serve as Chairperson of the Student Senate and will call and preside over all meetings of said body and vote only in the case of a tie.

(2) The Vice President will keep the Student Senate abreast of communications received by the SGA.

(3) The Vice President must act in accordance to the directives in bills passed by the Student Senate and approved by the Executive Branch.

(4) The Vice President will delegate responsibility to Student Senate members as necessary for the proper functioning of the SGA.

(5) The Vice President will have the authority to suspend, for the remainder of a meeting, any organization whose representative exhibits excessive disorderly conduct.

(6) The Vice President may appoint a committee to execute a desired SGA function in accordance with the stated purposes of this Association.

SECTION IV:  VICE-CHAIRPERSON OF THE STUDENT LEGISLATURE

The Vice-Chairperson will be elected from the membership of the Student Legislature by two-thirds (2/3) vote.  The Vice Chairperson shall conduct all business of the Student Senate in the absence of the Chairperson.  In addition, the Vice Chairperson shall represent the Student Senate during times when the Vice President is called to act on behalf of the Executive Branch.  The selection of the Vice-Chairperson does not require Executive Branch approval.    

SECTION V:  STUDENT SENATE REPRESENTATIVE

The role of the Student Senate Representative, from hereafter called Senator, shall be as follows:

(1) Class and Club Senators will be elected by the members of the classes and clubs, respectively. Each residence hall will have the status of a club and will have only one Senator in the Student Senate.

(2) Each Senator will have one vote in the Student Senate.

(3) Each Senator will keep all constituents informed of SGA legislation, administrative action, and all other issues that concern, directly or indirectly, the student body.

(4) Each Senator will be aware of SGA programs and projects and keep all constituents informed of such.

(5) Each Senator should be aware of student needs and propose programs to address those needs in the event that a Senator is a member of more than one organization, he or she may only represent one at any meeting.

(6) Each Senator performs duties as assigned by the Chairperson and/or the Vice Chairperson.

SECTION VI:  STUDENT SENATE MEMBER-AT-LARGE

The Student Senate Member-At-Large will be appointed by the Executive Member-At-Large.  The role of the Student Senate Member-At-Large shall be as follows:

(1) Student Senate Member-At-Large will have the same duties and obligations as other Senators as stated in Article IV, Section V of this constitution.

(2) The Student Senate Member-At-Large must participate on at least one committee and in one SGA project during each semester in office. Failure to do so will result in the removal from office of that Member-At-Large.

(3) A Student Senate Member-At-Large who has three (3) absences or accumulates twenty (20) minutes in tardiness will be dismissed.

SECTION VII:  LEGISLATIVE BRANCH SECRETARY

The role of the Legislative Branch Secretary shall be as follows:

(1) The Legislative Branch Secretary will be appointed by the Vice President of the SGA.

(2) The Legislative Branch Secretary will prepare the agenda for meetings, keep and read the minutes of meetings, maintain communication between branches with respect to instruction and reports, act as custodian of the Legislative Branch records, and perform all other duties as assigned by the Vice President of the SGA.

(3) The Legislative Branch Secretary will receive a stipend in an amount as sanctioned by the Finance Committee.

SECTION VIII:  STUDENT SENATE REQUIREMENTS FOR ORGANIZATIONS AND CLUBS

(1) An organization or club must meet the following requirements before it can be eligible for admission as a voting member of the Student Senate:

(a) The organization or club must have at least seven (7) active members*.

(b) The organization or club must present a list of officers to the Legislative Branch Chairperson.

(c) The organization must present a list of current members to the Legislative Branch Chairperson.

(d) The organization or club must have a current constitution on file with the Legislative Branch at the beginning of each academic year.

(e) The organization must have a well-defined purpose that does not conflict with university guidelines, policies, and procedures.

(2) The Student Senate must approve the admission of a new organization or club by a two-thirds (2/3) vote before the organization can become a voting member.

*Exceptions to this requirement can be made by the Director of Student Life/SGA Advisor.

SECTION IX:  REPRESENTATION OF CLASSES AND ORGANIZATIONS

(1) Each class and member organization must provide at least one student per semester to serve on a SGA committee or assist in a project as requested by the President or Vice-President. Failure to comply with such a request will result in the suspension of that class or member organization from the Student Senate and the freezing of its funds for a period of one (1) months. At the end of that period, the organization will be readmitted to the SGA.

Each class and member organization will submit a monthly report that meets the following criteria:

(a) Monthly reports should be submitted to the SGA the first Friday of each month that school is in regular session.

(b) Each report should include the names of officers and members.

(c) The report should include all actions taken, activities sponsored, funds requested and allocated, spent and/or returned to the SGA.

(d) The report should indicate whether a member or officer has resigned, been impeached, or become inactive.

(e) The report should include the number of meetings held during the month (the time, place, and attendance).

(f) The report should address any problems or concerns being encountered by the organization.

(g) The report should be typed.

*Failure of a class or organization to submit a monthly report will result in a fine determined by the Finance Committee.  Failure of a class or organization to submit monthly reports for any three months of the regular school year will result in the freezing of that class' or organization's funds.

(2) Class and member organization Senators must attend Student Senate meetings. Failure of a class or club to attend any of three Student Senate meetings or failure to attend one-third (1/3) of the regularly scheduled meetings will result in the freezing of the organization's or class' budget, and the suspension of that class or organization from the SGA for the remainder of that semester. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Chairperson.

(3) Each class and member organization must meet at least once a month. Member organizations must maintain at least two-thirds (2/3) of the original number of members to remain active in the SGA.

ARTICLE V -  JUDICIAL BRANCH

SECTION I:  PURPOSE

The purpose of the Judicial Branch is to ensure that there is adequate student representation in the judicial processes of the University.

SECTION II:  MEMBERSHIP

The Judicial Branch will consist of the Solicitor General and student members of the Bowie State University Judicial Board.

SECTION III:  SOLICITOR GENERAL

The Solicitor General serves as the general administrative officer for the Residence Halls and the University Judicial Boards.  The role of the Solicitor General includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Advising students of their rights when they have been charged with an offense;

(2) Evaluating the judicial system at least once each semester and submitting recommendations to the University's JAO;

(3) Reviewing constitutional questions that relate to the Student Government Association and making appropriate recommendations;

(4) Implementing at least two educational programs for students per semester as it relates to the University Code of Conduct and other University policies regarding student rights and responsibilities;

(5) Hearing and deciding on any and all grievances from clubs and organizations that are results of actions taken against them by either the Executive and/or the Legislative Branches;

(6) Working collaboratively with the President and advising him/her on all constitutional questions;

(7) Citing precedents for the judicial boards;

(8) Recommending Board members to the Judicial Affairs Officer;

(9) Implementing a training program in conjunction with the Judicial Affairs Officer for participants in the University judicial system;

(10) Resolving jurisdictional questions between SGA branches and clubs and organizations; and

(11) Being aware of reports of violations by students to any campus Judicial Board

(12) The Solicitor General must serve on at least one SGA committee and/or assist in special projects as designated by the President of SGA.

(13) The Solicitor General will receive a stipend in an amount sanctioned by the Finance Committee.

ARTICLE VI -  ELECTIONS

SECTION I:  ELECTION PROCEDURES

(1) The undergraduate SGA elections will be held annually on the second Wednesday in April (This date may be altered by the Director of Student Life with the approval of the Dean for Student Affairs and Campus Life when necessary and/or appropriate). Election specifics, i.e., time, place, date, to be determined by the Elections Committee. It is the responsibility of the Elections Committee to ensure that all mechanisms for the Elections are in place, i.e., voting machines, election monitors, etc.

(2) All candidates for the Office of the President must have a Vice-Presidential running mate at the time of filing their application. This also applies to candidates running for class president but does not apply to candidates running for president of clubs and organizations unless otherwise stated in that club or organization's charter or constitution.

(3) Elections shall be administered by an impartial committee of seven (7) students; four (4) members will be chosen by the Student Senate and three (3) will be appointed the highest ranking executive officer who is not a candidate for office in the elections, or if there is none, by the SGA Advisor.

(4) The Elections Committee Chair shall be selected by the final meeting of the Student Senate in the month of November. It shall be the Vice President's responsibility to see that the selection process has been completed.

(5) All members of the committee shall be full?time students in good standing with the University.

(6) No person holding any elected office under the SGA may be a member of the committee, nor may any candidate or any agent of a candidate.

SECTION II:  ELECTIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON

 The responsibilities of the Elections Chairperson are as follows:

(1) To oversee the work of the committee

(2) To represent the committee before the SGA and the administration

(3) To act on behalf of the committee when it is unable to meet

(4) To communicate will all candidates for SGA and Class positions on behalf of the committee when necessary

SECTION III:  ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

The responsibilities of the Elections Committee are as follows:

(1) The Elections Committee is responsible for overseeing the election process and enforcing the election policies.

(2) The Elections Committee shall set up a mandatory meeting with all candidates.

(3) The Elections Committee shall organize at least two (2) candidate forums and the Presidential/Vice Presidential Debate.

(4) The Elections Committee shall organize and distribute a calendar of election events to the candidates and the student body.

(5) The Elections Committee shall meet at least once per month from December through February, and at least once per week in the month of March.

(6) The Elections Committee has jurisdiction over all elections and programs associated with the election process.

SECTION IV:  ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION

Applications shall be made available from the SGA Office and the Office of Student Life beginning the first school day in February.

(1) Applications shall be turned in to the Office of Student Life on the fourth Wednesday in February not later than 5:00 p.m.

(2) All information on the application shall be verified by the Office of Student Life.

(3) Any false information on the petition will automatically disqualify the potential candidate from running.

(4) All applicants will receive a copy of this policy and a list of the Elections Committee members' names and telephone numbers. From that point on, ignorance of the provisions of the policy shall not be accepted as any form of excuse for violations of the policy by a candidate.

(5) The Elections Committee shall conduct at least one mandatory meeting of all candidates to impress upon them their rights and responsibilities.

(6) All candidates must be present at this meeting. If the date and time of the meeting pose a conflict, the candidate must submit a written notice to the Elections Committee Chairperson at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled meeting. All available members of the Elections Committee must be present at this meeting.

(7) The date and time of the meeting shall be published in the Elections Committee's Calendar of Events.

(8) There shall be absolutely no write-ins or petitioners.

(9) The polls shall be open on election day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at areas designated by the Elections Committee with the approval of the Director of Student Life.

(10) Election monitors will be assigned during the indicated hours by the Elections Committee Chairperson.

(11) Two (2) voting machines shall be used in all SGA and Class Elections in each poll location.

(12) Names of candidates will appear on the ballot exactly as they appear on the candidates' petition.

(13) Candidates' names shall appear on the ballot in alphabetical order.

(14) Candidates shall be notified promptly by the Elections Committee of their level of position and number on the ballot.

(15) There shall be no absentee voting.

SECTION V:  ELECTION POLICY/REGULATIONS

(1) An individual or an organization will be considered an agent of a candidate or a ticket in any case where the person or organization has publicly endorsed a candidate or ticket. This also applies when a majority of the Elections Committee has sufficient reason to rule that a person or an organization is acting as an agent of a candidate or ticket. In any case, where a person or organization is acting as an agent of a candidate or a ticket they shall fall under the same regulations applicable to candidate(s).

(2) No campaigning shall be allowed in any classroom while class is in session, or in any SGA sponsored event (except the candidate's forum).

(3) Campaigning shall be defined as any written, printed, or spoken plea or statement supporting any candidate or ticket issued by the candidate or their agent.

(4) All campaign literature, flyers, posters, etc. must be approved by the Office of Student Life and Wiseman Student Centre. Campaign materials should only be posted in designated areas. A copy of the University's posting policy shall be provided by the Elections Committee at the candidates mandatory meeting.

(5) Campaign material cannot be placed on any vehicles.

(6) There shall be no campaigning or campaign literature within 50 feet of the polling site on Election Day. The polling site shall be defined as the building in which the elections is held.

(7) Campaign literature must be removed from the election site prior to Election Day; candidates and their staff will be solely responsible for taking down their own literature.

(8) Candidates are responsible for removing their campaign materials and for cleaning up the campus within 48 hours after the polls close. Candidates found by the Elections Committee to be in violation of this regulation shall be assessed a fine of one dollar ($1.00) per day and fifty cents ($0.50) per poster or flyer. These fines may be appealed to the Director of Student Life.

(9) No slanderous or libelous statements shall be made by any candidate or agent of a candidate. No destruction of property shall be permitted. No behavior unbecoming of a candidate for office shall be permitted.

(10) No SGA office supplies or monies may be used to facilitate a campaign.

(11) In addition to the candidate forums sponsored by the Elections Committee, any other organization may sponsor such an event, provided that they are impartially conducted and a member of the Elections Committee is present.

(12) Any complaint from a candidate(s) must be presented in written form and submitted to the Elections Committee Chairperson. Should the complaint be deemed legitimate by the Elections Committee, appropriate action will be taken within 48 hours of the initial complaint.

SECTION VI:  ELECTIONS VIOLATIONS

Violation of any of the following shall result in immediate disqualification of candidate's petition for office if either of the following occurs:

(1) Failure to notify the Elections Committee of inability to attend mandatory meetings within at least 48 hours of the meeting date;

(2) Failure to attend mandatory meetings;

(3) Failure to respond to an inquiry of the Elections Committee within 48 hours; or

(4) Failure to adhere to any other election regulations outlined in this Constitution.

*Any candidate who has a grievance with the SGA Elections process should submit the grievance in writing to the Elections Chairperson and copy the Director of Student Life, for appeal purposes only.  The grievance should clearly and concisely state the nature of the complaint.  The Elections Committee will have 48 hours to respond, in writing, to any and all grievances.  The candidate may appeal a grievance decision made by the Elections Committee to the Director of Student Life.  

SECTION VII:  CLASS ELECTIONS

(1) Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Class officers shall be elected during the month of April, along with SGA officers.

(2) Freshmen Class elections shall be held during the Fall Semester no later than the third Wednesday after classes officially commence and shall be conducted by a committee appointed by the Vice President with Executive Branch approval.

(3) Candidates for all class offices are subject to the same application and election regulations and election procedures as SGA elected officials.

(4) Candidates for class offices must have at least a 2.5 GPA.

(5) Candidates will gain approval to run for a class office only if their acquired credits and currently enrolled credits total the amount needed for that respective class (i.e. 30 - Sophomore, 60 - Junior, 90 - Senior).

(6) Candidates who wish to hold the office of Class President must have a vice-presidential running mate. The same GPA and credit requirement will exist for Vice President Candidates as well.

SECTION VIII:  CLUBS AND ORGANIZATION ELECTIONS

(1) Each club and organization must have its elections during the spring semester.

(2) Elections must be held two weeks after the SGA elections.

(3) After elections have been held, each club and organization must submit its new list of officers to the SGA and the Office of Student Life before the end of the semester.

SECTION IX:  INAUGURATION PROCEDURES

(1) The President and Vice President of the SGA will assume and maintain full responsibility of office from the day after graduation to the day of the following graduation.

(2) At the inauguration of the SGA officers, they will take the following oath:

 "I do solemnly affirm that I shall faithfully execute the duties of the office of (state office) and shall to the best of my ability uphold and defend the Constitutions of the Bowie State University and the Student Government Association."

(3) There will be an understudy/shadowing period for each SGA elected officer beginning immediately upon the day of election and continuing until the assumption of full authority. During this period, the president-elect may make tentative appointments subject to the approval of the new Student Senate.

(4) The inauguration of SGA officers elect shall take place during the Fall Convocation.

(5) The inauguration of Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Class Officers shall take place during the Fall Convocation.

(6) The Freshmen Class Officers inauguration will be held no later than two (2) weeks after their election.

ARTICLE VI -  REQUIREMENTS FOR SGA ELECTED OFFICIALS

SECTION I:  PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

(1) The President and Vice President will be elected by plurality vote among the undergraduate student body.

(2) Persons seeking the offices of the president and vice president of the SGA will have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or better and will have no student code of conduct violation(s) on record at the time of application for office. At the time of application, persons seeking the office of President or Vice President must have acquired forty-five (45) credit hours*. Both candidates must be in good standing with the university as stated in the student handbook, must be a full?time student, and must have attended Bowie State University for at least one year, and must not have been absent from the University during the semester which immediately precedes elections.

SECTION II:  THE EXECUTIVE MEMBER-AT-LARGE

(1) The Executive Member-at-Large will be elected by plurality vote during SGA elections held in the month of April.

(2) Persons seeking the office of Executive Member-at-Large must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or better, must have acquired at least forty-five (45) BSU credits* and must have no student code of conduct violations on record at the time of application.

(3) The Executive Member-at-Large will assume and maintain full responsibility from the day after commencement to the day of the following commencement.

SECTION III:  THE SOLICITOR GENERAL

(1) The Solicitor General will be elected by plurality vote of the student body.

(2) Persons seeking the office of Solicitor General must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or better, must have acquired at least forty-five (45) BSU credits* and must have no student code of conduct violations on record at the time of application.

(3) The Solicitor General will assume and maintain full responsibility of office from the day after commencement to the day of the following commencement.

SECTION IV:  MR. AND MISS BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY

(1) Mr. and Miss Bowie will be elected by plurality vote among the undergraduate student body.

(2) The candidates for Miss Bowie and Mr. Bowie must have a 2.7 cumulative grade point average, and must have obtained at least forty-five (45) credit hours from Bowie State University at the time of filing an application*, and must have no student code of conduct violations on record at the time of application.

(3) The candidates for Miss Bowie and Mr. Bowie are subject to the same election procedures as all other SGA elected officials.

(4) The candidates for Miss Bowie State University must be female and the candidates for Mr. Bowie State University must be male.

SECTION V:  STUDENT ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR

(1) The Student Activities Coordinator will be elected by plurality vote of the student body during SGA elections held in April.

(2) The person seeking the office of Student Activities Coordinator must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or better, must have acquired at least forty-five (45) BSU credits and must have no student code of conduct violations on record at the time of application.

(3) The Student Activities Coordinator will assume and maintain full responsibility from the day after commencement to the day of the following commencement.

*The forty-five (45) credit hours is required for all student seeking to hold SGA positions.  However, for transfer students the amount of BSU credits needed is thirty (30).  Once transfer students have acquired thirty (30) BSU credits, they may run for a SGA position, assuming that they have transferred in at least fifteen (15) credits from their prior institution.

ARTICLE VII -  IMPEACHMENT

All elected officers, excluding the Executive Member-at-Large may be impeached by procedures stipulated in Robert's Rules of Order.

ARTICLE VIII -  REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-ELECTED POSITIONS

All students holding non-elected SGA offices, chairing committees, or representing the Association in any manner must be in good judicial standing with the University and must have at least a 2.5 grade point average.

ARTICLE IX - ORDER OF PROCEEDINGS

All proceedings of this Association and the duties of the officers will be governed by Robert's Rules of Order.

ARTICLE X -  AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this constitution can be proposed/introduced in writing by any Branch of the Student Government Association or by any undergraduate student attending this institution through legislative representation.  Amendments will become valid and part of this constitution only after the installation of the next Student Government Administration providing constitutional guidelines have been met.

ARTICLE XI - EFFECTIVENESS OF CONSTITUTION

This Constitution shall become effective immediately upon receiving the approval of the Director of Student Life and Dean for Students Affairs and Campus Life.