Senate Bylaws

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Article I - Records

Section A - Public Record

  1. The Public Record Shall:
    1. Be kept in a place conveniently accessible by the entire Student Body;
    2. Be made available in either paper or electronic form;
    3. Be updated as called for in the Student Senate Wiki;
    4. Include:
      1. A current copy of the Student Body Constitution;
      2. A current copy of the Bylaws;
      3. A current copy of the Standing Rules;
      4. All legislation in effect;
      5. Copies of all Senate budgets and financial reports;
      6. All committee membership rosters;
      7. All failed legislation;
      8. All documents as set forth in the Student Body Constitution, Constitutional Bylaws, and Senate Bylaws.

Section B - Secretary Records

  1. Records to be kept current by the Secretary:
    1. Attendance records;
    2. Minutes of the General Assembly.
    3. If records are made available via paper form, they must be:
      1. Sent to Senate Officers and Senators;
      2. Sent to Executive Cabinet;
      3. Sent to the Public Records Committee.

Section C - Committee Minutes

  1. Committee minutes may record:
    1. The time and place of the meeting;
    2. The members and guests present;
    3. The issues discussed;
    4. Any official recommendations and proposed amendments;
  2. Committee meeting minutes shall be made available to Senators before the Call to Order of the committee meeting;
  3. Minutes taken in paper form may:
    1. Be sent to the Secretary before the Call to Order of the meeting;
    2. Be sent to the Public Records Committee to be published in the Public Record.

Section D - Legislation

  1. Legislation arriving on the Senate floor in paper form shall be sent by the Secretary to:
    1. The Student Body President;
    2. The Student Body Vice President;
    3. The President Pro Tempore;
    4. The Senators.
  2. Legislation arriving on the Senate floor in electronic form shall:
    1. Be sent to the Public Records Committee to publish electronically;
    2. Be updated by the Public Records Committee to reflect the current status.
  3. Recently passed legislation shall be:
    1. Made available to the Student Body President within three school days;
    2. Made available to all Senators once it takes effect;
    3. Made available to the Public Records Committee to be published in the Public Record.

Section E - Voting Record

  1. Voting Record:
    1. A roll call vote may be taken either at the discretion of the presiding officer or a vote of at least 20% of the Senators present.
    2. The voting record shall be:
      1. Recorded by the Secretary;
      2. Published in the Public Record.

Article II - Legislation

Section A - Format for Bills

  1. All bills must adhere to the following guidelines before being sent to committee and before being passed by Senate.
  2. All bills shall contain the following items in the order specified:
    1. Senate bill heading;
    2. Enabling clause;
    3. One or more sections.
  3. The Senate bill heading shall contain the following in the order specified:
    1. a line containing “LeTourneau University Student Senate” at the top left;
    2. a line containing the following in the order specified:
      1. “Sponsored by,” followed by a list of names of Senators sponsoring the bill, followed by an optional “by request,” if the bill was at the request of an individual not listed in those sponsoring the bill.
    3. A line containing “An Act” centered;
    4. The long title of the bill.
  4. The long title of the bill shall begin with the words “Relating to” and shall describe briefly what the bill is about.
  5. The enabling clause shall be “Be it enacted by the LeTourneau University Student Senate”.
  6. Sections.
    1. All sections shall be prefaced with a short heading which shall be centered.
    2. All bills shall contain a short title section directly after the enabling clause.
    3. A purpose clause section shall be used only if the nature of the bill is not clear otherwise.
    4. All bills shall take effect upon the signatures of the President and of the University Vice President of Student Affairs, unless the bill has an effective date section which specifies otherwise.

Section B - Format for Resolutions

  1. All resolutions must adhere to the following guidelines before being sent to committee and being passed by Senate.
  2. All resolutions shall contain the following items in the orders specified:
    1. Senate resolution heading;
    2. Preamble;
    3. Enabling clause if required;
    4. One or more provisions;
  3. The Senate resolution heading shall contain the following in the order specified:
    1. A line containing “LeTourneau University Student Senate” centered;
    2. A line containing the following in the order specified:
      1. “Sponsored by,” followed by a list of names of Senators sponsoring the resolution, followed by an optional “by request,” if the resolution was at the request of an individual not listed in those sponsoring the resolution.
    3. A line containing “A Resolution” centered.
      1. Left-aligned “Relating to” immediately after, giving a brief overview of the resolution.
      2. The preamble shall contain reasons for the resolution.
      3. The preamble shall not be used only if the resolution is amending the Constitution or the Constitutional Bylaws.
  4. The enabling clause:
    1. Shall be “Be it enacted by the LeTourneau University Student Senate.”
    2. Shall be used only if the resolution is amending the Constitution or the Constitutional Bylaws.
  5. Provisions.
    1. The provision shall contain statements of what is to be done.
    2. The first provision shall begin with “Resolved, by the LeTourneau University Student Senate, that.”
    3. The following provisions shall begin with “resolved, that.”

Article III - Committees

Section A - Constitution Committee

  1. Mission Statement: The mission of the Constitution Committee is to represent the student body by ensuring a faithful interpretation of the Student Body Constitution and by promoting responsibility, communication, and diligence in Senate, according to the intent of the Constitution and Bylaws, especially among Senate Committees.
  2. The Constitution Committee shall be composed of at least three members.
  3. All members shall be Senators.
  4. The purpose of the Constitution Committee shall be to consider matters involving:
    1. The Constitution;
    2. The Constitutional Bylaws;
    3. The Senate Bylaws;
    4. The standing rules;
    5. Complaints against a club or organization;
    6. Allegations of violations of the Constitution.
  5. Only matters adhering to its purpose may be sent to the Constitution Committee.

Section B - Financial Appropriations Committee

  1. Mission Statement: The mission of the Financial Appropriations Committee (FAC) of LeTourneau University is to allocate Senate funds in such a way that provides the greatest possible benefit to student organizations across LeTourneau University campus and to demonstrate the thoughtful and responsible stewardship of the funds with which we have been entrusted.
  2. The Financial Appropriations Committee shall be composed of at least three members.
  3. All members shall be Senators.
  4. The purpose of the Financial Appropriations Committee shall be to consider matters involving:
    1. General Senate finances;
    2. Appropriations to clubs and organizations;
    3. Proposed spending and reimbursement.
  5. Only matters adhering to its purpose may be sent to the Financial Appropriations Committee.

Section C - Student Life Committee

  1. Mission Statement: The mission of the Student Life Committee is to facilitate communication and cooperation between Senate and the student body, the Student Life Office, Facilities Services, the University Police Department, Academic Affairs, and other departments with which communication is needed. Additionally, the Student Life Committee plans and runs Senate activities for the student body.
  2. The Student Life Committee shall be composed of at least seven people:
    1. Chair
    2. Co-Chair;
    3. Specialists;
    4. All members not holding one of these positions shall be general members.
  3. The purpose of the Student Life Committee shall be to consider matters involving:
    1. Residence Halls;
    2. Food Services;
    3. Room and Board Fees;
    4. Laundry Facilities;
    5. Campus Improvements;
    6. Courses;
    7. Majors;
    8. Tuition;
    9. Learning Resources;
    10. Student Senate Events;
    11. Student Life Project;
    12. Campus Security Assessment;
    13. Security Improvement Ideas;
    14. Anything else pertaining to Student Life.
  4. Only matters adhering to its purpose may be sent to the Student Life Committee.

Section D - Public Records and Relations Committee

  1. Mission Statement: The mission of the Public Records Committee is to ensure that the student body of LeTourneau University has timely access to information regarding the business of Senate. The Public Records Committee is responsible for maintaining student access to the minutes and passed legislation of Senate from years past and present. This includes maintaining the paper record, Senate website, and other mediums of communication.
  2. The Public Records Committee shall be composed of at least three members.
  3. All members shall be Senators.
  4. The purpose of the Public Records Committee shall be to:
    1. Maintain the Public Record;
    2. Assist the secretary as necessary;
    3. Determine the content of the Senate Web Pages;
    4. Maintain the Senate Web Pages;
    5. Consider matters involving:
      1. The Public Record;
      2. The Senate web pages;
      3. Senate social media pages;
      4. Any official Senate Record;
      5. Public face and appearance of Senate.
  5. Only matters adhering to its purpose may be sent to the Public Records and Relations Committee.

Section E - Elections Committee

  1. Mission Statement: The mission of the Elections Committee is to organize, advertise, and facilitate the election process of the Student Government Executive Cabinet positions, and to recruit members of the LeTourneau student body to represent their respective floors as floor senators.
  2. The Elections Committee shall be responsible for the following aspects of the Executive Election, including, but not limited to:
    1. Verifying Candidacy;
    2. Counting Ballots;
    3. Making election announcements;
    4. Conducting Interviews.
  3. The Elections Committee shall organize and perform all aspects of any Special Election.
  4. The Elections Committee shall schedule all Student Government Elections in accordance with the Constitution.
  5. The Elections Committee shall promote and perform recruitment of new senators.
  6. The Elections Committee shall consist of at least five members of Student Government who are not candidates in that election.
  7. The Executive Cabinet shall nominate only one representative to the committee by majority vote. The Executive Cabinet may, upon majority vote, replace this representative at any time.
  8. Members shall serve a term beginning the second session of senate after classes begin in the Fall Semester, and ending the last regular session of senate in the Spring Semester.

Section F - Formation and Management of Committees

  1. Chairs
    1. The PPT shall announce all chair positions. A one week period of time shall be designated for the PPT to interview all qualified candidates. In General Assembly, the PPT shall put forth a single nomination for chair of each committee. The Senate Body shall be given the opportunity to ask questions of each committee chair nominee. Each nomination for committee chair shall be approved individually by a majority vote of the Senate Body. If a nominee does not receive a majority vote, the PPT shall nominate a new chair to be approved as previously described.
    2. Chair selection for the Fall semester shall occur at the end of the preceding Spring Semester and Chair selection for the Spring Semester shall occur at the end of the preceding Fall semester.
    3. Chairs shall serve a term of one semester and may be re-nominated and re-approved as described above.
    4. Chair shall attend meetings with the PPT as defined in this Article.
    5. Chairs may resign by submitting a written letter of resignation to the PPT. The letter shall be read aloud in General Assembly.
    6. Chairs may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the entire committee or the PPT, if given just cause to do so.
    7. In the event of a vacancy, a new chair shall be nominated and approved as described above.
  2. Co-Chairs
    1. Committee chairs may select a co-chair to aid in completion of committee duties.
    2. The committee chair retains final authority of the committee.
    3. The co-chair must be a nominated and approved member of the committee.
    4. Co-chairs shall be jointly appointed by the PPT and the chair of the committee in question.
    5. Co-chairs shall serve a term of one semester and may be re-selected as described above.
    6. Co-chairs may resign by submitting a written letter of resignation to the PPT. The letter shall be read aloud in General Assembly.
    7. Co-chairs may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the entire committee or by agreement of the PPT and committee chair.
  3. Specialists
    1. Specialists preside over specific areas or responsibilities of a committee that require the attention of more than one member.
    2. Specialists shall be selected by the Committee Chair, based on the specific needs of the committee.
    3. Specialists shall serve a term of one semester and can be reselected.
    4. Specialists shall be members of the committee for which they are selected.
  4. Committee Members
    1. After all chairs have been confirmed, the PPT shall nominate, in the Senate General Assembly, members of formed committees. The nominations shall be approved by a majority vote of the Senate Body. This process shall be repeated as new committee members are added throughout the year.
    2. Committee members shall not be nominated before the chair of the committee in question has been approved.
    3. Committee members shall serve until the completion of the academic year and may be re-nominated and re-approved as described above.
    4. To resign from a committee, the Senator shall contact the committee chair and the PPT. The resignation shall be announced in the committee meeting and the committee chair shall notify the PPT, Vice President, and Public Records Committee.
    5. Committee members may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the entire committee; by the chair of that committee; or by the PPT.
  5. Committee Meetings
    1. Committees shall meet regularly to fulfill their duties as set forth in this Article.
    2. Committee meetings shall be open to non-member Senators and the general public.
    3. Only committee members may vote on an issue.
    4. Any visitor wishing to speak during a committee meeting must be recognized by the committee chair.
    5. The visitor must leave if requested to by the committee chair.
  6. Committee Chair Meetings
    1. Committee chairs shall meet regularly with the PPT to discuss committee operation and Senate functioning.
    2. Co-chairs shall be invited to attend.
    3. If unable to attend, a committee chair may send a designee from that committee.
    4. The PPT shall chair the meeting.
    5. The PPT may chose to take minutes, and may enlist the Senate Secretary to do this.
    6. The Vice President shall be invited to all committee chair meetings, but not required to attend.
    7. All additional guests must be invited by the PPT.

Article IV - Finances

Section A - Compensation

  1. Compensation of Senate Officers other than the Vice President shall be as follows:
    1. President Pro Tempore: $750
    2. Secretary: $750

Section B - Financial Reports

  1. The Spending Oversight Officer from the Financial Appropriations Committee shall present a current financial report to Senate every fourth session.

Article V - Special Senate Debate Guidelines

Section A - Invocation

  1. To invoke these special Senate debate guidelines, a Senator must make a motion to vote to invoke these debate guidelines.
  2. If followed by a second, the Vice President will call a vote to invoke these debate guidelines using “Ayes” and “Nays”.
  3. These debate guidelines are to be invoked by a simple majority.

Section B - Debate Procedure

  1. The debate begins with an issue brought to the floor by a Senator or a cabinet member. After stating the issue to be debated, the Speaker Chair or Vice President will open the floor for questions, which will be followed by debate. These are the point-of-order rules for debate engagement.
    1. If a Senator has a point they wants to make, they must raise their hand and wait to be called upon.
    2. After being called upon, the Senator must first state their name and which side of the issue they are taking before explaining his thoughts.
    3. After stating their thoughts without interruption, the Senator is to take his seat.
    4. Debate can then move forward with arguments from other Senators.
    5. When the rules of debate are in effect, the elected Speaker Chair is responsible for making sure debate moves along without problems, and is in charge of calling on Senators to speak. If more than one person has raised their hand, and is waiting to speak, it is the job of the Speaker Chair to choose the person who has not yet participated in the debate.
    6. During the debate, Senators are to treat their fellow colleagues with respect and are to address each other as “Senator (last name)”. No rowdy behavior, yelling, or foul language of any kind will be tolerated during the debate. If a Senator is found violating behavioral standards, the Speaker Chair has the right to request that the Sergeant at Arms remove that Senator from the debate and the Senate session.
    7. The debate will conclude before or after the hearing of a maximum of 6 Senator opinions on each side of the issue (12 total). The Speaker Chair is the only person who will be allowed to override the maximum of 6 speakers per side and allow more Senators to speak on an issue. After the last Senator concludes, the debate will officially end when the Speaker Chair directs the floor to the Senator who originally brought the issue onto the floor. That Senator has the option of expressing a closing statement or relinquishing the floor.
    8. The Vice President then opens the floor to vote on the issue.
    9. Senate session continues.

Article VI - President Pro Tempore

Section A - Duties and Rights

  1. Attendance
    1. The President Pro Tempore shall track and enforce attendance as required by the Constitutional Bylaws.
    2. Should a senator miss four or more sessions, the PPT shall not remove the senator until due effort has been made to contact the senator.
    3. The PPT may exercise grace in the case of absences that occurred for legitimate reasons, such as illness or class trip.
    4. The PPT may exercise grace if the senator in question is still actively involved in other aspects and areas of Senate.
    5. In all cases, the PPT reserves the right to determine the applicability of attendance rules.
  2. Committee Chair Selection
    1. The PPT shall nominate all committee chairs as defined in Article III, Section F of these Bylaws.
  3. Committee Participation
    1. The PPT shall attend as many committee meetings as practicable.
    2. In all cases the PPT shall be informed of committee happening and operations.
    3. The PPT may chair a committee.
  4. Internal Communications
    1. The PPT holds final responsibility for the creation and management of Senate communication methods.
    2. The PPT shall ensure each committee sets up and utilizes effective communication methods.
    3. The PPT shall ensure that all committees actively communicate and collaborate as appropriate.
    4. The PPT shall keep the Vice President apprised of all Senate happenings and information.
    5. The PPT shall hold regular meetings of Senate leadership as defined in Article III, Section F of these Bylaws.

Article VII - Sergeant-at-Arms

Section A - Duties

  1. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall issue first and second warnings to a Senator for non-disruptive infractions of the Bylaws and rules governing Senate Assembly.
  2. Upon a third non-disruptive infraction by a Senator, the Sergeant-at-Arms shall escort the infracting Senator out of the Assembly or bar said Senator from the Assembly.

Section B - Rights

  1. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall have the authority to expel, forcibly or otherwise, any disturbances in the Assembly. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall have the right to enlist other Senators to assist him or her if it becomes necessary.
  2. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall have the authority to revoke attendance for a Senator for violation of dress code, Senate guiding laws, or standing rules.
  3. The Speaker Chair may override the decision of the Sergeant-at-Arms if he or she deems it inappropriate or excessive.

Article VIII - Secretary

Section A - Duties

  1. The Secretary shall report to Senate in written or electronic form on the day of each regular meeting concerning the status of each bill passed by Senate but not yet fully executed.
  2. The Secretary shall willingly render time and services to the Vice President, Senate Officers, and Committee Chairs, for the purpose of coordinating and administering business related to Senate.
  3. The Secretary shall be responsible for the maintenance and administration of official senate web pages or resources, as instructed by the Public Records Committee Chair.

Section B - Rights

  1. The Secretary may, at any time, correct article and section designations, spelling, punctuation, grammar, diction, and cross-references and to make such other technical and conforming changes as may be necessary to reflect the intent of Senate.
  2. The Secretary shall publish modifications made to all legislation within a reasonable time period.
  3. The Secretary shall in no case make modifications to legislation if the changes do not reflect the intent of Senate.
  4. The Secretary shall have authority to reprimand those uncooperative with the execution of the Secretary's duties.

Article IX - General Assembly

Section A - Time and Place

  1. Senate shall meet weekly at 11:00am on Thursdays in Heath Hardwick Hall 104.
  2. The Vice President may change the meeting time or place at any time.

Section B - Speaker Chair

  1. The Speaker Chair shall preside over the session.
  2. The Vice President shall normally act as Speaker Chair.
  3. If the Vice President is absent for any reason, the PPT shall act as Speaker Chair for the session.
  4. If both the Vice President and the PPT are absent for any reason, the Sergeant-at-Arms shall appoint a senator to act as Speaker Chair for the session.
  5. The Speaker Chair may allow non-Senators to speak in session at his/her discretion.

Section C - Dress Code

  1. Women shall wear business/professional attire or Senate polo shirts with dress slacks or skirts.
  2. Men shall wear dress shirts with ties or Senate polo shirts. Shirts shall be tucked in and ties are required with dress shirts. Either khaki pants or slacks shall be worn.
  3. Senators may wear cultural dress provided it is considered professional attire in the country/culture of its origin and it complies with LeTourneau University standards of appropriate attire.
  4. Jeans and shorts are right out (prohibited).
  5. The Sergeant at Arms shall have the authority to enforce and interpret dress code as necessary.
  6. The Vice President shall have the authority to override the dress code at any time.
  7. Dress code shall apply to the Vice President, Senators, substitutes, and the Senate Secretary.

Section D - Standing Rules

  1. The Senate standing rules shall be Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th Edition.

Section E - Senate Lobbyists

  1. A Senate lobbyist shall:
    1. check in with the Secretary and presiding officer before the start of a meeting at which the lobbyist wishes to speak;
    2. have the right to speak and answer questions during open debate time only on issues pertaining to the group the lobbyist represents, as determined by the presiding officer;
    3. follow Senate time and procedure rules;
  2. A Senate lobbyist shall not vote, make motions, nor introduce legislation.

Article X - Senator Training

Section A - Initial Training

  1. Prior to being sworn in, all Senators elected in the spring General Election shall receive training from the Vice President.
  2. This training shall take place before the end of the spring semester.
  3. Initial training shall consist of:
    1. An overview of Senate guiding laws including the Constitution of the Student Body, Constitutional Bylaws, and Senate Bylaws;
    2. An overview of Senate officer positions;
    3. A description of all committees and their functions;
    4. Instruction on the use of Senate webpages and resources;
    5. An overview of Senate’s standing rules (Robert’s Rules) as they apply to normal Senate functions;
    6. A brief overview of the structure of Student Government.
  4. Training shall be conducted by the current Vice President, with the Vice President-Elect and current PPT invited to assist.

Section B - Recurrent Training

  1. Prior to the first session of the fall semester, all senators shall receive recurrent training from the Vice President.
  2. Recurrent training shall consist of a review of the items covered in initial training and does not need to be as extensive as initial training.

Section C - Vacancy Training

  1. Any senator elected in a vacancy election shall receive training from the Vice President.
  2. The senator shall not be sworn in nor assume any duties until this training has been completed.
  3. The Vice President shall make efforts to complete this training as expediently as practicable.
  4. The contents of this training shall be equivalent to that of initial training.

Section D - Fall IMPACT Retreat

  1. The Vice President, the PPT, and all committee chairs and co-chairs are expected to attend the fall IMPACT Retreat, as defined by Student Life.
  2. On a case-by-case basis, senators not covered by the above part may be allowed to attend the fall IMPACT Retreat, provided they have the permission of the Vice President and Student Life.
  3. If not attending the fall IMPACT Retreat, senators are expected to arrive on campus one week prior to the beginning of classes to allow for recurrent training and pre-semester planning.
  4. If, for any reason, a senator cannot return early, this must be communicated to the Vice President as expediently as possible.

Section E - Spring IMPACT Retreat

  1. The spring IMPACT Retreat shall be for incoming leaders that will take office the following fall.
  2. The Vice President-elect is expected to attend.
  3. Senators expressing interest in either an officer or committee chair position for the following fall shall be invited to attend.
  4. Unless otherwise invited by the Vice President-Elect or Student Life, the current officers and members shall not be invited.