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University Student Government Association Constitution

USGA: Official Const and Bylaws as amended, current as of September 2006.

Last Amended December 2008.

Please note:

It is a violation of the Constitution and Bylaws of the USGA to change the text of this document without proper approval from the USGA Senate duly authorized, and can be cause for removal from office. Further, changing this document without authorization is a violation of the oath of office and may be considered a violation of your school's Honor Code.

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University Student Government Association Constitution

Updated to incorporate 2008 amendments

We, the students of the Schools and programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in order to establish and maintain a representative campus-wide student government; provide an effective means of addressing student concerns; improve the quality of life and general welfare of all campus students, promote the free exchange of ideas between all students and foster a sense of community across the campus; provide funds for the support of campus student groups; advocate student rights and concerns to the campus, system, city, and state administration and governments, do hereby establish this Constitution for the University Student Government Association.

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be the University Student Government Association, and alternatively referred to as the USGA.

ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP

All students currently enrolled in the schools and programs at the University of

Maryland, Baltimore are eligible for election to positions in the USGA.  The USGA shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, creed, age, religion, ethnic background, color, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or academic standing.

ARTICLE III: ORGANIZATION

The organization shall be composed of elected officers and representatives. The governing legislative body of the organization shall be known as the USGA Senate, which shall meet in accordance with the By-Laws.

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS

Section 1. Named.  The elected officers of the USGA shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Chief of Public Relations.

Section 2. Duties. The duties of the officers named herein shall be outlined in the USGA By-Laws.

Section 3. Term of Office. The officers shall be elected to a one-year term of office. They shall take office no earlier than the last scheduled meeting of the USGA Senate in the academic year in which they are elected, and no later than the day of the University of Maryland at Baltimore spring graduation ceremonies.

Section 4. Removal. Removal of officers shall be done in accordance with the

USGA By-Laws.

ARTICLE V: USGA SENATE

Section 1. Membership. The Senate shall be composed of students from the various schools and programs at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, as outlined in the USGA By-Laws. Senators must be elected in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the USGA.

Section 2. Duties. The duties of the Senate shall be outlined in the USGA By-Laws.

Section 3. Election. Election of Senators shall be handled through the student governments of the various programs and schools. Election of Senators who represent returning students shall be held on or before May 1. Election of Senators representing incoming students shall be held by October 1.

Section 4. Term of Office.

A. Senators representing returning students shall take office immediately following the University of Maryland at Baltimore spring graduation ceremonies, and shall serve until the following spring graduation ceremonies

B. Senators representing incoming students shall take office immediately upon election. Their term of office shall run until the following spring graduation ceremonies.

Section 5. Removal. Removal of Senators shall be done in accordance with the USGA By-Laws.

ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution. This Constitution may only be amended by the Senate in accordance with the procedure outlined by the By-Laws. A two-thirds vote of the entire voting membership is required for any amendment to pass.

Section 2. Amendments to the By-Laws. The By-Laws may only be amended by the Senate in accordance with the procedure outlined therein. A two-thirds vote of all voting members present is required for any amendment to pass.

Section 3. Amendments to Standing orders.  Motions to amend or repeal standing orders may be considered during the meeting in which they are proposed; in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Bylaws.

Section 4. All copies of the Constitution and By-Laws shall include the date in which the document was last amended. The most recent copy of the Constitution and Bylaws shall be made available by the first meeting of the USGA.

Section 5. All amendments of the Constitution and Bylaws shall be communicated to members of the USGA Senate within one month of passage.

Passed on March 9, 1993, Last amended May 2007.


University Student Government Association Bylaws

Adopted March 9, 1993

Revised March 30, 1993/ October 19, 1994/ November 16, 1994/ January 1, 1999/ April, 2000/ Spring, 2002/ April, 2004/ October, 2004/ April, 2005, May 2007

ARTICLE I: NAME and LOGO

Section 1. Logo. Any design for a USGA logo must be approved by the USGA Senate by majority vote.

Section 2. Use. The officers and senators can use the USGA name and logo for any official purposes in furtherance of their duties and responsibilities, or for other purposes approved by the USGA Senate.

ARTICLE II. REPRESENTATION

Section 1. Any questions regarding an officer's or senator's official status as an enrolled student will be resolved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

ARTICLE III: ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Section 1. Any changes in the organizational structure of the USGA must be made through amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws. 

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS

Section 1. Meeting. The officers of the USGA (Executive Board) must convene a meeting prior to each meeting of the USGA Senate.

Section 2. Officers' Powers and Duties. Each officer has duties and powers prescribed by these by-laws.

  1. All Officers. All officers have the following duties and powers:
    1. To serve as voting members of the Senate, and attend all Senate meetings
    2. To serve as members of the Executive Board, and attend all Executive Board meetings.
    3. To uphold their oaths as officers of the USGA
    4. To fulfill their other duties as officers of the USGA.
    5. To perform all other duties as assigned by the Senate.
  1. President. The USGA President's powers and duties shall include:
    1. To preside over all meetings of the Executive Board and the Senate.
    2. To present to the Senate, by the first meeting of the USGA Senate a complete list of the dates, times and locations of the meetings for the academic year. This list must be sent to the Student Affairs administrators in each school, be published to the student body, and displayed prominently in the student union. The Senate must be scheduled to meet at least five times each semester.
    3. To appoint, with approval of the Senate, all student members of University Committees and University of Maryland, Baltimore student representatives to groups outside the University.
    4. To appoint, with approval of the Senate, all chairpersons of USGA program committees.
    5. To meet with the President of the University and the Vice President of Academic Affairs on a timely basis but not less than once per semester during the academic year.
    6. To meet with the advisor of the USGA prior to each meeting of the Senate.
    7. To co-sign, with the Treasurer, checks for the organization.
    8. To sign all forms which contractually or financially bind the USGA.
    9. To appoint, with approval of the Senate, students to serve as non-voting members of the Senate as necessary.
    10. To appoint interim Executive Board officers upon a vacancy of office.
    11. To act as a liaison to the Student Affairs Council of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
    12. To attend the monthly meeting of the Student Affairs Council or appoint a representative to attend in the absence of the President.
    13. To assume or delegate all responsibilities and duties otherwise prescribed by the Senate, or as required in fulfillment of the office of President.
  1. Vice President. The USGA Vice-President's powers and duties shall include:

1.      To maintain an updated membership roster for the organization, which shall include the name, address, emails, and telephone numbers of all voting and non-voting members of the Senate. A final list of members of the Senate shall be completed by the second meeting of October of the academic year.

2.      To call roll of all voting members at all Senate meetings, and to keep the record of attendance for all members at all Senate meetings.

3.      To inform a Senator when s/he has been removed from the Senate. To notify the Senate when a member has resigned or has been removed from the Senate.

4.      To contact, in a timely manner, the appropriate governing student organizations or student affairs administrator from the appropriate school/program when a member has resigned or been removed so that a replacement can be selected.

5.      To verify the number of Senators each program or school receives, in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of these By-laws.

6.      To serve as a member of the USGA Appropriations Committee.

7.      To notify all USGA Senate Members of special meetings.

8.      To assume all duties and responsibilities of the President in his/her temporary absence.

9.      To become President of the USGA upon resignation or removal of the USGA President.

10.  To serve as the Chairperson of the Pennington Volunteer Program.

D. Secretary. The USGA Secretary's powers and duties shall include:

1.      To record the proceedings of the USGA Senate and USGA Executive meetings.

2.      To present to the Senate minutes from the previous meeting for the Senate's approval.

3.      To maintain a file of current and approved minutes of the USGA Senate and the USGA Executive Board, and to pass on such file to the succeeding USGA Secretary,

4.      To provide a synopsis of each USGA Senate meeting to the student paper.

5.      To maintain and order supplies for the USGA Office and committees

6.      To supervise all official USGA mailings and correspondences.

7.      To keep a current copy of the USGA Constitution and By-laws and to have this copy available during all Senate meetings.

8.      To send meeting reminders via email or postal/campus mail if necessary.

E. Treasurer. The USGA Treasurer's powers and duties shall include:

1.      To provide an accounting of all USGA expenditures to the Senate no less than once each semester.

2.      To maintain an accurate balance of the USGA accounts. .

3.      To serve as Chairperson of the USGA Appropriations Committee.

4.      To co-sign checks, with the President, for the organization. 

5.      To present funding guidelines at the last meeting of each semester for approval of the USGA Senate and use in the following semester.

6.      To announce to the Senate meetings of the Appropriations Committee, and present items to be considered at the meeting.

7.      To present the Appropriations Committee's recommendations to the Senate.

8.      To inform all student groups/organizations, at least three (3) days prior to the first funding meeting in each semester, who are to be penalized for failing to comply with funding rules/guidelines. 

F. Parliamentarian.  The USGA Parliamentarian’s powers and duties shall include:

1.      To serve as the Chairperson of the USGA Constitutional Review Committee.

2.      To draft and present any changes to the USGA Constitution to the Senate for a vote according to the USGA Constitution and By-laws.

3.      To provide the official interpretation of the USGA Constitution and By-Laws.

4.      To provide guidance to the USGA senate concerning parliamentary procedure for meetings.

5.      To call to order and adjourn all meetings of the USGA Senate.

G. Chief of Public Relations.  The USGA Public relations liaison’s powers and duties shall include:

 1.      To serve as the Chairperson of the USGA Communications committee.

2.      To ensure that the primary senators chosen by each school meet with their respective Dean of Student Affairs once per month.

3.      To maintain and update the USGA website.

4.      To assemble a list of contact information for the Presidents of all organizations that receives USGA funding.

5.      To help draft a monthly events calendar to be included in the USGA newsletter.

6.   To manage all aspects of a weekly news letter sent to all students.  To set and post rules at the end of every academic year, for use the following academic year regarding content and submission dates for the newsletter.  To set standards for type and content of information contained in the weekly email.

7.      To meet with the Vice President for Academic Affairs on a timely basis but not less than once per semester during the academic year.

Section 3. Election of Officers

A. Elections. Officers shall be elected by the USGA Senate during the first meeting in April of each academic year.

B. Nominations. Nominations for each office shall be entertained at the last Senate meeting in March and the first meeting of April.

C. Qualifications.

1.      All candidates must be currently enrolled UMB students in good standing.

2.      The President and Vice-President must have previously served at least one year as a USGA senator.

3.      The Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Chief of Public Relations must have previously served at least one year as a USGA Senator.

D. Procedures. During the election meeting, the following procedure will be used for each office. (Nominations and elections shall proceed in the following order: President, Vice President, Public Relations Officer, Treasurer, Secretary and Parliamentarian.)

1.      Nominations for each office will be closed immediately prior to the election for that office.

2.      Candidates nominated for the position shall leave the room. 

3.      One by one, each candidate will enter the room, give a speech to the Senate, and answer questions proposed by Senators. The candidate will again leave the room.

4.      After all candidates have finished, they will be called back in as a group, and a question and answer session will commence a maximum of 10 minutes for questions and answers, each candidate is given up to 30 seconds to provide their answers. Time may be amended based upon the number of candidates by a majority vote.

5.      After the question and answer period has ended, the candidates will leave the room. The Senate will discuss the candidates in a closed session limited to voting members.

6.      The candidates will be invited back into the room.

7.      Each voting member of the Senate will be given a ballot, and may select one candidate for the office.

8.      Write in candidates are allowed. These candidates must meet the eligibility requirements listed in Article IV, Section 3C.

9.      Two non-voting election officials, appointed by the USGA President, and approved by the Senate, will count all secret ballots and immediately report the results of the election.

10.  The candidate with the highest vote total is elected to the office. If the balloting results in a tie-vote, a run-off election will be held between the tying candidates.

11.  Once the results of the election produce a winner, the election of the next officer will be entertained.

Section 4. Term of Office. The Officers elected shall take office during the first meeting of the USGA Senate held in May. Each officer is elected for a one-year term of office.

Section 5. Oath of Office for Officers. The Oath of Office shall be administered by the retiring President to the President-elect, on the day the President-elect takes office. If the retiring President is not available, the oath shall be administered by the advisor. The newly sworn in President shall then administer the Oath of Office to the group of officers-elect.

A. Words spoken by the person administering the oath of office: "Raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, state your name, - do solemnly promise - - that I will faithfully execute - my duties as an officer - of the University Student Government Association, - will uphold and enforce - it’s constitution and by-laws - and will, to the best of my ability - promote the student welfare - and unselfishly guide my actions - by the best interests - of the students of this University."

  

Section 6.  Removal

A. Grounds. Any officer may be removed for failure to uphold the duties of his/her office as specified in Article IV. Section 2.

B. Procedures.

1.      Petition. If a petition to remove an officer bearing the signatures of 15 Senators is presented to the Senate, the Senate will be called into closed session with the ability to call persons before it. The petition must outline the specific grounds for removal.

2.      Voting. The subjected officer will have a chance to address the Senate concerning the reasons and to answer any questions if s/he wishes to. The officer and all non-members shall leave the room, and the Senate shall hold a discussion concerning the officer. Ballots will be passed out to all voting members, and Senators will vote yea or nay on the motion of removal. Two-thirds of the ballots cast must be in favor of removal for the motion to pass. If the officer is removed, an election will be held to fill the appropriate vacancy at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the USGA Senate, in accordance with Article IV. Section 3.

Section 7. Resignation. Upon the resignation of an Executive Board officer, an election will be held to fill the appropriate vacancy at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the USGA Senate, in accordance with Article IV, Section 3.

Section 8. Conflict of Interest. Should any USGA officer find him/her self with a conflict of interest pertaining to an issue before the USGA Senate, that Senator must excuse him/her self from the discussion and any subsequent actions:

A.    Defined. A conflict of interest exists where:

1.      A Senator or Executive Board Member is also an officer or a USGA Supported Group or subgroup

2.      A Senator or Executive Board Member has submitted a request or funding request in their capacity as an officer, representative, or member of another organization to be considered by the Senate or Executive board.

B.     Resolution of Conflicts of Interest

1.      A Senator or Executive Board Member who has a conflict of interest as defined in the above should disclose this conflict to the Senate or Executive Board before any discussion, debate, or vote concerning that conflict takes place

2.      A Senator or Executive Board Member who has a conflict of interest, as defined in the above, should refrain from participating in any debates, discussions, motions, or votes concerning their organization

1.      A Senator who does not abide by these terms will be guilty of malfeasance of office and could be removed from their position as per Section 7of this article.

ARTICLE V. USGA SENATE

Section 1. Membership. The Senate shall consist of voting and non-voting members.

A. Voting members of the USGA Senate shall include:

1.      Elected Officers.

2.      Senators from the following programs and schools:  Graduate, Nursing graduate, Nursing undergraduate, Dentistry, Dental hygiene ,Medicine, Pharmacy, Medical and Research Technology, Law, Social work, and Physical Therapy, International Students Organization, Muslim Student Association, United Students of African Descent and Project Jump Start.

a.       Method for Determining USGA Representation:

                                                                          i.      Each program will be represented by a minimum of 2 senators.

                                                                        ii.      An additional senator will be allotted as the total number of students in a program exceeds each of the following population milestones:  301, 501, 701, 901, 1101, etc

b.      Rules

                                                                          i.      Number of Representatives will be based on fall enrollment by school as of September of that year.

                                                                        ii.      Where enrollment numbers have not been generated by September, the enrollment numbers from the previous fall will be used, until such a time as corrected numbers can be received.

                                                                      iii.      The Representatives will be elected by the individual student organization of each school. The Vice President shall present to the Senate, the total number of Representatives by the second meeting of the Senate in October.

3. Primary Senators from the following programs and schools: Graduate,

Nursing graduate, Nursing undergraduate, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene,

Medicine, Pharmacy, Medical and Research Technology, Law, Social Work,\

and Physical Therapy.

a. Method for Determining USGA Primary Senator:

i. A Primary Senator will be selected by the school or program which they attend from the elected senators of that school or program.

b. Rules

                                    i. Each school or program will have one Primary Senator

ii. Each school is responsible for selecting which senator will be the Primary Senator within one month of election of its Senators, and this senator will then be approved by the President and the Chief of Public Relations.

a. Should a Primary Senator not be chosen within this timeframe (one month following election as a senator) the President and Chief of Public Relations will assign a Senator to be the Primary Senator. 

a.       The school(s) for which a Primary Senator is assigned by the President and Chief of Public Relations will be notified as to the identity of their appointed USGA Primary Senator.

iii. The Primary Senator is required to sit on the Public Relations Committee.

4.  Duly elected alternates sitting in place of a Senator. Each program or school may elect and send alternates, up to an amount equal to the number of representatives they are allowed under these By-laws. Alternates voting during a meeting must be present during roll can and answer in the place of the Senator they are representing

B. Non-voting members of the USGA Senate shall include:

1.      Duly-elected alternates not representing a Senator

2.       Presidents of the governing student organizations of the schools and programs: Medicine, Dentistry/Dental Hygiene, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, Graduate School, Physical Therapy, Medical Technology.

3.      The President of each USGA Supported Group.

4.      The advisor of the USGA

5.      Any students who have been conferred non-voting membership by the USGA Senate

Section 2. Privileges of Members.

A. Voting USGA Members may:

1.      Present motions

2.      Serve on and chair committees of the USGA Senate

3.      Debate on all motions

4.      Vote on all motions

5.      Be present during closed sessions

B. Non-Voting Members may:

1.      Be recognized to speak during debate on motions.

2.      Bring new business before the Senate, but may not present a motion for the Senate to act.

3.      Publish announcements of events, which in all other ways conform to the mission of the USGA, to the Senate when the moderator calls for such announcements.

Section 3. Duties and Powers of the Senate.

A. The Senate's duties and powers shall include:

1.      To act in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the USGA as outlined in the Constitution and By-laws.

2.      To perform the functions as prescribed by the Constitution and By-laws

3.      To approve budgets presented by the Appropriations Committee.

4.      To elect and remove the officers of the USGA

5.      To remove Senators of the USGA

6.      To approve all student appointments made by the USGA President

7.      To hold meetings of the USGA Senate

8.      To form committees, and perform all functions of a deliberative body

9.      To recognize campus wide organizations

10.  To be the adjudicative body in all disciplinary actions of the Senate

B. Duties of Members. Each Senator is an elected representative of his or her school or program. Each senator is expected to represent fairly the interests of that school or program to the USGA. In furtherance of these duties, each member shall serve the University Student Government Association in the following capacities:

            1 Attendance. Full attendance at every meeting of the USGA and every meeting of the committee(s) on which the member serves, is expected and required.

a.       Definitions

i“Absence” or “Unexcused absence” means

1.      The physical non-presence of a senator to a senate meeting without an alternate or without prior approval from the Vice President.

2.      Substantial lateness to a senate meeting without an alternate or prior approval from the Vice President.

3.      Leaving substantially prior to the adjournment of a senate meeting without an alternate or prior approval from the Vice President.

                                                                        ii.      “Excused absence” means an absence which has been approved by the Vice President. An excused absence shall carry the same effect as having no recorded absence for the relevant senate meeting.

                                                                      iii.      “Lateness” means arriving to a senate meeting after the official roll call. This provision shall not operate to make late those who are known to be on time but outside the room during roll call.

                                                                      iv.      “Leaving substantially prior to adjournment” includes but is not limited to

1.      Leaving a senate meeting that is less than half completed, as determined by the official agenda for that meeting.

2.      Leaving a senate meeting in such time as to preclude a senator’s ability to fully participate in vitally important issues such as, but not limited to, funding, operations, and personnel decisions.

                                                                        v.      A “scheduling conflict” occurs when a senator schedules a repeating obligation during the time when regularly scheduled senate meetings occur, thus placing in jeopardy that senator’s ability to attend all meetings on time.

                                                                      vi.      For the purposes of this attendance policy, “senate meeting” shall include regularly scheduled senate meetings, special sessions, and any other USGA-related gathering which mandates attendance.

                                                                    vii.      “Substantial lateness” includes but is not limited to

1.      Arriving to a senate meeting that is over half completed, as determined by the official agenda for that meeting.

2.      Lateness to a senate meeting that precludes a senator’s ability to fully participate in vitally important issues such as, but not limited to, funding, operations, and personnel decisions.

b.      Before an absence is recorded, the Vice-President shall give the senator or Representative a one week grace period with which to plead his or her case.

c.       An audit of absences will be made to each senator at the start of the spring semester.

d.      Last-minute changes in circumstances which lead to absences shall be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

e.       The Vice President shall be notified via email as soon as a senator establishes an alternate for a given meeting.  That email shall include the alternate’s name.

f.       Senators shall not have scheduling conflicts. This rule shall be strictly enforced.

g.      This attendance policy shall not be interpreted as limiting the discretion of the Vice President in all attendance-related matters.

h.      Any Senator who receives an unexcused absence by the vice president has 10 days from the date of notification to appeal that decision to the executive board.  

i.        Absence. Any member who is absent from two regularly scheduled Senate meetings is removed from their role as a member of the USGA. The member's school or program will be notified in writing immediately by the Vice- President. If that member's constituency fails to elect or appoint a replacement within two weeks after notification, that Senate seat is lost for the remainder of the academic year.

  1. Committees. Every USGA member must serve on at least one USGA Standing Committee or Program Committee during there term in office

Section 4. Senate Meetings.

A. A quorum for all Senate meetings shall be 15 duly elected Senators or their alternates.

1.      Notwithstanding the above general rule, no number of Senators or their alternates shall constitute a quorum unless the said Senators or alternates represent at least four of the seven principal schools of the University. {added 10/13/04}

2.      2. For purposes of this paragraph only, the seven principal schools shall mean: The School of Law, The School of Medicine, The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, The School of Nursing, The School of Pharmacy, The School of Social Work and The Graduate School.     

3.      3. Notwithstanding the general rule, should the elected membership fall below thirty persons then a quorum for all Senate meetings shall be a simple majority of the current elected membership.

B. All Senate meetings shall be scheduled for two hours but each meeting may be longer or shorter as the needs of the Senate dictate.

C. Special meetings may be called by a two-thirds vote of the Senate, or by a majority of the Executive Board, to discuss a specific agenda.

1.      Special meetings must strictly adhere to the agenda specified as the reason for the meeting and no further business may be discussed.

2.      The Vice-President shall be responsible for notifying the membership of any special meeting in the most expedient fashion.

D. The preliminary agenda for each meeting shall be announced with the notification of that meeting.

1.      Any senator may place an item on the agenda by notifying the President at least one week prior to that meeting.

2.      Any item not placed on the agenda may be brought up in "new business," as time allows.

Section 5. Voting. All Senate votes shall be by hand or voice, unless prescribed by the Constitution or Bylaws, or if a senator requests a ballot vote, or the President, in his or her discretion, orders a ballot vote. Such a request or order shall be automatically respected without debate.

A. All voting members are entitled to one vote.

B. Only members physically present at a meeting may vote at that meeting. There are no proxy votes. Alternates may vote in the place of the member he or she is representing.

Section 6. Removal of Senators. Senators are expected to play an active role in the USGA.  As a result, senators who do not participate in the USGA may be removed.

A. Automatic removal. A senator will be automatically removed from the Senate as an enforcement of the attendance policy.

B. Removal by will of the Senate. If a motion to remove a senator for failure to perform duties of a senator as stated in Article V. Section 3.B. is presented to the Senate, the Senate will be called into closed session. The motion must include the reasons for removal. The subjected senator must be afforded an opportunity to address the Senate concerning the reason, and to answer any questions, if s/he wishes to. The senator shall leave the room, and Senate shall hold a discussion concerning the member. Ballots will be passed out to all voting members and senators will vote yea or nay on the motion of removal. Two-thirds of the ballots cast must be in favor of removal of the motion to pass.

C. Upon removal of a senator the Vice-President will inform the member and others in accordance with the duties outlined in the Bylaws.

Section 7. Oath of Office for senators. The Oath shall be administered by the President or advisor, at the first meeting of the newly elected Senate, and shall be administered subsequently to all senators upon their first attendance at a meeting.

A. Words spoken by the person administering the oath of office: '"Raise your right hand and repeat after me, I. state your name, - do solemnly promise - that I will faithfully execute - my duties as a Senator of the - University Student Government Association, - uphold and enforce - it's constitution and by-laws - and will, to the best of my ability, - promote the student welfare - and unselfishly guide my' actions - by the best interests -of the students of this University."

Section 8. Open and non-Discriminatory Activities.  The membership and the privileges of the USGA shall be open to all students of the University of Maryland, Baltimore equally, without regard to race, national origin, age, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or academic standing.  The USGA does not discriminate against any student, student group, or student organization with respect to funding or any other action of the USGA Senate because of race, national origin, age, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or academic standing. 

ARTICLE VI. COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Committees. The Senate shall have five standing committees: Executive Board, Programming committee, Constitutional review committee, Public relations committee and the Appropriations Committee. The President shall appoint all members of the committees as designated in Section A.l and B.1 below. Each committee shall report its activities, when appropriate, at Senate meetings. Each committee shall provide its own rules of procedure, to be approved by the Senate by majority vote, and attached to these By-laws. In the absence of said rules, Roberts Rules of Order shall apply within committee meeting to the extent they are consistent with the committee’s goals.

A. Executive Board.

1.      The Executive Board shall consist of the USGA Officers

2.      The President shall serve as the chair and shall preside over the meetings.

3.      The Executive Board shall meet at least once prior to every regular meeting of the USGA.

4.      The Executive Board shall be charged with the duties and powers of the Senate when the Senate is not in Session, and in emergency situations between meetings of the Senate.

5.      The Executive Board shall spend money within the confines of the budget as approved by the USGA Senate.

6.      The Executive Board will be responsible for having, at the beginning of the academic year (Fall) and prior to the appropriations meeting, a mandatory retreat for all Senators. The Executive Board will also have a mandatory retreat for new senators at the beginning of the spring semester prior to the appropriations meeting. The retreat shall, at minimum, be structured to provide guidance as to Senatorial roles and will provide a seminar on Professionalism. 

B. Appropriations Committee.

1.      The Appropriations Committee shall consist of the Treasurer, who shall serve as its Chair, the Vice-President, and four other members of the Senate appointed by the President. 

2.      The Appropriations Committee is responsible for creating a mechanism through which the USGA allocates its funds by upholding Standing Order 1 and its amendments.

3.      The Appropriations Committee shall prepare a fiscal year budget to be presented to the USGA Senate at the first meeting of September.

4. The Appropriations Committee shall review budget requests and

present to the USGA Senate a proposed budget disbursement schedule for organizations requesting funds.

C. Programming Committee.

1.      The Programming Committee shall Consist of the Secretary of the USGA, who shall serve as its Chair, and as many other members of the USGA senate necessary to accomplish the goals of the USGA.

2.      Committee members will be selected by the Secretary and shall not consist of any member of the Appropriations Committee.

3.      The Programming Committee is responsible for developing and planning the activities and programs for the USGA senate.  The Committee shall present an itemized budget request to the senate for approval. 

4.      The Committee will present a report to the Senate as required by the President.

D.  Constitutional Review Committee

1.      The Constitutional Review Committee shall consist of the Parliamentarian of the USGA, who shall serve as its Chair, and as many other members of the USGA senate necessary to accomplish the goals of the USGA, but at least two members. 

2.      Committee members will be selected by the Parliamentarian and approved by the President.

3.      The Constitutional Review Committee is responsible for investigating the necessity for changes to the Constitution, By-laws, and Standing Orders.

4.      The Committee will review changes suggested by Non-committee members for:

a.       consistency with other provisions of the Constitution, By-laws and Standing Orders  and

b.      Clarity, spelling, formatting and grammatical errors.

5.      The Committee will present a report to the Senate as required by the President.

6.      The President and Vice-President of the USGA shall serve as Ex-officio members of the committee with none of the above obligations and shall be informed of committee meetings.

E.  Public Relations Committee

1.      The Public Relations Committee shall consist of the Chief of Public Relations, who will serve as its Chair, and one senator from each school.

2.      The committee will assist in the maintenance, upkeep, and content creation of the USGA website and weekly USGA News e-mail newsletter.

3.      The committee will assist in disseminating USGA and other student-related information through their respective school and program e-mail lists when necessary.

Section 2. Program Committees. The USGA shall have program committees as designated by the USGA President and/or USGA Senate or as designated by the bylaws.

A. THE PENNINGTON VOLUNTEER PROGRAM. This program is in recognition and loving memory of a 1993-94 USGA senator, Cannella Pennington. During her service to the student government, she actively pursued the development of a campus-wide volunteer program. In order to honor her ideas, goals and memory this program will strive to provide students with the opportunity to give to and receive from the greater University of Maryland, Baltimore neighborhood.

1.      The committee shall consist of at least four members appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

2.      The program is structured around a commitment to organize no less than one community volunteer outreach event for each of the fall and spring semesters. The Pennington committee is responsible for investigating volunteering options in the community and presenting them to the Senate. The Senate will then determine which program or programs to designate as the focus of the Pennington Program. The committee will then organize the delivery of student services to the selected programs.

3.      The committee is also charged with the duty to seek out and take advantage of charity fund raising possibilities. With the approval of the Senate, the committee will arrange for the collection of funds, goods, etc.

4.      Donations made in connections with this Article will be made in the name of the Pennington Volunteer Program, University Student Government Association.

5.      The committee is also charged with the task of conducting an annual review of the volunteer programs offered across the campus by the USGA and all other University outreach programs.  This survey will be due in March.

B. Other Program Committees. All other program committees will be determined as needed during the USGA Senate year. A listing of committees will be made available at each meeting of the USGA Senate. New committees will be announced at USGA Senate meetings as they are formed.

ARTICLE VII: USGA SUPPORTED GROUPS

Section 1. Obtaining Recognition as a Supported Group.

A. The following criteria must be met in order to qualify as a USGA Supported Group:

1.      The organization must be a student run group.

2.      The membership and the privileges of all USGA recognized organizations shall be open to all students of the University of Maryland, Baltimore equally, without regard to race, national origin, age, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or academic standing.  Any group violating the aforementioned shall not be recognized by the USGA and shall not be eligible to receive funding from the USGA. 

3.      The organization must develop a written constitution and bylaws which conforms to the intent of the USGA constitution and bylaws. This constitution must include:

a)      The structure and procedures of the organization.

b)      The name of the organization

c)      Purpose of the organization

d)     Qualifications for membership

e)      Procedure for selecting officers and representatives

f)       Voting procedures

g)      Procedure for amending and/or modifying the constitution

h)      A clause stating non-discriminatory policy

4.      The organization must meet on a regular basis during the school year.

5.      The intent and practices of the organization must be consistent with the intent of the USGA as expressed in the preamble of the USGA Constitution.

B. Procedure for obtaining recognition.

1.      The Constitution, a list of officers and representatives, and meeting times and locations must be filed with the USGA at least seven day's prior to the Executive Board meeting at which it will be discussed.

2.      Recognition of the new organization will be discussed at the next applicable USGA Executive Board meeting.

3.      The Executive Board will then make a recommendation to the Senate if the organization has met the criteria outlined in Section I.A above.

4.      The Senate will then vote, in closed session, on whether the organization has met the criteria outlined above. Passage requires a majority vote.

5.      The organization will be notified in writing of the outcome of the application within two (2) weeks after the vote of the USGA Senate.

Section 2. Funding for Supported Groups

A. USGA Supported Groups may present a funding request to the USGA Senate and Executive Board in accordance with the funding guidelines.

B. USGA Supported Groups have the option to plan events and receive earlier funding during the first full month of each semester. In order to receive this funding the supported group must:

1) Present a budget request following the funding guidelines to the treasurer, vice president, and secretary before the last executive board meeting of each semester.

2) This request may not include events that happen after the last date of the first full month of each semester.  

3) The Appropriations Committee will meet before the last meeting of the Senate each semester to review the budget and submit a funding recommendation to the Senate, prior to the last Senate meeting of the semester.

4) The Supported Groups that request funding must have someone in attendance at  the last  meeting of the Senate each semester.

5) Each supported group will have a 7 minute presentation session at that meeting.

6) The Senate will then vote on that funding at that meeting.

7) This funding is appealable as per the guidelines within this constitution and bylaws, however the same funding cannot be requested during the normal funding process.

Section 3. Requirements to Maintain Recognition as a Supported Group. The following information must be presented at the Senate meeting, in writing, before the Senate votes on allocating operating and/or programming funds to any USGA Supported Group.

A. Required Documentation. The following must be on file with the USGA Secretary and updated yearly.

1.            The Constitution, bylaws and amendments of the organization and its subgroups.

2.            The head of the organization or the contact person should be made clear. Names, address, email, and telephone number of officers should be listed.

3.            A list of the number of active members for each of the last two years of the group's existence. If the organization is a new organization, the number of active members for each of the last two years of the organization's existence is not needed. However, such new groups must have a list of names and signatures of those students who intend to be members during the organization’s first year of existence. Additionally, addresses and telephone numbers of these members should be included. A similar list is needed when the organization applies for funding during its second year of existence.

4.            The actual budget report from the previous year including an itemization of operating costs (not a proposed budget from the previous year but the actual budget). New organizations need not include an “actual” budget .report from the previous year.

B. Required Procedures.

1.      The organization must meet at least once per semester.

2.      Meeting dates, times and location should be posted throughout the campus.

3.      Minutes from the meeting should be given to the USGA Secretary to be publicly posted.

4.      Events being held should be advertised through email and flyers to all schools.

5.      Events should be open to students from all schools.

Section 4. Procedure for Revocation of Recognition.

A.  Recognition can be revoked according to the following procedure:

1.      A motion for revocation is brought to the USGA Senate by a Senator or an Executive Board member. This motion will be tabled until the next USGA Senate meeting.

2.      The organization in question will be notified at least ten (10) days prior to the Senate meeting in which they will be discussed.

3.      The Senate either:

a)      Develops a record of mismanagement of USGA appropriations by the organization, or

b)      Identifies requirements not maintained by the organization as outlined in Section 3 above.

4.      At the applicable USGA Senate meeting, the Senate will vote on the motion for revocation. Passage will be by majority of the voting members present.

B.  The organization can reapply for recognition after one calendar year and upon demonstration that the improprieties have been corrected.

ARTICLE VIII:  APPEALS PROCESS – APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1. Standing. Persons wishing to challenge a decision of the USGA must meet the following requirements:

A. Right to Appeal

1.      Any qualifying student organization or student requesting funds from the University Student Government Association (USGA) has a right to an appeal.

2.      A qualifying student organization is an organization which has been recognized by one of the seven schools of the University of Maryland at Baltimore, or recognized by the USGA.

3.      A qualifying student is any student who has registered for classes and paid tuition in the semester in which the USGA senate issued the original vote.

B. Necessary requirements to request an appeal from the USGA

1.      1. Any student organization or student that requests an appeal from a USGA senate vote concerning the appropriation of funds must meet the following criteria.

a.       The student organization or student:

                                                                                i.      must submit a completed USGA funds request for the semester in which they    are requesting the appeal by the established deadline for that semester.

                                                                              ii.      must appear at the presentation meeting or have an appointed representative appear at the meeting to present the funds request to the senate.

                                                                            iii.      receiving funds for the previous semester must have on file a completed event summary sheet prior to the vote by the senate for the current semester.

b. Any student group or student that does not meet the qualifications for appeal will not be allowed to proceed forward and have their case heard by the USGA senate.

Section 2. Procedural Process.

A. Procedure for requesting an appeal

1.      A representative of the qualifying student organization or student must be present at the meeting in which the senate votes on funding request.

2.      At the conclusion of the senate vote on all funding request the Vice President will ask if any student organization or student would like to request an appeal. This will serve as a verbal notification to the senate of the student organizations’ or student’s desire to appeal the vote.

3.      The student organization representative or the student must at this time provide for the record:

a.       The name of the student organization or student they represent.

b.      Their name and school of attendance.

c.       They must state that they are requesting a formal appeal from the senate vote, which determined the distribution of USGA funds.

4.       The senate will not hear a presentation from the requesting student organization or student, nor will they vote at this meeting.

5.      A written request must follow the verbal notification within two business days of the vote.

a.       The written request should state with some specificity the reason(s) the request deserves re-consideration.

b.      The request must be submitted to the USGA executive board.

c.       The request must be in hard copy and hand delivered to either Student Services or a current Executive Board member.

6.       Following the submission of the request the USGA executive board and the appropriations committee will meet to determine if all qualifications have been met and all procedures followed as stated above.

7.      If it is determined that the student organization or student has qualified for an appeal.

a.       The USGA President will call for a special meeting of the senate and the requesting student organization or student will be notified of the date, time, and place of that meeting.

b.      The requesting student organization or student should be prepared to present their case to the senate at that meeting and answer questions by the senate concerning their funding request.

c.       Following the presentation, the Vice President of USGA will hear motions from the senate and call for a vote.

8.      The vote of the USGA senate at the special meeting is dispositive of the appeal for the USGA senate. The senate will not hear a second appeal concerning any student organization or student funding request.

B. Representation and Official Record.

1.      The USGA Treasurer will represent the position of the Appropriations Committee at the special meeting and field all questions from the senate regarding their original recommendations for funds appropriations.

2.      The USGA Secretary will produce the official record of the special meeting of the USGA senate and the vote.

3.      If the student organization or student wishes to challenge the vote of the USGA senate at the special meeting.

a. The student organization or student must submit a written request to the faculty advisor for the University Student Government Association.

ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS to the CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS and STANDING ORDERS

Section 1: Proposed Amendments

1.      Amendments may be proposed by any member of the Senate or Executive board.

2.      Every proposed amendment must be drafted by the Parliamentarian

3.      All amendments thus drafted will be subsequently reviewed by the Constitutional Review Committee.

Section 2.  Proposed amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws must be announced in writing at least one Senate meeting prior to voting on the amendment. All amendments must be passed by 2/3 majority of the voting members present and voting.

Section 3.  Proposed amendments to Standing Orders must be presented in writing and may be adopted at that meeting by a 2/3 vote of the members present.  If consideration is tabled to the following meeting amendments may be adopted by a simple majority vote of members present.

ARTICLE X: INTERPRETATION of CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS and STANDING ORDERS

Section 1. Written Interpretation. The Senate may request the parliamentarian to prepare a written interpretation of the Constitution, By-laws and standing orders on a given issue or clause.

Section 2. Immediate Interpretation. If a question of constitutional interpretation arises during a meeting and the Senate requests that it be resolved immediately, the parliamentarian, the presiding officer, and the advisor shall confer upon the issue, vote and issue the interpretation to the Senate. In the absence of the parliamentarian, the Secretary shall confer.

ARTICLE XI: SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the USGA in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the USGA may adopt.

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