CONSTITUTION

Whitewater Student Government
Constitution
University ofWisconsin – Whitewater

Download a copy of the WSG Standing Rules 

Table of Contents:

Preamble
Article One:    Student Senate
Article Two:    Executives
Article Three:  Executive Board
Article Four:    Committees
Article Five:    Records
Article Six:      Rules
Article Seven: Amendments and Referenda
Article Eight:  Date of Effect

Preamble

We the students at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, to form a more perfect student government, which shall be referred to as the Whitewater Student Government (WSG), do hereby establish this constitution to enumerate the powers of the student government, to protect the rights of students, and to ensure that students at UW-Whitewater are guaranteed their statutory right of shared governance under State Statute 36.09(5).  This constitution shall void all previous constitutions.

Article One: Student Senate

Section One: Legislative Authority

The legislative branch will be recognized as the Student Senate.  They will be empowered with legislative authority, and they possess authority to regulate and make recommendations and decisions on matters concerning student life, services, and interests in accordance with the laws of the State ofWisconsin.  The Senate may determine the rules of its own proceedings and elect its officers from its own members Any proposed amendments to either the Standing Rules or the Constitution must be submitted in the form of legislation to the senate.

Section Two: Student Senate

A.    The Senate will consist of twenty-five Senators elected from and by the student body.
B.     Each elected Senator will represent one of four districts.  The on-campus student community will be divided into two districts: “Esker” and “Drumlin.”  The Esker district will consist of those students residing in the residence halls North of Starin Road and East of Warhawk Road.  The Drumlin district will consist of those students residing in the residence halls South of Starin Road or West of Warhawk Road.  The off-campus student community will compose the third district. The fourth district will be known as At-Large, and represents the entire student populace.
C.     A Senator must reside in the district in which he/she was elected.  If a senator moves from the district in which he/she was elected, he/she may retain their elected position for a period not to exceed one week or until the next election, or which ever comes first.  After one week the position will be declared vacant and the vacancy will be filled in accordance with the procedures stated in Article One, Section Two (F).
D.    The total number of university students (graduates and undergraduates) in each district will be allotted.  The Elections Committee Chair will determine by October Seventh of each year, each district’s allocation of Senate seats to be filled subject to the approval of the Senate.  However, such determination may not be done before October First. The process of allocating the number of senators to each district shall be determined by the following rules. Divide the total headcount of the university students by the number of possible senators. Take said number and then divide by the head count of each district, rounded down. This number will be the senators allocated to each district. The remaining positions will be At-Large Senate seats.
E.     Elections will be held at least one month prior to the last WSG meeting of the semester.  The elections committee will decide on the exact date.  Each district will elect one hundred percent of their representatives at this time.  If the results of a general election are declared null by the Senate due to the occurrence of substantial violation of the election rules, a new follow-up election will be held within fifteen academic days after the date of the overturned election.  Senators shall serve from January first through December thirty-first of the next calendar year.
F.      A vacancy in the Senate will be announced at the next meeting and will be temporarily filled by the Senate at the following meeting; a candidate must receive a plurality of those Senators’ votes, who are present, to gain office.  The temporary successor must then obtain a minimum of fifty signatures of approval from the constituents in their district.  Failure to obtain the signatures within three weeks will result in the initiation of the removal process as defined in the Standing Rules of WSG.  A permanent successor will be elected in the next general election for that seat.
G.    The Senate shall meet once a week during the academic year, provided that such a day does not fall during a week in which classes are not in session or during the first or last week of a semester.  A quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the filled Senate seats.
H.    During the first meeting of the Senate session, the Senate shall elect, from current Senators, by a majority vote, a Speaker of the Senate, a Deputy Speaker of the Senate and a Parliamentarian who shall serve a one year term.  The authorities and the responsibilities will pass from the Speaker, to the Deputy Speaker, to the Parliamentairan, to the WSG Clerk and then to the President until the positions are filled.
I.       The Speaker of the Senate will chair all meetings of the Senate, and shall have the duties and powers outlined in the Standing Rules of the WSG
J.       The Speaker of the Senate may call a special meeting of the Senate if all members are notified in writing at least twenty –four hours in advance; the purpose of the meeting being specified within the written notification.

K.    The Speaker of the Senate will be required to call a special meeting of the Senate if he/she is presented with a petition containing valid signatures of a majority of the members of the Senate, or of ten percent of all students currently enrolled; and such a meeting will take place no later than three academic days after the petition is presented.

Section Three: Removal from Office

A.    Removal from office may occur when negligence in fulfilling constitutional requirements or violations of the WSG Code of ethics has been proven according to the judgment of the Senate; provisions for hearings and appeals are stated in the Standing Rules of the WSG.
B.     Charges of removal must be accepted by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or ten percent of the constituents of the district represented in the form of a petition.  Acceptance of the charges will constitute notice of intent.  The removal hearing will be convened two weeks after acceptance of charges.  Removal of a Senator will require a three-fourths vote of all Senators.  Senators who are the subject of removal procedures shall have no vote in those proceedings.

Section Four: Legislative Powers Defined

The Legislative powers of the Senate will be:
A.    To enact all appropriate legislation to affect the purpose of this organization;
B.     To formulate and approve the official policy provisions of this organization;
C.     To establish and to review all organizational programs;
D.    To provide direction to the officers;
E.     To approve, pursuant to requisite procedures, all amendments to this constitution and other governance documents;
F.      To approve and modify all budgetary provisions of all organizations receiving funding from the Segregated University Fees Allocation Committee;
G.    To override, with a two-thirds vote of Senators present, any legislation vetoed by the president.  A presidential veto may also be overridden by the approval of a petition signed by ten percent of the total student body;
H.    To conduct binding and/ or non-binding referenda as stipulated in the Standing Rules of the WSG.

Section Five: Legislative Powers Denied

The Senate will be denied the following legislative powers:
A.    To endorse, or in any way assist, any slate on campus in a WSG election;
B.     To take any action which directly or indirectly discriminates against any student(s), faculty, or staff member on the basis of sex, race religion, color, creed, national heritage, age, status in school, veteran’s status, state of residence (except as to tuition issues), marital status, sexual preference, income level or source, and/or handicap.

Section Six: Voting

Unless otherwise provided in this constitution or other governance document(s) adopted by the WSG, a majority vote of the members present and voting will decide all matters before the Senate.  In all proceedings of the Senate, a member must by physically present in order to vote, and may cast one vote on all matters upon which he/she is entitled to vote.  No proxy voting will be permitted.

Section Seven: Action in Written Consent In Lieu Of Meeting

Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Executive Board or of any committee thereof may be taken without a meeting if a consent, in writing, setting forth the action so taken, will be signed by all members entitled to vote thereon and such consent will have the same force and effect as a unanimous voice.

Article Two: Executives

Section One: Executive Authority

The executive authority of this organization will be vested in the President and Vice President.

Section Two: Election and Term

A.    The executive officers of the WSG will be the President and the Vice President.  Elections will be held at least one month prior to the last WSG meeting of the year.  The elections committee will decide on the exact date.  Elections will be held in accordance to the election rules, with their terms of office beginning the following July first and ending June thirtieth of the next year.  No executive officer will be eligible to service the same office for more than two elected terms.  No executive of the WSG may concurrently serve as a Senator.
B.     Any member of the student body will be eligible and qualified to seek the office of the President or Vice President.  The members of the student body who are seeking the office of the President or Vice-President will be in good academic standing and maintain such standing throughout their term.  Good academic standing is defined as “not on academic probation” (at least a 2.00 cum. G.P.A.).  The President and Vice-President will serve a term of one year or until a successor is elected and assumes office.
C.     All executive officers must be enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater during their term.

Section Three: Vacancy in Office

A.    Should the office of the President become vacant, the Vice President will become President.  A new Vice President will be appointed by the President and will need two-thirds approval by the Senate.
B.     Should the position of the Vice President become vacant, a new Vice President will be appointed by the President and will need two-thirds approval by the Senate.
C.     Should the positions of President and Vice President become vacant at same time, the Speaker of the Senate will serve as the President. A new Speaker shall be elected from the current Senate. The Senate shall elect, from current Senators, by a majority vote, a new Deputy Speaker of the Senate. A new Vice President will be appointed by the President and will need two-thirds approval by the Senate.

Section Four: Duties and Powers

The duties and powers of the President and Vice President will be specified in the Standing Rules of the WSG.

Section Five: Conflict Of Interest

In the event of impeachment proceedings against the President or other instances of conflict of interest, the Vice President will temporarily assume the duties of the President.  During such time periods, the President will continue to occupy the office of the President.

Section Six: Removal

Charges of removal must be accepted by two-thirds vote of the Senate, or ten percent or the student body in the form of a petition.  Acceptance of charges will constitute notice of intent.  The removal hearing will be convened two weeks after acceptance of charges.  Removal of the President or the Vice President will require a three-fourths vote of all current student Senators (present or not present).  Additional provisions for hearings and appeals are stated in the Standing Rules of the WSG.

Article Three: Executive Board

Section One: Composition and Selection

A.    The President will have the right to hire, with consultation of the Vice President and the consent of the Senate, all Executive Board members.  The President will have the sole right to terminate Executive Board members and to direct their work on behalf of WSG.  The President my not order Executive Board members to perform any task(s) which would expose them to criminal prosecution, personal civil liability, or which would violate their civil rights under law.
B.     The composition of the Executive Board will be specified in the Standing Rules of the WSG.  Members will be chosen on merit and ability.
C.     All Executive Board members must be currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Section Two: Duties and Powers

The duties and powers of the Executive Board will be stated in the Standing Rules of the WSG.

Section Three: WSG Clerk

A.    The President will have the right to hire, with consultation of the Vice President and the consent of the Senate the WSG Clerk. The WSG Clerk may be removed from office with a two-thirds vote of the Senate. Upon removal from office, the Deputy Speaker will serve as temporary WSG Clerk until a new WSG Clerk is appointed within two Senate meetings.
B.     The duties and powers of the WSG Clerk will be stated in the Standing Rules of the WSG.

Article Four: Committees

The Standing Committees of the WSG, their composition, and their functions will be specified in the Standing Rules of the WSG.

Article Five: Records

Section One: Audit

An audit will be performed upon request of a majority of the Senate, or upon petition by ten percent of the student body.

Section Two: Records to Be Open

All appropriate financial records of the WSG will be open to, and made reasonably available to the students of theUniversityofWisconsin System, State and University auditors, and the news media.

Article Six: Rules

All circumstances not covered by the WSG Constitution or Standing Rules will default to Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised, most current edition.

Article Seven: Amendments and Referenda

Section One: Amendments

Ratification of proposed amendments to the constitution will require that the amendments be passed by the Senate by a four-fifths majority and the student body by two-thirds of those voting in a binding referendum.  Ratification of proposed amendments to the standing rules will require that the amendments be passed by the Senate by a two-thirds majority. If ten percent of the students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater petition for the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution, the WSG will conduct a binding referendum during the next general election; at least two-thirds of the students voting must approve the amendments for them to be automatically adopted.  Amendments will take effect immediately upon passage, unless a provision concerning the date or manner of implementation is specified in the proposal when it is brought to the student body in referendum.

Section Two: Referenda

Ratification of WSG referenda, other than those relating to the Constitution, will require not less than a simple majority of the students voting on the referendum.

Section Three: Non-Binding Referenda

The WSG may, at any time, upon majority vote of the Senate, initiate non-binding referenda in order to poll student interest on any issue.

Section Four: United Council

In order to hold a referenda regarding joining United Council, there shall be a four-fifths vote needed.

Article Eight: Date of Effect

This constitution will take effect on the twenty-ninth day of January in the year, 2007.