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Council Bill SR 1070: To reform the Legislative Branch of the Student Government Council – Modesto A. Maidique Campus


Agenda Item: To reform the Legislative Branch of the Student Government Council – Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Date: November 22, 2010

Committee: Of the Whole
Sponsors: William-Jose Velez, College of Engineering and Computing Senator; Hector Mujica, College of Business Administration Senator; Rachel Emas, University Graduate School Senator;

To reform the Legislative Branch of the Student Government Council – Modesto A. Maidique Campus

SECTION I. Short Title
This bill may be cited as the “Legislative Reform Act of 2010”.

SECTION II. Purpose
The purpose of this bill is to reform and restructure the Legislative Branch of the SGC-MMC to ensure compliance and the constitutionality of the Statutes.

SECTION III. Main Changes

  • The power to subpoena members as well as records of SGC-MMC
  • Addition of Legislative Aides
  • Emolument recommendations and approval process by the Senate
  • Updated absence policy. Unlimited unexcused absences no longer permitted for Senate nor Committee meetings.
  • Reformed Senator requirements.

SECTION III. Striking Article III Legislative Branch of the current Statutes

The entirety of the current Article III Legislative Branch shall be stricken from the Statutes.

SECTION IV. Enacting Article IV. Legislative Branch in the SGC-MMC Statutes

Article III. Legislative Branch

Stricken by Amendment.

SECTION IV. Enacting Article III. Legislative Branch in the SGC-MMC Statutes

Article III. Legislative Branch

Section 3.01 Purpose and Duties

(a)        Purpose

(i)         The purpose and duties of the Student Senate, hereinafter referred to as the “Senate”, shall be to serve as the legislative body of the SGC-MMC, presenting and discussing legislation in the form of resolutions, appropriations, and bills for the benefit of the student body. In addition, the Senate shall serve as a venue for the Senators to report progress, discuss upcoming goals and ideas, investigate issues and debate on matters concerning student life at FIU.

(b)        Duties

(i)         Senators shall:

(1)        Enact and diligently carryout all legislation necessary and proper for the general welfare of the Student Body.

(2)        Enact statutes, in accordance with the Constitution.

(3)        Approve and allocate Activity & Service Fee fund expenditures, subject to the provisions of the Chapter 1009.24 of the Florida Statutes.

(4)        Approve or deny all appointments and recommendations that the President presents to the Senate.

(5)        Overturn a Presidential veto by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate.

(6)        Create any ad hoc Committee deemed necessary and proper to the operation of duties.

(7)        Audit student organizations and entities directly funded by SGA through A&S Fee funds.

(8)        Expand the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, expand the number of Justices of the Supreme Court, and create lower courts for the Judicial Branch; the number of Justices on any court shall be an odd number.

a)         Lower court Justices and clerks shall not be considered SGA officials for the purposes of emolument.

(9)        The Senate shall be able to summon members as well as records of the Executive Branch of the SGC-MMC, Governing Councils and College Councils for hearings on the information or Officials.

a)         The hearings will be held during Senate meetings and be used to investigate the actions of the Official.

b)         In order to summon an Official or records, a Senator must petition the Senate in a motion to summon a particular individual, group of individuals or records that are part of the Executive Branch. A simple majority vote of the Senate is required for the motion to pass.

c)         The Speaker must then notify the individuals or record holder of the summon and that their presence or submission of information is mandated at the next Senate meeting.

d)         In cases of summons of records, the designated record keeper of the summoned document must provide the records to the Senate within five (5) business days of the notification.

e)         Failure to comply with a summon amounts to nonfeasance of duties.

(10)      The Senate shall have the power to impeach, which is the formal charge of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance, and remove any SGC Official; this will proceed as follows:

a)         Any Senator may motion for impeachment of any SGC Official, after which the Senate will enter into debate on the motion.

i)          During debate, the Senator or Committee motioning for impeachment may present evidence to support their reasons for instigating impeachment.

b)         Following debate on the motion of impeachment, impeachment shall be instigated by a three-fifths (3/5) vote of the entire Senate membership.

c)         Following the instigation of impeachment of the SGC Official, the SGC-MMC Internal Affairs Committee shall be ordered to compile a report of the Official in question’s Official actions. This Committee report shall be submitted to the SGC Official being investigated five (5) business days prior to the trial. This report shall be presented to the Senate as evidence during the impeachment trial. The Official in question has the right to rebut any evidence presented against them, provide witnesses to present testimony on their behalf, and direct questions at the Chair presiding over the trial to rebut witness testimony.

i)          Should any member of the Internal Affairs Committee be the subject of this investigation, they shall recuse themselves from the Committee until the investigation has been concluded.

d)         The trial shall take place two (2) weeks after the formal impeachment.

e)         The Chief Justice from the same SGC as the impeached Official shall preside over the impeachment trial.

i)          Should the Chief Justice from one SGC be impeached, the Chief Justice from the other SGC shall preside. Should both Chief Justices be impeached, the Senate shall choose a member of either Supreme Court to preside over the trial.

f)         Immediately following the impeachment trial, the Senate shall vote on whether to remove the impeached SGC Official on charges of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance as presented in the original motion of impeachment.

i)          A two- thirds (2/3) vote of the entire Senate membership shall remove the impeached Official from office. If the Senate fails to remove the impeached SGC Official, the Official in question may continue the duties of his or her office.

ii)         If the Senate removes an SGC-MMC Official after the impeachment trial, said individual shall be ineligible to hold office in any capacity within the Student Government Association for one (1) academic semester from the date of removal.

(11)      The Senate shall be able to to make emolument recommendations at the beginning of the annual budget process, after receiving an Emoluments Proposal from the President.

a)         All recommendations must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Senate.

Section 3.02 Structure and Leadership

(a)        Structure

(i)         The Senate shall be composed of thirty-two (32) Senators representing each College and Division as determined by the SGA Constitution, as well as by the SGC-MMC Vice President.

(1)        The SGC-MMC Vice President shall serve as chair of all Senate meetings until the Senate elects the Speaker of the Senate.

(2)        The SGC-MMC Speaker of the Senate shall be elected no later than the second meeting of the new legislative term.

(ii)        The Senate shall establish its Standing Committees.

(iii)       The Senate shall be administered, represented and guided by the Speaker, assisted by the Speaker Pro Tempore.

(b)        Leadership

(i)         Speaker

(1)        The Speaker of the Senate, hereinafter referred to as the “Speaker”, shall chair all Senate meetings, and be the chief administrative office of the Senate.

(2)        The Speaker shall be a Senator, and shall be elected as Speaker by a simple majority of the Senate.

(3)        The SGC-MMC Vice President shall be ineligible to serve as the Speaker.

(4)        The Speaker shall report on the Senate’s business to the SGC-MMC Executive Board.

(5)        The Speaker shall be the voice of the Senate and shall represent the Senate in all Official matters, including, but not limited to, University functions and the Florida Student Association (FSA).

(6)        The Speaker shall serve as one of the two (2) SGC-MMC Senators on the University Wide Council, University Wide Budget Committee, and MMC Campus Budget Committee.

(7)        The Speaker of the Senate shall have the power to call additional meetings as necessary with forty-eight (48) hours notice. Attendance in these cases is mandatory.

(8)        The Speaker shall have all rights of Committee members, except voting power, but shall be exempt from Committee requirements.

(ii)        Speaker Pro Tempore

(1)        The Speaker Pro Tempore shall assist the Speaker in his/her duties and shall assume the role of the Speaker in the event of the Speaker’s absence or dismissal.

(2)        The Speaker Pro-Tempore shall be a Senator, and shall elected as Speaker Pro Tempore by a simple majority of the Senate.

(3)        The SGC-MMC Vice President shall be ineligible to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore.

(4)        In the absence of the Speaker, the Speaker Pro Tempore shall chair all Senate meetings and shall report all Senate business to the Executive Board.

(5)        In the absence of the Speaker, the Speaker Pro Tempore shall be the voice of the Senate and shall represent the Senate in all Official matters, including, but not limited to, University functions and the Florida Student Association (FSA).

(6)        The Speaker Pro Tempore shall serve as one of two (2) SGC-MMC Senators on the University Wide Council, University Wide Budget Committee, and MMC Campus Budget Committee.

(7)        The Speaker Pro Tempore shall serve as the liaison between the SGC-MMC Senate and the SGC-BBC Senate and shall report to the SGC-MMC Senate on new legislation and initiatives being put forth by the SGC-BBC Senate on a bi-weekly basis.

(8)        The Speaker Pro Tempore shall have all rights of Committee members, except voting power, but shall be exempt from Committee requirements.

(iii)       Committee Chairpersons

(1)        All Committee Chairpersons shall serve as the chief administrative officers of their respective Committees.

(2)        A Chairperson may be removed from their chairmanship by a majority vote of the Senate, or by Judicial order.

(3)        Committee Chairpersons shall be expected to present a report to the Senate following each meeting. In their absence a Vice Chairperson or any other member should present the report.

(4)        No Senator shall chair more than one (1) Committee.

(5)        The SGC-MMC Vice President, Speaker, Speaker Pro Tempore shall be ineligible to serve as the Chairperson of any Committee.

(6)        Finance Committee Chairperson

a)         The Finance Committee Chairperson shall be the third in line in Senate Leadership.

(7)       Rules, Legislation, and Judiciary Committee Chairperson

a)         The Rules, Legislation and Judiciary Committee Chairperson shall be the fourth in line in Senate Leadership.

(8)        Operational Review Committee Chairperson

a)         The Operational Review Committee Chairperson shall be the fifth in line in Senate Leadership.

(9)        Internal Affairs Committee Chairperson

a)         The Operational Review Committee Chairperson shall be the sixth in line in Senate Leadership.

(10)      Student Advocacy Committee Chairperson

a)         The Student Advocacy Committee Chairperson shall be the seventh in line in Senate Leadership.

(11)      Graduate and Professional Student Committee Chairperson

a)         The Graduate and Professional Student Committee Chairperson shall be the eights in line in Senate Leadership.

(iv)       Senate Leadership Selection Process

(1)        Speaker of the Senate

(a)        Nominations and selections for the Speaker shall be designated by the SGC-MMC Vice President and shall be no later than two (2) Senate meetings after the beginning of a new Senate term.

(b)        The nominee must accept or decline the nomination, after which, the nominee shall be allowed to speak for two (2) minutes.

(c)        The Senate shall be allowed to hold a discussion prior to the Senate vote.

(d)       The Speaker shall be a Senator elected by a simple majority vote of the Senate.

(2)        Speaker Pro Tempore

(a)        Nominations and selections for Speaker Pro Tempore must take place during the same meeting as the Speaker in accordance to Robert’s Rules of Order.

(b)        The nominee must accept or decline the nomination, after which, the nominee shall be allowed to speak for two (2) minutes.

(c)        The Senate shall be allowed to hold a discussion prior to the Senate vote.

(d)       The Speaker Pro Tempore shall be a Senator elected by a simple majority vote of the Senate.

(3)        Committee Chairpersons

(a)        The Committee Chairpersons shall be elected from the members of the Senate, following the same process as with the Speaker.

(b)        Candidates shall be selected after an application process, by a simple majority vote of quorum at the Senate meeting.

(v)        Senate Leadership Responsibilities

(1)        The Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore shall analyze the degree to which each Senator has fulfilled their duties as enumerated in the SGC-MMC Statutes.

(2)        This analysis shall be made available in a monthly report that is publicly available in the SGC-MMC Office and website.

(3)        Senate Committee Chairpersons shall disclose attendance and legislative work at Committee meetings every month in a Monthly Committee Report.

(c)        Legislative Aides

(i)         Legislative Aides (LA) shall be assistants to the Senate, its members and its Committees, whose purpose is to aide in special functions including but not limited to media relations, legislative research, event planning and administrative duties.

(1)        Legislative Aides shall be considered as SGC-MMC staff members, whose compensation, outside of emoluments, will be determined by the Senate Speaker in coordination with the SGC-MMC Advisor.

(2)        LAs shall not be considered as SGC-MMC Officials for purposes of emoluments, Senate floor privileges and SGA resource management.

(3)        LAs shall perform the duties as assigned by the naming entity, be it a Senator or a Committee.

a)         Legislative Aides may exercise some special duties in the areas above with written consent from their immediate supervisor.

b)         Aides may be removed by the respective supervisors, or by the Speaker, and Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate, without any impeachment or judicial procedure.

(4)        Legislative Aides shall not hold any other office within the SGA.

(ii)        The Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore shall be eligible for up to three (3) legislative aides to be named the SGC Official for whom the aide will be provided.

(iii)       Each Committee shall be able to appoint up to four (4) legislative aides, to be appointed by each Committee chair, and confirmed by the Committee members.

(iv)       Each Senator shall be able to appoint up to two (2) legislative aides.

Section 3.03 Legislative Sessions

(a)        The Senate shall convene every Monday during the Fall and Spring semesters at 4:00 p.m. in the Student Government chambers located in room GC 150.

(b)        For emergency meetings, the time and place shall be announced with forty-eight (48) hours of notice.

(c)        Summer Senate sessions shall begin on the first day of Summer and shall end at the close of the Summer semester as delineated by the University calendar.

(d)       Fall Senate sessions shall begin on the first day of Fall semester and close on the last day of Fall semester as delineated by the University calendar.

(e)        Spring Senate sessions shall begin on the first day of Spring and close on the last day of Spring as delineated by the University calendar.

(f)        Senate sessions shall not be called during holidays, breaks, or when the University is closed.

Section 3.04 Senate Committees

(a)       Standing Committees

(i)         The Standing Committees of the SGC-MMC Senate shall be the Finance Committee, Rules, Legislation and Judiciary Committee, Student Advocacy Committee, Operational Review Committee, Internal Affairs Committee and Graduate and Professional Student Committee. It shall be the duty of these committees to present items for discussion and present solutions to the SGC-MMC Senate. These committees are to be chaired by SGC-MMC Senators.

(b)        Committee Requirements

(i)         All SGC-MMC Senators must serve on at least one Standing Committee.

(ii)        Each committee will be responsible for the selection of a Vice Chairperson who is voted upon by the individual members of each committee during its first meeting.

(iii)       Committees shall meet at least twice a month to conduct business. Attendance and minutes shall be recorded by the Vice Chairperson, distributed and filed with the Clerk of Council in the SGC-MMC office within 48 hours of the meeting’s adjournment.

(1)        Committees shall be able to hold hearings on specific topics. These hearings shall count towards the committee meeting requirement.

(iv)       Committee size, excluding the Finance Committee and the Graduate and Professional Student Committee, shall be determined by the SGC-MMC Speaker.

(v)        Any official decisions and/or projects, initiatives and measures made by a Committee must be brought before the Senate for approval.

(1)       The Graduate and Professional Student Committee shall be exempt from this clause for requests made by graduate students for conference, research and professional development funding, and shall bring all other decisions before the entire Senate.

(c)       Finance Committee

(i)       Purpose and Responsibilities

(1)        The purpose of the Finance Committee (FC) is to allocate the Finance Committee Appropriations Budget.

(2)        It is the responsibility of the Finance Committee to review and make recommendations to the Senate for the expenditure of all reserve and unallocated funds of the SGC-MMC budget, as well as the Finance Committee Appropriations budget, including any line item transfers in the completed budget.

(ii)      Structure

(1)        The Finance Committee shall be comprised of the Finance Committee Chairperson and five (5) additional Senators selected by a majority vote of the Senate.

(2)        Any matter being presented to the Senate by the Finance Committee must have two (2) sponsoring Senators.

a)         All appropriations must first be approved by the Finance Committee. This is to be done with a majority vote of Committee membership, given quorum.

b)         Once the Finance Committee approves any appropriation, the proposal is then brought before the Senate. The appropriation is to be approved with a majority vote of the Senate.

c)         If not approved by the Finance Committee, the proposed appropriation shall be reported to the Senate at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

d)         If a Senator wishes the appropriation to be reconsidered by the Finance Committee, he/she must gain a majority vote of the SGC-MMC Senate. This is to be done with a ‘Motion to Reconsider Proposed Appropriation’.

e)         If the Finance Committee does not approve an appropriation after reviewing it for the second time, they must provide a summary paragraph to describe why the appropriation was not approved and the Senate may overturn the Committee’s decision with a two-thirds (2/3).

(d)      Rules, Legislation and Judiciary Committee

(i)       Purpose and Responsibilities

(1)        The purpose of the Rules, Legislation and Judiciary Committee (RLJC or Rules Committee) is to keep and maintain the Senate Rules of Procedure, ensure the proper passage of legislation in the Senate, and serve as a liaison between the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

(2)        The Rules Committee is charged with the responsibility of preparing and submitting the protocols, formats and rules to allow for efficient working of the Senate and its committees.

(3)        The Rules Committee shall prepare and maintain the Senate Rules of Procedure and submit them for approval by the Senate.

a)         These Rules of Procedure shall be amended by the same procedure as the Student Government Statutes, but shall not be subject to Presidential veto.

b)         The Senate Rules of Procedure shall serve to detail internal procedures and policies of the Senate and shall not conflict with the Student Government Association Constitution and Statutes.

c)         Each session, the Rules Committee shall review the Senate Rules of Procedure, and submit recommendations, if necessary for the improvement of the document.

d)         All amendments to the Senate Rules of Procedure must be presented to the Rules, Legislation, & Judiciary Committee for its approval by a simple majority.

i)          After legislation is referred to the committee, once approved, it shall be presented to the Senate by two members of the committee.

ii)         The procedural legislation may be approved with a majority vote of the Senate.

iii)         Shall a proposal be rejected by the Committee, and a Senator wish that the legislation be reconsidered by the Rules Committee, he/she must gain a majority vote of the SGC-MMC Senate. This is to be done with a ‘Motion to Reconsider Proposed Procedural Legislation’.

iv)        If the Rules Committee does not approve a piece of legislation after reviewing it for the second time, the Senate may overturn the committee’s decision with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its members.

(4)       The committee shall have the responsibility of reviewing legislation to ensure the legality, proper format, spelling, grammar, references and syntax, when submitted to the Committee prior to the legislation reaching the Senate floor.

(5)        The committee will verify that all legislation is signed by the President.

(6)        Once legislation becomes law, it is the responsibility of the Rules Committee to update the SGC-MMC Statutes.

(7)        Upon the request of a simple majority of the Senate, the Rules Committee can prepare and provide a report for applicants to the Supreme Court.

(8)        The Committee by request of a simple majority of the Senate, can also review the performance of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices, to then submit a positive or negative report to the Senate.

a)       If the committee submits a negative report, the report can be considered  grounds for instigation of impeachment against a member of the Judiciary, in accordance with the SGA Constitution.

(9)        The Rules Committee will work in coordination with the Supreme Court to suggest updates and amendments to the Student Government Association Constitution and Statutes.

(10)      All judicial hearing reports may be reviewed by this committee, ensuring the legislative oversight over the Chief Justice and Associate Justices.

(11)      The RLJC shall be responsible of representing the Senate before the Judicial Branch in cases where there is a grievance against the Senate.

(ii)      Structure

(1)        The Rules, Legislation, & Judiciary Committee shall be composed of a Committee Chairperson and a number of Senators as determined by the Speaker.

(e)       Operational Review Committee

(i)       Purpose and Responsibilities

(1)        The purpose of the Operational Review Committee (ORC) shall be to audit student organizations and entities that are directly funded by the Student Government Association through the student Activities and Services (A&S) fees to ensure that they are being used properly in accordance to the Student Government Finance Policy.

(2)        This committee holds the power and responsibility to investigate all organizations and/or entities, including the SGA that are questioned and/or challenged by Student Government officials as well as the entire FIU student body concerning the use or misuse of A&S monies.

(3)        This committee shall have the power to write legislation about an already investigated organization or entity in regards to how the entity used or misused A & S monies. It will then be used as a guide or piece of evidence for the budget hearings at the end of the spring semester.

(4)        The ORC shall also have the power to check the Finance Committee when allocating A & S fees improperly in accordance with the SGA Finance Policy as well as any other necessary document.

a)         This shall include, receiving and reviewing bi-weekly reports from the Finance Committee, in addition to working with the Comptroller on the legalities of every request for A & S funds submitted to the Finance Committee.

b)         This committee shall also handle all post event, post travel forms and all other documents necessary when requesting and obtaining information about an entity appropriated money by the Finance Committee. The documents along with a recommendation by the Committee on whether to increase, decrease or keep funding at the same level, will then be presented to the entire Senate in a Expenditure Analysis Report, as a form of review and guide for appropriating future A & S monies to the same entity.

c)         The ORC shall have the power to aid the Student Government Comptroller in checking/monitoring all SGA officials’ use of annuel budget.

(ii)      Structure

(1)        The Operational Review Committee shall be composed of a Committee Chairperson and a number of Senators as determined by the Speaker.

(f)       Internal Affairs Committee

(i)       Purpose and Responsibilities

(1)       The purpose of the Internal Affairs Committee (IAC) is to ensure Senator compliance with all requirements as well as ensuring compliance by SGC-MMC officials with the Ethics Code.

(2)       The IAC shall have the responsibility of maintaining the Ethics Code. All amendments to the Ethics Code must be first approved by this Committee.

a)         After legislation is referred to the committee, once approved, it shall be presented to the Senate by two members of the committee.

b)          Shall a proposal be rejected by the Committee, and a Senator wish that the legislation be reconsidered by the Internal Affairs Committee, he/she must gain a majority vote of the SGC-MMC Senate. This is to be done with a ‘Motion to Reconsider Proposed Internal Affairs Legislation’.

c)         If the Internal Affairs Committee does not approve a piece of legislation after reviewing it for the second time, the Senate may overturn the committee’s decision with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its members.

(3)        The committee will keep an active check on minutes, and ensure that legislation records are kept, minutes are maintained and maintain records of compliance with the Statutes.

(4)       The committee will work with all of the members of the Executive branch to ensure that the Chief of Staff keeps track of office requirements for each member of the Executive Branch.

(5)        The committee will provide oversight over Executive Branch compliance with the Statutes and assure that the Executive Branch is fulfilling its duties.

(6)        The committee will create compliance reports on individuals whose fulfilment of duties may be questioned by the committee or Senate as a whole.

(7)        The committee Chairperson will act as representative of the Senate in all impeachment trials.

a)      In the case that the Chairperson of the committee is being impeached, the Vice Chairperson of the Committee shall act as representative.

(8)        The committee will be responsible for investigations pertaining to impeachment proceedings.

(9)        The committee will be responsible for submitting grievances against officials in cases of direct violations of the statutory requirements of the official’s position.

(ii)      Structure

(1)        The Internal Affairs Committee shall be composed of a Committee Chairperson and a number of Senators as determined by the Speaker.

(g)      Student Advocacy Committee

(i)       Purpose and Responsibilities

(1)        The purpose of the Student Advocacy Committee is based upon the ideal of maximizing representation of the student body. This committee shall investigate student concerns and make recommendations as deemed appropriate.

(2)        To ensure prompt responses to student issues, this committee stands dedicated to working diligently with all Senators on legislation directly impacting student advocacy.

(3)        To gather information on Senator’s meetings with Deans, this committee shall collect the two reports required of each Senator per semester from the Clerk of the Student Government Association.

(4)        The Student Advocacy Committee shall be responsible for filing a report at the end of each semester outlining students concerns that were found from survey data and meetings with Deans.

(5)        This committee shall maintain record of current contact information for each of the Executive Board members of each Governing Council so as to be readily available to any Student Government Association to any student when necessary.

(6)        This committee will be responsible for direct communication with each of the Governing Councils of the Student Government Association. This includes but is not limited to contact via email and attendance at each meeting held by each Governing Council.

(7)        Each member of this committee shall be assigned accordingly to a Governing Council(s) for the purpose of regulating contact.

(8)        The Student Advocacy Committee will maintain contact with the Student Government Association Cabinet by specifically meeting with Cabinet members whose purpose directly correlates with student concerns and by requesting weekly Council meeting minutes from the Student Government Association Clerk.

(9)        A representative of this committee shall be present at the Student Government Council Cabinet to gather issues relating to the purpose of this committee and also to report progress to the Cabinet. This shall occur on a rotational basis and reports from Cabinet shall be presented to the Student Advocacy Committee at the first meeting subsequent to the Cabinet meeting.

a)         This committee shall actively promote partnerships with Senators to draft legislation respective to the purpose of student advocacy and resolving student concerns.

(ii)      Structure

(1)        The Student Advocacy Committee shall be composed of a Committee Chairperson and a number of Senators as determined by the Speaker.

(h)      Graduate and Professional Student Committee

(i)       Purpose and Responsibilities

(1)        The purpose of the Graduate and Professional Student Committee (GPSC) is to facilitate and enhance the overall graduate and professional student experience by advancing the University’s academic goals. Its primary goal is to fund graduate and professional students’ research, conference and professional development and promoting quality presentations and research efforts in scholarly forums. The GPSC shall also serve as an advocate for graduate and professional students, by working with the College of Law, College of Medicine, and the University Graduate School.

(2)        The GPSC shall determine the application procedure and regulations graduate students must follow to request funding.

a)         The application will be an online document that will specify the details of the budget, research, conference, professional development, and the benefits of participation.

b)        Requests shall be approved by a majority vote of the GPSC.

i)          If a request for funding is approved by the GPSC, upon return of their event the requester has up to one (1) week to turn in all materials for reimbursement to the Student Government Association and is allowed up to four (4) weeks to claim the funds and provide all necessary documentation to the Student Government Association and to the A&S Business Office for the proper disbursement of the funds.

c)         If a request is not approved by the GPSC, the applicant shall have the right to file a written appeal with the Senate Speaker. Should the Speaker approve the written appeal, the applicant shall present their case before the Senate.

d)         With a majority vote of the Senate at a meeting where there is quorum the Senate can send back the application to the GPSC who shall reconsider the request. The GPSC is not obligated to approve the reconsidered request.

e)         If the GPSC does not approve a request after reviewing it for a second time, the Senate may overturn the committee’s decision with a two-thirds (2/ 3) vote of the Senate at a meeting where there is quorum.

f)         Changes to the procedures and regulations for GPSC funding requests and expenses shall require the majority approval of the Senate.

i)          Amendments to the procedure and regulations shall be subject to Presidential veto.

(3)        Funding shall benefit individual graduate students interested in the following:

a)         Research, as defined as an investigation that is necessary for the completion of a masters, doctoral or professional degree.

b)         Conferences, as defined as presentations  (i.e. papers, posters, performances) on current and developing research that pertains to their respective masters, doctoral or professional degree.

i)          Funding can only be used for conference registration and travel costs.

c)         Professional development, as defined as events (i.e. workshops, seminars, conferences) that advances the knowledge of the graduate or professional students’ academic career.

i)          Upon the return from their trip the student must agree to present the professional development skills learned at an assigned workshop at FIU.

ii)         Funding can only be used for conference registration and travel costs.

(4)        Graduate and professional students shall be eligible to request funds from the committee once a semester and twice during a fiscal year.

(5)        Students are ineligible to request funds from more than one (1) entity that is funded by A&S fees.

a)         The GPSC Chair shall be responsible for submitting written reports to the Finance Committee Chair, the Council for Student Organizations, and the Operational Review Committee Chair to ensure that the previous stipulation is enforced.

(6)        The GPSC shall be able to allocate funds for professional development and academic events.

a)         These allocations shall require the approval of the Senate as Appropriations from the GPSC.

(ii)        Structure

(1)        The Graduate and Professional Student Committee will consist of the entire Graduate School Senate Delegation, the College of Law Senator, and the College of Medicine Senator.

a)         The Comptroller shall have an advisory role to the committee and shall provide a monthly report to the GPSC on the status of the funding for the committee.

b)         The GPSC shall be presided over by its Committee Chairperson.

Section 3.05 Senate Procedures

(a)        The Senate Rules of Procedures shall detail internal Senate procedures.

(b)        Legislation

(i)         Any bills, resolutions, appropriations and amendments presented to the Senate for the purpose of a vote must first have two (2) Senators as sponsors in order to be brought before the Senate as new business.

(ii)        All legislation must be submitted to the Rules, Legislation, and Judiciary Committee by 5: 00 PM the Thursday prior to the Senate meeting during which the legislation will be considered.

(1)        Legislation not submitted to the Rules Committee may still be considered with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate.

(iii)       Each bill, resolution and appropriation shall be require two readings which shall take place at two (2) different meetings, at which there is quorum, in order to be eligible for a vote by the Senate.

(1)        The Senate may vote to override the second reading with a two-thirds (2/3) vote in order to proceed with legislation during the same meeting.

(iv)       After passing a vote in the Senate, the bill, resolution or appropriation shall be sent to the Clerk of Council no later than the following Tuesday by 5:00PM.

(v)        Any such issue to be voted on must be classified as an appropriation, resolution, or bill, and drafted on the appropriate forms to allow for proper archival record.

(c)        Meetings

(i)         The Senate meetings shall be designated in accordance with the following specifications:

(1)        For the purpose of regular meetings, the Senate shall meet on Mondays at 4:00 PM in the SGC-MMC Chambers (GC 150) every Fall and Spring semester. Each Senator shall work their schedules around this time. Meetings shall last a maximum of two (2) hours.

a)         During the Summer semester, the Senate shall meet every other Monday at 4:00 PM in the SGC-MMC Chambers (GC 150).

(2)        For the purpose of special or emergency meetings, the Senate shall meet at the designated time, place, date and duration as indicated in the Special Meeting notification as called by the Speaker or two-thirds (2/3) of the Senate with at least forty-eight (48) hour notice.

(3)        For the purpose of scheduling Committee meetings, the Official academic school and work schedules of each Senator will be taken into consideration. These schedules must be submitted to the respective Committee chairperson no later than two (2) weeks after the beginning of the semester, in order to allow for adequate planning time.

(ii)        The Senate shall assemble at least bi-weekly during active legislative sessions of the SGC-MMC.

(iii)       All SGC-MMC meetings shall be run in accordance with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

(1)        The Senate shall adopt a special rule which would not limit the number of times that Senators can speak during a particular debate.

(iv)       Any student or group wishing to voice their opinion, or present a project or issue before the Senate, must make arrangements with the Speaker by the preceding Thursday by 5:00PM. These presentations must not exceed ten minutes (10) unless otherwise stated by the Speaker and approved by a simple majority of the Senate.

(v)        The Speaker shall allow for a period no longer than twenty (20) minutes to be used for announcements at the end of any Senate meeting.

(d)       Requirements

(i)         Senators shall be required to attend all Senate and Committee meetings. Housing Senators shall be required to attend Residence Hall Association meetings at least once per month, four (4) times per Fall and per Spring semester.

(1)        Senators shall not be allowed to have more than two (2) excused absences from Senate meetings per Fall and per Spring semester term.

(2)        Senators shall not be allowed to have more than two four (2) (4) excused absences from Committee meetings per Fall and per Spring semester term.

(3)        Housing Senators shall not be allowed to have more than two (2) excused absences from Residence Hall Association meetings per Fall and per Spring semester term.

(4)        For an absence to be considered excused, any documentation excusing the Senator from a meeting must be provided to the Clerk of Council, Speaker and, when applicable, Committee Chairperson and RHA President, at least one (1) hour before the meeting.

(5)        During the Summer semester, Senators shall be allowed to miss meetings, as long as they are excused for every meeting missed.

(6)        College of Medicine, College of Law, and Graduate School Senators shall be exempt from Senate meeting attendance requirements, insofar as they provide an excuse for each meeting to be missed related to their academic schedules.

a)         The Speaker of the Senate shall determine whether the excuse provided qualifies for this exemption.

(7)        To be counted as present, Senators must be present for the majority of a meeting.

(ii)        Senators shall be individually required to meet with their college or division Dean or administration, at least on a bi-monthly basis, and at least two (2) times per Fall and Spring semester.

(1)        Delegations may schedule meetings together, but every Senator must fulfill this requirement.

(iii)       Senators shall be individually required to submit two (2) reports per Fall and Spring semester. The first report shall be submitted no later than ten (10) weeks after the beginning of every semester. The second report shall be submitted no later than the last week of every semester.

(1)        These reports shall include updates on meetings with college/division administration, a listing of all submitted legislation, current and planned projects, current and planned events, as well as a discretionary budget expenditure summary.

(iv)       Senators shall be individually required to administer surveys each Fall semester, in which they must receive at least one-hundred (100) responses, every semester, exclusively from students within their college/division.

(1)        These surveys shall collect the students’ names and majors.

(2)        For colleges whose membership is less than one-hundred (100) students, the number of responses must equal at least fifty percent (50%) of the college’s total population.

(v)       Senators shall be required to provide a weekly written report before every general Senate meeting. These reports shall include any update on goals accomplished, ongoing projects and discretionary budget expenses. Senators shall not fail to provide reports on more than four (4) occasions.

(1)        Written reports must be sent electronically to the Speaker and the Clerk of Council to be included in the minutes.

(e)        Senate Emoluments

(i)         All Senators shall be entitled to compensation in adherence to the provisions put forth by the FIU SGA Constitution, Article XV.

(ii)        The emoluments for officers of the Senate shall be as follows:

(1)        Speaker of the Senate

a)         SGC-MMC Speaker of the Senate shall receive annually an amount up to thirty-two percent (32%), but no less than twenty-five (25%) of the SGC-MMC President’s salary.

(2)        Speaker Pro-Tempore

a)         SGC-MMC Speaker Pro-Tempore shall receive annually an amount up to twenty-five percent (25%), but no less than ten percent (10%) of the SGC-MMC President’s salary.

(3)        Committee Chairs

a)         SGC-MMC Chairs of Senate Standing Committees shall receive annually an amount up to twenty percent (20%), but no less than eight percent (8%) of the SGC-MMC President’s salary.

(4)        Senators

a)         SGC Senators, excluding the Speaker, Speaker Pro-Tempore and Committee Chairs, shall receive annually an amount up to fifteen percent (15%), but no less than seven percent (7%) of the SGC-MMC President’s salary.

(iii)       International Students under particular working conditions shall be exempt from this clause on a case-by-case basis.

Proviso: This Council Bill will go into effect as soon as the last of the bills reforming the SGC-MMC Statutes, known as the SGC-MMC Statutes Reform Acts, is passed and signed.

Status

Passed, awaiting President’s signature.

Final Vote

In favor: 15; Opposed: 3; Abstentions: 0

Download

  • Download this bill: DOC
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