Within the academic community at Southwest Tennessee Community College, it is necessary for some degree of organization for the purpose of unifying and expressing student opinion, protecting students’ rights, maintaining an atmosphere of academic freedom, promoting student activities in both social and academic areas, and communicating with the administration, faculty, and staff of Southwest Tennessee Community College. It is for the pursuit of these goals and for the promotion of the general welfare of the student body, that the Student Government Association of Southwest Tennessee Community College established this constitution.
The student body hereby forms an organization to enforce and defend this constitution. The name of this organization shall be the Student Government Association of Southwest Tennessee Community College. Within this document, it may be referred to as “Organization” or “SGA.” Southwest Tennessee Community College may be referred to as “Southwest” or the “College.” Every student enrolled at Southwest is a member of the SGA. The SGA and this constitution derive their authority from the consent of the student body.
The voice of the Southwest SGA shall be the Administrative Council, which will be empowered to act on behalf of, and represent the student body in all matters.
The purpose of the Administrative Council shall be: to promote and maintain an active communication between the administration, faculty, staff and students; to promote student activities and educational programs; to invoke the voice of the students in campus affairs; to provide an environment which shall permit the development of character and intellectual growth; and to offer services to Southwest.
The Administrative Council consists of the Executive Committee and Campus/Center Representatives. The Executive Committee consists of the President, Executive Vice President, Sergeant-at- Arms, three (3) Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, a Parliamentarian, and a Secretary. The Executive Committee members are the only Administrative Council members required to attend Executive Committee meetings. This is to allow, and guarantee, autonomy to the Vice Presidents to make decisions and hold meetings concerning their own campus or centers and areas of responsibility and present these to the Administrative Council. Campus/Center Representatives must act as representatives at the campus or center from which they were elected but must remain unbiased concerning any particular campus or center when conducting Administrative Council duties. Only the SGA President and the governing Vice President of a campus or center shall have authority at that campus or center.
Any currently registered full- or part-time student having completed at least one (1) semester in good standing at the college, with a minimum GPA of two point five (2.5), may run in the general election for a place on the Executive Committee or as a campus representative with the approval of the advisors. Students may only run for one Executive Committee position or as a representative at one campus.
Tenure of Office
No student shall be elected to the SGA more than two (2) years. This article will be open to evaluation annually by the SGA advisors and the Vice President of Student Affairs. A member may resign or leave SGA at any given time without penalties only if he/she provides proper documentation for: medical or family issues, job promotions, or classes and/or grade point average are in jeopardy.
Right of Suffrage
Any currently registered student of Southwest who holds a valid ID card may vote during the general elections, or in other “special” elections that may be called by the Administrative Council.
Student Government Advisor
Each main campus and the satellite centers will have no less than one SGA Advisor. Each Advisor will be voted on by the SGA of that campus or center and will be approved by the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management for acceptance by the SGA. An advisor can be a faculty or staff member.
In the event of dissolution of the SGA, all organizational funds will be placed in a Student Activities fees fund.
The Administrative Council will consist of fifteen (15) members as follows:
Section 1: The Executive Committee will consist of nine members as follows:
President, Executive Vice President, Sergeant-at- Arms, three (3) Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, a Parliamentarian, and a Secretary.
The three (3) Vice Presidents are the only members of the Executive Committee that shall be affiliated with a particular campus. The Vice President positions are as follows:
One (1) Vice President of the Macon Cove campus
One (1) Vice President of the Union Avenue campus
One (1) Vice President of the Satellite Centers
Section 2: The Campus/Center Representatives will consist of six members as follows:
Two (2) Representatives of the Macon Cove Campus
Two (2) Representatives of the Union Cove Campus
Two (2) Representatives of the Satellite Centers
Administrative Council members will have e-mail accounts provided by the College and these e-mail accounts will be published and/or posted throughout the campuses. It is mandatory for each member to read their e-mails and to respond within 24 hours, unless:
1.) An e-mail is sent on Friday after the close of the day, which is 4:30 p.m. If this occurs, each member is responsible for checking their e-mail and responding as soon as possible but no later than Tuesday, which meets the 24-hour deadline.
2.) A member is hospitalized and cannot physically meet the 24 hour timeframe. If this occurs, please provide proof of hospital stay.
Impeachment and Recall
Section 1: An Administrative Council member may be impeached, recalled, or sanctioned.
Section 2: The student body may recall an Administrative Council member. Verifiable signatures from fifteen (15) percent of students registered at the College at the time of this action shall be sufficient.
Section 3: The Administrative Council members and the student body shall both have the power to present charges against an elected official representing the College to initiate impeachment proceedings. Impeachment requires a four-fifths (4/5) majority vote of all Administrative Council members at the College.
Section 4: Reasons for disciplinary action shall be: misappropriation of SGA funds; violation of the student code of conduct; school suspension; GPA below two point five (2.5); failure to carry out duties of the office held; or one (1) un-notified absence from meetings or other Administrative Council activities during any semester.
Section 5: A member removed may be required to return to the College any compensation received for services rendered to the SGA for the semester in which this action takes place. The decision will be made at the discretion of the Administrative Council and approved by the Advisor.
Section 6: A sanction requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all the members of the Administrative Council. A six (6)-member committee formed of the Executive Committee will determine the extent of the sanctions.
Section 7: A member of the Executive Committee may be removed from their office by a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the Administrative Council.
The following disciplinary actions will take place if any member of the Administrative Council is in non-compliance with the SGA constitution, approved minutes, policies and/or rules set up by the Southwest SGA:
Each counseling session will include: the Counselee, President and/or Vice President, and an advisor(s).
The first violation will be written. The violator will be asked to attend a meeting with their campus advisor, the SGA President and/or the Vice President of their campus. During this meeting the violator will be counseled and given a written warning.
The second violation constitutes the possibility of the violator being removed from their Administrative Council position by a four- fifths (4/5) majority vote of the Administrative Council. If relieved of duties by the Administrative Council, there will not be an appearance in front of the Executive Committee. If a member is not relieved of their duties by the Administrative Council by four-fifths (4/5) majority vote, the Administrative Council member shall then appear before the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will then determine if the member shall remain on the Administrative Council or be relieved of duties by a majority vote.
Section 1: An SGA meeting will be held two (2) times each month during the fall and spring semesters. The advisors will determine these meetings.
Section 2: Executive Committee meetings will be held each month during the fall and spring semesters.
Section 3: General meetings will be held during the fall and spring semesters as determined by the SGA Vice Presidents at their respective locations.
Section 4: Special meetings may be called by the President, at the request of the College Administration, or by the Vice Presidents at their respective locations.
Section 5: Regular meetings will be held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. at alternating locations. All general meetings must be announced at least one (1) week in advance. Any special meetings called require at least a forty-eight (48) hour notice. Cancellation of any meeting requires a forty- eight (48) hour notification unless there are extenuating or unusual circumstances.
Section 6: The Administrative Council members are expected to attend all of their respective regularly scheduled meetings. If any Administrative Council member has three (3) absences, disciplinary actions will be administered.
Section 7: The Administrative Council meetings will be open to all members of the student body, but only Administrative Council members will have voting privileges. The President may grant speaking privileges to Non-Administrative Council members.
Section 8: A quorum consists of fifty (50) percent plus one (1) of the voting members of the Administrative Council who are required to be in attendance. A simple majority consists of fifty (50) percent plus one (1) of the members present.
Section 9: An agenda is required for all meetings. The agenda will be e-mailed to all members who are to attend the meeting no less than three (3) days before the meeting is to take place. In the case of an emergency meeting, the agenda will be e-mailed as soon as possible.
Section 10: If for any reason a member cannot attend a meeting, the member must contact two (2) of the following: Advisor, President, Sergeant at Arms, a Vice President or the Secretary. This is to ensure accountability.
Section 11: For any topic under discussion, the speaker on the floor has two minutes to speak.
General Qualifications of Members of the Executive Committee
All members of the Administrative Council must have completed one (1) semester at Southwest and must have a cumulative grade point average of two point five (2.5).
If a student has not attended Southwest for one (1) semester they may join the SGA on a probationary status for one semester if their cumulative grade point average at a previous institution was two point five (2.5). At the conclusion of the probationary semester the student must have completed at least six (6) hours at the college and have a cumulative grade point average of two point five (2.5). The Executive Committee will place a member on probationary status if the member is not in good standing with the College during their term or if their grade point average falls below two point five (2.5). In order for anyone to run for President of the Student Government Association they must have served for at least one (1) year on the SGA unless there is and vacant position for President.
The SGA President and Vice Presidents have the authority to make sound and well-calculated decisions without the vote of the SGA. This authority does not include expenditures of SGA funds.
Evaluation of SGA Members
All members of the SGA will have their job performance evaluated at least two (2) times per year by the SGA advisors. The evaluation results will be made available to the President of the College, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the student body, and all SGA members upon request.
Should the Office of President become vacant; the position will be opened to the Executive Vice President and then the Vice Presidents. If more than one (1) Vice President is interested, there shall be a vote by the Administrative Council. If none of the Vice Presidents are interested in the Office of President, the position will be opened to all members of the Administrative Council. If more than one (1) member is interested, there shall be a vote by the Administrative Council to fill the position. If no members meeting the qualifications are interested, the position will be opened to all members of the student body meeting the qualifications for the position. The persons interested will submit a petition just as though they were entering a general election. Vacancies occurring in the offices of the Administrative Council will be filled by nominations and a vote held by the Executive Committee. If the office is not filled by this procedure within one (1) month of the office being vacated, the SGA President shall appoint a replacement, subject to a simple majority approval by the Executive Committee.
Angel Tree Committee:
The Angel Tree Committee shall:
1.) Consist of one (1) Chairperson or Co-Chairs. The Chairperson/Co-Chairs will work as the point of contact at the local adopted school. The school shall be selected by the SGA advisors.
2.) Form a sub-committee of SGA volunteers to assist in the process.
3.) Make bi-weekly reports to the SGA President.
4.) Be responsible for ALL planning and organizing associated with this committee (i.e. pick-up/drop-off gifts, collecting sponsors/gifts for children, gift wrapping, collecting of any donations, etc.).
5.) Keep the President informed of any changes that were not addressed during the bi-weekly meeting report.
The Campus Safety Committee
The Campus Safety Committee Shall:
1.) Consist of two (2) SGA members appointed by each Vice President to handle traffic appeals. One member will serve the Macon Cove campus and one member will serve the Union Ave campus and Satellite centers.
2.) Review and complete traffic appeals on a weekly basis.
3.) Make fair-minded rulings.
4.) Follow the appeals procedures established by Southwest Policy.
5.) Consist of one member that must attend at least one campus safety meeting that is held per semester.
6.) Be knowledgeable in ALL campus safety rules, procedures and regulations, including any changes that are made during the semester.
7.) Conduct one safety survey per month that will be turned in to the SGA advisors. All survey questions must receive approval from the SGA Advisors.
8.) Report the survey results to the SGA monthly.
Constitution and Bylaws Committee
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall:
1.) Consist of three (3) members.
2.) Select a chairperson.
3.) Recommend changes for the Constitution and/or Bylaws.
4.) Submit proposed changes to the Administrative Council for four-fifths (4/5) majority approval.
The SGA Fundraising Committee shall:
1.) Consist of three members (one from each main campus and one to represent the Satellite campuses).
2.) Must make fair-minded rulings for their prospective campus fundraising.
3.) Be responsible for all fundraising activities every month.
4.) Keep the President informed of any changes that were not addressed during the bi-weekly meeting report.
5.) Send a report of all funds collected to all SGA members and advisors within 24 hours of the event.
6.) Turn in all funds to the SGA advisors. If the fundraiser ends before 4:30 p.m., all of the funds from that event must be turned in to an advisor by the end of that business day. If the fundraising event ends after 4:30 p.m., all funds from that event must be turned in to the advisors by the close of the next business day.
The SGA Textbook Scholarship Committee shall:
1.) Be committed and dedicated to making sure that ALL manners of the scholarship are complete for the fiscal year.
2.) Be comprised of a subcommittee board of SGA volunteers containing: one (1) committee chairperson, one (1) vice chair, and a secretary elected by SGA.
3.) Propose any needed amendments to the SGA. These must be approved by a majority vote of the current SGA members.
4.) Review scholarship applications in order to select scholarship recipient(s).
5.) Select scholarship recipient(s).
6.) Make bi-weekly reports to the SGA President.
7.) Keep the President informed of any changes that were not addressed during the bi-weekly meetings report.
Talent Show Committee
The Talent Show Committee shall:
1.) Consist of one (1) Chairperson or Co-Chairs.
2.) Form a sub-committee of SGA volunteers to assist in the process.
3.) Be responsible for ALL planning and organizing of the Annual Talent show (i.e. holding auditions, creating an event program and schedule, assembling equipment and decorations, booking a band or DJ, etc.)
4.) Plan an annual SGA Talent Show that will alternate between the two (2) Main Campuses (Macon on the EVEN years and Union on the ODD years).
5.) Make bi-weekly reports to the SGA President.
6.) Keep the President informed of any changes that were not addressed during the bi-weekly meeting report.
Student Election Commission
The Student Election Commission [SEC] shall:
1.) Operate independently of the SGA.
2.) Be supervised and directed by the Office of Student Activities
3.) Be composed of five (5) full-time or part-time students with a GPA of two point five (2.5), appointed by the SGA advisors.
4.) Select a chairperson.
5.) Not be allowed to run for office in the SGA while serving on the SEC unless the member resigns officially from the SEC by forwarding a letter of resignation to the coordinator(s) of Student Activities.
6.) Be seated no less than three (3) weeks before any election.
All SGA members are required to work twenty-five (25) hours per month to receive stipend check each month.
Ratification and Enactment of the Constitution
Section 1-Ratification Requirements. This Constitution shall be considered ratified by a vote of a simple majority of the Administrative Council, and with the signature approval of the proper College authorities.
Section 2-Enactment of the Provisions. Upon ratification of this Constitution by the Administrative Council, all articles of this Constitution shall be binding upon the SGA of Southwest and on all organizations established by that organization.
Section 3-Amendment Provisions. Amendments to this document, after the first day of July each year will require a four-fifths (4/5) majority of all members of the Administrative Council.
The SGA may create Bylaws to elaborate on rules and procedures in addition to those set forth in this Constitution. However, in cases where the Bylaws conflict with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail.
Section 1- Ratification Requirements. Bylaws shall be considered ratified with the vote of a simple majority of the Executive Committee of the SGA of Southwest with approval of the proper College authorities.
Section 2- Enactment of the Provisions. Upon ratification of these Bylaws by the Executive Committee they shall be binding upon the SGA of Southwest, and on all organizations established by that organization.
Section 3- Amendment Provisions. Amendments to any Bylaw will require a four-fifths (4/5) majority vote of all members of the Administrative Council.
Incoming members shall meet with the current SGA members to go over the Constitution. They shall familiarize themselves with the current Constitution, Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order before the Fall semester begins. They shall attend at least two (2) SGA meetings during the summer months before attending the Student Leadership Retreat (SLI). These meetings will familiarize members with the Constitution, Bylaws, ad Robert’s Rules of Order which will allow them to conduct meetings correctly and more efficiently.
General duties of Members of the Executive Committee:
Check and respond to all e-mail messages consistently and in a timely manner. Electronic mail will be checked no less than once every day excluding weekends and holidays. If a problem arises with a member’s e-mail account, it is to be reported to the President, Sergeant at Arms, Vice President, or Secretary as soon as possible.
A Representative elected to the Executive Committee:
1.) Maintain the dignity and integrity of the office in all matters relating to the business of the SGA and Southwest.
2.) Maintain a neat and professional appearance when representing the SGA.
3.) Be available to the members of the student body that they represent. Those who cannot or do not will be required to maintain regular scheduled office hours as assigned at their represented campus.
4.) Post and publish current contact information on the bulletin boards, the College student newspaper, and the SGA and Southwest Web sites.
5.) Do their best to view all situations brought to them from the perspective of all parties involved before taking any action.
6.) Seek the advice of one (1) of the Vice Presidents before taking any action that may obligate the SGA.
7.) Be fair to both Southwest and its students, and take all circumstances into account.
8.) Remain in good standing with the College and not have any pending sanctions against them from the College and/or any other College organization.
Duties and Responsibilities of Officers
All officers of the SGA shall abide by the following duties and responsibilities:
1.) Shall have the power to call Administrative Council, full Executive Committee members, and special SGA meetings.
2.) Shall preside at all meetings of the Administrative Council, the college wide Executive Committee, and all special SGA meetings.
3.) Shall serve as an ex-officio member on all committees, and shall be able to vote on all committees’ business only in the case of a tie vote.
4.) Shall make himself/herself available to the student body.
5.) Shall not serve as a representative at the Campus that elected them to the position of representative.
6.) Shall by position, sit on certain standing committees of the College including, but not limited to, the College Council and the Strategic Planning Committee and shall fill, by appointment, positions on other committees of the College.
7.) Shall carry out the administrative functions of the Executive Committee members.
8.) Shall have the power to call special elections to fill vacant positions.
9.) Shall have the power, in conjunction with the advisors to the SGA, to appoint members of the Student Election Commission. All budget money spent must be approved and signed by President and Advisor.
10.) Shall appoint the Sergeant-at-Arms who will become a member of the Administrative Council.
11.) Shall attend all meetings and participate in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) SGA President’s Council.
12.) Shall insure all campus Vice Presidents are having regular meetings through the submission of the campus meeting minutes.
13.) Shall meet with the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management once a semester.
14.) Shall not vote in Executive Committee or Administrative Council meetings except in the case of a tie.
The Executive Vice President:
1.) Shall make himself/herself available to the student body.
2.) Shall assist the President in all matters of business of the Executive Council.
3.) Shall assist the President in all matters of business of the Administrative Council.
4.) Shall perform additional duties assigned by the President.
5.) Shall function as the President, in the President’s absence, to preside over meetings and exercise the President’s authority to cast a tie-breaking vote.
6.) Shall act as President if the President cannot fulfill the duties of his/her office for any reason until position is filled.
1.) Shall assist the President of the SGA.
2.) Shall make himself/herself available to the student body.
3.) Shall serve as Parliamentarian to arbitrate, in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, any procedural disputes arising from any meeting of members.
4.) Shall perform other duties assigned by the SGA President.
The Vice President:
1.) Only the Vice Presidents shall have executive authority over the areas to which they were elected.
2.) Shall assist the President in all matters of business of the Administrative Council.
3.) Shall appoint members to the SGA Committees, and shall receive frequent reports from committee members.
4.) Shall by position sit on certain standing committees of the College and aid in College committee assignments.
5.) Shall appoint a traffic appeals person for his/her area.
6.) Shall make himself/herself available to the student body.
7.) Shall perform additional duties assigned by the President.
8.) Shall attend with the President at least one meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents. A member of the Administrative Council may be sent to represent the President at these meetings if the President cannot attend.
9.) Shall preside at Executive Committee and special SGA meetings at their respective areas.
1.) Shall coordinate all financial matters and funding for the SGA.
2.) Shall make himself/herself available to the student body.
3.) Shall perform other duties required or assigned by the SGA president.
4.) Shall notify the Administrative Council within five (5) business days of acquiring SGA funds and must transfer such funds to an SGA advisor.
5.) Shall notify the Administrative Council of any allocations for SGA funds and must receive approval from the Administrative Council and SGA advisors.
6.) Shall present regular financial reports to the Administrative Council and SGA advisors.
1.) Shall be responsible to the President.
2.) Shall notify Administrative Council members of called or regularly scheduled meetings.
3.) Shall conduct the roll call at every meeting.
4.) Shall record the minutes at every Administrative Council meeting.
5.) Shall prepare and send minutes to all Administrative Council members and SGA advisors within three (3) business days of a meeting.
6.) Shall provide secretarial services for the Administrative Council.
7.) Shall maintain all permanent SGA records.
8.) Shall make himself/herself available to the student body.
9.) Shall perform other duties required or assigned by the SGA President.
10.) Shall keep the records of member attendance at meetings. These records will be made available to the President, Vice Presidents and SGA advisors within three (3) business days of a meeting.
11.) Shall have the agenda approved and e-mailed to all members three business days before a meeting.
12.) Shall print and distribute an agenda to all members at a meeting.
1.) Shall have knowledge of the Constitution, Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order.
2.) Shall assist the Administrative Council concerning the Constitution, Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order.
3.) Shall be available to the student body.
1.) Shall preside over the meetings until an election and/or a vote among the Administrative Council fills the position of President.
2.) Shall be authorized to cast a tie-breaking vote.
Student Government Advisor Guidelines
1.) An advisor should have a working knowledge of Southwest and TBR organizations. As part of the advisor’s duties, he/she should have a clear understanding of the role of the Student Activities department in coordinating the SGA programming and activities.
2.) In carrying out the role of advisor, he/she should have an interest in the SGA. The advisor should also have an interest in the growth and development of the SGA membership.
3.) An advisor should be committed to serving the needs of the SGA and its members by, but not limited to:
• Attending formal functions staged or held by the SGA.
• Developing a rapport with the membership of the SGA, especially the officers.
• Keeping abreast of current developments in the particular areas served by the SGA.
• Working with Southwest officials to inform the SGA of Tennessee Board of Regents and Southwest policies, procedures and decisions that affect the functioning of the SGA.
4.) An advisor should acquire a working knowledge of Tennessee Board of Regent policies and guidelines as they relate to fundraising, fund accounting, and fund disbursement as outlined in TBR and Southwest business policies and guidelines. The advisor should then assist with the financial duties associated with the SGA by counseling and assisting officers, by reviewing financial statements and accounts, and by assisting with Southwest procedures designed to safeguard funds.
5.) An advisor should attempt to assist in the planning of all social and formal functions, whether on or off campus. The advisor shall routinely appear at planned social functions. Advisors should, in aiding the SGA in planning events, maintain consistency with all Southwest and Tennessee Board of Regents policies.
6.) An advisor should encourage the development of initiative and leadership within the SGA, should assist the officials of the SGA in identifying potential officers and leaders within the SGA, and should serve as a resource person for the SGA.