University of Missouri

53-29: An Act to Amend the MSA Constitution Via Referendum

Missouri Students Association
University of Missouri
Bill 53-29

AN ACT TO AMEND THE MSA CONSTITUTION VIA REFERENDUM

PURPOSE: To update the MSA Constitution.

WHEREAS, the Constitution has not been amended for more than eight years; AND

WHEREAS, amendments may be made by referendum to the undergraduate body; AND

WHEREAS, many departmental responsibilities have changed over the years.

THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that a referendum on the following changes to the MSA Constitution be placed on the Spring 2014 ballot as administered by the Board of Election Commissioners.

BE IT FURTHER ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that the wording for the changes on the Spring 2014 ballot as administered by the Board of Election Commissioners be as follows:

“Do you approve the following changes to the Missouri Students Association Constitution? Additional words are in red, wording that is removed is marked through.

( ) – Yes

( ) – No

At a glance:

1. Many grammatical changes.

2. Removal of Department Policy boards.

3. Auxiliaries are removed only via referendum.

4. Add non-discrimination for gender expression and gender identity.

Detailed constitution with changes:

The Constitution of the Missouri Students Association


Article I. Preamble

 We, the students of the University of Missouri-Columbia, in order to gain the benefits inherent in the organization of a government for the students, further the interests of the students within the University and the general community, encourage the greatest level of cooperation and communication with faculty and administration, and to assist in all manners consistent with the policies and regulations of the University in the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of student life, do hereby establish this Constitution for the Missouri Students Association, as the undergraduate student government of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

 Article II. Membership

 All undergraduate students of the University of Missouri-Columbia shall be members of the Missouri Students Association, hereinafter referred to as the Association.

 Article III. Organization

 The organization of the Association shall consist of the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch.

 Article IV. Executive Branch

 Paragraph A. Authority

 The executive authority of the Association shall be vested in the President who, along with the Vice-President, shall be elected by the members of the Association at the Association general election in accordance with the provision established by law.

 Paragraph B. Qualifications of Executive Officers

 A Candidate for President or Vice-President must have been a member of the Association for at least two semesters prior to the general election, and must give assurance that they he intends to complete their his term of office, including the summer session if elected.

 Paragraph C. Duties of Executive Officers

 (1) President

 It shall be the duty of the President to preside at general meetings of the Association, to enhance the provisions of the constitution and by-laws; and to perform such other duties as are associated with the office of the President.

 (2) Vice-President

 It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to aid the President in the discharge of his their duties, perform all financial transactions as authorized by law and by the appropriate University officials, and keep all financial records of the Association and perform the duties of the presidency should that office become vacant.

 Paragraph D. Organization of the Executive Branch

 (1) Department of Student Services

 The Department of Student Services shall be a permanent part of the executive branch and shall be responsible for student services which aid the President in the discharge of their his duties or which are provided for by law. There shall be a department policy board which shall establish and maintain all internal policies of the department except the all positions on the board and responsibilities thereof shall be established by law. The chair of the department shall be chief executive of the department and shall serve as chair and member of the board.

(2) Department of Student Activities

The Department of Student Activities shall be a permanent part of the executive branch and shall

administer programs to promote and contribute to a well rounded social, recreational, cultural, and educational life for all members of the Association. There shall be a department policy board which shall establish and maintain all internal policies of the department except that all positions on the board and the responsibilities thereof shall be established by law. The chair of the department shall be chief executive of the department and shall serve as chair and member of the board.

 

(3) Department of Student Communication

The Department of Student Communication shall be a permanent part of the executive branch and shall be responsible for all public relations and publicity necessary for the successful operation of all branches of the Association. There shall be a department policy board which shall establish and maintain all internal policies of the department except that all positions on the board and the responsibilities thereof shall be established by law. The chair of the department shall be chief executive of the department and shall serve as chair and member of the board. All positions on the board and responsibilities thereof shall be established by law.

Paragraph E. Powers of the President

The President shall be chief executive of the Association; all other officers of the executive branch shall be responsible to the President him/her. They He/she shall have the power to nominate and by and with advice and consent of the Senate appoint all members of the department policy boards, all justices of the Student Court and all other officers in the executive and judicial branches which are established by law. They He/she may require the opinions of any officer of the executive branch in writing and may make temporary appointments in the executive and judicial branches which shall expire at the adjournment of the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting. They He/she shall have the sole power to fill undergraduate student positions on University committees and boards in accordance with the provisions established by law.

Article V. Legislative Branch

Paragraph A. Authority

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Senate.

Paragraph B. Organization

(1) Membership

The Senate shall consist of Senators elected according to the provisions of this paragraph and by law. , and as nonvoting members, the President and Vice-President.

(2) Selection of Senators

For the purpose of selection of Senators, the Senate body shall be 71 representatives.

(a) 50 will be divided by percent of total enrollment of each Undergraduate Degree Program.  The total undergraduate enrollment as defined by the University of Missouri – Columbia will be determined on the 21st day of the winter semester. These seats shall be defined as academic college senators.

(b) 20 will be defined as elected at-large senators and be elected at the first full Senate meeting of the term.  Of the 20 at-large seats, a minimum of five 5 seats will be designated to students of freshman standing as defined by the University of Missouri-Columbia.

(c) Upon election, the Speaker of the Senate will receive one 1 seat in accordance with the bylaws of the association.

(3) Representation

(a) In accordance with the provisions in the bylaws, representation is defined by the electoral groups in sSection two 2 subsections (a), (b), and (c).

(4) Qualifications of Senators

(a) Senators representing electoral groups defined in section two 2 subsection (a) must be members of the academic college they represent in accordance with the enrollment as defined by the University of Missouri-Columbia at the time of their election.

(b) Senators representing the electoral group in section two 2 subsection (b) must be enrolled undergraduate students as defined by the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Paragraph C. Powers of the Senate

The Senate shall have sole power to:

(a) Enact laws as authorized by this constitution or as necessary and proper to carry out the constitutional purpose of the Association.

(b) Allocate the Association’s student activity fee revenue, and all other revenue, consistent with and subject to the approval of appropriate University official(s).

(c) Pass resolutions on subjects which affect or are of concern to the Association.

(d) Elect its own leadership officers and establish its own rule of procedure.

Paragraph D. Quorum

A quorum of the Senate shall be forty percent. or two- fifths membership and shall be necessary to transact business except that fewer members may adjourn a meeting.

Paragraph E. Necessary Votes

All laws and appropriations shall require at least a three-fifths (3/5) majority vote of the Senators present and voting for passage. All other resolutions unless otherwise herein stipulated shall require a simple majority vote of the Senators present and voting for passage.

Paragraph F. Veto

Any bylaw or appropriation passed by the necessary votes in the Senate shall be sent to the President and if he approves he shall sign it within ten days. If he does not approve he shall return it to the Senate the next meeting along with his objections and it shall immediately stand reconsidered and if passed by a two-thirds 2/3 majority vote of those senators present and voting, it shall become valid over the President’s veto. If the President shall fail to sign or veto a by- law or appropriation within ten days it shall become valid automatically.

Paragraph G. Removal of Officers

(1) Executive Office

The President and Vice-President of the Association shall be indicted for dishonesty or nonperformance of duty by a petition signed by twenty percent of the total qualified Senate membership and convicted and removed from office upon the passage of a resolution to that effect by a three-fourths 3/4 majority vote of those Senators present and voting on the issue.

(2) Inferior Officers

All inferior officers of the executive branch and all justices of the Student Court shall be indicted for dishonesty or nonperformance of duty by a petition signed by twenty percent of the total qualified Senate membership and convicted and remove from office upon the passage of a resolution to that effect by a two-thirds 2/3 majority vote of those Senators present and voting on the issue.

(3) Procedure

Any resolution outlined in section one 1 or two 2 of this paragraph must be presented along with the indictment petition for the first reading at any regularly scheduled Senate meeting and must be voted on at the following Senate meeting  at the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting after the first reading. An officer against whom such an indictment has been presented must be allowed to make a defense before the Senate and before any committee considering the issue before the vote on any resolution is taken.

 

Paragraph H. Power of the Speaker

Any legislative power not specifically denied to the speaker nor specifically assigned to another individual or group in the constitution, rules of the senate, or bylaws, shall be reserved to the speaker.

Article VI. Judicial Branch

Paragraph A. Authority

The judicial authority of the Association shall be vested in one Student Court and in such inferior courts as the Association shall from time to time ordain and establish.

Paragraph B. Student Court

(1) Jurisdiction

The student Court shall have authority to hear all cases and controversies in law and equity arising under the constitution, or the by-laws of the Association. It shall have appellate jurisdiction over all cases from inferior courts in accordance with provisions established in the Association laws.

(2) Rules of Procedure

The Student Court shall have the power to establish rules of procedure for the judicial branch which are not contrary to laws passed by the Senate.

(3) Membership and terms of office

The Student Court shall consist of nine justices who shall serve during good behavior so long as they are continually a member of the Association. One justice shall be designated Chief Justice and shall preside over the court, administer the judicial branch, and designate another justice to preside in their his absence.

(4) Qualifications of justices

All justices must be members of the Association at the time of their appointment.

(45) Quorum

A quorum of the Student Court shall be six justices and shall be necessary to transact business.

Article VII. Elections Inaugurations, Oath of Office, and Terms of Office

Paragraph A. Elections

(1) General Elections

A general election for the office of President and Vice-President and all qualified propositions shall be held on the second Tuesday in November of each year unless the Senate shall set a different date within twenty days thereof.

(2) Special Elections

Special elections for qualified propositions may only be called during the fall and winter semesters by the Senate or by the President with the concurrence of the Senate. Such special elections shall not be held within ten days of the beginning or end of any academic semester or when the University of Missouri-Columbia is not in session.

(3) Procedure

All Association elections shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions established.

Paragraph B. Inaugurations and oath of office

(1) Inaugurations

The positions officers  named in section one 1 of paragraph A of the article shall be sworn in by a justice of the Court at the first Senate meeting of the winter semester following the general election or as soon as possible thereafter.

(2) Oath of Office

The President, Vice-President, Senate Speaker, Judicial Court, & Senators and all other officers of the Association shall take the following oath of office: “I______ solemnly swear (or affirm) to execute the duties of my office as prescribed in the constitution and by-laws of the Association for the benefit of all members in the Association.”

Paragraph C. Terms of Office

The President, Vice-President, and all academic college Senators shall serve a regular term of one calendar year subject to the qualifications of this constitution and the laws. All inferior positions officers of the executive branch shall serve a term of office corresponding to the term of office of the President who appointed them except that any such officer may be removed for cause by the President under procedures established by law.

Article VIII. Annual Budget

The annual Association budget shall be drawn up for Senate approval by the President and Vice-

President, and other representatives as may be provided for by law. The operative revenues of all branches of the Association shall be included in this budget which must bey passed by a three fifths 3/5 majority vote of the Senators present and voting before the commencement of the fiscal year beginning July first 1.

Article IX. Rules of Order

Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised, shall govern proceedings of the Senate and all other operating entities established by this constitution and by law.

Article X. Initiative, Referendum and Amendments

Paragraph A. Initiative and Referendum

By petition of ten percent of the members of the student body or by two-thirds 2/3 majority vote of those senators present and voting, any law, resolution or appropriation passed by either student legislature or any proposed issue must be placed before the members of the student body for acceptance or rejection. A simple majority of the members voting on such an issue shall be required for passage of the issue except to add or increase a student fee, which shall require a three fifths majority of members voting on the referendum.

Paragraph B. Amendments

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by a petition of ten percent of the members of the Association or by two-thirds 2/3 majority vote of those senators present and voting on the proposed amendment and shall become a legal part of this constitution when approved by a two-thirds  2/3 majority vote of those members of the Association on the proposed amendment in an election. The Senate, upon passage by a three-fourths 3/4 majority of those present and voting, shall be able to change this constitution to reflect name changes of departments and government branches which are already recognized herein.

Paragraph C. Procedure

In the case of an initiative the Senate shall declare by vote the date of the election at least thirty days in advance of the election provided that no such elections shall be held during the time University of Missouri-Columbia is not in session for the regular fall or winter semesters. In the case of an amendment the Senate shall declare by vote the date of the election and the content of the issue ais necessary to establish the validity of such an election.

Article XI. Open Meetings

All meetings of committees, commissions, departments or other sub-agencies with the Association governmental structure and meeting of Association recognized organizations must be open to the public except that all judicial deliberations of student courts or of the Senate shall be exempt from the provisions of this article.

 

Article XII. Auxiliary Protection & Petition

 

All auxiliaries of the Missouri Students Association shall be permanent members of the association unless removed by referendum by the students. Such a referendum must pass by simple majority. If accepted by referendum, the auxiliary shall be struck from the rules established by law and removed from the next fiscal budget.

Article XIII. Declaration of Nondiscrimination

The Association will not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, mental or physical handicaps, gender expression, gender identity, sexual preference, or age.”

 

BE IT FURTHER ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that upon passage of the above changes to the constitution by referendum the following changes to Chapters two and seven of the bylaws be made:

 

2.10 (C) (6) Any legislative power not specifically denied to the Speaker, nor specifically assigned to another individual or group in the constitution, rules of the Senate, or bylaws, shall be reserved to the Speaker.

 

 

7.10(B) REMOVAL:

(1) All auxiliaries can be removed by Senate in the form of legislation at any time. This legislation must be passed by three fourths of the current membership of Senate. The legislation must strike the organization from every part of the bylaws here defined.

(2) In the event of a discrepancy with senatorial reasoning for removal the former auxiliary can appeal to the judicial branch for reinstatement.

Respectfully Submitted,

Benjamin J. Bolin

Senate Speaker

Nick Schwartz

Senator

Mark McDaniel

Senator

Dan Paterson

Senator

David Thibeau

Senator