Francis Marion University Student Government Association Code of Laws
TABLE OF CONTENTS Rule 1
President and Officers of the Senate
1.1. The President of the Senate shall call the members to order at the beginning of each Senate meeting, and if quorum is present, proceed to other business.
1.1.1. The President of the Senate shall preserve order and decorum, and in the case of a disturbance and/or disorderly conduct in the gallery, may clear it of those causing disturbance.
1.1.2. The President of the Senate must sign all acts, resolutions and papers passed by the Senate.
1.1.3. The President of the Senate shall decide all points of order subject to an appeal by any member.
1.1.4. The President of the Senate shall be allowed one vote. The President of the Senate may exercise this right to vote only in the instance of a tie.
1.1.5. The President of the Senate shall be addressed as "Mr. President" or "Madam President," depending on his/her gender. When not presiding, the President Pro-Tempore shall be addressed in this manner unless the President shall be present, in which case the President Pro-Tempore shall be addressed as "Mr. President Pro-Tempore" or "Madam President Pro-Tempore" depending on his/her gender
1.1.6. The President Pro-Tempore shall preside in the absence of the President. When not presiding, the President Pro-Tempore shall participate on the floor in like manner to any other member. Neither the President nor the President Pro-Tempore may debate on and preside over the same motion. When the President of the Senate steps down from the chair due to bias, he may not assume a seat on the floor or debate on the pending motion.
1.1.7. If the Secretary must be absent, a replacement shall be appointed by the President of the Senate.
1.2. The Parliamentarian, Historian, and Chaplain shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and approved by a majority vote of the Senate to assist in all duties set forth in the SGA Constitution. If the Parliamentarian, Historian or Chaplain is not a member of the Senate, he shall sit as close as possible to the President of the Senate. If the Parliamentarian, Historian or Chaplain is a member of the Senate, he shall be seated as any other member and shall only advise the President when he is called upon by the chair.
1.2.1. The Parliamentarian shall have the following duties:
188.8.131.52. To advise the President of the Senate and the Senate of all inquiries regarding parliamentary procedure.
184.108.40.206. To call to the attention of the President any error in the proceedings or conduct of business which might affect the substantive rights and privileges of
1.3. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be appointed by the President of the Senate to aid him/her in maintaining order and decorum. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall stand at the door of the Senate Chamber unless he/she is a Senator and be responsible for keeping the door and maintaining decorum in the chamber. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be absent only after having found a suitable replacement and with consent of the President of the Senate.
any member or might otherwise cause the board to execute its business in an illegal and/or inefficient manner.
220.127.116.11. The advice of the Parliamentarian shall not be construed as a ruling or a decision of the President, and appeals may not be taken from the advice of the Parliamentarian.
18.104.22.168. All inquiries regarding parliamentary procedure from members of the Senate shall be directed to the President of the Senate, who may, at his/her discretion, refer the inquiry to the Parliamentarian, who shall respond directly to the President.
1.2.2. The duties of the Historian shall be as follows:
22.214.171.124. To advise the Student Government Association membership of all inquiries regarding campus and Student Government history.
126.96.36.199. To assist the Secretary in the management and preservation of all records that are no longer in active consideration.
188.8.131.52. To serve as the SGA liaison for the James A. Rogers Library History Archives.
1.2.3. The duties of the Chaplain shall be as follows to recite or lead invocations and benedictions where such prayers are offered at the opening and closing of the meetings or other events, and who-- if a clergyman—serves the organization in that capacity in such manner as it may require.
2.1. The Grade Point Average requirements to hold an office, elected or appointed, shall be as follows:
2.1.1. Executive - President - 2.5
2.1.2. Vice President - 2.3
2.1.3. Legislative - Senator (and all other offices not listed) - 2.0
2.1.4. President Pro-Tempore of the Senate - 2.3
2.1.5. Committee appointee - 2.0
2.2. The Grade Point Average requirement to hold office, elected or appointed, shall be 2.0 if the student accomplishes four (4) semesters of service to the SGA through an elected position or appointed office.
2.3. The minimum required credit hours to hold office in the SGA governmental branches shall be established as the following:
2.3.1. President of the SGA shall have 54 credit hours to hold office.
2.3.2. Vice President of the SGA shall have 34 credit hours to hold office.
2.3.3. Justices of the SGA shall have 34 credit hours to hold office
2.3.4. Senators of the SGA will follow the requirements as laid forth by the SGA Constitution.
2.4. All members of the SGA shall meet all requirements as stated in the SGA Constitution and the SGA Code of Laws.
Discipline of Senators, Executive Officers, and Justices
3.1 All Senators, Executive Officers, and Justices are held to those regulations and restrictions (their oaths of office) that are laid forth in the SGA Constitution.
3.2 In the case that the SGA President shall be impeached, he/she shall step down from the chair and the Chief Justice of the Judicial Council shall preside during trial.
3.3 In the case that the Chief Justice of the Judicial Council cannot preside or must step down due to bias, the Justice with the most tenure shall preside.
3.4 In the case of any other impeachment, the President of the SGA shall preside.
3.5 All complaints concerning a Senator’s, Executive Officer’s, or Justice’s conduct, actions, or other inappropriate behavior should be introduced to the SGA President and Vice President as a formally written letter.
3.5.1 After three complaints have arisen concerning a Senator’s, Executive Officer’s, or Justice’s conduct, actions, or other inappropriate behavior, he/she shall appear before the Senate for ruling unless the case involves a breach in the SGA Constitution or the SGA Code of Laws. If the complaint involves a breach of the SGA Constitution or the SGA Code of Laws, then he/she shall appear before the Judicial Council for ruling.
3.5.2 When a Senator, Executive officer, or Justice appears before the Senate, the Senate shall, by majority vote of Senate membership decide whether or not to sanction him/her.
3.5.3 If the Senate determines a violation occurred, the sanction may consist of one of the following:
184.108.40.206 Community service hours as determined by the Senate. The SGA President shall determine the assignment of community service.
220.127.116.11 Referral to the Judicial Council for advice.
18.104.22.168 Recommendation of impeachment by a 2/3 vote of the Senate membership.
22.214.171.124 Other action as deemed appropriate by the Senate.
4.1 There shall be three (3) SGA standing Senate committees; Budget and Finance, Rules and Ethics, and Appointments and Elections.
4.2 The committees shall be made up of no less than five (5) SGA Senators, one of which shall be appointed the Chair by the President of the Senate, as stipulated by the SGA Constitution. Each chair shall be appointed after the Spring Election for the following Academic school year. The President of the Senate-Elect shall make the appointments from the members of the Senate-Elect.
4.3 All SGA standing committees shall be required to comply with the following:
4.3.1 Minutes shall be taken at all standing committee meetings by the Secretary. In the case of the absence of the Secretary, the chairman shall appoint a recording clerk for that meeting who shall not be a member of the meeting committee or of any other SGA standing committee. The secretary or the recording clerk shall have no voice or vote in the meeting committee.
4.3.2 Minutes for the committee shall be submitted to the President and Vice President within 24 hours of its adjournment.
4.3.3 All SGA standing committees shall follow the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct meetings.
4.3.4 The presiding officer of any SGA standing committee shall be its chairman who shall be appointed by the SGA Vice President in accordance with the SGA Constitution.
4.3.5 The standing committee chairman shall be charged with the sole responsibility of the writing and delivery of committee reports to any SGA governmental branch.
4.3.6 The standing committee shall be required to submit a report of all its activities, deliberations, votes, approvals, discussions, and minutes to the SGA Vice President or SGA President after the request has been made in writing, verbally, or by electronic means within 24 hours of the request. Failure to do so may result in referral to the SGA Judicial Council by the President of the SGA.
4.3.7 Any standing committee chairman may call a meeting of their committee when so deemed necessary, with the approval of the SGA Vice President after notification in writing has been received personally by the President of the SGA.
4.4 The Charge of each committee shall be as follows:
Budget and Finance Committee: This committee shall meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month during the fall and spring sessions. This committee shall review all Activity Fee requests for money from chartered organizations to ensure that the money requested is within the SGA budget for student organizations. This committee shall also recommend a SGA budget to the President of the SGA by their second meeting in session. The chairman shall
4.5 All Senators wishing to join a standing committee must attend a standing committee workshop, explaining in great detail, the duties and responsibilities of the committee.
submit a committee report to the Senate on the second and fourth Thursday of each month during the fall and spring sessions. Once the committee has determined that the request is within the budget of the SGA student organizations, it shall then submit all requests which have been found to be in compliance to the Rules and Ethics committee of the SGA Senate for review.
Rules and Ethics: This committee shall meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month during the fall and spring sessions. This committee shall make recommendations and present legislation to the Senate concerning the SGA Code of Laws and SGA Constitution that will increase greater efficiency. The chairman shall deliver a committee report to the Senate on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Appointments and Elections: The President and Vice President of the SGA shall inform the Appointments and Elections committee ten days prior to appointments that are to be made. The committee shall make the necessary preparations to screen potential candidates for appointments. This committee shall screen potential candidates to ensure they meet all requirements. This committee may also make recommendations of candidates and appointments to the President and Vice President of the SGA. This committee shall meet ten (10) days before appointments are made.
Meetings and Procedures for the Senate
5.1 The Senate shall meet regularly every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters of an academic year. University holidays are excluded.
5.1.1 The agenda shall be provided to each Senator at or prior to a Call of Order and shall not be changed without the consent of 2/3 vote of the Senate present.
5.2 The vote on all bills and resolutions shall be a majority of those present and voting.
5.2.1 The use of a proxy vote shall not be allowed for members of the Senate.
5.3 A majority of the total number of the Senate membership shall constitute quorum.
5.3.1 At any time, a member may raise the question of a quorum at which time the President of the Senate shall establish if quorum is present.
5.3.2 If a quorum is not present, the Senate shall stand in recess until quorum is present. If such a recess is necessary, the President of the Senate may order doors closed and all Senators confined to the chamber until quorum is present. In such a case, the Senators may not be detained for more than twenty minutes if a quorum is not present.
5.4 Upon any question, at the request of any two Senators, the President shall take a rising vote. If such a vote is still in question, a majority of the Senate present may request a roll call vote by a motion.
5.4.1 The results of any vote pertaining to the passage of any bill or resolution shall be recorded by the secretary and the results shall be announced by the President of the Senate.
5.5 Every Senator and appointed officer of the Senate, when about to speak, shall rise and respectfully address him/herself to the President of the Senate, avoid disrespect to the Senate and all personalities, and observe decency of speech.
5.5.1 If a Senator shall be called to order while speaking, he/she shall immediately take his/her seat until the question of order is decided, unless allowed to proceed upon explanation. If the question is decided in favor of the Senator, he/she may proceed. If otherwise, he/she shall not proceed without leave of the Senate.
5.6 Motions intended to delay proceedings in the senate shall not be entertained by the President of the Senate.
5.7 A question before the Senate shall be interrupted by:
5.7.1 A message from the President of the University, the SGA President or the SGA Advisor(s).
5.7.2 A point of order.
5.7.3 An appeal from the decision of the chair.
5.7.4 A point of personal privilege.
5.7.5 A recess called to question (majority of Senate present).
5.7.6 Any other incidental motion such as dividing a question, withdrawing a motion, a motion to consider by paragraph or seriatim, or like; of which the five first named may interrupt a speech if in regard to a pressing matter.
5.7.7 When a question is under debate, only those motions enumerated below shall be heard. Such motion shall require a simple majority vote of the Senate present. These motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are listed.
126.96.36.199 To adjourn.
188.8.131.52 To postpone temporarily or to table.
184.108.40.206 To call the previous question (2/3 vote of Senate present).
220.127.116.11 To postpone to a definite time.
18.104.22.168 To amend.
22.214.171.124 To postpone indefinitely (to kill a motion by 2/3 majority vote of Senate present).
5.8 A point of information shall be an inquiry of the chair, who may direct the inquiry to any person whom he deems appropriate. All inquires must be of a substantive nature relating to the topic before the Senate.
5.9 A point of parliamentary inquiry shall be a question directed to the chair and must relate to parliamentary procedures.
5.10 When a question has been decided in the affirmative or negative, any member may move for reconsideration thereof. If the Senate shall refuse to reconsider, or upon reconsideration, shall affirm its first decision, no further motion shall be in order, except by unanimous consent.
5.11 Any decision of the President of the Senate may be appealed by any senator, who shall state the reason(s) for the appeal. The President of the Senate shall state the reason for the decision, after which the Chair shall put the question. The Senate must vote by a majority in the negative to overrule the chair. If the appeal continues, the President of the Student Government Association shall assume the chair and will resolve the appeal by a majority vote of the senate.
5.12 A veto by the Student Government Association President may be overridden by a 2/3 vote of senate membership.
5.13 The motion to postpone temporarily or to table may not be used in order to kill a motion. If the President of the Senate believes the intent is to do such, then he may require a 2/3 vote of the Senate present
5.13.1 A motion to recess shall state a time for the meeting to reconvene.
5.14 The Senate may choose to clear its chamber by 2/3 present vote of the senators present. During which time, no Student Government Association business that requires a vote may be conducted with the exception of a vote to end the closed session.
5.15 When acting on confidential or executive business, the Senate shall be cleared of all persons except for the following: SGA President, the President of the Senate, the Secretary, the Parliamentarian, the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Treasurer as called for by the President of the Senate with a majority vote of the Senate present.
5.16 On any legislative day, unless a majority of members present move otherwise, the Senate shall adjourn at 5:15 p.m.
5.17 The minutes shall be posted prior to the Wednesday after the regularly scheduled Senate meetings.
Rules of the Senate
6.1 Senate rules may be suspended by a 2/3 vote of the senate present.
6.2 Any amendment, recession or repeal of the SGA Code of Laws shall require a 2/3 vote of the Senate present.
6.3 In all cases not embraced in these rules, the Senate shall be governed by such rules as laid down in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
6.4 Whenever any gender term is present in any rule or document of this body, it is deemed to designate either masculine or feminine.
6.5 For the purpose of senate business, "with leave of the Senate" or "with approval of the Senate" or "by majority vote of the senate" shall refer to the agreement of a majority of those present and voting, unless otherwise specified.
Bills and Resolutions
7.1 Senators shall be able to propose, present, and introduce bills and resolutions, which must be received and filed by the secretary by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday before regularly scheduled Senate meetings. The President and Treasurer of the SGA shall still exercise their legislative duties in accordance with Sections 3 and 6 of Article III of the SGA Constitution.
7.2 No Senator may present any bill or resolution other than those received in compliance with Rule 7.1 without the unanimous consent of the Senate.
7.3 No Senator shall move to amend any matter before the Senate without presenting the amendment, neatly written out, to the secretary
7.4 Any Senator may, if they choose, send an e-mail message including their proposed legislation to the Secretary of the SGA under the guidelines of Rule 7.1. The Secretary of the SGA shall then confirm the identity of the Senator by matching the Senator’s e-mail address with the authorized e-mail address for that particular Senator in the SGA records. The Secretary of the Senate shall provide the senate with an e-mail address for which they can submit legislation.
7.5 Each bill or resolution in regular order of business shall be allotted the following:
7.5.1 Sponsor presentation—2 minutes
7.5.2 Non-debatable questions—2 minutes
7.5.3 Debate—5 minutes
7.5.4 Sponsor closing—2 minutes
7.5.5 These times allocated shall be effective unless a majority vote of the Senate present chooses to alter them.
7.6 All questions shall be directly asked and shall be in true interrogative form without lengthy introduction or statement. Any question that is improperly stated shall be disallowed by the President of the Senate.
7.7 While the author is being questioned, any Senator may offer a "friendly amendment" by presenting it to the secretary. Should the author agree, then the bill or resolution shall stand amended. If the author disagrees, then the amendment may be brought up as "hostile" and be debated. If by majority vote present it passes, then the bill or resolution shall stand as amended.
SGA Award Funding Rules and Regulations
8.1. The SGA Award allocations fund events that meet specified criteria as indicated in the SGA Code of Laws. Chartered Student Organizations that are currently registered with Francis Marion University are eligible to request SGA Award allocations in accordance with the procedures indicated in the SGA Code of Laws, and are required to adhere to all applicable university policies and procedures.
8.2. Organizations must be chartered and registered with the University at time of request and have been a recognized organization for the entire previous semester.
8.3. To receive funds, organizations must complete an SGA Award Application packet which includes a detailed list of the requested purchases (including prices, vendors, and quotes) and copies of all forms associated with the event. The completed SGA Award Application packet must be submitted to the SGA office by the following deadlines listed in this section.
8.3.1. In the months preceding October in the Fall Semester, application packets must be submitted three (3) business weeks preceding the event;
8.3.2. After October 1 and throughout the Spring Semester, application packets must be submitted by the first Thursday of the month prior to the month during which the event is scheduled.
8.3.3. In all cases, all other forms (Facility Reservation Request, Campus Service Request, Catering Service Request, Request for Security/Campus Police, etc.) must be submitted in accordance to guidelines.
8.4. The organization requesting funds must comply with all SGA requirements and senate procedures, as well as sign a statement of compliance with all Student Government Association rules and regulations.
8.4.1. Attend the SGA Awards allocation training, and host at least one educational event per year;
8.4.2. All organizations requesting funding must have their preferred vendors approved by the Student Government Association Advisor or use pre-approved vendors.
8.4.3. In order to receive SGA funds it is mandatory that food purchases must be made from Francis Marion University Dining Services. An exception can be made for purchases up to $250 with SGA advisor approval.
8.4.4. The SGA Awards funds shall not be used to fund (in whole or in part) pageants of any type, annual banquets, and any event whose purpose is to sponsor or to raise
8.5. Eligible chartered student organizations may request SGA Award allocations for one major event of up to $1,000 per event and one minor event of up to $500 per event, but no less than $100 for any event. Organizations are eligible for no more than two allocations per academic year.
8.6. SGA Award allocation requests must be submitted to the SGA treasurer in accordance with rule 8, and any other related regulations. The SGA Treasurer shall submit a bill to approve the allocation to the SGA senate. Upon its passage by a simple majority vote, and upon the signature of the President of the SGA, purchases shall be made in accordance with University procedures with cooperation and on behalf of the approved organization.
8.7. The SGA Treasurer, or other member of the Executive Branch, shall notify the official representative of the requesting organization of the senate meeting at which the request will be considered at least two days prior to the meeting. The requesting organization is responsible to have a representative member, who is knowledgeable of the event, attend the Senate meeting and respond to inquiries about the event.
8.8. Once an organization is informed of an SGA Award allocation approval, that organization must begin to advertise the event at least two weeks prior to the organizations planned event. Advertisement must be in compliance with the FMU Literature Distribution and Posting policy, and should include posters or flyers in major academic buildings, Dining Facilities, the Smith University Center, and in the student residential areas as well as through appropriate electronic media available to the campus community. Advertising should be limited to the campus community, and not be directed toward non-students.
8.8.1. Advertising material must acknowledge Student Government Association as the sponsor of the event by printing "This event is sponsored by the Student Government Association" on the advertisement.
8.9. The SGA Executive Branch is responsible for investigating any allegations of violations of the SGA Awards allocation process. The SGA Executive Branch, chaired by the SGA President, shall determine if a violation occurred, and if so, recommend appropriate sanctions which must receive a 2/3 majority vote of the senate to be approved. Both the SGA Executive branch and the requesting student organization have the right to appeal the decision of the SGA Senate to the SGA Judicial as the final authority. All parties may request advice from the SGA advisors pertaining to this matter.
funds for any profit, non-profit, student, governmental, or institutional organization of Francis Marion University, The State of South Carolina, The United States, or foreign country.
8.4.5. All events must be held on Francis Marion University’s campus, be open to all students, and be free of charge.
9.1 The appointment and elections committee in conjunction with the Executive Officers shall be responsible for preparing, planning and implementing elections in accordance with the SGA Constitution and Code of Laws and with the FMU policies and procedures.
9.2 All completed applications and/or petitions for the SGA Executive and/or Legislative positions shall be returned to the SGA as determined by Rule 9.1.
9.3 Petitions for the Fall elections are due on the last Wednesday of September at 5:00 p.m. Any open seats of the legislation shall be filled and the 5 Senate seats reserved for incoming freshmen shall also be filled.
9.3.1 Fall elections will be held the first Tuesday and Wednesday after the first Monday in October.
9.3.2 Each student shall be allowed two (2) votes on the senatorial portion of the election ballot.
9.3.3 The ballots shall be counted after the poll closes and the results must be confirmed by the Senate upon the completion of the election.
9.4 The executive and legislative branches shall be elected in the Spring Elections, with all petitioners adhering to the guidelines in accordance with the SGA Constitution and SGA Code of Laws.
9.4.1 Petitions for SGA officers shall be due by 5:00 p.m. on the 2
9.4.2 That the executive candidates’ speeches shall be given on the 4
9.4.3 Spring elections will be held on the first Tuesday and Wednesday in April for the Spring Elections.
9.4.4 Each student shall be allowed two (2) votes on the senatorial portion of the election ballot.
9.4.5 The ballots shall be counted after the poll closes and the results must be confirmed by the Senate upon the completion of the election.
9.5 All candidates shall receive a copy of the election rules at the times of their application and/or petition submission. Candidates are responsible for their compliance with rules pertaining to SGA elections.
9.5.1 No campaign materials (posters, flyers, and buttons) are to be present within fifty (50) feet of the voting booth. All materials should be removed prior to the voting
9.5.2 No verbal campaigning is to take place within fifty (50) feet of the voting booth. This includes both positive and negative campaigning. Any student who is heard supporting or discouraging the election of any candidate should be asked to leave
nd Wednesday of March during which class is in session (i.e. to avoid spring break). th Wednesday of March.
9.6 No candidate shall remain within fifty (50) feet of the voting booth except while casting their vote or while in route to another location.
9.7 No write-in votes in any election will be accepted as valid.
9.8 Poll supervisors for the SGA elections are to be non-returning Senators, Members of the Judicial Council, and non-SGA members who are appointed by the Appointments and Elections Committee; and are not to leave until their relief arrives.
9.9 That all candidates shall sign and be given a copy of this ordering no later that one working day after the deadline of petitions has expired.
9.10 Allegations of campaign and/or election violations shall be referred to the SGA Judicial Council who in collaboration with the SGA Advisor(s) shall investigate the allegations to make a determination. If it is determined that a violation did occur, the SGA Judicial Council shall take appropriate applicable action.
the area or to cease that activity. NO preferential treatment is to be given to any candidate in the voting area.
10.1 A referendum may be issued twice each semester, once during normal election proceedings, and once independently.
10.2 The date of the independent referendum shall be affixed by simple majority approval, at least one month prior.
10.3 That the voting and tabulating procedure for referendums shall follow Rule 9 (elections).
10.4 The referendum ballot shall be considered an independent document, akin to the Code of Laws, in regards to amendments and deletions.
10.5 Motions to amend or delete items from the referendum shall require a 2/3 majority approval of the Senate.
10.6 Questions of the referendum shall:
10.6.1 Be of significant interest to the Student Body.
10.6.2 Be clear, neutral, and unbiased.
10.6.3 Possess objective answers that can be easily tabulated. (i.e. YES/NO/NEUTRAL, rating 1-5, etc.)
10.7 Results from the referendum shall be considered as a strong recommendation, but not a binding decision of the Senate unless the Senate explicitly declares it as such.
RULE 1 ..................................................................................................................................................... 2
President and Officers of the Senate
RULE 2 ..................................................................................................................................................... 3
RULE 3 ..................................................................................................................................................... 4
Discipline of Senators, Executive Officers, and Justices
RULE 4 ..................................................................................................................................................... 5
RULE 5 ..................................................................................................................................................... 6
Meetings and Procedures for the Senate
RULE 6 ..................................................................................................................................................... 8
Rules of the Senate
RULE 7 ..................................................................................................................................................... 9
Bills and Resolutions
RULE 8 ................................................................................................................................................... 10
SGA Award Funding Rules and Regulations
RULE 9 ................................................................................................................................................... 12
RULE 10 ................................................................................................................................................. 13