SGA Mission and Constitution

SGA Mission Statement

Empowering the Villanova student body since 1925, the Student Government Association has dilligently worked to provide a platform for the students to express their ideas and concerns. Representing the student body is the Student Government's primary concern, and the organization has prided itself on its commitment and service.

SGA Constitution (click here for pdf version)

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Student Government Association Constitution

 Approved by:

SGA Executive Board on March 7, 2011
Student Life/Student Government Committee on March 11, 2011
Vice President for Student Life on March 11, 2011

Ratified on March 11, 2011

ARTICLE I.

Name

 Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Villanova University Student Government Association.

ARTICLE II.

Statement of Purpose, Object, Powers, and Duties

Section 1.  The Villanova University Student Government Association shall represent the interests of the undergraduate student body in all matters.

 

Section 2.   To do so, the Student Government Association shall:

  1. act, in a manner consistent with the University’s Mission Statement, as the official representative entity of the student body in order to give voice to the students in all aspects of the life of Villanova University;
  2. advise the Division of Student Life on the governance of student organizations and work in support of those organizations to achieve their stated goals and objectives;
  3. promote unity of purpose and action among the students while protecting individual student rights;
  4. promote, in concert with the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff, the best interests of the undergraduate students of Villanova University.

Section 3.   The Student Government Association shall:

  1. act as the coordinating body between the administration, faculty, staff, and student body;
  2. concern itself with the activities of the student organizations;
  3. present all appropriate requests, opinions, complaints, and grievances to the relevant official, body, board, committee, or otherwise-named venue;
  4. give due consideration to any proposal that any student or group of students may lay before it in writing or at a Student Government Association meeting; hold referenda on any proposal when requested by the President or Vice President for Student Life of Villanova University, by written petition of fifteen percent of the undergraduate student body, or by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the Student Government Association;
  5. conduct and supervise the nominations and elections of the Student Body President and Vice President; Class Presidents, Vice Presidents and Representatives; undergraduate University Senators; and the Organizational Representatives comprising the Student Government Association;
  6. voice all official expressions of student loyalty or sympathy;
  7. have the right to censure, sanction, suspend, or expel any member for any violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the Academic Integrity Policy, any other policy or regulation contained within the Student Handbook, or the standards of conduct as set forth by the Student Government Association;
  8. have the power to allocate funds to student organizations through the delegated power of the Office of Student Development;
  9. have an Executive Board defined in Article V of this Constitution, three Commissions defined in Article IX of this Constitution, and several Standing Committees defined in Article X of this Constitution;
  10. make regulations and policies and set standards of conduct which shall be necessary for the execution of the foregoing powers and all other powers vested in the Student Government Association or any of the various Commissions, Standing Committees or ad hoc Committees it shall from time to time create.

 ARTICLE III.

Membership, Term of Office, Elections, Vacancies, and Basic Qualifications

Section 1.   Membership of the Student Government Association shall consist of those holding elected office and appointed committee members. Those holding elected office will have voice, vote, and the ability to bring issues to the attention of the Student Government Association. Those appointed committee members will possess no vote in the proceedings of the full Student Government Association.

 

Section 2.    The offices of the Student Government Association are:

  1. the Student Body President and Vice President;
  2. the President, Vice President, and Representative from each of the four undergraduate classes;
  3. the nine (9) full-time undergraduate University Senators representing the Academic Colleges as provided by Article V, Section 3 of the University Senate Constitution;
  4. fifteen (15) Organizational Representatives from the organizational areas as defined by the list on file with the Office of Student Development.

Section 3.    All offices shall have a term of one year. That term will commence on the first day after the last class day of the spring semester. That term will end on the last class day of the spring semester.

  1. The outgoing members of the Student Government Association are instructed to make great effort at ensuring an orderly transition from year to year.
  2. The newly elected Student Government Association is expected to hold an organizational meeting after the election and appointments to the Executive Board and Commissions shall be made by the last day of classes in the spring semester.
  3. University Senators shall fill their seats in the University Senate under the terms of Article VI, Section 7 of the University Senate Constitution, provisions of this Constitution notwithstanding.
  4. University Senators shall fill their seats in the Student Government Association according to the provisions of this Constitution.

Section 4.    The Student Government Association shall conduct elections to fill its offices.

  1. An election shall be held in the spring semester to elect the Student Body President and Vice President; Class Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Representatives; and University Senators. Freshman class elections are described in Article III, Section 4.8.
  2. The date of the election shall be set by the Student Body President and Vice President in consultation with the Executive Board and the Director of Student Development.
  3. In the election of the Student Body President and Vice President candidates shall be elected as a ticket.
    1. Full suffrage shall be given to all members of the undergraduate student body as defined by the University Registrar.
  4. In the election of the Class Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Representatives, candidates shall run as individuals for the office of Class President. The candidate receiving the most votes shall be elected Class President; the second most elected Vice President; and the third most elected Class Representative.
    1. Full suffrage shall be given to all members of the class as defined by year of admission, or, in the case of transfer students, by credit standing as defined by their College.
    2. A candidate may decline office if elected and the office shall be offered to the candidate with the next highest number of votes. The candidate who initially declined shall then assume the next office available.
  5. In the election of University Senators, candidates shall run as individuals.
    1. As provided by Article V, Section 3 of the University Senate Constitution, the University Senators shall be apportioned as follows:
      1. Three (3) from the Liberal Arts
      2. One (1) from the Sciences
      3. Three (3) from the Villanova School of Business
      4. One (1) from the College of Engineering\
      5. One (1) from the College of Nursing
    2. Full suffrage shall be given to all members of the undergraduate student body of each College. Each undergraduate student may vote only in his or her respective College’s senatorial election.                                  
  6. The fifteen (15) Organizational Representatives shall be chosen in the caucus of each organizational area as defined by the list on file with the Office of Student Development.
    1. The Organizational Representatives shall be apportioned as follows:
      1. One (1) from the Campus Activities Team
      2. One (1) from University Service
      3. One (1) from Media Groups
      4. One (1) from Music Activities
      5. One (1) from the Panhellenic Council
      6. One (1) from the Interfraternity Council
      7. Two (2) from Mission and Ministry
      8. One (1) from Special Interest
      9. One (1) from Cultural Groups
      10. Two (2) from Athletics
        1. One (1) male
        2. One (1) female
      11. Three (3) from Residence Halls
        1. One (1) from South Campus
        2. One (1) from Main Campus
        3. One (1) from West Campus
          1. These selections shall occur in the spring semester at a time determined by the Student Body President, Executive Board, and Director of Student Development.
    2. Provisions of Article III, Section 6 will take effect in Spring 2012 for the 2012-2013 academic year. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Office of Student Development, in consultation with the Student Body President and Vice President, shall retain the authority to appoint the Organizational Representatives and may delegate it as necessary.
  7.  Elections shall be governed by a set of Election Laws, which are overseen by an independent Elections Commission. The Elections Commission is convened for the spring election and expires at its conclusion.
    1. The Student Body President and Director of Student Development shall appoint the Chair of the Elections Commission. The Chair and the Director of Student Development will select other members under the terms of the Election Laws.
    2. The Executive Board, in consultation with the Director of Student Development, shall determine and promulgate the Election Laws.
    3. Provisions of Article III, Section 7 will take effect in Spring 2012 for the 2012-2013 academic year. For the election to be held in Spring 2011, the Election Laws previously in force will remain so.
  8. The foregoing sections of Article III shall govern all elections except for those of the freshman class. The freshman class elections shall be conducted by fall break in the academic year that the class matriculates to Villanova. They shall occur in the same manner and under the same rules as the spring elections. The Executive Board, with the guidance of the Director of Student Development, shall be responsible for overseeing the freshman elections.

Section 5.    Vacancies in any elective office of the Student Government Association shall be filled as provided herein.

  1. Should the office of Student Body President fall vacant, the Student Body Vice President shall assume the duties of President.
  2. Should the office of Student Body Vice President fall vacant, the Student Body President shall appoint a suitable successor subject to the consent of a three-fifths majority vote of those Student Government Association members present.
  3. Should the seat of an Organizational Representative fall vacant, the Student Body President shall seek nominations and, with the advice and consent of a majority of the Executive Board, make appointments to fill such vacancies.
  4. Should any class office fall vacant, the following procedure shall be followed for filling the office:
    1. whenever any Class Presidency falls vacant, the Class Vice President shall assume the office of Class President and the Class Representative shall assume the office of Class Vice President;
    2. the Student Body President shall then fill the office of Class Representative in the same manner as with Organizational Representatives as provided in Section 5.3 above;
    3. in the event that the Class Vice President declines the office of Class President, the Class Representative shall assume the office of Class President;
    4. should the Class Representative decline that office, the Student Body President shall fill the office of Class President in the same manner as with Organizational Representatives as provided in Section 5.3 above;
    5. should the Class Representative decline the office of Class Vice President after the Class Vice President has assumed the office of Class President, the Student Body President shall fill the office of Class Vice President in the same manner as with Class Representatives as provided in Section 5.3 above.
  5. Should the offices of Student Body President and Vice President fall vacant at the same time, the Student Government Association shall be convened with the greatest possible haste by the Director of Student Development and elect at that session, for the remainder of the term, a new Student Body President from among its number by a three-fifths majority vote of those present. The Student Body President shall then appoint, in the usual manner, a Student Body Vice President. They shall be subject to the same requirements for office as candidates for election as described in Article III, Section 6 of this Constitution.
  6. Whenever a seat in the University Senate falls vacant, the provisions of Article VI, Section 8 of the University Senate Constitution shall prevail over any provision of this Constitution.

Section 6.   There shall be basic requirements to assume any office in the Student Government Association.

  1. To be eligible to seek or hold a seat in the Student Government Association candidates shall be undergraduate students as defined by University policy.
  2. To be eligible to seek or hold a seat in the Student Government Association candidates shall have and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average and be in good disciplinary standing as determined by the University.
  3. To be eligible to seek or hold the office of Student Body President or Vice President, candidates must hold, at the time of election, second semester standing in the sophomore class as defined by year of admission and have been a student at Villanova University for at least three full semesters prior to the election.
  4. To be eligible to seek or hold the office of Class President, Vice President, or Representative, candidates must hold, at the time of election, second semester standing in the class for which they seek election as defined by the year of admission.
    1. The semester-related eligibility requirement for those seeking offices of the freshman class is waived.
  5. To be eligible to seek or hold the office of University Senator candidates must hold, at the time of election, second semester standing in the freshman class as defined by the year of admission.
  6. Candidates for any office must not graduate during their term of office.

Section 7.   In the event that an election does not draw a sufficient number of qualified candidates, the newly elected Student Body President shall, in consultation with the Director of Student Development, fill any vacancy by appointment before the beginning of the new term.

 

ARTICLE IV.

Conditions and Provisions for Meetings

Section 1.   Regular meetings of the Student Government Association shall be held no fewer than four times per semester. The Executive Board shall set the agenda for the meetings.

Section 2.   Regular meetings shall be conducted openly and publicly with notification being made to the entire undergraduate student body of a meeting no less than one week beforehand and an agenda being published no less than three days beforehand. The notification requirements may be dispensed at the discretion of the Student Body President in the event of exigent circumstances.

Section 3.   A quorum of the Student Government Association shall consist of two-thirds of its membership and is necessary to conduct business and pass resolutions. A quorum shall be presumed unless a quorum call is requested and determines otherwise.

Section 4.   Attendance shall be recorded at each meeting of the Student Government Association by the Secretary. Any member missing more than two meetings per semester shall be subject to an inquiry from the Secretary with penalties imposed at the Executive Board’s discretion.

Section 5.   The Secretary shall record the minutes of each meeting and they shall be made publicly available in unapproved form within three days after each meeting. All minutes shall be approved at the subsequent meeting.

Section 6.   The Student Body Vice President shall act as presiding officer for all meetings of the Student Government Association. In his or her absence that duty shall fall upon the Student Body President or his or her designee.

Section 7.   The presiding officer shall have no vote unless they be equally divided.

Section 8.   The Student Government Association shall operate under standard parliamentary procedure and may adopt standing rules superseding standard parliamentary procedure should circumstances dictate. Standing rules shall be adopted by a majority vote of those members present at the outset of each academic year and may be amended.

ARTICLE V.

Officers and Executive Board

Section 1.   The officers of the Student Government Association shall be the Student Body President, Student Body Vice President, Student Government Association Treasurer, Student Government Association Secretary, and Organizational Caucus Chair.

Section 2.   The Student Body President shall:

  1. direct the activities of the Student Government Association;
  2. represent the Student Government Association to external constituencies;
  3. chair the Executive Board of the Student Government Association;
  4. have the power to veto any resolutions passed by the Student Government Association;
    1. The Student Government Association may overturn a veto by a two-thirds majority vote of those members present.
  5. have the right to exercise such powers in extraordinary circumstances as may be deemed necessary and proper for the performance of his or her duties; during any University recess, the Student Body President shall retain all powers of the Student Government Association in any decision that affects the needs or concerns of the undergraduate student body; and he or she shall render an account of any such recess action at the next meeting of the Student Government Association;
  6. serve as the Student Government Association liaison to the University President, Vice Presidents, and Deans;
  7. serve on University committees by right and by request;
  8. serve, ex officio, in the University Senate, its Executive Board, and its Student Life/Student Government Committee;
  9. be an ex officio member of all Student Government Association Standing Committees;
  10. make nominations to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for student membership on Board of Trustees Committees, as provided by Article II, Section 10 of the By-Laws of the Board of Trustees;
  11. make nominations to the Executive Committee of the University Senate for student membership on University Senate Committees, as provided by Article VIII, Section 1 of the University Senate Constitution;
  12. make, on behalf of the Student Government Association, nominations or appointments to any other University committee seeking or requiring student representation.

Section 3.   The Student Body Vice President shall:

  1. perform all duties of the Student Body President in the latter’s absence;
  2. serve as presiding officer of the regular meetings of the Student Government Association;
  3. serve as Class President for the freshman class from the beginning of the academic year until the fall election is completed;
  4. serve, ex officio, on the University Senate Student Life/Student Government Committee;
  5. perform any duties the Student Body President may delegate or deems necessary and proper.

Section 4.   The Treasurer shall:

  1. perform all financial transactions of the Student Government Association;
  2. serve as chairperson of the Finance and Appropriations Committee;
  3. report regularly to the Executive Board on the status of the Student Government Association budget;
  4. report periodically to the full Student Government Association on the status of its budget;
  5. represent the Finance and Appropriations Committee in the proceedings of the full Student Government Association and report on the progress of the formulation of the annual budgets for student organizations
  6. in concert with the Director of Student Development, evaluate the budget processes for the organizational areas and make a determination as to suitability of proposals for either remand to the full Committee or devolution to an organizational area caucus;

Section 5.   The Secretary shall:

  1. record the minutes of all meetings and provide all members with copies of the minutes at least two days before the next scheduled meetings for review prior to approval;
  2. publish the agenda of all meetings and provide copies of the agenda to all members no less than three days before each meeting;
  3. make publicly available the unapproved minutes of each meeting of the Student Government Association within three days after the meeting
  4. undertake all official correspondence from the Student Government Association, record all resolutions, and maintain all records.

Section 6.   The Organizational Caucus Chair shall:

  1. serve as the liaison between the Organizational Representatives and the Student Government Association in ordinary business;
  2. coordinate the activities of the Organizational Representatives;
  3. report to the Executive Board on matters concerning the various organizational areas;
  4. work with the Office of Student Development in matters concerning student organizations.

Section 7.   The Executive Board shall consist of the Student Body President, Student Body Vice President, Student Government Association Treasurer, Student Government Association Secretary, and one Organizational Representative. The Student Body President shall serve as its chair.

  1. One class officer shall serve as either Secretary or Treasurer. One University Senator shall serve as either Secretary or Treasurer. Only one class officer and one University Senator shall serve on the Executive Board. The Student Body President makes these appointments. The office of Treasurer shall be filled first.
  2. The Student Body President shall also appoint the Organizational Caucus Chair from among the number of Organizational Representatives holding seats in the full Student Government Association.

Section 8.   The Executive Board shall meet weekly. It shall retain the full powers of the Student Government Association and the discretion to act on its behalf between meetings.

  1. The Student Government Association Secretary shall record the minutes of each Executive Board meeting. Ordinarily, these minutes shall remain private but must be preserved for the sake of posterity.
  2. The Executive Board shall make appointments to the Commissions of the Student Government Association and retain the authority to confirm or deny any appointments made to Standing or ad hoc Committees.

ARTICLE VI.

Class Councils

Section 1.   There shall be an elected Class President, Vice President, and Representative for each undergraduate class. These officers shall comprise the Class Councils.

Section 2.   Each Class Council shall represent the interests of its class in the Student Government Association.

Section 3.   The Class Councils shall be responsible for maintaining records of their activities from year to year.

Section 4.   The Class Councils shall convene at least three open meetings of their respective class per academic year.

ARTICLE VII.

Organizational Representatives

Section 1.   There shall be fifteen (15) Organizational Representatives in the Student Government Association. They shall be chosen in the spring semester by a date determined by the Director of Student Development and the Executive Board. Their apportionment is described in Article III, Section 4.6 of this Constitution.

Section 2.   The Organizational Representatives shall represent the interests of their organizational area in the Student Government Association.

Section 3.   The Organizational Representatives shall report to their respective areas on the activities of the Student Government Association and report to the Student Government Association on the activities of their respective areas.

Section 4.   The Organizational Representatives shall be eligible to serve on Commissions and chair Standing or ad hoc Committees.

 

ARTICLE VIII.

University Senators

Section 1.   There shall be nine (9) full-time undergraduate University Senators in the Student Government Association. Their apportionment is described in Article III, Section 4.5 of this Constitution.

Section 2.   The University Senators shall represent the interests of the undergraduate students of their Colleges in the Student Government Association and in the University Senate.

Section 3.   The University Senators shall report to the Student Government Association on the activities of the University Senate and the Senate committees on which they serve.

Section 4.   The Unviersity Senators shall be eligible to serve on Commissions or chair Standing or ad hoc Committees.

                                                                 

ARTICLE IX.

Commissions

Section 1.   There shall be three Student Government Association Commissions. They shall be the Commission on Student Services, the Commission on External Relations, and the Commission on Campus Climate.

Section 2.   The Commissions shall consist of two or three elected members of the Student Government Association.

Section 3.   The Executive Board shall make appointments to Commissions.

Section 4.   The Commissions shall:

  1. oversee the work of the Standing Committees;
  2. appoint the chairs of the Standing Committees from among the elected members of the Student Government Association;
  3. have the power to constitute ad hoc Committees;
  4. and report to the Executive Board on their activities.

Section 5.   One commissioner for Campus Climate shall be the administrator of the basketball lottery.

ARTICLE X.

Standing Committees

Section 1.   There shall be several Standing Committees of the Student Government Association.

Section 2.   The Standing Committees operating under the auspices of the Commission on Student Services shall be the Dining Services Committee and the Residence Life Committee.

Section 3.   The Standing Committees operating under the auspices of the Commission on External Relations shall be the Public Relations Committee and the Community Affairs Committee.

Section 4.   The Standing Committees operating under the auspices of the Commission on Campus Climate shall be the Mission and Social Justice Committee, Intellectual Climate Committee, and Athletics Committee.

Section 5.   Standing Committee chairs shall have the power to appoint members to their committee after conducting an application process approved by the Executive Board. Standing Committee membership limits shall be determined at the discretion of the Executive Board.

Section 6.   The Finance and Appropriations Committee shall report directly to the Student Government Association Executive Board.

ARTICLE XI.

Amendment

Section 1.   Any member of the Student Government Association may propose amendments to this Constitution.

Section 2.   Proposed amendments must be approved by the Student Government Association Executive Board for form and constitutionality alone. 

Section 3.   Proposed amendments must be submitted to the full Student Government Association and read at two separate and consecutive meetings of the Student Government Association before being acted upon.

Section 4.   Amendments to this Constitution require a two-thirds majority vote of Student Government Association members. Amendments are subject to the approval of the Director of Student Development.

ARTICLE XII.

Majorities

Section 1.   Except where specifically stated, a majority is fifty percent plus one of those members present.

Section 2.   Majorities are defined in relationship to the number of members present except in the case of referenda and Constitutional amendments where they are defined in relationship to the total number of members.

ARTICLE XIII.

Ratification

Section 1.     The Constitution of the Villanova University Student Government Association shall be ratified upon its approval by the Student Government Association Executive Board, the Student Life/Student Government Committee of the University Senate, and the Vice President for Student Life. It shall subsequently be published.

Section 2.     This Constitution shall enter into full force and effect on April 29, 2011, the first day after the last class day of the spring semester, superseding and abrogating any and all governing documents and instruments existing prior to that date.