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Policy Details

2 -08

Undergraduate student senate charter

(A)       Preamble.

 

(1)       The authority, which exists on the campus of Kent state university, is the authority of the state of Ohio delegated by law to the trustees of the university and through them to such agencies, as they deem proper. Recognizing our lack of sovereignty in this regard, we use the term "undergraduate student government" to pertain to the primary vehicle by which the undergraduate student body provides its input into the university community.

 

(2)       We, the undergraduate students of Kent state university, in order to define and secure our rights and status in the university community, and in order to provide for the common betterment and general welfare of the undergraduate student body and the university and to insure meaningful student participation in total university governance, do hereby establish this Charter for the undergraduate student government of Kent state university, Kent campus.

 

(B)       Undergraduate student government, herein after referred to as the USG.

 

(1)       Membership

 

(a)       Nine undergraduate students shall be elected at-large from the undergraduate student body of the Kent state university (Kent campus) to serve a term of one year. Nine undergraduate students shall be elected at-large from within nine academic colleges of the Kent state university (Kent campus) to serve a term of one year. Seven undergraduate students shall be appointed to represent specific constituencies of the undergraduate student body of Kent state university (Kent campus) to serve a term of one year.

 

(2)       Elections

 

(a)       Elections shall occur between the eighth and the eleventh (inclusive) regular academic class weeks of the spring semester.

 

(b)       Each candidate will declare the position on the USG that they are seeking and will petition and campaign for only that position.

 

(c)        Each undergraduate student of Kent state university (Kent campus) may vote for one candidate for each USG position.

 

(d)       The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each of the nineteen (19) elected USG positions will take office within twenty (20) regular academic class days after the official election results are announced and shall serve for one year barring recall, resignation or disqualification.

 

(3)       Status of Members

 

(a)       The positions shall be known as follows:

 

(i)         Executive director;

 

(ii)        Director of governmental affairs;

 

(iii)       Director of community affairs;

 

(iv)       Director of programming;

 

(v)        Director of student involvement;

 

(vi)       Director of student advancement;

 

(vii)      Director of communications;

 

(viii)     Director of academic affairs;

 

(ix)       Director of business and finance;

 

(x)        Senator of the college of architecture and environmental design;

 

(xi)       Senator of the college of the arts;

 

(xii)      Senator of the college of arts and sciences;

 

(xiii)     Senator of the college of business administration;

 

(xiv)     Senator of the college of communication and information;

 

(xv)      Senator of the college of education, health and human services;

 

(xvi)     Senator of the honors college;

 

(xvii)    Senator of the college of nursing;

 

(xviii)   Senator of the college of technology;

 

(xix)     Senator of the college of undergraduate studies;

 

(xx)      Senator of the residence halls;

 

(xxi)     Senator of off-campus and commuter students;

 

(xxii)    Senator at large;

 

(xxiii)   Senator at large;

 

(xxiv)   Senator at large;

 

(xxv)    Senator at large.

 

(b)       Job descriptions for the twenty-five (25) USG positions listed above will be defined by the USG By-laws.

 

(c)        The USG may delegate any other authority and responsibility within itself as it sees fit.

 

(4)       Removals, Vacancies, and Reassignments.

 

(a)       Removal by petition.

 

(i)         A petition of eight percent (8%) of the Kent campus undergraduate student body may require a referendum to recall any USG official from office. Such referendum shall be held within fifteen (15) academic class days after the receipt of a valid petition. See section (F) of this Administrative Code.

 

(b)       Declaration of Vacancy

 

(i)         In case of a USG official’s persistent failure to abide by the Charter and By-laws as established by the USG, the seat of said official shall be declared vacant through a resolution of the USG. Said resolution must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of USG members present at a regular or special meeting called for this purpose.

 

(5)       Filling of Vacancies

 

(a)       If any USG official shall cease to be an undergraduate student, resign, be disqualified, or otherwise vacate his/her position on or before October 1st, the USG, within fifteen (15) academic class days of the acknowledgement of the official’s inability to remain in his/her position, shall hold a special election, or if applicable interview process, for the assignment of that particular USG position.

 

(b)       In the event that a USG chair is not filled during the regular election, a special election will be held for the purpose of filling the vacant USG seat(s). The special election will be held within fifteen (15) academic class days following the general election.

 

(c)        In the event that after a USG seat becomes vacant after October 1st, or that after a special election is held the USG seat(s) remains vacant, the USG shall appoint by 3/4 majority vote a person to fill each vacancy within fifteen (15) academic class days.

 

(6)       Procedures

 

(a)       The USG shall develop By-laws determining its own rules and procedures and shall make minutes of all its meetings available upon request.

 

(b)       Quorum to conduct business for an executive cabinet meeting shall be five (5) members, with the presence of the executive director counting in establishing quorum.  A concurring vote of a majority of the USG executive cabinet members casting votes, except as otherwise noted within the Charter and By-laws of the USG, shall be required for passage of all business. Quorum to conduct business for a regular meeting shall be thirteen (13) members, with the presence of the executive director counting in establishing quorum. A concurring vote of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the USG members casting votes, except as otherwise noted within the Charter and By-laws of the USG, shall be required for passage of all legislation as well as the annual USG budget.

 

(c)        The USG shall have regular public meetings at such times as may be prescribed by its rules, but not less frequently than twice each month. All meetings shall be open to the public, but the USG reserves the right to move into Executive Session. 

 

(d)       Special meetings may be called by the executive director or any five (5) members of the USG executive cabinet on twenty-four (24) hours notice served on each member of the USG personally or left at his/her usual place of residence. The purpose of a special meeting shall be stated in the notice and no other business shall be transacted at said meeting.

 

(7)       Powers, Responsibilities, and Limitations

 

(a)       The legislative powers of the USG and the determination of all matters of policy, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, shall be vested in the USG. It shall have the ultimate authority and responsibility within the USG framework to:

 

(i)         Provide for the common betterment and general welfare of the undergraduate student body.

 

(ii)        Ensure meaningful student participation in total university governance.

 

(b)       In pursuit of these functions, the USG shall have the following powers and responsibilities:

 

(i)         Shall establish criteria for minimum standards for all members of the USG. These standards shall be set forth in the By-laws of the USG. Failure to meet these standards will be grounds for disqualification. See section (B)(4)(b) of this Administrative Code.

 

(ii)        Shall be responsible for determining student opinion.

 

(iii)       Shall determine the distribution process for all monies for which the USG has been delegated authority.

 

(a)       The undergraduate student activities tuition allocation monies, with the exception of the May 4th commemoration allocation, shall be distributed between standing committees of the USG. These standing committees shall exist as follows:

 

(i)         An allocations standing committee, chaired by the director of business and finance, for the purpose of allocating funds to requesting student organizations for programming on the Kent campus.

 

(ii)        A programming board standing committee, chaired by the director of programming, for the purpose of providing USG managed programming for the undergraduate students on the Kent campus.

 

(iv)       Shall coordinate undergraduate student participation in established channels of university policy making through the appointment of undergraduate students to all university committees and positions, which have undergraduate student representation.

 

(a)       Such appointments shall be made in accordance with the university policy.

 

(b)       The USG may remove any of these appointees with the concurrence of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of its executive board members.

 

(v)        The USG shall hold a referendum under either or both of the following conditions.

 

(a)       If a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the USG votes in favor of holding a referendum; or

 

(b)       If the executive director receives a valid initiative petition. See section (F) of this Administrative Code.

 

(vi)       Shall ensure proper channels of communication both internally and externally.

 

(vii)      Shall receive and act within fifteen (15) academic class days, upon all valid petitions, defined under section (F) of this Administrative Code, which shall be presented to the Executive director.

 

(viii)     Shall consider any issue presented by an undergraduate student or group to the executive director in the form of a signed deposition stating the issue and bearing the signatures of one (1) director who agrees to consider the issue.

(ix)       Shall consider and act, within fifteen (15) academic class days, upon all recommendations made by the executive director in the form of a signed deposition and bearing the signature of one other Director who agrees to consider the issue.

 

(x)        Shall authorize or approve the creation of all positions within the jurisdiction of the USG.

 

(xi)       Shall channel the execution of its resolutions and bills through the executive director and thereby to the university administration or to such appointees as sit on the appropriate university committees.

 

(xii)      Shall exercise or delegate such additional authority as may be entrusted to USG by the Board of Trustees or its agencies.

 

(xiii)     Shall ensure that the USG is perpetuated under this Charter and shall provide for a smooth transition to a new USG by ensuring the education and training of newly elected or appointed directors or senators. The executive director shall oversee the transition of the new USG by conducting, together with the outgoing and/or the incoming executive director, a series of training workshops during the period between the election and the beginning of fall semester.

 

(c)        In the pursuit of its responsibilities and functions the USG shall have the following limitations:

 

(i)         No member of the USG shall hold any position or employment in the administrative service of the USG, including university standing committees, during the term for which he/she was duly elected or appointed.

 

(ii)        No member of the USG shall hold any other position on campus for which compensation is received, with the exception of work-study or university employment not prohibited above.

 

(C)       The executive director.

 

(1)       Duties.

 

(a)       The executive director shall act as chief spokesperson of the USG in communication with the administration, the student body, and the community. In this capacity, the Executive Director is charged with representing the view of the USG. For purposes (within his/her purview) he/she shall be considered the coordinator of all administrative functions and bodies of the USG.

 

(2)       Responsibilities.

 

(a)       The executive director shall be responsible to the USG for the proper administration of the USG and shall be required to:

 

(i)         Serve as chairperson of the USG and as such shall have all the powers and limitations of a director with the exception of additional powers and limitations as follows:

 

(a)       Shall preside over the USG meetings and ensure order and progress through the use of parliamentary procedure.

 

(b)       Shall serve as a non-voting member of the USG. The executive director may, however, as provided for in Robert's Rules of Order, make or break a tie on any matter of business.

 

(c)        Shall communicate the resolutions of the USG to the appropriate persons.

 

(ii)        Use his/her authority in making reasonable requests of USG officers in an effort to fulfill the responsibilities of the USG.

 

(iii)       Recommend to the USG the removal of any individual member(s) of the USG who are consistently negligent in the performance of his/her duties and responsibilities. See section (B)(4)(b) of this Administrative Code.

 

(iv)       Use his/her discretion in channeling issues to the appropriate officers. See section (B)(3)(a) of this Administrative Code. The aforementioned clause shall not supersede any chartered powers or responsibilities of any member of the USG.

 

(v)        Oversee the routine business functions of the USG.

 

(vi)       Perform all those duties, which may reasonably be requested of him/her by the USG.

 

(vii)      Oversee all student activity fee expenditures authorized by the USG and administer and audit the budget of the USG.

 

(viii)     Exercise control over all departments, programs, and positions placed under his/her purview by the USG.

 

(ix)       Recommend to the USG such measures, as he/she may deem necessary and expedient.

 

(x)        Receive, validate, and submit to the USG all initiative petitions and depositions referred to in section (B)(7)(5) and (7) and also in section (F) of this Administrative Code.

 

(xi)       Report to the USG at all regular meetings on his/her actions, the current financial position of the USG, and current or future needs of the USG and the student body.

(xii)      Report either verbally or in writing on any of his/her official functions at the USG’s request.

 

(D)       Undergraduate student government staff.

 

(1)       Appointment and removal.

 

(a)       The executive director, with the advice of the USG, will appoint staff personnel necessary to carry out the functions of the USG. These appointees must then be confirmed by majority vote of the USG at the next public meeting following the appointment. The appointees will assume their duties, as described in the By-laws of the USG, upon confirmation. Should any appointee not be confirmed, the executive director will make a new appointment to be confirmed by majority vote.

 

(b)       The director of business and finance, with the advice of the USG, will appoint undergraduate students to the allocations standing committee. These appointees must then be confirmed by majority vote of the USG at the next public meeting following the appointment. The appointees will assume their duties, as described in the By-laws of the USG, upon confirmation. Should any appointee not be confirmed, the director of business and finance will make a new appointment to be confirmed by a majority of the USG.

 

(c)        The director of programming, with the advice of the USG, will appoint undergraduate students to the programming board standing committee. These appointees must then be confirmed by majority vote of the USG at the next public meeting following the appointment. The appointees will assume their duties, as described in the By-laws of the USG, upon confirmation. Should any appointee not be confirmed, the director of programming will make a new appointment to be confirmed by a majority of the USG.

 

(d)       Any member of the staff, allocations standing committee, or programming board standing committee may be removed by the executive director, with the advice and consent of a majority of those directors present at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose.

 

(e)       Any vacancies of the at-large seats of the allocations standing committee or programming board standing committee shall be filled by an appointee of the respective standing committee chairperson, with the advice of the USG. These appointees must then be confirmed by majority vote of the USG at the next public meeting following appointment. The appointees will assume their duties, as described in By-laws of the USG, upon confirmation. Should any appointee not be confirmed, the respective area director will make a new appointment to be confirmed by a majority of the USG.

 

(2)       Functions.

 

(a)       The staff will be coordinated by the executive director in accordance with section (C)(2)(a)(viii) of this Administrative Code.

 

(b)       The staff will assist the officers in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

 

(E)       The judicial function. The all university hearing board is established through the authority of the University code of student conduct (3342-4-02) to recommend sanctions regarding the violation of university rules and regulations. In addition, the all university hearing board is vested with the judicial authority for the USG.

 

(1)       Structure. Should the nature or structure of the all university hearing board be substantially altered by any means, this article will be submitted by the USG for referendum to the undergraduate student body; such referendum shall determine the composition and powers of the all university hearing board under the judicial function.

 

(2)       Composition. There shall be four (4) undergraduate positions on each all university hearing board. Students shall be appointed to these by the USG as provided for in section (B)(7)(b)(iv) of this Administrative Code. There shall be no graduate student position on the board for purposes of the jurisdiction herein defined. Other sections of university policy and the code of student conduct which pertain to the nature and structure of the all university hearing board are valid for purposes of this document except as provided for section (E)(1) above.

 

(3)       Jurisdiction. With regard to USG, the all university hearing board shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide all:

 

(a)       Cases concerning interpretations of the charter of the USG of Kent state university.

 

(b)       Cases concerning the legality, with respect to this charter, of all USG resolutions and bills.

 

(c)        Cases concerning charges of fraud, malfeasance, or illegal procedure taking place within any general student election.

 

(d)       Cases concerning disputes between student organizations or between a student or students and any organization or organizations.

 

(F)       Initiative petitions and referenda.

 

(1)       Initiative Petitions. A valid initiative petition shall contain the valid signatures and student addresses of registered undergraduate students, as listed in section (F)(2). Such petitions shall be submitted to the executive director for validation and referral to the USG. See section (C)(2)(x) of this Administrative Code.

 

 

(2)       Requirements. Legal and valid petitions bearing the signatures and addresses of the following percentages of the registered undergraduate student body of the Kent campus shall be sufficient for the purpose indicated:

 

(a)       Two (2) % to require the USG to consider a particular issue.

 

(b)       Eight (8) % to require a referendum on any specified issue or issues.

 

(c)        Eight (8) % to require a referendum on proposed Charter amendments.

 

(d)       Twelve (12) % to require a referendum on whether to call a constitutional convention.

 

(e)       Eight (8) % to require a referendum on recalling a USG officer (See section (B)(4)(a).

 

(G)       Amendments.

 

(1)       Proposal of amendments. Amendment proposals to this Charter may be submitted for referendum as prescribed in section (F)(2)(c) of this Administrative Code or by:

 

(a)       An affirmative vote of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the USG.

 

(b)       A constitutional convention which has been duly convened after a majority vote of those voting in the referendum specified in section (F)(2)(d) of this Administrative Code.

 

(2)       Ratification. Amendments shall be valid as part of this charter when ratified by a majority of the members of the undergraduate student body of the Kent campus casting ballots in a referendum and after the approval of the board of trustees.

 

(H)       Implementation.

 

(1)       This document shall become the official charter of the USG of Kent state university upon approval by the undergraduate students in a general referendum and approval by the board of trustees. This charter shall supersede all previous constitutions of the USG. The spring, 2007 amended charter shall become effective immediately upon approval of the board of trustees.

 

Effective: June 22, 2007  

Prior Effective Dates: 11/4/1977, 5/2/1982, 2/19/1993, 10/14/1994, 2/24/1995, 3/7/2000  

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