Undergraduate student government charter | Kent State University

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Undergraduate student government charter

  1. 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 board of 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 revised charter for the undergraduate student government of Kent state university.
  2. Undergraduate student government, herein after referred to as the USG which are the representative bodies on the following campuses: Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas.
    1. Powers, responsibilities, and limitations.
      1. 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:
        1. Provide for the common betterment and general welfare of the undergraduate student body.
        2. Ensure meaningful student participation in total university governance across all eight campuses.
      2. In pursuit of these functions, the USG shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
        1. Shall authorize or approve the creation of all positions within the jurisdiction of the USG.
        2. Shall establish criteria for minimum standards for all elected and appointed 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.
        3. Shall be responsible for considering student opinion.
        4. 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.
          1. Such appointments shall be made in accordance with this charter and applicable university policies.
          2. The USG may remove any of these appointees as articulated in its by-laws.
        5. Shall ensure proper channels of communication both internally between students, faculty, staff and the administration as well as with parties external to the university.
        6. Shall channel the execution of its resolutions and bills through the president of USG and thereby to the university administration or to such appointees as sit on the appropriate university committees.
        7. Shall exercise or delegate such additional authority as may be entrusted to USG by the board of trustees or its designees.
        8. 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 representatives. The president shall oversee the transition of the new USG by conducting, together with the outgoing and/or the incoming president, a series of training workshops during the period between the election and the beginning of fall semester.
      3. In the pursuit of its responsibilities and functions the USG shall have the following limitations:
        1. No member of the USG shall hold any position of employment in the administrative service of the USG, during the elected or appointed term.
        2. No member of the USG shall hold any other position on campus for which scholarship is received, with the exception of work-study or other university employment.
    2. Membership. The membership is comprised of the USG members from the representative bodies on the following campuses: Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas.
      1. Kent campus. Nine undergraduate students shall be elected at-large from the undergraduate student body on the Kent campus to serve a term of one year. Ten undergraduate students shall be elected at-large from within ten academic colleges of the Kent campus to serve a term of one year. Six undergraduate students shall be appointed to represent specific constituencies of undergraduate students of the Kent campus to serve a term of one year.
      2. Regional campuses. Each USG shall elect or appoint a minimum of three designated representatives with one of those representatives being named the president.
        Unless otherwise provided for in this rule, the recognized USG at each regional campus shall be governed by rule 3342-8-01.7 of the Administrative Code.
  3. The president.
    1. Duties. The president shall act as chief spokesperson of the USG in communication with the administration, the student body, and the community. In this capacity, the president is charged with representing the view of the USG. The president shall be considered the coordinator of all administrative functions and bodies of the USG.
    2. Responsibilities.
      1. The president shall be responsible to the USG for the proper administration of the USG and shall be required to:
        1. Serve as chairperson of the USG and as such shall have all the powers and limitations of a member with the exception of additional powers and limitations as follows:
          1. Shall preside over the USG meetings and ensure order and progress through the use of parliamentary procedure.
          2. Shall serve as a non-voting member of the USG. The president may, however, as provided for in Robert's Rules of Order, make or break a tie on any matter of business.
          3. Shall communicate the resolutions of the USG to the appropriate persons.
        2. Use the president’s authority to make reasonable requests of USG members in an effort to fulfill the responsibilities of the USG.
        3. Recommend to the USG the removal of any individual member of the USG who is consistently negligent in the performance of the members’ duties and responsibilities.  
        4. Use discretion in directing issues to the appropriate members. The aforementioned clause shall not supersede any chartered powers or responsibilities of any member of the USG.
        5. Oversee the routine business functions of the USG.
        6. Perform all duties, which may reasonably be requested by the USG.
        7. Oversee all expenditures authorized to the applicable USG.
        8. Exercise control over all departments, programs, and positions placed under the president’s purview by the USG.
        9. Recommend to the USG such measures, as deemed necessary and expedient.
        10. Receive, validate, and submit to the USG all initiative petitions and depositions.
        11. Report to the USG at all regular meetings on all actions, the current financial position of the USG, and current or future needs of the USG and the undergraduate student body, and report either verbally or in writing on all official functions when requested.
        12. Shall receive and act within fifteen academic class days, upon all valid petitions, defined under paragraph (E) of this rule, which shall be presented to the president.
        13. Shall consider any issue presented by an undergraduate student or group to the president in the form of a signed deposition stating the issue and bearing the signatures of one representative who agrees to consider the issue.
        14. Shall consider and act, within fifteen academic class days, upon all recommendations made by the president in the form of a signed deposition and bearing the signature of one other representative who agrees to consider the issue.           
  4. The judicial function. The all university hearing board is established through the authority of the university code of student conduct, rule 3342-4-02 of the Administrative Code to recommend sanctions regarding the violation of university rules and regulations; 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 undergraduate positions on the all university hearing board. Students shall be appointed to these by the USG. There shall be no graduate student position on the board for purposes of the jurisdiction herein defined. Other sections of university policy which pertain to the nature and structure of the all university hearing board are valid for purposes of this document except as provided for paragraph (D)(1) of this rule.
    3. Jurisdiction. With regard to USG, the all university hearing board shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide all:
      1. Cases concerning interpretations of the charter of the USG of Kent state university.
      2. Cases concerning the legality, with respect to this charter, of all USG resolutions and bills.
      3. Cases concerning charges of fraud, malfeasance, or illegal procedure taking place within any general student election.
      4. Cases concerning disputes between student organizations or between a student or students and any organization or organizations.
  5. Initiative petitions and referenda.
    1. The USG shall hold a referendum under the following conditions.
      1. If a two-thirds majority of the USG across all eight campuses votes in favor of holding a referendum; or
      2. If the president receives a valid initiative petition; or
      3. If each USG across the eight campuses vote to hold a referendum based on their specific campus needs; voting will be held only on the campus who initiated the referendum.
    2. Initiative petitions. A valid initiative petition shall contain the valid written signatures and kent.edu email of registered undergraduate students, as listed in paragraph (E)(3) of this rule. Such petitions shall be submitted to the president for validation and referral to the USG.
    3. Requirements. Legal and valid petitions bearing the written signatures and kent.edu email of the following percentages of the registered undergraduate student body shall be sufficient for the purpose indicated:
      1. Two per cent to require the USG to consider a particular issue.
      2. Eight per cent to require a referendum on any specified issue or issues.
      3. Eight per cent to require a referendum on proposed Charter amendments.
      4. Eight per cent to require a referendum on recalling a USG officer.
  6. Amendments.
    1. Proposal of amendments. Amendment proposals to this charter may be submitted for referendum as prescribed in paragraph (E)(1)(a) or paragraph (E)(1)(b) of this rule or by an affirmative vote of two-thirds majority of the USG across the eight campuses.
    2. Ratification. Amendments shall be valid as part of this charter when ratified by a majority of the undergraduate student bodies across the eight campuses casting ballots in a referendum and after the approval of the board of trustees.
  7. USG - Kent 
    1. Kent campus elections
      1. Elections shall occur between the eighth and the eleventh (inclusive) regular academic class weeks of the spring semester.
      2. Each candidate will declare one position and will petition and campaign for only that declared position.
      3. Each undergraduate student of Kent campus may vote for one candidate for each USG position.
      4. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each of the nineteen elected USG positions will take office within twenty regular academic class days after the official election results are announced and shall serve for one year barring recall, resignation or disqualification.
    2. Status of members at the Kent campus.
      1. The positions at the Kent campus shall be known as follows:
        1. President;
        2. Director of governmental affairs;
        3. Director of community affairs;
        4. Director of programming;
        5. Director of student involvement;
        6. Director of student advancement;
        7. Director of marketing and communications;
        8. Director of academic affairs;
        9. Director of finance and administration;
        10. Senator for the college of architecture and environmental design;
        11. Senator for the college of the arts;
        12. Senator for the college of arts and sciences;
        13. Senator for the college of business administration;
        14. Senator for the college of communication and information;
        15. Senator for the college of education, health and human services;
        16. Senator for the honors college;
        17. Senator for the college of nursing;
        18. Senator for the college of applied engineering, sustainability & technology;
        19. Senator for the college of public health
        20. Senator for university college;
        21. Senator for the residence halls;
        22. Senator for off-campus and commuter students;
        23. Senator at large;
        24. Senator at large;
        25. Senator at large;
      2. Position descriptions for the twenty-five USG positions listed in paragraphs (G)(2)(a)(i) to (G)(2)(a)(xxv) of this rule will be defined by the USG-Kent by-laws.
      3. The USG may delegate any other authority and responsibility within itself as it sees fit
    3. Removals, vacancies, and reassignments of members of USG-Kent.
      1. Removal by petition. A petition of eight percent 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 academic class days after the receipt of a valid petition. See paragraph (F) of this rule.
      2. Declaration of vacancy. In case of a USG member’s persistent failure to abide by the charter and by-laws as established by the USG, the seat of said member shall be declared vacant through a resolution of the USG. Said resolution must be approved by a two-thirds vote of USG members present at a regular or special meeting called for this purpose.
    4. Filling of USG vacancies at the Kent campus.
      1. If any USG member shall cease to be an undergraduate student, resign, be disqualified, or otherwise vacate a position on or before October first, the USG, within fifteen academic class days of the acknowledgement of the member’s inability to remain in their position, shall hold a special election, or if applicable interview process, for the assignment of that particular USG position.
      2. In the event that a USG position is not filled during the regular election, a special election will be held for the purpose of filling the vacant USG position(s). The special election will be held within fifteen academic class days following the general election.
      3. In the event that after a USG position becomes vacant after October first, or that after a special election is held the USG position(s) remains vacant, the USG shall appoint by three-fourths majority vote a person to fill each vacancy within fifteen academic class days.
    5. Procedures of USG on the Kent campus.
      1. The USG shall develop by-laws determining its own rules and procedures and shall have available minutes of all meetings upon request.
      2. Quorum to conduct business for an executive cabinet meeting shall be five members, with the presence of the president 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 members, with the presence of the president counting in establishing quorum. A concurring vote of a two-thirds 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.
      3. 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. 
      4. Special meetings may be called by the president or any five members of the USG executive cabinet on twenty-four hours notice as stated in 3342-9-01.2 Administrative policy regarding electronic communications for students.  The purpose of a special meeting shall be stated in the notice and no other business shall be transacted at said meeting.        
      5. The USG-Kent shall determine the distribution process for all monies for which the USG-Kent has been delegated authority.
        1. 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:
          1. An allocations standing committee, chaired by the director of finance and administration, for the purpose of allocating funds to requesting student organizations for programming and conferences and for academic conferences for individuals at the Kent campus.
          2. A programming board standing committee, chaired by the director of  USG managed programming for undergraduate students.
  8. Undergraduate student government staff of USG- Kent.
    1. Appointment and removal.
      1. The president, 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 president will make a new appointment to be confirmed by majority vote.
      2. The director of finance and administration, 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 finance and administration will make a new appointment to be confirmed by a majority of the USG.
      3. 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.
      4. Any member of the staff, allocations standing committee, or programming board standing committee may be removed by the president, with the advice and consent of a majority of those members present at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose.
      5. Any vacancies of the at-large positions 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 the by-laws of the USG, upon confirmation. Should any appointee not be confirmed, the respective member will make a new appointment to be confirmed by a majority of the USG.
    2. Functions.
      1. The staff will be coordinated by the president in accordance with paragraph (C)(2)(a)(viii) of this rule.
      2. The staff will assist the members in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
  9. Implementation. This rule 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 applies to the representative bodies across all eight campuses and shall supersede all previous charters of the USG.
Policy Effective Date: 
Apr. 01, 2016
Policy Prior Effective Dates: 
11/4/1977, 5/2/1982, 2/19/1993, 10/14/1994, 2/24/1995, 3/7/2000, 6/22/2007, 3/1/2015