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Constitution

 

Constitution of The Siena College Student Senate



Preamble


We the Student Senate of Siena College, in order to establish and foster a culture of student engagement, advocacy and happiness, and to protect and advocate for the rights of the student body by serving as their voice and advocates, do hereby ordain this constitution and establish it as the supreme governing document for the Student Senate, in order to provide guidance to student leaders, now and in the future.



Article  I –Executive Board of the Student Senate


1) The Executive Board will be comprised of the following senators: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant, Parliamentarian, Communication Director, Comptroller and any other positions created or appointed by the president passed by 2/3 majority of the Senate.

2) To meet once before each Senate meeting in order to prepare an agenda and points of discussion for that meeting.

3) To establish goals and initiatives for the administration, both short term and long term.

4) To present to the Student Body nominees of the Senate Presidents Appointments Committee, Committees of the College, and Committees of the Senate, under the direction of the Chief of Staff.

5) To present and recommend to the committee chairpersons, suggestions for committee activities.

6) To act on behalf of the Student Body on matters of expediency when a quorum of the Student Senate is not available.

7) It is recommended that Executive Board Members  hold at least two office hours per week.



Article  II – Duties of the Senators


Section One - The President


1) To chair the Senate and the Executive Board.

2) To be the ex-officio member of all Senate Committees.

3) To be an advisor of all Senate Committees.

4) To convene all meetings of the Student Senate and the Executive Board.

5) Coordinate agenda items within The Executive Board

6) To delegate responsibilities to the representatives on the Senate consummate with their abilities and obligations.

7) To appoint all positions necessary such as but not limited to: Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant, Parliamentarian, Communications Director, and Comptroller, with approval of two thirds (2/3) of the voting members of the Senate.

8) To appoint the Student Events Board Representative with the expressed approval of the Student Events Board Executive Chairperson.

9) To appoint the Residence Hall Association Representative with the expressed approval of the Residence Hall Association Executive President.

10) To appoint the co-chairs of each standing committee of the Student Senate.

11) To assume Parliamentary duties while the Parliamentarian is absent.


Section Two - The Vice President


1) To assist the President of the Senate in the performance of the duties of the office.

2) To assume the duties of the President if for any reason the President is unable to fulfill the duties of the office.

3) To serve as chairman of the Committee on Chartering and Management of Clubs (CCMC).

4) To serve as chairman of the House of Clubs (HOC).

5) To plan at least one club fair each semester.

6) To plan at least one club training in the Fall semester.

7) To act as an advisor to the Senate on all constitutional matters.


Section Three - The Treasurer


1) To maintain a record of all receipts and expenditures of the Student Senate and Committees.

2) To serve as chairperson of the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC).

3) To assume temporarily the duties of the President if for any reason the President and the Vice President are unable to fulfill the duties of office.

4) To monitor and approve of all Senate expenditures.


Section Four - The Secretary


1) To record the minutes of all meetings of the Student Senate.

2) To attend to the correspondence of the Student Senate.

3) To prepare an agenda for all meetings.

4) To prepare the Senate Board Room before all meetings.

5) To assume temporarily the duties of President if for any reason the President, Vice President, and Treasurer are unable to fulfill the duties of office.



Section Five - The Chief of Staff


1) To carry out all duties assigned by the President.


2) To collaborate with the President to select students as potential appointments to serve as Student Representatives on Committees of the College.

3) To be the contact person between the Student Senate and potential committee appointments by contacting the student, determining the student’s availability and potential interest in serving on the committee, presenting the potential appointment to the Senate for approval and contacting the student upon Senate confirmation.

4) To serve as the chairperson of the Senate Presidents Appointments Committee (SPAC).


Section Six - The Executive Assistant


1) To assist the Vice President wherever it is appropriate and necessary.

2) To chair the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC).

3) To hold a seat on and be an advisor to the Chief of Staff upon the Senate President’s Appointments Committee (SPAC).


Section Seven - Parliamentarian


1) To direct the Senate meetings following, at the discretion of the Executive Board, the procedures of the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, with the approval of the Executive Board.

2) To act as an advisor to the Senate on constitutional matters.

3) To plan and coordinate functions to promote bonding and collaboration between the Student Senate and the other governing organizations on the Siena College campus.


Section Eight - Communications Director


1) To act as the Senate’s liaison to the Campus, Student Body at large, and in particular, the Student Newspaper, Siena College Television (SCTV), and other media outlets on campus.

2) To keep current the Senate web page.

3) To act as the Senate’s eyes and ears on issues on Campus through methods of polling and publishing.

4) To be responsible for all published material and social media on behalf of the Student Senate.


Section Nine - Comptroller


1) To audit club budgets via the Siena College Audit Team prior to Budget Allocations Committee meetings.

2) To audit Student Senate committee operations as needed or requested.

3) To audit club operations prior to club renewal.

4) To aid the Treasurer in any and all functions.


Section Ten - The Student Events Board (SEB) Representative


1) To represent the interests the Student Events Boards (SEB) in Student Senate meetings.

2) To utilize Senate Committees in coordination and planning of Student Events Board activities.


Section Eleven - The Residence Hall Association (RHA) Representative


1) To represent the interests of the RHA in Student Senate meetings.

2) To utilize Senate Committees in coordination and planning of RHA activities.


Section Twelve - Student Conduct Review Board (SCRB) Representative


1)    To represent the interests of the SCRB in Student Senate Meetings

2)    To Serve as the Liaison between Student Senate and the SCRB


Section Thirteen - Class Presidents  


1) To represent their respective class on the Student Senate.

2) To issue a report at class meetings of the activities of the Senate, and of their voting record.

3) To report to their respective councils activities of the Senate and their voting records.

4) To pass any necessary agenda items through Senate meetings.



Section Fourteen- Commuter Life Council President


1) To present the interests and concerns of the non-resident students to the Student Senate.

2) To present an awareness of the activities of the surrounding communities.



Section Fifteen - Senators At-Large


Three Senators At-Large shall be elected at the beginning of each academic year in order to represent the interests of the whole student body. They shall be voting members of the Senate and shall be required to serve on one of the Senate’s three standing committees.


Section Sixteen - Duties of All Senators


1) All Senators shall be required to attend all Senate meetings for the duration of the meetings and of the academic school year/term. The President shall grant requests for early dismissal or for excused absences. Excessive absences or requests for dismissal shall be brought to the attention of the Student Conduct Review Board (SCRB) as determined by the Student Senate.  

2)  Finish each administration by completing an end-of-term packet for the purpose of providing for a smooth transition from one administration to the next.

3) All Senators will be encouraged to hold office hours.  

4) All Senators are to act with moral and ethical respect for themselves, one another, Siena and the Franciscan Tradition.




Article III – Senate Committees


1) Committees of the Senate shall be designated as: Executive Committees of the Senate, Standing Committees of the Senate, or Ad Hoc Committees.

2) Executive Committees of the Senate shall be the Committee on Chartering and Management of Clubs (CCMC), the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC), Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), the House of Clubs (HOC), the Senate President’s Advisory Committee (SPAC), and the Siena College Audit Team.

3) Standing Committees shall be the Committee on Student Services, Committee on Siena’s Community and Committee on Siena’s Academics.

4) All Standing Committee Chairpersons shall sit on the Student Senate.


Section One- The Composition of  the Executive Committees of the Senate


The Budget Allocation Committee (BAC):


1) The chairperson will be the Student Senate Treasurer. The general membership will consist of the Student Senate Vice President, the Student Senate Comptroller, one Senator-at-Large, two At-Large students, the house of clubs representative, the Student Events Board Treasurer, the four class treasurers, and one Administrative Advisor.


2) The Student Senate Vice President shall be a permanent, voting member of the Budget Allocation Committee unless a conflict of interest arises in a particular budget request.

The Student Senate Comptroller shall be a permanent, non-voting member of the Budget Allocation Committee.


3) One additional Senator at-large shall be a permanent, voting member of the Budget Allocation Committee unless a conflict of interest arises in a particular budget request.  He or she is to be appointed by the Student Senate President, Vice President, and Treasurer, respectively upon the approval of said appointee by a simple majority vote of the Student Senate.  This position may not be filled by any of the Senator


4) Two At-Large students shall be permanent, voting members of the Budget Allocation Committee. The Student Body shall have the power to elect two (2) at-large members of the Budget Allocation Committee. .  These two positions cannot be applied for by the Student Senate President, Vice President, Treasurer, or Comptroller, nor the Treasurer of the Student Events Board.


5) The House of Clubs representative, shall be a permanent, voting member of the Budget Allocation Committee unless a conflict of interest arises in a particular budget request. Shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the House of Clubs.


6) The Student Events Board Treasurer shall serve as a permanent, voting member of the Budget Allocation Committee unless a conflict of interest arises in a particular budget request.


7) The Treasurers of each class council shall each be granted a permanent, voting position on the Budget Allocation Committee unless a conflict of interest arises in a particular budget request.


8) One Administrative Advisor shall be appointed upon their consent at the discretion of a simple majority vote of the Student Senate.  The Administrative Advisor will not have a vote.


Senate President's Advisory Committee (SPAC):


The chairperson will be the Student Senate Chief of Staff and the Assistant Chairperson will be the Student Senate Executive Assistant.

If the Chief of Staff is unable to fill this position the Executive Assistant is appointed to the Chairperson and the Senate President is to appoint another member of the Executive Board to serve as Assistant Chairperson, if the Executive Assistant is unable to fill this position the Senate President is to appoint another member of the Executive Board to serve as Chairperson or Assistant Chairperson.

The general membership will be all students appointed to serve as Student Representatives on committees of the college by the Student Senate, including all Administrative and Board of Trustees Committees.



Committee on Chartering and Management of Clubs (CCMC):


The chairperson will be the Student Senate Vice President. The general membership will be the Student Senate Comptroller representing the Budget Allocation Committee, The Student Senate Executive Assistant, one at-large member of the Student Senate, and two  members of the Student Body. The chairperson appoints all members after a two-thirds (2/3) majority approval by the voting members of the Student Senate.


In the event of a warranted investigation the process for inquiry will be as follows:


A. If the process is initiated by a member of the Siena College Student Senate and/or a member of the general student population, the Senator/individual will announce their desire to initiate an inquiry of said club and will state any relevant evidence at that time. Once the allegation has been presented a discussion period will follow, at the close of the discussion there will be a roll-call vote on initiating said inquiry. A simple majority vote will be sufficient to send the allegation on to the Club Review  Committee for further investigation.


B. The  Club Review  Committee will consist of the Committee for the Chartering and Management of Clubs as well as the Siena College Audit Team. Aiding in the committee  will be a minimum of one and a maximum of three student affairs professionals, the senator or the student who brought the allegation(s) and one additional senator not associated with the aforementioned committees or club that is in violation. Once the committee has formed the Club Review  Committee will conduct the investigation in a timely and expedient fashion . The Club Review  committee will have the ability to call in for questioning anyone associated with the club or who has a vested stake in the club. The mission of this committee will be to determine what violations have occurred against the club’s constitution, the club manual, and/or Siena Life. The committee will also decide to what extent, and whether or not the allegation brought against the club hold validity. . Once the Club Review  committee has completed its investigation,  they will bring the evidence to the senate on a regularly scheduled senate meeting . The Club Review  committee will present its findings and accept or deny the allegations. If the allegations are found true, they will propose possible sanctions.


C. After the Club Review  committee has presented its findings, there will be an open floor for senators and the gallery to discuss, at any time a senator can motion to vote on the findings. Once the motion has been seconded a roll call vote will be called,. A 2/3 majority is needed to uphold the findings. The senate will then discuss the proposed sanctions spelled out by the Club Review  committee. Then there will be a sanctioning period where at any time a senator can motion to vote. Another 2/3-majority vote will be needed to for sanctions to be enforced.


D. The Club will have ten business days to submit an appeal in writing to the Student Conduct Review Board. This appeal is not on whether the party is guilty or not guilty but solely on the nature of the sanctioning. This appeals process will be left up to the SCRB, which will have to ability to make changes to the sanctioning bearing in mind the weight of the original sentencing which the Senate originally placed upon the club.


E. In the event an accusation is brought forth against the Siena College Student Senate it must be delivered in writing to a member of the Siena College Student Affairs Professional Staff.


The House of Clubs (HOC):

The House of Clubs will be chaired by the Student Senate Vice President.  

The general membership will be a representative from any chartered club that has had a valid constitution passed by Student Senate. Clubs have the authority to establish an “HOC Representative” in their constitution as an identified position.


Constitutional Review Committee (CRC):

The chairperson will be the Executive Assistant of the Student Senate.

The general membership will be the Student Senate Vice President, Parliamentarian, Chief of Staff and three appointed members from the Senate by the Executive Assistant.  Members must be approved by simple majority of the Senate.


Siena College Audit Team:

The chairperson will be the Student Senate Comptroller.

The general membership will be the Student Senate Comptroller serving as the Chief Audit Officer, an Associate director, and three Financial Analysts. Members will be appointed by the Chief Audit Officer in conjunction with the Student Senate President, Vice President, and Treasurer. Members must be approved by simple majority of the Senate.


Section Six. Duties of the Above Committees.


Senate President's Advisory Committee (SPAC):


To advise and report to the Student Senate President on and of any issues or concerns faced in the Committees of the College.  Reports directly to the Student Senate President.


Committee on Chartering and Management of Clubs (CCMC):


To coordinate, charter and assist in collaborative measured between all clubs and organizations. . The CCMC is responsible for issuing approval to a petitioning club or organization, as well as re-approve constitutions every three academic years.  This approval is based upon its proposed constitution stating its purpose, by-laws and club procedures. The CCMC shall have oversight over all the chartered organizations. Approval of new clubs shall be based on three criteria; 1) mission congruence, 2) fiscal viability and 3) perceived wishes of the student body.  


The House of Clubs (HOC):


To serve as a forum in exchanging ideas and concerns between different clubs and organizations. This committee shall meet monthly during every academic year.


Meetings of the HOC

The meetings shall be held at least once per month.

The date and time of each meeting shall be designated at the discretion of the HOC Chairperson.

The first HOC meeting of each academic year is to be considered mandatory for every club to put forth a representative, and will serve as a training session for all clubs.

A meeting will only be considered valid if a quorum of no less than fifteen (15) different voting members is present.

Meetings are to be publicized as open to the entire Siena College community.

Clubs may authorize different people to represent the club from one meeting to the next, with a vote given to the club at every meeting where a representative is present (though permissible, variation among representatives is not encouraged as this may cross the lines of internal communication for the club).


Constitutional Review Committee (CRC):


To serve as a review board for all constitutional matters on campus. To evaluate this document for revision within two years. This committee will only be required to assemble every two years.



Siena College Audit Team:


To audit clubs prior to BAC meetings. The Chief Audit Officer will manage the team, present findings and stay close in connection with the student senate treasurer. The Associate Director will be the lead assistant to the CAO. Duties include but are not limited to: planning meeting times and helping to oversee the team along with the CAO. The Financial Analysts will audit clubs and organizations along with the previously mentioned positions. They are required to help the CAO with the presentation of the team’s findings to the Senate Treasurer.

All members of the team are disallowed from auditing clubs in which they are currently members of.


Budget Allocation Committee:


The practices and procedures of the Budget Allocation Committee shall be found in that committee’s bylaws, which shall be made available and public at all times.


If listed persons are not able to fulfill their duty on a respective committee it is up to the Chairperson or Student Senate President to appoint other student representatives.


Article IV – Duties of Class Officers


Section One. Duties of the Class President


To call meetings of the class.

To preside over all class meetings.

To be an ex-officio of all class committees.

To issue a report at class meetings of the activities of the Senate and their voting record.

To pass any necessary agenda items through Senate meetings.

To foster interest in and participation of the class in all school activities in accordance with the primary duty to provide year round social fulfillment.

To coordinate the social activities of the class.

To appoint any other members of the class council as they shall see fit, with the approval of  a majority of their elected council.


The Senior Class President shall be a speaker at Commencement.


Section Two. Duties of the Class Vice President


To assist the President in performance of duties.

To assume the duties and office of the President if, for any reason, the President is unable to perform the duties of office.

To sit on the Student Events Board as a Representative of the Class.


Section Three. Duties of the Class Secretary


To record and publish the minutes of all class meetings.

To maintain a file of all class correspondence and official documents.

To formulate and post an agenda before each meeting.


Section Four. Duties of the Class Treasurer


To be responsible for the handling of all assets and expenditures in regards to class activities with the College Treasurer and the Senate Treasurer.

To keep a record of all receipts, assets, and expenditures of the class.

To be a member of the Budget Allocation Committee


Section Five.  Duties of all Class Officers


It is the primary duty of the classes under the leadership of their respective officers to provide a substantial year-round social program for at least their constituencies.


Article  V – Commuter Life Council


Section One. Duties of the President


To call meetings of the commuter life council, ; To preside over all  meetings and prepare an agenda for all meetings of the  council.

Be responsible for the coordinating of all activities sponsored and/or organized by the Council

Work closely with staff and administration

Appoint committee chairpersons as needed

Serve as the Student Senate Representative for their Council and attend all weekly Senate             meetings; To take report at council meetings of the activity of the Student Senate and their voting record; Pass any necessary agenda items through the Student Senate Meetings

President may appoint additional members as seen necessary such as but not limited to: Press Secretary, Sustainability Director, and other  representatives. All appointments are subject to approval by a 2/3 majority the Commuter Life Council.


Section Two. Duties of the Vice President


Preside at meetings in President’s absence

Assume the Office of the President in the event that the President cannot fulfill the obligation of the office. Serve as representative on Student Events Board


Section Three. Duties of the Secretary


Take minutes all of meetings, copy them and distribute to council members and residents within two days after each meeting (make copy available to Student Senate Secretary).

Be responsible for  correspondence of the commuter life council.


Section Four. Duties of the Treasurer


Responsible for all monetary funds.

Keep all financial records.

Prepare financial statements for the Senate and Council Meetings when appropriate.


Section Five.  Duties of Public Relations Officer(s)


Publicize meetings of the council.

Be responsible for creating PR and such when a large event is planned


Section Six. Duties of the Commuter Assistant representative


Is elected by commuter president, commuter council, and commuter advisor.  Responsible for representing upcoming events, issues, concerns, and continuing construction of the CA’s and the CA program.

Attends the Commuter Life Council meeting every week.

Meet with Commuter Advisor once a week to brainstorm upcoming CA events and ways in which to build up the program.

Will attend the CA meetings, which meet biweekly.


Section Seven. Duties of the Commuter Peer Advisor


To work with the council on upcoming events

Explaining upcoming events that peer advisor will host

To bring up any problems or concerns commuters brought to her/his attention

To put on any surveys involving commuters/aimed at commuters



Article VI – Structure/Guidelines for Designating Chartered Organizations for Eligibility for Student Activity Funds


An organization designed as a general co-curricular club/organization, as approved by the Student Senate, will be eligible to apply for Student Activity Funds  The organization will be judged on its nature and function as a campus-wide service group.  Previously chartered groups will also be judged by their historical record.  Eligibility for funding will be reviewed annually.

An organization designated as a co-curricular organization will be eligible for money from the BAC.  An organization designated as a fraternal organization will not be eligible for Student Activity Funds, should  the organization  have a limited membership.

An organization designated as a political organization, not a political affiliate, will not be eligible for Student Activity Funds.  Organizations will be judged political if (a) if it has engaged in any political activities before it was chartered; (b) if its use of funding was/will be used to endorse candidates.

Any chartered organization by the Student Senate that is not eligible for BAC funds may throughout the following year petition the Student Senate for money for an event sponsored by that organization which could be considered a Campus-Wide Service.  This money can be applied for from the BAC.


Article VII - Impeachment of Officers and Members


Should any elected member of the Student Senate fail in the duties of their office they may be impeached. A senator may call for the impeachment of an elected member of the senate at any time. In order to impeach a member there must be a simple majority vote of the Senate. Should the Senate vote to impeach, a committee would then be formed, chaired by the Senate President, and including the accusing senator, one class president, one senator at large, two other members of the Senate and the Senate Advisor, This committee shall review the allegations brought against the member and will be able to hear testimony, collect evidence and review documentation related to the alleged offenses. Once the committee has completed its work, it will report back to the Senate as a whole with its findings. At that point a roll call vote shall be held, and a two-thirds majority must vote in favor of expulsion in order for the member to be expelled from the Senate. In the case that the Senate President shall be impeached, the Student Conduct Review Board Chairperson shall preside over the committee. During the impeachment process the member will have their voting rights suspended. In the case that the President of the Senate is impeached, for the duration of the process, the Senate Vice President shall serve as Acting President. Notices of impeachment and removal of members must be made public to the Student Body.


Article VII - Amendments


Amendments to this document shall proceed as such:


A member of the Student Senate may propose an amendment to this document at any time. Upon the introduction of the proposed amendment, the President of the Senate may elect to either consider the possible amendment in a general session of the Senate, or direct the Executive Assistant to convene a meeting of the Constitutional Review Committee to discuss the amendment.


In a general session of the Senate, the issue shall be discussed, then senators will have one week to submit comments to the Senate President regarding the amendment. Following the comment period, the Senate President shall present all comments to the full Senate, and shall ask for a discussion on those comments.  In a session of the Constitutional Review Committee, the Executive Assistant shall lead discussion and shall ask for any comments that the committee may have regarding this amendment. Following the reception and discussion of those comments, the Committee shall make its recommendations to the full Senate.


Following any discussion, the President shall call for a role call vote of the Senate, and if a two thirds majority of the voting members vote in the affirmative, the amendment shall be put on the ballot for referendum, either at the next elections being held under the direction of the Commission on Student Government Elections, or by special referendum of the student body, held at the discretion of the Student Senate Executive Board, and with the Approval of the Joint Committee for Student Governance.    


Article VIII - Ratification


This Document was finalized to in committee by:


Barbara Davis, Executive Assistant and Chairperson

Anthony Bjelke, Vice President

Abigail Hutton, Parliamentarian (Spring 2014)

Michaela Pearl, Treasurer (Spring 2014)

Jessica Brown, Parliamentarian (Fall 2014)

Ariana Tagliaferri, Chief of Staff

Andrew Murphy, Class of 2017 President   

Jessica Calderone, RHA/Senate Representative


Approved by the Student Senate on September 16th, 2014


Approved by Referendum in General Student Body Elections on September 23rd, 2014