Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Revised Spring 2021 

PREAMBLE 

We aim to establish a student government that will effectively represent its constituents in the decision-making process of the University, provide needed services to the students, and further the interest of UA Little Rock and its students. To these ends we, the students of this University, do hereby establish this Constitution of the Student Government Association of the UA Little Rock. 

ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP 

The organization of the students of the UA Little Rock shall be known as the Student Government Association of the UA Little Rock, hereinafter referred to as the SGA. All currently enrolled students of the UA Little Rock, as determined by the Office of the University Registrar, shall be eligible for SGA membership. Students in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) are eligible to participate in SGA elections by voting and running for office, provided that they meet standards comparable to those that enrolled UA Little Rock students must meet to participate in elections. Standards for IELP students will be determined by the director of the IELP, but are subject to a two-thirds (2/3) approval by the Senate. 

The SGA governing structure shall consist of: an Administration, which shall be the executive part; a Senate, which shall be the legislative part; and a Student Court, which shall be the judicial part. The members of the Administration, the Senate, and the Student Court shall collectively be known as SGA Officers. The SGA shall also consist of the Maroon Mob, which is the official school spirit organization of UA Little Rock, and the Trojan Action Group, which is the bipartisan, legislatively focused organization of UA Little Rock. The Maroon Mob will be run by an appointed member of the Athletic Department. The Trojan Action Group will be run by an appointed member of the SGA. Members of the Maroon Mob and the Trojan Action Group will not be known as SGA Officers.

All SGA officers, except for those for whom other provisions are made by this Constitution, shall be elected or appointed to a one-year term, which shall begin on June 1st and end on May 31st or another date specified by this Constitution for their successors to assume office. 

All SGA officers, before assuming office, shall take the following oath before the President or Vice-President: “I, (name), so hereby solemnly affirm, that I will uphold and support, the Constitution and the interests, of the Student Government Association of UA Little Rock. That I will to the best of my ability, perform the duties of my office, and promote the worth and value of UA Little Rock.” 

All currently enrolled students shall be eligible for any SGA office, except where prohibited by this Constitution. No person shall hold more than one SGA position concurrently. 

Service Hours are considered to be the time spent in the Student Government Office working the front desk, the time spent at a school event as a Student Government Association representative, or any other time predetermined by the Vice President. 

Each member is obligated to uphold the Constitution, Bylaws, Codes, and university policies adopted and performed by the Student Government Association.

ARTICLE II – EXECUTIVE 

The SGA Administration shall assume office on June 1st of each year and shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Chief Justice, Chief of Staff, GSA President, President Pro-Tempore, Communications Director, the Maroon Mob President, the Student Activities Board President, the Trojan Action Group President, and other Administration officers by appointment. 

The President and Vice-President shall be elected by the student body. The President and Vice-President must be in at least the second consecutive semester of attendance at UA Little Rock as determined by the Office of the Registrar when elected; must have at least a 2.75 GPA; must be enrolled in at least six (6) hours when elected and during the fall and spring semesters of office. 

The duties and the powers of the President shall be: to prepare and submit to the Senate an annual budget; set an annual strategic plan for the senate; to appoint student members of University Committees; to have the sole power to nominate and after approval of the Senate by a majority vote, appoint members of the SGA Administration; to sign into legislation or veto legislation passed by the Senate; to be responsible for the administration of SGA programs, and for the operation of the SGA office. He or she will complete at least eighteen (18) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semester, logged in the Executive logbook for the Executive Oversight Committee. The President will also serve on or send a representative to those University Committees of which the President is a member; be a liaison between SGA and the alumni, faculty, administration, and committees of the University; maintain relations with the Arkansas Association of Students and the American Student Government Association; and have the authority to delegate or assign responsibilities to members of the administration. The president shall also meet with the Chancellor weekly. 

In order to better assist with SGA programs and the operation of the SGA office, the President may create new positions to serve in the current SGA Administration. A new position must be presented to the Senate with an accompanying job description, and the Senate must approve of the position by a two-thirds (2/3) vote in order for the position to be added to the Administration. Positions created in this manner will dissolve at the end of the current SGA Administration’s term on May 31st. In order for the position to become permanent, an amendment to this constitution needs to be voted on by the Senate by a 2/3 majority and a majority of the student voting population to be approved permanently. 

In order to better connect the student body with its SGA representatives and UA Little Rock faculty/staff, the President shall host a Town Hall meeting during both the fall and spring terms. Town Hall meetings shall be organized by the SGA and convened at least once per semester, and the meetings shall be open to all UA Little Rock students. At these meetings, the SGA President shall: seek council from the students; update students in regards to SGA and university affairs; and moderate discussions between students and invited UA Little Rock and outside guests. 

The Vice-President shall assist the President with the presidential duties, shall serve as the President of the Senate, and shall become President should that office become vacant. Will work with the Chief of Staff to organize resources and programs for the Senate. He or she will complete at least fifteen (15) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the Executive Oversight Committee. Should the office of Vice-President become vacant the President shall appoint a new Vice-President. 

The Secretary shall operate the SGA office as directed by the President and complete a mandatory eight (8) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the EOC to review; shall maintain the records and files of the SGA and arrange for the permanent preservation of its archives, the recording of the minutes, and shall serve as secretary of the Senate. The President shall nominate, and after the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, shall appoint the Secretary for the current Administration. 

The Chief of Staff shall maintain accurate financial records, deposit all SGA funds for banking, shall disburse all appropriations and sign all purchase requisitions, shall devise and implement a strategic marketing plan, shall handle all relations with the press, shall assist the Secretary in office management, shall advise the President, and shall be required to attend the first Senate meeting of each month with a current copy of the budget in hand, and shall oversee all executive members outside of the offices of President and Vice President. The Chief of Staff shall be required to complete a minimum of ten (10) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the EOC to review. The President shall nominate and after the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, shall appoint the Chief of Staff for the current Administration.

The GSA President, or representative chosen by the GSA, shall be the liaison for the GSA and the students they represent. This liaison shall bring forth issues from graduate students and devise ways that SGA can help to resolve said issues. This seat shall be required to complete a minimum of eight (8) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the EOC to review. This seat cannot be taken by a student who is in their undergraduate, or who is currently a senator within SGA for the Graduate College. The person to fill this position can only be chosen by the GSA. If the said representative cannot make the meetings or service hours, then another must be chosen. 

The Communications Director shall serve as the head of SGA, SAB, and Maroon Mob communications. The Communications Director shall; produce and share promotional and informative materials for SGA, SAB, and Maroon Mob programming events and announcements through the SGA and The Forum social media and campus communication platforms; conduct regular meetings with the UA Little Rock Office of Communications and Marketing and The Forum Chief Editor; manage the SGA website; serve as the main student spokesperson for the SGA to media organizations and The Forum; and serve as the main communications liaison between the SGA, SAB, Maroon Mob, The Forum, alumni, faculty, administration, and committees of the University. The Communications Director shall be required to complete a minimum of eight (8) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the EOC to review. The President shall nominate, and after the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, shall appoint the Communications Director for the current Administration.

The Maroon Mob President shall act as the head of the Maroon Mob organization. The Maroon Mob President shall: carry out spirit related activities in accordance with the desires of the SGA; act as a liaison between the SGA and UA Little Rock Athletics; create a Maroon Mob executive team to help design and implement spirit related activities on campus; and develop a plan to increase student participation in the SAB, Maroon Mob, the SGA, and UA Little Rock Athletics sponsored events. The Maroon Mob President shall complete a mandatory six (6) office hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the Executive Oversight Committee. The Athletic Department shall nominate and the President, after the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, shall appoint the Maroon Mob President for the current Administration.

The Student Activities Board President, hereinafter referred to as the SAB President, shall be the liaison between the SGA and the Student Experience Center. This liaison shall bring forth programming ideas from the SAB and devise ways that SGA can help to support said events.

The Trojan Action Group President, hereinafter referred to as the TAG President, shall: work closely with the SGA to ensure that government officials at the local, state, and national level are aware of the most important issues to our student body, including legislation that is working its way through the General Assembly or Congress; present a bi-annual assessment to the SGA of the legislation that is poised to directly or indirectly impact college students; determine if the legislation demands action such as calling/emailing legislators or speaking on behalf of or against the legislation in the committee session; and be a voice of reason and bipartisanship with an overarching goal of encouraging positive and meaningful political discussions on campus and in the community. The TAG President shall be required to complete a minimum of six (6) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the EOC to review. The President shall nominate, and after the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, shall appoint the TAG President for the current Administration.

If the offices of the President and Vice-President become vacant at any time, the President Pro-Tempore shall become the interim President and after the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, shall appoint an interim Vice-President. A special election for the President and Vice-President shall be held one month before the end of the semester said offices became vacant. This special election will follow the rules of a normal election (stated in Article V). 

In emergency situations, the members of the SGA Administration may write and approve legislation without the approval of the Senate. This legislation must, however, be unanimously approved by the SGA Administration. Moreover, the Senate shall be informed of the passage of the legislation no later than 24 hours after its passage. Failure to inform the Senate will effectively nullify the passage of the bill.

ARTICLE III – LEGISLATIVE 

The SGA Senate, hereinafter referred to as the Senate, shall be composed of the following members; five Senators representing each college or school of UA Little Rock; fifteen at-large Senators representing undeclared or unknown majors. Twelve of those fifteen at-large Senators would be one member from each of the three Greek councils, three graduate students, two freshmen, two members of the UA Little Rock Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), one international student nominated by the Office of International Student Services, and a liaison from the Bowen School of Law. Non-voting members of the Senate shall comprise of the Vice-President as Chair of the Senate; the President; Secretary; Chief of Staff; GSA President, or other representative specified under GSA President section; and the Chief Justice of the Student Court, the Communications Director, the Maroon Mob, and the SAB President. Each new Senate shall commence during the first week of the Fall semester. 

A Senator representing a college must be a declared major in that college or school, must be enrolled in at least six (6) hours when elected during the fall and spring semesters of office, and must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, if any, for the semester prior to election, and for the fall and spring semesters of office. They shall be elected by the declared majors of their college, shall begin attending SGA meetings immediately following their election, and shall assume office June 1st

A Senator elected at-large may have any or no major, must be enrolled in at least six (6) hours when elected and during the fall and spring semesters of office, and must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, if any, for the semester prior to election, and for the fall and spring semesters of office. They shall be elected by the entire student body, exception given to representatives of Greek councils who will be voted upon by the council they represent, and they shall begin attending regularly scheduled SGA meetings immediately following their election, and shall assume office June 1st. 

Any Senate seat that becomes vacant between elections shall be temporarily filled by appointment and permanently filled in the next general election. 

For undeclared or unknown majors, the latest information available from the Office of the University Registrar shall be used in determining the number, names, and any other information necessary to determine the qualification of candidates and voters. 

The duties and powers of the Senate shall be to initiate and act upon legislation; to approve through the annual budget other laws, and all SGA expenditures, unless the legislation is properly passed by the SGA Administration in emergency situations; to approve or reject presidential nominations by a majority vote or other vote specified by this Constitution provided that the Senate may specify minor appointments that shall not require approval; to override a presidential veto by two-thirds (2/3) majority; to assist in the administration of SGA programs and in the operation of the SGA office; to make laws governing SGA elections; and to submit to their student body, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, proposed amendments to this Constitution. All votes and Amendments upon bills and resolutions must be done during a planned, in-person SGA meeting set by the chair of the senate. All votes will only be accepted once a quorum has been taken and reached within a Senate meeting. All votes that are made outside of said Senate meeting times are null and void. 

The Vice-President, as Chair of the Senate, shall: cast a vote when it will break a tie, be responsible for the preparation of the agenda, the transitions of Senate legislation to the President for execution, and the appointment of members to all Senate committees. 

At its first meeting, the Senate shall elect and install a voting member as President Pro-Tempore, who shall preside in the absence of the President of the Senate, or when requested by the President of the Senate; shall notify all members of special meetings and activities; to act as a liaison between the Senate and the Administration, give a presentation each semester to senators on their experience with Senate procedures, and shall be in the SGA office at least six (6) hours per week for the purpose of meeting with students and Senators. 

The newly elected Vice-President, as Chair of the Senate, shall call the first meeting of the new Senate, which shall be held during the month of August. The Senate shall determine the time and place of its meetings. Additional meetings shall be called by the Chair of the Senate at his or her discretion, or shall be called by the Chair of the Senate at the request of a majority of the Senate. A majority of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall constitute authority for the proceedings of the Senate, except where superseded by this Constitution or by other Rules of Order adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate. A majority of the votes cast shall be sufficient to pass all motions except where otherwise specified by this Constitution or by the Rules of Order, and a roll call vote must be taken on any motion when requested by a Senator. All pending business at the last meeting of the outgoing Senate shall expire with the Senate. 

Any member of the Senate, including any non-voting member, who has compiled four (4) unexcused absences, shall cease to hold office; but any vacancy thus created may not be filled until the first regular Senate meeting following the fourth absence of the Senator or non-voting Senate member. Absences by Senators without the twenty-four-hour notification to the President or a member of the Cabinet before any scheduled quorum will constitute an unexcused absence. The Senator or non-voting Senate member has a right to appeal before the Senate vacancy is filled and the Senate shall hear the appeal. A Senate or non-voting member has seven (7) days in which to seek an excused absence from the Chair of the Senate. All the Chair of the Senate’s decisions in this area may be appealed to the Senate. Any Senator, removed from his or her seat, will no longer be in Good Standing with the Student Government Association (See Article 6, section 7). 

There shall be an Executive Oversight Committee, hereinafter referred to as the EOC that shall consist of the President, the President Pro-Tempore, the most senior Senator, and two Senators randomly selected as the first meeting. The President shall serve as Chair of the EOC. The EOC shall meet twice every month. The duties of the EOC shall be to nominate and with the approval of the Senate by a majority vote, to fill vacancies in the Senate; review the hours of the executives; to report semi-monthly to the Senate on the performance of the Administration; to hear charges of impeachment of SGA officers before the Senate. If officers do not attain their hours, the EOC shall hold a meeting to determine impeachment. 

Any student may bring charges of impeachment against any SGA officer before the EOC. If the EOC deems the charge to be valid, they will present it to the Senate. A two-thirds (2/3) majority in the Senate shall be sufficient to impeach the officer charged. The officer in question and the members shall have the opportunity to address the Senate before the vote takes place. Impeachment hearings only take place at a regular Senate meeting. 

There shall be a Judicial Oversight Committee, hereinafter referred to as the JOC. The JOC shall consist of the Chief Justice of the Student Court and two to four Senators elected by the Senate. The Chief Justice shall serve as Chairperson of the JOC. The JOC shall meet once per semester or as often as circumstances dictate. The powers of the JOC shall be to interpret this Constitution and recommend to the Senate changes that need to be made to this Constitution. 

If two parties have a conflict over the interpretation of this document, then the chairperson of the JOC shall call a Senate meeting. The two parties shall present their cases and the Senate shall deliberate in private and make a decision. The decision shall be explained in a letter written to the two parties by the JOC Chair. Any dissenting JOC member may also write a letter. Any decision made by the JOC may be appealed to the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote. 

The JOC shall meet at least once per semester for the purpose of recommending changes to this Constitution to the Senate. This meeting must be announced a minimum of ten (10) school days before it takes place. Any student may attend the meeting. The Chairperson shall introduce any recommended amendments to the Senate on behalf of the JOC. 

No college may have more than one Senator on either of the committees called for in this Constitution.

ARTICLE IV – JUDICIAL 

The SGA Student Court shall begin a new term on June 1st of each year, and shall consist of nine justices, with a Chief Justice position and eight Associate Justice positions. The Chief Justice shall nominate and with the approval of the Senate and the Student Court, shall appoint each Associate Justice. 

The Chief Justice shall serve a term of one (1) year, commencing on June 1st, and shall be nominated and, after approval of the Senate by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, appointed each year by the incoming President. Associate Justices, after appointment, shall retain their positions for the duration of their continuous enrollment at UA Little Rock. All justices must be enrolled in at least six (6) hours each fall and spring semesters, and maintain a 2.0 GPA. 

The duties and powers of the Student Court shall be to administer a program soliciting and attempting to resolve student grievances according to guidelines established by the Senate through legislation; hear disputes between student organizations when brought to the Court by the organizations; hear appeals of student traffic violations; and administer elections according to this Constitution and an Election Code established by the Senate. 

The Chief Justice of the Student Court shall preside at the Court meetings, and shall be responsible for the administration of the Court duties, recording Court proceedings, and preservation of Court archives. The Chief Justice shall be required to complete a minimum of eight (8) Service Hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, logged in the Executive logbook for the EOC. 

The Student Court shall determine the time and place of its meetings. In absence of the Chief Justice, the most senior Associate Justice shall preside. 

The Student Court shall prescribe its rules of procedure, practice, and evidence subject to the provisions of this Constitution and any established by the Senate, through legislation. Justices shall disqualify themselves from hearing a particular case should they possess any prior information, which would prejudice the case. Five (5) justices shall constitute a quorum. 

No Justice shall accrue more than two (2) unexcused absences from fall and spring meetings. Any Justice doing so shall be removed by the Senate at the request of the Chief Justice. Any Justice, removed from his or her seat, will no longer be in Good Standing with the Student Government Association (See Article 6, section 7).

ARTICLE V – ELECTIONS 

All SGA elections shall be held on five consecutive school days and during the spring semester, with polling hours and places established by the Senate in an Election Code. One regular election shall be held, for President, Vice- President, and all Senators, on the second Monday in April. The Senate with a two-thirds (2/3) vote may specify five other consecutive school days for a given election. 

The Senate shall be responsible for conducting elections. The election duties and powers shall be: to establish through legislation all necessary procedures, including voting procedures, in an election code submitted by the JOC and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote in the Senate, for the conduct of all elections specified by this Constitution; when requested, to assist the Student Court in the administration of the election; to hear all disputes pertaining to elections; to have the sole power, by two-thirds (2/3) vote, to disqualify a candidate not meeting the Constitutional qualifications for the office; and to certify the election results presented by the Student Court to the student body. 

The Student Court shall be responsible for the administration of elections according to an Election Code established by the Senate. Upon the issuance of an Election Proclamation, the Court shall post one copy of the proclamation per five hundred students or greater portion thereof eligible to vote in the election. The Advisor of SGA and the Student Experience Center will be in charge of registration. The Court shall also be responsible for monitoring compliance with the Election Code and for reporting violations to the Senate. 

The President shall be responsible for the issuance of an Election Proclamation for those elections specified by this Constitution, and with other Administration members, shall, when requested, assist the Student Government in the administration of the election. 

Proclamations shall be posted at least four weeks before the regular spring SGA elections. Each prospective candidate shall submit to the SGA secretary an application for candidacy at least one week prior to the election. The ballot order shall be determined by lottery in a procedure established by the Election Code. The candidate for each Senate position receiving the greatest number of legal votes shall be declared elected. The candidates for President and Vice- President receiving the majority of legal votes cast shall be declared elected, but if, for President and Vice-President, no candidate has a majority, the two candidates receiving the greatest number of legal votes cast shall be candidates in a run-off election, which shall be held no later than five (5) school days after the general election. The candidate receiving the greatest number of legal votes cast in the run-off election shall be declared elected. 

The Senate shall have sole authority in all disputes pertaining to elections, except that the student body, within three (3) days of the certification of an election, may order a new election through the petition process of this Constitution. Upon the verification of the petition, the President shall call a new election, which shall be held not more than ten (10) days later. The new election shall be conducted as if it were the original election. 

ARTICLE VI – RECOURSE 

The student body shall have opportunities for direct involvement in SGA affairs through the process of recall, review, initiative, and referendum. 

The procedure for all petitions authorized by this Constitution shall be as follows: a petition, bearing the signatures of at least ten percent (10%) of the appropriate constituency, shall be filed with the President or, for the recall of the President or Vice-President, with the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate. The appropriate constituency shall be the currently enrolled student body or for the recall of a Senator from a college or school, the currently enrolled declared majors of that college or school. The officer shall submit the petition no later than the next school day to the Office of the University Registrar for the verification of current enrollment and in some cases verification of major; if, however, the SGA possesses official records from the University Registrar sufficient to verify the petition establish a procedure for verification by the SGA officials. In disputed cases, the Senate shall be the sole judge of the validity of a petition and of other questions in the petition process. The petition process, from submission by the student body to the time of the election, may occur only within a spring semester. 

The President, Vice-President, and Senators shall be subjected to recall through the petition process of this Constitution. Upon verification of the petition, the Senate shall call an election for the office in question. In this election, the officer shall continue in office until the election results are certified by the Senate. 

All laws enacted by the Senate shall be subject to review by the student body through the petition process of this Constitution. The petition must be filed with the President no later than thirty (30) days after the measure was signed into law, or was passed into law over a presidential veto. Upon the verification of the petition, the President shall call an election on the proposed law, which shall be held no more than ten (10) school days later. Proclamations shall be posted at least five (5) schools days prior to the election. A majority of the votes cast in the election shall be sufficient to pass or defeat the proposed law. 

The student body shall have the power to initiate any law within the power of the Senate through the petition process of this Constitution. Upon the verification of the petition, the President shall call an election on the proposed law, which shall be held no more than ten school days later. Proclamations shall be posted at least five (5) school days prior to the election. A majority of the votes cast in the election shall be sufficient to pass or defeat the proposed law. The Senate may not amend or repeal an initiated law by less than two-thirds (2/3) vote. 

This document shall never be used by any SGA official or body as cause to violate Arkansas state law or federal law. State and federal law always supersede SGA law, this document, and Robert’s Rules of Order. Any student may interrupt the meeting of an SGA body to clarify this point. The student shall obtain the floor and appeal to the chair for a decision as to whether or not the act or intended act violates the law. This decision is appealable to the full Senate. 

A student who is no longer in Good Standing will be prevented from holding any elected or appointed position in SGA. A student is no longer in Good Standing if he/she, having been previously elected or appointed to a position in the Student Government Association, does not meet the duties/responsibilities outlined in this Constitution or in the Bylaws of this organization while serving from said position. The only way to reverse this status shall be to appear before the full Senate and appeal your case. After having heard the student’s appeal, the Senate may, with a two-thirds (2/3) vote, remove the status. A student may only appeal this status after six (6) months have passed from the onset of this remedy or the last appeal attempt. 

ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS 

Any proposed amendment to this Constitution, passed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate, shall take effect upon receiving a majority of votes cast by the student body in an election on the amendment. Such an amendment may be proposed only in a regular Senate meeting and may be voted on by the Senate only after one week. 

Amendments may also be proposed through the petition process of the Constitution. Upon verification of the petition, the President shall call an election on the proposed amendment, which shall be held not more than ten (10) school days later. The proposed amendment shall take effect upon receiving a majority of the votes cast by the student body in the election. 

Amendments proposed through either process shall be published together with the affected parts of this Constitution, and proclamations shall be posted at least twenty (20) school days before the election. The amendment process may occur only within a fall or spring semester. Proposed amendments shall take effect immediately upon the approval unless otherwise specified in the amendment. 

Any proposed new constitution must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate and by a majority of the votes cast by the student body in an election. The proposed constitution must be published, and proclamations posted, at least four weeks prior to the election. 

The Senate shall establish an official copy of the SGA Constitution that may be signed by all SGA officials and kept on display in the SGA office.