SGA By-Laws



Revised: October 2005


This branch of the Student Government Association (SGA) will be known as the Student Government Association Senate, referred to as “Senate” in these Bylaws.


The purpose of the Senate is to maintain a system of checks and balances with the Executive and Judicial branches of the SGA and to pass appropriate legislation pertaining to the student body of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR).


  1. Office Hours
    • An office hour is a unit of credit given to an SGA member for doing SGA-related work. It is the amount of time (to the nearest quarter (1⁄4) hour) that the member spent on the project.
    • Minimum Office Hours per Semester
      • Each semester, Senators are required to complete a minimum of twenty-five (25) office hours (unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws).
      • Senators appointed or elected in the middle of a semester will be required to complete a number of office hours equal to twenty (25) minus two (2) multiplied by the number of weeks that have already passed for the semester. 2. In order to receive credit for their work, Senators must record their office hours in the “Senate Office Hours Logbook,” maintained by the Secretary of the SGA.
      • The following activities will count toward completion of the required office hours:
        • Spending time at the front desk in the SGA office (One (1) office hour for every hour worked).
        • Working at the polls during the SGA Elections (One (1) office hour for every hour worked) iii. Participating in SGA sponsored activities (Office hours must be determined in the sponsoring legislation)
        • If there are any SGA sponsored activities, participation is required in at least one (1).
        • Attending External Committees (One (1) office hour for every hour worked)
      • To receive office hour credit, a committee report must be submitted to the President of the Senate.
      • Any alternative form of office hours must be submitted to (and approved by) at least three (3) of the five (5) members of the Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) prior to using these alternative office hours. Requests can be submitted at the next scheduled EOC meeting or via e-mail or letter.
      • During the summer semester, Senators will not be required to complete office hours.
      • Senators will not be required to complete office hours during the week(s) of final exams.
  2. Absences
    • Attendance of Senate Meetings is an important duty of every Senator.
    • Absences are defined as not being bodily present at a regular meeting of the Senate.
    • Excused Absences are:
      • i. Illness,
      • Last minutes changes in work schedule, and
      • Last minute changes in school schedule.
      • Any other absences will be excused at the discretion of the President of the Senate.
    • When a Senator compiles four (4) unexcused absences in a year, the EOC will declare the seat vacant.
      • The Senator may appeal this removal at the next scheduled Senate meeting.
      • The EOC will nominate, and with the approval of the Senate, fill vacancies in the Senate when they arise.
        • If a vacancy occurs and no appointment is made by the EOC within three weeks after the position becomes vacant, then any Senator may present a petition to the Senate nominating a student to fill the vacancy.


The officers of the Senate will be:

  1. President of the Senate
    • The Vice-President of the SGA will serve as the President of the Senate.
  2. President Pro-Tempore
    • During the first session of May, Senators “shall elect and install a voting member as President Pro-Tempore” (Constitution of the Student Government Association, Article III, § 8).
    • The President Pro-Tempore will assist the President of the Senate in his/her duties when requested.
    • The President Pro-Tempore will serve as President of the Senate in his/her absence.
    • It will be the duty of the President Pro-Tempore to obtain from the Secretary of the Senate copies of all recordings including attendance, minutes, official legislation, executive and committee reports, meeting agendas, and all other correspondence of the Senate.
    • By the first meeting of the summer, the President Pro-Tempore will compile all records for the previous year and archive them at the Ottenheimer Library.
    • The President Pro-Tempore will be responsible for modifying texts of the Senate Bylaws, Election Code, Constitution of the SGA, and the SGA Code of Ethics to comply with any amendments that arise from legislation.
  3. Assistant President Pro-Tempore
    • During the first session of May, Senators will elect and install a voting member to be Assistant President Pro-Tempore.
    • It will be the job of the Assistant President Pro-Tempore to assist the President Pro-Tempore in any of his/her duties.
    • In the absence of the President of the Senate and the President Pro- Tempore, the Assistant Pro-Tempore will act as President of the Senate.
    • In the absence of the President Pro-Tempore, the Assistant Pro-Tempore will fulfill the duties of archivist.
  4. Secretary of the Senate
    • The Secretary of the SGA will serve as the Secretary of the Senate.
    • The Secretary of the Senate will be responsible for recording the minutes of the Senate.
    • The Secretary of the Senate will provide a copy of any legislation and/or meeting minutes to each Senator within forty-eight (48) hours prior to the next Senate meeting.
    • The Secretary of the Senate will be responsible for obtaining all pertinent records from a Senate meeting, a copy of which he/she will deliver to the President Pro-Tempore. Then, the Secretary of the Senate will file all of the original documents in the SGA office.
    • The Secretary of the Senate will be responsible for maintaining an updated, printed copy of the SGA documents available in the SGA office.
  5. Senate Parliamentarian
    • The Chief Justice of SGA will serve as Senate Parliamentarian.
    • The Senate Parliamentarian will be responsible for maintaining parliamentary procedure.
    • The Senate Parliamentarian will also serve as the official timekeeper in the Senate.


  1. Order of Business
    • The Order of Business of each Senate meeting will be:
      1. Call to Order
      2. Roll Call of the Senate
      3. Special Guests
      4. Discussion and Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
      5. Reading of the Correspondence of the Senate
      6. Executive Reports
      7. Committee Reports
      8. Standing Committees
      9. Special Committees
      10. External Committees
      11. Old Business
      12. New Business
      13. Announcements
      14. Adjournment
      15. Legislation
  2. Senate Bills and Resolutions will follow a specific format of which a copy is included at the end of these bylaws;
    • Senators must submit a copy of their sponsored legislation to the President of the Senate at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting in which they will be presented as new business.
  3. Time Limits
    • The following time limits apply during each Senate meeting:
      • There will be a time limit of three (3) minutes for the introduction of a bill or motion.
      • There will be a time limit of six (6) minutes for debate on a bill or motion.
      • Any amendment to a bill or motion will have a six (6) minute time limit on debate.
      • During debate on amendments, the time limit on the main bill or motion will be suspended.
      • Time for debate can be extended by a majority vote of the Senate.
      • Guests must apply to the President of the Senate to be placed on the agenda.
      • The President of the Senate will use his/her best judgment when placing a speaker on the agenda. There will be no more than two (2) guest speakers per regular meeting. Each speaker is limited to five (5) minutes with an additional five (5) minutes for questions and answers.
      • Officer and committee reports will not exceed three (3) minutes per report.
      • A majority vote of the Senate may extend the time for any report by up to only three (3) minutes.
  4. Quorum
    • Quorum for each Senate meeting will be constituted as follows:
      • A majority of the total voting Senates members will constitute quorum.
      • All business conducted in the Senate without quorum present will be considered null and void.
  5. Voting
    1. Voting members of the Senate:
      • Each Senator will have one vote.
      • The President of the Senate will be able to have one vote in the event of a tie vote in order to break the tie.
      • The voting record of each Senator will be recorded by the Secretary and contained in the minutes of the meeting. These minutes will be made available to the student body upon request or through publication in official SGA publications.
      • The minutes will follow a specific format which a copy is included at the end of these bylaws.


Committees are constituted as follows:

  1. Standing Committees
    • In accordance with the SGA Constitution, the following will be permanent:
    • Senate Committees:
      • Executive Oversight Committee (EOC)
      • Judicial Oversight Committee (JOC)
      • The duties of these two Standing Committees are listed in the SGA Constitution
    • Special Committees
      • Special Committees may be added under the authority of these Bylaws by a majority vote of the Senate.
      • The President of the Senate will appoint a committee chair and committee members unless otherwise specified in the bill creating the committee.
      • External Committees
        • SGA Officers appointed to administrative or faculty committees will make a full and complete report o the Senate at least once per semester and whenever else the officer deems it necessary and important to the Student Body.
        • These reports are essential for receiving credit for the time spent in the committee.
        • The SGA will gather all reports from non-SGA officers appointed to administrative or faculty committees and will make a full report to the Senate at least once per semester.


The latest edition of Robert’s Rules, Newly Revised, will constitute the authority for the proceedings of the Senate, except where superseded by the SGA Constitution or these Bylaws.


  1. Amendments
    • All amendments to these Bylaws require a three-fourths (3⁄4) vote of the Senate to be approved.
    • Approval of amendments to the bylaws is not subject to approval or veto by the SGA President.
  2. Format
    • All proposed amendments must be submitted under the bill format.


This document will never be used by any Senate Official or body as cause to violate Arkansas State or Federal Law. State and Federal Law always supersedes Senate Law, this document, and Robert’s Rules of Order.