SR 17-40: Amendment to the Constitution, and Finance Bylaws

SR 17-40: Amendment to the Constitution, and Finance Bylaws
11 April 2018

Senators DeNardo, Korbel, Shivani, Sierra, Trunfio, and Vice-President Pena

WHEREAS: The Illinois College Student Senate is structured as follows:

Executive Board: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary

Committees: Finance, Public Relations, Student Life.

Student-Faculty Committee Liaison.

Classes: Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshman.

The Leadership Council is composed of the Executive Board, the Committee Chairs, and the Student-Faculty Committee Liaison.

WHEREAS: The current legislative session has revealed flaws with the structure of Student Senate which has ultimately created challenges that can be avoided.

WHEREAS: The Finance Committee is responsible for recommending allocation amounts, and notifying student organizations of their approved allocations. The Finance Committee, as a whole, is not authorized to carry out transactions– this power lies exclusively in the hands of the Student Senate Treasurer. Communication between Accounting Services and Student Senate could be more efficient if the same person were in charge of carrying out transactions (role of the Treasurer) and guiding discussion regarding allocation amounts (role of the Finance Committee chair).

WHEREAS: The issue of communication does not rest on the individuals in the positions of Treasurer and Finance Committee chair themselves, rather the issue rests inherently on the roles of the positions. Though the Constitution of Student Senate requires that Treasurer be a permanent member of the Finance Committee, the Treasurer may not be able to attend all committee meetings, and may not be fully informed of all allocation amounts that were approved during committee meetings. Since the Treasurer is not responsible for calling committee meetings, the possibility of the Treasurer’s inability to attend is open.

WHEREAS: This legislative session has seen a surprising amount of outreach from student organizations regarding their allocation amounts because the communication between the Finance Committee Chair, Treasurer, and Accounting Services is not streamlined. In an effort to avoid discontent from student organizations regarding allocations, whether it be that they were not notified if they received their allocation, or if their budget wasn’t approved at all, reform is needed within the distribution of financial power on Student Senate.

WHEREAS: The Student Senate should have better relations with local businesses as it tries to increase interaction with the community. The Finance Committee is currently not constitutionally tasked with maintaining such business relations.

WHEREAS: The Student Life standing committee is constitutionally charged with four (4) tasks, two of which overlap.

  1. b) work, in conjunction with the Office of Residential Life, to improve and maintain the conditions of the residence hall.
  2. c) serve as an advocate for residents within the residence halls.

WHEREAS: One of the four tasks that the Student Life committee is constitutionally charged with

  1. d) Work to improve the campus life of students at Illinois College.

is overbroad, and provides minimal direction as to how to improve Illinois College campus life.

WHEREAS: The chairs of the Student Life committee during the current legislative session worked tirelessly to develop various projects for their committee members to partake in. Though the effort is sincerely appreciated, the Student Life committee is inherently weak in its mission as it lacks directionality through the Constitution.

WHEREAS: The Student Life committee’s general mission of improving campus life, and working with various areas and departments of the College should be more clearly defined.

WHEREAS: The Student-Faculty Committee Liaison is currently an independent officer of the Student Senate. The liaison is responsible for keeping reports from the various committees on campus, some of which address matters concerning student life, such as academic and curricular affairs (Curricular Review Committee). The Student-Faculty Committee Liaison plays an essential role in Student Senate, and should retain his/her status within the Leadership Council.

WHEREAS: The Public Relations committee is constitutionally charged with upkeeping Student Senate’s presence on campus, and holding elections.

WHEREAS: Though not directly stated the Constitution, the Public Relations committee should also be responsible for any communications directed toward the student body on behalf of Senate.

WHEREAS: The Constitutional ad-hoc committee voted and approved the following changes to the Constitution, and submitted them to the Full Senate for approval.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: The following change shall be proposed to the Student Senate regarding the distribution of financial power among its officers.

In an effort to streamline communication between Senate and Accounting Services, and Senate and student organizations regarding their allocations, the positions of the Finance Committee chair and the Treasurer shall be merged. The position will be formally known as the Treasurer, and will be tasked with the duties of a committee chair as prescribed by Article VI Section 4, as well carrying out the current duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall retain his/her position in his/her respective class, and continue to be a part of both the Executive Board, and the Leadership Council. To reflect the proposed change, the Constitution will now read:

Article III – Executive Officers

Section 5

The Treasurer shall

  1.  Record, monitor, and organize the expenses and revenues of the Student Senate.
  2.  Inform the Student Senate bi-weekly of all account balances in the Student Senate accounts.
  3.  Serve as the chair of the Finance Committee.
  4.  Has the authority to sign checks issued by the Student Senate, along with one of the advisors.
  5.  Create and present the budget of the Student Senate, alongside the President.
  6.  Ensure that the Student Senate abides by the Student Senate Finance Policies.
  7.  Perform any other tasks as requested by the President and the Student Senate.

 

Article V – Leadership Council

Section 1

The President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Finance Committee Chair, Public Relations Committee Chair, Student Life Committee Chair, and the Student Faculty Committee Liaison shall compose the Leadership Council of the Student Senate.

 

The following changes to the Finance Bylaws to reflect the change shall be proposed:

 

Article II – Finance Committee Constitution

Section 1

The Finance Committee shall consist of no more than ten members of the Student Senate appointed by the Vice President. The Treasurer must be among these members to serve as chair of the committee.

 

Section 3

The President and Vice President together shall appoint a Treasurer who will serve as the chair of the committee. The Treasurer shall retain his/her vote on matters before the committee.

 

Article III – Funding and Allocations

Section 5

No club or organization shall receive funding, regardless of Senate approval, if the group’s officers, advisor, and members information is not updated in the Center for Student Involvement each semester. Verification of this shall be sent by the Center for Student Involvement to the Treasurer before allocations are transferred each semester.

 

Article V – Appeals

Section 1

Any Senate funded party may appeal its allocation from the Student Senate. An appeal should be made in writing and submitted to the Treasurer. The Finance Committee shall consider the appeal within one week of submission.

 

Article VI – Financial Misconduct, Monitoring, and Sanctions

Section 4

If financial misconduct is alleged against any Senate funded club, organization, or individual, the Finance Committee shall open a preliminary fact-finding investigation of the allegations. The Treasurer shall meet with the club or organization’s officers and advisor(s) to discuss the allegation. The faculty advisors may be present at the meeting upon the request of any party involved.

 

Section 6

In the event of a formal hearing, the Finance Committee and a member of the group or individual in question shall submit evidence and arguments to the Finance Committee. In the event the Treasurer submits arguments, another member of the committee shall serve as chair during the proceedings.

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: The following changes shall be proposed to the Student Senate regarding its structure.

In an effort the develop relations with local businesses as Senate continues to hold more events potentially involving them, the Finance Committee shall now be constitutionally tasked with additional duties that reflect this effort

In an effort to expand the role of the Student Life Committee, and its duties, the committee shall now be known as “the College and External Affairs Committee.” With the renaming of the Student Life committee, additional tasks will be charged to it, which will be discussed later in this section. The Student-Faculty Committee Liaison shall be a permanent member of the College and External Affairs Committee due to the nature of the position, and he/she shall continue to be a part of the Leadership Council.

In an effort to expand the role of the Public Relations Committee in terms of communication with the student body, the committee will have additional duties that ensures Senate is communicating with the campus community.

In accordance with the proposed changes to the current three (3) standing committees, the appropriate sections of the Constitution shall now read:

Article V – Leadership Council

Section 1

The President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, the College and External Affairs Committee Chair, the Public Relations Committee Chair, and the Student Faculty Committee Liaison shall compose the Leadership Council of the Student Senate

 

Article VI – Committees

Section 1

Student Senate shall contain three standing committees. These shall be the College and External Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Public Relations Committee.

 

Section 6

The Finance Committee shall:

  1.  Budget all student activity funds.
  2.  Be in charge of the Allocation process.
  3.  Order and conduct audits of Student Activity-Fee funds as it sees fit.
  4.  Present the annual budget.
  5.  Ensure that both the Student Senate and student organizations abide by the Finance Bylaws.
  6.  Act as the liaison between Student Senate and student organizations.
  7. Coordinate with student organizations in the implementation of their ideas in which the Student Senate can lend its resources and help in any way as deemed necessary.
  8. Coordinate with the other standing committees in the case they host events requiring funding.
  9. Maintain and develop business relations within the community.
  10. Communicate with student organizations regarding the status of their allocation requests.

 

Section 7

The College and External Affairs Committee shall:

  1.  Serve as an advocate for students with regard to dining standards and policies.
  2.  Work as an advocate for residents in residence halls, in conjunction with the Office of Residence Life, to improve and maintain conditions of the residence halls.
  3.  Work to improve the campus life of students at Illinois College.
  4. Communicate regularly with the Office of Admissions to ensure tours, and other information given to prospective, and admitted students properly reflect the campus.
  5. Advocate and develop initiatives for issues (political, social, campus-related, etc.) that Student Senate would like to undertake.
  6. Maintain relations with Faculty Senate, and the Illinois College chapter of the American Association of University Professors in order for Student Senate to work with these bodies on issues pertaining to the wellbeing of the College.
  7. Review changes in College policy (academic, attendance, tuition, etc.), and take action as deemed appropriate.
  8. Engage with the student body to determine what issues are currently relevant to campus through any means the committee decides.
  9. Work, in conjunction with the Student Senate Student-Faculty Committee Liaison, who is a permanent member of this committee, to ensure students are fully engaged and included in Student-Faculty committee meetings.
  10. Ensure the wellbeing of registered student organizations on campus.
  11. Serve as the liaison between Student Senate and greek-lettered organizations on campus, and advocate for them.

 

Section 8

The Public Relations Committee shall:

  1.  Work to improve relations and dialogue between the student body and the Student Senate.
  2.  Educate the student body about Student Senate activities through advertising, promoting, and any other means necessary to reach students.
  3.  Hold elections on the dates and times set by the Executive Board.
  4.  Handle Faculty and Staff Member of the Month Award.
  5.  Update the Connect2 as well as any of the social media pages.
  6.  Oversee various resources and tools used by Student Senate.
  7. Update the Student Senate on any events of which an organization requests Student Senate involvement and make recommendations on how the Student Senate may assist them..
  8. Plan and implement any event sponsored by the Student Senate, on behalf of the Student Senate, with a budget that shall be approved by the President and Treasurer per a case-by-case basis.
  9. Issue, in conjunction with the President of Student Senate, communications to the student body and campus community regarding important changes on campus.
  10. Maintain and update the various platforms that Student Senate currently uses to communicate with the student body and campus community

 

RESOLVED: The Illinois College Student Senate passes the amendment proposed to the Constitution, and Finance Bylaws by a two-thirds vote, and the amendment will take place effective immediately.