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Washington and Lee University

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Student Body Constitution

STUDENT BODY CONSTITUTION

Passed March 1, 2004, by a 957 to 142 vote of the Student Body

PREAMBLE

This Constitution is the expression of a self-governing Student Body and is the foundation of its government.

It is the intent of the framers of this Constitution to present an instrument devoid of complexity, which shall represent the framework of student government, which shall represent a means of settlement of all affairs which concern the Student Body or any part thereof, and which shall be interpreted and administered by the Executive Committee of the Student Body to the advancement of the best interests of Washington and Lee University students.

I. MEMBERSHIP

All regularly matriculated students at Washington and Lee University, as determined by the Registrar, shall be members of the Student Body.

II. OFFICERS

The officers of the Student Body shall be a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary to be chosen by and from the members of the Student Body.

III. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

A. The President

  1. Shall preside at all meetings of the Student Body and of the Executive Committee;
  2. Shall call a meeting of the Student Body or Executive Committee when necessary, or upon request of two-thirds of the Executive Committee then in office, or upon petition in writing signed by one hundred members of the Student Body;
  3. Shall appoint all special committees and oversee their progress, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee;
  4. Shall report directly to the Board of Trustees regarding the state of the Honor System and other issues concerning the Student Body;
  5. Shall have the power, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, to do anything necessary to promote the interests of the Student Body; and
  6. Shall perform all additional duties prescribed by The Honor System White Book.

B. The Vice-President

  1. Shall fulfill the duties of the President in the absence of the latter, or in case of illness, death, or withdrawal from the University;
  2. Shall manage disbursement of the Student Body funds, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee;
  3. Shall oversee the official recognition of student organizations, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee;
  4. Shall monitor the expenditures and acts of officially recognized organizations; and
  5. Shall perform all additional duties prescribed by The Honor System White Book.

C. The Secretary

  1. Shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings of the meetings of the Student Body and the Executive Committee, and shall publicly post the same;
  2. Shall take charge of all available records, documents, and other papers of the Student Body;
  3. Shall take charge of all clerical duties to be performed for the Student Body or the Executive Committee;
  4. Shall post any notices called for by the Constitution as well as any other that the Executive Committee may advise; and
  5. Shall perform all additional duties prescribed by The Honor System White Book.

D. Succession of Officers

  1. In the event that the President of the Student Body leaves during the year, the Vice-President shall take his place and the Secretary shall move to fill the Vice-President’s spot. The Executive Committee will vote on one member of the Committee to become the Secretary. Two-thirds of all members of the Committee must approve this appointment.
  2. The order of succession specified above shall apply for the position of Vice-President and Secretary of the Student Body.
  3. In order to fill the vacated spot on the Executive Committee, a class election will be held for that member’s class that has been voted on to move to an officer spot.

IV. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

A. The name of this committee shall be: “THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE STUDENT BODY OF WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY.”

B. The Committee shall be composed of the following members:

  • President of the Student Body
  • Vice-President of the Student Body
  • Secretary of the Student Body
  • One Representative from the 3rd Year Law Class
  • One Representative from the 2nd Year Law Class
  • One Representative from the 1st Year Law Class
  • Two Representatives from the undergraduate Senior Class
  • Two Representatives from the undergraduate Junior Class
  • Two Representatives from the undergraduate Sophomore Class
  • One Representative from the undergraduate Freshman Class

C. Any members of the Student Body may seek these offices through student elections, except those studying abroad during any academic term coinciding with the tenure of the position offered for election. Students of the Legal Law Master (LLM) Program may seek office through the 1st Year Law Class.

D. Seven members of the Committee who possess votes shall constitute quorum for non-honor matters. Ten voting members shall constitute a quorum for all honor matters.

E. The President shall try to preside in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order unless the Committee votes by two-thirds majority to observe other procedure.

V. DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

A. The Executive Committee shall have supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power in all matters pertaining to the Student Body. It shall act as the representative of the Student Body in any situation in which such representation is needed.

B. It shall have jurisdiction in every Honor System case, as provided for by the Board of Trustees. Each case shall be conducted in accordance with the Honor System procedure as stated in The Honor System White Book.

C. It shall see that the Honor System is carefully and thoroughly explained to the entire Student Body and faculty. It shall provide access to all students and faculty members a copy of the Constitution and The Honor System White Book.

D. It shall establish a Voting Regulations Board to superintend Student Body elections

E. It shall pass upon all resignations and may require the resignation of any unsatisfactory officer upon two-thirds vote of members of the Executive Committee

F. It shall have the power to fill vacancies occurring on the Executive Committee, Student Judicial Council, and all other Executive Committee appointed positions.

G. It shall remove any of its members for continual non-attendance and see to the installation of a successor as provided for in Article III, Section D.

H. The President shall temporarily appoint members of the Student Body to help meet any quorum requirements.

I. It shall take charge of the installation of new Executive Committee officers and members.

J. It shall allow any student who desires to appear before it in person, to present for consideration any question of interest or concern.

K. Each year not later than June 1, the incoming President shall appoint standing and special committees and their Chairmen, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. To these committees shall be entrusted during the coming year the formulation and enforcement of regulations in accord with the nature of the Committee.. Such committees and regulations are subject to the control and approval of the Executive Committee.

L. By direction of the Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University it shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to appoint each year the student members to all appropriate Faculty Committees, at the time designated by the Board of Trustees.

M. An Executive Session is defined as a session of the Executive Committee that is closed to the public. Individuals who are not presently serving on the Committee can be present only at the express invitation of the Committee.

N. The Executive Committee may, on a vote of two-thirds of a present quorum, decide to enter into Executive Session

VI. OTHER STUDENT OFFICES

A. The freshman class shall elect a president. The Freshman Class President will serve on the Freshmen Leadership Council.

B. With the exception of the Law School representatives to the Executive Committee, who shall be elected in accordance with this Constitution, other elective offices in the Law School shall be defined by the Constitution of the Student Bar Association.

C. The Media Board shall be composed of a representative from each media organization The Media Board will be chaired by a member of the Executive Committee.

VII. INSTALLATION

All Executive Committee members shall be given the oath of office by the outgoing Executive Committee President within one week after election. Members added to the Committee throughout the year shall be given the oath of office by the current Executive Committee President. The following oath shall be taken:

“I (giving full name) realize the high trust and confidence placed in me by the Student Body of Washington and Lee University, and being fully aware of the remorse of conscience that would attend my failure to perform my duties, do solemnly swear to support the Student Body, and to perform the duties of office to the best of my ability.”

VIII. STUDENT BODY MEETINGS, POWER, ETC.

A. A meeting of the Student Body shall be called by the President when necessary, or upon request of two-thirds of the Executive Committee then in office, or upon petition in writing signed by one hundred members of the Student Body.

B. One-half the membership of the Student Body shall constitute a quorum.

C. A two-thirds vote of a quorum by the Student Body, at a meeting which has been duly advertised for three days, as provided for in Article III, Section C, 4, may require the resignation of any unsatisfactory officer named or appointed under this Constitution.

D. A two-thirds vote of a quorum by the Student Body, at a meeting which has been duly advertised for three days, as provided for in Article III, Section C, 4, may rescind any non-honor matter action of the Student Body officers or of the Executive Committee.

IX. POLICY ON RECOGNIZING STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

The Executive Committee shall establish guidelines for recognizing student organizations. The guidelines for making such determinations shall be made available to the Student Body.

X. STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE

A. With the approval of the Board of Trustees, an activity fee which shall be set by the Executive Committee by a two-thirds vote of those present, shall be payable at the time of registration and will cover the current school year.

B. Central Student Body Fund

  1. Student Activities Fees, together with all other money accrued to the Student Body, shall go into the Central Student Body Fund.
  2. Each Activities Fee shall be disbursed as determined by the Executive Committee. In September the Executive Committee shall prepare a budget for the coming school year. All officially recognized student organizations shall be entitled to request money from the Central Student Body Fund.
  3. The Committee shall pass the budget allocations by a two-thirds vote of the members. Following adoption of the budget any change in allocations shall require a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
  4. Executive Committee Accounts: a: The Executive Committee Reserve account provides for all general expenses of the Executive Committee. b. The Executive Committee Honor Reserve account provides funds in the case of a Student Body Hearing. c. The Student Body Working Reserve account covers organizations that spend more than allocated. This account can also be used to allocate funds throughout the year when organizations request additional funding (i.e. Winter Term).
  5. The Student Bar Association shall make a proposal in the spring of each academic year for necessary monies to operate from August 15 until the end of September. This proposal shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee. The amount allocated by the Committee will be taken into account during the budget allocation process in September. These monies will be made available to the Student Bar Association by August 15.
  6. The Committee will place money into an interest bearing account on an annually basis for Mock Convention. This will not affect their ability to request additional funding if needed.
  7. At the end of the academic year all residuals from organizations funded by the Student Activities Fee shall revert to the Central Student Body Fund, with the exception of the Media Board.

C. The University Treasurer

  1. Shall assist the Executive Committee in overseeing receipts, disbursements, and transactions to student organizations
  2. Shall keep separate book accounts of each organization
  3. Shall provide the Vice-President of the Executive Committee with financial account statements

XI. STUDENT BUDGET POLICY

The Executive Committee shall establish guidelines for funding student organizations. The guidelines for making such determinations shall be made available to the Student Body.

XII. AMENDMENTS

A. Any amendments to the Constitution shall be proposed:

  1. By a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee; or
  2. By being presented by a petition signed by one hundred members of the Student Body

B. Any proposed amendment shall be public information for at least one week prior to being voted on, as provided in Article III, Section C, 4.

C. A proposed amendment shall be voted on by secret ballot by the Student Body, of which at least one week’s notice has been given.

D. For adoption, a proposed amendment must receive two-thirds of the ballots cast; provided, however, that at least one-half of the Student Body casts ballots. Balloting on the proposed amendment may extend no longer than three consecutive days.

E. This Constitution is to be reviewed every four years, starting in the 2008-2009 academic year, and continuing 2012-2013, 2016-2017, etc. academic years. A committee, consisting of eight members and one chair, will be appointed by the Executive Committee. This Constitution Review Committee shall gather information through discussions with the Student Body and propose amendments to the Constitution, as provided in this Article.

XIII. ELECTIONS

A. Student Body Officers

  1. A petition with the signatures of one hundred and fifty students shall be required from every candidate for President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Student Body and for Chairman and Secretary of the Student Judicial Council. The election dates and the date the petitions are due shall be scheduled by the Executive Committee. The election will be carried out by the Voting Regulations Board.
  2. The Executive Committee may call a voluntary assembly of the Student Body after the petitions are filed and in no event less than two days before the election. The purpose of the assembly shall be to provide the candidates for the position of President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Student Body and for the position of Chairman and Secretary of the Student Judicial Council an opportunity to briefly relate their views and to provide the Student Body a sound basis for casting their ballot. The President of the Student Body shall preside as speaker of the assembly.

B. Class Representative Positions and Freshman Class President

  1. A petition with the signatures of fifty students from the student’s respective class shall be required from every candidate for Executive Committee, Student Judicial Council, and Freshman Class President The election dates and the date the petitions are due shall be scheduled by the Executive Committee. The election will be carried out by the Voting Regulations Board.
  2. The election for Freshman Executive Committee Representative and Class President and the election for the 1st Year Law Executive Committee Representative shall be held by the sixth Monday that the respective school is in session.

C. Other elections—The Executive Committee shall provide for other elections as become necessary.

D. General Provisions for this Article

  1. Due notice of all elections shall be given, as provided in Article III, Section C, 4.
  2. All officers and Executive Committee members elected in the Winter shall enter upon their duties the last day of undergraduate Winter Term examinations All Executive Committee members elected in the Fall shall enter upon their duties upon installation.