Luther College Student Senate Constitution
Preamble: Recognizing that the responsibility of organized Student Government at Luther College currently resides in the Student Senate and its officers, the following document is intended as a guide for the effective operation of that group.
Student Senate Mission Statement
Student Senate is the primary means for students’ participation in the governance of the Luther College community. Our mission is to serve Luther students and student organizations by providing them with resources to achieve their goals and to connect faith with learning and service with responsibility.
The name of this organization shall be the Student Senate.
All full-time Luther students are eligible for membership on Student Senate.
III. Duties of the Student Senate
A. Serves as a forum for student concerns and opinions. Holds at least one public open forum discussion per semester on any item of interest to student life.
B. Makes recommendations to the Campus Life Committee on changes in the Luther Code.
C. Serves as a consulting body on all matters affecting students for Student Life staff, administrators, and faculty committees. (Makes recommendations on and interpretations of existing regulations in the Student Handbook to those persons and collects and evaluates student opinion about student issues.)
D. Meets with the Luther College President twice per semester to discuss important college-wide issues.
E. Selects six of its members to serve on the Faculty Campus Life Committee and serves as a consulting body for that committee.
F. Appropriates expenditures from the Student Senate account.
G. Develops and implements programs it feels are necessary and proper in benefiting the student body, the college, and/or the Decorah community.
H. Directs and assigns committee responsibilities.
A. The following officers shall be elected in the spring semester prior to their taking office.
1. Student Senate President
2. Student Senate Vice President
3. Student Senate Secretary
4. Student Senate Treasurer
B. The following 30 positions constitute Student Senate:
Student Activities Council President
Luther Congregation President
Senior Class Representatives (3)
Junior Class Representatives (3)
Sophomore Class Representatives (3)
First Year Class Representatives (3)
Student Liaison to City Council
Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents
Diversity Center Representatives (5)
Inter-Greek Council Representative
Student Academic Support Center and Americans with Disabilities Act Representative
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Representative
C. Notes on Senate Positions.
1. The President and Vice President run as a pair for election.
2. Class representatives for the senior, junior, and sophomore classes are elected in the spring on a date selected by Senate. Candidates will need to be of the designated class standing for the following fall, per credit hours as defined by the Registrar’s Office.
3. Class representatives for the first year class are intended to be one representative from each hall, and elected on a date in the fall determined by Residence Life.
4. The Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents is appointed by the Diversity Council. (The Diversity Council determines a specific process for this position and the other five appointments, which could be elections.)
5. The Diversity Center Representatives are appointed by the Diversity Council. These positions, that is, the composition of representations (not the individual persons), are to be approved by Senate.
6. The Wellness Representative is appointed via a process determined by the wellness program.
7. The Inter-Greek Council (IGC) Representative is appointed by IGC.
8. The Student Academic Support Center (SASC) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Representative is appointed by a process determined by SASC.
9. The Environmental Representative is appointed via a process determined by the Environmental Studies Program.
10. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Representative is appointed via a process determined by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
11. Except as noted with the first-year representatives, the intent is that all other positions are elected or appointed in the spring for the following year.
V. Meetings and Procedures
A. The Senate shall meet at least two times every month during the months of October, November, December, February, March, April, and May, and at other times on the call of the President, vote of the Assembly, or by petition of ten or more Senate members.
B. A quorum shall be necessary to conduct business with a majority of the membership constituting a quorum.
C. All Senate meetings shall be open to the public.
D. The minutes of each meeting shall be made available via media as determined by Senate.
E. Notification of each meeting shall be published in at least one college publication prior to the meeting.
F. The Senate may form ad hoc committees at its discretion.
G. The Senate shall in conjunction with its adviser appropriate expenditures from the Student Senate account.
H. Attendance is required at all Senate meetings, however, in such cases when a member must miss a meeting, that member is required to notify any Senate officer before the meeting.
I. A Senate member is allowed three (3) absences a year. After missing twice a warning will be given, and a fourth absence constitutes action by the Senate which can follow Section VIII and/or X of the Constitution on recall.
J. A member who knows they are going to miss a Senate meeting may ask a proxy to represent them (which does not count as an absence), however, proxies may not vote on motions and it should be understood that proxies should not be used more than 3 times within the school year.
K. Although it is on the honor of each member to report sickness, sickness will count as one of the three absences.
VI. Election Procedures for Student Senate Officers and other Positions
A. Time of the Elections
1. Officers for the Senate shall be selected in spring elections prior to the school year in which they take office.
2. The campus-wide election shall be held on “Reading Day” in the spring. In the absence of “Reading Day” Senate shall determine another acceptable date.
B. Applying for Office
1 . Applications for each office will be available in the Student Life Office one month before the election.
2. The deadline for returning applications is two weeks before the election.
C. Election Committee
1. The Student Senate President shall organize an election committee at the beginning of spring semester..
2. At least two of the members of this committee should be of at least sophomore standing or above.
3. The adviser to the Student Senate or his/her designee, shall be a member of this committee and oversee voting on election day.
4. The election committee shall annually review the "Election Guidelines," revise as needed, and present them to the Senate annually prior to the election process.
5. The Election Committee is responsible for the following duties:
a. To make sure the “Election Guidelines” are followed and carried out by the candidates and the committee.
b. To nominate a slate of possible candidates for the Senate, realizing that nominating is only a form of encouragement and that one doesn’t have to be nominated in order to run for office.
c. To produce the Senate Campaign/Election Newspaper, separate from the campus newspaper, which, at minimum, shall include the list of declared candidates. This newspaper must be made available to the Luther community at least 3-4 days before the election.
d. To sponsor (and advertise) an "elections" open forum. This must be held at least 2-3 days before the election, and will provide, but not necessarily require, the opportunity for candidates to meet other students.
e. To make sure candidate "position statements" are present at the voting booths on election day. Candidates will be provided the opportunity, but not be required, to provide a picture.
VII. Vacancy of a Student Senate Office
A. In the case of a vacancy in the position of President of the Senate, the Vice President shall assume the duties and responsibilities of that office.
B. If vacancies occur in the positions of Vice President of the Senate or Secretary/Treasurer, they shall be filled by a special campus-wide election conducted by the Senate.
C. Other Senate vacancies. Student Senate shall determine on an "as needed" basis, the manner by which they fill vacant Senate or committee seats as they become available. While elections of some form are an option, they are not required.
VIII. Recall of Student Senate Officer
If any of the officers fail to meet the duties and responsibilities of their positions, they may be recalled by a three-fourths vote of the Student Senate members. Such a ballot may be taken upon the formal presentation of a petition bearing the signatures of one-fifth of the student members of the Senate.
IX. Membership of Campus Life Committee
A. The following six Student Senators are the student members of the Campus Life Committee:
Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents
Four additional members selected from among the Senators
X. Election Procedures for Student Members to College Committees
A. Student Senate will elect and appoint internal and external committees as needed.
B. Although most committees will involve senators, Senate may decide to solicit non-senators for some committees. Depending on timelines, practicality, and nature of the position, Senate will decide whether or not to give public notice regarding these opportunities.
C. Senate, by three-fourths vote, may recall committee members for failure to fulfill responsibilities.
XI. Board of Regents Representatives
A. The student representatives to the Board of Regents shall consist of:
1. Student Senate President
2. Luther College Congregation President
3. Student Activities Council President
4. Diversity Center Representative to the Board of Regents
B. The student representatives to the board shall attend all meetings of the board and shall attend the particular committee meeting of which each representative is a member.
C. These representatives shall be prepared to present a report to the Senate at the calling of the Senate President.
XII. Amendment Procedures
A. Amendments to the “Student Senate Constitution Procedures” shall be accepted by a three-fourths vote of the Student Senate and shall become an official part of this document at that time.
B. Any amendment that changes the Senate Election Procedures for student members of the Senate must be sent to the Campus Life Committee for approval before it becomes an official part of this document.
College Governance - Student Input
Students have had a long and healthy tradition of participation in the workings of Luther College. In May 1997, the faculty voted to restructure the governance system and eliminated numerous permanent committees. This also eliminated many permanent student committee positions. Some of the traditional committee input from students will be replaced by involvement on ad hoc committees, departmental committees, special appointments, or newly-defined subcommittees. Student Senate appoints six seats for the Campus Life Committee. There are also four student representatives to the Board of Regents. Students interested in participation and governance issues should contact the Student Senate president, or the Student Senate adviser, located in the Student Life Office.
- Luther College Student Senate Constitution (20 KB Word Document)Senate constitution