THE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
OF THE STUDENT COUNCIL, WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Updated: December 2020
I. Organization Name and Purpose
SECTION I: The student body at Wesley Theological Seminary does hereby affirm its seminary-wide student government association, under the authority of this Constitution. The name of the organization shall be The Wesley Theological Seminary Student Council, hereafter referred to as “the Student Council” or “the Council.”
SECTION 2: It shall be the purpose of the Student Council to promote the common welfare of the student body. The Council shall meet this purpose by:
- Acting as the voice of the student body by providing an open forum whereby concerns can be raised before they become problematic issues.
- By sponsoring various student organizations for the welfare and benefit of the students.
- By working with the administration, faculty, staff and community to ensure a supportive academic climate, through the recommendation of changes in policy, practices and procedures which impact the student body.
SECTION 3: To achieve its purpose, the Student Council will receive an operating budget from student fees and declare itself as self-governing.
SECTION 4: The Student Council affirms itself as an inclusive organization and shall operate accordingly.
II. Membership and Qualifications
SECTION 1: The Student Council shall consist of:
- Four (4) elected officers—President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer
- One (1) Presidentially appointed officer—Parliamentarian
- At least ten (10), no more than fifteen (15) elected Wesley student representatives
- One (1) appointed National Capital Semester for Seminarians (NCSS) student, when NCSS term is in session
- One (1) of Wesley’s appointed Washington Theological Consortium
(WTC) Student Board representatives
- One (1) representative from each recognized student organization
SECTION 2: Of the at least ten (10), no more than fifteen (15) elected Wesley student representatives, at least five (5), no more than ten (10) representatives will be elected at large from the total population of continuing students during the spring semester general election; five (5) will be elected from the incoming class in the fall semester of the academic year of the student council term.
SECTION 3: Active members consist of those members duly elected to serve as officers or representatives, and those members selected to serve as representatives from their respective student organizations that are officially recognized by the Council. All active members are expected to attend duly posted Student Council meetings in accordance with their position and committee membership.
SECTION 4: Associate members consist of any current members of the Wesley student body, faculty, staff and/or administration. Associate members have voice but no vote in council sessions, and meeting attendance is not required.
SECTION 1: Only currently and officially registered students in Master’s level programs at Wesley Theological Seminary shall be eligible to serve as elected officers or representatives. Exception is provided in the case of the NCSS representative.
SECTION 2: OFFICES
- President: is the spokesperson for the Council to the faculty, staff, and administration. Presides at all meetings, signs all legal documents, chairs the Executive Committee, calls special elections to fill vacancies, and appoints the Parliamentarian. Appoints committees to investigate and/or handle student concerns. Has the deciding vote in general and Executive council sessions.
- Vice President: Shall assume the duties of the President in his/her absence and act as the official voice of the Council to the campus. Serves as chair of Elections Committee and Communications Committee and oversees the Editor(s) of the Wesley Journal.
- Secretary: Takes the minutes of the meetings and provides copies for all members. Writes all necessary correspondence within and for Council business. Responsible for all on-campus correspondence including maintaining council bulletin boards and the posting of public notices from the council. Serves as the Chair of the Hospitality Committee.
- Treasurer: Maintains an accurate record of all income and expenditures of the Council and reports on such at each meeting. Affects payment of all expenditures. Serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee.
- Parliamentarian: Ensures the Council complies with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Student Council and with Robert’s Rules of Order in proper parliamentary procedure. Maintains a neutral but not silent position in all discussions and has no vote in any general council session on any issue. Serves as the Chair of the Constitutional and Judicial Review Committee.
SECTION 3: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE shall consist of all five officers, two at-large active members, and the faculty advisor. Appoints a committee to audit the books of the Treasurer before each new executive committee is seated for the year. Appoints Ad Hoc committees as necessary. Three voting members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a voting quorum of an Executive Committee session.
SECTION 1: A faculty advisor or advisors will be selected by majority vote of the active members. Staff members, including and limited to the VP of Financial Affairs, Director of Admissions, Director of Development, Director of Alumni Relations, may also be considered.
SECTION 2: The faculty advisor shall have the right of voice, but not vote in all council sessions.
SECTION 3: The faculty advisor shall fulfill the role of outside observer for the Elections Committee during the process of officially counting and certifying the votes.
SECTION 1: Nominations for Officer council positions shall take place no later than the first full week of February* and will be open for at least one (1) week. Nominations may be made by any currently enrolled Wesley student or faculty or staff member, but the nominee must agree to the nomination. Agreement shall be signaled by the nominee initialing the nomination ballot, or through digital authorization.
SECTION 2: Nominations for Representative council positions shall take place no later than the first full week of March* and will be open for at least one (1) week. Again, nominations can be made by any currently enrolled Wesley student or faculty or staff member, but the nominee must agree to the nomination. Agreement shall be signaled by the nominee initialing the nomination ballot, or through digital authorization.
SECTION 3: Elections shall be by general and secret-ballot. Elections for Officer positions shall take place no later than the third week of February. Elections for Representative council positions shall take place no later than the third week of March. In order to properly publicize the nominees at least one (1) week should separate the nominating and the electing of students in both Officer and Representative council elections. All currently enrolled Wesley students are eligible to vote in elections.
SECTION 4: Officers stand elected when they have been chosen by a majority of the vote. Representatives stand elected when they have secured plurality of votes.
SECTION 5: The newly elected council shall be installed during the last meeting of the academic year and serve one calendar year.
SECTION 6: The President and Vice President positions can only be filled by students who have had experience serving on the Council.
SECTION 7: If any elected position except the Presidency becomes vacant, that vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the procedures outlined in the By-Laws.
SECTION 8: In the event that the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall automatically assume the office with a special election held to fill the vacancy thereby created in the Office of Vice President.
SECTION 9: No student shall hold more than one Student Council position at a time.
SECTION 10: Any officer deemed negligent in his/her duties shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Executive council. Should that prove inadequate to remedy the situation, the officer shall be subject to impeachment by the general session of the Council.
SECTION 11: A majority of fifty-percent plus one (50% +1) by the general session shall recall any standing officer from his/her office and a special election shall be held to replace any officer thus removed from office.
SECTION 12: Special elections shall be held in August for the incoming class representatives within the first two weeks of the beginning of fall classes. First year representatives will then be installed at the general business session following their election to serve their terms as thereby elected.
SECTION 1: The Council shall conduct general meetings at least once a month during an academic semester, except during the summer semester and January term, except that the Council shall not be required to meet during finals week. General meetings are open to all active and associate members.
SECTION 2: By the first meeting of each semester the Council shall set a schedule of general meetings for that same semester. The schedule shall be communicated publicly, including, as practical, in The Wesley Journal.
SECTION 3: Meetings of the Student Council shall be in a suitable location approved by the Executive Committee and publicly announced at least two weeks in advance of each meeting. Should it become necessary to change the time and/or location of a meeting, a notice of such change shall be conspicuously posted at the original location and communicated with as much advance notice as possible to all active members.
SECTION 4: Special meetings may be called by petition of one-third (1/3) of the Council members, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee or at the discretion of the Student Council President.
SECTION 5: Provided adequate notice of all meetings has been given, all active members are expected to maintain regular attendance at Council meetings. In the event that a Student Council member misses (without excuse) four (4) regularly scheduled meetings in any one academic semester, that member may be subject to removal from office by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Council. In lieu of such removal, such member shall be offered the opportunity to resign his/her seat.
SECTION 6: CONDUCTING BUSINESS
- Only active members may vote in Student Council general meetings.
- The quorum necessary for general conduct of business is fifty percent (50%) of the voting membership or twelve (12) persons, whichever is fewer.
- A simple voting majority is fifty percent plus 1 (50%+1) of active members present at a given general meeting. All business decisions require a simple majority vote unless otherwise indicated in the Constitution, By-Laws or Policy and Procedures Manual.
- The newest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings and prevail over all cases not covered by this Constitution.
- General meeting minutes shall be publicly posted by the Council Secretary within seven (7) days of the close of the meeting.
SECTION 1: Any member of the Wesley community may request funding from the Council. All requests must be debated and voted on in general session with a binding quorum outcome.
SECTION 2: Imposition of fees and fines, should such be determined as necessary, shall not be excessive and must be debated and voted on in general session with a binding quorum outcome.
SECTION 1: Recommendations for amendments to the Constitution or By-laws of the Wesley Student Council may be submitted at any scheduled business meeting.
SECTION 2: Any recommendation for amendment must be presented in writing.
SECTION 3: Any recommendation for amendment shall be debated and voted on at the meeting following that at which the proposal had been presented.
SECTION 4: An amendment must be accepted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the active members present at the meeting. If passed, then said amendment must be put on the ballot during general elections in accordance with Amendment Guidelines set by the Constitutional and Judicial Review Committee. The amendment must be passed by a simple majority of the voting student body. In the event that the amendment is of a timely and/or urgent nature, the Student Council may decide by two-thirds (2/3) vote to hold a special referendum on the amendment at a time other than general election.
IX. Copies of the Constitution
SECTION 1: Copies of this constitution shall be made available to each member of the Council upon his/her election to Student Council.
SECTION 2: Copies of this constitution shall be made available to anyone on request.
Functions of the Student Council
SECTION 1: ADVISORY FUNCTION
- The Council engages in continual evaluation of all community structures and programs, including standing committees and student organizations, and suggests to appropriate community bodies such improvements as may be deemed necessary or desirable.
- Complaints, suggestions, problems or observations brought to the attention of the Council are referred to the appropriate group(s), one of which may be the Council itself.
SECTION 2: INITIATORY FUNCTION
Matters for Student Council attention may be initiated by any individual or group in the community, including students, faculty, staff and administrators. All such matters (complaints, suggestions, problems or observations) may be delivered in person by the initiating individual, a representative on Council so chosen by the individual, or in writing.
SECTION 3: COMMUNICATORY FUNCTION
All student organizations shall schedule their programs with the Student Council, which mediates scheduling conflicts.
The Communications Committee of the Student Council is responsible for the selection of the Editor(s) of The Wesley Journal. The position is announced in an issue of The Journal during March and applicants are interviewed by the committee. The position runs for the academic Year (August through May). A current editor(s) may apply for re-appointment following the usual application process. The editor(s) is paid a stipend set by the budget each year and is accountable solely to the Council in forming editorial policies in consultation with the Communications Committee and in compliance with the terms of their contract as editor(s).
SECTION 4: REPRESENTATIVE FUNCTION
The Student Council is responsible for appointing student representatives to Student Council committees and other Wesley committees.
The appointment of committee chairpersons by the Executive Committee must be ratified by simple majority vote of the Student Council.
The Student Council appoints two representatives to the Washington Theological Consortium to serve a two (2) year term. The terms of these representatives begin in alternate years. A Consortium representative shall function as an Associate Member in the programming meetings of the Council, meaning they shall have voice but no vote.
SECTION 1: POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT
- To convene and preside over all regular meetings of the Student Council, the Executive Committee, and all special Student Council meetings.
- To serve as ex-officio member with voice and vote on all committees of the Student Council, except the Elections Committee.
- To appoint chairpersons of all ad-hoc committees, subject to ratification by the Student Council.
- To represent the Council at meetings of the Wesley Theological Seminary Board of Governors.
- To communicate the actions of the Council to the appropriate body or persons.
- To meet with the Academic Dean each September and January to identify faculty committees which call for student representation.
- To gather the recommendations for student appointments from the Executive Committee, chairpersons of Standing Committees, and the current presidents/chairpersons of student organizations.
- To notify and excuse from service any student appointed to a Standing Committee of the Student Council who does not or cannot actively participate, subject to the approval of the Council.
- To appoint one (1) Parliamentarian, who shall serve at the pleasure of the President and shall be the chief advisor to the Student Council and the Executive Committee concerning rules of procedure and governance.
10. To co-sign vouchers in the absence of the Treasurer.
SECTION 2: POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF VICE PRESIDENT
To assist the President with his/her duties as needed, and in the absence of the President shall preside at the meetings of the Student Council and the Executive Committee.
- To serve as the Chairperson of the Communications Committee.
- To assume the office of President In the event of a vacancy.
- To oversee Wesley Journal Staff.
SECTION 3: POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF TREASURER
- To keep an orderly account of the Student Council’s financial affairs and submit a report to the Council at general meetings.
- To co-sign all vouchers. Should the Treasurer be unable or unavailable to do so, the President is empowered to co-sign all vouchers in the absence of the Treasurer.
- To preside at all meetings of the Council in the absence of both President and Vice President.
- To serve as the Chairperson of the Finance Committee.
- To enforce the agreed upon policy regarding the reporting of organizations who receive funds distributed from the Council.
SECTION 4: POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF SECRETARY
- To keep necessary records of all Student Council action.
- To post in a timely manner, the following:
- Minutes of regular Council meetings within one (1) week of the close of the meeting;
- Student Council announcements;
- Agenda for an upcoming Student Council meeting;
- Minutes of special Student Council meetings
- The updated budget of the Student Council every two (2) weeks.
- To serve as the Chairperson of the Hospitality Committee.
- To ensure the minutes of the previous council are appropriately and conspicuously available and archived.
- To preside at meetings of the Council in the absence of the President, Vice President and Treasurer.
SECTION 5: POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OFFICE OF PARLIAMENTARIAN
- To serve at the pleasure of the President, providing counsel on proper parliamentary procedure and governance, having voice but no vote on any and all measures before the Student Council, the Executive Committee and all Standing and/or Ad-hoc committees of the Student Council.
- To serve as the Chairperson of the Constitutional and Judicial Review Committee.
- To ensure proper parliamentary procedure is followed at all Student Council, Executive Committee and Special Student Council meetings, according to the newest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
- To ensure compliance with the Constitution, By-Laws and Policy and Procedure Manual of the Student Council by all committees (including but not limited to: general council, executive, standing, and ad-hoc) and student organizations who align themselves with the Student Council.
SECTION 1: STANDING AND AD-HOC COMMITTEES
Standing Committees of the Student Council shall meet as needed during the regular academic year (September through April), excluding the month of December. Standing Committees shall also meet as required by the President, the Executive Committee or the full Council. All motions and/or legislation that comes within the official power(s) or authority of any Standing Committee will be sent to that committee for review.
Ad-Hoc Committees may be established by the President, Executive Committee or the Student Council. Chairpersons of Ad-Hoc Committees shall be appointed by the President.
The Chairperson(s) of any Standing or Ad-Hoc Committee that has knowingly failed to meet when concerns directly relevant to that committee are pending, may be removed from their position by simple majority vote of the Student Council.
SECTION 2: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Student Council officers of the Student Council (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian (without vote)) plus two Student Council members elected by a simple majority vote at the first meeting of an incoming (new) Council.
- The Executive Committee meets at the call of the President who then shall report any action to the next regular meeting of the Council.
- To act upon matters referred to it by the Council. It shall not take original action except in the case of clear emergencies.
- To appoint a committee to audit the books of the Treasurer before each new Executive Committee is seated.
- To appoint Ad Hoc Committees as deemed necessary.
- Members of the Executive Committee serve in office for the year in which they have been elected to serve in Student Council. Each new Student Council will constitute the seating of a new Executive Committee.
- The members of the Executive Committee shall serve on the Community Concerns Fund Committee.
SECTION 3: ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
- The Elections Committee shall be composed of at least three (3) students appointed by the Student Council. The Student Council Vice President shall serve as the chairperson of the Elections Committee. Two (2) additional students, at least one (1) of whom is not a current member of the Student Council, shall be appointed by the Council in consultation with the chairperson. The Elections Committee shall select from within itself a vice-chairperson to act in the absence of the chairperson.
- Members of the Elections Committee may not appear on the ballot as a nominee for an Officer Position. In the event that the Student Council Vice President chooses to stand for election as an Officer for the subsequent year, the Council must select a new Elections Committee chairperson. In the event that one of the other members of the Elections Committee chooses to stand for election as an Officer for the subsequent year, the Council must select a replacement, in accordance with the membership requirements in the previous section.
- To administer, supervise and certify all elections and referendums.
- To establish, as necessary, additional election rules that are consistent with the Constitution and By-Laws, provided the new rules are distributed to the Student Body at least two (2) weeks prior to an election.
SECTION 4: FINANCE COMMITTEE
- The Finance Committee shall be composed of the Treasurer, who serves as Chairperson, and at least two (2) other representatives of the council who were elected at large from the student body in the spring general election, and at least one (1) representative elected from the first year class during the fall election. Representatives to the council from a student organization are not allowed to serve on the Finance Committee. All will serve on the Committee for the duration of their elected Student Council terms.
- To prepare the budget and to review and report on all requests for financial allotments by the Student Council in accordance with all Student Council policies.
SECTION 5: CONSTITUTIONAL AND JUDICIAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
- The Constitutional and Judicial Review Committee shall be composed of the Parliamentarian, who serves as Chairperson, at least one first-year Student Council representative, and at least two (2) other representatives from Student Council at-large or a student organization. All will serve for the duration of their Student Council terms.
- To propose, study, and report on any amendments to the Constitution or By-Laws.
To adjudicate the constitutionality of an appealed ruling from the President or presiding office before the Student Council.
SECTION 6: COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
- The Communications Committee shall be composed of the Vice President, who serves as Chairperson, three (3) members of the Student Council, two (2) members of the student community at large and, after their selection, the Editor(s) of The Wesley Journal. The Editor(s) ofThe Wesley Journal shall serve with voice but without vote.
- To select the Editor(s) of The Wesley Journal in accordance with Article III, Section 6(3) of these By-Laws.
- To review the performance of the Editor(s) for the purpose of making recommendations for changes in editorial policy and/or coverage. However, the Committee shall not have therighttocensor The Wesley Journal nor interfere with the conduct of its business.
- To assume responsibility for uninterrupted publication of The
Wesley Journal and institute an immediate search for a new Editor(s) in the event that an Editor(s) is/are unable to continue in the performance of their duties.
- To assume responsibility for uninterrupted publication of The Wesley Journal in the event of a temporary and/or emergency situation where the Editor(s) is/are unable to produce an issue (to not exceed two (2) regular Journal publications).
- The Office of Editor of The Wesley Journal
- The Communications Committee shall hire, for each academic year (September-May) the Editor(s) of The Wesley Journal.
- A contract will be provided to the individual(s) hired as Editor(s) with the duties and responsibilities of both parties (editor and the Student Council) clearly spelled out. The Student Council shall set remuneration for the position of Editor.
- To gather and edit articles for the Journal on a regular basis during fall and spring semesters, excepting the week of finals.
- To establish the print and web layout of the articles.
- To contact contributors when changes or adjustments are deemed necessary.
- To report to the Student Council at regular intervals
- To assume liability for all articles and opinions appearing in The Wesley Journal. vi. To proofread final copy of The Wesley Journal before printing and distribution.
- To set deadlines and follow established procedure for the submission and distribution of articles.
- To work closely with the Communication Committee and the Student Council to maintain a regular flow of articles from the student body, with an emphasis on events and news pertaining to the Wesley community.
- The Council may remove the Editor(s) upon failure to comply with their contract(s) or responsibilities outlined in said contract and in Article III, Section 6(3c) above.
- The Council shall remove immediately the Editor(s) in clear and unequivocal cases of disregarding the dignity and rights of any person or group of persons in the publication of inflammatory material including but not limited to racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism and interchurch/interfaith intolerance. A written apology for campus distribution will be required and the Council may determine a fine if the imposition of such is deemed necessary.
SECTION 7: THE HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE
- The Hospitality Committee shall be composed of the Secretary, who shall serve as chairperson, and at least three (3) other members of Student Council.
- To oversee all matters pertaining to offering hospitality on campus specifically with the purpose of limiting the burden and stress of students. The Hospitality Committee will also submit a recommendation concerning all proposals pertaining to hospitality to be voted on by the Council.
- To plan and organize community dinners to be paid for by the
Student Council in coordination with the Community Life Office.
SECTION 8: THE STUDENT CARE COMMITTEE
- The Student Care Committee shall be comprised of at least two, and no more than three, active members of student council, with one of those members serving as chair, and four Wesley students at-large appointed by the Student Council, Executive Committee, or President.
- To provide student and administrative support for matters surrounding the mental, spiritual and physical well being of the Wesley community.
- To have monthly open meetings, encouraging broad student body participation, for discussion and planning how to support student care needs.
- To provide material for a monthly column in the Wesley Journal addressing relevant issues concerning student care.
SECTION 1: ESTABLISHING STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
- To establish a new student organization, a Wesley student group must submit the following for approval by the Student Council:
- Organization Constitution, including a mission and vision statement.
- List of officers, including at least a President, Treasurer, and Student Council representative. The representative may also fill another officer role.
- Proposed schedule of upcoming events, including an organizational budget.
- Petition including at least 20 names, Student ID numbers and signatures of current Wesley students to indicate broad campus support.
SECTION 2: Student organizations must submit the name of the organization’s
Student Council representative to the secretary of Student Council by no later
than two weeks after the results of the spring semester general election are announced.
SECTION 3: Student Organizations are self-governing. However, as long as a Student Organization continues to receive funding from the Council, it is held accountable by the Council for using the funds received from Student Council as designated in their budget requests and for reporting at programming meetings in accordance with all Student Council financial policies and procedures. Failure to receive funds as designated or report to programming meetings shall result in the immediate freezing of that portion of the organization’s budget that is derived from the Council.
SECTION 4: COUNCIL INVOLVEMENT IN STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
- In light of the transient nature of seminary life and thus of the makeup of all student organizations, it is the responsibility of Student Council and the Council representatives to maintain and guarantee consistent and fruitful activity by the student organizations for the benefit of campus life.
- Each student organization will be joined by a representative of Student Council to ensure the continuation of each organization and that each organization is following the guidelines set by Student Council for the benefit of the organization.
- Each student representative to the organizations cannot and shall not serve in leadership functions in the organization but only as a consultant.
- Each student representative shall aid communication between Student Council and the student organization, and between the student organization and the student body.
- When appropriate, the student representative to a particular organization may come from a relevant Student Council committee (e.g. Wesley Fellowship be joined by a Hospitality Committee member, if the Hospitality Committee is voted to be standing).
- The student representative to the organization shall encourage, and not replace, the student organization’s presence in Student Council.
- If needed, the student representative may aid in writing, re-writing, or following the Student Organizations’ constitution.
- Student Council shall select representatives to each organization. Representatives may volunteer or will be assigned as part of their Student Council duties.
SECTION 1: The Elections Committee administers, supervises and certifies all elections and referendums in accordance with Article III, Section 3 of these By-Laws.
SECTION 2: All duly enrolled students of Wesley Theological Seminary shall have the right to vote in accordance with Article V of the Constitution.
SECTION 3: NOMINATION PROCEDURES
Any Wesley student, faculty, or staff shall have the right to nominate a student for an Officer or Representative council position by submitting a nominating petition (available from the Elections Committee or the Council
Secretary) to the Elections Committee or the Council Secretary. For
Officer elections, these petitions should be submitted to either the Elections Committee or the Council Secretary, no later than the end of the first week of February. For Representative elections, this should be done no later than the first week of March. The nominated individual must indicate acceptance of the nomination by initialing the nominating petition or through digital authorization before said person can be added to the election ballot by the Elections Committee or the Council Secretary.
In the event that there is/are vacant seat(s) at the end of the election, such seat(s) shall be declared vacant at the first Student Council meeting held after elections, and the Council will be empowered to fill the seat by appointment, of a student meeting the requirements for such position.
SECTION 4: VOTING PROCEDURES
Officer election shall be held no later than the third week in February. Representative elections shall be held no later than the third week of March. These elections shall be held at a location or by another means established by the Elections Committee. Notification shall be published in The Wesley Journal or by other means at least one (1) week prior to the elections.
The Elections Committee is responsible for ensuring that each student gets only one vote per round of elections.
After the close of polls, the ballots will be officially counted and the tally certified by no less than one-half (1/2) of the Elections Committee and an outside observer. The role of outside observer shall be filled by the faculty advisor pursuant to Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution. This position is not included in the count of one-half (1/2) of the Elections Committee required to count the tally and certify the ballots. The winners are determined by plurality and election results shall be posted on the Community Bulletin Board as soon as each elected student has accepted their election. A record of the ballots cast for each candidate shall be filed with the Student Council. Ballots from any election shall be held by the Elections Committee until November, in the event an election recall is demanded.
Ballots shall be declared invalid for the following reasons: the number of seats to be filled for each position has been exceeded; the Elections Committee members tallying the votes are unable to determine which candidate for a (any) position was indicated. A write-in candidate’s name appears in more than one position or category on the same ballot. Notice of the number of invalid ballots shall be posted with the election results on the Community Bulletin Board.
In the event of a tie vote, the order of finish shall be determined by a run-off to be held within two weeks of the original election. Notice of the run-off must be communicated to the student body at least one (1) week prior to the scheduled run-off. The run-off election shall be open for one week.
In the event of a tie vote, the order of finish shall be determined by a run-off to be held within two weeks of the original election.
Notice of the run-off must be communicated to the student body at least one (1) week prior to the scheduled run-off. The pools will be open for the run-off during lunch and dinner meals for one week.
SECTION 5: APPEALS
If any student shall desire to protest the election results or procedures, they must contact the chairperson of the Elections Committee within one (1) week — five (5) class days — following the posting of the election results.
Within one (1) week of a protest being filed, the Elections Committee chairperson shall set a hearing date and time for the full committee at which any witness shall be interviewed in order to establish the nature of the complaint. If necessary, the actual ballots will be available for examination. If no justified complaint can be upheld, the election results shall stand.
In the event of a justified complaint, the Elections Committee shall resolve the complaint or determine new procedures.
All decisions made by the Elections Committee may be appealed to the Student Council within seven (7) days of the Election Committee’s decision being rendered. Any constitutional issue shall be referred to the Constitutional and Judicial Review Committee for final adjudication.
SECTION 6: TENURE
The newly elected members shall be installed during the last meeting of the current academic year. Newly elected members shall serve until elections are held the following Spring. Officially, however, the transition of one Council to the next does not take place until July 1.
The tenure of Council member selected during the fall (1st year
Representatives) shall be from the time of their election (September) until elections are held the following Spring-one full school year, September to April.
Representatives elected and appointed by the Council to serve as representatives to the Washington Theological Consortium shall serve for two (2) year terms. These representatives should serve staggering terms, meaning that only one representative to the Consortium should be elected every other year.
SECTION 7: In accordance with Articles II and III of the Student Council Constitution, the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by the student body by direct election no later than the third week of February prior to the Representative elections. This election shall take place only after nominees have accepted their nomination. A student may only run for one office in a given election cycle. The office of Parliamentarian will be filled by Presidential appointment by the incoming President.
SECTION 8: VACANCIES
Any vacancy in the position(s) of a student representative on the Student Council occurring between elections, or in the event that an elected student refuses their seat, the vacancy will be filled by the nominee who received the next-highest number of votes in the last general election. If there is no such person, or that person is unwilling or unable to serve, the Council will appoint from the student community at large a person of the appropriate category to fill the vacancy.
- A vacancy in the office of President is filled by the Vice-President. All other vacancies among officers shall be filled by special election.
VI. Policy and Procedure Manual
SECTION 1: Certain areas of Student Council policy require both accountability and flexibility on a year-to-year basis. These policy areas, including, but not limited to finances and meeting policies, are contained in the Student Council Policy and Procedure Manual. The guidelines in this Manual are binding and are to be enforced as are guidelines in the Student Council Constitution and By-Laws.
SECTION 2: MODIFICATIONS
- Any active member of Student Council may propose reconsideration of any portion of or creation of new policy in the Policy and Procedure Manual in a general meeting. Any member of the Executive Committee may also propose reconsideration or creation in committee meetings.
- If Student Council and/or the Executive Committee decides to pursue a change by a majority vote, the President and Parliamentarian will lead a conversation among the Executive Committee to develop a proposed change to the raised policies and/or procedures. This proposal must be approved by the Executive Committee by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote.
- If the Executive Committee passes a proposal to bring back to Student Council for consideration, it can become policy by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote.