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Support Staff Senate

Support Staff Senate Constitution

Article I.  Name and Mission Statement

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the Support Staff Senate of Wayne State College at Wayne, Nebraska, herein referred to as the Senate.

Section 2. The Senate shall exist to contribute to the welfare of support staff employees; to serve as a liaison among staff, administration, faculty, and students; and to advise the administration in matters affecting the staff.  Through these purposes the Senate strives foremost to contribute to the overall success of Wayne State College.

Article II.  Goals

The goals of this organization shall be:

  1. To provide a channel of communication between and among support staff, professional staff, faculty, and administration;
  2. To initiate suggestions for changes in policies affecting the institution;
  3. To call special meetings of the support staff on issues for which the Senate deems necessary to have the vote or voice of the entire body;
  4. To serve as the medium by which the Senate, an organized group, may meet on common ground with the Professional Staff Senate and/or Faculty Senate to seek solutions to mutual problems and concerns;
  5. To exercise the power of review over actions taken by the Professional Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and/or administration that affect the working conditions or general welfare of the Senate or any member of the support staff;
  6. To address, discuss, and, at its discretion, make recommendations relating to proposed policies and procedures referred to it by the administration or any member of the support staff; and
  7. To consider, if invited, sending a representative to college/administrative committee meetings and to invite representatives from Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Senate, and/or Student Senate to attend Support Staff Senate meetings when issues concerning them arise.

Article III.  Membership

Section 1. Composition

  1. Senate membership shall be based on a representative system using the membership categories listed below.  Each membership category is allowed one representative for approximately every ten (10) support staff members employed in that area, with a minimum of one representative and a maximum of three representatives for any given area.
  2. The Senators will be chosen annually by support staff members themselves.

Membership categories
Academic - 1
Library - 1
O & M - 3
Administration Offices - 2
Campus Services - 1
At Large - 1 
10 Senate members

Section 2. Eligibility
a) All support staff employed at .75 FTE or more are eligible for membership in the Senate.
b) Full time administrators (President, Vice-Presidents, and Deans) and those employees with faculty, professional staff, or supervisory status are not eligible for membership.  The President or President’s designee will be invited to attend Support Staff Senate meetings on a regular basis.

Section 3. Non-voting Membership
a) The Faculty Senate may select one person from its membership to attend regularly scheduled meetings of the Senate.
b) The Professional Staff Senate may select one person from its membership to attend regularly scheduled meetings of the Senate.
c) The Student Senate may select one person from its membership to attend regularly scheduled meetings of the Senate.

Section 4. Elections
a) The individuals of each membership category will be responsible for electing their own Senator.
b) During March of each year, the Chair will present to each Senator a current list of support staff members from his/her respective membership category.
c) Each Senator will be responsible for organizing a nominating committee from within his/her membership category and conducting a ballot election to select a new Senator.
d) The At-Large Senator will be elected, from the entire membership list, at the annual meeting by those support staff members present.
e) If a membership category fails to elect its Senator by the annual meeting, an election will take place during the annual meeting with candidates drawn from the full membership present.
f) Elections to fill vacancies as a result of leaves, resignations, etc. will be conducted, at that time, within the membership category with assistance from the Chair.
g) Annual elections will occur by June 1 each year.

Section 5. Terms of Office
a) The term of office shall be for two years with one-half of the body being elected each year.
b) During the initial term of this organization, half of the elected body shall serve for 1 year, and half shall serve for 2 years.  One Senate seat from O & M and one Senate seat from Administration Offices will be designated to serve 2 year terms with the two year Senate seats from three of the other five categories being selected by random drawing.
c) New members of the Senate shall be seated during the annual meeting.

Section 6. Officers
a) The offices for the Senate, which shall be elected for a term of one year, are Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Duties and procedures for officers of the Senate are stated in Article V of this document.
b) The Senate shall elect their officers on or before July 1 of each year to enable Senators to participate in other campus committees.
c) In the event that any officer is unable to complete his/her term of office, an election from within the Senate will be held to replace that officer.

Section 7. Removal of Officers
a) Any Senator may submit a letter asking for the removal of an elected officer from his/her office to the Chair, with copies distributed to all Senators.  After a period of two weeks, but no more than four weeks following the request, the removal issue will be voted on at a regular meeting or special meeting.
b) A three-fourths majority vote of the Senators is required to remove an officer.  If the officer is removed, the Senate shall immediately elect a replacement.
c) Removing a Senator from an office does not remove that person from the Senate.

Article IV.  Meetings

Section 1. Annual Meeting
a) There will be an annual meeting of the full support staff membership held in July of each year.
b) The purpose of the annual meeting will be to seat Senate members, hear reports, and select/ appoint committee members.

Section 2. Regular Meetings
a) There shall be a regular meeting of the Senate once a month.  The agenda for this meeting will be prepared by the Chair and distributed to all Senators at least four business days (Monday – Friday) in advance of the meeting.  The Senate, by majority vote, may reorder the agenda.

Section 3. Special Meetings
a) Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair or any five members of the Senate.

Section 4. Open Meetings
a) All regular and special meetings of the Senate shall be open to all support staff members.

Section 5. Executive Sessions
a) The Senate may, by majority vote or by call of the Chair, convene executive sessions that are closed to everyone except Senators and any other persons the Chair would designate.
b) No official actions may be conducted in executive session.

Section 6. Quorum
a) 50% + 1of the senators shall constitute a quorum.

Section 7. Voting
a) All motions voted on must be passed by simple majority vote of the quorum.  All motions ending in a tie vote will be tabled until the next (regularly scheduled or special) meeting called.  If after further discussion and a second vote, the result is still tied, the motion shall be considered defeated.

Section 8. Dissemination of Information
a) The Wayne State College e-mail system shall be the primary method of disseminating information to the Support Staff and the Senators unless otherwise mandated by the constitution.
b) Each new support staff employee shall be provided a hard copy of the Support Staff Senate Constitution along with their copy of the Support Staff Employee Handbook, Union Contract and benefits package information.

Article V.  Duties of the Officers

Section 1. Chair
The duties for this office shall be:
a) To call regular and special meetings and to preside over those meetings.
b) May serve as an ex-officio member of all standing and special committees of the Senate.
c) To serve on or to appoint as needed a representative to other campus committees.
d) To be responsible for receiving reports from Senate committees and transmitting the various recommendations contained therein to the college President and/or appropriate organization for further action.
e) To confer with the other officers to establish meeting agendas.

Section 2. Vice-Chair
The duties for this office shall be:
a) To assume the office of the Chair in his/her absence, and to complete the term of the Chair in the event the Chair is unable to do so.
b) May serve as an ex-officio member of all standing and special committees of the Senate.

Section 3. Secretary
The duties for this office shall be:
a) To keep complete records of all proceedings of the Senate.
b) To notify each Senate member of the date, time, and place of Senate meetings.
c) To report the minutes of the meetings in writing to the Senate, except when circumstances beyond his/her control make it impossible to do so.  Such reports shall be made within ten (10) business days following said meeting.
d) To make minutes available electronically to all members of the support staff.

Section 4. Treasurer
The duties of this office shall be:
a) To maintain financial records for the Support Staff Senate.
b) To assist each committee who handles funds to maintain financial records.
c) To report to the Support Staff Senate the financial status of each committee and the overall finances of the Senate at monthly meetings and at the annual meeting.

Article VI.  Standing and Special Committees

Section 1. Membership
a) Membership on committees is open to all support staff members.  Because there will be on going responsibilities, the elected Senators strongly encourage participation from the entire membership on these committees.
b) The Senate Chair may also appoint representatives from the general membership to serve as the support staff liaison to other campus committees.

Section 2. Standing Committees
a) Each of the following committees shall be chaired by a senator and will be comprised of a maximum of six (6) members, with no more than one (1) representative from each of the membership categories excluding the At Large category.
1) Membership –will keep track of newly hired staff, re-assignments, and resignations.
2) Policy – will be responsible to stay informed regarding any policy changes at the campus and/or Board office level, and to disseminate that information to the full membership.
3) Communication – will have the responsibility to work with all other committees to keep the full membership informed of events and activities of the Senate, as well as other campus events.  This committee will also be responsible for the dissemination of information/publicity regarding speakers, events or projects to the campus community and the general public, in accordance with the Wayne State College public relations guidelines.
4) Mentoring – will oversee assignment of mentors (experienced personnel) to newly hired personnel.
5) Continuing Education – in concert with other campus resource development offices, will plan and develop workshops, and will also develop financial resources for research, sabbaticals, travel, special projects, etc.
b) Each of the following committees shall be chaired by a senator and will be comprised of a maximum of three (3) members, with the combined total equaling a maximum of six (6) members, with no more than one (1) representative from each of the membership categories excluding the At Large category.  The elected members will choose among themselves who will serve on each committee.
1) Hospitality/Social – will keep track of and send appropriate messages to members experiencing major life events such as an award or special recognition in their field, new babies, illness or surgery, or the death of a family member and will plan and organize social events for the full membership.  This committee may request a voluntary annual donation from all support staff to pay for cards, flowers, etc.
2) Recognition – will develop plans for presenting awards, recognition lunches, etc.

Section 3. Special Committees
a) The Senate Chair may also appoint representatives to serve as special committee members as the need arises.

Article VII. Amendments

Section 1. Proposed
a) Amendments may be proposed by any Senator, or by any ten support staff members represented by the Senate provided the ten members are drawn from at least two membership categories.
b) A proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the Chair, who shall in turn notify all members of the support staff, by electronic means, of the proposed amendment.

Section 2. Consideration
a) The proposed amendment shall be placed on the agenda for discussion at the next Senate meeting following the notification of the full support staff membership, of the proposed amendment.
b) At the meeting during which the Senate discusses the proposed amendment, the Senate’s recommendation, either in support or opposition, shall be presented along with the amendment to the full support staff membership for a vote.

Section 3. Ratification
a) A two-thirds majority vote of the voting support staff membership is necessary for submission of amendments to the administration and Board of Trustees for their approval.

Article VIII.  By-Laws

Section 1. Establishment
a) By-laws may be added as deemed necessary by the members of the Senate.
b) Proposal of a by-law addition or change shall be carried from the meeting at which it was proposed to the following meeting to allow for notification of the entire senate membership.
c) Approval of a by-law shall be by simple majority of the Senate members present at the time of the vote.

Article IX.  Parliamentary Procedure

Section 1. Governing Authority
a) The defining authority governing the Senate and its various subcommittees shall be the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article X.  Ratification

Section 1. Ratification
a) A two-thirds majority vote of the voting support staff membership is necessary for submission of this constitution to the administration and Board of Trustees for their approval.