Constitution and By-Laws of the Student Government Association of the Student Body of the Medical University of South Carolina
(last updated February 2012)
Article I. Name and Purpose
This organization shall be known as the Student Government Association of the Medical University of South Carolina.
The purposes of the Student Government are the following:
- To facilitate the exchange of information and ideas between the six colleges and all students attending the Medical University of South Carolina.
- To serve as a liaison between MUSC Students and the University administration in order to represent student opinion, needs and interests to the administration; and to disseminate and promote the exchange of information from the administration to students.
- To take action to increase the quality of student services and academic programs in order to further enhance the education of MUSC students.
- To plan and execute a variety of social, cultural and recreational events to promote fellowship, personal growth, and enjoyment of MUSC students and the University community.
- To maintain a budget, within the allocated funds, to most effectively serve the MUSC student body.
Article II. Membership
Each college in the Medical University of South Carolina is entitled to the following number of representatives based on population and need for adequate communication:
Total Number of Representatives
Graduate Studies 12
Multicultural Student Advisory Board 1
International Student Association 1
By a 2/3 majority vote of the SGA, a university-wide student organization may have one representative on the SGA. Whenever a re-calculation of representatives is performed, university-wide committees who have already been recognized will continue to be recognized. Currently recognized university-wide student organizations: Multicultural Student Advisory Board, International Student Association.
The members of the SGA must be students in good standing at MUSC as determined by the individual colleges under their respective grading systems and the Honor Code.
Each college is responsible for electing or appointing the appropriate number of representatives. The re-calculation of representatives for each college shall be carried out by February 28 each year by the Academic Affairs Committee.
Each representative is responsible for designating a reliable substitute. The substitute is invited to attend all SGA meetings but may vote only in the representative’s absence.
Representatives of the SGA may hold concurrent offices in College or University-wide organizations.
Representatives from all but the incoming freshman class should be elected/appointed in the spring. Outgoing representatives will retain voting power and responsibilities through the end of the spring semester, except for Graduate Studies, Health Professions, and Nursing, which elect new officers according to their graduation cycles.
The Executive Committee (see Article III, Section 1) of the SGA has the right to dismiss a SGA representative from his/her position if any of the following conditions occur:
(1) the attendance policy (see Article II, Section 7) is violated, (2) the student withdraws or is dismissed from the University, (3) the student refuses to obey the rules of this Constitution, or (4) the Functions Policy is violated (see Article II, Section 8). The representative and the student government of the individual’s college will be notified of this action. At this time the college’s student government may elect/appoint a representative (meeting the general standards of a representative stated in Article II) to succeed the dismissed representative. The college may appoint a temporary-voting representative until a permanent successor is elected/appointed. SGA representatives who are dismissed from his/her position may not run for reelection the following academic year.
All Student Government Representatives and Executive Officers shall be required to attend all regularly scheduled meetings. In the event that circumstances prevent the attendance of a member at a regularly scheduled session, then that member shall submit an excuse, written or oral, in advance to either the Communications Vice President of the Student Government Association or the Student Programs Office. The Executive Council shall have the power to excuse, or not excuse, the absence. If a previously designated substitute attends the meeting then the absence will be allowable. A SGA representative will be reviewed by the Executive Committee for possible dismissal with the accrual of two unexcused absences in a semester. The representative under review shall have the right to appear before the Executive Committee to make a statement before a decision is rendered. Each MUSC-SGA representative shall sign the Oath of Understanding and uphold the roles and responsibilities outlined in the MUSC-SGA Constitution.
Section 8 – Function Policy
Student Government members are required to work a predetermined number of SGA events and volunteer service hours. The requirements will be determined by the executive committee during the summer planning session according to the number of representatives and the number of events planned. One of the required work events must include a clean-up detail. The executive committee reserves the right to make any event mandatory. In addition, representatives will be required to complete at least 3 SGA-sponsored volunteer service hours per semester. These requirements will be written into an Oath of Understanding and will be signed by each representative.
No SGA representative may serve as a voting representative of more than one college or organization.
Article III. Officers
The officers of the Student Government Association of the Medical University of South Carolina shall be the President, Academic Vice President, Program Vice President, Service Vice President, and Communications Vice President.
All SGA officers must be students who paid student activity fees and are in good standing at the Medical University of South Carolina as defined by their respective colleges.
The elections of officers shall be under the following conditions:
- The management of the elections shall be conducted by the Executive Committee, formerly the Elections Committee (See Article V, Section 2a).
- Elections shall be held in March and the newly elected officers are strongly encouraged to attend all executive and general SGA meetings on or after April 1. Upon May 1, the newly elected officers will assume active duties and powers.
- All candidates for Student Body executive offices shall be self-nominated in the Office of Student Programs, and upon such nomination, the candidate will sign a form stating that they have read the entire Constitution and agree to follow current stated regulations and amendments.
- The candidates will be given a filing period to present their candidacy form. The Executive Committee will determine the dates for this period, which will extend for a timeframe of between two to four weeks; the Executive Committee will publicize this period at least one week before the opening day. The final day of the filing period must be on a school day and will end at 5:00 p.m. In the case of no candidates filing for a particular office, the filing period for such office will be extended for one-week periods repeatedly until at least one candidate presents.
- A plurality of the votes cast will be required to elect the officers. In the event of a tie, campus-wide, run-off elections shall be held for the tying candidates until one receives a plurality of votes in an election. The Executive Committee will determine the dates of the additional elections.
- Electoral disputes deemed significant by the Executive Committee shall be decided by a discussion and vote in the general SGA meeting. Candidates must file a written complaint within two working days of the closing of the polls.
- Campaign procedures and ethics will be stipulated to all candidates in writing from the Executive Committee, and the candidate will sign a form of consent to such regulation upon filing for candidacy.
- Elections will be held over a two-day period with the hours, sites, and ballot procedures set by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may choose to use the assistance of the Student Programs Office and voting members of the SGA for assistance of poll operation.
- Any officer running for re-election will not be able to participate in the election process.
The President, Program Vice President, Academic Vice President, Service Vice President, and Communications Vice President shall not have the right to vote on matters before the SGA.
In the event that an elected officer, with the exception of the presidential succession outlined in Article III, Section 8, cannot fulfill his duties all SGA members will be asked to apply to the general SGA, which will elect a replacement based on plurality vote. If a candidate is disqualified from an election, the remaining candidates will be asked to apply to the general SGA, which will elect the officer based on a plurality vote.
A recommendation for the removal of an officer may be submitted to the Office of Student Programs by the SGA or from the student body at large. The recommendation must be approved by three-fourths of the members of SGA, excluding the officer in question. Removal from office can be only on grounds of not fulfilling the duties of office as set forth in this Constitution.
- Shall be the chief executive officer of the SGA.
- Shall be the official representative of the student body of the Medical University of South Carolina, including attending meetings of the Board of Trustees, faculty/administration meetings, taking part in ceremonies and events, and other responsibilities.
- Shall be responsible for the overall operation of programs, finances and continuity of the MUSC SGA.
- Shall chair the Executive Committee and preside over meeting of the SGA every two weeks.
- Shall chair the Student Welfare Committee.
- Shall oversee completion of a Campus Safety Walk in conjunction with Public Safety and Parking Management to be held every two years.
- Shall organize and chair at least one annual meeting of all MUSC campus-wide student organization presidents.
- Shall plan and conduct SGA elections as chairman of the Executive Committee, unless running for reelection.
- Shall work closely with Parking Management to make plans for, publicize, and coordinate Returning Student Parking Registration, including the approval of proxies.
- Shall be in Charleston over the majority of the summer to make plans for the upcoming year.
- Shall keep in close contact with Student Programs staff to ensure proper organization of all procedures and activities.
- Shall have the power to veto any decision made by the SGA.
The Academic Vice President:
- Shall assist the President in the execution of SGA policies and operations.
- Shall chair the Academic Affairs Committee.
- Shall plan and conduct a constitutional review and/or update every two years.
- Shall attend meetings and/or maintain contact with the administrations of the Offices of Enrollment Services and the Library and report any changes in policy to the SGA.
- Shall organize and chair meetings of college honor council presidents (the University Honor Council) each semester.
- Shall attend university-wide Academic Affairs committee meetings.
- Shall act as Parliamentarian to interpret and enforce "Robert’s Rules of Order."
- Shall act in lieu of the President if the President is unable to perform the duties of the office and shall succeed the office if a vacancy occurs.
- Shall keep in close contact with the Student Programs Office to assure proper organization of all procedures and activities.
The Program Vice President:
- Shall chair the Programs Committee.
- Shall work closely with the Student Programs staff to assure that all programs are properly organized. At certain times of the year, this will require daily communication with the Student Programs Office.
- Shall help plan and manage Fall Retreat and social events for all SGA Members.
- Shall keep in close contact with the Student Programs Office to assure proper organization of all procedures and activities.
- Shall be in Charleston over the majority of the summer to make plans for the upcoming year.
- Shall report on expenses incurred for all SGA social, cultural, recreational and educational programs on a monthly basis.
The Service Vice President:
- Shall chair the Service Committee.
- Shall work closely with MUSC Gives Back to organize service projects and communicate volunteer opportunities to the SGA.
- Shall be involved in any fund raising for volunteer service projects deemed desirable or necessary by the SGA.
- Shall maintain close contact with the Student Programs staff to assure proper organization of all procedures and activities.
The Communications Vice President:
- Shall chair the Communications Committee.
- Shall maintain all official records of the SGA on the SGA’s computer, including membership, rosters, agendas, and minutes.
- Shall be responsible for the accuracy and effectiveness of SGA’s organizational web page.
- Shall notify SGA representatives of scheduled meetings.
- Shall take roll and manage the attendance policy.
- Shall handle all SGA correspondence and the posting of minutes.
- Shall maintain close contact with the Student Programs Staff to assure proper organization of all procedures and activities.
- Shall collaborate with the Phi Lambda Sigma organization to help plan and execute the Clarion competition.
Article IV. Meetings
Regular meetings of the SGA shall be held at least twice a month. Special meetings may be called by the President as needed and also may be scheduled by the SGA at a regular meeting.
Questions concerning procedural matters shall be settled by reference to Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) except when covered by a specific provision of this Constitution.
Decisions before the SGA can be made by a majority vote of the eligible members, provided that a quorum of at least 2/3 of the members is present.
Designated substitutes may vote in the absence of representatives.
The proceedings of the SGA must be posted in minute-format or otherwise publicized promptly after approval. The Communications Vice President has the obligation to maintain communications between the SGA and the Student Body.
The SGA may override a presidential veto with a 2/3 majority re-vote, provided that a quorum of members is present.
Article V. Committees
With the exception of the Executive Committee, the membership of the standing committees will be open to at least one MUSC student from each of the six colleges.
The SGA shall have the following standing committees: Executive Committee, Student Welfare Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, Program Committee, Service Committee and Communications Committee. New committees may be formed by approval of the SGA.
(a) The President shall serve as the chairperson of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall include the President, Academic Vice President, Program Vice President, Service Vice President, and Communications Vice President. The function of the Executive Committee is to oversee, plan, organize, and monitor the business of the SGA. In addition, they shall conduct elections in a timely and proper manner and encourage the highest level of student participation in candidacy, voting and poll management.
The President shall serve as the chairperson of the Student Welfare Committee. The function of the Student Welfare Committee is to identify non-curricular student concerns and needs; explore the situation around these concerns and needs; take these concerns and needs to the appropriate administrator/faculty members to reach a resolution or make change; and to communicate related information/action to the student body.
(b) The Academic Vice President shall serve as the chairperson of the Academic Affairs Committee. The Academic Affairs Committee is to assume student leadership in the promotion of the dynamic process of learning at MUSC. This includes striving to achieve highly qualified faculty and able students. In addition, this committee is to support any ideals or actions that will facilitate the acquisition and transfer of knowledge and skills amongst faculty and students. The responsibilities of the Academic Affairs Committee include conducting a constitutional review every two years and calculating the number of representatives for the colleges each year by February 28 based on the number of students in each college from the previous academic year according to the procedures set forth in Appendix A of this document. The recommendations and actions of the Academic Affairs Committee are to be exchanged with the MUSC Deans, the MUSC Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the MUSC President and the Board of Trustees.
(c) The Program Vice President shall serve as the chairperson of the Program Committee. The function of the Program Committee is to schedule, plan, promote, manage, and evaluate a variety of social, cultural, and recreational events and activities for MUSC students and the University community.
(d) The Service Vice President shall serve as chairperson of the Service Committee. The function of the Service Committee is to plan, organize and manage service projects for the SGA membership. The Service Committee will also work in conjunction with MUSC Gives Back to communicate volunteer opportunities to the student government.
(e) The Communications Vice President shall serve as chairperson of the Communications Committee. The function of the Communications Committee is to maintain and improve communication among SGA, the MUSC administrative staff, faculty and all students at MUSC. The committee also works on the contents of the SGA website. The committee shall also collaborate with the Phi Lambda Sigma organization in the planning and execution of the Clarion Competition.
Article VI. Specific Functions
Section 1. Budget
(a) The SGA will establish a general balanced budget plan twice a year for fall and spring semesters. The proposed budgets will be prepared by the Executive Committee and presented to the SGA at the first meeting of each semester. The spring budget will reflect any changes necessary due to actual fall expenditures. The budget may be approved by a simple majority vote at the next meeting provided that a quorum is present.
(b) Expenditures which are not included in the budget plan and which exceed 1000 dollars will be presented to the SGA for approval. Expenditures less than 1000 dollars may be approved by the Executive Committee.
(c) Any excess funds budgeted for appropriations in the Fall Semester will be added to the budgeted Spring Allocations and used only for this purpose.
Section 2. Relationship with other student organizations
The SGA is not authorized to determine the policies and business of other student organizations at the Medical University of South Carolina
The SGA shall work to co-sponsor campus-wide programs with other student organizations. An organization wishing to co-sponsor an event with the MUSC SGA must agree with the currently outlined 'Allocations Guidelines' found on the organizations website. They must also share the related expenses and event assistance 50/50. The 'Allocations Guidelines' are attached as Appendix B in this constitution. For a detailed overview: Allocations Guidelines.
Requests for SGA funding of an event must be made with at least two regularly scheduled SGA meetings between the submission of the “SGA Funds Request Form” (Hereafter “Request Form”) and the event.
The President shall chair an annual meeting of the presidents of all campus-wide student organizations. The function of these meetings is to encourage communication between leaders of University organizations and to more effectively plan University functions.
Section 3. Student Communications
Information sent via email to the Medical University of South Carolina student body will now be disseminated through the Student Broadcast email system.
Article VII. Constitutional Amendments
Any MUSC student may introduce amendments to the SGA constitution to the Academic Affairs Committee. At the next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee, the committee will discuss the proposed amendment and introduce the proposed amendment at the following meeting of the SGA along with their recommendation. The proposed amendment will be discussed by the SGA at that meeting and will be voted on in a timely manner. A two-thirds vote will carry the amendment.
Algorithm for College Representation
Procedure: Determine total student enrollment per college from the previous academic year according to Enrollment Services figures (Column B).
Divide each enrollment figure by 50 (Column B/50).
Adjust the lowest resulting quotient (Column C) to 3.5.
The difference between the lowest quotient in column C and 3.5 is the constant for the year.
Subtract the constant from each remaining quotients (Column C – Constant= Column D)
Round the result to the nearest whole number. This provides the revised number of representatives for the following year (Column E).
Example (From 2010-2011)
In addition to the above algorithm, the following stipulations have been applied to ensure fair representation from all programs of study:
1) Each college, excluding the College of Health Professions, may not exceed more than two representatives per class in addition to two members at-large. In the event that no student from a college is available to serve, the reserved seat shall become an at-large seat for the college for that term.
2) The College of Health Professions shall not exceed 12 representatives. Within the College of Health Professions, each degree-granting program of study is guaranteed to have at least one representative, while the remaining representatives will be determined by the College of Health Professions' SGA. In the event that no students from a certain program are available to serve, the reserved seat shall become an at-large seat for the college for that term.
1) Student organizations may request any amount up to *50% of the total event cost. The SGA may vote to deny the request, approve the request in it’s full amount or approve an amount less than that which is requested.
*If the event is educational in nature, an amount greater than 50% of the total cost may be requested. Additionally, if the SGA is asked and decides to officially co-sponsor the event, rather than simply financially support the event, an amount greater than 50% may be requested. A co-sponsored event means that the requesting student organization and the MUSC SGA would share not only the cost but also the promotion and management of an event.
2) All events or activities supported by SGA funds must be advertised and open to participation by the entire MUSC student body. Furthermore, the participation fee must be the same for all MUSC students.
3) According to State of South Carolina law, SGA funds may not be used to make donations of any kind. Accordingly, net revenues from events supported by SGA funds may not be donated unless the funds contributed by the SGA have been returned in full prior to the donation being made.
SGA funds cannot be used to pay dues or purchase individual memberships to professional organizations.
4) A group may only receive funds for a particular event no more than two consecutive years or three years in any given five year period.