We, the students of Brookhaven College, part of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), in order to form an organized representative association, uphold the rights of students, develop high standards of honor and civic responsibility and promote cooperation between the student body, the faculty, and the administration, do hereby establish this Constitution.
Article I – Name
The name of the herein-established organization shall be the Student Government Association of Brookhaven College (BHC). Be it further that the Student Government Association shall also be referred to as the SGA.
Article II – Purpose
The purpose of the SGA shall include the following:
- To promote the knowledge of and respect for a free and democratic society.
- To act as the liaison between the students and administration, faculty, and staff of Brookhaven College and the DCCCD and to mediate issues and concerns between the students, faculty, and administration.
- To represent the students of BHC at the college, community, state, and national levels.
- To offer practical services to the student body.
- To provide a forum to express student issues and concerns with the administration, faculty, and staff.
- To promote and support student activities and student involvement at Brookhaven College.
- To promote and support significant college wide programs and activities.
- To represent all Brookhaven College students on college wide events and committees
Article III – Membership and Qualifications
Section I: Qualifications for Members of the Student Government Association
All currently enrolled students are considered part of the Brookhaven College Student Body and as such are considered voting members with the right and privilege to elect from among their peers qualified candidates to represent them as elected officials within SGA.
Section II: Qualifications for Officers
To be eligible to run for an elected position in the Student Government Association, a student must be currently enrolled for a minimum of six (6) credit hours per term with a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of election and must maintain that status during their term of office. Students seeking an Executive Board position must have a minimum 2.75 GPA. High school or transfer GPA for first term students may be considered. Letters of recommendation from counselors or professors may be required.
Section I: General Authority
- Student Government Associations in the state of Texas are recognized by the Texas State Legislature as the authorized student body representation of higher education institutions, and as such are responsible to the students they serve for input on decisions that need to be made in reference to state and local policies. (Texas Education Code, Title 4, Section 54.5031).
- Brookhaven College SGA is a dues paying member of the Texas Junior College Student Government Association (TJCSGA) which is recognized as the authorized student body representation by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). THECB is responsible to the Texas State Legislature and the Constitution of the State of Texas.
Section II: Specific Authority
DCCCD Board of Trustees, the Chancellor of the DCCCD, the College President, and the College Administration recognize the SGA as the official representative student organization at Brookhaven College.
Section III: Operating Authority
The SGA Executive Board, Senate, and House of Representatives are the elected representatives of the Brookhaven College student body. They are bound by this Constitution and the rules and regulations of the college and the DCCCD. Roberts Rules of Order shall govern any matter not superseded by this Constitution.
Article V- Admission and Induction
Section I: Oath of Office
All SGA elected officials shall take an oath of office before assuming their respective positions.
Section II: Oath for Senate and House of Representatives
The oath for those elected to the Senate and House of Representatives shall be “I (state your full name) agree to uphold the SGA Constitution and the rules, regulations and policies of Brookhaven College, and to the best of my ability, carry out all duties and responsibilities as an elected officer of the SGA.”
Section III: Oath for the Executive Board Officers
The oath for those elected to serve as officers of the Executive Board shall be “I (state your name) agree to uphold the SGA Constitution and the rules, regulations and policies of Brookhaven College and to the best of my ability, carry out all duties and responsibilities as an elected executive board officer of the SGA.”
Section IV: Administering the Oath
The incumbent SGA President or the SGA Advisor will swear in new officers.
Article VI- SGA Representation and Leadership
Section I: Leadership
The official leadership of the SGA shall consist of the Executive Board, the Senate and the House of Representatives. These leaders are also herein authorized to conduct the business of the SGA on behalf of the student body. The Executive Board shall act on behalf of SGA in accordance with this Constitution and the purpose of the SGA as stated in Article II. Definitions and responsibilities of each position are stated in the SGA Bylaws.
Section II: Executive Board
The Executive Board shall be responsible for enforcing any rules and regulations in the Bylaws pertaining to the conduct and the duties of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives while in office. The Executive Board will also carry out decisions of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the general business of the SGA. The Executive Board has the authority to set the agenda for General SGA meetings by which the Senate and the House of Representatives will vote as well as all other duties and responsibilities detailed in the Bylaws.
The Executive Board shall consist of the following:
B. Vice President
Section III: The Senate
The Senators shall carry out all prescribed and assigned duties and responsibilities assigned to them by the Executive Board. The Senators will adhere to the Constitution and the purpose of the SGA as stated in Article II. All other responsibilities are expressed in the Bylaws.
The Senate shall consist of a minimum of three elected officials.
Section IV: House of Representatives
The House of Representatives are elected as “members at large” and as club representatives. They are responsible for assisting the Executive Board and Senators in carrying out their duties. Representatives will adhere to the Constitution and the purpose of SGA as stated in Article II. All other responsibilities are expressed in the Bylaws.
There is no limit to the number of seats available in the House of Representatives.
Section V: General SGA Committees/Councils and Purpose
Unless otherwise stated, all chairpersons of a committee are to be nominated and must be approved by a majority of the SGA.
1. Constitution Revisions Committee
- The Chair of this committee will be the Parliamentarian. A Committee Secretary should be elected from the committee members to take minutes of every meeting.
- This committee will review the constitution and make suggested revisions to the SGA Advisor before presenting to the general SGA.
- The committee is charged with reviewing the constitution annually.
2. Jurisprudence Committee
- The Jurisprudence Committee shall be chaired by the Parliamentarian. A Committee Secretary should be elected to take minutes of every meeting.
- The Jurisprudence Committee shall keep a record of all constitution issues reviewed and submit a constitution revision recommendation to the Constitution Revisions Committee or to the appropriate club president.
- The Jurisprudence Committee shall be responsible for the interpretation of the SGA Constitution, Bylaws, and resolutions. They may also review the Constitutions of all student organizations and make recommendations for approval by the Office of Student Life.
- The Jurisprudence Committee may be called upon by club officers, members, and advisors to help resolve any constitutional or procedural conflict of any officially recognized student club or organization.
3. Club Funding Committee
- The Club Funding Committee shall be chaired by the President and co-chaired by the Treasurer.
- The Club Funding Committee shall be composed of SGA officers as designated by the chair.
- The Club Funding Committee shall be responsible for making decisions concerning awarding Special Event and Travel funds to qualified student clubs and organizations.
- Senators and Representatives who are also members of clubs petitioning for funds are not allowed to serve on the Club Funding Committee. Should the President or Treasurer be a member of a club petitioning for funding, he/she must remain impartial and abstain from the discussion, voting, or any other type of influencing participation. Before the meeting begins, a statement should be made concerning this fact and any further comments from them should relate only to the structure of the proceedings. The SGA Advisor will monitor the meeting for objectivity and may dismiss the officers from the meeting should their words or actions be construed as to show partiality. The Director of Student Life and the SGA Advisor would continue facilitating the meeting.
Article VII-General Elections and Terms of Office
Section I: General Elections
- Any candidates running for election must meet all qualifications for office, submit an official application and adhere to all election rules.
- Executive board vacancies may be filled by nominations from the current SGA with the verification and approval from the SGA Advisor.
Section II: Terms of Office
- The term of office shall begin on the day of first general meeting in September.
- If the President should relinquish his/her office due to resignation or removal the Vice President shall become the President. In the event the Vice President’s position becomes vacant, the Parliamentarian shall have the option of becoming Vice President or remaining Parliamentarian.
- If the Parliamentarian declines the Vice President’s position, the following SGA officers, in order, shall have the option of becoming Vice President: the Secretary and then the Treasurer. If the position remains vacant, the President may appoint any SGA officer to the position with a majority approval of the entire SGA.
- All other vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote cast by the current SGA officers.
- The terms of election for Brookhaven College SGA students pursuing the SGA Presidential office shall be limited to two terms (one term equates to three consecutive semesters – fall, spring, and summer)
Article VIII-General Meetings and Attendance
Section I: Meetings
- The President or designee will serve as the Chair of the general meeting.
- The SGA must meet every first and third week of the month. These meetings are mandatory.
- The President is responsible for calling and scheduling all meetings in accordance with the rules of this Constitution. All regular meetings must be scheduled at least seven days in advance and all members must be properly notified of meetings. The President may call special meetings when deemed necessary. Special meetings may be called with only 24 hours notice. This requirement may be waived in extreme emergencies as determined by the SGA Advisor. In such cases, all votes must be a majority of the entire SGA.
Section II: Quorum
- To conduct official business of the SGA, a quorum must be reached as outlined in this section.
- A quorum at regular meetings shall consist of a majority of the present SGA officers.
- A quorum at Executive Board meetings shall consist of a majority of the SGA Executive Board officers.
Section III: Voting
- All voting shall take place in the SGA General meetings.
- Voting members are the Senators, Representatives and officers of the executive board, excluding the president and the advisor. The President may only vote in case of a tie vote.
- Any officer may request a secret ballot.
Section IV: Attendance
- General meetings
- All SGA general meetings are mandatory for the Executive Board, the Senators, and the House of Representatives.
- If an SGA member is unable to attend a meeting, it is his/her responsibility to obtain the minutes of the meeting and other related materials.
- The Executive Board, Senators and Representatives are permitted a total of two (2) excused absences per year unless permitted by the President due to special circumstances in which case a proxy must be used.
- The Executive Board, Senators, and Representatives are only allowed one (1) unexcused absence. A warning letter will be issued and the officer will be required to meet with the SGA Advisor to discuss their commitment to SGA. Upon the second unexcused absence the Secretary will petition for the officer’s removal from office.
- All absences must be given to the President or the presiding chair and/or the SGA Advisor at least one hour prior to any scheduled SGA meeting. The President, with consultation of the SGA Advisor, will make the decision as to whether an absence is excused or unexcused.
- After exceeding the allotted amount of excused absences, the Vice President will send a letter of warning to the officer in question. This letter will be sent no sooner than 2 days after the missed meeting and no later than 5 days.
- Executive Board Meetings
- The Executive Board meetings should occur every second and fourth week of the month.
- Guests may be permitted in the Executive Board meetings at the discretion of the Executive Board and/or when deemed necessary.
- The Executive Board and Senators shall be governed by these same attendance provisions of general meetings.
- Committee Meetings
- Committee Meetings are mandatory and should be scheduled at a time and place convenient
- The committee members shall also be governed by the same attendance provisions as outlined in the SGA meetings, but on a separate account for committee meetings.
Section V: Proxy
- General and Executive Meetings
- It is the duty of each SGA officer to be present at all SGA meetings. If an officer knows in advance they are unable to attend a meeting and notifies the President and/or Advisor, a proxy may be designated to be in attendance at the SGA meeting to report to the SGA on the officer’s duties.
- The proxy must be announced to the Secretary before the roll call of the meeting in which the proxy is to be used, and the proxy will answer the roll call with “I am (state full name) serving as proxy for (name of officer or Senator).
- In the case in which the Secretary is not notified before the roll call, the proxy will not be valid.
Article IX-Inactivation or Removal from Office
Section I: Officer Inactivation
- All SGA officers are required to fulfill their duties as described in the Bylaws. Failure to do so will render the officer inactive.
- An officer placed on inactive status will have their voting rights suspended as well as being barred from participation in SGA trips or members only activities.
- Officers placed on inactive status after failing to meet attendance requirements will be notified via letter from the Vice President within two (2) days and not more than five (5) days. [Refer to Article VIII, Section 4(d)]
- An officer may petition the Executive Board for reinstatement by bringing a letter of commitment to the SGA to the next regularly scheduled General meeting or Executive Meeting.
Section II: Removal from Office
- SGA Executive Officers may be removed from office for absenteeism according to the attendance policies stated in Article VIII, Section IV.
- Officers may be removed from office for the nonperformance of duties, misfeasance and malfeasance, action(s) that are detrimental to the SGA and/or the college, any other offense that clearly violates the proper purpose of the SGA or any action in violation of the DCCCD Student Code of Conduct.
- A Petition for Removal must be submitted at a General Meeting in order for a vote of removal to be considered for a vote. Any SGA Officer may start a petition. The petition must be signed by either 2/3 of the Executive Board, a 2/3 of the Senate or fifty (50) members of the Student Body. The Petition must appear on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled General Meeting.
- A removal petition must include the following: the name of the person subject to removal, his/her office, a clear statement of the offense, and the proper number of signatures with Brookhaven College Student ID numbers in support of the petition.
- Officers shall be removed by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all voting officers of the SGA. If an officer feels his/her removal from office is not warranted, he/she must appeal in writing within five (5) business days to the Jurisprudence Committee. The Jurisprudence Committee will meet within five (5) business days of the receipt of the appeal to review and act on the appeal.
Section III: Appeals
- In the case of an appeal, the SGA Advisor shall serve as the facilitator for the review process. The facilitator will read the charges from the petition and will also provide information requested by the Jurisprudence Committee. The named SGA officer shall have the opportunity to answer to the charges and to provide evidence in their support.
- If the Committee decides the removal charges are valid, then the committee must notify the named SGA officer and the SGA President of their decision by letter within two (2) business days.
- If the Committee decides the removal charges are invalid, then the committee must notify the named SGA officer of their decision by letter within two (2) business days.
Article X-SGA Constitution Amendment and Revisions Process
Section I: Amendments
- Any elected official may propose amendments to the Constitution at general SGA meetings. To be accepted as a proposed amendment, it must receive a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general SGA.
- The Student Body of Brookhaven College may propose amendments to the Constitution when supported by a petition signed by 500 students who are currently enrolled at Brookhaven College. To be accepted as a proposed amendment, it must receive a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general SGA.
- The amendments will be processed as per the ratification clause of this constitution.
Section II: Revisions
- According to Article VI-Section 5-1-(c), the Constitution Revisions Committee will be charged with annually reviewing the Constitution and proposing revisions.
- To be accepted as a proposed revision, it must receive a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general SGA.
Section I: Ratification
- Upon a two-thirds (2/3) approval vote by the SGA, the proposed revisions and/or amendments shall be forwarded to the SGA Advisor at Brookhaven College.
- The SGA Advisor shall review the proposed revisions of the Constitution to ensure that they comply with college regulations. The proposed revisions are to be forwarded to at least one of the following administrations: the Director of Student Life, the Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management, and the College President.
- If and when the revisions and/or amendments are approved by administration, they shall be presented to the student body for ratification.
- If the proposed revisions and/or amendments are not approved by the college administration, the matter will be referred to the Jurisprudence Committee.
Upon ratification of this constitution as stated in Article XI, the document will immediately become effective as the constitution of the Student Government Association of Brookhaven College, superseding the Constitution currently in effect.
Ratification Date: November 1, 2012
Witnessed by: Tonychris Nnaka, SGA President
Witnessed by: James Daniels, SGA Vice President
Witnessed by: Yasaman Contractor, SGA Advisor
Article I - Membership
- All currently enrolled students are considered part of the Brookhaven College Student Body and have the right and privilege to elect representation to SGA.
- Any member of the Student Body may attend SGA meetings.
- Only elected officials have voting privileges at general SGA meetings.
Article II - Elected Officials Duties
Section I: Specific Duties of the Executive Board
Executive Board Members of the Student Government Association shall adhere to Article II of the Constitution as well as the DCCCD Student Code of Conduct. Executive Board Members are required to attend all general SGA meetings and Executive Board meetings and fulfill any Constitutional responsibilities not mentioned in the following outline.
Section II: Senators
- The President shall serve as the official spokesperson for Brookhaven College SGA.
- The President shall take responsibility to see that the Senators and Representatives represent the Student Body and that they uphold the responsibilities described and outlined within these By-Laws and shall delegate duties and responsibilities within the purposes of the Student Government Association.
- The President shall call and preside over all general and special meetings of the Executive Board and SGA.
- The President has the authority to appoint committee chairs and shall serve as an ex-Officio member of all SGA committees.
- The President cannot be the officer of any recognized Brookhaven club/organization.
- Vice President
- The Vice President shall assist the president in the performance of his/her duties and to carry out all duties assigned to him/her by the President.
- The Vice President shall assume presidential duties upon the President’s absence.
- If the President shall relinquish his/her office, the Vice President shall become President.
- The Vice President shall co-chair any or all committees as deemed necessary.
- The Vice President cannot be the officer of any recognized Brookhaven club/organization.
- The Parliamentarian shall assist the president in the performance of his/her duties.
- The Parliamentarian shall be knowledgeable of proper parliamentarian procedures.
- The Parliamentarian shall ensure business is being conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order and serve as the official time keeper for SGA.
- The Parliamentarian shall chair the Constitution Revision Committee and the Jurisprudence Committee.
- The Parliamentarian cannot be the officer of any recognized Brookhaven Club/Organization.
- The Secretary shall assist the President and the Vice President in the performance of their duties.
- The Secretary shall record, maintain, and distribute all minutes of the Executive Board meetings and the general SGA meetings. Minutes must be posted on the SGA bulletin board within 48 hours of each meeting.
- The Secretary shall maintain an accurate and official record of all SGA activities, communications, actions, and correspondence including collecting minutes taken from SGA committees.
- The Secretary shall take attendance at all meetings and maintain attendance records.
- Should there be a succession in the President’s position leaving the Vice President’s position vacant, the Secretary may choose to assume the Vice President’s position or remain as Secretary. (Article VII, Section 2 B(a).
- The Secretary cannot be the officer of any recognized Brookhaven Club/Organization.
- The Treasurer shall assist the president in the performance of his/her duties.
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for all SGA account funds and to keep accurate records of all money matters.
- The Treasurer shall sign all financial paperwork.
- The Treasurer shall chair the Fundraising Committee, should one be established.
- The Treasurer shall give a financial report at all SGA meetings.
- The Treasurer cannot be the officer of any recognized Brookhaven Club/Organization.
- The SGA Advisor shall be the Assistant Director of Student Life.
- The SGA Advisor shall serve as a non-voting Executive Officer of the SGA.
- The Advisor shall maintain an accurate accounting of the SGA budget and authorize all transactions from the budget. He/she shall keep the Treasurer informed of all transactions.
- The main role of the advisor shall be to support the projects of the SGA and educate the SGA officers as to their duties and responsibilities. The SGA Advisor shall coordinate leadership programs in conjunction with the rest of the Executive Board.
- The Advisor shall be responsible for executing a grade check on all candidates and appointees for student government positions. He/she will advise the rest of the Executive Board of the results.
- At the end of each term (excluding summer) the SGA Advisor shall be responsible for executing a grade check on all appointed and elected officers of the SGA. He/she will advise the non-qualifying members and process their resignation. The SGA Advisor will notify the SGA President of any resignations.
- The SGA Advisor will have the authority to remove members of the SGA who do not qualify before or during their term of office. He/she also has the authority to remove members who are found guilty of misfeasance and malfeasance, action(s) that are deemed detrimental to the SGA and/or college, and any other offense that clearly violates the proper purpose of the SGA or any action in violation of the DCCCD Student Code of Conduct.
Senators are elected officials seeking to fulfill the mission and purpose of SGA as stated in Article II of the Constitution. Senators are required to attend general meetings of the SGA.
Section III: House of Representatives
- Senators shall chair any or all committees as deemed necessary.
- Senators shall assist and advise faculty, administration, and staff of Brookhaven College in the development, supervision, evaluation, and coordination of all aspects of campus life.
- Senators shall make an oral report at each meeting of their activities pertaining to SGA.
The House of Representatives consists of Representatives who are elected as “members at large” during the fall election campaign. In addition, Club Representatives are elected by an officially recognized student club or organization to represent the interests of that club or organization. Representatives are officials seeking to fulfill the mission and purpose of SGA as stated in Article II of the Constitution. Representatives are required to attend all general meetings of the SGA.
- Representatives are expected to serve on any or all committees as deemed necessary.
- A Representative’s primary responsibility is to be the eyes and ears of the Student Body and to bring forward to SGA suggestions, concerns and issues of importance to the students of Brookhaven College.
- Club Representatives will abide by the SGA Constitution and Bylaws in order to be eligible to receive club funding from SGA.
- Vacancies in the Club Representative position must be filled by club election before the second general SGA meeting occurs.
- In order to be eligible for club funding for current and subsequent years, clubs must have a current representative in the SGA.
- All Club Representatives must be elected no later than the fall academic drop date in order to be eligible for club funding.
Article III - Committees
Section I: Standing Committees
Standing committees are those committees stated in Article VI, Section V of the SGA Constitution.
Section II: The President may establish committees as deemed necessary.
Areas of need may include Student Affairs-Admissions, Advising, Testing, Financial Aid, and Student Life; Student Clubs & Organizations; Community Involvement-Outreach, Recruitment and Service Learning; Marketing and Advertising; Student Services-Bookstore, Food Service; Academics; and Campus, Local and State Issues.
Article IV - Special Event & Travel Funding
Student Clubs and Organizations
Section I: Process
- SGA is charged with the responsibility to make decisions concerning the awarding of special funding for qualified student clubs and organizations.
- The Office of Student Life determines the criteria for qualified organizations.
- Club leaders submit a Special Event and Travel Funding Proposal to their club sponsor for review, which is then submitted to the SGA Advisor and Director of Student Life for approval.
- The SGA Advisor and Director of Student Life review the form and if approved, SGA Advisor will contact the Executive Board to let them know of the necessity for the Club Funding Committee to be in place for the next meeting.
- At the appropriate time, members from the club submitting the proposal will be invited to attend the general meeting remain present for the Club Funding Committee meeting to present their request in person.
- The Committee will adjourn for private discussion and evaluation.
- The club sponsor will be notified of the Committee’s decision by email within 72 hours.
Article V – Amendments
Amendments to these Bylaws may be made according to the same rules and regulations pertaining to the SGA Constitution as stated in Article X and XI.
Article VI - Parliamentary Procedure
Ratification Date: November 1, 2012
- All meetings shall be conducted according to the procedures specified in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
- All elected SGA officials must have a basic knowledge of parliamentary procedure.
Witnessed by: Tonychris Nnaka, SGA President
Witnessed by: James Daniels, SGA Vice President
Witnessed by: Yasaman Contractor, SGA Advisor