Student Senate for California Community Colleges Constitution

Preamble

We, the students of California Community Colleges, in order to promote and safeguard access for current and future students to California public higher education in accordance with the Master Plan for Higher Education through system participatory governance, legislative and policy advocacy, and regional support and development do hereby establish this Constitution of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

Article I. Senate

Section 1. Name

The official name of this association shall be the ‘Student Senate for California Community Colleges’, also known as ‘SSCCC’, or ‘The Senate’. The official names of its governing bodies shall be the ‘Delegate Assembly’ and the ‘Board of Directors’.

Section 2. Membership

The membership of the Senate shall consist of all currently-enrolled students of the California Community Colleges system.

Section 3. Mission

System Participatory Governance

The Senate is recognized by California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office as the official voice of students in system participatory governance in accordance with Title 5, §50002. The Senate shall maintain system participatory governance as one of its mission’s three pillars of engagement and act through System Affairs Directors from each Region to facilitate the involvement of students in the same.

Legislative and Policy Advocacy

The Senate is recognized by the California State Legislature, Office of the Governor, California Student Aid Commission, and other state agencies as the official voice of students in legislative and policy advocacy. The Senate shall maintain legislative and policy advocacy as one of its mission’s three pillars of engagement and act through Legislative Affairs Directors from each Region to facilitate the involvement of students in the same.

Regional Support and Development

The Senate is recognized by local associated student organizations as the official voice of students in regional support and development through the collection, custodianship, and implementation of best practices for student leadership. The Senate shall maintain regional support and development as one of its mission’s three pillars of engagement and act through Regional Affairs Directors from each Region to facilitate the involvement of students in the same.

Each term of the Senate shall be defined as commencing on July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year.

Article II. Delegate Assembly

Section 1. Duties

The Delegate Assembly shall be the legislative authority of the Senate and shall be responsible for the following:

Serving as the collective voice of local associated student organizations.

Serving as the liaison entity between local associated student organizations and the Senate.

Considering and approving the strategic plan of the Senate and any amendments pertaining thereto.

Considering and approving amendments to this Constitution.

Considering and approving resolutions for the purpose of providing direction, recommendation, and guidance in the formulation of policy to the Board.

Holding the Board accountable for the implementation of resolutions in a manner prescribed by policy.

Reserving any power not expressly provided to the Regions or the Board by this Constitution.

Section 2. Membership

The voting membership of the Delegate Assembly shall consist of one delegate from each local associated student organization recognized pursuant to California Education Code §76060 and shall be chaired by the President or their designee. The President may vote only in the event of a tie.

Section 3. Election

The delegates of the Delegate Assembly shall be elected in a manner provided by each local associated student organization’s respective governing documents. A local associated student organization’s president or their designee shall serve as delegate in the absence of any such provision.

Article III. Regions

Section 1. Duties

The Regions shall exist as administrative subdivisions of the Senate and shall be responsible for the following:

Serving as the collective voice of local associated student organizations within each Region as organized by the Delegate Assembly.

Serving as the liaison entity between local associated student organizations and the Board.

Encouraging the participation of local associated student organizations in meetings of the Delegate Assembly.

Collecting and promoting best practices among local associated student organizations.

Soliciting/disseminating information from/to local associated student organizations and the Board regarding activities of both.

Electing the membership of the Board.

Providing additional support as may be requested by the Delegate Assembly and/or the Board.

Section 2. Membership

The voting membership of the Regions as organized by the Delegate Assembly shall consist of one delegate from each local associated student organization recognized pursuant to California Education Code §76060.

Section 3. Boundaries

The Delegate Assembly shall be responsible for approving and/or revising the official boundaries of the Regions at its spring meeting at least every three terms. Any changes to the official boundaries shall not take effect until the beginning of the following term. The Delegate Assembly shall strive to maintain a balance of geographic coverage, total number of local associated student organizations, and other considerations that would impact the cultivation and maintenance of regional identity.

Section 4. Regional Officers

Each Region shall elect at minimum a chair/regional affairs director, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, communications officer, system affairs director, and legislative affairs director.

Section 5. Term Limits

No person may serve as a regional officer for more than four full academic years.

Article IV. Board of Directors

Section 1. Duties

The Board shall be the executive authority of the Senate and the legislative authority when the Delegate Assembly is not in session and shall be responsible for the following:

Serving as the collective voice of the Regions.

Serving as the liaison entity between the Delegate Assembly and external entities.

Enacting all directives approved by the Delegate Assembly.

Collecting and promoting best practices among the Regions.

Promoting cooperation among the Regions.

Representing the positions and views of students before the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office, the Office of the Governor of California, the California State Legislature, California Student Aid Commission, and other state agencies.

Nominating and/or appointing student representatives to all entities that include or may include representation.

Soliciting/disseminating information from/to the Regions regarding activities of the Board.

Electing the membership of the Executive Committee.

Considering and approving the annual budget of the Senate and any amendments pertaining thereto.

Hiring, evaluating, and terminating of all personnel of the Senate.

Section 2. Membership

The voting membership of the Board shall consist of the Executive Committee, one System Affairs Director, one Legislative Affairs Director, and one Regional Affairs Director per Region. The Board may designate other entities as non-voting members in a manner prescribed by its Bylaws. The Board may designate other entities as voting members within a subsidiary body of the Board in a manner prescribed by its Bylaws. Proxy votes shall not be permitted.

Section 3. Eligibility

Any currently-enrolled California Community Colleges student meeting and maintaining compliance with the requirements of California Education Code §76061 shall be eligible to serve as voting members of the Board. Regions shall not be authorized to impose any additional eligibility requirements beyond any provision stated herein.

Section 4. Election

Voting members of the Board, excluding the Executive Committee, shall be elected democratically by a majority of delegates present and voting in each respective Region by May 31 each year or in the event of a vacancy.

Section 5. Attendance

Any voting member of the Board who accumulates two unexcused absences shall be placed on the next meeting agenda for consideration of removal. Excused absences shall be defined as any absences for verifiable academic, employment, familial, or health related reasons and be determined by the President. Unexcused absences may be either consecutive or nonconsecutive to qualify for consideration of removal.

Section 6. Vacancies

Any vacancies on the Board shall be filled in the same manner as prescribed by Article IV, Section 4 of this Constitution.

Section 7. Removal

Any voting member of the Board not eligible per the provisions of California Education Code §76061 shall automatically be removed from office(s). Any voting member of the Board may be removed by the Board for misconduct and/or neglect of duty and/or other offenses as prescribed by its Bylaws with a two-thirds of those present and voting. Any voting member of the Board, excluding the Executive Committee, may be removed by their Region in a manner provided by each Region’s respective governing documents.

Section 8. Executive Officers

The Board shall elect from its membership, evaluate, and/or remove in manners prescribed by its Bylaws the following executive officers who shall serve as the membership of the Executive Committee:

President

Executive Vice President

Vice President of System Affairs

Vice President of Legislative Affairs

Vice President of Regional Affairs

Vice President of Finance

Vice President of Communications

An order of succession shall be prescribed by the Bylaws of the Board. Upon election as an executive officer, the individual shall automatically vacate their regional seat on the Board. The President may vote only in the event of a tie. The President may veto any action by the Board. The Board may override a veto of the President with a two-thirds of those present and voting.

Section 9. Term Limits

No person may serve on the Board for more than three full terms or more than forty-two months in total, whichever comes first.

Article V. Meetings

Section 1. Frequency

The Delegate Assembly shall meet at least biannually each term, once in the fall and once in the spring semesters. Regions and the Board shall meet at least monthly each term.

Section 2. Quorum

A quorum of the Delegate Assembly shall be defined as a majority of associated student organizations registered in attendance and shall be present for the conduction of any business. A quorum of Regions shall be defined as a majority of member associated student organizations, notwithstanding those associated student organizations that have been deemed inactive in a manner provided by each Region’s respective governing documents. A quorum of the Board shall be defined as a majority of its members, notwithstanding any vacancies.

Section 3. Transparency

All components of the Senate including, but not limited to, the Delegate Assembly, Board of Directors, and Regions shall comply with all provisions of the California Public Records Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act.

Section 4. Parliamentary Authority

All meetings of the Senate shall be conducted according to the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. Parliamentary authority shall only govern in the absence of any provision of the Constitution and Bylaws.

Article VI. Finances

Section 1. Non-Profit Status

The Senate shall be organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of

§501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Senate shall not conduct activities that jeopardize its status as an organization exempt from taxation under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 2. Appropriation Authority

The Board shall maintain exclusive authority to approve and amend the Senate’s budget in a manner prescribed by its Bylaws and Financial Code and to appropriate and expend funds as it deems necessary.

Section 3. Budget Report

The Vice President of Finance shall primarily be responsible for providing verbal and written reports of the Senate’s finances to the Delegate Assembly and the Board at their respective meetings.

Article VII. Board Bylaws

Section 1. Authorization

For the purpose of interpreting and implementing the provisions of this Constitution, the Board shall be authorized to adopt, amend, and/or repeal its Bylaws as it may deem necessary by a two-thirds of those present and voting. The Board shall be authorized to adopt, amend, and/or repeal policies as it may deem necessary.

Section 2. Notice for Amendments

At least one week’s written notice shall be required for any amendment to the Bylaws. Any voting member of the Board may propose an amendment to its Bylaws.

Section 3. Constitutional Conflict and Jeopardization of Non-Profit Status

The Board shall not be authorized to adopt, amend, and/or repeal its Bylaws in any manner which conflicts with this Constitution or would jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the Senate as a charitable organization under §501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. A majority of those present and voting on the Board may refer any proposal to the Delegate Assembly for review.

Article VIII. Constitutional Ratification and Amendments

Section 1. Ratification

It shall require a two-thirds of those present and voting in the Delegate Assembly to ratify this Constitution. This Constitution shall enter into force at the beginning of the subsequent term from when it was ratified.

Section 2. Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution shall require a two-thirds of those present and voting in the Delegate Assembly. Amendments shall be submitted to the Board at least forty-five days before the meeting of the Delegate Assembly at which it would be considered and submitted for a vote. Amendments shall require at least thirty days’ public notice. Any amendment to this Constitution shall take effect at the beginning of the subsequent term unless otherwise directed by the Delegate Assembly.

Article IX. Dissolution

It shall require a two-thirds of those present and voting in the Delegate Assembly to order the dissolution of the Senate. Upon dissolution of the Senate and subsequent to the payment of all debts, obligations, and liabilities of the Senate, remaining assets shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation established to serve the needs and interests of the students of the California Community Colleges system which are members of the Senate and which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes. Such non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation shall qualify for tax-exempt status under §501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

Ratified May 7, 2006

Amended April 29, 2007

Amended May 2, 2010

Amended April 3, 2011

Amended October 12, 2012

Amended April 29, 2016


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