Constitution of the Student Senate

We, the students of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College of the Virginia Community College System in order to promote cooperation among all students at this institution, to form an effective student government and to formulate those policies essential to the functioning of the government, do ordain and establish this Constitution for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

Article I

Name and Purpose:

Section 1: This organization shall be known as the Student Senate of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

Section 2: The purpose of this organization shall be to provide the necessary governmental structures to encompass the student activities of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

Article II

Membership and Voting:

Section 1: Members of the student body shall include all enrolled students at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

Section 2: The voting membership shall consist of all students enrolled in credit courses.

Article III

Student Senate:

Section 1: The Student Senate shall represent the student body.

Section 2: The Student Senate shall consist of a maximum of fifteen members elected at large from the student body.  A quorum for conducting business shall consist of half of the members plus one.

Section 3: The term of office for the above members of the Senate shall be for one academic year (fall, spring and summer semesters) from the date of their election.

Section 4: The Student Senate shall elect by plurality vote the following officers, listed in order of presidential succession, from their number: president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. If none of these officers are present, a quorum of the Student Senate may elect a temporary presiding officer from their number.

Section 4a:An elected student must maintain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.3.

Section 4b: Any student eligible to vote is eligible for membership on the Student Senate.

Article IV

Senate Elections and Qualifications:

Section 1: On the fifth week after the beginning of the fall semester, a general election will be held for the purpose of filling all seats on the Student Senate. Elected members shall serve a term of one academic year (fall, spring, and summer semesters) with no term limits.

Section 2: If any of the fifteen Student Senate seats remain vacant after the fall election, a general election shall be held on the fifth week of the spring semester. Students elected at this time shall be seated for the remainder of the academic year (spring and summer semesters).

Section 3: General elections shall be held on a Monday and a Tuesday of the designated week.

Section 4: Persons receiving the most votes will be seated in order until all positions are filled.

Section 5: Any student eligible for Student Senate office may have his or her name placed on the ballot by presenting a petition with fifty names of student body members eligible to vote and two letters of recommendation, one of which being from a Dabney S. Lancaster Community College faculty or staff member. These recommendation letters shall be open to public viewing upon request, for purposes of the general elections.

Section 6: The supervision of the Student Senate elections shall either be the responsibility of the Director of Student Services or his or her designee and the present Student Senate.

Section 7: On the second meeting after the fall election the Student Senate will convene to elect all officers for the following year.

Section 8: In the event of a senate member’s withdrawal or expulsion from the Student Senate, an ad hoc Nominating Committee, consisting of three senate members, has the option to accept recommendations from the student body and faculty for a candidate to fill the vacancy, if a majority vote of the entire senate decides this is necessary.

Section 8a: If the senate gives its approval, the ad hoc Nominating Committee will nominate a recommended candidate to fill the unexpired senate term with the confirmation of two thirds of the Student Senate.

Section 8b: The remainder of the unexpired term will be filled by the endorsed student beginning at the next meeting following confirmation.

Section 8c: All nominees must meet the eligibility standards as stated in Article III Section 4a.

Section 9: At least two weeks before an unexpired term is to be filled, the number of vacancies shall be publicized to the student body.

Section 10: Student Senate members may not miss more than two regular meetings per semester without the approval of an officer of the Student Senate.

Section 11: If more than two regular meetings are missed by a member, the officers will vote on whether to expel the member from the Student Senate, with a tie vote going in favor of the member. If a majority of the officers vote to expel the member, a vote will go to the entire Student Senate with a two thirds vote needed for expulsion.

Article V

Power of the Officers of the Student Senate:

Section 1: Power of the President

  1. He or she shall have the power to appoint the chairperson and members of all Student Senate committees with the advice and majority vote of the Senate.
  2. He or she shall have the power to appoint any student to all appropriate college committees with the advice and majority vote of the Senate.
  3. He or she shall have the power to vote in case of a tie.
  4. He or she shall call, preside, and set the agenda at all meetings of the Student Senate.
  5. He or she shall represent the student body at official functions of the college.
  6. He or she shall be an ombudsman for the student body.
  7. He or she shall serve as ex-officio member of all committees appointed through the Student Senate.

Section 2: The Vice President shall:

  1. Assume all duties of the president during an absence of the president.
  2. Become president if the office of president is vacated during the one year session and call for the election of a new vice-president at the first regular meeting.
  3. Receive the fund-raising and event forms of all clubs.

Section 3: The Secretary shall:

  1. Keep a permanent record of all the proceedings of the Student Senate meetings; these records are to be turned in to the President and made available for the information of any member of the student body after no later than two business days.
  2. Keep the record of attendance of the Senate meeting.

Section 4: The Treasurer shall:

  1. Receive, record, and transmit such amounts that may be directed to the business office by the next business day after they are collected.
  2. Report the financial position of the student body at all Student Senate meetings.

Article VI

Power of the Senate:

Section 1: The Student Senate shall receive and discuss grievances from the student body and represent these grievances to the faculty and to the administration.

Section 2: The Senate shall receive funds appropriated to the Student Senate and budget the use of these funds.

Section 3: The Student Senate shall approve all presidential appointments by a majority vote.

Section 4: The Student Senate shall retain any powers that are not given to the officers of the Student Senate.

Article VII

Amendments and By-Laws:

Section 1: Amendments to the Constitution can originate either from the student body or the Student Senate, but must be ratified by a majority vote of the Student Senate and a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by the student body.

Section 2: An amendment must be published three weeks prior to a referendum vote of the student body.

Section 3: Bylaws can originate either from the student body or the Student Senate but must be ratified by a majority vote of the Student Senate and by a simple majority of the votes cast by the student body.

Article VIII

Ratification:

This Constitution shall be considered ratified upon approval by the faculty meeting as a committee of the whole, by the endorsement of the President of the College and a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by the student body. Upon ratification, this constitution shall supersede any and all previous and existing constitutions of the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College’s Student Senate.