STUDENT GOVERNMENT CONSTITUTION
We, the students of Washington State University, seeking a degree through WSU Online, in order to initiate and coordinate student activities in accordance with the purposes and objectives listed in the Associated Students of Washington State University’s (ASWSU) Articles of Incorporation; to specifically represent the unique and particular interests, needs, and welfare of students in Washington State University Online Degree Programs on issues affecting student life; and to supplement and complement the formal education of these degree programs delivered at a distance, do affirm and establish this constitution.
ARTICLE I: NAME
- The name of this entity associated with ASWSU shall be the Associated Students of Washington State University-Online Degree Programs herein called ASWSU-Online.
ARTICLE II: AUTHORITIES AND POWERS
- ASWSU-Online is organized as an entity associated with ASWSU and the exercise of its functions shall be consistent with the ASWSU Articles of Incorporation.
- Authorities and powers of ASWSU-Online shall be exercised by the ASWSU-Online Senate except that the ASWSU-Online President and Vice President shall have such powers as are enumerated in this constitution.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
- All undergraduate and graduate students seeking a degree coordinated by Washington State University’s (WSU) Online Degree Programs shall be members of ASWSU-Online, unless a student specifically petitions the President of ASWSU-Online that he or she not be a member. No student will be denied membership because of race, religion, sex, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran.
ARTICLE IV: LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
- The legislative power of ASWSU-Online shall be vested in the ASWSU-Online Senate,which shall be composed of a minimum of five Senators.
- ASWSU-Online Senators must be members of ASWSU-Online, must be enrolled with WSU’s Online Degree Programs for a minimum of three credits every semester during which they serve as a senator, except the summer semester, and must be in good academic standing with the University. Senators shall be elected in the annual general election.
- ASWSU-Online Senators shall hold office for a time period specified in the by-laws.
- The Senate, as the legislative branch of ASWSU-Online, shall be the policy-making body of ASWSU-Online and no act by the Executive branch or omission shall contravene expressed or implied Senate Policy.
- The Senate shall have and exercise general powers and duties, specifically to include the following powers and duties.
a. To adopt and amend an ASWSU-Online budget, pursuant to Article VII.
b. To authorize entry into contractual or financial relationships on behalf of ASWSU-Online.
c. To cause to have posted and to approve an annual financial statement.
d. To confirm, by majority consent of seated membership, ASWSU-Online committee chairs.
e. To remove ASWSU-Online committee chairs upon a two-thirds vote of the seated membership.
f. To ensure that elected and appointed ASWSU-Online officials faithfully execute and abide by ASWSU-Online policies.
g. To override a Presidential veto by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the seated membership.
h. To impeach ASWSU-Online officers, as provided in Article V, Section 7(B).
The Senate shall not delegate any of the powers specified in Article IV, Section 5(a) through (h) inclusive.For the purposes of this Constitution, seated membership shall be the number of Senators holding office at any given time.
a. The Senate shall meet within the first week of each semester to establish a calendar of meetings.
a. A quorum shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the seated membership of the Senate.
b. All meetings shall be held in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, RCW 42.30 or successive statutes.
b. The Chair of the Senate shall be the Vice President. In the absence of the Chair, the Senate Chair Pro-Tempore shall chair the Senate.
a. The Chair Pro-Tempore shall be elected annually at the second Senate meeting by a majority vote from the seated Senate membership.
- Senators and Senators-Elect may be removed from office via the following recall process:
a. Petitions calling for removal from office of a named ASWSU-Online officer or officer-elect shall be signed by ten percent (10%) of the ASWSU-Online membership and shall be submitted to the Senate Chair for verification handled in accordance with the ASWSU-Online by-laws.
b. Upon verification, the Senate shall set a reasonable date or dates for a recall election.
c. A recall election shall require a 10 percent (10%) voter turnout of the ASWSU-Online membership for validation.
d. A simple majority affirmative vote shall be required for recall.
e. Challenging a recall election:
a. Should a named ASWSU-Online Senator or Senator-Elect challenge a recall or impeachment proceeding, he or she shall temporarily vacate his or her office until the challenge is resolved.
a. Should a Senate vacancy occur, the President and Vice President shall submit, within thirty (30) calendar days of the occurrence of the vacancy, a recommendation for one (1) nominee for the vacancy. At the next scheduled Senate meeting, the Senate by plurality vote of seated membership may accept or reject the candidate to fill the vacancy or request another recommendation within thirty (30) calendar days.
a. Should the President and Vice President fail to comply with clause (a), the Senate may confirm by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of seated membership a nomination from the floor.
b. Should more than two (2) vacancies simultaneously occur at any one time, a special election to fill the positions must be scheduled within a reasonable time period as defined in the by-laws.
ARTICLE V: EXECUTIVE BRANCH
- The executive power of ASWSU-Online shall be vested in the Executive branch of ASWSU-Online. The Executive branch shall be composed of the ASWSU-Online President and Vice President.
- Members of the Executive branch must be members of ASWSU-Online, must be enrolled with WSU’s Online Degree Programs for at least three credits every semester during which they serve, except the summer semester, and must be in good academic standing with the University. The President shall be elected in the annual general election.
- Members of the Executive branch shall hold office for a time period specified in the by-laws.
- The ASWSU-Online President shall be the chief executive officer of ASWSU-Online. The President shall have and exercise general powers and duties, specifically to include the following powers and duties:
a. To preside over all meetings of the general membership of ASWSU-Online.
b. To appoint ASWSU-Online Committee chairpersons, subject to the consent of the Senate.
c. To remove all presidential appointees.
d. To break any Senate votes that are tied and to veto any acts and confirmations of the Senate except resolutions, Senate vacancy appointments, and referenda, and provide written notification of such vetoes to the Senate Chair within a reasonable number days of the Senate action.
e. To post and maintain, with the assistance of the Vice President, a schedule of regular office hours throughout their terms of office.
The President shall have other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Senate and the ASWSU-Online by-laws.
- The Chair of the Senate shall also serve as the ASWSU-Online Vice President and shall have and exercise the following powers and duties.
a. To have oversight responsibilities for ASWSU-Online Committees within the policies established by the Senate.
b. To exercise such power and authority as may be delegated by the President except those powers and duties enumerated in Article V, Section 4 (a) through (e).
c. To assume and execute all the powers and duties of the President should the President be absent or unable to perform his or her obligations.
d. To post and maintain, in conjunction with the President, a schedule of regular office hours throughout their terms of office.
The Vice President shall have other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Senate and the ASWSU-Online by-laws.
- The interests and affairs of ASWSU-Online shall be managed jointly by the President and Vice President/Senate Chair during the summer session, consistent with any Senate directives.
- The President, Vice President, or President-Elect, may be removed from office via the following processes.
a. The recall process shall be the same as provided for in Article IV, Section 7, (a) through (e).
b. The impeachment process:
a. ASWSU-Online officers may be impeached for failure to reasonably and properly execute their powers and duties.
b. A two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the seated membership of the ASWSU-Online Senate shall be required to bring impeachment proceedings against ASWSU-Online officers.
c. The Chair of the Judicial Committee shall preside over the impeachment proceedings, which shall commence within ten (10) school days after the Senate vote to bring impeachment proceedings.
d. A two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the seated membership of the ASWSU-Online Senate shall be required to impeach an ASWSU-Online Executive Officer.
a. Should the office of President become vacant, the Vice President shall become President.
b. Should the office of Vice President become vacant, the Senate shall elect a Vice President/Senate Chair from its membership for the remaining term.
c. Should both offices become simultaneously vacant, the Senate shall elect a President Pro-Tempore from its membership and shall schedule an election within a reasonable time period to fill the vacancies.
d. Challenges to Recall and Impeachment
a. Should a named ASWSU-Online Executive Officer challenge a recall proceeding or impeachment proceeding, he or she shall temporarily vacate his or her office until the challenge is resolved.
ARTICLE VI: ELECTIONS
- The annual ASWSU-Online election shall be the eighth week of the spring semester, except that the dates may be changed because of extenuating circumstances upon a three-quarter (3/4) vote of the seated Senate.
- Campaign Expenditure Limitations
a. The total amount all candidates for ASWSU-Online offices may spend on their election is to be specified in the ASWSU-Online by-laws.
b. Disclosures of all expenditures made by a candidate shall be reported and accompanied by an itemized report.
a. Members of ASWSU-Online may vote on ASWSU-Online issues and for presidential and senatorial candidates any semester they are enrolled with WSU Online.
ARTICLE VII: FINANCE
- The annual ASWSU-Online budget proposal shall be recommended to the Senate by the Treasurer before its suBmission to ASWSU S&A Fees Committee.
ARTICLE VIII: REFERENDUM AND INITIATIVE
- The Senate, upon two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the seated membership, may submit to the membership of ASWSU-Online any measure that it determines to be of substantial student interest, whereupon a vote of the membership of ASWSU-Online shall be promptly scheduled for thirty (30) calendar days.
- Upon petition of five percent (5%) of the membership of ASWSU-Online, an initiative shall be submitted to the membership of ASWSU-Online for a vote within thirty (30) calendar days.
- Initiatives and Referenda shall carry the same weight as Senate legislation.
ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS
- Proposed amendments to and revisions of this Constitution or the by-laws shall be presented to the members of ASWSU-Online for approval upon a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the seated membership of the Senate or upon petition of at least ten percent (10%) of ASWSU-Online members. Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall also be presented to the Board of Regents.
- Proposed amendments and revisions that are to be presented to the members of ASWSU-Online for approval shall be Publicized in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable period of time before action by the membership of ASWSU-Online.
- This Constitution may be amended or revised by a majority vote of ballots cast on the proposed modification at any regular ASWSU-Online election or special election called for that purpose, provided however, that a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of ASWSU-Online members vote in either type of election.
ARTICLE X: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
- Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (1980, ed.), or successor editions, shall be the recognized authority for procedure not covered by this Constitution and by-laws.
ARTICLE XI: BY-LAWS
- By-laws shall be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the seated membership of the Senate.
ARTICLE XII: COMPLIANCE
- The ASWSU-Online complies with the Open Public Meetings Act, RCW 42.50.
- There shall be a Judicial Committee of three (3) members whose duties and responsibilities are defined in the by-laws.
- No actions may be taken under this Constitution or the ASWSU-Online by-laws that is in violation of State or Federal Law.