SGA Constitution

I. Objective

This Constitution establishes a Student Government that will represent the students of the School of Medicine, the Dental School, the School of Nursing the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Health Professions at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, hereinafter collectively referred to as UTHSCSA.

II. Name

The Student Government of UTHSCSA shall be called the Student Government Association, hereinafter called the SGA. 

III. Purpose

  1. To represent and unite all UTHSCSA students.
  2. To provide for and enhance communication and interaction between the students of the five schools, the students and faculty, the students and administration, and the students and institutions of higher education throughout Texas.
  3. To further communication and relationships between UTHSCSA students and the community.
  4. To advise and assist the administration in reaching decisions on policy that concerns the students of UTHSCSA
  5. To assist in broadening the intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities and capabilities of the student body.
  6. To assist the administration in the expenditure of Student Service Activity Fees and all other compulsory fees.

IV. Organization

  1. The SGA shall consist of the representatives of the UTHSCSA as defined by Article V.
  2. The officers of the SGA shall consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, as defined by Article VI.
  3. The new SGA’s membership year will begin at the conclusion of each May general body meeting.

V. SGA Membership and Qualifications

  1. All members of the SGA shall be registered students at UTHSCSA .
  2. Any student representative shall be required to be in good standing, as defined by their respective school.
  3. The membership of the SGA shall consist of duly elected representatives from each of the five schools of the UTHSCSA on the basis of one representative for each one hundred students (to the nearest one hundred) as defined by the current year’s fall enrollment, following the census date. There shall be a minimum of two representatives for any school.
  4. All constituents represented by candidates for a position in the SGA must be given the chance to vote on SGA candidates within their respective schools with the exception of SGA interim replacements.
  5. SGA members shall serve for a term of one year or for the duration of their schooling at UTHSCSA, as decided by their respective schools.
  6. SGA members are required to attend all monthly meetings, volunteer at least at one (1) SGA sponsored event per semester, and serve on at least one (1) committee within SGA. Failure to meet these minimum requirements results in delinquency status and may warrant removal from membership by Executive Board (see sections VI-C4, VIII-A5).

VI. Powers and Duties

  1. Officers
    1. The President:
      1. Shall be the spokesperson of the UTHSCSA student body. In such capacity, the President:
        1. Represents the SGA at appropriate meetings
        2. Represents the SGA in all communications with the Administration on school policy
        3. Drafts/composes needed correspondence
        4. Presides over the SGA Executive Committee.
      2. Shall normally call and preside over meetings of the SGA.
        1. Shall determine meeting time, date, and location prior to the beginning of the UTHSCSA academic year.
        2. Special meetings may be called by the President or by no fewer than one-half of the SGA plus one.
        3. To facilitate effective meetings, the President shall plan and draft the agenda for each meeting.
      3. The President shall have the power to appoint committee members from the SGA as needed, as well as any other official SGA appointed positions.
      4. The President shall only vote in case of a tie.
      5. The President shall preside over the Executive Committee meetings.
      6. The President has the power to initiate proceedings for removal of delinquent SGA members via the Executive Committee.
    2. The Vice President:
      1. Oversees all SGA committees excluding the Executive Committee.
      2. Enforces bylaws and orders of the constitution relating to attendance, investigating unexcused absences and bringing the information to the Executive Board.
      3. Serves as liaison between SGA and the various UTHSCSA Class Presidents in coordinating interdisciplinary meetings and efforts.
      4. Presides at SGA meetings in the absence of the President.
      5. Replaces the President in the event of her/his removal or resignation from office.
    3. The Secretary:
      1. Records the minutes of the SGA meetings, distributes those minutes to SGA members within two (2) business days.
      2. Distributes drafts of the agendas of all SGA meetings.
      3. Keeps attendance records of each meeting and all SGA events, informing via email and/or in person the Vice President when members fail to meet member attendance requirements.
      4. Shall be in charge of all SGA correspondence, and as such will keep an up to date list of current SGA membership and member contact information.
      5. Maintains all non-financial SGA records and keeps an inventory of SGA property.
      6. If the Secretary is not present at a meeting of the SGA, they shall appoint an able SGA member to take minutes
    4. The Treasurer:
      1. Maintains all SGA financial records, in collaboration with the Student Life Office, using appropriate software.
      2. Provides a financial statement at each regular SGA meeting.
      3. Collects money for SGA functions.
      4. Sets the annual budget for SGA, including sub-budget for disbursement by Appropriations Committee, to be approved by the executive board by simple majority.
      5. Serves as chair of the Appropriations Committee, and as such calls and coordinates meetings of the committee and necessary interviews with potential fund recipients.
  2. Each Officer
    1. May relinquish their voting power as a member of SGA for one year for the purpose of electing a one year interim member—to ensure adequate representation of their constituency, and to better serve the Executive Board.
      1. This interim member must be elected in the same manner as any other member, by election within the respective school by annual election or by a specially called interim election.
      2. The President, being limited in voting power beforehand, shall retain his/her power to vote only in the case of a tie.
  3. The SGA
    1. The SGA shall have the power, by two-thirds (2/3) majority, to remove any officer of the SGA from office by calling for a vote of no confidence due to:
      1. Failure to carry out policies adopted by the SGA.
      2. Failure to abide by the Constitution.
    2. The SGA shall enact its own By-laws and may make rules required for the effective execution of the functioning of the SGA.
    3. Ten percent (10%) of the general student body may petition the SGA on any issue, and such petition when certified, shall require a referendum vote by the general student body which may, by majority vote, overrule the SGA.
    4. If an SGA member must miss a regularly scheduled meeting, they are to email the current SGA Secretary with the reason they are unable to attend at least 24 hours prior to the monthly meeting. The current SGA Officers have the power to determine the appropriateness of the reason for absence.

VII. Meetings

  1. To conduct business, a quorum of 50% of the total SGA membership shall be required.
  2. SGA meetings shall take place in a format modeled after Roberts Rules of Order.
  3. The SGA shall meet monthly every month the student body is in session during the fall and spring semesters. Meeting time, date, and location shall be determined by the President prior to the beginning of the UTHSCSA academic year.
  4. Unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution, all actions of the SGA shall be by a simple majority vote of those present and voting.

VIII. Committees

  1. Executive Committee
    1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the four elected officers and shall be chaired by the SGA President.
    2. The Executive Committee shall meet one week before each general SGA meeting to discuss pertinent topics for the upcoming meeting.
    3. The Executive Committee shall decide which resolutions and referendums are moved to a full SGA vote or sent back to the author (see Article X).
    4. The Executive chair shall have the power to remove delinquent SGA members (requiring approval by three fourths (3/4) majority of the Executive Committee).
    5. If an SGA member is not present at two (2) regularly scheduled meetings in a semester, an investigation will be conducted by the SGA Vice President, and the elected SGA representative may be removed from her/his post by the Executive Committee. In such cases, a written correspondence will be sent to the member’s Dean of Student Affairs and the appropriate Class President requesting election or appointment of a new replacement representative.
    6. When an emergency action is required by the SGA and the general SGA body is not able to be assembled prior to the deadline of said action, the Executive Board may meet and bring forward an action or decision on behalf of SGA. All SGA members must be informed of the action within 24 hours, and the Executive Board must present the action taken to the general SGA body at the next monthly meeting.
  2. Community Service Committee
    1. The Community Service Committee shall be chaired by one member of the Executive Committee not already chairing another SGA sub-committee.
    2. The Community Service Committee shall plan one service activity in both the fall and spring semesters for SGA members and students from all five schools.
    3. The Community Service Committee shall aid in choosing sites and planning the annual Day of Service for UTHSCSA. This may satisfy the requirement for a spring service project.
  3. Appropriations Committee
    1. The Appropriations Committee shall be chaired by the SGA Treasurer.
    2. The Appropriations Committee shall meet outside of general SGA meetings to discuss and appropriate funds to student organizations at a time determined by the Committee chair.
    3. The Appropriations Committee membership must be comprised of at least one SGA member from each of the five schools.
    4. If an Appropriations Committee member is also a member of a student organization requesting funding, he or she must not participate in the vote or decision making process for that particular request.
  4. Special Events Committee
    1. The Special Events Committee shall be chaired by one member of the Executive Committee not already chairing another SGA sub-committee.
    2. The Special Events Committee shall plan and execute the university-wide campus events that are sponsored by SGA (i.e. Awards Night, Burger Burn and Chili Cook-off).
    3. The Special Events Committee shall plan other university-wide events as necessary.
  5. The President shall form additional committees as deemed necessary.
  6. SGA members shall be required to attend and contribute to their respective sub-committee meetings. A failure to do so may result in that member being asked to step down from their position or removal by the Executive Committee due to lack of participation.
  7. The President may appoint additional Official SGA Positional roles, including the following:
  8. Director of Technology – To update and manage technology components of SGA such as the SGA website or SGA social media pages.
  9. SGA Historian –To photograph official SGA events and ensure upload of photos to SGA website, using either their own equipment or SGA equipment to do so.
  10. Director of Marketing –To promote and inform UTHSCSA student body of monthly SGA meetings, SGA events via electronic communication, fliers, and appropriate other avenues

IX. Amendment Proposals

  1. Any proposed amendments to this constitution must be presented to the Executive Committee at least one week prior to an upcoming SGA meeting.
  2. This Constitution can be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the SGA body at a regular meeting.
  3. Proposed amendments must be distributed to SGA members at least one week (7 days) prior to a regular SGA meeting.
  4. UT System Regent’s Rules & Handbook of Operating Procedures must be followed.

X. Resolution Writing and Voting

  1. Any SGA member may draft and propose a resolution for a vote by the SGA.
  2. Additional SGA members may be listed as co-authors or sponsors of the resolution.
  3. A draft of the proposed resolution must be submitted to the Executive Committee at least one week prior to a regular SGA meeting.
  4. The Executive Committee will determine if the resolution will move forward to a full SGA vote at the upcoming meeting, according to criteria provided to SGA members at the beginning of the academic year and outlined in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.
  5. The Executive Committee may, alternatively, return the proposed resolution to its author with written feedback as to why it was not moved forward to a full SGA vote.
  6. If the resolution is moved to a full SGA vote, a simple majority of the SGA is needed to pass the resolution. The number for and against shall be recorded, and each SGA representative’s vote of ‘Yea’ or ‘Nay’ may be recorded and published.

XII. Bylaws Governing the Election of SGA Officers:

  1. The SGA shall elect a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer in that order, during April of every academic year. Terms are for one year beginning May 1.
  2. A quorum of a minimum of 2/3 of SGA members from at least four of the five schools must be present for elections.
  3. Nominations will be verbal and can be made by any SGA member. There is no limit to the number of individuals who can be nominated per office.
  4. Voting will be done by secret ballot. Each SGA member will write the full name of the candidate of her/ his choice for each election, on a card which will be collected and counted by a representative of the Office of Student Services.
  5. A candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected to an office.
  6. The current SGA leadership shall remain in office through April 30, at which point the newly elected officers will assume their duties. Current officers are responsible for transitioning with the newly elected officers.
  7. In the event of a tie in an election between two individuals, the President of the SGA will cast a tie-breaking vote for one of the individuals.
  8. In the event of an election where no candidate has a clear majority of the votes, a runoff election between the two candidates who received the most votes will be conducted. In the event of a tie in the runoff election, the President will cast a tie-breaking vote. If the tie occurs in the presidential election, SGA will continue to vote until one candidate receives a majority.
  9. In the event of a tie between three or more individuals, the SGA will continue voting until two individuals emerge with more votes than the remainder of the candidate(s). At this point, the SGA will vote to decide between these two candidates. In the event of a tie in the latter election, the President will cast a tie-breaking vote.
  10. In the event of an election where no candidate receives a majority of the votes, and there is a tie between the two second place candidates, the President will cast a tie-breaking vote for one of the second place candidates. The candidate receiving this vote will run against the first place candidate in a run-off election. The President will cast a tie-breaking vote if the latter election results in a tie.
  11. In the event of an election where no candidate receives a majority of the votes, and three or more candidates are tied for second place, the SGA will vote until one of the second place candidates receives a plurality of the votes. The candidate receiving a plurality of the votes will run against the first place candidate. The President will cast a tie-breaking vote if the latter election results in a tie.
  12. No individual can hold more than one office at one time.
  13. No more than two officers per school may serve at one time.