Constitution and Bi-Laws

Southern Arkansas University

Student Government Association

In order to establish the Student Government Association (SGA) as a link between the students and administration, to provide for powers and limitations of this governing body, the students of Southern Arkansas University establish this constitution of the student government association.

ARTICLE I: Name and Membership

Section 1:         The name of this organization shall be known as the Student Government Association of Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia of herein be referred to as SGA.

Section 2:         All enrolled students shall be members of the Student Government Association.

Section 3:         All clubs and organizations of SAU except residence halls, social fraternities, and sororities are governed by the authority of SGA and within the scope of the University.  Thus, their constitutions shall not violate SGA’s or the University’s policies.  If the section of the organization’s constitution conflicts with the SGA Constitution only the section in conflict will be ruled unconstitutional.


Section 1:         The purpose of this organization shall be to represent the voice and opinion of the students in all university matters and to perform the duties as prescribed either by the student body or University.

ARTICLE III: Division of Power

Section 1:         The governing body of SGA shall be the student senate and shall consist of the legislative, judicial, and the executive branches.

ARTICLE IV: The Legislative Branch

Section 1:         Membership

  1. Each of the four undergraduate colleges: Business, Education, Liberal and Performing Arts, and Science and Technology shall be allowed three (3) seats in the senate. Also, the School of Graduate Studies will be allowed two (2) seats in the senate.
  2. Senators shall be classified according to his/her representative college of study. In the event a Senator be a double major, he/she should be classified by his/her first declared major.
  3. Undeclared majors will be allowed two (2) senators.
  4. Freshmen will be allowed two (2) senators

Section 2:         Requirements for Senators: All Senators and Associate Justices must be in good standing with the university prior to and during their time of service.

Section 3:         Method of Election

A. The method of election for the Legislative Branch shall be defined by the Student Government Association’s election regulations.

Section 4:        Responsibilities and Duties of the Legislative Branch

  1. Senators shall have the power to extend recognition and representation to any organization under its jurisdiction when that organization’s constitution receives a majority vote of acceptance by the senate.
  2. Senate shall also have power to temporarily suspend the recognition of any organization under its jurisdiction because of violation of, provisions of, its, the SGA constitutions or the University’s Policy.  Final suspension or discontinuation of an organization can b only made after the SGA senators vote in affirmation to suspend the organization.  The vote must be a 2/3rds vote.
  3. The senate shall have those general legislative powers that are necessary and proper for the continuance of the SGA.
  4. The senate shall have the power to set up permanent and temporary committees from within the SGA.
  5. The Senate shall have implied powers that are not given to the executive council and that are not herein listed in the following constitutions. As long as it does not violate any university policies or any rules of order.
  6. The senators shall vote on all bills that are brought before the senate.
    1. To be ratified, all bills must receive a majority of votes from a quorum of senators.
    2. Bills may be brought before the senate by senators, senate committees, or the SGA President.
    3. The senate may override president’s vetoes with a 4/5 vote of the entire senate.

ARTICLE V: The Executive Branch


Section 1:         The officers of SGA in rank order are: president, vice president, chief justice, and secretary/treasurer.

Section 2:         Method of Election

  1. The method of election for the Executive branch shall be defined by the Student Government Association’s election regulations.
  2. To be eligible for the above positions candidates must have served SGA for a minimum of two consecutive semesters.
  3. A transition team shall be formed by the newly elected officers and the outgoing officers to all for a smooth transition of powers.
  4. The elections shall be under the control of the Election Committee.

Section 3:         Terms of Office

The term of office shall be from the day of inauguration until the day of inauguration the following year.

Section 4:         The Powers and Duties of the SGA Executive Branch

  1. The powers and duties of the SGA President are:
    1. To preside over all meetings of the senate and to cast a tie breaking vote.
    2. To be official representative of the SAU student body.
    3. To give the student senate information concerning the state of the campus.
    4. To execute the rules enacted by the senate.
    5. To appoint administrative officers and senators to vacant positions with a 2/3 approval of the senate.
    6. To call special meetings of the senate or executive council.
    7. To take charge in all situations where authority is not otherwise designated.
    8. To assume all minor duties that are incident to the office.
    9. To appoint members to university committees.

10.  To grant pardons to senators for absences.

11.  To chair the executive council

12.  To appoint associate justices in the consultation with the Chief Justice with majority senate approval.

13.  To veto bills approved by majority of the senate with stated reasons.

14.  To enforce rulings of the SGA Court.

  1. The Powers and duties of the SGA vice president are:
    1. To execute duties and powers of the president in absences or vacancy.
    2. To perform such duties as the SGA president prescribes.
    3. To discharge all duties that are incident to the offices.
    4. To oversee all appointed committee activities.
  1. The powers of the SGA chief justice are:
    1. To maintain proper parliamentary procedure at senate meetings, following ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER, revised edition.
    2. To advise the SGA President on candidates for associate justices.
    3. To act as chairperson of the Traffic Appeals Court.
    4. To hold traffic court each week to hear students appeals.
    5. To perform other duties that are incident to the office.
    6. To oversee all SGA elections.
    7. To hear all organization grievances.
    8. To hear appeal of dismissed senators.
    9. To administer the oath of office to elected officers and senators.
  1. The powers of the SGA secretary/treasurer are:
    1. To make public all SGA meetings.
    2. To preserve minutes of each meeting.
    3. To keep permanent records of all banking transactions.
    4. To serve as chairperson of the budget committee.
    5. To perform all duties incident to the office.



ARTICLE VI: The Judicial Branch


Section 1:         Membership of SGA Court

  1. Chief Justice who is elected in the Spring elections in accordance with executive officers and senators rules.
  2. Associate Justices will be appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.
  3. Associate Justices serve form a term of one year. Associate Justices may be reappointed.
  4. Associate Justices may be dismissed from duty with 4/5 vote of the senate.

Section 2:         Responsibilities and Duties of the Judicial Branch

  1. To hear all traffic appeals in a weekly traffic appeals court.
  2. To review all actions of the executive and legislative branch to determine unconstitutional misconduct.
  3. To hear all grievances of organizations and senators.
  4. To review all bills and resolutions to affirm they are in accordance with the SGA constitution.
  5. To add all ratified bills and amendments to the SGA constitution.


ARTICLE VII: The Removal of Officers

Section 1:         Impeachment proceedings will be brought about only by a petition that is signed

by 10% of the total student body association or 3/4ths of the senate.

Section 2:         The chief justice shall preside at the impeachment proceedings or the highest-

ranking un-impeached officer. If executive branch is being impeached the

senate shall elect a chairperson for the impeachment process by a majority vote.

Section 3:         Amendment(s) must be published three (3) weeks before the election.

Section 4:         An amendment shall become effective immediately if passed by the student body.

ARTICLE IX:  Ratification

Section 1:         This constitution shall be ratified by a majority vote (50% + 1) by the student


ARTICLE X: Committees


Section 1:         There shall be two (2) standing committees of the senate; the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Election Committee Each committee shall consist of one senator from each respective college and two justices, to be appointed by the President. The executive board reserves the right to initiate any other special committees at their discretion. Senators will also be appointed to various university ad hoc committees by the president.  All final actions of any standing committees shall be subject to approval by the senate.

  1. The duties of the Budget and Finance Committee:
    1. Submit a financial report to the senate.
    2. See that money is handled as it is prescribed by the senate.
    3. Other duties inscribed to the committee or assigned by the executive board.
    4. The duties of the Election Committee:
      1. Make sure that all ballots are correct and printed.
      2. Secure list of all currently enrolled students.
      3. Secure voting area manpower to work voting booth.
      4. Set up debates if necessary.
      5. Give powers that are not written in this constitution that insure that the elections are run correctly
      6. To inform the Bray of all activities.



Southern Arkansas University

Student Government Association



ARTICLE I: Vacancies and Absences Policy

Section 1:         If a senate position becomes vacant during the academic year for any reason, the

SGA president will appoint a replacement, from the appropriate representative

group who will serve out the remaining term of the vacant position.  The

appointment must be confirmed by a 50% + 1 vote or simple majority.  If at

anytime more than 33% of the Senate becomes vacant a special election

may be called by the SGA Senate.

Section 2:         Senators have one unexcused absence per semester. Excused absences include

Illness, authorized school trip, and illness or death of immediate

family members. The secretary/treasurer must be notified in advance of any

excused absences. Any senator missing two or more meetings per semester

excused or unexcused will be asked to resign from his/her position unless a

pardon is granted by the president.

Section 3:         The president must publish a letter of pardon to every member of the senate

before the meeting when the pardon will take place.



ARTICLE II:  Meetings

Section 1:         To conduct business a quorum of senators must present. A quorum is defined as 50% +1

Section 2:         The Senate will meet at least twice during the months of September, October, November, February, and April. At least one meeting will be held during the months of December, January, March, May and August.

Section 3:         Emergency Meetings may occur upon proper notification of all senators within 24 hours of the meeting time, provided that a quorum is present.


Sandra Smith, Advisor, Dean of Students

Chris Harris, President

Amanda Thurlkill, Vice-President

Calvin Hines, Chief Justice

Hayden Kopplin, Secretary

Bre’Anna Bailey, Senator, College of Liberal and Performing Arts

Courtney Fricks, Senator, College of Liberal and Performing Arts

Jacob Oliver, Senator, College of Liberal and Performing Arts

Sarah Eddy, Senator, College of Education

Cheri Walker, Senator, College of Education

KeAndre’ Arnold, Senator, College of Business

Larry Graham, Senator, College of Business

Hillary Stone, Senator, College of Business

Valerie Brown, Senator, College of Science and Technology

Morgan McRae, Senator, College of Science and Technology

Bandana Rai, Senator, College of Science and Technology

Cameron Coker, Senator, Undecided

Anisha Rauniyari, Senator, Undecided

©2013 Southern Arkansas University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. All Rights Reserved.
100 E. University, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753-5000 Telephone: (870) 235-4000