Oklahoma Baptist University

The Constitution of the Student Government Association of Oklahoma Baptist University


The Student Government Association of Oklahoma Baptist University is derived from, exists for, and is empowered by the student population. The Student Government Association is and shall be dedicated to servant leadership and shall operate as the unified voice of student concerns and the distributer of certain funds to worthwhile causes. This document is to serve as a guide to those chosen to lead the Student Government Association.


Article I: The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch shall be headed by the President of the Student Body and comprised of the President, the Vice President of External Affairs, the Vice President of Internal Affairs, and the Executive Cabinet. The Executive Branch is tasked with carrying out the actions of the Student Government Association.

The three executive officers shall be granted the power to issue, by unanimous consent, executive orders that shall carry the same weight and validity as a Senate Bill or Resolution. Executive orders may not express student opinion, a power reserved exclusively for the Student Government Associations deliberative body, the Senate. Executive Orders may be overridden by a supermajority in the Senate. The misuse of executive orders; may be considered an impeachable offense.

1. The Presidency

The President shall be the de jure head of the Student Government. The holder of the office of President shall be styled: “President” or “Mister/Madame President.” The President shall be elected during the “Hyde Park” election by popular vote across all eligible student voters. Candidates for the office of President of Student Government must have completed no less than 60 college hours, have a Grade Point Average of at least 3.00, be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University, and served at least one year in SGA. The President shall be vested with the authority to make final decision on internal disputes. He shall also have the power to veto legislation offered by the senate and to issue executive orders in concert with the two Vice Presidents. The President shall be the primary student voice to the University President and Administration and to the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University. The President shall appoint a cabinet to lead the four primary committees of the Senate; these cabinet members will consist of: the Director of Public Relations and Elections, the Director of the Community Outreach, the Director of Programs and Special Events, and the Director of the Student Concerns. These cabinet members shall be vetted by and confirmed by the senate. The above listed cabinet members shall serve at the pleasure of the president, any unfilled positions within the Executive branch may be considered to be held by the President, unless said position falls under the direct authority of either Vice President in which case the appropriate Vice President shall absorb the authority and responsibility of that office until such time that the President appoints a new office-holder. The President shall be granted latitude to create additional cabinet positions, pending Senate approval. The President shall also be primarily responsible for creating the budget for the current fiscal year in conjunction with the Vice Presidents and pending Senate approval.

2. The Ministry of External Affairs

The Ministry of External Affairs, which is dedicated to the betterment of the OBU community and beyond through Student Government action, shall be headed by the Vice President of External affairs. As a part of the Executive branch the Ministry shall serve under the guidance and vision of the President but its various bodies and its head, the Vice President of External Affairs, shall be independent and distinct.

A. The Vice Presidency of External Affairs

The Vice President of External Affairs shall be styled: “Vice President of External Affairs,” “Vice President,” “Mister/Madame Vice President,” or “the VPE.” The Vice President of External Affairs shall be elected during the “Hyde Park” election by popular vote across all eligible student voters. Candidates for the office of Vice President of External Affairs must have completed no less than 60 college hours, have a Grade Point Average of at least 3.00, be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University, and served at least one year in SGA. To fulfill the role, the Vice President of External affairs shall have at his or her disposal, the Volunteer Action Committee, The Student Organizations Council, The Senate Committee on Events, and the Senate Committee on Public Relations and Elections. The Vice President of External Affairs shall have the power to dismiss the Director of Community Outreach, the Director of Public Relations and Elections, and the Director of Programs and Special Events as well as any individual member of the Volunteer Action Committee, the Senate Committee on Public Relations and Events, and the Senate Events Committee. Dismissal of any director or committee member shall not be tantamount to impeachment and shall not strip the dismissed person of any Student Government Association title, position, or power outside the Ministry of External Affairs. Misuse of the power to dismiss shall be an impeachable offense.

B. The Volunteer Action Committee

The Volunteer Action Committee shall be the Student Government Associations primary outreach entity. The Committee shall be comprised of members of the Senate and headed by the Director of Community Outreach. It shall be the Student Government Association’s only direct action body as regards volunteering. Any and all service projects, mission trips, et cetera worked and funded by the Student Government Association should be organized by and through and operate under the auspices of the Volunteer Action Committee. The Volunteer Action Committee shall be open to membership to persons not holding official titles within the Student Government Association, who shall be, for the duration of their involvement in the Volunteer Action Committee or its projects, members of the Student Government Association, subject to all the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and requirements thereby entailed.

C. The Senate Committee on Events

The Senate Committee on Events is a committee comprised of Senators, headed by the Director of Programs and Special Events or Vice President of External Affairs, and responsible for planning SGA directed and funded events. The Committee may employ the help of persons, who shall be, for the duration of their involvement in the Committee’s projects, members of the Student Government Association, subject to all the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and requirements thereby entailed, however these untitled persons shall not be extended votes on committee matters.

D. The Senate Committee on Public Relations and Elections

The Public Relations and Elections Committee shall be comprised of Senators, headed by the Director of Public Relations and Elections or the Vice President of External Affairs, and responsible for organizing the fall elections, Harvest Court elections, Hyde Park elections, and will also be responsible for publishing any statements to the press or student body. The Committee may employ the help of persons, who shall be, for the duration of their involvement in the Committee’s elections, members of the Student Government Association, subject to all the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and requirements thereby entailed, however these untitled persons shall not be extended votes on committee matters nor allowed to operate unsupervised in any official capacity. The integrity of elections is and shall be considered of greatest importance to the Student Government Association. Conduct which in any way violates that integrity shall be considered fraud and grounds for immediate suspension and impeachment. Impeachment of any person or persons on or working for the Committee on Public Relations and Elections shall bar that person or persons from serving in any part of the Student Government Association in perpetuity.

E. The Student Organizations Council

The Student Organizations Council shall be comprised of the head or heads of each student organization and headed by the Vice President of External Affairs. It shall be responsible for coordinating events between organizations, improving campus wide participation in organizations, encouraging the growth of new organizations, providing resources and guidance to organizations, providing a forum for the rapid communication of ideas, rules, and requirements from the University Administration to student organizations, and any other collaborative efforts deemed appropriate by the Vice President of External Affairs and the Council. The Council may be made responsible for the dissemination of information regarding the structure of student organizations including but not limited to coordinating with the University Office of the Dean of Students to make available the contact information for the head and sponsor of each student organization to the Oklahoma Baptist University community. The Council is intended to better the quality of student organizations and shall be formed and serve in a manner which its members believe best accomplishes that goal.

3. The Office of Internal Affairs

The Office of Internal Affairs shall be headed by the Vice President of Internal Affairs and comprised of the Vice President of Internal Affairs, the Senate Committee on Student Concerns, and any additional committees created with the purpose of promoting action on the part of the University or expressing concerns, discontent, or praise on behalf of the student body.

A. The Vice Presidency of Internal Affairs

The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall be style: “Vice President of Internal Affairs,” “Vice President,” “Mister/Madame Vice President,” or in his or her legislative duties “Speaker,” or “Chairman.” The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall be elected during the “Hyde Park” election by popular vote across all eligible student voters. Candidates for the office of Vice President of Internal Affairs must have completed no less than 60 college hours, have a Grade Point Average of at least 3.00, be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University, and served at least one year in SGA. The Vice President of Internal Affairs shall serve as the head of the Office of Internal Affairs, Speaker of the Senate, and head of the legislative branch of the Student Government Association. The Office of Vice President of Internal Affairs shall have at its disposal the Student Concerns Committee and any additional committees created with the purpose of promoting action on the part of the University or expressing concerns, discontent, or praise on behalf of the student body.

B. The Senate Committee on Student Concerns

The Senate Committee on Student Concerns shall be comprised of Senators and headed by the Director of Student Concerns or the Vice President of Internal Affairs. The Committee shall be primarily responsible for gathering information on concerns, problems, discontent, and issues that affect the student body of Oklahoma Baptist University. The findings of the Committee should be formulated into a Senate resolution for presentation to the University Administration. Wherever possible the Committee should include recommended or requested action, however lack of a recommendation or request should not be viewed as excusing inaction. The purpose of the Committee is to better Oklahoma Baptist University through the sharing of information from students to the University Administration.

Article II: The Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch shall be headed by the Vice President of Internal Affairs in his or her role as Speaker of the Senate. It is comprised of the Student Government Association Senate, serves as the deliberative branch of the Student Government Association, presents the opinion of the student body through resolutions of opinion and charter and bills which provide funding, and is vested with the authority to review the actions of the Executive Branch.

1. The Senate

The Senate serves as the Student Government Association’s deliberative body. It is comprised of Senators but its meetings shall be open to the public, excepting an “executive session,” and its official work product, both resolutions and bills, must be made available to any person or persons from the Oklahoma Baptist University community, who requests them, free of charge. The Senate shall be headed by the Speaker of the Senate and comprised of Senators and Seated Executives.

A. The Speaker of the Senate

The office of Speaker of the Senate shall be held by the holder of the title Vice President of Internal Affairs. The Speaker shall serve as the chairperson of the Senate and shall cast a deciding vote in the event of a tie. The Speaker shall be vested with the authority to decide the membership of committees not specifically laid out in this document and create temporary committees to work towards whatever objective. The chair of temporary committees may be chosen by the Speaker or the temporary committee itself. All committee decisions made by the Speaker may be reviewed or invalidated by the Senate.

B. Senators

All persons in Senate office shall be required to: maintain a Grade Point Average of at least 2.50 and be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University. Freshman candidates shall not be students who were admitted on probationary status. Persons running for the offices of Class Senator or Class President or Vice President shall be considered to be a Freshman if they are currently in their first or second semester as a college student, a Sophomore if they are currently in their third or fourth semester as a college student, a Junior if they are currently in their fifth or sixth semester as a college student, and a Senior if they are in their seventh or greater semester as a college student. Voting should follow according to these classifications. Senators shall be of the following three types of elected members: Class Presidents/Vice Presidents, Class Senators, and Senators at large. Senators are elected to represent their constituents, to do so properly they must be present during Senate sessions. Accordingly a Senator will face impeachment if they exceed three absences at any time during their term.

i. Class Presidents and Vice Presidents

Class Presidents and Vice Presidents shall be elected by popular vote during the Hyde Park elections (with the exception of the Freshman President and Vice President). The Class Presidents and Vice Presidents shall run on a single ticket. The responsibilities of the Class President and Vice President shall primarily consist of planning and organizing class chapels and fundraising for the class as well as planning any class specific or class sponsored events. The Class President and Vice President shall also serve as members of the Senate.

ii. Class Senators

Class Senators (with the exception of Freshman Class Senators) shall be elected during the Hyde Park elections. They shall serve as full and equal members of the Senate. Each class shall have three class senators. Senators may make motions, present legislation, and vote on legislation on the floor of the Senate. Senators may also serve as full voting members of Senate Committees.

iii. Senators-at-Large

Senators-at-Large shall be elected in the fall elections along with the Freshman Class President and Vice President and the Freshman Class Senators. There shall be four Senators at Large; these Senators are elected by the entire student body rather than any individual class. The roles, responsibilities, and privileges of Senators-at-Large are identical to that of the Class Senators, however, the constituency includes the entire student body.

iv. Additional Members

Additional members of the Senate shall be the Seated Executives. The Seated Executives shall be The Vice President of Internal Affairs, The Vice President of External Affairs, and the President of the Student Body, and any person elected to but not yet holding any of the above titles. Seated Executives shall have the right to propose legislation, make motions, and to remain in the Senate Chamber during executive session. However, Seated Executives shall not have the right to vote with the exception of the Vice President of Internal Affairs in his or her role as Speaker of the Senate in the event of a tie vote.

C. Legislation

The Senate as the legislative body of the Student Government Association shall have the power to propose, debate, and pass four types of legislation: Bills, resolutions, constitutional amendments, and articles of impeachment. The Senate may consider Senate Bills which allot funds from the discretionary section of the Executive Budge to a campus organization as the Senate deems fit; bills may be passed by a simple majority vote of the Senate. The Senate may consider Senate Resolutions, which either order a change in Senate policy or express an opinion and thus appeal to the University Administration; resolutions may be passed by a simple majority vote of the Senate. The Senate may consider Constitutional Amendments that (by a two thirds majority) shall amend this document, any amendment that is passed shall be applied to the whole document, then subsequently approved by the Senate, and finally new copies shall be distributed. Lastly, the Senate may consider Articles of Impeachment that put on trial any member of the Student Government Association who has violated this document, the rules governing their office, or the University code of conduct. Impeachment requires a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate and upon passage shall remove any Student Government Association member from office. Any of the above Legislation may be submitted by any member of the Senate.

D. Offices of the Senate

i. President Pro Tempore

The Senate shall elect a President Pro Tempore during their first meeting of each fall semester. The President Pro Tempore shall serve as Speaker of the Senate when the Speaker is absent or temporarily relinquishes the official Senate duties accompanying the office. The President Pro Tempore shall serve as Speaker of the Senate in the event of a permanent vacancy in the office of Vice President of Internal Affairs, until such time that a replacement for that office is proposed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

ii. Chaplin

The Senate shall elect a Chaplin who shall serve on the Volunteer Action Committee and shall also open each Senate session with prayer.

iii. Additional Offices

The Senate may create additional officer positions, such as secretary or historian, as the Senate pleases. These positions shall be considered temporary until such time as this document is amended.

Article III: Procedures

The Senate meetings shall be chaired by the Vice President of Internal affairs who shall use parliamentary procedure to manage the happenings of the meetings. A set of house rules shall be set forth by the Speaker, which shall dictate more detailed Senate policies.

1. Submission of Senate Legislation

Bills and Resolutions shall be submitted to the Speaker who will then send resolutions to the Dean’s office and the Senate. The author of the bill will be listed on the agenda and shall be recognized by the Chair and will then have the opportunity to present the bill. Discussion and motions regarding the bill or resolution shall be governed by standard parliamentary procedure and the rules set forth in the Speaker’s house rules.

2. Impeachment Proceedings

All elected and non-elected officials of the Student Government Association must be held accountable by the Senate. Therefore the Senate shall be vested with the power to remove appointed or elected officials, including Senators, found guilty of behavior beneath the dignity of the office they hold.

stipulation 1: A two-thirds vote is necessary for the removal of an officer.

stipulation 2: A trial must be convened before the Senate body, prior to voting upon an impeachment resolution, to allow the accused to properly respond to the charges against them.

stipulation 3: The nature of this trial shall be determined by the Vice President of Internal Affairs in conjunction with the President of the Student Body and/or the Dean of Students.

stipulation 4: If a student is convicted, he or she shall be removed from office and permanently disqualified from ever holding any office within Student Government Association.

3. Senate Committee Structure

Senate committee assignments shall follow two guidelines: None of the four standing committees may consist of fewer than three senators, and no more than ten senators. Appointment rules and membership shall be set for in the Speaker’s house rules. The chair of each committee shall consist of the President’s cabinet appointment as described in Article I. In the case of a dead lock within a committee, the deciding vote shall be cast by whichever Vice President is over the committee.

4. Senate Appointments

In the event of an absence in the Senate due to impeachment, resignation, or otherwise inability to serve, the Vice President of Internal Affairs shall appoint a suitable replacement for the Senator. The nominee must be eligible for the position they shall fill by meeting the general academic requirements and belonging to the appropriate class they will be replacing. For a Senator at Large position, any student who meets the academic requirements shall be eligible.

5. Succession

The transition from year to year is a difficult process; listed below is are procedures that will be effective for carrying the traditions and ideas of the Student Government through the rapid turnover that arises in student organizations.

A. Replacing Vacant Offices

Offices that are vacant, whether by impeachment by the Senate or an individual surrendering his/her position, should be filled promptly. If any of the Executive officers are relinquished of their duties new officers may be elected, but it is not mandatory if the two remaining officers are able and willing to assume the duties of the third.

i. Filling the office of President

If the Office of President shall at any time become vacant, the Vice Presidents shall dually perform the duties of the Office of President as a Presidium, they shall be both be styled “Executive Vice President.” The Presidium may appoint a new person to the Presidency subject to Senate approval at which time the Presidium is dissolved and standard executive function restored.

ii. Filling the office of a Vice President

If the either Vice President vacates their office, the President and remaining Vice President shall dually perform the duties of the vacant officer, though in the event of a vacant Vice Presidency of Internal Affairs the Senate President Pro Tempore shall serve temporarily as the Speaker of the Senate. The President may appoint a new person to either Vice Presidency subject to Senate approval.

iii. Filling multiple Executive offices

If, at any time, two or more of the three Executive Offices become vacant, the Dean of Students and the Senate shall designate successors.

iv. Filling vacant cabinet offices

If any cabinet position becomes vacant, the President shall appoint a replacement who must subsequently be confirmed by the Senate.

v. Filling vacant Offices of the Senate

If the office of President Pro Tempore or Chaplin becomes vacant, the Senate shall elect a replacement from within the Chamber.

B. Annual Re-elections

i. Spring elected members

Each year the SGA President, SGA Vice Presidents, Class Presidents and Vice Presidents, and Class Senators should be elected on the day of Hyde Park Chapel. The new members should attend the last meeting of their predecessors’ term and after the meeting immediately be sworn in and hold the first meeting with the newly elected members. The first meeting of the term should include the presentation and vote on the Executive budget and Executive Cabinet members.

ii. Fall elected members

The Senators-at-Large and Freshmen Class Officers (President, Vice President, and Senators) will be voted on by the student body as quickly as possible, not exceeding the fourth week of the Fall semester, and should be sworn in joining the Senate body immediately after election.

Article IV: Conclusion

This document serves only as a basic outline for the operation of the Student Government Association of Oklahoma Baptist University. It has purposely been created with a certain sense of ambiguity to allow latitude in interpretations for the future leaders of the Student Government Association. Anything not addressed to satisfaction herein should be resolved through deliberation in the Senate, amendment to the Constitution, or consultation with the Dean of Students.

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