Carnegie Mellon University
Constitution of the Student Body
Amended February, 1998
The name of this union shall be the Student Body of Carnegie Mellon University.
The object of this union shall be to safeguard and promote the welfare of its members.
I. All students of Carnegie Mellon University are members of the Student Body.
II. All members of the Student Body are responsible for knowing and abiding by these Bylaws.
III. Only undergraduate members of the Student Body who pay the Individual Activities Fee will be eligible to hold office as a Student Senator.
IV. Only graduate members of the Student Body who pay the Individual Activities Fee will be eligible to hold office as a Graduate Student Assembly Representative.
V. All members of the Student Body who pay the Individual Activities Fee will be eligible to hold office as Student Body President, Student Body Vice-President, or Student Body Treasurer.
Article IV--Student Government
I. The purpose of the Student Government is to see that the objectives of this union are carried out by enacting legislation to accomplish these objectives, by supervising and coordinating the execution and financing of extracurricular activities, by effecting punitive measures with respect to its rules, and by acting as the representative body for students to present their views to the faculty and administration.
II. The Structure of Student Government
Article VóArticles of Cooperation
I. The Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly recognize that some activities should be conducted jointly by the two bodies. These duties are laid forth in the Articles of Cooperation.
II. Funding of Organizations
A. Student Senate and GSA are jointly responsible for allocating the activity fee to recognized student organizations through an annual budget process.
1. The budget process will be carried out by a joint committee made up of Student Senators and GSA Representatives.
a. The Joint Funding Committee (JFC) makes allocation recommendations regarding all Activity Fee money except as outlined in sections (1) through (3) below.
(1) 10 percent of undergraduate fees is given to Student Senate for use as operating funds, special allocation money, and reserve.
(2) 10 percent of graduate fees is given to GSA for use as operating funds, special allocation, and reserve.
(3) 25 percent of graduate fees is given to GSA for dissemination to graduate departments on a per-student basis as outlined in GSA bylaws, for use as outlined in GSA fiscal policy.
(a) If GSA bylaws are changed to remove the per-student funding provision, the 25 percent reverts to the Joint Funding Committee for allocation to organizations.
2. Budgets must be given final approval in a joint session of Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly.
a. A majority of each body must be present for quorum.
b. Discussion is conducted as a committee of the whole.
(1) The Student Body Treasurer acts as chair of the meeting.
(2) The meeting will be conducted using Robertís Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
c. Votes are conducted separately.
(1) Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly must both approve the budgets in order for them to pass.
B. Budgets must be approved by Student Senate and GSA by May 1st of the preceding academic year.
C. Funded Groups
1. Organizations recognized by Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly are eligible to apply for funding as allowed under fiscal policy.
2. GSA Social Committee will submit an annual budget request to the Joint Funding Committee.
III. Executive Branch of the Student Body
IV. Joint Funding Committee
1. Committee contains nine members, made up by percentage of population.
2. The Chair of Student Senateís Funding and Recognition Committee and the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Assembly are standing members of the committee.
3. Other representatives are appointed by each body.
4. The Student Body Treasurer is an ex-officio member of the Joint Funding Committee.
5. The Joint Funding Committee will select its own chair.
1. A simple majority will be sufficient unless otherwise specified.
2. At least one student from each group must vote affirmatively in order for a motion to pass.
1. All Joint Funding Committee meetings are open to the public, however the committee may close a meeting to the public with a two thirds (2/3) majority vote.
2. Notice of meetings shall be posted to cmu.student.government and assocs.gsa bulletin boards.
3. The Joint Funding Committee shall meet at least once every complete month of the Fall and Spring semesters.
4. The Joint Funding Committee shall not meet when either Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly is out of session.
V. Fiscal Policy
A. This Fiscal Policy will apply only for all funds allocated through the Joint Funding Committee.
B. Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly jointly possess the authority to allocate funds from the undesignated portions of the Undergraduate Activities Fee and Graduate Activities Fee, as specified by Article V of this Constitution, for use by student organizations.
C. Budgeting Restrictions
1. Recognized organizations may not request funds in the following categories:
a. Student Salaries
2. Recognized organizations may spend money in the following categories only with the approval of a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Joint Funding Committee:
b. Travel expenses
c. Outside-organization membership dues
e. Coaching expenses
f. Management and consulting fees
h. Food and non-alcoholic beverages
i. Leasing of off-campus facilities.
3. The above-mentioned categories may also be financed by supplementary income.
4. All groups may be required to finance a portion of their budgets by supplementary income.
5. All of an organization's events which are financed by the Activities Fee must be germane to the primary purpose of the group.
a. Student Government will consider subsidizing up to twenty-five (25) percent of the cost of uniforms per person, not to exceed fifteen (15) dollars per person per uniform.
b. The Joint Funding Committee may allow subsidies greater than twenty-five (25) percent of the cost of uniforms per person or greater than fifteen (15) dollars per person per uniform with a three-fourths (3/4) vote.
c. Uniforms will be subsidized no more than once every three (3) years.
d. Student Government will not subsidize personal equipment, which is defined as equipment or clothing which will not be available for use by subsequent club members (mouthpieces, socks, etc.).
a. A recognized student organization must provide at least seventy-five (75) percent of its buggy maintenance budget each year from non-subsidy income.
b. Student Government will only consider funding a buggy for a recognized student organization once every four (4) years. These organizations must provide, at that time, at least thirty-three (33) percent of the cost of the buggy from non-subsidy income.
8. A recognized student organization must provide at least fifty (50) percent of its booth-building budget each year from non-subsidy income.
9. The Joint Funding Committee will submit to the Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly, with the budget, a line-item list of all expenditures that were approved as uses of an organizationís subsidy by a three-fourths (3/4) vote, as specified in Article V, Section V, Subsection B, in Paragraph 2 and Paragraph 5, Subparagraph b.
D. In order to protect itself from financial loss, Student Government is to keep between seven (7) and fifteen (15) percent of its budget on reserve in a separate account prior to the allocation of any other money, including that specified in Article V, Section II, Subsection A, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph a. This contingency fund may only be used for covering a net deficit in the Master Activities Fee account. This figure should be appropriately adjusted annually by the Joint Funding Committee to protect against any financial loss.
E. At the end of the fiscal year, each organization shall return to the Master Activities Fee account the amount of its surplus. The amount returned shall not exceed the amount of the organization's subsidy. The Joint Funding Committee reserves the right to remove the excess funds of an organization if the committee deems it necessary. The excess amount which can be removed shall not exceed the Student Government subsidy.
1. For all organizations incurring a deficit, Student Government will bear financial responsibility only for an amount not to exceed the amount of money originally budgeted to the organization by the Joint Funding Committee.
2. If any organization incurs a deficit at the end of the year, an amount up to the amount of the deficit, not to exceed the Student Government subsidy, may be subtracted from their next year's Student Government allocation. If an organization incurs a deficit for two (2) years, it shall be subject to a review by the Joint Funding Committee, the Student Body Treasurer, or the legislative bodies of Student Government, which may result in probation, suspension of funds, or removal of funded recognition.
G. Audits and Inventory Lists
1. All financial records of organizations receiving funds from Student Government shall be open to the Chair of the Joint Funding Committee, the Chair of the Funding and Recognition Committee, the Graduate Student Assembly Treasurer, the Student Body Treasurer, and the Account Director. Audits of the financial records of all funded organizations will be held at least once a year.
2. Inventory lists may be requested at any time by the Chair of the Joint Funding Committee, the Chair of the Funding and Recognition Committee, the Graduate Student Assembly Treasurer, the Student Body Treasurer, or the Account Director. If no inventory list is submitted the funds of the organization may be frozen. Organizations must be made cognizant of this contingency at the time of the request of the inventory list.
H. No outside bank accounts are permitted for any organization receiving any funds from the Activities Fee.
I. Funding Disclosure (100%) Rule
1. If one hundred (100) percent of an organizationís or eventís budget is financed by the Activities Fee, then all advertising and printed material of that organization must include the phrase: ìFunded by your Activities Feeî
2. If less than one hundred (100) percent of an organizationís or eventís budget is financed by the Activities Fee, then all advertising and printed material of that organization must include the phrase: ìFunded in part by your Activities Feeî
J. Funding of Events
1. Events which donate any portion of their proceeds to charity will not be funded by the Activities Fee.
2. Events which are discriminatory will not be funded by the Activities Fee.
K. All purchases are to be made through the Account Director
L. The Account Director reserves the right not to reimburse any money spent without the prior approval of the Account Director.
M. All organization business managers are required to do the bookkeeping for their organizations using the accounting categories of their approved budgets.
N. Expenditures submitted for payment after the close of the fiscal year will be paid out of current fiscal year funds. This does not apply to purchases made prior to the close of the fiscal year but not invoiced until after the close of the fiscal year.
O. Information and Time Considerations
1. All organizations recognized as funded by the Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly will be subsidized by the Student Activities Fee between the first July 1 following the date that the Student Senate and GSA approve their budget and the following June 30.
2. The Chair of the Joint Funding Committee will schedule at least two (2) organizational information sessions within the first month of the Spring semester to explain the budget process and hand out the budget information packets. All organizations that wish to schedule a budget hearing with the Joint Funding Committee must be represented by their president or business manager at one of these sessions
3. The budget information packets handed out at this meeting should include:
a. A description of the budgetary process, including the specific deadlines set by the Joint Funding Committee.
b. A current copy of the Constitution of the Student Body of Carnegie Mellon University.
c. Explanation of account categories.
d. Two (2) copies of blank budget request forms.
e. Two (2) copies of blank inventory forms.
f. A copy of current The Tartan ad rates.
g. A blank organizational information form.
h. A list of whom to contact if there are any questions.
4. The organization is required to submit the completed allocation request form, inventory forms, and organizational survey forms by the time specified in the budget packet.
5. At the end of the committee budget hearings, all organizations requesting subsidies from the Student Activities Fee will be listed in The Tartan along with the subsidies recommended by the Joint Funding Committee and the date for the joint Student Senate/Graduate Student Assembly hearing of the budgets.
6. At the joint budget hearings, any students with opinions of the budgeting process should explain their views to Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly.
P. Spring Carnival and Sweepstakes will automatically be allocated twenty-five (25) percent of their previous year's allocation upon submission of a completed budget packet, unless that group is affected by Article V, Section IV Subsection E above.
Q. A member of a funded organization who does not pay the Activities Fee must pay into the organization an amount equal to the average contribution to the organization of a student who does pay the Activities Fee. This amount is in addition to any dues levied by the club. If more than five (5) percent of an organization does not pay the Activities Fee, said organization is required to submit a list of the non-Activities Fee- paying members, including its additional contributions, to the Funding and Recognition Committee when its budget is being considered.
R. Budget Process
1. The Joint Funding Committee is responsible for publicizing all of the deadlines specified above. In addition, an announcement should be made in The Tartan and The Student Union that an organization must be recognized as a funded organization by Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly if it wishes to be subsidized by the Activities Fee.
2. Scheduling for budget hearings will be done on a first-come, first-served basis for organizations who have submitted their inventories by the specified deadline.
3. Upon approval by a majority of the Joint Funding Committee, a paid secretary may handle all of the paperwork for the Joint Funding Committee.
4. All organizations have the option of withdrawing from the budget allocation process by informing the Joint Funding Committee
S. The Joint Funding Committee has the right to reevaluate any budget that has not been approved by Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly, and also the right to enact retroactive across-the-board cuts to all organizations if deemed necessary, pending the approval of Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly.
T. By order of the executive committee of either the Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly, pending an investigation by the ordering executive committee, violations of Student Government Fiscal Policy may result in:
1. The immediate impoundment of an organizationís inventory and Student Government-allocated funds
2. Probation. Groups on probation must follow the Probation Regulations set forth below.
a. Approval of Events
(1) All of the organization's events must be approved by the Executive Committees of the body which has recognized the organization.
(2) Multiple events may be approved at one time.
(3) This approval requirement applies to all postering, meetings, practices, social gatherings, or any other event conducted by the organization.
b. The Executive Committees reserve the right to commission an audit of the organization's financial records without notice.
c. Membership Information
(1) The organization will routinely report the number of Carnegie Mellon students maintaining active membership in the organization to the Executive Committees of Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly. Routine reporting shall be defined as issuing a report at the time any change in the number of Carnegie Mellon students maintaining active membership status occurs.
(2) The organization will keep the Executive Committees supplied with a current list of names of all members of the organization who are not Carnegie Mellon students.
d. Violation of Probation Regulations
(1) If the Executive Committees find that an organization on probation violates these regulations, the Executive Committees may suspend the recognition of that organization pending an investigation.
(2) Within four (4) weeks of suspending recognition of an organization, the Executive Committees will make recommendations to Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly concerning said organization. If the bodies fails to ratify the suspension of recognition, the organization will have its recognition reinstated.
3. Suspension of recognition.
4. Change in recognition status.
U. Selling of equipment
1. Any plans to sell an organizationís equipment must be approved by the Joint Funding Committee or the legislative body that recognized the organization.
2. All money collected through the sale of an organizationís equipment will be returned to the Master Activities Fee account unless otherwise redirected by the Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly.
3. Student Government will accept the loss caused by depreciation on all equipment purchased through allocations of Student Government.
V. Student Government will not be financially responsible for, and shall not be required to reimburse the organization for, the loss of or damage to any property in possession or care of any organization.
W. Organizations not previously funded
1. New organizations, or organizations not receiving funding during the previous year, will not be funded in excess of $500.
2. Organizations not previously funded are those that:
a. Are new to the Carnegie Mellon campus.
b. Have been recognized as non-funded and have recently received funded recognition.
c. Have funded recognition but were not funded during the previous year.
X. Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly can override Student Government Fiscal Policy with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of each body, provided at least one (1) week's notice has been given of the proposed override.
VI. Budget appeals process
A. After the Joint Funding Committee votes to approve budgets, they must be disseminated to clubs with a minimum of one week's notice before appeals deadline.
1. Organizations wishing to file an appeal must submit formal notice of appeal to the JFC chair within 24 hours of the scheduled appeals meeting.
2. Notice of the appeals deadline and the scheduled days and times for appeals hearings must be posted to cmu.student.government, cmu.student.government.organizations, and assocs.gsa bulletin boards and sent to contacts for all organizations.
B. Two representatives of each appealing organization may speak at the appeals meeting. Other concerned parties may submit information in writing to be passed on to the committee.
C. The Joint Funding Committee may vote to accept all or part of the appeal.
VII. Dissemination of budget proposals
A. After it concludes its appeal process, the Joint Funding Committee must disseminate its budget recommendations to members of Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly at least one week prior to the joint meeting.
B. The Joint Funding Committee budget recommendations must be published in the Tartan at least one week prior to the joint meeting.
1. Senators and GSA Representatives may lodge an appeal to any budget, either on their own behalf or at the request of a club member.
a. Appeals must be submitted to JFC chair at least 24 hours prior to the joint meeting, so the committee has time to prepare necessary handouts for all attendees.
b. Appeals must be submitted as amendments to the budgets proposed by the Joint Funding Committee.
2. Appeals will be discussed the final joint budget meeting.
a. Appeals are handled in the order they were received, with the member making the appeal having the first chance to explain the motion.
b. Voting on amendments is handled in the same manner as voting on the final budget ñ a majority of each body must vote in favor in order for the amendment to pass.
VIII. Excess funds
A. Unbudgeted activity fees will be returned to the Student Senate and the GSA for use as special allocations and reserve.
1. Surplus money will be divided according to the percent that was contributed by undergraduate and graduate students.
B. Money that is budgeted but not spent by an organization reverts to the Master Activity Fee account, to be used solely for organization budgets in the next year.
C. Student Senate and Graduate Student Assembly surpluses, if any, revert to the accounts of the respective bodies.
IX. Impasse provision
A. If budgets are not approved by Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly by the May 1 deadline, the operating budgets of both bodies are to be frozen until the budgets are approved.
1. The freeze does not apply to reserve funds held by either body.
2. Organizations that have submitted budget requests, if they received a budget during the previous year, will automatically receive 25 percent of their previous yearís budget amount if the impasse continues into the next fiscal year.
3. The GSA Social Committee will receive 25 percent of its allocation for the previous year.
4. Graduate departments will receive 25 percent of their per-student allocation.
X. Activities Fee
A. The Activities Fee shall be the funds that are collected from the Individual Activities Fees and that are placed under the control of Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly by the Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees.
B. The Individual Activities Fee is the contribution of an individual student towards the Activities Fee and shall be determined by the Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees upon recommendation by Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly.
C. The fee will increase each year according to the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for the previous calendar year.
1. The appropriate Consumer Price Index measure will be the national rate of increase measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for all urban consumers (CPI-U) for the previous calendar year.
D. Additional increases
1. Student Senate may increase the undergraduate activities fee with a majority vote.
2. The Graduate Student Assembly may increase the graduate activities fee with a majority vote.
1. Either body may request a decrease in their constituencyís activity fee.
a. The Joint Funding Committee must approve the decrease by a 2/3 majority, including one vote from each group.
(1) If the Joint Funding Committee rejects the proposal, the decrease is not allowed.
(2) If the Joint Funding Committee approves the proposal, it goes before Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly.
(a) The proposal must be passed by a 2/3 majority of each body.
F. Any recommendation to change the activity fee by more than 5 percent must be approved by the affected student body in a binding referendum.
1. Only students who have paid their Activities Fee will be eligible to vote in any referendum that will influence its distribution or amount.
XI. Good-Faith Clause
A. This clause can only be enacted if Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly has probable cause to believe that the other body has been derelict in its duties as laid forth and implied in this article of the bylaws.
B. If enacted, Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly will be subject to binding arbitration conducted by a neutral third party who has no stake in the distribution of funds or the relationship between Senate and the GSA.
1. This arbiter can be a member of the campus community or an professional outside mediator.
a. A majority vote of each the two organizationsí combined executive committees will be sufficient to approve an arbiter.
2. Student Senate and GSA will split the cost of any outside arbitration.
a. Funding must come from the operations or reserve accounts of the two bodies, not the master activity fee account.
C. Funding during arbitration will be handled in the same manner as in Article V, Section IX above.
Article VI--Student Organizations
I. Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly have the power to provide Student Government recognition of student organizations. All student organizations wishing to retain Student Government recognition must adhere to the policies set forward in the Bylaws of the Undergraduate Student Body and the Bylaws of the Graduate Student Body.
II. The purpose of Student Government recognition of student organizations is to allow for the controlled usage of Student Activities facilities and to regulate the presence on campus of different organizations.
III. All graduate departments and the GSA Social Committee are exempt from the funding restrictions set forth in Article V Section V Subsection B Subsection 1 of this Constitution.
Article VII--Terms and Definitions
I. Notification of Student Senate or Graduate Student Assembly shall be satisfied by a message posted on the respective official electronic bulletin board of Student Senate or the Graduate Student Assembly or by electronic mail.
II. Approval, unless otherwise noted, shall consist of a majority vote of the respective body.
III. A two-thirds (2/3) vote, unless otherwise noted, will be satisfied by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Senators or Representatives present at any particular meeting.
I. Proposed amendments to this Constitution must be submitted in writing to the Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly at a regular meeting of each body.
II. The Executive Committees of each representative body must make a recommendation on the proposed amendments within one (1) week after the meeting at which the proposal for amendment was submitted.
III. The proposed amendments must be considered by Student Senate and the Graduate Student Assembly at the next regular meeting after which the proposal for amendment was submitted.
IV. To be adopted, an amendment must receive a two-thirds (2/3) vote in both the regular Student Senate meeting and regular Graduate Student Assembly meeting immediately following the meetings at which the proposal for amendments was submitted.
V. Student Senate has sole authority to amend the Bylaws of the Undergraduate Student Body.
VI. The Graduate Student Assembly has sole authority to amend the Bylaws of the Graduate Student Body.
Fiscal Policy Revised 2/12/98