Bylaws

Revised and Approved March 9, 2021


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Article I - Name

Article II - Senate Membership

Section 1. Eligibility

Section 2. Representation

Section 3. Terms

Section 4. Elections

Section 5. Removal from Senate or Officer Position

Section 6. Vacancies

Section 7. Meetings


Article III - Officers

Section 1. Duties


Article IV - Executive Committee

Section 1. Membership

Section 2. Responsibilities


Article V - Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees

Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees

Section 3. University Committees/Councils

Section 4. Committee Responsibilities

Section 5. Ombuds Evaluation Committee


Article VI - Parliamentary Authority


Article VII - Standing Rules

Section 1. Amendment of Bylaws

Section 2. Operational Guidelines for Introduction of New or Revised Policy

Article I - Name

The full name of this organization is the Clemson University Staff Senate, hereinafter referred to as the "Senate."

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Article II - Senate Membership;

Section 1. Eligibility

The Staff Senate membership is comprised of employees with a staff classification. To serve as a Senator, an employee must meet the following eligibility criteria: 1) be in a Full-Time Equivalent (FTE), Time-Limited (TLP), and/or Temporary Grant (TGP) position; 2) work at least 30 hours per week; 3) have one continuous year of service before their election date; and 4) be in good standing with the University upon election and remain in such standing during their term(s). Wherever used in these Bylaws, the term “employee”, “staff” or “staff employee” shall mean a Clemson University staff employee in FTE, TLP or, TGP position.

Section 2. Representation

Representation in the Senate will be based on a 1:75 ratio of employees in a budget center. There will be one senator for each 75 staff members rounded to the nearest 75. Budget Centers with fewer than 75 staff members shall have one senator. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to combine budget centers with significantly fewer than 75 staff members. Representation will be computed every year.

A. An incumbent Senator may run for re-election to represent their budget center if eligible under Section 3 A (Terms).

B. In the case of a budget center for which representation cannot be attained through the standard election process (e.g., the majority of personnel are located off campus and unable or unwilling to travel to campus for meetings, or whose job duties do not permit them to serve as a Senator) the Executive Committee, at the recommendation of the Membership Committee, may appoint a Senator-at-Large to represent that budget center.

1.Any current senator who was not re-elected can be specially appointed to serve in an “at-large” Senate seat for a term of one to three years. The appointed Senator-at-large must demonstrate a willingness to actively serve as Senator for that budget center and, ideally, should have some connection to the budget center.

2.This option should be exercised only after an exhaustive search has failed to identify a staff employee from that budget center who could serve as Senator.

3. The appointment may be for up to a three (3) year term, or in the case of a resignation, for the remainder of the existing term.

4. Elections will be held in budget centers that have an "at-large" senator who received a special appointment if there is a staff member who wishes to run to fill a vacant seat after year one or year two of the special appointment. In the event a staff member from the budget center is elected after year one or year two, the special appointment for the at-large senator who is outside that budget center will end. In the event that the budget center has no staff interested in running for election, the currently serving specially appointed at-large senator will continue to represent that budget center for a maximum three-year term.

5. In the event of any special unforeseen circumstances that arise with a specially appointed at-large Senate seat, the Executive Committee reserves the right to fill any vacant Senate seats as needed.

Section 3. Terms

A. Senators shall serve a three (3) year term beginning at the May meeting of the Senate. A maximum of two consecutive terms (6 years) may be served. A one (1) year interval is necessary before a senator is eligible to serve again. The Senate Executive Committee may, in the event of an unfilled senator vacancy, appoint a currently serving senator who has served a second consecutive term to fill the vacancy.

Section 4. Elections

A. Senator Elections:

1. Elections shall be held annually in March for expiring and vacant Senator seats.

2. New Senator terms shall begin with the May Senate meeting.

3. Each year the Membership Committee shall call for nominations, prepare and send out ballots, count votes, and announce election results. The procedures for the election process shall be contained in a separate document, Election Procedures. This document shall be reviewed and updated as appropriate by the Membership Committee with final approval by the Executive Committee.

4. In the event that the number of Senate seat vacancies in a budget center equals or is more than the number of candidates running for election, those candidates shall be elected through appointment by the Executive Committee.

5. A letter from the Senate will be sent to new Senators, informing them of their election to the Senate and inviting them to attend the first meeting of their term.

B. Officer Elections:

1. The Membership Committee shall conduct officer elections and maintain officer approval forms.

2. The following eligibility requirements must be met to run for an officer position:1) the employee must be a current Senator in good standing with the University and Senate, 2) must self-nominate or be nominated by another Senate member, and 3) the Senator must have obtained approval from their supervisor to run for an officer position.

3. The President shall announce annually, at the January Senate meeting, that nominations will be accepted for officer positions.

4. Eligible candidates may run only for one office.

5. Nominations will be accepted in February and March for each office.

6. The deadline to submit a completed nomination form for an officer position is five business days before the March meeting. Candidates will have the option to address the Senate to request support for their candidacy at the March meeting.

7. Elections shall take place at the April Senate meeting by a vote of the currently serving Senators.

8. If the Senate term of the Vice President expires before they assume the Presidency, they may continue to serve on the Senate for a fourth year to serve as President and fifth year to serve as Immediate Past President.).

Section 5. Removal from Senate or Officer Position 

A. If in a term year (May-April), a Senator accumulates a combined total of seven (7) absences from regularly scheduled monthly Senate meetings and/or regularly scheduled committee meetings, the Senator may be dismissed from the Senate. If a Senator realizes they cannot adhere to the attendance policy (with the exception of absences due to approved FMLA leave), the Senator shall be given the option to submit a letter of resignation to the Senate office and/or Senate President before the Executive Committee initiates dismissal proceedings.

B. If, upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee, the Executive Committee determines that a dismissal action should be initiated, the Staff Senate President shall send a letter to the Senator informing them of the Executive Committee's recommendation.

C. A Senator who receives a dismissal notification letter has ten (10) University business days upon receipt of the letter to respond and appeal the recommendation of dismissal. The appeal must be sent to the Staff Senate Program Coordinator.

D. If an appeal is received, a special Executive Committee session will be called to determine the Senator’s standing. The Executive Committee will send a response to the appealing Senator within ten University business days of receipt of the appeal

E. If the appeal is denied by the Executive Committee, a formal letter of dismissal will be sent to the Senator informing them of their status and the Executive Committee’s decision.

F. If after the ten (10) University business days of allowable time to appeal has passed and no appeal is received, a formal letter of dismissal will be sent to the Senator informing them of the Senator’s status and the committee’s action.

G. An officer can be removed from service by a simple majority vote by the Senate. If the President is removed, Section 5 D. applies. All officers have the right to appeal in writing to the Executive Committee within ten (10) University business days of the Senate vote.

H. The President may, with the majority approval of the Executive Committee, remove a senator from a committee leadership role.

Section 6. Vacancies

A. If a Senator transfers out of the budget center they were elected to represent, but remains a staff employee, they may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of their term, with full voting privileges, subject to Executive Committee approval. If the Senator no longer wishes to represent their former budget center, the vacancy may be filled by the employee who received the next highest number of votes in the previous regular election or by appointment of the Executive Committee.

B. When a vacancy is filled, the expiration of the current term remains the same. For purposes of re-election, a new member who serves more than eighteen months shall be considered to have served one term.

C. If an officer transfers out of the budget center they were elected to represent, but remains a staff employee, they may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of their term of office, with full voting privileges, subject to Executive Committee approval.

D. If the Presidency is vacated for any reason, the Vice President shall assume the role of President.

E. If an office other than the President is vacated, nominations to fill the office will be accepted from current Senators at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Senate will then hold an election to select a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term of office.

Section 7. Meetings

A. Senate Meetings

1. The Senate shall meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. All meetings are open to the public except when the Senate goes into executive session. Notice of regular meetings will be published on the Staff Senate website.

2. Items for consideration for the meeting agenda should be submitted in writing at least five business days before the regularly scheduled meeting and should include the amount of time needed to present and discuss.

3. As determined by the Executive Committee, special meetings of the Senate may be held. The Executive Committee will determine the place and time of special meetings. All Senators will be notified in advance of special meetings.

4. The Executive Committee will establish the agenda for Senate meetings. The agenda for the upcoming Senate meeting and the draft minutes from the previous Senate meeting will be distributed to all Senators prior to the meeting.

5. The Executive Committee will review and approve any guest speakers for the monthly meeting

6. The minutes of all Senate meetings will be posted on the Senate website for public review.

7. The agenda for the monthly Senate meeting shall be as follows:

I.Approval of Minutes

II.Special Order of the Day (if any)

III.Open Commentary (limited to ten (10) minutes)

IV.President’s Report

V.Treasurer’s Report

VI.Committee Reportsa.Standing Committeesb.Ad Hoc Committeesc.University Committees/Councils

VII.Unfinished Business

VIII.New Business

IX.Announcements

X.Adjournments

8. Voting

I. Each Senator has one vote

II. Senator may transfer their vote to another Senator by revocable written proxy submitted to the Secretary of the Executive Committee.

III. A simple majority of the Senate membership will constitute a quorum.

IV. The Senate may conduct a meeting without a quorum but no votes may be taken on any matters brought before the Senate if there is not a quorum.

B. Executive Committee Meetings

1. Meeting Schedule: Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held on the last Tuesday of each month. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the President.

2. Guests may attend Executive Committee meetings only if invited by the President and only for the meeting(s) their presence is requested.

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Article III - Officers

Officers are elected by the Senate members and serve for a period of one (1) year. The term of office is May-April. Officers whose terms are expiring shall serve through the end of the April meeting and the new officers shall take office beginning with the May meeting.

Section 1. Duties

A. The President shall be responsible for conducting all Senate meetings and shall represent and serve as liaison of the Senate on University-wide committees as requested by the University administration until the committee is terminated. The President may appoint current Senate members as their representative to serve on any committee or task force with the approval of the Executive Committee. The President shall select a current Senator to chair the following Senate committees: Activities, Communication, Membership, Policy and Welfare, and Scholarship, as well as any ad-hoc Senate committees or task forces. The President’s selections shall be presented to the Executive Committee for confirmation. If a committee chair is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities, the President shall select a replacement and request confirmation from the Executive Committee. 

B. The Vice President shall serve as the President Elect and assist the President. The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in their absence.

C. The Secretary shall work with the Senate Program Coordinator to provide necessary support with keeping attendance, reviewing minutes, maintaining records, and distributing information. The Secretary shall ensure that Senate meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised in the absence of the Immediate Past President.

D. The Treasurer shall be responsible for disbursing funds, preparing annual financial report and budget, and all other financial affairs of the Senate.

E. The Immediate Past President shall work with the Membership Committee to perform annual review of the Senate bylaws, ensure Senate meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, ensure adherence to the Bylaws, and serve as the chairperson for the Staff Ombuds review committee.

 

 

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Article IV - Executive Committee

Section 1. Membership

The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, the Immediate Past President and chairpersons of the standing committees.

Section 2. Responsibilities

The Committee's purpose shall be to propose and approve the annual Senate goals and Senate meeting agendas and to consider and possibly refer items, to the appropriate Senate committee(s) for their review and subsequent recommendations to the Senate. The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Senate between meetings, make recommendations to the Senate, and perform other duties as specified in these bylaws. The Executive Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Senate, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Senate.


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Article V - Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees

Each Senator shall serve on a standing committee. Senators shall submit their top three (3) committee preferences, with the Executive Committee making the final committee assignments at the April Executive Committee meeting. After committee chairs are appointed, committee chairs will establish committee meeting dates and times with their committee members.

A. Membership Committee

The purpose of the Membership Committee is to provide oversight of all Senate membership-related matters including conducting all Senate representative and officer elections, delivering new member orientation, evaluating and reporting excessive absences to the Executive Committee, and performing an annual review of the bylaws and making recommendations to the Executive Committee for revisions as needed.

B. Communications Committee

The purpose of the Communications Committee is to develop systematic means for communicating with Senators and all staff employees about Senate activities and to increase awareness of the Senate.

C. Policy and Welfare Committee

The purpose of the Policy and Welfare Committee is to propose initiatives for enhancing the work life and welfare of Clemson University employees, related to the development of job and supervisory skills, compensation, benefits, welfare, and other areas of concern brought to the Senate’s attention. The Committee may formulate and recommend university-wide policies and procedures related to staff.

D. Scholarship Committee

The purpose of the Scholarship Committee is to serve as the fund raising arm of the Senate. The money raised is used to support the scholarships awarded each year to the dependents of staff and to increase the scholarship endowment. The Committee will set yearly goals for its fund raising campaigns and seek new and creative methods to enhance these efforts.

E. Activities Committee

The purpose of the Activities Committee is to coordinate activities to enhance engagement, recognition, and service of the Senate and Clemson University staff community. The Activities Committee may be asked to organize other events as appropriate.

Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees

The President shall create and disband ad hoc committees as deemed necessary. The committee may consist of both current and former Senate members but must be chaired by a current member of the Senate or a Past President of the Senate.

Section 3. University Committees/Councils

The President shall appoint a member of the Senate or a staff employee to represent the Senate on University committees/councils as necessary, taking into account the expertise of the member and their area of representation. If the appointee is unable to attend meetings and provide activity reports to the Senate, the President may choose a replacement.

Section 4. Committee Responsibilities

A. All formal resolutions and committee reports should be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee prior to presentation at a Senate meeting. Each committee should prepare a report to be presented at the Senate meeting.

B. Maintain committee records containing: summary reports, current assignments and letters, completed assignments and letters, members’ attendance at meetings, and a committee members' list.

C. Work on letters and agenda items as assigned.

D. Make recommendations to the Senate. Any material to be included in the agenda will be sent to the Program Coordinator five business days before the scheduled meeting.

E. Hold a transition meeting with incoming and outgoing committee members before the June meeting.

Section 5. Ombuds Evaluation Committee

The Staff Ombuds is evaluated by a five (5) member Ombuds Evaluation Committee, comprised of four (4) Senate members and one (1) staff member appointed by the Ombuds. These members are as follows:

  • The Immediate Past President (serves as chairperson for the committee)
  • The President
  • The Vice President
  • An elected Senator – 1 (one) Senator elected annually by the Senate
  • An appointed member – 1 (one) staff member appointed annually by the Staff Ombuds
All members of the committee should be identified no later than April 30 annually. If the Staff Ombuds fails to appoint a staff member on their behalf by April 30, then one may be appointed for them by the Chairperson.

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Article VI -  Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Senate may adopt.


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Article VII - Standing Rules

Section 1. Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Senate by a simple majority vote of the Senate members, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting and approved by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Operational Guidelines for Introduction of New or Revised Policy

A. Introduction of Policy: Any Senator may propose a new or revised policy by way of a motion to the floor during the discussion of New Business agenda items. Once a motion is made and approved by the Senate, the President will then assign the issue to the proper standing committee or establish an ad hoc committee if appropriate.

B. Communications: The committee chair will examine the issue with full disclosure to the Senator who introduced the issue and to the Executive Committee.

1. Policy Revision: The committee chair will provide copies of the present policy, as well as the proposed policy, to each member of the Senate one month in advance of the vote.

2. New Policy: The committee chair will provide copies of the proposed policy to all members of the Senate one month in advance of the vote.

C. Forwarding the Policy: If the Senate approves the new or revised policy, the proposed policy and a supporting resolution shall be forwarded to the Chief Human Resources Officer for introduction to the Executive Leadership Team. A copy of the resolution will also be forwarded to the President of the University. The Chief Human Resources Officer will provide written notification of the decision of the Administrative Council to the President of the Senate in an expeditious manner.

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