Article I - Name

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

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. In the event a staff member from the budget center is elected after year one or two, the special appointment for the at-large senator will end. If 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, Appendix A, Election Procedures.  This document shall be reviewed and updated as appropriate by the Membership Committee with final approval by the Executive Committee.

    4. 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 January and February for each office.

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

    7. Elections shall take place after the February 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 (10) 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 or 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, 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 the Presidency is vacated for any reason, the Vice President shall assume the role of President.

    D. 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 date and time of the regular monthly meetings of the Staff
    Senate will be determined by the Executive Committee. The schedule of the meetings for the year will be announced no later than the first day of May through appropriate communications. Except for executive sessions, all meetings of the Staff Senate will be open to any member of the public.

    2. Items for consideration for the meeting agenda should be submitted in writing at least five business days before the regularly scheduled meeting.

    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 and Program Coordinator 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 after being approved in the month following the meeting date. (e.g., January minutes are approved at the February meeting and posted the day after the meeting).

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

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

    II.Approval of Minutes

    III.Special Order of the Day (if any)

    IV.Treasurer’s Report

    V.Committee Reports

    a.Standing Committees

    b.Ad Hoc Committees

    c.University Committees/Councils

    VI.President’s Report

    VII.Unfinished Business

    VIII.New Business



    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. The date and time of the Executive Committee monthly meetings of the Staff
    Senate will be determined by the Executive Committee. The schedule of the meetings for the year will be announced no later than the first day of May through appropriate communications.

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

Article III - Officers

Officers are elected by the Senate members and serve for a period of one (1) year. Officers will serve for one year in conjunction with the President at the passing of the gavel at the April 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, 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 be responsible for taking minutes at Executive Committee and Full Senate meetings. They shall work with the Senate Program Coordinator to provide necessary support with 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, in collaboration with the Staff Senate Program Coordinator, 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.

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.

Article V - Committees

  • Section 1. Standing Committees

    Each Senator shall serve on a standing committee. Senators shall submit their request for committee preference, with the Executive Committee making the final committee assignments. 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. Welfare Committee

    The purpose of the 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 attention of the Senate. The Committee may formulate and recommend University-wide policies and procedures related to staff.

    D. Advancement 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, to increase the scholarship endowment, and to support and the Employee Emergency Fund. 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.

    F. Inclusive Excellence

    The purpose of the Inclusive Excellence Committee is to provide guidance and support for the efforts within the Senate body to create an inclusive, diverse and accessible space for not only Staff Senators, but for all Clemson staff and partners within the University community. Those efforts include the creation and implementation of the Staff Senate Strategic Plan which targets focus areas such as institutional practices, policies and procedures, and the promotion of diversity education and development opportunities.

  • 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 in the Spring semester.

  • 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.

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.

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 Initiative or Resolution: Any Senator may propose an initiative or resolution 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 of the Senate will then assign the issue to the proper standing committee or establish an ad hoc committee if appropriate.

    B. Communications: The committee chair of the committee to which the initiative or resolution is assigned will examine the issue with full disclosure to the Senator who introduced the issue and to the Executive Committee.

    1. The committee chair will provide copies of the proposed initiative or resolution to all members of the Senate one week, but no fewer than three days in advance of the vote.

    C. Forwarding the Initiative or Resolution: If the Senate approves the initiative or resolution, the initiative or resolution shall be forwarded to the University’s Executive Leadership Team. The initiative or resolution will be communicated to all University staff.

Bylaws Revised January 4, 2023