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2014 Spring Standing Rules

Current Standing Rules

Amended Thursday, 23 January 2014.

Preamble

The Student Assembly’s foremost interest in 2014 shall be the undergraduate students of Cornell University.

These Standing Rules shall serve as guidelines for specific rules and effective leadership from the Student Assembly that may not specifically be covered in the charter, but will aide in the efficiency of a successful Assembly.

These Standing Rules shall be adhered to by all Student Assembly members (elected and ex-officio), committee members, and staff.

These Standing Rules shall be utilized with the following prefaces:

Rule 1
In the event of a conflict, the Charter and Bylaws shall supersede the Standing Rules.
Rule 2
The Standing Rules shall be revised at the beginning of each semester by the President and Executive Vice-President and submitted for the approval of the Student Assembly by the Executive Vice President. The Standing Rules shall take effect upon their approval by a majority vote of the membership of the Student Assembly.
Rule 3
A motion to suspend the Standing Rules must be recognized by the Chair and approved by a two-thirds vote of the Student Assembly members present.

Section I: Ethical Standards & Attendance Policy

Ethical Conduct is expected of all members at all times, as members are representative of their constituencies and those they represent. Any member found to be using the name of the SA outside of the bounds of the individual’s described role on the SA, abusing the SA brand to acquire additional benefits or privileges, or any such similar matter shall be in violation of this ethics clause. The appropriate disciplinary action shall be determined by the Executive Board, the Dean of Students, and the Office of Assemblies.

The Student Assembly is charged to “seek out and voice effectively the interests and concerns of the student body.” To do this, attendance and participation, as outlined below is imperative for efficiency within the Assembly.

Rule 1
Attendance is required at all regularly scheduled meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings are held Thursdays, from 4:45 until 6:30 p.m., while undergraduate colleges are in session. Informal meetings are considered official meetings when held in lieu of regular Thursday meetings.
Rule 2
Attendance at all informal, organizational and specially-scheduled meetings is required, when the Executive Committee provides SA members at least 72 hours prior notice of the meeting. Such meetings shall be considered “regularly scheduled meetings,” for the purpose of accruing absences.
Rule 3
Attendance is required at all committee meetings to which a member has been elected or appointed.
Rule 4
Any member who fails to attend a required meeting or event shall be considered absent. These members must arrive prior to roll call. Roll call of SA members will be taken following the call to order. Any arrival after that time or departure prior to adjournment will result in half-absence. All absences are accrued. This rule shall apply to all committees and bodies in which the Student Assembly or Student Assembly Executive Board has appointed representation, including, but not limited to, the GPSA, the UA, the Faculty Senate, all SA Committees, ad-hoc committees, advisory committees, and by-line funded organizations.
Rule 5
If a member must leave a meeting before it is adjourned, the member will be credited with one-half absence.
Rule 6
Excused absences may be granted for illness, academic conflict, official Student Assembly business, official University business that would constitute grounds for excuse from academics, obligations from employment (including interviews) that arise after the scheduled time of adjournment, family emergency, and religious observation. To be considered excused, all excuses must be brought to the attention of the Vice-President for Internal Operations at least 24 hours prior to the absence. Any excuses made after this period are up to the discretion of the Executive Committee. (Excused absence shall only count toward the consideration of proxy votes, and do not exonerate members whose absences necessitate the consequences outlined in Articles 3 and 7 of the Student Assembly Charter.)
Rule 7
Any college or constituency who lacks representation as a result of a seat being vacated or unclaimed may be represented, in the interim, by and interim representative appointed by the President, and confirmed by a majority of SA Members. The interim representative shall have full voting privileges associated with membership on the SA. The interim representative post shall be terminated immediately upon the declaration of a permanent replacement via an election.
Rule 8
All candidates who are elected to the Student Assembly during Spring Elections are required to attend all Organizational Meetings and the last two SA meetings during the Spring Semester.

Section II: Agenda-Seeting Policies and Procedures

Rule 1
The agenda for any informal meetings shall not contain legislation unless they are held in lieu of regular Thursday meetings or to meet a deadline.
Rule 2
The Executive Vice President will place under Unfinished Business any item that has previously appeared as New Business; items such as appropriation requests, SAFC appeals, and committee assignments are to appear under Business of the Day. All other items shall be introduced as New Business, unless otherwise authorized by a majority vote of the Executive Board or by a majority vote by the Student Assembly.
Rule 3
New Business shall be an opportunity for SA and community members to ask questions of and make suggestions to the author of a piece of legislation. Comments may not be argumentative in nature and questions must seek factual answers.
Rule 4
Unfinished Business shall be an opportunity for discussion and debate on the legislation.
Rule 5
Prior to the introduction of a resolution as New Business, all resolutions shall be reviewed by an appropriate SA committee for no more than 30 days before its introduction in the general SA meeting if directed so by the executive board. The Executive Vice President or the Vice President for Internal Operations will determine which committee will review the resolution. The committee shall write up a brief summary of its thoughts or concerns on the resolution that will be presented at the general SA meeting. Under extenuating circumstances or time pressures, the Executive Board can determine that a resolution should be brought to the floor without committee review.
Rule 6
The Executive Committee (at its weekly meeting) will discuss the agenda for Student Assembly meetings. Items for the agenda must be submitted to the Executive Vice President of the Student Assembly. These items must be in the proper format, as designated by the Executive Vice President.
Rule 7
The Office of the Assemblies must post the agenda to the Student Assembly website no later than noon on the day of the meeting.
Rule 8
The Vice President for Public Relations must forward the agenda to The Cornell Daily Sun, The Cornell Chronicle, and all other relevant publications.
Rule 9
The Vice President of Outreach must ensure that all parties involved or impacted by particular legislative actions are notified and invited to attend the meeting at which the action shall be heard.

Section III: Abstentions & Proxy Voting

Rule 1
SA members may abstain from voting at regularly scheduled or special meetings of the Assembly. However, if the total number of abstentions is greater than the total number of votes in favor of a resolution, the resolution fails.
Rule 2
The tendering of proxy votes shall occur in accordance with the Special Rules of Order, but shall require that an excused absence be noted by the Vice President for Internal Operations.

Section IV. Committee Leadership and Oversight

The committees of the Student Assembly are essential to the functioning of the shared governance system. Leaders of the Assembly committees are elected to effectively run the Assembly. As a result, members in such a position are charged with these obligations and are required to adhere by as such.

Rule 1
In accordance with Rules 5–8 and Articles 3 and 7 of the Student Assembly Charter, the SA Vice President for Internal Operations has the obligation to be in constant contact with the SA clerk, all committee chairs, and all bodies in which the SA sends representation to keep an accurate log of attendance. The SA Vice President for Internal Operations shall report the record of attendance to the Executive Committee at their weekly meeting.
Rule 2
Each SA member must be a voting member of at least one SA committee, the University Assembly, or a UA committee. The Chair of each committee shall maintain attendance rolls and report absences following each meeting to the Vice President for Internal Operations.
Rule 3
The President and Executive Vice President will be ex-officio members of every committee and taskforce associated with the Student Assembly and whose activities are delineated in the SA charter. This includes but is not limited to serving as ex-officio members of the SAFC and its executive board.
Rule 4
Committee chairs will report upcoming committee meeting dates and times at regularly scheduled meetings, as well as post committee agendas and minutes to the SA website, as appropriate.
Rule 5
All SA Committee members must be a member of their respective committee listservs. Meeting dates, times, and agendas shall be sent to all committee members 48 hours prior to the meeting. The SA President, Executive Vice President, and Vice President for Internal Operations shall be CC’d on these e-mails.
Rule 6
Any author whose legislation impacts any specific Cornell student, administrator, faculty member, or staff member, or affects the funding and guidelines of a registered student organization, in his or her legislation will contact the leaders of the party or organization before such legislation is introduced as New Business. The aforementioned need not consent to the legislation, but it is highly encouraged that the aforementioned attend the meeting.
Rule 7
Each committee will designate a member on student organization outreach.

Section V: General Meeting Procedures

To “voice effectively” these interests which were mentioned above, strict rules must be adhered to when conducting business as an assembly. These rules focus on the efficiency and organization of the tasks at hand.

Rule 1
Speakers will be recognized at the discretion of the Chair and placed on a speaker’s list maintained by the Chair. Each speaker shall have a maximum of two minutes to speak, with the option to yield the balance of his or her time to another single individual at the meeting, including the Chair.
Rule 2
All speakers shall address their remarks to the Chair.
Rule 3
The Chair shall keep time at any point when such is required.
Rule 4
Except for points of order, information, and questions of privilege, no person shall be recognized by the Chair twice before all other members (voting and ex-officio) have had the opportunity to speak.
Rule 5
Following an affirmative vote for Previous Question, the Chair will recognize members of the community who wish to speak on the question. Each speaker will limit his or her comments to no more than two minutes, and the Chair may limit the number of speakers due to time constraints. If multiple speakers wish to address the Student Assembly, equal opportunity will be given to those in favor of and those opposed to the question, in such order, to speak.
Rule 6
The Chair may call the question, without it requiring a second or vote, when he or she deems that debate has exceeded its time limit or when discussion becomes repetitive.
Rule 7
When the vote of the Chair may decide the outcome of a decision (i.e. to make or break a tie), he or she shall be empowered to cast a vote, but shall do so only after all other voting members of the Student Assembly have registered their votes.
Rule 8
A Student Assembly member may appeal the decision of the Chair when he or she disagrees with the Chair’s interpretation or application of the Standing Rules or the Charter. The motion shall require a simple majority to pass.
Rule 9
Any SA member may attempt to overrule a decision by the Executive Committee by submitting their challenge in the format of a resolution at the next regularly scheduled meeting. A 2/3 majority of the voting membership must be reached to overrule the Executive Committee at any time.

Section VI: Outreach Guidelines & Member Responsibilities

Rule 1
All voting representatives shall host at least one forum or outreach activity with individuals from their respective constituencies and report all outcomes to the SA at the next regularly-scheduled meeting following such an activity. The four undesignated at-large representatives shall plan at least one Cornell Caring Community, Lift Your Spirits, or large-scale outreach event per semester.
Rule 2
All elected members must fulfill two assigned outreach requirements per two week time frame. Such events will be designated by the Vice President of Outreach. If the member does not document their outreach as specified by the VP of Outreach, the member will be credited with one whole absence. Any conflicts in schedules or other special circumstances as referenced in Section 1, Rule 6 of this document must be brought to the attention of the VP of Outreach.
Rule 3
All voting representatives may communicate regularly with their constituents through e-mail mailing lists and listservs, which may be maintained by their respective college dean’s office, the Department of Campus Life, the Office of the Dean of Students, or the Office of the Assemblies.
Rule 4
Any Student Assembly member, including the Vice President for Public Relations, must submit a mass message (e-mail, advertisement, press release, etc.) to the Executive Board for approval. The Executive Board may approve a message by a majority vote and the vote may be conducted by e-email. The correspondence must be saved and reported at the next S.A. meeting by the Vice President for Public Relations.
Rule 5
The Executive Committee must update and maintain the internal events calendar that shall be shared with the general membership of the Assembly.
Rule 6
The Executive Vice President must monitor and respond to any inquiries on the SA website. Such inquiries can be forwarded to the appropriate Assembly member in order to ensure the most accurate answers.
Rule 7
All SA members must provide a link to the SA website in their official email signature when conducting official SA business.

Section VII: Spending Guidelines

Category Spending:

Rule 1
In order for a disbursement of budgeted funds to be made, either the SA President or the Vice President for Finance must approve it. The Vice President for Finance is responsible for classifying the expenditure into a budget category.
Rule 2
Any reallocation of funds between categories of the budget or spending of the budget surplus must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Appropriations Committee followed by a majority vote of the Student Assembly, at large.

Special Projects funding:

Rule 3
The Student Assembly may choose to fund any project, program or service through SA Special Projects that it deems to improve the quality of undergraduate student life or to further the goals of the SA. Special Projects funding is a type of category spending.
Rule 4
Special Projects funding may be requested by any of the following, but not limited to:
  • a. Any Cornell registered student organization
  • b. SA committee chairs that seek funding for expenditures that exceed their committee’s budgeted allocation
  • c. Vendors that are not part of the Cornell community
Rule 5
The SA President and Vice President for Finance together may approve any special projects funding request up to $250 without consultation with the Appropriations Committee. Amounts up to $250 may also be funded by a majority vote of the Appropriations Committee. Requests must be made public at a Student Assembly meeting in the form of an “Announcement/Report” before being approved. Any SA voting member can motion for the request to be sent to the Appropriations Committee if they feel necessary.
Rule 6
The Appropriations Committee shall decide upon special projects requests over $250 and under $1500 by a majority vote. The SA, at large, may reverse an Appropriations Committee decision to fund amounts over $250 by a two-thirds vote.
Rule 7
Requests $1500 and over shall be decided upon by a majority vote of the Appropriations Committee and confirmed by a majority vote of the Student Assembly, at large. The SA, at large, is only required to confirm requests of $1500 or greater.
Rule 8
The Vice President for Finance shall present a written report to the SA, at large, each time a special projects disbursement is made.

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