UNIVERSITY SUPPORT STAFF SENATE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
(as amended and approved by a majority vote of the University Support Staff , revised to reflect University business practices in Banner on April 30, 2007, with new By-Laws added September 14, 2011, revised to reflect the change to University Support Staff and add Vision and Mission statements, April 12, 2017)
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Vision: USS Senate is recognized as the voice of the university support staff within the Wichita State University.
Mission: The mission of the USS Senate is to empower and support university support staff in creating a campus culture that fulfills the vision and mission of Wichita State University.
Name: This organization shall be called the University Support Staff Senate of Wichita State University (hereinafter referred to as the Senate and the University).
Purpose: The purpose of the Senate is to foster communication and collegiality among University Support Staff of the University, and to:
A. Provide representation for University Support Staff and liaison to the University
administration and others regarding issues of concern;
B. Formulate recommendations to the University President regarding policies and procedures that relate to the concerns of the University Support Staff at Wichita State University;
C. Be a cultural driver for University Support Staff that reflects the values of Wichita State University’s Strategic Plan.
Membership: The Senate shall consist of members that are at least 5% percent of the total number of university support staff and elected by the university support staff permanent or probationary employees of the University. The senators, each having one vote in the Senate. Senators serve for a term of two years. All employees of Wichita State University are expected to support the WSU Vision, Mission and Values and foster an environment of diversity in culture, thought and experience.
By-Law 1 – Ties in election will be resolved in any/either of the following ways:
- Elected individuals who have tied for a seat in the Senate may resolve the matter between themselves.
- Elected individuals who have tied for a seat on the Senate may draw lots for the seat.
- Barring solution in either of the above manners, the Executive Council will appoint the member to fill the seat.
By-Law 2 – Membership Vacancies
If the Election Committee is unable to fill all vacancies for a category*, an “At-Large Senator” from another category* may be selected by the Executive Council. These “At-Large Senators” can be selected from any of the other categories to help represent a category* with vacancies.
Conflict of Interest: Voting members of the Senate who choose to retain membership in an alternative employee association or committee should be constantly aware of the problems of conflict of interest and maintain sound ethical practice in Senate duties.
Eligibility and Voting Rights: Eligibility for voting membership to the Senate shall be extended to all university support staff permanent or probationary employees of the University. All employees so described have the right to nominate and vote for candidates for the Senate to represent their appropriate category*. (See Article III, By-Law 2.) Non-voting members representing affiliated groups, such as the Rhatigan Student Center, Board of Trustees, Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the WSU Foundation, are welcome.
Elections: General elections for all senators shall take place in the spring, and senators elected shall take office in May. To insure continuity, approximately one-half of the Senate shall be elected each year.
The Vice-President of the Senate shall be elected annually by a majority of the Senate at its first meeting following the general election.
The Secretary of the Senate shall be elected annually by a majority of the Senate at its first session.
The President-Elect shall be elected annually by a majority of the Senate. This will occur annually as soon as the incoming Senators are elected in the Spring. The President-Elect must be eligible to serve as President the following year and will assume the role of Senate President in June of the year elected. In the event that any senate officer cannot fulfill the responsibilities of their office, an election will take place to replace that officer. The position will be filled by a majority vote of the Senate.
Section A. Composition.
The Executive Council of the Senate shall be composed of one senator from each category* represented in the Senate. If President and Secretary are not elected members of the Executive Council, they shall serve as ex officio members. The individual receiving the largest number of votes within that member's respective category* shall represent that category* on the Executive Council the second year of that senator's term. If the senator receiving the largest number of votes is unable to serve, the person receiving the next largest number of votes shall be appointed. (See Article III, By-Law 1, Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3.)
Section B. Responsibilities.
The Executive Council shall oversee the work of the University Support Staff Senate and be open to their respective category* constituents. It shall be responsible for the democratic election of senators according to their appropriate categories. The Executive Council has the option of combining sparsely populated categories for the purpose of proportional representation. It shall appoint members to the Senate to replace those unable/unwilling to complete a term; senators so appointed shall serve until the next election.
Section C. Voting.
The members of the Executive Council shall each have one vote. If the President is not an elected member of the Executive Council he/she shall vote only in the case of a tie. The Vice President and Secretary shall not vote, unless they are elected members of the Executive Council.
Section A. President.
The President shall be an elected senator, although not necessarily elected as a member of the Executive Council, and shall serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms. The past President can run for senator for the next year once their term is over.
The President shall be the official representative of the Senate and shall preside over all meetings of the Senate and the Executive Council.
Section B. Vice-President.
The Vice-President shall be an elected senator, although not necessarily elected as a member of the Executive Council and shall serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms.
The Vice-President shall assist the President and will attend such meetings and/or functions as the President may be unable or deem necessary to attend, and in the absence of the President, the Vice- President shall be the official representative of the Senate.
In the event the President is unable to perform the duties of the Office of the President, the Vice- President shall assume the responsibilities of the office.
In addition to the above responsibilities, it shall be the responsibility of the Vice-President to keep accurate records of budget expenses. It will be the responsibility of the Vice-president to manage all financial obligations of the Senate and to reconcile them monthly.
Section C. President-Elect.
The President-Elect will be an elected senator, although not necessarily elected as a member of the executive council, and should have at least one year remaining as a senator upon the close of the senate year in which elected. The President-Elect will have no administrative authority or responsibility unless already serving in an elected officer capacity. It shall be the responsibility of the President-Elect to attend meetings with the President in order to gain insight and knowledge as to the duties and responsibilities of the President. This office is an on the job training office only. In the absence of the President, all administrative authority and responsibility will lie with the Vice-President.
Section D. Secretary.
The Secretary shall be an elected senator, although not necessarily elected as a member of the Executive Council, and shall serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms at one time.
The Secretary shall keep accurate Minutes of all motions made, passed or failed, maintain attendance and election records, maintain a file of all committee reports and other documents of interest to the Senate.
The Secretary shall be responsible for mailings, the purchasing, storing, and dispensing of supplies, and such other duties as the Senate may assign. The Secretary shall attend all Senate sessions and those Executive Council and committee meetings for which the Secretary's services are deemed necessary.
Meetings, Quorum, and Attendance:
Section A. Senate Meetings.
The Senate shall meet at least three (3) times annually at a time and place specified by the Executive Council. Other meetings may be called by a simple majority of the Senate. All meetings are open to all University Support Staff, students, faculty, administrators and auxiliary employees. Only senators may vote.
By-Law 1 – At least one University Support Staff Senate meeting each year shall be a town hall meeting advertised to all University Support Staff.
Section B. Executive Council Meetings.
The President shall convene the Executive Council when deemed necessary by the President or two-thirds of the Executive Council.
Section C. Quorum.
A simple majority of senators shall constitute a quorum of the Senate at any session. A simple majority shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Council at any session.
Section D. Attendance.
Senators unable to attend meetings are to notify the Secretary or the President.
By-Law 2 – If a Senator finds they can no longer serve they need to notify the President and the President will notify the Executive Council of a vacancy.
Executive Council members unable to attend meetings are to notify the President so the president and officers can find another University Support Staff who is willing to serve.
Committees: The President, with the advice of the Executive Council, shall appoint committees to investigate, document, and report to the Senate on topics of interest to the university support staff of the University.
By-Laws: In order to ensure the proper conduct of Senate business, by-laws may be enacted to supplement this Constitution. A two-thirds vote in the Senate is necessary to enact a by-law.
By-Law 1 – Any proposed changes to a bylaw or a new bylaw must be sent to all University Support Staff Senators by e-mail at least 7 days before the University Support Staff Senate Meeting at which the bylaw is to be considered.
Amendments: This Constitution may be amended by a simple majority vote of the university support staff permanent or probationary employees of the University voting on a proposed change to the Constitution.
Amendment 1 – Any proposed Amendment(s) to the University Support Staff Senate Constitution along with the recommendation of the University Support Staff Senate and the ballot return date must be sent to all university support staff by campus email at least 30 days before ballots for a vote on the Amendment(s) are emailed to the university support staff.
*For employment purposes each position is assigned an Equal Employment Opportunity Skill Code (EEO Skill Code). Positions in like EEO Skill Codes are grouped together for the purposes of Classified Senate.