Student Council

Preamble

We, the students of the State University of New York State College of Optometry, in order to advance the ideals and objectives of the College, to promote the ethical principles of the optometric profession, to further the high standards of the College, to coordinate the activities of the student body, and to establish a stable form of student self government do hereby contract to form the Student Council of the State University of New York State College of Optometry, a not for profit organization, which shall be recognized by the President, State University of New York State College of Optometry and represent all students enrolled at the College.

ARTICLE I - Title

The name of the organization shall be the State University of New York State College of Optometry Student Council (herein referred to as "Student Council" or "Council").

ARTICLE II - Purpose

This organization shall have as its purposes:

  1. To promote the professional and social welfare of the students.

  2. To serve as an instrument for conveying to the faculty, administration, College Council, Dean's Council, President's Council, Clinic Council, Office for Student Affairs and Alumni Association of the College, expressions of student opinion on matters pertaining to the welfare of the student body.

  3. To cooperate with the faculty and the administration of the College in upholding professional standards of conduct among members of the student body.

  4. To serve as a governmental organization to administer and direct those student activities as designated by this Constitution consistent with the policies and rules of the institution.

ARTICLE III - Organization

A.  Organization

  1. All executive powers herein granted shall be vested in the Student Council.

  2. The business and directives of the Council shall be implemented by the five standing committees, named in Article III, Section C.

B.  Council

  1. Officers
    a) The Executive Council shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President.

  2. Non-Officer Members

    a) The President and two Representatives from each class.
    b) Club and Association Presidents/Trustees of the following groups: American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), College of Optometrists in Vision Development Student Society (COVD), New York State Optometric Association Student Society (NYSOA), National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), Student Volunteering Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH), Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO), California Optometric Student Association (COSA), Canadian Student Association (CSA), Leos Club (LC), and New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians Student Chapter (NJSOPSC) and Beta Sigma Kappa.
    c)  The College's Vice-President for Student Affairs. (Ex-Officio)

  3. The term "class" shall refer to the first, second, third and fourth year classes of the professional program, as well as the graduate class, consisting of OD/PhD, OD/MS, MS, and PhD students.

C.  Committees

  1. The Council shall be responsible for establishment and maintenance of the following standing committees:

    a) Eye Ball Committee
    b) Transcript Committee
    c) Extracurricular Activities Committee
    d) Awards Committee
    e) Student Constitution Committee
    f) Each committee shall have a chairperson appointed by the Council President. The chairperson shall be responsible for the functioning of the committee.

  2. Each chairperson may appoint an assistant chairperson.

  3. The function of each committee is described herein under Article VI -Duties and Responsibilities of Council Committees.

  4. All other committee personnel shall be appointed by the committee chairperson. All appointments are subject to review by the Council upon request of any member thereof.

ARTICLE IV - Duties and Responsibilities of the Student Council

A. The Council shall have the responsibilities of keeping the records and transacting all business of the Student Council. Authority to keep records and transact business may be delegated by the Student Council President to students not on the Executive Council in the case of approved activities, except for the records of the Council and expenditure of monies directly from the Student Council funds. The Faculty Student Association (FSA) shall be contracted with, to be the Fiscal Agent for the Council.

B. The Council shall establish qualifications, with consultation with the Vice- President for Student Affairs, for all Council offices.

C. The Council shall have the following specific powers:

  1. To collect, appropriate, expend and hold funds paid to or apportioned to the Student Council. The collection and holding of funds shall be in concert with the contract established with the FSA.                 

  2. To change the activities fee, with just cause, in accordance with SUNY and College policy, by school referendum.

  3. To establish and oversee, with the advice of the Vice-President for Student Affairs, all student activities and organizations as defined herein, as well as those of the Student Council.

  4. To contract for an independent Audit of all Student Council accounts at the end of each fiscal year.

  5. To make recommendations to the College administration and faculty on matters pertaining to the welfare of the Student Body.

  6. To appoint ad hoc committees as deemed necessary by the Council President.

  7. To make recommendations to the Vice-President for Student Affairs for student representatives to standing and ad hoc college committees.

  8. To appoint persons to conduct, administer, or supervise Student Council activities.

  9. To adopt rules governing the manner in which the Council shall conduct its affairs within the framework of this Constitution and Bylaws.

  10. To coordinate and supervise all activities of each committee.

  11. To impeach officers of the Council per Article VIII, Section D.

  12. To review the Constitution and Bylaws biennially.

  13.   All other powers not expressly prohibited herein and reasonable and necessary to carry out the policies and purposes of the Student Council.

ARTICLE V - Duties and Responsibilities of Council Officers

A.  Executive Officers

  1. The Student Council President shall:

    a) Call and chair meetings of the Council.
    b)  Serve as principal Student Council spokesperson in all matters.
    c)  Serve as student representative to the Budget and Priorities College Committee.
    d)  Serve as delegate to the State Student Assembly.
    e)  Serve as delegate to the AOSA.
    f)   Serve as delegate to the annual AOA Congress.
    g)  Represent the Student Council, when invited to do so, at administration or faculty meetings.
    h)  Delegate responsibilities for specific activities or functions when necessary.
    i)   Perform all other duties pertaining to or necessary and proper to carry out the office of President.
    j)   Direct all Student Council budgets and their presentation.

  2.  The President-Elect shall:

    a) Report directly to the President.
    b) Assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President.
    c) Serve as student representative to the College Council.
    d) Act as the Chairperson of extra-curricular activities and ex- officio member of all other Council Committees.
    e) Perform all other duties as directed by the President of the  Council.
     

  3. The Secretary shall:

    a) Record, publish, and post the minutes of all Council meetings, including the handling of any official correspondence of the Council.
    b) Maintain a current office file of all Council related communications.
    c)Maintain and update the Extra-curricular Activity Schedule and Calendar.
    d) Be responsible for posting advance notice of all Council meetings for the student body to read.
    e) Maintain records of attendance at all Council meetings.
    f.) Approve and document all absences from council meetings by voting members.
    g) Perform other duties as directed by the President.
     

  4. The Treasurer, adhering to current practices and guidelines established with the FSA, shall:

    a) Administer the financial affairs of the Student Council, including the submission of financial statements as required by the Council.
    b) Keep a complete and accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of the Council, and to post, for observation by the student body, a complete cumulative financial report once per quarter.
    c) Administer the financial affairs of the Transcript Committee, including the submission of financial statements as required by the Council.
    d) Keep a complete and accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of the Transcript committee, and to post, for observation of the student body, a complete cumulative financial report once per quarter.
    e) Have available a current financial report for examination at every council meeting.
    f) Perform other duties as directed by the President.
    g) Ensure Council compliance with Faculty-Student Association expenditure policy as specified in FSA Bylaws in Appendix B.
    h) Prepare, at the beginning of each fiscal year, a budget for the Student Council and its member organization, that will be submitted for approval by the College President or his/her designee.   

  5. The Immediate Past-President shall:

a) Serve as a counsel to the current President

B.Class Officers

  1. Class officers shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Two Class Representatives.

    a) The Class President shall preside over class meetings. He/she is the spokesperson for the class and shall express the class opinions and wishes as needed. He/she shall represent the class at all Student Council meetings.
    b) The Class Vice-President shall preside in the absence of the President.
    c) The Class Secretary shall be responsible for recording all official actions of the class in the form of minutes.
    d) The Class Treasurer shall maintain class funds and accounts, provide a financial report at any class meeting, and insure that class expenditures are in compliance with Faculty-Student Association guidelines.
    e) The Class Representatives shall attend all Council meetings and report any pertinent information to the class.

  2. The line of succession shall be as follows: Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Representative.

C. The AOSA Trustee shall:

  1. Serve as a liaison to members of the optometric profession.

  2. Be concerned primarily in the promotion of optometry on a local, national and international level.

  3. To insure organizational expenditures are in accordance with Faculty-Student Association guidelines.

  4. Perform other duties as directed by the President.

D The NYSOA Trustee shall:

  1. Serve as a liaison to members of the optometric profession.

  2. Be concerned primarily in the promotion of optometry on a local and state level.

  3. To insure organizational expenditures are in accordance with Faculty-Student Association guidelines.

  4. Perform other duties as directed by the President.

E. The Vice-President for Student Affairs shall:

  1. Supervise, organize and coordinate the general and special elections of the Student Council, as well as all class elections.

  2. Serve as a permanent advisor to the Council

  3. Serve as a liaison between the College Administration, Student Affairs and the Student Council.

  4. Serve as Parliamentarian at all Student Council meetings.

F. The Committee Chairpersons shall:

  1. Be appointed by the Student Council President.

  2. Organize, coordinate, supervise and report to the Council on all the activities of their committee.

  3. Appoint an assistant chairperson if deemed necessary.

ARTICLE VI - Duties and Responsibilities of Council Committees

  1. Eye Ball Committee. This committee shall plan, organize, fund and execute the annual dinner dance, which is to be called The Eye Ball. The Vice-President for Student Affairs shall serve as advisor to this committee. The chairperson of this committee shall report directly to the President of Student Council.

  2. Transcript Committee. To conduct the activities of the transcript service as specified in the Transcript Committee Bylaws in Appendix A.

  3. Extracurricular Activities. The Student Council, under the responsibilities of the President-Elect, shall plan, organize, fund and execute agreed upon social activities. This committee is also responsible for the approval and scheduling of all fundraising activities undertaken by recognized members of the Council.

  4. Awards Committee. This committee shall work with the Office for Student Affairs to design, distribute, collect and tally nominations of, and ballots for the annual Student/Faculty awards. It is also responsible for the procurement of any materials to be distributed to such award recipients (i.e., plaques, certificates, etc.) before the end of that academic year.

  5. Student Constitution Committee. The Student Council is responsible for updating the Constitution when changes have been voted upon, or when certain parts of the Constitution become obsolete.

ARTICLE VII - Elections

A. Qualifications

  1. Candidates for Council offices must be full-time, matriculated students enrolled in the professional or graduate program. Candidates must be in good academic standing. Placement on academic probation or disciplinary status for any reason, carrying a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0, or if candidacy is not sanctioned by the Vice-President of Student Affairs is cause for disqualification.

  2. If during the term a member of the Council fails to maintain the standards outlined in Article VII, section A, Part 1., a resignation of office shall be promptly submitted to the Council President and the Vice-President for Student Affairs.

B. Procedures

1. General

a) The Vice-President for Student Affairs, upon the advice and consent of the Council, shall organize, coordinate and control all Student Council general and special elections and all class elections.
b) All general and special elections shall be announced and posted not less than one week prior to said election.
c) All general, special and class elections shall be held by secret written ballot.
d) General Student Council elections shall take place as close to the last week of April as possible, and no later than the beginning of Spring Quarter finals of any given year.
e) Candidates for Student Council offices shall file a written application for candidacy with the Office for Student Affairs no later than five class days prior to the elections.
f) No candidate for an office may participate in election activities at the polling site during the time of the election
g) Any full time student of the College of Optometry shall be considered a qualified voter.
h) In the instance of a tie between two or more candidates, a run off election between the candidates receiving the most votes will be held within one week after the original election date.
i) The Vice-President for Student Affairs shall be the judge of the returns of all general, and special Student Council elections as well as all class elections.

2. Election of the Executive Council

a)  President. The Student Council President shall assume the presidency after serving 1 year as the President-Elect.
b) President-Elect. The Student Council President-Elect shall be elected by the entire student body.  Nominees for the position are recommended to have at least one year of prior service on the Council, but not required. The President-Elect will serve as the president the following academic year.
c) Secretary. Shall be elected at large.
d) Treasurer. Shall be elected at large

3. Election of Class Officers

a)  A Class President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Class Representatives shall be elected by a simple majority of the respective second, third, fourth year and graduate classes during the General Election in April or May.  First year class officers will be elected within the first month of the Fall quarter of the academic year.

4. Election of Professional Organizations and Club Presidents

a)   AOSA - Election of the AOSA Trustee-elect shall be held during the General election in February by a simple majority. The Trustee-elect shall hold this position until the following March 1st, at which point he/she becomes the Trustee.
b)  NYSOA - Election of the student representative shall be held during the General election in April or May by a simple majority.
c) Student Club Presidents - Shall be elected according to their respective club Bylaws on or before the general elections.

C. Vacancies

  1. A vacancy in the office of Student Council President will be filled in the following succession of members of the Executive Council:

    a) President-Elect
    b) Secretary
    c) Treasurer
    The successor is to serve the remainder of the term of the duly elected President.

  2. Any vacancy in an executive office of the Council shall be filled by the succession provided herein or by a special election to which the option will be determined by the Student Council vote. The interim term of office shall end with the next general election.

  3. The term "special election" shall refer to that said election required in the case when a vacancy occurs on the Council due to resignation or other unforeseen circumstances.

D. Conditions

  1. Terms commence with the beginning of the summer quarter of each academic year.

  2. Office shall terminate for members upon installation of new members, upon recall or impeachment, or upon resignation for failure to maintain minimum academic standards.

  3. A candidate for any position on the Council should be genuinely interested in that position and be willing to accept all responsibilities associated with it.

Article VIII - Administration

A. Meetings

  1. The Student Council shall meet a minimum of once per quarter during the academic year after conspicuous posting of said meeting to be made no less than five calendar days prior to the date of the meeting. If need be, the Student Council President may call an extraordinary meeting not requiring any prior posting of said meeting.

  2. The Student Council President shall chair the meetings, or in his/her absence, the Executive President-Elect, or in his/her absence, the Immediate Past President.

  3. All Council meetings shall be public except those previously announced as closed.

  4. Attendance is mandatory as stated herein. Excused absences must be called to the attention of the Council Secretary, no later than two days prior to a meeting. Failure to submit a written request is considered an unexcused absence.

  5. Robert’s Rules of Order (revised) shall govern all meetings.

B. Voting

  1. All Executive Council members (except the Presiding Officer and the Immediate Past President), Class Presidents, Class Representatives, and Club and Association Presidents shall have one vote each in all policy.  Should a member hold more than one voting office, the organization not being represented by said member shall have one vote in all policy following the line of succession outlined in Article V, Section B, Part 2.

  2. Only in the case of a tie, on any matter under consideration, shall the Presiding Officer cast a vote.

  3. For constitutional issues to be voted upon, a quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the voting members. Passage shall then require the consent of two-thirds of those voting members present.

  4. For non-constitutional issues to be voted upon, a quorum shall consist of one-third of the voting members. Passage shall then require the consent of the majority of those voting members.

C. Acquisition of Voting Privileges

  1. Any newly formed student organization wishing to have a vote during Council meetings must submit a request in writing to be recognized by the Council.

D. Removal from Office

  1. The Council shall have the power to impeach members of the Council.

  2. Impeachment proceedings shall be conducted by the Student Council President and the Vice-President for Student Affairs.  When the President is subject to impeachment, the Student Council President-Elect becomes the presiding officer.

  3. The presiding officer and the accused member shall not have a vote in the impeachment proceedings. A two-thirds vote of the two-thirds quorum of the Council is necessary for a finding against the accused.

  4. Any elected member of the Council will be removed from office for failure to attend three regularly scheduled meetings in a row without being excused by the Council Secretary. If the accused feels that there is justification for his/her absence, a two-thirds vote of the Council may return the accused to office.

  5. Any member of the Council may also be removed from office by the recall procedure initiated in accordance with the Bylaws of their respective organization.

  6. Any member of the Council may be removed from office for failure to meet the qualifications as specified in Article VII, Section A, Part 2.

ARTICLE IX - Periodic Study and Amendment

The Constitution Committee shall study this document biennially, for the purposes of modification, where necessary. Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws shall be proposed by the Constitution Committee and approved by the standards set forth in Article VIII, Section B, Part 3.

ARTICLE X - Superseding Effect

This Constitution and Bylaws supersedes all previous Constitutions and Bylaws of the Student Council.

ARTICLE XI - Gender Reference

Any reference herein to either gender is intended to and should be interpreted to refer to both genders, except where explicitly provided otherwise.

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