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Bylaws

ARTICLE I
REPRESENTATION

Section 1. Responsibility
Each Representative is bound to keep informed and to represent the interest of his/her constituency.

Section 2. Representation (By Geographic Category)
A. Each regular full-time University staff member is eligible for nomination and election to the Staff Congress.
B. Thirty staff representatives shall be elected to proportionately represent each of five geographic area categories based on the percentages of employees in each area. Percentages are to be reviewed annually by the Credentials and Elections Committee at least 3 months prior to the date of the next election with adjustments made according to the number of employees in each area. 
C. The Staff Regent, Faculty Senate Chair, and President of the Student Government Association shall be ex-officio members of the Staff Congress.

Section 3. Election Process
A. Staff Congress elections shall be the responsibility of the Credentials and Elections Committee pursuant to the following:
1. Staff Congress elections shall be held in a manner and at a time to be determined by the Credentials and Elections Committee in accordance with the election processes set forth below.
2. Within each geographic area category, the candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall serve the vacant three-year term. In the event of a tie, the winner shall be decided by a runoff election.  All runoff elections will be held exactly two full weeks following the initial election and will be prescheduled with a date and time determined by the Credentials and Elections Committee.  Runoff elections would include both Staff Congress Candidate elections and Staff Regent Candidate elections.
B. Staff Congress elections shall be conducted each year during the month of April.
C. Information shall be circulated prior to the election month to announce and explain the election process.
D. Each eligible staff employee may be a candidate for election to the Staff Congress by making his/her wishes known in writing to the Credentials and Elections Committee. A candidate may represent and be elected by only one of the five geographic area categories.
E.  The Credentials and Elections committee shall appoint representatives to receive all nominations at one designated location.  Individuals may nominate themselves for Staff Congress.
F. If online voting is not feasible, the Credentials and Elections Committee shall designate polling locations with voting provisions made for afternoon, night shift and off-campus employees.
G. Eligible staff members who cannot vote during the designated times shall be allowed to vote by absentee ballot. Absentee ballot procedures will be determined and distributed by the Credentials and Election Committee.
H. Eligible voters shall vote for nominees in their category as outlined in Section 2 of this Article.
 
Section 4. Term of Office
A. Each Representative shall be elected for a term of three years.
B. Terms shall begin with the first regular meeting in July.
C. Terms shall be staggered so that one third of the Staff Congress Representatives are elected annually.
D. Each Representative shall retain his/her seat until an election has been conducted to select a successor, and the successor has been seated.
Section 5. Permanent Vacancy
A.    A vacancy occurs:
1.  When an elected Representative terminates employment with the University.
2.  When a Representative misses three consecutive meetings or five meetings within the Congress year as determined by the Credentials and Elections Committee.  A representative removed from office may appeal to the C & E Committee within five working days of notification.
3.  When a candidate is not nominated or elected to serve the unexpired term of a vacancy or an expired term.
4.  When a Representative transfers from one area to another within the University.
5.  When a representative resigns his/her seat on Staff Congress.
B. When a vacancy occurs, the candidate in the applicable area category receiving the next highest number of votes in the last election shall be appointed.  In the event a candidate is not available or declines appointment, the Credentials and Elections Committee shall recommend a replacement within the same area category to Staff Congress for its approval.  If a replacement is not recommended by the Credentials and Elections Committee, the term shall remain vacant until the next regularly scheduled election.
C. The appointee shall serve the remainder of the current year. The vacancy will then be placed for election to the unexpired term.
D. A temporary leave of absence from Staff Congress of up to one year may be granted by petitioning the Credentials and Elections Committee. If approved by Staff Congress, a replacement shall be chosen according to Items B and C of this section.
Section 6. Duties
A. Each Representative shall attend all meetings and serve on committees as assigned.
B. Each Representative shall be familiar with Staff Congress business and be willing to respond to questions from his/her constituency.
C. Each Representative shall have one vote and may not vote by proxy.
 
ARTICLE II

The Chief Financial Officer/Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Services will function as a liaison between Staff Congress and the President and may be requested to attend meetings of Staff Congress.
 
ARTICLE III
OFFICERS

Section 1. Officers
The Staff Congress shall annually elect four officers from its membership to serve one year or until their respective successors have been elected and seated. Officers must have one year experience as members of Staff Congress and receive a majority of votes cast for the office. These officers, the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Communications Officer shall comprise the Executive Council with the immediate past Chair of the Staff Congress and Committee Chairs serving as ex-officio members of the Executive Council.
Section 2.  Officer Nominations

Staff Congress Representatives may nominate eligible Staff Congress Representatives, or nominate themselves, for one of the officer positions as outlined in Section 1 of the Article.  Nominations must be submitted, in writing, to the Credentials and Elections Chairperson no later than two weeks prior to the officer election.  Nominations will include a Statement of Interest from the nominee.  Nominations will be posted on the Staff Congress website no later than one week prior to the officer election.
Section 3.  Voting Eligibility
Only elected members of Staff Congress may nominate and vote to elect any officer of Staff Congress.
Section 4. Election of Officers
Election of Officers stated in Section 1 of this Article shall be conducted by secret ballot at the June meeting of Staff Congress with newly appointed officers assuming positions in July.
A. The Parliamentarian of Staff Congress shall be the presiding officer for that portion of the meeting devoted to officer elections. The Parliamentarian shall appoint two Representatives to serve as tellers in the count of votes cast in these elections. Any representative nominated for an office shall be ineligible to serve as a teller in the count of the votes for the office to which he/she has been nominated; in which case, the Parliamentarian shall appoint a temporary teller to count the votes.
B. An election to fill a vacancy in the office of either Vice Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, or Communications Officer of the Staff Congress shall be conducted at the next regular meeting after such vacancy occurs. Such elections shall be conducted as described in Section 4 (A) of this Article.
C. In the event a vacancy of the Chair occurs, the Vice Chair as stated in Section 6 of this Article, will fill the office.
D. In the event the Parliamentarian is not available, the Chair of the Credentials and Elections Committee will preside over the Officer Elections as described in Section 3A of this Article.
Section 5. Duties of the Chair
The duties and function of the Chair of the Staff Congress shall be:
A. To preside at all meetings of the Congress.
B. To determine, in consultation with the Secretary/Treasurer of the Congress, the agenda for all meetings.
C. To issue calls for both regular and special meetings through the Secretary/Treasurer and in accordance with Section 5 of Article IV of these Bylaws.
D. To receive all matters directed to the Staff Congress and to refer these to the Staff Congress or to one of its committees, as appropriate.
E. To represent the Staff Congress in the University community and in the community at large.
F. To appoint all ad hoc committees as described in Article IV of these Bylaws and, as appropriate, to appoint Staff Congress Representatives to University groups with designated staff representation.
G. To enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of the Staff Congress.
H. To exercise other duties and functions, including all fiscal responsibilities, as specified by the Staff Congress.
Section 6. Duties of the Vice-Chair
The duties of the Vice-Chair of the Staff Congress shall be:
A. To preside at meetings of the Staff Congress in the absence of the Chair.
B. To become Chair in the event a vacancy occurs in the office of the Chair and to notify Representatives of the Staff Congress, in writing, that he/she has become Chair.
C. To represent the Staff Congress when appointed to do so by the Chair.
D. To facilitate maintenance of Staff Congress Web site.
E.  To nominate Standing Committee Chairs as outlined in Section 4A of Article V of these Bylaws.
E. To perform other duties as specified by the Chair.
Section 7. Duties of the Secretary/Treasurer
The duties and functions of the Secretary/Treasurer of the Staff Congress shall be:
A. To keep and record accurate minutes of regular and special meetings of the Staff Congress and to distribute copies of the minutes to Representatives of Staff Congress at least five working days prior to the next meeting.
B. To keep a roll of the membership of Staff Congress an accurate record of each Representative’s attendance at meetings of the Staff Congress, and notify the Credentials and Elections Chairperson of attendance issues in a timely manner.
C. To assist the Chair in determining the agenda for meetings of the Staff Congress as set forth in Section 4 of Article IV of these Bylaws.
D. To issue notices for all meetings of the Staff Congress as set forth in Section 3 of Article IV of these Bylaws.
E. To preside at meetings of the Staff Congress in the absence of both the Chair and Vice-Chair and to appoint a Secretary/Treasurer Pro-tem to record the minutes of such meetings.
F. To maintain and report the budget of Staff Congress.
G. To perform other duties as specified by the Chair.
Section 8.  Duties of the Communications Officer
The duties of the Communications Office of the Staff Congress shall be:
A.  To create the monthly Staff Congress Newsletter.
B.  To assist the Vice Chair with the Staff Congress website.
C.  To create other Staff Congress communications as directed by the Chair.
D.  To perform other duties as specified by the Chair.
Section 9. Appointment and Duties of the Parliamentarian
Within one week following the election of officers, the Chair of the Staff Congress shall appoint a Representative to serve as Parliamentarian. The duties of the Parliamentarian shall be:
A. To assist the Chair in maintaining order at meetings of Staff Congress.
B. To interpret and apply Robert's Rule of Order (latest revision) when requested by either the Chair or by motion duly adopted by the Staff Congress.
C. To serve as presiding officer of the Staff Congress only for that portion of the June meeting in which officers are to be elected in accordance with Section 4 or Article III of these Bylaws.
D. To keep and maintain an accurate and up-to-date copy of the Constitution, Bylaws, and all amendments made thereto and to transmit the same to his/her successor.
E. To serve as Parliamentarian for a term of one year concurrent with the term of the Chair of Staff Congress.
Section 10. Removal of Staff Congress Officers
An officer of the Staff Congress may be removed from office upon determination of willful violation of the Staff Congress Constitution, Bylaws, or policies or procedures; malfeasance in office; or neglect of duty to the Congress. No officer shall be removed without approval of two thirds of the elected membership of Staff Congress.
A. A petition requesting the removal of an officer must be signed by one-third of the membership and must specify the grounds for such removal.
B. Such petition shall be delivered to the Chair of the Credentials and Elections committee.  The Chair will immediately deliver a copy of such petition, without signatures, to the officer named therein and schedule a meeting of the Credentials and Elections Committee to consider the petition.
C. The officer named in the petition shall have five working days from the date of receipt of the copy of the petition from the Credentials and Elections Committee to respond either in writing or in person to the Credentials and Elections Committee.
D. The Credentials and Elections Committee shall consider all information pertinent to the petition.  The Committee shall make its recommendation to Staff Congress no later than the second regular meeting of the Staff Congress following receipt of the petition. A complete and confidential record of its proceedings shall be maintained by the Credentials and Elections Committee.
E. Staff Congress, in an executive session as stated in Section 7 or Article IV, Section 7 of these Bylaws, shall discuss the recommendation of the Credentials and Elections Committee concerning the removal of an officer. The Chair of the Credentials and Elections Committee will preside over the proceedings.
F. Staff Congress, in open session, shall vote by secret ballot on the recommendation of the Credentials and Elections Committee. A member of the Credentials and Elections Committee will tally ballots. Results will be announced to the Congress by the Chair of the Credentials and Elections Committee.
G. If at any point during the proceedings indicated in this section, the officer named in the petition for removal voluntarily resigns from office, the petition for removal shall be considered void.
 
ARTICLE IV

MEETINGS

Section 1. Time
The Staff Congress shall meet at least once a month.
Section 2. Place
The Staff Congress shall hold its regular meetings in a location and at a time as determined by the Executive Council.  The Secretary/Treasurer shall do the scheduling for the meeting location.
 
Section 3. Notice of Meetings
Written notice, stating the place, date, time, and agenda of each meeting shall be delivered to representatives of Staff Congress not less than five working days before a regular meeting and not less than three working days before a special meeting.
Section 4. Agenda
The Chair of the Staff Congress, in consultation with the Secretary/Treasurer, shall determine the agenda for each meeting.
A. Each committee and representative of the Staff Congress may submit agenda items to the Secretary/Treasurer not less than seven working days before a regular meeting.
B. The order of the agenda shall be in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order (latest revision). Any conflict between this source and Constitution and Bylaws of the Staff Congress shall be resolved in favor of the Constitution first and the Bylaws second.
Section 5. Special Meeting
A special meeting of Staff Congress may be called at the discretion of the Chair or shall be called within ten days of a written petition submitted to the Chair by seven Representatives or by a majority vote of the Representatives present during a regular meeting.
Section 6. Open Meetings
Meetings of Staff Congress shall be open to visitors. Visitors shall be seated separately from the representatives and will be recognized by the Chair only when prior arrangements have been made with the Chair or the Secretary/Treasurer of the Staff Congress.
Section 7. Executive Session
Staff Congress reserves the right to move into executive sessions upon majority vote of the Representatives for purposes permitted by the Open Meeting Act.  All visitors are not allowed to participate, and may be asked to excuse themselves for the duration of the Executive Session.
Section 8. Voting
The Chair shall determine the method of voting during each meeting of Staff Congress at the time of the vote.  The chair, who may appoint two representatives to assist in totaling the number of votes, shall determine the total vote.
Section 9. Roll Call Votes
A roll call vote may be called at the discretion of the Chair or shall be called upon request of a Representative with concurrence of one-third of the voting members present. A roll call vote shall be called automatically in case of a contested vote.
Section 10. Quorum
Article VIII of the Constitution provides that a quorum shall be a majority of the current elected membership.
Section 11. Debate
Debate of discussion shall be limited to twenty minutes per motion unless an extension of time is voted by two-thirds of voting members present.  The Vice-Chair shall keep the time.
Section 12. Tie Votes
The Chair or presiding officer shall vote only in case of a tie vote.
 
ARTICLE V
STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE STAFF CONGRESS
Section 1. Function
The function of standing committees is to provide Staff Congress with working bodies that entail specific areas of responsibility to enable a planned and coordinated direction of the business of the Staff Congress.
Section 2. Appointment
A. Each term year at the first scheduled meeting, or when a permanent vacancy occurs, the Executive Council shall report to Staff Congress vacancies in standing committee memberships and shall nominate to Staff Congress the name of a Representative for each vacancy.
B. After nominations by the Executive Council have been reported to the Staff Congress, the Chair shall call for nominations from the floor before nominations are closed and voting commences. A majority shall be required to elect.
C. A Representative shall serve on one standing committee and shall serve for the duration of his/her term of office as a Representative.
D. Standing committees shall be composed of a minimum of five members including a chairperson.
E. To the extent possible, committee membership may be based on an equitable distribution of members from all area categories.
Section 3. Standing Committees
A.   Credentials and Elections 
• Membership Drive – will be responsible for advertising upcoming elections and holding small events on campus to recruit possible new candidates to run for open positions 
• Elections Verification - will be responsible for verifying candidates nominated for positions, working polling locations and verifying results of elections 
• Area verification – staying up to date on area categories and the percentage of representation on Staff Congress, will also make recommendations for any changes in representation on a yearly basis
·         Staff Regent Election - will oversee the Staff Regent election every three years.
·         University Standing Committee Appointments – will solicit nominees for University Standing Committee and submit a slate of nominees to Staff Congress for approval.
B.  Benefits and Compensation 
• Benefits – will work closely with Human Resources on current benefits as well as make recommendations to HR for future benefits 
• Salary and Compensation – review and assess the current salaries and compensations offered to staff within the University 

C.  Staff Issues 
• Workplace – will be concerned with reviewing issues related to the workplace and assess the ability to find a workable resolution 
• Development – will assess the current development opportunities and make recommendations for future staff development opportunities 
• General – will pursue the assessment and resolution of all general concerns that are submitted by University staff
Section 4. Chairperson of Standing Committees
A. The Vice-Chair of Staff Congress will call a meeting of each standing committee for the purpose of appointing a chair within each committee. The committee chair must have one-year experience as a member of the Congress. The Vice Chair will present the committee chairs to the Congress for approval.
B. Duties of Standing Committee Chairpersons shall be:
1. To call for and preside at all meetings of the respective committee.
2. To determine an agenda for each committee meeting.
3. To ensure that all matters as referred to the committee by the Staff Congress are followed through to conclusion.
4. Where necessary, to ensure that committee conduct is governed by procedures contained in Robert's Rules of Orders (latest version) in the consideration of all matters so referred.
 
ARTICLE VI
AD HOC COMMITTEES

Section 1. Authority
The Chair of Staff Congress, in consultation with the Executive Council, may appoint ad hoc committees as may be necessary for accomplishment of certain specific projects and for special purposes. Composition of ad hoc committees shall be recommended by the Executive Council.
Section 2. Limitation
An ad hoc committee that has responded and completed its assigned task or projects is automatically discharged.
Section 3. Appointments
Appointments made under the authority granted above shall be approved by a majority vote of Staff Congress. These appointments shall expire with the term of the Chair of the Staff Congress or automatically with discharge.
 
ARTICLE VII
AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS
Section 1. The Staff Congress shall have the power to enact Bylaws to implement the provisions of the Constitution.
Section 2. A proposal to amend or change the Bylaws shall be signed by five members of the Staff Congress and shall require approval by two-thirds of the membership of the Congress.
Section 3. Proposals to amend or change the Bylaws must be submitted to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Staff Congress for placement on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Staff Congress at least two weeks prior to said meeting of the Staff Congress.
Section 4. First consideration of a proposal to amend or change the Bylaws shall be voted on at a regular meeting of the Staff Congress. If the proposal receives approval by two-thirds of those members present and voting, it shall be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Staff Congress for final consideration.
Section 5. Final consideration of a proposal to amend or change the Bylaws shall require approval of two-thirds of those members present and voting.
Section 6. Approved amendments, in accordance with Section 2 of this Article shall become effective when
reported by the Secretary of the Staff Congress at the next meeting.
  
As revised April 1, 1988
As revised June 4, 1990
As revised April 8, 1991
As revised August 10, 1994
As revised September 1, 1995
As revised September 8, 1997
As revised June 13, 2000
As revised December 3, 2007
As revised May 4, 2009
As revised January 13, 2014
As revised December 7, 2015
As revised January 11, 2016
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