Section 1: Legislative power. All Legislative powers of the SGA shall be vested in the Student Senate, abbreviated hereafter as Senate.
Section 2: Composition. The Senate shall consist of 50 senators. Senators shall be elected from each college as follows:
- A. One undergraduate Senate seat shall be apportioned to each degree-awarding college based on each full two percent of undergraduate enrollment in that college.
- Each college containing an undergraduate or graduate population shall have at least two Senate seats.
- Graduate students from each college containing a graduate enrollment shall together be represented by a number of graduate Senate seats apportioned based on each full two percent of graduate enrollment in the University, excluding the Law School.
- Students of the Law School shall be represented by a number of law Senate seats apportioned based on each full two percent of enrollment in the University, and shall have at least two seats.
- If the number of Senate seats distributed in accordance with Section 2, subsection A of this Article does not total 50, the remaining seats will be distributed by allocating one additional seat to those colleges coming closest to having an additional two percent until the total number of Senate seats allocated is 50.
Section 3: Eligibility. Eligibility requirements of all candidates intending to run for a position in the Senate must be met prior to filing a statement of candidacy.
- Members of the Senate shall be elected from full-time students at The University of Alabama.
- Candidates for the Senate must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with The University of Alabama and must remain in this status during his or her term.
- All undergraduate students seeking a position in the Senate must have a cumulative Grade Point Average (abbreviated hereafter as GPA) from The University of Alabama of not less than 2.30 on a 4.0 scale. Undergraduate candidates must have earned at least 12 credit hours at The University of Alabama.
- All law students seeking a position in the Senate must have an overall cumulative GPA from The University of Alabama of not less than 2.50 on a 4.0 scale and earned at least twelve credit hours from The University of Alabama.
- All graduate students seeking a position in the Senate must have a cumulative GPA from The University of Alabama of not less than 3.00 on a 4.0 scale. Graduate candidates must have earned at least 9 credit hours from The University of Alabama.
- Any graduate or law school candidate whose undergraduate degree was earned from The University of Alabama is exempted from the credit hour requirement, provided his or her undergraduate GPA at The University of Alabama was at least 2.30 on a 4.0 scale and he or she currently has the appropriate graduate or law school GPA.
- All elected members of the Senate shall be elected according to the procedures stated in Article IX.
Section 4: Vacancies in the Senate. Vacancies in the Senate shall be elected using the following procedure:
- A special election to fill a vacant Senate seat will be held in the college or school where the vacancy occurred; procedures for voting and identifying the successor senator will be those utilized in regular elections as specified in Article IX.
- Special elections for Senate vacancies will be held every twenty full class days beginning from the first day of the fall semester until forty class days prior to spring SGA elections.
- At forty class days prior to spring SGA elections, vacant Senate seats will remain unfilled and shall only be filled by candidates that qualify to run in the regular spring SGA election as specified in Article IX.
Section 5: Officers of the Senate. Officers of the Senate shall include the Speaker of the Senate, the Parliamentarian, and the Secretary.
- The Executive Vice President shall preside over the Senate prior to the election of the Speaker of the Senate by the members of the Senate.
- The Executive Vice President shall have no vote except to break a tie.
- The Executive Vice President shall serve as the ceremonial leader of the Senate.
- The Speaker of the Senate shall preside over the Senate immediately upon his or her election during the second session of the Senate.
- The Speaker of the Senate shall be elected by a majority, fifty percent plus one vote, of the senators.
- The Speaker of the Senate must have been elected and served a full term as a senator in order to qualify to run as a candidate for Speaker of the Senate. If no senators fulfill this requirement or if only one senator meets this requirement, then any regularly elected senator may run for Speaker of the Senate.
- The Senate may hold a new election for Speaker of the Senate if three- fifths of the Senate’s voting members support a motion of no-confidence in the Senate’s leadership.
- The Parliamentarian of the Senate shall advise the Senate of all matters of parliamentary procedure according to the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order and any rules of order adopted by the Senate. The Parliamentarian may not be a Senator and may have no vote.
- The Parliamentarian of the Senate shall be appointed by the Speaker of the Senate.
- The Senate shall confirm the appointment of the Parliamentarian by a majority, fifty percent plus one vote of the senators.
- The Secretary of the Senate shall
- Be elected from within the membership of the Senate by a majority vote, fifty percent plus one vote, of the Senate.
- Shall prepare legislation for senators to review.
- Shall maintain a record of all proceedings of the Senate and attendance of its members.
- Shall receive any petitions regarding the impeachment and removal of any officer of the SGA.
- The Senate shall create administrative staff as seen fit by a majority vote, fifty percent plus one vote, of the Senate.
Section 6: Duties of Senators. Senators shall:
- Address the academic and non-academic concerns of the students of The University of Alabama by acting as student representatives.
- Make themselves accessible and accountable to their constituents.
- Attend all regularly scheduled meetings of the Senate unless excused. The SGA Code of Laws shall define the excuse policy.
Section 7: Powers and Duties of the Senate. The Senate shall:
- Develop and pass legislation on behalf of students of The University of Alabama.
- Approve the funding recommendations for student activities and programs as proposed by the Financial Affairs Committee within the executive branch of the SGA. The Financial Affairs Committee shall be composed as outlined in Article IV, Section 9, subsection D(2)b of this Constitution.
- Pass an SGA budget for the fiscal year by no later than September 30 th in order for the SGA to be financed.
- Confirm or reject Executive Council appointments, including Executive Cabinet officials and Executive Council officers appointed to fill vacancies.
- Select officers of the Senate, set the day and time for meetings of the Senate, and establish and enforce an attendance policy for members of the Senate.
- Be responsible for approving the allocation of its members among the colleges and schools of The University of Alabama in accordance with this Constitution not later than 45 days prior to the annual SGA elections.
- Establish a pay scale.
- Establish legislative committees as needed. The Senate shall maintain the following permanent committees: Committee on Academic Affairs, Committee on External Affairs, Committee on Finance, Committee on Student Affairs, Committee on Rule, and Committee on Ethics.
- Senators elected by special election shall sit on the committee of the Senator they are replacing.
- Committee chairs will be selected by a vote within committee.
- Hold special sessions of the Senate. The Senate shall hold special sessions when deemed necessary by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or when deemed necessary by the SGA President.
- Participate in the impeachment and removal process as described in Article IX, Section 2, subsection D.
- Allocate additional money to meet the needs of individual students and student organizations.
Section 8: Presentation and passage of legislation. Two-thirds of the Senate’s voting members shall constitute a quorum to conduct business.
- All legislation of the Senate shall be categorized as follows:
- Acts of Senate: Acts which authorize or mandate the Executive Branch to begin a new SGA program, project or initiative that requires SGA budget allocations. All Acts of Senate are subject to presidential veto as outlined in Article IV, Section 5, subsection J.
- Bills of Law: The SGA Budget and amendments to the SGA Code of Laws. All Bills of Law are subject to presidential veto as outlined in Artic1e IV, Section 5, subsection J.
- Resolutions: Expressions of sentiment of the Senate, which are not subject to presidential veto outlined in Article IV, Section 5, subsection J(3).
- Acts of Senate and Bills of Law which pass the Senate by a majority vote (fifty percent plus one vote) of senators present shall be presented to the SGA President.
- If the President approves, the President shall sign the Act of Senate or Bill of Law.
- If the President does not approve, he or she has the right to either veto within five full class days of receipt and submit such a veto to the Secretary of the Senate, accompanied by a written explanation for the decision, or choose not to sign the act or bill. Choosing not to sign the Act of Senate or Bill of Law is not a veto.
- The Senate may reconsider vetoed Act of Senate or Bills of Law. After reconsideration, the Senate may override the President’s veto by a two-thirds vote of those members of the Senate who are present and voting. After five full class days following the President’s initial receipt of the Act of Senate or Bill of Law, it will be considered passed with or without the President’s signature.