URI Student Senate

Students' official voice on campus

Room 201, 50 Lower College Rd. Kingston, RI 02881


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University or Rhode Island Student Senate Organization Model Constitution

  • The purpose of the organization shall be to:
  • The organization accepts that all activities of this organization shall be non-profit in nature.
  • The organization accepts and understands that acts of the URI Student Senate shall take precedence over those of any recognized student organization of the University of Rhode Island.
  • Each person who is a full member shall enjoy all rights and privileges of membership including but not limited to the right to be present and to make and second motions at meetings of the membership, to vote on questions and elections before the membership, and to hold office when duly elected. Each person who is an associate member shall enjoy all rights of a full member except the right to vote, hold office, or receive special benefits paid for with student activities dollars, (i.e., subsidized trips, etc.) To be considered a member of a student organization, an individual must attend at least one organization meeting or event per month during the academic year. In addition, full members are required to:
  • Associate members are required to:
  • Any undergraduate student of the University of Rhode Island who is required to pay the Student Activities Tax shall be eligible to full membership in this organization. Non-matriculated students, graduate students, faculty and other members of the URI community shall be eligible for associate membership. This organization shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap, national origin, religious affiliation, or religious belief.
  • Any member may be expelled for any negligent or malicious act which is detrimental to the purposes and principles of this organization by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full members present at any meeting after careful consideration of the facts and after hearing the response of the accused member in person at a meeting of the membership not less than two weeks after written notice of the charges preferred has been received by the accused. Negligent acts include, but are not limited to, violations of the laws of the State of Rhode Island, and URI Student Senate and Memorial Union Board of Directors policies. All expulsions may be appealed by the expelled member to SOARC but, until the appeal is decided, the accused shall not enjoy the rights or privileges of membership.
  • The officers of this organization shall be the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, and if this organization is funded or collects dues, the Treasurer. The organization must have two elected officers with signatory power at all times. One of these must be the President, and if the organization has a budget, the other must be the Treasurer. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by this constitution and by parliamentary authority adopted by this organization. If your organization has a position (or positions) other than those listed above, please attach a copy of the title and a description of the duties of each.
  • Officers must be elected each year in the spring semester by April 1st unless special privileges are granted by SOARC.
  • These officers shall serve for a term of one year beginning at the close of the annual meeting or until their successors are elected. Each officer may be re-elected to the same office any number of times.
  • If any office becomes vacant as a result of resignation, removal, or other cause, the members shall fill the vacancy at the next regular meeting after the vacancy arises. The remaining officers may, by majority vote, designate any eligible full member to act in the capacity of the vacant office until the vacancy is filled.
  • No person shall hold more than one office at a time within the same organization.
  • The regular meetings of this organization shall be held at least once a month from September to April, inclusive, at a time and place to be adopted by majority vote of the full members at any meeting. The Secretary shall give at least ten days notice of any change in the time of regular meetings
  • The regular meeting held during the month of March shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing the officers for the following year and for any other business that may arise.
  • Special meetings may be called by the President and shall be called upon the written request of five (5) full members of this organization. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call and no business not mentioned in the call may be transacted. The Secretary shall give at least two (2) days notice of any special meeting to be held.
  • The requirement for notice of recruitment meetings will be deemed to be met by classified ad or other advertisement in the campus newspaper and one other manner, but such advertisement shall not be necessary or required for general meetings.
  • Standing and special committees shall be created by majority vote of the full members at any meeting of the organization as deemed necessary to carry out is purposes.
  • If no manner of selecting the members of a committee is specified at the time of its creation, then the President shall appoint its members subject to the approval of the organization by majority vote. Membership on a committee shall expire at the beginning of the annual meeting.
  • If no manner of selecting the members of a committee is specified at the time of its creation, then the President shall appoint its members subject to the approval of the organization by majority vote. Membership on a committee shall expire at the beginning of the annual meeting
  • All financial expenditures and commitments shall be jointly authorized by the signatures of the President and Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to maintain accurate records of the financial status of the organizations.
  • All organizational money for groups shall be held by the Student Senate accounting system, without exception. Unfunded organizations may keep money in private group accounts with permission of the finance chair.
  • The organization may charge dues to each member per semester, or financially compensate members for fulfilling position duties, subject to the discretion of SOARC.
  • All elections for officers and for committee chairpersons shall be decided by majority vote of the full membership and shall be conducted by secret ballot. Write-in votes shall be permitted on the ballot and shall be deemed valid if the intent to vote for a specific candidate for a specific position is clear.
  • Any member may nominate any eligible member for any office or elected position. In the case of regular elections, nominations shall be opened at the last regular meeting before the annual meeting and shall be closed at the annual meeting. In the case of an election to fill a vacancy, nominations shall be opened at the first regular membership meeting after the vacancy occurs and shall be closed at the next regular membership meeting thereafter.
  • Immediately upon the close of nominations, an election shall be held. If any election has only one candidate, that person must still face election by ballot, and shall be liable to defeat by write-in votes. If no candidate receives a majority on the first ballot there shall be no election and the ballot shall be repeated as many times as is necessary until a candidate is elected by majority. Each ballot after the first shall include the name of all nominees who do not themselves withdraw.
  • The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with this constitution and any special rules of order the organization may adopt.
  • This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full members, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at a previous regular meeting at least one week earlier. All such amendments shall become effective only upon approval by the Student Organization Advisory and Review Committee (SOARC) of the Student Senate.

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