NORTH DAKOTA STUDENT ASSOCIATION
WE, THE STUDENTS OF NORTH DAKOTA, in order to establish a representative system of self-government to ensure students have an effective role in the North Dakota University System, to include the North Dakota Student Association, the State Board of Higher Education, and the state government, to encourage the development of leaders and participants for the community and State of North Dakota, and to stimulate an awareness of the rights and responsibilities of students in relation to the higher education system in North Dakota, do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution for the North Dakota Student Association.
The North Dakota Student Association (NDSA) is the organization that empowers students to speak for themselves. The NDSA advocates for all students in the North Dakota University System. We provide opportunities for student engagement, enhancement of the University System, and student education about higher education policy. NDSA facilitates inter-campus collaboration and communication to ensure that diverse student interests are represented in the formulation of higher education policy.
A. Name: The name of this organization shall be the North Dakota Student Association, hereinafter known as NDSA.
B. Governing Body: The governing body of NDSA shall be the NDSA Assembly.
C. Membership: Membership in NDSA shall consist of all students in all state institutions of higher education in the state of North Dakota.
D. Fiscal Year: The fiscal year for NDSA shall begin on June 1 and end on May 31 of the following year.
E. Equal Opportunity Policy: NDSA in its programs, activities, and appointment shall not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, age, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation.
A. Membership: The executive officers of NDSA shall be the President, Vice President, and Administrative Assistant. These executive officers shall not be counted in the number of Delegates from their respective institutions and shall serve as non-voting members of the NDSA Assembly except in the case where either the President and Vice President is serving as the presiding officer of the NDSA Assembly and a tie vote occurs; that presiding officer may vote to break the tie.
Policies regarding additional required qualifications shall be outlined in the Bylaws to this Constitution.
C. Powers and Duties
a. The President shall be the official representative and chief executive officer of NDSA.
b. The President shall serve as administrative head of the NDSA Assembly.
i. The President shall chair all meetings of the NDSA Assembly unless absent.
ii. The President shall have the power to appoint the chair and members of all special committees of the NDSA Assembly with approval of a majority of those Delegates present and voting.
iii. The President may create and disband special committees of the NDSA Assembly as defined in Article VI of this Constitution.
iv. The President shall be responsible for initiating a Head Delegates meeting at every NDSA meeting at a time that does not conflict with any other NDSA responsibilities.
c. The President may have the authority to appoint certain ex-officio officers if prescribed in the Bylaws without the need for an election, though a confirmation process may be required.
d. The President shall have the authority to appoint interim officers to serve in an office that has been vacated and is elected directly by the NDSA Assembly until such time that a special election can be held to fill the office permanently.
e. The President shall have other powers and duties as prescribed in this Constitution as well as the Bylaws.
2. Vice President
The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President when the role is relinquished due to absence or decision.
b. The Vice President shall be tasked with ensuring that the policies and procedures of NDSA are being followed. The Vice President shall report any concerns regarding compliance to the appropriate NDSA Committee or to the general NDSA Assembly.
c. The Vice President shall be tasked with assisting the President regarding internal NDSA matters as needed, which may include, but not be limited to, the creation of the annual budget, the formulation or update of a strategic plan, and general assistance with supervising committee activities.
d. The Vice President may be assigned to oversee standing committees as designated in the Bylaws or special committees at the direction of the President.
e. The Vice President shall have other powers and duties as prescribed in this Constitution as well as the Bylaws.
3. Administrative Assistant
a. The Administrative Assistant shall keep an accurate record and true account of all financial transactions of the organization, including accounts receivable and payable.
b. The Administrative Assistant shall be responsible for preparing an annual fiscal report for NDSA.
i. The Administrative Assistant shall present this report no later than the October meeting.
ii. The NDSA Assembly may call for an audit by an independent source at any time by a majority vote, and the results of that audit must be presented at the following meeting.
c. In consultation with fellow executive officers, the Administrative Assistant shall be responsible for all fiscal planning and budget preparation.
i. The prepared budget is to be presented to the Internal Affairs Committee at the March meeting and to the full Delegation at the April meeting.
ii. The budget shall be approved by the NDSA Assembly following the process outlined in Article IV of the Constitution.
d. The Administrative Assistant shall report and be accountable to the Internal Affairs Committee and its guidelines.
e. The Administrative Assistant shall be responsible for dispersing bills to the state institutions within two weeks of the release of the FTE numbers.
f. The Administrative Assistant shall be responsible for keeping the official records of all meetings and distributing the minutes to all member schools.
g. The Administrative Assistant shall maintain a running file of all NDSA Assembly Delegates and non-voting members.
h. The Administrative Assistant shall perform any other duties as prescribed in the Constitution and Bylaws.
President: In the event that the Presidential office is vacated, the Vice President shall become the President and serve out the remainder of the President’s term.
No other officer roles have a succession policy should they resign or be removed from office before the end of their term and must be filled through the provisions provided in this Constitution and the Bylaws
EX OFFICIO MEMBERS OF THE NDSA ASSEMBLY
The membership, qualifications, and duties of the Ex Officio members of the NDSA Assembly shall be prescribed by the Bylaws to this Constitution.
DELEGATES TO THE NDSA ASSEMBLY
A. Membership: The Delegates to the NDSA Assembly, herein referred to as Delegates, shall be defined as the voting representatives from the various member institutions.
1. The number of Delegates shall be set using a formula outlined in the Bylaws to this Constitution.
2. A Delegate must be physically present in order to cast a vote.
a. Exceptions to this rule for unforeseen circumstances may be outlined in the NDSA Bylaws.
Each member institution’s student government shall determine the method of selection and removal of its Delegates.
Each member institution shall select a Head Delegate who shall be responsible for coordinating each institution’s relationship with the NDSA Assembly.
In the case of collaborative students, if a disagreement arises between a delegate and an institution regarding whether he or she is enrolled at one institution, the disagreement shall be settled by determining from which institution the student is taking the most credits. This subsection does not apply to disagreements questioning whether the delegate is enrolled at any institution.
C. Powers and Duties
1. Voting privileges shall only be prescribed to the number of individuals that are determined under the formula noted in Article V, §B(1).
2. The Delegates shall adopt the budget of NDSA by a two-thirds vote of the Delegates present and voting no later than the April meeting.
3. The Delegates shall approve all appointments of the President by a majority of those Delegates present and voting.
4. The Delegates shall elect the chairs of all standing committees from their membership at the March meeting or at any time a vacancy exists.
5. The Delegates shall have the power of recall over the executive officers of NDSA as dictated by the NDSA Constitution and Bylaws.
D. Meetings of the NDSA Assembly
1. All meetings of the NDSA Assembly shall be open to the public.
2. The NDSA Assembly shall meet during the academic year and each meeting date, time, and place shall be distributed to member institutions at least one month prior to the meeting. However, a special meeting may be called by the President or by a written petition to the Vice-President by at least one-third of the member institutions. A minimum of 3 business days written notice shall be given before a special meeting.
3. Quorum at NDSA Assembly meetings shall consist of a simple majority of the number of total voting delegates representing each member institution.
ELECTIONS AND TERMS OF OFFICE
1. Nominations shall be opened in February and follow the North Dakota Student Association Code of Elections. All executive officers shall be elected no later than April of each year or by special election to fill vacancies.
2. Nominations for officers shall be open for a minimum of two meetings, which includes the meeting during which the election takes place.
3. Officers shall be elected by secret ballot unless otherwise specified in the Bylaws. The declared winner shall be the individual who gains a majority of the vote cast by Delegates present. In the event that no individual gains a majority, the nominee receiving the fewest number of votes shall be removed and the vote shall be taken again.
B. Terms of Office: The term of office for each executive of NDSA shall be one year commencing May 1 and terminating April 30 of the following year. Officers may serve until their successors are duly qualified.
NDSA ASSEMBLY COMMITTEES
A. Standing Committees of the NDSA Assembly shall be outlined in the Bylaws and may only be added or removed through an amendment to said Bylaws.
B. Special Committees of the NDSA Assembly shall be created by the President when deemed necessary. In accordance with this Constitution, the President is also given the power to discharge these committees.
C. Member institutions may send representatives beyond the allotted number of Delegates to serve on committees.
1. All expenses associated with these representatives shall be provided by the institution that they represent.
2. Additional representatives shall be full members of their committee and may serve as chair, but shall not vote at NDSA Assembly meeting.
D. Executive officers and ex-officio officers may be designated to advise or oversee NDSA Assembly committee but shall not vote in the committees.
LIMITATION OF POWERS
A. Recall: The Delegates to the NDSA Assembly shall have the power to recall the officers of NDSA.
1. For a recall to transpire, a petition to recall must be signed by a majority of the voting Delegates from one-third of the member institutions.
2. A Validating Committee composed of the Head Delegates from each member institution shall determine the validity of the petition.
3. If the petition is deemed valid, the Validating Committee shall examine the charges and determine when the entire delegation shall vote on the recall. This vote shall take place no later than the next meeting of the NDSA Assembly.
4. Before any voting by the Delegates, the accused shall have the opportunity to due process, which shall include the right to speak to the NDSA Assembly regarding the charges.
5. A two-thirds majority of the Delegates present and voting shall be required to remove the individual from office.
6. If successfully removed, the recalled officer shall be provided the right to exercise the appeals process as outlined in Article VIII of the NDSA Bylaws.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
A. No executive, ex-officio member, or state appointments of NDSA as defined by the NDSA Constitution and Bylaws shall be allowed to hold a position within NDSA and their member institution where an overlap of responsibilities at the campus level and the state level exists.
B. Any delegate of NDSA may file a Conflict of Interest Inquiry Request with the NDSA President. The President is charged with investigating the conflict of interest inquiry and issuing a decision. In his or her investigation, the President shall interview the sitting executive and the author of the Inquiry and review the job descriptions of the NDSA position and the position at the executive’s institution. The President shall issue a written decision including justification on the conflict of interest inquiry within four (4) weeks of receiving the complaint. In the event that an Inquiry Request is filed against or by the President of NDSA, the described process shall be conducted by the Vice-President. The executive, ex-officio member, or state appointment may continue their duties during the investigation.
C. If the individual in question is found by the President or Vice-President to have a conflict of interest, the individual in question must either resign from the NDSA position, the position at his or her member institution, or file an appeal with the Internal Affairs Committee within one (1) week. In the event that the NDSA position is vacated as a result of a conflict of interest, NDSA shall follow the processes described in the Constitution and Bylaws to fill the vacant position.
1. The parties involved in a Conflict of Interest Inquiry may appeal the decision of the President or Vice-President to the Internal Affairs Committee within one (1) week of the initial decision.
2. The Internal Affairs shall review the decision of the President or Vice-President and may review any information used in the initial decision, as well as any other resources they deem to be relevant and reliable.
a. In the event that an Inquiry Request is filed against a member of the Internal Affairs Committee, the involved party may not vote on the appeal.
3. The Internal Affairs Committee shall issue a decision during the following NDSA meeting.
4. Upon the Internal Affairs Committee finding of a conflict of interest, the delegate must resign from his or her NDSA position or from his or her position at the member institution.
a. In the event that the NDSA position is vacated as a result of a conflict of interest, NDSA shall follow the processes described in the Constitution and Bylaws to fill the vacant position.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Proposed amendments to the NDSA Constitution must be presented to the NDSA Assembly no later than one meeting prior to the meeting at which the vote takes place. An amendment shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of those Delegates present and voting.
A. The Bylaws shall in no way conflict with the principles set forth by the NDSA Constitution.
B. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws shall be submitted to the Head Delegates from each member institution at least one week prior to the meeting on which it shall be voted.
C. An amendment shall be adopted by a majority of those Delegates present and voting.
D. The Bylaws shall be suspended by a two-thirds majority vote of delegates present and
This suspension of the bylaws shall occur before the issue pertaining to the
suspension is addressed.
APPROVAL OF THE NDSA CONSTITUTION
This Constitution shall become effective upon a two-thirds majority of those Delegates present and voting.
A. NDSA may grant the following awards during each academic year:
The Most Dedicated Delegate Award shall be awarded to the delegate the Assembly believes has been the most committed to the organization during the academic year.
The Student Advocate Award shall be awarded to an individual the Assembly believes has made a significant, positive improvement to higher education in North Dakota during the academic year.
B. The eligibility for the awards are as follows:
The Most Dedicated Delegate Award may only be given to a student of the North Dakota University System who has served as a delegate to NDSA and has not previously received the Most Dedicated Delegate Award.
The Student Advocate Award may be awarded to any person.
Only one person may receive either award during an academic year.
C. The procedure for selecting the NDSA Award recipients shall be as follows:
The NDSA Assembly shall vote on the Awards at the March Meeting.
Debate shall be limited to one speech per delegate, and the debate may only address the positive qualities of a nominee.
During deliberations, all nominees shall be asked to leave the assembly room.
Voting shall be by secret ballot.
The results of the secret ballot vote shall not be revealed until the April Meeting.
2. The Most Dedicated Delegate Award shall be presented to the recipient at the April Meeting.