Bylaws - Coastal Carolina University
In This Section

CCU Staff Senate Bylaws


Article I - Name

The full name of this organization is the Coastal Carolina University Staff Senate, hereinafter referred to as the "Senate."

Article II - Responsibilities and Functions

  • Study staff concerns and create a forum for the two-way communication of ideas and concerns, which specifically relate to staff members and the University mission.
  • Consider specifically the development of job and supervisory skills, compensation, benefits and welfare of staff members, not to exclude other areas of concern which are brought to the Senate’s attention.
  • Formulate and recommend to the President's Executive Council university-wide policies and procedures related to staff members.
  • Develop a systematic means for communicating to all staff members existing university policies, specific actions, and feedback concerning all matters considered by the Senate.

Article III - Membership

Section 1. Representation

The Senate is composed of voting members chosen and appointed using the following criteria:

  1. Representation will be based on groupings of departments with similar job functions. Representational groups of less than 60 staff constituents will be represented by one Senator. Representational groups of 60 or more staff constituents will be represented by two Senators.
  2. In the case of representational groups for which representation cannot be found (e.g., groups whose job duties do not permit them to serve as a Senator), the Executive Committee, at the recommendation of the Membership Committee, may appoint a Senator-at-large to serve for that representational group.

This option should be exercised only after an exhaustive search has failed to identify a staff member from that representational group who could serve as Senator. The appointed Senator-at-large must demonstrate a willingness to actively serve as Senator for that representational group.

  1. A "staff constituent" for the purpose of determining a functional group's size is defined as a Coastal Carolina University staff member in a full-time permanent classified, unclassified/athletics or unclassified/other position, or in a full-time research grant, temporary grant, or time-limited position.
  2. The representational groupings and representative numbers will be determined every year by the Membership Committee, or as is appropriate.

Section 2. Ex Officio Nonvoting Members

The Senate will include, as an ex officio nonvoting member, the Vice President for Human Resources or their designee.

Section 3. Eligibility to Serve as Senator

  1. All Senators must be a Coastal Carolina University staff member in a full-time permanent classified, unclassified/athletics or unclassified/other position or in a full-time research grant, temporary grant, or time-limited position.
  2. Senators must be in good standing with the University.
  3. Incumbents may run for re-election if eligible under Section 5B.

Section 4. Eligibility to Nominate and Vote

Only staff constituents within a representational group are eligible to nominate and vote for Senators representing their group. Self-nominations are welcome.

Section 5. Senate Terms

  1. Senators shall serve a three (3) year term beginning at the August meeting of the Senate.
  2. A maximum of two consecutive terms (6 years) may be served. A one (1) year interval is necessary before being eligible to serve again.
  3. In the case of a vacancy, the replacing Senator shall serve for the remainder of the existing term
  4. The details and timeline of senate elections shall be contained in a separate document, Election Procedures, to be reviewed and updated as appropriate by the Membership Committee with final approval by the Executive Committee.
  5. In March of each year, the ex officio Human Resources representative will provide the Membership Committee with a list of all eligible staff members as defined in 1C, including the division to which each employee belongs.

Section 5. Senate Election

  1. The nomination and election cycle shall be held April and May of each year for senate positions whose terms have expired and any vacant senate positions. The Membership Committee will notify those staff members eligible to nominate and vote, call for nominations, vet nominees, prepare ballots, and handle the election.
  2. If the number of vacancies is more than the number of nominees in a representational group, those Senators will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
  3. Candidates, supervisors of the elected Senators and the Staff Senate at large will be notified of the election outcome by the Membership Committee no later than May 31.

Section 6. Absences

  1. If in a term year (August-July), a Senator accumulates a combined total of seven (7) absences from regularly scheduled monthly meetings and/or regularly scheduled committee meetings, the Senator may be dismissed from the Senate.
    If a Senator realizes that their schedule or any other reason (with the exception of an approved FMLA) will not allow them to adhere to this policy, it is strongly recommended that their resignation letter be submitted to the Senate office and/or Senate President before a dismissal action is deemed necessary by the Senate Executive Committee.
  2. If it is determined by the Executive Committee that a dismissal action should be initiated, a notification letter from the Senate President will be sent to the Senator to inform them of the committee’s recommendation.
  3. Any current Senator who receives a dismissal notification letter has ten (10) University business days upon receipt of notice to appeal by explaining why they have exceeded the allotted absences.
  4. If after the ten (10) University business days of allowable time to appeal has passed and no appeal is received, a formal letter of dismissal will be sent to the Senator and the Senator’s supervisor informing them of the Senator’s status and the committee’s action.
  5. If an appeal is received, a special Executive Committee Session will be called to determine the Senator’s standing. No more than ten (10) University business days from the appeal receipt will pass before a response will be given to the appealing member.
  6. If the appeal is denied by the Executive Committee, a formal letter of dismissal will be sent to the Senator and the Senator’s supervisor informing them of the Senator’s status and the committee’s action.

Section 7. Vacancies

Vacancies occur due to resignation from the Senate, transfer from a representational area, dismissal by the Executive Committee, or termination of employment.

If a Senator is transferred outside the representational area the Senator was elected to represent, but remains a staff member, the Senator may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of the term, subject to Executive Committee approval.

Otherwise, vacancies may be filled by the person who received the next highest number of votes in the previous regular election or by appointment of the Executive Committee.

When a vacancy is filled, the expiration of the term remains the same. For purposes of re-election, a new member who serves more than eighteen months shall be considered to have served one term.

Article IV - Officers

Officers are elected by the Senate members and serve for a period of one (1) year. Retiring officers shall serve through the end of the July meeting and new officers shall take office immediately following the July meeting.

Section 1. Officer Duties

  1. Senate President shall be responsible for scheduling and conducting all Senate meetings and shall serve as a member of other University-wide committees as directed by the President of the University or until the committee is terminated. The Senate President has the right to appoint current members as their representative to sit on any committee as approved by the Executive Committee. The Senate President’s selections shall be presented to the elected officers for confirmation. If the committee chair is unable to fulfill the responsibilities of being chair, the Senate President may select a replacement.
  2. Senate Vice President shall assist the Senate President and perform the duties of the Senate President in their absence.
  3. Secretary shall work to provide necessary secretarial services including reviewing minutes, maintaining records, and distributing information. Shall ensure that mailings are sent to the membership before each regularly scheduled meeting. The Secretary shall ensure that meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order in the absence of the Parliamentarian.
  4. Parliamentarian shall ensure that meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order and shall ensure adherence to the Bylaws. Shall review any changes or additions pertaining to the Bylaws.

Section 2. Eligibility to Serve as an Officer

  1. Only current senators with one or more years remaining in their term, or those that have been elected to a second term, are eligible to serve. Ex officio members are not eligible.
  2. Nominations are not valid until the Senator has received approval from the Senator’s supervisor.
  3. Incumbents may run for re-election.

Section 3. Eligibility to Nominate and Vote

Only current Senators and officers are eligible to nominate and vote for officers; ex officio members are not eligible.

Section 4. Officer Elections

  1. The details and timeline of officer elections shall be contained in a separate document, Election Procedures, to be reviewed and updated as appropriate by the Membership Committee with final approval by the Executive Committee.
  2. The nomination and election cycle shall be held in June and July of each year. The Membership Committee will call for nominations, vet nominees, prepare ballots, and handle the election.
  3. Nominees may accept a multiple nominations for office, but ultimately may serve in only one position. Nominations are not valid until the senator has shared approval, in writing, from the senator’s supervisor with the Membership Committee.
  4. Candidates will have the option to give a brief speech to the Senate at the July meeting in
    support of their candidacy and/or place a statement on the ballot.
  5. Elections will take place at the July meeting via paper ballot.
  6. Candidates, supervisors of the elected officers and the Staff Senate at large will be notified of the election outcome by the Membership Committee no later than July 15.

Section 5. Vacancies

  1. An officer who transfers outside the area the officer was elected to represent, but who remains a staff member, may exercise the option to serve out the remainder of the officer’s term of office, with full voting privileges, subject to Executive Committee approval.
  2. An officer can be removed from service by a simple majority vote by the Senate. If the Senate President is removed, Section 4D applies. All officers have the right to appeal in writing to the Executive Committee within ten (10) University business days of the Senate vote.
  3. If an office other than the Senate President is vacated, nominations of current members to replace the officer will be accepted at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Senate will then hold an election by majority vote to select a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term of office.
  4. If the Senate Presidency is vacated for any reason, the Senate Vice President will assume the role of Senate President for the remainder of the term.

Article V - Executive Committee

Section 1. Membership

The Executive Committee will consist of the Senate President, Senate Vice President, Secretary, the Parliamentarian of the Senate and chairpersons of the standing committees. Guests may only attend if invited by the Senate President and only for the meeting(s) their presence is requested.

Section 2. Responsibilities

The Executive Committee's purpose shall be to propose the annual agenda and to consider and possibly refer items, including items submitted by staff, to the appropriate committees for their review and subsequent recommendation to the Senate. The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Senate between meetings, make recommendations to the Senate, and perform other duties as specified in these bylaws. The Executive Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Senate, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Senate.

Article VI - Committees

Section 1. Committee Membership

  1. All Senators are expected to serve on a Standing Committee, with a term of one (1) year. Senators may rank their top two (2) committee preferences; however the Executive Committee will make final committee assignments.
  2. Prior to July 31 each year, current committee members will select from amongst themselves a continuing Senator to chair the committee the following year.
  3. Once committee chairs are selected, committee meeting dates/times will be established and provided to the Senators.

Section 2. Standing Committees

  1. Membership Committee - The purpose of the Membership Committee is to conduct all Senate representative elections, officer elections, evaluate representation and make recommendations to modify the representational area groupings as necessary to ensure fairness, and implement new member orientation.
  2. Communications Committee - The purpose of the Communications Committee is to develop a systematic means for communicating to all staff members existing University policy, specific actions, and feedback concerning all matters considered by this Senate.
  3. Policy and Welfare Committee - The purpose of the Policy and Welfare Committee is to consider the development of job and supervisory skills, compensation, benefits, and welfare of staff members not to exclude other areas of concern that are brought to the Senate’s attention. The Committee will formulate and recommend university-wide policies and procedures related to staff members.

Section 3. Ad Hoc Committees

Ad Hoc committees shall be created and disbanded as deemed necessary by the Senate President. The committee can consist of both current and former Senate members but must be chaired by a current member of the Senate or a Past President of the Senate.

Section 4. University Committees/Councils

The Senate President shall appoint a member of the Senate or an employee from the staff to represent the Senate on University committees/councils when necessary, taking into account the expertise of the member and the member’s area of representation. Outgoing members will be asked if they wish to remain part of a communications and resource network. Those wishing to participate will be considered as a potential resource for service on committees. If the appointee is unable to attend meetings and provide activity reports to the Senate, the Senate President may choose a replacement.

Section 5. Committee Responsibilities

  1. A written copy of all formal resolutions and committee reports should be submitted to the Executive Committee prior to presentation at the full Senate meeting. Each committee should prepare a report to be presented at the full Senate meeting.
  2. Maintain committee records containing: summary reports, current assignments and letters, completed assignments and letters, members’ attendance at meetings, and a committee members' list.
  3. Work on letters and agenda items as assigned.
  4. Make recommendations to the Senate. Any material to be included in the agenda will be sent to the Secretary seven (7) calendar days before the scheduled meeting.

Article VII - Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Senate and all its subcommittees in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Senate may adopt.

Article VIII - Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Senate by a simple majority vote of the Senate members, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting and approved by the Executive Committee.

Article IX - Standing Rules

Section 1. Senate Meetings

  1. Meeting Schedule: The Senate shall meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. Visitors are welcome at all meetings except when items are considered in executive session.
  2. Agenda: The Presiding Officer shall include on the agenda any item of business submitted in writing to the Senate President at least seven working days before the regularly scheduled meeting. Items sent should indicate expected amount of time needed to present and discuss.
      a. Approval of Minutes
      b. Special Order of the Day (if any)
      c. Senate President’s Report
      d. Committee Reports
          i. Standing Committees
          ii. Ad Hoc Committees
         iii. University Committees/Councils
      e. Unfinished Business
      f.  New Business
      g. Announcements
      h. Adjournment
  3. Executive Session: The Presiding Officer may call a Senate executive session when items to be discussed are considered to be of a confidential nature.

Section 2. Executive Committee Meetings

  1. Meeting Schedule: Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held on the last Tuesday of each month.
  2. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the Senate President or upon the written request of three members of the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Operational Guidelines for Introduction of New or Revised Policy

  1. Introduction of Policy: Any Senator may propose a new or revised policy by way of a motion to the floor during the discussion of New Business agenda items. Once a motion is made and approved by the Senate, the Senate President will then assign the issue to the proper standing committee or establish an ad hoc committee if appropriate.
  2. Communications: The committee chair will examine the issue with full disclosure to the Senator who introduced the issue and to the Executive Committee.
  3. Policy Revision: The committee chair will provide copies of the present policy along with copies of the proposed revised policy to each member of the Senate one month in advance of the vote.
  4. New Policy: The committee chair will provide copies of the proposed policy to all members of the Senate one month in advance of the vote.
  5. Forwarding the Policy: If the Senate approves the new or revised policy, the proposed policy and a supporting resolution shall be forwarded to the University Compliance Office for introduction to the University President’s Executive Council. A copy of the resolution will also be forwarded to the President of the University. The Vice President for Human Resources will provide written notification of the resolve of the University President’s Executive Council to the Senate President in an expeditious manner.