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Constitution of the Iowa Lakes Community College Student Body

Revised:  October 2017

Article 1 - Object

The purpose of this organization is for the members to obtain a higher education and to make better individuals out of each and every member.  (Board policy 530)

Article 2 - Membership

All students, full or part-time, shall make up the membership of the student body. (Board policy 531)

Article 3 - Governing Body

The governing body of the student body shall be the Student Senate at the center, composed of representatives from their body.

Section 1.  Composition of the membership of the Student Senate.

  1. The Senate shall consist of the officers, carry-over members, and members elected in the fall.
  • The minimum number of members in the Senate shall have is ten in Emmetsburg and Estherville, and two in Algona, Spencer, and Spirit Lake.
  • The maximum number of members in each campus Senate shall be no more than twelve. (13)
  • The Student Senate will make every effort to be gender and program balanced.

Section 2.  Election of officers and senators.

  1. The President will be elected in April by the student body for carrying out matters through the summer and to be prepared for fall procedures.
  2. The Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected by each campus’ Student  Senate from their own membership. Vice-president and Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected by October 1st.
  3. Election of the Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be conducted by the President with nominations from the floor.  Voting shall be by secret ballot with the majority of votes determining the officer(s).

Article 4 - Officers

Section 1.  Qualifications to hold office

  1. The President is required to have at least one semester of Student Senate experience.
  2. All senators must be at least part-time students (taking at least six credits), as determined by school policy.
  3. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for any Student Senate member.

Section 2.  Term of Office

  1. The President shall be elected by May 1st.
  2. The president shall begin office the first full week in May.

Section 3.  Vacancies in the Senate.

  1. The Vice-President shall serve as President in the event of a presidential vacancy.
  2. Vacancies in any other office position shall be filled in the manner of Article 3, Section 2.
  3. Senators at large may be replaced by interested students by a majority of votes of existing senators.

Section 4.  Duties of Officers.

  1. The President shall preside at all Senate meetings, have the power to call special meetings, appoint needed committees, and see to the proper execution of all motions proposed by the Senate.  He has no voting privilege on Senate matters except when the Senate has a tie vote.
  2. The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, preside at the Senate meeting and carry on duties of the President.
  3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the minutes, treasury books, and cause copies of the Senate meetings to be filed with the Board of Directors and post minutes on accessible bulletin boards.

Article 5 - The Inter-campus Committee

Section 1. Inter-campus Committee

  1. The Inter-campus Committee shall have a minimum of one senator from each campus.  If there are no volunteers the President has the power to appoint these members.
  2. The Inter-campus Committee shall suggest input for the Student Handbook and coordinate dates for activities.
  3. The Inter-campus Committee shall be an advisory group to problems brought before it at any center.
    a.    The Inter-campus Committee shall discuss the problem and state all suggestions for courses of action brought up in discussion.
    b.    This information shall be directed back to the center, which brought the problem to the Inter-campus Committee.
  4. A chairperson shall be elected within the committee and conduct the meetings.
  5. The committee shall meet at least once each month.
  6. The Inter-campus Committee shall suggest its interpretation of this Constitution when questions arise.

Article 6 - Clubs

Student Senate reserves the right to dissolve the recognition of any club on the ground that the club is not acting according to college regulations.

Section 1. Requirements of clubs

  1. The purpose of the organization must be submitted to the Student Senate.
  2. Names of officers must be submitted to the Student Senate.
  3. Assurance that the club will abide by reasonable college regulations.
  4. There should be a representative from the club at a semester budget committee meeting to justify budget requests. 
  5. The club must submit an annual report of spending.

Article 7 - Expenditure of Student Funds

Section 1. Student activity fee

  1. Changes of percentages.
    a. The expenditure of funds collected from students for activities shall be determined by the student government unit with administrative and board approval.  Any increases in student fees for activities shall be determined by the student government unit with administrative and board approval (State Code 280A. 18[7]).
    b. A recommendation to change the percentage breakdown of the student activity fees, at an attendance center, shall be submitted to the Board of Directors by their February meeting to take effect the following school year.  These changes must be approved by a student referendum at the attendance center affected by a simple majority of those voting.  If approved the changes are then presented to the board.

Section 2. Procedures for yearly and semesterly budgeting

  1. A skeleton budget for the next year will be submitted by the last week in April.
  2. After the Senate receives the total amount of money available to them from the student activity fee that semester a budget should be submitted to the Student Activities Coordinator.

Article 8 - Amendments

Section 1. Amendment proposals

  1. Amendment proposals to this Constitution may be presented in the following ways:
    a. By a Senate member at any regularly scheduled Senate meeting.  To approve this type of amendment proposal requires majority vote of the existing Senate members.
    b. By a non-Senate member presenting to the Senate a petition signed by at least 10 percent of the student body.  To approve this type of amendment proposal requires a majority vote of the existing Senate members.
  2. There shall be a waiting period of at least one week from the time the amendment proposal is presented to the Senate and the Senate acts on the amendment proposed.  Any approved amendment proposal must be presented to the other centers for approval. (Section 2)
  3. The person proposing the amendment proposal shall act as spokesman throughout the proceedings for such change.

Section 2. Other center approval of amendment proposal

  1. The other center's Senate shall act on all amendment proposals approved in Section 1.
  2. The amendment proposal shall be presented to the other center's Senate at a special meeting or the first regularly scheduled meeting.
  3. The other center's Senate, after being presented the amendment proposal, shall wait at least one week but not more than two weeks before acting on the proposal.
  4. The amendment proposal must be approved by a majority vote of the existing Senate members.

Section 3. Student body approval

  1. If the Senates of both centers approve the amendment proposal, it shall be presented to the student body of each center.
  2. After it is presented to the student body, a period of two weeks shall pass before the students vote on the amendment proposal.
  3. Voting shall take place on the same day at each center.
  4. Students at all centers shall be considered as one voting body in this amendment change.
  5. A two-thirds favorable vote of students voting shall be required as students approval of the amendment proposal.
  6. If approved, the amendment proposal shall be presented to the College President for board approval.

Section 4. Effect of disapproval

  1. If the student senate does not approve a proposed amendment, the same amendment shall not be presented to the student body until at lease one full semester shall have elapsed.

Article 9 - Student Rights and Responsibilities

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students the general well-being of society.  Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom.  The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community.  Students should expect to exercise their freedom with responsibility.

Section 1. In the classroom

In the classroom, student performance should be evaluated on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

  1. Students should be able to express their views in any course, but are responsible for learning course content.
  2. Student protection from prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation will be enforced through a due process procedure.
  3. Students should be protected from improper disclosure of their views, beliefs, and political associations.  Information which professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors would be considered confidential.
  4. Instructors shall inform students at the beginning of each course the course content, objectives, how students will be evaluated, on what criteria, and when.

Section 2.  Student records

The Iowa Lakes Community College shall have a carefully considered policy as to the information which should be part of a student's permanent educational record and as to the condition of its disclosure. (Board Policy 522)

  1. Academic and disciplinary records should be separate.
  2. Academic records should contain only information about the students academic status.
  3. Records should not be available to unauthorized personnel on or off campus.
    Exceptions would be:
    a. With student approval.
    b. Under legal compulsion.
    c. If the case affects the safety of people or property.
  4. Faculty and administrative staff should respect confidential information about students they acquire in the course of their work.

Section 3.  Student affairs

In student affairs, certain standards must be maintained if the freedom of the students is to be preserved.

  1. Students should be free to form and join clubs according to established institutional procedures, regardless of race, religion, or sex.
  2. Students should be free to inquire and express views concerning this academic institution.
    a. Students should be free to discuss questions of interest to them.  At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic institution and community that in their public expression or demonstrations, students or student organizations speak for themselves.
    b. Students should be free to support, by orderly and lawful means, their views as to the operation of the institution.

Section 4.  Citizenship

As citizens, students should enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right to petition that other citizens enjoy and as members of the academic community, they are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership.

  1. Faculty members and administrative officials should insure that institutional powers are not employed to inhibit such intellectual and personal development of students as is often promoted by their exercise of the rights of citizenship both on and off campus.
  2. Institutional authority and civil penalties.  Because activities of students may, upon occasion, result in violation of the law be it:
    a. Students violating existing statutes may incur the penalties prescribed by civil or criminal authorities for such acts.
    b. Institutional authority should never be used to duplicate general functions of the law.
    c. Only where institutional interests, as an academic institution is concerned,-should the special authority of the institution be asserted.
    d. Institutional action should be independent of community pressures.

Article 10 - Student Responsibilities

Section 1.  Individual responsibilities

  1. Iowa Lakes Community College expects all students to conduct themselves under all circumstances in a responsible manner.
  2. Students are expected to observe the policies of the College and the laws of city, state, and nation governments.
  3. Students are subject to disciplinary action for violation of college policies or regulations which have been published and are readily available to the student.

Section 2.  Violations of responsible student behavior

  1. Cheating, i.e., procuring help in a test, copying a test, or plagiarism, i.e., the unacknowledged use of copyrighted materials and other written materials such as reports, assignments, and term papers.
  2. Furnishing false, incomplete, or misleading information to college officials or on official records, or altering such records.
  3. Disruption of the orderly process of activities of the College, including unauthorized entry into, obstruction of or occupation of any college property, and including obstruction of entry or exit to any college property, also including any unauthorized or improper use of any college property equipment or facilities.
  4. Theft or wrongful appropriation, or willful destruction, damage, defacement, or mutilation of any property belonging to or in the possession or custody of another member of the College or of the College community.
  5. Assaulting, threatening, physically abusing, harassing, or endangering in any other manner the health or safety of any person on College property or at any College sponsored or supervised function or event.
  6. Undue or willful neglect to meet financial obligations to the College.
  7. Possession, use, or furnishing on College property or College supervised property, of any controlled substance, the possession, use or furnishing of which is illegal by municipal, state, or federal law.
  8. Illegal possession or use of any firearm, explosive, dangerous chemical, or other weapon, on College property or College supervised property.
  9. Solicitation on College property is prohibited.  Recognized student organizations may raise funds under the policy for fundraising projects.
  10. Gambling on College property without proper authorization or license is prohibited.

Article 11 - Due Process Procedures

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the federal government, and the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits any state from "depriving" any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  State action includes action by a public institution of higher education and liberty includes a student's interest in obtaining an education (Buss, 1971).  There is no specific definition of due process, though it basically refers to procedures being fundamentally fair.

In all situations, procedural fair plays requires that the student be informed of the nature of the charges against him or her, that she/he be given a fair opportunity to refute them, that the institution not be arbitrary in its actions, and that there be provision for appeal of a decision.  The following outlines the due process procedures to be followed by Iowa Lakes Community College.

Administrative responsibility for the establishment and enforcement of policies governing student conduct and disciplinary action has been delegated by the President of the College to the Vice-President of Administration.

Section 1. Specificity of rules

The institution has an obligation to clarify those standards of behavior which it considers essential to its educational mission and its community life.

Section 2.  Disciplinary actions

  1. Official Warning informs the student that he/she has violated College policies governing student conduct.
  2. Disciplinary Probation informs the student that he/she has been found guilty of a more serious violation, or repeated violation of College policies governing student conduct.
  3. Disciplinary Probation with Conditions informs that student who is placed on Disciplinary Probation with Conditions that he/she is subject to specified conditions, e.g., reimbursement for stolen or damaged property, temporary loss of participation in student activities, completion of specific tasks for the betterment of the student or of the College community, etc.
  4. Disciplinary Suspension informs the student that he/she has lost his/her student status for a specified period of time.
  5. Disciplinary Expulsion informs the student that he/she has lost his/her student status and that he/she can never again be a student at the College.  The decision to expel a student must be confirmed by the Board of Directors of  Iowa Lakes Community College.

Section 3.  Informal hearing

It is the desire of the College that any matter concerning student discipline be handled in an informal manner whenever possible.

The Vice-President for administration shall initiate disciplinary process by written notice to the student to appear for an informal hearing.  Said notice shall be by letter addressed to the student at his/her last known residence, and mailed by ordinary mail or by certified mail.  Action must be initiated by the Vice-President within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date on which the alleged offense was discovered.

At the informal hearing, the student shall be informed as completely as possible of all matters relating to the alleged violation(s).  The student shall be provided with an explanation of (1) the charge(s) against him/her, (2) the evidence, and (3) the possible disciplinary action that could be taken in the case.  If the possible disciplinary action is official warning, conduct probation, or conduct probation with conditions, the Vice-President and the student shall discuss the alleged violation(s) and the possible disciplinary action.  The student shall be given full opportunity to be heard.  The informal hearing may be continued from time to time as may be determined to be appropriate in the interests of justice by the Vice-President.  After the informal hearing has been concluded, the Vice-President shall, in a written statement summarize the facts of the case, and set forth the appropriate disciplinary action.  This decision of the Vice-President shall be final.

If the Vice-President stipulates suspension or expulsion as a possible disciplinary action, the student may request a review before the President of the college.

Section 4.  Informal hearing - failure to appear

If the student who is requested by the Vice-President to appear for an informal hearing does not respond within seven (7) calendar days of the date of mailing the notice, the Vice-President shall, in a written statement, summarize the facts of the case and set forth the appropriate disciplinary action.  If the disciplinary action so specified is official warning, disciplinary probation, or disciplinary probation with conditions, the decision of the Vice-President stipulates disciplinary suspension or disciplinary expulsion as an action, the student may request a review of the decision before the President of the college.

Section 5.  Review - President of the College

A review before the President of the College is available only to those students who, by action of the Vice-President, are subject to possible disciplinary suspension or disciplinary expulsion from the college.

  1. Request for review-Within ten (10) calendar days of the Vice-President's stipulation to award disciplinary suspension or disciplinary expulsion, the student may request a review of their decision before the President of the College. This request must be presented to the President in writing, stating the reason(s) for believing the Vice-President's decision to be unjust.  Failure to so appeal in said period of time will result in the decision of the Vice-President becoming final.
    The review by the College President shall be held as soon as practicable after receipt of the request for a review, normally this would be within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of said request.
    Notice of the review date shall be sent to the Vice-President and the student charged.
    In cases involving unmarried students who have not reached the age of their majority, the written notice shall also be mailed to the parents or guardians of the student charged.
  2. Review Procedures-The review is conducted by the President of the College.  The Vice-President and the student charged are to be present.  Neither party shall have the right to question the validity of college policies governing student conduct and disciplinary action.
    The College shall have the burden of proving any claim of misconduct.  Such proof must be substantial or convincing evidence, but it is not necessary that legal standards of proof such as "beyond a reasonable doubt," be met.  The proof is sufficient if it satisfies the President that substantial justice will be done by whatever finding he/she makes on the basis of the evidence.
    The Vice-President shall state the complaint and proceed to present appropriate witnesses, evidence, and materials in support of the complaint.  Following this the student shall deliver his/her response to the complaint as well as presenting any witnesses, evidence, or materials which support the response.
    The student charged has a right to be represented by or attended by an advisor or by counsel.
    Witnesses shall be questioned first by the party producing them and second by the other party.  The President shall have the right to question witnesses at any time at his/her discretion. 
    A review shall be a closed hearing unless the student requests an open hearing.  The President shall have the power to close a hearing, if the hearing is open, to avoid disruptions and shall also have authority to remove from the hearing any person who is responsible for a disruption, including the student charged.
    A tape recording shall be made of any Review, except that, at the discretion of the President, procedural matters need not be recorded.  The recorded tapes shall be retained by the Vice-President for the duration of the student's residence at the college or two (2) years, whichever occurs first and shall be available under supervision of the Vice-President to all parties of the hearing.
  3. Review Before College President-Disposition-Within ten (10) calendar days of the termination of the Review, the President shall render a decision in writing and shall mail the written decision by ordinary mail or certified mail to the Vice-President, and to the student charged.

In cases involved unmarried students who have not reached their majority, the decision shall be mailed to the parents or guardians of the student charged.

In the instance of a decision of disciplinary expulsion, said decision shall be presented to the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Directors for final action.

The student's status at the college will not be altered as long as the case is under review.  The student's right to be present on campus and to attend classes will not be suspended until the decision of the President becomes final, unless the Vice-President has determined that the student's continued presence threatens harm to other persons and/or college property.

Section 6.  Appeals

Within ten (10) calendar days of the date of the President's decision, the student or Vice-President may appeal the decision in writing to the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Directors stating the reason(s) for believing the decision to be unjust.  Failure to so appeal in said period of time will result in the decision of the President becoming final.

As soon as practicable after receipt of the request for appeal, the Board of Directors shall review the case on the basis of record at the Review before the College President.  Oral arguments may, but need not, be granted at the discretion of the Board of Directors.  Either party may submit a brief to the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors shall render a written decision to the President, Vice-President, and student charged as soon as possible, but no longer than ten (10) calendar days after the case has been reviewed.  The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final.

Section 7.  Disciplinary actions-records

Official warning, disciplinary probation, disciplinary probation with conditions, disciplinary suspension, and disciplinary expulsion become part of the student's disciplinary record in the Office of the Vice-President of Administration.  The disciplinary record is purged when the student graduates or within one (1) year of the student's leaving the college.  Disciplinary records on file in the office of the Vice-President for Administration are retained in accordance with the provision of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Section 8.  Extraordinary circumstances

It may be necessary, in the interests of justice, to extend a specified time limit when the principal(s) in the disciplinary action cannot be reached in a timely fashion by telephone, mail or other form of communication, or when the principal(s) in a disciplinary action may be temporarily indisposed due to illness, accident, injury, etc.  Time limits may be extended by the person(s) presiding over the respective hearing.

Section 9.  On-going provisions

This document shall be periodically reviewed and revised.

The term "Vice-President" whenever used herein shall mean the Vice-President for Administration or any staff member designated by the Vice-President to act on his/her behalf.

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