USA Preamble, Constitution and Bylaws


According to one of Shawnee State University's enduring vision statements, "the continued strong development of SSU can only be accomplished through constructive collaboration among all constituencies, particularly those internal to the University. Such collegial collaboration can best occur in an environment in which all members are knowledgeable, treated equitably, and consider themselves a true and respected part of the future of the campus community. Accordingly, SSU will act to improve communication and coordination among members of the university community with a goal of informed decision making (Shawnee State University 1997-99 Catalog, 7)." Understanding the need for commitment to the formal and informal decision processes by which the University conducts its work and maintains its standards, we, the hourly support staff, do hereby establish the University Staff Assembly

Effective and efficient university governance involves open consultation, communication, and participation in decisions and decision-making bodies, and understanding responsibilities and limitations of authority by all members of the university community. Success of the University depends on collegial relationships and mutual respect among the faculty, support staff, students, administration and representatives of external entities. All members of the university community must be accountable for their roles and responsibilities. Policies and procedures to measure performance in these roles and responsibilities are essential to achieving the mission and goals of the university. The members of this University Staff Assembly recognize their shared accountability for the performance of the University in carrying out its mission.

The Assembly recognizes Communication Workers of America (CWA) as the sole and exclusive bargaining representation for hourly employees included in the bargaining unit as defined in the agreement between Shawnee State University and Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO. As such, the Assembly refrains from dealing with matters concerning wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment.

USA Constitution & Bylaws

Article I - Name

The name of the organization shall be the University Staff Assembly, hereafter referred to as USA.

Article II - Purposes

The USA is hereby organized NOT for profit, and for the following purposes:

  1. To foster closer cooperation and exchange between members.
  2. To provide a formal mechanism for communicating common concerns to appropriate University committees or officials.
  3. To coordinate the professional development of members by sponsoring educational workshops and programs involving skill building, networking, training, and such other areas as may prove of interest to the membership, so that they may better serve the University.
  4. To facilitate the interaction of members by conducting various social activities.
  5. To initiate the review of policies and/or procedures and make recommendations regarding interests/concerns that affect staff members by selecting representatives to participate in University-wide committees.
  6. To receive proposed policies or policy changes from the University or review and recommendations;
  7. To assist in the communication of issues and activities affecting staff members;
  8. To serve as liaison between staff members and the President, The Advisory Council, the Board of Trustees, the University Faculty Senate, the University Administrative Assembly, and the Student Government Association;
  9. To promote and facilitate staff participation in the University Community; and
  10. To encourage a sense of community among all University employees.

Article III - Affiliation

Membership in the Assembly includes all regular full- or part-time SSU hourly support staff employees. Hourly employees excluded from membership are those who are considered seasonal, casual, intermittent, or temporary. All members shall have the opportunity to serve on committees, and to vote in Assembly elections. No person shall be excluded from membership on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual preference, marital or parental status, and, to the extent specified by law, age, or veteran status.

Article V - Meetings

The Assembly shall hold at least four general membership meetings annually, at a time to be fixed by the Executive Board. The time and place of such meetings shall be announced to the membership at least fourteen working days prior to the meeting. A special meeting of the Assembly may be held at any time upon the call of the Chair, the call of the Executive Board, or by the membership via demand in writing, stating the object of the desired meeting and signed by at least 25% of the members. Notice of the time, place, and object of any special meeting shall be given all officers and members not less than seven days prior to the date fixed for the special meeting. Items to be included in a meeting agenda should be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary at least ten working days prior to the meeting.

Article VI - Quorum

A quorum shall be those members present and voting.

Article VII - Officers

The officers of this Assembly shall be a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and four representatives. Acting together, these shall constitute the Executive Board. They shall be elected by a majority vote by ballot of the members attending an annual election. Each member shall be entitled to one vote. Board members shall hold office for one calendar year, or until successors are elected. They may be reelected. A candidate for Board membership must have been a regular full- or part-time employee of SSU for at least one year.

Executive Board

The Executive Board shall have general supervision and control of all activities of the Assembly and oversees both general operation of the Assembly and voting to set policies. Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Proxy vote may not be assigned. Meetings of the Board shall be held regularly, at such time and place as the Board shall determine. Special meetings may be held at any time on the call of the Chair, or on demand, in writing to the Secretary, by four members of the Board. Board meetings shall be open to all members of the Assembly.

Resignation of any officer may be accepted by a majority vote of the remaining Board members. A vacancy in the Board due to resignation may be filled by a majority vote of remaining Board members if four months or fewer remain in the term. If the unexpired term is longer, the vacancy shall be filled by a special election. However, if more than one vacancy exists, a special meeting of the Assembly shall be called, or a special election held, to fill the vacancies until the date of the next annual election. Any officer may be replaced after three unannounced absences from Board meetings during the year.

Duties of Officers

Chair: The Chair shall be the official spokesperson for, and preside at all meetings of, the Assembly and the Executive Board, and represents the USA on the University Council. The Chair coordinates the activities of the Assembly, and with the concurrence of the Board may appoint members to serve on various committees. The Chair rules on procedural questions.

Vice Chair: The Vice Chair serves in the absence of the Chair, and in case of resignation of the Chair assumes duties of the Chair. The Vice Chair serves to consult, advise, and provide information to incoming officers, and to enhance continuity within Assembly operations and structure.

Secretary: The Secretary records minutes of the Assembly and its Board, and distributes them to Assembly members. The Secretary, in consultation with the Chair, sets Board agenda and carries out general Assembly correspondence; reports election results to the Board and to the membership.

Treasurer: The Treasurer maintains all financial records of the Assembly, and provides the Board with financial reports.

Representatives: Representatives participate in making Board decisions regarding functions of the Assembly. One representative from each of the following groups will be elected: secretarial, clerical (including financial aid representatives, cashiers, records technicians, and print shop operators), custodial, maintenance/utility. Representatives are elected to serve staggered terms of two years each.

Article VIII - Committees

Chairpersons on all committees shall be appointed by the Executive Board, which may also set limits on committee size. Committee Chairpersons are responsible for organizing their committees. Standing committees shall include, but not be limited to, the following: Election, Professional Development, Newsletter, and Spirit. Committee members will be elected to serve two-year terms, with the exception of the initial elections in which some members will serve a one-year term to allow for staggered terms thereafter.

Article IX - Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, shall govern the organization in such cases as deemed necessary by the Chair to assure a fair and orderly presentation of the various facets of any particular issue, and where Robert's Rules are not in conflict with these Bylaws.

Article X - Amendments

Proposed amendments to these bylaws may be introduced by any member of the Assembly at any regular meeting, or at any special meeting called for that purpose. Such proposed amendments shall be published in the Assembly newsletter at least thirty working days prior to the meeting or balloting at which the proposal is to be considered. A two-thirds majority of the members participating in such election shall be required for adoption of the proposed amendment.

Bylaws to Article V

Section 5.2 Order of Business -- At regular meetings, the order of business shall be:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Taking
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Announcements and Remarks from the Chair
  5. Announcements from the USA Floor
  6. Executive Board Reports
  7. Committee Reports
  8. Unfinished Business
  9. New Business
  10. Adjournment

Bylaws to Article VIII - Committees

Section 8.2

Election Committee

Membership -- The Election Committee shall consist of three persons (including the Chairperson), and shall also include the Secretary of the Assembly (ex officio).

Term -- Refer to Article VIII of the Constitution. In the initial election, one member will serve a one-year term and two will serve a two-year term.

Charge -- The committee's actions shall include but not be limited to:

  1. Conducting surveys of members regarding professional development;
  2. Proposing workshops and training sessions for members;
  3. Coordinating professional development workshops.

Newsletter Committee

Membership -- The Newsletter Committee shall consist of three persons (including the Chairperson), and the Assembly Chair (ex officio).

Term -- Refer to Article VIII of the Constitution. In the initial election, one member will serve a one-year term and two will serve a two-year term.

Charge -- The committee's actions shall include but not be limited to:

  1. Creating an electronic newsletter for members;
  2. Soliciting information from members and the University community for inclusion in the newsletter;
  3. Distributing the newsletter via e-mail/hard copy to members on a semester basis.

Spirit Committee

Membership -- The Spirit Committee shall consist of five persons (including the Chairperson), and the Assembly Treasurer (ex officio).

Term -- Refer to Article VIII of the Constitution. In the initial election, two members will serve a one-year term and three will serve a two-year term.

Charge -- The committee's actions shall include but not be limited to:

  1. Maintaining the updated list of current members including addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth;
  2. Identifying and recognizing special occasions in members' lives (births, deaths, marriages, illnesses, etc.);
  3. Organizing special events to promote cohesiveness among members