1. Name

    The name of this organization is the Staff Senate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

  2. Authority
    1. The Staff Senate derives authority independently through the voice and intentions of the staff, defined as non-faculty salaried and non-student wage employees of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
    2. Existence of the Staff Senate does not preclude the existence of or the right of any university employee to belong to any other organization.
  3. Purposes

    The purposes of the Staff Senate are:

    1. To serve as the representative body for the staff employees of the University.
    2. To act in an advisory capacity to the University administration and governance structure.
    3. To appoint or recommend staff representatives to University Council, Commissions, Advisory Councils, Committees and other ad hoc committees as appropriate.
    4. To provide a two-way medium for the exchange of information between the staff and the administration.
    5. To foster a spirit of unity and cooperation.
    6. To provide referral for individual concerns and problems to appropriate organizations or personnel.
    7. To accept and share responsibility with the administration, faculty, and students in all efforts to attain the stated goals of the University.
  4. Membership
    1. The Staff Senate shall initially consist of forty-six voting senators elected according to the number of staff employees in each of the college and administrative area associations (staff associations). The number of senators elected by a staff association shall be
      100 or less staff - 2 senators,
      101 to 300 staff -- 3 senators,
      301 to 499 staff -- 4 senators, or
      500 or more staff - 5 senators
      The maximum number of senators from any single college or administrative area shall be five.
    2. Each staff association shall elect a minimum of one alternate to serve on the Staff Senate.
    3. There shall be six possible non-voting members representing university organizations:
      1. One representative from the Faculty Senate,
      2. One representative from the Student Government Association,
      3. One representative from the Graduate Student Assembly,
      4. Past-President of Staff Senate, if no longer serving as a senator,
      5. One member from the Human Resources Department to be appointed by the Staff Senate President, and
      6. The senior university administrator responsible for Human Resources
    4. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to be sensitive to inclusion of employees who are representative of the various types of salaried staff and non-student wage employees, occupational classifications, and organizational units. The staff associations shall be responsible for maintaining an equitable representation of the various types of salaried staff and non-student wage employees, occupational classifications, and departmental units within their areas.
  5. Term of office
    1. Term of office for Staff Senators will be three years. Each term will begin July 1. Terms shall be staggered to permit election of approximately one-third of the Senate body each year.
    2. Transfer of a member from one staff association to another shall result in the replacement of that individual by the elected alternate until the staff association designates a permanent replacement.
    3. Movement of a member from one occupational classification to another or from Classified Staff to University Staff within the same staff association shall not affect his/her unexpired term on the Staff Senate.
    4. A senator may be reelected. The respective Staff Associations may establish any limit on the number of terms that may be served. Under no circumstances shall the maximum number of terms be limited to less than two. There are no restrictions on serving as an alternate.
    5. Vacancies may occur as a result of death, termination of employment, transfer, retirement, resignation, or by a majority vote of the Staff Senate to remove a senator following three consecutive unacceptable absences from regular meetings during any calendar year.
    6. The retiring President of the Staff Senate shall serve as an advisor to the Executive Committee for one year. If his/her elected term as a senator has expired, he/she shall serve as a non-voting member of the Staff Senate and Executive Committee.
  6. Elections
    1. Elections for the Staff Senate by staff associations shall take place no later than March 31. The election process shall be conducted in accordance with each of the respective staff association's Constitution and Bylaws.
    2. Elections by the Staff Senate shall be conducted in accordance with the Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws.
  7. Officers
    1. Elected officers of the Staff Senate shall consist of
      1. President,
      2. Vice President,
      3. Secretary/Treasurer,
      4. Parliamentarian.
    2. Officers shall be elected annually by the Staff Senators. Each term will begin at the end of the June regular meeting.
    3. Officers shall be eligible for re-election, but may not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.
    4. The Staff Senate may, by two-thirds vote of the Staff Senate membership, remove any officer.
    5. In the event an officer, excluding the president, shall take office and for some reason be unable or unwilling to complete his/her term of office, a special meeting shall be called and a special election held to fill the vacated office for the remainder of the vacating officer's term.
  8. University Council, Commissions, Advisory Councils, and Committees
    1. Senators and staff representatives to the University Council and Commissions shall be elected by the Staff Senate in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of the University Council by simple majority vote of the Staff Senate. Nominations for election may include Staff Senators-elect from the staff associations. Terms of office and procedure to fill vacancies in unexpired terms are prescribed in the Constitution and Bylaws of the University Council.
    2. Nominations of senators and staff requested by the President or other administrator of the University to serve on University Advisory Councils and Committees shall be approved by a majority vote of the Staff Senate. Nominations may include Staff Senators-elect from the staff associations. Terms of appointment and responsibilities are prescribed in the Constitution and Bylaws of the University Council.
    3. Senators and staff representatives to the University Council, Commissions, Advisory Councils, or Committees shall
      1. Represent the position of the Staff Senate and staff in the discharge of responsibilities,
      2. Inform the Staff Senate of pertinent matters to be considered and action taken by either
        1. forwarding copies of meeting minutes to the Secretary/Treasurer within ten days after approval of minutes by the respective University Council, Commission, Advisory Council, or Committee, or
        2. Summarizing discussions and actions taken at meetings of each University Council, Commission, Advisory Council, or Committee and forwarding as a group or by a Staff Senator, staff representative, or a designate to the Secretary/Treasurer within ten days after each meeting if no official minutes are kept at the meeting, and
      3. Bring matters of staff concern before the respective University Council, Commissions, Advisory Councils, or Committees.
  9. Committees

    The Staff Senate shall form the following committees:>

    1. An Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Chair of each Staff Senate standing committee, and the past-President of the Staff Senate serving in a non-voting advisory capacity.
    2. Standing Committees shall initially consist of
      1. Policies and Issues Committee,
      2. Communications Committee, and
      3. Elections and Nominations Committee.
    3. The President or Staff Senate may designate standing, special, and/or ad hoc committees as approved by the Staff Senate.
  10. Amendments

    The approval process of amendments to the Constitution shall be

    1. A proposal for an amendment must be submitted to the Executive Committee for review and clarification.
    2. A notice that an amendment is to be proposed must be given by the Executive Committee to all members of the Staff Senate at least thirty days before the meeting when the amendment will be proposed. The notice shall contain the proposed amendment in context or general nature of the matter.
    3. A proposed amendment may be discussed at the regular meeting the amendment is proposed.
    4. Proposed amendments shall not be voted on until at least one regular meeting after the introduction of the amendment.
    5. A proposed amendment shall first be approved by simple majority vote of the Staff Senate.
    6. Amendments to the Constitution shall become effective upon approval by a simple majority vote of the staff associations' voting members and by the University Council, President of the University, and Board of Visitors.
  11. Adoption of Constitution

    The Constitution shall be ratified by a simple majority vote of the staff associations' voting members and by the University Council, President of the University, and Board of Visitors.