Constitutional Bylaws



The organization name shall be the Central Lakes College-Brainerd, and Central Lakes College-Staples Student Senates herein referred to as the Student Senate.



We the Student Senate, in order to further develop scholastic leadership, social interest, and public service shall sponsor programs, projects, and activities that contribute to the educational, intellectual, social, physical, civic, and personal development of students. The Student Senate shall also serve as the representation of the student body and student clubs to the administration of the college, LeadMN, and to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and retains the right to regulate its own affairs at each campus.



Section 1. LeadMN

The Student Senate shall be affiliated with the Minnesota State College Student Association or LeadMN.

  1. The Student Senate shall pay to send representatives to attend all LeadMN conferences and meetings as allowed by elected positions, which include but are not limited to Fall & Spring General Assemblies, Governing Council Meetings, Platform Meetings, Transition Conference, Leadership Conferences, and Regional Meetings.

  2. The Director of Student Life will determine who gets to attend the LeadMN conferences and will always allow at minimum sufficient delegates to account for all campus votes to attend as budget allows.

  3. The Student Senate shall abide by the rules and regulations set forth by LeadMN and their respective campus when attending events or sponsored activities.

Section 2. Rosenmeier

The Student Senate shall be affiliated with the Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government, and both Senate Presidents shall be a representative in the organization.

Section 3. Other Affiliations

The Student Senate has the right to affiliate itself with any organization as it sees fit in accordance with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Central Lakes College policies.



Section 1. Anti-Discrimination Policy

The Student Senate is committed to providing equal education opportunities to all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, or membership or activity in a local commission per Minnesota State Colleges and Universities policy 1B.1.

Section 2. Senators

  1. Senators can be approved without nomination by simple majority vote during the first regular Student Senate meeting when they meet the following qualifications as reviewed by the Director of Student Life:

    1. Maintain at least a cumulative 2.00-grade point average on a 4.00 scale, good academic standing, and carry a minimum of 1 Central Lakes College credit per semester.

    2. Attended three consecutive Student Senate meetings. Excused absences do not break up the “three in a row” but also do not add to it. For an absence to be excused, the appropriate form must be submitted to the Executive Board prior.

    3. Represent the interests of the Student Body.

    4. Are applying to become a Senator on the campus at which they are enrolled in the most credits.

  2. Senators-elect are required to sign the Central Lakes College Student Senate Travel Contract & Code of Conduct, Release of Liability, and the Contact Information and Senator Oath of Office forms.

  3. A Senator’s term will start upon approval and end in case of non-enrollment status at Central Lakes College or removal from office per the policies in Article IV, Section 3a and Article VII, Section 2 of these Bylaws.

  4. Senators will demonstrate accountability, responsibility, availability, attend all Regular Senate Meetings, and serve on a minimum of 2 activities per semester which include but are not limited to committees, tabling, and Student Senate events.

  5. A senator may make motions and have one vote on general matters of the Student Senate.

  6. Promote the Student Senate and recruit new members.

Section 3. Inactive Senators

  1. If a Senator has more than five consecutive unexcused absences, their status will change to Inactive Senator and they will no longer have a vote or be counted for quorum. Excused absences may be given when the Senator communicates with an Officer or the Director of Student Life in advance of the missed meeting.

  2. They may be reinstated in Senator status by meeting the qualifications stated in Article IV, Section 2a with the exception of only needing to attend two consecutive Senate meetings



Section 1. Positions

The Officers of the Student Senate shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Publicist.

Section 2. Nominations

  1. In order to run for an Officer position, you must already be a Senator.

  2. For Officer positions, the nomination floor will be announced during a Regular Senate Meeting and will remain open for at least a week then a Senator may motion to close the nomination floor and move to elections.

  3. Nominations may be taken at meetings or submitted to a current Officer. They must be accepted by the nominee, and approved by Student Senate in a Regular Senate Meeting.

Section 3. Campaign Guidelines

  1. Candidates for President will prepare a biography and a short video that outlines their qualifications and desire to serve as the President.

  2. Candidates for President are encouraged to campaign upon completing the nomination process, as outlined in Article V, Section 2. Nominations.

Section 4. Elections and Voting

  1. Officer elections for the next fiscal year will be held in April, with the nomination floor opened the first meeting of Spring Semester. After the first round of elections occur, they will carry over into the following fall semester at which point they should be filled by the sixth Regular Senate Meeting.

  2. President election candidates will submit information, including two letters of recommendation from Central Lakes College faculty and staff members, to the Director of Student Life to be used during the voting period on an online platform with a majority winning. In the case of a tie, the Senate will do a paper ballot vote between the tied candidates.

  3. Officer position elections, excluding Presidency, will include all candidates being sequestered while not up for question and answer, followed by a Senate paper ballot vote of qualified Senators, excluding candidates on the ballot, at a Regular Senate Meeting. Appointed Sergeant- at-Arms will monitor and count ballots after voting has closed. A successful vote will be determined by a 50% plus 1 majority.

  4. In the case of only one candidate running for any Officer position, a Senator paper ballot vote will occur to allow for qualified write-ins and abstain votes at a Regular Senate Meeting. Alternatively, the Senate may motion to accept the candidate without ballot voting by a 50% plus 1 majority approval.

  5. An unsuccessful election will be determined by re-voting up to three times. If there are more than two candidates, the one with the fewest votes is removed from the ballot before re-voting. After three unsuccessful elections, a bonus question will be asked to each remaining candidate. The election will then be determined by a simple majority vote.

Section 5. Initiation and Terms

  1. An incoming Officer will receive the transitional material, from the outgoing officer of said position, containing all necessary information and documents for their position including but not

    limited to Bylaws, absence forms, contact sheet, a Senate activities calendar, and best practices/weekly tasks.

  2. A Senator may only serve in one Officer position at a time.

  3. Officers shall hold office starting at the change of the fiscal year and last for one year, until their successors are elected or if they lose Senator status as described in Article IV, Section 2c.


Officer Responsibilities

Section 1. Responsibilities of all Officers

  1. Perform their responsibilities as defined in these Bylaws as well as any other duties applicable to the position, described by the Parliamentary Authority, Article XIII, Section 1, and described by Article IV Members of these Constitutional Bylaws.

  2. Attend a weekly Officer Meeting during Fall and Spring semesters of their term.

  3. Schedule and attend a weekly individual meeting with the Student Senate President and/or Director of Student Life.

  4. Submit a weekly update on tasks or initiatives that are specific to an officer’s position to the Director of Student Life and the Student Senate through their weekly report section of the meeting agenda.

Section 2. President

  1. Preside at all Senate meetings.

  2. Conduct meetings in accordance with the Student Senate Bylaws and recommended Parliamentary Procedure.

  3. Represent the Student Senate on the institutional, local, regional, state, and national level.

  4. Monitor and facilitate all Student Senate tasks to ensure that all responsibilities are being completed in a timely and quality manner.

  5. Have one vote on general matters of the Student Senate only in the event of a tie.

  6. Appoint the formation of Ad-Hoc Committees.

  7. Regularly schedule meetings with the college president to discuss Student Senate matters and concerns. It is strongly recommended that a fellow Senator be brought along.

  8. Appoint representatives to serve on all School Committees with the Student Senate approving nominees.

  9. Serve on a minimum of one committee per term.

Section 3. Vice-President

  1. Succeed the President in the event of the President’s office becoming vacant.

  2. Serve as a member on all Senate Committees, and appoint their chair(s).

  3. Monitor and facilitate all Student Clubs as defined in these Bylaws.

  4. Have one vote on general matters of the Student Senate, unless serving in a Presidential capacity in which case only has a vote in the case of a tie.

  5. Serve on a minimum of one committee per term.

Section 4. Secretary

  1. Assist the Executive Board in the development of the next Student Senate meeting agenda.

  2. Record, and make available, meeting minutes of all Student Senate meetings no later than 48 hours after the meeting’s adjournment.

  3. Maintain backup copies of all minutes, agendas, communications, reports, working documents, and any other important Senate documents.

  4. Have one vote on general matters of the Student Senate.

  5. Serve on a minimum of one committee per term.

  6. Maintain the attendance of members of the Student Senate Roster.

  7. Conduct roll call at all Student Senate meetings.

Section 5. Treasurer

  1. Maintain an electronic record of all Student Senate financial transactions and present a report at each Regular Student Senate meeting.

  2. Will work with the Executive Boards and the Director of Student Life to establish a proposed Student Senate budget for each semester to be approved by the Student Senate.

  3. Attend the annual Central Lakes College Budget Open Forum and report back to the Student Senate at the next scheduled meeting.

  4. Coordinate Tuition Consultation meetings.

  5. Process all club financial paperwork.

  6. Have one vote on general matters of the Student Senate.

  7. Serve as a voting member on the Student Life Committee and the Technology Fee Committee

  8. Complete Club Authorization forms with assistance from the Director of Student Life.

Section 6. Publicist

  1. Work with the Director of Student Life to promote and publicize all Student Senate activities and events. For example, promotion through creative media.

  2. Work with the LeadMN Platform Representative to keep students informed on local, state, and federal legislative issues affecting MinnState College students.

  3. Have one vote on general matters of the Student Senate.

  4. Serve on a minimum of one committee per term.

Section 8. Director of Student Life

  1. The Student Senate shall have the services of an administratively approved Director of Student Life.

  2. Attend off-campus Student Senate meetings and state-sponsored Student Senate meetings as appropriate.

  3. Provide guidance and leadership at Student Senate meetings and leadership training and development opportunities for Student Senate Executive Board members and Senators.

  4. Assist and monitor Officers to ensure completion of their responsibilities.

  5. Facilitate the scheduling of a weekly officer meeting.

  6. Assist Student Senate with the enforcement of Student Senate Bylaws.

  7. Is responsible for the management of all related Student Senate financial accounts and will publish and monitor budgets related to Student Life activities.

  8. Develop and maintain the Student Life web page, located on the Central Lakes College website and will ensure the web page contains all important, up-to-date information and documents pertaining to Student Senate.

  9. Develop and maintain social media sites such as Facebook for the Central Lakes College student body.

  10. Manage and coordinate the Student Life Center and the services it provides on each Central Lakes College campus.

  11. Develop and coordinate opportunities within the communities of Brainerd and Staples for such things as service learning projects, and discount purchasing options.

  12. Participate in coordinating major student events such as Graduation, Enrollment Sessions, Student Success Day, Central Lakes College Brainerd/Staples Awards Day, Welcome Day, and other extra-curricular activities.


Vacancy, Removal, and Misconduct

Section 1. Vacancy

An unexpected open Officer position.

  1. In the event of a vacancy of the President, the Vice-President shall take over the position until an emergency election can take place. The Director of Student Life has the right to appoint an acting President until elections are held in the event of both a President and Vice President vacancy.

  2. In the event of a vacancy in any other Officer position the president, with approval of the Director of Student Life may appoint a Senator to temporarily fill the open position until elections are held.

  3. The Executive Board will work to permanently fill any vacant Officer position within 15 school days of said vacancy.

  4. Elections to fill Officer vacancies will follow the same rules defined in Article V with the exception of Article V, Section 4c as their term will start immediately following a successful election.

Section 2. Removal & Misconduct

The Student Senate or Executive Board may initiate action for the removal of a Senator or Officer from their current position due to any of the following:

  1. A report from CLC administration of failing to meet the academic requirements of Membership as described in Article IV, Section 2a of these Bylaws.

  2. A verifiable dereliction of duty.

  3. A misconduct, defined as a subjective term used to define a person’s violation of conduct requirements of the Student Senate and its affiliations.

  4. Initiated action on the part of the Executive Board or the Student Senate may include but is not limited to the following: a probationary period including a review of past offenses, temporary removal from the Student Senate, permanent removal from the Student Senate or referral to the Dean of Students.

  5. A Student Senate member has the right to appeal the decision of removal to the Director of Student Life.



Section 1. Regular Senate Meetings

  1. The Student Senate should meet at least once a week at a specific time and place during the Fall and Spring Semesters of the academic year. The Executive Board reserves the right to adjust the date, time, and place as deemed necessary with final approval to be made by the Senate.

  2. Senate meetings are open meetings and welcome visitors, who must adhere to the Bylaws and may present proposals for the consideration of Student Senate.

Section 2. Special Meetings

  1. Special emergency meetings will be called by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board, only in the case of a clearly defined urgency and notice of meeting place, time, and reason must be provided at least 24 hours in advance.

Section 3. Quorum and Voting

  1. Quorum shall be 50% plus 1 of voting members of the Student Senate roster. A simple majority of quorum must vote in favor of a motion for it to be successful.

  2. Senators shall have one vote; with the exception of the President, who may vote only in the event of a tie. Meeting chair will decide by which manner a vote will take place. However, any member may request for a specific voting method to be approved by the meeting chair.


Executive Board

Section 1. Board Composition

  1. The Executive Board of Senate shall consist of elected officers and the Director of Student Life as a non-voting member.

Section 2. Board Responsibilities and Powers

The Executive Board is authorized to make reasonable emergency decisions with a simple majority of the officers and the authorization of the Director of Student Life which will later be brought to the Senate floor for discussion. Furthermore, the Executive Board is authorized to make recommendations

to the Senate and perform all duties assigned per these Bylaws, including but not limited to, the responsibilities listed below:

  1. The Executive Board will create an agenda which will be made available to the Student body and Campus Departments no later than 24 hours prior to a regularly scheduled meeting.

  2. Will create position related questions for the officers elect as part of officer elections.

  3. The Executive Board will maintain a publicly accessible database of all Senate documents and forms referenced in these Bylaws as well as any others needed for the effective communication and operations of the Student Senate. They will also have the responsibility of updating these documents as needed, seeking input and approval from the Senate body when appropriate.

  4. All occupants of the Senate Office will maintain a clean and organized Student Senate office space.

  5. Meet with the Vice President of Administrative Services prior to the meeting of the Student Life and Technology Fee Committees to be educated on the projected tuition and fee amounts.

  6. If a school committee student representative and the alternate are unable to attend a meeting, an officer will fill in.

  7. Each Executive Officer is responsible for scheduling and attending a weekly meeting with the President and Director of Student Life.

Section 3. Board Meetings

The Executive Board shall meet, at a minimum, weekly and prior to the next weeks Regular Senate Meeting.



Section 1. Senate Committees

  1. The standing Senate Committees shall consist of an Activities Committee on each campus and a dual campus Bylaws Committee.

  2. Senate committees will appoint a committee chair during their first meeting.

  3. Senate Committees will provide, in written or verbal form, a report to the Student Senate at each regular Student Senate meeting.

Section 2. Activities Committee

The Activities Committee shall be composed of at least one Officer, this does not fulfill their serving on a committee requirement, of the respective campus plus any Senators wishing to serve. The committee shall be tasked with the planning and facilitation of all Senate sponsored activities and events seeking the Senates’ input and approval as appropriate. Traditional events sponsored by the Student Senate include but are not limited to:

  1. Homecoming Week

  2. Single Parents Christmas Party

  3. American Red Cross Blood Drive, Fall and Spring Semester

  4. Campus Awards Day, Spring Semester

  5. Graduation Ceremony, Fall and Spring Semester

  6. Get Out The Vote Campaign, Fall Semester

  7. Snow Days, Fall or Spring Semester

  8. Beat The Heat Week, Spring Semester

  9. The Central Lakes College Student Food Shelf

  10. Welcome Week, Fall and Spring Semester

Section 3. Bylaws Committee

The Bylaws Committee shall be composed of at least three Senators from each campus including two Officers from each campus. The Committee is tasked to review and propose any necessary changes of the Bylaws to the Student Senate on an annual basis.

Section 4. Ad-Hoc Committees

Ad-Hoc Committees may be created by the President or the Senate and will serve in a capacity as directed. The method of determining membership in Ad-Hoc Committees will be defined at the time of their creation.

Section 5. School Committees

Our duty as Student Senate is to ensure, if possible, student representation on committees which, by their purpose, will affect the Student Body of Central Lakes College. This representation shall be honored by the schools’ adherence to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board policies.

  1. College Committees include but are not limited to: Student Life Committee, Technology Fee Committee, Safety Committee, Green Committee, Diversity Committee, Assessment Committee, Online Learning & Technology Committee, International ED Committee,

    Enrollment Planning Committee, Master Plan Facilities Committee, Technology Master Plan Committee, and Student Affairs Committee.

  2. The student representation on the School Committees will consist of specific Officers as defined in these bylaws Article VI with all remaining openings, including alternates for all committees, being filled by the President appointing Senators from each campus who will then be approved by the Senate.

  3. The Student Senate shall have the right assist in the development and implementation of college budgets as specified in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and college policy and procedure. This participation includes, but is not limited to: making recommendations regarding the proposed tuition and budget to administration and determining student representation on college budget-related committees.

Section 6. Student Life Committee

  1. As defined in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Policy 2.8 Part 2 Subpart A the Student Life Committee shall have at least two-thirds of its members be students appointed by the Student Senate following the policies defined in these Bylaws.

  2. The Student Life Committee shall annually propose a recommendation on the amount of the fee for the next year, how the revenue is allocated among the three student life departments and policies and procedures regarding oversight. The management of a department’s budget and related policies and procedures shall be managed by that department. The Student Life Committee shall meet throughout the year so as to present their recommendation to Student Senates with sufficient time for amendments or approval and then forwarded to the college president.



Section 1. Definition

A Student Club is defined as a special interest organization of students chartered by Student Senate with an administratively approved advisor and tasked with promoting student activities on campus and in the wider communities.

Section 2. Student Senate Oversight

The Student Senate will, in cooperation with the administration, have the final authority to authorize, monitor and coordinate all Student Clubs formation, funding, events, and fundraising in accordance with the Student Senate Club Handbook, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board and Central Lakes College policies.

Section 3. Policies & Procedure

  1. Student Clubs must adhere to the Student Senate Club Handbook, which can be found at the Central Lakes College Student Life Website. The Student Senate Club Handbook may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Boards.

  2. Club documents and forms necessary for clubs shall be made available on the Student Life Website, OneDrive, SharePoint, and in the Senate Offices.

  3. Clubs are to provide the Executive Board with a copy of their current Constitution and Bylaws at least once each academic year and are encouraged to update it annually.

  4. A club representative shall be present at a minimum of two Senate Meetings per month or a written report submitted to the Executive Board at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. If a club member is not able to attend Student Senate meetings, it is their responsibility to work out a substitute option with the Executive Board. If a club has two consecutive missed meetings, excluding when a report was submitted, the Student Senate reserves the right to freeze their club accounts until they restart attending meetings, this action will be communicated immediately to the club through official channels.



Section 1. Authority

The Student Senate shall retain the full authority to manage its own Senate budget on each respective campus in accordance with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Central Lakes College policies and procedures. The Senate shall also monitor and ensure all clubs comply with financial policies and procedures.

Section 2. Budget

The Student Senate shall adopt a balanced budget, drafted by the Treasurer and the Executive Board with the assistance of the Director of Student Life, for each semester which shall then be carried out by the Executive Board. Any unexpected expenditures must be brought to the Senate for approval.


Parliamentary Authority and Superseding Rules

Section 1. Roberts Rules

The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Student Senate in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws.

Section 2. Superseding Rules

  1. Student Senate representation shall act in accordance with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board policies, particularly Chapter 2.3 and 2.8 which can be found at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities website.

  2. Students will be referred to the Central Lakes College Student Handbook, which can be found at the Central Lakes College website on matters concerning faculty, staff, and students.

  3. The Student Senate shall consider campus, local, state, national, and legislative issues concerning Central Lakes College communities in accordance with the LeadMN Platform Document which can be found at the LeadMN website.

  4. Students shall follow financial procedures as defined in the Central Lakes College Business Services Manual, which can be found in the Central Lakes Business Office.


Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Student Senate by a two-thirds vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.

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