Student Association at UWM
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The Student Association (SA) is the official university recognized governance body for the students of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. The SA is organized in accordance with Wis. Stats. § 36.09(5) to advocate on students' behalf; coordinate policy regarding student life, services, and interests at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; and allocate a portion of Segregated University Fees to enrich campus life. (SA Const. Article XII).
"The mission of the Student Association is to enrich the student experience at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee through representation, advocacy, and the funding of services and activities that improve student life." (SA Const. Preamble).
The Student Association is a hybrid of presidential and parliamentary systems -- having executive and legislative branches elected by the students of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, but where these branches are interconnected; and an oversight and appeals branch appointed by the executive, and approved by the legislative branch.
The legislative branch consists of the Senate, which has primary responsibility of approving Registered Student Organization (RSO) charters, final allocations Segregated University Fees and funding grants for RSOs to put on events and conduct operations, and enacting legislation focused on improving student life on campus. (SA Const. Article IV).
The executive branch consists of the President, Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Secretary, Treasurer, and various administrative staff members; and is responsible for communicating the mission and goals of the SA to other students, the UWM administration, and the community at large; as well as working cooperatively with these groups to create a campus environment that addresses the needs of students at UWM. (SA Const. Article V).
The oversight and appeals branch consists of the Oversight and Appeals Commission (OAC), whose five Commissioners have the responsibility of hearing appeals of campus parking citations received by students, hearing appeals of entities funded by Segregated University Fees through the Senate Finance and Student Appropriations Committees, acting as a human resources department for the SA, mediating disagreements among students and RSOs, acting as the general and public records custodian of the SA, and general legislative and executive oversight of the SA. (SA Const. Article VI).
There are two standing committees of the SA Senate mandated by the SA Constitution: (SA Const. Article IV).
- Senate Finance Committee (SFC) - charged with allocating the Segregated University Fee to campus units such as the UWM Athletics Department, LGBT Resource Center, Be On The Safe Side (B.O.S.S.) safety van service, and the Campus Activities Board. SFC's recommendations are approved by the Senate as legislation, and forwarded to the President for signing.
- Student Appropriations Committee (SAC) - charged with allocating funds to Registered Student Organizations for events, travel, or operations. Large grants are considered twice a year, usually in December and April. Emergency grant meetings are held periodically throughout the school year. SAC's recommendations are approved by the Senate as legislation, and forwarded to the President for signing.
There are also four standing committees of the SA Senate mandated by the Senate bylaws: (SA Senate, Article VII).
- Student Life and Interest Committee (SLIC)
- Student Voting Rights Committee (SVRC)
- Student Transportation Committee (STC)
- Student Safety Committee (SSC)
The SA Independent Elections Commission (IEC), acts as a "fourth branch" of the SA; and is responsible for ensuring "that all elections, special elections, and referenda of the Student Association...are run in an open, secure, transparent, and fair process with maximum student participation." (SA IEC, Article I).(SA Const. Article IX).
The President, Vice Presidents, and Senators are elected in April of each year, for one year terms. The five Senators representing the first-year and transfer students are elected in October. Since Fall of 2009, voting has taken place online. Students who are eligible to vote receive a link to the ballot in their UWM e-mail account when the polls open. Elections are overseen by the Independent Elections Commission, which consists of an Election Commissioner approved by the Senate, the Chief Justice, and one other USC Justice.
- Wisconsin State Statute 36.09(5), (Chapter 335, Laws of 1973, Section 7; published July 8, 1974).
- SA Constitution, Article XII, Section 12.01; approved in referendum on 01/30/14.
- SA Constitution, Preamble Mission Statement; approved in referendum on 01/30/14.
- SA Constitution, Article IV; approved in referendum on 01/30/14.
- SA Constitution, Article V; approved in referendum on 01/30/14.
- SA Constitution, Article VI; approved in referendum on 01/30/14.
- SA Constitution, Article IV, Section 4.07 (c); approved in referendum on 01/30/14.
- SA Senate Bylaws, Article VII, Sections 1,2; enacted 04/13/14.
- SA IEC Bylaws, Article I (a); enacted 04/27/14.
- SA Constitution, Article IX; approved in referendum on 01/30/14.