Bylaws and Policies

Bylaw 8100

A Bylaw Respecting Student Representative Associations

1 Short Title

  1. This Bylaw may be referred to as the “Student Representative Association Bylaw”.

2 Amendments

  1. Any amendments to this Bylaw must be reported to each Association.

3 Definitions

  1. For the purposes of this Bylaw:
    1. "Faculty” shall refer to any entity defined by the University of Alberta General Faculties Council as a faculty and in which undergraduate students are registered;
    2. “Campus” shall refer to Augustana Campus and/or Campus Saint-Jean, as the context requires;
    3. “Residence” shall refer to a residential facility operated by Residence Services of the University of Alberta and in which undergraduate students live;
    4. “Constituency” shall refer to the membership of an Association;
    5. “Student Representative Association” shall refer to any association of undergraduate students that represents a definable and enumerable constituency, to which Students’ Council exclusively delegates its representative authority;
    6. “Faculty Association” shall be any association of students, based upon enrollment in a “faculty”, that is recognized as such under this bylaw;
    7. “Campus Association” shall be any association of students, based on enrollment on a “campus”, that is recognized as such under this bylaw;
    8. “Residence Association” shall be any association of students, based on occupancy of a “residence”, that is recognized as such under this bylaw;
    9. “Association” shall refer to a “Student Representative Association”;
    10. “Council of Faculty Associations” shall refer to the council outlined as such under this bylaw;
    11. “Council of Residence Associations” shall refer to the council outlined as such under this bylaw;
    12. “Departmental Association” shall be any association of students, based upon enrollment in an academic department or program that is recognized as such under this bylaw and the appropriate legislation of an “Association”;
    13. “Affiliated Association” shall be any association of students with ties to a faculty, including groups based on enrolment in a program, that is recognized as such under this bylaw and the appropriate legislation of an “Association”; and
    14. “Student Issue” shall be any issue that specifically affects the constituents of an Association.

4 Roles and Mandate

  1. The Students’ Union is responsible for the development and management of any Student Committees or Associations it wishes to delegate its representative authority to, as outlined in the Post Secondary Learning Act.
  2. Every Faculty will be represented by one and only one Faculty Association, every Campus will be represented by one and only one Campus Association, every Residence will be represented by one and only one Residence Association and every Department will be represented by one and only one Departmental Association.
  3. Every Faculty Association, Campus Association, Residence Association and Departmental Association is a Student Representative Association.
  4. The mandate of an Association is to act on behalf of and for its constituency. The Association is to conduct itself in a manner that is transparent, open, democratic, credible, accountable, and fiscally prudent. The roles of an Association are to:
    1. Act as the official representative of its membership on student issues;
    2. Provide services which are beneficial to its membership; and
    3. Foster student engagement and a sense of community within its constituency.
  5. An Association shall not advocate on issues in contradiction to Students’ Union political policy, unless they have first presented to and received approval from Students’ Council.
  6. Students’ Council shall utilize the following process allowing Faculty Associations to advocate on issues in contradiction to Students’ Union political policy, which will include the following stepwise process:
    1. An approved motion by the Faculty Association's highest governing body initiating the formal process; and
    2. A formal meeting with the Vice President (Academic), and other relevant executives, to discuss the specific political policy in question; and
    3. A presentation to Students’ Council outlining, at a minimum:
      1. Evidence of a successful motion in (a); and
      2. An outline of the perceived need for deviation from the political policy; and
      3. A general outline of the resolutions the Faculty Association will be advocating for in contradiction of the political policy; and
      4. A proposal for a plebiscite of the Faculty Association’s members.
    4. Students’ Council shall consider the presentation and proposal outlined in (c), at the meeting it is presented, and either:
      1. Approve the proposed plebiscite process; or
      2. Request subsequent information and presentation; or
      3. Reject the proposal.
    5. Should the proposal be approved by Students’ Council, the draft plebiscite question shall be sent to Bylaw Committee to have the finalized wording approved within 30 days.
    6. The plebiscite shall be put to the Faculty Association’s membership, at timing preferred by the Faculty Association, during one of the three Students’ Union election periods.
      1. Should the Faculty Association deem the plebiscite urgent, special exception to (f) shall be permitted and the Chief Returning Officer and Faculty Association shall decide on an appropriate timeline.
      2. The cost of such an additional plebiscite shall be shared equally by the Students’ Union and Faculty Association.
    7. The plebiscite shall be run by the Students’ Union Elections Office and shall adhere to the rules for plebiscites as outlined in Bylaw 2200, as applicable. The framework for plebiscites as laid out in Bylaw 2200 shall also be applied to the fall by-election or Students’ Council election, for this purpose only.
    8. The plebiscite shall only be declared valid and successful where the following conditions are met:
      1. All base members of the association are eligible to vote; and
      2. A minimum 15% voter turnout is achieved; and
      3. A majority of the votes are cast in favor of the deviation from political policy.
    9. Following a valid and successful plebiscite, the Faculty Association shall provide Students’ Council with a presentation of these results.
    10. Students’ Council shall consider the presentation, including the plebiscite results, and:
      1. Approve the deviation from political policy; or
      2. Reject the deviation from political policy.
    11. Should the deviation from political policy be approved by Students’ Council, the Faculty Association shall be able to advocate on issues in contradiction to the political policy in question based on the resolutions in Section 6(c)(iii).
    12. The approved motion shall be in effect for one (1) calendar year and Students’ Council shall be allowed to extend the approval for up to one (1) additional calendar year without repeating the process outlined in Section 6.
    13. Following approval of the deviation, the Faculty Association representatives shall meet with Discover Governance and relevant Students’ Union Executives to discuss messaging.
    14. With respect to this process, the Faculty Association shall not be punished or otherwise reprimanded by the Students’ Union, so long as this process and its results are adhered to.
  7. The Council of Faculty Associations shall be an advisory body to the Students’ Union on student issues and will:
    1. Foster communication and collaboration between Associations; and
    2. Provide a channel of communication with the Students’ Union.
  8. The voting composition of the Council of Faculty Associations Senior Board shall be one representative from each of the Associations and the Students’ Union. The nonvoting composition of the Council of Faculty Associations shall determined by the Council of Faculty Associations. Council of Faculty Associations’ meetings shall be chaired in accordance with relevant standing orders.
  9. The University of Alberta Council of Residence Associations shall be an advisory body to the Students’ Union on student issues and will:
    1. Foster communication and collaboration between Associations; and
    2. Provide a channel of communication with the Students’ Union.
  10. The voting composition of the Council of Residence Associations shall be in accordance with the University of Alberta Council of Residence Associations Terms of Reference.

5 Membership

  1. The base membership:
    1. Of a Faculty Association shall be defined as all undergraduate students enrolled in the faculty represented by the Faculty Association;
    2. Of a Campus Association shall be defined as all undergraduate students enrolled in a faculty located on the campus represented by the Campus Association;
    3. Of a Residence Association shall be defined as all undergraduate students living in the residence represented by the Residence Association;
    4. Of a Departmental Association shall be defined as any undergraduate student enrolled in a major, minor, or program of study in that department or program.
    5. Of any other Student Representative Association shall be agreed upon by the Association and Students’ Council upon the formation of the Association.
  2. The membership of an Association may be defined by criteria agreed upon by the Association and Students’ Council. Where no such agreement is in place the membership of an Association shall be equal to the base membership of the Association.
  3. An Association may create membership categories based on reasonable criteria such as program of study, year of study, or level of fees paid.
  4. The members of an Association have the following rights:
    1. To resign one’s membership by notifying the Association;
    2. To reinstate one’s membership by notifying the Association;
    3. For one to be afforded the same voting power as any other member of the Association at a General Meeting, in a referendum or plebiscite, and in an election for its officers;
    4. For one to be afforded the same voting power as any other member of a membership category of the Association in an election for a representative of that membership category; and
    5. For one to be afforded the same access to services and events as any other member in the same membership category of the Association.

6 Delegation

  1. Departmental Associations may be delegated authority by the Students’ Union, through their Faculty Associations, to be official representatives for students in their department or program, as well as provide advocacy and community building roles.
  2. A Faculty Association shall be responsible for the oversight of all Departmental Associations, Affiliated Associations, or other sub-groups within its constituency that it recognizes as being representative in nature. The Association shall exercise this oversight in a manner that conforms to the basic principles of the relationship between the Students’ Union and the Associations, specifically:
    1. The Association shall have the authority to recognize or derecognize the aforementioned groups;
    2. The Association shall maintain consistent lines of communication with the aforementioned groups, both individually and collectively;
    3. The Association’s decisions pertaining to the aforementioned groups may be appealed to the Student Group Committee; and
    4. The Students’ Union reserves for itself the power to impose mandatory fees on the student body or any subsection thereof.
  3. An Association shall maintain a schedule of its Departmental Associations, Affiliated Associations, and other sub-groups, if such exist, which shall be provided to its membership and/or the Students’ Union upon request.

7 Derecognition

  1. An Association shall be automatically derecognized as a Student Representative Association if it loses its status as a Students’ Union recognized Student Group.
  2. The Student Group Committee may also derecognize an Association, thus leaving an unrepresented constituency, if:
    1. The Association applies for derecognition;
    2. A majority of the students which the Association represents petition for derecognition; or
    3. An Association is found to be in gross negligence of its fiduciary responsibility.
  3. During the period of an unrepresented constituency the Students’ Union shall assume responsibility of the affairs of the constituency.
  4. Upon the derecognition of a Faculty Association, Campus Association, or Residence Association:
    1. The Students’ Union shall recognize a new Association after two calendar weeks and before the end of two calendar months;
    2. Assets will be assumed by the Students’ Union and held in trust for the next recognized Association for that Faculty, Campus, or Residence.

8 Recognition

  1. Students’ Council may choose to delegate its representative authority to any student association that wishes to advocate for its membership to the University or Students’ Union, provided that:
    1. The student association represents a definable and enumerable constituency.
    2. The student association has legislation and procedures that are compliant with Students’ Union bylaw respecting Student Representative Associations and Student Groups; and
    3. The student association is registered and recognized by the Students’ Union as a student group.
  2. Official student group status with the University of Alberta is not a necessary prerequisite for being recognized as a Student Representative Association.
  3. In order to be recognized as a Departmental Association, said Association shall comply with Student's’ Union Bylaw 8100 where it refers to Departmental Associations, Students’ Union Bylaws regarding Student Groups, and their Faculty Association’s legislation.

9 Legislation

  1. An Association shall have legislation, consistent with the requirements of Students’ Union bylaws, specifying, at minimum:
    1. The official name of the Association;
    2. The mandate of the Association;
    3. The membership, membership categories, and rights of members of the Association;
    4. The procedure for adoption, amendment, and rescission of its legislation;
    5. The procedure for adoption, amendment, and rescission of its policies and/or procedures;
    6. The mechanism for calling a General Meeting;
    7. The powers and responsibilities of each of its officers;
    8. The powers and responsibilities of each of its boards, committees and/or councils;
    9. The rights, privileges and responsibilities, individually and collectively, of its Departmental Associations and Affiliated Associations;
    10. The manner of selection of its officers and the manner of removal of its officers;
    11. The manner in which elections, if applicable, are to be conducted;
    12. The manner in which finances and property are managed including the budgeting and auditing processes;
    13. Procedures outlining the annual transition of its executive and board officers.

10 Procedure Manual

  1. An Association may adopt procedures, consistent with the requirements of Students’ Union bylaws and the Associations’ legislation, which serve to operationalize their legislation.

11 Reporting

  1. Annually, a Faculty, Campus or Residence Association shall provide the Students’ Union with:
    1. A schedule of any Departmental Associations, Affiliated Associations, and any other sub-groups it has delegated its representative authority to;
    2. A document confirming the legitimate selection of the Association’s officers and their contact information;
    3. Statements of expectation signed by each of the Association’s officers on their mandated responsibilities as per SU and Association bylaws;
    4. Confirmation that the Association is in compliance with University policy regarding Faculty Councils, Departmental Councils, Dean Selection & Review Committees, and Chair Selection & Review Committees;
    5. An outline of organizational and financial goals; and
    6. Financial reports, as outlined in the Bylaw Regarding Student Representative Association Finances.
  2. Departmental Associations shall provide their Faculty Association reports as specified in that Faculty Associations legislation.

12 Governance Structure

  1. An Association shall adopt a governance structure which satisfies the following:
    1. Legislation is adopted, amended, or rescinded by:
      1. A General Meeting which meets at least once per Fall Term and Winter Term; or
      2. A Council which meets at least twice per Fall Term and Winter Term where a General Meeting may overturn the adoption, amendment, or rescission.
    2. Policy and Procedure is adopted, amended, or rescinded by:
      1. A Council which meets at least twice per Fall Term and Winter Term; or
      2. An Executive Committee or Board which meets at least once per month during each Fall Term and Winter Term where a Council may overturn the adoption, amendment, or rescission.
    3. The executive and board officers, as applicable, of the Association are held accountable to and removable by:
      1. A General Meeting which meets at least once per Fall Term and Winter Term;
      2. A Council which meets at least twice per Fall Term and Winter Term; or
      3. Another mechanism agreed to by the Students’ Union.
    4. Minutes from Council, Executive Committee or Board Meetings, and General Meetings are publicly available;
    5. Financial statements are available to members;
    6. Elections, plebiscites and referenda are conducted by an Association Deputy Returning Officer who acts at arms length from the other bodies of the Association.
      1. An Association shall have the right to use the Students’ Union Executive or Councillor Election electronic ballot for base members to vote for the purpose of the election of such positions and voting on such plebiscites and/or referenda as may be required by that Association.