1) This bill replaces the 2014-2015 Temporary Attendance Bill and the 2014-2015 Attendance Bill. The twenty percent attendance policy outlined in Article IX of the Constitution Subpoint A will remain in effect.
2) Throughout this bill “Senator” shall only refer to student Senators, not faculty members.
3) During the 2015-2016 Senate Session, Senate meetings will officially begin at 2:35 PM and adjourn at 3:30 PM on Wednesdays, unless specified otherwise by the Executive Committee. Senators are generally expected to attend every meeting and remain present until the meeting is adjourned.
4) Attendance Records. a) The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping accurate public attendance records for all student Senators. b) Senators who are not present at all for the meeting shall be marked absent. c) If a Senator’s attendance at a particular meeting is incomplete (e.g. late arrival or early departure), it is at the Secretary’s discretion to mark it as an excused absence or as a full absence. d) Excused absences are absences due to activities known in advance that cannot be rescheduled, such as doctor’s appointments, competitive events, auditions and assessments. Excusal shall be determined at the discretion of the Secretary. In the event of a known absence, Senators must contact the Secretary at least 24 hours in advance of that meeting of the Senate. Failure to do so shall result in an unexcused absence. Both full and partial absences may be either excused or unexcused. e) In the event of a health issue, family matter or other emergency, the Secretary or the faculty member of the Executive Committee may at his or her own discretion decide to mark an absence as a “no-count”, which will not be counted toward the attendance cap. This allows for special circumstances but ensures that accurate attendance records are still kept.
5) Attendance notes. a) Senators are expected to keep track of heir own absences in the pubic attendance record, but the Secretary shall issue warnings to Senators who are at risk of being expelled from Senate. b) Each Senator shall be permitted four excused absences for each year-long Senate session. The Secretary shall issue an attendance warning to the Senator in question once he or she has reached two excused absences, and again once he or she has reached four excused absences. c) Each Senator shall be permitted one unexcused absence for each year-long Senate session. The Secretary shall issue an attendance warning to the Senator in question once he or she has reached one unexcused absence.
6) Attendance notices, appeals and decisions proceed as outlined in Article IX of he Student-Faculty Senate Constitution.
7) This bill shall go into effect as soon as it is passed and no attendance record from before the passing of the bill shall be taken into account for the purpose of attendance enforcement.
Rationale: The points in the bill only apply to student Senators because faculty senators have professional commitments that prevent them from attending Senate meetings.
Being a Senator is a privilege, and attendance has been a growing problem. Good attendance is necessary for the Senate to function properly as per the rules of quorum. This policy is a decisive measure against irresponsible attendance in the Senate. Failure to abide by this policy must be seen as an inability to serve and will rightly result in expulsion form the Senate. Although other commitments exist and may conflict, consistently and effectively representing one’s peers should be of great importance to people who have chosen to run for a responsible position in school government. It is therefore necessary to create a policy that takes into account the possibility of excusal when evaluating Senator attendance.