EHS Student Government
Our aim is to develop leadership skills, foster experiences in government, provide service for school and community, and to provide a collective voice for the students at EHS. Members are either elected or appointed as laid out in the Constitution, and represent all four classes. The democratically elected group represents the will of the student body when making school policy suggestions and creating and organizing various student activities.
We the Students of Essex High School, in order to provide a collective voice, create a forum to address student issues, provide leadership opportunities, generate experiences in government, and endeavor to improve the community while enhancing the scholastic experience for ourselves and our posterity, do hereby establish this Constitution for the Essex High School Student Body.
Article I. Legislative Branch
Section 1. Membership
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Senate which shall be composed of 15 members from each class (grade).
Section 2. Qualifications & Vacancies
Clause 1: No person who is not a full-time student at Essex High School who does not intend to graduate sooner than June of the year following the election shall be eligible for legislative office.
Clause 2: When vacancies happen in the representation from any class, the Class Leader shall issue nominations to fill such vacancies with approval by a majority vote of that particular class`™ Senators.
Section 3. Elections
Clause 1: Elections shall be held starting with the second Monday following April Break and shall last for the period of two days. They shall be held in a time, place, and manner that promotes efficiency and democracy. Only full-time students at Essex High School shall be eligible to vote and they shall each choose 5 names from the ballot that are people who they deem will represent their class actively and positively.
Clause 2: The presiding Senate shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of members for the following term.
Clause 3: Each term of the Senate shall consist of two sessions, each convening at the beginning of each semester and ending before the exam period.
Clause 4: Before a Senator shall enter into legislative office, s/he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--`œI do solemnly swear that I will faithfully represent my class by creating, debating, and approving legislative actions for the benefit of the school, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, support, and adhere to the Constitution of Essex High School.`
Clause 5: In fulfilling the office of Senator, s/he shall: work in the best interest of students of Essex High School; actively participate in his/her assigned committee; assist the President and his cabinet of officers in the execution of legislative Orders; create and promote both an individual and a class legislative agenda; and serve as an exemplary role model in all capacities for the students of Essex High School.
Clause 1: The Senate shall have the sole power to approve the spending of Student Government funds in such a manner as they may deem necessary and which fulfills the Preamble to this document.
Clause 2: To create activities for the benefit of the students, faculty, and staff of Essex High School, as well as the community at large.
Clause 3: To address student issues on behalf of the student body of Essex High School.
Clause 4: To create tribunals for the benefit of the school that shall remain inferior to administrative authority.
Clause 5: To impeach and remove executive officers. A two-thirds vote of all members shall suffice for impeachment. Removal shall require a three-fourths vote of all members. Judgment in cases of conviction shall not extend further than the removal from office and disqualification to hold future offices, except that the party remains subject to disciplinary action by external sources of authority.
Clause 6: To issue all Orders which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the Student Government of Essex High School.
Section 5. Proposal Procedure
Clause 1: All Proposals must be written following the proscribed format adopted by the Senate and submitted for consideration before a regular meeting of the body unless circumstances arise requiring expedient action.
Clause 2: All Proposals must be first addressed in one of the standing committees: Issues; Activities; Community Service; Finance; Spirit; or in any ad hoc committee that the Senate may from time to time deem necessary to carry out the duties of the branch; unless circumstances arise requiring expedient action.
Clause 3: Every Proposal which shall have passed the Senate by majority vote shall, before it becomes an Order, be presented to the President of the Student Body for consideration. If s/he approves and signs the Proposal it shall become an Order, if not s/he shall return it, unsigned, to the Senate who then may decide to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present agree to pass the Proposal it shall become official.
Clause 4: If the President takes no action on a passed Proposal, after 10 school days it shall become an Order.
Clause 5: The Senate shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and will regularly publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of on any question shall at the desire of …“ of those present, be entered on the journal.
Section 6. Speaker of the Senate
Clause 1: The Senate shall choose a Speaker on the last meeting of the previous year by majority vote. The Speaker must be of junior or senior standing for the term of office in which they serve. If the Speaker is unable to serve, the duties shall be fulfilled by the ranking class leader, until such time as the Senate may choose a new Speaker.
Clause 2: The Speaker shall be responsible for the organization and direction of all meetings of the Senate. S/he shall insure that order shall be kept and that established parliamentary procedures are adhered to. The Speaker shall recognize all members before they address the assembly. S/he shall have no vote except should their be a tie in a vote requiring a simple majority in which case s/he shall cast the deciding vote on the issue.
Clause 3: The Speaker shall decide, on advice from the majority leaders of each class, committee assignments for all members of the Senate, providing that at least two members from each class serve on each committee. S/he shall also determine which members shall serve as committee chairpersons for all standing and ad hoc committees. The Speaker shall also select a representative to serve as legislative secretary who shall be responsible for recording minutes at all meetings of the Senate as well as the organization, dissemination, and storage of all legislative materials.
Clause 4: A majority vote of `œno confidence` (all members) shall suffice to strip the Speaker of his/her powers and duties and require that the Senate fill the vacancy in a timely manner.
Section 7. Leadership
Clause 1: Each class`™s Senators shall themselves elect a Class Leader who shall be responsible for creating a legislative agenda for the class, and who in general will provide leadership for his/her class Senators in fulfilling the procedures and ideals set forth in this Constitution. Each class shall also elect a Class Whip who shall assist the Class Leader when necessary, paying particular attention to issues of attendance and voting.
Clause 2: The Senate shall elect from their own body by a simple majority, a member to serve as the student representative to the U-46 School Board, as well as a member to serve as the student representative to the EHS School Council. These members shall speak on behalf of the entire Student Senate which in turn, speaks on behalf of the entire student body.
Section 8. Conduct
Clause 1: The Senate shall be responsible for the regulation of the conduct of its members both in and out of regular and committee meetings, and shall punish its members for disorderly behavior and/or conduct unbecoming an Essex High School Student Government member. Members may face censure on a simple majority vote of those present, or upon concurrence of two-thirds of all members, be expelled from the body.
Article II. Executive Branch
Section 1. Term, Elections, Qualifications, Succession, Oath of Office
Clause 1: The executive power shall be vested in a President of the student body of Essex High School. S/he shall hold office during the term of one year, and be elected together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term.
Clause 2: Starting with the last Monday before April break, a general election will be conducted by the Senate in a manner that promotes efficiency and democracy. All full-time students at Essex High School shall be eligible to vote. The election shall last for the period of 2 school days and shall be decided on popular vote provided that the winning candidate(s) receive at least 40% of all votes cast. If not, the Senate shall decide the election choosing from the two candidates who have received the highest number of votes. Should the popular vote result in a tie, the deciding vote shall be cast by the Senate using a simple majority vote of all members.
Clause 3: No Person except a full-time student of Essex High School who does not intend to graduate before June of the year following the election shall be eligible for the office of President.
Clause 4: In case of the inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, the duties shall pass on to the Vice President. The Senate may by its action, provide for the case of inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability is removed, or a President is elected.
Clause 5: Before s/he enters into the execution of the Office, s/he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the student body of Essex High School, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, support, and adhere to the Constitution of Essex High School.`
Section 2. Powers & Duties
Clause 1: The President shall have the power, with the two-thirds consent of the Senate, to appoint executive secretaries for each standing committee created by this Constitution as well as any ad hoc committees created by the Senate. S/he shall also have the power, again with the consent of the Senate to fill the vacancy of the office of Vice President should the need arise. The President may from time to time appoint any executive officers that s/he deem necessary for the proper execution of the office of President.
Clause 2: The President shall at the beginning of each session of the Senate, give information of the state of the school, and recommend to their consideration such measures as s/he shall judge necessary and expedient and which shall fulfill the goals established by this Constitution; s/he may, on extraordinary occasions, call for an emergency meeting of the Senate.
Clause 3: In fulfilling the office of President, s/he shall serve as: chief legislator by creating and advocating for an agenda for the school year; chief executive by taking care that the actions of the Senate are faithfully executed; chief spokes-person by representing the student body in all necessary interactions with the faculty, the administration, and the community; and serve as the chief role model for the students of Essex High School.
Section 4. Conduct
The President, Vice-President and all other executive officers shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, conduct unbecoming an Essex High School Student Government member.
Article III. Judiciary
Section 1. Constitutional Review & Amendment
Clause 1: From time to time questions may arise regarding the interpretation of this Constitution. In such situations a board shall be formed including the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker, and the Senate Leader of each class whose interpretation shall be regarded as final until such time that a new board be created or a Constitutional amendment be passed.
Clause 2: The judicial board may from time to time propose amendments to this Constitution that shall be in the best interest of the student body and promote the values put forth in this document`™s preamble. These proposed amendments must be passed by a simple majority vote of the Senators of each of the four classes in order to become part of the Constitution.
Article IV. Ratification
Section 1. Procedure
Clause 1: The ratification by a simple majority vote of the representatives of each of the four classes shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the various classes and the students thereof.
Clause 2: Should this Constitution fail in its ratification process, a committee will be formed to make whatever adjustments are deemed necessary to succeed in ratifying it at a later date.