Student Union

STUDENT UNION

Who we are:
* TheStudent Union (SU)is the official representative voice of students to the BHSEC Administration. The Student Union representatives are elected from the general student body each fall. Four voting reps and one alternate rep are elected from each grade. From the 4 voting (non-alternate) reps, one SLT (School Leadership Team) voting rep and one alternate/non-voting SLT rep are elected. The SLT reps are the grade liaisons between the Student Union and the SLT and MUST attend both the SU and SLT meetings.

ALL SU and SLT meetings are open (check the web calendar for meeting information http://bhsec.bard.edu/manhattan/calendar/). If non-elected students attend the SU and SLT meetings they may be invited to speak, however, they may not vote. This structure gives students a voice and an opportunity to communicate issues directly to BHSEC’s student government and administration. The goal is to bridge communication between BHSEC’s student body, the Student Union, the SLT and the administration.

What we do:
* Work to represent the interests of the student body to the administration.

* Help engage the BHSEC community through school-wide events such as Community Day, the Neighborhood Festival, blood drives, etc.
* Coordinate and lead grade level Town Hall meetings 2-3 times per semester.

Time commitment:
*The Student Union meets after school theFIRSTandTHIRD Thursday each month in Room 409

Click HERE for Meeting Minutes

How to run:
*SU elections for 10-Y2 take place in each advisory in the spring, and in the fall for 9th grade

- during Friday advisory for Y1 & Y2
- during Wednesday advisory for 9th and 10th grade

*** SLT Reps are elected from among the four SU reps, so a SLT election is held immediately AFTER the SU election.

All Student Union meetings areopen meetings(i.e., any student may attend), however, only elected representatives may vote and develop meeting agendas. Roberts Rules of Order govern the meeting process.

SLT reps are required to attend BOTH SU and SLT meetings.
– SU meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays each month. The first Thursday is for the general assembly with additional meetings for committees, as needed
– SLT meetings are held the first or second Monday of the month, at 5p.m. (check the web calendar for meeting information http://bhsec.bard.edu/manhattan/calendar/)

BHSEC Student Union (SU) Description: The SU meets every other Thursday of the month in Rm. 409. The first Thursday is the general assembly/all representative’s meeting, with the principal, to address concerns of the student body and to bring those concerns to the BHSEC Administration. The second meeting (on the third Thursday of the month is for committee work of the SU. The S.U. plans school-wide events and organizes school fund-raisers. S.U. committees (which will hold separate meetings) also organize collections for community groups (like book, clothing, and Red Cross blood drives). The SU reps are elected from the general student body based on a written statement given to the students in advisory.

School Leadership Team (SLT) Description: Every NYC public school is mandated to have a School Leadership Team composed of students, faculty/staff and parents. The SLT is a vehicle for collaborative school-based decision-making and advises the school administration. The SLT is also charged with creating and updating the school’s Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP), and making sure the schools budget and resources reflect the needs of the CEP. The Student S.L.T. reps provide a unified voice of students reporting to the SLT on a monthly basis.

SU BYLAWS

 

Student Union Bylaws – Bard High School Early College Manhattan (ratified Jan.11, 2018)

PREAMBLE
“‘Go serve in office,’ is what they say; but it is so difficult, so full of danger. Some orders cannot
be carried out, and thus you incur the administration’s blame.” [1] We heed this advice, as it
reminds us to remain steadfast in our mission to serve the students of BHSEC.
ARTICLE I – PURPOSE
Section 1
The Student Union (“SU”) is a student-run organization that seeks to improve the life of the
student body, which includes the responsibility to listen to
complaints/compliments/concerns/questions raised by students and to respond to the messages
as best they can; take the lead in organizing Community Day; and assist with school events,
sponsored by the administration or any BHSEC club, following any reasonable request for help.
Section 2
The SU is formed in accordance with the Citywide Standards of Intervention and Discipline
Measures: Student Bill of Rights And Responsibilities (Article 2, 1; Article 4, 1; Article 5, 13
and 14) which states students have the responsibility to make student government a
“meaningful forum” for discussion.
Section 3
The SU is a representative organization of the student body, which includes the responsibility to
be present for community meetings, including but not limited to: The Health and Safety
Committee in which an SU representative must attend the monthly meetings and report back to
the general convention of the SU as stated in Article 3 3.
The School Leadership Team (“SLT”) where one SU representative from each grade must attend
monthly meetings, write an SU report about the goals and progress of the SU to be sent to the
entirety of the SLT, as well as to report back to the general convention of the SU, as stated in
Article 3 3.
Section 4
Meetings are held at least twice a month after school in a designated room. All students are
encouraged to come to meetings.
ARTICLE II
DETERMINATION OF MEMBERS
Section 1
Representatives from 10th grade through Year 2 are elected on the antepenultimate advisory
meeting of the previous school year. In order to stand for election, candidates must understand
the responsibilities that accompany the position. Candidates shall notify the SU advisors if it is
their intention to run for the position of SLT representative. Every candidate must provide a
statement no longer than 100 words. Each student will receive one paper ballot in their advisory,
on which they may vote for a maximum of four candidates.
Advisors from each advisory give the ballots to the SU advisors, who then count the votes foreach grade. The four candidates with the most votes will become the SU representatives for the
following school year. The candidate with the fifth-most votes will become the SU alternate for
the following school year.
Section 2
Representatives from 10th grade through Year 2 are elected on the penultimate advisory of the
previous school year. In order to stand for election, candidates must understand the
responsibilities that accompany the position. The elections must be held according to the
procedures described in Article II 1, with one voting representative and one alternate
representative winning.
Section 3
SU representatives from the 9th grade are elected on the third advisory of the school year. It is
the responsibility of the current SU representatives to go to all of the ninth grade advisories on
their first meeting, as well as other 9th grade public forums in the beginning of the school year,
to inform the students of the existence, purpose, responsibilities, and elections of the SU and
SLT. The 9th grade elections will be held according to the procedures described in Article II 1.
On the fourth advisory, 9th grade SLT elections are held according to the procedures described
in Article II 2.
Section 4
After three consecutive unexcused absences, or four total unexcused absences, a representative
will lose their position on the SU. The alternate from their grade will assume their role as a full
voting member. Any SU representative wishing to resign must send notice to the SU advisors.
If a representative blatantly disregards the bylaws, or commits some other form of inappropriate
conduct, the SU shall vote on the status of the member following procedures listed in Article III
  • 5, with the approval of both advisors. The expulsion of members in this manner shall not be
taken lightly.
Section 5
If a grade delegation does not have an alternate, a special election must be held for that grade.
An email shall be sent out by the SU advisors to the grade in question notifying the students to
the available seat. Interested students shall send a statement of no more than 100 words to the
advisor. At the first SU meeting two weeks after the email is sent, the advisors must present the
statements to the SU. The SU shall vote on the candidates following voting procedure
determined in Article III 5, with one winner being chosen, or however many vacancies need to
be filled. Each grade shall have four representatives and one alternate at any given time.
Section 6
If both the SLT representative and their alternate miss two meetings without finding a
replacement from their grade, they shall be formally reprimanded by the advisors and another
SU representative from their grade delegation will attend all future SLT meetings.
ARTICLE III
MEETING PROCEDURE
Section 1
At each meeting, there is a chair and a recording secretary. A Year 2 shall chair the first meeting,
and a Year 1 shall record the first meeting. Chairmanship is then passed down from grade to
grade in a rotating manner. The recording secretary of the prior meeting will chair the next
meeting. If it is the turn of a grade who cannot provide a recording secretary, the chair shall
choose a recording secretary.
Section 2
It is the responsibility of the recording secretary to take and send out minutes on a shared
document via email no later than one week after each meeting. SU representatives must send
any amendments to the minutes to the recording secretary via email.
It is the responsibility of the chair to enforce decorum at all times during the meeting and keep
the body focused on the agenda. The chair must compile an agenda after requesting agenda
items from the entirety of the SU no later than three days before the meeting.
Section 3
The first agenda item is grade reports, which give each grade delegation an opportunity to
discuss pertinent issues from their grade.
The second agenda item is committee reports: the chair, or a representative from each
committee, shall report to the SU about the goals and progress of the committee.
The third agenda item is SLT reports if a SLT meeting has occurred in the duration since the last
SU meeting. SLT representatives will report about the goals and progress of the SLT.
The fourth agenda item is a Health and Safety Committee report if a Health and Safety
Committee meeting has occurred in the duration since the last SU meeting. The Health and
Safety Committee representative will report about the goals and progress of the Health and
Safety Committee.
If it is the first meeting of the school year in which all representatives are present, then the fifth
agenda item is a read through of the bylaws so representatives fully understand the
responsibilities that accompany the position. The bylaws committee will facilitate this
discussion.
The last agenda item is new business in which anyone present at the SU meeting may bring up
any issue with the SU not mentioned on the agenda.
All other agenda items are determined by the chair.
Section 4
At the beginning of each meeting, an attendance sheet must be passed around for all present
representatives to sign. It is the responsibility of the recording secretary to enter the attendance
into the minutes.
Upon ratification, a spreadsheet shall be created and shared with the entirety of the SU for the
purpose of tracking attendance. It shall include the date of each meeting, and whether each
representative is present (“pr”), has an excused absence (“ex”), or has an unexcused absence
(“un”). It is the responsibility of the recording secretary to enter the attendance into the
spreadsheet after each meeting.
If a representative knows they will be missing a meeting, they must email their grade’s alternate,
the chair, and the advisors to inform them of the reason for their absence. If they are scheduled
to be chair, they must find a replacement.
Section 5
Voting shall only occur with at least two representatives from each grade present. The number of
voting representatives shall be referred to as quorum. The chair shall run all elections. For most
votes, a simple majority is necessary. If a vote is held with three or more options and no option
reaches a simple majority, there shall be an immediate run-off election with the top two choices
from the previous vote. If the vote is split 50-50, the vote must be tabled until the next
scheduled meeting.
For votes on an amendment made to the bylaws, on the expulsion of an acting member, or on
the determination of a new member, a supermajority is necessary. Votes of any kind shall be
tallied and noted in the minutes by the recording secretary. At the request of any voting
representative a roll call vote may be held, and it is the duty of the recording secretary to record
the vote of each member.
Votes may take the form of yay or nay. Alternates may only vote if a member of their grade
delegation is absent.
ARTICLE IV
COMMITTEES
Section 1
There are six standing committees created no later than the third general SU meeting each
school year.
Communications is tasked with direct correspondence with the student body. This may take the
form of emails, surveys, the bulletin board, BHSEC Connect, and whatever other medium the
committee deems necessary.
Finance is tasked with accounting for SU funds. It shall coordinate all SU-run fundraisers, and
manage the budget of the SU.
Spirit is tasked with raising student morale. It shall coordinate all SU-run fun-raisers, including
spirit week and other enjoyable days.
Facilities is tasked with promoting the proper functioning of school maintenance. It shall work
with the administration to resolve any problems relating to facilities brought up by the student
body.
Tutoring is tasked with supplementing the education of students. It shall create the math and
science center in the library, as well as any other tutoring centers deemed necessary.
Bylaws is tasked with amending and enforcing the bylaws. There must be one representative
from each grade on this committee. Any amendments made to the bylaws must be voted on in a
general SU meeting as described in Article III 5.
Section 2
A chair shall be elected by the majority of the committee. The committee can decide whether
co-chairs or vice-chairs would be more appropriate. Any SU member may enter their name for
chair elections.
Section 3
Each committee is be composed of at least two members and must meet at least once a month.
The chair, co-chair, or vice-chair must be present at all meetings.
Failure to comply with such meeting requirements shall result in the loss of chairmanship. If
this is the case, or the chair resigns from their position, elections must be held in the committee.
ARTICLE V
THE ROLE OF ADVISORS
Section 1
At any point in time there are be two faculty advisors to the SU. While SU is a student-run
organization, the advisors have the responsibility maintain the efficiency and productivity of the
  1. Advisors help create an environment of transparency and honesty. Advisors create a
tentative meeting schedule at the beginning of each school year. Advisors run fair elections as outlined in Article II. In doing this, the advisors shall cut off all SU
candidacy statements longer than 100 words but not alter any SU candidacy statement for
content.
Section 2
Advisors have oversight of the bank account of the SU. The advisors should work with the
Finance Committee on matters concerning the spending and collection of money. Advisors
should have financial disclosures available to all members of the SU upon request.
Submitted in full to the general convention of the Student Union on the date of December 28,
two thousand and seventeen. Ratified by a vote of 12-0 in the general convention of the Student Union on the date of January 11, two thousand and eighteen.
[1] 1 Holzman, Donald. “The Place of Filial Piety in Ancient China.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 118, no. 2, 1998, pp. 185–199. JSTOR, JSTOR,
www.jstor.org/stable/605890.