Constitution of Rio Tierra JHS
We the Students of Rio Tierra, in order to secure an education, pursue what makes us happy, establish justice for all, protect our rights, and provide for the future of the world, do hereby establish this Student Body Government.
Article I: Student Rights
The rights of students shall not be abridged on account of gender or gender identity, ethnicity or race, disciplinary record, academic performance, or association. The enumeration in this constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by students.
No government shall abridge a student’s right to vote, or to hold office in the Student Body government.
No government shall abridge a student’s Freedom of Expression, Freedom to peaceably Assemble, nor the Freedom to Petition for the redress of grievances.
Students retain the right to pursue an education, including the right to a competent teacher, and the right to a reasonably clean and well maintained classroom and campus.
No government shall levy taxes upon the Student Body. All revenue must be gained through business or donation.
Article II: Legislative Authority
The legislative power of the Student Body government shall be vested in the Rio Tierra Congress, which shall consist of two houses: the Senate and the Student Assembly. All measures passed by one house, must be approved by the other, before going to the president for approval. The Student Assembly has ten school days to meet and approve of a Senate measure or to amend it and return it; should the Student Assembly fail to meet, the measure automatically passes to the president for approval. All meetings of either house of the Congress shall post agendas in a conspicuous place, detailing the business to be discussed, and the time and place of the meeting, at least five school days prior to the meeting.
No member of the Rio Tierra Congress may simultaneously hold an elected executive office, or be a member of both houses.
The Senate shall be elected by the Student Body from among the members of the Leadership Class. There shall be twelve seats in the Senate. The Senate may amend Bylaws, propose amendments to this constitution, propose and review all matters of finance and budgeting, and pass all manner of resolutions befitting a student government. Check Requests are approved by the Senate alone, with notice given to the Student Assembly and President, and are not dependent upon Student Assembly approval nor subject to presidential veto.
The Student Assembly shall be elected by the Student Body from among the members of the Student Body, but shall not be members of the Leadership Class. There shall be one Eighth Grade seat for every twenty-five eighth grade students, one Seventh Grade seat for every twenty-five seventh grade students, and one Sixth Grade seat for every twenty-five sixth grade students. The Student Assembly may amend Bylaws, propose amendments to this constitution, review and advise on all matters of finance and budgeting, excepting Check Requests, and pass all manner of resolutions befitting a student government.
Each house of Congress may set its own rules, but is otherwise bound by the most current Robert’s Rules of Order. Each house of Congress shall choose its own leaders, establish its own committees, set its own agenda, and publish its own minutes, which shall be made available to any member of the Student Body or Staff upon request.
Quorum for each house shall be a minimum of sixty-percent of the current seated membership.
Article III: Executive Authority
The executive power shall be vested in a President, who shall have the responsibility to oversee all student body government operations.
The President may appoint other members of the executive branch to perform various duties, with the advice and consent of the Congress, and with prior authorization and description in the Bylaws for said duties.
The President shall be elected by the Student Body, shall be at least seventh grade, and a be a member of the Leadership Class. The President shall have the power to veto a measure passed by the Congress within three school days of its passage. The Rio Tierra Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote in each house.
There shall be one Vice President (VP) for each grade level, who shall have the responsibility to oversee all student body government operations as directed by the President. In the absence of the President, authority shall pass first to the eighth grade VP, then the seventh grade VP, and finally to the sixth grade VP. In the absence of the President, veto power is restricted, and must be agreed to by all three VPs.
In the event of the impeachment or resignation of the president, the order of succession shall be first to the eighth grade VP, then the seventh grade VP, and finally to the sixth grade VP.
All vacancies in the Student Assembly, Senate, Vice Presidencies, executive departments, and Courts shall be filled by appointment of the President, and be approved by the Congress.
Article IV: Judicial Authority
The judicial power shall be vested in a Supreme Court. There shall be five members of that court. The Supreme Court may decide disputes between students, staff, campus organizations, when said parties agree to the court’s jurisdiction. The Supreme Court may adjudicate any all disputes arising from within the Student Government itself, ruling on the constitutionality of the dispute as needed.
The Congress may establish inferior courts as needed. No member of the Supreme Court May be an active member of the Student Assembly, Senate, nor be President, or VP.
Article V: Elections and Impeachment
Any member of the government, be it elected or appointed, may be removed from office for dereliction of duty, or for acting in an illegal manner. To be removed, the Student Assembly and the Senate must approve articles of impeachment, followed by a trial in the Supreme Court, who shall have original jurisdiction.
General Elections for all offices shall be held on the Second Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of October. Senators shall be elected by plurality vote of the Student Body, the top twelve vote recipients taking a seat. The same shall be true of the Student Assembly, but with the number of seats determined as noted in Article II, and confirmed by the Guidance Counselor.
No person shall hold elected office for more than one year without standing for election or being reappointed. Elected offices begin their term on the Wednesday after the General Election.
Winners for president and vice president shall be determined with an instant runoff vote system. Winners for both houses of the Congress shall be the recipients of the most votes for the number of seats available.
Student Assembly and Vice President candidates whose eligibility is restricted by grade level, shall only be elected by members of that grade level. There shall be separate ballots for each grade level to reflect this requirement.
Congress may set election rules, the school year in advance of the election, but may not otherwise change rules until after the General Election.
Article VI: Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the Congress, and must be ratified by a majority of the Student Body in a General Election.
Article VII: Supremacy
This Student Body Government is a semi-sovereign government, subject only to the laws of the United States of America, the state of California, policy as set by the Twin Rivers Unified School District, school policy as set by the Principal of Rio Tierra, and enforced by the Vice Principal, and the dictates of the Activities Director.