Senate Steering Committee

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Senate Steering

The Steering Committee is the managing body of the Student Senate. It is chaired by the Senate Chair and is responsible for maintaining the flow of legislation, monitoring attendance of Senators, ensuring that officers of the Senate are completing assigned tasks, and planning meetings.


All Steering minutes are recorded by the Senate Secretary to establish a record of Steering activities. These minutes are available for all to review in the interest of accountability of the officers. If there are minutes from a meeting that you do not see listed here, please contact the Secretary.

Committee Membership

Steering is comprised of all Senate Officers (4), all Senate Standing Committee Chairs (7), two BOD Senate Liaisons(2), the ASUW President (1), and one GPSS member(1) for a total of 15 members. An SAO adviser is an ex-officio member. Quorum requires that 9 members be present. Meetings are open to the public.

Current Membership (2011-2012):

Flow of Legislation

Chief among Steering's responsibilities is its role in the legislative process. Any legislation submitted to the Senate is first discussed in Steering. Steering will render a decision as to which of the standing committees will have jurisdiction over the legislation based upon the committee's areas of expertise. In some cases, most commonly those involving changes to the Senate Rules, legislation can be referred to the Steering Committee itself. In these situations the Steering Committee evaluates the legislation as anyother standing committee would and has the power of amendment and substitution. The Steering Committee can also chose to fail these bills. It cannot fail a bill that is not referred to itself.

Setting the Agenda

All Senate meetings have an agenda to help guide them through the day's business. This agenda is crafted in the Steering Committee. The Chair submits an agenda for approval at each Steering meeting prior to the Senate meeting in question. The agenda can be amended by the committee through a simple majority vote. After the Committee has voted to approve the agenda it goes before the entire Senate for approval. Any member may amend the agenda at this time through a simple majority vote. Once the agenda has gained final approval it my only be amended by suspending the rules, requiring a 2/3 majority vote.

Public Forum

Public Forum is an opportunity for Senators to address the Senate Body on issues of importance that may not be discussed otherwise. These speeches may last a maximum of 20 minutes in length, but most requests are only granted 5 minutes. After the speech, the Senate may ask any questions it wishes of the presenter.
All Public Forum requests must come before Steering for approval, who may question the appropriateness of the request and has the right to deny any request or limit the time granted. Additionally, the Chair have full authority on all matters of Public Forum and may chose to end a speakers time at their discretion.
Please note that Public Forum is not a time for announcements regarding events. There is a time at the end of all Senate Meetings for such announcements and the Chair will most certainly cut you off if your Public Forum time is used as an announcement. Please respect the time of others by using Public Forum for its intended purpose.

Governing Bylaws

Section 1. Membership
A. All Senate Officers shall be members
B. All chairs of Senate Standing Committees shall be members
C. Two Senators filling seats allocated to the BOD shall be members
D. A representative of the Student Activities Office shall be a member without vote
E. One senator filling a seat allocated to GPSS shall be a member
Section 2. Functions
A. Develop and review Senate Bylaws and Senate Rules
B. Monitor the selection and attendance of Senators, and suspend seats as necessary
C. Arrange and plan all meetings of the Senate
D. Report Senate actions to the BOD and transmit items to the BOD which require further approval
E. Provide information and assistance to Senators
F. Make all appointments to Senate Committees
G. Review and approve Senate minutes
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