Montana Associated Students
MAS Governing Documents
The Constitution of
Montana Associated Students
(Updated: September 18, 2012)
The name of this Organization will be Montana Associated Students.
Membership and Affiliation
Section 1: Voting Members
The Montana Associated Students (MAS) shall be composed of the Student Body Presidents and Vice Presidents of each campus within the Montana University System (MUS). Voting power shall only be held by those institutions where the associated students have paid their dues to MAS.
Section 2: Student Regent
The Student Regent shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the MAS as discussed in Article III of the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education bylaws.
Section 3: Affiliations
- Let it be known that the following organizations constitute MAS: Associated Students of Montana State University, Associated Students of University of Montana, Associated Students of Montana Tech, Associated Students of Montana State University Billings, Associated Students of Montana State University Northern, Associated Students of Great Falls College MSU, Associated Students of University of Montana Western, Associated Students of University of Montana Helena, Montana University System Student Regent.
- Let it be known that MAS is affiliated with the following organizations; Montana University System Board of Regents, Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.
MAS shall provide fair and equal representation for the students in the Montana University System. MAS shall function autonomously of the MUS Board of Regents and shall serve as advisor to the MUS Board of Regents in matters directly and indirectly affecting the students of the MUS. MAS shall also function to coordinate system wide initiatives, programs, and activities of a common interest to the student associations of each of the individual campuses of the MUS. Finally, MAS and its member institutions shall provide support to each other through the transfer of information surrounding best practices, duplicable efforts, and current initiatives.
Section 1: Officers
- The officers of this organization shall be President, Vice President of Internal Affairs, Vice President of External Affairs, and Executive Treasurer.
- The President of MAS shall be selected annually in the month of May by plurality vote of the members present and shall begin his/her one year term immediately following their election into office. The President shall serve as the spokesman of MAS to convey reports and opinions on behalf of the students of the MUS during Board of Regents meetings and shall chair all meetings of MAS. The President shall be responsible for contacting the Student Regent prior to each meeting of the MUS Board of Regents to discuss any pertinent issues to be brought before the MUS Board of Regents.
- The Vice President for Internal Affairs shall be selected annually in the month of May by plurality vote of the members present and shall begin their term immediately following their election into office. The VPIA shall be responsible for the creation and distribution of MAS agendas and minutes. A written record of all proceedings of MAS shall be maintained by the Vice President of Internal Affairs. A copy of the minutes, upon approval, will be presented to each member of MAS and made available to the Board of Regents and public within two weeks following each meeting. The VPIA shall further be responsible for setting the time and location of MAS meetings and notifying all members of MAS meeting times and locations at least one (1) week prior to the meeting. During the fall of the academic year in which they serve, the VPIA will organize a retreat for the member institutions with the goals of introducing MAS members to the organization and its mission and facilitating the creation of the yearly MAS goals and agenda. The VPIA shall oversee, track, and communicate between the task forces working on individual projects of MAS. Additionally, the VPIA is responsible for communicating the progress of the individual task forces to the larger body of MAS members monthly.
- The Vice President for External Affairs (VPEA) shall be selected annually in the month of May by plurality vote of the members present and shall begin their term immediately following their election into office. The VPEA shall be responsible for all communication outside of MAS including but not limited to press, Regents, and the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. The VPEA is responsible for creation and distribution of agendas for meetings with those listed above, a quarterly newsletter, and press releases. The VPEA shall submit all items MAS wishes to put forward to the Board of Regents according to the Board of Regents Meeting and Agenda Handbook Procedure and Guidelines. Additionally, the VPEA shall be charged with the creation and distribution of MAS promotional materials.
- The Executive Treasurer of MAS shall be selected annually in the month of May by plurality vote of the members present and shall begin his/her one year term immediately following following their election to the office. The executive treasurer is responsible for the ethical collection and distribution of all MAS funds, as well as the MAS budget. The Executive Treasurer of MAS shall be the President or Vice President of the institution in which the MAS funds and accounts are held.
Section 2: Removal of Officers
Any elected MAS executive official is subject to removal from office by a ¾ vote of voting members of MAS.
Section 3: MAS Council
- The MAS Council shall be composed of the voting members of MAS not serving as President, Vice President for Internal Affairs, Vice President for External Affairs, or Executive Treasurer.
- The MAS Council shall be responsible for nominating and voting on executive officers in the May meeting of each academic year.
- The MAS Council shall be charged with setting and approving any changes to the membership dues of MAS.
- Members of the MAS Council will serve on committees assigned to them by the President.
- The MAS Council shall approve all MAS policies and shall be responsible for developing Bylaws in accordance with this Constitution.
- The MAS Council may enact Bylaws upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote.
Section 4: Vacancy of Office
If for any reason an elected executive member of MAS cannot serve, the order of succession shall be (1) Vice President for Internal Affairs (2) Vice President for External Affairs (3) Executive Treasurer (4) a voting member of MAS.
Section 1: Meetings
- MAS shall hold regular meetings at the direction of the President to be held concurrently with the Board of Regents meetings.
- Special meetings of MAS may be held at the discretion of the President or an expressed majority of member institutions.
- Representation from member institutions is required at meetings unless previously excused by the MAS President. If a member institution has 3 unexcused absences, their expulsion from MAS shall be brought to the voting body for consideration.
Section 2: Quorum
A quorum shall be a simple majority of due paying member institutions. Meetings at which the President or Vice President of any given student association cannot be present, a representative with delegated authority to represent that organization may attend. Such representatives, while representing their respective President and Vice President, shall be considered as a member of MAS with full rights and privileges granted by this constitution, and whose presence at meetings will count toward quorum of the body.
Section 3: Voting Rules
It is the intent of MAS to represent the best interest of the students in the Montana University System. Therefore, of the voting members present, if four or more votes are cast in opposition to a policy or action of MAS, the policy or action shall be considered failed with the exception of MAS executive officer elections and the Student Regent recommendations which will be determined by majority rule. None of these rules prohibit member institutions from addressing the Board on their individual institution’s behalf.
Section 2: Committees
- The MAS President may appoint committees composed of members of MAS when and as he/she determines such appointments appropriate.
- Special committees may be appointed from time to time by order of a simple majority of MAS membership.
- The Student Regent is an ex-officio, non-voting member of all MAS committees.
Code of Ethics
When representing Montana Associated Students, member institutions shall adhere to the agreed upon Code of Ethics, found in the MAS Policy and Procedure Manual
Section 1: Amendment
- This Constitution may only be changed by amendment or revision submitted to the voting members of MAS as a Constitutional Referendum.
- Constitutional Referendum may be passed only by unanimous consent of the present voting members of MAS at the meeting in which the Constitutional Referendum is considered.
Status and Adoption
- In the event of a conflict between this Constitution and any Bylaws or policy of MAS, the Constitution shall be considered superior.
- This Constitution shall replace and repeal all previous Constitutions.
- This Constitution shall be adopted upon a three-fourths (3/4) vote of MAS voting members.
- This Constitution shall go into effect immediately upon its adoption.
- When representing Montana Associated Students member, institutions shall represent all students within the Montana University System fairly and responsibly regardless of specific campus or area.
- When representing Montana Associated Students, member institutions shall avoid conflicts of interest and remain bipartisan
- When representing Montana Associated Students, member institutions shall take personal responsibility to come to meetings prepared, focused, and on time. The officers of MAS will work hard to conduct meetings efficiently and effectively.
- When representing Montana Associated Students, member institutions will work to communicate their opinion honestly and concisely, listen to others opinions respectfully, apologize when necessary, and stand behind the decisions made by the majority.
- When not officially representing Montana Associated Students, members will remember to behave in a way that is representative of MAS as an organization.