Carleton Student Association

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The CSA officers as of Spring Term 2006. From left to right: Peter Fritz '08 (Treasurer), Jim Watkins '07 (President), John Smith-Ricco '07 (Vice President).

The Carleton Student Assocation (CSA) is the student government of Carleton College. All students at Carleton College are members of the CSA, which occassionally holds referendums, and elect representatives to the CSA Senate, as well as CSA officers: President, Vice President, and Treasurer. These elected officials are commonly referred to as "the members of the CSA," although this is technically inaccurate; they are the representatives of the CSA, as well as being members.

During the academic year, the CSA holds meetings in Sayles 251 every Monday at 7 PM.

CSA officers and senators are not paid, as their counterparts at St. Olaf are. Instead, it is a completely voluntary activity. Some have criticized this situation as reducing the incentives for CSA represenatives to perform their duties to the student body.

A special CSA meeting in Great Hall

Constitution

The Constitution can be found in PDF format here.

The following is a summary of the CSA Constitution as of Spring Term 2006:

Article I: Rights and Responsibilities

Reaffirms that students have the right to express themselves and to petition the CSA.

Article II: General Meetings

A General Meeting is held if 20% of the CSA (that is, 20% of students) petition for one, or if a majority of the Senate votes for one. At a General Meeting, Senators and Officers hold no more power than other students, except that the President resides. If a quorum of 25% of the student body is present, then the General Meeting has essentially unlimited powers: Any proposal, except for an amendment to the Constitution or the recall of an Officer, may be passed by a simple majority. An amendment or a recall may be passed by a two-thirds majority.

No General Meeting has ever been held under the current Constitution.

Article III: Senate

Outlines the composition of the Senate: 18 Senators (including Liaisons) and three Officers (President, Vice President, and Treasurer). Also outlines the powers and duties of the CSA Senate:

  • To represent students with the administration.
  • To represent students elsewhere, except that they may not speak on "partisan or political issues" except when there has been a poll or petitition of the student body as a whole. (In practice, the CSA rarely uses this power.)
  • Funding student organizations. (Not all student organization funding comes from the CSA, but a large amount does.)
  • Appointing students to advisory committees of the college. (For instance, the Senate always includes students who are also members of the ECC and EAC; these senators are referred to as "Liaisons.")

In addition, the Senate is required to meet twice a week, and its decisions can be overruled in a General Meeting of the CSA.

Article IV: Senate Officers

Officers (the President, Vice President, and Treasurer) are elected for one-year terms every Winter Term.

  • The President must be a junior. S/he runs all CSA meetings and has no vote, but may break any tie.
  • The Vice President must be a sophomore or a junior. S/he does vote, except when acting as President in the President's absence.
  • The Treasurer must be a sophomore or a junior. The Treasurer administers all CSA funds, presents the budget, and publishes a statement of the CSA's financial status three times a year for use by the College.

Elected officers may be recalled by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or a General Meeting. (This has never happened under the current Constitution.)

Article V: Constitutional Amendments

Amendments may be proposed by a majority of the Senate or the CSA. Amendment proposals must be published for at least a week to allow for discussion among the student body. (This is normally done via the CSA website.) They may then by approved by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or a General Meeting at any point during the same academic year.

Amendments to the Bylaws may be made by the same procedure.

Article VI: Constitutional Ratification

The Constitution was ratified by a two-thirds vote of those voting in a school referendum.

External links