The Student Senate was created to provide a more streamlined and effective governance system by consolidating student power, increasing student participation and facilitating better communication. Student Senate is composed of currently enrolled students. Members of Student Senate serve as the student voting representatives to College Council and make up no less than one-third of the total voting membership.
All members of Student Senate are either elected by the student body at large or are appointed by the Senate appointments committee, with the exception of the two Faculty Executive Committee representatives who are appointed directly by the College President.
Student Senate is the official student representative body. As such, Senate reviews any issue pertinent to students and either takes direct action or makes policy recommendations. Senate also allocates over $130,000 in activities fees for organizations and events throughout the year. Senate reviews and discusses College Council agenda items and decides which issues to bring to College Council on behalf of the students.
Two standing subcommittees help Senate implement policy: the Budgetary subcommittee and the Communications Committee.
Student Senate Election Guidelines
- Senate asks that no candidate spend more than $25 on the candidate's campaign.
- Posters, flyers and cards are allowed, but must be approved by Student Life and stamped.
- Any candidate caught defacing or removing another candidates information is no longer eligible for any position that entire school year.
- No slander/libel is allowed or the candidate will no longer be eligible for any position that entire school year.
- Candidates may not offer anything to induce a person to vote, refrain from voting or to abstain from voting for a particular candidate.
- Candidates cannot log into the voting site or take a voter to the voting site and show them how to vote for them or 'hang out' outside/inside the computer labs/rooms/offices campaigning.
- Candidates are not allowed to campaign inside McConnell.
Structure of Student Senate
Membership in Senate includes five executive officers, elected and appointed committee representatives, residence hall and off-campus representatives, class representatives, a PACE representative, two faculty representatives, and the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
A. Executive Board: Membership as officer is open to all Pitzer students in good standing with the exception that to be an officer, the student may not be a member of the Faculty Executive Committee or a Resident Assistant when s/he takes office.
B. Elected and Appointed Committees Representatives: There are twelve committees on which elected and appointed Senate members serve. Most have both appointed and elected positions; however, some are strictly one or the other. A description of each committee and the number of students appointed or elected to each follows: Academic Planning Committee: This committee is responsible for considering and recommending major changes in the policies concerning academics, admission and financial aid for the long-term life of the College. This committee has one elected and three appointed student positions.
Academic Standards Committee - This committee interprets the policies of the College and makes case-by-case determinations when exceptions to policies are requested by students or faculty. There is one elected and two appointed student representatives to this committee.
Campus Aesthetics Committee - This committee encourages the production of art on campus and reviews proposals for column art and other murals. There are four appointed student representatives to this committee.
Campus Life Committee - This committee is responsible for working with relevant student, faculty, alumni and trustee groups to develop and implement annually, a comprehensive plan for enhancing the intellectual, cultural, artistic and social life of the campus. In addition, it oversees programs and support structures that foster the development of a closer intellectual community on campus.
Curriculum Committee - This committee is responsible for assembling the annual curriculum, ensuring that the curriculum responds fully to the needs of the students and the educational objectives of the College, and generating discussion on the curriculum. There is one elected and two appointed student representatives to this committee.
Diversity Committee - This committee discusses issues of diversity on campus and recommends action to other committees on the issues of hiring policy, admission and financial aid as they relate to diversity. There is one elected and two appointed student representatives to this committee.
Study Abroad Committee - This committee supports the study abroad programs and reviews special student requests in regard to the program. There is one elected and two appointed student representatives on this committee.
Faculty Executive Committee - This committee oversees and recommends faculty appointments, renewals, promotions, tenure, dismissal and sabbatical leaves, creates ad hoc committees, can change the structure of committees; and acts for College Council when it cannot meet. It is the most powerful committee on campus. Student representatives are recommended by Senate and appointed by the President. There are two students on the committee serving a two-year term, one junior and one senior, each whom was appointed at the beginning of their junior year.
Judicial Council - Judicial Council has the authority to investigate and conduct hearings on charges of violations of the Pitzer College Code of Student Conduct listed in the Student Handbook and assign sanctions when warranted. There are five elected student positions on this committee.
Research and Awards Committee - This committee allocates funds for students and faculty research, nominates faculty and students for awards and fellowships (Fulbright, Watson, Rhodes, etc.) and publishes guidelines for those awards. There are one elected and two appointed student members of the committee.
Trustee Investment Committee - This committee determines the investment strategy as well as specific investment purchases for the endowment of the College. There is one appointed student representative to this committee.
Trustee Student Life Committee - This committee meets prior to each Board of Trustees meeting. Students meet with trustees to discuss student concerns and life at Pitzer. There are three appointed student representatives to this committee.
C. Class Representatives: One member from each student class (First, Second, Third and Fourth Year students) elected by the members of that class.
D. Hall Representatives: One member from each hall elected by the respective Hall Councils.
E. Off-Campus Representative: One offcampus/ New Resources representative elected by students who live offcampus.
F. Dean of Students: The Dean of Students or her/his designee sits on Student Senate.
G. Faculty Representatives: Two faculty members selected each year by the Faculty Executive Committee on the recommendation of the Dean of Faculty to serve one year terms as voting members of the Student Senate.
H. PACE Representative: One PACE representative serves on Senate.
Standing committees are concerned with the initiation, regulation and oversight of the following functions of the College: educational policy and curriculum, academic standards, research and development, admission and financial aid, budget, and quality of student life.
Standing committees include faculty, students and staff. Ad hoc committees on the other hand are based on special concerns and issues in the Pitzer community.
Appointment of additional students to the standing committees is made by the President on the advice of Student Senate. The Judicial Council is the only exception to this rule in that all student members of Judicial Council are elected by the student body. Each of the individual standing committees, along with Senate, is responsible for making recommendations to College Council.
Election and Appointment Procedures
To become a member of Pitzer or intercollegiate committees, students can either be appointed or elected (refer to committee and executive descriptions above). Traditionally, elections and appointments are held towards the end of the spring semester for the following year’s committees. Elections are held in the fall for a First-Year representative and any unfilled elected positions. Elections are also held at the beginning of the spring semester for unfilled positions.
Elections are conducted by Senate members. Senate determines when, where and for how long the polls are open. However, the Senate Constitution mandates that polls be open five hours a day for a minimum of two days. Only students registered at Pitzer College may vote in student elections.
Elected student members of the committees listed above automatically become members of Student Senate and College Council. Appointed members also are voting members of Student Senate, as well as their committees, and often can vote on College Council.
When a petition signed by one-fifth of all full-time Pitzer College students requests a recall of an elected student, the Senate Chair must call an open meeting to which all students are invited for the purpose of a discussed recall. A recall vote shall require (1) that at least one-half of the eligible voters cast votes, and (2) that two-thirds of those voting favor recall. A successful vote for recall shall become effective upon the approval of the President.