Organizational Charter of Student Government

Statement of Purpose

We, the Medical Students of West Virginia University School of Medicine, in order to maintain responsibility and clearly delineate the duties of student representation; promote academic excellence; provide for standardized elections and transitions between successive classes and student governments; and foster effective communication between students of the four classes, and between students and the administration do hereby establish this Organizational Charter.

Article One: Definitions and Authority

Section 1. Definitions

  1. The Student Body is defined as all persons registered and enrolled in the West Virginia University Doctor of Medicine degree program not currently on an approved Leave of Absence.
  2. Class Officers are duly elected or appointed representatives of their respective Class officers are identified by either of the two following categories:
    1. Executive Officers, which shall only include each class’ Class President; Vice President; Treasurer; Secretary; and Academic Council Chair.
    2. Non-executive Officers, which shall include all other officers (elected and appointed) not explicitly stated in Article 1, Section B, part 1, above.
  3. The Administration is the collective administration of the Doctor of Medicine degree program.

Section 2. Authority, Subordination, and Supremacy

  1. Authority.
    The Student Body endorses and Grants to the Class Officers all powers and authority as enumerated in this document.
  2. Subordination.
    This document shall be subordinate to the Constitution of the United States of America and all laws of the same, the Constitution of the State of West Virginia and all laws of the same, all local laws and regulations, all policies and regulations duly enacted by West Virginia University, and all policies and regulations of the Administration.
  3. Supremacy.
    All policies, pronouncements, rulings, and powers assumed by the Class Officers shall be subordinate to this document.
  4. Interpretation.
    All sections of this document are subject to the interpretation of the Associate Dean for Student Services. Appeal of any interpretation shall be to the Dean of the School of Medicine or his/her designee, whose decision will be final.

Article 2: Elections and Class Officers

Section 1. Elections

  1. Each year, each class shall elect at least a class president, and as they deem necessary, other class officers as defined in this charter and listed in Section 2. Each campus’ MS3 & MS4 class will have a set of officers including those explicitly defined and implied in this document.

    The first year class shall hold elections no later than the end of the third week of the first term of classes.

    Elections for second and third year Class Officers shall be held no later than one month before the last scheduled day of classes for the academic year, at a time and place announced by the elections committee.

    Fourth year Class Officers shall be elected four weeks prior to the end of the third year academic calendar.

    Each class shall have an elections committee to administer their own elections, except the first year. First year elections shall be administered by the second year class officers, who will distribute this document and orally describe each position’s duties and responsibilities as enumerated in this document.

  2. All officers will assume their duties on the day following the last day of examinations in the term in which the election was held, except for the first year officers who shall assume their duties immediately upon election.
  3. Elections shall be by secret electronic ballot, to be available after candidate speeches or publication of platform.
  4. Electronic ballots shall be made available by Student Services. If warranted, run-off elections will be held through similar electronic means and held immediately following the initial election. Student Services shall provide support for this process. Each MS1 candidate shall be allowed maximum time of five minutes to give a platform speech. Years two, three, and four class elections will allow for either candidate speeches, as stipulated for the MS1 election, or written platforms. The method will be determined by the elections committee. Speeches or platforms will be arranged by the elections committee in a fashion that allows for optimal participation by all applicable students. General guidelines for written platforms include the release of composite photo with platform, all platforms must be submitted by a date determined by the elections committee, and all platforms will be released at one time through a single means also determined by the elections committee.
  5. The Class President, Vice President, and Treasurer must be elected by at least 50 percent of ballots cast. If no candidate receives 50percent of the votes cast, a run-off shall be held between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes. All other officers shall be elected by receiving the highest number of votes.
  6. Only one individual student may occupy one individual office at a time. Furthermore, a student may not run for more than one office at one time.

Section 2: The Officers

  1. Class President
    1. Qualifications for candidacy.
      The candidate for Class President must:
      1. be a member of the class.
      2. have maintained all grades and narrative evaluations in a satisfactory manner for the previous year (years 2-4). Students with Fail, or have Incomplete narrative evaluations will not be eligible to hold the Office of President. No student on probation, suspension or on an approved leave of absence at the time of the election will be eligible to be a candidate or hold this office.
      3. submit a written statement of intent to run to the Associate Dean for Student Services, who will review the student’s file and, if necessary, meet with the student to discuss any concern.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities.
      The Class President shall:
      1. maintain regular contact with the class presidents of the class immediately preceding and immediately following his/her own (if applicable), both for counsel and to foster interclass communication. This contact may be in whatever form agreeable to both parties (in person, telephone, email), but should occur on a regular basis
      2. maintain regular contact with Student Services to be updated on any class-specific issues or concerns, to receive any general information, and to maintain good communication between the class and Student Services.
      3. act as the class liaison with the Alumni Office.
      4. be the official representative of the class at all official functions. The Class President must speak on behalf of the class as necessary.
      5. attend, to the greatest extent possible, all class functions, school functions, and University functions to which the class or class officers are invited.
      6. appoint individuals from the class, as necessary, to assist with any duties of the office, or any special projects assigned by the administration or authorized by the class.
      7. assist other officers as needed.
      8. strive to maintain the decorum of the office, and act responsibly in all matters, even above what is expected of medical students in general. The President shall perform duties and act in a fair and unbiased manner.
      9. Senior Class Presidents will be required to speak at the graduation ceremonies
  2. Vice-President
    1. Qualifications. The Candidate for Vice-President must:
      1. be a member of the class.
      2. have maintained all grades and narrative evaluations in a satisfactory manner for the previous year (years 2-4). Students with Fail, or have Incomplete narrative evaluations will not be eligible to hold the Office of Vice-President. No student on probation, suspension or on an approved leave of absence at the time of the election will be eligible to be a candidate or hold this office.
      3. submit a written statement of intent to run to the Associate Dean for Student Services, who will review the student’s file and, if necessary, meet with the student to discuss any concern.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities.
      The Class Vice-President shall:
      1. act as President in case of absence or removal of the Class President.
      2. assist the Class President as directed.
  3. Treasurer
    1. Qualifications. The Candidate for Treasurer must be a member in good standing of the class and have maintained all grades and narrative evaluations in a satisfactory manner for the previous year (years 2-4). Students with Fail, or have Incomplete narrative evaluations will not be eligible to hold the Office of Treasurer. No student on probation, suspension or on an approved leave of absence at the time of the election will be eligible to be a candidate or hold this office. In addition, a letter of intent must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Services.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities: The Class Treasurer shall:
      1. have charge of the books, and monies of the class, but all checks will require the signature of at least one other class officer or authorized person in Student Services.
      2. execute and sign such instruments that require the authorization of the Class Treasurer, with the stipulation outlined above.
      3. collect dues from each class member.
      4. report to the Class and its Officers the financial status of the class at least twice per term.
      5. perform any other duties incident to the office of Treasurer.
  4. Secretary
    1. 1. Qualifications. The Candidate for Secretary must be a member in good standing of the class and have maintained all grades and narrative evaluations in a satisfactory manner for the previous year (years 2-4). Students with Fail, or have Incomplete narrative evaluations will not be eligible to hold the Office of Secretary. No student on probation, suspension or on an approved leave of absence at the time of the election will be eligible to be a candidate or hold this office. In addition, a letter of intent must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Services.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities: The Class Secretary shall:
      1. have charge of the records of the class, which may include, but are not limited to, the keeping of minutes for any class meetings and official communications to/from the class as a body with entities within the University and outside organizations.
      2. perform any other duties incident to the office of Secretary.
  5. Academic Council
    1. Qualifications. The Candidates for Academic Council must be class members in good academic and professional standing and have maintained all grades and narrative evaluations in a satisfactory manner for the previous year (years 2-4). Students with Fail, or have incomplete narrative evaluations will not be eligible to serve on the Academic Council. No student on probation, suspension or on an approved leave of absence at the time of the election will be eligible to be a candidate or hold this office.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities: The Academic Council members shall:
      1. meet as requested by Student Services with faculty course coordinators and Associate Deans to discuss matters of curriculum, content, and format.
      2. meet as needed with individual members of faculty to address matters specific to those faculty members.
      3. maintain contact with other council members to avoid duplication of effort.
      4. work with course coordinators (academic years) to schedule review sessions prior to each exam day, or as desired by the class.
    3. Academic Council Chair: Selection, Duties and Responsibilities. The Academic Council Chair shall:
      1. be selected after each annual election from among the members of the new committee by a majority vote. In the event of a tie, the class president most recently elected shall vote as the tiebreaker.
      2. act as spokesperson for the council.
      3. organize meetings of the entire class as an open forum to solicit issues.
      4. organize meetings of the council (prior to each official meeting in part 2a above) to discuss issues solicited from the class.
      5. report results of official meetings back to the class via e-mail or another constructive manner.
    4. Organization
    5. The Academic Council for each class shall not exceed six members. The Council shall divide and assign its members to specific courses or rotations.
  6. Community Service Committee
    1. Qualifications. The Community Service Committee must be composed of members of the class and should have a high degree of interest in public service.
    2. Duties. The Service Chair shall:
      1. Identify or find and organize service opportunities for class members<
      2. Communicate with service chairs of other classes to organize larger activities.
    3. There shall be one service chair per year.
    4. The chair shall be elected by the class. The chair, in conjunction with the president, shall then appoint up to three additional committee members from among those with a high level of interest.
  7. Wellness Committee
    1. Qualifications. The Wellness Committee must be composed of members of the class.
    2. Members of the wellness committee shall be responsible for organizing class events such as post-exam (block) parties, the annual formal (first years, in conjunction with the Student Services), and annual dinners. They will work within the budget supplied them by the Treasurer, or such additional monies as budgeted by Student Services.
    3. The chair shall be elected by the class. The chair, in conjunction with the president, shall then appoint up to three additional committee members from among those with a high level of interest.
  8. Other Offices
    1. Each class may identify and elect according to the provisions of this charter other positions as needed for the functioning of the class, which may include but not be limited to a webmaster, class historian, and/or alumni liaison.
  9. Letter of Intent
    1. The letter of intent to run mentioned in paragraphs A, B, C, and D of this section should state that the student intends to run for a student office. A student may only run for one officer position per election.

Article 3: Standing Committees

  1. Elections Committee
    1. Members. The elections committee shall be composed of student volunteers and at the discretion of the class President.
    2. Duties.
      1. The elections committee shall work with Student Services throughout the elections process. Unless deemed necessary under guidance from the Associate Dean (e.g., during cases of a runoff), each student may only vote once per class election.
      2. The elections committee shall make the electronic ballots available for 48 hours, one per class member, after candidate speeches or the public release of written platforms.
      3. The committee shall provide and monitor electronic voting mechanisms during the election.
      4. Each committee member shall review voting totals individually and independently.
      5. Electronic voting records must be maintained in Student Services for at least one week following each election, and made available to candidates for inspection after the election. If any candidate inspects the ballots, at least two committee members and an Associate Dean for Student Services must be present.
  2. Committee of the Whole
    1. There shall be one Committee of the Whole per each class consisting of all executive and non-executive officers. 
    2. Duties and Responsibilities. The Committee of the Whole shall:
      1. meet regularly, a minimum of once per semester or as directed by the Class President;
      2. decide on the amount of class dues;
      3. make recommendations about student issues, grievances, or other concerns to the Class President;

Article 4: Vacancy, Removal, and Succession

  1. Appointed Positions. Any person appointed to a position by the Class President may be removed from that position by the Class President or by petition of one third of the class members. Such removal only applies to positions created by the Class President for specific, temporary purposes.
  2. Elected Positions – Removal. Any officer may be removed by petition of one-half of the class members. Officers may also be removed by an Associate Dean for Student Services when a student receives a grade or narrative evaluation that is less than satisfactory, the student is placed on disciplinary probation, or violates the Honor Code.
    1. Any officer removed as outlined above may appeal the decision to the Dean or his/her designee.
    2. Any officer not being promoted with his or her class is automatically removed from office.
  3. Succession and Vacancy
    1. If the Office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall take that office.
    2. If the Office of the Vice-President becomes vacant, the class will elect a new candidate meeting all the criteria as soon as can be arranged by the Class President and student services.
    3. If any other elected office becomes vacant, it shall be filled by appointment by the Class President, and the appointed official shall enjoy the rights of a duly elected official for the remainder of the term of office. Candidates must meet all eligibility requirements.

Article 5: Effectiveness and Amendments

  1. This document shall become effective upon acceptance and ratification of a three-fourth majority of all currently serving Executive Class Officers casting a ballot, and approval by the Associate Dean for Student Services.
  2. Amendments may be proposed by petition signed by 10% of the student body, the Associate Dean for Student Services, or the Committee of Presidents - consisting of all currently serving Class Presidents. Amendments to this document require the approval of three-fourths of all Class Officers and approval by the Associate Dean for Student Services.
  3. The Executive Class Officers shall meet to review this charter at least once every two years, and make recommendations for amendments as necessary.

Adopted: May 4, 2000
Revised: April 8, 2003
Revisions Adopted: April 18, 2003
Revisions Adopted: July 22, 2015
Revisions adopted July 3, 2017