FAQ

This FAQ page serves to answer the most commonly asked questions concerning Student Government, its functions, its procedures, and its purpose. If there is a question that you have and think would be helpful to appear on this page, please email studegov@nd.edu and we will post it as soon as possible.

General
Senate
Executive Cabinet
Student Union Board (SUB)
Hall Presidents Council (HPC)
Club Coordination Council (CCC)
Class Councils
Off-Campus Council
Judicial Council
Financial Management Board (FMB)
Executive Programming Board

General

What are the different branches of the Student Union?

The Student Union has 10 branches/organizations that cooperatively interact with one another to enhance the student experience. These are:

  • Senate
  • Executive Cabinet
  • Student Union Board
  • Hall Presidents Council
  • Club Coordination Council
  • Class Councils
  • Off-Campus Council
  • Judicial Council
  • Financial Management Board
  • Executive Programming Board

What is an enumerated position?

An enumerated position is one that is created by the Constitution, which also specifies duties, powers, and responsibilities of the office. Some examples include Student Body President, the Hall Presidents Council Co-Chairs, and the Student Union Treasurer. Some examples of non-enumerated positions are Executive Cabinet department members, Judicial Council peer advocates, and Class Council members.

Can I hold more than one position in the Student Union?

You cannot hold more than one position that is enumerated by the Constitution; however, you can sit on any departments or committees as a member unless explicitly stated otherwise in the Constitution. For instance, a Senator or Hall President can sit on an Executive Cabinet department. 

What are the defining characteristics of each branch?

The Student Union is a cohesive unit that has three general characteristics: policy, programming, and administrative.

  • Senate and Executive Cabinet are policy-based organizations aimed at enacting change within the University and greater South Bend area.
  • Student Union Board, Hall Presidents Council, Class Councils, and Off-Campus Council are programming-based organizations designed to foster community at Notre Dame through events, fundraisers, and the like.
  • Club Coordination Council, Judicial Council, Financial Management Board, and Executive Programming Board are administrative-based organizations established for the purpose of ensuring the efficient, effective, and lawful operation of the Student Union and all undergraduate clubs.

I want to be involved in the Student Union. Am I required to have any prior experience?

Of course not! The Student Union is meant to be an avenue through which students can enact change, bring people together, and create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere that Notre Dame preaches. Students of all backgrounds, experiences, and ideologies are encouraged to participate!

 


Senate

The Student Senate is the legislative body of the Student Union whereby representatives from each dorm come together to discuss issues regarding student life, communicate with Division of Student Affairs, draft documents as a call to action for the university, and formulate rules and regulations concerning the structure and operation of the Student Union.

What are the duties of a Senator?

In general, a Senator acts as the representative voice for his or her dorm members; thus, the entire Student Senate represents the opinion of the student body on topics concerning student life. For a more explicit list of responsibilities, see Article III of the Constitution for duties regarding resolutions, orders, letters, fiscal policy, nominations, election regulations, and other matters.

What is the time commitment for a Senator?

Senators are required to attend Student Senate meetings, their respective Hall Council meetings, and at least one Executive Cabinet department meeting on a weekly basis. Senators do have the option to sit on more departments or committees and are encouraged to do so.

I want to run for Senator from my dorm. Who do I contact about getting my name on the ballot?

Each dorm has a Hall Election Coordinator that is responsible for all election matters within the dorm. This includes distributing election information, monitoring voting sites, and administering awareness of election rules. Click the link to find your Hall Election Coordinator.

What is the spending limit on campaign materials for a Senator?

The campaign limit is set at $50.00 for a Hall Senator. If tickets are formed amongst any other candidates for dorm positions, the spending limit shall apply to the entire ticket and not to the individuals who make up the ticket. See Section 17.3 of the Constitution for all Hall Election information.

When does Senate meet?

Senate meets every Wednesday at 6:30. Meetings usually run between an hour to an hour and a half.

Who can go to Senate meetings?

All Senate meetings are opened to the public except when specifically closed by the Senate. Allegations that come before the Senate also warrant closed meetings.

 


Executive Cabinet

The Executive Cabinet and its constituent members advance the agenda of the Student Body President and Vice-President through the Senate in an effort to protect the interests of students in all areas of university life, provide services to the undergraduate student body, and advance the policy priorities of the Student Union.

What is the composition of the Executive Cabinet?

The Executive Cabinet is made up of six standing members and fourteen departments, each led by a director (with the exception of the Department of Communications, FUEL, and the Department of Student Life, all of which have two co-directors). The standing members are:

  • Student Body President
  • Student Body Vice-President
  • Chief of Staff
  • Student Union Secretary
  • Parliamentarian
  • Executive Controller

The Executive Cabinet departments are:

  • Academic Affairs
  • Athletics
  • Campus Technology
  • Communications
  • Community Engagement and Outreach
  • Constitutional Procedure
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Faith and Service
  • FUEL
  • Gender Relations
  • Health and Wellness
  • Social Concerns
  • Student Life
  • University Policy

How do I apply to be an Executive Cabinet director or standing member?

With the exception of the Parliamentarian, who is appointed by the Judicial Council President, all Executive Cabinet directors and standing members are appointed by the Student Body President (who is elected along with the Vice-President by the entire student body). Thus, the Student Body President determines the method of selection/interview process. This usually occurs in March after the election of the Student Body President. All nominations must be approved by the Senate by a 2/3 vote before April 1st.

What is the time commitment for an Executive Cabinet director or standing member?

Executive Cabinet directors and standing members each have their own explicit duties and required meetings. In general, a director hosts a weekly meeting and sits on two committees that meet on a bi-weekly basis. See Article II of the Constitution for the mandatory meetings of the Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Executive Controller.

What is the time commitment for a department member?

Department members are required to attend the weekly meeting established by the department director. However, students looking to get involved in Executive Cabinet departments are encouraged to join more than one.

Who do I contact to get involved in an Executive Cabinet department?

Department directors usually send out applications in April for department membership. However, for First Years, transfer students, or any students that may have missed the deadline, simply email the director of the department you are interested in and he or she will be more than willing to meet to discuss how you can be of help.

 


Student Union Board

Student Union Board (SUB) enhances the undergraduate student life by providing undergraduate student services and social, intellectual, and cultural opportunities that respond to the needs and wants of the undergraduate student body in the most efficient manner available.

What is the time commitment for a SUB Director?

SUB Directors have weekly SUB meetings, weekly Executive Board meetings, and weekly one-on-ones with the SAO advisor. Each director also hosts and attends supplementary meetings according to their position.

What is the time commitment for a SUB committee member?

A SUB committee member attends weekly SUB meetings and committee meetings set up by their lead programmer. Events throughout the year will require extra work outside of meetings.

What is the time commitment for a dorm SUB representative?

Dorm SUB representatives have all the meetings of a SUB committee member in addition to weekly Hall Council meetings.

What are the responsibilities of a dorm SUB representative?

SUB dorm representatives are the primary marketing tactic for disseminating information about upcoming events to the dorms through posters and word of mouth.

I want to run for SUB representative from my dorm. Who do I contact about getting my name on the ballot?

Each dorm has a Hall Election Coordinator that is responsible for all election matters within the dorm. This includes distributing election information, monitoring voting sites, and administering awareness of election rules. Click the link to find your Hall Election Coordinator.

What is the spending limit on campaign materials for a SUB representative?

The campaign limit is set at $50.00 for a SUB representative. If tickets are formed amongst any other candidates for dorm positions, the spending limit shall apply to the entire ticket and not to the individuals who make up the ticket. See Section 17.3 of the Constitution for all Hall Election information.

What types of leadership positions are there in SUB?

Each of the nine committees requires a lead programmer who runs committee meetings and works with one of three Directors of Programming to plan events. Additionally, there is a Director of Operations, Director of Publicity, Director of Art, Director of Art, and the Executive Director.

What is the application process for a SUB directorship?

Applications are released at the beginning of the Spring semester. The Executive Board conducts interviews following the due date for the applications.

What types of events does SUB sponsor?

SUB is divided into nine committees:

  • Antostal
  • Acousticafe
  • Collegiate Jazz Festival
  • Concerts
  • Festivities
  • Ideas and Issues
  • Movies
  • Service
  • Special Events

Each committee plans events accordingly, such as speakers, animal shows, and free food. Visit the SUB website for more information.

 


Hall Presidents Council

The Hall Presidents Council (HPC) serves as an information disseminating body, provides a forum for members to discuss common matters of residentiality, and coordinates programming among the undergraduate residence halls. HPC promotes the wellbeing of the undergraduate student body by working for the betterment of undergraduate residential life.

What is the time commitment for a Hall President/Vice-President?

Hall Presidents and Vice-Presidents (typically) attend the weekly Hall Presidents Council meeting and host their respective Hall Council meetings in the dorm. Also, Presidents and Vice-Presidents meet with the hall governments of other dorms to plan events like Brother-Sister dorm activities.

What are the requirements to be a Hall President/Vice-President?

Hall Presidents must reside in the dorm for the entirety of their term. Each hall may have up to two Vice-Presidents, in which case each Vice-President must reside in the dorm during the semester when he or she is serving. This is typical amongst tickets in which students wish to study abroad.

Who are the HPC Co-Chairs?

The HPC Co-Chairs are chosen from amongst the ranks of the outgoing Hall Presidents to serve as the chairpersons for the next year. In addition to chairing HPC meetings, the Co-Chairs attend weekly Senate meetings and Campus Life Council meetings.

What is Hall Council and how is it coordinated with the rectors?

Hall Council is each dorm's governmental meetings. The Hall President and Vice-President lead the meeting at which the Hall Senator and any dorm commissioners are required to be present. Typically Hall Council follows shortly after the weekly Hall Presidents Council meeting, but it is up to the Hall President and the rector as to when and where Hall Council takes place. All members of the dorm community are encouraged to attend.

How does HPC decide Hall of the Year?

The leadership of HPC, in addition to Senators, Judicial Council, and Executive Cabinet, sit on the review board that hears presentations from each dorm, led by the Hall President. 55% of a hall's score is determined by the presentation and 45% of a hall's score is determined by its Rockne score. See Section 8.4 of the Constitution for more details and the HPC website for past results.

 


Club Coordination Council

The Club Coordination Council (CCC) disseminates information concerning undergraduate club issues and activities, recommends funding allocations for all undergraduate clubs, serves as a representative of all undergraduate clubs, and coordinates cohesive club programming.

How is CCC organized?

Club Coordination Council is composed of an executive board and six divisions:

  • Athletics
  • Academics
  • Social Service
  • Cultural
  • Special Interest
  • Performing Arts

What types of positions are there in CCC?

There are three executive board members: president, vice-president, and controller. Each division has four division representatives elected by their clubs. The division representatives choose a division chair from amongst their ranks.

What is the application process for CCC?

CCC members are elected representatives of their clubs and serve to represent the division as a whole; therefore, they must be official members of clubs within the division they are representing. Nominations for positions are solicited the Spring Club Information Meeting, and members are voted in at the budget meeting later that semester. Potential members who are interested in joining the CCC outside of this timeframe can also contact the division chair who will decide if there is a need and will proceed to a vote of the CCC if so.

What is the time commitment for CCC?

CCC members have weekly meetings that last anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours depending on the season. Members also host weekly hour-long office hours to assist their clubs.

How does CCC determine the amount of funds each club receives?

Clubs apply for an allocation by submitting a budget detailing their spending from the past year as well as the expected spending for the coming year. Upon approval from their advisors, club officers meet with division representatives who then present the club's budget to the entire CCC at Spring Allocation. It is at Spring Allocation that the final monetary allotments are decided.

I have an idea for a new club. Where do I start?

Visit the Student Activities Office website for specific details on documents that need to be submitted in order to start a new club. Additionally, clubs are advised to meet with their potential division representatives to discuss their plans for beginning the club prior to submission. New clubs can apply at the beginning of each semester.

 


Class Councils

The Class Councils promote the wellbeing of their respective classes by sponsoring functions that promote unity among class members.

How are each of the classes represented?

Each class is represented by four class officers, namely the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Class Council officers choose members at their own discretion. Freshman Class Council is composed of one representative from each dorm.

How do I run for a Class Council officer position?

Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Class Council officers must run on a single ticket with their positions designated on the ballot. Each ticket requires 200 signatures in order to be on the ballot. The Freshman Class Council chooses officers from amongst their ranks once elected.

What is the spending limit for a Class Council ticket?

Each ticket is limited to a $75.00 campaign limit.

How do I apply to be on Class Council?

The elected officers, who take office on May 1st, set their own rules for selection and usually send out applications in April.

 


Off-Campus Council

The Off-Campus Council shall promote the wellbeing of off-campus students by sponsoring functions and disseminating information to off-campus students.

What are the general responsibilities of the Off-Campus Council?

The Off-Campus Council represents the voice of the undergraduate students who reside off-campus, providing input as to the needs of those students with issues different from those residing in the dorms. This includes the dispersion of information and sponsorship of events targeted at enhancing the student experience off-campus.

What enumerated positions are on the Off-Campus Council?

The Off-Campus Council is composed of, at the very least, the Off-campus President, the Off-Campus Vice-President, the Off-Campus Senator, and six Off-campus Ambassadors, chosen by the president so as to represent the greatest number of residential areas. The Off-Campus President may appoint more Ambassadors or select any other members at his or her own discretion.

Who can run for Off-campus President, Vice-President, or Senator?

Any student who is residing off-campus for the coming academic year may run for one of these positions.

Who can vote for Off-Campus President, Vice-President, or Senator?

Any student who is residing off-campus at the beginning of the next academic semester or who is currently living off-campus may vote for Off-Campus President, Vice-President, or Senator.

Who do I contact if I want to run for Off-Campus President, Vice-President, or Senator?

Contact the Judicial Council Vice President of Elections for information regarding off-campus elections.

 


Judicial Council

The Judicial Council works to ensure that the Student Union operates ethically and within this Constitution, overseeing all elections and allegations associated with such. Judicial Council also provides peer advocacy resources to students during the University Conduct Process.

How is Judicial Council organized?

Judicial Council has three major subgroups: elections, peer advocacy, and the Student Union Ethics Commission.

  • All election matters, such as hall elections, Student Body Presidential debates, and election allegations, go through the Election Committee headed by the Vice-President of Elections.
  • The Vice-president of Peer Advocacy selects peer advocates who assist students during the University Conduct Process.
  • The Student Union Ethics Commission conducts hearings according to the Student Union Constitution and all bylaws and is chaired by the Judicial Council President, who oversees both elections and peer advocacy in addition to representing the Judicial Council on the Student Senate as the chief judicial officer.

How do I apply to be a peer advocate or Vice-President?

Peer advocates are selected in the first weeks of September. Vice-Presidents are selected after April 1st. Both positions involve an application along with an interview process determined by the Judicial Council President.

What is the Election Committee?

The Election Committee is a panel of seven undergraduate students in addition to the Parliamentarian, Judicial Council President, and the Vice-President of Elections that reviews allegations of election misconduct.

How are members of the Election Committee selected?

The Judicial Council President and Vice-President of Elections send out applications to all undergraduate students before petitions for Freshman Class Council are distributed. The two then hold interviews and select seven students to serve on the committee. These students may not hold any other enumerated positions in the Student Union or campaign for office while on the committee.

How often does the Election Committee meet?

The Election Committee must meet within 24 hours of submission of an allegation. The Vice-President of Elections presents the allegation and then the Election Committee hears testimony from both the accusing party and the accused party. Following this, the Election Committee shall make a ruling and deliver appropriate sanctions if necessary. See Subsection 13.2.c, Section 13.5, and Article XVII of the Constitution for more information.

What is the purpose of the Student Union Ethics Commission?

The Student Union Ethics commission conducts hearing according to the Constitution, its bylaws, and guidelines adopted by the Senate and the other Student Union organizations and makes recommendations to the Senate or appropriate University offices in the event of misuse of undergraduate student organization funds or misconduct of undergraduate student organizations and their members, or behavior deemed unethical by the Student Union Ethics Commission.

 


Financial Management Board

The Financial Management Board (FMB) is responsible for the creation and maintenance of a budget for the Student union. FMB conducts an annual hearing to ensure the fair allocation of undergraduate student funds in addition to upholding the fiscal policy of the Constitution.

What is the composition of the Financial Management Board?

FMB is chaired by the Student Union treasurer and is made up of the controllers/treasurers from Executive Cabinet, SUB, HPC, CCC, and the four Class Councils. The Off-Campus President and Judicial Council President represent their organizations on the FMB.

How is the Student Union Treasurer selected?

The outgoing Student Union Treasurer nominates one of the current assistants to assume the role of Student Union Treasurer for the coming term. Once approved, the new Treasurer appoints to assistants to his/her position.

How often does the FMB meet?

The FMB meets at least once every two weeks during the regular academic year. In addition to discussion the maintenance of the budget, the FMB hears appeals for additional funding during this time.

How does the FMB determine the budget?

The budget for the Student Union is determined at the Annual Allocation Hearing. The FMB representative from each organization prepares a budget and meets with the Student Union Treasurer to discuss their organization's monetary needs. These proposals are then presented at the Annual Allocation Hearing. Once the allocations are agreed upon by its members, the budget is proposed to the Senate Committee on the Budget, which either approves or rejects these allocations.

 


Executive Programming Board

The Executive Programming Board facilitates the coordination, communication, and calendar setting of all Student Union groups whose primary responsibility is to serve the programming needs of the student body.

What is the purpose of the Executive Programming Board?

The Executive Programming Board was created to prevent the overlap of events sponsored by different branches of the Student Union. This ensures that events are not competing for attendance and that they remain relevant and not redundant.

What is the composition of the Executive Programming Board?

The Executive Programming Board is chaired by the Chief of Staff and is made up of the vice-presidents from CCC, Off-Campus Council, and the four Class Councils. The Executive Cabinet Director of Communications, SUB Director of Programming, and HPC Co-Chair represent their organizations on the Executive Programming Board.

How often does the Executive Programming Board meet?

The Executive Programming Board meets at least three times annually to discuss procedures of calendar setting. Most of the work done by the Executive Programming Board is completed by its members on a regular basis when new events are established.

 

 

Disclaimer: Due to the constant updates being made to the Student Union Constitution and its bylaws, the information presented may not be up-to-date. When there is a contradiction between this FAQ page and the Student Union Constitution, the Constitution shall take precedence. All candidates and applicants are responsible for following the information contained in the most recently updated version of the Constitution.