RHA Constitution

The University of Puget Sound


Updated December 1, 2015


We, the residents of the University of Puget Sound residence halls and houses, hereby establish this Constitution of the University of Puget Sound Resident Student Association, which is dedicated to the promotion of a strong liberal arts education where all experiences – including the residential component – are integrated to maximize learning and personal development. The Resident Student Association is classified as a non-profit 501(c)-3 organization.


Section 1 -- Name:

The name of this organization shall be the Resident Student Association, herein referred to as the RSA.

Section 2 – Mission Statement:

The RSA is dedicated to improving the quality of life on campus by serving as the advocate and voice for students living in the University of Puget Sound residential communities. It shall be the mission of the RSA to work towards promoting greater campus unity through the encouragement of campus-sponsored events; to the open discussion of relevant issues; to the promotion of the University of Puget Sound’s core values of self-expression, collegiality, courage, passion, diversity, leadership, stewardship, and the environment; to the stimulation of interest in and responsibility for self-governance; and to be the means by which the resident student population affiliates itself with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, Inc. This mission will be fulfilled in part through the continued partnership of the Resident Student Association with campus resources in the pursuit of furthering advocacy, sustainability, and leadership.

Section 3 -- Membership:

All officially registered resident students of the University of Puget Sound are automatically given membership in the RSA General Council.

Section 4 -- Separation of Powers:

The RSA shall consist of two voting divisions:

a) 6 Residence Hall Associations (hereafter referred to as the RHAs) including Anderson/Langdon Hall; Regester Hall & Seward Hall; Schiff Hall & Harrington Hall; Todd/Phibbs Hall; Oppenheimer Hall & Smith Hall; and Trimble Hall.

b) The RSA Executive Board (no voting power but veto power).

Section 5 -- Rules of Order:

The rules of order as established in Robert’s Rules of Order: Newly Revised Edition will govern the RSA in all cases in which they are applicable and where they are not in conflict with any portion of this constitution or any rules, bylaws, or procedures that the RSA may adopt.

Section 6 -- Term on Council:

The term of office for all the RSA members shall be one (1) academic year. There shall be no limit to the amount of times a RSA member may be re-elected. A one-year commitment is expected of each member unless extenuating circumstances arise.


Section 1 -- Membership:

a) The members of the Executive Board shall be the President, National Communications Coordinator, Director of Business Services, Director of Administration and Recognition, and Director of  Publicity. Each member shall have one vote in the Executive Board. No RSA Executive Board member may hold a position in an RHA, or hold two RSA positions.

b) All Board members must be full-time students of the University, and reside in University of Puget Sound owned housing. All candidates must be in good academic and disciplinary standing as determined by the RSA staff advisor(s).

Section 2 -- Purpose:

The Executive Board shall be a steering board for all RHA bodies, program events for the campus community with the help of RHAs, establish the General Council, create agendas for weekly General Council meetings, oversee legislation passed by the General Council, and make emergency decisions when it is impossible to convene the General Council.

Section 3 -- Meetings:

The Executive Board shall meet weekly. No decision shall be brought to a vote unless at least four (4) members are present.

Section 4 -- Responsibilities of Officers:

a) President: The President shall preside over all the General Council meetings, construct committees and appoint their Chairs, act as the spokesperson for the RSA, and be the voting member of the RSA Executive Board. The President may sit on any committees that will affect the RSA constituency, which may include meetings with the President of the Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound, the Residence Life Professional staff, and the Dean’s Council. The President also is responsible for checking and responding to emails sent to the RSA email account, rsa@pugetsound.edu.

b) National Communications Coordinator (NCC): The NCC shall reserve the right to call RHA (Residence Hall Association) programmer meetings and shall advise all RHA programmers to ensure the implementation of campus programs. The NCC shall assume the duties of President in the absence of the President at General Council and Executive meetings each week. The NCC shall be responsible for administrating participation in and attendance at all conferences deemed prudent by the Executive Board. The NCC will serve as the liaison between Regional and National Hall organizations. In addition, the NCC will help with the planning and implementation of programs and events throughout the year. The NCC will keep the Executive Board informed and aware of conference information and materials, including award bids.

c) Director of Administration and Recognition (DAR): The DAR shall keep an accurate record of the General Council and Executive Board Meetings, keep a running record of all the RSA activities, distribute minutes, oversee the residence hall Potty Press newsletter, and write thank you notes. The DAR shall take attendance at all General Council meetings. The DAR shall preside over all National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) meetings, head all committees responsible for selecting NRHH members, and serve as the liaison between the National and Regional NRHH boards. The DAR shall attend all conferences deemed prudent by the Executive Board. The DAR shall be responsible for coordinating a monthly Of the Month (OTM) committee. The DAR shall be responsible for facilitating RSA participation in the end of the year awards ceremony.

d) Director of Business Services (DBS): The Director of Business Services shall keep an accurate record of all the RSA finances, monitor individual residence hall finances, act as a liaison between the RSA and external business services, provide financial instruction to the Executive Board, prepare a budget at the beginning of each year, make a treasury report to the General Council every week, and process all disbursement and deposit requests relating to the RSA account. The DBS shall advise and assist in the training of all RHA treasurers.

e) Director of Publicity: The Director of Publicity works closely with the President to generate and manage a positive public image of RSA through the use of social media and university-operated resources. The DP shall work with the RHA Publicists to ensure positive media coverage for their respective RHAs and make them visible to the residential community. The DP shall also be responsible for continually maintaining a positive online image of RSA on social networks and marketing RSA coordinated events, and may work with the advisor to keep the RSA webpage updated.

Section 5 -- Duties Shared By All Executive Leadership Officers:

In addition to the Section 4 descriptions of Executive Board Officer duties, all officers shall be responsible for the following:

a) Early arrival in the fall on the date designated by Residence Life staff to assist in preparation for the academic year.

b) Coordinate timely and efficient opening and elections. This responsibility includes successful implementation of an RHA in each resident community no later than September 15. Upon implementation of the RHA, the Executive Board shall assist with the operation of the RHA and shall serve as a liaison to the Residence Hall Associations by maintaining contact with the RHAs at least once per month, in addition to General Council meetings.

c) The RSA officers for the following academic year will be selected in the spring and shall take office following the Executive Board’s official transition.

d) If all positions are not filled during spring selection, it is the duty of the elected officers, at the discretion of the President, to see that unassigned duties are completed until the vacant position(s) can be filled as specified by Section 6.

 Section 6 -- Vacancy:

In the event of a vacancy in any of the 6 RHAs, that RHA will nominate a candidate to the Executive Board and vote on that candidate within that respective committee.  

Section 7 - Executive Veto:

The RSA Executive Board has the right to reverse any decision made by the General Council only if there is an objection made by any of the RSA officers. If an RSA General Council decision is questioned there must be immediate discussion and an immediate vote taken by the RSA Executive Board. An Executive Session must be moved by the member of the Executive Board that objects to the decision of the General Council. All Executive Board members must unanimously agree to overturn a General Council decision, thus invoking an Executive Veto.


Section 1 -- Purpose:

The General Council represents resident concerns and creates community programs in order to collaborate and expand upon residential programming.

Section 2 -- Frequency:

The General Council shall meet weekly when the halls and houses are open. The General Council may meet in special session when requested by any RSA member or four (4) representatives. The General Council may also be called upon to meet in order to carry out duties or leadership tasks as designated by the RSA.

Section 3 -- Voting Membership:

Each RHA shall have one (1) vote per twenty-five (25) residents residing in that community. RHAs can choose to vote in a block or split the number of votes in a proportion representative of their residents’ wishes. Population changes and votes may be recalculated as needed at the beginning of each semester. In order for each community’s vote(s) to be valid, two people from that RHA must be present to vote on behalf of the community ze represents. The RSA Chair shall only vote in the event of a tie, no other RSA officer has voting privileges. Voting will only occur at the executive board’s discretion. Voting shall take place by voting placard unless a motion is made and a secret ballot is requested. A majority (defined in Section 3b) is required to pass legislation. Results are to be posted in the minutes.

Section 3b -- Voting Procedure:

At the request of two (2) General Council members, a roll call vote or ballot vote shall be taken with the results published in the minutes. Motions requiring a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote include funding requests and constitutional amendments. All other main motions will be passed with a simple majority (51%) of members in attendance with voting rights, not to include abstentions.

Section 4 -- Attendance:

The President and Programmer for each RHA shall be present at all General Council meetings. If either the President or Programmer is unable to attend, said member must notify the RSA secretary and their fellow RHA members and their RHA Advisor(s) before the General Council meeting. Ze must also send a proxy from their RHA. If no proxy is sent, it will count as an absence. Being absent for two (2) consecutive meetings will result in a formal conversation with the RSA Executive Board. All other members of each RHA are welcome to attend General Council meetings if they so choose.


Section 1 -- Powers:

The RSA Executive Board shall preside over all RHA bodies.

Section 2 -- Officers:

a) The following positions shall constitute each residence hall’s RHA: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Programmer, and  Publicist. Schiff Hall may also have an Outdoor Programmer.

b) Each hall RHA shall be co-advised by the RPA and Resident Director of their hall.

c) Additional positions may be created if deemed necessary and approved by the RSA.

Section 3 -- Responsibilities of Officers:  

Each position is not limited to listed duties and RHA is a representative body in which all positions are equal and unified in a common goal.

a) President: The RHA President shall attend all General Council meetings. Ze shall act as a liaison between residents in their hall and all other University agencies. Ze shall chair all RHA in-hall meetings, or designate another chair.

b) Programmer: The RHA Programmer is required to attend all RHA meetings. Ze is also in charge of maintaining connections with other community programmers to provide a relationship for inter-hall programs and must keep track of the programs put on by the RHA throughout the academic year.

c) Secretary: The RHA Secretary shall keep minutes of each RHA meeting. Ze shall keep an account of all legislation passed by the RHA. Ze shall keep archives and evaluations of all RHA programs. Ze shall oversee the publication of the hall Potty Press that should be published no less than once a month.

d) Treasurer: The RHA Treasurer shall keep an account of all hall funds collected from resident fees. Ze shall keep a record of all expenditures and forward the account to the RSA Treasurer. Ze is also in charge of reimbursements and must be present at all in-hall meetings.

e): Publicist:  The RHA Publicist shall promote their RHA’s public image and events through use of social media and university-operated resources. The Publicist will be responsible for the promotion of RHA and RSA funded, created and related events. The Publicist must be present at all hall meetings.


Section 1 -- Time Line:

a) The RSA Executive Board will be selected by elections in the spring preceding their term. The selection process must be finished by September 7. They are subject to removal as stated in Section 3 of this article.

b) All RHA Officers will be elected before September 15. The election schedule will be determined by the RSA.

Section 2 -- Vote Required for RSA Officers:

If all Executive positions are not filled in the spring selection process, an application and interview are required for all candidates.  A majority vote of the existing Executive Board shall be required in the election of new officers.  If a majority vote is not reached on the first ballot, the top two (2) candidates shall be involved in a run-off election.

Section 3 -- Dismissal and Impeachment:

Grounds for dismissal or impeachment must deal directly with the failure of an association member to perform their duties necessary to the proper function of zir office, or failure to fulfill the requirements of zir position as stated in this constitution. Any officer or officer-elect, from the RSA Executive Board or individual hall RHA may be recalled by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of their respective council. Grievances should be brought to the RSA and a grievance board shall immediately be established consisting of a member from each council.


Section 1 -- Definition:

a) A professional staff advisor shall be appointed by the University of Puget Sound to advise the RSA.

b) Each RHA shall be advised by their Resident Director (hereafter referred to as the RD) and Resident Programming Assistant (hereafter referred to as the RPA).

c) The RSA Executive Board shall be advised by a member of the Residence Life professional staff.

Section 2 -- Responsibilities:

a) The RSA Advisor(s) shall be a liaison between Residence Life, the Dean of Students office, and RSA. The advisor(s) shall offer advice on matters presented to or within the Board.

b) The RSA Advisor shall assist the Executive Board in focusing their established goals and aid in the improvement of the RSA and residential student population

c) The RPA shall attend all General Council and RHA meetings.

Section 3 -- Voting:

The Advisor(s) shall not have a vote in the decisions of the RHA, RSA General Council, or the RSA Executive Board.



Section 1 -- Source of Funds:

Funds shall come from: Residential Programs, Resident Activity fees, and other revenue generating projects.

Section 2 -- Allocation of Funds:

a) The General Council shall vote for the allocation of funds from the RSA treasury as deemed necessary.

b) The Executive Board may allocate funds in emergency situations. Emergency situations shall be defined by the acting RSA, with the advice of the RSA staff advisor(s).

Section 3 – Requesting Funds:

To request funding for an event, a funding proposal must be submitted to the RSA mailbox in the Residence Life office or online two (2) weeks in advance in order to be discussed in the Thursday's General Body meetings.

 Section 4 -- Approval of Funds:

a) Requests for RSA funds may be approved at the first General Council meeting at which they appear on the agenda by a majority vote of the members present.

b) RSA and the General Council reserve the right to approve or deny all or part of a funding proposal or table the discussion until the next meeting. Funding proposals may be submitted by RHAs, Residence Life staff, and University clubs and organizations planning programs that will benefit the students living on campus. A two-thirds (2/3) vote is required for any funding proposal.


Section 1 -- Proposing an Amendment:

An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed: by a petition signed by ten (10) residence hall students; which can include RSA Executive Members and current RHA members.  A petition must be submitted in writing.

Section 2 -- Procedure:

An amendment shall be voted on no sooner than one week following its introduction to the General Body. The amendment requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting General Council. If it passes in the General Council, it is moved on to the RSA where it must pass without the executive veto.

Section 3 -- Suspension by the RSA of the Constitutional Rules:

Sections of this Constitution may be suspended by two-thirds (2/3) of the voting RSA members present for the duration of one (1) month. At that time, the suspended portion must be reinstated or amended.


This Constitution may be voted on no sooner than one week after its publication to the community governments by the representatives and programmers.


Section 1 – Transition:

After spring RSA selection, the outgoing RSA will transition the incoming RSA. The new RSA will also attend a retreat with their staff advisor(s). The transition needs to be completed no later than the 15th of May.

Section 2 -- Approval of Funds for RSA in Transition:

a) Requests for RSA funds may be approved at the first General Council meeting at which they appear on the agenda by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present.

b) The voting members of the General Council reserve the right to approve or deny all or part of a funding proposal or table the discussion until the next meeting.