Get to Know SGA
The Executive Branch serves as the primary voice of the student body. Through fun events, student feedback and outreach, and student-led clubs and organizations, the Executive Branch seeks to elevate the Liberty experience and represent student concerns and desires to university administration.
The Student Body President and Vice-President serve as the heads of the Student Government Association. These leaders are elected by the entire student body and are responsible for casting and executing a comprehensive vision for student advocacy and feedback.
The Student Body President and Vice-President accomplish this vision by meeting with key Liberty administrators, delivering memos and speeches to SGA, and proactively listening and responding to student concerns.
The SGA Cabinet consists of the seven heads of the SGA departments and the Chief of Staff who is in charge of overseeing the Cabinet. The Cabinet has a part in the functioning of all aspects of SGA from legislation to clubs to the public face of SGA.
Each Cabinet department has a different role, but they all function as a team that advises the Student Body President and Vice President on the best courses of action for Liberty University and its Student Government Association.
The Cabinet, overseen by the Chief of Staff, runs seven Executive Departments with varying functions in SGA:
- Chief of Staff – oversees the Cabinet while ensuring the Student Body President and Vice President stay true to the vision of SGA
- Director of Internal Affairs – manages the relationship between the Executive and the Representative and Judicial Branches
- Treasurer – oversees the finances and budgets of SGA and all of its clubs
- Director of Clubs – manages the policies, procedures, events, and inquiries of all SGA clubs
- Director of Communications – manages all of SGA’s marketing and official communications with the Liberty student body
- Director of Events – plans, prepares, and executes fun, engaging, and informative events for the student body
- Director of Community Affairs – focuses on the health of Liberty student community through frequent outreach
- Director of Spiritual Affairs – encourages a positive spiritual culture within SGA and the student body
While the rules and procedures of the Student Body Presidential Election are decided through the legislative process, the Student Body President appoints an Election Commissioner, along with members of the Election Board, to manage all of the specifics and logistics of the Student Body Presidential and Vice Presidential elections in April. The Student Body President and Vice President, as part of the Election Committee with the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and Chief Justice, manage and administer the Hall and Commuter Representative Elections in the early fall.
Learn more about SGA Elections.
The Representative Branch provides opportunities for students to craft, debate, and pass legislation to improve campus infrastructure and university policies. The Senate is led by senators appointed by deans of each academic school, and the House of Representatives is comprised of representatives elected by residence halls and commuter students. These legislative bodies seek to represent their academic schools and student constituents by passing quality legislation that elevates the student experience.
The House of Representatives is composed of Hall Representatives and Commuter Representatives. Each residence hall is apportioned one Hall Representative, while the commuter student body elects Commuter Representatives at-large. Hall and Commuter Representatives work together in the House of Representatives to create, debate, and vote on legislation to make Liberty University and its Student Government Association a better place.
The SGA Senate is composed of Senators, appointed by the deans of their respective schools. Each school is apportioned two Senators, who must have a major or minor within that school. Senators meet together in Senate sessions to create, debate, and vote on legislation to make Liberty University and its Student Government Association a better place.
Almost all pieces of legislation are resolutions. Resolutions are pieces of legislation aimed at making some aspect of Liberty University, outside of SGA, better. Resolutions must go through an eight-step process before implementation.
- When a thoughtful Representative or Senator sees a deficiency in some aspect of Liberty University, they will come up with a creative solution through the form of a resolution.
- Resolutions must first be introduced in a House or Senate committee tasked with that particular type of legislation.
- The next step in the process is for legislation to be introduced, debated, and voted on by the entire House or Senate.
- Next, they are sent to the other legislative body, either the House or the Senate, to be introduced, debated, and voted on.
- Resolutions that pass both legislative bodies are then sent to the Student Body President for signature or veto.
- If the Student Body President signs a resolution, he then presents and recommends it to the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Mark Hine, who will conduct research and decide whether to sign or veto the resolution.
- If signed by Dr. Hine, he will present the resolution to the President of the University, Dr. Dondi Costin, for signature or veto.
- If Dr. Costin signs the resolution, it will be implemented by the University.
Bills are pieces of legislation that aim to change a particular governing document of Liberty’s Student Government Association. Constitutional Amendments are pieces of legislation that aim to change the Constitution of the LUSGA. The process for both is similar to the process for resolutions, except with fewer steps.
Bills only have to pass those legislative bodies that the document that it seeks to alter controls. For example, a bill changing committee bylaws only has to pass through that particular committee, while a bill modifying the Senate Bylaws or Parliamentary Procedure would have to pass through the Senate’s Committee on Oversight and then the Senate itself. Constitutional Amendments must go through all of the processes that a resolution must pass through, except that it does not need to be signed by the President of the University and requires a 2/3 vote in both legislative bodies for approval.
The judicial powers of SGA are vested in the Student Court, which is comprised of a Chief Justice, four Associate Justices, and a Clerk of the Court. The Student Court serves as a Traffic Court in ruling on appeals for citations issued by LUPD. The Student Court also mediates disputes between members of SGA and is responsible for the interpretation of SGA governing documents.
Another responsibility of the of the Judicial Branch is to serve as a Traffic Court in ruling on students’ appeals of parking and traffic citations issued by LUPD. The Court rules on these cases either through in-person hearings or summary judgment before issuing written rationales from Justices. Justices may vote to uphold, reduce, or overturn citations.
Learn more about Traffic Appeals Court.
One function of the Student Court is mediating disputes between SGA members and issuing binding rulings. The Student Court rules on Petitions for Rulings regarding the permissibility of actions taken, Certified Questions of the Court’s interpretation of governing documents, disciplinary cases brought by Investigative Committees, and elections cases brought by the Election Board. In deciding such cases, Justices collaborate to conduct hearings and issue written judgments.