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Support Group Bylaws Procedure - 61.02.03

College Policy Number/Title:


Article 1 – Name

The name of this organization shall be the support group of Howard Community College (HCC).

Article 2 – Purpose of the Organization

For an institution to be responsive to the needs of all members of the community, all aspects of the institution must have a voice in its governance.

The Howard Community College support group initiates this document to provide the guidelines by which lines of communication between the support group and the college can be established and maintained. The guidelines are carried out under the direction of the Executive Support Group (ESG) committee.

  1. The general goals of the support group are as follows:
  • To promote unity among the support group members of HCC.
  • To provide opportunity for the exchange of ideas and concerns among members of the support group.
  • To support an attitude of professionalism.
  • To provide input for shared governance and other college committees.
  • To promote the welfare and well-being of the support group.
  1. The general functions of the support group are as follows:
  • To promote a sense of college-wide interaction through support group initiated social functions.
  • To select members of college-wide committees such as shared governance committees, salary and benefits committee, health and safety committee, professional development committee, cross-functional technology committee, etc.
  1. To foster exchange of ideas and concerns:
  • General meetings are held to exchange information and ideas between support group members.
  • General meetings are held to discuss college-wide administrative actions that pertain to the support group.
  • General meetings provide an opportunity for all support group members to express their concerns and needs.
  1. Disseminate information between support group and committee representatives:
  • Inform support group of college-wide committee activities (present and proposed).
  • Advise committee representatives of support group viewpoint.

Article 3 – Membership

The Howard Community College support group shall consist of the support group employees as a whole and its executive committee.

The voting membership of the HCC support group shall consist of all individuals employed full-time and part-time in budgeted position control positions (grades 1-7) within the college, excluding faculty, administrators, and professional/technical employees.

Article 4 – The Executive Support Group Committee and Representatives to Other Committees

The ESG committee shall be the authorized representative of the college support group. The ESG committee will serve as the vehicle by which job-related and constituency concerns and input can be integrated into the college system. Each representative is elected for a three-year term that runs July 1 through June 30. Members may be reelected to serve another term.

The size of the ESG committee shall be approximately 10 representatives each year and shall be evaluated every three years to assure reasonable and adequate representation from across the college. The number of representatives for the president and each vice president's area will be proportionate to the number of support group members in that particular area. If more than 10 members volunteer to be on the committee, an election will be held with the general support group body.

Support group representatives to standing college teams, committees, and councils shall be appointed by the ESG committee.

Article 5 – Officers of the Executive Support Group Committee (ESG):

The officers (chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer) of this organization shall be elected every three years by a majority vote of the ESG committee, excluding the incumbent chairperson for the chairperson position.

  1. Disseminate information between the support group and committee representatives:
  • Inform the support group of college-wide committee activities (present and proposed).
  • Advise committee representatives of support group viewpoint.
  1. The Duties of the Executive Support Group Committee:
  • Chairperson – The chairperson of the executive committee shall chair all support group meetings (general and executive) and work with the secretary to provide an agenda at least one day in advance of each meeting.

The chairperson shall serve in the following capacities:

  • Appointee to college council.
  • Official representative of the support group.
  • Official representative of the support group on the augmented president’s team.

However, the chairperson may appoint another representative from the support group to serve on college council, augmented team, attend board of trustees meetings, or other college meetings requiring the support staff representation. If the chairperson is not available to attend a meeting, the vice chairperson or an ESG committee representative, or a member of the support group general membership may attend in the chairperson’s place.

If ESG committee members and support group representatives to committees cannot fulfill their obligations or resign before the end of their term, the chairperson shall appoint a support group member to serve the remainder of the term subject to the approval of the ESG committee and the support group liaison appointed by the president. With the exception of the election of officers, the chairperson shall only vote on matters that come before the committee in the case of a tie by the other members of the executive committee. In case of a tie, the chairperson shall cast the deciding vote. Otherwise, the chair shall not vote on matters that come before the committee, with the exception of elections. In the case of officer elections, the chair shall be allowed to vote for the election of officers, including the chair position.

  • Vice Chairperson – The vice chairperson of the ESG committee shall, in the absence of the chairperson, assume the responsibilities of the chairperson. The vice chairperson may also act as a representative to the college council, or the chair may appoint another member of the support group to serve on college council. If the vice chairperson is not available to attend the college council meetings, the chairperson or the vice chairperson shall appoint a representative to attend in the vice chairperson’s place.
  • Secretary – The secretary of the ESG committee shall be responsible for the following:
  • Create an agenda in coordination with the chairperson and distribute the agenda in advance of each meeting (general and executive).
  • Take meeting minutes of the support group meetings (general and executive).
  • The notification of all meetings to the executive committee and the constituency as directed by the chairperson.
  • Creation of correspondence to the vendors and volunteers.
  • Compilation of questions from the HCC support group into a word document to be given to the HCC president in advance of the meetings.
  • Treasurer – The treasurer of the ESG committee shall oversee financial records of the committee and authorize expenditures in accordance with support group spending guidelines. These guidelines are drafted by the executive committee and approved by the support group as a whole. A treasurer’s report will be presented as requested by the ESG committee meeting and at the general support group meeting.
  1. Executive Support Group Committee Representatives – The ESG committee representatives will represent the support group members at ESG committee meetings. These representatives will serve as an agent and conduit for their colleagues. They will convey their colleagues’ concerns, questions, and recommendations to the ESG committee. The committee shall conduct and respond to the monthly business of the support group and disseminate information back to the support group membership. The representatives shall also be responsible for polling and compiling constituents on votes that require the support group members input or referendum. Otherwise, the ESG committee members shall be a working committee of the support group members assisting the HCC president in representing and determining support group interests.
  2. Support Representatives to other college teams, councils, and committees – support representatives who are not members of the ESG committee are expected to attend at least one meeting a year of the ESG committee and present a report on their committee activities and the support group membership meetings held during the fall and spring semester. This includes but is not limited to representatives for salary and benefits, college council and other college-wide committees.

Article 6 – Election of Officers and Representatives

Elections will be scheduled every year for open positions and will be held in June.

Nominations for executive committee area representatives will be solicited from each area of the college by the current executive committee representatives. If more than 10 people are interested in serving on the ESG committee, an election by the entire support group body will be held. The election will be by the support group constituency by secret ballot by simple majority. All support group voting members shall cast one vote. A plurality of votes will be required to be elected. The 10 individuals receiving the most votes will become the members of the ESG committee. In the event of a tie, a run-off election of the individuals who tied will be held.

Nominations for the officers of the ESG committee will then be made from the elected ESG committee. A secret ballot vote by the ESG committee determines these officers. All ESG committee members shall cast one vote. The majority of votes, with a quorum present will be required to be elected. The officers shall be elected for terms of three years and will take office July 1.

If the election of officers results in a tie for a position, the committee shall take a second vote. If the second vote results in a tie, the officer position(s) resulting in a tie will be decided by the full vote of the entire support group.

Article 7 – Meetings and Quorum

General support group meetings will be held at least twice per year with special meetings called as necessary. A quorum for the support group as a whole shall be all the voting members that are present at the meeting.

The ESG committee meetings shall be held at least six times a year with special meetings called as necessary, July through June. A quorum for ESG committee meetings shall be a simple majority, excluding the chairperson. Any member of the support group may attend these meetings.

Article 8 – Support Group Committee Members

The support group representatives shall provide agendas and notes from each meeting to the ESG committee, as requested. This information will be posted on the support staff group portal. Before any important action is undertaken by the committee, it is the responsibility of the elected support group members of these committees, whenever possible, to bring these items to the ESG committee for discussion to promote a better-informed support group, as well as to ascertain the support group’s position on these matters. Any of these representatives who are not elected members of the executive support group committee, shall be nonvoting members at ESG committee meetings. They shall be voting members at meetings of the support group as a whole.

Article 9 – Funding and Spending Guidelines

  1. Funding and Spending Guidelines - Support group funds are normally derived from two sources:
  • Donations from members and other interested or affiliated parties.
  • Proceeds from volunteer sales (e.g., bake sales, craft fairs, etc.).

Funds may also come from other sources jointly approved by the ESG committee. At least two officer signatures shall be required for all disbursements.

  1. Spending - The treasurer and ESG committee are the sole authorities for support group fund expenditures. Funds shall normally be expended for the purpose of improving the morale, unity, and effectiveness of the support group (e.g., recreational events, recognition of major events in the life of a support group member, etc.); however, the ESG committee may authorize one-time expenditures for special situations. In any event, the amount and rationale of all expenditures are the responsibility of the ESG committee and all such expenditures shall be detailed in the treasurer's monthly report.
  2. Maintenance of funds – all support group funds shall be maintained in a college account and have a designated cost center. The chair of the ESG committee shall have signature authority over this cost center.

Article 10 – Affiliations

The support group may be affiliated with other associations, with college approval, on the local, state, or national level when it is deemed by the membership to be in its best interest. Support group members would like to attend conferences with other affiliates and be placed on appropriate lists that will enhance dialogue among other colleges.

Article 11 – Amendments

The constitution and bylaws may be amended in whole or in part by a majority vote of the voting members present at the meeting. A copy of all changes must be submitted to the support group as a whole at least one week prior to voting action. Changes to the constitution and bylaws shall be subject to the approval of president’s team and college council.

Article 12 – Ratification of Constitution and Bylaws

After this constitution is accepted by a majority vote of the support group as a whole, president’s team, and college council, it will become effective immediately.

The ESG committee may amend its bylaws within the powers and restrictions incorporated herein. These bylaws must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the executive committee.

Article 13 - Adoption of HCC’s Pollinator Trail and  Garden

The Pollinator Trail and Garden is made up of six flower beds along the nature trail behind Duncan Hall. The purpose of the Pollinator Trail and Garden is to contribute to the sustainability efforts of the campus and provide wellness benefits for the campus community. The ESG is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Pollinator Trail and Garden. Once a month (March through October), a group of members — regardless of status within the ESG — will mulch, weed, etc.. If additional resources are needed, the ESG will contact the environmental health & safety supervisor to arrange procurement.

Approved by Support Constituency Group 10-22-2021

Effective Date: 11/19/21

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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