Skip to main content

Staff Advisory Council By-Laws

Article I: Name

Swarthmore College Staff Advisory Council, also referred to as (SAC).

Article II: Purpose

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) serves in an advisory capacity to the President and the Vice President of Human Resources. Its primary function is to serve in a listening and communicating capacity on behalf of both staff members and the College administration. Activities within the scope of the SAC are:

  1. to hear issues of general staff interest and concern and to bring such matters to the attention of the President and the Vice President of Human Resources to ensure that such issues and concerns are known, considered and addressed;
  2. to facilitate the sharing of information with staff members in order to improve their general knowledge and understanding of College activities;
  3. to refer staff issues or questions to the attention of other College individuals or committees whenever appropriate to ensure that the issues are known and addressed through appropriate College channels;
  4. to offer suggestions and recommendations to the President and the Vice President of Human Resources on general issues of interest and concern to staff, and to generate ideas for organizational improvement;
  5. to address agenda items or undertake specific projects or activities at the request of the President or the Vice President of Human Resources on matters of general staff interest;
  6. to suggest College committees where staff membership and participation would be appropriate and useful, and to recommend to the President the names of staff members to serve designated appointments to those and standing committees when openings exist.


  • a. to address individual staff members' grievances
  • to address issues more appropriately addressed through other offices or standing committees of the College, such as the Equal Opportunity Office or the EO Advisory Committee; the College Budget Committee, the College Planning Committee, or the Faculty/Staff Benefits Committee, although the Staff Advisory Committee may refer issues to such offices or committees
  • to serve as a formal governing or negotiating body for staff members; rather, its role is advisory in nature.

Article III: Membership and Terms

SAC shall consist of twenty-one (21) elected voting members to represent the designated campus locations, known. as “Circles”. All Circles have a minimum of two (2) representatives; Circles with more than seventy-five (75) staff will have three (3) representatives. The Governance Committee annually reviews the construction of the Circles to ensure accuracy and make recommendations for reconstruction as needed. In addition, membership will include ex-officio members as appointed by the Vice President of Human Resources.

The SAC Circles are composed as follows: Chester Road Circle (3), Lang Circle (2), Magill Circle (2), Rose Garden Circle (3), Scott Circle (2), Sharples Circle (3), South Circle (3), Singer Circle (3).

  1. Eligibility: All benefits-eligible employees with at least one year of service and able to serve a three-year term, with the exception of Senior Staff members.
  2. Nominations: Staff are invited to self-nominate or nominate a colleague for open positions. The process for electing new members is described in Article VI, Committees and Descriptions, Section: Membership & Nominations.
  3. Appointments: Members will be elected on a rotating basis to serve a three-year term from July 1 through June 30. Members are eligible to serve two consecutive three-year terms.
  4. Active Membership Responsibilities:
    1. Possess good employment standing with Human Resources and supervisor
    2. Commit to serving a three-year term (up to three years for second terms)
    3. Attend all general council meetings, virtually or in-person, scheduled between August and June (11 months), unless excused
    4. Actively serve on at least one standing committee each year
    5. Maintain confidentiality regarding all questions, suggestions, and concerns discussed in SAC
    6. Notify the Moderator and committee chairs of absences prior to meetings
  5. Consecutive Terms: Members who are active and in good standing may seek reappointment for a second by December 1 (or prior to the open call for nominations period) or their second term appointment may be forfeited. The options for second term will be one-year intervals up to three-years. After two consecutive terms, members must step down for one full year before reapplying for a new appointment to the council.
  6. Vacancies: The membership committee may choose to select candidates from the most recent pool of nominees who were not appointed to the council to fill any vacancy. If a SAC member resigns during their term or changes job classification resulting in a Circle vacancy, the committee may hold an open call for volunteers to serve to fill the mid-term vacancy. If more than one candidate exists, the committee will rank the candidates and recommend one to Human Resources to reconfirm their employment status is in good standing. Once confirmed, the new member will be invited to join SAC on an interim term basis. Interim members will have first consideration for the next open nomination period to fill a new Circle vacancy for a full 3-year term. If a member's job position changes causing a transfer of Circle, they will have priority in transferring to the new Circle only if a vacancy exists. No current member can unseat a Circle Representative.
  7. Ex-Officio Members: The Vice President of Human Resources and the Equal Opportunity Officer will attend all meetings in an "ex-officio" capacity but shall have no voting privileges.

Article IV: Meetings

SAC will meet at least three times in the fall semester and at least three times in the spring semester, but may meet more often if warranted. Regular Council meetings and subcommittee meetings are considered College business.

  1. SAC will meet with the President-ideally once per semester, but no less than once per year-to convey and receive information of interest and concern to staff.
  2. SAC will facilitate general staff meetings open to all staff members-ideally at least once per semester, but no less than once per year-to convey and receive information of interest and concern to staff. Content topics for such general staff meetings will be developed in concert with the Vice President of Human Resources and the President or other administrators, as appropriate. SAC will be mindful of special scheduling considerations for staff in such areas as dining services, public safety, and environmental services, in order to facilitate their inclusion in general meetings, or the provision of alternate opportunities, to every extent possible.
  3. The SAC will support the efforts of the Human Resources in facilitating the College's employee relations events such as the annual Staff Service Recognition Program and community social events.
  4. At the request of any individual member, the Moderator may convene an executive session at which only elected members are present. The expectation is that such sessions would be warranted only on rare occasions and will be announced in the agenda prior to the meeting.
  5. Orientation: An orientation meeting may be held prior to the first regular meeting.

Article V: Officers

The Executive Council Officers shall consist of the Moderator, Moderator-Elect, Secretary, and Secretary-Elect. See officer duties below:

  1. Moderator
    1. The Moderator shall serve a one-year term from July 1 to June 30 immediately following a year as Moderator-Elect (Exception: A Moderator may be selected by the members if no Moderator-Elect exists)
    2. Scheduling SAC meetings and notifying members of meeting times and locations;
    3. Coordinating the compilation of agenda items in consultation with the members of the SAC and the Vice President of Human Resources;
    4. Distributing the agenda at least three days in advance to SAC members;
    5. Facilitating the SAC meetings
    6. Serving as the "point person" for SAC in communicating information to the President and other appropriate administrators, offices, or committees.
  2. Moderator-Elect
    1. The Moderator-Elect shall serve a one-year term from July 1 to June 30 (Exception: A Moderator-Elect may be selected by the members if no Moderator-Elect exists)
    2. In the absence of the Moderator, convening the SAC and serving as alternate Moderator
    3. Assist the Moderator in performing their duties
    4. Other duties as assigned by the Moderator
  3. Secretary
    1. The Secretary shall serve a one-year term from July 1 to June 30 (Exception: A Secretary may be selected by the members if no Secretary-Elect exists)
    2. Taking summary minutes of the SAC meetings;
    3. Within one week following each meeting, distributing draft minutes to members of the SAC for their review and approval;
    4. Within two weeks following each meeting, distributing approved minutes to the general staff constituency, via e-mail wherever possible and hard copy for posting for staff who do not have e-mail access
    5. In the absence of the Moderator or Moderator-Elect, convening the SAC and serving as alternate Moderator
    6. In cooperation with Human Resources, coordinating the annual election process, including updating circle membership lists, distributing ballots, and tallying votes.
  4. Secretary-Elect
    1. The Secretary-Elect shall serve a one-year term from July 1 to June 30 (Exception: A Secretary-Elect may be selected by the members if no Secretary-Elect exists)
    2. In the absence of the secretary record meeting minutes and issue draft minutes to the council for review and approval
    3. Assist the secretary with other duties as assigned

Article VI: Committees and Descriptions

Standing Committees shall be composed of at least 3 members of the council and meet as needed outside of general council meetings. All members must volunteer for a committee. Each committee selects a chair/co-chair who maintains records of activities and must provide reports during the council meetings. Committee Chairs serve a one- year term from July 1 to June 30.

  • Communications
  • Community Engagement
  • Election of Officers
  • SAC Governance
  • Membership & Nominations
  • Web Site Administration & Email Account


  • Market SAC and the website by highlighting SAC events and initiatives we’re supporting- Garnet Newsletter section
  • Co-moderate SAC group email account

Community Engagement

  • Support existing community events and build community by highlighting events through existing SAC channels such as email, flyers, website, etc.
    • Intra-mural events
    • Staff Organizations such as Employee Resource Groups (ERG)
  • Develop ideas for SAC community building events
  • SAC Open House

Election of Officers

  • The Secretary in cooperation with Human Resources, will coordinate the annual election process, including updating circle membership lists, distributing ballots, and tallying votes.

SAC Governance

  • Oversee the bylaw amendment process
  • Review the bylaws at least every 3 years to ensure that the bylaws reflect practices that are effective for SAC’s governance
  • Develop governance proposals and present them to the general body for vote, including accepted proposals submitted by the members
  • Work with Human Resources to review the Circles to determine all designated positions are filled and Circle representations are proportioned to staff numbers
  • If there are any underrepresented Circles, notify the membership committee to seek new candidates to fill vacancies
  • The chair of the committee must have at least one year of SAC experience

Membership & Nominations

  • Meet as needed throughout the fall semester to carry-out the goals of determining circle vacancies for spring nominations (or any mid-term vacancies) and announce the call for new members no later than February 1
  • Annually, the members of SAC will vote to elect the staff members who will become new members of SAC
  • The committee will review applications, conduct interviews as necessary, and send recommended nominees to the Vice-President for Human Resources for vetting and approval, and present the slate to the council for voting by May 1
  • The election may be held by ballot sent to all members or at a special meeting at the discretion of the Moderator
  • The election must receive a quorum of members voting either by ballot or at a meeting to be binding. If a quorum is achieved, there should be no additional collection of votes from members after the deadline to submit ballots or after the election meeting session
  • The committee will work with the Moderator to promptly notify nominees on the outcome of the election
  • The Immediate Past Moderator shall chair the Membership & Nominations Committee for one year. If the Moderator is re-elected, the council will vote to select a current member from the committee to serve as chair

Web Site Administration & Email Account

  • Make updates and revisions
  • Post-meeting minutes, update Circle members, etc.
  • SAC Google Doc set-up and maintenance

Ad Hoc Committees will be created in order to research and review specific topics or special projects for SAC. Each Ad Hoc committee must have a current member serve as the chair/co-chair. The committee will be evaluated at the end of the year to determine the progress and may be disbanded upon the completion of their work.

  • Staff Discounts & Benefits
  • College Wide Policy & Procedures
  • SAC Appointed Staff Committees

Staff Discounts & Benefits

  • Update current listing of discount and benefits (and keep current)
  • Work with web administrator to post findings on SAC site
  • Work to improve discount and benefits when a need is found

College Wide Policy & Procedures

  • Provide clarity on policies and procedures on campus
  • Ensure visibility of those policies and procedures
  • Archiving/retention rules

SAC Staff Appointed Committees

  • Take inventory of SAC appointed staff committees
  • Check-in with SAC appointed staff committees annually to see if they are still active and require nominations
  • Explore options for creating a more equitable and inclusive process for SAC appointed staff committee selection

Article VII: Voting/Quorum

The model for SAC activities and discussions will be based on consensus as a means of formulating collective ideas and recommendations.

Article VIII: Amendments

These bylaws may be altered or amended by any member in writing at a general council meeting. Proposals will be referred to the Governance Committee for review and action. Proposed amendments will be read at a general meeting prior to a vote to amend the bylaws. A majority vote will be required to adopt new revisions; provided a quorum exists. The bylaws shall be reviewed by the Governance Committee at least every three years.

v. 09/19/17
v. 04/19/22