A constitution contains the basic, fundamental principles and procedures regarding the organization’s structure. By-laws outline, in more detail, the rules of procedure by which a group’s membership govern their organization. The constitution should be simple, concise and comprehensive. However, it should be more difficult to amend, this means most procedural rules should be placed in the organization’s by-laws.
This document must include the following:
a) A clear statement of purposes
b) Requirements and obligations of membership
c) The following statements must be included for a student group to be considered for University recognition:
- A limitation on membership to matriculated students, but without any restrictions on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status except as expressly permitted by law.
- A pledge that the organization will abide by the rules and regulations of the university as a condition to initial and continued registered status.
ARTICLE I: Name
The name of this organization shall be (state name of the organization) (hereinafter referred to as the (the “club”, the “organization”, etc.).
ARTICLE II: Purpose
Section 1: The purpose or mission of the (club, organization, etc.) shall be: (list what you intend to do, your mission, and/or goals).
ARTICLE III: Membership (You may add any additional requirements for membership in this section)
Section 1: Membership in the (club, organization, etc.) at Western Kentucky University shall be open to any and all students at Western Kentucky University. Active membership shall be determined by (please include specific criteria, i.e. class level, GPA, interest in...). Once a student graduates or ceases to be a student at the University, his/her membership in the Club shall cease.
Section 2: A limitation on membership to matriculated students, but without any restrictions on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status except as expressly permitted by law.
ARTICLE IV: Officers (Indicate appropriate powers of each - samples below)
Section 1: The officers shall consist of a (example: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) . The officers shall be responsible for all administrative duties of the Club.
Section 2: The (example: President) shall have the power to establish and maintain operation procedures of the Club, call meetings, and answer for all actions of the other officers. The President shall be able to vote in all decisions affecting the Club. (List other additional responsibilities.)
Section 3: The (example: Vice President) shall assist the (example: President) with all administrative duties and assume those duties in the absence of the (example: President). (List other additional responsibilities.)
Section 4: The (example: secretary) shall keep accurate and detailed records of all meetings and affairs, send/transmit all official (club, organization, etc.) correspondence, and coordinate preparation and distribution of club flyers, handouts and publications. (List other additional responsibilities.)
Section 5: The (example: treasurer) shall receive and distribute (club, association, etc.) funds upon the authorization of the (example: president), in accordance with the financial rules and regulations of the University and the laws of the State of California, and make financial reports at all Executive Committee meetings, and at the regular meetings of the (club, organization, etc.), and coordinate fundraising activities.
Section 6: The elected officers shall form the Executive Committee.
Section 7: All elected officers should be in good academic standing at the University (above a 2.0 G.P.A.).
ARTICLE V: Elections
Section 1: The (list officers) shall be elected by the members of the (club, organization, etc.) to serve a term of one year. Elections shall be held at the first regular meeting of the (club, organization, etc.). Annual elections shall be held (state time frame: example: the third week of spring semester). The officers shall be elected by means of a ballot (or verbal vote depending upon organization preference). The term of office for all officers shall begin (upon completion of finals, upon completion of elections, etc.) and end on the same day of the following year.
Section 2: Nominations of candidates for (club, organization, etc.) officer positions shall be (identify how nominated - example: from the floor of the meeting) by any (club, organization, etc.) member. Nominees for officer positions must be (club, organization, etc.) members.
Section 3: Voting shall take place after the close of nominations for each office. Officers shall be elected by majority vote of those (club, organization, etc.) members present, provided quorum is met. (See Section VIII.)
Section 4: The order of succession shall be: (1) (example: President), (2) (example: vice president), (3) (example: secretary), (4) (example: treasurer).
Section 5: Vacancies occurring in any of the elected offices shall be officially filled at the next regular (club, organization, etc.) meeting following the occurrence of such a vacancy or vacancies. The order of succession shall be followed in the filling of any vacant office during any unexpired term. If an officer declines to succeed to a vacant office, then an election shall be held to fill the office for the remainder of the unexpired term. The election procedure for filling the unexpired term of a vacant office shall be the same as for the normal procedure for elections.
ARTICLE VI: Appointments
Section 1: The (example: president) shall appoint, with the approval of the Executive Committee, such positions as may contribute to the successful operation of (club, association, etc.).
ARTICLE VII: Removal from office
Section 1: Any officer may be removed from office for failure to perform his/her prescribed duties by a two-thirds vote of the membership, provided that all members are notified of this pending action at least one week prior to the removal decision. Removal from office can occur either for failure to carry out the responsibilities of that office, or for actions which violate the purposes of the organization. Written charges by a member are to be presented to the Executive Committee who will notify the officer in question with sufficient opportunity given for the officer to answer charges at a meeting of the membership.
ARTICLE VIII: Meetings
Section 1: General membership meetings shall be held (state how often), with additional meeting called by the (example: President) as needed. Notice of additional meetings must be given to all club members in the timeliest manner possible, usually not less than one week. The official means of notifying members shall be agreed upon at the first meeting held after the election of a new (example: President).
Section 2: The Executive Committee shall meet when called by the (example: President).
Section 3: Official notice of the meeting at which the election of (club, organization, etc.) officers will take place must be provided to all (club, organization, etc.) members not less than two weeks prior to such meeting.
Section 4: Quorum shall be defined as (example: fifty percent plus one of the total) of the (club, association, etc.) membership. Quorum is needed for official votes to take place.
ARTICLE IX: Amendments
Section 1: Amendments to this constitution shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members present at two consecutive meetings at which the amendment has been read.
(Adapted from Chapman University Student Organization Manual)