|NOTE: Underlined language must appear exactly as written in all RSO constitutions. Items not underlined are intended to serve as examples of what the item might say.
Constitution for the (EXAMPLE CLUB) at the University of West Florida
Revised (date), President: (name)
Article I – Name
You can also refer to your organization by its acronym throughout the constitution.
A. This organization will be known as (EXAMPLE CLUB) at the University of West Florida, hereafter referred to as “organization.”
Article II – Purpose and Activity
A. The purpose of the organization is to provide actual student organizations with a model to follow for administrative resource.
Think “big picture” here. Also, thinking about what the org is NOT intended to do can help you write this section.
B. The organization will meet monthly at a date and time announced to all members, and will host several programs throughout the year for the benefit of student organizations at UWF.
Article III - Membership
A. Membership in this organization is open to all students at the University of West Florida.
B. Membership is open to all regardless of individual's age, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status as stated by UWF Policy P-13.03 – 05110.
C. There will be a minimum of five (5) members.
D. All members and associate members are free to leave and disassociate without fear of retribution, retaliation, or harassment.
E. Non-students may participate in the organization as associate members, but may not vote or hold officer positions.
How do your rules about membership support your purpose? If your purpose related to creating awareness or connecting students with each other or with opportunities, then a membership policy that is broad and allows for open membership may be best. However, if your organization aims to accomplish specific tasks, such as programming, governance, or fundraising, then you may want to add attendance or participation requirements, such as maximum absences or program attendance minimums. In any circumstance, these should be enforced consistently.
Article IV – Officers
A. An Executive Board comprised of Officers will govern the activities of the organization, and the specific duties of the Officers will be as follows:
1. President: The President will be the executive officer of the Executive Board and will have general supervision of the affairs of the organization, and will preside at meetings. The President oversees officer and member removal, except in the case that the President faces either. The President chairs the Risk Management Committee.
2. Vice-President: The Vice-President will be the junior executive officer and will act on the behalf of the President in the event of his/her absence.
Include other roles or responsibilities as needed.
3. Secretary: The Secretary will record the proceedings of each meeting and distribute the minutes to the members, and provide all other relevant organizational information or resources to the members.
What works best for your org? Think about your activity schedule and which time of year is best for the transition.
4. Treasurer: The Treasurer will maintain records of all revenue and expenditures and ensure that generally accepted accounting practices and monetary controls are in place. The Treasurer will collect dues, and chair the Fundraising Committee.
What roles are necessary for your organization to succeed? Is there a member that oversees marketing during the year? Include it! Do you need someone to be responsible for managing and maintaining equipment? Add it!
Positions that are only relevant for a few weeks or those that are tied to a relatively minor task (t-shirt chair, or SGA Liaison, for instance) may not need to be included, but any position that is important to the organization’s success and that exists from year to year should be described?
Also, if there is some sort of task that the officer is responsible for, such as providing account details at each meeting, or presenting a revised constitution each April, make sure to articulate those responsibilities.
B. Officers serve from May through April, with the transition of the role taking place on or within one week of the last day of classes during the spring semester.
Article V– Officer Elections
The “elect” period is a good idea when the org is particularly complex, but it’s not required.
A. The election of officers will take place in the spring semester no later than two weeks after school begins. Newly elected members will serve as officers-elect, shadowing and learning from the current officers.
B. The election timeline and nomination process must be announced to members at least two weeks prior the elections meeting via email or during a regular meeting.
What other requirements would serve your organization? A minimum GPA? At least two years in the org?
C. Only students eligible according to University Policy SA-10.04-09/14 may hold positions named in the constitution. This policy states that students must meet the following minimum requirements to seek and retain a leadership position:
i. be enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours per semester, except as noted below.
ii. have and maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) for University of West Florida coursework of at least 2.50.
iii. not be on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
The policy referenced provides additional details regarding eligibility.
D. Nominations should be made to the current president prior to the deadline indicated in the election timeline.
E. At least half of the active members must be present for the vote. Members will be given a ballot with the nominees’ names and positions listed, and will submit their completed ballot to the president or vice-president during the voting period. The candidate for each office receiving a majority vote of members at the election meeting will be considered the victor. The officers-elect will be announced by the end of the meeting.
Organizations can define their own nominations, voting, and vacancy procedures, but the procedures described in the constitution must be followed.
A few options to consider: Elections through ArgoPulse; Nominations from the floor; Nomination speeches; Presidential appointments for minor positions
F. If a position remains unfilled after the elections process the President will appoint a willing member to the position or re-assign duties to another officer. The organization will confirm the appointment of member or duty re-assignment by majority vote during a subsequent meeting.
Article VI- Officer Removal
A. If an officer fails to maintain eligibility requirements for holding office, as described in Article V, he or she shall be removed from the position immediately upon notification of requirement violation by another officer. Officers may be reinstated if the violation is resolved within one week upon approval by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
B. An officer may be removed from his or her position if their behavior is considered misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance to the organization or the University.
1. An officer may be called to face removal proceedings upon written complaint by any member or officer in good standing submitted to the Executive Board.
2. The officer in question shall be notified in writing of the possible removal and the meeting time and location at least 72 hours prior to the vote. The officer in question will be allowed to address the organization in order to relate to members any relevant defense or appeal prior to the voting for removal. The Executive Board shall notify all members of the issue at least 48 hours prior to the vote.
3. Voting must take place at a meeting attended by at least half of the active members. If two-thirds of members in attendance vote in favor of the removal, the officer shall be released of his or her position immediately.
F. Removal from office does not affect the good standing of the officer as a member of the organization. For information about removing members from the organization, see Article VII.
G. In the case of removal, the position will be filled by special election following the procedures described in Article V sections B-F. The newly elected or appointed officer will assume the role immediately without an “elect” period, and the position will be up for standard election as per Article V section A.
H. An officer who feels wronged by the removal process can consult the University’s Student Grievance Process.
This process is prescribed by UWF as a means of providing consistency and fairness to all organization officers and in the spirit of careful and open deliberation.
Article VII- Member Removal
A. Members may be removed from the organization if the member’s behavior has and will likely continue to disrupt the activities of the organization, the members’ sense of safety, or other University or UCSA policies. Members may also be removed for failure to meet requirements described in the constitution.
B. Members may be asked to end their membership by the President upon a unanimous vote by the Executive Board.
C. If the member wishes not to end their membership, they may request an appeal to the organization by submitting a written request to the Executive Board. The member in question and the all members must be notified in writing of the possible removal and meeting time and location at least 48 hours prior to the vote. The member in question will be allowed to address the organization in order to relate to members any relevant defense or appeal prior to the voting for removal.
D. Voting shall take place at a meeting attended by at least half of the active members. If two-thirds of members in attendance vote in favor of the removal, the member shall be asked again to end his or her membership immediately.
This process is prescribed by UWF as a means of providing consistency and fairness to all organization officers and in the spirit of careful and open deliberation. A member should never face removal if other members of the organization who engaged in similar behavior or violations do not also face removal. These policies must be consistently enforced.
E. If the member refuses for the second time to end his or her members, the President will consult the University’s Student Grievance Process.
Work groups or committees that function from year to year should be described here. What committees could help your org achieve greater success?
Article VIII- Committees
A. Standing Committees
1. Fundraising Committee- Led by the Treasurer, this committee will plan and execute fundraising events
2. Recruitment Committee- Led by a chair appointed by two-thirds vote of the Executive Board, this committee will focus on recruitment and retention efforts for members.
3. Risk Management Committee- Led by the President, this committee will review any risk management issues that arise and will review plans for risk management for special events.
B. Ad Hoc Committees. The organization may establish other committees and sub-committees as needed to carry out the plans and activities of the organization.
Article IX – Advisor
A. A full-time UWF faculty or staff member will serve as Advisor to the organization.
B. In the case of a vacancy in the Advisor position, nominations will be solicited from the members. The Executive Board will choose the Advisor by a majority vote and invite him/her to serve as Advisor for the next academic year.
C. The duties of Advisor include: meeting with organization officers, reviewing the yearly budget, signing all required paperwork and advising on issues of risk management, organization leadership, and UWF policy.
D. The Advisor can be removed for not carrying out the duties and expectations as defined in this document. Any member can bring concerns to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will meet with the Advisor to discuss the concerns. After this meeting, the Executive Board will vote on whether to remove the Advisor. If there is a majority vote, then the Advisor will be removed.
Student Organizations are required to have a UWF Faculty/Staff member as an advisor. It is up to the organization how the advisor is chosen: i.e. will there be a formal nomination and voting process? Will the president choose the advisor? There will be an agreement between the advisor and organization as to the role of the advisor: i.e. will the advisor sit in every meeting? Will the advisor help plan special events? Will the advisor travel with the organization?
A. The organization requires each member to pay $100 during the month of the Fall semester for annual dues. This fee covers the cost of meeting supplies, social event food and supplies, and some organizational travel.
B. Members are also expected to participate in all organizational fundraising efforts, except when granted an excused absence by the President.
Article XI – Dissolution of Organization
A. In the event this organization dissolves or is declared officially inactive, any funds remaining in the organization’s bank account(s) will be retrieved and placed in the SGA Activity and Service Fee account as stated in the UCSA’s student organization dissolution clause.
Article XII – University of West Florida Warranties
A. The organization acknowledges that by submitting registration forms online through ArgoPulse, the organization agrees to abide by the University of West Florida’s Registered Student Organization’s warranties as listed in the Student Organization Handbook.
Article XIII – Constitutional Amendments
A. The constitution will be reviewed for revision by the Executive Board each year during the Fall semester.
B. Amendments to the constitution shall be submitted by members of this organization to the Executive Board in writing for consideration.
C. Written notification of the proposed amendment to all voting members must be made by mail or email, at least two weeks in advance of any vote on changes in the constitution.
D. A two-thirds vote of at least half of the active members will be required for adoption.
E. Amendments are subject to approval by the Student Involvement Coordinator.
Article XIV – (Miscellaneous)
What other information will help ensure your organization’s stability and success? If your organization participates in risky activities (such as working with animals or building robots), you should consider adopting a risk management article. If your organization relies on relationships with national associations or other entities, you should describe that relationship and the organization’s responsibilities.