Constitution


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The Constitution of the American University

Lambda Law Society

 Preamble

We, the members of the Lambda Law Society (“Lambda”) of the Washington College of Law (“WCL”), do ordain and establish the following as the by-laws of our student-led organization opened to the larger community, in order to foster and promote a safe, aware, and educated environment for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, trans-sexual,  twin-spirited, inter-sexed, and queer persons and their allies within our academic community and surrounding communities so as to increase awareness of diversity and acceptance for all people.

Article I

Structure

[1] Executive Board. The administrative body of Lambda shall be an Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of an Executive Director, Financial Director, Outreach Director, Events Director and Communications Director. The Executive Board shall represent the queer community at WCL and be responsible for administration of Lambda. The Executive Board shall carry into effect the dictates of this constitution and all resolutions enacted by the executive board. The Executive Board shall have signatory authority over Lambda accounts relative to their leadership role and SBA funds will be only reimbursed to them, not released. Each officer will be available to respond to general as well as the specific needs and questions posed by the SBA and others. The Executive Board will attend SBA meetings when necessary. At its first meeting of each semester, the Executive Board shall designate the Financial Officer to serve as Acting Director, who shall serve in the absence of the Executive Director.

[2] Signatory Authority. The Executive Director, Outreach Director, Events Director, and Communications Director will have signatory authority individually up to an amount of $150 over social function budgetary requirements in the absence of the Finance Director, subject to the discretion of the members at large.

[3] Quorum and Voting. At least a majority of the Board shall be present at every Board and general meeting. The Board shall adopt all matters, including but not limited to business, motions, events and the budget, by a majority vote of the Board, with the Executive Director voting only in the case of a tie. While not having a vote, except in the case of a tie, the Executive Director shall retain the right to propose motions to the Board. In general, the Board should seek to adopt all matters through consensus and not a formal vote.

[4] Parliamentary Authority. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern Lambda and the Executive Board in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this constitution and any special rules of order the Board may adopt.

[5] Executive Director. The duties of the Executive Director shall include, but not be limited to: acting as the chief executive officer of Lambda; presiding over all official functions of the Lambda including Board and general meetings; serving as the official representative of Lambda; managing Lambda activities; proposing an annual strategic plan at the start of each fall semester for consideration and adoption by the Board; designating Board members as the lead contact person and coordinator for projects adopted by the Board. The Executive Director, or designate, shall have the authority to represent Lambda at functions held by Diversity Services, organize an annual community service project and collaborate with other members of student organizations. The Executive Director, with the consent of the Board will organize committees for the planning and execution of Lambda activities. The Executive shall have signatory authority over Lambda accounts with the consent of the Financial Director.

[6] Financial Director. The duties of the Financial Director shall include, but not be limited to: serving as Lambda’s chief financial officer and being responsible for managing the budget requests, fundraising and maintaining Lambda’s financial records. The Financial Director shall represent Lambda at SBA budgetary meetings unless another member of the Board assumes the duty. The Financial Director shall manage the consensual process of budget drafting for the Lambda each semester. The Financial Director shall also have signatory authority of Lambda accounts, subject to the consent of the Executive Director and will report the status of such accounts to Lambda student members when appropriate and necessary.

[7] Outreach Director. The duties of the Outreach Director shall include, but not be limited to: organizing and developing programs to promote the organization within the WCL community and beyond, including networking events; managing the Lambda listserv and Web resources; maintaining an accurate list of active members. In maintaining Lambda’s mailing list and records of Lambda membership, the Outreach Director will protect the confidentiality of all members.

[8] Events Director. The duties of the Events Director shall include, but not be limited to: organizing and developing Lambda educational, social, and political events and planning all general membership meetings.

[9] Communications Director. The duties of the Communications Director shall include, but not be limited to: serving as the public information officer for Lambda; responding to or directing any inquiries to the appropriate Board member; advertising all meetings and events; taking notes at each meeting and archiving all minutes and other Lambda documents; making those documents available to any member when necessary; distributing this constitution to all members and maintaining copies for further distribution; and overseeing Lambda’s submissions to the Docket and other publications.

Article II

Nondiscriminatory Membership

Lambda promotes and supports non-discrimination on the basis of actual and/or perceived sexual orientation, age; ancestry, color, or race; cultural or ethnic background; economic status; gender identity; ideological, philosophical, or political belief or affiliation; marital or parental status; national or regional origin; mental or physical disability; personal appearance; religion, or religious, denominational, sex; or spiritual affiliation; sex, or sexual orientation.  Lambda shall not, either implicitly or explicitly, encourage or condone discrimination on any such basis and action will be taken to remedy acts of discrimination by fellow members.

Article III

Voting

Each member is entitled to one vote to elect officers of the executive board and implement projects, as provided in Article V of this constitution.

Article IV

Meetings

[1] The general membership of Lambda may meet each semester to discuss issues, events, activities, and concerns of the membership.

[2] The Executive Board will meet upon the determination of the Executive Director or majority of the executive board that such a meeting is appropriate.   

[3] Any member may propose resolutions and participate fully in debate and voting during general meetings.

[4] The Executive Director or presiding member shall democratically lead meetings.

[5] Abuse of power by any executive board member may render impeachment if 2/3 of the student members collectively decide that a Lambda officer acted in gross misconduct of the enumerated by-laws, in a special general meeting called by the majority of the board.

Article V

Elections

[1] Members of the respective executive board will be elected annually at the start of the spring semester, sometime after the fifth of January and before the first of February, upon majority vote by the general membership present at such meeting. The meeting must be called by the Executive Director or a majority of the executive board. A good faith attempt must be made by one or more members of the executive board to give notice of the meeting to the general membership. This notice requirement may be satisfied by posting an announcement via email to the WCL Lambda Law listserv and/or Yahoo Group listserv.

[2] All executive board members will meet and share resources with incoming executive board members.

[3] All newly elected officers shall begin their terms of duty effective immediately upon election.

[4] If, during the course of any semester, an executive board member position becomes vacant, another member shall be elected by the student members collectively, until which time the board may appoint an acting Executive Director.

Article VI

Amendments

[1] Any Amendment to this Constitution must be sponsored by a Lambda executive board member.

[2] Amendments must be confirmed by a 2/3-majority vote of the general membership of Lambda student members following an open discussion.