American Constitution Society of Washington College of Law Constitution
I. Statement of Purpose
Founded in conjunction with the Program on Law & Government, the Law & Government Society ("the Society") is a student organization at the Washington College of Law ("WCL"). The Society works to foster the academic, intellectual, and professional goals of its Members and the students of WCL as a whole. Pursuant to its mission, the Society seeks to encourage and strengthen awareness of the law in its relations to the State, society, governmental institutions, the political process, and the polity as a whole.
Members must be Washington College of Law students in good standing. To be considered a Member of the Society, a student must attend at least three meetings held prior to an Election meeting in a particular, academic year.
The Law and Government Society shall not discriminate on the basis of: ancestry, color, race, cultural or ethnic background, economic status, ideological, philosophical, or political beliefs or affiliations, marital or parental status, national or regional origin, physical disability, religion, or religious or denominational affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.
III. Officers and Duties
A. The principal officers of the Society shall include President, Vice-President, Secretary, Director of Public Relations, and Treasurer. These positions together shall constitute the Executive Board of the Society.
B. The Executive Board, in consultation with the Membership, shall plan activities of the Society, exercise all executive authority of the Society, represent the Society to the Administration and Student Bar Association, and promote the Society's goals to the community at large.
C. The President shall preside at all Society events and meetings, act as the official spokesperson for the Society, and coordinate meetings of the Executive Board. The President shall, with the consent of the Executive Board, take other actions as may be required, in accordance with the Statement of Purpose.
D. The Vice President shall be responsible for coordinating all events of the Society, as well as oversee any committees for events of the Society. The Vice President shall serve as acting president if the President is unable to attend a particular Society event or meeting and become President should the President resign or be removed.
E. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of Membership and Executive Board meetings, publicity required for intrasociety events and meetings, keeping a record of membership up to date, and keeping a record of all events. Minutes, membership records, and events records must be available for inspection upon a Member's request. The Secretary shall serve as acting president if the President and Vice President are unable to attend a particular Society meeting.
F. The Director of Public Relations shall be responsible for publicity required for events, excluding intrasociety events and meetings, and for increasing the reputation of the Society, through close collaboration with the Vice President. The Director of Public Relations shall serve as acting president if the President, Vice President, and Secretary are unable to attend a particular meeting.
G. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the preparation of a budget to be approved by the Executive Board and submitted to the Student Bar Association in a timely fashion. The Treasurer shall authorize the use of the Society's funds, coordinate efforts to raise funds, and report on the financial status of the Society to the Executive Board and Membership on a regular basis. The Treasurer shall serve as acting president if the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Director of Public Relations are unable to attend a particular meeting.
H. The President or Acting President may create such committees or delegate particular duties as appropriate. Any committees created or persons exercising delegated duties operate at the pleasure of the Executive Board.
I. In the event of an Executive Board vacancy, excluding the President, the remaining Members of the Executive Board shall appoint a person for the open position.
IV. Elections and Removals
A. Only Members of the Society may run for an office. All candidates may self-nominate at any time prior to the election for that office.
B. The officers of the Society shall serve terms of one year. Newly elected officers shall take office upon the completion of the last exam date in the exam period immediately following their election.
C. Elections shall be coordinated by an appointed Election Chairperson. Balloting shall be secret, and the non-candidate Members of the Executive Board shall count the ballots. Elections shall be completed prior to the submission of budgets to the Student Bar Association.
D. All officers shall be elected by a simple majority vote of all Members of the Society
E. Elections shall either involve a speech by each candidate, followed by a question period by the Membership, followed by debate among the Membership. During debate, candidates for that office shall not be present. Elections may also be held electronically, involving a statement of intent/qualification from each candidate about the office they are seeking, submitted to the Election Chairperson who in turn shall mail all statements to all Membership. Membership shall have a weeks time to consider the candidates. At the end of this consideration period, all Members who wish to do so shall electronically mail their votes to the Election Chairperson over a set three day period, specific dates as determined by that years Executive Board
F. Officers can only be removed for good cause, including neglect of their duties or the intentional causing of harm to the Society or Washington College of Law.
G. Any Member may call a Removal meeting of an officer at any general meeting of the Society. The motion for calling a Removal meeting must be seconded by a Member. The Removal meeting shall take place at or no later than the next general meeting. The Secretary must notify all Society Members regarding the time and place of the Removal meeting. If the Secretary is the officer sought to be removed, the Vice President must notify all Society Members regarding the time and place of the Removal meeting.
H. The Member seeking removal shall speak for removal and the officer in question shall speak, both for equal time. The Membership may then debate the question, with both the Member seeking removal and the officer in question not present. The presiding officer must allow for questions and answers. Debate shall not end until a majority of Members in attendance moves to a vote. An officer shall be removed upon a 2/3 majority vote of Members present.
V. Rules and Procedures
A. The meetings of the Society shall consist of five essential types: General meetings, Committee meetings, Executive Board meetings, Election meetings, and Removal meetings.
B. A General meeting shall be used for the dissemination of information, discussion, and the creation of committees. The President shall call at least one General meeting per month. A General meeting shall consist of at least one officer and no less than four Members. Adequate notice shall be given to announce the date, time, and place of the meeting.
C. A Committee meeting shall be announced by the Chair of the committee. Committee Chairs will be appointed by the President or Acting President at a General meeting upon suggestion by the Members at the meeting, or at any time as deemed necessary. The Committee Chair shall name the Members of the committee and shall inform the Vice President.
D. Election and Removal meetings shall be defined by the corresponding rules of each section.
E. The Executive Board shall meet at least once at the beginning of each semester to discuss events of the upcoming year and at least one other time during each semester.
F. The budget shall be prepared and submitted to the Student Bar Association by a Budget Committee consisting of the Executive Board responsible for that semester for which the budget is being submitted. The Committee shall be chaired by the Treasurer, yet all final decisions must be approved by a majority of the Committee.
Any proposed amendment must be drafted and approved by a Constitution Committee presided over by two members of the Executive Board. The proposed amendment must be approved by 2/3 of the Constitution Committee and then presented to the Membership at a General meeting or by electronic notification. The amendment will become effective after 2/3 of the Membership sign or reply electronically in the affirmative about the Amendment within thirty days of the Amendment's final presentation
This Constitution shall take effect upon ratification by a 2/3 majority vote of the Membership in the 2009 - 2010 term.