Constitution of the Environmental Law Society 

of the

Washington College of Law American University




The Environmental Law Society is a student organization dedicated to creating an awareness of current environmental matters and the legal issues surrounding them. Our mission is to encourage students and community members to support environmental initiatives. We accomplish this mission by keeping students and the community informed of important issues in environmental law and policy, promoting environmental scholarship, advocating for environmentally sound decision-making, and by providing opportunities to enjoy our natural environment. 

Article I. Name

Section 1.

The name of this student organization is the Environmental Law Society (“ELS”). 

Article II. Purpose

Section 1.

ELS allows students to explore issues related to environmental law and policy.  ELS contributes to the law school community by promoting various educational and networking opportunities for students who aspire to enter into the field of environmental law.

Section 2.

In recognition of the importance of sustainable development practices, ELS members are encouraged to advocate for the WCL community to engage in sustainable practices, inter alia, energy and water conservation,  recycling, and for the reduction of consumption.  

Section 3.

ELS members may pursue any activity that ELS officers deem relevant and beneficial to furthering the goals of ELS, as long as the activity is not prohibited by any policies of American University or the Washington College of Law. 


Section 1.  Requirements

Any student or faculty member of the Washington College of Law, or any graduate student of American University, is eligible to be a member of ELS.

Section 2.  Termination of Membership

Membership in ELS is voluntary and a member can terminate membership at any time.  To obtain membership a student may register with ELS by e-mailing or by signing up at any event at which ELS has prepared a sign-up sheet.  

Section 3. Non-discrimination

ELS 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 or mental disability, religion, or religious or denominational affiliation, gender or sexual orientation, dietary habits or environmental practices.


Section 1.  The Executive Board

The Executive Board of ELS shall consist of the following officers President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  All Board Members cooperatively spearhead the coordinate of events and programs.

  • President
  • Preside at all meetings of the Executive Board, Student Advisors, and General Body.
  • Determine and formulate agenda items for Board meetings taking into consideration the recommendations of the Executive Board, Student Advisors and General Body.
  • Coordinate the presentation of the Board’s public statements representing the position of the Board and issue statements to the press, when appropriate.
  • Keep the Board focused on the mission, vision, and goals set forth in the ELS Constitution.
  • Delegate assignments and duties to other Board members
  • With the assistance of the Treasurer, develop for the Board’s review, a budget for each semester.
  • Attend SBA Finance Committee meetings, as needed.
  • Vice President
  • Assist the President with every day matters.
  • Assume the role of President for an event or meeting when the President is unable to attend.
  • When the President is unable to carry out his/her duties, the Vice President will assume the duties of the President.
  • Maintain the ELS web page.
  • Attend SBA Finance Committee meetings, as needed.
  • Treasurer
  • Call and organize at least one meeting per semester to prepare the budget for the following semester. This meeting should be scheduled at least one week prior to the SBA deadline for budget submission.
  • Prepare each semesters’ budget.
  • Attend SBA Finance Committee meetings, as needed.
  • Keep all budget/financial records.
  • Secretary
  • Maintain adequate communication between the Executive Board, other members of the Society, and the public. This includes but is not limited to: meeting announcements, announcements regardingspecial events and functions and communications between the school administration and the society.
  • Take minutes at executive board meetings.
  • Maintain the TWEN site.
  • Attend SBA Finance Committee meetings, as needed.

Section 2.  Student Advisor(s).

At the discretion of the Executive Board, former Executive Board members, and/or 1Ls, may be retained in an advisory role.

Section 3.  Faculty Advisor

ELS shall have a Faculty Advisor selected from the Environmental Law faculty at the Washington College of Law. 


Section 1. Candidates

Each candidate for office must submit a statement of interest. 

Section 2. Voting Procedure

If a vote is necessary, the Executive Board shall determine the appropriate means of voting.  Candidates shall be elected by a majority of ELS members. 

Section 3. Date of Election

Election of the Executive Board shall be no earlier than March 15 and no later than April 15 of each academic year. 

Section 4. Term of Office

The term of office shall be one academic year or in the case of mid-year replacement, from the time of the replacement until the new officers are elected at the Spring election.

Section 5. Impeachment

Impeachment proceedings shall be at the discretion of the Executive Board.  A three-fourths vote shall be required to replace an Executive Board member.


Section 1. 

ELS may solicit funds in any manner consistent with Washington College of Law policies and procedures. 

Section 2.

The financial management of ELS is the responsibility of the Treasurer.


Section 1. Constitution

All proposed amendments to the ELS Constitution shall be made in written or electronic form and submitted to the Executive Board by any member, officer, or advisor of ELS.

Section 2. Authority of Elected and Appointed Officers

Elected officers and student advisors have full authority to implement and interpret the mandate of this Constitution.  That implementation and interpretation shall be binding to the extent of its constitutionality.  However, any questions of the constitutionality of the actions of the elected officers or student advisors shall be settled at a general meeting of the membership with a simple majority vote. 

Section 3. Bylaws

The operation of ELS shall be in accordance with any bylaws.

Section 4. Amendments

Any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by a majority of the Executive Board when all members of the Executive Board are present, in person or by telephonic or other electronic means deemed appropriate by the Board as a whole.