Creating a Constitution

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gabjoh
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Creating a Constitution

Post by gabjoh » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:13 pm

The way it works here (and at a bunch of other places, I know) is that in order to register as a club, you have to have a constitution. Does anyone have constitutions of their clubs that they'd be willing to share? I remember UC Berkeley had one, but their site seems to be down at the moment. Thanks.

(My email is gabjoh2 and then the at symbol and then gmail.com.)
Gabriel Johnson
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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:17 pm

Because our website is angry at me, here's the text. (source, assuming you can get it to function from outside the Berkeley campus)

Note: I have no idea how much of this material is UC-specific.

CONSTITUTION OF QUIZ BOWL CLUB (Quizbowl)

ARTICLE I: Name

The style of this club shall be the Quiz Bowl Club.

ARTICLE II: Purpose

The purpose of the Quiz Bowl Club is to provide the university community with a club from which teams of students will be drawn to compete in local and national competitions of academic and popular culture knowledge. It is also the purpose of the club to provide a welcome atmosphere to the university community for those who wish to participate in such contests.

ARTICLE III: Requirements

The requirements of membership in the club are an interest in the activity. All are welcome to come and participate.

Only currently registered students, faculty and staff may be active members in a registered student organization. Only active members may vote or hold office.

We will not haze according to California State Law; we will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical and mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or status as a covered veteran (special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized).

ARTICLE IV: Officers/Elections

Election of officers is to take place towards the end of fall and spring semesters. Unless rescheduled at least two weeks in advance the elections will occur on the final Monday of November, and the final Monday of April. The Quiz Bowl Club will elect two chief magistrates known as Presidents. In addition, a treasurer shall be elected. Other offices may be created at the discretion of the presidents and approval of a majority of the club. All officers must be registered students at the University of California.

1. Powers of the Presidents

The Presidents preside at all official club meetings.

The Presidents will present the agenda at every club business meeting.

The Presidents will establish the regular meeting time and place at the start of the school term.

They will ensure room reservations at the beginning of every semester.

They will serve as club signatories.

They will see to it that requests for funding from the University are submitted before the deadline.

The Presidents will supervise the recruitment efforts of the club.

The Presidents will conduct relations with clubs from other schools. It is their responsibility to maintain good relations with other schools and promote the annual Berkeley-run tournament(s).

The Presidents have the power to appoint a temporary coach for the team on an ad hoc basis. The length of such a coach's term is up to the discretion of the Presidents.

The Presidents have the power to delegate authority and/or duties to a member of the club.

The Presidents will determine the composition of teams for tournament play. In the event that the Presidents cannot come to a consensus the issue shall be put to a vote of all club members in attendance that are eligible to vote. If Presidential team selection is unacceptable it can be overturned by the vote of three quarters of attending club members eligible to vote, excluding the Presidents who may not vote in this instance.

2. Powers of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall have control and responsibility of the income the club generates. The Treasurer may only spend money with the approval of a President.

The Treasurer will help the Presidents make requests for financial assistance from the University when needed. The Treasurer may be charged with making a budget request to the University.

The Treasurer is to make reports on the status of the club's fiscal reserves at the request of a President.

ARTICLE V: Meetings

The Club will meet at a regular meeting time and a regular meeting place twice every week until final exams each semester. Club activities consist of practice and tournaments.

1. Practice. When the club meets to practice, the goal is to improve knowledge and playing skills. All members are encouraged to make constructive suggestions and/or criticism to help improve team play. Several different formats of play may be employed; the selection of packets to be read at practice is open to the suggestion of all club members. Final decision on these matters is to be made by the Presidents.

2. Tournaments. When the club hosts or attends a tournament, Quiz Bowl Club members are expected to be on the best of behavior. If there is a difference of opinion with a tournament official, club members are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous and adult manner.

ARTICLE VI: Constitutional Amendments

The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of voting members (as defined in Article XIII) present at a meeting at which quorum is obtained. The proposed amendments must be announced at least two weeks prior to the vote at a meeting and distributed over the club e-mail list.

Existing articles may be changed and/or new articles added. New articles may not be added which contradict existing articles.

All amendments, additions or deletions must be filed with the Office of Student Life, 102 Sproul Hall. All amendments, additions or deletions must be filed with the ASUC Office of Student Affairs, 400 Eshleman Hall within one week of adoption.

ARTICLE VII: Dissolution

The club shall be dissolved only upon a unanimous vote of voting members (as defined in Article XIII) present at a meeting at which quorum is obtained. The vote must be announced at least two weeks prior to the date when the vote will be held at a meeting and over the club e-mail list in order for the vote to be valid.

All unspent ASUC funds shall remain the property of ASUC, all Graduate Assembly funds shall remain the property of the Graduate Assembly. Remaining privately-obtained funds may be donated to another nonprofit organization with prior approval of the ASUC Senate Finance Committee.

ARTICLE VIII: Recruitment

The club will recruit each year by tabling at Calapalooza. Club members may actively recruit new members throughout the University community. Alternative methods of recruitment in addition to those enumerated above may include hosting intramural tournaments, staging exhibition matches and practices, and posting advertisements in the form of flyers or other print ads.

ARTICLE IX: Hosting Tournaments

The Quiz Bowl Club may host one or more tournaments per year as a fund-raising device and/or as an opportunity to allow all members of the club to participate in a tournament. There is no limit to the number of teams the club may host or field, provided there is enough personnel to manage the event. One such tournament could be an intramural. Such an activity may increase campus awareness of the club and also bring in new members. If the club votes to conduct such an intramural, the members voting in favor of holding an intramural must be willing to help run the project. The club will run a fall college invitational each year as well as a fall and spring high school tournament. A majority vote is necessary in each consideration to cancel these events.

ARTICLE X: Attending tournaments

The Quiz Bowl Club will attend as many tournaments as it has opportunity, interest, and funds. In cases where more than one team is allowed to attend, multiple teams may be sent, provided that sufficient funds exist.

ARTICLE XI: Choosing teams to represent CAL Berkeley

In all cases it is up to the discretion of the Presidents whether to enter the strongest possible teams or to allow everyone to play.

1. Who is qualified to play?

Individual tournaments will specify the qualifications club members must meet in order to play.

2. The Selection process

The Presidents will solicit interest from members of the club in reference to upcoming tournaments.

The Presidents will use the list of interested club members to assemble teams who conform to the eligibility requirements of the tournament. These team selections will then be announced to the club either by electronic mail or at practice.

If these selections are deemed unacceptable they may be overturned by the vote of three-quarters of the club members in attendance that are eligible to vote.

In the event that team selections are overturned the Presidents will submit a new set of teams for the approval of the club until the selections are approved by over one-quarter of club members in attendance and eligible to vote.

Presidents may use any criteria they deem proper to determine the composition of teams, with the exception of considerations of race, religion, national origin, sex, color, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

ARTICLE XII: Creation of other magistrates

The Presidents, if in agreement, may appoint club members to special magistracies for the purposes of facilitating club activities or relations with other schools. After Presidents are elected the Presidents will choose a willing Vice President who will assume the duties of the President in the event that neither is present at a club meeting, or that both Presidents leave the club.

ARTICLE XIII: Voting power of the membership

Most issues will be brought for discussion by one or both of the Presidents before the membership during regular meetings. In most cases a simple majority vote will be sufficient to pass such bills. In all cases, a quorum of eight eligible club members must be present to vote on an issue. If no quorum is present at any time over the course of two regular club meetings the intention to vote at a specific time during the next meeting will be announced via the E-mail list and those eligible to vote will constitute a quorum at that time. In the rare event of a tie vote, the Presidents will have final tie breaking power. If the Presidents cannot agree the issue is to be tabled until the next meeting. If the issue is extremely time sensitive and delay is not possible the treasurer can break the tie. If the treasurer is not present the Vice President can break the tie. If no tie-breaking vote is made, debate is to continue until a majority opinion can be reached. In order to have a vote in club decisions and elections, each member must meet to the following requirements: Attend club meetings on a regular basis (2+ full meetings a month, or six hours of meetings spread out over many meetings). Starting with the second year of participation, each member must submit a packet of original questions once a semester if solicited. This rule is to be enforced in the negative only after the final deadline for those solicited packets has passed. This should typically be in the form of a High School tournament packet, or a college invitational packet. Each club member eligible to vote must have helped run one club activity in the previous twelve months, players who have been in the club fewer than twelve months are exempt from this provision. This means moderating/score keeping at a tournament, editing tournament rounds etc.

Original Revision Drafted: October 29, 2001

Revisions and proposal by Steven Kaplan
Presidents Ross Ritterman and Seth Teitler presiding

Revision History

Voting Record (added 10/21/2002)

"Membership clause of Article XI of the constitution amended to read, 'In order to have a vote in club decisions and elections, each member must meet to the following requirements: Attend club meetings on a regular basis (2+ full meetings a month, or six hours of meetings spread out over many meetings) or be approved as a member by a simple majority vote of the club.' - passed 10/0"
"Gaius Stern approved as club member - passed 10/0"
Constitutional Update (approved March 6, 2006)

Article IV moved to Article VIII and Article VII added to comply with OSL constitutional organization requirements. Other articles renumbered accordingly.
Required OSL language on hazing and discrimination added to article III.
Required ASUC language on dissolution added to article VII.
Article V updated to reflect biweekly practices.
Requirements in Article VI changed to agree with OSL requirements. OSL and ASUC required language added.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by Charbroil » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:48 pm

gabjoh wrote:The way it works here (and at a bunch of other places, I know) is that in order to register as a club, you have to have a constitution. Does anyone have constitutions of their clubs that they'd be willing to share? I remember UC Berkeley had one, but their site seems to be down at the moment. Thanks.

(My email is gabjoh2 and then the at symbol and then gmail.com.)
Does your school have sample constitutions that it would be willing to share? Since most club constitutions are fairly similar, I imagine that it might be easier to just tweak an existing constitution.
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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by marnold » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:57 pm

Chicago's by-laws had fallen into laughable neglect by the end of last year; there were all sorts of CBI-specific roles and we had been electing more vice presidents than the rules instructed for about a decade. Since there was also no amendment procedure, as last year's enlightened despot I just re-wrote them (including adding Article V to curb such horrifying abuses of power because of leadership caprice).




By-Laws of University of Chicago College Bowl

Article I. The name of this organization shall be University of Chicago College Bowl.


Article II. The purpose of this organization shall be to promote College Bowl on campus by holding meetings, running intramural tournaments, fielding teams for regional and national intercollegiate competitions, and other such activities which will increase awareness and participation in College Bowl.


Article III. All registered graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for membership. Members will be considered "full-time members" if they attend at least half of the club s regular practices, or attend at least one intercollegiate College Bowl tournament.


Article IV. Officers

Section 1. Organization officers shall be President, Vice President for Finance, and either one or two other Vice Presidents; the creation of the third Vice President position proceeds at the discretion of the President presiding when the election for that post occurs. If a former president is still a member of the team, he or she may accept the title President Emeritus and may also be designated an official officer at the discretion of the active President.

Section 2. All students who have been a member of College Bowl in the preceding academic year are eligible to hold office.

Section 3. All officers shall serve for one calendar year.

Section 4. The president shall be responsible for the organization as a whole, shall choose team members for various intercollegiate competitions, shall be the director of any intramural tournaments, shall run and appoint various club members to assist in running club practices, shall choose a College Bowl representative for the Coalition of Academic Teams, shall be allowed to withdraw funds from the College Bowl account for approved expenses, and shall have other general powers not specifically designated. The President may delegate any of the above powers to other officers of the organization, as allowed.
--The Vice President for Finance shall be responsible for securing funding for the various activities of College Bowl, may represent the organization before the Student Government Finance Committee, shall regularly audit the College Bowl accounts, and may be given permission to withdraw funds from the College Bowl accounts for approved expenses, at the discretion of the President.
--The Vice President for Club Activities shall maintain a roster of club members, shall be responsible for publicizing club activities, shall be responsible for increasing awareness of College Bowl on campus, shall maintain and seek to augment the College Bowl library, shall take attendance and record other relevant facts at regular meetings, and shall maintain and preserve the condition of the buzzer systems and other equipment. The Vice President for Club Activities shall not be authorized to have access to the funds of the organization.

Section 5. Elections shall be held the last week in May for each position. Candidates must notify the Vice President for Club Operations during the first week of May of their candidacy, and the Vice President will deliver a list of candidates for each position to all full-time club members by the third week in May. Club Election shall be by majority of full-time members. Proxy votes will be allowed. Run-off ballots, omitting the lowest vote-getter, will be held until one candidate has a majority. Members will first elect a President, then a Vice President for Finance, then a Vice President for Club Activities. A person may be a candidate for more than one office, but may be elected to only one office. Officers shall assume their duties immediately following their election. The organization s adviser shall be informed of the election results by the elected President.

Section 6. Any full-time member may convene a special meeting for the removal of an officer. Upon the vote of three fourths of the entire full-time membership, an officer shall be removed from office, and a successor shall immediately be elected.

Section 7. In the first academic year of the acceptance of these By-laws, elections shall be held immediately after the acceptance of these by-laws. For this election only, the President and Vice President for Finance must have been full-time members of College Bowl the previous academic year.

Article V. Changes to these by-laws must be authorized by either a majority vote of team officers or a majority vote of full-time members.
Michael Arnold
Chicago 2010
Columbia Law 2013

2009 ACF Nats Champion
2010 ICT Champion
2010 CULT Champion
Member of Mike Cheyne's Quizbowl All-Heel Team

Fundamental Theorem of Quizbowl (Revised): Almost no one is actually good at quizbowl.

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marnold
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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by marnold » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:04 pm

Also, I'll go ahead and note that there is almost certainly no one in your school's administration who gives a shit about your constitution or will ever read it. Unless you anticipate your club getting hijacked by ne'er-do-wells you can probably just write any old crap.
Michael Arnold
Chicago 2010
Columbia Law 2013

2009 ACF Nats Champion
2010 ICT Champion
2010 CULT Champion
Member of Mike Cheyne's Quizbowl All-Heel Team

Fundamental Theorem of Quizbowl (Revised): Almost no one is actually good at quizbowl.

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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:02 pm

It is worth noting that nowadays, college student associations are quite persnickety about new clubs' constitutions. I've been revising and resubmitting mine for months (since September), but there are many idiosyncrasies with which founders must be familiar. For example, UB's SA requires a quantitative formula concerning qualifications for "voting," as opposed to "non-voting" membership. "Demonstrated interest" is no longer adequate. So be warned: here be dragons.
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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:21 pm

Why not just go "must attend or have excused absences at a % of team functions"?
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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:38 am

I tried that and got a scribbled "how do you define an excused absence, and what are the criteria thereof?" One of these days, I just need to call them up and see if we can sit down with the SA high-ups and write a constitution with them there.

Also, undergraduate clubs are administered by the Undergrad SA, which specifically bars grad students from participation. We can keep competing DII, but sooner or later, we'll want to up the level
Zach Pace
Clarence High School '10, University at Buffalo '14
Writer, NAQT; Reader, NY MasterMinds
Space Advocate, Amateur Astronomer, and Occasional STEM Pundit
You don't want me anywhere near literature that's not sci-fi or written in Latin. Seriously.

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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:37 pm

"An excused absence is an absence announced to <insert officer> 24 hours before the team event in question, due to health, scholastic, employment, or other personal reasons."

You also don't have to have graduate students to do DI.
Fred Morlan
PACE President, 2018-19
International Quiz Bowl Tournaments, co-owner
University of Kentucky CoP, 2017
hsqbrank manager, NAQT writer (former subject editor), former hsqb Administrator/Chief Administrator, 2012 NASAT TD

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Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur
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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:21 pm

Fred wrote:"An excused absence is an absence announced to <insert officer> 24 hours before the team event in question, due to health, scholastic, employment, or other personal reasons."
That's good, I'll use that
Fred wrote:You also don't have to have graduate students to do DI.
Oh right, I forgot there was an Undergrad DI.
Zach Pace
Clarence High School '10, University at Buffalo '14
Writer, NAQT; Reader, NY MasterMinds
Space Advocate, Amateur Astronomer, and Occasional STEM Pundit
You don't want me anywhere near literature that's not sci-fi or written in Latin. Seriously.

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Re: Creating a Constitution

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:28 pm

One thing you need to be careful about is that every school has certain specific clauses that need to be included in your club constitution. For instance, I think we needed to add "All amendments shall be in consonance with University regulations and policies and shall be filed with the University through the Office of the Dean of Students within one week of adoption of the organization" and one or more of our many clauses about making club records available to University personnel upon request.

We have three voting membership clauses, which I think are partially cribbed from the UCLA constitution I rewrote, which was heavily based on an old Berkeley constitution:

"In order to have a vote in club decisions and elections, each member must have attended at least two of the past ten regular meetings. Each club member eligible to vote also must have helped run one club activity in the previous twelve months; however, players who have been in the club fewer than twelve months are exempt from this provision.

The club roster, compiled by the Vice President, shall serve as the final arbiter on whether or not a club member meets the requirements to be a voting member.

A member who does not meet these requirements may be approved as a voting member by a simple majority vote of the [voting members of the] club, in which case he and she can vote only on motions proposed during the meeting in which he or she is approved as a voting member."

You may especially want to include the last two clauses, although quite frankly I think I wrote a lot of our club constitution in the style of bureaucratic nonsense. I'm not going to post the rest of the six pages of our club constitution, but I do agree that once you get the university to accept your constitution, they probably won't pay any attention to it unless you make them. We've been operating without any truly elected officers for some time.
Dwight Wynne
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