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Black Student Union

Constitution

ARTICLE ONE - NAME

The name of the organization shall be BLACK STUDENT UNION (BSU) of Washington College in the State of Maryland.

ARTICLE TWO - PHILOSOPHY

The underlying philosophy of THE BLACK STUDENT UNION is to serve and unify all students at Washington College by addressing their needs. It seeks to identify relevant issues and initiate appropriate action in order to reduce or eliminate any impediments believed to be adverse to students and their continued well being and matriculation. This shall be accomplished by providing educational, cultural, and social programs and activities which relate to the past, present, and future goals and aspirations of Black people. Furthermore, it seeks to provide enriching experiences and assuring continuing development of a progressive environment which is conducive to Black students in their quest to obtain a quality and meaningful education.

ARTICLE THREE - MEMBERSHIP

Membership is open to all students at WASHINGTON COLLEGE. A member is defined as a student who is in good standing with the college and in compliance with all policies, rules and regulations. Additionally, a member is one who identifies either in kind or in principle with the underlying philosophy of BSU.

ARTICLE FOUR - DUES

There will be no financial dues administered to the membership of BLACK STUDENT UNION.

ARTICLE FIVE - EXECUTIVE BOARD

Members of the Executive Board: shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Executive Secretary, Social Chair, and five board members. The President, Vice President, Treasurer, Executive Secretary, and Programmer shall be elected at-large by the undergraduate student body to serve a term of one academic year.

Be it further understood that no member of the BLACK STUDENT UNIONS’ Executive Board shall be a major officer of a registered major student organization. While candidates may occupy such a position, they shall relinquish them upon their election to the Executive Board.

The Executive Board shall operate as a general planning, coordinating, and control unit. The Executive Board will also act as a governing entity within the scope of its expressed purposes, powers, duties, and responsibilities which have been entrusted to the board by the undergraduate student body. It will also serve as an administrative check and balance mechanism. All policy decisions, reviews, approval recommendation on all proposed legislation and constitutional amendments will be scrutinized and acted upon by the Executive Board.

Section 1 - Duties of Executive Officers

A. The President- The President shall be the presiding officer over all Executive Board meetings. He/She shall also possess the power to make appointments. He/She is also an ex-officio member of all standing institutions. Furthermore, the President shall cast a vote only in instances of a tie vote. The President oversees the organization in its total operational capacity and possesses discretionary powers when making major decisions. Both the President and the Executive Board will determine administrative implementation regarding policy for the organization.

B. The Vice President- The Vice President only during the absence of the President shall preside over all meetings. The vice president shall oversee all internal operations of the organization. He/She also serves as a counsel to the president. The vice president serves as the administrative liaison to both the president and other organizations. The vice president shall be a voting executive board member.

C. The Treasurer- The Treasurer shall maintain an accurate system of recording all financial and business transactions of the organization. He/She will advocate sound fiscal policies to the board during both executive and work sessions. The Treasurer must be impartial in the performance of his/her duties. Additional responsibilities include collecting and recording all monies generated from fund raising events, concession stands, and the balancing of the ledger at the end of each month. The Treasurer is a voting Executive Board member.

D. The Executive Secretary- The Executive Secretary shall be charged with the responsibility of recording and preserving the minutes of all meetings. The Executive Secretary’s areas responsibility will include coordinating the support functions of all office personnel, maintain office supplies, scrutinizing outgoing correspondence, keeping the President abreast of meetings and communications which necessitates immediate action. The Executive Secretary is a voting Executive Board member.

E. The Programmer- The Programmer shall work intimately with the Publicity Chairperson. He/She will be responsible for ensuring that the Programming Committee’s efforts be geared towards planning, developing and implementing social, educational and cultural programs which reflect current needs of Black student in particular and the campus in general. In order to achieve diversity in programming functions, each area of interest should receive equal emphasis and should represent the broad and diverse interest of the black student body. Appointments will be made to the programming committee upon recommendation to the Executive Board and will consist of a diverse representation of students. Although this committee enjoys a degree of autonomy from the Executive Board in carrying out its planning functions, all activities must be approved by a majority vote prior to implementation. The Programmer is a voting Executive Board member.

SECTION 2 - EXECUTIVE BOARD

A. Community Affairs Chairperson- The Chairperson of this committee shall be responsible for ensuring that the Community Affairs Committee serves as a liaison between the Executive Board and the community. This committee also seeks to facilitate the operational aspects pertaining to financial accountability and plans centering around program implementation. These programs are believed to be in good faith and justified by Washington College’s commitment to performing public service for the community. the community affairs chairperson shall be a voting Executive Board member.

B. Academic Affairs Chairperson- The chairperson of this committee shall be responsible for ensuring that the Academic Affairs Committee places its major emphasis upon developing, coordinating, facilitating, and implementing academic support services for BSU constituency. These support services will encourage intellectual development and foster cultural awareness, and reinforce the idea of academic excellence (eg: academic advising & financial aid information). The Academic Affairs Chairperson shall be a voting Executive Board member.

C. Political Affairs and Grievances Chairperson- The Political Affairs and Grievances Chairperson will be responsible for ensuring that the Political Affairs and Grievances Committee places its major emphasis upon (1) assessing the concerns of Black students and identifying any institutionalized practices or other practices which are believed to be adverse to their well being; (2) acting as a third party, utilizing the concept of Student Advocacy; (3) prevention, rather than crisis intervention whenever possible; (4) being instrumental in preventing racially related problems. Additional areas of responsibility include the dissemination of accurate information on university policies and procedures, advising and/or accompanying students before the WASHINGTON COLLEGE HONOR BOARD, and serving as an initial referral service for socially related concerns (e.g.. substance abuse & stress). The chairperson of this committee shall be a voting executive board member.

D. Publicity Chairperson- The Chairperson of this committee will be responsible for ensuring that the Publicity Committee adequately publicizes ALL BUS events, and other functions which involves significant numbers of the College community and will keep Black students informed of its efforts and directions. This chairperson will work closely with the programmer to insure he/she is aware of all upcoming BSU events. The publicity committee will assist in the circulation of the BSU newsletter. The publicity committee will utilize any and all means to communicate communication with its constituency (e.g.: graphics & telecommunication). The chairperson of this committee shall be a voting executive board member.

SECTION 3 - SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Special committees shall be appointed as deemed necessary by the President.

A. WEB PAGE -

BSU WEB is the voice of Black students at WASHINGTON COLLEGE. All BSU events and accurately report facts concerning the overall operation of the College and its relationship to Black students. The news content along with the ethical journalistic standards (accuracy, truth and professionalism), will be the responsibility of the Web Administrator. The executive board will give advice and recommendation in the selection of the Web administrator. The final selection will be decided by the executive board.

B. BSU NEWS -

BSU shall be jointly chaired by the Political Affairs and Grievance and the Publicity Chairperson BSU WEB shall be a crisis intervention program designed to address student concerns within the residence halls. BSU web shall provide third party mediation; assist resident directors and resident student advisors in dealing with problems that might have racial overtones; assist the campus policies in preventing activity through the dissemination of accurate information on university policies and procedures. It shall also act as an initial referral service for socially related problems and concerns such as, but not limited to: substance abuse, depression, suicide, and pregnancy.

C. THE HISTORIAN -

The Historian will work in conjunction with BSU WEB, in an effort to recapture and record the history of the BLACK STUDENT UNION. The Historian will articulate the history of the Black Student Union. This Historian will articulate the history of Black Student Union through a yearbook or web site.

D. Executive Co-Chairperson -

The Executive Co=chairpersons are created by the elected board members of BLACK STUDENT UNION. Its purpose is to carry out specific functions of the following committees: Academic Affairs, Political Affairs & Grievance, Community Affairs and Publicity.. The Executive Co-Chairpersons and Committee Chairpersons, shall be appointed by the President with the ultimate approval resting with the executive board. The co-chairs shall have the right to vote in the absence of the executive board member, provided he/she has prior approval from the affected executive board member.

E. Executive Assistant -

The Administrative Assistant shall serve the Executive Board to facilitate the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. The Administrative Assistant will work in conjunction with the Treasurer, to make sure all business transactions have been processed and finalized.

F. Secretary’s Assistant -

The Secretary Assistant shall help the Executive Board in the performance of any and all of the daily operations of the organization.

ARTICLE SIX - MEETINGS

The time and place of all meetings will be established by the President and communicated to all members of the executive board by the Executive Secretary. Executive board members must be notified of all meetings through a customary or established means of communications. the publicity chairperson should post notices of regular mass meetings to provide notice for concerned members of the university community. The Executive Secretary shall assume direct responsibility for making advance room reservations for all regularly scheduled meetings.

A. The BLACK STUDENT UNION shall meet regularly at such times as prescribed by its rules, but not less frequently than twice each month. All meetings shall be open to the public.

B. Procedures at all meetings will be conducted by Robert’s Rules of Order, Those Executive Board members in attendance will vote on all policy decision.

C. All special meetings shall be called by the President and notifications sent to all board members by the Executive Secretary.

ARTICLE SEVEN - ELECTIONS & QUALIFICATIONS OF OFFICERS

SECTION 1 - ELECTION COMMISSIONER

A. The Elections Commissioner will be appointed by the Executive Board at the beginning of the fall semester. The term shall last for one academic year.

B. Publicity for the commissioner position must be publicly announced (e.g.. BLITZ MAIL, radio, flyers, and posters).

C. Applications will be available seven academic days after announcement.

D. Applicants will be screened and selected by the Executive Board.

SECTION 2 - DUTIES OF ELECTIONS COMMISSIONER

A. The elections commissioner shall provide open forums for candidates.

B. The elections commissioner shall provide adequate publicity of day, time, and place of the elections.

C. The elections commissioner shall enforce all voting procedures (refer to Section 3).

D. The elections commissioner shall enforce all voting regulations.

E. The elections commissioner shall insure that all polling areas are maintained on a non-prejudicial basis. F. The elections commissioner shall insure that candidates have no more than twenty (20) academic days to campaign.

G. The elections commissioner shall facilitate an inaugural program within twenty (20) days following the election.

I. The elections commissioner shall provide administrative and electoral responsibilities as it pertains to Article 8, Section 4.

SECTION 3 - ELECTIONS PROCESS

A. The elections process shall begin with the installation of the elections commissioner, no later than the sixth week of every fall semester.

B. For any office that is not being contested, a YES/NO ballot will be utilized so that the student body can decide whether this person will be elected to a position or not. A YES/NO Ballot will also be used when those running for board member positions number less than ten. Any candidate receiving more NO votes than YES votes will not be elected to the executive board. In this case, vacancies which are a result of the elections process, should be filled only after the Executive Board’s recommendations have been approved by the student body at an adequately publicized mass meeting. Neither the president nor the executive board has the power to appoint someone to the board who ran for office and received more NO votes than YES votes.

SECTION 4 - QUALIFICATION OF OFFICERS

A. All executive board members must be undergraduate students, and they must, as per student life policy, have at least a 2.50 grade point average.

B. Must have one semester of standing and/or special committee participation.

C. Previous BSU committee experience is encouraged.

ARTICLE EIGHT - INELIGIBILITY, DERELICTION OF DUTIES, DISMISSAL, RECALL, AND VACANCIES

SECTION 1 - RECALL

A. A valid petition shall contain valid signatures and the identification of 90% of the votes casts in the previous BSU election. The actual number will be determined by the election commissioner.

B. The petition shall be submitted to the BLACK STUDENT UNION elections commissioner for validation, and for referral to the President and the Executive Board.

SECTION 2 - DERELICTION OF DUTIES

A. Dereliction of Duty occurs when an executive board member fails to perform his/her duties pursuant to: his/her job description, the BSU Constitution, and/or any combination thereof and pertaining to.

B. A chairperson can be deemed derelict in his/her duties by a majority vote of the executive board.

C. The President with the approval of the Executive Board shall be empowered to remove the affected Executive Board member from office by a majority vote of the executive board.

SECTION 3 - DISMISSAL

A. When a chairperson who is deemed derelict in his/her duties has been reassigned and continues to perform inadequately, said chairperson becomes subject to dismissal.

B. When an Executive Board member fails to abide by the rules of BLACK STUDENT UNION and its constitution said Executive Board member becomes subject to dismissal.

SECTION 4 - INELIGIBILITY

A. A petition of the BLACK STUDENT UNION membership shall require a referendum to recall any Black Student Union Executive Board member from office. A valid petition shall contain the valid signatures and identification of fifty percent (50%), of the Black undergraduate student body.

B. The petition shall be submitted to the President for validation and referral to the Executive Board unless the petition is for the recall of the President and in that case the petition must be submitted to the Vice President for validation and referral to the Executive Board.

C. A referendum shall be held within fifteen (15) regular academic days after the receipt of a valid petition.

SECTION 5 - VACANCIES

A. When an Executive Board member has been absent from three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings without adequate notification to the Black Student Union office or without being properly excused from the meetings the position of said executive board member shall be declared vacant by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

B. All seats unoccupied through ineligibility, dismissal, recall, or resignation shall be considered vacant.

C. Vacancies that occur as a result of the YES/NO Ballot shall be filled according to Article Seven, Section 3b.

D. The President, with the approval of the Executive Board, shall make appointments to fill vacancies except in the case of vacancies as a result of the YES/NO Ballot used for the elections and in this case refer to Article Seven Section 3b.

ARTICLE NINE - RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

A. Any ratification of the constitution requires a two-thirds vote of BSU members at a public referendum.

B. Proposed amendments to the constitution may be submitted in writing by any BSU member.

C. All proposed amendments will be reviewed by the Executive Board and presented to the membership. IN order for any amendment to be ratified it must have two-thirds favorable vote of those BSU members present and voting. This procedure must occur within TEN (10), academic days after the board’s approval.

ARTICLE TEN - BYLAWS

A. A written document addressing said amendments or bylaws must be submitted to the board by a member of the Black Student Union.

B. The Executive Board shall vote within one meeting on said amendments. A Minimum of five (5) affirmative votes are necessary for approval.

C. The next step is to take such amendments to the members of Black Student Union within 10 days after approval by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE ELEVEN - BLACK UNITED STUDENTS’ CODE OF ETHICS

A. All BLACK STUDENT UNION personnel must maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.25

B. Never surrender information concerning the activities of the internal core.

C. Everyone must uphold the trust, integrity, honesty, professionalism, ethical standards, and credibility of this organization. Do not act in an unprofessional manner.

D. Challenge that which is unforeseen. Your limits are within.

E. Never speak unless you can accurately qualify and justify every statement.

F. Never be awed by authority.

G. Power is best generated in collectives.

H. Personality, attitudes, behavior, emotions, and thought characterizes the diversity of the human beings and should be used advantageously.

I. If you commit yourself without knowing, surrender only if you have been soundly defeated.

J. Black people must receive utmost respect from each and everyone of us

K. BLACK STUDENT UNION was built on the determination of several students who sought progressive ways of achieving realized goals and objectives; it will continue to flourish when those among you seize control of this destiny.