Proposed Constitution (2013)
DRAFT V.1.1 UMSA CONSTITUTION 1/31/2013
The name of this association of American University students shall hereby be known as the United Methodist Student Association
This constitution supersedes any previous constitution or list of bylaws of the United Methodist Student Association, hereafter referred to as the “UMSA” or “Association”.
The main goal of the UMSA is contained in, but not limited to, the following mission statement:
As an expression of Christian faith, we call, nurture, and equip the members of the American University community to grow in discipleship, serve others, create inclusive communities, build relationships with God and one another, discern vocation, and become leaders in the Church and the world.
The membership of the UMSA shall consist of any American University student who expresses an interest in joining, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, race, and/or age. Students who have attended Thursday or Sunday worship are considered to have expressed an interest.
The UMSA shall hold officer elections, at a time and place in proximity to the end of the academic year that maximizes the number of members who are able to participate. The positions that shall be filled by this election are (A) president, (B) vice president, (C) treasurer, and (D) secretary. These four officers shall constitute the executive board of the UMSA. Nominees may be offered from the floor by any of the membership. Those nominated may decline to stand for election. Self-nominations are permitted. Candidates who are unable to attend the election may run by contacting the current president before the election. The election shall be conducted by secret ballot, and the president and the advisor shall count those ballots. In the event that the president is standing for election for a position, then a graduating member shall count in the president’s stead. A person shall be considered elected if they receive a majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the two members who received the same number of votes shall be subject to a runoff election. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, then the two candidates receiving the two most votes shall be subject to a runoff election.
A person shall be considered elected if they receive a plurality of votes. In the event of a tie, the two members who received the same number of votes shall be subject to a runoff election. If no candidate receives a plurality of votes, then the two candidates receiving the two most votes shall be subject to a runoff election.
If only one member stands for election to a position, that member may be elected by acclamation. The officers elected shall assume office at noon on the day of the first commencement ceremony of the academic year.
- The president shall assume the responsibility of overseeing the organization and programming of the UMSA. The president shall also be responsible for coordinating and running weekly UMSA meetings. The president shall take an active role in the activities and life of the UMSA, acting to positively and energetically represent the association in both word and deed to the American University community. The president will also be available to the Association and will be receptive to any and all comments, concerns, and suggestions that the membership may offer.
- The vice-president shall assume the responsibilities of the president in the event of the president being unable to fulfill said responsibilities. The vice president shall assist the president and the other leaders of the Association in the organization and planning of activities and events. The vice president shall take an active role in the activities and life of the UMSA, acting to positively and energetically represent the Association in both word and deed to the American University community.
- The treasurer shall assume the financial responsibilities of the Association. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing and submitting all financial paperwork, maintaining an accurate record of all financial transactions and records, and preparing and submitting a budget that reflects the will and priorities of the Association. The treasurer shall be responsible for submitting any required equipment reports, as well as any other financial responsibilities that may arise.
- The secretary shall assume the administrative responsibilities of the Association. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, maintaining a documented record of the UMSA and its activities, maintaining an up-to-date calendar of events, and keeping and communicating the minutes of the Association’s meeting each week. If the secretary is unable to be present at these weekly meetings, it is the responsibility of the secretary to find a replacement to keep the minutes.
A freshman representative shall be elected by the membership at, or prior to, the fourth regularly scheduled meeting of the fall semester. The freshman representative shall be a first year college student and will be responsible for serving as a liaison between the freshmen and the leadership of the Association.
Officers may resign their position at any time by submitting a letter of resignation to the advisor and president (or, in the event that the president is resigning, to the vice president). If the president resigns, the vice president shall become the president and appoint an acting vice president in consultation with the other officers. Should any other officer resign, the president, in consultation with the other officers, shall appoint an acting officer. A sitting officer may serve as both an officer and acting officer. Within a period of time not to exceed thirty days, a replacement election shall be held at a regularly scheduled UMSA meeting. The election shall be conducted in a manner similar to regular elections. The president or vice president and the advisor will tally the ballots.
Officers shall be held accountable by the membership for upholding their responsibilities under this constitution. Any officer charged with not upholding the responsibilities of their office may be subject to impeachment by the membership. A majority vote of the quorum of the membership is required to impeach an officer. A quorum of the membership shall be defined as the number of members present at any regularly scheduled meeting. A vote for removal shall take place at the next regularly scheduled UMSA meeting or at a time determined by the advisor. The impeached officer shall be given the opportunity to provide a verbal or written statement in their defense. Removal shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum present. If the removal of the officer is successful, then an immediate election shall take place. The removed officer shall not be eligible for election.
Additional offices and positions may be created at the discretion of the executive board and membership to support the mission of the UMSA and the responsibilities of the executive board. These positions, in addition to the executive board and any other member of the community wishing to attend UMSA meetings, shall constitute the leadership of the UMSA. The members who serve in these positions serve at the pleasure of the membership and may be removed by the advisor at any time.
The advisor of the Association shall be the United Methodist Chaplain. If the United Methodist Chaplain is unable or unwilling to serve as advisor, another staff member shall be selected to serve as advisor consistent with University policy.
As a living document, this constitution may be amended at any time the membership sees fit. An amendment shall require a two-thirds vote of the quorum present for passage and shall take effect immediately upon approval. Articles X, XI, and XII may not be amended.
This constitution shall come into immediate effect upon a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum present at a regularly scheduled UMSA meeting
In order to ensure the governing documents of the UMSA accurately reflect the will and needs of the Association, this constitution shall be reviewed, revised, and approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum of the membership within a period not to exceed three years from the date of the previous revision.