Constitution

Constitution of “Near and Middle Eastern
Civilizations Students’ Union”

  1. Name

The official name of this recognized campus group is “Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Students’ Union”

The acronym or abbreviation of this group is: NMCSU

2. Purpose and Objectives

  • To raise department engagement and membership
  • To organize and facilitate events such as socials, academic seminars, movie nights that promote community values and act as networking gatherings
  • Promote interaction between the staff, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in the department
  • To receive student comments and concerns and approach department administration on how to address student concerns
  • To represent its members on the Council of the Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU)

 

3. Membership

Membership to the group is open to all the University of Toronto members (students, staff, faculty and alumni).

U of T members are permitted to run, nominate, and vote in elections and constitutional amendments. The group is open to non-U of T and non-ASSU members. However, these members do not hold the aforementioned rights. Members that are not registered must register with a designated executive by submitting their full name and a valid email address.

The membership fee will be free.

For recognition by the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), the group must maintain a minimum of 30 members, a total of 51% of membership are UTSU members. The group must also maintain recognition from the Office of Student Life. These requirements are subject to change and should be checked with UTSU annually to ensure qualifications are met.

 

4. Executive List and Duties

(1) The executive committee shall be comprised of six (6) elected officers. These include a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, which will be elected in March of every year, and First Year Representative, Events Coordinator, which will be elected in the following September.

(2) The position of Journal Editor-in-Chief shall be appointed during each election cycle by the presiding Executives. The Editor-in-Chief will be subject to the same rules and regulations as other elected members.

(3) If an executive misses 4/12 meetings, the executive board can impeach that executive with a vote that is 66% (super majority) contingent upon said executive’s general incompetency as determined by the other members of the executive board.

(4) In the case of a vacancy occurring in the Executive, a by-election shall be held at the next regular meeting. In the intervening time, or if the position is not filled by means of the by-election, the President may allocate the duties of that position to the members of the Executive in such a way as may be deemed appropriate by that executive.

(5) Election and by-election meetings must be advertised at least two weeks in advance

(6) Each member of the Executive shall have one vote and decisions of the Executive shall be made on the affirmative vote of the majority of members present and voting.

(7) The Executive shall report on its activities and the activities of the Union at each meeting of the Union upon the request of any Union member.

(8) The duties of the various members of the Executive shall be as follows:

The President shall:

  • Oversee the operations, management and success of the group
  • Set the agenda for the year in consultation with the rest of the executive members
  • Act as liaison between NMCSU, the NMC Department and ASSU
  • Hold signing officer authority along with the Treasurer for financial purposes and create the budget
  • Preside over board meetings as well as general meetings
  • Ensure transition of office to the future Executives
  • Attend ASSU meetings, Appoint members to fill seats at ASSU meetings
  • Act as administrator for Journal

The Vice-President shall:

  • Attend all meetings and be a contributing team member
  • Assists President with administrative matters
  • Assume duties of the President in his/her absence
  • Oversee the various committees
  • Ensure that all the activities of the club meet regulations and policies of the University of Toronto
  • Coordinate organizational recruitment efforts

The Secretary shall:

  • Attend all meetings and be a contributing team member
  • Make a list of all registered members
  • Maintain the web sites and member contact list
  • Record notes and motions for meetings
  • Notify all members of meetings
  • Handle official correspondence of the organization

The Treasurer shall:

  • Attend all meetings and be a contributing team member
  • Record all financial transactions of the group and maintain a written record
  • Hold signing officer authority along with the President for financial purposes
  • Maintain a budget of income and expenses along with receipts
  • Collect receipts and submits them to ASSU with expenditure breakdown
  • Advise members on financial position of the group
  • Prepare an annual budget for the group as well as budgets for specific events

The First Year Representative shall:

  • Attend all meetings and be a contributing team member
  • Act as a liaison between first year students in NMC courses and NMCSU
  • Promote first year student engagement

Events Coordinator shall:

  • Attend all meetings and be a contributing team member
  • Oversee and facilitate the organization of events and seminars
  • Ensure that all activities of the club meet regulations and policies of the University of Toronto

The Journal Editor-in-Chief shall:

  • Attend all meetings and be a contributing team member
  • The publications primary leader responsible for all operations and policies
  • Executive responsibility of organizing editorial staff and journal submissions
  • Held accountable for delegating tasks to editorial staff members

The group may appoint Directors or Coordinators for various committees such as social committee, publicity committee, and so on; however, such positions do not hold executive decision making authority.

Termination of Executives or General Members:

Any member of the club who commits an act negatively affecting the interests of the club and its members, including non-disclosure of a significant or continuing conflict of interest, may be given notice of removal. The member up for removal shall have the right to defend his/her actions. A two-thirds majority vote of the current members present in favour of removal is required.  The member must have the right to an appeal before the general membership, and the majority vote of the general membership will have the final say on the matter.

The member will be removed from the club’s membership and will lose any privileges associated with being a member of the club.

Executive members are subject to the same termination or impeachment process and, as determined by the vote, may lose their executive position along with their membership to the group.

 

5. Elections

The executive committee shall strike the Elections Committee and appoint one (1) Chief Returning Officer (CRO) and two (2) Scrutinizers from the general members on the committee to conduct and hold elections before the last day of classes. All members of the Elections Committee shall be non-biased in the results of the election and shall be required to disclose any and all conflicts of interest in the election.

The CRO Returning Officer shall accept nominations only from group members that are also registered U of T members (staff, faculty, students and alumni) for candidacy of executive positions from the general membership before the beginning of March. Candidates have to be members in good standing and be part of the group for at least one month prior to the nomination period.

Those wishing to run for the position of President must have sat on the executive board for at least one term. In instances where such a person is not available, candidates running should be part of the group for at least one month prior to the nomination period.

The CRO shall select three (3) election dates before March 30th for the voting period. These dates will be announced in a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to elections dates and must fall on weekdays.

The CRO and Scrutinizers shall provide each U of T member with a paper ballot on the voting dates and ask the member to place their ballot in an enclosed box.

In preparation for a tie, the CRO shall select an executive from amongst the executive committee, to cast their ballot and seal it in an envelope. In the event of a tie for an executive position, one of the two Scrutinizers shall break the seal and count the ballot in order to break the tie.

After the election is over, the CRO and Scrutinizers shall count the ballots. The candidate with the most votes shall be elected to the position. The CRO and Scrutinizers shall submit a report of the results of the elections to the Executive Committee and general members.

Registered U of T members may not vote by proxy. Non-U of T members may not nominate or vote in elections. Only ASSU members who have paid any applicable membership fees and have been a member in good standing for 30 days prior to election dates are eligible for voting.

Term of executive positions shall be from May 1st to April 30th.

 

6. Finances

The Treasurer shall keep records of all income and expenses. The Treasurer shall present the group’s financial health at the annual general meetings. The Executive Committee will vote on expenditures of over $100.00 by majority vote at an executive meeting.

The group’s executive or members may not engage in activities that are essentially commercial in nature. This is not intended to preclude the collection of membership fees to cover the expenses of the group, or of charges for specific activities, programs or events, or to prohibit groups from engaging in legitimate fundraising. However, the group will not have as a major activity a function that makes it an on-campus part of a commercial organization, will not provide services and goods at a profit when that profit is used for purposes other than those of the organization, and will not pay salaries to some or all of its officers.

 

7. Meetings

A) Annual General Meetings (AGMs):

The group shall hold general meetings at least twice per year, i.e. once per academic term.

The Executive Committee will announce these dates two (2) weeks prior to holding the meetings.  These meetings are intended to go over the group’s annual activity plan, financial health and propose or vote on constitutional amendments, if any. Motions will require 2/3 majority of registered members in attendance for a vote to be cast. The motion with the most votes will be passed.

B) Executive Meetings:

The executive committee shall meet on a weekly basis where date and times are to be set by an executive.  The quorum of executive meetings shall be 50%+1 of executives.

 

8. Amendments

Any registered ASSU members may propose and vote on amendments to this constitution. The Executive Committee will administer the process of having amendments discussed at general meetings.

Constitutional amendments shall require a 2/3 majority to be passed at Annual General Meetings by members in attendance.

The Executive Committee shall formally adopt the new constitution and submit the revised constitution to the respective University offices (i.e. Arts and Science Students’ Union, The Office of Student Life, The University of Toronto Students’ Union, etc.) within two (2) weeks of its approval by general members.


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