Our Constitution

Federation of Urban Studies Students at York University Constitution

Table of Contents:

Preamble
Article I: Name
Article II. Interpretation
Article III. Objectives
Article IV. Powers
Article V. Membership – General
Article VI. Membership – Executive and General Positions
Article VII. Meeting Procedures
Article VIII. Election Procedures
Article IX. Financial Responsibility
Article X. Conflict of Interest
Article XI. Provisions for Dealing with Allegations of Wrongdoing & Disciplinary Action
Article XII. Committees
Article XIII. Amendment Procedures

Preamble

The Federation of Urban Studies Students at York University is a group aiming to unite students who are studying in the Urban Studies program or are interested in the field of Urban Studies. The club will provide a place for students to find the information required to pursuer their Urban Studies related interests.

Article I. Name

The official name of the club will be “Federation of Urban Studies Students”, herein referred to as the “FUSS”.

Article II. Interpretation

The President and Vice-President will be the sole interpreters of this constitution and will be responsible for making all club members aware of its content and ramifications. The Constitution shall be read with reference to and fully in compliance with the Constitutional Guidelines, as set out by York University.

Article III. Objectives

1. To provide information about topics related to Urban Studies.
2. To foster an inviting environment for fellow Urban Studies students to meet.
3. To organize programs and activities to help prepare students for their academic and professional careers as related to the field of Urban Studies.
4. To assist new Urban Studies students in integrating successfully at York University.
5. To provide a conducive environment for students, professors and administrative bodies to meet and interact during Club events
6. To use, manage and promote the Urban Studies Resource Centre, located in Room 304 Calumet College and treat it as a home for Urban Studies students and the club.

Article IV. Powers.

The Executive Council shall be comprised of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Webmaster, Program Director, Academic Adviser, Events Co-ordinator, and three Academic Year Representatives.

Article V. Membership – General

1. Qualifications for Membership
The constituency membership of the Club is open to all students and faculty of York University. The membership fee will be determined yearly by the Treasurer and President(s) depending on expected fees for the year and demand for the club.  Additional temporary duties not mentioned may be appointed to members to help with special projects.

2. Responsibilities and Privileges of Membership
All members, Executive and General, have the responsibility of behaving in a professional, respectful, and mature manner when dealing with club duties. They must act in accordance with the rules of York University and in the best interest of the club.

3. Terms of Office
All memberships, Executive and General, are applicable for the term of one year, from September to September. 

4. Procedures for Vacancies
Should a vacancy in the Executive team (also referred to as the Council or the Executive Council), an Honorary Executive member will be elected by the rest of the council to fill the vacancy. Their duties will be evenly dispersed on the council. Should a vacancy occur in an Honorary Executive position, their duties will be dispersed throughout the remaining council members.

Article VI. Membership – Executive and General Positions

1. Executive Members
Executive members must be elected in accordance with Article VII, Election Procedures. All Executive members may place a request for a formal club meeting to the President, who is the one that will call the meeting. 


The duties of the President are:
 There are two Co-Presidents, each having the same duties. The President must act in the best interest of the club and oversee the actions of all of the Executive members. The President must approve all financial transactions, verifying his/her approval by signing the proposal for transaction. With the Treasurer, the President determines the membership fee for the year. He/she is also the person who will write any requested letters of reference for Executive members, should the President feel that one is deserved by their exceptional service to the club. He/she will call meetings and lead them according to the concerns of members. The President must handle complaints and disputes, or when unable to resolve them seek further help from the Executive council or appropriate outside sources. He/she will attend University held functions requiring an official dignitary, or appoint an appropriate dignitary if unable to attend. Both Co-Presidents have signing authority.

The duties of the Vice-President are: The Vice-President will assume the duties and exercise the powers of the President in his/her absence. The Vice-President is the liaison between the FUSS and other clubs, professors, York University, and any other persons or organizations in contact with the club. The Vice-President is designated to be the custodian of the constitution as stated in Article XIV, Custodian of the Constitution.

The duties of the Treasurer are: The role of Treasurer is financial responsibility. He/she is to maintain the budget and financial records and complete all financial transactions for the club. Prior to completing a transaction, the Treasurer must seek approval from the President and, if necessary, attain their signature. With the President, the Treasurer determines the membership fee for the year.

The duties of the Secretary are: The secretary will keep minutes of meetings. He/she must also keep a list of all present and former members. The Secretary is also responsible for collecting and keeping up-to-date handouts for the club as pertaining to Urban Studies students about the discipline, major, applicable scholarship and bursary information, and career, summer research, and volunteer opportunities.

The duties of the Director of Communications are: This Director will help plan and execute club events. Responsibilities of event planning include sufficient advertising of the event to club and non-club members (should they be invited to attend), seeking finances from the Treasurer, and ensuring that the event will be run safely and in accordance with the rules of York University. The Director will also be the recruitment officer in charge of promoting the club and attracting new members to join.

The duties of the Webmaster are: The Webmaster will create and maintain the club website, which at a minimum should include sections about the objective of the club, this constitution, a description of club positions and how to apply, how to become a member of the club and upcoming events.

The duties of the Honorary Executive Members are: These 3 members will have specific aspects of the club to oversee as determined by the President and Vice-President and (if applicable) as requested by the members themselves. These members must collaborate with the Webmaster, Director of Communications, and Treasurer where appropriate. In addition, one member will be in charge of the club book exchange, which includes collecting prospective buyer and seller information. They will also be responsible for collecting tests to be sold and helping sell them to students. Written consent must be acquired from the professors who donate the tests that they are allowed to be sold. The second member will be responsible for maintaining the registry of available student tutors and students requiring tutors, and ensuring that both parties are satisfied with the service. As well, this member will arrange study groups for Urban Studies classes as requested by any students.

2. General members
General members have access to all events hosted by the club for free, or for a special members only fee when applicable. As well, they have the ability to request an alteration in the constitution as presented in writing to the President. General members are welcome to attend any meetings held by the Club’s Executive council, although they do not have voting power.

Article VII. Meeting Procedures

1. Meetings will take place between 1 to 2 times per month or when appropriate as deemed by Council.  Meetings will be scheduled at a time and place that is accessible to as many members as possible.  It is the responsibility of all Council members to come to a consensus with appropriate times, dates and locations.  At least 1 week notice is required before conducting a meeting.
2. All members who appear at a meeting have voting and speaking privileges at that meeting.  In the case of a tie vote, the tie will be broken by the Co-Presidents.  If both Presidents share the same vote, this vote will be used.  If the votes of Presidents differ, they will each give their reasons for their votes.  A new round of voting will be conducted until the tie is broken.
3. Quorum: Each meetings requires at least one President to be present as well as 1/3 of Council.

Article VIII. Election Procedures

1. The election of Executive Officers shall be held annually near the end of April.
2. The election date will be advertised via email to all members and in regular meetings in the weeks leading up to the election date for at least one month.
3. The Executive council will select a member, called the Chief Returning Officer, to chair the election and count the votes.
4. Voting for Executive positions shall be by secret ballot.

Should a tie occur for a given position, there will be a secret ballot runoff between the candidates. The candidate who secures the majority of the votes will be declared the officer for the following academic year.

The new Officers will officially take office in the fall semester of the following academic year.

All members of the Club may run for any position on the Executive Council. Current Executive Council members may run for any position for the following academic year provided that he/she will still be affiliated with York University. One person may run for a maximum of two positions in one year.

Article IX. Financial Responsibility

The Co-Presidents share cheque-signing authority and authority related to all financial transactions, as stated in Article V, Membership. Furthermore, either Presidents must sign any cheque or transaction agreement involving the Club to validate it. Any cheque amount above fifty dollars requires the approval vote of at least two-thirds of the Executive Council.

Article X. Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.

In the case of a COI, the individual who is in conflict will speak their case to the rest of Council but will not be allowed to vote on any matters that directly relate to the COI.  The individual is permitted to have an informative role only but this information will not be the sole information used to inform the votes of Council.

Article XI. Provisions for Dealing with Allegations of Wrongdoing & Disciplinary Action

This article applies equally to all members of FUSS, including executive members and general members.

This article applies to improper conduct or wrongdoing which includes, but is not limited to, serious actions that are unlawful, fraudulent or corrupt, reflect a real or perceived conflict of interest (see article X), misuse FUSS funds, are a threat to the safety and health of others or constitute any other unethical or improper conduct or abuse.

A Person who reports in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, any situation that they believe contravenes the law, misuses public funds or assets or represents a danger to public health and safety will be protected from retaliation for such reporting. Retaliation includes dismissal, suspension, demotion, discipline or disadvantage. Matters under this article will be treated in confidence unless disclosure of information is authorized or required by law. Allegations which are demonstrated to be in bad faith will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

FUSS will take the necessary action to protect a Person who has reasonable grounds for believing a violation has or may occur and has reported it.

Accused individuals will be notified of the situation as soon as possible and will be given an opportunity to state their case.  Both Presidents and a three other, randomly selected member of Council will hear the accused individual’s case before making a decision.  If either of the Presidents or one of the randomly selected parties are involved in the issue, they will be replaced by a randomly selected member of Council.

Article XII. Committees

Each Executive Council member is elected to a specific position to which they are responsible for. Should an event come about where multiple Executive Council members are required to work in tandem, the member of the Executive Council whose area the event falls under is served with leading the committee.

Each Executive Council member is required to maintain ongoing reporting to the President and Vice-President about their responsibilities.

Article XIII. Amendment Procedures

This constitution is open to evaluation and critique by any Club members. It can be amended at any time as follows:

1. Any motion to amend the constitution must be publicized two weeks prior to a set meeting date, along with a written account of what is advised to be changed in the constitution and reasons why it should be done. This motion must receive final ratification at the meeting of the Club.
2. Any member who has paid membership fees (if they are required for a given year) may submit motions in writing to the Executive Council to change any part of the Constitution.
3. The Executive Council are the only eligible voters.
4. Voting shall be by secret ballot.

A motion must receive 2/3 of the votes cast to be approved

Last updated April, 2013



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