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Student Organizations

An Office of Campus Life & Leadership

Sample Constitution / Charter

ARTICLE II:  MEMBERSHIP

States the requirements and qualifications for membership.  Active membership in a student organization registered by Wake Forest University must be limited to persons officially connected with the University or to spouses of such persons.  Any size limitations should be indicated.  In accordance with the University’s official statement of purpose, membership requirements may not be discriminatory in nature, and the group must indicate as such in this article.  An acceptable statement may have the following form: “Membership is open to all Wake Forest students in accordance with the University’s nondiscrimination policy stated in the Wake Forest student handbook.”  Equivalently, this statement may be given in the following form: “Membership shall be without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, veteran status, handicapped status, disability, or sexual orientation.”

 

ARTICLE III:  OFFICERS

Contains the list of officers, qualifications for office, method and time of elections, and terms of office.

 

ARTICLE IV:  EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

States the composition of the Executive Committee, Board, or Council, method of selection, and terms of office.  Provisions for vacancies of offices or other Executive positions may be included in a section under this article.

 

ARTICLE V:  MEETINGS

States the regular meeting schedule and provisions for calling special meetings.  If meetings cannot be held regularly, authority to call meetings may be stated here.

 

ARTICLE VI:  FINANCES

States that the organization’s funds will be handled in a responsible manner.  Makes provision for membership dues (if no by-laws) and states procedure for organization of funds.

 

ARTICLE VII:  AMENDMENT

States the procedures for amending the constitution.  (Amendments must have the approval of the Student Life Committee.)  This procedure requires previous notification, and a predetermined affirmative vote of those present and voting for its adoption, i.e. 1/2, 2/3, 3/4.  The constitution should be relatively difficult to amend in order to ensure stability.  Dates of revisions through amendment should be indicated in the section amended.)

 

ARTICLE VIII:  FACULTY ADVISER

Indicates the procedure for naming an advisor.  (All student organizations must have an advisor)

 

ARTICLE IX:  RATIFICATION

States the procedures for the constitution’s approval.  (Must have the approval of the Student Government Appropriations and Charter Committee, Student Government Legislature, Student Life Committee, and the Faculty.)

Sections of the Bylaws Should Provide the Following

  • Detailed material concerning members.  That is rights, duties, resignation and expulsion procedures.
  • Provisions for initiation fee, if any.  Dues and assessments should be covered here, and details regarding delinquencies.
  • Details of the date and method of electing officers and duties of those officers.
  • Duties, authority, and the responsibilities of an executive committee.
  • Names of the standing committees and the method of choosing chairperson and committee members.  Duties of the committees should also be stated.
  • Provision for some accepted rules of order or parliamentary manual such as Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised.
  • The number constituting a quorum.
  • Provision for honorary members or honorary officers, if the group so desires.
  • A Method to amend the bylaws, usually a majority vote, must have the approval of the Student Life Committee and of the faculty.  To ensure stability, amending the constitution should not be a speedy process; however, it should be possible to amend the bylaws with greater ease.  Both processes must have the approval of the Student Life Committee.  The constitution should always carry the date upon which it was most recently revised.
  • Definition of majority:  more than one-half of total membership, or legal votes cast, of those present.