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Sample Constitution

The following is a sample student organization constitution for Penn State Sample Organization.

Read the guidelines for writing a constitution.


Date of origin: April, 2014

  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of the Penn State Sample Organization is to provide a guide to what student organization constitutions should look like.
  2. Membership
    1. At all times, the majority (50%+1) of all active members shall be full-time, officially registered students at the Penn State College of Medicine.
    2. The membership shall be divided into active and associate members.
      1. Only currently registered students are eligible for active membership.
      2. All others interested in furthering the purpose of the Penn State Sample Organization, including but not limited to, faculty, staff, and community members, shall be associate members. Only active members may hold office, vote, preside, officiate, or solicit funds on behalf of the organization.
    3. At all times there shall be at least 10 active student members for medical student organizations.
    4. The club reserves the right to expel a member who is not following the policies of the organization with a supermajority vote of attending members — quorum is 75% of active members
    5. In the case of violations of constitutional policies and/or a conflict between members within the organization, the highest ranking officer that is not involved in the conflict, with the assistance from the advisor (if applicable), will facilitate an informal mediation procedure.
      1. The mediator shall:
        1. Arrange for a mediation meeting outside of the regular organization business meeting.
        2. Explain their role as the impartial party and the objectives of the mediation.
        3. Set ground rules.
        4. Allow each party to express their views by allowing the conversation to go where the parties wish it to go.
        5. Collect any available resources that might assist in the resolution (financial documents, emails, photos, etc.)
        6. As a third party, do not suggest resolutions but rather leave the responsibility for the resolution with the parties involved.
        7. Facilitate goal setting to reach a win-win resolution.
    6. New membership and recruitment
      1. Any and all new members will be given full disclosure during recruitment, including but not limited to the disclosure of:
        1. New Membership Manual
        2. Schedule of New Members Events and Activities
        3. A list of responsibilities
        4. A copy of the University Hazing policy, prescribed by Policies and Rules for Student Organizations.
      2. All members, including but not limited to new members and recruits, reserve the right to refrain from participating in any activities without consequence, based upon personal/religious beliefs, personal values, or moral reserve as defined by the member.
      3. Any and all interaction/activity between members and/or new members will be limited to guidelines stated by university policy, as well as local, state, and federal laws.
  3. Officers
    1. Medical student candidates must be full-time, officially registered active student members to be selected as officers at the time of the appointment or election. Student organizations may establish and apply additional eligibility criteria for appointed or elected leaders/officers.
    2. Offices
      1. The President is the spokesperson for the organization. The President presides at all meetings.
      2. The Vice-President shall serve as President when the President is unable to do so.
      3. The Treasurer shall be charged with handling all organizational finances.
    3. Filling unexpired vacancies:
      1. Nominations are taken at the meeting following the vacancy. Elections also occur at this meeting.
      2. If a majority (50%+1) is not obtained by any of the candidates, the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and the active members shall vote again.
      3. When nominations are being taken to fill unexpired terms, any member of the organization may nominate another member of the organization by simply raising his/her hand and indicating such when recognized.
  4. Meetings
    1. The Penn State Sample Organization will meet at least two times per semester.
    2. Adequate advance notice must be given to all active members.
    3. The President with the consent of the Vice President may change meeting frequency.
    4. Members shall be notified of all meetings by e-mail.
    5. The President may call special meetings should he/she see fit
  5. Voting
    1. Only active members may vote.
    2. Quorum for all voting shall be thirty-three percent (33%) of the active membership.
    3. A simple majority (50% +1) shall be necessary for all voting. This majority shall be derived from the active members present.
  6. Finances
    1. All organizational funds are to be deposited and handled exclusively through the Office of Student Affairs in C1802.
    2. This organization will not have an off-campus account(s).
    3. This organization shall collect dues that will not be excessive.
    4. The Treasurer, with the consent of the President, will determine dues.
    5. Dues shall be collected semi-annually.
    6. The Officers of the Sample Organization may spend up to $50 of the organization’s funds without the approval of the general membership.
  7. Elections
    1. Nominations and elections shall take place during the third meeting of the spring semester.
    2. This meeting shall be publicized in the meetings preceding it.
    3. Elections codes:
      1. Any member may nominate an active member for any office by raising his/her hand at the appropriate time and being recognized by the presiding official. Next, the active members shall cast secret, written ballots for the candidate of their choice. Each active member shall have one vote per office.
      2. If 50%+1 cannot be obtained, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be dropped from consideration, and the active members shall vote again.
      3. In the event of a tie, the ballot will be recast.
      4. All officers serve for a term of one year, beginning in the month following elections and ending the month of elections.
      5. No one involved in conducting the elections may be an official candidate
  8. Amendments to the Constitution
    1. Amendments to this constitution may be introduced at the conclusion of any meeting. Voting shall occur at the meeting following its introduction, with the amendment taking effect following MSA and OSA approval.
    2. Any member may introduce a constitutional amendment at the conclusion of any meeting. At the following meeting, the active members shall vote on the amendment, as outlined in the article on voting. If the amendment passes, it shall be sent to the Office of Student Affairs and the Medical Student Assembly for approval.
    3. All amendments are subject to the approval of the Medical Student Assembly and the Office of Student Affairs.
  9. Parliamentary Authority
    1. Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, by Sarah Corbin Roberts shall be used in all cases not covered by this constitution.
  10. Accessibility of this Constitution
    1. Copies of this constitution shall be made available to anyone upon request.
  11. Advisor
    1. This organization must retain an advisor at all times. The advisor will be a full-time faculty orsStaff member of Penn State College of Medicine and will be chosen by the organization.
    2. This organization will choose an advisor through a majority vote.
  12. Safety Considerations
    1. This organization will also abide by the following safety guidelines.
      1. No member will use any undue force in any contact activity.
      2. Members will not use any weapons in conjunction with The Penn State Sample Organization’s activities.
      3. All members will wear safety equipment as outlined in our Participation Waiver during all Sample Organization activity.
    2. Members are required to acknowledge and abide by all of the above safety considerations, and to sign a participation waiver as a condition of membership. Any violation of stated guidelines is grounds for immediate dismissal from the Sample Organization.
  13. Publications and Other Communication Media
    1. This organization will maintain a board of directors.
    2. Board members will consist of full-time Penn State faculty or staff members.
    3. There will be 7 board members at all times.
    4. The President of this organization will select board members.
    5. Board member will serve terms of 12 months and may serve multiple terms.