VU Ballroom Constitution


The mission of VU Ballroom is to provide a fun, affordable means for students of Valparaiso University and members of the community to experience the art of ballroom dancing, to develop members’ ballroom talents, and to improve the social and educational environment of Valparaiso University.


I.        Membership

A.      People will not be denied membership to VU Ballroom based on race, color, gender, age, disability, national origin/ancestry, sexual orientation, or religion

B.      Social Team

1.   All individuals who attend at least one event and are recorded on the sign-in sheet are considered a Social Team member of VU Ballroom

2.   Membership status must be renewed each semester

C.      Competition Team

1.   Competing members obtain membership through expressing interest to the Team Captain(s)

2.   Continued competing membership requires a minimum of four hours of practice per week, with one of the four hours being fulfilled by attending a lesson taught by the Team Coach(es) and one hour of the four at designated practice times with the team. Any exceptions must be approved at the discretion of the captains.

3.   Failure to fulfill Competition Team membership requirements in the four weeks prior to a competition makes the individual ineligible for financial assistance for that competition. Members will receive one formal team policy warning per semester before losing funding.

II.        Competitions

A.      VU Ballroom, through the Vice President, organizes registration, travel, and accommodations

1.   The Vice President collects all necessary information from Competition Team members

2.   The Vice President sets deadlines for submission of intent to attend and registration information

3.   The Vice President with the Team Captains verifies that Competition Team members are eligible to compete (as set forth in Article II, Section C)

B.      VU Ballroom, through the Treasurer, organizes payment for registration, travel, and accommodations

1.   The Treasurer sets deadlines for payment of necessary fees

2.   Costs beyond VU Ballroom’s budget for that competition are split among attending competitors

3.   Individuals deemed ineligible by the Vice President and Team Captains may attend competitions, but may be charged for all expense incurred by VU Ballroom on his or her behalf

C.      Withdrawal

1.   A competitor may withdraw from a competition before the deadline set forth by the Vice President without penalty

2.   If a competitor withdraws after the deadline, they are responsible for all expenses incurred by VU Ballroom on his or her behalf, except in extreme cases as approved by the Vice President

D.       Additional Competitions

1.   Team members may attend additional competitions, but they will not receive any funding from VU Ballroom

2.   Team members wishing to compete under VU Ballroom's name at additional competitions must receive the approval of the Team Captains.


III.        Executive Board and Officers

A.      The Executive Board is given sole power over all decisions not specifically granted to general members in this constitution

B.      Executive Board members and coordinators will hold terms of one year

C.      All officers are required to maintain information regarding their positions in a format that can be passed on to the next incoming officers  

D.      Eligibility

1.   In order to be considered eligible, a member must have been a part of VU Ballroom for at least two semesters and be a student of Valparaiso University

2.   Members cannot hold more than one position for the same term with the exception of the camera and website coordinators

3.   Should no eligible person be available or willing, these requirements are waived

E.      Duties of Officers and Coordinators

1.   President

a.   Schedules and presides over Executive Board meetings as a non-voting member

i. Notifies Executive Board of meeting time and location at least 48 hours in advance

b.   Casts the deciding vote if an Executive Board vote ends in a tie

c.   Is responsible for keeping all elected officers and coordinators    responsible for their duties

d.   Forms and dissolves committees

e.   Serves as the official spokesperson for the Social Team

f.   Maintains all ties with Student Senate

g.   Maintains ties with VU Ballroom’s Faculty Advisor

h.   Maintains ties with the local USA Dance chapter

i.   May write and sign checks and has possession of a club debit card

j.   Initiates a yearly review of this Constitution

k.  Has possession and maintains a record of team history

l.  Must have previous experience on Executive Board

2.   Vice President

a.   Performs the duties in place of the President if he/she is unavailable, resigns, or is impeached

b.   Organizes away competitions as designated in Article II

c.   Maintains ties with away competition schools

3.    Secretary

a.   Takes minutes at Executive Board meetings and uploads them to the Google account

b.   Maintains the organization’s list serves  

c.   Checks the Gmail account and labels mail for appropriate officers

d.   Notifies appropriate officers of all incoming communications with the team via email, Facebook, etc. within 48 hours

e.   Sends emails with weekly announcements about social lessons and other events

f.   Maintains attendance sheets for all events

g.   Maintains an archive of all documents that are pertinent to the maintenance and activities of the organization

h.  Posts team competition results to the Google account

i.   Maintains Competition and Social Team calendars

4.    Treasurer

a.   Develops yearly budget and presents it to Student Senate and the Finance Committee

b.   Manages the organization’s budget

c.   May write and sign checks and has possession of an organization debit card

d.   Any expenditure of less than $25 requires no approval. Any expenditure greater than or equal to $25 requires the approval of the Executive Board

e.   Reimbursements shall be provided only for Senate approved expenditures or for items approved by the Executive Board

f.   Works with Vice President to determine all competition fees (as set forth in Article II, Section B)

g.   Maintains organization’s tax-exempt status by filing an IRS form 990 before the end of the fiscal year

h. Treasurer must present the budget to Executive Board prior to submitting it to Student Senate

5.    Public Relations Director

a.   Reserves rooms for competition practices, group and private lessons, social lessons, and all other events

b.   Informs the club of dance events not being hosted by the club

c.   Organizes social events at least three times each semester

d.   Designs, distributes, and arranges advertising for all VU Ballroom events

e.  Is responsible for maintaining a social media presence for the team

f.   Communicates with the Torch to advertise for team events

6.    Lessons Director

a.   Organizes group and private lessons for both Fall and Spring Semesters

b.   Coordinates teachers for both beginning and intermediate Social Lessons

c.   Serves as contact regarding switches and absences for all lessons

d.   Communicates with the Team Coach(es) about all lesson times, changes, and the academic calendar.

e.  Is required to teach the social lesson if another teacher cannot be present unless he or she has an academic commitment.

7.    Coordinators

a.   Coordinators have the same eligibility requirements as Executive Board members

b.   Executive Board appoints all coordinators by a simple majority vote, and the individual has the right to accept or deny the appointment

c.    Coordinators must attend Executive Board meetings if requested to do so with four days notice , but they have no voting rights

d.   Major Events Coordinator

i.     Coordinates Dancing with the VU Stars and ValpoComp

ii.    Chairs all committees formed to organize the aforementioned events

iii.   Committee positions for ValpoComp include the following and will report directly to the Major Events Coordinator

        a) Registration

        b) Housing

        c) Volunteers

        d) Union Liaison

        e) Other committees as needed

iv.   Holds weekly meetings with all Major Events Committee members two months prior to ValpoComp

v.   Maintains contact with and writes contracts for all hired professionals for ValpoComp

e.   Website Coordinator

i.    Maintains and updates the organization’s website

ii.  Posts updates for every major team event

iii. Posts a recap for every competition within one week following the competition

        a) Posts links to relevant videos and results page

f.    Camera Coordinator

        i.   Is responsible for the team camera

ii.  Records videos at competitions, call outs, and other major events

iii. Uploads, labels, and organizes all videos to the team   YouTube account

IV.        Team Captains

                A.   Captain Structure

1.   Consists of three elected captains

2.   The Captains are non voting members of the Executive Board

3.   One Captain must be of the opposite gender

                B.    Eligibility

1.   Member of VU Ballroom for at least one year

2.  Proficient in leading or following all Bronze level dances in American and International Styles as determined by the outgoing Captain and outgoing President

3.   Has served as an Executive Board member, Coordinator, or has received an exception from the outgoing Executive Board

C.   Responsibilities

1.   Organizes and oversees team practice

2.   Maintains and enforces Team Policies

3.   Resolves Competition Team member issues

4.   Provides information to Competitive Team regarding team etiquette

5.   Consults with the Executive Board to choose competitions for the year

6.   Attends all team sponsored competitions, unless absence is approved by the President

7.   Serves as physical representative for VU Ballroom at competitions

8.   Has final say in decisions regarding Competitive Team

a.  Two of the three captains must be in agreement

b.   If a decision cannot be reached, the Vice President will serve as mediator

9.    Casts, choreographs, and prepares showcase dances

10.  Communicates with team coach about private and group lesson material

11.  Teaches and oversees Newcomer class

a.   Serves as designated teacher for Newcomers at Competition Team practices

b.   One captain must attend all group Newcomer Lessons

c.   Works out partner pairings for incoming Newcomer class

d.   Organizes a mock competition before the first competition in the Fall Semester

e.  Teaches proper Dancesport etiquette

f.  Is responsible for coordinating shoe orders

12. Maintains practice attendance and notifies the Executive Board when a member violates team policy

13. Is responsible for selecting and maintaining ties with team coach(es)

V.        Executive Board Meetings

A.      Executive Board meetings are open to all members of VU Ballroom, but only the Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Public Relations Officer, and Lessons Director may vote

B.      In the case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote

C.      Executive Board shall meet weekly (excluding academic recess) to discuss and decide upon matters pertaining to the organization

D.      At least four officers are required for Executive Board to meet or vote on motions

E.      Should an officer need to be absent from a meeting, he or she must inform the President at least 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to take place

F.      Two unexcused absences represent a failure to perform duties and constitutes grounds for impeachment

G.      Motions may be made by any Executive Board member, coordinator, or captain and in order for a motion to pass, it must receive a second and simple majority of all Executive Board members

H.      Any Executive Board member may call a meeting at their discretion with 48 hours notice


VI.        Elections

A.      Executive Board elections shall be held in April of each year

B.      The actual date shall be decided upon by the President and announced to the team at least two weeks prior to the elections

C.      Nominations

1.    Any member is allowed to nominate another member or him/herself

2.    Members must be given at least one week to turn in nominations

3.    If the nominee is eligible, he/she will be notified via e-mail

4.    The nominee may then accept and submit a short statement regarding his/her qualifications or reject the nomination

5.    The Secretary and Public Relations Officer may be nominated for partial terms to be replaced by a specified member at a predetermined date

6.    Executive Board retains the right to reject any nominations which they unanimously believe will not be able to uphold the duties of the position

7.    Any member accepting a nomination is required to read the Constitution before his/her name is added to the voting ballot

D.      Voting

1.    All members of VU Ballroom are eligible to vote

2.    Voting will be done by secret ballot

3.    Voting will take place at a date, time, and place determined by the President

4.    Absentee ballots must be submitted before the end of the election time

5.    The President will count the votes unless the President is a nominee for a contested position, in which case the Vice President will count the votes for that position

6.    If any member, officer, or coordinator finds an issue with the final count, he or she can request a count validation which will be performed by the Vice President and/or Secretary

7.    The nominee receiving the most votes will win the position

8.    In the case of a tie, the Executive Board will vote on the contested position, excluding any officers who are nominated for the contested position, and the nominee receiving a simple majority of votes will win the position

9.    Newly elected officers will assume their positions at the second Executive Board meeting following the election



VII.        Stepping Down, Impeachment, and Replacement of Officers

A.      Stepping Down

1.    If any officer believes he/she is not able to successfully perform the duties of his/her position, he/she may step down by notifying the Executive Board

B.      Replacement of Officers

1.    Should a position become vacant an emergency election shall be held to fill the empty office

2.    The replacement officer will assume his/her duties immediately following the emergency election

3.    The President shall temporarily fill the empty position pending the results of the election

4.    If the office of the President is vacant, the Vice President will fill the position until the emergency election

C.      Impeachment

1.    Any Executive Board member or coordinator can move to impeach another Executive Board member or coordinator who has

a.  Failed to perform his/her duties effectively

b.  Utilized his/her position for their personal advantage

c.  Acted in a manner detrimental to the organization

d.  Two unexcused absences from Executive Board meetings

2.    A simple majority vote of the Executive Board is considered sufficient to pass a motion of impeachment

VIII.        Amendments to the Constitution

A.   Amendments to the constitution are done through motions at any Executive  Board meeting

B.   Amendments to the Constitution may be initiated by a motion by any officer, coordinator, or captain

C.   Amendments must be presented in their finalized written form before voting can occur

D.  Four votes shall be considered sufficient to pass an amendment

E.  Unless otherwise specified in the motion, approved amendments will be transcribed and go into immediate effect

F.  Formal review of the Constitution must be completed before announcement of elections

IX.        Dissolution of the Club

A.      Any officer or chair believing that VU Ballroom does not have the resources to fulfill its purpose may initiate a motion of dissolution at any regular meeting of the Executive Board

B.      There must be a unanimous vote in order to pass a motion of dissolution

C.      If the Executive Board passes the vote, a three-fourths majority vote of the general membership is required to dissolve the club

D.      Should a motion of dissolution pass, all accounts shall be closed and all assets will be immediately turned over to Valparaiso University




Bylaw 1         

If there should be a disagreement over the meaning of any provisions of this document, immediate, temporary clarification will be decided by a simple majority of the Executive Board.

Bylaw 2   

Any Executive Board member or acting instructor shall retain the right to remove any person from any VU Ballroom sponsored function for unruly conduct.  If the conduct persists, Executive Board shall retain the right to unanimously vote to expel the organization member or student permanently from all future functions.

Bylaw 3        

A minimum of one Executive Board member must be present at every VU Ballroom sponsored event, both on and off campus.

Bylaw 4   

This constitution shall be available to all organization members at their request.

Bylaw 5

All members of VU Ballroom must abide by all team policies. Any member in violation of any of the team policies is subject to probation and expulsion from the team.

Amended and revised March 2014