North Star News

Constitution

Article I:        Organization Name and Purpose        

Section 1:        The name of the organization shall be North Star News.

Section 2:        North Star News is comprised of students interested in acquiring hands-on experience in the field of news publications, including but not limited to: reporting, photojournalism, newspaper design and layout, editing/proofing, advertising, and management.

North Star News serves Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center, and Lone Star College-Victory Center.  North Star News is a student-run organization that strives to provide useful and entertaining news to its campuses.

Article II:        Membership

Section 1:        Any registered student (full or part time), faculty, or staff at Lone Star College-North Harris who is in good standing with the College and fulfills the membership requirements which coincide with the purposes of the organization is eligible for membership.  

        Staff Writers and Staff Photographers are students who contribute monthly to the production of the North Star News before the edition goes to press.  Only staff members will appear in the masthead.  It is recommended that staff members enroll (or have enrolled) in a journalism credit course, but it is not required.

All members are expected to contribute to the production of the North Star News. The contribution amount will be set by the member and approved by the Editor-in-Chief prior to membership.  All deadlines are strictly enforced.

Photographers should use their own cameras, but North Star News may provide one when available. Photographers are responsible for obtaining names of the people in all their photographs.  Group shots must include names of all the subjects in the photo: left to right, front to back.

Columnists must provide one article for publication in each edition, following the AP Style Handbook.  All articles must meet final copy deadlines set when stories are first assigned in order to be run.

Contributor:  Students and employees of LSC-North Harris may submit various forms of poetry and/or prose at any time during the semester.  Submissions may be published in the current edition, pending approval by newspaper staff.  If submission is received past the set deadline, it will be held for the next edition. All items considered for publication must include author's name and student/employee identification number.  Submissions must not include profanity or inappropriate/plagiarized content, to be determined by the Editor-in-Chief.  Maximum length for all poems is 50 lines.

Contributors will be credited for their work if published.

Section 2:        Privileges of active members include community and campus activities, voting, nominations, serving as an officer, meeting attendance, and fundraising efforts.  Additionally, participation in the Student Government Association (SGA) meetings is highly encouraged.

Section 3:        In order to guarantee equal rights to all members of the Lone Star College-North Harris student body, equal opportunities shall be afforded to all students without regard to race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, religion, creed, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, veteran status, or physical disability.

Article III:        Officers

Section 1:        The only elected officer of North Star News shall be the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief shall be charged with assembling an editorial and office staff to effectively publish a student newspaper and meet the purposes of the organization.

Section 2:        The Editor-in-Chief and all selected staff shall meet the following requirements:

  1. Registered student of LSC-North Harris or a satellite campus who meets all the criteria set forth by the Office of Student Life,
  2. Commitment to serve in the appointed position throughout the office’s term,
  3. The skill and/or experience to perform the duties indicated by the office
  4. Ability to conduct oneself in a fashion that actions will not reflect negatively on the image of the organization, its members, or Lone Star College-North Harris.

Section 3:        Length of term for appointed offices will be one academic year.  Upon completion of the term, an Editor-in-Chief who wishes to maintain the same position must be re-elected.        

Section 4:        The selection of the Advisor(s) for the organization shall be voted on by the Editor-in-Chief and his/her staff.

Section 5:        Duties of Staff:

  1. The presence of selected staff is mandatory for all regular meetings.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief shall oversee all meetings and activities, and shall make sure that, at all times, the organization abides by the rules and regulations set forth by the Office of Student Life and Lone Star College-North Harris.  In the case that a representative is needed, the Editor-in-Chief will represent the organization on its behalf except in the case where another member has been assigned.
  3. Responsibilities for all other selected staff shall be determined by the Editor-in-Chief.

Section 6:                Removal of Editor-in-Chief from Office – All staff are expected to conduct themselves so that their actions do not reflect negatively on the organization or the Lone Star College System. Staff shall perform the duties as defined in this constitution and job descriptions developed by the Editor-in-Chief.  Failure of the Editor-in-Chief to meet expectations may result in removal from office through one of the following processes:

  1. The other members of the staff may vote for removal. All other staff members and at least one Advisor must be present for the discussion and voting for removal from a position by staff decision. A 2/3 majority vote of the other staff is required to remove the staff member from his/her position.
  2. There may be a vote of the general membership at a regular or special meeting. At least one Advisor must be present at the meeting. A 2/3 vote of the general membership is required to remove the staff member from his/her position.

Section 7:        Removal of officers and editors from office – All staff members are expected to complete their duties as assigned by the Editor-in-Chief.  Any officer who does not complete all assigned tasks without notice to the Editor-in-Chief, or who does not attend meetings and participate throughout a single cycle of the newspaper (one month) can be removed by a 2/3 majority vote of the remaining officers.

Article IV:        Advisor(s)

Section 1:        The Advisor(s) of North Star News shall work with the Editor-in-Chief and staff in coordinating campus activities, meetings, community service projects, and other functions to ensure that North Star News achieves its objectives.        

Section 2:        The Advisor(s) shall be responsible for providing guidance and leadership to the North Star News members, answering questions, and representing the news team to the administration, faculty, and staff of the college when necessary.

Article V:        Elections

Section 1:        All members may nominate and vote in an election.  Elections for Editor-in-Chief will take place the last meeting of the spring semester.

Section 2:        Method of Nomination:  Any active member of North Star News can nominate a student to candidacy with an explanation of why they feel that he or she is qualified to fill the specified position.  The nomination is to be followed by a motion to support given by another active member.

Section 3:        All active members of North Star News shall be allowed to vote anonymously by casting their individual votes, or aloud if approved by unanimous vote.

Section 4:        When necessary, special tasks and committees can be assigned to members by vote.

Section 5:        Special elections may be scheduled by the Editor-in-Chief and/or Advisor(s) at a regular or special meeting to fill staff vacancies, whether vacated by resignation or removal from office.

Article VI:        Meetings

Section 1:        North Star News members shall meet weekly, or as scheduled by the Editor-in-Chief. Meeting dates and times will be confirmed and announced during the previous meeting.  

Section 2:        Emergency, special interest, or additional meetings shall be confirmed by the Editor-in-Chief and/or Advisor(s).  Attendees will be given at least 3 days prior notice of meeting time, date, and objective.

Article VII:        Finances

Section 1:        Fiscal Operating Year for the Lone Star College System runs from September 1 through August 31.

Section 2:        No money shall be spent or guaranteed without the approval of the Editor-in-Chief and the appointed Business Manager.

Section 3:        Approval for financial spending or earning (fundraising) must include the Editor-in-Chief and the Business Manager by way of at least two signatures on all original documents. All fundraising must be approved in advance by the Office of Student Life.

Article VIII:        Amendments

Section 1:        Amendments to the organization’s constitution must be approved by the Editor-in-Chief.  All amendments shall be proposed, discussed, and voted upon during a regular or special meeting.  Approval will require a 2/3 majority vote of the North Star News staff.

Section 2:        If approved, copies of the amended constitution must be provided to the Office of Student Life for administrative approval.

Article IX:        Ratification and Enactment

Section 1:        This Constitution shall become effective immediately upon its approval by a two-thirds vote of a quorum of members and administrative approval from the Office of Student Life.

Section 2:        This Constitution shall become the official governing document of North Star News at Lone Star College-North Harris.