2017 Student Senate Club Packet

Contents:

Introduction:

Students have a right to organize, join, and hold office in an association for their common interests. All NJIT Student Senate recognized and registered student organizations shall have access to NJIT facilities in accordance with NJIT policies.

Organizations may not have the same purpose or objective, therefore, when starting a new organization, it is important to be familiar with the objectives of existing organizations.

New organizations must go through the approval process through the Student Senate Constitution Committee, which is detailed later in this document. Once approved the new organization will be known as a Senate recognized organization. Upon approval, the new organization will be placed on a four-month probationary period. Then, the organization will receive all privileges of being a senate recognized except privileges related to finance and budgeting. These privileges are detailed later in this packet.  

Requirements for Recognition:

For a new organization to become senate recognized, the organization must be able to fulfill all the criteria for registration listed in this packet and must also complete the following: (All forms can be found on the student senate website under the tab labeled forms.)

  1. Registration Form - The registration form can be found online on the Student Senate website.
  1. Membership list - There must be a minimum of 10 members in the organization. A formal list of members containing member names, positions, year, and UCID must be submitted to the Club Manager.
  1. Constitution - A Club Constitution detailing the organization's rules and regulations must be submitted via email to the Club Manager in the form of a Google Doc.

The Constitution Committee will review all documents submitted to see that the organization meet all the listed criteria (explained in this packet). If the committee (or the full Senate) does not approve, the chairman of the committee (the Senate Club Manager) will contact the organization to discuss it.

Once the NJIT Student Senate approves the constitution by majority vote, the organization is officially recognized, the Club Manager will officially notify the organization via e-mail. New student organizations will be placed on a four month probationary period before they receive NJIT Student Senate privileges if they are eligible to receive mentioned privileges.

Responsibilities

Every officially recognized organization is responsible for the following:

1. Not duplicating any existing student organizations.

2. Attendance at the NJIT Student Senate Cabinet meetings held the first Friday of every month(See Cabinet Meetings section).

  1. Attendance by at least one officer from your organization, preferably the President or Treasurer.
  2. The first workshop of each semester is “Leadership Training” conducted with the Campus Center Operations and Campus Life Departments. This workshop covers all necessary information for running student organizations effectively while following NJIT and Senate’s rules and regulations, which includes financing, supplies, recognition, and open forum discussions.
  3. The other Cabinet Meetings will consist of similar information and reminders throughout the academic year.
  4. Failure to attend any of these Workshops or Cabinet Meetings can result in probation or suspension of your organization for that academic year or semester.
  5. Inactive organizations attempting to become active must attend one of the “Leadership Training” workshops before becoming active again.

3. Compliance with all laws of the State of New Jersey and the United States.

4. Adherence to the rules, regulations, bylaws, and policies of NJIT, the Campus Center, Campus Life, and the NJIT Student Senate.

5. Keeping its advisor informed about the program, personnel, and activities of the student organization.

6. Submit the following forms by the stated due dates each semester (due dates will be specified each year by the Student Senate):

  1. Re-Registration Form(online)
  2. Updated membership list with member name, year, position, and UCID
  3. Approved Organization Constitution

7. Having a minimum of 2 events per semester.

Failure to uphold these responsibilities may result in sanctions, up to and including withdrawal of the organization by the appropriate NJIT Student Senate officers.

Classes of Organizations

  1. Class X organizations are those which are chartered by the Senate to serve the entire NJIT community. The Class X organizations are the Student Activities Council (SAC), the Vector (student newspaper), the Nucleus (school yearbook), and the NJIT Broadcasting Association (WJTB).
  1. Class Y organizations are most Senate organizations. Most newly created organizations fall under this classification, since they are eligible to receive funding for events from the Senate. They include cultural, academic, political, religious, athletic, charity and special interest organizations.
  2. Class Z organizations are those which are selective in nature such as Greek organizations or honors societies.

Privileges:

All budgets for are subject to approval from the Budget and Finance Committee on an event by event basis. All other privileges are listed here.

        Z Clubs in “Active standing” shall receive the following:

  1. Up to $75.00 worth of GDS Catering for their first meeting
  2. The right to request Flyers for events
  3. The right to request meeting space through the Campus Center
  4. Eligibility to apply for office space through the Student Organization Space Allocation Committee
  5. Eligibility to use Senate electronic media
  6. The right to request use of the Senate van provided all requirements listed in the NJIT Student Senate Standing Rules are met.
  7. The right to request photocopies of organization’s material provided all requirements listed in the NJIT Student Senate Standing Rules are met.
  8. Mailing privileges for organization correspondence.
  9. The right to request office supplies through the Secretary.
  10. Free advertising in the Vector.
  11. The right to receive up to two plaques for “End-Of-Year” awards through the Vice-President of Administration.
  12. Senate telephone privileges.

Y Clubs in “Active standing” shall receive the following:

  1. All privileges granted to Class Z organizations
  2. The right to create and submit a budget for events, conferences, and competitions
  3. The right to submit a proposal for a grant pool application

X Clubs in “Active standing” shall receive the following:

  1. All privileges granted to Class Y organizations
  2. A budget from the Student Senate
  3. Priority for Office Space through the Student Organization Space Allocation Committee

Probationary Statuses:

Active – Access to all Senate privileges

B/Probation – No access to funding from VPF(Events, Conferences, Competitions, etc.)

B/Probation/New – No access to funding from VPF for four(4) academic months for new clubs

C/Probation – No access to resources from Secretary(Copy requests, Senate equipment, etc)

Inactive – Loss of Senate recognition, must re-apply for recognition

Timeline and Duration of Recognition:

  1. Submission of Documents - A student wishing to start to a new Senate-Recognized Student Organization must submit a Registration Form, Membership list, and a draft of a Club Constitution to the Club Manager.
  2. Constitution Review – After the documents have been submitted, a member of the Constitution Committee will review the Constitution draft and make comments on the draft. After the first member is finished reviewing, the draft is sent back to the student to edit. The process is repeated until at least 3 members of the committee, including the Club Manager have revised the Constitution
  3. Constitution Committee Approval – After it has gone through the review process, the Constitution Committee will vote on the Organization. If it is approved at this stage, it will be voted on by the Senate.
  4. Senate Approval - An organization is considered recognized as a Senate Organization upon approval of its constitution by the NJIT Student Senate. The Club Manager of the Senate will notify the organization upon its approval. All Senate Organizations are considered recognized from the date of approval of their constitution by the NJIT Student Senate through the second Wednesday of the following academic year. In order to maintain registration of a currently recognize organization, it is requested that its registration form (with updated membership list and constitution) be submitted to the Student Senate Club Manager via email prior to the stated deadline.

Terms of Office

All terms for officers for Class X and Y organizations must be for no more than one year (most are exactly one year). Elections for the following academic year must be held no later than April 15 of the current academic year, so a list of new officers (along with the selected advisor for next year) may be turned in to the Student Senate by this date. Graduate students may not be officers of a NJIT Student Senate recognized student organization.

Cabinet Meetings

On the first Friday of the months of October, November, December, February, March, and April, the Student Senate will hold a Cabinet meeting. This meeting, chaired by the NJIT Student Senate Recording Secretary and attended by all NJIT Student Senate officers, is where the NJIT Student Senate will update all in attendance on what has been going on in the past month, upcoming events, and issues that the organization needs to be concerned about. This is the place to raise concerns or ask any questions, and to promote the organization to other student leaders. Each organization is responsible to send a representative to each meeting. This representative can be a regular member or a member of the Executive Board. Failure to attend cabinet meetings will result in the student organization being placed on probation in to addition the following actions:

Miss one cabinet meeting: B/Probation  

Miss two cabinet meetings: C/Probation

Miss three cabinet meetings: Inactive

Class X student organizations will lose some NJIT Student Senate privileges for the next academic year.

Constitution Checklist

Each organization is required to attach a membership list and updated constitution with its online registration application, which must be submitted to the Student Senate. All submitted constitutions must meet the following criteria:

  1. Contains (reasonably) correct spelling and grammar. In other words, the constitution should be easily understandable to anyone who reads it.
  2. Be structured in a fair and equitable manner.
  3. Explicitly states the name and purpose of the organization.
  4. Allow only NJIT full-time undergraduate students to vote and hold office. (Other members of the NJIT may be granted “associate”, or non-voting membership if the organization so desires).
  5. Does not contain requirements for voting membership that would limit any NJIT full–time undergraduate student who wishes to join from doing so.
  6. Describe the process for joining (i.e., becoming a member of the organization).
  7. Defines active and inactive status (if the organization has such a thing.
  8. Defines officer positions, power, and duties.
  9. Describes terms of office. Terms may not exceed one year in length for Class X & Y
  10. Describe procedures for elections, including when they are to be held. Elections for new officers must be held by April 15, although terms may start later if desired.
  11. Defines what happens when there is vacancy in an officer position.
  12. Defines procedures for impeachment (forcible removal by the group) of officers.
  13. Defines the procedures for amending of the organization’s constitution. All amendments require approval of the Senate Constitution Committee.
  14. Number of members needed for quorum (the minimum number required to be present to conduct business), usually expressed as a fraction or percentage.
  15. Non-discrimination Statement.

Other items may of course be included. The constitution of the Generic Club of NJIT (a fictional Class Y organization) is attached as a sample of what a constitution could look like.

Sample Skeleton Constitution

Article I – Name

Section 1: Explicitly state the name of the organization in a complete sentence. Put the official name in quotation marks.

Example: The name of this organization shall be the “Generic Club”.

Article II – Purpose

Section 1: State the purpose/mission of your organization.

Example: The purpose of the Generic Club shall be to benefit the NJIT community by educating the student body about the ever-changing world of generic products.

NOTE: It is important that the objective/purpose/mission of your organization does not reflect that of any other organization that is currently recognized by the NJIT Student Senate. In the event that it does, the NJIT Student Senate Constitution Committee will not continue to move forward with the process.

Article III – Membership

Section 1: Define membership as an allowance conferred only to undergraduate students officially instituted at NJIT. This section should also include a non-discriminatory statement.

Example: Membership of this club shall be granted to any undergraduate student in the NJIT student body and shall not be denied because of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or religious background.

Section 2: Define active membership and state process to become an active member.

Example: An active member has the right to vote. In order to become an active member of this organization, an applicant must fill out an application and attend two consecutive meetings.

Section 3: The right to vote must be defined, restricted to only active members, and may be further conditionally restricted.

Example: Voting membership will be conferred unto any active member.

Section 4: State process to become an inactive member / reinstated active member

Example: A member will be considered inactive, and thus ineligible to vote or hold office, if they miss two consecutive meetings. Active status may be regained by attendance at two consecutive meetings.

Section 5: Define associative membership as an allowance conferred unto anyone else who is officially affiliated with NJIT(Optional).

Example: Associative membership shall be conferred unto anyone else officially affiliated with NJIT.

Article IV – Officers

Section 1: Requirements to hold office. Must include the condition that officers must be NJIT undergraduate students during the academic term. (GPA requirement and active membership during previous semesters are optional)

Example: The right to hold office is restricted to members of this organization who have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average and active membership during past 2 semesters.

Section 2: Define term of office.

Example: The term of office for all officers shall be one year; beginning and ending one week after elections in accordance with Article V

Section 3: List of officer positions available

Example: The officers of this organization shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Section 4: Duties of previously stated officers

Example: Perform the following specific duties.

  1. President
  1. Represent this organization to the NJIT community
  2. Chair all meetings
  1. Vice-President
  1. Assume the President’s duties in his absence
  2. Regulate business at meeting
  1. Treasurer
  1. Handle all financial matters
  2. Plan club events
  1. Secretary
  1. Keep an accurate record of membership and attendance lists
  2. Maintain files of club proceedings including all minutes, reports, and club decisions

Article V - Meetings

Section 1: State the number of members required to be considered a quorum. Quorum is defined as the minimum number of members that must be present to make the proceedings of the meeting valid.

Example: Attendance by two-thirds of the active voting members shall constitute a quorum

Section 2: State number of meetings or the number of times in which the organization will meet in a provided time period.

Example: Meetings shall be held at least every two weeks.

Section 3: Rules and regulations for appointed meetings

Example: All business of this organization shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order except as otherwise stated in this constitution.

Article VI – Elections

Section 1: Define time period for elections nominations

Example: Nominations for officers shall take place at a meeting at most two weeks prior to elections.

Section 2: Details on elections and voting (Must be BEFORE April 15th)

Example: Elections for officers shall take place at a meeting, and be resolved, within the first two weeks of April.

Section 3: Define election procedures

Example: All elections are to be conducted by secret ballot. A simple majority of voting members is required for election into office. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be eliminated and a subsequent ballot conducted until one candidate receives a majority. In the event of a tie, a subsequent ballot will be conducted. If this persists as a tie, the President shall make the ultimate decision. In the event that the President position is vacant, the Vice-President shall make the ultimate decision.

Section 4: Additional Information(Optional) 

Example: Nominations and elections may take place at the same meeting if agreed to by a two- thirds vote

Article VII – Special Elections

Section 1: State procedures in the event of an officer vacancy

Example: A vacancy in any officer position shall be filled by a special election conducted in accordance with Article VI, Section 3.

Article VIII – Impeachment

Section 1: State grounds for removal of an officer

Example: Grounds for removal of an officer include:

  1. Violation of the NJIT Code of Student Conduct
  2. Failure to perform the duties of the office as set forth by the club constitution(and/or by-laws).
  3. Missing (x) number of meetings in a semester.

Section 2: State procedures for impeachment

Example: Officer impeachment proceedings may be brought against any officer by any voting member and must be supported by at least 25% of the voting members.

Section 3: State procedures for removal

Example: Procedures for removal will be as follows:

  1. The officer in question shall be notified and be provided one week to present their defense at the subsequent meeting.
  2. Impeachment of an officer is to be conducted by secret ballot.
  3. The officer may be impeached by a two-thirds vote by the active voting members of the organization.

Article IX - Constitution Amendment

Section 1: Rules and regulations for Constitution amendments

Example: This document may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the active voting membership. Amendments shall take effect upon approval of the Student Senate Constitution Committee unless a later time was specified at the time of adoption.