The Boundary Constitution
The Boundary Constitution
DECEMBER 12, 2019
Table of Contents
ARTICLE I: Mission Statement
ARTICLE II: Positions and Roles
ARTICLE III: Elections
ARTICLE IV: Treatment of Staff
ARTICLE V: Finances
ARTICLE VI: Ethics
ARTICLE VII: Amendments
- Mission statement
- The Boundary (or Boundary News) aims to satirize news and events relevant to Victoria University, the University of Toronto, their students, and their alumni.
- Positions and roles
- The following roles constitute the Masthead, defined as elected senior positions of The Boundary:
- One (1) Editor-in-Chief
- One (1) Managing Editor
- One (1) Head Writer
- One (1) Finance Head
- One (1) Head Copy Editor
- One (1) Photography Head
- Two (2) Deputy Managing Editors
- The Editor-in-Chief (EIC) shall lead weekly meetings, craft and approve pitches, contribute and write articles when needed, examine each article before publication, develop relevant talking points for each meeting with assistance from the Head Writer, assist in managing the social media pages, manage the website, promote The Boundary on the University of Toronto campus, maintain and develop contact with VUSAC and other relevant partners, represent the group in any public engagements, and will ultimately deem what is publishable or not based on The Boundary’s ethics code (Article VI).
- The Managing Editor shall assist the EIC in whatever means necessary including but not limited to putting together the semesterly magazine and all of its related responsibilities, assisting in the copy-editing or content-editing of articles, leading meetings when the EIC is absent from meetings, writing articles when needed, managing the website, and assisting other Heads when needed.
- The Head Writer shall be the principal writer for The Boundary, writing at least one article per two weeks, bringing relevant ideas and events to weekly meetings, recruiting other writers to work for The Boundary, and assisting the EIC and Managing Editors when required.
- The Finance Head shall confer with the EIC with regards to the semesterly budgets, and is responsible for all finance matters related to The Boundary, including but not limited to the drafting of budgets, representing the group at VUSAC’s functions to debate any contentious proposals from The Boundary, and managing the group’s receipts and spending.
- The Head Copy Editor shall examine each article before publication to ensure that Canadian Press (CP) guidelines are met, and that the articles’ grammar, punctuation, and spelling are intact. They will also assist the EIC and Managing Editors with headline formulation and other relevant website updates.
- The Photography Head shall shoot and edit as many photos deemed necessary for the website and magazine as determined by the Managing Editor and EIC, delegate photo responsibilities to any junior photographers or photo editors, and be responsible for counselling the masthead on any photo- or video-related endeavours the group undertakes.
- Deputy Managing Editors shall assist the EIC and Managing Editors in whatever ways necessary, including but not limited to copy-editing, brainstorming, writing, and collaborating on articles; shooting and editing photos; leading meetings; attending VUSAC functions on behalf of The Boundary; liaising with other groups for collaborations; managing the website and social media pages; assisting in magazine production; and mentoring junior writers.
- ELECTION TIMING: Elections will take place during the first two weeks of April at the discretion of the group (defined as staff writers and Masthead). The election date will be agreed upon based on a majority vote of the group at the first weekly meeting in March.
- QUORUM: Quorum is met when at least two-thirds of the group is present.
- VOTING OFFICIAL: A student or employee of the University of Toronto may act as Voting Official during this time. He or she must not run in any of the election races and must be voted in by a majority of the group at the first weekly meeting in March.
- CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY: Any Boundary staff writer—defined as an undergraduate or graduate student who has two of his or her articles published on the website or in the magazine—or Masthead member may run for the various positions. There are no minimum requirements.
- POSITIONS AVAILABLE: Any eligible individual may run for any of the eight (8) Masthead positions. Every eligible individual may run for two positions at maximum. Staff writers are automatically appointed after the publication of two articles.
- VOTING ELIGIBILITY: One vote is entrusted to each staff writer or Masthead member. They may vote once in each of the Masthead position elections.
- VOTING PROCESS:
i) All eligible voters will cast their vote via secret ballot on the day of the election or, if circumstances prevent this, up to three (3) days before the election. In this case, the voter must convey their wish via text message, phone call, Kik, or another related channel to the Voting Official.
ii) A simple majority must be attained for the candidate to win the election (in other words, first-past-the-post).
iii) If the election results in a tie between two candidates, any lower-ranking candidates will be eliminated and a new vote will be initiated (a run-off election will be ushered in).
iv) If there are only two parties to begin with and the democratic vote results in a clean tie, the newly elected EIC will determine who they desire for the position.
v) In the event that there are no candidates for a position, the EIC is encouraged to appoint a staff writer to the vacant position. If there are no staff writers available or willing to accept the position, a new member may be appointed by the EIC.
i) The term of EIC runs only for one (1) year, and as a result the EIC cannot run for the position in the subsequent election. He or she may run again at a future date if so desired.
ii) Other Masthead positions may only be held for one (1) year maximum to allow other individuals a fair opportunity to participate.
iii) If there are no candidates running for a certain position, the incumbent may stay in the role.
- Treatment of staff
The Boundary aims to create a respectable environment. However, it also acknowledges that a provocative, controversial, and occasionally even vulgar perspective is crucial in exploring and developing satire. The Boundary will always hold free speech as its highest ideal, because free speech is what makes the group’s existence possible in the first place. The balance between these two ideals, respecting staff and developing provocative satire, will ultimately be determined by the EIC, the Managing Editor, and the Deputy Managing Editors. These four will preside over meetings and be responsible for regulating and disciplining what they deem to be blatant, unnecessary, or intentional discrimination. Any member who feels they have been intentionally targeted by a staff writer or Masthead member should immediately consult either the EIC, Managing Editor, or one of the Deputy Managing Editors.
The Boundary’s survival is dependent on VUSAC. The Finance Head must submit a budget well in advance of VUSAC’s deadline each semester after consulting the Masthead and group-at-large. The Finance Head will be responsible for managing expenses, drafting the budget, liaising with VUSAC’s Finance Executive, and keeping track of members’ group-related expenses. The Finance Head must also attend budget ratification meetings should the group’s budget exceed $1000.00 (this number subject to change in accordance with VUSAC’s updates to their criteria). If the Finance Head cannot attend this meeting, they must delegate the duty to an associate.
- The Boundary’s satire, above all, aims to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. Any deviation from this ideal should be done with caution. The group should always tread carefully when writing about disadvantaged demographics, although by no means are such groups excluded from The Boundary’s coverage.
- The Boundary’s dependence on VUSAC for funding should never affect a decision to satirize, or not satirize, VUSAC.
- As a general rule, anonymity should not be granted to writers. This, loosely speaking, is in accordance with the Timson Rule, which mandates that news outlets, satirical or otherwise, must avoid publishing anonymous attacks on individuals or organizations. Exemptions may be granted in exceptional cases by the EIC.
- Moreover, all staff writers and Masthead members must be listed on The Boundary’s website. This ensures accountability and transparency.
- Amendments may be proposed when quorum is achieved. A two-thirds majority of the members present must be achieved to amend the Constitution. The group may amend the Constitution at any meeting. To ensure multiple perspectives are considered and that the amendment process is as successful and considerate as possible, the amendment must then be approved by either the previous EIC, the previous Managing Editor, or both of the previous Deputy Managing Editors.
Presiding over first passing of Constitution: Daniel Aykler, Kyle Brickman, Jack Mageau, Nona Jalali, Emory Claire Mitchell, Louis Butt, Thomas Sider, Emilio Ortelli, Ruven Samaraweera, Will Stoecker, Ted Fraser, Joseph Strauss, Hannah So.