The Vic Fair Trade Café Constitution

1. Purpose

The Purpose of the Victoria Fair Trade Café (VFTC) shall be to provide the Victoria University Community at large and more generally, the University of Toronto as a whole with a student-run not-for-profit café. The VFTC will provide an intimate café experience for staff, faculty and students alike with an opportunity for interaction, discussion and relaxation in an open and friendly atmosphere. The VFTC will be guided by principles of environmental sustainability and socially just consumer behaviours.

2. Volunteer Membership

a. The VFTC is open to all providing that at least 70 percent of its members are full time undergraduates of Victoria College.

b. Membership is acquired by attending a training session, and may be maintained through regular volunteering no less than 1 hour a week. A member may not miss three consecutive meetings, unless excused by an officer.

c. No dues will be charged.

d. The executive committee decides on the detailed rights and obligations of membership.


3. Executive Committee

a. There shall be an executive committee which shall provide day-to-day direction and coordination for the VFTC.

b. The executive shall be made up of elected officers and the co-managers. All executive members shall be students of Victoria University.

c. The executive shall be jointly chaired by the co-managers.

d. The executive committee may establish its own procedures, which include keeping a record of all meetings and decisions.

e. Members may attend meetings of the executive committee as observers.

f. A treasurer will be appointed by or during the first general meeting of the fall term.

The duties of the treasurer include:

i. Handling financial matters of the VFTC.

ii. Monitoring sales and receipts.

iii. Monitoring procedures for managing the cash box and café assets.

iv. At the beginning of each semester, establishing a budget of café expenses for approval by the executive committee.

v. Submitting a monthly financial report to the co-managers for review.

vi. At the end of each semester, preparing a statement of café accounts for review by the executive committee.

4. Members of the Executive Committee

Elected officers shall be elected by returning members at the first general meeting of the fall term. All terms are two semesters and may be renewed:

Members of the Executive Committee shall be selected by the co-managers based on written applications before the beginning of the Fall term

a. Secretary, whose duties shall include:

i. Keeping minutes of executive, advisory board and member meetings.

ii. Maintaining the Levy's webpage (optional).

iii. Keeping Levy records.

                iv. The position of secretary is optional, and both managers must decide to have the position up for election.

                v. In the event of no secretary, records shall be kept by the Managers or the Treasurer.

b. Advertising Executive, whose duties shall include:

i. Managing design and placement of all advertisements relating to the café including but not limited to the promotion of the café and of events related to the café.

ii. Submitting all advertisement for approval to the Campus Life Coordinator before they are put up around the University campus.

iii. Selecting a team of VFTC members, not exceeding 5 people, to assist with the design and placement of advertisements and promotion of the café (optional).

c. Social Events Coordinator, whose duties shall include to organize social events connected with the cafe, including but not limited to:

i. Joint events with other Victoria clubs.

ii. Events for members only.

iii. Plan and run events for the University at large.

iv. The social events coordinator may also select a team of VFTC members, not exceeding 5 people, to assist with the planning and carrying out of the aforementioned events (optional)

d. Sustainability Advisor, whose duties shall include:

i. Evaluating the VFTC’s ecological footprint.

ii. Devising and recommending feasible strategies to reduce this footprint.

iii. Implementing these strategies with the assistance of the co-managers.

All members of the executive committee must be Victoria University students. Co-managers may create and/or eliminate executive positions as they see fit. In order to foster leadership and and accessibility, former co-managers shall not be permitted to sit on the executive committee, with the exception of the role of Special Projects Executive. Exceptions to this shall only be made if a role on the executive committee is unfilled.

6. Co-managers

a. The co-manager shall be interviewed by the two current co-managers, one member of the executive committee, the sustainability commissioner of VUSAC if available, and the VPSO of VUSAC. One co-manager shall be selected in April and serve until the end of the following academic year, the other shall be selected in December and serve until December of the following academic year. Interested members and the Victoria community at large may apply through an application either in late March or early November.

b. The responsibilities of the co-managers will include but are not limited to:

i. Coordinating and managing a team of volunteers to run the café.

ii. Training volunteers, all of whom must be trained by the co-managers or a member of the executive committee appointed by the co-managers.

iii. Ensuring that the executive committee is running effectively.

iv. Approving all events.

v. Approving annual budget.

vi. Ensuring adequate advertising.

vii. Co-chairing executive meetings and meetings of the membership.

viii. Stocking of all products necessary for smooth running of the café.

ix. Checking the club's general email account and responding to all inquiries in a timely fashion.

x. Final decisions for matters relating to the café.

c. The co-managers and treasurer shall have signing authority for cheques, bank accounts and other financial transactions relating to the café. The co-managers shall have signing authority for cheques, bank accounts and other financial transactions relating to the café. The signature of one co-manager is sufficient for cheques. All large or irregular purchases will be discussed by both managers before time of purchase.

d. Prepare an annual bank report for consideration by the Advisory Board and general membership. Prepare an annual report for consideration by VUSAC and the Advisory board

e. The co-managers will serve a one year term beginning at the end of the fall or spring term. This term is non-renewable. Co-managers may still, however, apply for an executive position.

f. The co-managers will be given an honorarium of up to $1000 at the end of the fall and winter semesters provided this amount does not exceed profits for the year and if the cafe is in financial stability as determined by the Advisory Board. This money will come from cafe profits.

g. Both co-managers must be Victoria University students. Preference for co-managers will be given to previous café members. It is advisable that at least one co-manager live in Toronto over the summer.

7. Advisory Board                

The board will meet once each semester, or more frequently if needed. This board will consist of:

  1. Two co-managers
  1. If one of the co-managers cannot make it, the Treasurer may proxy
  1. One Dean’s Office representative
  2. Prof Bob Davidson
  3. Manager of Food Services

b. The first meeting of each semester must be conducted by September 30 and January 31.

c. The meeting shall be called by the co-managers.

d. The role of the Advisory Board will include, but not be limited to:

i. Reviewing financial reports at least once each semester.

iii. Reviewing the relationship with VUSAC and the college.

8. Relationship with VUSAC

VFTC shall follow the VUSAC Constitution, which includes:

a. Attending VUSAC meetings

b. Attending caucus meetings

c. Submitting levy budget to VUSAC

d. Having incoming co-managers ratified during the last VUSAC meeting of the outgoing manager's term.

9. The Constitution

a. Any member may request a vote to amend the constitution at a general meeting which will be held at minimum, bi-semesterly. An amendment requires a 60 percent majority vote by members who have attended at least three previous meetings at which the vote is held. No constitutional amendments may happen during the first annual meeting.

All amendments must be brought to vote by general members, and require a 60 percent majority vote by members who have maintained a 75 percent attendance record to their shifts.

Amendments proposed by managers require approval by the Advisory board before they are presented to general members, who are given the opportunity to comment and suggest changes. All approved amendments must be ratified at the next VUSAC meeting. Any member can request to amend the constitution at any time. Any requests will be brought forward for discussion at meetings of the Executive Committee. A 51% majority vote is required for constitutional amendment. Any approved amendments must be ratified at the next VUSAC meeting.

b. A current copy of the constitution must be submitted to VUSAC at the beginning of the fall semester.

c. Any proposed changes to the constitution must be emailed to members for comments at least 96 hours before those changes are submitted to a vote.

d. A constitution will be provided freely to all café members who ask at any point during the academic year. A current copy of the Constitution should be posted on the Café website.

10. Summer Café Opening

The incoming managers will decide whether to remain open for the summer on the advice of the Advisory Board and based on extension of the agreement with Victoria University. As specified in the occupancy agreement between VUSAC, Victoria University, and Caffiends, Victoria University will have the use of the cafe space for storage during the summer.

11. Permanent Closure of the Café

a. Will be decided by a 70 percent membership vote, or by a 100 percent recommendation of the Advisory Board.

b. Extraneous funds after all expenses paid will be submitted to a charity promoting environmental sustainability

c. All café merchandise will be donated to VUSAC.

d. May occur based on failure to renew the agreement with Victoria University and VUSAC, based on withdrawal of support or permission of either party.

12. Statement of Lawful Engagement

The VFTC will not engage in any activities which violate:

a. The Victoria University or University of Toronto charters.

b. The University Judicial Code.

c. The Constitution of By-laws of the Student Union, or endanger the tax-exempt status of the University of Toronto.