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Women’s Caucus Constitution
ARTICLE I. ORGANIZATION
This organization shall be known as the Law Women’s Caucus.
The purpose of this organization is to:
a) Advance the rights and improve the position of women and all persons in society by furthering legal, civil, and human rights, and
b) Foster a closer relationship between law students of the University of North Dakota and other legal and women’s organizations.
This organization is not affiliated with any local, state, or national group.
ARTICLE II. NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT
Membership in the Law Women’s Caucus must comply with the University’s nondiscrimination statement as stated in the Code of Student Life.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 .
Anyone may become a member of the Law Women’s Caucus, as long as they have paid the required dues, and are one of the following:
a) A law student enrolled at the UND School of Law; or
b) A faculty/staff member at the University of North Dakota.
Voting members consist of all members who have paid the required dues. All membership dues must be given to the Treasurer.
Non-student members are not allowed to vote on matters dealing with:
a) Election or removal of officers,
b) Removal of members,
c) Amendments to the constitution or bylaws, and
d) Financial matters.
No academic credit shall be offered for participation and/or membership in this organization.
Section 4 .
Grounds for removal of members may include:
a) Violation of University policy.
b) Violation of the UND Code of Student Life.
c) Violation of the University of North Dakota School of Law Honor Code.
A member may be removed by the following process:
a) A petition submitted to any officer on the Executive Board. Such a petition must contain the signature of at least 33% of the voting members. When such a petition is received, the President shall call a meeting of the organization to decide upon the removal.
b) The grounds for removal and defense are to be presented by the President at a regular or special meeting of the organization.
c) The member in question must be provided an opportunity to present a defense either in person or in writing.
d) A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present will decide upon removal, with the voting not to occur until 48 hours after the presentation of the grounds and the defense has been made.
Members may appeal their removal within one week of the vote for removal by requesting that their appeal be heard at the next regularly scheduled meeting, not to exceed six weeks, and by presenting a petition with the signatures of at least 33% of the voting members. The decision to uphold the vote for removal requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at the meeting.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
The Law Women’s Caucus shall have an Executive Board composed of five student members elected in March. They shall serve for a term of one year. The officers of this organization will be:
b) Vice President,
d) Treasurer, and
e) Helen Hamilton Day Coordinator.
In order to be eligible to hold an Executive Board Position in this organization, the candidate must be a student member of the Law Women’s Caucus. Additionally, in order to ensure continuity in leadership and for the best interests of the Law Women’s Caucus:
a) Candidates for the positions of President, Treasurer, and Helen Hamilton Day Coordinator must be physically present for the entire school year of her/his term in office unless there are no other candidates running for those positions that will be available for the entire school year.
b) In that case, any officer who is not physically present for any part of either semester is still responsible for all the duties of her/his position as if they were. She or he must make appropriate arrangements to ensure her/his complete participation in LWC’s work during their absence.
All changes in Executive Board Members and/or contact information must be submitted to the Student Involvement Office within two weeks of such a change.
The process for elections shall be as follows:
a) Nominations will commence two weeks before the date of the election. After nominations close, no additions will be allowed to the list of nominees.
b) Members will nominate themselves or nominate another member of the Law Women’s Caucus for one or more of the five Executive Board Positions. Nominations shall be given to the Vice President. If the Vice President is a candidate for a position, the nominations shall be given to the President. Nominations shall not be given to a member who is a candidate for a position.
c) If a candidate wins more than one position, that individual may select the position that the candidate would like to assume and the second place winner of the other position will receive that position.
d) Candidates may not post any signs throughout the school during the campaign period. However, each nominee will be given the opportunity to introduce her/himself at the General Meeting hosted on Election Day. Biographies on each candidate will be sent to the general membership.
e) The Bylaws contain additional details that are relevant to the election procedure.
The duties and responsibilities of the officers include, but are not limited to the following:
a) The President must:
- Lead the organization;
- Hold regular meetings with the Executive Board, Caucus, and Faculty Advisor;
- Know the financial status of the Caucus, periodically review the financial records of the organization with the Treasurer and the Advisor, and ensure that the Caucus’s books are audited;
- Know the status of the Caucus’s Endowments and be familiar with the Endowment Distribution Guidelines for LWC Scholarships and Educational Initiatives, the Constitution, and the Bylaws;
- Act as a liaison between the Caucus and the Advisor and other faculty;
- Submit the Officer Roster Card at the beginning of each semester to the Assistant Program Director for Student Involvement; and
- Submit award applications when appropriate.
b) The Vice President must:
- Assist the President in planning, scheduling, organizing events, and scheduling meetings;
- Plan and coordinate a Fall Event to be hosted in October;
- Run all meetings and assume the responsibilities of the President should the President be unavailable;
- Maintain the Archival Binder; Assist the Helen Hamilton Day Coordinator with the organizing of Helen Hamilton Day; and
- Organize and supervise elections.
c) The Secretary must:
- Take minutes and attendance at all Executive Board Meetings;
- Take attendance at all General Meetings, and when appropriate, take minutes at these meetings. Any General Meeting minutes may be posted on either the Caucus’s web page on the UND School of Law’s website or on the Student Involvement web page (whichever program the Executive Board decides to utilize) in the Board’s discretion;
- Maintain the Law Women’s Caucus’s archives in the Student Organization Office;
- Book rooms for meetings;
- Order food for meetings;
- Inform members of meetings via email and social media;
- Add all events to law school calendar;
- Maintain an accurate membership list (along with the Treasurer); and
- Arrange a group picture of the Executive Board and/or Caucus.
d) The Treasurer must:
- Attend the University of North Dakota Treasurer’s Workshop;
- Create an annual budget;
- Review the Organization’s monthly account statements from the University;
- Have an account balance available at each Executive Board Meeting and General meeting, and be willing to explain expenditures and additions if necessary;
- Pay the Law Women’s Caucus’s bills;
- Fill out all necessary Deposit and Voucher forms and return those forms and all deposit money to Twamley;
- Guide and assist the application process for financial resources, such as SOFA;
- Consult with the Law School’s Director of Finance when appropriate;
- Keep current on the status of the O’Kelly and Aldrich Endowments and be familiar with the Endowment Distribution Guidelines;
- Keep the financial records for an annual audit by the Assistant Program Director for Student Involvement at the end of the Spring semester;
- Periodically review the financial records of the organization with the President and the Advisor; and
- Maintain an accurate membership list (along with the Secretary).
For additional guidance regarding the Treasurer’s responsibilities, please refer to Article IX of this Constitution (regarding the Financial Structure of the Law Women’s Caucus).
e) The Helen Hamilton Day Coordinator must:
- Assist the Vice President with the planning of the Fall Event; and
- Coordinate a Spring Event in April to honor the first woman to graduate from the University of North Dakota School of Law.
Newly elected officers shall meet with the outgoing officers at least two times before the beginning of the new school year to help facilitate a smooth transition.
Officers may be removed for cause only after being given notice and provided with an opportunity to be heard before a meeting of the Law Women’s Caucus. Grounds for removal for cause may include:
a) Violation of University policy.
b) Violation of the UND Code of Student Life.
c) Violation of the University of North Dakota School of Law Honor Code.
An officer may be removed by the following process:
a) A petition to remove the officer in question must be submitted to another officer. Such a petition must contain the signatures of 33% of the voting members of the organization. When such a petition is received, the President or any other disinterested officer shall call a meeting of the organization to decide upon the removal.
b) The grounds for removal and the defense are to be presented by the officer in charge at a regular or special meeting of the organization.
c) The officer in question shall be provided an opportunity to present a defense either in person or in writing.
d) A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present shall decide upon removal, with voting not to occur sooner than 48 hours after the presentation of the grounds and the defense have been made.
An officer may appeal her/his removal within one week of the vote for removal by requesting that their appeal be heard at the next regularly scheduled meeting, not to exceed six weeks, and by presenting a petition with the signatures of at least 33% of the voting members. The decision to uphold the vote for removal shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at the meeting.
Upon the occurrence of a vacancy of an office, the organization can either:
1. Allow members to sign up or nominate another member for the vacant position. Nominations shall be commenced at least three days before the date of a new election. After nominations close, no additional candidates will be allowed to run for the vacant position. Candidates will be allowed the opportunity to speak in front of the membership and a biography of each candidate will be sent out to the general membership; or
2. If the school year is already underway, the Executive Board can appoint an Interim Executive Board Member to carry out the duties of the vacant position. At the next general meeting, the Caucus can vote on whether the Interim Board Member will be permanent by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at that meeting.
The Board may use its discretion to create a committee that will assist the organization and to appoint Caucus Members to staff that committee.
AR TICLE V. MEETINGS
General Meetings must be held at least once a month during the school year. In March, the General Meeting must be hosted on the same day as Election Day.
Executive Board meetings typically shall be held at least twice a month during the school year.
Special meetings may be called by the President with the consent of the Executive Board or upon the request of 10% of voting members.
There is no quorum requirement for this organization, however, all meetings where any sort of voting is to take place must be well advertised. All members must be emailed notice of such meetings.
The Parliamentary Authority for this organization shall be a group consensus.
The Caucus is a non-partisan group open to the expression of all viewpoints. The Caucus will not support any party or candidate in a political campaign and will not allow persons to campaign during Caucus meetings or events. Nor will the Caucus take solicitations from anyone running for public office for campaigning purposes. The Caucus can host elected officials, but only for policy reasons and to facilitate discussions.
ARTICLE VI. CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION
Any proposed changes to the Constitution must be presented to the members at a meeting. The members shall have the ability to discuss the proposed changes at a meeting or via another appropriate forum. Then, after full discussion of the proposed revisions, a motion must be made and passed to put the proposed changes up for a vote. Any amendments must be passed by a simple majority of the present voting members. The vote may be taken at a meeting or via another appropriate forum.
Any amendment to become part of the Constitution must be passed by two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present participating in the special ballot.
All amendments must be approved by the Student Policy Committee before they take effect.
ARTICLE VII. ADVISOR
The Advisor shall be selected by the Executive Board during the spring or summer before the beginning of the term to allow the Advisor adequate time to assume the role. The Advisor must be confirmed by a majority vote of all members present at the first general meeting of the academic year. The advisor to this organization must be a member of the UND School of Law faculty or staff.
The Advisor must:
a) Assist the Executive Board Members and the Members in accomplishing the purpose of this organization;
b) Attend Board meetings and general meetings when appropriate or possible;
c) Co-sign all pertinent financial transactions of the organization; and
d) Periodically review the organization’s finances with the Treasurer.
ARTICLE VIII. BYLAWS
Any amendment to the Bylaws must be made available to the Executive Board and all Caucus Members. To be approved, the amendment must receive at least 3/5 of the Executive Board’s support and at least 50% of the General Caucus’s support (based upon the members attending the meeting). The meeting for the amendment must be adequately advertised, giving all members due notice about the possible changes. A current copy of the Bylaws is attached to this Constitution.
All Constitutional provisions will take priority over the Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX. FINANCIAL STRUCTURE
The finances of the organization shall be under the direct supervision of the Treasurer, who must operate in accordance with the policies of the University of North Dakota regarding the finances of student organizations.
a) All funds from University sources must be deposited and maintained in a University of North Dakota account.
b) The President and/or the Treasurer must be authorized to sign all financial transactions dealing with organization funds.
c) The Advisor of the organization must co-sign all pertinent financial transactions of the organization.
d) The financial records/ledger of the on-campus account must be submitted for an annual audit to the Student Involvement Office at the end of the Spring Semester.
Dues for this organization must be set by the incoming Executive Board for the upcoming school year.
S ection 3.
The President and Treasurer must be familiar with and ensure the implementation of the Endowment Distribution Guidelines.