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Sample Constitution

A. Constitution and By-laws
Any organization must have some procedures by which to conduct its business. A Constitution
and By-laws are effective ways of establishing those procedures. The Constitution and By-laws
traditionally are two separate documents. The Constitution sets forth the general principles
creating the organization, and membership and officer responsibility. The By-laws contain in
more detail the procedures to be followed for meetings, decision making, officer selection, and
financial transactions.

Generally, recognized student organizations are of a size that calls only for a Constitution. The
following is a suggested outline for information to be included in a Constitution:

Article I: The name of the organization.

Article II: The purpose of the organization.

Article III: The membership of the organization including (1) categories of membership such as
“active” or “associate,” with rights and privileges of each; (2) qualifications and eligibility
including provisions for application, acceptance, and termination, and (3) membership dues and
collection procedures.

Article IV: The officers of the organization (specifying each office, including the adviser), their
responsibilities and authority, term of office and procedures for election, removal, and filling of
vacancies.

Article V: The meetings of the organization including (1) the time for regularly scheduled
meetings, (2) procedures for calling special meetings, (3) required notice of meetings, and (4)
quorum, order of business, and disposition of minutes.

Article VI: The administrative board, cabinet, or executive council of the organization which
may be entrusted with any administrative authority and responsibilities.

Article VII: The committees of the organization including the process of appointment,
responsibilities, and reporting.

Article VIII: The parliamentary practice to which questions will be referred.

Article IX: The procedure for amendments including advance notifications, number of readings,
and required vote for adoption.