The Constitution of the American University College Democrats

Preamble

The American University College Democrats is a student-­run organization dedicated to advancing the goals and

ideals of the Democratic Party. Our mission is to mobilize and empower young people to connect to the electoral

process and participate in active citizenship. We are committed to building a community of conscious students

who stand ready to take up the torch and carry the flame of our generation forward.

 

Article I: The Organization

Section 1.

The name of this organization shall be the American University College Democrats, hereafter referred to in this

document as the AUCD.

Section 2.

The AUCD pledges to support the purpose and platform of the Democratic Party by increasing the participation of college students in civic action and party affairs. To these ends, AUCD shall:

1. Educate the American University community about the values and policies of the Democratic Party; 2. Engage in voter registration, education, and mobilization efforts on behalf of the Democratic Party; and 3. Inspire students to work for justice, progress, and sustainability.

Section 3.

The AUCD is a chartered chapter of the College Democrats of America and the DC Federation of College

Democrats. The AUCD is in no way connected to, or financially endorsing, specific legislation or candidates

running for office.

The AUCD operates under the regulations and bylaws of the American University Club Council, the College

Democrats of America National Chapter, and the DC Federation of College Democrats.

Section 4.

The structure of the American University College Democrats shall be organized as follows:

1. Membership will consist of any currently enrolled student at American University who supports the

platform of the Democratic Party and wishes to be known as a College Democrat.

Students must sign up for the AUCD list­serv to be considered an official member.

AUCD shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

2. The Executive Board shall be responsible for determining the direction and goals of AUCD as outlined in Article II.

3. Leadership shall consist of members working to support a specific function of the AUCD as outlined in

Article III.

 

Article II: The Executive Board

Section 1.

The Executive Board shall be responsible for determining the direction and goals of AUCD, as well as overseeing

the Departments of Leadership, as well as fully understanding and upholding the Constitution.

All Executive Board officers shall maintain active involvement in AUCD by attending weekly Executive Board

meetings, participating in a majority of AUCD activities, and actively promoting the agenda of AUCD to the students

of American University.

Section 2.

The officers of the Executive Board shall consist of:

1.The President, who shall have the authority to serve as the executive head of this organization; to set the

vision for the organization; to call and preside over its meetings; to enforce strict observance of the

organization’s laws and policies; to preside over any committee of the organization; to appoint any offices

or committees not provided for by this constitution; to represent the members of this organization at official

ceremonies and functions; to oversee the day­to­day operations of the organization; to authorize

emergency expenditures in the absence of the Treasurer; and to ensure that all officers of the chapter

discharge their duties faithfully, impartially, accurately, and promptly.

2. The Vice President, who shall have the authority to assist the President in the performance of his/her duties; to succeed those responsibilities in the absence or disability of the President; to acquire co­-sponsorships for club initiatives; and to oversee the creation of the policy agenda for the AUCD.

3. The Secretary, who shall keep accurate and complete records of the minutes and attendance of all meetings, as well as all files and documents of this chapter. The Secretary shall also be responsible for fostering a sense of community among the membership of the AUCD.

4. The Treasurer, who shall be responsible for maintaining all financial books of account of this organization; keeping an accurate account of all funds received and expended; depositing all funds in the name and to the credit of this organization; authorizing emergency expenditures when the Executive Board is unable to provide oversight; and acquiring all purchase cards and Eagle Bucks readers.

5. The Communications Director, who shall be responsible for the general correspondence of this organization; the development and implementation of a long­ term promotion strategy; the composition and dissemination of list­serv emails; and the editing of the official AUCD website.

6. The Chief of Staff, who shall be responsible for the planning and execution of event logistics; communicating with Student Activities; providing an interpretation of the constitution during Executive Board meetings; and conducting any proceedings relating to internal disputes and constitutional amendments.

Section 3.

Meetings of the Executive Board shall occur on a regular basis and can be called by any officer of the Executive

Board with significant purpose. The Secretary shall post a summary paragraph on the website after each

subsequent Executive Board meeting.

1. A quorum of the Executive Board shall constitute a majority of the Executive Board officers to be present in

person, by conference call, or by electronic communication.

2. If all officers of the Executive Board are not in clear agreement on a decision or course of

action, any officer may call for a vote. The vote shall be decided by a simple majority of the Executive Board. Should a tied vote occur, the Executive Board shall adopt the vote of the President as the decision of the Board.

3. A budget for full semester allocation must be must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board

and presented to the American University Club Council for finalization by the official deadline. Any significant expenditure must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

4. Any decision may be brought to members for input during a general meeting before an official Executive Board vote at the request of two officers of the Executive Board.

Section 4.

Any general member who meets the qualifications outlined in Article I, Section 4a may serve on the Executive

Board pursuant to the provisions in Article IV or Article II, Section 6.

Section 5.

Executive Board officers may be removed from office if:

1. Accused of gross misconduct, which is defined as malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance of

constitutionally assigned duties, being convicted of a felony, or upon other grounds found by a majority of

the other members of the Executive Board and Leadership to constitute good and sufficient cause;

2. A member of the Executive Board or AUCD Leadership submits a written charge to the President or Vice ­President against the officer;

3. Both parties are offered the chance to speak on their own behalf at the next meeting of the Executive Board; and

4. The Executive Board and Leadership vote for removal after one week by a two­-thirds majority. If no vote takes place within 30 days, the removal charge shall be null and void.

 

Section 6.

A vacancy shall be declared when an officer of the Executive Board is unable to continue his or her term, resigns,

or is removed from office.

If the Presidency is vacant, the Vice President shall succeed the President. If the office of Vice President, Secretary,

Treasurer, Communications Director, or Chief of Staff become vacant, the vacancy must be filled within

two weeks in accordance with the following procedures:

1. The President shall oversee an application process lasting at least one week, during which time any

eligible member may apply to fill the vacancy. The process must conclude with an open interview wherein

any member of the organization can vote for their choice of candidate.

2. The Executive Board shall take this vote by General Membership into consideration, but

the final decision must be made through a vote by the Executive Board.

Section 7.

It shall be the personal duty of outgoing officers to turn over to their successor all data, records, reports, items, assets, and personal contacts pertaining to their offices and to this organization. Outgoing officers shall also be required to instruct said successors in the duties and proper administration of their office. It shall also be the duty of new officers to secure from former officers all data and records pertaining to the conduct of their office.

1. The current department structure, roles and positions must be explained to the incoming Executive Board.

2. Exit memos must be given to the incoming Executive Board prior to the transition ceremony.

Section 8.

All endorsements for Student Government elections must be approved by a two­thirds vote of the most recently elected Executive Board officers. Candidates who are interested in being endorsed by the AUCD must complete an application and meet with officers of the Executive Board prior to the determination of an official endorsement. All candidates must contacted for notification of the endorsement application process. Members of the Executive Board who run for Student Government must not be involved in the decision­making aspect of the endorsement process.

 

Article III: Leadership and Departments

Section 1.

The Departments of Leadership shall be responsible for the execution of all AUCD functions. Members of leadership shall be selected from the General Membership by the Executive Board to assist with the functions of these departments.

Section 2.

There should be a maximum of five leadership members per department outside of the Executive Officers and General Members who wish to participate with departmental activities may do so in accordance with the direction of Leadership.

Section 3.

The Political Department shall be overseen by the President and shall be responsible for organizing advocacy campaigns on behalf of AUCD; informing membership about issue and candidate campaigns being run by members of the Democratic Party; and connecting AUCD to Democratic networks and causes including alumni; and must include a representative to the District of Columbia Federation of College Democrats.

Section 4.

The Policy Department shall be overseen by the Vice President and shall be responsible for crafting a policy agenda representative of the organization’s diverse membership; organizing events to promote that agenda; and procuring co­-sponsorships for events.

Section 5.

The Activities Department shall be overseen by the Secretary and shall be responsible for organizing all club activities excluding speaking and campaign events; providing outreach to recruit potential members; and fostering a sense of community and community service.

Section 6.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for preparing a budget covering all expected income and expenses of this chapter for the semester; developing fundraisers for the club; submitting the budget for approval to the American University Club Council; and making expenditures authorized by the President or a majority of the Executive Board; and applying for grants and acquiring business sponsorships.

Section 7.

The Communications Department shall be overseen by the Communications Director and shall be responsible for promoting upcoming events; maintaining the organization’s public image; increasing the organization’s visibility; and keeping members up to date on the activities of the organization.

Section 8.

The Administrative Department shall be responsible for coordinating event logistics with University Events Services

and ensuring that all AUCD events and activities are properly staffed.

Section 9.

The Members of Leadership shall be appointed by the newly elected Executive Board after an open application

process. Executive Board officers are responsible for interviewing and selecting applicants to Leadership

positions serving under them. These appointments will be subject to confirmation by the full Executive Board.

Section 10.

Department meetings shall occur at a date and time determined by the Executive Board officer who oversees that

department.

Section 11.

Members of Leadership may be removed from office if deemed by the Executive Board officer overseeing them to

be incapable of executing their prescribed duties. Such removals are subject to approval by a two­thirds majority

vote of the Executive Board.

 

Article IV: Elections

Section 1.

The officers of the new Executive Board shall be elected on a date between November 15 and December 1. This date shall be chosen by the incumbent Executive Board and announced to the public at least two weeks in advance. The cycle of the Executive Board shall effectively remain in cohesion with the Calendar Year, as opposed to the Academic Year. The Executive Board that is herein elected as of this date will serve a term from April through November 2016. Between November 15 and December 1, the new Executive Board shall be elected to serve a year-long term from January to December.

Section 2.

Only individuals certified as part of General Membership who have attended three meetings, activities, or

events throughout the preceding year shall have the right to vote or run for executive office in AUCD elections.

Members may only cast ballots for an individual office after hearing speeches by all candidates running for said

office.

Section 3.

Any member who wishes to run for executive office must submit their declaration of candidacy by the deadline set

by the incumbent Executive Board. Any candidate who fails to meet the deadline will not appear on the ballot but

may still run as a write­-in candidate.

Incumbent Executive Board officers who wish to serve another term must participate in elections and are not

automatically elected to their declared position.

Section 4.

Elections shall be run by a staff consisting of:

1. An Elections Chairman, who may not be a candidate in the election, shall conduct the election, count the ballots, and serve as the arbiter in the event of an election dispute, who shall be appointed by the President and confirmed by a two­ thirds vote of the Executive Board no fewer than two weeks before the elections; and three poll watchers, who may not be a member of the Executive Board nor a candidate in the election, selected by the Elections Chairman, who shall ensure that the ballot­ counting process is fair.

Section 5.

The procedures for Election Day shall be as follows:

1. A quorum of the general members, a majority of the incumbent Executive Board, and the Elections

Chairman must be present to begin the election process;

2. The election shall begin with opening remarks by the incumbent President and Elections Chairman, then proceed with speeches by the candidates for Chief of Staff, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and then President;

3. Candidates will each be allotted a maximum of eight minutes to give a speech on behalf of their candidacy;

4. A five minute question ­and ­answer period shall occur for each position following the speeches of all candidates for said position, except for the Presidency which shall be allotted ten minutes for question­ and ­answer;

5. Voting by paper ballot shall occur at the conclusion of the Presidential question ­and ­answer period;

6. Votes shall be collected by the Elections Chairman and taken to a separate room for tallying alongside the poll watchers;

7. After all ballots have been collected, the Elections Chairman shall count the ballots by hand and record the results on a computer under the observation of the poll watchers;

8. If a margin of five percent or less determines the outcome of an election, an automatic recount will ensue, but poll watchers may also call for a recount for any reason;

9. If for any office a candidate does not surpass the threshold of fifty percent plus one, a second vote between the top two candidates shall be held immediately; and

10. The Elections Chairman must announce the results following their official certification.

Section 6.

Election results are to be certified by the Elections Chairman, incumbent President, and all poll watchers before

being announced to the public. Candidates must also agree to waive any right to challenge the results before they

can be certified and announced.

Section 7.

Newly elected Executive Board officers are to begin transitioning into their elected offices no later than one week

following the election. The lame ­duck Executive Board shall retain their official positions until an official transition

ceremony to be held no more than three weeks following the election.

 

Article V: Amendments

Section 1.

Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by any officer of the Executive Board or member of Leadership.

Proposed amendments must be submitted in written form to the Chief of Staff for consideration at least

one week prior to an official vote.

Section 2.

A vote shall be conducted on any proposed constitutional amendments at the general meeting following its

introduction, during which two­ thirds of the members present must vote to ratify the amendment.

Section 3.

The Executive Board may elect to hold a Constitutional Reform Meeting, at which time the constitution may be

updated with several amendments supported by a unanimous vote of the Executive Board.

A vote shall take place during the next general meeting, during which two-­thirds of the members present must vote

to ratify the new constitution.

 

Ratification

This constitution was hereby adopted by unanimous consent of the Executive Board.

We, the undersigned, do hereby invoke those privileges to which we are entitled as officers of the organization

herein prescribed, and vow to uphold, enforce, and abide by its bylaws as written above.

 

Signed,

 

Emily Hamm, President

Yazan Hanouneh, Vice President

Shadi Nasabzadeh, Secretary

Harrison Solenday, Treasurer

Sarah Trindell, Communications Director

Anthony Kuykendall, Chief of Staff


February 26th, 2017