Constitution of Students for Global Democracy International
Name of the Organization
The name of this organization shall be Students for Global Democracy International.
Exempt Purpose of the Organization
This organization is created solely for educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to provide information to the public about political conditions abroad and to facilitate public charity within the meaning of section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to defend human and civil rights secured by law.
Eligibility for Membership
SGD is open to any student or approved affiliate organization who adheres to its ideals. Membership for a student or approved affiliate organization is attained through regular attendance at meetings and events by the student or representative of the affiliate organization. Members of individual Student for Global Democracy chapters are automatically members of SGD International. SGD does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other protected status in determining its membership.
Section 1. The elected officers of Students for Global Democracy shall be President, Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Fundraising Director, Personnel Director, Communications Director, and Program Director. The duties of the officers shall include, but are not specifically limited to, the following:
Section 2. Any officer may be removed at any time by a 2/3 majority vote of the eligible voting members, as described in Article XI Section 4, present at a general meeting, or if an officer is absent for at least three consecutive general meetings, a vote by the majority of the Executive Board can remove that person from office. The vacancy of the office shall be announced at the same general meeting at which a vote was held, or at the next general meeting if the vacancy was caused by an Executive Board vote that did not occur at a general meeting.
- The President shall oversee each general and Executive Board meeting. The President is also required to create appointed positions to help fulfill any duties not clearly defined here, see Article VI, Section 5 for information on appointed positions.
- The Vice President shall fulfill all of the Presidentís duties during any meeting that the President is unable to attend as well as assist any officer in his or her duties if necessary. Please note that the Vice President is not an elected position but rather an appointed position as detailed in Article VI.
- The Secretary shall keep minutes of each meeting (and report the minutes of each meeting to the appointed officer in charge of the SGD website, see Article VI, Section 5) and send out weekly emails to SGD concerning organization events.
- The Chief Financial Officer shall keep financial records and oversee all outgoing organization funds. The CFO shall collect and distribute monies owed and give a copy of all his records to the Fundraising Director. The CFO shall report the state of SGD accounts once a month at a general meeting and the CFOís records are to be made available for any member wishing to see them upon written request.
- The Fundraising Director shall be responsible for all efforts to raise money for SGD and setup fundraising events.
- The Communications Director shall promote the organization on and off college campuses and to the news media. This includes being held responsible for the SGD newsletter and website.
- The Personnel Director shall be responsible for all recruitment activities and keep records of all current and new chapters affiliated with the SGD International Body.
- The Program Director shall be responsible for planning major organization-wide events and organizing all the logistics of such events.
Under extreme circumstances in which the integrity of the organization is in grave harm, the Board of Directors may act in the interest of the organization to remove an officer by a majority vote. A new election to replace the officer(s) must be held within 2 weeks. In the interim period before new elections, the Board of Directors assumes responsibility for the vacant officer positions, which may include appointing acting officers. This interim period can only last 2 weeks. If new officers are not elected, the previous officers reassume power.
Section 3. Any officer may resign by submitting a letter of resignation to the President. The resignation shall be effective at the following general meeting, at which time the resignation and vacancy of the office shall be announced.
Section 4. No member shall hold more than one office at a time and may not serve more than 4 consecutive terms of one year.
Section 1. In the event of a vacancy of an elected position other than President, a special election shall be held at the next general meeting following the announcement of the vacancy to elect a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term. In an emergency declared by the President, the President may appoint an individual to serve as the acting officer until a special election can be held, if such an appointment is necessary to avoid severe hardship for the organization.
Section 2. In the event that the Presidentís position becomes vacant, the Vice President shall immediately become the President and choose a new Vice-President. Voters may call for special elections up to a month after such a scenario if a majority of eligible voters (see Article XI Section 4) vote to do so; in which case the actions detailed in the following section shall be undertaken.
Section 3. Should vacancies in the President and Vice-Presidentís positions occur simultaneously, the Executive Director shall become interim President, and shall announce a special election for the two positions at the next general meeting and hold the election on the following meeting.
Section 4. An individual elected by a special election with respect to Sections 1. through 3. shall serve out the remainder of the unfulfilled term and that shall not be counted as a term in accordance with term limits mentioned above.
Section 5. Whenever a vacancy occurs and a special election is to be held, it shall be the Presidentís duty to notify SGD members as soon as possible using email or other appropriate means.
Executive Director and Other Appointed Positions
Section 1. The Executive Director shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Board. He or she shall have the right to attend and participate in all Executive Board meetings and functions, but shall not have the right to make motions during an Executive Board meeting, or to vote on Executive Board decisions.
Section 2. The Executive Director is in charge of making sure that all members and officers adhere to their duties under the Constitution and is required to report any possible violations to the SGD members and the Board of Directors.
Section 3. The Executive Director must be appointed by the Board of Directors before the third general meeting after officer selections.
Section 4. The Executive Director shall help to oversee all other appointed positions and ensure SGD business is being carried out in accordance with the Executive Boardís desires. Conflicts which arise within the organization and cannot be resolved by the Executive Board are independently moderated by the Executive Director, as part of his portfolio includes the role of ombudsman. It is the job of the Executive Director to make a formal recommendation to the Executive Board and, if necessary, the Board of Directors as to the best resolution of a conflict.
Section 5. All appointed positions other than the Executive Director shall be created by the President at his or her own discretion followed by approval of the Executive Board. These positions shall be created in order to assist the President in fulfilling his duties, e.g. Vice President, Sergeant-at-Arms, Social Director, Webmaster, Campaign Coordinator, and Political Affairs Director.
Section 6. No appointed positions can be filled without the majority approval of the Executive Board.
Section 1. The Executive Board shall fix the hour and the place of the general meetings. These meetings shall be bi-weekly. Each general meeting must be announced by at least four days prior to said meeting.
Section 2. A special meeting may be called upon the written request of the quorum or at the direction of the President. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call.
Section 3. A majority of elected officers shall constitute a quorum of a general meeting. Votes in a general meeting can only take place when a quorum exists.
The Executive Board
Section 1. The elected officers of Students for Global Democracy shall constitute the Executive Board along with the Executive Director as a non-voting ex-officio member.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall have the general supervision of the affairs of SGD. The board shall be subject to the will of SGD members, and none of its acts shall conflict with the action taken by SGD.
Section 3. SGD members reserve the authority to reverse or repeal any business conducted by the Executive Board. SGD members must reach a vote of a 2/3ths majority to reverse or repeal actions of the Executive Board.
Section 4. Four or more members of the Executive Board (not including the Executive Director) shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Board. Executive Board votes can only take place if a quorum of the Executive Board exists.
Section 5. The President must hold Executive Board meetings twice a month unless there are mitigating circumstances in which case, the Vice President should hold the meetings.
Board of Directors
Section 1. Purpose. A Board of Directors shall have three purposes. Primarily, it will advise SGD officers on how to best achieve the organizationís goals. Secondly, it will ensure SGD remains committed to its founding ideals and operates effectively within the constitution. Lastly, its members will represent SGD publicly, acting as a bridge between individuals involved in democratization and government, and will also represent SGD to donors, foundations, and media.
Section 2. Composition. The Board of Directors will be initially composed of those SGD officers who are in office at the time of the constitutionís ratification. Board members do not, and probably will tend not to be in the future, have to be students at the time and indeed provide a professional guidance to the organization. Ideally, the SGD Board of Directors will select additional individuals who are well-connected in democratization, non-profit, and other relevant circles to sit on the board. Members may however be both SGD officers and sit on the Board of Directors.
Section 3. Additional selection. The Board of Directors will add members if these additional members pass a majority vote of the sitting Board. Members may be removed under a similar vote, with the member in question not participating in the vote. A 2/3 vote of the SGD general body may also remove a member. Members may decide whether or not to replace a removed member with a new one, but they must keep the Boardís membership at no fewer than 6.
Section 4. Chairman. The Chairmanís duty shall be to chair all meetings of the Board and break ties in votes. The founder of SGD will hold the position at the ratification of the constitution. The Chairman may be removed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or by a 2/3 vote of the general SGD body.
Section 5. Meetings The Board will hold at least 4 meetings a year, at a time and manner chosen by the Chairman. The Chairman may also call emergency meetings, and must inform all Board members in a timely and responsible manner.
Section 6. Powers. The Board will be responsible for selecting an Executive Director, who will represent the Board to the general body of SGD and attend all Executive Board meetings. This Executive Director will be selected by a majority vote of the Board and may be removed through such a vote at any time. The Board may also remove a SGD President from power through a majority vote, causing the Vice President to assume power and a special election to occur. All votes of the board will require a 2/3 quorum.
Section 1. Chapters form the base foundation of SGD and represent the main sphere of activities for SGD. They may be governed according to the desire of local chapter leaders, as long as that governance is democratic. Official, or charter, status allows a chapter to use the SGD name, SGD materials, and represent SGD at the local level.
Section 2. A chapter may gain a charter with the agreement of the Personnel Director and President. A majority vote of the Executive Board can also grant or revoke charter status.
Section 3. A chapter must participate in 2/3 of SGD-wide events; any chapter that does not must be considered by the Personnel Director and President or by the Executive Board for a revoking of charter. It is the Personnel Directorís duty to track the participation of chapters, audit their governance mechanisms, and inform non-participating chapters of the possibility of losing a charter.
Section 1. In the event of a special election for SGD officers, notice must be reasonably provided to all SGD members at least seven days prior to the special elections meeting. Special elections shall be conducted in the same manner as the Elections meeting, except that the special elections meeting shall also be considered a Nominations meeting for that special election and that any newly elected officers shall take their office immediately after that meeting.
Section 2. Elections will be held within the first three weeks of May each year. The precise date will be chosen by the Executive Director. Winners will be determined by a majority vote. A vote resulting in a tie will be decided by a vote of the outgoing Executive Board. Special or early elections can be called by the President of the Board under extenuating circumstances. Special or early elections are automatically triggered under a vote of no confidence in the President by the members of the Board. Elections will be held within three weeks after the vote of no confidence.
Section 3. The Executive Director shall preside over the election process, including the count of the votes, of the incoming President, Vice President, Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Fundraising Director, Personnel Director, Communications Director, and Program Director -in that order at the Elections meeting. The newly elected Executive Board shall take office immediately.
Section 4. Eligibility to vote at the Elections meeting shall be based on attendance of at least three SGD International general meetings, including committee and sub-committee meetings, within 2 months.
Regulations of Organization Funds
Section 1. Expenditures of SGD International funds or reimbursements over $100 shall only be made to cover proper organization-related activities and must be approved by the Executive Board at a general meeting.
Section 2. Expenditures of SGD International funds or reimbursements over $20 but no more than $100 shall only be made to cover proper organization related activities and must be approved by the President and Chief Financial Officer, or, if the President or CFO are recipients of the funds, by the Vice President and President or CFO.
Section 3. Expenditures of SGD International funds or reimbursements no more than $20 can be made at the discretion of the Chief Financial Officer but must be reported to the Executive Board at the following Executive Board meeting.
Section 4. Approval of the use of SGD International funds shall consist of a majority of officers present at an Executive Board meeting.
Section 5. With respect to section three of this article, the Chief Financial Officerís approval of multiple $20 or less expenditures shall not accumulate to more than $100 within one month without approval of the Executive Board.
Section 6. No officer or SGD member shall disaggregate the appropriations of funds for a given event or cause in order to circumvent one of the aforementioned levels of regulation.
Section 1. Standing committees (such as a Communication and Information Committee, Fundraising Committee, and Recruitment Committee) or special committees (such as various campaign committees, etc.) shall be appointed by the President from time to time as deemed necessary.
Section 2. These committees will meet at least once every two weeks. It will be the duty of the committee director to set the time and place for the meetings.
This constitution may be amended at any SGD general meeting by 2/3 majority vote of Executive Board, a majority vote of all voting members and a majority vote of the Board of Directors, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous general and board meetings.
Statement of Sovereignty
The Students for Global Democracy is an independent organization, responsible to its affiliations, but autonomous in its actions. SGD is only accountable to and responsible for its membership and Executive Board, in so far as the aforementioned actions in accordance with and promotion of SGD purpose stated in Article II. The Executive Board, subject to the SGD constitution, is the highest authority within this sovereign body, while the Board of Directors has oversight authority over the Executive Board.
Upon dissolution of Students for Global Democracy International and the
termination of its charter by 2/3 majority vote of eligible members as detailed in Article XI Section 4, all physical and financial assets shall be distributed for the exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for which SGD was created. The outgoing Board of Directors will approve and oversee the dissolution and dispersal of assets. No SGD member, past or present, or his/her relatives and business partners, will benefit from the process.
Conflict of Interest Clause
Section 1. No dispersal of organization funds, subcontracting of functions, or transfer of authority in whole or in part will occur to the private benefit or gain of any SGD member, present or past, or his/her relatives and business partners.
Section 2. Where conflicts of interest arise between the individual business interests of members, past or present, or their relatives, or business partners, and the organization, decision-making shall be undertaken by a majority vote of the Executive Board with the
abstention of the member whose interests conflict.
Section 3. The Board of Directors is charged to oversee the propriety of all transactions with third parties, especially the scrutiny of procurements of goods and services for the furtherance of SGD's prescribed activities.
Section 4. No part of net earnings will accrue to the personal benefit of any member, past or present, or his/her relatives and business partners; they will instead be reinvested in the pursuit and advancement of SGD's exempt purpose.
Ratification of the Constitution
This constitution shall be ratified upon a 2/3 majority vote of the founding Executive Board.