Guideline for the Contents
of a Constitution.
Constitution of the (Name of Organization)
State the reason and intent of the group in two to three sentences.
Name (The name must be spelled out in full and properly punctuated.)
The name of this organization shall be (state full name), hereafter referred to as (shortened name as it will appear in the constitution).
The officers of (Name) shall serve as the Executive Board of (Name), hereafter referred to as the "Board".
Object or Purpose (This should be concise, exact, and in a single sentence, unless there is more than one purpose.)
The purpose of this organization shall be (definition of the group's purpose).
The purpose of the executive board will be (state the purpose).
Membership (Classes of membership should be named (Active, Associate, Honorary, Life, Nonresident, etc.) with the distinction among them as to rights, dues, qualifications, eligibility, application, and acceptance procedures, voting rights, initiation fees, when dues are payable, penalty for nonpayment of dues, method for reinstatement, and dual membership requirements in national, state, or parent society. Not all of these requirements will apply in every case.)
The requirements for membership are (state requirements).
State the requirements for voting and the requirements for holding office.
State the privileges and the responsibilities of membership.
Membership may be revoked (by whom and procedure) due to (criteria).
Assessment and Dues
Officers (Include how
many officers there shall be, the titles, qualifications for office, duties, honorary officers (if any), and position
of President-elect if there is to be one. It is recommended that for easy reference all data on accession to office
be under a separate article.)
The organization will have the following officers (state the positions).
The duties of these officers will be (state the responsibilities).
These officers will serve for (state the length of time in office).
Meetings ( The day should be specified for regular meetings, but not the time or place. A provision should always include "unless otherwise ordered by the organization." This provides for necessary changes in an emergency. The quorum should be specified. Provisions for calling special meetings, and for the annual meeting, should be included.)
State how often and when (if known) regularly scheduled meetings will take
State how policy decisions will be made, and how formal votes are carried out.
Nominations and Elections
(May be placed elsewhere)
The process whereby nominations may be made should be specified. Included in this article are terms of office, whether positions are reelectable, qualifications for office, how vacancies in office are to be filled, provisions for removal from office, and method for submitting resignations.
Example: If the office of president is vacated, the position is automatically filled by the first vice-president, then the second, and so on. The vacancy finally occurs in the lowest office.
The term of office should specify "to serve for a term of…years OR until a successor is elected." This provides for a continuation in office moreover permits a recision of election should that become necessary. Include also the number of offices a member may hold at the same time (only one office at a time is recommended, since each office should require full-time attention).
Placing nominations and certain specifics on elections (such as time for the election and officers to be elected) in the constitution is important to the continuity and life of the organization. Otherwise, these vital decisions would be at the whim of each administration.
State general election rules.
State procedures for appointing officers.
State grounds for removal from office and state procedures for removal from office.
State procedures for mid-term or unexpected vacancies of elected officers.
The title of the board should be specified: Executive Board, Board of Trustees, Board of Directors, or Managers; name as well as composition, powers (authority), and limitations, meeting dates, qualifications for membership, how elected or appointed, special duties (if any), and its quorum.
Specify the names and composition of committees, the manner of selection to membership, duties, or jurisdiction, and authorization for creating new committees. Also, specify how special committees may be created other than by adopted motion from the floor.
Establish who may authorize expenditures, and is responsible for collection and disbursement of funds. To whom are dues paid? What are the provisions for the disbursal of assets/funds should the club cease to exist?
Include a method for selecting and removing you faculty/staff advisor. It may be a vote of the membership, the executive committee, or any other method you choose.
Include provisions for amending, how much previous notice should be required, what vote should be required, when and how the provisions for amending may be proposed, and so on.
What is the affiliation, if any, with local, state, national, or international organization, and what is the relationship of the organization to the affiliate?
Methods and procedures for ratification of the constitution.
This constitution was ratified by a majority vote of the membership on ______________.