A Constitution, also referred to as Bylaws or a Charter, is a student group structure and purpose statement that is an organization's guiding document. The Constitution formally identifies the organizations name and purpose for operating as well as the structure and selection of the organization's executive officers.
Every recognized student organization or club is required to have a Constitution on file with the Center for Leadership and Service.
Constitution Sample Outline
Name and Objectives
List the purposes and objectives of the organization. Generally, student organizations are formed to achieve educational, social, cultural objectives for its membership and the student body of the campus. Student organizations are advised to keep the name of their group as short and easily recognizable as possible.
Specify the qualifications for membership. Generally, membership should be regular membership, open to all registered students attending full or part time. In some cases, associate memberships are given to those who do not qualify for regular membership, ie. alumni, non-students, faculty etc. Membership may not be denied on the basis of race, marital status, color, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, or liability for service in the armed forces.
Officers and Duties
The organization shall have the following officers: (list officers, usually president, vice president, treasurer, and one or more secretaries.) The officers shall have the following duties and responsibilities: (list responsibilities of each officer mentioned above. The president and treasurer are the officers with signatory power over the organization’s account.
Specify how many meetings must take place; how meetings will be conducted; how special meetings may be called; and who can call special meetings. Specify the establishment of quorum in order for group business to be transacted.
List any standing committees and describe the functions and responsibilities of each committee.
Elections and Vacancies
Specify the process for elections of officers and how vacancies will be filled. Indicate that all executive board positions must meet the Kean University Student Leadership Criteria. Specify when the group will hold elections for officers.
Removal and Succession of Officers
Specify reasons for which an officer may be removed from office. Indicate what percentage of the membership is required to approve a motion for removing an officer and how much notice must be given to the membership before such a vote is taken.
Specify how the group structure and purpose may be amended; include what percentage of the membership must approve the amendment and how much notice must be given to the membership for consideration of the amendment.
Specify that the organization advisor must be a Kean University full-time employee (faculty or staff).
Specify that the group shall be in full compliance with all pertinent Kean University regulations, rules and policies relevant to its activities.
Where can I find a student group or organization's Constitution?
Every student group or organization must have a Constitution. All non-Greek letter organizations have Constitutions that are publicly viewable in Cougar Link. To view a respective organization's Constitution, visit their Cougar Link profile page, click on "Documents" on the left navigation menu and view the organization's documents. The organization's Constitution will be under the "Constitution/Bylaws" category.
Updating An Existing Student Group Constitution
In order for a student group or organization to update their Constitution, the student group must follow the procedures outlined within their existing Constitution. The general body of the organization must approve the proposed amendment(s) by the margin outlined in the existing Constitution (ex: a majority vote, a 2/3 vote, a 3/4 vote, etc...). Once the general body has approved the amendment, and the minutes of the meeting reflect such a vote, the organization must submit the revised constitution document electronically to the Center for Leadership and Service for review. The Constitution will be checked to ensure that the organization still meets the minimum requirements for student group recognition. Upon review, the Center for Leadership and Service will upload the new student group's Constitution.
For more information about updating your student group or organization Constitution, please contact the Center for Leadership and Service, located in University Center room 219, by calling 908-737-5170 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.