Writing a Constitution
The constitution guides an organization in its operations and activities and, accordingly, is intended primarily for the organization’s benefit and use. The constitution contains the fundamental principles and structure of the organization and outlines the basic rules of procedure by which a group’s leadership govern their organization.
In essence the constitution is an outline of the goals and the purpose of the organization, as well as the rules of the organization.
The constitution should be carefully formulated, clearly worded, and kept up-to-date so that the needs of the organization can be met. Furthermore, our office recommends that each member of an organization have a copy of the constitution. All members of the organization should know the purpose and goals of the organization as well as abide by its rules.
The following outline is provided to assist in the preparation of your organization’s constitution. Use this guide to prepare the constitution for your new student organization. An up-to-date copy of the constitution is required to be submitted in electronic form to the Office of Student Life.
The outline provided is not the only way to define an organization. If you would like to explore additional options, please contact the Office of Student Life and someone will work with your group to compose a new set of guidelines.
The constitution should include specific procedural rules. When amending the constitution, notification of proposed changes must be provided to the membership. The constitution should not be altered in the same meeting in which the changes are proposed.
Article 1: Name, Purpose, and Non-Discrimination policies
Section 1: This organization shall be named the Insert name of your organization.
Section 2: The purpose and objectives of this organization are to:
- Insert purpose and objective;
- Insert purpose and objective;
- Insert purpose and objective; and
- Insert purpose and objective.
Section 3: Insert name of your organization shall not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and/or veteran status in its program and activities.
Section 4: The rules in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable.
Article 2: Membership
Section 1: Any student who is enrolled by The Ohio State University at Newark or Central Ohio Technical College shall be given the right to take part in voting and decision making. Other members, such as faculty, alumni and professionals are encouraged to take part in non-voting activities run by Insert name of your organization.
Membership is open to any student enrolled by The Ohio State University at Newark or Central Ohio Technical College.
Section 2: Each member holds the right to vote, run for office and participate in all events.
Section 3: Insert name of your organization shall convene at the start of autumn semester each academic year.
Section 4: The annual dues for this organization shall be established annually.
Article 3: Organization Leadership
Section 1: Insert name of your organization shall have a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers serve as the Executive Committee. Officers must be members of this organization and shall be elected or appointed by the organization’s voting membership.
Section 2: Term for Executive Committee members shall be one full academic year.
Section 3: Election of Executive Committee officers shall be held at the fifth meeting of each academic year. Nominations shall be taken from the floor and elections will be taken by ballot. Persons receiving majority vote shall be elected.
Section 4: Any officer may be removed from office by two-thirds vote of the members. Any persons removed may appeal to the general membership and may be reinstated by two-thirds approval.
Section 5: Any vacancies in office may be filled by appointment by the President until approval of the general membership at the next group meeting.
Article 4: Executive Committee
Section 1: President
- The President shall act as chief executive officer;
- The President shall appoint all committee chairpersons;
- The President shall fill vacancies in office by appointment until approval of the general membership;
- The President shall be in charge of communications between the general body and executive board members;
- The President is responsible for the delegation of various responsibilities and deadlines;
- The President shall suggest and discuss future programs and events; and
- The President shall coordinate meeting times to best accommodate all members of the general body.
Section 2: Vice-President
- The Vice-President is responsible for accessing the organization’s email account no less than twice a week;
- The Vice-President shall send weekly update and reminder emails to the general membership;
- The Vice-President shall fulfill the roles of the president should the position become vacant or the president is not present; and
- The Vice-President shall be in charge of coordinating social events at general body meetings.
Section 3: Secretary
- The Secretary is responsible for logging all minutes of all general body meetings and meetings of the executive board;
- The Secretary shall record attendance at all meetings; and
- The Secretary shall keep a master file of all meeting minutes and provide copies to each officer upon request.
Section 4: Treasurer
- The Treasurer shall keep a current record of all financial transactions;
- The Treasurer shall develop semester reports containing a list of all receipts and disbursements and distribute them amongst members; and
- The Treasurer is responsible for checking the accuracy of all bills.
Article 5: Advisor Qualifications
Section 1: The Advisor of Insert name of your organization will be a member of the Newark campus faculty or a full-time salaried staff member who shares the same goals and values as the organization, can maintain communication, meet with officers regularly, and attend group meetings and events.
- The Advisor shall assist the organization in carrying out roles and responsibilities;
- The Advisor shall provide feedback to the organization in regard to operations and give direction toward future operations;
- The Advisor shall serve as a resource;
- The Advisor should share knowledge, experience, expertise and advice for the planning of group activities; and
- The Advisor will be a nonvoting member of the organization.
Article 6: Meetings of the Organization
Section 1: General body meetings shall be held weekly for each academic term excluding summer. Meetings shall be held weekly at a predetermined time.
Section 2: Meetings which serve a special purpose may be called to order by the advisor or any member of the Executive Committee.
Article 7: Amending the Constitution
Section 1: Any member may propose an amendment to the constitution by providing a written proposal to the Executive Committee. The proposal shall then be introduced to the membership at the next meeting.
Section 2: Written proposals must be distributed to all members two weeks prior to vote.
Section 3: Amendments may be made to the Constitution by two thirds vote of the organization members.
Article 8: Method of Dissolution of Organization
In the event of the dissolution of Insert name of your organization, and after all payments of purchase orders and bills have been remunerated, remaining funds shall be transferred to the Student Development student fund account.
Article 9: Affiliation
Insert name of your organization shall be formally recognized by The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College as a local affiliate, provided that all requirements stated within this Constitution are met.
Initial semester of registration: Insert semester of registration