Constitution and Bylaws

We ask that all members read the constitution and bylaws of our club so that they may be better aware of our roles and expectations in providing a safe space for LGBTQ youth.

 

Constitution

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section I: This organization shall be known as SAFE, Queens’ GSA. SAFE stands for Students Advocating For Equality. GSA stands for Gay-Straight Alliance.

Section II: The purpose of this club shall be to create a safe and open environment for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) community and their allies, as well as a support group for this community. This club will work with and support all people who have been made fun of for who they are or for what they believe. The club will create a forum where people of all races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual preference can talk freely about relevant situations and experiences. The club will work with other organizations at school and in the community, as well as participate in advocacy for the LGBTQ community. Finally, this club will function as an activist group for equality, specializing in the fight against bullying. If the members so choose, this constitution may be amended at any time to better meet the needs of the club and community.

Article II: Membership

Section I: Membership shall be open to any and all people affiliated with the Queens community.

Section II: Membership will not be offered to or will be taken from any person who does not have the best interests of the group at heart. Persons who demonstrate any prejudice or ill will towards members of the group or the group’s ideals will be turned away or asked to leave. Any members violating our privacy policy shall be expelled.

Article III: Officers

Section I: The elected, executive officers for this club shall be the President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer. In times of need, the President may appoint officers.

Section II: Other, non-executive officers shall be created as deemed necessary by the club at the time. These offices may include, but are not limited to the following: Community Outreach, Public Relations, Activities and Events Coordinator, and Philanthropy Chair. These positions can be combined, added to, or removed through a vote in order to further the well-being of the club and its members.

Section III: All officers shall serve a term of one year, beginning two weeks before the end of each spring semester. This is to ensure that all newly elected officers receive help and training from the previous position holders. Officers will be elected or appointed every March.

Article IV: Funding

Section I: There are no fees involved in joining this club. A budget will be submitted to SGA every year in a timely manner to ensure funding for events and other expenses. In some cases, members will be asked to financially contribute to something outside of the budget. If a member is not able to contribute, there will be no ramifications, except in circumstances regarding specially ordered, not required items. If this should happen, the member should simply choose not to order said item.

Article V: Amendments

Section I: Proposed amendments shall be presented by members of the club in writing, and read at a meeting. The voting shall take place at the next official meeting, after every member has been presented with the changes. A majority vote of 2/3 shall be required to pass an amendment.

Article VI: Meetings

Section I: The executive members will to meet monthly to discuss the club, any upcoming events, and any possible issues.

Section II: A regular club meeting will take place every week. Members will also be expected to attend any events or activities planned by the club.

Article VII: Policies and Reinforcements

Section I: As previously stated, all members are expected to show a certain level of interest, support, and respect in all aspects involving the club. Failure to do so may result in membership termination. The executive board will inform all members of expectations and shall clearly outline all specifics and ramifications as voted upon by members of the club. Lack of interest, support, and respect can be witnessed in failure to attend events or perform duties, speaking out negatively against the club, and openly harboring and/or expressing pessimistic attitudes about the club and/or any of its members.

Section II: All members shall adhere to the Queens Honor Code as it relates to the club and its activities. Included in this code is the “Las Vegas Policy,” which states that what happens in meetings may not be shared with anyone outside the club. Because SAFE acts as a support group, confidentiality is expected from all participants. Anyone who is found to have shared information without the permission of the specific member or the club as a whole will be asked to leave.

 

 

Bylaws

1. Officer and member responsibilities:

  • President: The president will attend all regular club meetings, all events, all Executive Board meetings, President’s Council meetings, trainings meant for Executive Board members, and Leadership Lunch and Learns. The president will facilitate and moderate meetings, support other positions and events, and delegate or volunteer for any open positions and jobs. The president will send the vice president a list of all business points to be covered at each meeting in a timely manner.
  • Vice President: The vice president will attend all regular club meetings, events, Executive Board meetings, President’s Council meetings, trainings meant for Executive Board members, and Leadership Lunch and Learns, and act as an alternate for all executive positions. The vice president will hold the president in the event that the president can no longer do so until the next scheduled election. The vice president will work with the president and meeting facilitator to create an agenda and post it to the Facebook event wall for that meeting at least 24 hours before each meeting. The vice president will maintain the club’s social networks and delegate public relations tasks.
  • Secretary/Treasurer: The secretary/treasurer will attend all regular club meetings, events, Executive Board meetings, and trainings meant for Executive Board members. The secretary/treasurer will take notes at all meetings and will post minutes from each meeting to the club’s Facebook group wall within 24 hours of the meeting’s adjournment.  The secretary/treasurer will submit all budgets for the club at the beginning of the year and each semester, and will submit smaller budgets as needed if more events are planned.

By running for office you are agreeing to commit to the responsibilities of the office for which you choose to run. This includes attending all meetings and trainings that your office requires and any work outside of club time that is required to help this club function. If at any time during your term you become unable to uphold these responsibilities, it is expected that you will communicate this to the rest of the executive board and decide whether it is in the best interests of the club for you to step down from your office.


2. Meetings

  • Regular Club Meetings: SAFE Queens GSA will hold meetings in various locations, and the location and topic for each meeting will be announced at the conclusion of the previous meeting and on Facebook.  There will be no meetings held during breaks or on Convocation.  The outline for the agenda for every regular club meeting will be as follows:

1.Business

2. Check-In

3. Game

4. LGBT current events

5. Discussion

  • Executive Board Meetings: SAFE Queens GSA Executive Board will meet on the last Friday of every month. These meetings may be held in various locations, and the location for each meeting will be announced at the conclusion of the previous regular club meeting. The outline for the agenda for every Executive Board meeting will be as follows:

1. Check in with all executive members to offer extra support

2. Review job responsibilities

3.. Finalize any plans for events during the next month

4. Decide on discussion topics for the next month’s regular club meetings


3. Expectations

  • Every club member and Executive Board member will agree to and is expected to follow all expectations outlined in this document.

4. Be respectful of everyone’s identity, religious beliefs, and political background.

This group is open to everyone and does not take a political stance (except in cases specifically related to LGBT issues) or religious view.  We do not assume that any political or religious group does or does not accept us, and we reach out to all campus organizations for mutual support regardless of the political or religious affiliations of those organizations.  We do not joke about specific political or religious groups or make jokes about certain identities.  Members should feel comfortable speaking up when they feel that comments are offensive, but it is the responsibility of the Executive Board to monitor these interactions.  People who are repeatedly offensive may be asked to leave the group by the Executive Board.


5. Punctuality is expected from all members.

Meetings and events will begin promptly at the scheduled and advertised time.  Punctuality is expected from all members and required from Executive Board members.  The following applies only to Executive Board members.  If you are not a member of the Executive Board of this organization, the next applicable information to your role in the club can be found in expectation eight.  If a member of the Executive Board cannot be present at an event or meeting, that member must notify at least one other Executive Board member and receive a response from that member at least 24 hours before the scheduled event or meeting begins.  If an emergency occurs and you do not have to required 24 hours to notify an Executive Board member of your expected absence, you must notify the president on the phone as soon as possible.  If you are planning to arrive late or leave early at an event or meeting, you must notify the president (in the case of meetings) or the appropriate event coordinator (in the case of events) within the same time restrictions as absences.  If an Executive Board member is absent to more than two consecutive meetings or events their position will be reviewed at the next Executive Board meeting.  If an Executive Board member is late or leaves early at more than three consecutive meetings or events, or is late or leaves early at more than two consecutive meetings or events without the proper notification, their position will be reviewed at the next Executive Board meeting.  If absences or tardiness becomes a continuing problem, but these are not consecutive, the Executive Board may make a decision about whether or not a position review is warranted.  If at any point during your term on the Executive Board you feel that you cannot continue to commit to your assigned responsibilities you must notify the rest of the Executive Board as soon as possible.  An emergency Executive Board meeting will be called within one week of this notification so that your position can be re-evaluated and, if necessary, reassigned through an emergency vote held at the earliest possible regular club meeting.  Executive Board members who step down from their position on the Executive Board before the conclusion of their term are welcome and encouraged to continue to attend and participate in the club as a regular member.


6. Video and voice recording devices are not permitted at any club activities for any reason.

Flash photography is permitted, but no photos may be posted in any form or transmitted in any way (including, but not limited to, text message, social networking sites such as twitter, Facebook, or tumblr, email, or printed sources).  Photographs may be posted by the club secretary/treasurer on the SAFE at Queens profile page with the permission of everyone who appears in the photograph.  If anyone has a picture they wish to post that may email the pictures to safe.queens.gsa@gmail.com so that they may be posted properly.  Nobody will be tagged in any photos on Facebook.  If you wish to be tagged in a photo you may tag yourself in any photos that you appear in.  However, nobody is permitted to tag anyone except themselves, with or without the permission of the person they are tagging.  Every club member must sign a form once per school year authorizing the use of their photos by the club on the Facebook profile.  A member may opt out of authorizing the use of their photos simply by marking on the photograph waiver that they do not wish to authorize the use of their photos.  If any member wishes to change their authorization form during the school year they may notify a member of the Executive Board who will provide them with the proper form.  If any member of the club is found to have violated this policy they may receive one warning before being asked to leave the group.  Violation of this policy is a violation of our confidentiality agreement.


7. If an Executive Board member violates any of these expectations repeatedly they may be reviewed by their fellow Executive Board members.

If an Executive Board member violates any of these expectations consistently an executive board meeting will be held, during which they will receive a written notification specifying their violations and signed by all other Executive Board members. A second executive board meeting will be held two weeks after the initial review notification to discuss the best course of action for this club, which may include asking the officer being reviewed to step down from their position. An executive board member who has been removed from or has stepped down from office is welcome to continue attending club meetings as long as they continue to meet membership requirements.


8. Elections will be held to fill executive positions for the upcoming school year.

Members may submit a bid for office by emailing safe.queens.gsa@gmail.com two weeks prior to elections. Members may also submit a last minute bid on election day. A member may run for more than one office, but no member may run for all executive positions. No member may hold more than one position during any term. An executive officer may run for reelection or run for an executive office other than the one which they already hold. Votes will be counted by a member who is not running for office. Votes may be taken by ballot or by a silent vote. The executive board may decide which method they find most appropriate for each election.

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