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HOW TO WRITE A CONSTITUTION

This outline is provided as a framework fromw hich to create a constititution.  The SGA Constitution requrires that all organizations have a constitution filed in the Office of Student Activities.  It is suggested that organizations refer to teh SGA Constitution to ensure that all requirements of organizations are met.  Several of the items in the following outline may or may not be appropriate for your organization and may be included or eliminated as appropriate.  Several items may be combined (e.g. Meetings, Quorum, and Parliamentary Procedure may be included under one heading such as Operating Procedure).

Use whatever format or wording that works for the organization.  Feel free to consult with the SGA parliamentarian or the SGA Advisor for questions.  After completing your work, date the constitution, make a copy of it for your files, and be sure to submit a copy to the SGA office to stay in compliance.  It is recommended that certain information be present in an organization’s constitution in order for the organization to function efficiently and to protect the rights of all members.  Suggested statements appear in parentheses.

Remember to designate the person(s) who will be the SGA representative to attend the General Assemblies held every Monday at 4:30.  If your club misses too many meetings, you will be suspended and lose all rights that a club has.

Name: (“The name of this organiztion shall be … “).

Statement of Purpose:
The statement of purpose can be one sentence or several paragraphs.  (“The purpose of this organization shall be … “).

Advisor (Professional Navarro College employee):
What is his/her role in the organization?
How is he/she selected?

Officers: Qualifications of officers and general duties that is consistent for each officer.
Who are the officers and who may qualify for each office?

Officer Duties: Ex. President, Vice President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, Historian, etc. …
What are the duties of each officer?
What procedure is to be followed in the event of a vacancy?
How may an officer be removed?

Elections:
How often are elections to be held?
How are nominations to be made?
Who is eligible to run for an office?
How is an election to be determined?
By what means and how far in advance will nominations and/or elections be announced and/or members notified?

Membership:
Who is eligible for membership?
WIll there be different categories of membership?
What are the rights of the different members?
How may a member be removed?

Finances:
Will dues be required, and if so, how much, hot often, and to whom are they paid?
Who is responsible for collection and disbursement of funds?
Who may authorize expenditures?

Meetings:
How often will meetings be held?
How will members be notified of such meetings?
How will organizational decisions be made?
Who is eligible to vote at meetings?
What constitutes a quorum at meetings (or elections)? [a quorum is the absolute number of members or the percentage of members, usually voting members, required to be in attendance or to vote in order to conduct business]

Parliamentary Procedure:
What reference will be used in parliamentary instances not covered by the Constitution or Bylaws (e.g., Robert’s Rules of Order)?

Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws:
By what procedure will amendments be proposed, discussed, etc.?
How will such an amendment be incorporated into the Constitution? (if by vote, by what majority? 2/3 is recommended).

Ratification:
By what process will the Constitution go into effect?

Affiliations:
What is the affiliation, if any, with local, state, national, or international organizations and what is the relationship of the organization to the affiliate?

Download a copy of the How to Write a Constitution below.

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