Constitution

ARTICLE I - NAME AND PURPOSE

The name of this organization shall be the Society of International Students (hereinafter referred to as “SIS” or “the society”). SIS is a Student Government Association (SGA) recognized student organization at Valdosta State University. It is a universal society comprised of students from diverse cultural, geographic, and linguistic backgrounds which fosters the diversity of the Valdosta and greater South Georgia area. The society is a platform for sharing friendship and knowledge between students from all countries looking towards increasing awareness and sensitivity, and creating a social haven for all cultures. SIS promotes a global perspective and advocates the need to break down barriers that hinder cross-cultural interaction and growth.

ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Student Membership

Membership in the Society shall be open to all students in good standing at Valdosta State University. All paying members shall enjoy equal privileges within the Society. Membership status is only granted upon full payment of dues, which shall be paid no later than the first eight weeks of the semester.

Section 2. Honorary Membership

Any person considered suitable by the Executive Committee and members may be awarded honorary membership by a majority of the general membership. Honorary members are not required to pay dues and do not have voting privileges. They may attend all general business meetings and SIS-sponsored events.

Section 3. Resignation

Any member of the Society wishing to resign his/her membership is requested to convey such information to the Secretary accordingly. The Executive Committee shall review all requests for refund of dues paid that quarter, with consideration given only in extreme cases.

Section 4. Fees and Dues

Each member shall pay dues as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee, subject to a two-thirds vote of the general membership present and voting. Members in arrears of dues forfeit the right to receive membership discounts and other privileges during society sponsored events.

ARTICLE III - OFFICERS

Section 1. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Society shall be comprised of the six elected officers of the chapter: President, Vice President, PR/Event Coordinator, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, and Treasurer. The officers shall be members in good standing with Valdosta State University and the Society. The Advisors to the Society shall serve as ex officio (non-voting) members of the committee. In addition, the Chairperson of the Publicity Committee and an administrative representative holding Assistant Director rank from the Office of International Programs shall also serve as ex officio members of the committee. It is imperative that officers participate in Executive Committee meetings. These meetings will take place at a mutually convienent time for all parties involved and frequency shall be decided upon by the officers, with the influence of the Advisors of the Society.

Section 2. Duties of Officers

a. The President

1. Is the head of the Society;
2. Is the official representative of the Society to Valdosta State University and its appropriate organs and other functions and occasions as required;
3. Is the chairperson of the Executive Committee, and votes to break all ties;
4. Shall provide leadership to the Society and administer decisions made by the membership and the Executive Committee;
5. Shall fill vacant positions in the Executive Committee, subject to two-thirds approval of the membership;
6. Shall appoint/remove the chairpersons of standing and ad hoc committees, subject to majority approval of the general membership;
7. Shall preside over all general meetings of the Society;
8. Shall be an ex officio member of all committees;
9. May call special meetings of the Society with concurrence of two-thirds of the membership.

b. The Vice President

1. Shall assist the President in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Society;
2. Shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President;
3. Shall, in the event of a vacancy in the office of President, immediately assume the general responsibility for the Society as President. He/she shall appoint a Vice President subject to the above sub-section, with the consent of two-thirds of the general membership;
4. Shall carry out any duties delegated by the President.

c. The PR/Event Coordinator

1. Shall coordinate events with appropriate VSU departments such as Student Life, Auxiliary Services, and Event Services;
2. Is responsible for informing VSU community and the local community about upcoming SIS events through means of flyers and VSU newspaper Spectator;
3. Shall carry out any duties delegated by the President.

d. The Secretary

1. Shall maintain accurate records of all proceedings of the Society;
2. Is responsible for all necessary correspondence of the Society;
3. Shall maintain a regularly-updated membership list of the Society;
4. Shall be responsible for roll call at all regularly-scheduled and special meetings of the Society;
5. Is responsible for the Society’s newsletter;
6. Shall carry out any duties delegated by the President.

e. The Assistant Secretary

1. Shall be responsible for maintaining written records of all executive committee meetings;
2. Shall inform the Student Government Association and the Office of International Programs of changes in the leadership of the Society as and when necessary;
3. Shall perform all clerical duties in the absence of the Secretary;
4. Shall carry out any duties delegated by the President or Secretary.

f. The Treasurer

1. Shall maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the interests of the SIS members.
2. Shall draft grant proposals together with SIS Officers’ input to the SGA and/or Student Affairs.
3. Shall follow up and Procurement of grants and gifts from the SGA or from Student Affairs to the SIS account.
4. Shall supervise cash flows of SIS monies at fund-raising, and not-for-profit events.
5. Shall be accountable for all funds, deposits, and debits of revenues to the SIS Faculty Advisor, and SIS Officers. All monies shall be handled properly and with care.
6. Shall give a written report on cash flows and accounts’ balances biweekly.
7. Shall procure adequate liquidity in funds and authorize with the President and Vice-President, and under the student advisor’s knowledge payment to vendors for products or services rendered to the SIS.
8. Shall administer with the President and Vice-President and under the student advisor’s knowledge short- and long-term debt financing.
9. Shall manage with the President and Vice-President the SIS cash flow and invest funds not needed for immediate expenditures for the SIS ONLY with the President and Vice-President Approval and student advisor’s knowledge.
10. Shall coordinate banking services, and facilitating financial planning for the SIS.
11. Shall maintain records of all business transactions, which involve funds of the SIS.
12. Shall inform the SIS student advisor and SIS Officers of all actions taken by the university that involve the use of the funds derived from the members of the SIS.
13. Shall be responsible for the advance preparation of the budget to apply for SGA funds every spring semester and must submit it on time. He or she shall prepare this budget with the input of the SIS student advisor and SIS Officers, always thinking of the greater good for the SIS. The Treasurer shall professionally present this budget with the President effectively before the University’s approval committee with a Microsoft Power Point presentation or better media support.
14. Shall assume any other duties delegated by the President.

Section 4. Elections Committee and Electoral Process

Officers shall be elected for a term of one year at an election held no later than eight weeks into the Fall semester with the date and time determined by the Executive Committee. Nominations for officer positions shall be taken at the meeting before the one scheduled for elections. The Elections Committee shall be ad hoc in nature, and comprised of three individuals who do not hold office or aspire to one at that particular time. The chairperson of the committee shall be determined by its members.

1. Suffrage is limited only to members in good standing;
2. Elections will be held at the conclusion of regularly-scheduled business of the meeting; Voting will be done by secret ballot;
3. The Elections Committee shall remind the membership to vote for one person per office, and shall determine the date and time for a special election in the event of a tie, the votes will be counted during the meeting in clear view of the members.
4. The Advisors to the Society shall be present during the counting. Officers shall be deemed elected by a simple majority (51%) of members voting.
5. A run-off will be held for the top two finishers in the event of no candidate receiving a required majority of votes.
6. The new officers shall assume duties at the last business meeting of Spring Quarter.

Section 5. Faculty and Administrative Advisors

The Executive Committee of the Society shall determine the Faculty Advisor, who shall be a member of the Faculty of Valdosta State University. The Administrative Advisor of the Society shall be the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Section 6. Meetings of the Executive Committee

The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary shall have one vote each at meetings of the Executive Committee. Three members constitute a quorum. On any motion or resolution, the votes of three officers in the affirmative shall be necessary.

Section 7. Committees

ARTICLE IV - MEETINGS

Section 1. Frequency and Notices of Meetings

The business meetings of the Society shall take place, with the specific time and place determined by the Executive Committee. A quorum shall consist of three officers and five members. The Secretary shall provide at least a week’s notice to members, using all available campus media resources (telephone, electronic mail).

Section 2. Meeting Format and Voting

1. The presiding officer shall recognize speakers in orderly fashion. In the event of a conflict, Roberts’ Rules of Order shall be used to ensure fairness, with the interpretation coming from the President or Administrative Advisor.
2. All members, except the presiding officer, are eligible to vote at business meetings. The presiding officer shall vote only to break a tie.
3. All votes shall be by a show of hands or acclamation, with a simple majority needed for approval.
4. All members of committees, including the chairperson, are eligible to vote at committee meetings.
5. At special meetings, only business scheduled for that meeting will be discussed.

ARTICLE V - IMPEACHMENT

Section 1. Criteria

Any officer who neglects his/her duties to the Society may be impeached by the membership. This action would leave the affected office vacant until filled as provided for in Article Ill, Section 2(a)(5). It should be noted that this is an action of last resort against an individual.

Section 2. Process

1. A formal accusation and motion for impeachment proceedings shall be offered by a member and seconded;
2. A vote shall be taken by all with the exception of the presiding officer and the accused to determine if impeachment proceedings are warranted. The motion requires a two-thirds vote of the membership for approval;
3. In the event of approval, the President shall call a special meeting within two weeks to conduct the proceedings of impeachment. If the President is the affected officer, the Vice President shall immediately assume duties as Interim President and conduct the proceedings;
4. The presiding officer shall ensure that the prosecution and the defense are given equal and fair opportunities to state their respective cases, using existing parliamentary rules;
5. The required vote to convict an officer is three-fourths of the general membership. In the event of a conviction, the affected officer shall immediately forfeit the office held. The office will then be filled according to Section 1.

ARTICLE VI - FINANCES

Section 1. Income

The Treasurer has ultimate responsibility for the funds of the Society. Primary sources of income are through the collection of dues and fund raising. Dues collected shall be placed in the Society’s account either on or off campus at the discretion of the Executive Committee and the Advisor.

Section 2. Fund Use

The officers shall have discretion to purchase necessary materials for the Society’s activities with written authorization from the Treasurer. All receipts incurred with the purchases must be handed over to the Treasurer, including requests for reimbursement.

Section 3. Audition and Penalties

The Society shall maintain a balanced budget. A three-member ad hoc committee may be formed for the purpose of audition of the Society’s finances by request from the membership. In the event of misuse of funds, the Executive Committee and the Administrative Advisor shall organize a hearing and arrange the reimbursement for the said funds, using college guidelines. All actions will require a majority vote of approval.

ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS AND RATIFICATION

Section 1. Ratification

This constitution shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the general membership present. It shall be binding and permanent unless decided otherwise by two-thirds of the membership present.

Section 2. Amendments

This constitution may be altered or amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present at a meeting providing that:

1. Proposed amendments are given to the Secretary in written form at least ten calendar days

before the next meeting. The proposed amendment(s) shall be discussed and tabled for one week;
2. Proper notification of the proposed amendment has been sent to all student and faculty members at least seven calendar days prior to the meeting.
3. Major amendments to this constitution require the approval of the Student Organizations Committee and the Student Government Senate.