Constitution of Rensselaer Newman Fellowship

Draft 2/9/96

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be Rensselaer Newman Fellowship.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

To provide a setting for students to increase their understanding of Catholicism and to explore and deepen their faith within the support of a community.

To offer opportunities for Catholic members to become more active in the Church.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Affirmative Action Statement

It is the policy of the Rensselaer Union and Rensselaer Newman Fellowship to provide, to the maximum extent feasible, equal opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability for all aspects of club activities.

Section 2. Anti-Hazing Policy

At no time will the reckless or intentional endangerment to health or forced consumption of alcohol or other drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with this organization be permitted.

Section 3. Membership Definitions

It is the policy of the Rensselaer Union that all officers, appointed officers, committee chairs and Voting Members of recognized clubs and organizations be full-time activity-fee-paying students and/or their spouses. Only Voting Members can vote in business and election matters. Only Regular and/or Voting Members can run for and hold elected offices.

In light of the strong affiliation of Rensselaer Newman Fellowship with Christ Sun of Justice, the Roman Catholic parish for the Rensselaer community, and with the Rensselaer Newman Foundation, we extend eligibility of Regular, Voting, and Associate Membership to include members of these organizations as defined below.

A) Regular Membership

To be eligible for Regular Membership, a person must meet one of the following conditions:

1. He or she must be a currently registered RPI student or a spouse of such a student who has paid the Rensselaer Union full-time activity fee.

2. He or she must be a current student member or spouse of such a student member of the Christ Sun of Justice Roman Catholic parish.

B) Voting Membership

To be eligible for Voting Membership, a person with Regular Member status must have attended at least twenty- five percent (25%) of the regular business meetings during the semester in which the vote is being taken.

C) Associate Membership

To be eligible for Associate Membership, a person must meet one of the following conditions:

1. He or she must be a continuing-education, part-time, or non-activity-fee-paying degree-completion student, or the spouse of such a student.

2. He or she must be a member or the spouse of a member of RPI faculty, staff, or alumni.

3. He or she must be the legal dependent of an RPI activity-fee-paying student.

4. He or she must be a current non-student member of the Christ Sun of Justice Roman Catholic parish.

Associate members may participate in club activities; however, they may not vote, hold office, or be committee chairpersons except with special Rensselaer Union Executive Board approval.

Section 4. Access to Membership Information

An accurate membership list and officer list, compiled by the Secretary/Treasurer of this organization, will be kept on file as prescribed by the Rensselaer Union Executive Board and the Student Senate.

Requirements for membership as stated in this constitution will be available upon request to the Vice President.

Section 5. Conditions of Membership

All members must adhere to all Rensselaer Union guidelines, and are subject to all Rensselaer Union and Institute standards and disciplinary procedures.

ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS

Section 1. Officer Positions, Qualifications, and Duties

All officers must be Regular or Voting Members who are full-time activity-fee paying Catholic RPI students.

A) President

The President shall conduct official business meetings, preside over meetings of the Executive Committee, function as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation, and make an annual report concerning Newman Fellowship to that board.

B) Vice President

The Vice President shall maintain the records of Newman Fellowship and its activities, and oversee ad hoc committees. The Vice President shall assume the duties of the President should such become vacant.

C) Secretary/Treasurer

The Secretary/Treasurer shall be responsible for the taking of minutes at regular business meetings and Executive Committee meetings, and for overseeing the financial affairs of Newman Fellowship.

Section 2. Terms of Office

The term of office for each of these positions will be one year, beginning and ending on the first day of the spring academic session.

Section 3. Notice of Elections

Notice of elections will be clearly and accurately posted on the "elections bulletin board" at the Union at least one week prior to the election, in the "Campus Notices" section of the school newspaper at least 24 hours prior to the election, and in the Christ Sun of Justice parish bulletin at least 24 hours prior to the election.

Section 4. Nominations and Elections

The nomination and election procedure described herein shall occur during the fall academic session.

The President, with the advice of the Executive Committee, will appoint an Election Committee chair.

The President and Election Committee chair, in consultation with the Newman Fellowship advisor, will select group members to form a nominating committee. This committee shall consist of at least five members, and can have at most fifty percent (50%) of its members currently on the Executive Committee. Any member of the Election Committee who wishes to be considered for an elected position must resign from the Election Committee.

The Election Committee chair will call for nominations at a regular business meeting. Any Voting Member can nominate any Regular or Voting Member for the offices.

The Election Committee will interview all nominated candidates and will endorse one candidate for each office.

The Election Committee chair will present endorsements for the available positions at a regular business meeting. The ballot will consist of the endorsed candidates and any additional candidates who contact a member of the Election Committee no less than four days before the election meeting.

For each office, the candidate who receives the approval of a majority of Voting Members in attendance at the election meeting will win the election.

Section 5. Vacancy of an Office

Should the office of President become vacant, the Vice President shall assume the duties of that office. Should another Executive Committee office become vacant, the President, with the unanimous consent of the Executive Committee, will appoint another member to fill that position.

ARTICLE V. POLICIES, STANDING RULES, AND BYLAWS

Newman Fellowship shall keep a written record of the policies, standing rules, and bylaws under which the organization runs it regular affairs. The President shall have the authority to form a committee that can write or update these documents. Such revisions must be presented at a regular business meeting and ratified by a majority of Voting Members present at a subsequent business meeting at which quorum has been reached.

ARTICLE VI. DISCIPLINARY ACTION/SUSPENSION

Section 1. Disciplinary Actions Against Members

Partial and total membership benefits and rights can be removed by a vote of at least a majority of the Executive Committee at an Executive Committee meeting, called for that purpose, if a person has violated Newman Fellowship rules or Rensselaer Union/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute regulations. Any meeting at which the removal of a person's membership benefits and/or rights are being voted upon shall be held only upon notice to the subject individual and all members of the Executive Committee. The individual whose rights are being voted upon has the right to attend that meeting, and to speak on his or her own behalf.

At any time during the penalty period, the issue resulting in the withdrawal of membership benefits or rights of student, faculty, or staff members of the Rensselaer Community may be referred to the Rensselaer Union Judicial Board as an appeal case. The penalty remains in effect unless or until overturned by the Rensselaer Union Judicial Board. The withdrawal of membership benefits or rights of any other members may be appealed to the Executive Board, including, but not limited to alumni, and associate members participating by virtue of the Hudson-Mohawk Consortium relationship.

Section 2. Disciplinary Actions Against Officers

Any member of the Executive Committee who has violated Newman Fellowship rules or Rensselaer Union/ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute regulations, or acts in an official capacity in a manner contrary to the stated purpose of Newman Fellowship or the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, is subject to impeachment. A vote of impeachment can be called for by a written petition signed by one third of the Voting Members. Such a vote will be announced at the first business meeting following submission of the petition to one or more of the officers, and will be held at the first business meeting following the announcement. Majority vote of the Voting Members present at that meeting will be sufficient to remove the officer.

ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS

Section 1. Business Meetings

Regular business meetings will be held at least bi-weekly during the regular fall and spring academic sessions, at a time and place to be decided by the Executive Committee. Written notice of such meetings will be published in the Christ Sun of Justice parish bulletin on the Saturday before the meeting.

Section 2. Other Meetings

Members of the Executive Committee can authorize other meetings in support of the purpose of Newman Fellowship. Such meetings may include but are not limited to social activities, prayer groups, Scripture study groups, and service events.

Section 3. Special Meetings

A business meeting may be called for by a written petition signed by one third of the Voting Members and submitted to one or more of the officers. The President must announce and hold a business meeting within seven days of receipt of the petition, at a time and place agreeable to the person or persons submitting the petition.

Section 4. Quorum

Quorum is reached at a business meeting when fifty percent (50%) of the Voting Membership is present.

Section 5. Language of Business Meetings

The official language of all business meetings shall be English unless, by unanimous vote of all those present in the meeting, an alternative language is preferred.

ARTICLE VIII. COMMITTEES

Section 1. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and the chairs of committees which are defined in the standing rules. This committee may act on behalf of the club between business meetings. Their actions are subject to review and approval by the membership at a business meeting.

Regular meetings of the Executive Committee will be held at least bi-weekly during the regular fall and spring academic sessions. Such meetings will be open to all members unless declared closed by the unanimous approval of the Executive Committee. A meeting can be declared closed only for the discussion of personal or private issues directly affecting the Committee.

Section 2. Other Committees

Other committees may be formed by the Executive Committee for specific tasks in support of the purpose of Newman Fellowship. Committee chairs shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and members of committees shall be determined by the committee chair. Any meetings of such committees must be open to all members unless declared closed by the committee chair with the approval of the Vice President. A meeting can be declared closed only for the discussion of personal or private issues directly affecting the committee.

ARTICLE IX. FINANCES

Section 1.

Rensselaer Newman Fellowship shall be financially independent of the Rensselaer Union and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Section 2.

Funds and supplies may be generated through budget allocation by the Rensselaer Newman Foundation, through donation, and/or through fund-raising activities.

Section 3.

All finances shall be in the trust of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation and shall be used as decided by the members of Newman Fellowship with the approval of the appointed representative of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation.

ARTICLE X. RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENTS

Section 1.

This constitution shall be effective immediately upon ratification by a two-thirds majority of Voting Members of Rensselaer Newman Fellowship and subsequent approval by the Rensselaer Union Executive Board and an appointed representative of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation.

Section 2.

If it becomes necessary that any part of this constitution be changed, or that additions to this constitution be made, they can be made effective only with a two-thirds majority of Voting Members and subsequent approval by the Rensselaer Union Executive Board and an appointed representative of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation.

ARTICLE XI. AFFILIATIONS AND GOVERNING RELATIONSHIPS

Rensselaer Newman Fellowship is affiliated with Christ Sun of Justice, Roman Catholic parish of the Rensselaer community, and with the Rensselaer Newman Foundation. A representative of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation is permanently assigned as the advisor of Newman Fellowship to ensure that club activities are in accordance with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

ARTICLE XII. COMPLIANCE WITH UNION AND INSTITUTE STANDARDS

In the event that this constitution comes in conflict with any Rensselaer Union or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute rule or standard, then the constitution will be superseded by that rule or standard.


Return to the Newman Fellowship Home Page