CLPS Constitution

Constitution of Communications Law and Policy Society at
Syracuse University College of Law

Download PDF CLPS Constitution 10-7-2009

Ratified: October 7, 2009

Article I. Name

This organization shall be named “Communications Law and Policy Society” (“CLPS”) at Syracuse University College of Law.

Article II. Statement of Purpose

The purpose of CLPS is to foster students’ knowledge of communications law through timely and meaningful discussion, debate, research and writing.

Article III.  Responsibility

CLPS shall comply with all Syracuse University College of Law policies and procedures, including but not limited to those policies set forth in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, The Student Organization Handbook, as well as local, state, and federal laws.

Article IV. Membership

  • Section 1. General Membership
      1. Member Selection Policy

CLPS shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, physical or mental ability, age, sexual orientation, or political and religious affiliation in any of its policies, procedures, or practices.

      1. Dues

Membership of CLPS shall be open to all Syracuse University College of Law students in Good Academic Standing who have paid their yearly Student Activity Fee and the CLPS membership fee of $10 paid to and recorded by the Treasurer. Dues must be paid prior to participation in social and networking events exclusive to CLPS members, including but not limited to the Symposium Dinner, and the Alumni Breakfast.

Section 2. Classes of Membership and Requirements

      1. Active Membership

Active Members are those persons confirmed as full members by the Executive Board. They shall attend regularly scheduled meetings of CLPS. They shall attend fundraising events unless excused previously by the Executive Board. They shall attend all guest speaker events unless previously excused by the Executive Board. They shall attend the annual Symposium. They shall serve as a student judge for one practice session by SUCOL Moot Court. They shall comply with all policies established by the Executive Board and the organization’s membership. Any person who fails to meet these requirements will be designated as an Inactive Member and shall be subject to the requirements of Inactive Membership.

Active Members shall have the authority to vote on matters open to all CLPS members. They shall be eligible for election as an executive board officer. They shall be permitted to participate in committees and vote in committee proceedings. They may attend all social and networking events sponsored by CLPS.

B.  Probationary Member

Probationary Members are those persons who are seeking to be reinstated as Active Members. They shall attend eighty-five (85) percent of all regularly scheduled meetings of CLPS per semester. They shall attend all fundraising events. They shall attend all guest speaker events. They shall attend the annual Symposium. They shall comply with all policies established by the Executive Board and the organization’s membership. Upon completing one semester as a probationary member, and meeting the requirements of probationary membership as outlined above, they shall be considered for full membership by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall, unless good cause exists for not doing so, present the individual for ratification as an Active Member by those members entitled to vote on such an issue. Those members entitled to vote shall then vote to accept the individual as an Active Member with a simple majority required for a person to be ratified as an Active Member. Should an individual not be ratified as an Active Member, they shall be given communication explaining the reasoning of the Executive Board and, if applicable, the members, and retain all rights of redress should they contest the matter.

Probationary members in no event shall be permitted to vote at any meeting or committee meeting. They may not hold an executive board officer position.

C.  Inactive Membership

Inactive Members are not permitted to vote at any meeting or committee meeting but may attend and have a voice. They may attend social functions. They may not be executive board officers.

Inactive Members who are designated as such for failure to comply with requirements of Full Membership need not do anything the following semester to retain such status. In order to retain Inactive Member status beyond one semester, the Inactive Member must submit in writing a request for an additional semester of Inactive status to the Executive Board prior to the final regular meeting of CLPS of the semester. The Executive Board must then present the issue to a vote of those members entitled to vote, who with simple majority may grant an additional semester of Inactive Membership to the petition. No Inactive Member may remain as such for more than two semesters and maintain membership privileges.

Article V. Executive Board

Section 1. Titles

CLPS shall have an executive board comprised of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, communications director, symposium director, symposium chair, and webmaster. No person may hold more than one of the aforementioned titles at one time unless there are fewer members than required positions. The executive board may create additional titles should the organization require them (e.g. moot court coordinator, academic events chair, and publicity chair). To do so the executive board shall call an official meeting. At the meeting time shall be granted to speak in favor or against the creation or elimination of a position. A (2/3) vote with at least (1/2) of those eligible to vote present is required for the creation or elimination of a position. An elimination of a position is a separate action from the revocation or grant of membership.

Section 2. Responsibilities

        1. President

The president is the primary officer of the organization. The president will serve as the primary contact between the SUCOL and the Senate. The president will also coordinate meetings of the executive board, and work with the officers in equal capacity and strength to plan events and outreach to the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), alumni, practitioners, and the University community at large.

        1. Vice President

The vice president will be responsible for recruiting new members and furthering relationships with the other University schools and programs.  The vice president will also work to develop academic programs involving communications law for later presentation to the Syracuse University College of Law. The vice president is responsible for keeping a running tally of all official meetings scheduled for the organization. This number shall be the baseline by which the various membership designations described above are judged. The vice president is also responsible for running executive board meetings should the president be unavailable.

        1. Treasurer

The treasurer will be responsible for collecting membership dues and working with the Senate to garner funds for the organization. The treasurer is also responsible for overseeing the budgeting and management of the Symposium accounts. In order to manage any account at the College of Law the treasurer must go through the Office of Student Life training program.

        1. Communications Director

The Communications Director is responsible for all CLPS communication within the organization and with external entities.  This includes drafting emails and letters to members as well as outside contacts.  The Communications Director will also work with the Publicity Chair in order to publicize all events as well as the Technology Chair in order to ensure communications are placed on the website in a timely manner.  The Communications Director’s primary responsibility is to ensure that all CLPS communications are consistent and executed in a timely manner.  A streamlined image is imperative especially for larger events such as the CLPS Symposium.

        1. Symposium Director

The Communications Director is responsible for overseeing the symposium planning process.  This position requires coordinating meeting times with CLPS and other various groups that the Symposium Director and Chair must manage.  The Communications Director ensures that all Symposium related tasks are implemented in an organized and timely manner.  He or she will introduce the Symposium Chair to professionals in the field of communications law with the aim of creating sustainable contacts to run the event. Also, this position will oversee a 1L Symposium Trainee to make sure that he or she is becoming acquainted with the planning process.

        1. Symposium Chair

The Symposium Chair is responsible for implementing the symposium planning process.  This position requires helping the Symposium Director run meetings with CLPS and other various groups that the Symposium Chair helps to manage.  He or she will organize and implement symposium related tasks such as sending invitations, requesting funding, and meeting with administrative bodies. The Symposium Chair will become acquainted with professionals in the field of communications law in order to foster sustainable relationships to run the event. Also, along with the Symposium Director, will help to oversee the 1L Symposium Trainee to make sure that he or she is becoming acquainted with the planning process

        1. Technology Logistics Chair

The Technology Logistics Chair position entails three core responsibilities. First, he or she will maintain CLPS’ online presence which shall include a website, social networking feeds and CLPS generated digital content.  This is to be achieved by helping to disseminate content by posting it to the web.  Therefore, a familiarity with basic web design is important, though it is not required. Additionally, he or she will work to drive traffic to the CLPS website. Second, the Technology Logistics Chair will communicate with the group at large to maintain an up to date list of CLPS activities on the website. Lastly, this position requires the Chair to provide general IT support where appropriate.

Section 3.  Length of Term

All Executive Board positions are one year in length, commencing at the final regular meeting of the spring semester in which the member has been elected, and terminating at the second to last regular meeting of the following spring semester.

Section 4.  Installation

Newly elected Executive Board members will be officially installed at the final regular meeting of the spring semester. Prior to that meeting, they will be presented with a transition memo authored by the outgoing member whose position they are filling.

Section 5.  Vacancies

Should an Executive Board position become vacated by resignation or removal, a special election will be held at the next regular meeting, where both nominations and voting will occur. A third-party auditor must be present to execute the procedure of nomination and voting. The vote will be performed through written ballot. The term of the replacement Executive Board member will expire on the same date as if the position had not been vacated.

Section 6.  Removal or Resignation of Executive Board Members

      1. Removal

Any or all of the members of the Executive Board may be removed for cause by a majority of the members present at a meeting. Cause shall be defined as the failure to remain an active member. However, in order to conduct such a vote, at least fifty (1/2) of the members entitled to vote must be present. An Executive Board member may be removed without cause, but only if two-thirds (2/3) of the members present vote in favor of such removal. At least one-half (1/2) of the members entitled to vote must be present.

      1. Resignation

Any Executive Board member may resign at any time by giving written notice of such resignation to the Executive Board, President or Secretary, regardless of whether any disciplinary actions against him are pending.  Resignations shall be effective immediately upon receipt by the Board, President or Secretary.

Article VI. Elections

Section 1.  Timeline

Elections for Executive Board positions will be held at the second to last regular meeting of CLPS of the spring semester. Nominations for Executive Board positions will be received at the third to last meeting of CLPS of the spring semester. Prior to the meeting members will reminded regarding their voting eligibility as defined by membership status.

Section 2.  Procedures

      1. Facilitation

Both the nomination procedure and the voting procedure will be conducted by a third-party auditor, to be obtained by the Executive Board and ratified by those members entitled to vote at the fourth to last regular meeting of the spring semester. The third-party auditor may be any individual within the Syracuse University College of Law who is not a member of CLPS.

      1. Eligibility

Any Full member is eligible for nomination for an Executive Board position.

      1. Nominations

Any Full member may nominate any eligible party for an Executive Board position. That eligible party may then choose to accept or decline the nomination. Should the eligible party accept, any Active member may then second the nomination, which will make the nomination binding and place the eligible party on the ballot for the position for which they have been nominated. An eligible party may be nominated for more than one Executive Board position in an election.

      1. Voting

For each position ballots will be distributed to those persons entitled to vote.  Each person entitled to vote may choose only one person per position. The votes will be tallied by the third-party auditor, who will announce the results of the election. The process shall be repeated until all positions are filled. In the event of a tie in an election or other vote, the President’s vote shall be the tie breaker.
Section 3.  Transitioning

Each executive board member shall prepare a transition memorandum due on the date of elections. These memoranda shall detail the actions taken by the exiting executive board member during his or her term. Additionally, each memorandum should include suggestions and recommendations for the respective incoming executive board member or the board as a whole.

Article VIIOrganization Advisor & Practitioner Advisory Board

Section 1. Organization Advisor

The Advisor of CLPS shall be a full-time faculty or member of the administration at the Syracuse University College of Law and must be available for regular meetings with the CLPS president and/or vice president.

Section 2. Practitioner Advisory Board

The Practitioner Advisory Board is to be composed of alumni, current practicing legal professionals, and academics.

Article VIII. Meetings

Section 1.  Regular

Regular meetings of CLPS shall be held at a time and place to be established by the Executive Board at the beginning of each semester.  This information will be provided to the Office of Student Life and publicized accordingly.

Section 2.  Executive Board

The Executive Board shall meet at any time and place in the week before a regular meeting, so long as a quorum of seventy-five (75) percent of the Board is in attendance.  The agenda for the general meeting will be established at this meeting.

Section 3.  Special

Special meetings may be called by any member of the Executive Board, or by one-fifth (1/5) of the Active membership, by written request submitted to the vice president. The meeting will be held within one week of the demand, with notice of the time and place to be given by the vice president no later than twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled special meeting.  Should the vice president fail to comply with this section, the party or parties calling the meeting may designate a time and place, and provide notice as provided in this section.

Article IXCommittees

Section 1.  Standing Committees

The Executive Board may, at the beginning of the academic year, designate one or more standing committees to serve in a capacity to be determined by the Executive Board.  The committees shall be comprised of eligible members, along with any person whose expertise is determined to be beneficial to the committee, with voting rights reserved only to eligible members.  Any standing committee, which is established in this manner, will be reported to the Office of Student Life, with the purposes, responsibilities, and members to be on file for public inspection.

Section 2.  Special Committees

The Executive Board may, as it sees fit, create additional committees not designated as standing at the beginning of the academic year.  These committee’s purposes, responsibilities, and members need not be filed with the Office of Student Life.

Article X.  Discipline

Section 1.  Reasons

Any member of CLPS may be disciplined for conduct unbecoming of the organization.  This includes but is not limited to making derogatory or defamatory statements about CLPS, acting in an unprofessional or unbecoming manner at CLPS events, or acting on behalf of CLPS without express prior permission of the Executive Board.

Section 2.  Process

Any member or Executive Board member, upon written notice to the Executive Board, may request the Executive Board conduct an investigation in to any other member or Executive Board member.  Upon receipt of such a request, the Executive Board shall conduct an investigation into the alleged conduct.  The investigation may call any pertinent party to the complaint to testify before the Executive Board, and may request any documentation necessary in order to complete the investigation.

Upon the completion of an investigation, the Executive Board will issue a written opinion stating the findings of the investigation, as well as any consequences, which may be handed down.  This opinion will be given to the investigated party, as well as the Office of Student Life, but is otherwise to remain confidential.  After the issuance of the opinion, the investigated member may appeal to the Executive Board, which will permit the member to present any witnesses or evidence they feel mitigates or exculpates them at a formal hearing.  Formal hearings will be held in compliance with Judicial Board standards, with Executive Board members and the Advisor acting as the Hearing Panel.

At the end of the formal hearing, The Hearing Panel will have five business days to issue a written opinion, including any consequences handed down by the Hearing Panel.  This procedure in no way bars the member from using all appropriate and available channels for further recourse.

Section 3.  Consequences

The Executive Board, after an investigation, or the Hearing Panel, after a formal hearing, may:

        1. Take no action against the member,
        2. Orally admonish the member,
        3. File a written admonishment with the Office
        4. Bar the member from attending CLPS events for a determined period of time,
        5. Suspend the member for a determined period of time, or,
        6. Terminate the membership.

Article XI.  Amendments to the Constitution

Section 1.  Submission

Amendments to this constitution shall be submitted to title in writing for submission to those entitled to vote, for a vote.

Section 2.  Vote

In order for a proposed amendment to become effective, two-thirds (2/3) of those members entitled to vote must vote in favor of adoption.

Section 3.  Right of Refusal

The Office of Student Life may deny amendment to this constitution should it violate any policies or procedures which are enumerated in Article IV.

Article XIII.  Dissolution of the Organization

Section 1.  Process

CLPS may be dissolved upon approval by the Executive Board and by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members, provided that notice of a vote for dissolution be provided to all members entitled to vote no less than sixty (60) days nor more than ninety (90) days before such vote is set to occur.

Section 2.  Obligations

Upon dissolution of the organization, the Executive Board will ensure that all obligations are paid in full using the assets of the organization.

Section 3.  Approval

Notice of dissolution must be provided to the Office of Student Life.

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