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Club Sports Sample Constitution

This sample constitution structure is provided to fully explain each section of the document in order to aid your organization in getting off to a good start and maintain proper standing with the University.

Why and When

The purpose of an organizational constitution is to ensure efficiency, fair and equal considerations, and clarification and continuity in the regular operations of your group. Each student group should have standard operating principles and procedural rules, which this document merely states in writing. Each time new officers are elected, the constitution should be reviewed to ensure it is up to date.

What

These guidelines are designed to assist organizations in their formation and anticipation of future problems. The constitution should be tailored to your organization’s specific needs. In addition, student organization constitutions shall be drafted to ensure all members and activities are in accordance with University policy, avoiding future conflict. If your constitution is not in accordance with these guidelines, the Division of Campus Recreational Sports will ask you to resubmit a draft that has the proper changes; acceptance into the Club Sports Federation shall be delayed until the proper changes have been made. Please note the sections in bold type, taken from the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. In accordance with the Code, student organization constitutions should contain language indicative of the group’s adherence to University anti-discrimination and anti-hazing policies.

Listed below are the component parts of the constitution, which must be included. Specific article numbers may vary from group to group, but all the information must be included. If you require any further assistance in drafting your organization’s constitution, please contact the Club Sports Office at 855-2371 or via email at clubsprt@indiana.edu.

Title

Constitution should be entitled “Constitution of [official name of the organization]”

Date

Constitution should state “Date Last Updated: mm/dd/yyy.”


Preamble

Should state the full, official name of the organization as well as the purpose, aims, and functions of the group.

Article I: Membership

  1. This section must be written exactly as follows (with the exception of groups that are exempt from Title IX): Participation in the proposed organization must be without regard to arbitrary consideration of such characteristics as age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. (See section I.D.2© on page 6 of the Code)
  2. State the limitation of membership, if any (maximum or minimum limits). A group or organization cannot qualify as a student group or organization unless all of its officers and a majority of its members are currently enrolled at Indiana University [section I.D.3(b)].
  3. State the different classes of membership and the requirements for and rights of each class, if any.
  4. State the procedure for selection and revocation of membership. For example: How does the organization admit persons to or remove persons from membership?
  5. Is membership contingent on payment of dues?

Article II: University Compliance

This section must be written exactly as follows: This organization shall comply with all Indiana University regulations, and local, state, and federal laws.

Article III: Executive Officers

  1. State the title of all officers. What are the duties and responsibilities of each?
  2. What are your requirements for executive officers (i.e. GPA, experience)? What other requirements are you looking for in officers?
  3. How long do officers serve? When do they take office? When do they turn over their office? Do past officers have a specific role in the organization?
  4. How are officer vacancies filled? How do officers resign?
  5. Will Executive Officer meetings be held? How often? Who calls the meetings? If the organization has an advisor, is this person considered an Executive Officer? How are decisions made at these meetings?
  6. How are officers elected or selected?
  7. What is the procedure for removing a person from office?

*Responsibilities to consider:

- Keeping advisor current on organization activities

- Supervising officers and/or committees

- Calling general and Executive meetings

- Presiding in the absence of the President

- Developing meeting agendas

- Taking and distributing meeting minutes

- Maintaining lists of organization members

- Setting organization goals (short and long term)

- Developing and maintaining organization budget

- Maintaining records of organization spending

Article IV: Advisor

What are the responsibilities and duties of the advisor?

Article V: Meetings

  1. Are there regular membership meetings? If so, how often will regular meetings be held? How are they advertised? Who has authority to call meetings?
  2. Who sets the agendas for meetings? What rules of order are followed?
  3. How are emergency or special meetings called? Who has the authority to call these meetings? How are members notified of these special meetings?
  4. How is attendance recorded for meetings (if necessary)?

Article VI: Elections

  1. When and how frequently will elections be held?
  2. How are people nominated to run for office?
  3. Is voting by secret ballot or open show of hands? What percentage of members must be present and voting for a candidate to be elected?

Article VII: Non-Hazing

The section must be written exactly as follows: Hazing is strictly prohibited. Hazing shall be defined as any conduct which subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or psychologically, to anything that may engender, abuse, degrade, or intimidate the person as a condition of association with a group or organization, regardless of the person’s consent or lack of consent.

Article VIII: Dues and Budgets

  1. Are dues charged by the organization for membership? If so, how is the amount determined?
  2. How often are dues collected? What happens to members who haven’t paid dues by the deadline?
  3. Who collects dues?
  4. Who creates and maintains the group’s budget? How often is the budget revised?
Article IX: Finances
  1. Who is in charge of financial affairs?
  2. Will the organization be applying for or maintaining a SOA account?
  3. State accordance with the SOA office policies and procedures.
  4. If the group is not planning on holding a SOA account, what type of financial maintenance will the group utilize?
  5. What happens to the remaining money if the group dissolves?
Article IX: Amendments
  1. How will all eligible voting members be notified of proposed amendments (i.e. announcements at meetings, email, postings, etc)?
  2. What vote is required to ratify an amendment (i.e. 2/3 or 3/4 of total or present members)?
  3. Once approved by the organization, all constitutions with amendments must be submitted to the Assistant Director of Club Sports.