CONSTITUTIONRevisions Adopted on 10/26/2008
[Article I] Name and Purpose
[Article II] Membership
[Article III] Executive Board
[Article IV] General Board Members
[Article V] Revenues and Expenditures
[Article VI] Nomination and Election of the Executive Board and General Board Members
[Article VII] General Meeting
[Article VIII] Interpretation and Amendment of Constitution
[ARTICLE I] NAME AND PURPOSE
The name of this organization shall be HONG KONG STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS SOCIETY, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, and abbreviated as HKSSS.
The objectives of HKSSS are to promote different aspects of Hong Kong culture through a wide range of social events, to educate students on the various career and academic opportunities available in Hong Kong and to unite Hong Kong students and scholars on campus at large. With these objectives in mind, HKSSS board members shall make their best effort in holding various on campus or off-campus events that are inline with our objectives while abiding by the regulations of HKSSS and that of Columbia University.
[ARTICLE II] MEMBERSHIP
[II.1] Executive Board Members
The Executive Board consists of the President, Vice President Internal, Vice President External, Treasurer and Secretary.
[II.2] General Board Members
The General Board Members include the President, Vice President Internal, Vice President External, Treasurer, Secretary, Publicity Chair, Fundraising Chair, Historian, Webmaster, Executive Committee Members (ECMs), Organizing Committee Members (OCMs) and Senior Advisors.
[II.3] Voting Members
Voting rights for HKSSS annual board election shall only be reserved for officially recognized board members, including the President, VP Internal, VP External, Treasurer, Secretary, Publicity Chair, Fundraising Chair, Historian, Webmaster, Executive Committee Members (ECMs) and Organizing Committee Members (OCMs).
[II.4] Undergraduate Club Members
All students, currently enrolled in any undergraduate schools of Columbia University, who signed up to be on the HKSSS mailing list will be under the undergraduate HKSSS club membership.
[II.5] Graduate Club Members
All members, currently enrolled in any graduate schools of Columbia University, or are alumni, staff or faculty faculties of Columbia University, who signed up to be on the HKSSS mailing list will be under the graduate HKSSS club membership.
[II.6] Senior Advisors
The Executive Board (E-Board) may invite Senior Advisors onto the board to participate in board meetings, event planning etc. given that the Honorary Member proves to be an experienced participant whose skills or ideas can contribution to the greater benefits of the club. Past Executive Board Members will automatically be considered as Senior Advisors after they have fulfilled their term as executive members. Senior Advisors shall not have voting rights.
[II.7] Membership Application
All applications for membership shall be forwarded to the E-Board. The E-Board shall review all applications within one month upon receiving the application. The application and interview process for General Board Members will be decided by the E-Board. The application process for Undergraduate and Graduate Club Members will be the enlistment of their emails in the HKSSS mailing list.
[II.8] Membership Duration
General Undergraduate or Graduate Club Membership shall last until the participant requests that his/her email be taken off the HKSSS mailing list. The General Board Membership year shall begin on the first meeting of April (day of Board election) for the duration of one year, after which the individual must be reelected into a board position in order to be recognized as a General Board Member. However, if board members do not fulfill their duties, the E-board will vote on whether or not to put the members in question on a one-month probation period, during which continued failure to fulfill their duties will result in expulsion from the board. A fifty percent vote in the E-Board is required to initiate this process and to expel the member. When the member in question is part of the E-board, the same process will apply.
[ARTICLE III] EXECUTIVE BOARD (E-Board)
[III.1] Responsibilities of the Executive Committee
1. Organize and coordinate all HKSSS related events on or off campus.
2. Determine the general direction of HKSSS while keeping inline with traditional club objectives.
3. Set the list of on- or off-campus events to be done for the year.
4. Estimate and allocate the club's annual budget.
5. Be responsible for Pre-calendaring for each semester and the annual budget allocation
6. Determine the recruitment process for general board positions.
7. Make decisions on matters vital to HKSSS' operation.
8. Represent HKSSS in coordinating activities with other organizations.
[III.2] Executive Board Members
The E-Board shall consist of the President, Vice-President Internal, Vice-President External, Treasurer and Secretary. Specific duties are as follows:
1. President– Leads the E-Board and general board members to fulfill all its responsibilities; delegate club related assignments to E-Board and board members; setting up deadlines for tasks that need to be execute in order for a swift operation of the club; makes the final executive decisions vital to the club's operation; represents HKSSS in dealing with outside parties; announces, schedules and conducts meetings; prepares and distributes agenda for the meetings.
2. Vice-President Internal- Assists the President in the day to day operation of the club; makes sure that everyone is keeping up with deadlines of their task and fulfilling all their responsibilities assigned to them by the President; facilitates internal communication among members; be responsible for all board bonding events and scheduling for all flyering sessions.
3. Vice-President External- Assists the President in the day to day operation of the club; be responsible for all external communication with outside parties, either on or off campus; the point-to person for events HKSSS have in collaboration with other clubs on campus; be responsible to look for opportunities for HKSSS to collaborate with other Columbia undergraduate clubs.
4. Treasurer- Responsible for all financial related matters of HKSSS; Keeps records of HKSSS' financial transactions and budget allocation; controls cash disbursements, reimbursements and receipts for club related purchases; prepares HKSSS' budget and annual financial statement;
5. Secretary- Responsible for keeping detailed minutes during weekly E-Board meeting and General Board meeting; compile bi-monthly HKSSS newsletters to club members, newsletters being sent on the 1st and 15th of every month; handles all the room, furniture and technical request for all HKSSS related events; send out "event reminders" to HKSSS club members at least 2 days before the actual event; handles all other secretarial related duties.
[III.3] Meeting and decision making in EXCO
1. All meetings shall be announced by the President no later than one day before the actual date of the meeting, with the agenda prepared and distributed by the President. Copies of the agenda shall be forwarded to each of the E-Board members at least one day before the weekly meeting. The President must make a reasonable effort in achieving this one day advance notice.
2. If the President for some reason cannot chair the meeting, the Vice-President Internal shall chair the meeting. If he or she is not present to chair the meeting, the Vice-President External, then the Treasurer, then the Secretary shall chair the meeting.
3. Each meeting shall be attended by all of the E-Board committee. Each officer shall make a reasonable effort to attend every meeting. If an officer cannot attend a meeting, a notification shall be submitted to the President at least one day before the meeting or, under the discretion of the President, afterward.
4. Final decisions on the matters discussed by the E-Board will be arrived at by a simple majority vote. In case of a tie, the President will make the deciding vote. Each officer of the E-Board has one vote per voting session.
5. The minutes of each meeting should be approved by the President and the Secretary.
7. The minute of any meeting is open to all club members.
8. Meetings are open to all members. The President may grant the member right of expression.
9. The General Board Members may form subcommittees to fulfill their responsibilities. The E-Board shall approve the formation of the subcommittees and supervise their activities.
[III.4] Terms of office
All officers of HKSSS have terms from the first board meeting of April to the end of March the following year.
[ARTICLE IV] GENERAL BOARD MEMBERS
[IV.1] Responsibilites of General Board Members
1. Participate in the logistical planning and executions of all HKSSS related events
2. Provide ideas and suggestions in regards to HKSSS related matters with the objective of improving the club
3. Must make a reasonable effort in fulfilling all tasks assigned by the E-Board
[IV.2] General Board Members
1. Publicity Chair- The General Board can consist of up to 3 Publicity Chairs, their main responsibility is to publicize all HKSSS related events by, but not limited to: designing and creating flyers/posters, advertising through the use of different internet sources or any other effective mean possible (with the approval of E-Board). Flyers designs for each event shall be forwarded to the E-Board at least one week before the actual date of the event for approval.
2. Organizing Committee Members (OCM)- The number of Organizing Committee Members shall be determined by the E-Board. Their main responsibility is to carryout all logistical tasks that are related to HKSSS' events. Their task will be assigned by the President or other E-Board members.
3. Executive Committee Members (ECM)- The number of Executive Committee Members shall be determined by the E-Board. These positions are open for previous OCMs who are not part of the Executive Board or Senior Advisors. Their main responsibility is to assist in carrying out all logistical tasks that are related to HKSSS' events. Their task will be assigned by the President or other E-Board members. They will also be responsible for mentoring and guiding the OCMs.
4. Fundraising Chair- The number of Fundraising Chair shall be determined by the E-Board. The main responsibility of a Fundraising Chair is to search and apply for different opportunities that will allow HKSSS to increase its funding. Each semester, the Fundraising Chair will compile a list of possible sources of internal or external funding opportunities for HKSSS and present it to the E-Board.
5. Webmaster- The number of Webmaster shall be determined by the E-Board. The main responsibility of the Webmaster is to regularly update the HKSSS website with relevant information.
6. Senior Advisors- Senior Advisors shall provide useful guidance and suggestions to the E-Board and the General Board in regard to HKSSS related matters.
[ARTICLE V] REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES
Any club related expenditure shall be approved by the E-Board.
The money that the club receives shall be dealt with in accordance with Columbia University regulations. The Treasurer co-signing with either the President or the Vice-President shall be able to withdraw funds from the account. The Treasurer may keep not more than $100 as petty cash.
General Board Members and subcommittees shall submit a budget to the E-Board. With the requested amount in consideration, the E-Board shall set up a budget limit for the General Board Members or subcommittees. The withdrawal of funds from club's account(s) shall require the approval of the Treasurer.
Upon the discussion and approval of the E-Board, HKSSS shall accept monetary donations specified for a club related purpose.
[ARTICLE VI] NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF THE E-Board AND GENERAL BOARD MEMBERS
Election for officers of the E-Board and General Board Members shall be held on the same day, April 1st (or during the first board meeting in the month of April). All elections are to be carried out through ballot voting. All voting members have equal voting rights for any election, unless otherwise restricted by the Constitution.
[VI.2] Election Commissioner(s)
A number of no more than three Election Commissioners are to be appointed, from members of the club, at least three weeks before an election. Election Commissioner(s) is/are to be appointed by the E-Board and is/are the sole personnel(s) responsible for the election process. Election Commissioner(s) must announce the schedule for the election at least two weeks before the day of election. Any member accepting the appointment as an Election Commissioner loses the right to run as a candidate for the election.
All members of the club are entitled to nominate candidates for an election. There is no restriction on the number of nominations. For E-Board election, nominations are accepted for both cabinets and independent candidates. A cabinet shall consist of five to eight candidates of which the President, Vice-President Internal, Vice-President External, Treasurer and Secretary have to be filled. For independent candidates, each candidate must have at least two nominations before they can run. All board members will be told what positions they are eligible to run for 2 weeks before the election.
[VI.5] E-Board Cabinet Election
In order to be elected, the nominee must receive more than half of the votes. If none of the nominees receives more than half of the votes during the first round of voting, the nominee who receives the least number of votes will drop out, and the members will vote again from the remaining nominees. This voting process will continue until a nominee successfully receives more than half of the votes during any voting session.
[VI.6] Independent E-Board Member-at-large Election
The election for the independent E-Board Member(s)-at-large will be conducted in a way similar to the cabinet election. The candidate must receive more than half of the votes in order to be elected.
[VI.7] Votes from Members
For each voting session, each voting member will have one vote, with the exception of the president who will have 2 votes, for each position being elected. He/she can either vote yes, no or abstain.
[ARTICLE VII] GENERAL MEETINGS
General Meetings shall have the ultimate authority regarding all issues of HKSSS. The decisions of the E-Board can be revoked by a simple majority in the General Meeting.
General Meetings can only be held with the attendance of at least 50% of the total voting members.
A General Body Meeting for all members of the club shall be held in the beginning of each semester to publicize the club's upcoming events and to recruit OCMs.
ARTICLE VIII. INTERPRETATION AND AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
The Constitution shall be amended by a two-thirds vote in General Meetings.
If the E-Board decides to amend the Constitution, an Amendment Committee shall be established. The final amendment proposal shall be submitted to the General Meeting for approval.