Japan Club Constitution

Purpose of the Japan Club:

To disseminate Japanese culture to the Columbia University community and bring together all those with an interest in Japan or Japanese culture

Article I. Name

The name of the organization shall be Japan Club (hereon referred to as JC).


Article II. Membership

Section 1: JC shall be open to all members of Columbia University's three undergraduate institutions (Columbia College, FFSEAS, Barnard College), as well as to the members of the respective graduate schools and the School of General Studies.

Section 2: All members who are not in the Executive Board shall be referred to collectively as the general membership.

Section 3: Anyone can join the general membership given that they register through the appropriate means (from the web page, or through any one of the Executive Board Members).


Article III. Governance

Section 1: JC shall be governed by an Executive Board consisting of the following positions:

Columbia Vice-president
Barnard Vice-president
Events Coordinator

Organizational Committee Members (OCMs)

Section 2: Executive Board Members shall meet until they are able to come to a consensus regarding all decisions. These decisions include those that affect the supervision and coordination of Club activities so that they may run smoothly and efficiently.

Section 3: The general membership shall be responsible for bringing up ideas and activities at general member meetings. General members have the power to veto any decisions made by the Executive Board. Anything less than 2/3 approval shall be considered a veto, at which point, the Executive Board shall reconsider their decisions. The Executive Board shall contact the general membership by e-mail to inform them of updates on decisions and/or agenda for general meetings. This will ensure that the general membership is adequately informed.

Section 4: Official Duties of Executive Board Officers:

President shall preside over all meetings of the JC. The President shall make sure that the purpose of JC is always respected. The President shall oversee all activities and make sure they run smoothly.

Columbia VP shall maintain all off-campus liaisons with other school clubs, business corporations, and the Columbia University administration.

Barnard VP shall address the concerns of the Barnard College members in JC. In particular, she shall insure that the Barnard Student Government Association recognize JC as an official Barnard College club by the end of the 04-05 academic year. She shall make sure that the club acknowledges and abides by all relevant rules and regulations set forth by Barnard College, and that JC serves the best interest of Barnard members and the Barnard community.

Secretary shall make sure that contact amongst the members is maintained. This will include taking minutes at all meetings, notifying Board members of all Executive Board Decisions, and notifying general members of all Board decisions. They shall also forward phone messages and email messages, as well as maintain an updated general membership listing.

Treasurer shall manage all financial transactions between JC members and external entities. They shall report to the Columbia University administration as necessary and keep the Executive Board Members updated on all expenditures and the Club monetary balance.

Events Coordinator shall coordinate all Club activities so that they run smoothly and efficiently. They shall recruit new members and board members throughout the academic year. They shall organize programs for such recruiting efforts. When suggesting ideas for events, they shall keep the members, the students, and the school community in general in mind. They shall always keep the best interest of the Club and the community in mind.

Organizational Committee Members (OCMs) shall assist the other members of the Executive Board in any way required to achieve the mission of JC.  The Executive Board Members shall select Organizational Committee Members during the Fall semester of each academic year.  The Executive Board Members reserves the right to select no more than seven OCMs each year, of which at least one will be a student from Barnard College.  The OCMs are an integrated and essential part of the executive board. 


Article IV. Meetings

Section 1: Executive Board Meetings shall be held weekly. The minutes shall be taken by the secretary. These minutes will be sent out to all general members.

Section 2: General membership meetings shall be held every two weeks. These meetings shall be organized into two sections. General members will present their ideas in the first half. In the second half, some decisions made by the Executive Board shall be open to the floor. They can be vetoed if 2/3 of the membership present at the meeting is against it.


Article V. Elections for Executive Board Members

Section 1: Executive Board Members, with the exception of OCMs, shall be elected by the general members of the previous academic year at the time of election. Candidates not nominating themselves need to be nominated by one general member to be eligible. A candidate will be elected if s/he receives 3/4 of the vote of the general membership. A general member may nominate him/herself, but s/he must have another general member second his/her motion for him/her to become a candidate.  OCMs will be selected by the already
established executive board in the fall of the school year that they wish to
serve on the Japan Club Board.

Section 2: The time of election shall be sometime during the month of March. Changes to this date shall be made only if 2/3 of the general membership deem it necessary.


Article VI. Amendments to the Constitution

A motion may be submitted for amendment at a general membership meeting. At that time, the motion may be discussed. At the following general membership meeting, the general members shall vote on the proposed amendment. It shall pass with a minimum of 2/3 of general membership approval.


Article VII. Dismissal of Officers

Section 1 - Executive Board Members shall be dismissed on the following conditions: 2/3 of general membership comes to the consensus that a certain person is not acting according to their designated role as specified in the JC constitution.

If three Executive Board Members, other than the Executive Board Member in question, come to the consensus that the particular person should be dismissed under the premises that that person is not acting in accordance to designated club regulations; 2/3 of the general membership must approve of this motion.

If a particular Executive Board Member decides that s/he is for some reason unable to uphold their position as an Executive Board Member, they shall state their reason for resignation at a general membership meeting. At that time, they must recommend a general member to occupy the vacant Executive Board position; for that recommended person to be officially appointed to the vacant spot, 2/3 of the general membership must approve. Until the new person is elected, the remaining Executive Board members should divide the duties among themselves to compensate for the empty position.


Article VIII. Activities

Section 1 - Ideas for activities can be submitted any time at general membership meetings. Along with every idea, a list of operating committees that will be needed for the event should be submitted. If the event is approved by 1/3 of the general membership, OCMs will be assigned or will volunteer for each committee. The Events Coordinator will be in charge of the event and the Executive Board members will be at his/her disposal.  

Article IX. Bylaws

A member may call for a bylaw during a meeting if s/he thinks it fit. A separate person shall second the call. For a bylaw to go through, it shall require the vote of 3/4 of people present at that meeting. If a bylaw passes, it shall be recorded by the secretary in a separate bylaw book, which shall be referred to at future meetings.


Article X. Web Page

The JC Web Page shall be maintained regularly by a Web Master.