Group Constitutions


Amended June 11, 1993


The National Society of Black Engineers, as a national student-based organization, does hereby dedicate itself to the development of intensive programs for increasing Black and other ethnic minority participation in the field of engineering and engineering technology. These programs will be initiated both within and outside the university community and will serve to strengthen relations between professional industry and the Black community. Members of this organization are encouraged to join and participate in their individual professional societies. This organization will endeavor to provide general counseling to all.

ARTICLE I - Name and Type

The name and type of this organization shall be the National Society of Black Engineers Columbia University Chapter, a non-profit student run organization; hereafter referred to as the Chapter.

ARTICLE II - Objectives

The objectives of the Chapter shall be to stimulate and develop student interest in engineering; to strive to increase the number of students studying engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; and to endeavor in the advancement of the ethnic minority in professional industry.

ARTICLE III - Membership

Section 1.

Membership in the Chapter shall be designated as member, affiliate member or honorary member.

Section 2.

Members shall be defined as follows:


  1. an undergraduate enrolled in Columbia University, who is a candidate for a degree in engineering, engineering technology, or applied /physical science, or
  2. a graduate student enrolled in Columbia University, who has received an undergraduate degree in engineering, engineering technology or, applied/physical science, and
  3. has received a registered membership card or receipt through the payment of annual membership fees.
  1. Affiliate member shall be defined as a person who is not a student and has received a degree in one of the areas defined in article III section 2 (a) i), and has received a registered membership card through the payment of annual membership fees.
  2. Honorary member shall be defined as a person who does not meet the definition of member or affiliate member but has contributed through efforts in support of the goals of the Chapter and has been nominated by a member and approved by the executive board.

Section 3. Membership and participation shall be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, ethnic group, age, or national origin.


Section 1.

Each member shall be entitled to one vote in all Chapter general body meetings in which membership is held except as noted in article IV section 2.

Section 2.

The President or Co-Presidents shall vote on all general issues on the floor only to break a deadlock during an election. In the case that co-Presidents cannot come to an agreement, a decision will be made by a four-sixth's majority vote by the Executive Board.

Section 3. Election Procedures

  1. Nominations shall begin at least two weeks before elections and shall end one week prior to the day of elections.
  2. Nominations will require the voices of the people.
  3. Elections shall be held at least one week, and not more than one month prior to the National Conference.
  4. Elections shall be held by secret ballots.


Annual membership fees shall be reviewed and set annually by the Executive Board based on directives from the National Executive Board and the Region I Executive Board.

ARTICLE Vl - Administration

Section 1. There shall be an Executive Board of the Chapter which shall consist of the:

  1. President/co-Presidents
  2. Vice President- Internal
  3. Vice President- External
  4. Treasurer
  5. Secretary

Section 2. The Executive Board shall:

  1. determine all questions of policy and shall administer the affairs of the Chapter under the Constitution and By-Laws, and the general provisions of law under which it is incorporated.
  2. be subject to the orders of the membership and none of its acts shall conflict with the decisions made by vote of the general body, or with the goals and objectives of the organization.
  3. not receive any salary for service.
  4. make recommendations to the Chapter.
  5. set the hour, agenda and place of General Meetings.
  6. coordinate activities at all levels of the Chapter.

Section 3. Advisory Board

  1. There shall be an Advisory Board of the Chapter; the number and selection of members shall be determined by the Executive Board under the recommendation of the Advisory Board Selection Committee.
  2. The Advisory Board shall serve to advise the organization on achieving its objectives.

ARTICLE Vll - Offices

Section 1. All elected offices will be held by members in good standing.

Section 2. The elected offices of the Executive board are:

  1. President/co-Presidents
  2. Vice President - Internal
  3. Vice President- External
  4. Treasurer
  5. Secretary


Section 3. Any member of the Chapter is eligible for an elected office except as defined here

  1. The President or co-Presidents must be an engineering or engineering technology major.

Section 4. The Executive Board-elect shall

  1. work in cooperation with the Current Executive Board.
  2. take office at the end of the academic year and serve for a one year term.

Section 5. Vacancies in Office

a) Should a vacancy occur in the office of President, the unexpired term shall be filled by the Vice President - Internal. In the event that the Vice President Internal is unable to accept the office of President, the office shall be filled by the following sequence of people:

  1. Vice-President - External
  2. Treasurer
  3. Secretary
  4. appointment of the standing Executive Board.

b) Should a vacancy occur in any office other than President or co-Presidents. the unexpired term shall be filled by appointment of the President or co-Presidents and approved by the Executive 'Board.


Section 1. The duties of elected officers are:

(a) President/co-Presidents:

- Duties of Officers

  1. Shall preside over all official meetings of the Chapter.
  2. Shall appoint Chairpersons of all standing, and special committees with the advice and consent of the Executive Board.
  3. Shall be a liaison with the SEAS Administration.
  4. Shall serve as a liaison between the Advisory Board and the Executive Board.
  5. Shall oversee the activities of the Standing Committees.

(b) Vice President- Internal:

  1. Shall preside in the absence of the President/co-Presidents.
  2. Shall oversee the activities of the Academic and Recruitment Committees.

Vice President- External:

  1. Shall serve all notices required by law or the By-Laws of the Chapter and in the case of absence, refusal or inability to act, the duties of the office may be performed by any person whom the Executive Board may direct.
  2. Shall chair the Regional/National Committee.
  3. Shall attend Zone meetings and/or arrange for chapter members to attend.
  4. Shall appoint delegates at Regional and National Conferences with the approval of the Executive Board.
  1. Treasurer:
  1. Shall keep accounts and deposit organization funds of the Chapter.
  2. Expenditures made for the Chapter business shall need the approval of the treasurer and either the President/co-Presidents or the Vice President, or a four fifths or a five sixths affirmative vote, respectively, of the Executive Board.
  3. Shall maintain a membership roll and collect annual dues of the chapter in a manner developed along with the Executive Board.
  4. Shall prepare an annual budget.
  5. Shall oversee the activities of the Finance/Solicitation Committee.
  6. Shall complete and countersign all financial certificates issued and make proper entries in the financial records of the chapter.
  1. Secretary:
  1. Shall keep the corporate seal; fill out and countersign all certificates issued by the Chapter except as provided for in Section 1 (c) vi) of this Article.
  2. Shall record accurately the minutes of the Executive Board meetings and make available the minutes to all members on request.
  3. Shall require from the Executive Board, Standing Committees, and special committees of the Chapter, a record of the activities of said body.
  4. Shall chair the activities of the Publications Committee.
  5. Shall secure the venue of Chapter General Meetings.
  6. Shall oversee the activities of the Communications Committee.
  7. Shall receive and sort Chapter mail; shall bring to the attention of officers relevant mail pertaining to their respective duties.
  8. Shall chair the Advisory Board Selection Committee.

Section 2. The duties of appointed officers are: Committee Chairpersons shall carry out the duties of the committees defined in Article Vll Section 2.

ARTICLE IX - Committees

Section 1. There shall be standing committees of the Chapter, which are:

  1. Academic
  2. Advisory Board Selection
  3. Alumni Relations
  4. Communications
  5. Corporate Affairs
  6. Finance/Solicitation
  7. Publications
  8. Recruitment
  9. Regional/National
  10. Social

Section 2.

Standing committees shall have the following duties:

(a) Academic

  1. Shall define and implement programs aimed at improving the academic performance of the general membership.
  2. Shall upkeep and maintain the academic files.

(b) Advisory Board Selection

Shall select candidates to serve on the Advisory Board from SEAS administration, the Corporate Sector, and Alumni of the Chapter.

(c) Alumni Relations

Shall maintain an active Chapter Alumni Association.

(d) Communications

Shall define and implement mechanisms for effective internal communications within the chapter membership.

(e) Corporate Affairs

Shall define and implement programs by which the general membership can interact with professional engineering industry and the corporate sector.

(f) Finance/Solicitation

  1. Shall identify and develop new sources of funding and contributions.
  2. Shall identify mechanisms for funding on local levels.
  1. Publications

Shall establish and sustain the Chapter Newsletter and generate correspondence to the National and Regional Society News Letters.

(h) Recruitment

Shall define and implement programs to increase ethnic minority undergraduate enrollment in Columbia University School of Engineering & Applied Science.

(i) Regional/National

  1. Shall maintain effective communication with the Regional Society and the National Society.
  2. Shall make all arrangements for attending Regional and National Conferences.
  3. Shall inform members of all National and Regional activities.
  4. Shall serve as Conference Planning Person (CPP); liaison with the Regional Conference Planning Manager.

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