Group Constitutions
Parliamentary Debate


In order to have an organized and cohesive debate team at Columbia University, which will be fair to all members, we the members of the Columbia University Parliamentary Debate Team establish this constitution.

Article I.

The name of this organization shall be the Columbia University Parliamentary Debate team, hereinafter referred to as "the team."

Article II

The team's purpose is to improve the competitive debating and public speaking skills of its members through attendance at weekly tournaments. As such, we think it an excellent complement to the regular academic schedule, in that it provides for a fun and exciting way to hone the critical thinking and argumentation skills encouraged by our normal coursework.

Article III Section 1

Eligibility for membership on the team is almost entirely open. Anyone who regularly attends debate tournaments and/or our weekly meetings is considered a member.

Section 2

Members of the team will be eligible to represent Columbia at Debate Tournaments. Though, members are generally free to go to any tournament they want, the President has ultimate discretion to permit or prohibit a member from attending a tournament. Members of the team are expected to help in organizing and running our annual tournament. Members are to perform the jobs assigned them by the Tournament Direction.

Section 3

There are no classes of membership and membership is only revoked by consistent non-attendance at weekly meetings or weekend tournaments. The final decision as to when membership is revoked is at the discretion of the President.

Section 4

The team does not discriminate on the basis of age race, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

Article IV

Sections 1 and 2

There are six officers of the team. These positions are:

l)President--The President is responsible for all major policy decisions regarding team activity.

2)Tournament Director--The T.D. is responsible for running all aspects of our annual tournament. The Tournament Director is also the nominal Vice President of the team.

3)Treasurer--The Treasurer is responsible for balancing the team's books, paying all bills, and collecting all payments due the team.

4)Historian--The Historian is responsible for keeping records of the team's performance at weekly tournaments and attendance at weekly meetings. In cases where a record is questioned, the historian's record is official.

5)Barnard Liaison--The Barnard Liaison is responsible for maintaining relations with the Barnard authorities. She also has authority for managing funds from the Barnard account.

6) Tournament Coordinator --The tournament coordinator is responsible for making all technical arrangements for our trips to weekly tournaments. Specifically, he/she is responsible for registering our teams and making arrangements for our transportation.

Section 3

The term of office for all the above positions is for one school year, elected by a vote of all members in the spring of the preceding year. Any member of the team is eligible for any position, except for Barnard Liaison which must be held by a Barnard student. Officers assume office immediately following the election. There are no standing committees or other such bodies.

Article V

Meetings are held every Tuesday night at 8 P.M. or as called by the President. There are few policy decisions on the team, but the few that are necessary are made by the President.

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