Group Constitutions
Columbia/Barnard Policy Debate Union

Preamble: In order to facilitate the participation in intercollegiate policy debate and academic discourse, the Columbia/Barnard Policy Debate Union is hereby formed.

Article I: Columbia/Barnard Policy Debate Union

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Columbia/Barnard Policy Debate Union hereafter referred to as CBPDU.

Section 2. The officers of CBPDU shall make up the Executive Board of CBPDU, hereafter referred to as the 'Board.'

Article II: Purpose

Section 1. The purpose of this organization shall be the advancement of public and intercollegiate discourse on policy issues.

Section 2. The Executive Board shall handle administrative logistics, funding, and coaching of neophytes.

Article III: Membership

Section 1. The general body of the organization must be comprised of at least two-thirds of CC, BC, and SEAS students. The specific requirements of membership are:

  1. Full-time undergraduate student status.
  2. Must meet all eligibility requirements as determined by the NDT (National Debate Tournament) and CEDA (Cross Examination Debate Association) constitutions.
  3. No more than five unexcused absences from meetings.

Section 2. The privileges and responsibilities of membership are periodic research assignments and voting in officer elections.

Section 3. Membership may be revoked by the Executive Board through a twothirds consensus due to:

  1. Illicit drug use.
  2. Verbal and/or physical assault of other team members and/or debate participants.
  3. Poor academic performance (such as a GPA lower than 2.75).

Article III: Meetings and Procedures

Section 1. Meetings will be held approximately three times every calendar month except in months when university classes are not held.

Section 2. The Executive Board will openly hold policy meetings, using a New England town hall format.

Article IV: Officers

Section 1. The organization shall have the following offices: chairperson, cochairperson, treasurer, and liaison to student government organizations.

Section 2. The duties of these officers are as follows:

  1. Chairperson: coordinates administrative work with other debate programs, handles tournament logistics, and oversees coaching duties.
  2. Co-chairperson: assists chairperson and handles meeting procedures.
  3. Treasurer: oversees distribution of funds for tournament travel, public debates, and organizational expenses.
  4. Liaison: handles public relations.

Section 3. All terms of office will be for a full academic year.

Section 4. Only members who are undergraduate students in Columbia College or the School of Engineering and Applied Science may hold the position of Chairperson or Treasurer. If an organization is also recognized by Barnard Student Government association, undergraduate students in Barnard College may hold the position of Chairperson or Treasurer. No single member may be both the Chairperson and Treasurer simultaneously.

Article VI: Electing, Appointing, and Removing Officers

Section 1. Organizational elections must take place at least once per academic year. These votes can be cast via e-mail, telephone, or paper ballot.

Section 2. There will be no appointed officers.

Section 3. The members of the Executive Board may be impeached and disciplined by the general membership through a two-thirds majority. The following are sufficient grounds for impeachment:

  1. Any violation under Article III, Section 3.
  2. Embezzlement of CBPDU funds.
  3. Flagrant ethical violations at CBPDU functions. A special meeting with all voting members will be held to determine if there are sufficient grounds for impeachment. If sufficient ground exists, an impeachment trial will ensue two weeks after the pre-impeachment hearing. If found guilty by two-thirds of the voting membership, the impeached officer will be disciplined and/or removed from his/her participation in CBPDU.

Section 4. If an officer leaves his or her post prematurely, a special election will be held to fill the vacant seat.

Article VII: Committees

Section 1. Special committees can be formed at the discretion of the Executive Board.

Section 2. Committee members will be selected through open volunteerism and removed at the discretion of the committee chairperson. The committee chairperson will be selected by his or her peers in the committee.

Article VIII: By-Laws

Section 1. By-laws of the organization shall be established and altered by the general membership of CBPDU.

Section 2. By-laws of the board shall be established by the general membership of CBPDU.

Article IX: Amendments to the Constitution

Section 1. Amendments to the CBPDU Constitution shall be proposed at any time during the academic year.

Section 2. Any member of CBPDU will have the right to propose a constitutional amendment.

Section 3. A general membership vote through e-mail, telephone, and paper ballot will determine the ratification of an amendment.

Section 4. A two-thirds majority is required for the ratification of an amendment.

Article X: Ratification

This constitution shall be established by a vote of a three-fourths majority of the organization.

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