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Undergraduate Council Bylaws

As ratified by the Student Senate, 2018

Article I: Organization

Section 1. Name.

  1. The name of this organization shall be the Undergraduate Council.

Section 2. Authority.

  1. The Undergraduate Council gains its authority from the Rensselaer Union Constitution.
  2. The Undergraduate Council shall pass legislation commensurate with its duties, as defined by the Rensselaer Union Constitution and specified in these By-Laws.

Article II: Membership

Section 1.

  1. A Representative to the Undergraduate Council shall be any person who has voting rights in the Undergraduate Council, as defined by the Rensselaer Union Constitution.
  2. Undergraduate Council membership shall consist of the President of the Undergraduate Council, and all Representatives to the Undergraduate Council.
  3. Voting membership of the Undergraduate Council consists of all Representative positions that are currently occupied.

Article III: Officers

Section 1.

  1. The President of the Undergraduate Council is the presiding officer of the Undergraduate Council.
  2. All Officers of the Undergraduate Council other than the President of the Undergraduate Council shall be nominated by the President and confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the Undergraduate Council.
  3. The President of the Undergraduate Council shall assume the duties of any unfilled Officer position on the Undergraduate Council. Undergraduate Council Representatives may not hold Officer positions on the Undergraduate Council.

Section 2. Undergraduate Council President.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the President to:
    1. Uphold these By-Laws.
    2. Call and preside over meetings of the Undergraduate Council.
    3. Create a year-end report to assist the next Undergraduate Council.
    4. Represent the Undergraduate Council in the RPI community.
  2. The Undergraduate Council President may approve all Undergraduate Council Expenditures under $50.

Section 3. Undergraduate Council Vice President.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Vice President to:
    1. Assume the duties of the President in their absence.
    2. Become familiar with the work of all committees and Class Councils, and assist the committees and Class Councils in their duties.
    3. Ensure that these Bylaws and all Committee and Class Council Bylaws are upheld.

Section 4. Secretary.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to:
    1. Record and be responsible for meeting attendance and minutes.
    2. Maintain a record of all minutes, to be made available at all meetings.
    3. Coordinate the meeting times of all committees.

Section 5. Treasurer.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to:
    1. Manage funds allocated to the Undergraduate Council as directed by the President of the Undergraduate Council or the Undergraduate Council at large.
    2. Prepare the annual budget of the Undergraduate Council, subject to a ⅔ vote of the Undergraduate Council.
    3. Approve transactions conducted by the Undergraduate Council or any of its Committees. The President of the Undergraduate Council may overrule any decision pertaining to such a transaction. The President’s ruling may be overturned by a 2/3 vote of the Undergraduate Council.

Section 6. Director of Public Relations.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Director of Public Relations to:
    1. Meet regularly with the Publicity Directors of the four Class Councils to assist them in promoting their Councils’ events, programs, and activities.
    2. Coordinate the efforts of the Undergraduate Council and Class Councils in outreach projects.
    3. Promote the meetings and activities of the Undergraduate Council.
    4. Assist Undergraduate Council Committees in developing promotional material as necessary.
    5. Attend meetings of the Student Government Communications Committee.

Section 7. Undergraduate Council-Executive Board Liaison.

  1. The Undergraduate Council appointee to the Executive Board shall be known as the Undergraduate Council-Executive Board Liaison. It shall be the responsibility of the Liaison to:
    1. Express the Undergraduate Council’s opinions to the Executive Board and the Executive Board’s opinions to the Undergraduate Council.
    2. Communicate to the Executive Board any pending proposals to change the amount of Class Dues or Council budgetary policy.
      1. The Undergraduate Council–Executive Board Liaison shall be responsible for informing the Rensselaer Union Executive Board of the amount and reasoning for any recommended change in the amount of Class Dues no more than 24 hours after the Undergraduate Council’s vote.
    3. Ensure the Undergraduate Council is aware of the activities of the Executive Board, and the Executive Board is aware of the activities of the Undergraduate Council and Class Councils.

Section 8. Undergraduate Council-Student Senate Liaison.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Liaison to:
    1. Express the Undergraduate Council’s opinions to the Student Senate and the Student Senate’s opinions to the Undergraduate Council.
    2. Ensure the Undergraduate Council is aware of the activities of the Student Senate and the Student Senate is aware of the activities of the Undergraduate Council and Class Councils.
    3. Is required to attend both Student Senate meetings and Undergraduate Council meetings and if they cannot do so, provide a written update to the Grand Marshal or the Undergraduate President for their respective meetings.
    4. Represent motions moved by Undergraduate Council to the Student Senate for any Undergraduate Council Bylaws changes.

Article IV: Appointments

Section 1.

  1. All positions appointed by the Undergraduate Council in these or other bylaws, unless specified otherwise in these bylaws, will be filled by an appointment made by the President of the Undergraduate Council and confirmed by a majority vote of the Undergraduate Council.
  2. In the absence of a Council, the president’s appointment will automatically be approved.

Article V: Duties of Office

Section 1. Duties of Representatives

  1. Undergraduate Council Representatives shall be expected to:
    1. Attend all meetings of the Undergraduate Council and their Class Council.
    2. Give periodic updates from their respective Class Council.
    3. Present proposals, reports, and requests for funding as requested by their Class Council.
    4. Failure to adhere to these duties shall subject the offending Representative to their Class Council’s removal process as outlined in these bylaws.

Section 2. Duties of Officers and Committee Chairs.

  1. Officers and Committee Chairs of the Undergraduate Council shall be expected to conscientiously fulfill all responsibilities and duties of their office, as described in these bylaws. Officers and Committee Chairs of the Undergraduate Council serve at the pleasure of the President.

Article VI: Meetings

Section 1. Calling Meetings.

  1. The Undergraduate Council shall meet at least twice a month during normal academic periods.
  2. The time and place of the meetings shall be at the discretion of the President of the Undergraduate Council.
  3. Meetings may be requested by two or more Representatives. The President of the Undergraduate Council must call a meeting within one week of the request. Should the President fail to do so, the members who called the meeting may call the meeting themselves, to be chaired by one of the two members who called the meeting.

Section 2. Rules for Meetings.

  1. A quorum shall consist of 2⁄3 of the total voting membership of the Undergraduate Council.
  2. The presiding officer of the Undergraduate Council may only vote in the event of a tie.
  3. The Undergraduate Council shall follow rules of order determined at the discretion of the President of the Undergraduate Council. Such rules shall be made public to the Undergraduate Council immediately following their adoption.
  4. The bylaws of the Undergraduate Council shall not be suspended unless a vote to do so is held at the prior meeting.

Section 3. Closing Meetings.

  1. All meetings of the Undergraduate Council shall be open to the public unless closed by a 2/3 vote of its total voting membership.
    1. Only members of the Undergraduate Council or Class Councils may attend a closed meeting. The Undergraduate Council may invite non-members by a majority vote.
    2. All motions, resolutions, and votes passed during the closed meeting must be made public immediately after the meeting is opened.

Article VII: Legislation

Section 1. Introducing Legislation.

  1. Legislation may be introduced for consideration in the Undergraduate Council by the following means:
    1. As a proposal, report, or recommendation of a standing committee or subcommittee.
    2. As a proposal, report, or recommendation of one or more Class Councils.
    3. As a proposal sponsored by two or more Representatives.
  2. Legislation from a committee, subcommittee, or Class Council shall be submitted to the President of the Undergraduate Council no later than twenty-four hours prior to the meeting during which it is to be motioned and discussed.
  3. Legislation proposed by two or more Representatives may be submitted from the floor of any given meeting. d. All proposed legislation must be submitted to the President of the Undergraduate Council.

Section 2. Expenditures of Class Dues.

  1. Legislation requesting the expenditure of Class Dues may only be proposed by one or more Class Councils.
  2. Each Class Council may only request the expenditure of Class Dues allocated to their class year. Proposals requesting expenditure of Class Dues from multiple Councils must be sponsored by all Councils in question.
  3. The Undergraduate Council shall set guidelines for the expenditure of Class Dues by majority vote. Such guidelines must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board followed by a majority vote of the Student Senate. If the Executive Board does not approve the proposed guidelines, the Undergraduate Council may seek approval of the Student Senate by 2⁄3 vote of its total voting membership. Amendments to the guidelines shall be made public immediately following their adoption.

Section 3. Record-Keeping.

  1. The Undergraduate Council shall maintain a record of all legislation that comes into consideration. To ensure accurate record keeping and provide context for posterity, this record shall include all supplementary materials relevant to recorded legislation.

Section 4. Voting Procedure.

  1. Voting shall be conducted either electronically or in person.

Article VIII: Committees

Section 1. Creation.

  1. Committees may be formed by a 2/3 vote of the Undergraduate Council.
  2. The Chair of each Undergraduate Council Committee must be appointed by the President of the Undergraduate Council and confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the Undergraduate Council.

Section 2. Eligibility.

  1. Any Undergraduate Member of the Rensselaer Union may chair or join a committee of the Undergraduate Council.

Article IX: Amendments

Section 1.

  1. The Bylaws of the Undergraduate Council shall be amended as necessary so as not to be in conflict with outside laws, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Corporate Charter, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute By-Laws, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Student Bill of Rights, the Rensselaer Union Constitution, and decisions of the Board of Trustees of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
  2. Minor changes to the bylaws including

Section 2. Method of Amendment.

  1. These bylaws shall be modified to reflect an approved amendment by either:
    1. Inserting clauses into these bylaws at their appropriate places, or
    2. Removing clauses from these bylaws.

Article X: Undergraduate Council Budget

Section 1.

  1. The budget must be used in its entirety or else the remaining must be distributed evenly among the Class Councils at the end of the fiscal year.

Article XI: Class Councils

Section 1. Name.

  1. Each Class Council shall be named in accordance with the Class it represents and referred to as the Council of that Class.

Section 2. Authority.

  1. The Class Councils gain their authority from the Rensselaer Union Constitution and these bylaws.
  2. Class Councils shall pass legislation commensurate with their duties in accordance with the Class they represent, as defined in the Rensselaer Union Constitution and these bylaws.
  3. In the event that a Class Council’s legislation comes in conflict with any Rensselaer Union or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute rule or standard, or the Undergraduate Council Bylaws, the legislation will be superseded by that rule or standard.

Article XII: Class Council Membership

Section 1. Class Membership.

  1. Any member of the Union shall be considered a member of the Class for which they pay Class Dues.

Section 2. Council Membership.

  1. Voting membership of each Class Council shall consist of that Council’s voting members defined in the Rensselaer Union Constitution, in addition to the Council’s Members at Large as defined in these bylaws.
  2. Should any member of a Class express intent to join their Class Council, they may be appointed a Member at Large by a majority vote of that Council.

Section 3. Ex-Officio Membership.

  1. The President of the Undergraduate Council shall be an ex-officio member of all Class Councils and their committees.
  2. Each Class President and Class Vice President shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees for the Council they preside over.

Section 4. Term Limits and Vacancies.

  1. Vacancies in a Vice President, Senator, or Representative position for any Class Council shall be filled by that Council following Class Appointment procedures outlined in these bylaws.
  2. Members-at-Large will serve for a term ending upon conclusion of general elections of the next Class Council, as defined in the Rensselaer Union Constitution.

Article XIII: Class Officers

Section 1. Officers.

  1. Each Class President shall be the presiding officer of their respective Class Council.
  2. The Class President shall assume the duties of any unfilled Class Officer position.
  3. All Class Officer positions, with the exception of the Class President and Vice President, shall be filled by their Council following Class Appointment procedures outlined in these Bylaws.
  4. Each Council may define additional Officer positions for their Council.

Section 2. Class President.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of each Class President to:
    1. Represent their Class Council in the RPI community.
    2. Call and preside over meetings of their Class Council.
    3. Fulfill their duties as an Undergraduate Council Representative.
    4. Attend and direct any activities held by their Council for their Class. The Class President may appoint another member of their Council to do so in their place.
    5. Create a year-end report to assist the next Council in its duties, subject to approval by a majority vote of the Council. This report will review all events and initiatives held by their Council and include recommendations for the following Council.

Section 3. Class Vice President.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of each Class Vice President to:
    1. Assume the responsibilities of the Class President in their absence.
    2. Fulfill their duties as an Undergraduate Council Representative.
    3. Assist the Class President in attending and directing activities held by their Council for their Class. The Class Vice President may appoint another member of their Council to do so in their place.
    4. Moderate all internal communications for their Class Council.
    5. Provide all members of their Class Council at least twenty-four hours’ notice of any meeting.

Section 4. Class Secretary.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of each Class Secretary to:
    1. Record and be responsible for meeting attendance and minutes.
    2. Maintain a record of all minutes, to be made available at all meetings.

Section 5. Class Treasurer.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of each Class Treasurer to:
    1. Prepare an outline of their Class Council’s intended events, activities, and programs requiring financial expenditure for each semester. This outline must be approved by a majority vote of the Class Council, and shall be submitted to the Undergraduate Council for review.
    2. Maintain an accurate financial record for their Council.
    3. Carry out all approved financial transactions by their Council.

Section 6. Class Publicity Director.

  1. It shall be the responsibility of each Class Publicity Director to:
    1. Publish and promote events and opportunities pertaining to the Class and Class Council.
    2. Coordinate the publicity efforts of Class Council committees.
    3. Meet regularly with the Undergraduate Council Director of Public Relations.
    4. Advertise such programs as directed by their Council. Any advertisement placed by the Publicity Director may be removed, replaced, or re-arranged by a majority vote of their Class Council or the Undergraduate Council.

Section 7. Term of Office.

  1. All members holding an appointed Officer position will hold their position until the conclusion of general elections of the next Class Council, as defined in the Rensselaer Union Constitution.

Article XIV: Council Duties of Office

Section 1. Duties of Class Representatives and Members at Large.

  1. Class Council Representatives and Members at Large shall be expected to:
    1. Attend all meetings of their Class Council. Council Representatives and Members at Large may be excused at the discretion of the President, whose decision may be overruled by a 2/3 vote of their Council.
    2. Serve on at least one Committee, and fulfill their responsibilities on any Committee they have joined.
    3. Actively contribute to the Class Council and not hinder its performance.
    4. Fulfill any additional responsibilities as agreed upon by their Class Council.

Section 2. Duties of Class Senators.

  1. Class Senators shall be expected to:
    1. Attend all meetings of their Class Council. Senators may be excused at the discretion of the Presiding Officer, whose decision may be overruled by a 2/3 vote of the Council.
    2. Fulfill their duties to the Student Senate, as described in the Rensselaer Union Constitution and the Student Senate Bylaws.
    3. Fulfill their responsibilities on any Committee they have joined.
    4. Actively contribute to the Class Council and not hinder its performance.
    5. Fulfill any additional responsibilities as agreed upon by their Class Council.

Section 3. Duties of Class Officers and Class Committee Chairs.

  1. Officers and Committee Chairs of each Class Council shall be expected to conscientiously fulfill all responsibilities and duties of their office, as described in these bylaws and defined by their Council.

Article XV: Class Appointments

Section 1. Class Appointments.

  1. Vacancies in any Representative, Senator, Officer, or Committee Chair position, with the exception of the Class President and Vice President, shall be filled with a member of their Class appointed by their Council.
    1. Such vacancies must be advertised to the Class for at least one week before they may be filled.
    2. Candidates interested in filling a vacant position shall be interviewed by their Class Council prior to their confirmation.
    3. Their Council’s appointment will be determined among these candidates by plurality vote.
    4. Any Officer or Committee Chair appointment must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Council.
    5. Any Representative or Senator appointment must be confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the Council.
  2. Should three or more voting positions become vacant within a two week period, the Council may fill any number of those positions by a unanimous vote. If this vote fails for any position, normal appointment procedures shall be followed for that position.

Section 2. Presidential Succession.

  1. Upon the resignation or removal of a Class President, their Class Vice President shall assume the office of the President.
  2. Upon the resignation or removal of a Class Vice President, or their succession as the new Class President, a new Vice President shall be appointed from among the Council’s voting membership.
    1. Candidates interested in becoming the new Vice President shall be interviewed by their Council prior to their confirmation.
    2. Their Council’s appointment will be determined among these candidates by plurality vote.
    3. The new Vice President must be confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the Council.
    4. After two separate meetings with inconclusive voting, the Class President can, at the third meeting, appoint any member of the Class to the position of Class Vice President, to be confirmed by majority vote of the Council.

Article XVI: Meetings

Section 1. Calling Meetings.

  1. Each Class Council shall meet at least once a week during normal academic periods.
  2. The time and place of the meetings for each Council shall be at the discretion of its Class President.
  3. Meetings may be requested at a specific time by three or more voting members with a signed, written request to their Class President, and must not be held earlier than twenty-four hours following the submission of such a request. Should the Class President fail to call a meeting for that time, one of the requesting members may call and preside over that meeting.
  4. The Class President must give notice of additional meetings to the Council at least twenty four hours in advance.

Section 2. Rules for Meetings.

  1. A quorum shall consist of 2/3 the voting membership of that Class Council.
  2. The presiding officer of each Class Council may only vote in the event of a tie.
  3. Each Class Council will follow rules of order determined at the discretion of its Class President.
    1. These rules must grant equal time to all sides in debate.
    2. Any motions brought before a Class Council must be recognized if in order, and if motioned and seconded by voting members of the Council.
    3. A Class President’s decision to change rules of order may be overturned by a majority vote of their Class Council or the Undergraduate Council.
  4. Any meeting of a Class Council shall be open to the public unless closed by a 2/3 vote of that Council’s total voting membership.
    1. Only members of the appropriate Class Council or the Undergraduate Council may attend a closed meeting. The Class Council may invite non-members by a majority vote.
    2. All motions passed during the closed meeting must be made public immediately after the meeting is opened.

Article XVII: Committees

Section 1. Committee Formation and Authority.

  1. Committees may be formed by a 2/3 vote of a Class Council. Each Committee shall be open to any member of their Class, and must have at least two members of their Class Council in addition to its Chair.
  2. All Committee Chair positions shall be filled by their Council following Class Appointment procedures as outlined in these Bylaws.
  3. Any decision of a Committee or Committee Chair may be overruled by a 2/3 vote of its Class Council.

Section 2. Class Tree Committee.

  1. At the start of their freshman year, each Council will appoint a Class Tree Committee Chair by majority vote. Each Class Tree Chair will recruit members of its Class as appropriate to join their Committee.
  2. Each Class Tree Committee shall be responsible for:
    1. Proposing a species and location for the Class Tree in conjunction with the Institute.
    2. Determine the Class Quote to be included on a plaque with Class Tree.
    3. Planning the Class Tree Ceremony.
    4. Submitting regular progress reports for approval by their Class Council.

Section 3. Ring Committee.

  1. At the start of its sophomore year, each Council will appoint a Ring Committee Chair by majority vote. Each Ring Chair will recruit members of its Class as appropriate to join their Committee.
  2. Each Ring Committee shall be responsible for:
    1. Assist with the request for proposals, awarding the contract, and negotiating the contract terms, as applicable to the current contract agreement terms.
    2. Designing and distributing their Class Ring.
    3. Plan and publicize the Ring Reveal.
    4. Submitting regular progress reports for approval by their Class Council.

Section 4. Senior Week Committee.

  1. At the start of their junior year, each Council will appoint a Senior Week Committee Chair by majority vote. Each Senior Week Chair will recruit members of its Class as appropriate to join their Committee.
  2. Each Senior Week Committee shall be responsible for:
    1. Providing customary entertainment for the Class members during the week after final examinations and leading up to Commencement.
    2. Working with the Institute to coordinate the activities associated with Commencement. iii. Submitting regular progress reports for approval by their Class Council.

Section 5. Class Gift Committee.

  1. At the start of their junior year, each Council will appoint a Class Gift Committee Chair by majority vote. Each Class Gift Chair will recruit members of its Class as appropriate to join their Committee.
  2. Each Class Gift Committee shall be responsible for:
    1. Proposing a class gift to their Council.
    2. Working with the Institute, the Council and their Class to raise funds for the class gift.
    3. Submitting regular progress reports for approval by their Class Council.

Section 6. Term of Office.

  1. Unless otherwise specified, all members holding an appointed Committee Chair position will hold their position until the conclusion of general elections of the next Class Council, as defined in the Rensselaer Union Constitution.
    1. The Ring Chair, Tree Chair, Gift Chair and Senior Week Chair shall serve until they resign, are removed, or their Committee has concluded its duties.

Article XVIII: Class Council Removals

Section 1. Good Cause.

  1. Good Cause for removal of any member, officer, or committee chair of a Class Council, as provided in the Rensselaer Union Constitution, shall be defined as follows:
    1. Two or more unexcused absences from meetings of their Class Council.
    2. Failure to conscientiously fulfill their duties of office, as defined in these bylaws or any standard defined by their Class Council.
  2. Any member of a Committee who has missed two consecutive meetings may be removed from the Committee at the discretion of the Chair. This decision may be overruled by a 2/3 vote of the Class Council.

Section 2. Procedure.

  1. No removal vote for a President, Vice President, Representative, or Member at Large shall be made unless an impeachment vote has been passed by a majority vote at the previous meeting.
  2. Removal of any individual from a Class Officer or Committee Chair position may be motioned by the President, and requires a 2/3 approval of their Council.
  3. Removal of Senators shall be brought before the Student Senate in accordance with the Senate bylaws.

Article XIX: Undergraduate Council Removals

Section 1. Good Cause.

  1. Good Cause for removal of any Officer or Representative of the Undergraduate Council, excluding the Undergraduate Council President, as provided in the Rensselaer Union Constitution, shall be defined as follows:
    1. Two or more unexcused absences from meetings of the Council.
    2. Failure to conscientiously fulfill their duties of office, as defined in these bylaws or any standard defined by the Council.
  2. Any member of a Committee who has missed two consecutive meetings may be removed from the Committee at the discretion of the Chair. This decision may be overruled by a 2/3 vote of the Undergraduate Council.

Section 2. Procedure.

  1. No removal vote for an Officer or Representative, excluding the Undergraduate Council President, shall be made unless an impeachment vote has been passed by a majority vote at the previous meeting.
  2. An impeachment or removal vote may be moved by any voting member of the Undergraduate Council, as well as the Undergraduate President.