American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Constitution
The University of New Mexico School of Law Chapter of The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is a progressive student organization chartered in accordance with the regulations of the University of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL). The Chapter promotes, honors, respects, and supports the Constitution of the United States of America.
The name of this organization shall be “The University of New Mexico American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.
Statement of Purpose
The University of New Mexico American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) shall be an organization of law students, law professors, and staff of UNMSOL. Its purpose shall be to expand the legal debate at UNMSOL. ACS recognizes the profound role that legal theory plays in shaping broader political debate and, ultimately, the daily lives of the people of America. ACS shall serve as a clearinghouse for ideas and opportunities for strengthening America’s commitment to the values embodied by the United States Constitution.
ACS believes that the United States Constitution is a charter of liberty, the blueprint of a noble and unique experiment designed to protect the human dignity necessary for individuals to realize the full potential of their lives. The goal of the Constitution, and the United States it created, is to permit people to succeed in the “pursuit of happiness” – one of the inalienable rights this nation was founded to secure to its residents.
The mission of ACS is to foster dialogue throughout the UNMSOL community regarding progressive ideals and respect for each individual, and to re-incorporate them into American law and politics, in order to build a stronger and more decent national community. The goal of ACS is to rekindle the hope that by reason and decency, we can create an America that is better for all individuals.
Membership; Non-Discrimination Clause
SECTION I – Membership
Membership in the Chapter is open to all UNMSOL students, faculty and staff.
SECTION II – Voting Rights
Members will be eligible to vote when they attend one meeting or volunteer and participate in one chapter activity in addition to the annual meeting.
SECTION III – Non-Discrimination Clause
Membership in the Chapter and its Executive Board is opened and encouraged to all qualified individuals under Section I of Article III without regard to national or ethnic origins, race, disability, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or citizenship.
The Faculty Advisor of the Chapter will be a faculty or staff member of UNMSOL. In the absence or unavailability of a suitable Faculty Advisor, the Society may turn to one of its members or to a suitable member of the legal profession outside the Law Center.
Executive Board; Duties
SECTION I – Executive Board
The Chapter shall have the following officers: President, Vice President of Administration, Vice President of Finance, Vice President for Programs, and Vice President for Communications. These officers shall comprise the members of the Chapter’s Executive Board.
SECTION II – Duties
The Chapter Officers shall have the duties described below and any other duties that the President shall from time to time decide are necessary.
- President – The President shall be the chief executive of the Chapter. The President shall call and preside over all Chapter meetings and Executive Board meetings. The President shall supervise all Chapter activities. The President shall serve as liaison to the UNMSOL administration and any such other organizations as the Executive Board deems necessary. The President shall have the power to appoint any such assistants as the President deems necessary to assist in fulfilling the duties of the President.
- Vice President of Administration (VPA) – The VPA shall take minutes of all Society meetings, maintain membership and voting records, and fulfill other administrative duties as needed.
- Vice President for Programs (VPP) – The VPP is responsible for all arrangements pertaining to programs sponsored by the Chapter. This includes but is not limited to reserving and preparing meeting space, ordering/arranging the delivery of food and beverages, and supervising cleanup procedures. The VPP shall schedule and make all necessary arrangements for speakers and presenters for Chapter programs, including but not limited to, fundraising, social events and membership drives.
- Vice President for Communications (VPC) – The VPC is responsible for development and maintenance of the chapter website and community outreach. These duties include but are not limited to outreach to local and school newspapers, the American Constitution Society national office, and facilitation of on-campus postings.
- Vice President of Finance (VPF) – The VPF shall maintain all Chapter financial records, monitor the budget, and supervise the payment of all Chapter liabilities. The VPF shall attend all meetings required by UNMSOL’s Student Bar Association and report all necessary information to the President and the Executive Board.
Election of Officers; Term of Service; Removal from Office; Filling Vacancies
SECTION I – Election of Officers
The Chapter’s officers shall be elected by a majority vote of those present of members eligible to vote in the Annual Meeting to be held in April of each year.
SECTION II – Term of Service
The term of service for each officer elected at the Annual Meeting shall be one year. For those officers elected at any time other than at the Annual Meeting, the term shall be until the next Annual Meeting.
SECTION III – Removal from Office
Any officer may be removed for good cause by the unanimous vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board.
SECTION IV – Filling Vacancies
In the event that any officer is unable to fulfill the term of office because of removal, fall graduation, or for any other reason, the Executive Board may elect prior to the Annual Meeting, by unanimous vote, a new officer to serve until the next Annual Meeting.
Annual Meeting; Elections
SECTION I – Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting shall be held in April of each year. The VPF shall report the status of the budget at that time. Officers for the next year shall be elected at this meeting. The newly elected officers shall assume their responsibilities at the conclusion of the meeting to allow adequate preparation for the following school term.
SECTION II – Elections
The procedure of all elections of the Chapter to be held at the Annual Meeting shall be as follows:
- Two weeks before the election, the VPC shall post notices announcing the upcoming election and application deadline. Any member interested in elective office must notify the current VPA by the stated deadline.
- The VPA shall prepare ballots with candidates' names, organized by the office they seek, and ensure that all candidates meet voting eligibility requirements. Nomination from the floor shall be allowed. Such nominations must be seconded.
- Each candidate on the ballot for President shall have four minutes to speak. All other candidates on the ballot will have two minutes to speak.
- No proxies shall be allowed. All voting is by secret ballot.
- The President and the VPF shall together tabulate the ballots. For any office for which there are two or fewer candidates, the race is decided by a simple majority vote of the eligible members. If there are more than two candidates for an office and no candidate achieves a simple majority, a runoff vote will be taken between the top two vote recipients. In the event of a tie where there are no more than two candidates, the out-going Executive Board shall determine the winner by majority vote. All voting records shall be kept on file for one year.
Amendments and By-Laws
The Executive Board, by a majority vote, may propose amendments or by-laws to this Constitution. Amendments to the Constitution shall take effect after ratification by two-thirds of the Chapter’s eligible members. By-laws and subsequent amendments shall take effect upon approval by a majority of the Executive Board.
The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to the extent that such do not conflict with any express provisions, policies, or procedures of this Constitution.
Ratification and Effective Date
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon ratification by two-thirds of the Chapter’s members present when the ratification is brought to a vote.
This Constitution is Effective as of August 1st, 2006.