Constitution

 The Constitution of the

Liberal and Professional Studies Student Association

A Student Organization at the University of Pennsylvania

 PREAMBLE

 

We, the students of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) at the University of Pennsylvania, recognizing the need for representation, hereby form a student association to advocate on behalf of student interests, support student welfare, and facilitate community engagement. The association institutes these Articles for the purpose of establishing, organizing, and managing the activities of the organization henceforth.

 

ARTICLE I: NAME

 

SECTION A:

This organization shall be known as the Liberal and Professional Studies Student Association and shall be referred and abbreviated as LPSSA when context and space dictates.

 

ARTICLE II: MISSION

 

SECTION A:

The mission of the LPSSA is to support LPS students.

 

SECTION B:

LPSSA pursues the mission in SECTION A through advocacy efforts, safeguarding student welfare, and enhancing community engagement.

 

ARTICLE III: MEMBERS

 

SECTION A:

LPSSA is composed of students from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Each student is automatically a member of LPSSA upon acceptance to an LPS program. Students who wish to become more involved with the Association are encouraged to attend general member meetings and register themselves in a fashion that the Executive Board selects and provides.

 

SECTION B:

LPSSA members have the following privileges:

  1. Members are able to attend LPSSA general member meetings.
  2. Members may discuss or present ideas, concerns, issues, solutions, and other matters at LPSSA general member meetings. When privacy is a concern, members are encouraged to approach and share their matter with an LPSSA officer in private.
  3. Members are able to vote on issues that are referred to the Association as a whole.
  4. Members are able to nominate themselves or other members for officer positions on the LPSSA Executive Board.
  5. Members are able to campaign for an officer position on the LPSSA Executive Board.

SECTION C:

Changes to the process of becoming a member, and the privileges associated with that status, may be made by the Executive Board contingent upon at least three fourths (3/4) of the Executive Board voting for the alteration.

 

SECTION D:

A member may be removed involuntarily by a simple majority vote of the membership at large or via the vote of at least three fourths (3/4) of the LPSSA Executive Board. In any situation, general or Executive Board vote, an LPSSA faculty or staff advisor may veto the removal.

 

ARTICLE IV: NON-DISCRIMINATION

 

SECTION A:

LPSSA shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or political view in its membership, activities, and projects. LPSSA will not tolerate harassment of any kind.

 

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS

 

SECTION A:

LPSSA officers, known together as the Executive Board, shall have the authority to act on behalf of LPSSA members, and LPSSA general members have the right to reverse Executive Board decisions with a majority vote obtained at a general member meeting with at least twenty (20) general members in attendance.

 

 

SECTION B:

The Executive Board of LPSSA, shall consist of the following officer positions, and their duties shall be:

 

  • President
  1. The Executive Board shall include a President who shall lead the general membership and Executive Board on all matters.
  2. The President shall be present at all general membership meetings and Executive Board meetings.
  3. The President shall be the primary LPSSA representative to all University administration and personnel, and shall attend all meetings with such personnel as necessary and appropriate.
  4. The President shall be the primary LPSSA representative to the University Council and other University committees.
  5. The President, in conjunction with the Executive Board, shall devise and implement annual goals and strategies for fulfilling the LPSSA mission.
  6. The President shall organize, motivate, and empower student volunteers in support of all LPSSA projects, initiatives, and events.
  7. The President shall monitor the Office of the University Ombudsman, and work with University officials to ensure that the interests of LPS students–perspective, current, and Alumni–are properly represented and protected.
  8. The President shall be the primary LPSSA representative the Annual Ivy Retuning Student Conference and any other such meetings concerning LPS students.
  9. The President shall delegate such responsibilities as appropriate to other members of the Executive Board.
  10. The President shall provide “At Large Members” with a written description of their duties.
  11. The President shall, in consultation with the Executive Board, confidentially appoint LPS students to serve on Disciplinary Hearing Boards, as needed.
  12. The President shall serve as an ex-officio member of any committee that is created by the Executive Board.
  13. If the President is unable to execute the duties of his or her office, the Vice President shall act as Interim President. If the Vice President is unable or unwilling to serve as Interim President, the Treasurer shall serve as Interim President.
  14. The President is responsible for knowing and performing the duties of their position as described in this document.
  • Vice President
  1. The Executive Board shall include a Vice President who shall act as chief of staff of the Executive Board and work closely with the President on all LPSSA matters. In coordination with the President, the Vice President shall organize the agendas for the meetings of the Executive Board.
  2. The Vice President shall act as President when the LPSSA President is absent or unavailable. If the President is no longer able to serve, the Vice President shall succeed the President in office, as Interim President, until an election pursuant to provisions of the LPSSA Constitution.
  3. The Vice President shall be LPSSA’s primary liaison to the student leaders of each of the undergraduate, graduate and professional schools and should coordinate activities when appropriate.
  4. The Vice President shall coordinate the planning of special events and projects.
  5. The Vice President shall perform other duties as delegated by the President.
  6. The Vice President is responsible for knowing and performing the duties of their position as described in this document.

 

  • Treasurer
  1. The Executive Board shall include a Treasurer who shall be responsible for all budget issues. The Treasurer shall maintain accurate and current financial reports and records.
  2. The Treasurer shall present to the Executive Board a final, detailed budgetary and expenditure report for the prior academic year no later than the first day of September in each academic year. This report shall remain on file with the Executive Board and shall be available for review by any member of LPSSA.
  3. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to prepare a copy of the annual LPSSAA budget for any University official as necessary.
  4. The Treasurer shall budget, allocate, and monitor funds dispersed under the auspices of the Executive Board in accordance with established University guidelines.
  5. The Treasurer may spend LPSSA funds over the summer in a manner consistent with the provisional budget and shall notify the Executive Board of such expenditures.
  6. The Treasurer is responsible for knowing and performing the duties of their position as described in this document.
  • Secretary
  1. The Executive Board shall include a Secretary whom shall record the minutes of all Executive Board and general membership meetings and produce those minutes upon completion of the meetings.
  2. The Secretary shall maintain a record of all LPSSA proceedings and keep on file all resolutions approved by the Executive Board and general members.
  3. The Secretary shall coordinate all room reservations, logistical planning, refreshments, and supplies for Executive Board and general membership meetings.
  4. The Secretary shall monitor the attendance at all general membership meetings, certify that a quorum exists, and take roll-call votes when necessary.
  5. The Secretary shall coordinate and manage the LPSSA elections as described in Article IX.
  6. Prior to any election to the Executive Board of LPSSA, the Secretary shall forward to the LPS University staff all LPSSA officer candidates to confirm eligibility, pursuant to Article IX, Section B as set forth below.
  7. The Secretary is responsible for knowing and performing the duties of their position as described in this document.
  • Director of Communications
  1. The Executive Board shall include a Director of Communications who shall foster an open line of communication between the Execute Board, the LPS University staff and the members of LPSSA.
  2. The Director of Communications shall be responsible for the LPSSA Website and Facebook page, updating each as requested by the Executive Committee.
  3. The Director of Communications shall also work closely with the other members of the Executive Board and At Large Members in order to assist with the facilitation of monthly meetings and special events.
  4. The Director of Communications is responsible for knowing and performing the duties of their position as described in this document.
  • At Large Members (i.e. Events Coordinator, Communications, etc.)
  1. The Executive Board may appoint “At Large Members” who shall be responsible for duties deemed by the Executive Board.
  2. The “At Large Member” is responsible for knowing and performing the duties of their position as provided by the Executive Board.
  3. The “At Large Member” shall be subject to same eligibility requirements as described in Article IX Section B below.

SECTION C:

The authority of the Executive Board’s officers shall be in accordance with those described in Article V, Section A and B above. Any further authority requested or bestowed onto the Executive Board and its officers should enhance their ability to discharge their fiduciary responsibility.

 

SECTION D:

Officers are expected to demonstrate common concern for all LPS students and the individuals with whom LPS students share a community; and to respect the perspectives, which all people bring to this community. Officers are expected to work in collaboration, to commit jointly, to respect one another, and to seek common solutions that serve the greater good.

 

SECTION E:

Seniority (primarily for clarification of Article V section B) shall fall into the following order:

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Treasurer
  4. Secretary
  5. Director of Communications
  6. At large member/s (i.e. Events Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, etc.)

 

SECTION F:

The Executive Board shall be obligated to discuss any issues or problems initiated by any LPSSA member and work toward resolution.

 

SECTION G:

The Executive Board general meeting responsibilities:

  1. Shall announce general member meetings.
  2. Shall prepare and publish meeting agenda.
  3. Shall prepare and make available meeting minutes.

SECTION H:

The Executive Board has the authority to establish standing committees as deemed necessary.

 

SECTION I:

The Board shall compose the budget each year, which is to be reviewed for accuracy at the beginning of each semester at an Executive Board meeting and then presented to the membership at next scheduled LPSSA general meeting.

 

ARTICLE VI: REMOVAL OF OFFICER

 

SECTION A:

An officer may be removed involuntarily by a majority vote of the members in attendance (minimum 20 members present) or via the vote of at least three fourths (3/4) of the LPSSA officers. In any situation, general or officer vote, an LPSSA faculty or staff advisor may veto the removal. The officer in question must be notified of the vote of removal at least one (1) week in advance and shall have the opportunity to speak before the general body prior to the vote.

 

ARTICLE VII: ADVISOR

 

SECTION A:

A full-time faculty or staff member shall be selected by the Executive Board and serve as LPSSA’s advisor. The advisor shall be an ex-officio member of the organization and all of its committees.

  • Advisor duties:
    1. Interpret University policy for organization.
    2. Direct membership to appropriate campus resources to accomplish organization goals.
    3. Act as the official university contact in matters of policy violation.
    4. Help mediate disputes and decide disputes as outlined in this document.

ARTICLE VIII: MEETINGS

 

SECTION A:

Regular meetings of LPSSA shall be held at least twice during the fall and spring academic semesters but not more than one a month during those time periods. Additionally, meetings may be held at the discretion of the President at an on-campus venue with appropriate prior notice to the members. Quorum shall consist of at least three (3) members of the executive board and twenty (20) members of the general membership.

 

SECTION B.

The President of the Executive Board shall chair LPSSA meetings. In the event of the President’s absence, the next senior-most officer present will serve as chair if a designated member of the Executive Board has not already been selected prior to the meeting.

 

SECTION C.

The Secretary of the Executive Board shall tabulate all roll-call votes, or an individual selected by the meeting’s Chair in the event that the Secretary is not available or able to perform this duty, and noted in the meeting minutes.

 

SECTION D:

A voting member shall be defined as a LPSSA member who is present at the meeting and is not abstaining from the vote. Therefore:

  1. An affirmative majority vote is a vote requiring more than 50% of the voting members present.
  2. An affirmative 2/3 vote is a vote requiring 67% of the voting members present.

SECTION E:

A motion may only be brought onto the floor by a voting LPSSA member and seconded by another voting LPSSA member. Motions will be attended to in the order in which they are proposed.

 

SECTION F:

Meetings shall be run in accordance with (Robert’s Rules of Order).

 

ARTICLE IX: ELECTIONS

 

SECTION A:

Any degree seeking LPS student can become an officer of LPSSA provided they meet the eligibility requirements found in Article IX, Section B. Officers shall be elected annually, during the fall semester, prior to the end of the semester, by a majority vote of the general membership, and take office at the beginning of the spring semester.

 

SECTION B:

To be eligible for election to the Executive Board one must:

  1. Be a registered student in the College of the Liberal and Professional Studies (undergraduate or graduate).
  2. Have completed four (4) course units at the University of Pennsylvania prior to taking office.
  3. Have and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA).
  4. Not be scheduled to graduate or study abroad during the spring or fall semester less than one year from the date of election.
  5. Be in good academic standing (according to the University’s guidelines).
  6. Be nominated during the nomination period unless the nomination is motivated by an unscheduled vacany on the Executive Board.

 

SECTION C:

Elections will be prepared from a list of candidates determined by nominations made during the nomination period, which will run 2 weeks prior to the election date. During that time, nominations must be sent to the Nomination and Elections Committee (if one has been created) or the Secretary of the Executive Board. Terms shall begin and terminate at the end of the voting period found in Article IX, Section A.

 

SECTION D:

Candidates shall be elected by majority vote of LPSSA members in attendance on the day of elections.

SECTION E:

Notice of an election shall be given to the general membership at least two weeks prior to the election, including date, time, and place of the meeting.

SECTION F:

Should an officer vacancy occur, nominations will be accepted, candidates will be approved via the eligibility requirements provided in Article IX, Section B and the position shall be filled by a majority vote at the next LPSSA general member meeting.

 

ARTICLE X: COMMITTEES

 

SECTION A:

Committees of the organization shall be created from time-to-time by the executive board in order to organize and distribute the workload of the organization. Committees shall be governed by the Executive Board, or a selected individual of the Executive Board’s choosing, and shall not have authority over the executive board or the general body.

 

ARTICLE XI: AMENDMENTS

 

SECTION A:

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by any member and must obtain two-thirds (2/3) majority by a vote of the LPSSA general membership or by unanimous vote of the Executive Board and approval of the faculty/staff advisor.

 

Document History:

Created: May 1st, 2014 by: Mike Banks, Cory Boatwright, Eddie Burns, Lois Chapla, Darren Finn, Gary Nagy, Selena Oleck

Amended:

March 21, 2014 by: Mike Banks, Cory Boatwright, Eddie Burns, Lois Chapla, Darren Finn, Selena Oleck

Record of Organization Standing:
Chartered: May 1st, 2014

Amended:

December 11th, 2014 by: Eddie Burns, Lois Chapla, Donald Antenen, Michelle Gassmann, and Jacob Carmen

 

 

 

 

 

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