Student Organization's Constitution & By-Laws
For a PDF version of the Constitution and By-Laws click here.
This document is intended to serve as an example when you are drafting your Constitution. The Student Involvement staff will review all new and revised Constitutions and By-Laws. The Constitution of your organization can be more detailed than this example. For additional questions regarding your Constitution or By-Laws, please contact Student Involvement at 806-742-5433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Constitution of an organization contains the fundamental principles which govern its operation. A constitution will serve to clarify the organization's purpose, outline its basic structure, and provide a cornerstone for building an effective organization. It will also allow members and potential members to have a better understanding of the organization's purpose, and mission; and how the organization functions.
Article I - Name
Section 1 The Name of the organization shall be ________________.
Special Note: The name of the organization cannot include Red Raiders, Texas Tech, TTU, or Texas Tech University. The name can include "Raiders" or "Tech."
Section 2 Identify any affiliations with national, regional, etc. groups and specify what the relationship is between the Texas Tech student organization and the other groups.
Article II - Purpose
Section 1 The purpose of the organization shall be to ______________. Special Note: Be as detailed as possible because your group will be limited to those actions listed here.
Article III - Membership
Section 1 Membership Requirements (list the requirement for membership; include the selection, rights and responsibilities, resignation, dues, and expulsion procedures of members).
Special Notes: Student organizations need to have at least five member in order to be registered at Texas Tech University.
Section 2 If applicable, guests or associate members. This could be any alumni, staff, faculty or community members. The guest/associate members do not have the same privileges as regular members. All of the officers of the student organization must be Texas Tech Students.
Section 3 Anti-discrimination Statement
Special Notes: An example of this could be: [Organization Name] does not deny or define membership on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression
Special Notes: The only exception to defining membership in a student organization is if a registered student organization is created primarily for religious purposes, they may restrict the right to vote or hold office to persons who subscribe to the registered student organization's religious beliefs. All student organizations registering as a single-sex social fraternity or social sorority also have an exception to defining their membership if the can show proof of their Title IX exemption by attaching to their registration application a letter from their national affiliate with their IRS 501(c)7 number.
Article IV - Officers
Section 1 The officers of the organization will be made up of _____________. Special Note: The following officers must be listed in the Constitution: President, Treasurer & Student Organization Representative Council (SORC Rep). All officers must be Texas Tech students.
Section 2 List the qualifications for each officer.
Article V - Meetings
Section 1 Regular meetings of this student organization shall be held (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc.)
Section 2 Quorum will consist of a _______ % of members who are present at the meeting. Special Note: Often listed as either two-thirds or three-fourths of active membership.
Article VI - Relationship with Other Organizations*
Section 1 State any present or intended relation the organization may have to other local, state, or national organizations. Special Note: Some organizations do not have a relationship with other local, state, or national organizations. This article is recommended only if there is a relationship with other organizations.
Article VII - Committees
Section 1 Structure of the Committees
Section 2 Standing Committees and responsibilities for each committee. This would also describe the make-up of each standing committee, and how members of the committee are selected.
Article VIII - Advisor
Section 1 There will be one faculty/staff advisor of the student organization. The faculty/staff advisor will not have any voting privileges and be an ex-officio member. Special Note: All changes to faculty/staff advisors must be made within ten business days on OrgSync and a new university policy agreement must be submitted.
Section 2 The process of selecting a new advisor. Special Note: Student Involvement has a list of faculty/staff members who have indicated they would like to serve as an advisor of student organizations.
Section 3 Responsibilities of the advisor. Special Note: Organizations should talk to their advisors about the role and responsibilities they want to have in the organization. Student Involvement has resources to help organizations talk to their advisors about their role in advising the student organization.
Article IX - Legal Agreement
Section 1 The organization agrees to abide by all federal, state, and local laws; and by Texas Tech University Policies and Procedures.
Article X - Amendments
Section 1 Amendments to the Constitution can be passed by a vote of _______________ (majority, two-thirds, three-fourths, etc.).
Section 2 Process of purposing the amendment to the Constitution.
Include the date of creation or last revision.
The By-Laws establish specific rules of guidance by which the organization is to function. The Constitution covers fundamental principles, bot not procedures for operating the constitution. By-Laws set forth in detail the procedures the organization must follow to conduct business in an orderly manner. They provide further definition to the Constitution and can be changed more easily as the needs for the organization change. By-Laws must not contradict provisions in the Constitution. It is recommended that the by-laws contain the following information:
Article I - Membership
Section 1 Selection Procedures - How will the organization select members and in what manner?
Section 2 Resignations
Section 3 Expulsions. The process of how expulsions will be handled, and what constitutes unacceptable code of organization members.
Section 4 Dues that should include how much dues are, any special fees, and when they are to be paid.
Article II - Duties of Officers
Special Note: For each officer position should have their individual section. At a minimum there should be at least three officers listed which include: President, Treasurer, and SORC Rep. For each officer the following should be addressed: powers. responsibilities, and specific job duties.
Section 1 President
A. The Powers/Responsibilities shall be ______________________.
B. The President shall attend ___________________ meetings.
Section 2 Treasurer
Section 3 Student Organization Representative Council Officer
Article III - Selection and Replacement of Officers
Section 1 The process of how the officers for the student organization will be selected.
Section 2 How an officer can be removed, and what are some actions that cause removal.
Section 3 Procedures for filling unexpired terms of officers, and resignations of officers during the year.
Article IV - Committees
This article would contain the standing committee, special committees, how the committees are formed, how often the committees meet, and their powers and duties. There are several ways that this can be done. One way this can be presented is by having a section dedicated to each committee, and then explain everything else in the sub-sections.
Article V - Finances
Define how funds from the organization will be collected (dues, fundraising, SGA, etc.). Determine who manages the funds (try to allow for a system of checks and balances). Lastly, if the organization ceases to exist determine who will obtain the organization assets.
Article VI - Order of Business
This article would contain the order in which general meetings are conducted. This could include roll call, announcements, old business, new business, and ending roll call. This would be considered the standard agenda for conducting student organization meetings.
Article VII - Parliamentary Authority
Parliamentary authority would include the provisions for rules of order, which is generally known as the Robert Rules of Order, New Revised Version.
Article VIII - Other Policies and Procedures
These would include any policies and procedures that are unique to the organization and that are necessary for the organization's operation.
It is the recommended that the Constitution and By-Laws of the student organization be reviewed regularly. The needs of the organization will change over time, and it is important to review the Constitution and By-Laws on a regular basis.
Student Involvement recommends that your organization upload a copy of the latest Constitution and By-Laws to the student organization file portion on your TechConnect Profile so all members can review it. A review and study of the Constitution and By-Laws should be included when officer transition is conducted.