The LGBTQIA student group at University of Michigan School of Information

Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF INFORMATION ACROSS THE SPECTRUM

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and allies (LGBTQIA) student group at the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI)

 Article I:

Name of the Organization

Section 1:

The name of this organization will be:

                Information Across the Spectrum

aka: IAS, IAS at UMSI

 Article II:

Mission

Section 1:

Information Across the Spectrum’s mission is to support, educate, develop, and connect a diverse group of people by using information and technology to create awareness and challenge misinformation surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex identities and expressions.

Article III:

Values

Section 1:

The following are the core values of IAS.  They are meant to guide decision-making and help the group achieve its vision.

Awareness – We will foster awareness among members and the larger community at SI regarding LGBTQIA issues related to information and social science.
Education – We will capitalize on teachable moments through personal interactions and mentorship to help educate allies and peers about LGBTQIA issues.
Professional Development – We will develop leadership and communication skills through membership in the group and utilize UMSI resources to help prepare for careers in information science.
Connection – We will foster deeper connections both at UMSI and throughout the University of Michigan to create an extended network of education and support.
Diversity – We will strive for diversity in membership as well as scholarship.  We will acknowledge our own biases and privileges and be respectful of the differences that strengthen us.

Article IV:

Non-Discrimination Statement

Section 1:

IAS is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate in membership or educational programs and activities based on race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status.

Article V:

Privacy Statement

Section 1:

IAS will create a safe and open environment for sharing information.  Members have an expectation of privacy and every effort will be made to respect that.  Examples of private information include proceedings surrounding removal of Members or Officers, interactions with Officers, and compliance with personal wishes surrounding identity disclosure.  Private information will be shared only among Membership, Officers and/or Advisor(s) as appropriate.

BYLAWS OF INFORMATION ACROSS THE SPECTRUM

 Article I:

Membership

Section 1:            Composition

Membership is free and open to all students, faculty, staff, and other UMSI community members.  IAS is delighted to accept ALLIES in our ranks as well as Members identifying as LGBTQI.  Members are required to maintain an open, safe and supportive atmosphere.

 

Section 2:            Voting Privileges

Members gain voting privileges by registering for the club through Maize Pages and attending at least one (1) formal meeting each semester.  Members will sign in at the beginning of formal meetings.  The Executive Board will maintain a record of eligible Members.  Liaison Members do not have voting privileges.  Votes are passed by simple majority.  The group will be notified of voting one (1) week prior to the meeting in which the voting is to take place.  Votes will be counted by one (1) Member and one (1) Executive Board member and announced at the meeting in which they were voted upon whenever possible.  If not possible, vote results will be released by email no later than 48 hours following the meeting in which they took place.

 

Section 3:            Liaison Members

IAS welcomes input from all of the LGBTQIA organizations on campus and will make every effort to have representation from the other groups at our meetings and events.

 

Section 4:            Removal of Members

Because IAS is an open membership group, there are no term limits for Members.  Rosters will be maintained by the outgoing Communications Officer and passed to the incoming Communications Officer.  Maize Pages will require registration on an annual basis.

Should a Member be found to have violated the constitution or bylaws of IAS, the policies of UMSI or the University, the Executive Board will be called upon to meet with the individual, review the incident and vote on appropriate sanctions.  Any actions that reflect poorly upon IAS, UMSI or the University are grounds for verbal reprimand, fixed term suspensions, or dismissal.  IAS has a zero tolerance policy for hate speech and hate crimes.

 Article II:

Executive Board

Section 1:            Composition

The Executive Board shall consist of the following elected positions: Chair, Communications Officer and Logistics Officer.  All Officers are charged with upholding the constitution and enforcing the bylaws of IAS.  An Advisor will also be a member of the Executive Board (see Article II).  Officers will attend all meetings and events unless there is an academic or professional conflict.  All members of the Executive Board will recruit new Members, preside over elections for the group and maintain a positive public image of the group.

Section 2:            Responsibilities

Elected Officers are tasked with the following responsibilities:

Chair

Schedule meetings
Set meeting agendas
Preside over meetings
Appoint Officers pro tem and committee chairs
Liaise with other student groups, UMSI Office of Student Affairs (OSA), UMSI Career Development Office (CDO), and the University of Michigan LGBT Roundtable
Delegate liaisons in the event of scheduling conflicts
Contribute to the website and social networking sites for the group

Communications Officer

Take attendance and notes at meetings
Maintain a record of vote eligible Members
Keep the group website and social networking sites up to date
Notify group Members of upcoming meetings and events
Act as presiding Officer in the absence of the Chair

Logistics Officer

Maintain funds for the group and ensure reimbursement of authorized expenses incurred on behalf of the group
Is the reporting Officer for committee chairs
Book rooms for upcoming meetings and events including adding the bookings to the Student Events Google calendar
Contribute to the website and social networking sites for the group
Preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair and Communications Officer

Section 3:            Voting

Simple majority determines decisions requiring a vote of the Executive Board.  Each elected Officer has one (1) vote along with one (1) Advisor vote for a total of four (4) votes.  The Advisor vote will remain singularly regardless of the number of faculty or staff fulfilling that role.  Ties are decided by an UMSI OSA liaison.

Section 4:            Removal

Elected Officers may be removed with a unanimous vote of the other Officers or a 75% vote of the voting Membership at any point during the academic year.  The Chair will appoint an Officer pro tem for Communications Officer or Logistics Officer positions.  The Advisor will appoint an Officer pro tem in the event of the removal of the Chair.  Pro tem Officers remain in the position until a special election is held (see Article VIII).

Article III:

Advisor

Section 1:            Composition

IAS will recruit and maintain at least one (1) Advisor from among the UMSI staff or faculty.

Section 2:            Responsibilities

The Advisor is tasked with the following responsibilities:

Serve as general advisor on UMSI history and policy
Have a seat and one (1) vote on the Executive Board
Raise awareness of the group within faculty and staff
Attend at least one (1) meeting per academic year

 Article IV:

Meetings

Section 1:            Communication

Formal meetings will be held no less than two (2) times per semester.  Formal meetings will be called by the Chair and communicated to Members via their UM email at least one (1) week prior to the meeting.  The Communications Officer will also post this information on the social networking sites for the group.  The Logistics Officer will ensure meeting times are available on the Student Group Event Calendar.

 

Section 2:            Formal Meeting Protocol

Formal meetings shall consist of the following:

Call to Order
Announcements
Committee and Liaison Reports
Old Business
New Business
Open Forum
Adjournment

Section 3:            Executive Board Meetings

Board Meetings will be held on an as needed basis.  They may be held on or off campus or in a virtual environment.

Section 4:            Informal Meetings

Any Member may call an informal meeting and invite the group to a social outing such as a happy hour, lunch hangout, or special events held by other organizations.  Informal meetings can be held on or off campus or in a virtual environment.  Members are encouraged to get to know one another in a social context and develop their professional networks through IAS.

Article V:

Quorum

Section 1:

A quorum will consist of no less than six (6) voting Members including the Officers.  Quorums require a formal meeting that has been appropriately announced.

 Article VI:

Activities and Position Statements

Section 1:            Activities

IAS will endeavor to sponsor or co-sponsor at least one (1) event per semester (Fall and Winter) in which Members represent the values and mission of the club.  The activities should be determined by the full Membership whenever possible.  IAS encourages Members to propose and spearhead events related to our mission and values.

Section 2:            Position Statements

Any Member may submit a position statement for publication to school, campus, local, or national outlets.  The statement must be presented to the full Membership for consideration and editing.  The Executive Board must approve the statement prior to publication.  Once the statement has been approved, the group name can be attached to it.  Members are encouraged to respond individually to educate others whenever possible and are free to submit opinion pieces not associated with the group as long as the name of the group is omitted.

 Article VII:

Committees

Section 1:

Committees are essential to successfully developing, staging and concluding events for IAS.  Officers alone are not responsible for great events; they require great teamwork as well.  The Executive Board is kept small so that Members can have the opportunity for leadership roles that will enhance the skills they will need in their professional lives.  Once events have been identified, the Officers will call for volunteers and appoint a chair to the committee.  It is up to the committee to develop, plan, recruit and communicate with the rest of the group to create a successful event.  Officers will make themselves available to help in any way they can.  All committees are considered ad hoc.

Article VIII:

Elections

Section 1:            Nominations

IAS Officers will accept nominations for scheduled elections from February 14 through March 17 each year.  Nominations may be submitted via email or verbally during a formal meeting.  Any Member may nominate themselves or another Member for any Officer position.  If you nominate someone other than yourself, that person will be given the option of accepting or declining the nomination.  All voting Members are eligible for nomination.  All nominated Members will submit text or video statements to the Communications Officer to post to the website.

Section 2:            Elections

Elections shall be held at a formal meeting within two (2) weeks of March 17.  Members will be given the opportunity to hear one (1) minute timed elevator pitches from each nominee for Chair.  Nominees will then be sent out of the room so Members can deliberate.  Following deliberation, paper ballots will be distributed for voting purposes.  One (1) Member and one (1) Executive Board member will count the ballots.  Following the count, nominees will be returned to the room and the results will be announced.

 Following successful election of the Chair-elect, the unelected candidates may choose to drop down to the next elected position.  Voting order for the Communications Officer and Logistics Officer positions will be determined by the number of nominees for each position with the position with the greater number of nominees to be decided first.  Each position will be decided in the same manner as the Chair.

Section 3:            Run-Offs

Should any election result in a tie, a run-off vote will directly follow the announcement of the results.  The two (2) candidates will be asked to leave and a second ballot vote will be completed.  If this again results in a tie, the current Executive Board will be asked to vote the tiebreak.

Section 4:            Special Elections

Following the removal or resignation of an Officer, nominations will be held for a period of no more than two (2) weeks following the vacancy.   Nominations follow the same guidelines as those for regular elections.  Following the two (2) weeks, an electronic ballot will be made available for all voting Members.  The election is opened for voting for a period not to exceed one (1) week.  Results are to be sent by email as well as being announced on the website and social networking sites.

 Article IX:

Channels of Communication

 Section 1:

The following are the sanctioned channels of communication for IAS:

Email: iasofficers@umich.edu

Web: http://www.IASatUMSI.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IASatUMSI

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IASatUMSI

  Article X:

Ratification and Amendment

Section 1:            Ratification

A constitution shall be presented to the Membership for a review period of at least two (2) weeks prior to ratification.  Members may submit changes to the Officers during the ratification period.  The constitution shall be adopted by a 2/3 majority vote at an appropriately notified formal meeting.  Provisions of the constitution will be effective immediately upon ratification.

Section 2:            Amendment

Any Member, regardless of voting privileges, may propose amendments.  That Member must submit their proposal to any Officer through a sanctioned channel of communication at least one (1) week prior to the next formal meeting.  The Executive Board will review all proposed changes.   The Board will then vote to bring the proposal to the Membership.  The Membership will be presented with Board reviewed and approved proposals with a comparison of the current constitutional wording.  They will be given at least one (1) week to review the proposal prior to voting.  Voting may take place at a formal meeting or through an electronic voting platform.  A 2/3 majority vote is required for adoption.  Amendments will be effective immediately upon successful vote.

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