Black Students’ Union

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chapter Constitution & Operational By-Laws
Approved March 21, 2013


The name of this organization shall be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Black Students’ Union, hereafter referred to as the M.I.T.B.S.U.


The mission of this organization is to provide support for Black students and to promote social interactions between students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The organization shall also aid in efforts to improve the welfare of the Black community at MIT.

Article I – Membership

Section 1 – Membership Types

A. A general member of the M.I.T.B.S.U. shall be any person pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has expressed an interest in and will work towards fulfilling the mission of the organization.

B. A voting member of the M.I.T.B.S.U. shall be an individual who has met the criteria of a general member as listed in Article I, Section I (A) and either:
i. has attended at least two-thirds of the mission critical events offered within the constraints of one academic year as determined by the co-chairpersons or,
ii. has actively participated on an M.I.T.B.S.U. committee within the constraints of one academic year as determined by the committee chairperson.
The number of events shall be determined prior to each voting occurance and the mission critical events shall be made known to the membership at the beginning of each academic semester.

Section 2 – Dues
The dues of the M.I.T.B.S.U. shall be determined by the Executive Committee at the start of each Academic Year.

Section 3
The M.I.T.B.S.U. shall have three major divisions. These divisions are the Executive Committee, the Council for the Advancement of Black Students, and the General Body.

Section 4
Those who fulfill the requirements for general membership under Article I, Section I, shall be members of the General Body.

Section 5
The General Body shall be responsible for providing input for policies and governance of the M.I.T.B.S.U.

Article II – Executive Committee

Section 1 – Membership
Membership: The members of the M.I.T.B.S.U Executive Committee shall be:

A. Co-Chairpersons
B. The Attorney General
C. The Executive Secretary
D. The Treasurer

Section 2
The duties of the Executive Committee shall be:

A. To aid in determining policy of the M.I.T.B.S.U.
B. To insure that the M.I.T.B.S.U. works efficiently by advising and coordinating all committees.
C. To supervise and administer all activities.
D. To decide each year whether any committee, other than those provided for in the Constitution shall exist and appoint a chairman for such a committee.
E. To report policy decisions at the next General Body meeting.

Section 3 – Duties
The duties of the specific members of the Executive Committee shall be as:

A. The Co-Chairpersons:

i. Chair the Executive Committee
ii. Call emergency meetings of the Executive Committee
iii. Make decisions prior to a regularly scheduled Executive Committee meeting
iv. Represent the M.I.T.B.S.U. to the public
v. Chair the Political Action Committee of the M.I.T.B.S.U.
vi. Chair the Social/Cultural Committee of the M.I.T.B.S.U.
vii. Collect and organize the content for the monthly newsletter via the committees

B. The Attorney General:
i. Maintain cognizance of other organizations and officials at M.I.T.
ii. Chair the Council for the Advancement of Black Students.
iii. Chair the Judicial Review Committee of the M.I.T.B.S.U.
iv. Attend General Body meetings of the Association of Student Activities and make reports to the General Body.

C. The Executive Secretary:
i. Keep and read minutes of all Executive Committee and General Body meetings.
ii. Handle all external M.I.T.B.S.U. correspondence.
iii. Organize all files archived by the M.I.T.B.S.U.
iv. Maintain and keep an accurate record of M.I.T.B.S.U. membership listservs.
v. Manage the use of the M.I.T. Black Students’ Union Lounge.
vi. Keep and read minutes of all Council for the Advancement of Black Students
vii. Chair the Communications Committee of the M.I.T.B.S.U.

D. The Treasurer:
i. Be concerned with the financial status of the M.I.T.B.S.U.
ii. Be responsbile for the annual budget and the distribution of the organization’s
iii. Keep detailed records and give detailed monthly reports at the General Body
iv. Chair the Fundraising Committee of the M.I.T.B.S.U.

Section 4 – Restriction

A. No one member can hold more than one office of the Executive Committee.
B. To be eligible to run for an office one must be a voting member of the M.I.T.B.S.U.

Article III – Council for the Advancement of Black Students

Section 1 – Purpose: The purpose of the Council shall be to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information that assists in the academic, intellectual, and leadership advancements of the Black community; to promote all Black organizations individually and collectively in order for each to achieve its mission and objective; to coordinate and oversee events that require the participation of all member organizations within the Council; to support the development of campus unity within the university community including administration, faculty and staff, and other campus organizations; and to stimulate an awareness of and appreciation for the Black cultural experience.

Section 2 – Governance
The Council for the Advancement of Black Students shall be governed in accordance with the official by-laws of the Council. Such governance includes, but is not limited to, membership, meetings, policy and procedures.

Section 3
The Council shall be chaired by the elected Attorney General of M.I.T.B.S.U. each academic term. The records of the Council shall be maintained by the elected Executive Secretary of M.I.T.B.S.U.

Section 4 – Membership
A member organization of the Council shall have the purpose of exclusively advancing Black students at MIT academically, professionally, culturally, and/or socially. Membership approval shall be determined in accordance with the official by-laws of the Council. All members of the Council shall be considered a membergroup of the M.I.T.B.S.U.

Article IV – Committees

The M.I.T.B.S.U. shall have four standing committees as follows:
A. Communications Committee
B. Fundraising Committee
C. Political Action Committee
D. Social/Cultural Committee
The M.I.T.B.S.U. shall have one ad-hoc committee as follows:
A. Judicial Review Committee

Section 1 – Committee Membership
Membership on all committees is voluntary and unlimited. Once a committee is enacted, a notice shall be circulated; listing said committees and its purpose. All members of the M.I.T.B.S.U. shall then be allowed to sign up for that committee.

Membership on the Judicial Review Committee shall be determined in accordance with the special elections procedures in Article VI.

Section 2 – Duties of the Specific Committees

A. The Communications Committee:
i. To consist of at least the following committee representatives selected by the committee chair:
a. Historian
b. Webmaster
c. Publicity Representative

ii. To be responsible for the upkeep of the M.I.T.B.S.U. bulletin boards.
iii. To publicize all M.I.T.B.S.U. or related activities.
iv. To be responsible for all M.I.T.B.S.U. mailings.
v. To be responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the M.I.T.B.S.U. library.
vi. To collect and organize all records of M.I.T.B.S.U. activities.
vii. To manage the distribution of a seasonal newsletter to BSU membership.

B. The Fundraising Committee:
i. To organize and administer activities that will raise funds to facilitate the purpose of the M.I.T.B.S.U.
ii. To prepare the application for the Undergraduate Association Finance Board.
iii. To manage all inquires for Large Event Fund and Assisting Recurring Cultural and Diversity Events.
C. The Political Action Committee
i. To inform the Black and greater M.I.T. community of events that affect the African Diaspora.
ii. To hold MIT faculty, staff, alumni, and students accountable for the support of
Black students.
iii. To prepare an annual evaluation report on the state of the Black community at M.I.T.
D. The Social/Cultural Committee:
i. To organize and administer activities of a wide spectrum to enhance the social and cultural development of Black students at M.I.T.
ii. To prepare an annual evaluation report on the events provided for the Black community at M.I.T.
E. The Judicial Review Committee:
i. To have final interpretation of the constitution of M.I.T.B.S.U.
ii. To review the Executive Committee report findings to the General Body as appropriate.
iii. To moderate the elections of the Executive Committee.

Article V – Legislative Procedure

Section 1 – Impeachment
A minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of M.I.T.B.S.U. general members’ signatures is required to bring an impeachment statement before the General Body.
In the event that the number of general members is not determined, the number of signatures is set to twenty-five (25). A majority vote of the General Body is necessary to enact the statement. In the event of a tie, the General Body shall resume
discussion and prepare for a re-vote. A member of the Council for the Advancement of Black Students may be removed according to the procedures within the Council’s

Section 2 – Quorum
A. A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of all voting members of the M.I.T.B.S.U. must be present to vote on any General Body policy decision, Executive Committee Impeachment, or Executive Committee Elections.
B. A majority of any committee membership must be present to vote on any policy decision brought forth by that committee.
Section 3 – Amendment and Rewriting Process Amending and rewriting the Constitution follows the same procedure as Article V, Section I, except a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the voting members of the General Body is required for approval.

Article VI – Elections Procedures

Section 1 – Impeachment
The Judicial Review Committee shall handle all elections, except elections regarding members of the Judicial Review Committee. The members of the Executive Committee shall handle the election process of Judicial Review Committee members.

Section 2 – Quorum
The term of office for the Executive Committee shall begin May 1st of each Academic Year.

Section 3 – Eligibility
Any candidate who is nominated for office must be a voting member of the M.I.T.B.S.U. for the current academic year. Exceptions can only be considered with a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of the General Body.

Section 4 – Nominations
Candidacy for office on the Executive Committee shall be confirmed by a written nomination from any General Body member. Nominations are to be opened in February of each academic year. The Attorney General is responsible for confirming the candidacy and eligibility of all nominees.

Section 5
Elections shall be held in March of each academic year with no less than two (2) and no more than six (6) weeks allowed for nominations.

Section 6
A. Eligibility for the Judicial Review Committee shall follow the same qualifications and procedures as listed in Article VI, Section III. Candidacy for office shall be confirmed by a written nomination from any General Body member and confirmed
by the Attorney General.
B. The members of the Judicial Review committee shall be one (1) representative from each undergraduate class. A Judicial Review Committee member’s term of office ends upon:
i. Leaving M.I.T.
ii. Graduating
iii. Resigning
C. Elections for the committee shall be held in December of each academic year with no less than two (2) and no more than six (6) weeks allowed for nominations.

Section 7 – Oath of Office
I, ( ), do solemnly swear that I will uphold the ideals and goals governing and guiding the M.I.T.B.S.U. as stated in the creed and Constitution and that I will at all times work to serve and implement, to the best of my ability the needs and aspirations of the Black people at M.I.T.

Section 8
In the event of a vacancy a special election is held for that position as soon as possible. Special elections shall follow the same procedures of a standard election.

Section 9 – Procedures
A. Candidates for office shall be allowed no more than five (5) minutes to present their platform to the General Body during elections.
B. Once all candidate platforms and the corresponding question and answer period for a particular office has been concluded, all candidates shall leave the room and the General Body shall enter executive session to discuss the qualifications of the
candidates. The selection of each office takes place during executive session.
C. Only voting members of the General Body may cast a vote during elections.D. A majority of votes for a specific position is required to be elected to that position. In the event of a tie, the General Body shall resume discussion and prepare for a revote.
E. Write-in votes must be submitted a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours before elections. Write-ins are counted only for the first ballot. Write-in votes do not count towards a re-vote.

Article VII – The Association of Student Activities

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Black Students’ Union agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the Association of Student Activities, its executive committee, and the finance board. This constitution, amendments to it, and by-laws
to this organization shall be subject to review by the ASA executive committee to insure that they are in accordance with the aforementioned rules and regulations

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