The Penn State University Biomedical Sciences Club

Date of origin: November 16, 2006

Article 1: Name and Purpose

1. The organization constituted by this document shall be called the Pennsylvania State University Biomedical Sciences Club (hereinafter, "the Club").

2. This organization shall serve the following purposes:

  1.  to inform members on career options within the biomedical sciences;
  2. to provide further insight into current research practices;
  3. to provide members with sources of information concerning admission to professional schools;
  4. and, above all, to provide members with the opportunity to interact with professionals, alumni, and other students with similar interests and goals.

Article 2: Membership

1. The Office of Student Activities rules mandate that: No organization may restrict membership based on characteristics of a student, which are intrinsic to the identity of that student, and are not essential to the potential value of that student as a member of that organization and the Penn State University Community at large. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University.

2. The majority (50%+1) of active members must be undergraduate students.

3. At least 10 active members must be maintained at all times.

4. Only active members may vote, preside, officiate, or solicit funding on behalf of the club.

5. Only currently registered students of the University shall be eligible to be Active Members. Other persons including employed faculty and staff of the University shall be eligible to be Associate Members. Only Active Members shall be permitted to vote, preside, officiate, hold office, or solicit funding on behalf of the Club.

6. The Club reserves the right to expel a member who does not follow the policies of the organization with a majority vote (see Article 5).

7. New members shall be provided with a schedule of events and activities and a list of requirements and responsibilities for good standing as Active Members.

8. The Executive Committee shall define requirements and responsibilities for good standing as Active Members. This definition shall be presented to the general membership at the beginning of each semester.

9. Any and all new members will be given full disclosure during recruitment, including but not limited to the disclosure of:

  1.  Organizational documents (Constitution, Bylaws, Manuals, etc.)
  2. Organization events and activities
  3. A list of responsibilities of members
  4. A copy of the University Hazing policy, prescribed by Policies and Rules for Student Organizations (These document will be available upon request by the Office of Student Activities).

10. All members, including but not limited to new members and recruits, reserve the right to refrain from participating in any activities without consequence, based upon personal/religious beliefs, personal values, or moral reserve as defined by the member.

11. Any and all interaction/activity between members and/or new members will be limited to guidelines stated by university policy, as well as local, state, and federal laws.

Article 3: Officers

Section 1: All officers

1. The term of office for each officer shall be approximately one year, until a successor is elected in the following election.

2. Only Active Members who are full-time officially registered students shall be eligible to serve as officers in the Club. Further limitations on eligibility are subject to the Office of Student Activities.

3. The attendance of each officer at all general and executive meetings shall be mandatory.

4. In the event of an unexpected vacancy in any office, vacancies will be filled by an officer vote. Any active member may apply to the board to be considered to fill the vacancy.

Section 2: President

1. It shall be the duty of the President to preside over all meetings (see Section 9).

2. The President shall be responsible for the preparation and distribution of agendas for each general membership meeting.

3. The president shall also serve as chair of the executive committee.

4. The President shall be particularly responsible for the position of the Club within the University community and to perform her or his duties in such a manner as to maintain the Club in the highest esteem.

Section 3: Vice-President

1. The duties of the Vice-President shall include all the presidential duties during the absence of the president.

2. The Vice-President is also charged with the procurement of speakers and other special programming incidental to the regular general membership meetings.

Section 4: Secretary

1. The duties of the Secretary shall include maintaining all the written records of the Club and particularly the minutes of all regular and executive meetings.

2. Minutes shall be made available to the general membership via electronic mail, the Club web site, or alternative means.

3. The Secretary's duties shall also include updating the Club bulletin board.

4. The secretary shall also be responsible for sending out thank-you cards to speakers and other individuals as directed by the Executive Committee.

Section 5: Treasurer

1. The duties of the Treasurer shall include receiving all Club funds, keeping full and accurate account of these funds and depositing all money into the account at the Associated Student Activities office, room 240 Hetzel Union Building.

2. The Treasurer shall also interact with Associated Student Activities personnel on the Club's behalf.

3. The treasurer shall be obligated to collect dues during the first three meetings of each semester or to make special arrangements with individual members regarding dues payment.

4. Fund disbursement may not be made except by approval of the President or by a majority vote (see Article 5).

5. The Club's account shall be current at all times and a full financial report shall be available upon demand of any Club member or advisor.

6. The Treasurer shall be required to present the account balance and all transactions at each general meeting.

7. The Treasurer shall arrange transportation to all Club functions that require the services of University Fleet Operations.

Section 6: Web Team Coordinator

1. The Web Team Coordinator shall be responsible for the Club web site and the Club electronic mail list, including moderating the list.

Section 7: Membership Chair

1. The Membership Chair shall maintain a record of the names, electronic mail addresses, paper mail addresses, telephone numbers, and active status (see Article 2) of all members, and notify all members of regularly scheduled and special meetings.

2. Written notification of general and special meetings shall be provided at least one week in advance.

3. The membership chair is also responsible for providing all other officers with an updated member telephone and electronic mail list each semester.

4. The Membership Chair shall keep attendance records of all Club meetings and activities.

5. It shall be the duty of the Membership Chair to determine the eligibility of candidates to run for and hold office.

Section 8: Student Council Representatives

1. A Student Council Representative shall be selected for each College of the University from which the Club draws membership.

2. The respective Student Council Representative shall insure that the Club is represented at Student Council meetings in each College.

3. These officers' duties shall also include presenting regular reports from Student Council meetings at general Club meetings in order to inform members about upcoming activities and issues relevant to the Club.

4. In the event that a Representative cannot attend a Student Council meeting, an alternate member may be selected to attend; this member shall then be required to report to the Representative.

5. Each Student Council Representative's attendance to all general and executive meetings of the Club shall be mandatory. Each Student Council Representative shall remain in office for approximately one year, until new officers are elected the following spring.

Section 9: Conference Chair

1. The conference chair shall be responsible for planning and overseeing the Annual Biomedical Sciences Club Undergraduate Conference.

2. The Conference Chair will be the head of the Conference Planning Committee and has the right to appoint active club members to chair positions on this board.

3. The Conference Chair will attend all Executive Board Meetings and will serve as liaison between the Executive Board and the Conference Planning Committee.

Article 4: Meetings

Section 1: Regular meetings

1. Regular meetings of the Club membership shall be held at least twice per month on alternating weeks.

2. The specific dates and meeting place will be determined by the Executive Committee in consultation with the members.

3. The tentative meeting schedule shall be announced at the beginning of each semester and communicated via the electronic mailing list and the web site.

Section 2: The Executive Committee

1. The Executive Committee shall meet during the alternate weeks of Regular meetings. The President is responsible for planning, scheduling and notifying involved parties about such meetings.

2. The Executive Committee shall be composed of

2.1. The President

2.2. The Vice-President

2.3. The Secretary

2.4. The Treasurer

2.5. The Web Team Coordinator

2.6. The Membership Chair

2.7. Student Council Representatives

2.8 The Conference Chair

3. Former officers of the Club who remain current Penn State students shall be considered Emeritus members of the Executive Committee. They may participate in Executive Committee meetings as non-voting ex officio members.

Section 3: Special meetings

1. Special meetings, such as guest lecturers or meetings to prepare for activities or events, may be scheduled at the executive committee's discretion. The Executive Committee's shall notify the general membership of such meetings.

Article 5: Voting

Section 1: Active Members

1. As stated in Article 2, only Active Members are eligible to vote on matters presented to the Club and in each election.

Section 2: Form of Ballot

1. Voting may be carried out either verbally or by secret, written ballot.

Section 3: Quorum

1. A quorum is required for any votes. A majority (50% + 1) of Active Members (see Article 2) shall constitute a quorum.

Section 4: Majority

1. If a quorum has been established (see Article 5, Section 3), a majority (50% + 1) of members in attendance shall carry the motion.

Article 6: Finances

1. The amount of dues shall be set by the Executive Committee prior to the start of the academic year.

2. A member shall be considered an Active Member in good standing for the current semester upon the payment of dues and fulfillment of other responsibilities. Nonpayment of dues shall preclude Active Member status.

3. Non-payment of dues shall not prohibit attendance at the regular meetings and discussion of matters brought before the membership.

4. Dues shall be collected during the first three meetings of each semester or by special arrangement with the Treasurer.

Article 7: Elections

Section 1: Member Eligibility to Hold Office

1. Any member who has achieved active member status (see Article 2) for two consecutive semesters is eligible to run for and hold an office within the organization.

2. Members must be enrolled as a full time student (at least 12 credits per semester) at the University.

3. The Membership Chair shall determine eligibility and distribute a list of eligible members at least one meeting prior to nominations.

Section 2: Nominations

1. Only Active Members shall be permitted to submit nominations for officers.

2. All nominations must be seconded by another Active Member.

3. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor during the meeting prior to the election meeting and during the election meeting.

4. Nomination may be declined.

Section 3: Election Meetings

1. Elections shall be held at the second to last general meeting of each Spring semester.

Section 4: Speeches

1. Nominees shall discuss their qualifications for office in speeches presented to the floor prior to voting.

2. See also Article 4 Section II item 3.

Section 5: Secret Ballot

1. Election voting shall be conducted by secret ballot.

2. A member of the executive committee not running for office shall be responsible for tallying the votes and announcing the decisions.

Section 6: Outgoing Officers

1. The outgoing officers will preside at the election and continue in their duties until the new officers are installed into office at the following meeting.

2. The outgoing officers shall assist the new officers for the remainder of the academic year.

Section 7: Non-performance

1. Club officers may be removed from office for non-performance by a two thirds vote (2/3) of the active members.

Article 8: Amendments

1. This constitution may be amended or revised by a majority vote (50% + 1) of the active members (see Article 2).

2. Amendments may be proposed by any active member orally or in writing to the executive board during any officer meeting.

3. Any proposed amendments shall be presented to the membership at least one meeting prior to any voting procedures on the amendment.

4. Voting will follow standard voting procedures (see Article 5).

5. All amendments are subject to approval by the Office of Student Activities.

6. Amendments will take effect as soon as they are ratified by the Club and the Office of Student Activites.

Article 9: Parliamentary Authority

1. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this constitution and any special rules of order the Club may adopt.

Article 10: Accessibility of this Constitution

1. Copies of this constitution shall be made available upon request.

2. Copies of this constitution shall be available at all times for download from the Club web site.

Article 11: Advisor

1. The Club must retain an advisor at all times.

2. The advisor shall be Faculty or Staff of the University, will be chosen by the organization, and will sign a statement acknowledging his or her responsibilities and knowledge of the safety guidelines in place.

Article 12: Committees

Section 1: Executive Committee

1. The Executive Committee will consist of all elected officers. Former officers who remain Penn State students may serve as non-voting ex officio members of the Executive Committee. See Article 4 Section II item 3.

2. The President shall act as chair of the Executive Committee.

3. The committee's responsibilities shall include organizing Club activities and presiding over all Club business.

4. This committee shall set the general meeting schedule at the beginning of each semester.

5. Appointment and removal of chairs and membership of all committees shall be determined by a majority vote by the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Fundraising Committee

1. No more than three (3) members will be elected to the Fundraising Committee to organize all activities that generate Club revenue.

2. The Fundraising Committee shall report to the Executive Committee via the Treasurer.

Section 3: Social Committee

1. The Social Committee will consist of any and all interested active members.

2. The Social Committee Chair will be appointed by officer vote and all active members are eligible for this position.

3. The Social Committee will plan and organize social for active club members either during scheduled club meetings or at other times as approved by the Executive Committee.

4. All club socials will be organized and run in accordance with Penn State University's rules and regulations. Alcohol and illicit substances will be expressly forbidden and any members who arrive at a club social under the influence will not be allowed entrance.

Section 4: Conference Committee

1. The Conference Committee will be responsible for the planning of the Annual Biomedical Sciences Club Undergraduate Conference.

2. The Conference Committee will be run by the elected Conference Chair.

3. The Conference Chair has the power to create and fill chair positions on the Conference Committee including but not limited to:

  1.  Outreach Chair
  2. Fundraising Chair
  3. Finance Chair, and
  4. Weekend Chair

Section 5: Special Committees

1. The Executive Committee may appoint Special Committees as needed.

2. These Committees will be responsible for assigned tasks and will present appropriate information at general meetings.

3. The term for a Special Committee shall be one semester, renewable by the Executive Committee.

4. If a Special Committee stands for two consecutive semesters, the President shall bring a motion before the membership to amend this Constitution to include an appropriate standing committee.