Freethinkers of UTA

Promoting Science and Reason at the University of Texas at Arlington

Freethinkers of UTA Constitution

 

I. Name

 

A. The organization shall be known by the name Freethinkers of UTA.

 

 

II. Purpose

 

A. To establish a positive social environment for UTA students who           

     consider themselves atheists, agnostics, skeptics, rationalists,

     humanists, and/or freethinkers.

 

B. To enrich the UTA campus life by sponsoring educational events and     

     fostering student dialogue on matters of  faith, science, and reason.

 

C. To engage UTA students in issues of national and international

     importance surrounding freedom of conscience and secular education.

 

 

III. Membership

A.     Current UTA students interested in participating.

B.     Membership is not restricted and is open to the entire student body.

C.    To gain and maintain voting privileges, a student must meet certain standards:

1)     A member must attend half of all regular meetings.

a.  Extenuating circumstances maybe approved by the secretary if they sufficiently excusable.

2)     A member must pay their dues in full by the due date.

D.    Membership directory will be maintained by the secretary.

1)     This information will include full name, student identification, e-mail address, and phone number. All information but name is optional.

2)     Student membership is not for public access, only for group functions such as making members aware of changes in meeting times.

E.     Removal of a member:

1)     Unanimous officer vote

2)     Obvious serious violation of rules depending on circumstances

F.     A three-fourths officer vote is required for re-entry into the group the semester after expulsion.

1)     A public hearing will be held by the officers at a regular meeting. This hearing will allow current full members to voice their opinions of the expelled as to why he or she would be allowed to return to the membership body. The accused will not be able to hear those opinions in hearing.

 

 

IV. Consultants

A.     Alumni may hold honorary positions and may attend meetings, but they do not gain voting privileges.

B.     Ambassadors (Diplomats) are members of other University Freethought groups that visit the Freethinkers of UTA meetings. Like Alumni, they receive no vote. They may consult about holding events or other similar subjects.

 

 

V. Executive Board

A.     Officers:

1)     President:

a.      Presides over meetings

b.      Sets meeting times and place schedule to be voted on by officers

c.      Communicates meeting place at least one week in advance time to officers

2)     Vice-president:

a.      Assists the president

b.      Precedes over meetings in absence of the president

c.      Assumes the position of the president should the president be removed or vacated

3)     Secretary:

a.      Records the minutes of the meetings

b.      Maintains membership list

c.      Works with Treasurer and helps maintain lists

d.      Maintains available resources (who has what and where)

4)     Treasurer:

a.      Collects dues

b.      Pays bills

c.      Oversees other monetary transactions

d.      Must work with the advisor on expenditures and submit an annual budget

5)     Event coordinator:

a.      Plans scheduled events

b.      Oversees creation and posting of publicity

6)     Webmaster:

a.      Maintains website   

B.     Removal of an officer:

1)     Officer from position

a.      Motioned and seconded by officers

b.      Majority vote among the officers

c.      Two-thirds vote among the regular members 

C.    Officer Votes

1)     In the case of budget approval, member expulsion, and officer demotion, the officer vote will be held by secret ballot.

2)     All other votes will be public.

D.    Term of office will be one year (two full semesters) starting in the Fall semester.

E.     Elections will be held at the beginning of the Fall semester.

1)     Candidate must be nominated by other and then seconded by a third, with candidate’s approval they will be entered into the race.

2)     No member can nominate more then one candidate.

3)     Top two candidates are selected by most votes.

4)     Run off ensues between top two candidates, victor receiving majority of votes.

5)     A candidate must be a full member in the organization.

6)     Nominations will come one week minimum before the election.

 

 

VI. Meetings

A.     Meeting Procedure

1)     Statement of items:

a.      Minutes

b.      Budget

c.      Upcoming events

d.      Open discussion of topic chosen at previous meeting

2)     Ends with announcement of next meeting.

a.      President sets the time and place of the meeting which is voted upon by the executive board to be approved with a majority vote

b.      Minimum of two meetings a month, unless a simple majority of full members vote to not have the standard two meetings.

c.      President may call special sessions with the officers

d.      Attendance will be taken by the secretary for maintaining of full membership.

 

 

VII. Cost of Membership

A.     Dues will be set by the executive board along with approval of the annual budget.

B.     Budget is created by the treasurer and then approved by a three-fourths officer vote. It then must be approved by the advisor.

 

 

 VIII. Committees

A.     All committees are created at the beginning of each semester.

B.     Committee chairpersons are nominated by the president and accepted by a majority vote of the executive board.

C.    Chairpersons will appoint committee members with the approval of the secretary.

D.    Committee creation:

1)     Petitioned or motioned by an officer at regular meeting.

2)     Member vote with a simple majority to approve the committee.

 

 

IX. Affiliations

A.     Center for Inquiry – On Campus

B.     Secular Student Association

 

 

X. Advisor

A.     Approves meetings, budgets, and expenditures.

B.     Selection

1)     President contacts faculty member.

2)     Passed with a simple majority vote of officers.

 

 

XI. Amendments

A.   Simple majority of officers and a three-fourths vote of full members present

 

 

XII. Rules and Regulations

A.     All members and officers must abide by all University of Texas at Arlington regulation.

 

 

XIII. Bylaws

A.     Immediate expulsion of a member found intentionally destroying group property in accordance to Article III Section 5. Member must pay restitution or face criminal charges.

B.     Petitions require twenty-five percent of the full members to sign in order to bypass motions or seconds, and need to be brought to the secretary before the meeting. In the event of a no-confidence vote in the secretary, the second person to bring the petition to is vice president.

C.    Motions may only be made by officers, and seconded by a different officer.

D.    Meeting Order

1)     Old business

2)     Announcements

3)     New business

4)     Forum for discussion

5)     General announcements

E.     All members are to be treated equally and with respect for one another.

F.     Violation of policies or bylaws:

1)     First – Warning

2)     Second – Possible suspension

3)     Repeated – Loss of officer position and/or expulsion from organization

4)     Depending on severity of offense, offender may face immediate expulsion or loss of position as the executive board sees fit.

G.    Damaging of group property will result in fine assessed to the last user, assigned by the secretary and approved a simple majority of officers. Fines will be collected by the treasurer with approval from advisor.

H.    No promoting or advertising of obscene, illegal, or inappropriate material.

I.        This organization is not responsible for its members’ actions but will bring sanctions against its members if deemed necessary.