Iowa State University of Science and Technology

Constitution Guidelines

Every ISU student organization is required to have an approved constitution uploaded to the student organization database.  If the status of your current constitution is pending: you have 30 days to work with SAC to make any requested revisions. 

Below are guidelines to follow as your constitution is created or modified.

Article I Name:  

State the name of the organization-for example: "The name of this organization shall be (insert name of organization here) at Iowa State University. “  

Article II Purpose:

Articulate the purpose and goals of the organization, as well as the type and scope of the organization's activities and affiliations

Article III Statement of Compliance:

“(Name of Organization) abides by and supports established Iowa State University policies, State and Federal Laws and follows local ordinances and regulations.  (Name of Organization) agrees to annually complete President’s Training, Treasurer’s Training and Adviser Training (if required)”

Article IV Non-Discrimination Statement:

“Iowa State University (and name of organization) do not discriminate on the basis of genetic information, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, race, ethnicity, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a U.S Veteran”

Article V Membership:

Specify membership criteria should be listed under this section. For example, "Membership shall be open to all registered students in good standing at Iowa State University.”

Article VI: Risk Management:

All recognized student organizations at Iowa State University must identify a risk management officer and state the officer’s duties in their constitution.

The role of the risk management officer is to [a] help minimize potential risks for club activities, [b] recommend risk management policies or procedures to (name of student organization), [c] to submit documentation to ISU’s Risk Management Office and [d] to ensure that Iowa State University policies are followed at all of the organization’s events and [e] to ensure that proper waivers and background checks are on file with Risk Management for events (if applicable)

Article VII Officers:

Discuss officer duties, terms of service, dates for elections, method of election, minimum cumulative GPA for officers, impeachment and replacement of officers. At minimum, each student organization is expected to designate one officer as the chief student leader (usually titled "president"), one officer authorized to deal with the organization's finances (usually titled "treasurer") and one officer who provides general oversight to the group ensuring that the organization is operating in conformity with the standards set forth by Iowa State University and Student Activities Center (usually titled "advisor"). The titles of these positions may vary according to the needs of the organization, but the three separate job functions must be provided for in this article. 

  • Officer Duties and Term of Service—Constitutions must list officers, their respective duties and term of service (e.g. academic/calendar year)

  • Method of election of officers—whether it is by secret ballot, hand vote, simple majority or 2/3 majority vote

  • Date(s) for election of officers—Provide an estimate of what time in the semester elections occur (first meeting, last meeting of Fall or Spring)

  • Impeachment/Removal of officers—Specify how impeachment proceedings begin and how impeachments are voted on in order to become final. Also, state whether or not the person who is impeached is allowed to speak or be present during the final vote. Include 2-3 examples of such impeachment offenses.

  • Replacement of officers—Describe how an officer’s position is filled whenever a vacancy occurs (is a replacement appointed or is a replacement elected using regular election procedures?)

  • Minimum Cumulative GPA for Officers—All recognized student organizations at Iowa State University must include the following statement (or its equivalent) in their constitution:

  "The officers of this organization must meet the following requirements:

(a) Be in good standing with the university and enrolled: at least half time (six or more credit hours), if an undergraduate student (unless fewer credits are required to graduate in the spring and fall semesters) during the term of office, and at least half time (four or more credits), if a graduate level student (unless fewer credits are required in the final stages of their degree as defined by the Continuous Registration Requirement) during their term of office. 

(b) Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) as stated below and meet that minimum GPA in the semester immediately prior to the election/appointment, the semester of election/appointment and semesters during the term of office. For undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, the minimum GPA is 2.00. In order for this provision to be met, at least six hours (half-time credits) must have been taken for the semester under consideration.

(c) Be ineligible to hold an office should the student fail to maintain the requirements as prescribed in (a) and (b)."

The wording of the above statement may be made specific to the student organization, but no student organization may enact eligibility requirements for officers less stringent than those appearing above. Student organizations may enact requirements more stringent than those provided by the university.

Article VIII Adviser:

All recognized student organizations at Iowa State University must provide a general statement about the duties and method of selection of the club’s adviser. Discuss adviser duties, terms of service, method of election, selection or appointment, impeachment, and replacement of advisers here.

  • Adviser Duties—Constitutions must outline the duties of the adviser

  • Method of election/selection of adviser(s)—whether appointed by department, selected by officers or elected by the general membership

  • Adviser(s) Term of Service—Specify whether your adviser is serving year to year, at his or her leisure or while he or she is at Iowa State University

  • Impeachment/Removal of Advisers—Specify how impeachment proceedings begin and how impeachments are voted on in order to become final. Also, state whether or not the person who is impeached is allowed to speak or be present during the final vote.

  • Replacement of Advisers—Describe how an adviser’s position is filled whenever a vacancy occurs (is a replacement appointed or is a replacement elected using regular election procedures?)

Article IX Finances:

Provide a general statement about the manner in which the finances of the organization should be handled, including what should happen to the organization's funds if the organization is dissolved. Detailed financial procedures including the amount and collection procedures for dues, if any, should also be outlined here if not already appearing in the bylaws.

NOTE: All recognized student organizations at Iowa State University must include the following statement (or its equivalent) in their constitution: 

  • "All monies belonging to this organization shall be deposited and disbursed through a bank account established for this organization at the Campus Organizations Accounting Office and/or approved institution/office (must receive authorization via Campus Organizations Accounting Office). All funds must be deposited within 48 hours after collection. The Adviser to this organization must approve and sign each expenditure before payment."

  • Description of dues—“constitutions must state that dues will be (a) x-amount, (b) dues will not exceed x-amount or (c) no dues will exist”

Article X:

Amendments & Ratification explain how constitutional amendments are made, as well as the procedure for adopting this constitution and any future amendments. This article should explain these constitutional amendments, as well as the procedure for adopting this constitution and any future amendments. At a minimum, your constitution must be voted on and approved by the general membership of your organization. This article should also include a statement requiring prompt submission of an updated constitution and bylaws to the Student Activities Center should the document be amended following recognition.

Amended or ratified constitution should be submitted within 10 days to Student Activities Center for approval.

Related Pages to Consider:

Leadership and Service Center to schedule an appointment to review your constitution
Constitution Checklist

 

© 2017 Iowa State University of Science and Technology. All rights reserved.