In working toward a more perfect California through scholarship, social equity, and a constant questioning of the status quo; in striving to foster a fully just and sustainable society through higher civic engagement and political outreach; in having opinions to be represented, rights to be protected, and needs to be addressed; we dedicate ourselves to directing the participation of Democratic students at San Francisco State University.
As students, we pledge to fight political apathy and call for an educated populace in San Francisco and beyond. We recognize that limited perspectives and polarizing narrow-mindedness are increasingly ineffective in a city, region, and world that is as fast changing, globally interrelated, and complex as ours has become. We now must move beyond educating ourselves for just one role or just one sector, but for all roles and all sectors as they are all interrelated.
As Democrats, we look back on a proud history — a history not just of a political organization but of a national vision. It is a vision based on the strength and power of millions of empowered, socially diverse, compassionate, and enlightened Americans. We embody the notion that wealth and social status are not entitlements to rule. Yet as Democrats, we believe the best days of America are ahead of us, not behind us and we strive for a world that will be better for our progeny than ourselves.
As citizens of today and leaders of tomorrow, we are committed to public service. Our vision highlights public service as work of great import wherever and however it happens. Whether it is encouraging citizens to vote, participate in the various civic processes, or organizing students around issues, we are committed to improving our communities and their future through public service.
In this mission, we call for the full participation of all students without regard to gender identification, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or background, religious practice and affiliation, physical aptitude or disability, socioeconomic status, or age and welcome students of all political ideologies to join us.
To these ends and upon these principles, we, an assembled group of college students at San Francisco State University, do hereby associate ourselves and adopt this constitution as the College Democrats at San Francisco State University.
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this student organization shall be the College Democrats at San Francisco State University, hereinafter referred to as the “College Democrats” and referred to in short as “club”.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
The College Democrats, upon chartering with the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (SFDCCC), the San Francisco Young Democrats (SFYD), the California College Democrats (CCD), the California Young Democrats (CYD), and the College Democrats of America (CDA) shall become a member organization in each of the above groups, and therefore pledges itself to support the philosophy of the Democratic party.
The College Democrats will also:
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Only currently registered students, faculty and staff may be active members in a registered student organization. Only active members may vote or hold office. Any registered Democrat (or one who plans to register Democrat as soon as they are able) may join the College Democrats. We will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical and mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a veteran of the United States Armed Services in any recent theater of war or regional conflict.
B. Members in Good Standing & Membership Dues
Members in Good Standing shall be defined as: any eligible member who has paid the annual dues as established by the Executive Board one year prior, has filled out a membership application, and regularly attends half of the meetings within a given period of time in which eligibility is to be determined.
The price level of club dues shall be established each Spring Semester by the newly-elected Executive Board to take effect the following year and will be based off the financial standing of the club. Club dues cannot be changed outside of the Spring Semester and changes cannot take effect until the beginning of the Fall Semester.
The Executive Board reserves the right to waive dues for individual members facing significant financial burdens. The Executive Board also reserves the right to waive dues completely if and only if the club’s financial funding can allow the club to function at its normal operational rate for the rest of the following year without fundraising or if club membership drops below the amount of Executive Board members and the institution of dues may discourage new members. Only dues paid Members in Good Standing are eligible to vote or to hold office in the club. However, the ability to vote in any election or decision to be decided by a vote of the general membership cannot be construed in any way to qualify an individual or group of individuals as Members in Good Standing.
Members, either general or of any of the Boards, who have attended at least half (50%) of the general meetings up until the point at which meeting attendance is counted, or who have maintained adequate attendance in the past but are incapable of attending present meetings due to circumstances beyond their control due to work schedule changes, class attendance without any ability to change class schedule, or other personal reasons shall not be barred from voting for the Executive Board, endorsements, constitutional amendments, resolutions, or other official business and qualify as Members in Good Standing following appropriate notice to the Executive Board.
C. Alumni Membership
All former students of San Francisco State University (those who have previously been enrolled for at least one academic term) who are also registered Democrats may become Alumni Members of the College Democrats upon approval by the Executive Board. Alumni Members cannot vote, but may otherwise actively participate in the activities and hold office in the ex officio capacity as determined by the Executive Board. The Executive Board may furnish certification of membership to Alumni Members.
D. Honorary Membership
With the approval of the Executive Board, any registered Democrat may be granted an Honorary Membership upon approval by the Executive Board. Honorary members are entitled to participate in all club activities, with the exception of holding office and voting. The Executive Board may furnish certification of membership to Honorary Members.
E. Membership Roll
The club shall keep a Membership Roll containing the full legal name, university class level, mailing address, mobile or home phone number, e-mail address, and birth date of each member. The Membership Roll shall be maintained by the Vice President of Membership and Communications Director for the purposes of keeping the membership apprised of notices, meetings, or events and for the purposes of club chartering. Non-members can be added to the mailing list at the discretion of the Executive Board. Although only the Executive Board shall be privy to such a membership list, the list and its information shall be subject to the rights of inspection required by law.
The club shall also keep an ongoing recruitment “sign-up” list for those who have shown interest in the club. This list is private and is not subject to inspection laws because interested individuals who have expressed interest but have not paid dues are not members of the organization and therefore the organization is not obliged to disclose their involvement or information.
F. Transferability of Membership
Neither the membership of College Democrats nor any rights in the membership thereof may be transferred or assigned for value or otherwise.
G. Termination of Membership
The membership of any member shall terminate upon resignation of the member, expiration of the period of membership, non-payment of dues, or expulsion of the member by a majority of Members in Good Standing. Following a determination by the Executive Board that a member should be expelled and expunged from the Membership Roll, due to gross negligence of duty and responsibility, indiscriminate disclosure of club information, operations, financial records or practices, or obstinate behavior that is threatening or flagrantly disrespectful to other members, a notice shall be given ten days before the proposed effective date of the expulsion, and the reasons therefore. The member shall be given an opportunity to be heard, either orally or in writing, before the final vote by the Members in Good Standing on the matter. The result of the vote will take immediate effect. Appeals will neither be heard nor adjudicated.
ARTICLE IV: GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
A. Frequency of Meetings
A schedule of regular meetings that includes at least one general meeting every week of the academic year shall be set by the President and approved by the Executive Board. All general meetings shall be well publicized at least two (2) days or forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting and shall be conducted at reasonable hours of the day or evening and in locations accessible to all individuals. Locations must be accessible to the disabled and be in compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Proper resources and accessibility must be furnished upon request.
A quorum of members at a General Membership Meeting shall be defined as one-quarter (25%) of total members for the purposes of voting. General Membership Meetings may be held without quorum so long as no voting occurs.
ARTICLE V. EXECUTIVE BOARD and APPOINTED BOARD
A. Authority and Responsibility
The Executive Board shall have general authority and fiduciary responsibility for the ongoing affairs of the College Democrats at San Francisco State University. Executive Board decisions are final and can only be rescinded by a majority vote of Executive Board members who originally voted for a decision in the affirmative.
Members of the Appointed Board are able to vote in Executive Board meetings and on financial decisions and count for quorum. Members of the Appointed Board shall report to the President.
The Executive Board shall be composed of the President, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Finance, the Political Director, and the Communications Director. This composition shall remain permanent.
The Appointed Board must consist of the President of the club, the Executive Director, and the Staff Advisor. Optional members, at discretion of the President and approval of the Executive Board, shall consist of the Events Coordinator, Alumni Advisor, Online Media Coordinator, and other positions deemed necessary by the President and the Executive Board.
A quorum of the Executive Board shall defined as three members with any combination of Executive Board or Appointed Board members. As per the Brown Act and the definition of quorum within this Constitution, a meeting of the Executive Board shall be defined as a meeting of a majority of the Board, which is also equivalent to three members. Therefore a meeting of three Executive Board members becomes a Board meeting and is subject to recording and disclosure requirements as prescribed and delineated by law regardless if the meeting was agendized or announced or not.
D. Meeting Times
The Executive Board shall meet after General Membership Meetings or when called by the President. The Appointed Board shall meet when called by the President. Meetings of either Board must agendized and recorded and be in compliance with applicable law and regulations.
Elections for the Executive Board and selections for the Appointed Board shall be held in the following manner:
F. Terms of Office
All Executive Board members’ terms will commence on May 1st, and terminate immediately prior to the vote for the Executive Board of the following year. A transitionary period may exist between the selected vote date which formally dissolves the Board and May 1st which formally swears-in the new Board. Members of the Appointed Board will begin their terms immediately after acceptance of the post and will dissolve immediately once the vote to elect Board members occurs the following year or when removed from office. Any Board member may serve until they either fail to garner the support of a majority of Members in Good Standing or are removed under the conditions delineated in Article III, §G Termination of Membership and Article IV, §F Removal of Board Members.
G. Removal of Board Members
Executive Board and Appointed Board members may be removed in the following manner:
A vacancy shall be declared when a member of either Board dies, resigns, is removed from office, or misses more than three (3) consecutive meetings without an approved excuse (as defined by the Executive Board). If there is a vacancy of any other position than the President, the President shall appoint a successor with the majority consent of the remaining Board members. If the vacancy is the President, then the automatic replacement follows the following line of succession: Vice President of Membership, Political Director, Communications Director. Members of the Appointed Board can be chosen to serve on the Executive Board in the case of a vacancy/vacancies without regard to particular order of succession. To preclude any instance of a conflict of interest, the Vice President of Finance cannot serve as President until they resign their post and access to financial accounts prior to being elected as President.
ARTICLE VI. DUTIES of EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
The President ensures that the chapter’s activities correspond with the overall mission of the organization and the President’s must:
B. Vice President of Membership
The Vice President of Membership is responsible for all aspects of the club that deals with membership and the Vice President of Membership must:
C. Vice President of Finance
The Vice President of Finance serves as the club’s primary fundraiser, accountant, and banker and the Vice President of Finance must:
D. Political Director
The Political Director is responsible for coordinating the political activities of the club and must:
E. Communications Director
The Communications Director is responsible for maintaining the organization’s visibility both on campus and in the community and the Communications Director must:
ARTICLE VII. DUTIES of APPOINTED BOARD MEMBERS
A. Structure and Membership
There is no differentiation or hierarchy amongst members of the Appointed Board. All members, except for the Chair and Staff Advisor, are on equal standing. The Appointed Board must consist of the President of the club, the Executive Director, and the Staff Advisor. Optional members, at discretion of the President and approval of the Executive Board, shall consist of the Events Coordinator, Alumni Advisor, Online Media Coordinator, and other positions deemed necessary by the President and the Executive Board.
B. Chair of the Appointed Board
The President of the College Democrats shall serve as Chair of the Appointed Board and shall call and conduct meetings. If the President is unable to attend a meeting, the Appointed Board cannot meet. The President, under the direction and discretion of the Executive Board, will coordinate the activities and responsibilities of the Appointed Board.
C. Executive Director
The Executive Director is a permanent, required position on the Appointed Board. The Executive Director, by precedent established by the club, is the Immediate Past President. However, the President reserves the right to select any Member in Good Standing or any Executive or Appointed Board member of the previous year to serve as the Executive Director.
If the Executive Director is the Immediate Past President then they must be the very last person to have previously served as President due to election or succession. Presidents who resign but whose resignation is not accepted by the Executive Board still qualify as the Immediate Past President for all purposes and the succession of other officers is null and void. Presidents whose resignation is accepted cannot quality as the Immediate Past President for purposes of being the Executive Director or any member of the Appointed Board.
The Executive Director must:
C. Staff Advisor
The Executive Director is a permanent, required position on the Appointed Board. The Staff Advisor serves as the official University staff or faculty member required in order to register and be recognized with SICC (or the University entity responsible for recognizing and chartering student organizations). The Staff Advisor shall serve in whatever capacity deemed necessary by the Executive Board and shall assist the club in matters the club itself cannot handle. The Staff Advisor of the College Democrats at San Francisco State University is primarily a resource to the Executive Board and provides guidance in all tasks and operations both on campus and beyond. The Staff Advisor often assists the Board indirectly and is not a direct voting member of the Board or club, but rather serves as the connection between the University and the organization. Additional duties extend to event coordination and liaising with other Democratic or nonpartisan organizations with which the College Democrats wish to do business.
The Staff Advisor is indefinitely, save in the case of incapacitation, departure, or refusal to serve, Jared Giarrusso, the Assistant Director of the Office of Government and Community Relations for San Francisco State University. The club cannot exist in official capacity without a Staff Advisor. The Staff Advisor’s term ends with the dissolution of the club and is therefore indefinite.
D. Events Coordinator
The Events Coordinator is a member of the Appointed Board that is selected at the will of the President and serves until the end of the term or until removed by the Board. This position is one of a set of optional Appointed Board positions that may be filled if deemed necessary. The Events Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the club’s visibility both on campus and in the community and the Events Director must:
E. Alumni Advisor
The Alumni Advisor is a member of the Appointed Board that is selected at the will of the President and serves until the end of the term or until removed by the Board. This position is one of a set of optional Appointed Board positions that may be filled if deemed necessary. The Alumni Advisor is primarily responsible for maintaining contact and the involvement of the club’s alumni community and the Advisor must:
F. Online Media Coordinator
The Online Media Coordinator is a member of the Appointed Board that is selected at the will of the President and serves until the end of the term or until removed by the Board. This position is one of a set of optional Appointed Board positions that may be filled if deemed necessary. The Online Media Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the club’s online media accounts:
F. Additional Appointed Board Members
At the discretion of the President and the Executive Board, additional positions may be created at any time within the term. Job descriptions must be added to the Constitution and the Constitution must be formally amended and adopted to include such changes. New members, following selection and approval by the Executive Board and signing a contract which delineates their job description and requirements, assume office and responsibility immediately. Additions to the Appointed Board in the Constitution must explicitly state whether the addition is to be added permanently to the composition of the Appointed Board.
ARTICLE VIII: ENDORSEMENT PROCESS
A. Endorsement Overview
The endorsement slate of the College Democrats at San Francisco State University shall consist of any and all endorsements made by a sixty percent (60%) majority of present, voting, dues-paid members in good standing. The
College Democrats at San Francisco State University may endorse:
B. Endorsement Procedures
For all candidate endorsements, the Executive Board will draft, send out, and consider completed endorsement
questionnaires and appoint an ad-hoc Endorsements Committee. This committee will be responsible for conducting basic research on candidates and supplying the club with pertinent information about that candidate’s background and past or current position(s). For local initiatives and statewide ballot measures an endorsement questionnaire is not necessary. Proponents and opponents of ballot measures may be invited to club meetings to present to the general membership if an endorsement is solicited or offered by the club.
The Political Director shall inform each eligible candidate and ballot measure proponent, in writing, by telephone, or through electronic mail (email) of the endorsement requirements and process. The Political Director is required to maintain a record of all communications and scheduling of candidates and ballot measure proponents. The candidate may be invited to speak at the endorsement meeting granted they are properly notified and scheduled to attend. If, however, the candidate or a member of that candidate’s staff cannot attend a meeting, the endorsement questionnaire must be posted at least one (1) week before an endorsement vote meeting for all members to read. The questionnaires are to be posted on the College Democrats at San Francisco State University website. Once all candidates have been given consideration and/or have their questionnaires posted on the website, dues-paid members in good standing must vote in the affirmative by at least a sixty percent (60%) majority for an endorsement to become official. Any percentage of votes below the threshold results in a “no endorsement” position for the entire club.
No endorsement vote can be held whenever the candidate(s) or ballot measure(s) on that ballot is/are present at the endorsement meeting.
C. Endorsement Ballot
The Official College Democrats at San Francisco State University Endorsement Ballot must be drafted by the Political Director and approved by a simple majority vote of the Executive Board before being put before the general membership. At present, a ⅔ majority on the Executive Board is four (4) Board members. Each candidate on the ballot must be listed by name under the office for which they are running. No other biographical information, political stances, or party affiliation is to be listed. Each ballot measure or initiative on the ballot must be listed numerically and with a one (1) sentence description that is to be thoroughly screened by the Executive Board for bias before being approved. The Endorsement Ballot cannot have any candidate or ballot measure slogans or taglines.
The Official College Democrats at San Francisco State University Endorsement Ballot must be submitted anonymously by all present, voting, dues-paid members in good standing. Good standing is defined as regular attendance at general meetings as well as one (1) day of tabling. The vote count of the Official Endorsement Ballot is to be done by the Executive Board without the presence of candidates or ballot measure proponents. Endorsement results are to be posted online as soon as the votes are completely tabulated.
D. Endorsement Schedule
The College Democrats at San Francisco State University can undertake the endorsement process any time before the June primaries and from September to October for November elections. No endorsements are allowed when the general
membership is unable to convene – including but not limited to weekends, Summer recess, Winter vacation, Spring break, or federal holidays. The latest an endorsement process can be undertaken is four (4) weeks before an election. An exception to this rule is an endorsement made by the Executive Board in any other time for any special election when it would be impossible or impractical to convene the general membership.
ARTICLE IX. RESOLUTION PROCEDURE
Any resolution concerning the philosophy of the club or its platform or its position on any given issue may be made by a Member in Good Standing with at least one cosigning Active Member. Members of the Executive Board and Appointed Board count as Members in Good Standing so long as they fall within the delineated requirements. Resolutions must be read into the notes at the meeting at which it is proposed and then voted upon at the subsequent meeting and approved by a majority vote. Voting timeline requirements may be waived by the Executive Board to publish a resolution immediately.
ARTICLE X. ALLOCATION OF CLUB FUNDS
Any resolution concerning the allocation of funds over fifty dollars ($50.00), hereafter “grand expense”, for general club purposes and activities including but not limited to event or publicity materials or other items must be presented by a Member in Good Standing, member of the Appointed Board, or member of the Executive Board and can be voted upon at the meeting at which it is proposed and take effect immediately. All other resolutions concerning funds under fifty dollars ($50.00), hereafter “petty cash” or “petty expense”, can simply be approved by a majority of the Executive Board without going to the general membership.
ARTICLE XI. PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
The authority used for points not covered in this constitution is Roberts Rules of Order, 11th Edition.
ARTICLE XII. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Any Member in Good Standing may propose an amendment to the College Democrats at San Francisco State University constitution. This constitution may only be amended after a one-week notice before the proposed vote where the change is approved by a two-thirds (⅔) vote. All amendments, additions or deletions must be filed with SICC (or the University entity responsible for recognizing and chartering student organizations) and be submitted with chartering documents with the SFDCCC, CCD, CYD, and CDA.
ARTICLE XIII: DISSOLUTION
Dissolution of the College Democrats requires unanimous approval of the Executive Board and approval of three-fourths (75%) of the Members in Good Standing sitting and voting as a club as a whole at a specially called Vote to Dissolve Meeting. Upon dissolution, all unspent funds (after expenses/liabilities are accounted for) will be donated to the SFDCCC. All unspent Associated Students funds will remain the property of the Associated Students. Bequests or sponsorships shall be returned to the estate, foundation, or organization of origin. The club may request, with the return of the funds, that the organization that receives the returning funds will grant it to any new student Democratic organization that comes into existence at San Francisco State University in the future. All physical assets of the club are to be donated to the SFDCCC. All online assets of the club including but not limited to newsletter service(s), social media, a website, and an email domain are to be immediately shut down unless the services can be saved for a successor organization or be subject to the disbursal, ownership, or transfer requirements of any applicable California digital legacy law(s).
All members of the College Democrats at San Francisco State University hereby approve and adopt the articles delineated within this constitution for their club completely and without reservation and pledge to abide by, operate through, and uphold all elements herein this Monday, the 20th of April in the year 2015.
Democratic Organizations with Which SFSU College Democrats Are Associated
Organizations SFSU College Democrats Support
Regional College Democrats Chapters