February 23, 2011

Macaulay Scholars Council Charter

Article I—Name

  1. The name of the student government of Macaulay Honors College shall be the Macaulay Scholars Council, abbreviated “MSC.”

Article II—Mission

  1. The mission of the Macaulay Scholars Council shall be to create an informed,
    enthusiastic, and involved student body by:

    1. Fostering cross-campus community through organization and sponsorship of co-curricular activities, including community service opportunities and social events.
    2. Overseeing the establishment, operation, and activities of Macaulay student clubs and publications.
    3. Providing a mechanism for effective student involvement in Macaulay decision-making.
    4. Disseminating information to Macaulay students.
    5. Protecting Macaulay students’ rights and welfare.

Article III—Representative Elections

  1. The Scholars Council shall be made up of one Representative from each class at each campus.
  2. Elections for sophomore, junior, and senior Representatives shall be held in the spring, while elections for freshman Representatives shall be held in the fall.
    1. Candidates shall submit statements of interest, which shall be available to be viewed online.
    2. Voting shall occur online, and students must be notified about the election process via email.
  3. In the event of a tie for the position of Representative, a vote of the Scholars Council shall decide the winner.
    1. However, in the event of a tie between an incumbent Representative and a challenger, an anonymous vote of the Scholars Council shall decide the winner.
  4. If a seat of a Representative is vacant, the runner-up in the original election shall be offered their seat.
    1. If no runner-up was named in the election of that seat, then runner-ups of the other Scholars Council seats of that campus may take the place of the Representative, and shall be offered the position beginning with the candidate who received the largest share of the vote in their election.
  5. If there is no runner-up available or willing to take the seat, a volunteer may take the vacant seat with majority approval from the Scholars Council.
    1. The other Representatives for the campus shall be tasked with advertising the vacancy.
    2. If more than one person wishes to be considered to fill the vacancy, the Scholars Council shall vote between them.

Article IV—Executive Board Elections

  1. The Executive Board of the Scholars Council shall be voted in from within the twenty-four Representatives at a special meeting before the end of the school year.
  2. Representatives running for an Executive Board position must submit a statement of intention electronically to be easily accessed by all

    1. Statements must be submitted at least five days prior to the meeting.
    2. All Representatives must be made aware of said deadline electronically.
    3. All statements received after the deadline must be rejected.
  3. If there are no candidates running for an Executive Board position, the floor may be opened to all Representatives present.
  4. Candidates running for an Executive Board position must advise the Representatives present on why they should be elected.
    1. If a candidate is not present to advise the Scholars Council for a well-documented/excruciating reason, the candidate must advise the representatives present at the meeting virtually.
    2. A candidate’s speech must not exceed two minutes.
  5. All Executive Board elections involving more than two candidates shall utilize a ranked-choice voting system in which voters may rank candidates in order of preference.
    1. If one candidate receives more than fifty percent of all first-choice votes, that candidate shall immediately be declared the winner.
    2. Otherwise, the candidate currently with the least number of votes shall be eliminated, and their votes shall be reallocated based upon the voters’ next choices.
    3. The previous step shall be repeated until one candidate has more than fifty percent of the vote or only one remains, upon which that candidate shall be declared the winner.
  6. In the event of a tie for an Executive Board position, the vote will go back to the Representatives who will choose between the two tied candidates.
    1. Any vacant positions of the Executive Board shall be subject to a special election voted on by the Scholars Council at-large within one meeting of the official vacancy.
  7. In the event of a vacancy for the President, the Executive Board may designate an Acting President until the special election is held.
  8. In the event of a vacancy for any other Executive Board position, the President may designate an Acting Vice President until the special election is held.

Article V—Meetings

  1. In each semester, there should be a minimum of one Scholars Council general meeting per month.
  2. A quorum is the minimum number of members of the Scholars Council that must be present at any meeting to make the proceedings of the meeting valid.
    1. The quorum of the Scholars Council is one half the number of elected Representatives, plus one.
  3. General meetings are open to the entire Macaulay community.
    1. An initial calendar of meetings and events shall be proposed by the Department of Student Development and approved by the Council. The Council shall review to ensure that all meeting and event dates are open to the entire community and scheduled to reasonably avoid interfering with any religious holidays. Any changes to meeting dates should be confirmed at the meeting prior.
  4. If a Representative has a conflict that prevents them from attending a Scholars Council general meeting, they should inform the Department of Student Development and the acting chair twenty-four hours prior to the meeting.
    1. The Department of Student Development shall decide what is and is not a legitimate absence.
    2. If a Representative has two unexcused absences in the same semester, they shall receive a warning email from the IT/Communications committee and from the Department of Student Development.
      1. The email will also be sent to their advisor, to inform them of the Representative’s actions.
  5. If a representative has a third unexcused absence, the Representative shall no longer be considered part of the Scholars Council.
    1. The IT/Communications Committee, in tandem with the Department of Student Development, will inform the student, their advisor, and the entire Scholars Council.
  6. No Representative or other person shall be penalized for not attending any Scholars Council meeting or event that infringes upon their established religious convictions.

Article VI—Duties

  1. The Scholars Council will be composed of five permanent Committees, each of which is expected to meet monthly, either physically or virtually.
    1. Committee chairs will report on their committee meetings and activities, including future planning, at every Scholars Council meeting.
  2. The Scholars Council shall have an Executive Board of seven members.
    1. No more than fifty percent of the executive board shall be from the same campus.
  3. The roles of Representatives shall be to:
    1. Sit on a standing Committee of a Vice President.
    2. Communicate with their home campus and vice versa.
    3. Take part in one Scholars Council event and one Macaulay event per year
    4. Attend all Scholars Council meetings as per the attendance policy.
  4. The role of the President shall be to:
    1. Preside over the Scholars Council at-large and chair meetings.
    2. The chair is responsible for setting the meeting agenda, which includes taking submissions from representatives in advance as well as standard agenda items. They are also responsible for sending the agenda to the entire Scholars Council.
    3. Consolidate the agenda.
    4. Enforce the attendance policy.
    5. Answer any questions or concerns.
    6. Wield the tie-breaking vote.
  5. The role of the Vice President of Finance shall be to:
    1. Approve and allocate club funding.
    2. Consolidate the budget and maintain accurate records.
    3. Coordinate club budget appeals.
    4. Aid club officers and Representatives with financial questions and situations.
    5. Chair meetings of the Finance Committee.
      1. The Finance Committee shall consist of the President, the Vice
        President of Finance, and the Vice President of Campus Affairs.
      2. A quorum must be met of three members and can be filled by the members of the Scholars Council at-large.
      3. The Committee shall review club budgets and determine an allocation to be given to the club, to be approved by the Scholars Council at-large.
  6. The role of the Vice President of IT and Communications shall be to:
    1. Manage the website and social media accounts.
    2. Ensure easy communication within the Scholars Council.
    3. Assist clubs with advertising.
    4. Advertise general meetings of the Scholars Council.
    5. Be responsible for taking detailed and accurate minutes at Scholars Council meetings and posting them on the website shortly after they are approved.
      1. However, the Vice President of IT and Communications may also delegate this responsibility at individual meetings to a designated secretary.
    6. Chair a committee consisting of representatives of the Scholars Council to facilitate these duties.
  7. The role of the Vice President of Academic Affairs shall be to:
    1. Sit on College Council and report back to the Scholars Council.
    2. Promote special course offerings pertaining to curriculum and classes.
    3. Represent the needs of Macaulay students pertaining to Academic Affairs.
    4. Act as a liaison to campus advisors.
    5. Chair a committee consisting of representatives of the Scholars Council to facilitate these duties.
  8. The role of the Vice President of Community Service shall be to:
    1. Coordinate community service events accessible to all students.
    2. Promote community service opportunities.
    3. Work with clubs on matters pertaining to community service and connect clubs to community service organizations.
    4. Work with administration to examine and update the Macaulay community service requirement as necessary.
    5. Chair a committee consisting of representatives of the Scholars Council to facilitate these duties.
  9. The role of the Vice President of Student Life shall be to:
    1. Coordinate Scholars Council social events.
    2. Work with groups that plan stand-alone events.
    3. Coordinate a diversified program of concerts, films, and other social and cultural functions in order to provide the broadest possible scope of activities available to the Macaulay student body.
    4. Chair a committee consisting of representatives of the Scholars Council to facilitate these duties.
  10. The role of the Vice President of Campus Affairs shall be to:
    1. Define and maintain procedures for the creation of new clubs, review charters for new clubs, and ensure that existing ones are active.
    2. Ensure club events are open to a broad Macaulay population, working with the IT and Communications Committee as necessary.
    3. Coordinate co-club interaction and events.
    4. Act as a liaison for all student clubs and leaders to the Scholars Council.
    5. Chair a committee consisting of representatives of the Scholars Council to facilitate these duties.
      1. This committee shall host monthly Club Scholars Council meetings where club leaders will meet to discuss matters pertaining to their organizations.
  11. The roles of club and publication leaders shall be to:
    1. Provide one Representative of the organization to each Club Scholars Council meeting to give updates about meetings, events and initiatives.
    2. Act as a liaison between their club or publication and the Scholars Council for any issues or concerns.

Article VII—General Procedures

  1. All elections shall be organized by Macaulay’s Department of Student Development.
  2. At the beginning of each academic year, after the elections, a list of representatives with their class, home campus and contact information will be placed on the Scholars Council’s website.
    1. Students are also strongly encouraged to place a short biography and picture on the website to increase their accessibility.
  3. The Scholars Council shall host a town hall meeting open to all students at least once per academic year.
    1. This town hall will be made accessible to all students from the Macaulay Honors College in all five boroughs and surrounding areas.
    2. Such methods of accessibility shall be but not limited to livestream and phone conference.
    3. The Academic Affairs Committee, IT and Communications Committee, and the President shall work together on the logistics of the town hall.

Article VIII—Amendments

  1. A vote of one-half of the members plus one are required to make changes to the charter or mission statement, along with any other CUNY-wide requirements.
  2. This charter is amendable and fluid in nature; its purpose is to efficiently serve the needs of the Macaulay students and fully avail any opportunity to strengthen and solidify the Macaulay Honors College community.


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