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ARTICLE I : Name & Purpose

Section 1 - Name:

This organization shall be known as the University of Georgia Chapter of the Black Law Students Association [hereinafter referred to as BLSA].   

Section 2 - Purpose:
The purpose of this organization shall be to utilize the collective resources available to the chapter, including members, alumni, and friends (person/organization who favors and/or supports the organization), for the creation and maintenance of a law school environment that is conducive to Black students' effective study of the law by:

  • Articulating and addressing the academic, financial, political, social and professional needs of its membership;
  • Fostering and encouraging professional competence;
  • Encouraging the increase in the number of Black students and addressing problems of attrition (should they exist);
  • Instilling in members a greater awareness and commitment to the needs of the Black community;
  • Encouraging the increase in the number of Black faculty in the law school;
  • Promoting the interaction between the membership and other organizations within the law school and the University specifically, and the legal community and Black community generally; and
  • Do all things necessary and appropriate to accomplish these purposes

 

ARTICLE II : Membership (Rights & Duties)

Section 1- Eligibility for Membership:
Every law student in attendance at the University of Georgia shall be deemed eligible for full or associate membership in this organization.

Section 2 - Classification of Membership:
Honorary Membership shall be extended to any person nominated by the Chapter's membership, and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board, who is deemed to have contributed significantly to the goals of the organization, whether such contribution is financial or otherwise. 

Full Membership shall consist of all law students in attendance at the University who have fulfilled the payment of the dues obligation for that academic year, entitling them to all rights and privileges of this chapter as defined herein.

Associate Membership shall consist of all other students eligible for membership in the chapter who did not fulfill the requirements of Art. II, sec. 2(b) and who have in the past been Full members of the organization.

Section 3 - Rights of Membership:
Only members who satisfy full membership requirements shall have the right to vote, chair committees, hold office, or the right to represent the chapter in an official capacity.  Honorary and Associate members may participate in all activities of the organization except those restricted to Full members.

Section 4 - Duties of Membership:
Regular participation in the activities (which include general body meetings) is incumbent upon each Full member.

In order to constitute Full membership as stated in Section 2(b) of this Article, it is incumbent upon each person to submit payment in dues.  The amount of dues required of each member shall be established by the Executive Board, with approval by a simple majority of the general body.

In extraordinary circumstances, where a person is unable to pay membership dues, the Executive Board, at its discretion, may grant a waiver of dues.  This person shall thereafter be considered a Full member of the organization.

 

ARTICLE III: Officers

Section 1 - Eligibility of Officers:
Persons eligible to hold an office must be a Full member of the organization for the entire academic year.

Section 2 - Elected Officers:
The elected officers of the organization shall be: the President, Vice President, Secretary, Executive Chairperson, and Treasurer.

Section 3 - Appointed Officers:
The appointed officer of the organization shall be: the Assistant Treasurer.  This officer shall be appointed by the Executive Board, not requiring consent of the general body.

Section 4 - Automatic Officership:
The Vice President of the preceding year, who did not later become President of the organization, shall serve as in an advisory capacity to the organization?s officership.  Should this person decline to serve in this position, the Executive Board shall have the authority to appoint a past officer of the Executive Board to this position.

Section 5 - Succession of Officers:
In the event that the President is unable to complete his/her term of office, the Vice President shall assume this office and carry forth the duties and title of President for the remainder of the term.  A new Vice President shall be elected by recommendation of the President and by majority vote of the Full membership to serve out the term of office.  In instances where there is an Executive Board Advisor, he/she shall automatically assume the office of Vice President when the office of President is vacated and the elected Vice President assumes the duties and title of  President.

Should the offices of President and Vice President be vacated simultaneously, the organization's Treasurer shall assume the office of President and the organization's Secretary shall assume the position of Vice President.  If more than 1/3 of the term of the vacated offices is still effective, a new Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected by majority vote of the Full membership to serve out the term of office.

Should the offices of Treasurer and/or Secretary be vacated (separately or simultaneously), the President shall have the power to appoint an individual to the office.  Such appointment shall last until the next organization meeting at which time the President's appointee is automatically nominated while other nominations for the office are accepted from the floor.  The person who receives the simple majority vote from the Full membership shall serve out the term of the office.

Should the offices of Assistant Treasurer and/or Executive Chairman become vacant (separately or simultaneously), the Executive Board shall appoint another individual to the position for the duration of the term. 

In the event that the Executive Board Advisor  is unable to complete his/her term of office, the Executive Board (should they feel the need exist) appoint a past officer of the Executive Board to this position.  Upon acceptance of the appointment, this person shall assume the office of the Executive Board Advisor for the remainder of the term.   If no past Executive Board member is available, the office shall remain vacant for the remainder of the term. 

Section 6 - Officers' Duties, Powers, and Responsibilities:
   President shall:

  1. Be a member of the rising second-year or third-year class;
  2. Chair and conduct all meetings of the organization;
  3. Appoint all special committees and chairpersons;
  4. Serve as the official spokesperson for the organization;
  5. Represent or appoint as proxy representatives for the organization to all meetings, conferences, and seminars with other groups and organizations;
  6. Maintain his/her signature on bank records and signature all checks; and
  7. Be an ex-officio member of all committees.

    Vice President shall:

  1. Be a member of the rising second-year or third-year class;
  2. Perform any duties necessary for the effective workings of the organization;
  3. Chair the Policy and Records Committee; and
  4. Assume duties and responsibilities of the President in his/her absence.

   Treasurer shall:

  1. Be a member of the rising second-year or third-year class;
  2. Be responsible for the collection and disbursement of all funds;
  3. Present a minimum of three reports on the financial status of the organization to the general membership and as directed by the President;
  4. Work closely with all finance-related committees and functions, to assure coordination of fund-raising activities with the organization's financial status; and
  5. Maintain his/her signature on bank records and signature all checks.

    Secretary shall:

  1. Be a member of the rising second-year or third-year class;
  2. Record and maintain records of all meetings;
  3. Serve as the historian of the organization; and
  4. Take such action as necessary to preserve records of the organization's activities and accomplishments.

    Assistant Treasurer shall:

  1. Be a member of the rising second-year or third-year class;
  2. Be responsible for the collection and disbursement of all funds; and
  3. Work closely with all finance-related committees and functions, to assure coordination of fund-raising activities with the organization's financial status.

   Executive Chairperson shall:

  1. Be a member of the rising second-year or third-year class;
  2. Exercise general authority over all business and activity of the organization's standing committees, with the exception of the Policy and Records Committee which shall be under the authority of the Vice President; and

   Executive Board Advisor shall:

  1. Be the Vice President of the preceding year who did not later become President of the organization;
  2. Serve in an advisory capacity to the organization's officership; and
  3. Aid in any manner possible the dissemination of information and ideas from one administration to the next.

Section 7 - The Executive Board:
The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Treasurer; Executive Chairman, and the Executive Board Advisor.

The Executive Board shall be responsible for the overall administration of the organization.  Additionally, the Executive Board shall be responsible for submitting an annual budget for the organization.  This budget shall serve as the spending authority for the organization.

Section 8 - Temporary Appointments:
The President shall have the power to appoint individuals and/or create committees as he/she deems fit for the benefit of the organization.  Such constructive appointments shall be absolved when the specified task has been performed

Section 9 - Impeachment:
Any officer who fails to discharge his/her duties in a manner substantially in accord with the doctrine of the BLSA Constitution and/or who 3/4 of the Full members feel to be ineffective may be recalled.  A petition signed by at least half the Full membership calling for a secret ballot vote on the party subject to impeachment is required 3/4 of the Full membership.

The Policy Committee shall have the duty of counting the ballots.  The votes shall be counted openly before the members present at the meeting during which the vote was taken.

ARTICLE IV: Meetings

Section 1 - Frequency of General Body Meetings:
There shall be at least one meeting of the general body each month at a time specified at the beginning of each semester.  Additional meeting shall/may be called at the direction of the President or upon petition by at least ten (10) financial members of the organization.

Section 2 - Frequency of Executive Board Meetings:
There shall be at least one meeting of the Executive Board each month at a time specified at the beginning of each semester.  Additional meeting shall/may be called at the direction of the President or upon petition by any Executive Official.

Section 3 - Notification of Meetings: Notices of all meetings shall be posted on the BLSA Bulletin Board.  Member shall be given reasonable notice of all called meetings.  

Section 4 - Quorum: A quorum shall consist of a simple majority.  For the purposes of this document, a simple majority establishing quorum shall be defined as one more than half of the financial membership.

Section 5 - Voting: Any vote cast by a quorum present at any meeting in which business is conducted shall constitute a decision.

Section 6 - Persons Eligible to Vote: All full members shall be eligible to vote in meetings of the organization.

Section 7 - Conduct of Meetings:
All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order or in a manner accepted by the body.  Any rule(s) may be suspended at any meeting if agreed to by a two-thirds vote of members present.

 

ARTICLE V: Election of Officers

Section 1 - Term of Office:

All officers shall serve the equivalent of one calendar year.  Elected officers shall represent the organization in an unofficial capacity from the moment of swearing-in until the end of the spring semester exam period.  During the interim period, past officers shall retain the duties of their offices.

Section 2 - Time Set for Elections:

Elections shall be held during the third week of April at a time to be established by the Policy Committee.  Runoffs, if necessary, shall be publicized and occur within three (3) days.

Section 3 - Nominations and Elections:

Nominations and Elections shall conform to established Rules of Order as determined by the Policy Committee.  Procedures must be posted prior to elections.  Ballots will be counted by a minimum of three (3) members of the Policy Committee, one of whom must be the President.

Additionally, those members seeking election shall be required to obtain a minimum of ten (10) signatures, affirming candidacy,  from financial BLSA members before being officially recognized as a candidate.   Further, each candidate shall be required to submit a brief statement, not to exceed 100 words, describing their goals, qualifications, and/or intent.  

For the purpose of this document, a candidate?s election to office shall be affirmed by a simple majority vote.  A simple majority vote as defined in Article VI, Section 1 of this Constitution.  

Section 4 - Uncontested Candidacies:

All uncontested candidates win by default.  If there is at least one position in which there is a contest, a ballot election must take place and every candidate?s name must appear on the ballot.  Those candidates running unopposed still win by default.  In the event that all executive board positions are uncontested, a ballot election is unnecessary and those uncontested candidates shall take the offices by default and such circumstances constitute an election.

ARTICLE VI: Voting

Section 1 - Simple Majority Vote:

For the purpose of this document, a simple majority vote shall be defined as: at least one more than half of the votes cast by persons legally entitled to vote, excluding blanks and abstentions, at a regular or properly called meeting at which quorum is present.

Section 2 - Two-thirds Vote:

For the purpose of this document, a two-thirds vote shall be defined as: at least two-thirds of the votes cast by persons legally entitled to vote, excluding blanks and abstentions, at a regularly or properly called meeting at which quorum is present.

ARTICLE VII: Ratification and Amendments

Section 1 - Ratification:

These bylaws shall become effective immediately upon ratification by a two-thirds vote of those possessing full membership in BLSA.

Section 2 - Amendments:

This document may be amended by:

Policy Committee shall formulate amendments.

Publication of the intention to amend the bylaws in a location conspicuous to the membership.

Approval by a two-thirds vote of those possessing full membership at a subsequent meeting called for the express purpose of revising the organization?s bylaws.

All amendments to this document shall supersede all previous provisions which are modified or extinguished by the new addition and shall be incorporated into the document under an amendment section.

All amendments to this document shall become effective upon ratification or at a time as specified by the amendment itself.

ARTICLE VIII: Committees  

Section 1 - Standing Committees:

Standing committees of this organization shall be: the Alumni; Community Service; Fund-raising; Public Relations; Policy Committees; and Social Activities Committee. 

Section 2 - Special Committees:

Special committees may be created as the need arises by the President.

Section 3 - Committee Chairpersons:

The chairpersons of all committees shall be appointed by the President.   Any chairperson who fails to attend a maximum of three (3) consecutive general body meetings shall be terminated, absent extenuating circumstances, as determined by the Executive Chairperson.  The decision to terminate a chairperson for other reasons shall be within the discretion of the Executive Board.

Section 4 - Committee Responsibilities:

The purpose and responsibilities of each committee shall be established by the committee chairpersons, with the approval of the Executive Chairperson. 

Each committee shall be composed of at least two (2) persons, each possessing full membership in BLSA.

Each committee chairperson shall be responsible for receiving plans/programs and investigating all available resources for submission and approval of the proposed event/program by the general body. 

THIS DOCUMENT IS HEREBY RATIFIED AND BECOMES EFFECTIVE THIS 23rd DAY OF October, 19 99 .