Undergraduate Sociology Students’ Union – Constitution
Last Amended September 2018
ARTICLE I: Name
(1) The organization shall be known as the “Undergraduate Sociology Students’ Union” or “USSU,” hereinafter referred to as “the Union.”
ARTICLE II: Objective, Duties and Functions
(1) The objective of the Union shall be to improve the academic life of all undergraduate students in the Department, and to foster a sense of community among them. Thus, the Union shall:
a) represent its members on departmental committees;
b) represent its members on the Council of the Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU);
c) organize academic, career and graduate seminars as deemed desirable by the Union;
d) organize social events as deemed desirable and possible by the Union;
e) promote interaction between the staff, faculty and student body of the Department;
f) supervise the execution of course evaluations in the Department;
g) oversee the work of the Union’s academic journal, Undergraduate Sociology Journal
h) provide and assist all other services as may contribute to the object of the Union.
ARTICLE III: Membership
(1) The following persons shall be members of the union:
a) all students registered in at least one sociology course in the on the St. George Campus;
b) all students enrolled in a programme (minor, major, specialist) offered by the Department;
c) all students must be registered full-time or ASSU fee-paying members;
d) all students must be undergraduate students.
ARTICLE IV: Procedure
(1) Regular meetings of the Union shall be held at least once per term at the call of the Executive.
(2) Notice of regular meetings of the Union shall be given no less than one week prior to such a meeting.
(3) A special meeting of the Union may, and on the request of at least ten members of the Union, shall be called by the Executive to consider only such business as may be necessary
(4) Notice of meetings of the Union shall be provided for members in the Union office through email and any other medium designated by the Executive.
(5) Each member of the Union shall have one vote.
(6) At all meetings of the Union, every issue shall be decided by a majority of the members present and voting.
(7) Any motion, except a motion to amend these By-Laws, may be made without notice having been given.
(8) The Union may strike as many committees as it may deem necessary for the performance of its duties.
(9) If an executive member does not fulfill his/her duties as outlined in the constitution, he/she will receive one verbal warning. If their duties are still not being met, he/she will receive a written warning. If the duties are still not being met, that person will be written a letter requesting their resignation. If the resignation does not occur, then that person may be removed from their role with a majority vote by the executive.
(10) If an executive member is ineligible to continue his/her work for reasons outlined by the Arts and Science Students’ Union, he/she will be informed in writing of his/her ineligibility to continue with Union work. His/her status as a Union executive will be revoked upon confirmation that he/she has received written communication.
ARTICLE V: Executive
(1) The Executive of the Union shall consist of up to fifteen members, specified as follows: two Co-Presidents, one Vice-President, one Financial Director, one Director of Internal Communications, two Events Directors, two Career Opportunities Directors, two Outreach Directors, one Creative Director, one Director of First-year Affairs, one Social Media Director, and one Editor-in-Chief.
(2) All members of the Executive shall be elected annually, for the term of twelve months, at a general meeting to be held before the last day of classes.
(3) In the case of a vacancy occurring in the Executive, a by-election shall be held at the next regular meeting. In the intervening time, or if the position is not filled by means of the by-election, the President may allocate the duties of that position to the members of the Executive in such a way as may be deemed appropriate by that executive.
(4) Election and by-election meetings must be advertised at least two weeks in advance
(5) Each member of the Executive shall have one vote and decisions of the Executive shall be made on the affirmative vote of the majority of members present and voting.
(6) The Executive shall report on its activities and the activities of the Union at each meeting of the Union upon the request of any Union member.
(7) The duties of the various members of the Executive shall be as follows:
(a) CO-PRESIDENT (1 or 2 positions )
i. Sets agenda for meetings;
ii. Acts as liaison between USSU and the Sociology Department;
iii. Serves as the ASSU signing officer;
iv. Appoints members to fill seats at ASSU meetings or attends meetings;
v. Supervises the completion of course evaluation forms;
vi. Administers all additional affairs of the Union and Undergraduate Sociology Journal not outlined in the Constitution;
vii. Works with the Financial Director to create and adequately distribute the budget;
viii. Sets the agenda for the year in consultation with the rest of the executive members;
ix. Be available for consultation with the other executives;
x. Coordinates the activities of the other members of the executive;
xi. Books rooms and other equipment (e.g., projectors), as deemed necessary;
xii. Attend most USSU events
xiii. Responds to all USSU correspondence from outside organizations.
(b) VICE-PRESIDENT (1 position)
i. Assists President with administrative matters;
ii. Serves as an ASSU signing officer;
iii. Attends ASSU meetings when seats cannot be filled;
iv. Serves as Acting President in the absence of the President;
v. Books rooms and other equipment (e.g., projectors), as deemed necessary.
(c) FINANCIAL DIRECTOR (1 position)
i. Prepares budget proposals;
ii. Collects receipts and submits them to ASSU with expenditure breakdown;
iii. Maintains a written record of all financial accounts;
iv. Advises the Union on the state of its finances;
v. Administers all matters related to the Union’s bank account (i.e, depositing money);
vi. Serves as an ASSU signing officer.
(d) DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS (1 position)
i. Taking minutes at all Union meetings and posts them online;
ii. Maintaining a contact list of all executives and persons affiliated with the Union;
iii. Assisting the President and Vice-President in completing administrative duties as deemed necessary.
(e) EVENTS DIRECTOR (2 or 3 positions)
i. Planning and presiding over Union social events;
ii. Finding appropriate event venues (i.e, close to campus, wheelchair accessible, and open to under-19 students);
iii. Contacting venues, booking rooms and coordinating with them;
iv. Organizing the equitable provision of food and drinks;
v. Creating event descriptions for each social (i.e., online sign-up creating Facebook event);
vi. Organizes two academic seminars per year;
vii. Doing all of the above at least two weeks prior to the event itself.
(f) CAREER OPPORTUNITIES DIRECTOR (2 positions)
i. Organizing two yearly events profiling different careers decided on in consultation with the executive;
ii. Inviting relevant guest speakers to provide students with a comprehensive and interesting view of career options, at least one month in advance of the event;
iii. Purchasing food and refreshments for the event;
iv. Creating an honorarium for each speaker;
v. Create an event description (i.e., online sign-up and a Facebook event) and sending it to the President at least two weeks in advance of the event;
vi. Creating a logical and interactive format for the event discussion (including a list of questions for presenters).
(g) OUTREACH DIRECTOR (1 or 2 positions)
i. Posting event descriptions on the USSU website;
ii. Sending out an email containing event descriptions to the USSU mailing list;
iii. Making announcements on Twitter and Facebook reminding students of the event;
iv. Outreaching to other campus groups to extend collaborative events.
v. Outreaching to students through making announcements on the USSU website, newsletter to the mailing list, Twitter, Facebook, campus and community events.
(h) CREATIVE DIRECTOR (1 position)
i. In charge of creating all visual material distributed by the union (for example, the website, newsletters, any brochures, the logo, photos, etc.)
ii. Ensure consistency throughout all communications mediums, which reinforces the union’s “brand”.
iii. Assist other executive members with marketing material for promoting events, seminars, etc.
(i) DIRECTOR OF FIRST-YEAR AFFAIRS (1 position)
i. Organizing one ‘After SOC101’ event for students interested in pursuing a Sociology subject POSt;
ii. Inviting relevant guest speakers at least one month in advance of the event;
iii. Purchasing food and refreshments for the event;
iv. Creating an honorarium for each speaker;
v. Creating an event description (i.e., an online sign-up and a Facebook event) and send it to the President at least two weeks in advance of the event.
vi. The President will provide you with a list of ASSU pre-approved venues
vii. Create a logical and interactive format for the event discussion (including a list of questions for presenters)
(j) SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR (1 or 2 positions)
i. Manages all published content (video, image, written);
ii. Monitors, responds, and listens to users on the social media platforms;
iii. Publishing weekly content relating to sociology.
(k) EDITOR-IN-CHIEF (1 position)
i. Creating the USJ Editorial Board;
ii. Implementing and enforcing the Undergraduate Sociology Journal‘s Copyright Policy;
iii. Communicating logistics with the Faculty Advisor(s) and Editorial Board;
iv. Organizing the “Call for Papers” event for undergraduate students’ paper submissions;
v. Holding masthead meetings to generate ideas and establish deadlines;
vi. Deciding what ultimately gets published (content and visuals) in the USJ.
vii. Responsible for the overall publication of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal.
(8) Membership Requirements:
(a) Only the following individuals can apply for positions with the Union (including the departmental academic journal, Undergraduate Sociology Journal) or vote at USSU meetings:
i. All students registered in at least one (1) undergraduate course in the Sociology Department on the St. George Campus;
ii. All students enrolled in a program (minor, major, specialist, or combined specialist) offered by the Department;
iii. Must be full-time students or ASSU fee-paying members
ARTICLE VI: Amendments
(1) Amendments to this Constitution shall be made on the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Union present and voting.
(2) Any and all proposed changes to this Constitution shall be provided online and available in the USSU office at least two weeks prior to the vote on the proposed changes. The general meeting at which the changes will be voted on will be announced two weeks prior to its taking place.
(3) Any amendments to this Constitution shall come into effect immediately following the general meeting at which they were adopted.
ARTICLE VII: ASSU Constitution
(1) Where this Constitution shall be in conflict with any provision of the ASSU Constitution, the latter shall take precedence.