The Constitution of the Hellenic Student Association
(as ratified in April 2002)
(as ammended in April 2009)
Article I: Name
The name of this association shall be "Hellenic Student Association," hereinafter also referred to as "HSA."
Article II: Purpose
Section 1: Mission Statement
The Hellenic Student Association aims to represent and showcase Hellenism on the University of Michigan campus; to encourage a diverse student membership (as defined in Article III); and give members the opportunity to be immersed in Hellenic culture. Hellenism is defined as the cultural heritage of Hellenes both in the Homeland and Diaspora.
Section 2: Minimum activity commitment
It is the minimum requirement of the HSA Board and its committees (mentioned hereinafter) to organize per year:
- Two social events.
- Two cultural events.
- One athletic event.
- Maintain an up-to-date HSA website, serving current and prospective members, as well as sponsor(s).
Article III: Membership
HSA shall have two types of members: Associate and Full members. Any person, identifying with the HSA mission statement is eligible for membership.
Anyone who requests to be added to the HSA mailing list shall be considered as an Associate member of the association.
An Associate member who pays the membership fee, as set by the HSA Board, shall be considered as a Full member of the Association.
- Only Full members can vote for HSA related issues, and participate in the elections.
- Faculty Advisors or Staff Advisors are automatically considered Full members.
Article IV: The HSA Board
Section 1: Definitions and Eligibility
The HSA Board shall be the administrative and executive body of HSA.
It shall consist of NINE elected Regular Members and appointed by the board Members At-large. Only Full members are eligible to be Regular Board members.
Regular Board members only have the right to vote on board decisions.
The HSA Board will be responsible for maintaining the following Committees:
- Cultural Committee, which shall be led by the Cultural Chair (see Article V, Section 1).
- Social Committee, which shall be led by the Social Chair (see Article V, Section 1).
- Athletics Committee, which shall be led by the Athletics Chair (see Article V, Section 1).
- Networking Committee which shall be led by the Networking Chair (see Article V, Section 1).
Members At-large do not have voting rights on Board decisions. The Board may change the number and types of committees when they see fit.
Section 2: Board Meetings
- Any Board Member can propose to call or cancel a Board Meeting. The President shall call meetings as deemed necessary in order to conduct the activities of the Association, and the meeting's place and time shall be publicized at least two days in advance.
- The President or Vice-President shall preside over HSA Board meetings and can cast the decisive vote in case of a tie.
- The quorum of the HSA Board meetings shall be five Regular members for the Fall and Winter Terms and three for Spring and Summer Half-Terms.
- Any member of HSA shall be able to attend the Board meetings. A Full member shall also be able to ask for a topic to be put on the agenda. The minutes of each Board meeting shall be publicized.
- Board Meetings shall be held at least biweekly during Fall and Winter Terms and at least once during Spring and once during Summer Half Terms.
Section 3: Responsibilities
- The HSA Board shall supervise admission of new members and maintain the mailing lists of the Association.
- The HSA Board shall determine the annual membership fee in the beginning of each academic year.
- The HSA Board shall be responsible for the planning and organizing of all events of HSA.
- The HSA Board and HSA Faculty Advisor(s) shall be the "guardians" of this constitution.
- All HSA Board members shall report to the rest all of the acts they do for the sake or in the name of HSA Each HSA Board member is required to communicate his or her respective duties at meetings. All activities, decisions and procedures of the HSA Board shall be clear and every member has the right to question the HSA Board about them.
- The HSA Board shall be responsible for updating the HSA handbook at the end of the schoolyear.
Article V: Officers
Section 1: Rights and Duties of Officers and Members-at-large
The rights and duties of officers and members-at-large shall be:
- President: The President shall call, preside and set, in collaboration with the Secretary, the agenda of the Board and General Assembly meetings. He or she shall serve as the contact person for the Association. He or she shall cast the decisive vote in case of a draw. He or she shall act as a chief executive ensuring that the Board's business gets accomplished. He or she shall be responsible for maintaining a good membership within the NHSA. He or she shall be responsible to coordinate the updating of the HSA handbook at the end of the school year. He or she shall be responsible for reregistering HSA with the Michigan Student Assembly at the beginning of the school year.
- Vice-President: The Vice-President shall share the responsibilities of the President and shall take over all duties of the President in case of his or her absence or when there is conflict of interest.
- Secretary: The Secretary shall keep minutes at all meetings and handle the correspondence of HSA, after HSA Board notification. In addition he or she puts together the agenda of the meetings along with the President, maintains the electronic mailing lists, and the archive of HSA. He or she shall be responsible to coordinate the publishing of the annual HSA newsletter during the Fall semester. He or she will maintain histortical archives of HSA.
- Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of HSA. He or she shall maintain detailed financial records of all HSA financial activity. He or she along with the President can disburse up to $100 without prior Board approval but have to notify the Board afterwards. For amounts higher than $100 a simple majority Board decision is required. He or she shall be responsible for applying for funding through the Michigan Student Assembly.
- Cultural Chair: The Cultural Chair reports to the Board and executes all necessary actions to organize a cultural event. He or she shall consult the HSA handbook or the President for resources. He or she shall be responsible for the organization of an event even if event is chaired by a non board member (i.e. dance shows, parades, etc)
- Social Chair: Social Chair reports to the Board and executes all necessary actions to organize a social event. He or she shall consult the HSA handbook or the President for resources.
- Athletics Chair: Athletics Chair reports to the Board and executes all necessary actions to organize an athletic event. He or she shall consult the HSA handbook or the President for resources.
- Networking Chair: Networking Chair reports to the Board and maintains an open communication with relevant Organizations. He or she keeps the membership and alumni records. He or she creates the new annual membership card during the first week of the school year. He or she shall be responsible to coordinate the creation of the annual HSA shirt during the Fall semester. He or she shall consult the HSA handbook or the President for resources.
- Webmaster: Webmaster chair reports to the Board and executes all necessary action to maintain an up to date HSA website. He or she shall consult the HSA handbook or the President for resources.
- Members-at-large: Members-at-large shall assist in organizing HSA activities. They are appointed by the Board, which also sets their responsibilities. They shall report all of their activities to the Board. Members-at-large can be a Graduate Student representative, Freshman Student representative, Assistant to the Treasurer, etc. He or she shall be required to attend a minimum of one board meeting a month, contribute to the general effort of planning events, and assist in recruiting a greater variety of members in the HSA community. Because this is not an official board position, the person selected will not have voting privileges. If the position is found to be surplus or a hindrance to the performance of the organization, the board may choose to dismiss it.
Section 2: Procedure for Board member failing to fulfill his or her responsibilities
Any board member or appointed aides to the board will be subject to an agreed-upon probationary period in the event that he/she fails to carry out his/her designated responsibilities, shows lack of participation, and/or engages in activities or behavior that reflect poorly on the organization.
Failure of a Board Member to attend three successive Board meetings without an acceptable prior notification or excuse by the board is grounds for an automatic suspension of his/her Board membership for the rest of the Term. A term is defined as the period between two successive regular elections (see Article V, Section 4)
Probationary motions are to be executed in the following manner:
- If the violation is attendance-related, the Secretary makes the motion.
- If the violation is committed by the President, the Vice President makes the motion.
- In all other cases, the President makes the motion.
Anyone who objects to the motion (except the person in question) may present his/her argument to the board, followed by a deciding vote. If no objections are made, the board must decide upon a set of “responsibilities” to be completed by the person on probation within the probationary period. If the board member in question fails to fulfill this commitment to the organization by the end of the probationary period, any three board members in addition to the President or Vice President must endorse his/her dismissal from the board. After such a dismissal, the available position will be advertised via email to all members of the organization, and the board will follow the steps described in Article V, Section 3 to fill the vacated position If the endorsement of his/her dismissal fails then the HSA board will decide on what should be the next step (for example, a second probationary period).
Section 3: Vacancies in Offices
- Any member of the HSA Board can resign by submitting a written letter of resignation to the Board.
- In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, Vice-President, Treasurer or Secretary, the vacancy shall be filled after internal Board election where a new officer is elected.
- More than 4 vacancies are grounds for automatic suspension of the current Board and call for immediate elections for the vacant positions.
Section 4: Election of Regular Board members
- The Regular Board Members of the HSA shall serve for a one year term and shall be elected by the General Assembly. A one year term is defined as the period between two successive regular elections. The newly elected HSA Board members shall take office two weeks after their election.
- The regular elections are held annually. The President shall call the elections at a date specified by the Board at the end of the Winter semester
- The Elections are presided by an appointed Election Chair or the outgoing President who ensures that the elections run according this constitution, is appointed by the Board, and shall not have the right to run for office.
- To be eligible for candidacy for a Board position, the candidate shall be a Full member of HSA for at least one week prior to the elections. This period is subject to change at the board’s discretion in order to ensure increased participation at the elections.
- Only members established at least one week prior to the election date have the right to vote. This period is subject to change at the board’s discretion in order to ensure increased participation at the elections.
- Candidates shall be nominated by at least two Full members of HSA. A candidate shall be able to nominate him or herself.
- To be elected, a candidate must receive the plurality of all votes cast by the Full members present at the General Assembly meeting. In the case that the plurality-winning candidate has got less than two fifths of the votes, there will be a runoff second election between the two front-runners.
- Voting takes place by a secret ballot procedure and proxy voting is not allowed.
- Dismissed Board members shall never be eligible to run for a Board position again.
- The sequence of the elections is the same as in Article V Section 1 (Article V, Section 4).
- It is not required that the students running for the positions of President and Vice President be pursuing different levels of study. If the President and Vice President are of the same level, an active effort must always be made to incorporate all students regardless of degree level. In the absence of a representative from a specific group of students, a member-at-large can be appointed by the board.
Section 5: Appointment of members-at-large
The HSA Board will announce by electronic mail the opening of any position for a member-at-large at any time during the school year. Also, any full member has the right to approach the HSA board and request the establishment of such a position. Interested members of the organization are to submit an application to the HSA board by a designated date set by the HSA board. The application will be drafted by the HSA board. The board will then appoint one applicant to the position based on a board majority vote.
Article VI: General Assembly
Section 1: Regular Assemblies
Upon recommendation of the Board, the President shall call the Regular General Assembly of the HSA at least twice a year. A typical event such as a mass meeting, vassilopita cutting, or elections can be considered a General Assembly meeting.
Section 2: Special Assemblies
Special General Assembly meetings have to be called if requested by five Regular members of the Board or by one fifth of the Full members of the HSA
Section 3: Conduct of General Assemblies
- The General Assembly shall be the final decision making body of the Association.
- Invitations shall be sent to all members of the Association by electronic mail at least one week prior to the meeting.
- To be in quorum, one fifth of all Full members shall be present. In addition, at least two thirds of the Full members present have to be University of Michigan students.
- All Full members present shall have one vote each.
- Associate members may attend General Assemblies.
Article VII: Amendments
The text of a proposed amendment shall be submitted to all Full members of the Hellenic Student Association at least three days prior to a General Assembly and shall be distributed in printed form at the meeting. The amendment shall take effect if it receives at least two thirds of the votes of Full members present.
Article VIII: Application
When common sense dictates that the application of any provision of this constitution would contradict the purpose of the Hellenic Student Association, as stated in Article II, then the spirit, rather than the letter, of this constitution shall govern its interpretation.
Article IX: Ratification
- This constitution shall be ratified upon acceptance by two thirds of the Full members present and voting at a General Assembly of HSA.
- Upon ratification, the specified amendments shall go into effect immediately.
Article X: Final Provision
The Hellenic Student Association at the University of Michigan agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA). This constitution is subject to the MSA, and the bylaws of HSA are subject to review by the MSA Executive Committee to insure that they are in accordance with the aforementioned rules and regulations.