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GBB Constitution

If you have any questions regarding the Constitution, please contact the GBB Executive Board at gbb@barnard.edu.

Download the Constitution as a PDF

 

We the members of the Governing Board at Barnard recognize this Constitution as the governing document intended to make clear the purposes, structures, and powers of this board.

 

Preamble

Article I: Purpose

Article II: Board Membership

Article III: Membership in the GBB

Article IV: Club Recognition Procedure

Article V: Stages of Club Recognition

Article VI: Club Registration Procedure

Article VII. Club Guidelines and Standards

Article VIII. Club Probation

Article IX: Club De-Recognition

Article X: Electing, Appointing and Removing GBB Members

Article XI: Amendments to the Constitution

 

Preamble

This Constitution will serve as the guiding principle of the Governing Board at Barnard, hereafter referred to as GBB, in order to insure the fair governance of all groups that fall under it and the responsible allocation of student life fees.

 

Article I. Purpose

The GBB is an undergraduate governing board that operates on behalf of the student councils and governs groups whose functions do not fall under the other governing boards, including: cultural, performance, special interest, pre-professional, and publications. GBB serves the following primary purposes:

1.  Serves and represents the interests of its groups;

2.  Enhances the mission of Barnard College by supporting student organizations that foster and enrich our community;

3.  Determines Initial Funding

4.  Strives to facilitate the creation and maintenance of spaces in our community for underrepresented identities and marginalized social groups;

5.  Collaborates with the Student Life office as well as other governing boards of Columbia University to maximize campus opportunities and events for the greater student body.

 

Article II. Board Membership

Section 1 – Executive Board

The GBB Executive Board shall consist of the following four officers:

Clause 1. Chair, whose powers and responsibilities include handling all external relations, working on behalf of the clubs with all members of the administration cooperating with the other members of the Student Leadership Collective, collaborating with the other governing boards, and attending F@CU in the spring;

Clause 2. Vice Chair, whose responsibilities include being responsible for maintaining and amending the Constitution when necessary, recognizing and de-recognizing all groups, monitoring club activities and status, controlling the lockers in the Student Leadership Collective office, and having policy changes made to better serve the needs of all clubs.

Clause 3. Finance Chair, whose responsibilities include overseeing club spending, determining all co-sponsorships, sending and receiving allocation packets in the spring, maintaining the internal budget, and preparing and presenting at F@CU;

Clause 4. Communications Chair, whose responsibilities include website maintenance, sending out the bi-weekly newsletter, controlling all social media sources on behalf of the board, managing the campus-wide calendar, and promoting all clubs and activities.

Section 2 – Coordinators

There will be four coordinators:

Clause 1. Special Events Coordinator, whose powers and responsibilities include assisting student groups with large-scale events.

Clause 2. Recognition Coordinator, whose powers and responsibilities include assisting the Vice Chair in the recognition and de-recognition processes for student groups.

Clause 3. Finance Coordinator, whose powers and responsibilities include assisting the Finance Chair with his/her duties.

Clause 4. Communications Coordinator, whose powers and responsibilities include assisting the Communications Chair with his/her duties.

 

Article III. Membership in the GBB

To be a recognized group under the GBB, a group must:

Clause 1. The organization must be composed of at least ten members and at most one-fourth of the membership may consist of graduate students.

Subclause 1: The number of people in each group is subject to review by the GBB Executive Board.

Clause 2. The executive board of the organization must be composed of at least one-third Barnard students. The President, Vice President or Treasurer, or their equivalents must be a Barnard student.

Clause 3. The organization must present an appropriate constitution and membership list to the Vice Chair and GBB. The constitution must include a list of all the officers, a description of their duties and procedures for their election. A majority vote is needed for recognition.

Clause 4. In cases in which the purposes and/or goals of the new organization are the same as those of an existing GBB recognized organization, the two groups will be encouraged to merge. GBB reserves the right to deny recognition for a club if a similar club is already in existence.

Clause 5. No clubs involving membership on an exclusive basis shall be recognized at Barnard College; nor shall organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation or ability.

Subclause 1: An identity-based group (such as a women-only, ethnicity- or nationality-based group) can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Clause 6. No organization affiliated with a political party, candidate or organization, be it national or political, shall be recognized by the GBB.

Clause 7. No club recognized by the GBB shall charge its members dues, nor shall a Barnard or Columbia organization require dues payment from Barnard students.

 

Article IV – Club Recognition Procedure

Clause 1. The organization that wishes to become a Stage 1 recognized club must first create a member list with the contact information of ten students and submit this information either electronically to the Vice Chair or by a hard copy to the GBB Office.

Subclause 1. The following information concerning each member shall be included: name, class year, school affiliation (BC, CC, SEAS, GS), and e-mail address.

Subclause 2. Organizations may only be recognized by one governing board. They will not be able to obtain dual recognition.

Subclause 3. The organization’s executive board officers must have several committed members, preferably of varying class years.

Subclause 4. Each member shall be contacted by the GBB to verify membership.

Clause 2. Any organization that wishes to apply for club recognition must first be active for at least two semesters.

Clause 3. The organization’s general body members are required to meet with the organization’s executive board officers at least once prior to applying for recognition.

Clause 4. The organization must present an appropriate constitution and membership list to the Vice Chair. The constitution must include a list of all the officers, a description of their duties and procedures for their election. The Vice Chair may provide the organization with a sample constitution to be used as a template.

Clause 5. The organization must create a petition and gather the signatures of at least fifty students, with their name, class year, school affiliation (BC, CC, SEAS, GS) and e-mail address, not affiliated with the organization that support its recognition. These students must be Columbia University undergraduate students, but are not required to be Barnard College students.

Clause 6. Once the Vice Chair and the GBB have received the application, the organization’s executive board officers shall be invited to make a presentation to the GBB.

Clause 7. The GBB will reserve space for one event for every potential club prior to recognition. This allows the GBB to determine the potential of the organization to contribute to Barnard College campus life. A member of the GBB shall attend this event to evaluate and its success, or lack thereof.

Clause 8. A representative of the new applicant group must be present at the Executive Board meeting at which the application is considered and answer any relevant questions. The Executive Board must then vote on a recommendation to the General Body for or against recognition of the applicant group. At the next General Body meeting, the applicant group must present its application for membership to the General Body. A two-thirds majority vote of the General Body will overturn the recommendation of the Executive Board.

Subclause 1. If the organization is not recognized, the GBB may decide to refer the organization to another governing board or an on-campus office.

 

Article V - Stages of Club Recognition

Clause 1. Newly recognized groups are considered to be in the “Stage 1” category.

Subclause 1.

Groups in Stage 1 may:

1.  Reserve space on campus

2.  Have an advisor from Student Life

3.  Have an account in which they may deposit funds raised

4.  Hang fliers on Barnard’s campus, in accordance with the Barnard College Posting Policy


Clause 2. After maintaining “Stage 1” recognition for one semester, the group must submit a self-evaluation to the Vice Chair and the GBB.

Clause 3. The GBB shall assess this status report and make a recommendation to the clubs, which will be voted on in a town hall:

1.  Stay in “Stage 1” recognition.

2.  Progress to “Stage 2” recognition.

3.  Be placed on probation to be determined by the Vice Chair, the GBB, and the club’s Student Life advisor, taking into account individual circumstances.

Clause 4. After a minimum of one semester of “Stage 1” recognition, a club can apply for “Stage 2” recognition through the GBB, which will make a recommendation to the General Body, who will then vote.

Subclause 1. Groups in Stage 2 may:

1.  Reserve space on campus

2.  Have an advisor from Student Life

3.  Have an account in which they may deposit funds raised

4.  Hang fliers on Barnard’s campus

5.  Apply for a GBB allocation

 

Article VI. Club Registration Procedure

Clause 1. The activation of all clubs shall be renewed each Fall upon submission of the Registration form. A club that registers will be active for the entire academic year, and need not re-register in the spring semester.

Subclause 1. All information on the registration form must be filled out. This includes the contact information for club officers.

Subclause 2. The accounts for Stage 2 clubs will be activated for the semester at FUEL.

Clause 2. Unregistered clubs may still request a budget for the following year; however they will not have access to their account unless they have registered.

Clause 3. If a club fails to register for two consecutive semesters, the club shall be placed on probation, the terms of which are determined by the Vice Chair, the GBB, and the club’s Student Life advisors.

Clause 4. If a club fails to be registered for four consecutive semesters, the club is officially deactivated and must go through the recognition process again.

Clause 5. Newly recognized groups seeking Stage 2 allocation must register within one month of their recognition.
 

Article VII. Club Guidelines and Standards

Clause 1. All clubs must submit Monthly Reconciliation forms to the Finance Chair the first day of the following month.

Subclause 1. A Monthly Reconciliation form is still required if a club does not spend a portion of its allocation during a given month and until a Monthly Reconciliation form is submitted.

Subclause 2. Clubs that fail to submit a Monthly Reconciliation form shall have their accounts frozen for the entirety of the following month.

Clause 2. In the beginning of the year, the Vice Chair and the Finance Chair will provide all clubs with a list of the type of events and expenses that the GBB allocation will and will not fund through the Budget Guidelines given out at FUEL.

Clause 3. Each club is required to meet their Student Life Advisor at least once per semester.

Clause 4. The Student Life Office must approve all contracts involving outside speakers, caterers, speakers, etc. Requisition forms are then submitted, along with the contract, to the Finance Chair. In case of contracts involving social functions, approval must be replaced at least two weeks before the dates set for said function.

Clause 5. All financial transactions must go through the GBB Bookkeeper.

Clause 6. All clubs are required to attend FUEL.

Clause 7. All clubs are required to report change in leadership and constitution to the Vice Chair.

Clause 8. In the spring, all clubs must provide the GBB with contact information for their executive board for the upcoming academic year.

 

Article VIII. Club Probation

Clause 1. Clubs may be designated to a probationary period as determined by the Vice Chair and the Student Life Advisers, taking into consideration individual circumstance.

Clause 2. Reasons for probation include but are not limited to the following club bylaw violations:

1.     Failure to hold one event on Barnard’s campus for the semester

2.     Failure to meet with the club’s Student Life advisor at least once per semester

3.     Failure to register for two consecutive semesters

4. Violations of College or University policy

 

Article IX. Club De-Recognition

Clause 1. Any serious violation of the conditions stated in the GBB By-Laws shall serve as a reason for the GBB, on the recommendation of the Vice Chair, to revoke a club’s recognition.

Clause 2. The Vice Chair and the GBB will meet with the Executive Board of the club in question and present its findings to the GBB.

Clause 3. The club in question will be allowed to present its case before the GBB.

Clause 4. A majority vote of the members of the GBB and club leaders at the semesterly Town Hall is needed for de-recognition of a club.

 

Article X. Electing, Appointing and Removing GBB Members

Section 1 - Eligibility

Executive Board and Coordinator positions are open to any continuing full-time undergraduate student in Barnard College, Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, or General Studies.

Section 2 - Election Procedures

The Executive Board Officer elections and coordinator position elections shall be held together. All candidates for a GBB position are required to hand in a candidate statement to be made available to the voting population before the date of the election.

Clause 1. Election of GBB Board Members:

Subclause 1. Candidates for each Officer position will be elected by club members at the Spring Town Hall.

Subclause 2.  Voting for an office will commence after all candidates for that office have spoken, ending with that of Chair. Elections will proceed in the order of Chair, Vice Chair, Finance Chair, and Communications Chair.

Subclause 3. Elections for GBB Coordinators will take place at the same Town Hall. All groups are required to send two members to each Town Hall and to vote during the voting period.

Subclause 4. Each GBB recognized group may cast one (1) vote for GBB Board Members Representatives. Proxy votes are prohibited. An executive board member of a GBB recognized group who sits on the executive board of another group may cast separate votes on behalf of his/her respective organizations.

Section 2 - Resignations

Clause 1. If any member of the board resigns, applications for the vacancy shall be solicited from the general membership. A new representative may then be appointed by a simple majority of the GBB.

Section 3 - Impeachment and Removal

Clause 1. Grounds for impeachment shall include serious abuse of membership privileges, neglect of the duties set forth in the GBB Constitution, or deliberate violation of the GBB Constitution.

Clause 2. Impeachment proceedings may be initiated by any of the following four methods:

Subclause 1. A motion by at least three of the four Executive Officers of the GBB.

Subclause 2. A request submitted in the form of a petition signed by three of the four coordinators.

Subclause 3. A request submitted in the form of a petition signed by one or more officers of no fewer than one-fifth (1/5) of all registered GBB groups.

Subclause 4.  Following impeachment, an officer may be removed from office by a three-fifths (3/5) majority vote of all general body groups at a Town Hall.

 

Article XI. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the GBB constitution must be passed by the General Body at a town hall. Each club will get a vote, as well as the GBB, which will have only one vote. Amendments must be passed by a majority vote or 51% of total votes placed.