MPDS Constitution

Preamble

The Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society has been created, on January 17, 1997, in an effort to aid students in the improvement of thought, speech, and organization through an entertaining and educational setting. The ratification of this constitution is an effort to clarify the organizational duties of the officers and members in order to prevent the compromising of the goals and efforts of our organization.

Article I

A. Membership eligibility is open to any University of Maryland, College Park undergraduate student who expresses an interest in participating in the activities of the University of Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society.

B. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of the exercise of rights secured by the First Amendment of the United States' Constitution.

C. Dues are not required for voting, active membership.

D. All voting members must be undergraduates.

E. Members are considered active if they fulfill either of the following requirements:

These opportunities are available to all undergraduate students.

Article II

A. The executive board consists of a President, Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Campus Affairs, and a Tournament Director.

B. New, temporary or otherwise, offices can be established via the processes outlined in Article III.

C. The executive board is to act, in general, as a liaison to parent organizations, the Student Government Association, and any other groups which require policy decisions and/or interaction from or by the University of Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society. It is not to compromise the group's goals and efforts, pass legislation, or contradict the processes outlined in Article III.

D. All officers must be active members and fulfill the responsibilities that such designation requires. He/she will be elected according to the processes outlined in Article IV. All executive officers must be undergraduates.

E. The President's duties include, but are not limited to, delegating responsibility, convening organizational meetings, leading organizational meetings, and acting as the liaison to the Student Government Association and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.

F. The Vice President of Finance, referred to as Treasurer in membership information, organizes the budget, fundraising, handles reimbursements, keeps accurate financial records, collects all receipts at tournaments or assigns the jobs, and acts as a liaison to the Student Government Association for the budget process. He/she must also publish the financial records as often and in such a manner that is consistent to the general consensus or legislation passed via the processes outlined in Article III.

G. The Vice President of Operations, referred to as Vice President in membership information, is to assist the President with his/her duties by handling vehicle requests for tournaments, room reservations for practices, managing the correspondence with membership, as well as any delegated task which assists in the general operations. The Vice-President-Operations to keep and update the Constitution as amendments are passed according to the processes outlined in Article III. Additionally the Vice-President shall maintain a record of additional legislation passed according to the processes outlined in Article III.

H. The Vice President of Campus Affairs, referred to as New Member Educator in membership information, is to assist the President in recruiting new members, developing debating skills, and planning public debate events for the university community.

I. The Tournament Director will be responsible for organizing tournaments hosted by the Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society and assisting other board members with their duties as necessary.

Article III

A. Legislation passed according to the processes outlined in Article III shall clarify or extend upon the issues and rules described in this Constitution but in no way contradict the general goals and efforts of the University of Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society or its Constitution.

B. Legislation can only be passed by a quorum of members that shall be equal to 1/2 of active members, defined in Article I. In no way can executive board or a selective group of members that equal less than 1/2 of team membership pass legislation, amendments to the Constitution, or any other acts that contradict the general goals and efforts of the Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society or its Constitution.

C. A simple-majority vote passes legislation, policy decisions, holds elections or other acts that do not include amending the Constitution or do not contradict the general goals and efforts of the University of Maryland Parliamentary Debate Society.

D. A super-majority of 2/3 of the membership quorum is necessary to pass Constitutional amendments.

E. Any official acts that are deemed subject to vote shall be discussed at team meetings, sufficiently publicized, and then voted on no sooner than the next team meeting.

F. Voting by proxy for all issues shall be allowed so long that it is consistent with legislation passed via the processes outlined in Article III.

Article IV

A. Elections shall be held in the month of December, unless due to extenuating circumstances a simple-majority changes the month of elections. Newly elected officers will take their positions at the beginning of the spring semester or, if elections are held in February or later, immediately following their election.

B. The exact dates of elections shall be decided by a simple-majority vote by the team but must follow the general guidelines of sufficiently publicizing nominations at least one meeting before nominations are to take place. Additionally, elections are to be held no sooner than one meeting after nominations are conducted.

C. Elections shall be designed so that losing candidates may run for a lower position. Positions shall be filled in the order as they are mentioned in Article II.

D. Elections shall be conducted with an instantaneous runoff procedure.

Article V

A. An officer may be impeached when the officer has either not been fulfilling the duties and responsibilities for their position outlined in Article II and whatever corresponding legislation that was passed via the processes outlined in Article III, or has violated the trust of the office.

B. Impeaching officers requires notifying the derelict officer, one week's publicized knowledge of the upcoming vote, and a 2/3 super-majority vote of quorum, which is 1/2 of active membership as detailed in Article III.

C. Once an officer is impeached, the elections of a replacement officer can be carried out via the processes outlined in Article II and Article IV.