Cognitive & Neural Systems Student Organization
February 23, 2007
The Cognitive & Neural Systems Student Organization (hereafter, CNSO) is a student-led organization formed to foster a sense of community amongst students and provide a forum in which they can address any issues that arise in their careers at the department of Cognitive & Neural Systems (hereafter, CNS). The CNSO also provides a means for collecting the views of the student body and expressing them to the faculty. As such, the CNSO will meet regularly to create a friendly and supportive environment for the CNS students. Moreover, the CNSO will take an active role in welcoming and integrating new students into the CNS community.
The leadership of the CNSO is drawn from students at CNS, and collectively works to further the goals of the organization.
The leadership consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer (henceforth, the officers). Any current full-time CNS student is eligible for these positions.
The CNSO President is responsible for planning, facilitating and notifying students of meetings of the CNSO, and working towards the continued functioning of the CNSO. He or she must ensure that meetings proceed in a civil fashion, and that any facilities utilized for the meetings are left in an acceptable condition. The President serves as the representative of the CNSO and is responsible for communicating with other organizations and the CNS faculty, if necessary. When votes on motions are held, the President must abstain.
To aid in fulfilling these duties, the President may delegate responsibilities to other willing students as he or she sees fit.
The Vice-President must fulfill the duties of the President in the event that the President is unable to meet them, and generally aid the President as is necessary.
The Secretary must take the minutes of meetings, including noting the number of students present, and ensure that these minutes are adequately communicated to the CNS student body. In addition, the Secretary is responsible for the safekeeping of all CNSO documents, including the constitution.
The Treasurer is custodian of the CNSO finances, and is responsible for managing any budgetary concerns. These may include obtaining reimbursements, keeping information on present and past expenditures, and communicating this information in an appropriate fashion to the CNSO at large.
Elections are to be held every February, and the term of office for all positions is one full calendar year. Elections must be facilitated by the President, unless the President is running for a CNSO position, in which case another CNSO officer (not running for a position) must facilitate elections. In the event that all present CNSO officers are running for re-election, the CNSO at large must select an election commissioner to oversee the elections. At the request of any student, voting must be held by secret ballot.
In the event of a tie for an election, the student whose last name comes later in the alphabet will be deemed the winner.
If at any point five or more students petition for the removal of a current officer, an impartial election commissioner must be selected by the CNSO at large (during a meeting) to facilitate a recall election. Neither the election commissioner nor the officer in question may vote in a recall election, but all other students are given the opportunity to vote. Such an election must be performed by secret ballot, and the officer in question will be recalled if 3/4 of the votes received are in favor of recall. If fewer votes are received than is necessary for quorum, the vote is invalidated, and the recall process must begin anew. An officer must have served at least four meetings in order to be eligible for recall.
If an officer leaves office for any reason, a special election must be held to find a replacement, in a fashion deemed fit by the President, or Vice President, if the President is resigning. In the interim period, the duties of this officer will be assumed by the remainder of the CNSO leadership.
Meetings are to be held at a minimum once a month, although additional meetings may be decided upon by the CNSO at large. It is within the spirit of this Constitution that refreshments of a jovial nature be served at each meeting.
Quorum is ten students, three of whom must be officers. In the case of a secret ballot, ten votes are necessary for quorum. Without a quorum of students, no motions may be passed, although it is in the spirit of this Constitution that jovial refreshments be consumed notwithstanding.
At any time a student may request that discussion be held in executive session. In such a case, the Secretary shall not record the minutes and the discussions held within are not to be shared with students not present. No faculty members, staff or alumni may be present in executive session.
Motions must be communicated to the President at least 24 hours prior to a meeting in order to be included on the agenda, with a clear description of what the motion entails, including financial burdens, if any. Motions presented during meetings will be discussed at the discretion of the President.
Three votes are possible, a vote in favor, a vote opposed, and an abstention. In order for a motion to pass, there must be more votes in favor than votes opposed. The Secretary must note in the minutes the number of each vote for each motion. The President must facilitate voting, using his or her discretion as to the most efficatious voting method for the issue at hand. Absentee ballots will be accepted at the discretion of the President.
To be ratified, the Constitution must be approved by no less than twenty students, and opposed by no more than five. A signed copy of the Constitution must be kept in the official CNSO documents. It is in the spirit of this Constitution that wigs be worn while the Constitution is signed. Any amendment to the Constitution must be supported by 20 students or half of the CNS student body, whichever is smaller, and opposed by no more than five students. If the Constitution is amended, it must be signed and placed in the official documents of the CNSO, such that the current Constitution and all past revisions are held together by the current Secretary.