SOP Constitution Format
As a recognized group on campus, all student organizations are required to have a constitution to ensure that democratic processes are followed. A constitution is imperative for the following reasons:
- Provides student leaders with guidance regarding the purpose, processes, and guidelines of the group
- Provides the UTM community with a better understanding of the purpose and procedures that govern the group
- Protects the group in the circumstance that any issues arise by providing guidance to group members regarding how to make important decisions when necessary (eg. removal from office, etc)
It is important that constitutions are updated at least once a year during an annual general meeting to ensure that rules, guidelines, and operating procedures are up-to-date.
Student group Constitutions must include the following, as detailed below:
|Name||Provide the official name and abbreviation of the group.|
|Purpose and Objectives||
Outline the purpose and objectives of the group, including the overall mission, vision, goals, and direction of the group.
Elaborate on how the above will be achieved (ie. through seminars, workshops, outreach, advocacy, etc.)
|Membership||Detail membership exclusivity and any fees involved (or lack thereof) with being a member of the group. See Membership Restrictions below for more details.|
|Executive List and Duties||
Name all executive positions along with their respective roles and responsibilities. There must be at least four (4) executives on the team.
Outline the termination process the group will follow to remove an executive from office or general member(s) from the group.
Detail the requirements for a member to run for an executive position as well as to vote.
Provide the timeline of the election process and outline the election process.
Detail the role and responsibilities of the Senior Election Officer (SEO).
Describe the restrictions on how funds and fees may be utilized in the group and how financial decisions will be made.
Outline the role and responsibilities of the Treasurer or VP Finance regarding the group finances.
Outline the frequency of Annual General Meetings and the topics which the meetings should cover.
Outline the frequency of Executive Meetings.
Describe the process for amendments to the Constitution after submission and the group has been recognized.
Academic Societies may charge event fees, but must not charge membership fees because every student in the department is automatically a member of the society.
Student Clubs may charge membership fees, but these fees must be justified in the group Constitution. Membership fees of up to $10 (ten dollars) are permitted. Fees that are above $10 require a strong justification that must be approved (for instance, some clubs may require the purchase of equipment, etc.) If there is no membership fee, that must be clearly stated within the Constitution.
Remember: Higher fees makes the group less accessible to students who may have trouble affording it.
Academic Societies must be open to all students enrolled in the programs offered under the associated department(s).
Student Clubs must be open to all UTMSU members, who are permitted to run, nominate, and vote in elections. Community members and alumni may also be a part of the organization as associates, but will not be afforded the same benefits.