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Here is our constitution and bylaws:

SECULAR STUDENT ALLIANCE

Drafted on: 2/12/2013 - ratified 4/24/2019.

Article One NAME OF ORGANIZATION

Section 1

The name of this organization shall be the Secular Student Alliance, also known as the SSA. The Secular Student Alliance (GMU) may be used to differentiate us from the national organization and chapters from other schools.

Article Two PURPOSE OF ORGANIZATION

Section 1

The purposes of the organization shall be support, advocacy, and education. Specifically, we seek to 1) provide a safe, respectful environment for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, etc., to meet and discuss ideas and principles, 2) promote education and skeptical inquiry as a means to examine the universe and our place in it, 3) to promote the application of skeptical inquiry, 4) to organize educational activities, e.g. forums for discussion, guest speakers, movie showings, and debates, for George Mason University and the surrounding community, 5) to foster relations between secular groups on other campuses and across the country, and 6) to aid in the resistance of efforts to undermine the separation of church and state on campus.

Section 2

We shall adhere to the goals and regulations of the national Secular Student Alliance and Center for Inquiry to the extent that they do not conflict with the regulations and policies of George Mason University.

Article Three MEMBERSHIP

Section 1

Membership in this organization will not be restricted on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, sex, or age. Membership in our organization will also not be restricted on the basis of political creed. Membership shall be open to all George Mason University students, faculty, and staff regardless of full or part-time status or graduate or undergraduate enrollment, and members of the surrounding community.

Section 2

The types of membership available shall be active and associate. All active members must be currently enrolled GMU students with a minimum academic achievement record defined as a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.0. All may be associate members.

Section 3

Only active members may vote on matters (official or not) including amendments, elections, and other motions brought forth in meetings. All members are permitted to attend meetings and join the Facebook group.

Section 4

To become a member, one need only inform an officer of the organization. Membership runs from the day of informing the officer to the day after the end of the Spring academic term. At any time during the Spring academic term a standing member may express their desire to renew their membership for the following year.

Section 5

Membership ends upon 1) end of the normal membership cycle without a prior request to renew, 2) the member's request, 3) the member no longer being a student, faculty, staff or community member, 4) majority vote of the membership at a properly announced meeting with quorum to revoke that person’s membership. Active membership becomes associate membership when an active member no longer meets the criteria specified in bullet point 2.

Article Four OFFICERS

Section 1

The elected officers of this organization shall be President/Chair, Vice-President/Cochair, Secretary, Treasurer. All positions must be filled by unique individuals. All officers must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; new students in officer positions will be on probationary status until the end of the first grading period. These elected officers will appoint via majority vote additional officer positions as necessary. These include, but are not limited to SA Liaison, public relations director, development officer, and webmaster. Additional positions (and their related duties) may be created via a majority vote of the elected officers. Such additional positions may also be appointed by the executive board to fill temporary or long-term needs necessary for the SSA to function. The position of SA Liaison may be jointly held by the Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer.

Elected Officers:

The President/Chair, otherwise known unofficially as “The President” shall 1) organize and preside over meetings, activities and events, 2) approve any business activity or event before it may be transacted, 3) be the official representative for the organization, 4) maintain contact with related outside organizations, 5) ensure this Constitution is followed, 6) have the ability to reserve spaces for events, 7) have the final word in all decisions where a vote is not specifically called for in this document, 8) break any tie vote, 9) communicate regularly with the Secular Student Alliance.

The Vice-President/Co-Chair, otherwise known unofficially as “Supreme Military Commander, King of Kings, President for Life”, shall 1)organize and preside over meetings, activities and events in absence of the president, 2) designate duties and responsibilities to individuals in appointed positions and committees, 3) represent the organization, 3) assist in fostering relations with other secular organizations, 4) assist in event planning.

The Treasurer, otherwise known unofficially as “Aurum est potestas” shall 1) confer with the President regarding requisition and allocation of funds, 2) be responsible for keeping records and possession (on behalf of the group) of all merchandise, 3) keep the organization current with all paper work that needs to be filed with the student government, 4) attend fiscal management workshops of the office of student involvement, and 5) prepare a budget for the following academic term by the last meeting of the current academic term.

The Secretary, otherwise known unofficially as “IT Support”, shall 1) process membership requests, 2) keep a current roster of all members, 3) record the results of all votes taken, 4) record briefly what occurred at each meeting, 5) collect attendance at each meeting.

The Coordination Chair, otherwise known unofficially as “Background Ninja”, shall 1) coordinate with different groups around campus, 2) help the club engage with the community, 3) outreach to new members, 4) coordinate service meetings.

Section 2

All officers and candidates must be currently enrolled GMU students with a minimum academic achievement record defined as a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.0.

Section 3

Officers shall be elected for terms of one year and there shall be no term limits.

Section 4

In the event that it is felt an officer has failed to an extreme extent, a majority vote of the membership at a properly announced meeting with quorum can be used to remove them from the position.

ADVISOR

Section 1

The primary advisor shall be a full time member of the faculty or staff at George Mason University. The advisor will be selected by the elected club officers and may be removed by a vote among the elected officers. The advisor can voluntarily withdraw their commitment; in this case the advisor is responsible for notifying the Office of Student Involvement of this decision. Prospects for a new advisor would then be contacted and a new advisor would be decided upon by the elected officers. While the advisor may offer guidance and support for the organization, the advisor does not have voting rights within the organization.

Article Five ELECTIONS

Section 1

Elections will take place in the first half of April, by April 15th. Active members may be nominated for roles as officers by attending the meeting where elections are being held and verbally nominating a fellow active member for a position. Active members may nominate themselves as candidates. There shall be at least a half hour before voting for nominations. Only active members may nominate or be nominated as candidates.

Section 2

Nominees will each be given at least 2 minutes to present their qualifications to the members. Voting will be done on paper by secret ballot. Tallying of ballots will be done by the Secretary with a second person present to assist with counting and verify the integrity of the process. This second person must be an active member and may not be a person who was nominated for a position during the election procedure.

Section 3

In the event of a tie a new election shall be held between the top two vote getters in the election. If this runoff election produces a tie, we shall re-open debate concerning the qualifications of the two candidates and hold a re-vote until a winner is decided.

Section 4

Following the elections, new officers will shadow and assist the current officers through April and May in order to become familiar with club procedures and paperwork.

Article Six IMPEACHMENT OR RESIGNATION

Section 1

Should an elected officer fail to perform the responsibilities or abuse the privileges of their elected position, the officer shall be subject to impeachment and removal from their office.

Section 2

Should an individual not perform their responsibilities adequately to their position, they will first receive an official warning from the President and/or Vice President, concerning the issue. If the problem persists, the individual can be voted out of office through a ¾ majority vote among the executive board.

Section 3

If an individual in office wishes to resign from their position, they must inform the members of the Executive Board of their resignation.

Section 4

In the event of impeachment or resignation of an individual on the Executive Board, the President will appoint a member of the Executive Board to temporarily take over the duties of the vacated position. The vacant position will then be filled through an impromptu election, with nominations and bids announced at the next general meeting and voting held at the following week’s general meeting.

Article Seven MEETINGS

Section 1

The group will generally meet once every week during the semester. Exceptions to this rule will be made immediately before or after holidays or major exam periods, or at the majority vote of the club. There shall be no attendance policy.

Section 2

Meetings will be presided over by the President/Chair. Absent the President/Chair, meetings are presided over by the Vice President/Co-chair, or the Secretary, Treasurer, or other appointed officer. At least one officer must be present at all meetings.

Section 3

Officers may have separate organizational meetings as necessary, at their own discretion.

Section 4

The quorum is a simple majority of the active membership plus one officer.

Section 5

Special meetings may be called for important matters; club members are to be informed as soon as possible about special meetings.

Section 6

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern deliberation when necessary.

Article Eight FINANCE

Section 1

The amount of dues and the method of collection will be decided by a majority vote of the executive officers at the beginning of each semester for semi-annual dues or the beginning of each school year for annual dues. In the event that no decision is reached, the dues shall be zero dollars for the semester or school year in question.

Article Nine AMENDMENTS

Section 1

The Office of Student Involvement must review all amendments in the same manner as a completely new constitution. Any member may propose a constitutional amendment. Members shall be notified at least two weeks in advance of a pending vote on an amendment. The amendment shall be read aloud and discussed on the day of the vote and at the meeting two weeks previous. An amendment can be adopted only by a two-thirds majority vote of voting membership at a meeting with quorum.

Article Ten RATIFICATION

Section 1

This constitution shall become effective upon approval by a ¾ vote of the membership, and a Student Involvement staff member.

This document was ratified on 4/24/2019.