Constitutional Bylaws

 

ARTICLE I – ORGANIZATION

SECTION 1 – NAME OF ORGANIZATION

  1. The full name of the club shall be MSJ Speech & Debate. 

SECTION 2 – PURPOSE

  1. The purpose of the club is to foster an environment where students may develop analytical and interpersonal skills while building their self-confidence through weekly practice in critical thinking, oral presentation, and dramatic performance, and to prepare them for success in a competitive environment.

SECTION 3 – STRUCTURE

  1. The terms “team” and “club” may be used by these bylaws interchangeably. 
  2. The team will have the power to determine its operational bylaws, provided they do not contradict this constitution.

SECTION 4 – AFFILIATIONS

  1. MSJ Speech & Debate is a member of the Coast Forensic League (CFL), the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA), the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA), and the San Jose League of the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL).

 

 

ARTICLE II – MEETINGS AND EVENTS

SECTION 1 – GENERAL TEAM MEETINGS

  1. Prior to the start of the school year, the team will establish a regular schedule of weekly practices (labs) to be held after school, as well as meetings during lunch. 
  2. These meetings will take place at Mission San Jose High School.
  3. A lab or other calendared activity may be suspended by a majority vote of team officers at least one day in advance of the scheduled activity. 
    1. Cancellations may be determined via informal meeting (e.g. online chat or group text).
    2. Official notice of a cancellation must be given to team members and the coach supervising that activity at least one day prior to the meeting.
    3. A team may not suspend consecutive meetings for periods longer than two weeks.
  4. All meetings and activities not specifically designated as “officer meetings” shall be open to all members.

SECTION 2 – OFFICER MEETINGS

  1. An officers’ meeting will be scheduled prior to the start of school, and thereafter will be held at least every second month. 
  2. A majority of the team’s officers, plus the head coach and advisor (unless either shall abstain), shall constitute a quorum for carrying out general team business. Under no circumstances shall a quorum consist of fewer than four officers and either the head coach or advisor.

 

 

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1 — ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP

  1. All students of Mission San Jose High School are eligible to join the club and participate in weekly lab activities. 

SECTION 2 — MEMBERSHIP DUES & ACTIVITY FEES

  1. There shall be no membership dues charged for club membership.
  2. Participation in regular weekly labs and other social activities is free. 

 

 

ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS

SECTION 1 – OFFICER STRUCTURE

  1. The team will be governed by a set of officers, as defined below in section IV.2.
  2. Additional officer positions may be defined in the team’s operational bylaws. 
    1. Officers not established in this constitution are not officers with respect to the ASB. 
    2. This constitution shall refer to such officers as “captains”, though their official titles may not include the term.

SECTION 2 – TITLES AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS

  1. PRESIDENT
    1. The primary duty of the president is responsible for setting the overall goals of the team and club as a whole, and planning how to achieve those goals.
    2. The president must hold regular meetings to coordinate the work of the other officers, and intervene if necessary to ensure those duties are discharged. 
    3. The president also works with the Advisor and school administration as necessary to ensure the team operates efficiently and effectively.
  2. VICE PRESIDENT(S)
    1. The team will have three vice presidents: a Vice President of Debate, a Vice President of Speech, and an Executive Vice President.
      1. The Vice Presidents of Speech and Debate direct all activities relating to labs, events, and tournaments in speech and debate events, respectively. 
      2. The Executive Vice President directs all team administrative (non-lab) functions, including publicity, recruitment, fundraising, and school events.
    2. The Vice Presidents work with the President to determine and execute the team’s goals, and oversee any captains appointed to assist in accomplishing those goals. 
    3. Specific duties of the vice presidents are outlined in the team’s operational bylaws.
  3. SECRETARY
    1. The secretary will record the minutes of all officer meetings and shall publish these so they are available to all officers.
    2. The secretary will maintain records of team activities, including tournament results.
    3. The secretary is responsible for submitting all official school paperwork relevant to the team’s activities.
  4. TREASURER
    1. The treasurer works with the Coach, Advisor, and the President to manage all things relating to the team’s finances, including the collection of donations and the submission of reimbursement and expenditure requests. 
    2. Under the direction of the Executive Vice President, The treasurer coordinates all fundraising activities, including preparing & submitting all necessary forms.

SECTION 3 – ELECTION OF OFFICERS

  1. The team will conduct interviews for its team officers.
  2. Interviews will be conducted by a panel, presided over by the team’s coach. 
    1. When possible, interview panels should include the club Advisor. 
    2. Interviews for presidential candidates may not be conducted without the club Advisor’s presence, unless the Advisor gives explicit approval to do so.
    3. Interview panels should include (if possible) the current president and vice president(s) (if they are graduating seniors).
  3. Team officers are determined by the head coach and club advisor, with advisement vote from any students on the interview panel. 
    1. Captains shall be appointed by majority vote of the officers and head coach.

SECTION 4 – REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY 

  1. All officers and captains must be club members for at least a year, be in good academic standing, have competed in at least one tournament in the current semester (at time of election), and have an NSDA membership.

SECTION 5 – TERM OF OFFICE

  1. Officers and captains are elected for a period of one year, beginning June 1 and continuing until May 31.
  2. Following the public announcement of the next year’s officers, the new officers shall assume the duties of their new officer positions as interim officers, under the guidance of the officers who are vacating those positions.

SECTION 6 – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

  1. An officer or captain may be removed from office, with or without cause, prior to the end of their term by an affirmative vote of two-thirds vote of the team’s acting officers (excluding the one to be impeached).
  2. Removal of a team president or vice president shall additionally require the affirmative votes of the head coach and club advisor.

SECTION 7 – VACANCY OF OFFICE

  1. In cases where an officer position is vacant, the president shall be responsible for those duties until a new officer is elected to fill that position. Those duties may be delegated to another officer(s) at the president’s discretion. 
  2. If cases where a team lacks a president, the vice presidents shall assume those duties until a new president is elected. If there is more than one vice president, they assume those responsibilities as interim co-presidents.
  3. In cases where a captain position defined in the operational bylaws is vacant, the vice president overseeing that position shall assume its duties until another captain is appointed.
  4. Vacant officer and captain positions should be filled as soon as possible, in accordance with section IV.3 above.
  5. While vacant, an officer position will not count toward the number of officers necessary to constitute a quorum or pass legislation.

 

 

ARTICLE V – ADULT ADVISORS AND COACHES

SECTION 1 — CLUB ADVISOR

  1. The club advisor is Thomas Thomsen.
  2. The club advisor must be present at officer meetings, unless the advisor grants explicit approval to conduct them in his absence. 
  3. The club advisor is responsible for supervision of the team at all meetings outside of school hours, including labs and tournaments.
  4. The club advisor oversees all club finances.
  5. The club advisor will handle all official paperwork with the school and district.

SECTION 2 — HIRED COACHES

  1. With approval of the club advisor, teams may hire coaches.
    1. All coaches must be contracted employees of the Fremont Unified School District.
  2. Coaches may act as club advisor with regards to section V.1.C above.
  3. A coach may be dismissed, with or without cause, prior to the end of his or her contract, by a two-thirds vote of all club officers and the advisor.
  4. If more than one coach is hired, one of them shall be designated “head coach”. In cases where no coach is hired, the advisor shall also assume the designation of “head coach” with regards to this constitution. 

 

 

ARTICLE VI – SAFETY AND LIABILITY

SECTION 1 — LIABILITY WAIVERS

  1. A general liability waiver will be required of each member before they can participate in club-sponsored off-campus activities.
  2. Overnight trips will require an additional waiver and parent approval for that specific activity. 
    1. Waiver forms specifically required by the tournament host do not meet this requirement. 
  3. The secretary shall see that these are collected and turned in to the coach. This duty may be delegated to another officer or officers at the President’s discretion.

 

 

ARTICLE VII – REVENUES AND FUNDRAISERS

SECTION 1 — REVENUES & FUNDRAISERS

  1. All revenues must be turned in to a coach or the treasurer.
  2. All money received by the treasurer shall be remitted to the coach or advisor within 7 days of receipt. 
  3. Fundraising activities shall be overseen by the executive vice president and treasurer.

SECTION 2 — EXPENDITURES

  1. The treasurer shall have the authority to independently authorize any expenditure up to $20.
  2. For expenditures greater than $20, a majority vote of a team’s officers is required.
  3. The coach(es) and advisor shall have the authority to independently authorize and carry out the expenditure of any club money necessary to pay for tournament and travel expenses.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII – LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1 — PROPOSALS

  1. Any officer defined by this constitution may submit proposals to amend this constitution or the team’s operational bylaws.
  2. Proposals must be submitted in writing at least a week before an officer meeting.

SECTION 2 — TEMPORARY MEASURES

  1. Any officer may motion at an official officer meeting to temporarily suspend or alter any part of this constitution, save for articles V and VIII.
  2. Any temporary measure shall last 60 days unless otherwise specified in the measure.

SECTION 3 — RATIFICATION

  1. Ratification of constitutional amendments shall require the affirmative vote of 75% of the team’s officers, plus the head coach and advisor.
  2. Ratification of temporary measures and/or amendments to the team’s operational bylaws shall require a simple majority vote of officers (not counting abstentions) and the head coach.

 

 

 

RATIFIED 28 MAY 2019