UA Council Bylaws
Working draft of the UA Restructuring Committee
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Council of the Undergraduate Association of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Council).
Article II: Purpose
The purposes of this organization shall be those specified in the Constitution of the Undergraduate Association.
Article III: Membership
Section A: Voting Members
The voting membership of the council shall consist of the following members:
a) The IFC President and three additional representatives chosen in accordance with the governing rules of the IFC
b) The Panhel President and two additional representatives chosen in accordance with the governing rules of Panhel
c) The President of each of the undergraduate dormitories
d) The President of the LGC.
e) A representative of the Off-Campus community elected during second week of December by the Off-Campus community.
Any member organization President may appoint a permanent proxy who shall be treated as a full voting member and representative for their member organization.
Section B: Ex-Officio Members
Additionally, the non voting members of the council, unless otherwise mentioned, are the following persons:
a) The UA President who is the Chair of the Council and may only cast a vote when it would alter the outcome of that vote.
b) The UA Vice-President, Chief of Staff, Treasurer, and Secretary
c) The chairs of all UA committees and all assistant Vice-Presidents
Article IV: Member Responsibilities
Section A: Attendance
Council Representatives shall not have more than three absences in a given academic term from any regularly scheduled Council meetings. In the event of an absence, Council Representatives should request an excuse in writing from the President, and provide, in writing, the name of a proxy. This proxy may not be a current Council Representative. The proxy shall have all rights and privileges as the Council Representative would have had, except the right to vote on impeachment. The Council Representative shall make a good faith effort to inform the proxy of the issues and questions that may arise during the meeting so that the proxy may be an active participant.
Section B: Constituency Communication
Council Representatives shall be responsible for communicating the business of the UA including but not limited to upcoming events, policy proposals, ideas, matters of controversy, and involvement opportunities to the undergraduates they represent.
Furthermore, in order to accurately represent their constituents at Council meetings, Council Representatives shall remain in touch with the viewpoints of their constituency. This includes soliciting feedback when necessary.
Article V: Procedures of the UA Council
Section A: Decision Making
A) Consensus of the Council:
All policy positions taken by the council, including those generated by the council and the committees, shall be approved via the consensus of the council.
The written statement of policy position should reflect the consensus views of voting Council Representatives. Should an impasse be met, the differing views of the constituencies of the voting Council representatives shall be recorded as part of the policy position.
B) Population Vote:
In accordance with the UA Constitution, Population votes shall be used for decisions involving the allocation of UA funds and amendments to the Constitution. Topics that require a population vote must be presented one meeting before they are voted on.
The following procedure shall be applied when this Constitution calls for a population vote:
In a population vote, each Council Representative shall be entitled to cast one vote per undergraduate that he or she represents. If a member of the Undergraduate Student Body is a member of multiple represented constituencies (e.g. a member of a fraternity living in a dormitory), then by default the member will count towards the constituency where he or she resides, as defined by the MIT Housing Office. He or she may choose to change his or her official constituency by submitting a request in writing to the Secretary. If a member of the Undergraduate Student Body does not reside in any of the other represented constituencies, then by default he or she will be counted as a member of the Off-Campus constituency. If a member of the Undergraduate Student Body who is not also a Council Representative is present during a population vote, he or she may cast his or her own single vote, reducing the number of votes cast by his or her Council Representative by one. A member of the Undergraduate Student body may also submit a vote in writing or via electronic communication to the Secretary before the vote takes place. Council Representatives may not split the votes that they are entitled to cast however, groups represented by multiple Council Representatives may distribute their allotted votes consistently in a manner described by that group’s governing rules.
C) Person vote:
Votes will be taken according to the prescribed qualifications below. In person votes, each Council Representative shall have one equally weighed vote.
a) Delegation and directives to committees, Officers, and other executive positions of the UA will require a majority vote of the full voting membership of the Council
b) Approval of new Officers will require a ⅔ vote of the full voting membership of the Council
c) Approval of Institute Committee representatives will require a majority vote of the full voting membership of the Council
e) Votes to Censure will require a ⅔ vote of the full voting membership of the Council
f) Amendments to the Council Bylaws and Committee Bylaws must be presented one meeting before they are voted on and will require a ⅔ majority vote of the full voting membership of the Council
g) Suspension of the Council Bylaws will require a ⅔ majority vote of the full voting membership of the Council
h) Votes to elect a temporary Chair will require a ⅔ vote of the full voting membership of the Council
D) Record of Decisions:
Consensus based opinions will take the form of a written statement agreed upon by the consensus of the voting Council Representatives.
A log of all other votes and decisions of the Council shall be maintained with the following format:
Text of the vote
Type and qualifications of the vote
Record of Voters and their vote
This log should be made public with the minutes of the meeting.
Section B: Rules of Operation
A) Any person given the floor by the Chair may speak for no more than two minutes. The chair may extend this to no more than 5 minutes. Additional speaking time may be granted by a majority vote of the voting membership of the Council in attendance.
B) Meetings of the Council shall be open to the MIT Community. Undergraduates shall have speaking privileges and this privilege may be extended to non-members of the Association at the discretion of the Chair.
i) The Chair or a majority of the voting membership of the Council in attendance shall have the power to exclude all non-members of the Council.
C) The voting Council Representatives may elect to have a temporary Chair for a specific agenda item or for the duration of the meeting if the Chair cannot attend the meeting. This vote follows the prescribed method in V.B.b of the Council Bylaws.
D) When prudent, the Chair will maintain a queue to ensure a respectful and fair conversation.
Section C: The Agenda
A) The agenda of Council meeting shall be organized by the UA President and submitted publicly at least two days prior to the scheduled meeting using whatever forms of media prove most expedient.
B) Any voting Council Representative or 20 members of the Undergraduate Student Body may submit an agenda item to the UA President prior to the release of the Agenda.
C) The agenda may be edited during a meeting as prescribed by V.A.b.h of the Council Bylaws.
Section D: Meetings
A) The UA President shall set the dates and times of a semester’s Council Meetings by the first meeting of the Council that semester. The first meeting of a semester must be no more than two weeks after the academic start of that semester. The chair may move the date and time of a meeting given reasonable notice to the Council.
B) Emergency meetings may be called by the UA President, a majority of the voting Council Representatives, or a signed petition of 5% of the Undergraduate Student Body. This meeting should be limited to consider only the agenda item stated by the caller of the emergency meeting. In the event of a petition, the meeting should occur within 4 days. Removal of officers and Amendments to governing documents are not allowed during emergency meetings.
C) If impeachment is being discussed at a Council meeting, the individual(s) in question shall have the right to be present during all phases of the proceedings, and the individual(s) in question shall have an opportunity to present his or her case before the Council.
D) The necessary quorum for a meeting is 1/2 of the full voting membership of the Council.
Section E: Division of the UA Allowance
The UA Allowance shall be divided in the following manner:
A) It shall be split in half (one half for each term.)
B) The remaining amount shall be added to the unspent surplus (if any) from the previous semester. Each term, the Council shall request that the the UA Finance Board make a recommendation of funding for no more than this amount times the overallocation percentage. Recommendations for funding may only be granted to undergraduate ASA-recognized groups that request such funds.
C) If there is a deficit from the previous corresponding funding period, the aforementioned expected meeting shall address the deficit in conjunction with the Student Activities Office and the Dean of Student Life.
Article VII: Suspension and Amendment of the Bylaws
Section A: Suspension of the Bylaws
The UA Council may suspend a specific portion of the Bylaws at the current meeting in accordance with the voting procedures outlined in this document.
The Bylaws of the Council may not be suspended to amend any governing documents of the UA.
Section B: Amendments to the Bylaws
Upon petition by ten percent of this Association, the Council shall consider a proposal to amend
these Bylaws. If the proposed amendment is not agreed to by the Council it shall become the subject of a referendum. This referendum shall be binding upon a majority vote of this Association if at least thirty percent of its members vote.
The Council may also propose amendments to the Bylaws. All considerations of amendments to the Bylaws will follow the process prescribed of the Council Bylaws.
Section F: Approving the Budget
The UA President shall chair a Special Budgetary Committee consisting of the UA President, the UA Vice-President, the UA Treasurer, and three voting Council Representatives to be appointed by the UA President. This committee shall review the UA Operating Budget if one has been submitted by the UA Officers. If one has not been prepared, the committee should create an Operating Budget. This committee will consult with the Chairs of the standing committees or their designees to determine an appropriate budget for the following term. This budget will then be presented to the Council for a vote as prescribed by V.A.b of the Council Bylaws.
Article VI: The Undergraduate Association Standing Committees and Assistant Vice Presidents
Section A: Standing Committees
1. UA Committee on Alumni Relations
2. UA Committee on Athletics
3. UA Committee on Sustainability
4. UA Committee on Dining
5. UA History Committee
6. UA Committee on Housing
7. UA Committee on Public Relations
8. UA Committee on Student Life
9. UA Committee on Student Space Planning
10. UA Student Committee on Educational Policy
11. UA Nominations Committee
12. UA Finance Board
Section B: Assistant Vice Presidents
1. The Assistant Vice President of Information Systems
2. The Class Council Coordinator
3. The Assistant Vice President of Resource Development