Constitution

Constitution

Preamble

We, the members of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society at the University of Virginia, in order to form a more permanent organization, provide for our common improvement in debate, promote general culture amongst ourselves and those around us, and drill ourselves in all exercises which strengthen us for the free duties of citizenship, do ordain and establish this Constitution for our government, and pledge ourselves in its support.

Oath

I, ________,  a student at the University of Virginia, holding it to be true that opinions springing out of solitary observation and reflection are seldom, in first instance, correct; that the faculties of the mind are excited by collision; that friendships are cemented, errors corrected, and sound principles established by society and intercourse, and especially in a country where all are free to profess and, by argument, maintain their opinions; that the powers of debate should be sedulously cultivated–therefore associate myself with the Jefferson Society at the University of Virginia. In becoming a member of the Society, I pledge myself to conform to its regulations and cherish its prosperity.

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Non-Discrimination.

The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society does not discriminate in its membership, membership policies, programs, or activities, based on age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, or family medical or genetic information. 

Section 2. Classification of Members.

A. Regular Membership.

All students in regular enrollment at the University of Virginia who have demonstrated by attendance and participation during a probationary period that they are worthy of Regular Membership in the Society in accordance with its purposes as set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution, who have presented an acceptable Probationary presentation as set forth in Article VI of the Bylaws, and no other person, shall be eligible for Regular Membership in the Society. Candidates presented to the Society by the Membership Committee and receiving votes of four-fifths of the regular Members of the Society present and voting shall be deemed duly elected as Regular Members of the Society; provided that in every case, four-fifths of the votes cast shall be at least one-third of the Regular Membership in good standing at the time. The failure of a candidate so presented to receive a four-fifths affirmative vote shall result in the candidate being dropped from membership in the Society, unless the candidate shall be continued as a Probationary Member by specific action taken at the same meeting, approved by four-fifths of those present and voting. Regular Members in Good Standing shall be able to run for and hold office, vote for Officers of the Society, vote upon the adoption of amendments to the Constitution and the Bylaws, vote on the passage of Probationary presentations, vote upon the election of candidates for Probationary Memberships and of Probationary Members into Regular Membership and of candidates for Honorary Membership, have a share and interest in the property of the Society, critique probationary presentations, and hold the floor to give content and take points of privilege.

B. Probationary Membership.

All students in regular enrollment at the University of Virginia shall be eligible for Probationary Membership of this Society. Candidates for Probationary Membership shall make written application to the Society, furnishing such information as the Membership Committee may desire. The Membership Committee shall make a non-binding report. The affirmative vote of four-fifths of the Members in good standing present and voting shall be required to elect a candidate to Probationary Membership. Probationary Members shall have all the rights and privileges of the Hall, except those of holding office, voting for Officers of the Society, voting upon the adoption of amendments to the Constitution and the Bylaws, voting on the passage of Probationary presentations, voting upon the election of candidates for Probationary Membership and of Probationary Members into Regular Membership and upon candidates for Honorary Membership, taking points of privilege, and giving critiques. 

C. Associate Members.

When a Regular Member ends their regular enrollment at the University of Virginia, the Member shall become an Associate Member of the Society. If an Associate Member returns to regular enrollment at the University of Virginia, the Member may regain Regular Membership after re-signing the Roll. The Executive Committee, subject to review by the Society, shall have the power to rule on any case where reasonable doubt exists as to a person’s status as an Associate Member. When a Member of the Society who has paid Regular Member dues for two semesters shall so request in writing, the Member shall become an Associate Member, subject to approval by the Executive Committee. Upon the payment of dues as set forth in Article V of the Bylaws, Associate Members of the Society shall have all the privileges of Regular Members except that they may not hold office, have any share or interest in the property or possessions of the Society, or vote upon the election of Officers, the amendment of the Constitution and of the Bylaws, and the consideration of candidates for Probationary, Regular and Honorary Membership.

D. Honorary Members.

Honorary Membership shall be reserved for those who are not students at the University of Virginia and who have rendered signal service to the Society. Honorary Members shall be elected by the signed approval of four-fifths of the Regular Members in good standing. Honorary Members must sign the Roll. Honorary Members may hold the floor and critique probationary presentations, but have no other rights of membership. 

Section 3. Good standing.

Membership in Good Standing shall be construed as follows:                                                                                                                                                                                                  (1) A Member shall be computed in the total Membership in Good Standing immediately upon signing the minute book of the Society, with the Member’s name, polity of Residence, and date of signing. Such “signing of the Roll” should take place at the first meeting attended of each academic semester. Only such Members as have signed the minute book shall be considered Members in Good Standing for the ensuing semester, and shall have privileges of membership.

The Roll shall be so kept as to keep the lists of Probationary and Regular Members separate.

(2) All members must pay any fees, dues, debts, or penalties in order to be considered a Member in Good Standing. Failure to meet this obligation shall result in the loss of all privileges of membership, at which point the negligent member shall be discounted in the determination of quorum.

Section 4. Secrecy.

The consideration of candidates for Regular, Probationary, and Honorary Membership shall be in sessions closed to all but Regular and Associate Members. No member shall divulge the proceedings of the closed sessions to non-members. Violations of the aforementioned constitute grounds for expulsion as well as any other sanction the Society deems appropriate.

Section 5. Resignation.

The resignation from the Society of any Regular, Associate, or Honorary Members shall be made in writing to the Secretary and shall be effective immediately upon acceptance by the Secretary and President, on behalf of the Society. The resignation from the Society of any Probationary Members shall either be made in writing to the Secretary or be made in writing to either the Probationary or Membership Chair, and forwarded to the Secretary. The resignation shall be effective immediately after its acceptance by the Secretary and President, on behalf of the Society.

Section 6. Conduct.

A. Generally

Members shall act at all times in a manner becoming of students or alumni of the University of Virginia and Members of the Society.  The Society has both the right and obligation to ensure that Society Membership remains a mark of character and honor, in perpetuity.

B. Standard of Conduct

Members shall not: 

(1) commit any crime of moral turpitude; nor 

(2) commit any act of dishonesty or moral turpitude; nor

(3) divulge the proceedings of any closed session of the Society to any person unauthorized to attend the closed session; nor

(4) commit any act which, in the sole judgment and determination of the Society, is seriously prejudicial to the best interests or reputation of the Society. 

C. Expulsion.

Any regular or associate member who violates the Society’s Standard of Conduct shall be subject to expulsion from the Society. Accused members shall be deemed expelled, at the conclusion of a hearing, upon a vote of four-fifths of the regular membership of the Society, in good standing, present and voting; provided that in every case, four-fifths of the votes cast shall constitute at least sixty percent of the regular membership in good standing at the time. Accused members shall be entitled to reasonable notice of proceedings, a speedy disposition of the same, and the opportunity to defend themselves at a live hearing conducted in closed session.  No trial may be held prior to the conclusion of the third regular meeting of any given semester.

ARTICLE II. OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. Eligibility.

All Regular Members in good standing who are full time students at the University of Virginia, as defined by the University Registrar, may hold elected office.  All Regular Members in good standing may hold appointed office. All Regular Members in good standing may vote in all elections of officers. There shall be no absentee ballots.

Section 2. Elective Officers, Their Terms and Duties.

The elective Officers of the Society shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Historian, a Room 7 Resident, and a Keeper. No Member shall hold more than one of these offices at one time.

A. President.

The President shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in each semester and shall hold office until the installation of their successor. The President shall preside over all the meetings of the Society, shall serve as the Chair of the Executive Committee, shall preserve order and decorum, shall construe and enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society, shall appoint the Committees of the Society as provided for in the Bylaws, and all other officers pro tempore, and shall perform all the other duties pertaining to the office.

B. Vice President.

The Vice President shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in each semester and shall hold office until the installation of their successor. The Vice President shall serve as the Chair of the Program Committee and, in the absence of the President, shall occupy the chair and exercise all functions of the presiding officer.

C. Secretary.

The Secretary shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in each semester and shall hold office until the installation of their successor. The Secretary shall call the Roll and keep a record of all absentees, shall carefully preserve an account of the proceedings of the Society and all its records and documents that may be entrusted to them, and shall transcribe all amendments to this Constitution and to the Bylaws of the Society. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to Report to the Executive Committee the absence of any Member from two-thirds of the semester’s meetings of the Society. It shall also be the duty of the Secretary to release a list to the Society of all Regular Members in Good Standing as well as all Regular Members of the Society, to report the total Regular Membership in good standing to the President or presiding officer at such times as there is a call for a quorum by a Regular Member in good standing, and to perform all other duties incident to the office of recording secretary.

D. Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in each semester and shall hold office until the installation of their successor. The Treasurer shall collect and take charge of all funds of the Society. The Treasurer shall make no disbursement unless directly authorized by the Executive Committee, and shall not make authorized disbursements exceeding the sum of fifty dollars, unless directly authorized to do so by the Society. The Treasurer shall keep, in a book provided for the purpose, a careful and minute account of all receipts collected and disbursements made on the Society’s behalf. This book shall be open at all times to the inspection of any Member of the Society at all reasonable times, and it shall be transmitted to the Executive Committee for auditing at times provided for in the Bylaws of the Society. The Treasurer shall at every meeting of the Society report to the President the names of, and object to the assignment of the floor to, all Members who are subject to the provisions of the Bylaws with reference to failure to pay any fees, dues, fines, or assessments. The Treasurer shall also make reports to the Society and President about the finances of the Society throughout the semester, shall ensure the continued tax-exempt status of the Society, and shall ensure all debts owed by the Society are paid in a timely manner.

E. Historian.

The Historian shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in the spring semester and shall hold office until the election of their successor. The Historian shall prepare a chronicle of the activities of the Society during their session in office and shall submit this chronicle to the society at the last regular meeting of the Society in the spring semester. The Historian shall arrange and host the Wilson Banquet and the Founder’s Day Banquet. The Historian shall, on the C.I.O. Agreement, be the primary signatory of the Society; the Historian’s signature shall have the full consent, force, and effect of the Society with respect to the C.I.O. Agreement, barring a vote to the contrary by the Society, preventing the aforementioned signature.

F. Room 7 Resident

The Room 7 Resident shall be elected by the Room 7 Selection Committee in the spring semester. They shall serve as the chair of the Alumni Relations Committee for the next year.

G. Keeper.

The Keeper shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in each semester and shall hold office until the installation of their successor. The Keeper shall perform all duties consistent with the historical significance of the office.

Section 3. Appointed Officers, Their Terms and Duties.

The appointed Officers of the Society shall be a Membership Chair, a Probationary Chair, a Ways and Means Chair, a Parliamentarian, a Pen and Ink Chair, a Sergeant at Arms, a debate and Oratory Chair, and a Outreach Chair. No Member shall hold more than one of these offices at one time.

A. Membership Chair.

The President shall appoint a Membership Chair, whose duty it shall be to chair the sessions of the Membership Committee, to present the candidates for Probationary and Regular Membership to the Society, to report the candidate recommendations of the Committee to the Society and shall report to the Executive Committee any breaches of the Society’s non-discrimination policy.

B. Probationary Chair.

The President shall appoint a Probationary Chair, whose duty it shall be to chair the sessions of the Probationary Committee, to act as intermediary between the Regular and Probationary Members, and to schedule, supervise, and present Probationary presentations. The Chair and the Probationary Committee shall discuss the topic, content, and procedure of the presentation with the Probationary Members as well as determine, at the beginning of each semester, the requirements for membership, and consult the Executive Committee when formulating these standards.

C. Ways and Means Chair.

The President shall appoint a Ways and Means Chair, whose duty it shall be to chair the meetings of the Ways and Means Committee and to execute the traditional responsibilities of the office.

D. Parliamentarian.

The President shall appoint a Parliamentarian, whose duty it shall be to, upon request of the President or any Member, advise as to parliamentary procedure as defined in the Bylaws, and to advise the President in matters of construction of this Constitution and of the Bylaws of the Society. It shall also be the duty of the Parliamentarian to provide the Society and all relevant bodies with a copy of the current governing documents, and shall keep a record of all amendments passed by the Society to this Constitution and to the Bylaws of the Society.

E. Pen and Ink Chair.

The President shall appoint a Pen and Ink Chair, whose duty it shall be to chair the meetings of the Pen and Ink Committee, to publish and disseminate The Jefferson Journal, and to carry out other responsibilities which may be assigned by the Society.

F. Sergeant-at-Arms.

The President shall appoint a Sergeant-at-Arms, whose duty it shall be to prevent, in the best of their power, the violation of Federal, State, and local penal statutes at the meetings of the Society, to report all infractions of said statutes to the Executive Committee, and to enlist the aid of the General Membership or any public official in performing said duties. It shall be within the power of the Sergeant-at-Arms to bar from meetings any person determined to be in violation of said statutes at that time, within a standard of reasonable sensibility. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall also chair the meetings of the Public Services Committee to promote the Society’s good standing in the Community.

G. Debate and Oratory Chair

The President shall appoint a Debate and Oratory Chair, whose duty it shall be to chair the meetings of the Debate and Oratory Committee and to carry out other responsibilities which may be assigned by the Society.

H. Outreach Chair

The President shall appoint an Outreach Chair, whose duty it shall be to chair the meetings of the Outreach Committee, liaise with outside organizations, support and assist other chairs with promoting society events open to the public, coordinate with the Membership Chair in publicizing interviews to join the Society, as well as manage outreach to the broader community.

Section 4. Electoral Procedure.

The election of Officers of the Society shall be by secret written ballot which shall be collected and counted by two tellers appointed and assisted by the President. A simple majority of the votes cast, a quorum being present, shall be sufficient to elect. If this majority be not obtained on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be dropped, and the Society shall proceed to another ballot. This process shall be continued until one candidate shall have obtained a majority of the votes cast. The result of the election shall then be transmitted by the tellers in writing to the President, who shall announce the result to the floor. Ample opportunity shall be allowed for a demand for a recount, after which the ballots shall be destroyed by the tellers. There shall be no further balloting for that office.

Section 5. Installation of Officers.

The retiring President shall administer the following oath (or affirmation) to the President-Elect before relinquishing the office of President: 

Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) upon your honor, and in the presence of this Society, that you will faithfully execute the duties of the office to which you have been elected? The new President shall administer the same oath (or affirmation) to each of the other newly elected officers upon completion or postponement of all remaining elections.

Section 6. Vacancies.

Should a vacancy occur in any of the elected offices of the Society, such a vacancy shall be filled by the Society not later than the next meeting following the formal announcement of such a vacancy.

Section 7. Discipline and Resignation of Officers.

Any elected Officer of the Society shall be subject to removal from office for neglect of duty, misconduct in office, or for any cause deemed sufficient by the Society; provided that in every case due opportunity for defense shall be given. For such removal, a three-fourths vote of the Regular Members in good standing present and voting shall be necessary; provided that in every case, three-fourths of the votes cast shall be a majority of the Regular Membership in good standing at the time. The President, for any cause they deem sufficient, shall have the power to remove any appointive officer. Resignation from an office in the Society shall be made in writing to the President. Resignation from the office of President shall be made in writing to the Vice President and to the Secretary.

Section 8. Corporate Officers.

Whatever Board of Directors or Board of Governors may be required by law and the charter of incorporation of this society, whensoever the Society shall be incorporated, shall consist of all the elective officers of this Society. The President of the Society shall be the President of the Board; the Treasurer of the Society shall be the Treasurer of the Board; each elective officer of the Society shall fill a corresponding office on the Board; whenever such corresponding office shall exist. 

ARTICLE III. POWERS OF THE SOCIETY

Section 1. Powers.

The Society shall have the power to: 

(1) perform all functions reasonably consistent with its purposes as set forth in the preamble to the Constitution. 

(2) provide for the open expression of the collective opinion of the Society. 


(3) levy duties and assessments and to contract loans. 

(4) provide general rules under which officers and members may be sanctioned for failure to perform their duties.

Section 2. Meetings.

The Society shall meet in order to provide for the common improvement in debate and discourse. Provisions for such meetings shall be at the discretion of the Society as established by vote or by other such rule adopted. 

Section 3. Amendments.

Amendments to, and revisions of, this Constitution shall become effective, and this Constitution shall be by them altered or revised, when such amendments or revisions have been submitted in writing to the Secretary, have been read at two consecutive regular meetings of the Society, and have then been passed by an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the Regular Members in good standing present and voting, provided that the number of Regular Members voting on the amendment constitutes at least one-half of the Regular Membership in good standing.

Section 4. Bylaws.

Bylaw not contrary to the Constitution of the Society shall be ordained by the Membership to serve as rules for its activities when adopted. In cases of discrepancy, the Constitution takes precedence in the governance of the Society.

Definition And Procedures

Bylaws not contrary to the Constitution shall become part of the governing rules of the Society when they have been submitted in writing to the Secretary, have been read at two regular meetings of the Society, and have then been passed by two-thirds of all Regular Members in good standing present and voting, provided that the number of Regular Members voting on the bylaw constitutes at least one-half of the Regular Membership in good standing.

Article I. Meetings, Quorum, and Good Standing, Signing of the Roll       

Section 1. Meetings.

A. Regular Meetings.

Unless otherwise decided by the Society, the Society shall meet at 7:29 p.m. on Fridays when classes are in session in the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Virginia in the Fall and Spring semesters. A meeting may be canceled by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the Regular Membership.

B. Special Meetings.

A special meeting may be called by the President at any time the President deems it necessary. It shall also be the duty of the President to call a special meeting when requested in writing to do so by five Regular Members. If the President fails to call a special meeting when so requested, a quorum of Regular Members may call a special meeting. Notice of a special meeting shall be posted plainly in front of the Society’s Hall and announced via email at least thirty-six hours before the designated time for the special meeting. The notice shall state the following: the date, time, and place of the special meeting; the purpose of the special meeting; and by whose authority the special meeting was called. The notice shall remain posted until the time designated for the special meeting.

Section 2. Quorum.

One fourth of the Regular Members in good standing of the Society shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution of the Society, provided that the Regular Membership in good standing be thirty or less; but when the Regular Membership is above that number, one-fifth of such Membership shall constitute a quorum.

Article II. Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees.

A. Number and Designation.

There shall be the following Standing Committees: the Executive Committee, the Membership Committee, the Probationary Committee, the Debate and Oratory Committee, the Pen and Ink Committee, the Historical Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Alumni Relations Committee, the Alumni Council, the Programs Committee, the Outreach Committee, the Public Service Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, and the Restoration Ball Committee.

B. Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Historian, the Chairs of Membership, Probationary, Ways and Means, Pen and Ink, Debate and Oratory, Outreach, and Restoration Ball Committees, the Keeper, the Society’s Resident of Room Seven, West Lawn, the Parliamentarian, and the Sergeant-at-Arms. Besides performing the duties elsewhere delegated to it, this Committee shall act as an advisory body and shall consider all matters of interest to the Society. It shall have the power to bring upon the floor measures that it believes the Society should consider. Its functions, however, should not conflict with those of other regular committees. No member may hold more than one office on the Executive Committee at a time.

C. Membership Committee. 

(1)The Membership Committee shall be composed of five members, including the Membership Committee Chair, selected by the President. It shall be among the duties of the Membership Committee to prevent, to the best of its powers, any violation of the Society’s nondiscrimination policies, to report all infractions of said policies to the Executive Committee, and to enlist the aid of the General Membership in performing these duties.

(2)The Membership Committee shall have the goal, in coordination with the Outreach Committee, of publicizing the interview process for admission to the Society to the University Community. It shall be the duty of this Committee to investigate such persons as it has reason to think are interested in Society membership and who would enrich the Society by their participation, to receive applications for Probationary Membership, and to arrange for each applicant an interview by a panel of Regular and Associate Members. No applicant shall be interviewed more than once each semester for each class of Probationary Members. The Membership Committee shall consider the advice of such panels, and will present in a non-binding report at the next business meeting of the Society the names of those applicants whom it recommends for Membership. The reports of the Membership Committee, including both majority and minority reports in the case of a division, shall be endorsed on each application, and the application placed in the hands of the Historian to be kept among the records of the Society.

(3)It shall also be the duty of the Committee to consider the eligibility of each Probationary Member for Regular Membership, and to report at an appropriate meeting of the Society its recommendations as to a Probationary Member’s candidacy not later than one semester after the date of that Member’s signing of the Probationary Roll. 

(4)The meetings of the Membership Committee may be closed and proceedings held confidential. 

D. Probationary Committee.

The Probationary Committee shall be composed of the Probationary Chair and at least six but no more than eight other members, appointed by the President. The Probationary Committee shall discuss the topic, content, and procedure of the Probationary’s presentation with the Probationary member, and serve to foster their inclusion into Regular Membership in the Society.

E. Debate and Oratory Committee.

The Debate and Oratory Committee shall be composed of the Debate and Oratory Chair and at least two but no more than four other members, appointed by the President. It shall be the duty of this Committee to arrange for the annual Smith-Simpson Debate on Diplomacy, the Martin Simon Skeptical Debate, and all other external debates and competitions. This Committee shall plan and make all necessary arrangements for the Great Orators of History contest. The Committee may assist the Society in facilitating debate and oratory during its regular meetings, including panels, debates, and presentations from members and invited guests. This Committee shall plan and make all necessary arrangements for the Benjamin C. Moomaw contest to be held annually during the Spring. Such arrangements shall include the selection of judges and the distribution of appropriate publicity materials.

F. Pen and Ink Committee.

The Pen and Ink Committee shall be composed of the Pen and Ink Chair and at least two but no more than four other members, appointed by the President. It shall be the duty of this Committee to publish The Jefferson Journal, to make necessary arrangements for the Society’s literary contests, and to assist the Society in facilitating literary presentations and discussions. This committee shall also be responsible for planning and executing the annual Edgar Allan Poe reading contest. 

G. Historical Committee.

The Historian shall be Chair of the Historical Committee. The Committee shall also be composed of at least four but no more than six other members who shall be appointed by the President. One member of this Committee shall be known as the Scribe, whose duty it shall be to maintain the Society’s computer files and web site, which shall include a current copy of the Constitution, Bylaws, Standing Rules, and other such records as the Society may require. Another member of this committee shall be known as the Illuminator, whose responsibility it shall be to maintain a pictorial record of the semester’s events. The additional members of this Committee shall otherwise assist the Historian in the fulfillment of their duties. This Committee shall plan and make all necessary arrangements for the annual Wilson and Founder’s Day Banquets with the Ways and Means Committee.

H. Appropriations Committee.

(1) The Appropriations Committee shall monitor the collection for, use of, and disbursement from the accounts of the Society, undertake the Audit under Article IV, § 3 of these bylaws; and assist the treasurer in their duties.The committee shall consist of the Treasurer and four elected members. No other member of the Executive Committee shall be a voting member of the Committee. The Committee must reach a quorum of three members to transact business. 

(2) Voting members of the Committee shall elect from amongst themselves a Chair, who shall not be the Treasurer of either the contemporary or previous semester. The Treasurer may not vote in the election of the Chair. In the event of an impasse in said election, the question shall be put before the Hall, pursuant to the election procedures as defined in Article II, Section G, Subsection 3 of the Bylaws of the Society. The Chair shall conduct and present the semester audit, following a meeting of the Committee outside of the presence of the Treasurer. The Chair shall call a meeting of the Committee without the presence of the Treasurer to discuss allegations of misconduct brought against the Treasurer.

(3) Members of the Committee shall be elected by a plurality vote of the Regular Membership of the Society at the first regular meeting of the semester. Each candidate may have a total of four minutes to give a speech. Candidates shall speak in the order in which nominations were accepted. The election of members of the committee shall be by secret written ballot which shall be collected and counted by two tellers appointed and assisted by the President. Members of the Committee shall serve in their position until the beginning of the first meeting of the semester following their election. Members of the Committee may only be removed before that time through the disciplinary proceedings for elected officers described in Article II, § 7 of the Constitution.

I. Alumni Relations Committee.

The Alumni Relations Committee shall consist of the Room 7 Resident, who shall act as chair, and at least two but no more than four other members appointed by the President. The duties of this committee shall be to maintain contact with Alumni, promote all relevant events to Alumni, and organize opportunities for charitable giving to the Society in conjunction with the Executive Committee.

J. Alumni Council 

The President of the Society shall appoint two alumni to serve a two-year term each semester to the Alumni Council starting on January 1 for fall Presidents and July 1 for spring Presidents. The Alumni Council shall help organize alumni events regionally and assist the executive committee and alumni relations committee with outreach to alumni. The President and Room 7 Resident shall be ex-officio members of this council. The Council shall elect its own chair. 

K. Programs Committee. 

The Vice President shall be Chair of the Program Committee. The President shall appoint at least two but no more than six other members. It shall be the duty of the Committee to arrange suitable programming for the meetings of the Society. Each program shall be announced at least one week before the time at which it is to be presented. In the arrangement of the program, the Committee shall be guided by its own discretion and by the purposes of the Society, as expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution. Upon objection a program may be changed by a majority vote of Regular Members in Good Standing present and voting no later than one week before the program is to occur.

L. Outreach Committee 

The Outreach committee shall consist of the Outreach Chair and at least three, but no more than six other members appointed by the President. The duties of this committee shall be to coordinate messaging and communication with the broader university community, promote diversity, advertise events that may be of interest and open to the public, create promotional materials, update the website and social media as it pertains to Society events and news in conjunction with the Scribe, and promote the Society’s standing at large.

M. Public Services Committee.

The Public Services Committee shall consist of the Sergeant-at-Arms, who shall act as the chair, and at least two but no more than four other members, appointed by the President. The Committee shall be responsible for Society scholarships and for activities authorized by the Society to promote the Society’s good standing in the Community. 

N. Ways and Means Committee.

The Ways and Means Committee shall be composed of the Ways and Means Chair and at least two but no more than four other members, appointed by the President. The Committee shall provide for the Society’s social events, including a Probationary party and a faculty social each semester. The Committee shall also be jointly responsible with the Historical Committee for the Wilson and Founder’s Day Banquets. 

O. Restoration Ball Committee. 

The Restoration Ball Chair shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the Society in the spring semester and shall hold office until the election of their successor. The Restoration Ball Chair will lead the University of Virginia student initiative to restore and preserve the Academical Village, called the Restoration Ball.  The President shall appoint at least four but no more than six members of the Restoration Committee, which will be responsible for the logistics and budget of the Restoration Ball, engagement with other student organizations for co-sponsorship to cover the full costs of the event, marketing the Restoration Ball to the University community, and alumni relations and fundraising related to the Restoration Campaign.

One member of the committee shall be appointed the Vice-Chair of the Restoration Ball by no later than the end of the Fall Semester. The Restoration Ball Chair shall select the Vice-Chair with the advice and consent of the President. The Vice Chair will be an automatic appointment to the Committee upon the Spring Semester appointments.

P. Ex Officio Members of Committees.

The President of the Society shall be an ex officio non-voting member of all committees. As provided above, the Treasurer shall be an ex officio voting member of the Appropriations Committee. There shall be no other ex officio members appointed or named. 

Section 2. Select Committees.

A. Room Seven Selection Committee.

The Room 7 Select Committee is co-chaired by the President of the Fall and Spring and composes both Executive Committees. They shall select a Room 7 resident for the following year. 

Section 3. Other Committees.

The President, or, in the President’s absence, the Chair, shall appoint such other committees as they see fit, and such as are authorized by the Society.

Section 4. Removal.

Any member of an appointive committee may be removed by the President from office for neglect of duty, or for any other cause deemed sufficient.

Article III. Orders of Business

The order of business at any regular meeting shall be the reading of minutes from a previous meeting and the roll call, followed by any other business before the Society. Such business may include Induction of New Members, Reading of the Minutes, Roll Call, Presentation and Discussion of Scholarly and Literary Works and the Delivery of Oratorical Addresses, Announcement of the Program, Reports of the Committees, Report of the Treasurer, Extraordinary and Unfinished Business, New Business, Motions, and Resolutions, and Probationary Presentations, concluding with Adjournment. Orders of business may be suspended at any meeting by a two-thirds vote of those regular members in good standing present and voting.

Article IV. Election Procedures

Section 1. Day and Order of Elections.

Elections shall occur at the final Regular Meeting of the Semester, and shall be the last point of business for that meeting. Elections shall occur in the following order:

(1) Election of the President. 

(2) Induction of the President-Elect.  

(3) Election of the Vice President. 

(4) Election of the Secretary. 

(5) Election of the Treasurer. 

(6) Election of the Historian (Spring Semester only, except in the case of a vacancy). 

(7) Election of the Restoration Ball Chair (Spring Semester only, except in the case of a vacancy)

(8) Election of the Keeper 

(9) Induction of the Vice President-Elect, the Secretary-Elect, the Treasurer-Elect and the Historian-Elect, Restoration Ball Chair-Elect, Keeper-Elect.

Section 2. Procedures for Elections.

The procedure for the election of officers shall be as follows: 

(1) Each candidate shall have a total of 15 minutes consisting of one 8-minute period and one 7-minute period. 

(2) The order in which candidates shall proceed shall be determined by agreement among the candidates. In the absence of agreement, the order shall be determined by lot. The same order shall apply to both periods allotted to the candidates. 

(3) Each candidate’s 8-minute period may be utilized at the candidate’s discretion and may consist of any combination of speeches, including a candidate speech and a nominating speech. 

(4) Once all of the candidates have completed their 8-minute periods, each candidate shall inform the chair as to the manner in which the candidate wishes their representatives to allocate the 7-minute period, as well as appoint a representative to observe the counting of the ballots as provided by Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution. 


(5) The chair shall administer the 7-minute period in accordance with the candidate’s instructions.

Section 3. Delay of Elections.

Elections for any position may be postponed upon a motion from the floor, which must be seconded. 

Article V. Finances

Section 1. Dues,  Fees, Debts, And Failures to Make Payment.

A. Dues.

Probationary and Regular Members shall pay dues of sixty-five dollars per semester. Failure of a Regular Member to pay dues before the adjournment of the third meeting of the semester shall result in an additional fee of ten dollars being added to Regular Member dues, making them seventy-five dollars after such time. Failure of a Probationary Member to pay dues before the adjournment of the third meeting of their Probationary Membership shall result in an additional fee of ten dollars being added to Probationary Member dues. Associate Members shall be exempt from all fees and dues, but not from fines and assessments; Associate Members may pay Regular Member dues or a one time fee of equal to four times this amount as established at the time of payment, or a one-time fee 
of two-hundred forty dollars paid prior to January 18, 2017, to earn the additional privileges in Article I. Section 2. Paragraph C. of the Constitution. The Treasurer, in consultation with the President, may adjust or waive a Member’s dues upon provision of meritorious reason by the Member.

B. Fees.

The Society may levy additional fees, by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, to cover any operating deficit or extraordinary expense in a given semester.

C. Debts.

A Member will be considered indebted to the Society when Society funds are used to provide private benefit; this debt will last until the debt is repaid in full to the Society. Debts go into effect one week after they are incurred, after which point they are considered late and unpaid.

D. Failures to Make Payment.

Any Member shall automatically lose the privileges of Membership, including the privileges of the floor, for failure to pay any fees, dues, fines, or debts by the prescribed time. In the event that a Regular Member fails to pay dues during two consecutive semesters, the Member’s name shall be stricken from the roll. The Secretary shall be responsible for notifying any Member who fails to pay dues; upon the next semester of delinquency, the Member’s name will be stricken from the roll. Membership may be reinstated through payment of an additional ten-dollar fee upon payment of new dues or, in special circumstances, by petition to the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Reports of the Treasurer.

At the first meeting in each Presidential term, the Treasurer shall submit a written report, which shall be read before the Society, and, if accepted, be spread on the minutes. At the last meeting of each session the Treasurer shall report the financial standing of the Society, which report is also to be spread upon the minutes and to be re-read at the first meeting of the succeeding session. The Treasurer shall also compile the names of all Members who have not paid their dues, and provide this list to the President and Secretary.  

Section 3. Audit.

Between the sixth and the ninth meeting of the semester and at the end of each semester, the accounts of the Treasurer and the Restoration Ball Committee are to be audited under the discretion of the Executive Committee, and the books, vouchers, etc. are to be turned over to the Historian for safe keeping.

Section 4. Funds of the Society.

No Member of the Society, acting in any capacity, may obligate the funds of the Society without the express authorization of the Treasurer, acting within their power to make disbursements. The Society shall honor all obligations legally incurred in its name by its Members, but must assess against any Member any amount to which he obligates the funds of the Society without approval, unless the disbursement is subsequently ratified by the Society.

Article VI. Probationary Presentations

Section 1. Requirement.

Each Probationary Member shall present a probationary presentation to the Regular Membership. Acceptance of such presentation shall be a prerequisite to Regular Membership.

Section 2. Types of Presentations and Procedures.

The probationary presentation requirement may be satisfied by completing any one of the following:

A. Probationary Speech.

A probationary speech of up to nine minutes in length, and presented according to the following procedure: 

(1) Uninterrupted constructive speaking: five minutes, with a light tap of the gavel at four minutes elapsed. 

(2) Constructive speaking subject to questioning by the Regular and Associate Membership: three minutes. 

(3) Uninterrupted summary: up to one minute.

B. Probationary Debate.

A probationary debate run according to the following procedure: 


(1) A Probationary Member who wishes to utilize the debate procedure should contact the Probationary Chair at least one calendar day prior to the presentation, indicating said wish to debate. The Probationary Chair shall attempt to secure a volunteer from the Regular or Associate Membership to debate the Probationary Member. Volunteers may debate only once on the same resolution each semester.

(2) The volunteer from the Regular or Associate Membership shall speak in favor of the resolution for four minutes of uninterrupted constructive speaking, being warned at the three-minute mark by a light tap of the gavel.

(3) The Probationary Member will speak extemporaneously in opposition to the arguments of the regular Member and the resolution for four minutes of uninterrupted constructive speaking, also being warned at the three-minute mark by a light tap of the gavel.

(4) There shall be two minutes of questioning of the Probationary Member by the Regular and Associate Membership. 

(5) Two minutes of rebuttal speaking by the volunteer Member, addressing arguments raised in the Probationary Member’s constructive speech.   

(6) Two minutes of rebuttal speaking by the Probationary Member, addressing arguments raised in the volunteer Member’s constructive and rebuttal speeches.  The Probationary Member may not bring any prepared materials to the debate, but may refer to notes taken while the volunteer Member is speaking.  The chair will cite rules of procedure (2) through (6) for a probationary debate listed in Article V. Section 2. Paragraph B. of the Bylaws immediately prior to such debate.

C. Literary Probationary Presentation.

A literary presentation according to the following procedure: 

(1) The probationary member shall read an original cohesive work of fiction or poetry under a single title, of at least six but no more than twenty minutes. 


(2) There shall be at least one, and at the Chair’s discretion, up to five minutes of questioning of the Probationary Member by the Regular and Associate membership.

Section 3. Critique.

Prior to the beginning of a probationary presentation, the President shall appoint a critic from the Regular, Honorary, or Associate Membership. The critic shall listen to the presentation and observe the speaker carefully and at the conclusion of the presentation shall render a constructive critique; the critique shall also recommend to the Regular Membership that the presentation be accepted or rejected. Critiques of probationary presentations shall be limited to the initial critique; followed by up to five speakers, alternating between opposition to and affirmation of the critic’s recommendation, followed by speakers general to the topic. Each speech shall be limited to five minutes total time, except where debate is extended by a two-thirds vote of the Regular members in good standing present and voting.

Section 4. Vote on Acceptance.

Following the critique and any pertinent discussion, the Regular Membership shall vote on the question: Shall the presentation be accepted? A majority of two-thirds of those present and voting, a quorum being present, shall be required for the acceptance of a probationary presentation.

Section 5. Distinction.

The speaker making the initial critique, or any other speaker at the time of the debate on the probationary presentation, may recommend that the presentation that has passed be recorded as passing with distinction. A presentation shall be deemed to have passed with distinction if the recommendation is not objected to, at the time it is made, by any Regular or Associate Member. A presentation that has passed with distinction shall be considered for all appropriate awards at the end of the semester. A presentation that has passed without a dissenting vote shall not be deemed to have passed with distinction unless the other requirements of this paragraph have been met.

Section 6. Revelation of the Vote.

If the presentation is rejected, the vote count shall be revealed by the President upon request of any Regular Member or of the Probationary Speaker.

Section 7. Repeat Presentations.

The rejection of a probationary presentation shall be without prejudice. Another presentation on the same or different topic may be made during the semester, as scheduled by the Probationary Chair.

Section 8. Failure to Present a Probationary Presentation.

Unexcused failure to present a probationary presentation at such time as is scheduled by the Probationary Chair shall bar the Probationary Member involved from making any probationary presentation that semester.

Section 9. Subject.

Probationary Presentation shall be upon any subject capable of stimulating the intellect.

Section 10. Discussion of Topic.

Upon a showing, during or following a probationary presentation but prior to the vote on acceptance of such presentation, that the Probationary Member involved did not discuss their topic and probationary presentation with the Probationary Chair, the President, at their discretion, may require that the Probationary Member give their presentation at a later date and after discussing it with the Probationary Chair.

Article VII. Presentations from the Membership

A. Presentations.

A Member of the Society may make a speech, dramatic presentation, debate or reading to enlighten, excite, or generally edify the Society. No Member shall be required to make any speech, dramatic presentation, debate or reading to retain active membership privileges.

B. Motions.

 Should a Member of the Society wish to make a presentation, they may use, but are not limited to, the following motions to structure their presentation: 

(1) Motion to Present a Topic. This motion grants a member three minutes for an extemporaneous or prepared speech. Two minutes of questioning, serious or otherwise, from the membership is to follow, with a conclusion from the member which should last no longer than one minute. Should the membership be so inclined, the Chair may recognize up to three members to respond to the topic for a time no greater than two-and-one-half minutes. 

(2) Motion to Challenge. A member may make this motion to incite debate with another member, by challenging that member with a resolution. The parameters of debate are as follows: Four minutes for the affirmative argument; four minutes for the negative; a two-minute rebuttal from the affirmative, then a two-minute rebuttal from the negative. Should members be so inclined, the Chair may recognize no more than three members to speak for no more than two-and-one-half minutes regarding the debate. 

(3) Motion for a Presentation. This motion grants a member as much time as he or she may consume in making a presentation.

All above motions shall be made as unanimous consent requests of the following form: 

 

Mr./Madam President (Chairman/Chairwoman), I request unanimous consent for [Name of Motion].

Article VIII. Badges and Shingles

Section 1. The Badge.

The Badge of the Society shall be triangular in shape, pointing down, approximately five-eighths of an inch to a side. It shall have upon its face two quills crossed, upon which, facing to the left, shall be a profile of Thomas Jefferson. In the corners at the top shall be: On the left side the Letter “J,” and on the right side the letter “S.” At the bottom shall be the Greek letters Phi Pi Theta.

Section 2. Shingles.

A certificate of membership, of suitable size and design, shall, after being designed and printed by the Membership Committee, be presented by the Executive Committee to all Regular Members as soon as practicable following their initiation into Regular Membership. The Membership Committee shall be required, after each semester, to provide one such shingle to each Regular Member from the Probationary Class of the previous semester.

Section 3. Certificates of Merit.

A distinct certificate of merit may be presented by the Executive Committee to any Member who shall have evidenced outstanding participation in or service to the Society. Such certificates shall be awarded at the discretion of the Executive Committee and the President, at such times as they shall deem suitable.

Article IX. Rules of Order

The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern the Society in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Society.

Article X. Expulsion Procedures

Section 1. Procedures.

The Society shall use the procedures for investigation and trial found in § 63 of Roberts Rules of Order (11th Ed.).

Section 2. Role of the Membership Committee.

The Membership Committee shall serve as the investigative committee for the Society.  The Membership Committee shall investigate any alleged violation of the Society’s Standard of Conduct referred to it by a majority of the Executive Committee or of the Society acting as committee of the whole. At the discretion of the Membership Chair, it may investigate any alleged violation of the Society’s Standard of Conduct reported to it directly by an individual. Meetings of the Members of the Membership Committee for the purposes of the investigation shall be closed. 

Section 3. Recusal.

The Membership Chair may recuse themselves and any member of Membership Committee can recuse themselves.  In the event that the Membership Chair recuses themselves, the President shall appoint as acting chair, for the purposes of the investigation, another member of the Membership Committee.  In the event that any member of the Membership Committee recuses themselves, the President shall appoint an additional regular member to the Membership Committee for the sole purpose of carrying out the investigation.

Section 4. Report of the Membership Committee.

The Membership Committee shall present a written report, adopted by at least one-half of the members of the Committee, not counting any member who has recused themselves, of the findings of its investigation and a recommendation on expulsion to the Society in a closed session.  The report, when recommending expulsion, must include a list of charges and the evidence supporting each charge.  Following the Membership Committee’s presentation, the Society may adopt the Membership Committee’s report, or an alternative resolution, calling for a hearing on the matter, by vote of half of regular members in good standing present.  

Section 5. Reasonable Notice of Proceedings.

Following the Society’s adoption of the Membership Committee’s report recommending expulsion, or of a resolution calling for a hearing, the President shall fix a date for a live hearing on expulsion no sooner than two weeks from the date of adoption. The President shall send the written report of the Membership Committee and the date of the live hearing on expulsion to the email address on file of the accused member.  The President shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the accused member receives notice.

Section 6. Speedy Disposition of Proceedings.

A live hearing on expulsion shall take place prior to the last regular meeting of the same academic semester as the presentation of the accused member by the Membership Committee. 

Section 7. Delay of Proceedings.

The President may waive the requirement for a speedy hearing and fix a date for hearing at a later time if the accused member consents in writing and the President finds the interests of fairness so require.  If the President denies the accused member’s request to waive the requirement for a speedy hearing, the accused member may seek the vote of a majority of regular members in good standing present, in closed session, to waive the requirement for a speedy disposition of proceedings.  No delay may be granted for more than five months at a time.

Section 8. Hearing.

The hearing shall be held before the Society at a special meeting called exclusively for that purpose. It shall be the only order of business at said meeting.  The Membership Chair or another member of the Membership Committee, designated by the President, shall represent the Society in proceedings.  The hearing must take place while the University is in regular session.

Section 9. Vote.

Vote by secret ballot will commence immediately following closing arguments.  

Section 10. Effect of Prevailing at Hearing.

Any member who prevails at an expulsion hearing shall not be the subject to a new investigation or another resolution commencing an expulsion hearing arising out of the same common nucleus of operative facts, unless the member has been convicted of a crime due to conduct that is part of the same common nucleus of operative facts and the conviction occurred after the member prevailed in their expulsion hearing.

Section 11. Special Rules.

The Society may adopt such special rules of order for the hearing as the interests of fairness so require, provided that reasonable notice of such special rules shall be provided to both the Membership Committee and the accused member.