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Utah State University
A Gay Straight Alliance
Serving Cache Valley
CONSTITUTION

Preamble

We the members of LIFE know that a great deal of silence surrounding issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and gender roles has caused fear, ignorance, and misinformation throughout the USU campus. If this trend is not changed it can lead to a threatening place to live and learn for any person.

Section 1- Official Name

The official name of the organization will be Love Is For Everyone, LIFE, a Gay Straight Alliance serving the Cache Valley Community.

Section 2- Nonprofit Statement

LIFE will operate as a nonprofit organization and any proceeds will be returned to the LIFE account for future operating expenses.

Section 3- Obedience Statement

LIFE shall abide by the applicable policies and procedures of USUSA and the Utah State University Student Code.

Section 4- Goals for LIFE.

LIFE as a student organization has five core goals:

  1. Educate its members, USU students, faculty, staff and the Cache Valley community on about issues regarding sexual orientation and other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, ally, plus matters (hereafter referred to as LGBTQAA+);
  2. Work for a united community through service;
  3. Advocate equal rights for ALL members of the community to the local, state, and national governments in a peaceable manner;
  4. Promote equality throughout the community; and,
  5. Provide a safe and equal network of social gatherings for everyone in a comfortable and supportive setting. Through these goals we hope to create a more diverse, educated, and safe campus.

Section 1- Membership Status

  1. Full Members: All undergraduate and graduate students of USU who are LGBTQAA+ may become full members of the organization. Every full member who is a current student of USU shall be eligible to hold office in the organization and have full voting rights, unless otherwise stated in the constitution.
  2. Associate Members: All faculty members - not a USU appointed faculty member who is an advisor/mentor to any potential Full Members - staff, alumni, former students of USU and community members of the Cache Valley area may choose to become associate members upon request, and will be allowed voting rights on the stipulation that they are in good standing with Associate Membership requirements. They may not run for or hold positions on the executive council positions but may participate on all appointed committees.

Section 2- Non Discrimination Policy

Discrimination or harassment from within or outside the membership on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, age or disability, at any program or activity offered under the control of LIFE is never permitted.

Section 3- Requirements for Membership

Requirements for Full Membership:

  1. Must be a student of USU;
  2. Must sign confidentiality and non-discrimination form; and,
  3. Must pay full membership fees for the current USU school year.

Requirements for Associate Members:

  1. Must be faculty, staff, alumni, former student of USU, or community member of the Cache Valley Area;
  2. Must sign confidentiality and non-discrimination form; and,
  3. Must pay associate membership fees.

Section 1- Executive Council

The officers of LIFE shall be known as the Executive Council which consists of:

  1. Full Membership positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, and Secretary; All officer terms end after one year and shall not exceed two years.
    1. To become a candidate for office club members must be willing to hold and discharge the duties of their office for the full academic year.

Section 2- Duties of Executive Council

The officers of LIFE. shall be known as the Executive Council which consists of:

  1. The duties of the President shall be, but are not limited to:
    1. Spokesperson and representative for LIFE;
    2. Display exemplary leadership qualities by making decisions for LIFE; and
    3. Preside over the election process for the next term;
    4. Preside over the general and Executive Council meetings or delegate this responsibility to Executive Council member(s);
    5. Represent LIFE on the USUSA Diversity Cabinet.
      1. Report to the LIFE Secretary on all Diversity Cabinet events and agenda items.
    6. Keep LIFE in good standing with USUSA, the USU Administration, and all other USU clubs and organizations;
    7. Consult with advisor(s) of LIFE and keep them updated;
    8. Delegate responsibilities to executive council members and/or committee heads;
    9. Oversee and assist all other Executive Council members with all of their respective duties and assume duties unable to be performed by a council member; and,
    10. Notify members in the case of a vacancy in an Executive Council position.
  2. The duties of the Vice President shall be, but are not limited to:
    1. Oversee and assist the Treasurer, Secretary, and/or Public Relations Officer;
    2. Assume duties of President in case of President’s absence or office vacancy;
    3. Assume duties of Treasurer, Secretary, and/or Public Relations Officer to the best of their ability in case of absence or office vacancy; and,
    4. Assist the President in all matters, especially regarding delegation of responsibility to committee heads.
  3. The duties of the Treasurer shall be, but are not limited to:
    1. Keep accurate records of incoming and outgoing funds;
    2. Keep receipts, reimbursement forms, and accounting for all transactions made on behalf of LIFE;
    3. Report accounting at weekly Executive Council meetings by maintaining a running financial record;
    4. Transfer financial record and accounting summary to the incoming Executive Council;
    5. Conduct business outreach and relations in order to report and secure donations and sponsorships for LIFE events i.e. Rainbow Ball;
    6. Secure the ordering and procurement of club merchandise; and,
    7. Advise on the most appropriate distribution of LIFE funds for all LIFE activities and promptly inform the Executive Council on any possible misuse of funds by any member and/or Executive Council member.
  4. The duties of the Public Relations Head shall be, but are not limited to:
    1. Keep LIFE members informed of meetings and activities as stated in the bylaws;
    2. Promote membership on and around the USU Campus and Cache Valley Community;
    3. Update and maintain the electronic presence of LIFE as stated in the bylaws;
      1. Maintain cordial relationship with media organizations e.g. USU Statesman, Herald Journal, and others;
    4. Make and maintain relations with any current and future community-based programs with similar goals to that of LIFE; E.g.
      1. P-FLAG, Logan Pride Festival, Ogden Pride Festival, Cache Youth Resource Center, etc.
      2. High School LGBT organizations, clubs, and associations with emphasis on communication with Seniors;
    5. Promote and advertise LIFE events and programs; and,
    6. Oversee the submission of future LIFE logo ideas for consideration by the Executive Council and LIFE Club Members.
    7. Assist LIFE Treasurer in securing merchandise bearing the club logo.
  5. The duties of the Secretary shall be but are not limited to:
    1. Represent of the needs and concerns of the members to the Executive Council; furthermore, oversee the formal organization of any petition(s);
      1. Which may consist, but are not limited to: Constitutional Amendments (Refer to article IX, sec. 1), Initiatives, Special Events, and Grievances.
    2. Assist the Public Relations Officer by informing members of meetings and activities as stated in the bylaws, specifically through USU LIFE’s email;
    3. Oversee general club meeting attendance records and Executive Council attendance records;
    4. Create, File, and Distribute formal documents and application forms deemed necessary to allow for effective club administration;
    5. Oversee the Executive Council in the creation and execution of a LIFE general meeting outline/calendar, to follow throughout the semester, as well as appoint an Executive Council Member as overseer/representative during and for each general meeting; and,
      1. Furthermore, maintain an events calendar to be provided to the Executive Council and all club members, listing the events of all Access & Diversity Center clubs, Diversity Cabinet clubs, and associations.
    6. Oversee survey(s) during the year to gauge how the general membership feels about events and meetings.

Section 3- Elections for officers

  1. An election committee will be comprised of the Executive Council; council members running for office for the next year are not eligible.
  2. Members running for office must fulfill the following requirements:
    1. Must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA;
    2. Be a paid member for the current academic year;
    3. Attendance must be at least 75% of all general meetings;
    4. Must fill out and submit application to Election Committee as stated in the bylaws.
    5. The Election Committee will review applications and will submit a list of qualified nominees to members for voting.
  3. Voting will take place by secret ballot;
  4. Quorum must be met (Refer to Article IV, Sec 1, A.a.).
  5. New officers will be decided by majority vote, even if running unopposed.
  6. An advisor must tally the votes.
  7. If the advisor cannot be present, the votes will be counted twice by the Election Committee and one non-committee member who is not running for office.
  8. Election Committee will announce new officers by the next meeting.

Section 4- Removal from Office

  1. In the event that an Executive Council member resigns or is impeached the President shall declare the office vacant.
  2. If an Executive Council member is not performing the duties of the office or behaves in a manner contrary to the purposes of the organization, the office shall be declared vacant by a majority vote of Executive Council members and Advisor(s) in a special Executive Council meeting; or
    1. Any five members can call for a special Executive Council meeting to be scheduled for a vote to declare the office vacant.
  3. The Executive Council shall nominate and elect with a majority vote a new Executive Council member to the vacant position, which shall be ratified by a simple majority of members at the next meeting

Section 1- General Voting

  1. Quorum must be met for all voting.
    1. Quorum is defined by two-thirds of Full and Associate membership
  2. The president does not have a vote except:
    1. In case of a tie, when the President will have the deciding vote, and
    2. In general elections.
  3. An active member has one vote.
  4. Voting will be classified as deciding on events, budget spending, fundraising activities, nominations, and amendments.
  5. Votes will be cast in whichever method as seen fit to what is being voted upon be it by secret ballot, voice, or show of hands.
  6. Decision will be made by a majority vote.

Section 1- Committees

Committees are special groups that may be formed by officers to oversee specific tasks and events such as:

  1. Public Relations
  2. Social Events
  3. USU Events
  4. Advocacy
  5. Community Events
  6. Service Projects

Section 2- Committee Chairs

Each committee will be chaired by the elected representative for that committee. All active members in good standing are eligible to perform within any committee.

Section 3- Special and Sub Committees

  1. The Executive Council will not create a special committee to do something that is within the designated function of a standing committee.
  2. Special and sub committees have one function:
    1. To carry out LIFE tasks and activities.
  3. These types of committees are usually small so that the members can easily meet and get the work done.

Section 4- Rules and Regulation of the Committees

  1. Standing committees are to give a written report to their overseeing Executive Council member(s).
  2. Committees cannot act independently of the L.I.F.E organization.
  3. All committee activities are to be for the benefit and promotion of the LIFE organization and its goals, as laid out in the preamble, both on campus and in the community.
  4. Keep and file a detailed record of all activities, to be kept continuously for each new committee chair.
  5. All funds which may be used on a committee that come from the LIFE general account shall first be voted on by majority vote by the Executive Council during an Executive Council meeting under the advisement of the Treasurer and their records.

Section 1- General Meetings

  1. General meetings will be held on campus once a week with exception for: vacations, snow days, school closings, other extenuating circumstances, or if at least one Executive Board Members cannot be in attendance.
  2. If a meeting is to be cancelled or re-scheduled a notice of at least 48 hours will be given by the Secretary to Executive Council Members and to all club members in any form necessary.
  3. Only the President can call the meeting to order unless delegated; however, in his/her absence it will be the following Executive Council Member present.
  4. Attendance shall be recorded and filed as per the duties and prerogative of the Secretary.
  5. The President is the chairman of the meetings (i.e. calls on members to give them the floor); however in his/her absence it will be the following Executive Council Member present.

Section 2- Special Meetings

Special Meetings:

  1. Are called by any member of the Executive Council members;
  2. Are held to discuss topics such as future event ideas, the budget, fundraising ideas, the impeachment of an officer if a charge is brought forth, etc; and,
  3. Attendance shall be recorded and filed as per the duties and prerogative of the Secretary.

Section 3- Executive Council Meetings

Executive Council Meetings

  1. Can only be called by the Executive Council members;
  2. Only active Executive Council members may be actively involved in the meeting but any member and/or approved visitor may attend these meetings;
  3. Attendance shall be recorded and filed as per the duties and prerogative of the Secretary.
  4. If an Executive Council member cannot attend they must give notice for the meeting to take place in their absence (in the event there is no given notice. then all Executive Council members who are in attendance must agree unanimously to continue the meeting).

Section 1- Selection Process

  1. The advisor shall be a faculty member employed by USU who shows interest in LIFE
  2. Once a suggestion has been made as to which faculty/staff member LIFE would like to formally ask, a simple majority vote must be conducted to determine whether to invite the faculty/staff member to the following general meeting.
  3. The advisor shall be asked by an appointee of the Executive Council as to whether he/she would like to be the advisor.

Section 2- Term of office

  1. The advisor shall remain in office until:
    1. The advisor feels he/she cannot fulfill their duties, or
    2. The members (with a majority consensus) feel the need for a new advisor (a reason and suggestion must be present at the time).

Section 3- Role of Advisor

The Advisor will:

  1. Serve as the official staff representative of the college;
  2. Work closely with the club to ensure a cooperative relationship with the advisor.
  3. Assist each Executive Council Member LIFE in understanding their duties and responsibilities;
  4. Assist Full and Associate members to understand and apply democratic principles within LIFE;
  5. Be present at majority of meetings if not all;
  6. Advise students of the policies and procedures which they must follow as a club/organization;
  7. Take reasonable action to ensure the safety and welfare of members;
  8. Ensure the appropriate university policies are upheld; and,
  9. Be present on the day of elections to tally the votes. (if not possible refer to Article III, Sec 3.G.)

Section 1- Submission

  1. Amendments to the constitution should be submitted to the Secretary during Executive Council Meetings.
    1. Club Members in attendance at general meetings may submit amendments to the Secretary, if sponsored by at least one present Executive Council member.

Section 2- Executive Council Approval

Amendments must be approved by a majority of the Executive Board before being voted upon in a general meeting.

Section 3- Official Approval

An amendment to the constitution must be voted upon in general meeting obtaining a two-thirds vote of the members in attendance at the meeting.

Section 4- Unacceptable Amendments

Amendments are deemed unacceptable if they violate USU or LIFE policy.