Constitution of The Review and Debates at New York University
The Review and Debates shall serve the NYU community as a public forum for all NYU students; create and maintain a community of students committed to supporting the forum; and shall be a place for discussion, debate, and questioning.
Article 1: Name
The name of this organization will be The Review and Debates at New York University
Article 2: Mission
The Review will be a student-run publication at New York University that establishes a platform for discourse among university students across the world. The Review will provide rigorous editorials on politics, culture, economics, and other important subjects by publishing focused content that is supported with detailed research and written by passionate individuals. The Review will commit to publishing articles of the highest quality as a way of facilitating informed, energetic dialogue among the student community. To foster this community, The Review will collaborate with other publications, as well as independent writers, with the intention of providing our readers with a variety of perspectives from universities throughout the globe. In doing so, The Review will explore the complex dynamics underlying current events in a way that encourages free sharing of ideas, and creates a more enlightened community.
The Debates will be a student-run debate community at New York University that encourages students and faculty to contemplate and discuss contemporary global issues. The Debates will invite prominent academics, from the NYU community and beyond, to debate these issues with NYU student participants. The Debates will place a strong emphasis on debate topics that encourage multidisciplinary analysis; the Debates will encourage perspectives that go beyond conventional political debates by offering motions that are conducive to multiple areas of academic interest. The Debates will deliberately seek out debaters who can bring unique perspective to their arguments.
The Review and Debates at NYU does not endorse the views of participants, but instead aims to provide a non-partisan space for discourse.
The Review and Debates at NYU shall not discriminate with regard to age, citizenship status, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity; nor shall the The Review and Debates enforce any discriminatory decisions as such.
The Review and Debates shall not enforce any decisions in conflict with applicable local, state or federal laws or University policies and procedures presently in force or hereafter enacted.
The Review and Debates shall not assume any policy stances other than those herein contained.
Article 3: Officers
The Officers of The Review and Debates at NYU will execute the operational and administrative tasks outlined by the Executive Board.
The terms of all officers shall end on the third Tuesday of April each year, at which time the terms of the elected officer shall commence.
No officer may serve two full terms in the same position.
All officers shall forfeit their office upon losing their full-matriculation status with the University. No officer shall, during the time for which they were elected, hold any other office in The Review and Debates. No officer convicted of disobeying this Constitution may hold office again.
A loss of membership shall mean a loss of office.
All officers may resign a position at any time in writing to the President. The President may resign to the Secretary.
In the event of an absent President, the secretary will preside over a meeting of the Executive Board.
The officers of the Events Committee will be comprised of the Vice President and the Debate Director.
I. The Vice President (VP)
i. The VP will be responsible for chairing the Events committee, and will hold ultimate decision-making responsibility for the Events committee.
ii. The VP will designate tasks for the Debates Director and all other committee members. This includes matters relating to, but not limited to, guest participation, logistics, and event topics. Additional members of the committee may be added or removed at the discretion of the VP.
iii. The VP will be responsible for guest invitations
II. The Debate Director (DD)
i. The DD will be responsible for preparing debate participants and the development of event content/topics. They will assist in running Event committee meetings and engaging with participants.
ii. In the event of an absent VP, the DD will fulfill their Events Committee-related responsibilities, but is not a voting executive board member.
iii. The DD may not participate as a debater, considering their responsibility to adequately prepare both the proposition and opposition benches, but if a situation arises where the DD is forced to fill in for an absent participant, they must relinquish their responsibility to prepare both sides to the VP.
9. The Review shall consist of the Editor-in-Chief and the Editors
I. The Editor-in-Chief (EIC)
i. The EIC of The Review will be responsible for the operational and administrative functioning of the publication.
ii. The EIC will oversee the operations of the Editors by assigning deadlines for drafts and final publication and will have final say and editing power on articles submitted to The Review .
iii. The EIC is responsible for holding Editors accountable for their responsibilities, as outlined below.
II. Deputy Editor-In-Chief (DEIC)
i. The DEIC of The Review will aid the editor in their responsibilities.
ii. The DEIC will remain in contact with errant writers and follow up on missed deadlines in tandem with the EIC.
iii. The DEIC will fulfill the responsibilities of the EIC when the EIC is unable to do so, but is not a voting executive board member.
i. Editors will be nominated by the Editor-in-Chief and approved by the Executive Board, by a simple majority.
i. The Editors will be responsible for editing articles assigned to them by the EIC. The Editors are expected to closely proofread grammar and spelling, "verify the validity, originality, and strength of arguments made, and send an edited draft to the writer for review.
iii. They are expected to promptly execute the editing process and provide the EIC with a final copy for consideration by the deadline provided by the EIC.
Article 4: Debaters and Guest Speakers
- Debaters and Guest Speakers will sit on the Supporting and Opposing benches and provide arguments in support of or in opposition to the Debate Motion (the topic of the debate).
- The Debaters will be responsible for representing their bench’s position (Supporting or Opposition) on the defined Debate Motion to the best of their ability. Debaters will be chosen by the President from an approved list.
- Guest Speakers will be invited to individual debates as experts on the respective motion. Guest Speakers will be invited by the President from an approved list.
Article 5: Events Committee Members
Committee members hold voting power in annual officer elections based on their regular attendance at committee meetings (3 minimum per semester) AND active
participation in committee decisions.
Have the right to contribute to debate, editorial, and logistical conversations.
In the event that a committee member fails to complete the tasks assigned by their respective committee Chairperson, the committee Chairperson may strip them of their tasks. If the committee member causes a significant enough disruption to committee activities, to the extent that they are a liability to committee operations, then they are subject to removal by the Chairperson.
Article 6: The Executive Board
The members of the Executive Board are as follows:
A. The President
The President shall be vested with the executive power of The Review and Debates.
The President shall serve as the presiding officer of the Board unless otherwise stated in this Constitution.
The President shall supervise all other officers. The President shall ensure the satisfactory fulfillment of the obligations of each office. The President shall notify each officer the obligations of each office, as required by the Constitution, and by the Board.
The President shall have power to liaise with other organizations; to endorse, sponsor, and denounce other organizations, with the advice and consent of the Board.
The President shall have the power to fill up all vacancies that may happen between elections except for the Treasurer and the Secretary.
The President shall have power to restore loss of membership, pursuant to this Constitution.
If the President shall resign, be removed, or become incapacitated, the Board shall appoint a temporary president and hold a special election within two weeks. This special election shall be open to all members and the election procedures described herein shall be followed. The temporary president shall only serve until a qualifying member is elected via the special election.
B. The Vice President (for responsibilities, see Article 3, Section 8.i)
C. Editor-in-Chief (for responsibilities, see Article 3, Section 9.i)
D. Outreach Director (OD)
I. The OD will be responsible for creating and managing all outreach activities, including event & meeting advertising, communications with departments, and social media activities. The OD will manage the club Mailchimp, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
E. The Treasurer
I. The Treasurer shall maintain the budget for The Review and Debates; draft the budget for each semester;apply for a budget each year; and develop fundraising ideas.The Treasurer shall make purchases on behalf of The Review and Debates, with the advice and consent of the Board.
F. The Secretary
I. The Secretary shall manage the club email account, take minutes at club meetings, monitor attendance at meetings and events, book rooms for meetings and events, and facilitate all communications among club officers and members via Slack and email; maintain a record of membership, at the direction of the Board; and oversee the archives of The Review and Debates.
The Executive Board will be responsible for the administration and operations of the organization. The Board shall be charged with upholding this Constitution.
- A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for all matters except disciplinary matters, trials of membership, and impeachments. For the aforementioned cases, the full Board must be present.
- An officer shall not vote in the Board decisions regarding disciplinary matters, trials of membership, or impeachments if they are the defendant or plaintiff in that case.
- The Board shall have power to create and pass budgets to achieve the undertaking of this constitution;
To approve all expenditures of The Review and Debates;
To approve all sources of revenue;
To establish uniform and non-discriminatory rules on becoming a member;
To create a logo for The Review and Debates and regulate the usage thereof;
To define and create rules of conduct for events;
To set uniform rules of engagement on all media of The Review and Debates
To sponsor, engage, or denounce other organizations
To establish, alter, and remove offices, except those listed in this Constitution;
To appoint officers whose appointments are not herein listed: the Board may vest the appointment of such officers, as it thinks proper, in the President alone, in the Board, or other officers; - And
To make all the decisions which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution.
Every decision of the Board shall be presented to the President for review. The President may approve it or reject it. If the Board reconsiders the rejection by the President and then two thirds of the Board approves the decision, the decision becomes immediately binding on The Review and Debates.
This shall not apply to decisions regarding budgets, disciplinary matters, impeachments, and trials of membership.
Article 7: Amendments
- Amendments to the Constitution of the Review and Debates can be motioned for by any member of The Review and Debates’ officers. The amendment will be subject to a 3/4 majority of all members.
Article 8: Election Process
- The officers of The Review and Debates shall be elected to their office as follows.
I. There shall be no absentee or proxy voting. An exception will be made if an editor is working from abroad.
II. Voting shall be conducted at one session for all offices.
III. The President must announce the list of offices, along with obligations, for the election to all members two weeks before the elections. The Executive Board shall approve the list of offices before announcement.
IV. Each member must inform the Secretary and President for which offices they intend to run at least one week before the election. A member may nominate themselves for as many positions as they choose, but offices will be elected based on a standard hierarchy.
i. The hierarchy of voting is as follows: President, Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, Outreach Director, Treasurer, Secretary.
ii. If an individual loses an election, they shall be allowed to run for the lower office as determined above in Article 8, Section D.1. The Secretary shall be responsible for the creation of the ballots with all the candidates’ names, by alphabetical order.
iii. Elections shall be conducted using runoff voting for each ballot. Each voter shall rank the candidates running for office in order of their preference. A candidate shall win the election if they receive the majority of first-place votes. If no candidate has a majority of first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated, and the votes for this candidate are reallocated based on the second-place votes of each ballot; this shall continue until one candidate has a majority of the votes. If no majority can be achieved, the Executive Board shall decide the election.
2. The Secretary shall preside over the election proceedings. The Secretary shall ensure that the election proceeds as determined by this Constitution and the Executive Board.
3. Election results shall be tabulated by the Secretary and announced immediately to all members. The Secretary shall notify all members of the results of the elections. The President shall notify the University of the results of the election.
4. The Executive Board may establish other rules as necessary to conduct elections, which shall not violate this Constitution. Any additions or changes must adhere to the Amendment process detailed in Article 7.
5. The terms of all officers shall end on the third Tuesday of April each year, at which time the terms of the newly elected officers shall commence.
6. The Executive Board shall not alter the duration of a term to which an officer was elected after the results of the election.
7. The Executive Board shall have power to fill offices should no qualified candidates be elected to those offices. The Executive Board shall not fill offices with individuals that fail the qualifications of this Constitution.
8. Each officer elected must be a fully-matriculated student at the end of the term to qualify for office.
Article 9: Requirements for Elected Positions and Appointments
Requirements for Elected positions are as follows
Candidates for the Presidency must have served as a board member for at least 2 semesters.
Candidates for the Vice Presidency must have served as a member for at least. 2 semesters.
Candidates for the Editor-in-Chief must have served as an editor for at least 1 semester. They must commit to serve a term lasting a full school year.
Candidates for Treasurer must have served as a member for at least 1 semester.
Candidates for Secretary must have served as a club member (including committee members) for at least 1 semester.
Article 10: Removals and Impeachment
- The grounds for impeaching an Executive Board member are as follows:
I. Failure to fulfill the duties expected of their office, as contained in this Constitution
i. Ongoing disruption of another officer’s ability to complete their duties, as contained in this Constitution
ii. Ad hominem attacks on other officers or members that disrupt the functioning of the club or prevent another officer from completing their duties.
iii. Abusing another officer or member’s rights, as contained in this Constitution.
iv. Election Fraud
v. Misappropriation of funds
2. The Impeachment Process consists of the following steps:
3. A member shall initiate an Impeachment Proceeding by notifying the President of their decision and the name of the Board member they wish to impeach. If the President is the target of impeachment, the Secretary should be contacted. The Secretary shall preside over the impeachment of the President.
4. The Plaintiff must submit a written statement detailing their reasons for the impeachment motion. This statement will be read by the presiding officer.
5. The Defendant holds the right to defend themselves against the aforementioned charges by giving a verbal statement after the accusation is read.
6. An officer may be impeached with a two thirds majority of the Board.
7. Every officer convicted shall be removed from office immediately.
8. Impeachment decisions are final and not subject to appeal.
9. In the event that an officer of the club is notified of any incident against a member of the Review and Debates at NYU that violates federal, state, local, and/or university law, that officer is required to report this incident to relevant authorities.
10. The Executive Board must uphold a zero-tolerance policy for such incidents. In the event that an officer is found guilty of not reporting such an incident, they are subject to immediate removal from the club.
Article 11: The Rights of Members
No member or person may be censored for a political stance they assume individually nor may any member lose their membership for assuming any political stances.
No member shall lose their membership for criticizing the Board, or The Review and Debates.
Every member shall hold the right to petition the Executive Board.
Pursuant to the applicable local, state or federal laws or University policies and procedures presently in force or hereafter enacted, no person shall be forbidden from participating at an event without reason.
The Rules for becoming a Member shall always be made available to all students.
No member shall be coerced to donate to The Review and Debates without just compensation.
Each member shall have one vote for each office. No member shall be forced to vote or lose their membership due to refusal to vote. No member shall be denied the right to vote.
Members hold the right to be free of ad hominem harassment or abuse by another member of the organization, as defined by this Constitution.
Article 12: Liability and Accusations of Harassment/Abuse
The club strives to provide a chamber for free discourse, and as such, the content of debates or published materials do not constitute reasonable grounds for an accusation of harassment or abuse unless they violate the club’s mission statement, as defined in Article 2, or constitute an ad hominem attack.
Offensive statements, as such, may not be treated as harassment or abuse unless they target a specific person wh en they are sufficiently severe or persistent or pervasive such that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from participating in The Review and Debates’ events and publications.
Article 13: Ratification
The Ratification of this Constitution by six Members of the Board shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution.
We, the Officers of The Review and Debates, hereby ratify this Constitution on 26th of March, 2017