Article I –General Info
Section 1: The official name shall be Secular Humanists, Atheists, and Free Thinkers; also known as SHAFT.
Section 2: The club shall operate as a non-profit organization.
Section 3: The club shall abide by the applicable policies and procedures of ASUSU and the Utah State University Student Code.
Section 4: The Purposes of SHAFT
(b) To promote tolerance and understanding, address negative stereotyping, misconceptions about, and discrimination against nontheists, and
(c) To advance the knowledge of the University community by contributing to the marketplace of ideas.
Section 1: Voting membership is open to all students, faculty, and staff at Utah State University and any other persons wishing to obtain Membership. Membership should, in no circumstance, be denied for reasons based on race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, creed, marital status, public assistance status, sexual orientation, or any other discriminating factor.
Section 2: Non-Students’ Voting Rights
(b) Should a non-student desire voting membership, that non-student shall gain voting privileges only when enough students hold membership to satisfy the required proportion.
(c) Should more than one non-student’s status be unresolved due to an insufficient proportion of student members, voting privileges shall be granted chronologically, with preference for those who submitted their membership form earlier in the current academic year.
Section 3: Terms of Membership
(b) A Membership fee, if any, shall be established in the bylaws.
(c) The term of membership shall begin at the collection of application, and end at the first meeting of the next fall semester.
Section 4: Benefits of Membership
(b) Invitation to members-only events.
(c) Access to the SHAFT library
(d) Access to members-only Internet services.
(e) Others as determined by the Big Five.
Section 5: Impeachment
(b) The accused member must be given at least a seven-day notice before any impeachment proceedings begin.
(c) The impeachment must take place at a meeting announced to the Membership.
(d) At the meeting the accuser and the accused are each given the chance to plead their case to the entire membership of the club in attendance at the meeting.
(g) An impeached member may never again hold a position in the Big Five nor become a voting member.
(h) If a member(s) consistently accuse another member(s) unjustly, impeachment processes may be taken against the member(s) doing the accusing.
Section 6: Actions the Big Five May Take Against Impeached Members
(b) Impeached members may lose all forms of membership by consensus of the Big Five and thereby lose all affiliation and association with SHAFT.
(c) The Big Five may file a restraining order against an impeached member, if necessary, by consensus decision.
Section 7: Attendees of meetings (including voting members, non-voting members, impeached members, non-members, Officers, and speakers) who create a hostile or tense environment or are disruptive, disrespectful, destructive, severely offensive, harmful, or threatening to SHAFT, its members, or other attendees may be asked to leave by any member of the Big Five or their proxy. Attendees asked to leave must be advised of their right to file a grievance with the University. Any member of the Big Five or their proxy is authorized to contact security for assistance in removing the person in question, report the incident to the University, or take other appropriate measures with any uncooperative attendees.
Article III- Officers
Section 1: The Big Five Structure
(b) The Big Five of SHAFT shall consist of no less than three elected officer positions.
(c) The Bylaws shall establish and make changes to the numbers of members in the Big Five as well as their titles and responsibilities as need arises. The Bylaws may also make changes to the name of the Executive Board.
(d) The Bylaws may not be amended so as to change the number of the Big Five members between an election and the time at which the newly elected officers take office.
Section 2: Executive Board Requirements
(b) Undergraduate members must be registered for at least six credits.
(c) Graduate members must be actively pursuing a degree. SHAFT may require any graduate student to provide a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies of the student’s department certifying that the student is actively pursuing a degree.
(d) Any member of the Big Five that drops below six credits may ask the full membership to waive this requirement during any given semester. A simple majority vote, done by written ballot at an announced meeting, may approve the exemption.
Section 3: The Big Five Terms
(b) All officers after this first term shall be selected by elections held during the month of April and serve for a term of one calendar year.
(c) To fill a mid-year vacancy in the Big Five, the remaining Big Five members may appoint a member by consensus, call for a sudden election among all members, or reassign the duties among other Officers.
Section 4: Voting Procedure
(b) Elections may be implemented by written ballot, electronic methods, or a combination thereof. The method shall be decided by the Election Committee.
(c) Instant Runoff Voting
b. The voter need not exhaust all possible candidate choices.
c. If an Office does not have a candidate with a majority (over fifty percent) of primary votes, the ballots listing the lowest primary-vote receiver as their primary choice go to their second choice.
d. This process is repeated until one candidate gets a majority of the votes for the position.
(d) Write in Candidates
b. If a write-in candidate has a majority vote, the candidate shall be given the option to accept or decline.
c. If the candidate declines, all ballots listing that candidate as their primary choice shall go to their next choice.
(e) “None of the Above”
b. If a majority of votes for an office are for “None of the Above”, another election shall be held, and none of the candidates who ran for that office in the previous election may run again.
(f) No Candidates for an Office:
b. Voters have the option of writing in more than one choice, using the Instant Runoff ranking method.
c. “None of the Above” is not an option in this election.
d. Abstentions do not count toward the vote total.
e. Should no write-in candidate obtain a majority of votes or accept the position, the Big Five members-elect must decide by consensus how to handle the situation.
Section 7: Officer Impeachments
(b) However, the accuser must specify if they wish to impeach to remove from office or impeach to remove from membership.
Section 8: Major Decisions
(b) Major Decisions are duties not included in individual Officer Descriptions that affect the entire group, such as making or breaking affiliations with other groups, or endorsement of political stances or of personalities.
(c) When no consensus can be reached, a majority vote by the membership is required to pass the decision.
(d) Voting must be announced at least forty-eight hours in advance.
(e) Voting may take place by show of hands or written ballot, depending on a motion’s wording, circumstances, or committee decision, and must occur immediately after discussion.
Article IV- Committees
Section 1: Officers of SHAFT are encouraged to manage or appoint managers of standing committees. Unless specified otherwise, all committee members and managers are appointed from the general membership, or removed from their committee positions, by consensus of the Big Five.
Section 2: Standing committee structure, responsibilities, and leadership shall be established in the Bylaws.
Article V- Meetings
Section 1: Time of Meetings
(b) A special meeting may be called by the Officers or by a petition of ten percent of the voting membership.
(c) Meeting time and frequency shall be decided by consensus of the Big Five.
Section 2: Quorum
(b) “Quorum” shall be defined in the Bylaws.
(c) Any absent member of the Big Five must appoint a proxy. Should they fail to do so, the voting members present shall appoint that member’s proxy with a majority vote.
(d) Should a special meeting be called by petition of ten percent of the voting membership, then twenty percent of the voting membership (not necessarily the same members as signed the petition) shall constitute a quorum.
Article VI- Financial Matters
Section 1: SHAFT must not provide monetary gain, incidentally or otherwise, to its directors or membership. This does not restrict payment of wages, salaries, or incentives for services rendered.
Section 2: Unless otherwise specified by the majority of the voting membership at the time of dissolution of the organization, residual assets shall be distributed to non-profit organizations chosen by the Big Five.
Section 3: The yearly budget shall be created by consensus of the Big Five.
Article VII-Bylaws, Constitution, Amendments, and Procedure
Section 1: Bylaws
(b) The Bylaws shall specify details about the Big Five’s decision-making process, the handling of finances, additional duties not given to the Officers in the Constitution, additional Officer Positions not described in the Constitution, etc.
(c) The Bylaws shall have the same binding power as the Constitution, but may not conflict with or supersede it.
(d) The Bylaws may be amended at any time by consensus of the Big Five.
(e) Bylaws must be publicly posted for the general membership.
Section 2: Constitution
Section 3: Amendments
(b) A petition of ten percent of the membership is required for consideration of an amendment.
(c) Petitions and proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Officers for a first reading to the membership at a meeting.
(d) A special committee may be formed to draft a final version of the amendment and to decide on a date for discussion.
(e) The amendment may not be ratified until at least forty-eight hours have passed since its first presentation to the general membership.
(f) A vote of two-thirds of the voting members present is required for the amendment’s ratification.
(g) Amendments may only be considered during fall and spring semesters, excluding finals week.
Section 4: Procedure
(b) For determining the passage of a motion abstentions do not count toward the vote total–thus they do not count for, or against, passage.
(c) Ballots for all written votes must be counted by no less than two individuals.
(d) The Chair may use parliamentary procedure as much or as little as situations dictate, but should generally avoid it to promote a more informal atmosphere.