YJFC Constitution

Created 10/29/05

Revised 10/18/19


It is the desire of this organization to establish the sport of fencing on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology and to promote fencing throughout the Southeastern United States.

Article I: Name

The name of this organization shall be Yellow Jacket Fencing Club (also known as YJFC, a Georgia Tech Student Organization).

Article II: Objectives

The objectives of this organization shall be:

1 – To provide students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Georgia Tech, and their spouses, with the opportunity to participate in the sport of fencing.

2 – To establish the basis for a fencing team qualified to represent Georgia Tech in intercollegiate fencing competitions.

3 – To provide opportunities for students and faculty to find qualified instruction in fencing.

Article III: Membership

Section A – Members of YJFC will be Georgia Tech students who meet eligibility requirements for participation in extracurricular activities, as stated in the GT Catalog and SGA policies. Only Georgia Tech students that are also YJFC active members can vote or hold office.

Section B – Associate members may be GT faculty, staff, or alumni, their spouses or domestic partners, and spouses or domestic partners of student members. Associate members may not vote or hold office.

Section C – There will be no maximum number of members.

Section D – Membership will take effect when an interested party signs the membership roster and pays all dues set for the semester.

Section E – This organization will not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, or any other factor.

Section F – Participation in club sponsored tournaments is determined at the discretion of the Executive members and squad leaders.

Section G – To be considered an “active member” (eligible for election or appointment), a member should have paid dues for the semester and be a member through IMLeagues.

Section H – Any behavior on or off the fencing strip that violates either club or competition safety and sportsmanship rules, or a failure to pay dues, shall be grounds for suspension or forfeiture of membership, subject to appeal of the Executive Board (defined below: IV.B). The Executive Board shall review the circumstances. A decision shall be made by simple majority vote by the Executive Board and the fencer’s respective squad leaders, and, in the case of a squad leader’s suspension, a simple majority vote by the Executive Board and all squad leaders.

Section I – The term of membership shall last one semester, beginning with the payment of dues and terminating on the last day of finals. In order to be a member of the Yellow Jacket Fencing Club, students must be eligible for participation in extracurricular activities as defined by the Georgia Tech handbook and SGA policies.

Section J – Members are entitled (III.G) to the following privileges:

  1. Attending club practices
  2. Responsible use of club equipment
  3. Attending tournaments (both club sponsored and not) on behalf of YJFC.
  4. Attending club sponsored social events
  5. Observer status in the weekly Executive Board meetings.
  6. Membership of any Committees (VIII). 

Article IV: Officers

Section A – According to the GT Catalog, students can only run for and hold office if they are in good standing with the Institute (academically and non-academically).

Section B – An Executive Board will govern the activities of the organization.

1. The Board members will, in order of ranking, include: a president, a team captain, a vice-president, a treasurer, and a secretary.

2. The Board members make up the Executive Board of Yellow Jacket Fencing.

Section C – The specific duties of the Executive Board members shall be as follows:

The president shall:

  1. Act as senior Executive Board member and have general supervision of the affairs of the Yellow Jacket Fencing Club.
  2. Preside over meetings of the club and the Executive Board.
  3. Call meetings of the Executive Board.
  4. Represent the organization at conferences, conventions, and faculty or alumni meetings.

The team captain shall:

  1. Plan and conduct all practices.
  2. Lead the club in competitions.
  3. Direct the forming of teams to send to competitions.
  4. Maintain the competitive team and define member requirements.

The vice-president shall:

  1. Act as junior Executive Board member and act on behalf of the President in the event of their absence.
  2. Oversee all Committees.
  3. Be responsible for lodging and travel arrangements for sponsored tournaments.

The treasurer shall:

  1. Handle dues, budget, and finances of the organization.
  2. Report financial conditions of the club.
  3. Submit special requests for funding to the student government and foundations.
  4. Maintain records of all revenue and expenditures and ensure that generally accepted practices and monetary controls are in place.

The secretary shall:

  1. Record accurately the proceedings of all meetings.
  2. Maintain an up-to-date list of club members.
  3. Document and distribute Executive Board meeting minutes to club members.
  4. Maintain and distribute to members a weekly newsletter with all relevant information.
  5. Maintain the cleanliness of the email inbox, including deletion, archiving of old emails, and labeling and sorting of relevant and ongoing conversations.

Section D – Members shall hold only one Executive Board position at any one time.

Section E – Additional Committees in the YJFC may be created by the Executive Board as detailed in Article VIII. Committee chairs appointed to these new Committees will not have the voting rights of the Executive Board members.

Section F – The Executive Board and Committee chairs make up the “Officers” of the Yellow Jacket Fencing Club. 

Section G – During fall and spring semesters, the Executive Board shall meet on a weekly basis and additional times as necessary. Officers are required to attend these meetings. All meeting times and places will be given by an officer to an inquiring club member.

Section H – All Executive Board members shall be formal representatives of the club at competitions.

Article V: Dues

Section A – Dues will be determined at the beginning of the semester by a majority vote of the Executive Board but will not be less than the required amount designated by the Student Government Association Joint Finance Committee Policy.  Dues are to be paid by the deadline set forth by the Executive Board at the beginning of the semester.

Section B – These dues do not include any fees for personal equipment purchased through the club.

Section C – Dues are to be collected by the treasurer, but any treasurer-approved Executive member may collect dues in their absence.

Article VI: Elections

Section A – Only current members can vote.

Section B – Voting is conducted anonymously through a form distributed to the entire club.

Section C – Only “active members” (III.G) may run for or hold office.

Section D – The elections for Executive Board members for the forthcoming year will take place in the spring semester no later than three weeks before the end of the semester.

Section E – Election timeline and nomination processes must be announced to members at least two weeks prior to the elections meeting. Candidates accepting their nominations shall give speeches before the voting period.

Section F – The election of Executive Board members shall be by secret ballot. The candidate with the most votes cast will be elected to that position. In the event of a tie between candidates for the most votes, the tied candidates will be given an opportunity to step down. If neither steps down, there will be a revote between those candidates by the club members. If after the revote there is still a tie, it will be up to the Executive Board to reach a solution.

Section G – Votes will be counted by a current member of the Executive Board who is not running for office. If a candidate brings up a possible conflict of interest, they may make their grievances known to the Executive Board who will then take appropriate action to try and resolve it.

Section H – The voting period will last no less than five days from the time the email containing nominees is sent. The voting period ends on a date decided upon by the Executive Board prior to the elections meeting.

Section I – New Executive Board members will take office at the last meeting of the spring semester. Board members will serve terms of one year. If a Board member’s position becomes vacant before their term is complete, a special election shall be held at the earliest convenient time to fill the position.

Section J – If a position remains unfilled after the elections process, the new Executive Board will decide who will fill the position by simple majority, with the highest-ranked present Board member as tie breaker if necessary. 

Article VII: Officer Removal

Section A – If an officer fails to maintain Institute requirements as stated in the GT Catalog and Article IV, Section 1, they shall resign immediately.

Section B – If it is believed that an officer is not fulfilling their constitutional duties, then the executive board may declare a general meeting on their removal. This meeting shall be announced at least a week in advance and open to all members of the club. Both sides shall have an opportunity to present a case. 

Section C – The Faculty Advisor, if appropriate, shall preside over the removal hearing. After all arguments have been heard, a secret-ballot vote shall be held. If at least two-thirds of the members present vote for removal, the officer shall be removed immediately. If there is no Faculty Advisor, the removal hearing will be overseen by the highest-ranking Board member available. 

Section D – If an officer is removed, a special election following the conventions listed in A.VI shall be held at the earliest convenient time to fill the position. The victor will take office immediately following election and will fulfill the term of the officer that he or she is replacing. In the interim, duties will be redistributed as decided by the Executive Board.

Article VIII: Committees

Section A – Committees may be created and dissolved as necessary by the Executive Board for specific events, projects, and duties.

Section B – Each Committee will have exactly one chair, as appointed by the Executive Board.

Section C – Any active member may be appointed to a Committee chair. The Committee Chair may delegate responsibilities as they see fit to other members of said Committee.

Section D – There will be no maximum number of members that may be on a Committee.

Section E – Committees may create their own non-Executive Board roles as they see fit.

Article IX: Advisor

Section A – A full-time salaried GT faculty or staff member will serve as Advisor to the organization.

Section B – Nominations for Advisor will take place within the Executive Board.  An Advisor will be chosen within two weeks of a vacancy.  The Executive Board will choose the Advisor by a majority vote and invite him/her to serve as Advisor for the next academic year.

Section C – During Executive Board elections, the organization may vote on whether to continue the Advisor appointment or not.  The vote must be a majority of those voting in order to retain the Advisor for the next academic year.

Section D – The duties of Advisor may include: meeting with organization officers, reviewing the yearly budget, signing all required paperwork and advising on issues of risk management, organization leadership, and Georgia Tech policy.

Section E – The Advisor can be removed for not carrying out the duties and expectations as defined in this document.  Any member can bring concerns to the Executive Board.  The Executive Board will meet with the Advisor to discuss the concerns.  After this meeting, the Executive Board will vote on whether to remove the Advisor.  If there is a majority vote, then the Advisor will be removed.

Section F – If an Advisor steps down, is removed, or is not re-appointed, the Executive Board will follow the process stated in Article IX, Section B.

Article X: Parliamentary Procedures

Robert’s Rules of Order will be used in instances not covered in this constitution.

Article XI: Amendments

Section A – Any member can propose a constitutional amendment. The amendment must be submitted at an Executive Board meeting.

Section B – Written notification must be made by mail or email to all members at least two weeks in advance of the proposed changes to the constitution before any changes can be made.

Section C – A two-thirds vote of active members present will be required for adoption.

Section D – Amendments are subject to the approval by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Student Activities Committee (SAC).

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