NATIONAL SOCIETY OF BLACK ENGINEERS
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY CHAPTER CONSTITUTION
Amended March 25, 2001
Amended September 30, 2001
Amended April 6, 2003
Amended October 29, 2006
Amended November 26, 2008
Amended November 7, 2010
Amended February 6, 2011
Amended May 12, 2013
Amended April 16, 2014
Amended December 11, 2016
ARTICLE I. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY
The National Society of Black Engineers- Columbia University Chapter Constitution describes the manner in which the organization shall be governed and structured. This document shall supersede and take authority in matters where working rules of NSBE sub-bodies do not exist or are in conflict. As such, all working rules of the sub-bodies of NSBE shall comply, and be consistent with this Constitution.
ARTICLE II. PREAMBLE
The National Society of Black Engineers, as a national student-based organization, does hereby dedicate itself to the development of intensive programs for increasing Black and other ethnic minority participation in the field of engineering and engineering technology. These programs will be initiated both within and outside the university community and will serve to strengthen relations between professional industry and the Black community. Members of this organization are encouraged to join and participate in their individual professional societies. This organization will endeavor to provide general counseling to all.
ARTICLE III. NAME AND TYPE
The name and type of this organization shall be the National Society of Black Engineers - Columbia University Chapter, a non-profit student run organization; hereafter referred to as the Chapter.
ARTICLE IV. OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the Chapter shall be to stimulate and develop student interest in engineering; to strive to increase the number of students studying engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; and to endeavor in the advancement of the ethnic minority in professional industry.
ARTICLE V. MISSION STATEMENT
The mission statement of the National Society of Black Engineers shall be to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers, who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
ARTICLE VI. MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Chapter shall be designated as member, affiliate member or honorary member. Membership shall be defined as follows:
- A person who has received a registered membership card through the payment of annual membership fees.
- An undergraduate student enrolled in Columbia University, who is a candidate for a degree in engineering, engineering technology, applied/physical science, or pure science, and has received a registered membership card through the payment of annual membership fees.
- A graduate student enrolled in Columbia University, who has received an undergraduate degree in engineering, engineering technology or, applied/physical science, and has received a registered membership card or receipt through the payment of annual membership fees.
b) Honorary Member
- A person who does not meet the definition of Member or Affiliate Member but has contributed significantly in support of the goals of the Chapter and has been nominated by a member and approved by the Chapter Executive Board. This person may be granted a one year membership or lifetime membership at the discretion of the National Executive Board.
Membership and participation shall be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, ethnic group, age, or national origin.
ARTICLE VII. VOTING
- In order to qualify to vote in both the general elections and proposal considerations, a member must display consistent engagement with NSBE by attending at least two Columbia NSBE sponsored events per semester during the given academic year in which voting is being held, including but not limited to: General Body Meeting, Conventions and/or Executive Board Meetings.
- In order to qualify to vote in both the general elections and proposal considerations, a person must have become a NSBE paid member by November 1 or March 1, in the event of a Fall or Spring semester electoral procedure respectively.
- Each nationally recognized member (Members as defined by the national constitution) shall be entitled to one vote in all Chapter general body meetings in which membership is held except as noted in Voting Article VII, Section 2.
c) Special Cases
- In the event that a member has not paid by the said deadline in a given semester, but has still attended the requisite number of meetings, said member can petition the President on-site for a ballot.
The President shall vote on all general issues on the floor only to break a deadlock during an election.
SECTION 3. ELECTION PROCEDURES
- A meeting must take place at least a week before elections where the positions and duties are announced for all positions to the general body.
- Shall be held during a General Body Meeting, and shall occur no later than the first General Body Meeting held in April.
- Elections shall be held by secret ballots.
- Election procedures shall be chaired by the President of the Chapter.
- In the event that no single candidate running for an elected position receives at least a >50% simple majority victory, there will be a run-off between the top two candidates.
- In the event that the top two candidates cannot be distinguished due to a multiway deadlock or a tie for the second run-off position, the President will choose the method for resolving the tie so as to elect the top two candidates
ARTICLE VIII. CHAPTER ADMINISTRATION
SECTION 1. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
The organizational structure of the Chapter E-Board shall consist of standing Zones, which are:
- Administrative (Admin)
SECTION 2. ZONES
Each Zone will comprise of appointed Chairpersons, and the activities of each Zone shall be overseen by an elected officer.
The decision to change the working organizational-structure shall be left up to the incoming E-Board, and must be voted into the Constitution prior to implementation.
ARTICLE IX. OFFICES
All elected offices and appointed will be held by nationally recognized NSBE members (Members as defined by the national constitution) on good academic standing and on good standing by the standards of the National Board, who also meet the requirements necessary to vote in chapter elections.
SECTION 2. ELIGIBILITY
Any member of the Chapter is eligible for an elected office except as defined here:
- The Chapter President must be an engineering or engineering technology major.
SECTION 3. ELECTED OFFICES
The elected offices of the Executive board are:
- Vice President
- Programs Chair
- Senators (2)
SECTION 4. RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Board shall:
- Determine all questions of policy and shall administer the affairs of the Chapter under the Constitution and By-Laws, and the general provisions of the law under which it is incorporated.
- Be subject to the orders of the membership and none of its acts shall conflict with the decisions made by vote of the general body, or with the goals and objectives of the organization.
- Not receive any salary for service.
- Make recommendations to the Chapter.
- Set the hour, agenda and place of General Meetings.
- Coordinate activities at all levels of the Chapter.
The Executive Board-elect shall:
- Work in cooperation with the Current Executive Board.
- Take office May 1 of the election year and serve for a one year term.
- Receive transitioning from the outgoing Board.
- Attend the Current Executive Board’s meetings.
In the event that an officer fails to uphold their duties, it is the responsibility of the Executive Board to impeach and remove the officer from the Board. A majority three fourths vote is required for the impeachment to be passed.
The following are grounds for impeachment:
- Having attended less than three quarters of the required Executive Board meetings in a given semester.
- Documented failure to fulfill their responsibilities, as defined in the Constitution.
SECTION 7. VACANCIES IN OFFICE
Should a vacancy occur in the office of President, the remainder of the term shall be filled by the Vice President. In the event that the Vice President Internal is unable to accept the office of President, the office shall be filled by the following sequence of people:
- Programs Chair
- Appointment of the standing Executive Board
Should a vacancy occur in any office other than President during a term of office, the remainder of the term shall be filled by appointment of the President and approved by the Executive Board.
Should an officer elect choose to vacate his/her post prior to the beginning of his/her term, a special election will be held to decide who fills the position.
ARTICLE X. DUTIES OF ELECTED OFFICERS
- Shall preside over all official meetings of the Chapter.
- Shall define the direction of the chapter board and implement strategies and measures for chapter development.
- Shall oversee the activities of the Administrative Zone.
- Shall appoint Chairpersons of all standing, and special committees with the advice and consent of the Executive Board.
- Shall be a liaison to the SEAS Administration.
- Shall serve as a liaison between the Zone, Regional, and National Boards and the Executive Board.
b) Vice President
- Shall preside in the absence of the President.
- Shall oversee the activities of the Membership Zone.
- Shall serve all notices required by law or the Bylaws of the Chapter and in the case of absence, refusal or inability to act, the duties of the office may be performed by any person whom the Executive Board may direct.
- Shall manage Chapter Executive Board meetings.
- Shall outreach to nearby Chapters for Zone-wide events.
- Oversee completion of Chapter monthly reports (CMR) as instructed by organization.
- In the event that there is no Membership Chair, the Vice President Internal shall be responsible for membership responsibilities.
- Shall oversee the activities of the Finance Zone.
- Shall keep accounts and deposit organization funds of the Chapter.
- Expenditures made for the Chapter business shall need the approval of the treasurer and either the President or the Vice President, or a four fifths affirmative vote of the Executive Board.
- Shall collect any monies of the chapter in a manner developed along with the Executive Board.
- Shall prepare an annual budget.
- Shall determine feasibility of chapter activities based on organization funds.
- Shall complete and countersign all financial certificates issued and make proper entries in the financial records of the chapter.
- Shall identify and develop new sources of funding and contributions from engineering specific industry companies.
- Shall oversee the activities of the Communications Zone.
- Shall record accurately the minutes of the Executive Board meetings and make available the minutes to all members on request.
- Shall require from the Executive Board, Standing Committees, and special committees of the Chapter, a record of the activities of said body.
- Shall define mechanisms by which the Chapter Executive Board will initiate communication with the membership for the subsequent term.
- Shall be the secondary recipient of Chapter mail, including postal and electronic mail; shall assist the president in the assortment and distribution of mail to relevant officers.
- Shall establish and sustain the Chapter Newsletter and generate correspondence to the National and Regional Society Newsletters.
- Shall take attendance at executive board and general body meetings.
e) Programs Chair
- Shall oversee the activities of the Programs Zone.
- Shall secure the venue of Chapter General Meetings.
- Shall be responsible for the implementation of national projects and programs.
- Shall design and implement methods by which chapters may learn how to create and maintain programs.
- Shall work with the Regional Programs Chairpersons in order to develop uniform programs in keeping with the goals of the Society.
- Shall assist the Conference Planning Committee in developing the agenda.
- Shall secure campus venues for chapter events.
- Shall outreach to zone chapters for the chapter level events.
- Shall identify mechanisms for funding on local levels.
- Shall oversee the execution of local fundraising events.
f) Senator (two positions)
- Shall serve on any standing committee of the chapter.
- Shall attend, serve as representative of the chapter and vote at National and Regional meetings.
- Shall establish and maintain contact with Regional and National leaders.
- Must be enrolled in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) program.
- Shall serve as a resource on parliamentary procedure and act as Chapter Parliamentarian.
ARTICLE XI. DUTIES OF APPOINTED OFFICERS
Elected officers may appoint Chairpersons to Executive Board zones as necessary.
Chairpersons shall carry out the following duties within their respective zone:
a) Academic Excellence Chair
- Shall serve as a member of the Programs Zone.
- Shall define and implement programs aimed at improving the academic performance of the general membership.
- Collect and maintain data needed to establish the progress of the Chapter Academic Excellence Program.
- Create and maintain academic excellence programs and activities such as the weekly Study Halls.
- Shall maintain data on Chapter members’ research experience.
- Shall find and publicize all Scholarships which apply to the membership, encouraging members to pursue them.
- Shall maintain mentorship program as outlined by National directives.
b) Telecommunications Chair
- Shall serve as a member of the Communications Zone.
- Shall develop mechanisms for establishing and sustaining the National Society Newsletter. This includes the funding and publication responsibilities for the Chapter Newsletter, Website and all other publications.
- Shall define and implement programs by which the general membership can interact with professional engineering industry and the corporate sector.
- Identify other Black engineering student/professional organizations for publicity and/or support.
- Establish interface mechanisms with above-mentioned organizations when expedient and viable.
- Establish mechanisms to define resources for the chapter by industry and vice verse.
- Shall maintain all social media channels.
c) Professional Relations Chair
- Shall serve as a member of the Membership Zone.
- Shall establish and maintain contact with Chapter alumni.
- Shall establish and maintain contact with local Alumni Extension Chapter.
- Shall organize Annual Alumni Event with SEAS Alumni Office.
- Shall maintain contact with Alumni Office.
- Shall update and maintain alumni contact list.
- Shall establish and maintain contact with outside sponsors.
d) PCI Chair (Pre-College Initiative)
- Shall serve as a member of the Programs Zone.
- Shall define and implement programs to increase ethnic minority undergraduate enrollment in Columbia University.
- Shall define and implement programs to increase ethnic minority undergraduate enrollment in college.
- Shall establish and maintain contact with affiliated high schools and organizations.
- Shall pair collegiate tutors and mentors with PCI students.
- Shall organize PCI Chapter events.
- Shall create programming to improve academic performance of PCI students.
e) TORCH Chair (Technical Outreach and Community Help)
- Shall serve as a member of the Programs Zone.
- Shall encourage members to join other pre-professional organizations.
- Shall implement programs and activities that will allow chapter members to bridge the digital gap with the surrounding community.
- Shall organize community service events for general body.
- Shall organize annual Walk for Education event in the Fall semester.
f) Membership Chair
- Shall serve as a member of the Membership Zone.
- Shall maintain data on the membership, including attendance records and noteworthy contributions by general members.
- Shall set forth rewards and maintain a system for tracking membership contributions.
- Shall define, develop and implement programs to increase the size and quality of our membership.
- Shall create and maintain a membership development program.
- Shall implement mechanisms for special outreach to new members.
The Executive Board can create any special committee(s) and chairpersons, as necessary.
ARTICLE XII. MEETINGS
SECTION 1. GENERAL BODY MEETINGS
There shall be general body meetings held weekly during the semester. Additional General Meetings may be scheduled if deemed necessary by the Executive Board. The Executive Board and General Meetings shall have permanent dates and times that are determined by the Executive Board at the beginning of each academic year.
SECTION 2. EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
Chapter Executive Board Meetings shall be held weekly. Appointed positions are only required to attend when requested by the President, but must attend no less than two Executive Board Meetings each month. Additional General Meetings may be scheduled if deemed necessary by the Administrative Zone.
SECTION 3. TRANSITION MEETING
An annual transition meeting shall be held in the last week of meetings each year between the Chapter Board and the Board-elect to transition new chapter members into the roles and responsibilities of their position.
ARTICLE XIII. BY LAWS
The Bylaws of the Chapter shall be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members, or by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.
ARTICLE XIV. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
SECTION 1. PROPOSALS
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by:
- A two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.
- One-third of the vote of the members through Chapter referendum.
Proposals must be submitted in written form to the Executive Board to be reviewed. The proposal must be clearly stated and justified.
SECTION 2. RATIFICATION
Ratification of any amendments to this constitution shall be subject to a three-fourths affirmative vote of the members during any General Meeting.