The Accessibility Community Equity Committee Constitution
Article I. – Title
The name of this organization shall be The Accessibility Community, Equity committee (ACE).
Article II. – Authority
In this Constitution,
- The sole authority for interpreting and ensuring the fulfillment of the Constitution of ACE lies with the committees Executive Council.
- The Executive Council is comprised of an Executive Director/Chair, Director/Communications Officer, Student Advocacy and Disability Services Officer, Workshop Series Coordinator and a designated Undergraduate Student Representative from the respective faculties and colleges (e.g. Faculty of Environmental Studies, FoundersCollegeetc).
- The Executive Council will also collaborate and consult with other equity-initiatives at York such as the Ontario Public Interest Research Group and the Faculty of Environmental Studies’ (FES) Equity Committee to address issues concerning equity.
Article III. – Objective
ACE is comprised of YorkUniversity students who organize around issues of equity, specifically along the lines of race and marginalization. Over the past two years, we have organized workshops, seminars and peer mentorship sessions, all geared at offering students some of the necessary social and emotional supports needed for their success. One of our most important feats was our role, along with the initiatives of the FES faculty-led Equity Committee in ensuring that, effective for the 2010/11 academic year onward, all incoming masters students to FES, irrespective of academic background, were offered funding packages. An added part of our mandate is to provide students information on the ongoing programs and supports offered throughout the University (e.g. York’s Career Centre, the York Institute of Health Research, the Student Alumni Resources Centre etc…).
Article IV. – Functions
- ACE shall function as a non-profit, student-run organization existing within and being an integral part of the community of York University.
- The functions of ACE shall be performed without the purpose of financial gain for any of its members.
Article V. – Goals
The goals of ACE shall be the following:
- To enrich student life at York, by offering students the necessary social and emotional supports for their academic success.
- To encourage the intellectual and professional pursuits of all ACE members.
- To organize events, seminars and workshops that educate the York student population and the broader community about equity issues within academia and systems of knowledge.
- To take critical race, gender, disability, sexuality and class perspectives in advocating for marginalized students.
- To highlight different opportunities and supports available to students within the university.
- To establish contacts with similar initiatives working around equity issues within the university.
- To provide a social network for the students affiliated with ACE.
Article VI. – Language
English shall be the working language of ACE.
Article VII. – Membership
Membership in ACE is voluntary and open to any student or alumni of YorkUniversity (or any other accredited CanadianUniversity) without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, gender, sex, age, or ability.
- ACE will adhere strictly to the aforementioned policy of fairness and equality among its members and will ensure that any violations of the criteria outlined above are immediately rectified.
- Membership criteria are outlined in Article XV. – Rights and Privileges of this Constitution.
- Honorary membership will be granted to York faculty and staff, as well as members of equity committees associated with an accredited CanadianUniversity.
Article VIII. – Council
The Executive Council of ACE shall be responsible for the efficient and orderly administration and management of the committee and its resources.
- The duties and responsibilities of the Council members are detailed in Article XVI. – Duties of the Executive Council of this Constitution.
- Directorial positions may be filled as needed based on the requests of the Executive Council.
- Directorial positions may be assigned roles that coincide but do not exceed the positions of the Executive Council.
Article IX. – Meetings
ACE meetings shall be convened under the authority of the Executive Council to consider the financial affairs of the committee, status of events and event planning, advocacy, outreach and collaboration as well as other issues affecting the administration of ACE.
- The Executive Council for ACE shall convene meetings at least once monthly, and be in regular contact via email and other online mediums of communication.
- General ACE meetings shall be held at least once per month on a date established by the Executive Council.
- Any General meetings of ACE membership may be convened at the request of:
i) The Executive Director or Director; or
ii) The request of twenty-five percent of the committee’s membership.
- An agenda for all meetings shall be decided upon by the Executive Council and presented/emailed by the Executive Director to all ACE members at least one week prior to the commencement of the meeting.
- A general meeting or an additional meeting of ACE will not be considered valid unless a quorum is present. Ten percent of the committee’s membership must be present at any general or additional meeting to constitute a quorum.
- All meetings of ACE shall adhere to an agenda determined by the Executive Director and the Council, containing topics including, but not limited to:
i) Call to order;
ii) Approval of the agenda;
iii) Reading of the minutes from the previous meeting:
iv) Approval; and
v) Matters arising;
vi) Any items held over from the previous meeting;
vii) New items for which notice has been given;
viii) Reports from the Executive Council, and on action taken since the last meeting;
ix) Other business(es);
x) Motions for consideration at the next meeting; and
- ACE meetings shall be conducted in a manner which encourages participation from all members.
X. – Motions
A motion may be made by any member of ACE.
- All motions must be made orally, appealing to the Executive Director of ACE prior or during any meeting, which is called to order.
i) Motions brought forward to the Executive Director prior to the meeting will be added to the agenda and recorded in the meeting minutes
- The procedure for moving a motion is as follows:
i) A motion cannot be moved when another motion of the same type is under active consideration by the meeting;
ii) An intended move must wait until recognized by the Executive Director;
iii) When recognized, the mover states the motion; and
iv) No further action is taken if a motion is not seconded.
A motion which has been properly moved and second is read to the meeting by the Executive Director and recorded for the meeting minutes. This motion then becomes the active business of the meeting. A motion can only be withdrawn, by its movers, with the unanimous consent of the meeting.
A member may appeal against its consideration if a motion is considered to be frivolous, irrelevant, unwise, or against the stated purpose of the committee. Approval of this appeal is made by two-thirds of a majority vote in the negative, in response to the question “Is the motion to be considered?”
Article XI. – Nominations and Elections
- Any interested party may run for a position on the ACE Executive Council on the following premises:
i) Nominators must be members of ACE in the current Academic year;
ii) Nominees applying for the Executive Director and Director positions must hold active positions as ACE members for the current Academic year; and
iii) Elections for the Executive Council will be held in March of each academic year.
The procedure for nominations and elections are as follows:
iv) Approximately one month before the date of the election, an election committee (to be appointed by the Executive Council) will inform the membership of nomination and election dates and procedures.
v) To be nominated as a candidate, a member must submit a nomination form containing their name, student number, the position they are interested in and their signature. These nominee names will be brought forward by the election committee at a general meeting with quorum. Nominees will be expected to give a brief speech regarding their platform and suitability for the Executive Council role(s) in question. Members, with the exception of the running Executive Director and Director, will fill out a ballot and the verdict will be read in that meeting by the election committee.
vi) No candidate may accept nomination for more than one office in any one election.
vii) If only one person is nominated for a particular position that person shall be elected by acclamation.
viii) In the case that the ACE executive requires the urgent service of an Executive Director that person must be nominated by the current ACE Executive Council.
- In the event that an Executive Council position remains unfilled or becomes unoccupied after the annual election has been held:
i) The vacancy of the position must be declared.
ii) Any and all general members may apply for the position.
iii) An interview process may commence within 10 days of the date the position was announced as vacant.
iv) Interviews are to be conducted by the Executive Director and at least one other Executive Council member.
v) All eligible applicants are entitled to be considered.
vi) The selection of a candidate is to be made by the Executive Director and motioned by at least one Executive Council member.
vii) In the event that the Executive Director position is left vacant, the residual responsibilities outlined in sections i) to vi) will be betrothed to the Executive Council.
Article XII. – Voting Procedures
- All members of ACE are entitled to vote in general elections.
- The following positions will be elected by majority vote of the general membership: Executive Director, Director and Undergraduate Liaison.
- Voting will be done by secret ballot.
- In order to vote, voters must be on the ACE membership list.
- The results of the election will be emailed to all members on the day following the general election.
- In event of a tie the Election Committee will immediately inform the current Executive Council as well as the membership of the situation and set a date, not to exceed fourteen days from the date of the general election, for a run-off election.
Article XIII. – Constitutional Amendments
Amendments to this Constitution and its by-laws must be passed by two-thirds of a majority vote of the Executive Council at an Executive Council meeting. The Executive Director will then notify all general members of the amendments. Any objection to the proposed amendment by a general member within seven days of the announcement will require that the amendment be voted on at a General Meeting before it is passed. A minimum vote of twenty five percent of the general membership in favour of the amendment(s) is required for the proposed amendment(s) to pass.
- All proposed amendments must include the following:
i) The current provision; and
ii) The reason(s) for the amendment.
Article XIV. – Conflicts of Interest
Any General Member of ACE or member of the Executive Council will be considered guilty of conflict of interest if, either for himself/herself or some other person(s), attempts to promote a private or personal interest which results or appears to result in the following:
- An interference with the objective exercise of his/her duties in ACE;
- A gain or an advantage by virtue of his/her position in ACE; and
Shall a Conflict of Interest arise, the relevant details of the conflict shall be brought before the committee and if after a communal discussion the individual is found guilty, this person shall be dismissed from his or her duties regarding The Accessibility Community Equity committee at York University.
Article XV. – Rights and Privileges of ACE members
Any student member of ACE may enjoy the rights and privileges of membership in the committee.
- Members of ACE are entitled to…
- Participate, vote, propose items for the agenda of and place motions on the floor during ACE meetings.
- Propose amendments to the Constitution.
- Nominate candidates or stand for election for the positions in the Executive Council.
- Participate in any events or activities sponsored by ACE.
- Membership in ACE may be suspended by the Executive Council if the member in any way violates the rules of conduct as outlined in the ACE Constitution.
- All members are responsible for keeping current with the activities of ACE.
- Membership in ACE is subject to termination if the member’s conduct is deemed, in any way, to be prejudicial to the efficient and orderly operation of ACE.
- Honorary members may attend ACE meetings and participate in any events or activities sponsored by ACE but cannot vote for or hold official positions within ACE.
Article XVI. – Duties of the Executive Council
- All Executive Council members are responsible for the following shared duties:
i) Attend and facilitate all ACE academic and/or social events, as well as participate in the setup and clean up process before and after the event.
ii) Participate in tabling, promotion, recruiting and fundraising as scheduled by the Executive Director and Director.
iii) Attend and participate in all Executive Council and all General Meetings.
- Executive Council positions and duties are as follows:
- Executive Director/Chair
i) To oversee the external image of ACE
ii) To support all appointed committee members in their tasks
iii) To work with the Director to organize and prepare the agenda for all meetings.
iv) To call all Executive Council meetings to order
v) To meet with YorkUniversity administrative personnel when called upon.
vi) To organize Executive Council office hours and meetings.
vii) To provide support, vision and guidance to the Executive Council
viii) To delegate tasks and distribute the workload of the Executive Council.
ix) To be a signing officer of ACE and the club bank account at York.
x) To aid and assist in maintaining the functionality of the club.
xi) To be included in the planning and execution of all ACE events.
xii) To propose and implement strategies to further enhance equity in the larger York Community.
xiii) To maintain a consistent communication channel with the membership body via E-mail.
xiv) To assist in the promotion of all ACE events
xv) To report to the Executive Council, any concerns brought forth by members and/or other York University clubs, and address them accordingly
- Director/Communications Officer
i) To work with the Executive Director to organize and prepare the agenda for all meetings.
ii) To act as the liaison between ACE, and other equity groups at York. This requires monthly meetings or email correspondence with the representatives of these respective groups.
iii) To respond to any questions brought to the attention of the ACE Executive Council via E-mail
iv) To include issues raised by members in the meeting agenda.
v) To uphold the terms of the constitution.
vi) To support all Executive Council members in their tasks.
vii) To maintain a consistent communication channel with the membership body via E-mail, Website, and Facebook
viii) To oversee and upkeep the club’s budget.
ix) To have knowledge of the club’s financial situation at all times.
x) To prepare a finance report for each Executive Council meeting.
xi) To follow up with the Executive Director on all outstanding financial transactions.
xii) To apply for funding from all possible outlets and to follow up on submitted applications.
xiii) To aide and assist in maintaining the functionality of the club.
xiv) To help with the growth and expansion of ACE through the creation of promotional materials and recruitment.
xv) To be included in the planning, promotion and execution of all ACE social and academic events.
xvi) To propose and implement strategies to further enhance equity in the larger York Community.
xvii)To pursue relationships and make connections with other organizations and institutions within the York University community.
xviii) To manage the club’s extra-curricular affairs with other corporations
xix) Create, update and maintain an internet domain for ACE
xx) Maintain Google Docs and electronic document databases pertinent to ACE
xxi) To report to the Executive Council, any concerns brought forth by members and/or other York University clubs, and address them accordingly
III. Undergraduate Student Representatives
i) To work with the appropriate Executive Council members on the different aspects of hosting an event.
ii) To work with the Executive Council to promote information and materials to the undergraduate population and the larger community.
iii) To be included in the planning and execution of all ACE events.
iv) To propose and implement strategies to further enhance equity in the larger York Community.
v) To liaise with Undergraduate Students Association in their respective colleges and faculties.
IV. Workshop Series Coordinator
To work with the appropriate Executive Council members and the Faculty-led Equity committee to organize the annual workshop series. Tasks include but are not limited to:
i) Recruiting guest speakers for the series
ii) Organizing food and technical set-up for each workship
iii) Promoting the workshop and the work of ACE to the larger York student population
iv) Attending monthly meetings and corresponding via email to discuss the details of the workshop series and the ongoing equity-based initiatives of the group.
- Student Advisory and Disability Services Officer
i) To mentor students and assist them in navigating services and resources at York Universtity
ii) To advocate for services and resources on behalf of students.
iii) To act as the liaison between ACE and disability support services at York. This requires attending meetings and/or email correspondence.
iv) To help with the growth and expansion of ACE through the creation of promotional materials and recruitment.
v) To be included in the planning, promotion and execution of all ACE social and academic events.
vi) To propose and implement strategies to further enhance equity in the larger York Community.
vii) To pursue relationships and make connections with other organizations and institutions within the YorkUniversity community.
Article XVII. – Failure to Uphold Duties
- If an Executive Council member fails to fulfill their specific duties or fails to attend an event without sufficient notice, they may be subjected to the removal or impeachment processes as outlined in Articles XVIII and XIX.
- If an Executive Council member fails to attend either two (2) consecutive meetings; or three (3) meetings in total throughout the year without sufficient notice submitted to the Executive Director, they may be subjected to the removal or impeachment processes as outlined in Articles XVIII and XIX.
Article XVIII. – Impeachment
Any member of the ACE Executive Council may be impeached if they violate the Constitution of ACE or act in any way that is deemed prejudicial to the orderly operation of ACE. This would include speaking on behalf of the association and its membership without prior authorization from the Executive Director of ACE.
- Impeachment procedures are as follows:
i) A motion for impeachment may be made by any member of the ACE;
ii) If the motion is seconded by an Executive Council member, the impeachment process begins;
iii) The charge against the Executive member being removed is recorded into the minutes;
iv) The accused member is allowed to make a statement on his/her behalf;
v) There is a discussion of the statement of the accused;
vi) If the vote passes by simple majority, the accused member is impeached;
Article XIX. – Removal and Reinstatement
Any member of the ACE Executive Council may be removed if they violate the Constitution of ACE, act in any way that is deemed prejudicial to the orderly operation of ACE. This would include speaking on behalf of the committee and its membership without prior authorization from the Executive Council of ACE.
- Removal procedures are as follows:
i) A motion for removal may be made by any member of ACE;
ii) If the motion is seconded by an Executive Council member, the removal process begins;
iii) The motion and charge against the Executive member being removed is recorded into the minutes;
iv) The accused member is allowed to make a statement on his/her behalf;
v) There is a discussion of the statement of the accused;
vi) If the vote passes by simple majority, the accused member is removed and dismissed;
vii) The dismissed member has the right to appeal his/her removal within seven days of the proceedings, in writing, to the Executive Council of ACE;
viii) The appeal of the dismissed will be addressed in the Executive Council meeting following the appeal; and
ix) A motion may be made for reinstatement requiring a majority vote for reinstatement.
Article XX. – Confidentiality
- All Executive Council Members are subject to a confidentiality agreement and a work order agreement to ensure that ACE is run fairly.
- All matters that may be deemed detrimental to the privacy of ACE members and the committees Executive Council are subjected to confidentiality.
- Matters stamped confidential are approved by the Executive Council of ACE.
Article XXI. – Residual Powers
Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, any and all powers not detailed in the aforementioned Constitution reside in the office of the Executive Council.