– Secular Humanism, Inquiry and Freethought –
Student Group at the University of Utah
Est. May 4, 2009
As students of the University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, we see fit to organize this Student Group, and present it to the Campus community as an essential component of the diverse population of our school. Many Student Groups currently exist which cater to the personal religious beliefs of their members, yet no group currently offers to fulfill the social, intellectual, and ethical needs of non-theist or primarily Humanist students. We affirm that it is possible to be good without belief in a god/gods. We form a student body of free-thinking individuals who encourage academic honesty, personal integrity, compassionate service, and coexistance with all human beings.
Article I: Foundation
This organization shall be known as SHIFT – Secular Humanism, Inquiry, and Freethought – and referred to as “the organization” within this document.
The purpose of the organization shall be to promote evidence-based reasoning and humanistic philosophical ideals.
Article II: Membership
Membership shall be open to all University of Utah students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members. Only students, faculty and staff may be voting members. Only student voting members may be elected Officers.
All student, faculty, staff and community members may sign up to receive weekly group e-mails and/or join our facebook group and/or access our blog. However, a person must attend at least five events throughout a school semester in order to be considered a voting member the following semester.
Article III: Officers
As long as the organization has less than 25 voting members, the voting members shall elect one student voting member to be President. This President shall choose student-only voting members (up to five) to serve on a Board of Officers for the semester. The only required position titles shall be Secretray, Treasurer and Webmaster. Other Board Members shall divide up responsibilities based on delegation by the President and voluntarily taking on responsibilities based on desires of Officers and voting members.
If the organization grows to 25 or more voting members, the voting members shall elect up to 6 student-only voting members to serve on a Board of Officers. This Board shall then select from within a President. If there is a tie among Board Members voting for the position of President, the voting members of the organization shall vote to elect the President. The remaining Board of Officers shall then determine who shall serve as Treasurer, Secretary and Webmaster.
Officers shall be elected at least a month before the end of each Spring semester. There is no limit to the number of terms a member may hold office. Members shall be notified of a pending election at least one month in advance.
If for any reason an officer is unable or unwilling to fulfill their commitments, they may resign and the remaining elected officers may appoint, via majority vote, a replacement who shall serve until the next election period.
Section 4 – Position Descriptions
The President shall 1) preside over meetings, activities, and events, 2) be the official representative for the organization, 3) maintain contact with related outside organizations, 4) ensure this constitution is followed, 5) have the final word in all decisions where a vote is not specifically called for in this document, and 6) break any tie vote unless specified. The President is able to delegate any of these responsibilities.
The Secretary shall 1) record the results of all votes taken, 2) collect attendance at each meeting, 3) handle membership records, 4) keep a current roster of all members, 5) keep records, plaques, awards, and other items belonging to the organization (dvds, games, etc), and 6) maintain copies of all documentation relating to the group.
The Treasurer shall 1) be responsible for all financial matters, 2) be the primary ASUU liason, ensuring all financial and other documentation is current with the University, and 3) keep current records of financial expenditures, reimbursements, receipts and forms, etc. The President and the Treasurer shall have equal access to group funds, but the Treasurer shall be primarily responsible for group accounts.
The Webmaster shall 1) maintain all websites for the organization, 2) coordinate with other officers to ensure that information on the websites is up to date, and 3) appropriately and proactively develop the organization's web presence.
An elected officer may be removed by a unanimous vote of the Board or a two-thirds majority of the voting membership. Officers and members shall have the opportunity to present their sides at the meeting, before the vote. If the elected officer is removed, a new officer shall be appointed as quickly as possible by the Board.
Article IV: Advisors
An advisor shall be a full-time University of Utah faculty member and shall be appointed by the elected officers. If the Board of Officers deem it so appropriate, they shall appoint two full-time faculty members as co-advisors.
The nature of the advisor's role shall be determined by the advisor; however, the authority of the President and the general membership of the organization supersedes the authority of the advisor.
An advisor may be removed by a majority vote of the Board of Officers. An advisor may also voluntarily remove theirself at any time. Prospects for a new advisor would then be contacted and a new advisor would be decided upon by the Board.
Article V: Meetings
There shall be held at least one meeting and/or event each month. Schedules of meetings and events shall be available online.
General business concerns of the organization shall be addressed at general group meetings. More detailed business meetings may occur at the discretion of the Board Members. Prior notice of at least one week shall be given to all Board Members.
Voting shall only take place at a general group meeting. One month advance notice to all voting members shall be given when a vote is to be held.
A quorum is 1/5 of the voting membership. If a quorum is not present, the vote shall be postponed until the next meeting. The number constituting 1/5 of the membership shall be determined by the Secretary in charge of keeping the membership roster.
Article VI: Amendments to the Constitution
Any member may propose a constitutional amendment. A voting member shall second the proposed amendment. If an amendment is seconded, a majority of members present (subject to quorum) must approve of setting up a vote. Voting members shall be notified one month in advance of a pending vote. The amendment shall be read aloud and discussed on the day of the vote and at each meeting during the month previous. An amendment shall be adopted only by a two-thirds majority of voting membership at a meeting with quorum.
Article VII: Non-Discrimination
The organization and its members shall not discriminate against any individual for reasons of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, sex, age, socioeconomic status, ability, veteran status, or any other factor. We adhere to the non-discrimination policy of the University of Utah.
Article VIII: Affiliations
Affiliations with local, state, regional, national, or international organizations shall be decided by a unanimous vote of the Board of Officers. The organization shall not affiliate with any political party.
Article IX: Ratification
The constitution of the organization shall be ratified at a general meeting held following final drafting. The Constitution shall be considered Ratified by a majority vote and all present may sign the document.
Article X: Dissolution
A unanimous vote of the Board of Officers plus two-thirds of the current voting members shall be sufficient to dissolve the organization.
The organization may not dissolve while in debt. The organization may dissolve with a balance in the bank if those meeting for the dissolution vote also vote unanimously to give the balance to a non-profit organization related to the organization's stated purpose.