Constitution

Below is the Official WU-SLam Constitution (Active 2011-2012)

The WU-SLam Constitution

I. Purpose

A. WU-SLam is Washington University in St. Louis's premiere spoken word and performance collegiate poetry group certified by Poetry Slam, Inc. Our purpose is to empower members of the Washington University and St. Louis communities as writers, performers, and leaders. WU-SLam achieves this through the following: Inklings, a weekly writing workshop; WUrkshop, a biweekly editing workshop; an auditioned Performance Crew; five Poetry Slams held at Washington University in St. Louis; general poetry shows; and participation in the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). WU-SLam is a safe space for all people and their stories and experiences.

II. General Body Membership

A. Anyone who attends a meeting of Inklings, WUrkshop, competes in a slam, participates in a show, or is a member of Performance Crew.

1. Inklings: A weekly writing workshop led by a Performance Crew member or trusted member of the SLamily. Attendance at Inklings is mandatory for Performance Crew members, barring unavoidable schedule conflicts.

2. WUrkshop: A biweekly editing workshop open to any form of creative writing, led by a Performance Crew member or trusted member of the SLamily.

3. Activities

a. Slams: WU-SLam will host five poetry slams on the Washington University campus per academic year, which will be used to select the Washington University in St. Louis National Slam Team, which will compete at CUPSI.
i. In the fall semester, WU-SLam will host one Poetry Slam per month. The top 2 poets from each Preliminary Slam will then compete in a final, Grand Slam at the beginning of the second semester. This totals eight poets guaranteed slots in the Grand Slam.
ii. All Poetry Slams held by WU-SLam will follow ACUI’s “Poetry Slam Rules and Regulations.”

(I) These can be found at http://www.acui.org/content.aspx?menu_id=106&id=3920.

iii. In the event of a two- or three-way tie for first place, only the first place poets advance to the Grand Slam. In the event of a two-way tie for second place, the first-place poet and both second-place poets advance to the Grand Slam. In the event of a three-way tie for second place, only the first place poet is guaranteed a place in the Grand Slam, and Performance Crew must deliberate in order to find a fair solution for the three second-place poets. 
iv. The Grand Slam typically has 8-10 poets, but in the case of ties in the four previous slams, a maximum of 12 poets and a minimum of 8.
v. If there are fewer than ten poets qualified for the Grand Slam, Performance Crew reserves the right to select through a democratic process and enter additional poets as "Wild Cards" into the Grand Slam, until there are ten poets in the Grand Slam. Any poet who has slammed in that academic year is eligible for Wild Card status. Wild Card poets must be notified of their status a minimum of two weeks before the Grand Slam.
vi. In the event that more than 10 people qualify for the Grand Slam through the slam process, the current P-Crew will deliberate and come up with a reasonable solution.
vii. The four highest-scoring poets in the Grand Slam are the primary candidates for the Nationals team. Performance Crew also reserves the right to select through a democratic process and add one more poet to the Nationals team. Any poet who competed in the Grand Slam is eligible to be added to the Nationals team.
viii. All Nationals team members must be auditioned members of Performance Crew. If a poet selected for Slam Team is not already on Performance Crew, they must be auditioned by the current members of Performance Crew.
b. WU-SLam also retains the abilities to put on non-competitive exhibitions and/showcases of poetry, for visiting poets or members of the community.

III. Performance Crew

A. Performance Crew is a team of Washington University students selected through an audition process. These members will be trained to lead workshops, host events, and do performances for the WashU, St. Louis, and national communities.

B. Audition Process

1. The audition process will be held by all current members of Performance Crew. The auditionee will be required to perform original work, turn in written copies of original poems, and participate in a question-and-answer session with the auditioners.

2. The main auditions will occur the weekend after the first slam, with another audition occurring shortly after the Grand Slam.

C. Membership

1. Performance Crew shall meet for a weekly two-hour practice, during which time they will discuss business that is unresolvable without the whole group (such as set lists or availability), and work on writing and performance.

2. If a Performance Crew member would like to leave Performance crew due to logistical issues, they should talk to the President or V.P. of Human Resources.

3. If a Performance Crew member would like to ask another member to leave on any grounds, they should consult the President or V.P. of Human resources.

D. Executive Body

1. The executive body will be chosen from the general WU-SLam community by Performance Crew and the current Exec board. The exec board will meet at least once per week to discuss group logistical and political issues and to plan events.

2. Election and Appointment Process

a. Elections will be held during the final weeks of each school year to determine who will hold executive positions during the following school year. All Performance Crew members who are not studying abroad must be present at the election meeting.
b. During the election meeting, Performance Crew will select its executive members, who will appoint the remaining positions during a separate follow-up meeting.
c. Determining Positions
i. Leader displays the current organizational chart.
ii. Each person currently occupying an exec position explains her/his current duties.
iii. Leader asks whether anyone would like to propose removing a position, merging positions, or adding a new position.

(I.) Discussion regulated by speaker’s list until someone calls for a vote.

(II.) Everyone is invited to elections, everyone is eligible to participate, nominate for elections (including themselves), president and vice president must be P-Crew, only current P-Crew and exec members can vote. If you have been in-active for more than a semester, you are not able to participate in voting for elections. but you are eligible to run for a position.

Seniors are able to vote. Members of WU-SLam who are considered inactive are ineligible to vote and run for a position. Abroad is not considered inactive.

d. Nominating Candidates
i. Leader writes exec positions on the board or a large piece of paper.
ii. Leader goes through the exec positions one by one and asks for nominations for that position.  Leader will call on raised hands. Performance Crew members may nominate anyone currently on Performance Crew for any position. Performance Crew members may nominate themselves. A candidate may run for more than one positions.

(I.) Performance Crew members who are studying abroad may run for positions if they email an exec member prior to the meeting with an explanation of why they are a good candidate.  If the candidate could be at the meeting via video chat, that would be awesome as well.

iii. After the complete list of candidates for all of the positions has been compiled, the nominees may decline the nomination.
iv. Nomination may continue throughout the process as the officers fall into place.
e. Discussing Candidates
i. Performance Crew will first elect the President (or the position at the top of the organizational chart) and move downwards.
ii. Each candidate for the position gives a brief explanation of what makes her or him a good candidate. The group may then ask the candidates questions regarding their suitability for the job.  This will proceed by speaker’s list, giving the candidate time to answer between questions. The candidates then leave the room.
iii. Performance Crew discusses each candidate’s suitability for the position, regulated by speaker’s list, until someone calls for a vote.
f. Voting
i. Performance Crew discusses each candidate’s suitability for the position, regulated by speaker’s list, until someone calls for a vote.
ii. The remaining P-Crew members will vote even if there is only one candidate for a position.  If the group agrees the sole nominee is not suited to the job, the group can agree to either eliminate the position or leave it open for appointment by the new exec board.
iii. The vote passes if it is unanimous minus 1 minus absentations.
iv. If the vote does not pass, return to discussion.

3. In case of an office becoming vacant by resignation or other circumstances, the President will appoint an interim officer until elections can be held.

4. Positions

a. President, whose duties include:
i. Overseeing the activities of all other executive members
ii. Taking over or appointing someone to an executive role in case of that member’s absence.
iii. Providing the long-term vision of WU-SLam
iv. Identifying and training P-Crew members into executive positions
v. Registering WU-SLam for the College Union Poetry Slam invitational
vi. Representing WU-SLam to Student Union and to the Council of Student Organizations.
vii. Representing WU-SLam to the St. Louis and National Community
viii. Vetoing any non-Exec Member appointment
ix. Leading the discussion (or having someone else) of any P-Crew related appointing, including, but not limited to

(I.) The fifth slam team member

(II.) The coach of the slam team

(III.) WOWps, IWPs, and other competitions.

(IV.) These discussions are open forums that end after a unanimous minus one decision is reached.

ix. Is required to appoint a Slam Master by end of his or her term if one has not already been appointed.

(I.) The Slam Master is a member of the WU-SLam community who is chosen to represent WU-SLam’s interests to the PSI Community.

b. Executive Vice President, whose duties include
i. Acting as President in case of his or her absence and/or assassination.
ii. Assisting the President with all Presidential duties
iii. Representing WU-Slam to the Student Union and to the Council of Student Organizations
iv. representing WU-SLam to the St. Louis and national communities.
c. V.P. of Finance, whose duties include
i. developing, in consultation with the President and Vice-President, the team’s budget and appeals and presenting it to Student Union
ii. Filling out expense request forms for every transaction both within the group and external to the group
iii. Acquiring correct documents (Washington University Contracts, W-9 Forms, etc.) and attaining all necessary signatures for guest performers.
iv. Pricing the appropriate charge for performances, workshops, and guest appearances
v. Maintaining bi-monthly updates of all accounts outside of Student Union.
vi. Manage all fundraising efforts and reimbursements within Student Union regulations and rules.
vii. Depositing cash, checks, internal transfers, or campus card receipts into the fundraising account.
viii. Working closely with the Treasurer of Student Union
ix. Managing any other other aspects of the finances of the organization.
x. At the V.P. of Finance’s discretion, he or she may appoint/nominate a member of the general WU-SLam community (although a P-Crew member is preferred) to the following roles.

(I) Treasurer, a role meant to help the V.P. of Finance micromanage funds

(II) Fundraising, a role meant to help facilitate any effort to make WU-SLam monetary profit.

d. V.P. of Publicity, whose duties include
i. Overseeing advertising and promotional strategies
ii. ensuring the quality and timely production of all publicity material (flyers, handbills, facebook events, etc)
iii. working with other groups who are interested in helping promote specific even.
iv. At the V.P. of Publicity’s discretion, he or she may appoint/nominate a member of the general WU-SLam community (although a P-Crew member is preferred) to the following role.

(I) The Webmaster is in charge of maintaining the WU-SLam Websites, including the YouTube account, Blog, and Twitter.

e. V.P. of Administration, whose duties include
i. taking minutes during Performance Crew and Executive Body meetings
ii. distributing minutes from meetings to Performance Crew and Executive Body members via email.
iii. maintaining organization of information (Google Docs, etc) for current and future generations of WU-SLam
iv. At the V.P. of Adminstrations’s discretion, he or she may appoint/nominate a member of the general WU-SLam community (although a P-Crew member is preferred) to the following role.

(I) Gmail Manager whose duty is to check the account regularly, send any necessary emails, and make sure the contact list is up to date

(II) Historian is in charge of making sure WU-SLam libraries are up to date

f. V.P. of Outreach, whose duties include
i. overseeing all communication between WU-SLam and other on-campus or national contacts or organizations
ii. ensuring organization and professionalism of all WU-SLam performances or appearances at non-WU-SLam events
iii. handling logistical matters such as room reservation, sound, and lights for WU-SLam events
iv. At the V.P. of Outreach’s discretion, he or she may appoint/nominate a member of the general WU-SLam community (although a P-Crew member is preferred) to the following role.

(I) Community Service Chair who assists in off-campus outreach such as local high schools

(II) Campus Contact who assists with on-campus outreach with other student organizations

g. V.P. of Human Resources, whose duties include
i. Maintaining open lines of communication between Performance Crew members; conflict resolution.
ii. Ensuring that Inklings, WUrkshop, and Performance Crew rehearsals are run efficiently and productively
iii. Planning auditions, the end-of-year Retreat, and any other retreats or conflict-resolution meetings that are necessary
iv. At the V.P. of Human Resources’s discretion, he or she may appoint/nominate a member of the general WU-SLam community (although a P-Crew member is preferred) to the following roles.

(I) Inklings Captain whose function is organize and run Inklings

(II) P-Crew Captain whose function is to keep productivity high during general body meetings.

(III) WUrkShop Captain whose function is to organize and run

                v. This is a nonessential executive positions. If no one is appropriately
                qualified, then the position goes unfilled, and the duties will be fulfilled by                     the executive board as a whole.
h. V.P. of Special Programs
i. Planning and executing the Grand Slam, the WU-SLam group chapbook, and (if these programs are planned for the upcoming year) the Regional Competition and the Pre-Orientation Program in an exceptional manner.
ii. At the V.P. of Special Programs’ discretion, he or she may appoint/nominate a member of the general WU-SLam community (although a P-Crew member is preferred) to the following roles.

(I) Logistics Manager whose aids in the organization of the Grand Slam and/Regional Competition

(II) Pre-Orientation Captain who oversees the Pre-Orientation

(III) Chapbook Manager who oversees the creation of the WU-SLam chapbook

i. In the case an Executive Position not appointing one of the subsidiary members, he or she is expected to take on those roles.
j. Any member of the Performance Crew can demand an impeachment of any of the officers by requesting a vote, which must be seconded before going to vote. Each member of the Performance Crew (except the member currently under review) gets one vote in any impeachment proceeding. Removal of an officer requires a unanimous vote.

5. Executive Meetings

a. Executive meetings are open to all of P-Crew, but only the core executive positions are required to attend.
b. Executive meetings occur once a week to discuss upcoming events and the current state of WU-SLam.

6. Retreats

a. WU-SLam will hold a retreat at the end of each academic year. The purposes of the retreat are
i. debrief events of the school year; identify successes and failures
ii. resolve any personal conflicts
iii. emphasize the love within the group
iv. send off the seniors and those going sabbatical
v. prepare for the work that needs to be accomplished over the summer.
b. Members of Performance Crew are also allowed to hold non-formal retreats meant to foster community at any time they see fit.

IV. Legal Notices

A. Constitution

1. The Constitution is subject to change in order to more accurately represent how WU-SLam operates.

2. Any member of the Executive Body or Performance Crew may request a vote of the entire Performance Crew to amend the Constitution. All proposed changes must be discussed before voting, and the vote must be unanimous spare one and anonymous.

3. Performance Crew shall submit a current copy of its Constitution to the Student Group Activities Committee of the Student Union at the beginning of each semester.

4. The Executive Body/Performance Crew will submit any changes to its Constitution to the Student Group Activities Committee of the Student Union along with the former copy of the Constitution,

B. WU-SLam will not engage in any activities which violate or endanger the following:

1. The Washington University Judicial Charter

2. The University Judicial Code

3. The Constitution or the By-Laws of Student Union

4. The tax-exempt status of the University.

C. WU-SLam will not explicitly or implicitly advocate acts of cruelty towards other individuals or students, nor advocate the violation of individual civil rights.