Bylaws

Article I – Membership and Duties

Section 1 – Board Composition

The Activities Board at Columbia board shall be composed of the following:

  • Executive Board
    • President, elected by the ABC board
    • Vice President, elected by the ABC board
    • Treasurer, elected by the ABC board
    • Secretary, elected by the ABC board
  • Director of Technology, appointed by the executive board
  • 13 Representatives, elected by their respective ABC group categories
  • Council Liaisons, appointed by their respective student councils.

Section 2 – Duties of the President

The President shall lead the weekly ABC board meeting and Executive Board meeting, along with other ABC functions such as town halls.

The President shall represent the ABC in meetings with administrators and other student leaders.

The President shall regularly communicate with the leaders of other undergraduate student governments.

The President shall be the chief advocate for the ABC during F@CU and work with the treasurer in putting together a F@CU packet and presentation.

The President shall work together with the Treasurer during Student Financial Advising account closing over the summer.

The President shall work together with the Treasurer to inform groups of their starting allocations at the beginning of the year.

The President shall work together with the Secretary in communicating with groups via email and other forms of communication.

Section 3 – Duties of the Vice-President

The Vice-President shall preside over ABC meetings when the ABC President is unavailable

The Vice-President shall assist the President and other officers in executing and enforcing policy decisions made by the ABC

The Vice-President shall assist the President in communicating with administrators and student leaders.

The Vice-President shall head the Policy Committee for at least the first semester of the school year.

Section 4 – Duties of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for balancing the ABC account.

The Treasurer shall execute monetary legislation made by the ABC.

The Treasurer will respond to groups’ questions regarding their SACBO account.

The treasurer must head the Finance Committee for at least the first semester of the school year.

Section 5 – Duties of the Secretary

The Secretary shall facilitate the New Group Recognition Process, including answering groups’ questions regarding the process.

The Secretary shall send out the weekly ABC newsletter

The Secretary shall take minutes of weekly ABC meetings and make them publicly accessible

The Secretary must head the Outreach committee for at least the first semester of the school year.

Section 6 – Duties of the Director of Technology

The Director of Technology shall be responsible for maintaining the ABC website and responding to group and administrator inquiries regarding the ABC website.

The Director of Technology will be a non-voting member of the ABC.

The Director of Technology is not required to attend ABC meetings, but he should make a concerted effort to be present.

The Director of Technology may be removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the ABC board.

Section 7 – Duties of the ABC Representative

The ABC representative shall be active advocates and liaison for groups within their categories, seeking to promote the well-being of both their groups and student life in general on campus.

The ABC representative shall act as the primary source of information for the ABC regarding the group’s activities and make recommendations to the ABC with regard to actions taken by the board concerning the group’s programming and finances.

The ABC representative shall advise groups with programming, finances, and ABC procedures, rules and regulations.

The ABC representative shall maintain regular communication with group leaders, including meeting a group’s leadership at least once a semester and making a concerted effort to attend one event for each group.

The ABC representative must respond to groups’ EAFs/FTFs within 48 hours upon their submission.

The ABC representative must serve on at least one committee of the ABC.

The ABC representative shall present their groups’ co-sponsorship requests.

The ABC representative shall make a concerted effort to recommend their constituent groups for awards.

Section 8 – Duties of the Council Liaisons

Council liaisons shall represent their respective councils’ positions during discussions and votes as well as seek to promote general student life and wellness on campus.

Council liaisons shall update the ABC on relevant and important developments within their respective councils.

Council liaisons are active voting members of the ABC.

Until a council liaison is confirmed, he or she will not count towards the total voting member count when determining quorum.

Section 9 – Attendance

All ABC members are required to attend weekly board meetings, committee meetings, and other mandatory ABC events, such as town halls, NGR days. The only exception to this rule is the Director of Technology.

Members are given four unexcused absences per semester. More than four unexcused absences will put the position of the member under review.

Two unexcused latenesses equal one unexcused absence.

Except in the cases of emergencies, absences and latenesses must be accompanied by at least 24 hours notice to the Executive Board in order to be excused.

Section 10 – Conflict of Interest

When relevant during discussion, members must disclose any groups they currently work with, or have worked with in the past. Members must also disclose close personal relationships with individuals within a group in question.

If there is a discussion of a group a member has a connection with, the member in question can only answer questions in a factual, non-biased way.

If a representative happens to submit an EAF/FTF for a group he or she represents, the EAF will be approved by a member of the ABC Executive Board.

Article II – Meetings

Section 1 – Weekly Board Meetings

Weekly ABC Board meetings shall take place every Wednesday night at 8:30PM. All meetings shall be open to the public unless closed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote by the Board.

A. A quorum of 2/3 the voting members of the board must be present for any business to be conducted.

B. All votes shall be conducted by the President, unless he or she is not present, in which case the Vice President shall conduct them.

C. During meetings, the President of the ABC shall lead discussions. If he or she chooses, another member of the board may lead discussion in his or her place.

D. A motion for a vote can be made at any time by any elected member of the ABC. In order for the motion to be voted on, the motion must be seconded by another elected member of the ABC.

E. Every member of the ABC has one vote, except for the Director of Technology and the President. The President may only vote in the event of a tie.

F. Meetings shall be adjourned at the discretion of the president of the ABC. Another member of the board may adjourn the meeting if given the power to do so by the president.

Section 2 – Weekly Executive Board Meetings

The Executive Board will hold a closed meeting at least once a week to discuss the direction of the ABC and the agenda for upcoming board meetings and events.

Section 3 – Committee Meetings

Committee meetings shall take place at a time and place decided by the committees’ members. The frequency of the meetings shall also be decided by the committees, but may not be less frequent than once a month.

All committee meetings shall be open to the public unless closed by 2/3 vote of the committee in question.

A quorum of 2/3 of the members of the committee must be present for the committee to vote on any recommendations.

Article III – Committees

Section 1 – ABC Committee Structure

The ABC will have three committees: Policy, Finance, and Outreach.

The ABC may add or remove committees based on a simple majority vote.

At least one executive officer of the ABC must serve on each committee.

Committee assignments will be made by the ABC Executive Board.

Section 2 – Policy Committee

The Policy Committee pursues policy initiatives designed to benefit student groups that are not closely tied to student group finances.

The ABC Vice President must head the Policy Committee for at least one semester.

Section 3 – Finance Committee

The Finance Committee pursues policy initiatives designed to benefit student groups that are closely tied to student group finances.

The ABC Treasurer must head the Finance Committee for at least one semester.

Section 4 – Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee focuses on informing ABC groups of resources and relevant developments through various methods, such as social media.

The ABC Secretary must head the Outreach Committee for at least one semester.

Article IV – Group Categories

Section 1 – Group categories and the list of groups within group categories may be changed by a simple majority vote of the ABC board.

Article V – Allocations

Section 1. Allocation decisions will start from the third to last board meeting of the year.

Section 2. Representatives will provide the Board with a written list of recommendations and explanations before allocation discussions.

Section 3. Allocation decisions require a simple majority of the Board.

Section 4. All allocation packets and decisions will be made available to the public at the beginning of the following academic year.

Article VI – Spending Guidelines

Section 1 – Applicability

The following guidelines apply only to the spending of allocation funds by ABC recognized groups. ABC groups may spend revenue in any manner consistent with Columbia University policies and applicable law.

Allocation consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Initial allocations from ABC
  • Co-sponsorships from other ABC groups

Revenue consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Income from events such as ticket and merchandise sales
  • Co-sponsorships from the undergraduate student councils, Columbia funds (such as the Gatsby or President’s and Provost’s funds) or non-ABC clubs
  • Gift accounts

ABC and its Representatives retain the ability to designate any income or funding as either allocation or revenue. Questions, concerns or suggestions for these guidelines can be directed to your ABC Representative or the ABC Executive Board at abc@columbia.edu.

Section 2 – Off-Campus Participants in Columbia Programming

In approving expenditures for an event, ABC Representatives will consider per capita expenditures (such as food) based on the number of Columbia undergraduates attending.

The admission prices for non-Columbia University guests and non-undergraduates should reflect the per-capita net costs of their participation in the programming open to them.

Section 3 – Food Expenses

Total spending on food and all food-related products (such as utensils, napkins, table cloths, etc.) may not exceed:

  • $3.50 per attendee for a study break or snack event
  • $6.50 per attendee for sit-down dinners or other event wherein food is a primary focus of the event.
  • $10.00 per attendee for formal banquet-style meals, usually only once a semester.

ABC Representatives have complete prerogative in determining which of the above guidelines to apply to each event as well as to adjust expected attendance numbers used to determine total spending on food especially in deciding to apply the $10.00/person guideline.

Section 4 – Publicity

Allocation cannot be spent on publicity for events with attendance of 30 or fewer.

No more than $20.00 may be spent on publicity for events with between 31 and 100 projected attendees.

ABC Representatives will have complete prerogative in appropriate spending on large events with over 100 projected attendees.

Section 5 – Publications

A publication group is defined as a group whose primary mission is to put out a publication or publications (see the ABC website for a list of group categories).

All publications must publish at least one edition at least one week before the last day of classes for the academic year or risk de-recognition. Exceptions may be provided by a 2/3 majority vote of the ABC Board.

All publications must cover at least 1/4 of the total cost of an issue with revenue.

If a group that is not currently recognized as a “publication group” wishes to produce a publication, it must:

  • Include the publication in its Constitution’s statement of purpose and have the Constitutional change approved by the New Group Recognition committee of ABC. The ABC will ensure that the publication’s mission is in line with the group’s overall mission and that it does not overlap with that of an existing publication.
  • Fund the publication entirely from revenue.
  • Recognize that recognized publication groups always take precedence in use of Columbia resources for publications.

Section 6 – Conferences, Tournaments, and Trips

For a Columbia team as (off-campus) visitors:

  • Allocation can (within reason) be used for registration fees
  • Allocation can be used for, at most, 50% of cost-effective transportation and lodging expenses
  • Allocation cannot be used for food for traveling groups while off-campus

For a Columbia team as (on-campus) host:

  • ABC groups must have a registration list with the names of all off-campus participants and teams available two business days before the start of the event
  • Registration fees will only be accepted by check for through the Ticket and Information Center unless otherwise approved by ABC and Student Engagement.

Section 7 – Accompanists / Conductors / Speakers / Performers

Allocation can be used to fund up to half the cost of accompanists or conductors.

Allocation can be used to fund up to half the cost of speakers and performers, but can also be used to fund the full cost of speakers and performers after speaking with the ABC Representative.

Section 8 – Prohibited Spending

Allocation may not be used to fund:

  • T-shirts or apparel items for groups (except those which will be used for several years as costumes or uniforms)
  • Events which fall outside the academic term except on a case-by-case basis
  • Awards for contests or tournaments, gifts, or direct donations to charity (though allocation may be spent toward the execution of the event)
  • Online advertising (such as Facebook ads) or advertisements which do not reach Columbia undergraduates student body
  • Photographers, video or camera operators
  • Recordings
  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • Payments to other groups (such as for performance fees, membership fees or consulting fees).

Section 10 – Representative’s Prerogative

These guidelines represent a minimum set of standards for ABC, its groups, Representatives and Board. ABC will follow these guidelines in determining initial allocations or approving appeal requests and spending on individual events.

ABC’s Representatives and Board reserve the right to make additional decisions, cuts or adjustments when determining allocations for ABC-recognized student groups or in approving spending for a particular event as necessary.

Article VII – New Group Recognition (NGR)

Section 1 – NGR Phase 1

Step 1: Group expresses interest in NGR and may meet with NGR Chair or Student Engagement/OMA advisor to explore options and learn about process.

Step 2: Group submits recognition packet to the ABC.

Step 3: Group is invited to interview with the ABC during an NGR Day, a day dedicated to interviewing and voting on all NGR applicants for the semester. If the group cannot make it to the NGR Day, the board may schedule a separate interview for the group.

Step 4 The full board votes on whether or not the group is to be recommended for phase 2 of the recognition process.

Step 5: Group is notified of ABC decision.

Step 5A: If a group does not receive the recommendation for phase 2 from ABC — NGR Chair emails them the decision and may include reasons why based on notes taken at committee and full board meetings. NGR Chair cc’s the ABC advisor. End of process for majority of groups.

Step 5B: If a group does receive the recommendation from ABC — NGR Chair emails them letting them know that they have been recommended for Phase 2 of the recognition process, the meeting with their potential advisor and constitutional review. ABC advisor is cc’ed on correspondence to be able to follow up immediately.

Section 2 – NGR Phase 2

Phase 2 of the NGR Process is handled largely by the ABC Advisor. The process is outlined below.

Step 1: ABC advisor receives group’s NGR packet as well as full board notes on decision to recommend (preferably within one week of ABC full board vote).

Step 2: ABC advisor assigns group to potential advisor in either Student Engagement or OMA depending on group’s needs and niche.

Step 3: ABC advisor circulates application and recommendation materials to potential advisors for constitutional review. Any concerns are collected by potential advisor.

Step 4: Student Engagement/OMA advisor schedules meeting with group to discuss organizational needs, programming, and any questions that are presented from the constitutional review.

Step 5: Group either contests or agrees to constitutional changes.

Step 6: ABC advisor and potential advisor meet to discuss the group’s application. They vote on a decision that may include caveats depending on any agreements made with the group during meeting or constitutional review. If the vote is not in line with the original ABC recommendation, a meeting is held with the NGR Caucus. Caucus group includes ABC President, NGR Chair, ABC Advisor, and group’s potential Student Engagement/OMA advisor. If there is still disagreement on the recognition status, the caucus moves to vote. Any member of either ABC Executive Board or Student Engagement/OMA staff may serve as proxy if a time conflict does not allow for attendance.

Section 3 – NGR Phase 3

The ABC advisor and NGR chair draft letter with the final decision after Phase 2. For groups who are approved for recognition, the ABC President, the ABC advisor, the NGR Chair, and the group’s President and treasurer sign the recognition letter. This letter includes any agreements crafted during either Phase 1 or Phase 2 and the amount of initial allocation. The document is also accompanied by the approved constitution, completing the Recognition File located on the shared drive. The ABC advisor emails letter and constitution to the group, group advisor, the ABC Executive Board, SACBO, UEM, and additional stakeholders as needed. The email, letter, and constitution are archived in group’s folder on shared drive. SACBO sends a welcome email to the group with financial advisor information as well as account number. ABC assigns representative. SACBO financial advisor, ABC rep, and ABC advisor enroll student leaders in training on respective policies and procedures.

If the group is not approved for recognition, the ABC advisor and NGR chair email group with notification and recommendations for moving forward (if any).

Section 4 – Appeals

A. Phase 1

Groups may appeal to the ABC and in some instances are granted a second interview with the full board if the full board votes it so. Usually, these interviews are granted if new information surfaces that the full board (through vote) believes is critical to the understanding of the group and its functions.

B. Phase 2

A group may submit an appeal to the ABC Advisor. A meeting is then called with the NGR Chair, the potential advisor and rep, the ABC advisor, and members of the group if the appeal is deemed warranted (similar criteria utilized as in Phase 1).

Section 5 – De-recognition Prerequisite for Spring NGR

As stated in Article IV, Section 4 of the ABC Constitution, the ABC may recommend groups for recognition in the spring semester only if de-recognition for the year has been completed.

Article VIII – Group De-recognition

Section 1 – Criteria

The ABC may de-recognize groups that violate ABC policies (including no longer meeting the criteria for group membership) or that have been deemed inactive for two consecutive semesters.

Section 2 – Procedure

Step 1: ABC and Student Engagement/OMA share correspondence about groups’ activities. Any groups who have not programmed within the year are considered for de-recognition and are investigated.

Step 2: The ABC communicates with the groups currently being investigated for de-recognition and informs them of the investigation. If the group unresponsive, an effort should be made to contact past boards. Regardless of the responsiveness of the group, the investigation should continue for the purpose of making a timely and informed decision regarding the group’s possible de-recognition.

Step 3: The ABC communicates with Student Financial Advising to document that there is no financial activity on the account.

Step 4: The ABC communicates with UEM to document that there is no booking of space on the group’s account.

Step 5: The ABC board votes whether to recommend the group for de-recognition. A 2/3 vote is required to vote a group for de-recognition.

Step 6: The ABC emails the groups recommended for de-recognition of the ABC’s decision.

Step 7: A final email is circulated to ABC, Student Engagement, and OMA asking for any final information.

Step 8: With no reservations from any of the three, the group is de-recognized.

Step 9: A letter is signed by the NGR chair as well as the ABC advisor and circulated to all parties involved – Student Financial Advising, ABC, OMA, and Student Engagement.

Step 10: Group is removed from the ABC site, LionLink, and Student Financial Advising accounts records.

Section 3 – Appeals

A group recommended for de-recognition wishing to make an appeal must provide reasons for remaining recognized to the ABC within fourteen days of the date of original notification. A 2/3 vote by the full ABC board is required to approve the appeal.

Article IX – ABC Co-Sponsorships

Section 1 – Purpose

The ABC can provide its groups with an ABC Co-Sponsorship to help fund significant innovations and/or enhancements to recurring programming. Groups’ application to ABC Co-Sponsorships and successful utilization of these funds will play an important role in the ABC’s determination of allocation decisions for the group.

Section 2 – Approval

Groups’ co-sponsorship requests will be presented by the groups’ Representatives, and will require a simple majority vote of the entire board for approval. The money will be then transferred from the ABC account to clubs’ accounts in the form of allocation.

Section 3 – Placement of ABC Logo on Advertising Material

If the group has not yet held the event, the group shall follow its own co-sponsorship policies according to the place the ABC logo on advertising material, as well as mentioning the ABC as a co-sponsor on other publicity efforts.

Section 4 – Deadline

ABC Co-Sponsorship Requests will be accepted until the fourth to last meeting of the year, which is the last meeting before allocation decisions start.

Section 5 – Discussions

When discussing ABC Co-Sponsorship Requests, there will be a default 7 minute cap on discussions, at the end of which the board will have to provide a simple majority vote to continue discussions. Otherwise, a vote must be called on the co-sponsorship request.

Section 6 – Transparency

ABC Co-Sponsorship Requests and Decisions will be made available to the public throughout the year.

Article X – Adoption of Bylaws

Section 1. These bylaws shall become binding when adopted in the manner described in the ABC constitution.

Section 2. Bylaws must be renewed or revised at the first meeting of each academic year.

Last Approved April 1, 2015