The Constitution and By-Laws for
the Online News Association / Society of Professional Journalists at UGA
We the members of the Online News Association and Society of Professional Journalists at UGA, and subscribing to the regulations and policies of the University of Georgia, establish this constitution to govern the matters within our organization. Acknowledging that an organization is needed to cultivate online skills within the Grady College and act as a bridge between the Grady College journalism program and technical programs in other colleges, we, passionate students dedicated to such a cause, do hereby establish the following constitution:
ARTICLE I: NAME AND AFFILIATION
Section 1. This organization is known as the Online News Association / Society of Professional Journalists at UGA or ONA/SPJ at UGA.
Section 2. This organization is a group of the national organizations, the Online News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists and reports to both organizations. We may also receive financial support for specific projects.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
Section 1. The purpose of ONA/SPJ at UGA shall be to educate about the intersection of journalism, technology, and the World Wide Web. ONA/SPJ will help members to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the increasing digitization of news, and cultivate an attitude of exploration and excitement for technological innovation.
Section 2. Said purpose will be accomplished by holding regular meetings teaching the aforementioned skills; raising awareness at the UGA through the use of social media, promotions, and campus-wide projects; and hosting educational events for students, faculty, and staff.
Section 3. Said purpose will be furthered by interacting with other student organizations and worldwide organizations in order to organize events to raise campus-wide awareness of our organizations and gain hands-on experience for our members.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership shall be limited to regularly enrolled students, faculty, and staff at the University of Georgia.
Section 2. Membership and all privileges, including voting and officer positions, must be extended to all students without regard to age, ethnicity, gender, disability, color, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Section 3. There is no minimal GPA requirement in order to join ONA/SPJ at UGA.
Section 4. No member shall be required to pay dues, but you must be a member of both SPJ and ONA to hold an officer position.
ARTICLE IV. DUES AND PAYMENT
Section 1. No member shall be required to pay dues.
Section 2. To attend national conferences paid for by the group, members must be paid members of either SPJ or ONA at the national level.
ARTICLE VI: EXECUTIVE BOARD AND CABINET
Section 1. The Executive Board
Section 1.1. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, three officers, and 3-7 cabinet members.
Section 1.2. Members of the Executive Board must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at the University of Georgia.
Section 1.3. Members of the Executive Board are expected to conduct themselves in a way that exemplifies the spirit of the organization and demonstrates strong, moral character.
Section 2. President
Section 2.1. The President shall set the agenda of each Executive Board meeting. He or she shall act as spokesperson for the organization to local, state, and national media; oversee the organization as a whole; maintain club credibility and accountability.
Section 2.2. The President shall be elected to one term at a time. He or she shall begin his or her term Jan. 1st of each year and end his or her term upon election of the new Executive Board.
Section 3. Vice President
Section 3.1. The Vice President shall serve as an assistant to the President and conduct meetings in the event of the President’s absence.
Section 3.2. The Vice President shall be elected to one term at a time. He or she shall begin his or her term Jan. 1 of each year and end his or her term upon election of the new Executive Board.
Section 4. The Officers
Section 4.1. Officer positions shall consist of Influence Director, Multimedia Director, Technical Director, and SPJ Liaison.
Section 4.2. The Officers must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at the University of Georgia.
Section 4.3. The Officers must be in good academic standing at the University. There are no specific GPA requirements.
Section 5. The Cabinet
Section 5.1. The Cabinet shall consist of three positions. Each member of the Cabinet will assist and shadow one member of the Executive Board in their role.
Section 5.2. Members of Cabinet must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at the University of Georgia.
Section 5.3. Members of Cabinet must be in good academic standing at the University. There are no specific GPA requirements.
ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS
Section 1. General Body Meetings
Section 1.1. When class is in session during the fall and spring semesters, ONA/SPJ at UGA shall hold regular meetings on a monthly basis. These meetings shall be open to the general public.
Section 1.2. Meetings shall be announced via listserv..
Section 1.3. Members will predominantly be notified about meetings through the listserv. Meetings and special events will also be posted upon the ONA/SPJ website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Section 1.4. The Executive Board shall design the topics and structure of the general body meetings.
Section 2. Executive Board Meetings
Section 2.1. When class is in session during the fall and spring semesters, the ONA/SPJ at UGA Executive Board shall hold regular meetings.
Section 2.2. Each Executive Officer is expected to give oral reports to the Executive Board at every Executive Board Meeting.
Section 2.3. The Executive Board of ONA/SPJ at UGA shall have the power to establish rules to govern Executive Board, regular meetings, and the club as a whole. The Executive Board shall have the power to change the rules at any given time based on the needs of the chapter.
Section 2.4. It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to ensure that the ONA/SPJ at UGA membership understands the rules governing regular Body meetings.
ARTICLE VII: ELECTIONS
Section 1. Quorum
Section 1.1. Quorum is defined a two-thirds majority of the executive board and at least two members of the general organization membership.
Section 1.2. In order for official business to occur, i.e. amendments, fiscal decisions, etc. quorum must be present.
Section 1.3. Members shall vote by ballot unless a member motions otherwise. Acceptable motions include a voice vote and a hand vote.
Section 1.4. The President shall prepare, distribute, and collect ballots.
Section 1.5. The Vice President shall count the ballots.
Section 1.6. The President must ratify results before such results may be announced to the general body.
Section 2. Election of Executive Board Members
Section 2.1. The outgoing members of the executive board of ONA/SPJ at UGA shall elect the executive board members for the following year.
Section 2.2. Executive Board candidates will fill out a brief application.
Section 2. Appointment of Cabinet Positions
Section 2.1. Members interested in serving on Cabinet will fill out an application at the beginning of each school year.
Section 2.2. Current Executive Members shall read and objectively evaluate all applications and each create his or her slate for the future positions.
Section 2.2.1. The current Executive Board will each read and objectively evaluate every application, and come to a unanimous decision.
Section 2.3. The President must ratify results before results are considered adopted.
Section 2.4. The President will notify all appointees of their accomplishments and new positions within ONA/SPJ at UGA.
Section 3. Officer Vacancies
Section 3.1. Members of the ONA/SPJ at UGA Executive Board and Cabinet may resign by submitting in writing a letter of intent stating his or her wish to resign to the President and Vice President one month prior to the date the resignation will become effective. All resignations will be announced to members at the next general meeting after the Executive Board has been notified.
Section 3.2. If a resignation occurs within the Executive Board, special applications will be sent out to the general membership, and will be evaluated by the remainder of the Executive Board.
Section 3.3. If a resignation occurs within the Cabinet, the Executive Board shall review the past application materials. After reviewing the application materials and deliberating amongst the Executive Board, the Executive Board shall vote and choose the replacement position.
Section 3.4. The President shall announce the new officer member at the general body meeting.
Section 3.5. All positions must be filled within one months of the notification of the vacancy.
Section 4. Officer Impeachment
Section 4.1. Reasons for impeachment of an ONA/SPJ at UGA Executive Board or Cabinet member include any or all of the following: continual absence at meetings and events or extreme misconduct.
Section 4.2. Any active member can file for impeachment of an officer.
Section 4.2.1. The individual must e-mail the President with the impeachment. In the case of a presidential impeachment, the member should direct his or her e-mail to the Vice President.
Section 4.2.2. The Executive Board shall discuss the impeachment charges and research their validity.
Section 4.2.3. The Executive Board shall notify the member being brought under impeachment within 48 hours of the filed charges.
Section 4.2.4. The accused party is encouraged to send any and all remarks regarding the impeachment to the Executive Board.
Section 4.3. At the next Executive Meeting, the President or Vice President shall present the impeachment charges, any and all investigative findings, and relevant testimony from the accused party.
Section 4.3.1. After the case is presented, the floor will be opened for debate.
Section 4.3.2. The President (or Vice President in case of presidential impeachment) shall determine when the floor is closed.
Section 4.3.3. All members of the Executive Board and Cabinet shall cast a vote. The necessary vote to remove an officer from his or her position shall be a two-thirds majority.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Only members of the Executive Board can propose amendments to the constitution.
Section 2. Members may present amendments to the Executive Board.
Section 3. Executive Board members shall draft the Amendment at an Executive Board meeting. It shall be written in corresponding language as the existing Constitution.
Section 4. The Amendment shall be read before the general body. The floor will be opened for free debate on the Amendment.
Section 5. The Amendment shall be reread and voted upon at the next general body meeting.
Section 6. An Amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote in order to be ratified.
ARTICLE IX: Non-Discrimination
Section 1. Membership and all privileges, including voting and officer positions, must be extended to all students without regard to age, ethnicity, gender, disability, color, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. However Religious student organizations will not be denied registration solely because they limit membership or leadership positions to students who share the same religious beliefs.
Section 2. Membership and all privileges, including voting and officer positions, must be extended to all students as stated in the University of Georgia Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. However, religious student organizations will not be denied registration solely because they limit membership or leadership positions to students who share the same religious beliefs. Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments Act of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or handicap in most educational programs and activities within the University.
Section 1. Members and officers shall uphold their duties according to the constitution and shall refer to the constitution often. The officers will keep records of each year’s activities, announce upcoming events and meetings, and keep the members informed about the status of the organization’s business.
Section 2. Cabinet and Executive Board members are expected to be present at all ONA/SPJ at UGA functions and meetings but will be allowed absences on a case-by-case basis for reasons such as illness, personal and family conflicts, etc. Members must notify at least one member of the Executive Board if it is necessary for them to miss a meeting. Excessive absences will be cause for discussion at Executive Board meetings.
Section 3. Officer removal must be approved by an anonymous ballot of two-thirds of the remaining Executive Board and Cabinet members.
Section 4. Members have the right to view the club constitution, by-laws, and meeting minutes. Members have the right to question leadership decisions. Members with complaints about leadership or organization are required to take up such matters in private with the Executive Board.
Section 5. All meetings are informal. The President will call organization meetings to order. Subsequent business will be attended to and voted on as necessary. The President will adjourn meetings upon completion of business. The Officers will record the proceedings at every meeting. Meetings will be recorded both in video, and over Twitter. Both of these will be available online on our webpage for all members to view.
Section 6. Members are expected to act respectfully to fellow members and any faculty member or guests. Members may be disciplined for misconduct, by removal from meeting or expulsion from the group, as executive officers deem necessary. The definition of misconduct shall be up to the discrepancy of the Cabinet and Executive Board.
Section 7. Officers and members are expected to abide by the procedures of the UGA Department of Student Activities.
Section 8. By-laws may be amended by suggestion of members at large, Cabinet members, and/or Executive Board members. Members should e-mail all by-law amendments to the Executive Secretary and CC the President and Vice President. By-law amendments shall be brought before the Executive Board. A two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Board is required for the adoption of the by-law amendment.