Bennie-Johnnie Optimist Club Constitution

Article I.  Name and Purpose

                Section 1.  The name of our club will be Bennie-Johnnie Optimists. 

Section 2.  Our mission is to provide service opportunities for students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, with a focus on community involvement and youth development.

Section 3.  Our organization is affiliated with Optimist International, specifically the St. Cloud Morning Optimist Club.

Article II.  Membership

Section 1.  All CSBSJU students are eligible to participate this club.  To be a member of Optimist International (O.I.), members must comply with the membership bylaws of O.I. and pay the annual membership fee specified by O.I.   All students who are members of the Bennie-Johnnie Optimists will be voting members, regardless of financial ability to pay O.I. membership dues.  We recommend that all members become members of Optimist International, but membership to O.I. and membership dues should not inhibit anyone from joining this club.

Section 2.  All students who are members of Bennie-Johnnie Optimists will be voting members.  Members are expected to attend 50% of the meetings.  To become an official member of Optimist International and receive the benefits of O.I., students must pay the annual membership fee determined by O.I. (as of 2010, that fee is $25.00).  This fee must be paid in full to O.I.

Section 3.  Failure to attend a minimum of 50% of meetings will result in loss of voting privileges.  In the case of a removal, the member in question will be given a two-week period in which to appeal their removal to the executive board.  To appeal loss of membership privileges, the member must write an essay (1 page in length) which answers the question:  "Why is Optimist Club important to you and how do you plan to incorporate club events into your life in the future?" 

Article III.  Officers

Section 1.  To be an officer of the club (a member of the Executive Board), one must be a CSBSJU student with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.  Previous volunteer experience is also required for club officers.

Section 2.  Elected officers will include:  President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and Subcommittee Leaders (number will vary). 

Section 3.  Duties of officers:

President:  Serve as the executive officer of the club, preside at all meetings, run the election process, be the primary link to O.I. and the St Cloud Morning Optimist Club.

Vice President:  Serve as a link between members and executive board, assist the President with duties of the club, lead the club in the event that the President is not present.

                Secretary: Take minutes at each meeting and maintain records of attendance.

Treasurer:  Keep and maintain all records of fees, dues and monies collected and disbursed.

Subcommittee Leaders: Work to provide volunteer opportunities, communication with members of the groups, and other committees that are created on an as-needed basis.

Article IV.  Elections

Section 1.  Officer candidates will be self-nominated or nominated by other members of the club no less than one week before voting will take place.

Section 2.  Officers will be elected by 2/3 majority vote.  Votes will be submitted in the form of secret ballots.  2/3 of voting members must be present at the meeting for the vote to take place.  An officer can serve no more than four terms in any given position.  Elections must be held no later than April 1, in accordance with the JCB mandates. 

Section 3.  In the case of removal or resignation of an officer, a new officer must be elected to the vacant position within 2 weeks.  The procedure listed in Section II may be used to elect a replacement officer.    

Article V.  Advisor

Section 1.  The advisor will be chosen by asking a current faculty member if they will be involved with and assist the Bennie-Johnnie Optimists and be the link to Student Activities and CSBSJU Administration. 

Section 2.  The advisor of this club will attend occasional executive board meetings (at least one per semester), will challenge group members and officers to think creatively, will take an active part in facilitating the development of group goals, and will promote group activities to other faculty and staff. 

Article VI.   Meetings

Section 1. Meetings will occur every other week, and if needed, one meeting per week held in a location on the CSB/SJU campus.  Members will notified via e-mail of the location, time, and agenda of the meeting.

Section 2. Special meetings will be held if an important event is coming up and more organization is needed before the day of the event.  Special meetings will be called and held in the same way as regular meetings.

Section 3. The meeting will be called to order by the President and members will be asked to sign in.  The Executive Board and Subcommittee chairs will each give a briefing on previous activities and activities in the future.  The discussion will be then be opened to all members, and any questions or announcements may be made.

Section 4. The quorum will be the presence of 2/3 members for official club business to occur.

Article VII.  Committees

Section 1. The committee structure of this club is as follows: Public Relations, Events Coordination, and Fundraising. 

Section 2. Smaller Ad-Hoc committees may be established, especially under the Events Coordination committee to lead specific events the club will sponsor.

Article VIII.  Finances

Section 1. The Bennie-Johnnie Optimists will apply for Co-Funding Board monies and if resources are allocated, the club will follow all CFB and institutional regulations.

Section 2. No officers or members will receive an honorarium/stipend from the organization.  However, the club will receive funding through the St. Cloud Morning Optimists (from O.I.).  This money will be used only for the $450 club starter fee and will not go toward the $25 annual fee per member.

Section 3. Each O.I. member must pay $25 (or the fee determined by O.I. each year) to O.I., unless CFB or fundraising provides more monetary resources to decrease the annual fee.

Article IX.  Amendments

                Section I.  Constitutional amendments must be ratified by 2/3 vote by the executive board. 

                Section II.  Any changed made to this constitution must be submitted to the Department of Student Activities and Joint Club Board. 

Article X. The Bennie-Johnnie Optimists admits students without regard to their race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and other activities, generally accorded or made available to members of the organization.

Article XI.  The Bennie-Johnnie Optimists considers hazing to be a degrading and destructive activity which is inconsistent with the standards of this student organization.  The Bennie-Johnnie Optimists recognizes the dignity of every person and opposes all forms of hazing.

Date of recognition:  May 3, 2010