Speech Team Constitution

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1: Name
The name of the club concerning this constitution is the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University Speech Team.

Section 2: Purpose/Mission
The CSB/SJU Speech Team’s mission is to bring the excellent program of collegiate forensics to the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. Through the CSB/SJU Speech Team, students can gain many valuable skills, such as critical and analytical thinking skills and public speaking skills. Not only will students obtain aptitude in these areas, but the CSB/SJU Speech Team also provides an open forum for new ideas and thoughts on world and national politics, literature, global issues, and many other topics.

Article II: Membership

Section 1: Eligibility for Membership
The CSB/SJU Speech Team is open to all CSB/SJU students. Students may only join the CSB/SJU Speech Team if their GPA is a 2.5 or higher. Voting members must be competing in at least one event at forensics tournaments throughout the season. Non-voting members are those observing or not competing at forensics tournaments. Affiliate members are the faculty and staff at CSB/SJU who are not allowed to vote on issues, but are allowed to give advice and help as deemed necessary.

Section 2: Removal of Members
The removal of a team member will be at the discretion of the team captain or captains. The team members, the individual or individuals in question, and faculty and staff may give advice and argue their cause before the captain or captains. The individual or individuals in question may have two weeks after their removal to prepare and present their case to the captain or captains. The captain or captains may remove members for the following reasons:

  1. Poor attendance at tournaments and meetings.
  2. If their GPA is below membership eligibility.
  3. Poor behavior at tournaments and meetings.
  4. Poor effort in preparation for tournaments.

Article III: Officers

Section 1: Officer Qualifications
The officers of the CSB/SJU Speech Team will be hereby referred to as captains. The captains must be full voting members who have actively participated in collegiate forensics for at least one season before their elected position begins (the exceptions of course being the first year of the CSB/SJU Speech Team and in the case of an inactive team the previous year, in which cases anyone may be made captain who has had forensics experience).

Section 2: Elected Captain(s)
There will be no positions other than head captain and co-captains. There can be no more than 1 Head Captain and 3 Co-Captains at any one time.

Section 3: Duties of Captains
It is the Head Captain and the Co-Captains’ responsibility to organize the running of the CSB/SJU Speech Team.

Specific Duties of the Head Captain and Co-Captains:

Head Captain:

  • Be the main leader and voice of the team.
  • Be actively involved in coaching other teammates.
  • Organize first draft of the schedule for the season and off-season.
  • Contact other schools for information and registration for tournaments.
  • Contact appropriate individuals and organizations for fundraising.
  • Hold the tie-breaking vote amongst the co-captains and the team.
  • Call emergency team or captains meetings.
  • Hold weekly discussions with the advisor of the team.
  • Leader at team meetings.


  • Be actively involved in coaching other teammates.
  • Attend all captains meetings to discuss scheduling and other issues that arise during the season.
  • Help the Head Captain with anything that needs to be done from the list above. Depending on the amount of work of the Head Captain, work will be distributed appropriately.

In the event there are no co-captains, the head captain will take the poison as the Head Captain and do all the work of all the positions.

Section 4: Vacancy of Office
If in the event a vacancy of a captain position should occur, please refer to the special election section of Article IV.

Section 5: Removal of Captains
Concerning the removal of the captains, it will be up to the discretion of the entire voting member body to decide. The team will then have an open forum to decide the captain’s status. Everyone who wishes to speak will be given the opportunity to have the platform to defend or oppose the captain. Any voting member may call for the removal of a captain. Upon this call, the forum will commence, given each speaker a maximum of 5 minutes to speak for or against the person in question. Following this forum, the voting body will vote on the person’s future in the organization. A simple majority will decide his or her fate.

Section 6: Appeal of Removal of Captain
After a vote has been taken deciding a captain’s fate and the vote dismisses the captain, there will be an appeal process 2 weeks after the vote has been taken. The Captain can state his or her case to the rest of the captains and student body for reinstatement. Another vote will then be stated. A captain may only make one appeal to be reinstated as an officer of the CSB/SJU Speech Team.

Article IV: Elections

Section 1: Nomination Process
When a captain position has been opened, there will be an emergency team meeting to elect a new captain. This will also occur during the last week of March to elect new captains for the following year. Anyone who is a full voting member on the team can nominate a person or themselves in accordance with captain requirements. During the meeting, their will be a list of possible nominations, each team member will have the chance to rally support for themselves or their nominee. Each person is given a maximum of three minutes to speak. In the event a co-captain wishes to take the position of Head Captain, they may do so. Another election needs to occur in order to fill their vacant position in the event they win. Also, if no one is nominated for any of the vacant positions, that is fine. There needs to be, however, a Head Captain at all times.

Section 2: Election
After each member has concluded their remarks on the nominee, then an election will take place. The captain will be chosen by a simple majority. Elections for the next year’s captains will be held during the last week in March.

Section 3: Special Elections
Special elections due to the removal of an officer will follow the same procedures as Section 1 and Section 2.

Article V: Advisor

Section 1: Selection
The CSB/SJU Speech Team will choose an advisor based on the Faculty member’s motivation and passion for the organization ad knowledge within the area of forensics.

Section 2: Duties
The advisor will follow all the expectations that CSB/SJU requires from all club/organization advisors, as listed in the Advisor Contract. In addition to the expectations listed, the advisor should also:

  • Attend all executive meetings scheduled with the Head Captain.
  • Attend at least one tournament.
  • Help prepare the agenda for meetings
  • Give advice during meetings with relevant information.
  • Challenge group members/officers to think creatively
  • Take an active part in helping the team in developing and reaching its goals.
  • Promote the team’s activities to other Faculty/Staff.

Article VI: Meetings

Section 1: Regular Meeting/Club Activities
The Team, Captains, and the advisor will meet based on the changing schedule that will be established at the beginning of the year by the captains.

Article VII: Finances

Section 1: Co-Funding Board
The CSB/SJU Speech Team will apply for CFB monies, and if we are allocated resources, the CSB/SJU Speech Team will follow all CFB and institutional regulations.

Article VIII: Amendments

Section 1: Ratification
If there is a proposed constitutional amendment, procedures will follow directly with the procedures of elections (see Article IV).

Section 2: Submittal to Department of Student Activities and Joint Club Board
Any changes made to this constitution must be submitted to the Department of Student Activities and the JCB.

Article IX:
The CSB/SJU Speech Team 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 X:
The CSB/SJU Speech Team considers hazing to be a degrading and destructive activity which is consistent with the standards of this student organization. The CSB/SJU Speech Team recognizes the dignity of every person and opposes all forms of hazing.