Volunteers In Service To Others Constitution

Article 1

Name and Purpose

Section 1


The name of this organization shall be “Volunteers In Service To Others” (VISTO) of the College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John’s University (SJU).

Section 2


The purposes for which this organization was formed:

A. To provide a link between the students of CSB/SJU and the surrounding communities.

B. To cultivate a sensitivity among CSB/SJU students for the personal and communal needs of others.

C. To assist CSB/SJU students in learning about and interacting with persons whose living situation may be different from their own.

D. To encourage CSB/SJU students to find creative ways of meeting the needs of others given the abundant resources we have at hand.

E. To help CSB/SJU students explore and experience a variety of potential career opportunities.

F. To deepen self-understanding among CSB/SJU students through reflection, self-evaluation, and volunteering.

G. To help promote and encourage leadership among CSB/SJU students.

Section 3


The following regional and national organizations are affiliated with the organizations that are contained within VISTO.

A. Saint John’s Campus Ministry, SJU

B. Anna Marie’s Women’s House

C. Camphill Village

D. Landon Place Family Center

E. Discovery Elementary School

F. Habitat for Humanity, Central Minnesota Chapter

G. Hands Across the World

H. Journey Home Residential Facility

I. Kennedy Elementary School

J. North Junior High School

K. Minnesota Correctional Facility, St. Cloud

L. Big Brothers, Big Sisters/Project Friends

M. Church of Saint Joseph, Saint Joseph

N. Albany Catholic Church

O. Cold Spring Catholic Church

P. Saint Benedict’s Senior Citizen Center

Q. Saint Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization (SASSO)

R. Saint Cloud Hospital

Article II


Section 1


VISTO, at all times, will include a Leadership Team, volunteer members, along with an Advisor. Any member of the CSB/SJU student body is eligible for membership in VISTO.

Section 2


Any member of VISTO is eligible to nominate him or herself as a Coordinator for an organization along with an application, and the VISTO Leadership Team appoints these positions.

Section 3


If removal of members is necessary, the VISTO Leadership Team, along with the Coordinator for the specific program, will first address the CSB/SJU student being considered for removal with reasonable notice. The student will be allowed the opportunity to defend him or herself to the VISTO Leadership Team. The VISTO Leadership Team will then decide whether or not the student shall be removed as a member of VISTO. The student then has the opportunity to appeal the decision. If this is done, the other VISTO Coordinators, along with the VISTO Leadership Team and VISTO Advisor, will further examine the situation and come to another decision about removal of that member.

Article III



Section 1 


All VISTO officers, known as the VISTO Leadership Team, must be students from CSB/SJU. The VISTO Leadership Team must display the following qualifications:

A. Must have previous experience in VISTO or other volunteer programs.

B. Must have commitment to service and social justice.

C. Must have the ability to communicate well and problem-solve.

D. Must submit to a background check.

E. Must promote volunteering and the VISTO organization to other CSB/SJU students.


Section 2 



A. The following are the officer positions included in VISTO, and the particular duties these persons should perform as an officer:

a. President

i. Preside at VISTO Leadership Team meetings along with Coordinator Meetings.

ii. Communicate with Coordinators of VISTO organizations, the institution, the VISTO Advisor, along with regional and national organizations VISTO works with.

iii. Promote volunteering with VISTO to CSB/SJU students.

iv. Schedule Meetings, Notify Coordinators and Leadership Team of Meetings, and Facilitate Meetings.

v. Handles the official correspondence of the club.

vi. Be a resource for CSB/SJU students with regards to volunteering with VISTO, as well as for the VISTO Coordinators.

b. Treasurer

i. Keeps all financial records.

ii. Submits monthly audit statements to the CFB contact (See Article III, Section 2, part b for name of VISTO Auditor).

iii. Notifies organization (other VISTO Leadership Team members, along with VISTO Advisor) of financial issues.

iv. Prepares budget/allocation requests at the end of each academic year.

v. Be a resource for CSB/SJU students with regards to volunteering with VISTO, as well as for the VISTO Coordinators.

c. Coordinator

i. Communicate with CSB/SJU volunteers about organization.

ii. Communicate with contact persons from regional or national organization.

iii. Communicate with VISTO Leadership Team about particular organization.

iv. Promote volunteering with VISTO to CSB/SJU students.

v. Be a resource for CSB/SJU students with regards to volunteering with VISTO.


Section 3 



In the event a vacancy of an officer member was to occur, the VISTO Leadership Team would appoint a new officer member. If an officer of the VISTO Leadership Team were to vacate their position, the rest of the VISTO Leadership Team along with the Advisor of VISTO would fill the vacancy until a new officer was appointed.


Section 4 



If there is need for a removal of an officer, whether a Coordinator or member of the VISTO Leadership Team, the following process will be followed:

A. A petition to remove the officer in question must be submitted to another officer. This petition must state the reason why the officer should be removed from his or her position.

B. The officer who received the petition to remove another officer must then notify the VISTO Leadership Team.

a. If the officer in question is a member of the VISTO Leadership Team, the officer would notify all members of the VISTO Leadership Team except the one in question.

C. A meeting will then take place with all officers, Coordinators and the VISTO Leadership Team, in which the reasons for removal of an officer shall be stated.

D. The officer in question then is provided an opportunity to present a defense either in person or in writing.

E. The VISTO officers shall then vote, and 2/3 vote of the officers is needed to remove another officer.


Section 5 



If the removed officer would like to appeal the removal, he or she must have a meeting with the VISTO Leadership Team.



Article IV 



Section 1 



The members of the VISTO Leadership Team will be nominated and appointed by the previous VISTO Leadership Team from the previous year along with the VISTO Advisor. The Coordinator Officers will be nominated by the previous Coordinator from the previous year.


Section 2 



The VISTO Leadership Team is appointed by the previous VISTO Leadership Team, along with the VISTO Advisor. The nominated coordinators apply through a written application, and are chosen by the VISTO Leadership Team. No election takes place for these positions.


Section 3 



In the occurrence of an officer being removed or leaving his or her office position, a special election shall be held with the VISTO Leadership Team. A new officer shall be appointed based on the organization the previous officer belonged.



Article V 



Section 1 



The VISTO Advisor must be a faculty member of either CSB or SJU. The VISTO Advisor is chosen by the Saint John’s Campus Ministry staff and the VISTO Leadership Team.


Section 2 



The duties of the VISTO Advisor include:

A. Work with the student coordinators to plan and implement recruiting of volunteers at eh beginning of each semester.

B. Provide in-service training for coordinators and other volunteers as needed during the semester (at least on session each semester).

C. Assist the student coordinators in the evaluation of service sites at the end of each year and decisions about continuing use of the sites for the coming year.

D. Work with the Chaplain/Director and other Campus Ministry staff members to develop an environment of collaboration and trust.

E. Work with the VISTO Leadership Team and attend monthly meetings with VISTO Leadership Team and VISTO Coordinators.

F. Promote volunteering through VISTO to CSB/SJU students.

G. Be a resource for CSB/SJU students with regards to volunteering with VISTO, as well as for the VISTO Coordinators and VISTO Leadership Team.



Article VI 



Section 1 



Members of the VISTO Leadership Team and the Advisor will meet monthly to discuss the organization. Coordinators, along with the VISTO Leadership Team will also meet monthly to discuss the different VISTO organizations and their successes. Each organization of VISTO will meet at different times with the specific Coordinator, which depends on the organization itself. Members of VISTO are notified via email for any regular meetings and club activities.


Section 2 



A special meeting can only be called by a member of the VISTO Leadership Team; and will only be called if a problem arises within the VISTO organization. These meetings will be run the same as a regular VISTO meeting.



Article VII 



Section 1


The VISTO organization is allocated funds annually from the CFB. VISTO will follow all CFB and institutional regulations regarding finances and its allocated funds.

Article VIII


Section 1


In order to ratify a proposed constitutional amendment, a VISTO club officer (member of the VISTO Leadership Team or VISTO Coordinator) shall nominate the change in amendment(s). There must be a 2/3 vote amongst the club officers for any ratification to take place.

Section 2


Any changes made to the VISTO Constitution will be submitted via campus email to the Department of Student Activities and the JCB.

Article IX

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