Bylaws

Last updated: 1/24/2018

Article I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Davis College Democrats, hereinafter referred to as the “DCD” or the “club.”

Article II. Purpose

The Davis College Democrats, upon chartering with the Yolo County Democratic Central Committee (YCDCC) and the California College Democrats (CCD) shall become a member organization in each of the aforementioned groups as well as the College Democrats of America (CDA) and the California Young Democrats (CYD), with representation in the Young Democrats of America (YDA) via membership in CYD. Therefore, the Davis College Democrats pledges itself to support the platform and candidates of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, the Davis College Democrats declares its intention to support efforts to increase the participation of college students in Democratic Party affairs. To these ends, the Davis College Democrats shall work to:

Educate students about the platform of the Democratic Party.

Encourage active political participation in the UC Davis community.

Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, debate, and discussion of current events and political issues.

Sponsor activities that promote the Democratic platform and/or encourage interaction and participation among students, faculty and staff on the UC Davis campus.

Provide an outlet for creating relationships between DCD members and Democratic representatives and groups.

Register voters on campus.

Assist in the election of local, state, and national Democrats.

Represent the interests of Democratic UC Davis students, faculty, and staff at local government committees, boards, and councils, and actively support (or oppose) issues, initiatives, and candidates that help (or hurt) student interests.

Accept contributions in the form of gifts, donations, and bequests to carry out our purposes and activities.

Maintain an up-to-date roster of the DCD membership and keep the members informed of activities relating to the club and to the Democratic Party.

Article III. Membership

Section A. Eligibility

Only currently registered undergraduate students, faculty, and staff may be active members in a registered student organization as specified by the Center for Student Involvement, or CSI. An individual can remain one quarter consecutively member as a non-student. According to California State law and in line with the values of the Davis College Democrats, we will not haze; we will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical and mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

Neither shall any hold membership in any organization that advocates the violent overthrow of the United States government.

Section B. Active Members

Active members are defined as any person who meets eligibility requirements listed above and has also attended three of the previous five meetings (Executive and/or general) or events, or have attended ten meetings or events during the current academic year and the preceding summer. Only active members are eligible to vote and hold office (with exceptions listed beneath the duties of an officer).

Section C. Membership Lists

The club shall keep in electronic form a membership list containing the name, phone number, email address and birth dates of each member. Email addresses shall be used to compile an electronic mailing list that shall be maintained by the Executive Director or whomever they appoint with the approval of a majority of the Executive Board. Non-members can be added to the mailing list at the discretion of the Executive Board. This membership information shall be subject to the rights of inspection required by law. The club shall also keep an ongoing recruitment “sign-up” list for those who have shown interest in the club. This list is private and is not subject to inspection laws. Only the Executive Board may have a full copy of this list without the approval of the Executive Board by a 2/3 super-majority vote. Release and usage of both the membership and recruitment lists is subject to the discretion of the Executive Board.

Section D. Transferability of Membership

Neither the membership of the Davis College Democrats nor any rights in the membership thereof may be transferred or assigned for value or otherwise.

Article IV. Executive Board

Section A. Authority and Responsibility

The Executive Board shall have general authority and responsibility for the ongoing affairs of the Davis College Democrats. Executive Board decisions may only be overruled when an active member brings the issue in front of the Active Members who then must vote by a 2/3 super-majority to overrule the decision in question.

Section B. Composition

The Executive Board shall be composed of the President, Executive Director, Director of Finance, Director of Membership, and Director of Political Affairs whose duties shall be defined below.

Members of the club cannot serve in both elected and appointed positions concurrently.

The immediate past President shall serve as an Ex-Officio member, but shall not have a vote in Executive board meetings. Note: If the President is currently holding a different elected office within the club, this clause does not apply.

Section C. Quorum

A quorum of the Executive Board shall be noted when 3/5 of the elected Executive Board members are present physically or via phone or tele-conference (Skype, Google Hangout, etc). A 24 hour notice must be given to active members before any meeting occurs.

Section D. Elections

Elections for the Executive Board shall take place in the following manner:

When: Candidates for the Executive Board shall be nominated at a meeting of the Active Members during the penultimate week of academic instruction in the Spring Quarter and the previous academic week of the Spring Quarter. The Executive Officers shall be elected on the penultimate academic week of the Spring Quarter at a meeting of the Active Members.

Eligibility of Candidacy and Voting:

Candidates may finish their term in the event of graduating early, but must have been in office for the two previous quarters.

Candidates must be registered as a Democrat at the time of the election (if eligible to register to vote).

All candidates for executive board positions must have attended a minimum of three general meetings or club events and two executive board meetings in the quarter of the election. Additionally, candidates for president must have attended an additional fourth general meeting or club event.

Procedure: After each candidate for an office has spoken for not more than five minutes, the active members and absentee voters will elect a winner via a first-past-the-post voting method in the case of an office with only two candidates, or via a ranked-choice instant-runoff voting method in the case of an office with three or more candidates. Should one candidate receive the majority of votes for multiple offices, they may select which office they prefer, with the office they do not select going to the runner-up in that race.

Should this procedure result in an unfilled Executive Board position, that office shall be filled through a special election at a meeting of the Active Members during the final academic week of instruction of the Spring Quarter. If the special election fails to fill the Executive Board position, the President shall appoint an interim with majority consent of the Executive Board members, and a special election will be held during the next academic year, as delineated in Section G.

Section E. Terms of Office

All elected officers’ terms will commence on the final academic week of instruction of the Spring Quarter, and terminate at the conclusion of the penultimate academic week of instruction of the Spring Quarter of the following year. Appointed officers’ terms will begin immediately after acceptance of the post, and will expire upon the election of a replacement or at the end of the quarter the appointment was made. Elected officers may choose to run for re-election, so long as they meet the requirements delineated in Section D.

Section F. Removal

Executive Board members may be removed in the following manner:

Cause for Removal: Cause for removal shall be defined as malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance of assigned duties, being convicted of a felony, or upon other grounds found by all of the other members of the Board to constitute good and sufficient cause;

Process for Removal: To begin the process of removal, any Active Member may charge the officer with the reasons for his/her removal during a meeting of the Executive Board. The officer in question must be offered an opportunity at that meeting to defend themself. If the charge stands, after a period of two weeks, the issue will be put up for a membership vote. Then, if a quorum exists, the Active Members must vote for removal by a majority vote. Further, an officer failing to attend club-sanctioned events, including both executive board and general meetings, faces grounds for dismissal on the basis of nonfeasance of assigned duties; the number of required club-sanctioned events shall be at the discretion of the Executive Board. However, if an officer has failed to report to five (5) of the last ten (10) executive board meetings, the grounds for removal have been met.

Section G. Vacancies

A vacancy shall be declared when a member of the Executive Board dies, resigns, is removed from office, or misses more than 3 consecutive meetings without an approved excuse (as defined by the Board). If there is a vacancy of any other position than the President, the President shall appoint an interim with the majority consent of the remaining officers. After a period of two weeks, a special election shall be held for a new elected officer to fill the position. If the vacancy is the President, then the Executive Director will assume that office when there is a vacancy, for a period of two weeks, following which point a new election shall be held for the office of the President. In the event that the Executive Director is unable to assume the office of President, the Director of Political Affairs will be next in the line of succession; followed by the Director of Membership; followed by the Director of Finance.

Article V. Duties of the Officers

Section A. The President shall:

Be the Chief Executive of the Davis College Democrats;

Act as the official representative to other groups and the media.

Define the agenda of the organization for their tenure.

Carry out the mandates, policies, and directives of the Executive Board.

Act as the primary liaison/signatory with Student Programs and Activities Center, ensuring the club is re-registered every quarter, that all our activities are in accordance with University policy, and that rooms have been reserved for our meetings, etc.

Appoint, in consultation with the Executive Board, standing and ad-hoc committees and coordinators of such committees.

Preside over all official meetings.

Serve as advisor to the club regarding non-campus related functions of the Democratic Party.

Be responsible for maintaining relations between elected Democrats on the local, state, and national levels and the Davis College Democrats. This includes:

serving as the DCD representative to the Yolo County Democratic Central Committee, the California College Democrats, the California Young Democrats, and the College Democrats of America;

Acting as the DCD liaison to the offices of California State Assemblymembers, California State Senators, and United States Congressional Representatives representing the constituencies of the Davis College Democrats;

And ensuring that we are always chartered with all of the organizations referenced in Article II.

Section B. The Executive Director shall:

Maintain internal communications of the Davis College Democrats.

The Executive Director will serve as the primary person to organize publicity for club events.

Coordinate all record keeping related to DCD; such as clippings, photos, etc.

Maintain a DCD sign-up list and regular membership lists.

Maintain an updated list of e-mail addresses of all interested students (members and non) and be responsible for posting important notices.

Draft and send weekly emails and Social media posts to the membership of DCD including within them the upcoming weeks agenda, events of relevance to the community, and internship or job opportunities for members.

Maintain committee lists and contact information

Solicit progress reports from committee chairs as requested/needed.

Maintain oversight over the Democratic Issue Group Co-Chairs.

Propose any agenda amendments or additions to general meetings at their discretion.

Gather emergency information (contacts, medical conditions, insurance, etc.) prior to any DCD trips.

Perform such duties as the Executive Board or President may assign or are customarily performed by a Secretary.

Act as a facilitator for the other Directors and the President, including but not limited to local event coordination, etc.

Maintain DCD Alumni relations, which could include a quarterly newsletter.

Section C. The Director of Membership shall:

Actively organize for the recruitment and the retention of new members.

Maintain contact on both a club and a personal level with new members.

Coordinate membership drives and member outreach efforts. This includes tabling, active recruitment activities, etc.

Organize a DCD Mentors program when practicable.

Act as the primary point of contact between the Davis College Democrats and other Registered Student Organizations at UC Davis.

Perform such duties as the Executive Board or President may assign.

Section D. The Director of Finance shall:

Direct all fundraising activities and review all fiscal decisions.

The Director of Finance will pursue an active role in fundraising for the club and making contracts with outside funding sources.

Maintain complete records of all expenditures and receipts.

Coordinate Club reimbursement procedure.

Act as DCD official liaison to the Federal Elections Commission, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the Davis City Clerk (concerning campaign finance laws), and with all financial institutions that we maintain funds with. Especially important to this duty is the filing of Form 460 and 410 with the California Fair Political Practices Commission twice a year on January 15th and July 31st.

Meet with the Executive Board prior to every quarter to plan and review the financial status of the forthcoming quarter’s activities.

Discuss the current financial status at each Executive Board meeting.

Perform such duties as the Executive Board or President may assign or are customarily performed by a Treasurer.

Section E. The Director of Political Affairs shall:

Be the primary organizer and coordinator of student involvement in national, state, and local campaigns (phone banks, Get Out the Vote efforts, voter registration, etc.)

Build and maintain relationships with local elected officials by attending events in which they are present.

Research local, state, and national issues and report to the Executive Board and the general membership when the information is needed.

Coordinate lobbying efforts to the local and state government including, but not limited to: rallies, letter writing campaigns, testifying, petitions, etc.

Collect and seek out internship opportunities for members and give to the Executive Director information to disburse to the club.

Organize and plan philanthropy events.

Article VI. Committees

Section A. Ad Hoc Committees

As needed, the Executive Board may form or disband ad hoc committees, to coordinate and organize efforts related to fundraising, outreach, campaigning, or any other effort needing focused organization outside of meetings of the Active Members or Executive Board meetings.

These committees may include, but are not limited to, the particular committees described throughout Article VI.

Section B. The Fundraising Committee shall:

Be chaired by the Director of Finance.

Organize regular fundraisers, including but not limited to the following types:

Food/Dinners;

Political Memorabilia Re-Sale;

And local Political Fundraising.

Recommend to the Executive Board other possible fundraising events and implement these ideas.

Exercise these duties as it sees fit for the benefit of the club.

Section C. The Outreach Committee shall:

Be Chaired by the Director of Membership.

Hold recruitment campaigns.

Organize visits to classrooms and lecture halls in order to pitch the club.

Train members in recruitment and tabling tactics.

Table on the Quad, the Farmers Market, and other public spaces in order to promote the club and register voters.

Table in or around the Dining Commons in order to promote the club and register voters.

Recommend to the Executive Board other possible membership boosting ideas and implement these ideas.

Exercise these duties as it sees fit for the benefit of the club.

Section D. The Campaign Committee shall:

Be chaired by the Director of Political Affairs.

Research Campaign and Internship Opportunities available to club members,

Organize GOTV, Voter Registration, Precinct Walking, and Phone Banking for specific campaigns supported by the club to enable club members to participate in the political process.

Locate and Organize volunteer opportunities with local organizations committed to Democratic values.

Recommend to the Executive Board other possible campaign opportunities and take an active role in pursuing these opportunities.

Exercise these duties as it sees fit for the benefit of the club.

Section E. Meetings

These Committees shall meet during DCD meetings as is necessary. It is recommended that the Outreach Committee and Campaign Committee meet every week or every other week outside of DCD meetings at the discretion of the Chair. The meetings of the Fundraising Committee shall be held solely at the discretion of the committee chair. Additional meetings of Committees will require members to be given 24 hours prior notice, or written and/or verbal confirmation of the new time by a majority of the Committee. Membership in a Committee is not mandatory, except for the committee chair.

Article VII. Appointed Positions

As needed, the Executive Board may appoint active members to particular positions within DCD to facilitate special goals within the organization. These positions can revolve around organizing ad hoc committees, specialized outreach and retention activities, advocacy for marginalized communities within DCD, or supporting the general efforts of the active membership or executive board. Appointments can be made with or without a call for applicants.

At a meeting of the executive board, any Executive Board member may make a motion to appoint an active member to a particular position, and any active member may second that motion. If successfully moved, the Executive Board will vote to approve the appointment. The vote will be successful given a simple-majority of the Executive Board.

Article VIII. Regular Meetings

Section A. Frequency of Meetings

A schedule of regular meetings that includes at least one general meeting every week of the academic year shall be set by the President with consultation of the Executive Board. All general meetings shall be well publicized and shall be conducted at reasonable hours and locations. The club shall strive for consistency in time and location of general meetings in order to ensure regularity and raise efficiency.

Section B. Quorum

A quorum at a Davis College Democrats meeting shall consist of at least three Executive Board members plus at least one Active Member.. A quorum shall be required at all general meetings before any official action can be taken. Quorum cannot be achieved for an irregularly scheduled general meeting.

Article IX. Endorsement Procedure

Section A. Overview

The platform of Davis College Democrats shall consist of any and all endorsements made by the Club. DCD may endorse:

A Democratic Party candidate in partisan political office;

Democratic primary candidates for major political office;

any Democrat for non-partisan political office;

any initiative, measure, advisory petition, or action;

members running in other campus elections, who are registered Democrats, where eligible.

The Davis College Democrats may not endorse:

anyone who is a member of the KKK or any other racist organization;

anyone who supports the violent overthrow of the United States government;

non-Democrats (who can register as Democrats) for any position;

non-members running in any other campus organization election.

Section B. Endorsement Procedure

  1. For candidate endorsements, the candidate, a representative for the candidate, or an active member of the club must request an official endorsement from DCD. To endorse measures, initiatives, or propositions, an active member must request an endorsement. Following the submission of a written request to the President, the Executive Board will vote on recommending an endorsement to the club at the next executive board meeting or general meeting, whichever seems appropriate for the current race. The general meeting in which an endorsement vote will take place shall not happen sooner than  seven days after its announcement to the general membership.
  2. All attendees to the meeting will be allowed to participate in a formal discussion regarding the potential endorsement of a candidate or measure/initiative/proposition. All active members in attendance may vote in the official endorsement election.
  3. If 60% or more of the present active members vote to endorse the candidate, measure, initiative, or proposition, it is officially endorsed by DCD.

Article X. Amendments to the Bylaws

Any Active Member may propose an amendment to this constitution with at least two other signatories. All amendments will be read into record at the meeting at which they are proposed and then voted upon at the subsequent meeting. All amendments must be approved by a 2/3 majority.

Article XI. Resolutions

Section A. Resolutions of Principle

Any resolution concerning the philosophy of the club or its platform must be made by an Active Member with at least one cosigning Active Member. Resolutions will be read into the record at the meeting at which it is proposed and then voted upon at the subsequent formal meeting and approved by a simple majority vote.

Section B. Resolutions of Business

Any resolution regarding club business or activities must be proposed by an Active Member with at least one co-signing Active Member. Resolutions will be read into the minutes at the meeting at which it is proposed and then voted upon at the subsequent formal meeting and approved by a simple majority vote. Resolutions can be tabled by a 51% vote of the Active Members.

Section C. Allocations of Funds

Any and all account spending must either be approved by the Executive Board or Active Membership respectively.

The Executive Board must approve by a simple majority the decision for the spending of any club money for a specific project.

Opposition of spending any club funds which exceed $200.00 can be raised by an active member and then must be presented and approved by a simple majority of the club.

Spending may be overruled by a 2/3rds majority vote of active members at a general meeting.

Section D. Controversial Resolutions

Resolutions of Principle or Business may be deemed controversial by a 25% roll-call vote. Any Controversial Resolution must be passed by a majority vote of ⅔ of Active Membership via a roll-call vote. Any endorsement resolution (save the Democratic nominee for the Presidential Election) is automatically deemed controversial.

 

Article XII. Parliamentary Procedure

The authority used for points not covered in this constitution in regards to the Davis College Democrats will be guided by the newest revised edition of Roberts Rules of Order.

Article XIII. Dissolution

Dissolution requires unanimous approval of the Executive Board and approval of three-fourths of the active members of Davis College Democrats. Upon dissolution, all unspent funds (after expenses/liabilities accrued prior to dissolution are accounted for) will be donated to CYD or CDA. It is hoped that these funds will be returned it to any new Democratic organization that comes into existence at UC Davis in the future.

 

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