MIT Debate Team Constitution
Article l. Name
The name of this organization shall be the MIT Debate Team.
Article ll. Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be to encourage the MIT community to participate in events which will develop speech and debating skills, including communication, persuasion, organization, style, and delivery. The Debate Team would provide its members with the opportunity to interact with students from numerous other schools involved in the APDA (American Parliamentary Debate Association) circuit. It would be beneficial for MIT to sponsor a debate team that would help to portray a diverse, well-rounded image to the academic community including schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Wellesley, etc., where MIT graduates might be interested in pursuing their academic endeavors. A Debate Team would be a unique asset to the MIT community because no other organization provides a forum for the improvement of individual communication skills at all levels of ability. It will provide access to competitions in the area as well as on a national and international level.
Article lll. Membership
All competing members of this organization shall be undergraduate or graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There must be at least five (5) members at all times. In order to gain membership, a student must register with the Vice-President of Membership and must attend at least two meetings each semester in which they desire to be a member. Tournament eligibility in any given event will be based on a point system which will be under the discretion of the officers and will be dependent on the student's participation, active semesters on the team, and available funding. This organization will not discriminate based on any characteristic listed in MIT's Nondiscrimination Statement.
Article lV. Meetings
The MIT Debate Team shall hold meetings that allow members to carry on administrative business and to practice and teach debating skills through practice rounds. The MIT Debate team shall hold two different types of meetings. They will be as follows:
- Administrative - Ideally, meetings will be held once a week. If occasion arises that the members decide that the meetings need to be more or less frequent for a period of time, meetings shall be called as necessary. Any Executive officer can call a meeting. Meetings shall consist of no less than five members and shall observe Robert's Rules of Order. The time of the subsequent meeting will be decided before the closure of the meeting at hand.
- Practice Rounds - These mock competitions will be scheduled at administrative meetings and will be presided over by an experienced judge. This judge, an experienced member of the team, will be responsible for critiquing the competitors and deciding the outcome.
Article V. Officers and Duties
All offices held in this organization shall be elected offices. The ranking will be as follows:
This officer holds the position of being the official representative of the team, responsible for interaction with any MIT administrative organizations. This officer will also oversee any and all activities of the team. Finally, the President will organize and oversee all trips to tournaments.
- Vice-President of Finance
This officer is in charge of the organization's funds. The Vice-President of Finance is responsible for petitioning Fin Board for funding each semester. This officer will work closely with the Vice-President of Tournaments in funding for tournaments. The Vice-President of Finance and President may not be the same person.
- Vice-President of Membership
The regular duties of this officer are the recruiting of new members, organizing on campus events and debates, and publicity.
- Vice-President of Tournaments
This officer is responsible for organizing the MIT tournament. This officer will also act as a liaison between the MIT debate team and the debate teams of other schools. The Vice-President of Tournaments is also responsible for working with the Vice-President of Finance to secure one time funding sources for the MIT Tournament such as appropriations from event funds, sponsors, etc.
- Member at Large
In the event that the President cannot perform the duties previously described, this officer will act as President. This officer will round out the executive committee to take care of duties not covered by all other officers. Duties may include maintaining alumni connections, working with the Vice-President of Finance to secure funds from members of the administration. This member will also take minutes at all meetings.
This officer will work to maintain a World-Wide-Web page to publicize events and keep track of tournament finishes. This officer will also be responsible for creating a Web page for the annual MIT Tournament to post information and facilitate team registration and judges signups. This officer is a non-voting member of the Executive Board.
These officers will constitute the Executive Board which has the final say in all activities of the Debate Team.
Article Vl. Elections
Elections will be held once a year at the meeting two weeks after Spring Break. Any member is eligible to run for any office. Voting will be done by secret ballot. The new officer will be the person receiving a simple majority of votes. In the case that a simple majority is not attained in the first round, a second round between the top two candidates will decide the outcome.
Each office shall be held from the date the officer is elected until the next election, and there shall be no limit to the number of times a member can hold a particular office.
Article Vll. Removal and/or Replacement of Officers
In the event that an officer other than the President resigns, a new officer will be elected within a two week period. If the President resigns, the Vice-President of Finance will assume the responsibilities of President temporarily in addition to their responsibilities as Vice-President of Finance and will conduct an election of a new President. This election must be held within two weeks of the resignation or removal of the president.
If the Vice-President of Finance becomes elected as the replacement President then they must oversee an election for a new Vice-President of Finance within two weeks of their election to President. This person will only have one vote on the board while they hold two offices.
To involuntarily remove an officer, three-fourths of the eligible voting members must sign a petition requesting that officer s removal, and new elections must be held at the next regular meeting.
Article Vlll. Constitutional Amendments
A constitutional amendment may be proposed by any member and must have the signatures of at least five other members. The amendment must be presented at an Administrative meeting and will require three-fourths vote at the next Administrative meeting where a majority of members are present.
Article lX. By-Laws
In order to compete in a tournament, a person must be a member of the team and must have completed at least 1 practice round before his or her first tournament.
If this organization charges any monetary dues, there will be exceptions made for students that cannot afford these dues.
Article X. ASA Governance clause
The MIT Debate Team agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the Association of Student Activities, and its executive board. This constitution, amendments to it, and the by-laws of this organization shall be subject to review by the ASA Executive Board to insure that they are in accordance with the aforementioned rules and regulations.