Amnesty International Constitution


The Holy Cross chapter of Amnesty International (referred to as HCAI) is dedicated to the carrying out and facilitating the mission of Amnesty International by supporting and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and denouncing and working against, within a legal and ethical framework, those activities that violate human rights.

HCAI is especially interested in providing moral support for those who seek to further aims in common with our won, especially prisoners of conscience, demonstrating to those with the power to further our goals in way that we cannot the basic humanistic good will of human beings (thereby demonstrating that protection of human rights and ethical sensibilities in general is in the practical interest of all human beings).  HCAI is determined to inform the student populous at large and to a lesser extent the general populous as to the actual state of the world and various nations, groups, and individuals regarding their ethical behavior and attitudes towards human rights.  We at HCAI believe that the dispersal of knowledge is fundamental for any ethical and organized society and perhaps the greatest way to further the welfare of the world and its inhabitants, especially the human race.

Article I  Membership and Meetings:

Section 1  Eligibility
Membership shall be open to all students of the College of the Holy Cross.  An official member may participate through the meetings and/or the activities of HCAI. Additionally, a member must conduct him or her self according to standards of ethical conduct in accordance with aims of HCAI in a very broad sense (generally adhering to the official Amnesty International Mandate and Universal Declaration of Human Rights).  Honorary membership may be bestowed upon individuals as is seen fit by the E-board

Section 2  General Meeting Rules
General organizational meetings must be held at least once per month, preferably on a regular schedule.  Non-members are welcome at general meetings.  Forty percent of all members constitutes a quorum for voting.  Additionally, at least five-days notice to all members must be given before a general meeting at which a binding vote takes place.  Only members may vote and a 2/3 majority vote may override any decision by the Executive Board.  The official voting procedures will vary due to the informal nature of the group and its members.  However the E-board and general membership have an obligation to ensure a fair, equal voting system where necessary.
 Article II  Officers and Duties:

Section 1  Considerate Co-chairs
The President shall be an officer of HCAI who has the specific duties to:
(a) call and chair general meetings,
(b) break all tie votes,
(c) report to members, weekly, of HCAI activities and progress,
(d) correspond with other schools,
(e) arrange transportation,
(f) organize at least one HCAI-sponsored event designed for campus-wide participation per semester,
(g) supervise the other officers in their duties,
(h) run the day-to-day business of HCAI between Executive Board meetings,
(i) promote, defend, and enforce the purpose, best interests, and constitution of HCAI.

Section 2  Smart Secretary
The Secretary shall be an officer of HCAI who has the specific duties to:
(a) record attendance and take brief minutes at all meetings,
(b) maintain a current membership list that includes contact information,
(c) head all bureaucratic duties within the group
(d) remind members of meetings and give five days notice of a vote at a general meeting.

Section 4  Trustworthy Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be an officer of HCAI who has the specific duties to:
(a) record all income and expenditures and calculate the current account balance,
(b) maintain a working budget,
(c) prepare the Student Budget Committee request and attend any relevant meetings.
(d) Assist where necessary in the functions in the group

Section 5  Super Special Liaison
The Special Liaison shall be an officer of HCAI who has the specific duties to:
(a) represent the society at Student Government Association (SGA) Assembly meetings,
(b) coordinate campus-wide publicity for the Society.
(c) Facilitate dialogue and cooperation between HCAI and other organizations with similar agendas and goals particular and/or general to the Amnesty International Mandate.

Section 6  Advertising Guru
The Advertising Guru shall be an officer of HCAI who has the specific duties to:
(a) organize and lead in the conception or significantly aid in the conception of all
      promotional material and advertising related products for HCAI,
(b) clear all advertising of questionable legality or content with the appropriate authorities,
(c) ensure permission necessary  for advertising and publicity related material,
(d) come up with a new eccentric title for the  position when elected, without using last four used titles,
(e) Keep a record of the previous four titles (not including their own) used for their

Section 7  Wonderful Web Wizard
The Web Wizard shall be an officer of HCAI who has the specific duties to:
(a) organize and maintain the HCAI website (updating it during meetings when possible),
(b) ensure that all HCAI activities are posted on the website in such a way that the
      information about them can prove useful to browsers of the website,
(d) ensure that the website is available to prospective HC students and other non HC

Section 8  New Executive Positions
New positions can be created by the E-board with a minimum ¾ vote or equivalent by all voting members of the E-board.

 Article III  The Executive Board:

Section 1  Description and Composition
The balance of power within the E-board is non-hierarchical, with the exception of the fact that the co-chairs are, and are intended to be, the leading and guiding power organization (please note the singular use of power, the co-chairs are meant to acts a s a coordinated whole).  The Executive Board is the primary decision-making body within HCAI and delegates responsibilities to the officers, and when necessary to general members as well.  No person may hold more than one position on the Executive Board at any time.

Section 2  Meetings
Executive Board meetings must meet the following conditions:
(a) All Executive Board members must be notified of meetings in advance.
(b) Meetings are chaired by the highest-ranking member present (a or both co-chairs, or whomever has been publicly [e.g. via e-mail] appointed temporary ranking officer)  and willing to chair.  Failing the applicability of the above, initiative must be taken by the E-board members to organize and direct themselves fully.
(c) A quorum consists of four voting Executive Board members.
(d) All E-board members, with the exception of Members-At-Large will vote if present or if able to make their vote clearly known to all members in some other way, in so long as the voting member is ‘properly’ appraised of the issue(s) at hand.  Voting E-board members designate a Member-At-Large as proxy who will then have the authority to vote as a voting E-board member for the meeting the were appointed as a proxy for, until or unless the voting member in question returns and is able to themselves vote.

Section 3  Exclusive Powers
The Executive Board, through quorum majority votes, exclusively has the powers to:
(a) set and schedule HCAI sponsored events,
(b) approve events and activities for the group
(c) arrange intercollegiate events
(d) authorize expenditures and campus events,
(e) create committees,
(f) make policy decisions,
(g) appoint additional Members-At-Large outside of special elections.

Section 4  Special Responsibilities of Officers
All Executive Board members have the special responsibilities to:
(a) recruit new members,
(b) assist in HCAI events and uphold all HCAI policies,
(c) explain absences and have all meeting absences excused by the Executive Board,
(d) mentor HCAI members and educate the campus community about the philosophy of HCAI (which may, and will likely, vary to some extent as its constituent members also change).

Article IV  Election and Removal of Officers

Section 1  Conditions of Elections
All elections must take place at general meetings with a quorum and with proper notice.  Candidates for co-chair positions must have been members for at least one year.

Section 2  Yearly Elections
The standard election procedure will be individually followed for the said E-board positions.  The elections will be held at the end of the academic year unless a speficic position requires an earlier election due to the loss of the position holder.  Before the new year, the entire previous year’s Executive Board steps down and the newly-elected officers assume their positions if the newly elected officers so prefer.  However, it may be advantageous in cases where the new E-board is substantially different from the previous one, for the new E-board to delay their ascent temporarily so that the previous members can help inform the newer ones as to how they feel it is best to conduct E-board business.

Section 3  Special Elections
In the cases of removal of officers and resignations, special elections will be held.    Special elections follow the standard election procedure.  A 4/5 majority vote is needed from all members, not only those participating in the voting process, when voting to remove a co-chair.

Section 4  Standard Election Procedure
For the position being elected, the following procedure is followed:
(a) Members are invited to nominate another member who may give a short speech.
(b) Voting will be by secret ballot unless otherwise agreed to without objection.
(c) The candidate with the majority of votes wins the position.  If there is no majority winner, members will choose between the two highest vote-receivers in a second vote.

Section 5  Attendance
Any officer who has accumulated a number of unexcused absences should consider resigning.  A lack of attendance at meetings is valid justification for removal from office.

Article V  Special Considerations

Section 1  Disputes
When a serious dispute arises, the Faculty Moderator must be consulted as a impartial moderator but the Executive Board shall be the ultimate judge in all disputes.

Article VI  Amendments

Amendments may be proposed by any member at the appropriate time during a general meeting.  A 2/3 majority vote (not necessarily in the same meeting) the will cause the proposed amendment to go into effect.

Article VII  Adoption of This Constitution

A 2/3 vote and SGA approval will activate this constitution for the HCAI

Article VIII  Holy Cross Student Government Association

HCAI is respectful and grateful for the SPLD office for their approval and assistance to HCAI.

HC@AI Home