The Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society Constitution
The Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society is an association of people with a common interest in a formal contest of wit, rhetorical skill, and public speaking. The purpose of the Society is to provide an opportunity for its members to learn, to develop and to practice their skills and techniques with other members of the Society, and competitively within the debate league(s) it chooses to participate in. Currently, the Society is a member of, but not limited to, the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA). In addition, the Society will organize and execute its own tournament each year.
I. BOARD POSITIONS
A. Executive Board
1. The Executive Board shall:
a. Select all participants at title tournaments (as defined by APDA).
b. Select a free seed where applicable.
c. Retain the power to create and dissolve committees.
d. Retain the power to enforce the judging requirement.
e. Promulgate rules proper to the administration of the team.
f. Allow non-members of the Executive Board to attend all open Executive Board meetings (at which team finances and/or title tournaments are not discussed).
g. Be transparent regarding their decisions at closed Executive Board meetings (at which team finances and/or title tournaments are discussed).
h. Shall hold at least one open Executive Board meeting per month. This requirement is waived for months in which there are two or more weeks of vacation. In a month in which this criterion is not met and no open E-Board meeting is held, the thirty minutes prior to the last regular meeting of that month shall default to being an open E-board meeting.
i. Attend semi-weekly team meetings and any Executive Board meetings in accordance with officer attendance policies.
j. Be available to members during the week.
k. Train their successors to ensure the smooth transfer of power within two weeks.
l. Work to appoint and collaborate with a Tab Observer as instructed by APDA.
m. Be able to remove and replace a non- Executive Board officer with a 4/5ths vote.
2. The President shall:
a. Plan, preside over, and facilitate semi-weekly meetings, using Roberts Rules of Order when he or she deems necessary.
b. Supervise the organization of Society activities.
c. Serve as a liaison to the Brandeis Student Senate.
d. Serve as a liaison to the debate association(s).
e. Promote, defend and enforce the purpose, constitution and best interests of the Society.
f. Attend personally, or appoint a substitute, all meetings in which the APDA body shall be determining tournament dates or electing national officers.
g. Oversee the positions of Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Finance, Secretary, Publicity Director, and Tournament Director. Oversee shall be defined as the President having the authority to do any of the jobs prescribed to any other officer (but not those of the entire E-Board) if he/she feels it is necessary and the remainder of the E-Board agrees or the officer consents.
h. Serve as liaison to Society alumni.
i. Serve as liaison to other Brandeis University clubs and organizations.
j. Complete allocation marathon request forms with the Vice President of Finance and attend assigned marathon session.
k. Attend allocation board meetings with the Vice President of Finance when additional funding is needed.
l. Oversee content of the semi-weekly e-mail to be written by the Secretary.
m. Recruit new members.
3. The Vice-President of Operations shall:
a. Preside over the semi-weekly meetings if the President is unable to fulfill his or her duties.
b. Head all committees or appoint an alternative head who will report to the executive board
c. Perform additional team duties as determined by the President.
d. Assume the role of President should a vacancy occur.
e. Attends APDA meetings when the President is unable to.
f. Facilitates alumni relations and manages the Society alumni listserv.
4. The Secretary shall:
a. Create and send semi-weekly e-mail updates.
b. Assist the president with correspondence with other schools.
c. Set the agendas for team meetings and Executive Board meetings.
d. Take minutes at each Executive Board meeting.
e. Record attendance at team meetings and Executive Board meetings.
f. Arrange transportation to and from tournaments.
g. Complete pre-registration for the Society at tournaments in a timely fashion.
h. Assist the Vice President of Finance in acquiring invoices from tournaments.
i. Maintain the roster of active members and submit the list to the President prior to Elections.
5. The Vice President of Finance shall:
a. Serve as the financial liaison to the Student Senate.
b. Manage all of the Society’s finances.
c. Maintain accurate records of all allocated funds.
d. Maintain accurate records of fundraising funds, deposits, withdrawals, and balances.
e. Maintain receipts (originals or copies) from all purchases and reimbursements. If no receipt is available, then proof of purchase must be presented before reimbursing with Society funds (this applies only to the Brandeis Student Senate fundraising account as the Brandeis Student Senate allocations account requires a receipt).
f. Receive receipts from members and in return receive checks from the Brandeis Student Senate, then deliver the check to the party being reimbursed.
g. Organize fundraising activities.
h. Must attend any mandatory Student Union finance meetings.
i. Account for team property.
6. The Director of Public Relations shall:
a. Publicize events, meetings and achievements of members of the Society.
b. Send press releases to Brandeis campus media about important Society events and accomplishments.
c. Alert the Brandeis administration to team events and accomplishments.
d. When asked, assist the President in acting as a liaison to past members and team alumni.
e. Update the Brandeis Wiki with team accomplishments.
B. Non-Executive Officers
1. The Tournament Director(s) shall:
a. Be elected in the following manner:
i. First, members will vote for their preferred candidate. The result of the first vote will be announced, and people will be able to resubmit their vote for the next candidate. This shall then be repeated for the final candidate. There shall be no more than three Tournament Directors.
b. Plan and facilitate the annual Brandeis debate tournament.
c. Choose a theme for the tournament.
d. Appoint a Judging Director, Tab Director, and Housing Director (these appointments can be overridden by a 4/5 vote of the Executive Board).
i. The Judging Director shall:
· Procure the necessary number of judges for the expected attendance at the tournament.
· Conduct a calibration round and explain the adjudication process to all judges.
· Rank and assign judges to rounds according to calibration results.
ii. The Tab Director shall:
· Establish a tab policy.
· Obtain an appropriate mechanism for tabulating results.
· Run a test to calibrate the tabulation mechanism.
· Collaborate with the Tournament Director(s) to appoint an appropriate number of tab assistants (there should be at least one novice tab assistant).
· Oversee all aspects of tab during the tournament including entering results, pairing rounds correctly, and determining the break.
iii. The Housing Director shall:
· Locate students to host debaters from other schools during the tournament.
· Work with the Tournament Directors to assign housing to tournament participants from visiting schools.
e. Arrange for a Friday night dinner, a Saturday morning breakfast, and a Saturday lunch banquet.
f. Plan and publicize the party.
g. Procure an appropriate amount of ballots and tab cards.
h. Purchase awards for top teams and speakers.
i. Determine a billing policy.
j. Draft an equity policy and submit it to APDA.
k. Delegate tasks to Society members to facilitate the smooth running of the tournament.
l. Draft the official invitation and post it on the APDA forum.
m. Conduct preregistration during the week prior to the tournament.
n. Conduct registration on Friday afternoon of the tournament.
o. At least a single tournament director must attend or appoint a proxy to attend any and all APDA meetings in which the scheduling of the Brandeis tournament is known to be discussed.
2. The BP Tournament Director(s) shall:
a. Plan and facilitate the Brandeis BP debate tournament.
b. Be elected in the same manner as the APDA Tournament Directors.
c. Have all the same responsibilities and prerogative of the APDA Tournament Directors, not including duties applicable only to APDA tournaments. Additionally, they shall have the ability to select a Chief Adjudicator and one or more Deputy Chief Adjudicators if desired, who shall write motions and train and calibrate judges.
3. The Captain(s) shall:
a. Be elected in the same manner as Tournament Directors.
b. Act as a liaison between members and the coach.
c. Assist the coach in training, recruitment, morale, and other related duties. Not be part of the Executive Board, and shall be subservient to that board’s discretion.
d. Not attend closed Executive Board meetings.
e. Be chosen proportionally based on the number of people on the team. There shall be up to 1 captain elected for every 10 active members on the team. Captains shall be elected in the following manner: voters will be able to cast votes for as many as the maximum captains are (if there are three captain spots, each voter can choose 3 captains). The highest vote getters will win.
f. Hold at least 1 “captain’s corner” in a given month. These can be, but are not limited to, casing sessions or parlidebate rounds of the week. Captains may collaborate and work on the captain’s corners together, but each captain must be part of 2 per month. Exceptions may include the first and last months of the semester and the 2 week period before and after a Brandeis-hosted tournament and before Nationals.
g. Pro-am once a term with a Brandeis novice.
h. Help facilitate pro-am partnerships for Brandeis novices.
i. Be part of at least three practice rounds with novices or help at least three novices with cases per month.
j. Be stripped of their role as captain if they fail to do three of the tasks listed in sub-sections e, f, and h unless that responsibility is waived by a 4/5ths vote of the Executive Board. If the captain’s role is taken, the Executive Board would appoint a replacement.
a. Maintain the website.
b. Update the website with all tournament results.
c. Report to the Executive Board when necessary.
d. If the Webmaster does not perform website maintenance at least once per month, then the Executive Board shall appoint a new Webmaster at their discretion.
e. Maintain the Brandeis Vimeo account and other online social networking capabilities including, but not limited to the Brandeis Debate Team blog and Twitter account.
f. Coordinate and facilitate the recording of Brandeis Debate Team members’ out-rounds.
II. NATURE OF TEAM MEETINGS
A. Novice members shall be taught the arts of rhetoric, public speaking, and argumentation, and shall develop their skills at these arts.
B. Varsity members shall improve their techniques, skills and styles.
C. Members shall develop, enhance, practice, and otherwise work on debate cases or prepared speeches.
D. Members shall prepare themselves for tournaments and assist others in their preparations.
E. Decisions shall be made regarding which tournaments to attend and which members may attend them, given:
1. The financial constraints of the Society.
2. The availability of transportation.
F. Social activities outside of debate shall be planned.
G. All formal complaints shall be handled, discussed, and resolved.
H. When individuals running for an elected position in the Brandeis Student Union want the official endorsement of the team the following procedures must be followed:
1. Team members need to be notified that an endorsement will be solicited at least 24 hours before the meeting occurs.
2. At least 51% of members present at the meeting must vote to grant the candidate an endorsement.
A. A member’s status shall be determined by his or her activity in the current semester and the previous semester.
B. Active members shall meet the following requirements:
1. Attend at least 5 team meetings per semester.
2. Compete in or judge at one entire tournament per semester.
3. Must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at Brandeis University.
C. Members who do not meet the requirements for active membership shall be deemed “inactive”, and shall be ineligible to vote and to attend title tournaments.
1. Exceptions shall be made for members who are off campus but still enrolled as undergraduate students at Brandeis University.
D. When attending tournaments at other schools, members shall respect the rules of the host school and shall wear appropriate attire.
A. Only active members may run for board positions.
B. Each candidate will have the opportunity to make a brief statement to the members prior to voting.
C. The voting shall be by means of secret ballot which will be processed by the presiding officer.
D. Each candidate shall choose one person to oversee the processing of ballots.
E. The official term of office shall be one year, though at Elections the team can vote for two members to split that one year term. If an officer(s) is unable to hold the position for the entire year, the President shall appoint an interim replacement until the next scheduled election.
F. Elections shall be held within the first two weeks of the spring semester of each academic year.
G. Non-Executive Officers shall be elected.
H. Oversight of the planning of Elections shall be done by the highest ranking Executive Board member not running for an Executive Board position.
A. A quorum must be present to hold a vote, and the President must count for a quorum before beginning elections.
1. A quorum consists of all the officers and 51% of the active members.
B. Voting shall be done through secret ballot.
C. The presiding officer shall only vote in the occasion that a tie must be broken.
D. Only active members who have attended at least one meeting or tournament between November 15 and Elections may vote.
E. A proxy vote shall be a vote transferred from one active member to another who avows to represent the interest of the absent member. The President must be made aware of all proxies prior to Elections. No member may vote on behalf of more than two absent members by proxy in any election. Only those members actually present will count towards any quorum count.
F. If the presiding officer is informed that a quorum has ceased to be present during an election, he or she shall count for a quorum. If no quorum is present, the election is immediately postponed until the following meeting at which a quorum is present (even if that meeting is not within the first two weeks of the semester).
G. A member may serve in only one Executive Board position at a time.
H. In order to win an election, a candidate must earn a plurality of the vote.
I. In situations where a soft quorum is used, it shall be met when 51% of all active members who have debated or judged at 6 or more tournaments are present in addition to all 5 members of the E-Board.
A. The Executive Board shall appoint a coach as they deem necessary, and negotiate to determine his or her salary on behalf of the Society.
B. The Coach shall:
1. Assists the Executive Board in training new members.
2. Assist members with style, technique, and improving their skills overall.
3. Assist the Executive Board in training judges.
C. At a meeting where soft quorum is met, the team shall be able to fire a coach, when permissable under their contract, with support of 2/3 of those present.
VII. TOURNAMENT ATTENDANCE POLICIES
A. Members may only be funded as half of a hybrid team a maximum of nine times per year, unless no partner from the Society is available at the time pre-registration is due (exceptions may be granted by a 4/5 vote of the Executive Board). Brandeis protection shall be required for all hybriding at tournaments to which Brandeis sends multiple teams. The E-Board shall have the discretion to waive this requirement with a 4/5 vote, and members may choose to exempt themselves from this rule no more than twice per year.
B. When it is not possible for every interested debater to debate, preference shall be given to those teams with the strongest judging plus driving to competing ratio. Each instance of judging shall count as 1, and each instance of driving shall count as .5. Driving will only count when driving a personal car when no van space is available or if the member was the only person willing or able to drive a van at a given time. Additionally, with a 4/5 vote of the executive board, the member with the worst ratio can be exempted, and the member with the next worst ratio would be forced to judge. This process could be repeated, with a 4/5 vote required each instance. E-Board shall have the ability to choose to break up hybrid teams before using the judging plus driving ratio, and the ratio shall be applied among hybrids if there are multiple hybrid teams competing.
C. A tournament shall be defined as an officially sanctioned APDA tournament or a tournament sanctioned by another league as determined by the Executive Board.
VIII. FINANCIAL POLICIES
A. All money raised through fundraising shall be kept within the Brandeis Student Union fundraising account.
B. No outside bank account shall be established.
C. All money allocated to the Society shall be kept within the Brandeis Student Union allocations account.
D. To be reimbursed for expenses related to the Society, a member must present a receipt to the Vice President of Finance.
E. The Society shall pay for tournament registration fees and other fees associated with transportation to tournaments, specifically rental cars, rental car insurance, and gas, provided that:
1. More than one member of the Society is in the car.
2. More than one member of the Society is attending the tournament.
3. The expenditure was properly financed.
F. The Society shall not be financially responsible for speeding, parking, or other traffic violation tickets.
G. The Society shall not reimburse members for meals or other personal expenses.
H. Members shall not incur debt in the name of the Society nor expect personal reimbursement unless specifically authorized by an Executive Board officer or a Tournament Director.
I. Team Reimbursements
1. The Vice President of Finance will oversee all team reimbursements.
2. The Society will fully reimburse all eligible expenses relating to:
c. Legal parking
3. Eligible expenses are expenses which were accrued in the process of attending a tournament in which a member of the Society drove to the tournament.
4. All requests for reimbursement must be submitted to the Vice President of Finance within one month of the date that the expense was incurred.
IX. FACULTY ADVISOR
A. Assists the Society in executing its goals.
B. Serves as an objective mediator should a dispute arise.
C. The Society does not need to have a Faculty Advisor.
X. THE SCHOOL SCRATCH
A. All present debaters who have attended at least 7 tournaments and who qualify as active members will be informed of the judges present at the tournament via text message.
B. Debaters will then discuss who they wish to be the school scratch.
C. If all debaters who have attended at least 7 tournament and who qualify as active members are in agreement then that person will be the school scratch.
D. If conditions in Section C are not met then the President, or the highest-ranking Executive Board member present, shall call a vote of those who meet the above criterion (7 tournaments/active member). The highest vote getting judge will be the school scratch.
XI. AMENDMENT PROCEDURES
A. A member may submit a written amendment to the Society Constitution when the presiding officer asks if there are any amendments on the floor.
B. The presiding officer shall recognize any amendment(s).
C. The present members shall then debate any amendment(s) according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
D. An amendment must be passed by a 2/3 vote of the active members present.
E. Once an amendment is passed, the Secretary must, in a timely fashion, insert it into the appropriate section of the Society Constitution on the website and in the Brandeis Student Senate files.
F. When 2/3 of active members petition the presiding officer to do so, the presiding officer shall be required to hold a constitutional amendment convention within 14 academic days (not including finals).
G. A soft quorum shall be required to amend the constitution.
XII. REMOVAL OF AN OFFICER OR MEMBER
A. The Executive Board can unanimously vote to temporarily suspend a member, but they must present the case to the Union Judiciary to make it permanent.
B. Executive Board officers may miss up to five team meetings per semester during their term of office. If an officer misses more than five meetings he or she shall be removed from office unless the absence is excused by 3/5 of the Executive Board.
C. 3/4ths of active members shall be allowed to trigger a recall election of a member of the Executive Board by submitting a petition to a member of the Executive Board. This will result in a process following the same conventions of normal election proceedings to be held within one month of the initial request.
A. If a problem should arise among the members of the Society, members have the right to file a formal written complaint containing:
1. The nature of the complaint.
2. Details of the incident or complaint.
3. Recommended action for the Society to take to resolve the complaint.
B. Formal complaints must be recognized by the presiding officer.
C. Formal complaints must be then read by the Executive Board.
D. The members against whom the complaint is filed must receive a copy of the complaint and must respond in a formal, written fashion prior to the next meeting.
E. Complaints will be addressed by the Union Judiciary.
XIV. ELASTIC CLAUSE
A. When a soft quorum is met, a number equivalent or greater to n-1 members present at the meeting may vote to override (but not amend) this constitution.
XV. STATEMENT OF NON-EXCLUSIVITY
A. Membership of the Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society shall be open to the entire Brandeis community.
XVI. ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION
A. The Constitution of the Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society shall be adopted by a 2/3 vote of active members present.
B. Members may submit written pro and con statements about the adoption of the Constitution.
C. The Constitution shall be adopted after discussion at a meeting run according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
XVII. SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION
A. Co-Presidents Susan J. Hendrick and Lauren P. Soroken, Secretary Tamar Feierstein, Treasurer Daniel A. Feinberg, and Historian Josh Israel signed — November 20-22, 1995.
B. This Constitution was unanimously ratified on November 8, 1995. Also present were members Lisa Dickstein, Nathaniel Goldberg, Matt Zik, Lisette Lema, and Jeremy Greenberg.
C. Substantial amendments were enacted in January 1997 at a meeting presided over by Josh Israel, and in December 1997 at a meeting presided over by Jeremy Greenberg.
D. Several amendments were enacted in January 2010 (but passed at a meeting sometime between 2004 and 2006 and recorded at that time by Adam Nir).
E. Substantial amendments were enacted in February 2010 at a meeting presided over by Andrew Husick. The amendments were crafted by Andrew Husick, Shira Straus, Liz Crane, Evan Green-Lowe, Rich Weisbach, Alex Self, Brendan Fradkin, Brian Calvert, and Anna-Lisa Macon.
F. Three amendments were amended or enacted in January 2011 at a meeting presided over by Brendan Fradkin. The amendments were drafted by Rich Weisbach and edited by Brendan Fradkin, Liz Crane, Alex Self, Kim Bouchard-Chaimowiz, Andrew Husick, Michael Perloff, Keith Barry, Brian Calvert, Rena Singer, Emilie Hirschhorn, Kelly Miao, Shira Almeleh, Lex Kadete, Josh Kelly, Andi Mucasey, and Russell Leibowitz.
G. Substantial amendments were enacted in January 2013 at a meeting presided over by Russell Leibowitz. The amendments were drafted by David Altman, Elijah Cho, Russell Leibowitz, and Jess Maskin and were ratified by those in attendance.
H. Substantial amendments were enacted in April 2013 at a meeting presided over by David Altman. The amendments were drafted by Russell Leibowitz, Paige Lurie, and Rich Weisbach and were ratified by those in attendance.