Sample Constitution

Preamble

  • The preamble is the introduction to the constitution. It usually begins, "We, the members of ______ House do establish this constitution...

Article 1: Name and Affiliation

  • This article identifies the organization's name, and also identifies affiliations with other groups (e.g., RCA, UDA, IRHA)

Article II: Purpose

  • This article states briefly and succinctly why the organizations exists. What is your house's mission?

Article III: Membership

  • Section A: Active members
    This section indicates who are qualified to be active members of the house (generally it is all residents of the house).
  • Section B: Associate members
    This section indicates who can be selected as associate members (house members who do not reside on the house).

Article IV: Legislative Body

  • Section A: Purpose
  • Section B: Members
    In a house situation, the legislative body is everyone eligible to vote on the house.
  • Section C: Procedures
    Discusses procedures for bringing forth legislation. How do members propose a bill or idea?
  • Section D: House Meetings
    Discusses the expectations and frequency of house meetings. Also discusses the process for having an emergency meeting.
  • Section E: Voting
    Discusses what constitutes a quorum and how voting will be handled.

Article V: House Cabinet

  • Section A: Names
    Indicates which offices are parts of the house cabinet.
  • Section B: Eligibility
    Discuss who is eligible to hold a house cabinet position (e.g., GPA and/or residency requirement).
  • Section C: Terms
    Discusses how long the officer terms will be.
  • Section D: Offices and Responsibilities
    Describes each officer position, and the basic responsibilities for each.
  • Section E: Removal of Officers
    Discusses the procedure for removing an officer from his/her position.

Article VI: Committees

  • Section A: Names
    Indicates what standing committees will exist on the house, and the procedure for establishing a new committee.
  • Section B: Membership
    Describes who can serve on committees.
  • Section C: Committees and Responsibilities
    Lists each committee and outlines the specific duties for each.
  • Section D: Offices and Responsibilities
    Describes each officer position, and the basic responsibilities for each.
  • Section E: Removal of Officers
    Discusses the procedure for removing an officer from his/her position.

Article VII: Elections

  • Section A: Candidates
    Indicates who is eligible to be a candidate for a house cabinet position, and how a candidacy is announced.
  • Section B: Procedures
    Discusses campaign rules and regulations.
  • Section C: Selection of Officers
    Discusses how elections take place.

Article VIII: Finances

  • Section A: Budget
    Discusses the procedure for determining a house budget.
  • Section B: House Dues
    Indicates how house dues are determined, maximum amounts, differences between mandatory and social dues, etc.
  • Section C: Expenditures
    Discusses the procedure for spending house dues money.

Article IX: House Policies

  • This article would list the special designations for the house (alcohol-free, incense policy, noise policy, etc.) and how those designations are determined each year

Article IX: Amendments to the Constitution

  • Discusses the procedure for how the constitution can be changed.

Article X: Ratification

  • Discusses how the constitution is approved.

**NOTE - Many houses combine their constitution and by-laws, while others have two separate documents. If your house wants separate documents, then each might have these elements:

Constitution

  • Preamble
  • Name and Purpose
  • House Cabinets (position names, composition, and authority)
  • House Legislation (composition, bringing forth legislation)
  • Amendments
  • Ratification

By-laws

  • House Cabinets (officer positions, descriptions, eligibility, compensation)
  • Removal of Officers
  • Election Procedures
  • Meeting Procedures
  • House Legislation (voting procedures)
  • Finances
  • Attendance Policy
  • House policies (alcohol, noise, incense, etc.)
  • Ratification, Amendment, Suspension of By-Laws