The Constitution of the Conservative Students’ Association of McGill University
RATIFIED ON MARCH 10, 2020
Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the “Conservative Students’ Association of McGill University,” hereinafter referred to as “Conservative McGill.”
Article II – Purpose
The purpose of Conservative McGill shall be:
1. To further the principles and objectives of the Canadian conservative movement;
2. To stand up for and make known the principles and objectives of the conservative movement to the McGill community, as well as—where necessary—the Montreal community at large;
3. To facilitate the participation of conservative youth in Canada’s political process;
4. To provide a forum for conservative interests and ideas at McGill University;
5. To ensure full participation and influence of young people in the selection and election of Conservative candidates for office.
Article III – Principles
Conservative McGill takes as its fundamental principles the clauses found within the Policy Declaration of the Conservative Party of Canada.1
Article IV – General Membership
1. General Membership for Conservative McGill is strictly open to all Students’ Society of McGill University (“SSMU”) and Post Graduate Students’ Society (“PGSS”) members. This includes all those of disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of, but not limited to: gender, age, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, sexuality or sexual orientation, mental or physical abilities, language, or social class;
2. Only members of SSMU and PGSS are eligible to be elected as Executive Committee members and to hold voting privileges;
3. Full-voting General Membership (“Party Members”) in Conservative McGill is available to all full-time and part-time SSMU and PGSS members of McGill University who are recognized members the Conservative Party of Canada (“Party”);
4. General membership in Conservative McGill shall require either a payment of a fee, outlined in Article IX below, or hold a Party membership for the duration of the respective academic year. General members must pay their fees in order to be recognized as a member of Conservative McGill;
5. Any member of Conservative McGill may request the redaction of their General Membership; Conservative McGill is obliged to honor that request by striking said-member’s name from the membership list. Payment of fees are non-refundable;
6. Only Party members of Conservative McGill have the right to seek nomination and to be elected into an Executive Committee portfolio, provided they are a member of the Party at that time until the end of the respective academic year. The Party member must provide their membership number in order to be recognized as a member of Conservative McGill;
7. Any member previously impeached from the Executive Committee or Board of Directors may not be eligible to run for office;
8. Any general member of Conservative McGill may have their membership revoked by a majority vote by the Executive Committee. In the case a general member’s membership is revoked, the Executive Committee is required to reimburse the member the full membership fee if necessary.
Article V – The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall be composed of 7 members:
I. The President;
II. The Treasurer;
III. The Vice-President Internal;
IV. The Vice-President External;
V. The Events Executives (2);
VI. The Communications Executive;
The duties and functions of the Executive Committee are as follows:
I. The President
The President shall be the principal Executive Officer of Conservative McGill, and shall fulfill the following functions:
1. The President shall uphold the Constitution and preside over all meetings of Conservative McGill and the Executive Committee;
2. The President shall make all committee assignments and shall be an ex officio member of all committees and sub-committees;
3. The President shall: have general supervision over all of Conservative McGill’s activities, provide direction, and develop and foster talent within Conservative McGill;
4. The President shall ensure the continuity and institutional memory of Conservative McGill as an organization to the successor of their Executive Committee;
5. The President shall represent Conservative McGill to the press, though they may delegate this responsibility to another member of the Executive Committee;
6. The President shall be one of three Signing Officers empowered to sign contracts on behalf of the Conservative McGill;
7. The President shall act as the Chief Executive Officer of Conservative McGill, and will supervise the activities of all members of the Executive Committee;
8. The President shall be responsible for the property of Conservative McGill and its safekeeping;
9. The President shall act as Conservative McGill’s primary liaison with the Party and the Ville-Marie-Le-Sud Ouest-Ile des Soeurs Conservative Electoral District Association.
II. The Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be responsible for administering Conservative McGill’s budget and financial records, and will fulfill the following functions:
1. The Treasurer will set as their objective the betterment of the financial status of Conservative McGill, and ensuring sound fiscal status each semester;
2. The Treasurer shall report on the state of Conservative McGill’s finances at each meeting of the Executive Committee;
3. The Treasurer shall be one of three Signing Officers empowered to sign all contracts on behalf of Conservative McGill;
4. The Treasurer shall be responsible to ensure the fulfillment of Conservative McGill’s financial obligations to external bodies;
5. The Treasurer is also responsible for collecting membership fees as outlined in Article IX.
6. The Treasurer may fulfill other duties as designated by the Executive Committee.
III. The Vice-President Internal
The Vice-President Internal position is not contested by election; instead, the runner-up in the election for President shall be appointed Vice-President Internal. The Vice president shall fulfill the following functions:
1. The Vice-President Internal will be empowered to assume all duties of the President in the President’s absence;
2. The Vice-President Internal shall be responsible for maintaining and updating the Constitution and other internal policies of Conservative McGill, in addition to ensuring that Party Regulations are followed by the Executive Committee. Internal policies include, but are not limited to, Board of Directors and sub-committee bylaws;
3. The Vice-President Internal shall be one of three Signing Officers empowered to sign all contracts on behalf of Conservative McGill;
4. The Vice-President Internal shall act as an oversight for all internal-related matters;
5. The Vice-President Internal may fulfill other duties as designated by the Executive Committee.
IV. The Vice-President External
The Vice-President External shall be specifically responsible for Conservative McGill recruitment within the McGill University campus. They will fulfil the following functions:
1. The Vice-President External shall be responsible for overseeing the development of an annual fundraising program, and for the organization of fundraising activities for Conservative McGill;
2. The Vice-President External shall present an updated membership list at each meeting of the Board of Directors;
3. The Vice-President External shall maintain an up-to-date membership list of Conservative McGill;
4. The Vice-President External shall act as an oversight for all external-related matters;
5. The Vice-President External may fulfill other duties as designated by the Executive Committee.
V. The Events Executive
The Events Executive shall be responsible for planning any social events or other public gatherings for Conservative McGill, and will fulfil the following functions:
1. The Events Executive will be empowered to participate in the planning of any and all events organized by Conservative McGill, and shall ensure the coordination of said events;
2. The Events Executive shall maintain a calendar of events for Conservative McGill;
3. The Events Executive shall ensure the successful completion of any documentation necessary for Conservative McGill to hold events;
4. The Events Executive are not required to participate directly in the planning of all Conservative McGill events, but must act as a supervisor to those planning events on behalf of Conservative McGill;
5. The Events Executive shall present an updated calendar of events at each meeting of the Board of Directors;
6. The Events Executive may fulfill other duties as designated by the Executive Committee.
VI. The Communications Executive
The Communications Executive shall share responsibility with the President in managing all social media accounts, the website, and communications within Conservative McGill, in addition to fulfilling the following functions:
1. The Communications Executive shall actively manage Conservative McGill’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any further social media accounts;
2. The Communications Executive shall be responsible for coordinating photography any and all Conservative McGill events, as used for the purpose of recruitment;
3. The Communications Executive, with the President, shall be responsible for the active management of the club’s website;
4. The Communications Executive shall be responsible for taking the minutes of all General and Executive meetings;
5. The Communications Executive shall be responsible for the development of a cohesive communications program and for ensuring the production of any publication deemed necessary by the Executive for the promotion of Conservative McGill;
6. The Communications Executive shall be responsible for all communications between the Executive Committee and the General Membership;
7. The Communications Executive may fulfill other duties as designated by the Executive Committee.
VII. Special Directors and Sub-Committees
1. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to appoint Special Directors of the duration of the academic year, to fulfill specific objectives to be set out upon the creation of said position. They shall fulfill such functions as designated by the Executive Committee. These Special Directors shall, together, form the Board of Directors.
2. Members of the Executive Committee will be empowered to form a Committee for their portfolio composed of appointed members of a general membership of Conservative McGill. In addition, members of the Executive Committee will be empowered to form sub-committees with specific mandates outside of the particular portfolios of individual Executive Members.
Article VI – Signing Officers
In the name of accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility, the authority to sign all contracts, documents, bills of exchange and written instruments requiring the signature of Conservative McGill shall be shared between the President, Treasurer, and the Vice-President Internal—upon prior approval from the Executive Committee. These three individuals, working in unison, shall be referred to as the “Signing Officers.”
I. Powers of the Signing Officers
1. The three Signing Officers may sign on behalf of Conservative McGill, provided that the amount of the written instrument is over one thousand dollars ($1000.00). Any amount between and including five hundred dollars ($500.00) to one thousand dollars ($1000.00) shall require only two signatures. Any amount strictly below five-hundred dollars ($500.00) shall only require one signature;
2. Because the Executive Committee votes on money allocation, any failure or refusal to sign the respective financial instruments by a Signing Officer shall constitute a breach of duties, and therefore may act as an impeachable offense.
Article VII – Board of Directors
1. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to appoint a Board of Directors for Conservative McGill;
2. The Special Directors of the Board of Directors shall be appointed by majority vote of the Executive Committee;
3. The Board of Directors shall be composed of members Conservative McGill who are either a general member or a Party member.
4. The Board of Directors shall be structured and composed of specific positions and roles that every Executive Committee shall decide upon at the first Executive meeting of their respective academic year;
5. Former Executives of Conservative McGill may be offered a position on the Board of Directors by the current Executive Committee.
Article VIII – Meetings
1. The Executive Committee meetings shall be held by the call of the President, or the direction in writing of any three voting members of the Executive Committee;
2. Each member shall have time to update the Committee with any new information regarding their portfolio;
3. Each Executive Member shall have one vote;
4. A simple majority of the whole Executive Committee must be personally present to constitute a quorum at all meetings of the Executive Committee;
5. Notice of an Executive Committee meeting must be given at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting;
6. The Executive Committee must call a meeting within a reasonable timeframe upon their election in order to establish their vision for the coming year, and to vote upon the appointment of a new Board of Directors;
Article IX – Fees
1. The Treasurer is responsible for collecting annual membership from each club member;
2. This fee should be a minimum of five dollars ($5) and a maximum of ten dollars ($15), and must be set by the Executive Committee within the first four (4) weeks of the Fall semester.
Article X – Articles of Impeachment
I. Procedures for Impeachment Consideration and Notice
1. At a Committee meeting, a motion shall be introduced regarding a calling of a special meeting of the Executive Committee, whereby the subject will be considered for impeachment. For said special meeting to occur, a simple majority of Executive Committee members present must vote in favor of such a meeting;
2. Any member of the Executive Committee who is found in dereliction of duty shall be subject to an impeachment hearing, upon ten (10) days written notice by the Executive Committee of the day, time, and place of the hearing, to be delivered personally. The notice shall also include the allegation(s) being brought against the respondent. All members of the Executive Committee must also be given a copy of the allegation(s) before the impeachment hearing;
3. The impeachment hearing must be within two weeks (14 days) of the approval of the motion calling for an impeachment hearing;
4. At this time, the subject will be suspended from their function on the Executive Committee immediately following the motion of an impeachment hearing being adopted. This will last until a verdict has been announced at the scheduled impeachment hearing.
II. Grounds for Impeachment
For the purpose of this section, a member of the Executive Committee shall be deemed in dereliction of duty if:
1. They are elected in contravention of Conservative McGill’s Constitution;
2. Once elected, they contravene Conservative McGill’s Constitution, including—but not limited to—a violation of this Constitution’s Code of Conduct found below in Article XV;
3. The member in question fails to fulfill the duties imposed upon them, outlined in Conservative McGill’s Constitution, or those established by the Executive Committee;
4. Contravene McGill University’s Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures2.
III. Impeachment Process
1. Any Executive member suspended, dismissed, or expelled from McGill University will automatically be removed from their respective position immediately;
2. Any Executive member found convicted of a crime shall automatically be removed from their respective position immediately;
3. All proceedings at the impeachment hearing will be subjected to Section 11 (a to i) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms3, concerning the rights of the respondent. The proceedings shall be conducted in the English language;
4. Notice of the impeachment hearing must be given at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance to the members of the Executive Committee. The hearing will be a closed meeting where only members of the Executive Committee may attend and vote;
5. The President shall chair the hearing, and no minutes shall be taken of the impeachment hearing. Quorum requires a simple majority of Committee members present, excluding the respondent;
a. In the event that the President is the subject of impeachment, the Vice-President Internal shall chair the hearing.
6. The allegation(s) shall be read aloud by the Chairperson. Evidence shall be presented to the Committee. Anyone testifying as a witness against the respondent shall be protected from self-incrimination. The respondent shall then have time to defend themselves;
7. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all Committee members present is required to have the respondent successfully removed from office. Abstains count towards the total ballots, and the decision of the Executive Committee is final and may not be appealed or challenged;
8. In the event of a successful impeachment, the Executive Committee is required to fill the vacant position if date of impeachment occurs over thirty (30) days prior to the next Executive Committee election.
Article XI – Constitutional Amendments
1. Constitutional amendments may be proposed by a member of the Executive Committee, and must be approved by a simple majority of the Executive Committee present. Following approval by the Committee, a referendum, where all general members and Party members of Conservative McGill are eligible to vote, must occur to approve the amendment;
2. A special meeting to allow the referendum vote must be called within two weeks of the Committee’s approval of the proposed constitutional amendment;
3. The General Membership of Conservative McGill must be informed of the special meeting through the listserv within 24 hours following the Executive Committee’s approval. The precise wording of the proposed constitutional amendment without editorializing by the Executive Committee must be made available to the General Membership in this notice;
4. Proposed constitutional amendments require a positive two-thirds (2/3) majority by the general membership in order to pass;
5. Upon ratification, the amendments take effect immediately. The newest edition of the Constitution must be made available to all General Members.
Article XII – Elections and Voting
The following provisions shall govern the election of members of the Executive Committee:
I. Procedures for Elections
1. An election must take place within twenty-one (21) days prior to the last day of the academic year, every year;
2. Notice of an election must be given to the general membership at least fourteen (14) days prior to the election date;
3. The Chief Electoral Officer shall hold the final authority over electoral procedures and the validity of the results;
4. No person shall be eligible for election to the same office for a third consecutive term. In addition, no person shall be eligible for election if previously impeached from the Executive Committee;
5. A member shall be eligible to vote in the election of the Executive Committee provided they have been a member for at least twenty-eight (28) days prior to the election date;
6. Each general member and Party member shall be entitled to one vote in respect to each office to be filled – this vote shall be given by a secret ballot;
7. Ballots must be kept in a secure place for at least five (5) weeks after the election date;
8. For each position, a plurality votes must be received in order to win;
9. In the event of a tied vote, a second vote shall be taken. If this round produces a second tie, then the President shall abstain from voting in the third round unless they have been nominated to the position in question. In this case, the Vice-President Internal shall abstain from voting;
10. If for any reason the position of President becomes vacant before the end of a term, that position shall immediately be filled by the Vice-President Internal as determined by Article V (III) of this Constitution. The position of Vice-President Internal must then be filled, following paragraph 11 below;
11. If for any reason any other position on the Executive Committee shall become vacant before the end of any term, that vacancy shall be filled by a member of Conservative McGill as soon as possible, following:
a. Due notification of the vacancy to the members;
b. A suitable time-period for application and consideration;
c. A vote by the Executive Committee requiring a two-thirds (2/3) majority.
12. The official changeover date from the former Executive Committee to the newly elected Executive Committee is the final day of the respective academic year, outlined by McGill University;
13. The former Executive Committee is required to provide all necessary documents, contracts, information, account information, etc., to the newly elected Committee within one (1) week of the election date.
II. Chief Electoral Officer
1. The Chief Electoral Officer shall be responsible for all election proceedings;
2. The Chief Electoral Officer shall act as a certifier of results, arbiter of disputes (decisions binding), and shall be empowered to set all rules for candidates regarding filings, info sessions, and deadlines;
3. The Chief Electoral Officer shall be appointed based on the following order, moving down the list if the Executive member is seeking election to any portfolio:
a. Vice-President Internal;
d. Vice-President External
e. Communications Executive;
f. Events Executive (Senior);
g. Events Executive (Junior);
h. A third-party actor appointed by the Executive Committee, if necessary.
Article XIII – Affiliation
1. Conservative McGill is recognized by The Conservative Party of Canada;
2. Conservative McGill is subject to compliance with the requirements of this Constitution and the requirements of the Constitution of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Article XIV – Conservative Party of Canada Constitution
1. If there are any areas not covered by this Constitution or if there are any inconsistencies between this document and the Party Constitution, the Party Constitution and Party Bylaws shall take precedence;
Article XV – Code of Conduct
1. Conservative McGill shall carry forth its mandate from an anti-oppressive and equitable standpoint, with equal respect being given to all members, including those of disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of—but not limited to—gender, age, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexuality or sexual orientation, mental or physical abilities, language, or social class;
2. Conflict of Interest: No Executive or Board member shall participate in any private business or professional activity or have any direct or indirect financial interest which would place that person in a position where there is a conflict between that private interest and the interests of Conservative McGill;
3. Misuse of Association Property: No Executive or Board member shall use or allow the use of Conservative McGill’s property, facilities, or personnel of any kind for other than official approved Conservative McGill business;
4. Unlawful compensation or regard for official behavior: No person shall corruptly give, offer, or promise to any Executive or Board member, or agree to accept, any pecuniary or other benefit not authorized by Conservative McGill, for the past, present, or future performance or non-performance of any act which the person believes to have been within the official capacity of the Executive or Board member;
5. Intentional Wrongful Harm: No Executive or Board member of Conservative McGill shall intentionally and wrongfully harm or threaten to intentionally and wrongfully harm any person by the performance or omission of any act;
6. Inducing to Act: No Executive or Board member of Conservative McGill shall aid, advise, procure, or in any way induce another to act in violation of this Article or any other within this Constitution;
7. Any violation of this Article (Article XV) shall constitute grounds for impeachment.