Constitution of the College Democrats of Madison
We, students of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, seek a campus community that is informed and engaged in the issues that face our world today. We believe in the power of public education, the positive contributions that universities make to their communities, and the hope that students bring to the future of our state. We pride ourselves in being the next generation of progressive leaders in the United States of America, and we unite ourselves under this Constitution of the College Democrats of Madison in the hope that equal justice, equal opportunity, and compassion will always be pillars of the Democratic Party.
Article I. Name, Affiliation, and Purpose
Section 1: The name of this organization will be the College Democrats of Madison, hereinafter the CDM.
Section 2: The CDM will be affiliated with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW), the College Democrats of Wisconsin (CDW), the College Democrats of America (CDA), the Democratic Party of Dane County (DPDC), and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Section 3: We believe a just society is governed in a spirit of empowerment and will work diligently to increase the participation of college and high school students in the democratic process and the Democratic Party.
Article II. Membership
Section 1: Eligibility
Any individual who meets the following requirements will be eligible for membership in the CDM:
1.1 The individual will be pursuing a diploma or degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, be they a student full- or part-time.
1.2. The person must also have attended one meeting or event of the CDM prior to joining. The only exception to the rule will be at the first meeting of each academic year, where all interested students may pay dues and join.
Section 2: Non-Discrimination
No applicant will be denied membership on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, creed, physical or mental ability, marital status, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or ancestry.
Section 3: Rights of Membership
1.1 All general meetings are open to all UW Madison students, regardless of DPW membership status.
1.2 Membership in the CDM will entitle students voting and discussion rights on issues, endorsements, officer elections, and other votes that may arise before the organization as a whole, henceforth called the Membership.
Section 4: Responsibilities of Membership
The Membership of the CDM will be responsible for their active involvement in the organization through attendance at meetings, events, and volunteer opportunities. They will also be responsible for the ultimate care and oversight of the organization and Executive Board, because it is in the interest of the Membership that the Executive Board should always act.
Section 5: Dues
Any individual will become a member of CDM upon payment of student membership dues and receipt of such dues by the state office of the DPW. Membership dues paid to the DPW will also make the individual a member of the DPW and the DPDC.
Dues for student membership will be in accordance with the DPW.
Article III. Organizational Structure
Section 1: University of Wisconsin of Madison
The CDM will be the local outreach arm of the Democratic Party for college students at the University of Wisconsin Madison. The CDM is chartered with the CDW, and will affiliate with the CDA, the DCDP, the DPW, and the DNC.
Section 2: Other Institutions
The CDM may help establish and work closely with high schools in the Madison area, as well as other institutions of higher learning that have a desire to form their own chapters of the College Democrats.
Article IV. Executive Board
Section 1: Composition
The executive board will be composed of the Chair, Vice Chair, Membership and Outreach Coordinator, Press Secretary, Treasurer, Data Director, and Digital Director.
Section 2 – Responsibilities
The Executive Board will determine the direction and goals of the CDM. The Executive Board will advise the Membership on the activities, finances, and general direction of CDM. It will conduct preliminary interviews with candidates and provide recommendations to the Membership and be available to the Membership to assist in all business pertaining to CDM.
Section 3 – Additional Appointees
From time to time the Chair may deem it necessary to appoint other persons from the Membership to assist CDM in a specific role. All appointments will be made with the advice and consent of the Executive Board and the Membership at the next general meeting. Such appointees will serve at the Chair’s direction for duration to be determined by the Chair.
Section 4 – Election of Officers
The officers of the CDM will be chosen as follows:
4.1 All Executive Officers will serve one (1) year terms.
4.2 Executive board members must be enrolled at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
4.3 The terms of the Executive Officers will begin upon election at the Executive Board Election Meeting (EBEM), to be held annually in the month of April when the University of Wisconsin – Madison is in session.
4.4 With the exception of the Chair and Vice Chair, who by CDA rules must run on a ticket, no other candidates may run as a ticket. Each office, other than Chair and Vice Chair, must be voted on individually; however, candidates are free to endorse and identify with other candidates at their discretion.
4.5 Elections will be held at each EBEM within the guidelines specified below:
4.6.a a simple majority of the legal votes cast will be required for election to a CDM office;
4.6.b all elections will be held by secret ballot;
4.6.c only CDM members registered with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin may have full voting power as a member;
4.6.d no candidate for any CDM office may exceed $50 in campaign expenditures. A report of all campaign expenses, including in-kind donations, must be submitted to the Treasurer upon registering as an official candidate. Specific campaign expenditure reporting procedures will be stipulated in the Bylaws of this Constitution.
Section 5 – Vacancies
A vacancy will be declared when a member of the Executive Board dies, resigns, or is removed from Office.
5.1. Vacancies occurring on the Executive Board will be filled according to the following procedures:
5.1.a. Should the Chair be vacated, The Vice Chair will become the Chair until the next EBEM, at which time a successor will be elected for the next term. The elevated Vice Chair will, within thirty days, nominate a new Vice Chair who must then be confirmed by a majority vote of the Executive Board at the next Executive Board Meeting and a majority vote at the next General Membership Meeting.
5.1.b. Should both the offices of the Chair and the Vice Chair be vacated, then the next highest-ranking officer, as determined by the order listed in Section 1 of Article IV, will act as Chair until the next Executive Board meeting, at which time a new Chair will be elected by a majority of the Executive Board to serve the remainder of the original term.
5.1.c. Should a CDM office other than the Chair be vacated, the Chair will nominate a successor within thirty days of the vacancy. The nomination will be subject to a majority vote of the Executive Board at the next Executive Board Meeting and a majority vote of the Membership at the next General Membership meeting to confirm the nominee.
5.1.c.i. Should the vacancy occur at a time when the University of Wisconsin – Madison is not in session, the Chair will be allowed to make a recess appointment who will be subject to approval within three weeks of the reconvening of the institution or delay filling the vacancy until the institution reconvenes.
Section 6 – Removal From Office
All CDM officers, whether elected or appointed, will be subject to removal from office for misconduct, negligence of constitutional duties, within reason, being convicted of felony while in office, or failing to attend two (2) consecutive meeting of the Executive Board without acceptable excuses deemed by a majority of the Executive Board present when absence occurs.
6.1 To begin the process for removal, another member of the Executive Board must charge the officer against whom action is being taken with the reasons for their removal, in writing, at least 14 days before the Executive Board meeting at which the officer’s removal will be voted upon. Each voting member, as well as all ex-officio members of the CDW Executive Board must receive the written charges at least 14 days prior to the Executive Board meeting at which the officer’s removal will be decided by vote.
6.2 The accused will have the right of counsel, will receive written notice of the charges against him/her at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting at which the vote will be taken, and will have the right to refute the evidence against him/her prior to the vote at the meeting at which the vote will be taken.
6.3. A three-quarters majority of the full-seated Executive Board, including the accused, will be necessary to remove an elected officer from office.
Section 7 – Executive Board Meetings
The Executive Board will meet at least monthly, with locations for the meetings determined by the Executive Board.
Section 8 – Quorum
A quorum of the Executive Board will be noted when a minimum of five Executive Board members are present. No Executive Board member will possess or exercise more than one (l) vote on any question.
Section 9 – Minutes
The Treasurer, unless otherwise agreed to at the start of the proceedings, will compile and publish the minutes of the Executive Board Meeting and will distribute the minutes to all members of the Executive Board within three (3) days of the conclusion of the appropriate meeting. The Treasurer will be the official keeper of minutes and records, regardless of the recording officer.
Article V. Committees
Section 1: Standing Committees
The Executive Board will have the power to create standing committees with the advice and consent of the Membership.
Section 2: The Executive Board
The Executive Board will govern the CDM and perform all other duties outlined in this Constitution and the Bylaws. The powers not explicitly delegated to another entity within CDM by this constitution are reserved to the Executive Board.
Section 3: Special Committees
Special Committees may be convened at any time when determined by the Chair or a majority of the Executive Board with the advice and consent of the Membership.
Article VI. Meetings
Section 1: General Membership
The CDM will assemble regularly as needed to conduct the business of the day. Meetings will be open to all students, in accordance with University of Wisconsin Madison policy, though only Members of the CDM have the right to cast a ballot, as stipulated in Article II Section 4, and have the right to participate in discussion. Non-members may be allowed to participate in discussion, but only at the discretion of the Chair, and non-members do not have voting rights.
Section 2: Executive Board and Committees
The Standing Committees, Executive Board, and Special Committees of the CDM will also meet as deemed necessary by the respective committees. The meetings of these groups will generally be open to the public, though each group may reserve the right to hold a closed meeting. Any closed meeting must be posted well in advance, so that the Membership may raise public objection.
Article VII. Bylaws
Section 1: Establishment
The CDM will establish Bylaws. All Bylaws will be binding on the officers and committees of the CDM and all units of the CDM. No Bylaw may conflict with the Constitution of the CDM, CDW, CDA, DPDC, DPW, or the DNC.
Section 2: Amendment Procedure
2.1. The Following procedure will be used to amend the Bylaws:
2.1.a. A proposed amendment will be submitted in writing to the Executive Board and the Chair.
2.1.b. At a subsequent meeting of the Executive Board, within three months of the submission, the proposed amendment will be considered. The amendment must receive a majority vote of the seated Executive Board, and subsequently approved by a majority of the Membership at the next General Meeting to be incorporated in the Bylaws, within one month of the Executive Board’s meeting to consider the amendment.
Article VIII. Amendments
Section 1: Procedure
The following will be the procedure for amending this Constitution:
1.1. A proposed amendment will be submitted in writing to the Executive Board.
1.2. The amendment(s) must be circulated at least 14 days prior to the next CDM Executive Board Meeting. The proposed amendment must receive a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the present Executive Board in order for the amendment to be placed before the Membership.
1.3. At a subsequent meeting of the Membership, the proposed amendment will be considered. The amendment must receive a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the present and voting Membership to be incorporated in the Constitution.
Last Updated Fall 2014