Preamble

We the College Democrats of Ohio in order to promote a better America; with equality, opportunity, and freedom within a just and strong society, we dedicate ourselves to organizing the participation of Democratic college students in Ohio. Understanding the importance of participation in the Democratic Party to the preservation of our values and principles, we, Democratic college students, do hereby associate ourselves and adopt this Constitution as the College Democrats of Ohio.

Article I: Name, Purpose, and Affiliation

  • Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the College Democrats of Ohio.
  • Section 2:  The College Democrats of Ohio pledge to support the values and platform of the Democratic Party. We hereby commit our full support to the aid of local, state, and federal Democratic Party candidates. The College Democrats of Ohio declares will support all efforts to increase the participation of college students in progressive politics. We shall educate and train members so that they may be better able to:
    • Educate students about the values and platform of the Democratic Party;
    • Assist in the election of local, state, and national Democratic candidates;
    • Affect political change on the local, state, and national level.
  • Section 3 College Democrats of Ohio is officially affiliated with the following Democratic Party organizations:
    • College Democrats of Ohio is the official statewide network of College Democrat chapters on all college campuses in Ohio, be they private, public, two-year, four-year, graduate, or any other type of post-secondary educational institution;
    • College Democrats of Ohio is the official College outreach arm of the Ohio Democratic Party;
    • College Democrats of Ohio is Ohio’s official State Federation of the College Democrats of America.

Article II: Membership

  • Section 1: Membership in the College Democrats of Ohio shall be open to any full-time or part-time college student in Ohio who professes an interest in politics and the Democratic Party.
  • Section 2: The College Democrats of Ohio are committed to fostering a diverse and safe environment. In accomplishing this goal and embracing diversity discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, military status, sex, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, and/or veteran status is hereby prohibited.

Article III: The Executive Board

  • Section 1: The elected members of the Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Communications Director, Political Director, Membership Director, Treasurer, and Secretary.  The term of office shall be one year with elections occurring during the spring semester of each year.
  • Section 2: The Executive Board shall determine the platform and policy of the College Democrats of Ohio; the platform shall include: measuring, coordinating, and assisting College Democrats of Ohio chapters and programs, and other activities determined by the Executive Board.

Article IV: Duties of the Executive Board Positions

  • Section 1: All Executive Board members must maintain active involvement in the College Democrats activities.  All Executive Board members must actively promote the platform and policy of the College Democrats of Ohio to all students and the public.
  • Section 2: The Duties of the President
    • Attend and preside over meetings of the Executive Board;
    • Be responsible for determining the goals and direction of the College Democrats of Ohio;
    • Act as the official liaison between College Democrats of Ohio and the Ohio Democratic Party, the College Democrats of America, the Democratic National Committee, and all state and national political organizations;
  • Section 3:  Duties of the Vice President
    • Attend Executive Board meetings; assist in determining the goals and direction of the organization and be responsible for the implementation of the goals of the College Democrats of Ohio as set by the Executive Board;
    • Fulfill duties when the President is not available;
    • Organize the group from within;
    • Fulfill duties delegated by the President;
    • Continuously develop and implement programs on behalf of the state federation for chapter participation;
    • Endeavor to vary such program in content, location, and cost;
    • Assist chapter leaders with chapter-level programming.
  • Section 4: Duties of the Communications Director
    • Attend Executive Board meetings;
    • Assist in determining the goals and direction of the organization;
    • Generate publicity for College Democrats of Ohio programs in local, state, and national media;
    • Maintain a healthy relationship with members of the press; disseminate the Democratic Party’s message to students and citizens of Ohio;
    • Ensure decisions of the Executive Board are communicated to chapters and that news from chapters is communicated to the Executive Board.
  • Section 5: Duties of the Political Director
    • Attend Executive Board meetings;
    • Assist in determining the goals and direction of the organization;
    • Attend at least one Ohio Democratic Party networking event per year;
    • Actively maintain a schedule of College Democrats of Ohio programs happening throughout the state and nation;
    • Actively maintain a schedule of Democratic Party events on all levels of organization;
    • Actively maintain schedules of all classifications of events which are relevant to the policies and agenda of the executive board;
    • Provide easy access to these schedules for members of the executive board;
    • Write the campaign timeline for statewide and national races;
    • Assist chapters in scheduling their own events.
  • Section 6: Duties of the Membership Director
    • Attend Executive Board meetings;
    • Actively maintain the official database of chapter profiles; attend at least one volunteer coordination training per year;
    • Actively engage members in dialogue about the policies and agenda of the College Democrats of Ohio;
    • Responsible for dissemination of the Democratic Party’s message to members;
    • Oversee the Regional Coordinators;
    • Organize conferences or conference calls to be attended by all chapter presidents and members of the executive board no less than once every thirty (30) days.
  • Section 7: Duties of the Treasurer
    • Act as the bookkeeper for the organization;
    • Attend Executive Board meetings;
    • Assist in determining the goals and direction of the organization;
    • Attend at least one campaign finance training per year;
    • Execute all tasks required by campaign finance regulations;
    • Give quarterly treasurer’s reports to College Democrats of Ohio;
    • Develop and implement a budget;
    • Develop and implement fundraising programs;
    • Accountable for the financial growth of the organization.
  • Section 8: Duties of the Secretary
    • Attend all executive board meetings and be responsible for keeping an updated contact list of all of Ohio’s chapters;
    • Documenting the progress of all chapter development efforts;
    • Record the minutes of all Executive Board meetings and conference calls;
    • Maintaining this constitution and documents of the College Democrats of Ohio;
    • Ensure all members, local chapters, and the College Democrats of America have access to this constitution and all public documents of the College Democrats of Ohio.

Article V: Removal of Executive Board Members

  • Section 1: Cause for removal shall be defined as malfeasance or nonfeasance of duties assigned by the Executive Board or delineated within this document, or is found to ineligibility for membership pursuant to Article II, Section 1.
  • Section 2: The process for removal shall begin when another member of the Executive Board formally charges the officer with the reasons for his or her removal publicly at a meeting of the Executive Board.  The officer in question must be offered an opportunity to defend himself or herself at that meeting.  After a period of two weeks, the issue shall be put to a vote.  Three-fourths (3/4) members of the Executive Board must vote for removal for an officer to be removed.

Article VI:  Vacancies and Extended Absences

  • Section 1: If a vacancy occurs in an Executive Board position other than the President, the President shall appoint a successor with the majority consent of the remaining Executive Board.  If the vacancy is the President, then the Vice-President shall automatically be the replacement.
  • Section 2: Extended absences of more than one (1) month and less than four (4) months shall be filled by an appointment by the current officer.  This appointment must be approved by a majority of the Executive Board.  The appointment, once approved, shall be called by the title of the office and the preceding term, “Interim.”  Upon return, the original office holder immediately returns to the office, terminating the Interim appointment, and no further action is required by the Executive Board.  Absences extended for four months or longer shall be considered vacancies.

Article VII:  Chapters

  • Section 1: There shall be no more than one chapter of College Democrats on any Ohio campus.  Professional schools (law, medical, etc.) shall be considered separate campuses from their undergraduate counterpart.
  • Section 2: Any chapter wishing to charter with College Democrats of Ohio can do so with the consent of the chapter members and chapter president.
  • Section 3: The College Democrats of Ohio will not charge membership dues to participating chapters. All chartered in the state of Ohio shall also be considered members of College Democrats of America.

Article VIII: Annual State Convention

  • Section 1: The College Democrats of Ohio must gather for a statewide convention annually to review this constitution, elect new officers, and prepare for the next election season. Considering that all Ohio colleges operate on different and changing schedules, it is impossible to select a date, which satisfies every chapter.  The president shall select the date of the convention, provided it is no longer than 14 months after the preceding convention.  The president’s selection shall be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Board.
  • Section 2: The College Democrats of Ohio annual convention will be called to order in the spring semester each year, making a conscious effort to select a date that best suits the majority of the local chapters within the state. The state president shall set the date, pending two-thirds (2/3) approval of the Executive Board.
  • Section 3: Chapter presidents may nominate their chapters to host the annual convention.  The annual convention shall be held at a location selected by the president from the nominated choices and approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Board.  The executive board shall accept hosting nominations for a period starting from the close of the previous year’s spring convention and ending eight (8) months after.

Article IX: Elections

  • Section 1:  The election of officers must occur at the annual College Democrats of Ohio Convention in the spring semester.
  • Section 2: All members of College Democrats of Ohio are eligible for candidacy to any office on the Executive Board, with the exception of Legal Advisor, which requires the candidate be either enrolled or graduated from law school.  Declaration of candidacy shall occur on the floor of the election proceedings. Candidates may run for more than one office; however, they may only serve in one position.  Any member may nominate any member for candidacy.
  • Section 3: Each chapter shall be allowed to cast three votes for each office in the elections. Whether these votes may be split must be decided on the chapter level. Votes must be cast by the chapter president or a designee of the chapter president. Voting shall occur by roll call vote.  Chapters must be present on the day of the convention to vote.
  • Section 4: The election shall be overseen by a member of the current executive board not running for election.  This supervisor shall be appointed by the Executive Board by the time the convention is publicly announced.  The supervisor shall ensure that all participants are aware of the election procedure.  The supervisor shall prepare ballots for the event.  The supervisor shall appoint an assistant from a chapter with no candidates for office to help count the votes; if every chapter has a candidate for office, then the supervisor may appoint any member who is not a candidate with the approval of the president.
  • Section 5: The election procedure shall consist of the following items in the following order:
  1. Explanation of election rules and procedure;
  2. Reading of offices to be elected and explanation of duties;
  3. Ballots for each office shall be distributed to chapter presidents;
  4. Ballots shall have the name of each voting chapter university and signed by the chapter president or designee;
  5. Nominations from the floor accepted for candidates for president;
  6. Each candidate for president is allowed five minutes to speak.  The order of speeches shall be previously and impartially determined by the election supervisor
  7. After all candidates for president have spoken, two minutes will be allowed for chapters to caucus and decide their choices for voting;
  8. The election supervisor shall call out the name of the chapters present and each chapter’s representative will announce the votes cast by their chapter and give their ballot to the election supervisor;
  9. If more than two candidates ran for president, the top two vote-getters shall be announced for a run-off election. In the event of a tie, chapters will be immediately allowed two more minutes to caucus and re-vote; this process will repeat until the tie is broken.  If only two candidates ran, the top vote-getter shall be immediately announced as the winner.
  10. Step number 4 through number 8 shall be repeated for every office on the Executive Board in the order by which they appear listed in this document under Article IV.
  • Section 6: The term for the Executive Board shall be one year commencing upon the conclusion of the annual spring convention and terminate the following spring convention upon the election of a new Executive Board.

Article X: Appointed positions by Executive Board

  • Section 1: Each elected member of the Executive Board position, with the exception of the political director, shall have the power to establish and appoint no more than three positions. Examples of these positions include new chapter development coordinator, social media director, fundraising coordinator, etc. This shall be done to better facilitate changes in operating environments.
  • Section 2: The political director shall have the power to establish no more than six positions. Examples of these include LGBT Caucus Chair, Veterans Caucus Chair, Environmental Caucus Chair, etc. This shall be done to better adapt to changing needs during political campaign seasons.
  • Section 3: The Executive Board member shall appoint their candidate and position in writing to the Executive Board for approval. The candidate and position must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the present Executive Board members.
  • Section 4: The appointee serves at the pleasure of the Executive Member who appointed them or their successor or they may be terminated at any time by them or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the executive board. All appointed positions shall cease to exist upon the election of a new Executive Board unless the new board votes to maintain those positions.

Article XI: The College Democrats of America Annual Convention

  • Section 1: The College Democrats of Ohio shall encourage all members to attend the College Democrats of America Annual Convention.  The College Democrats of Ohio shall endeavor to increase attendance of Ohio chapters each year.
  • Section 2:  College Democrats of Ohio are allowed five votes as a board in the national elections as well as the votes of all chapters that are present (three votes per chapter) at the College Democrats of America Annual Convention.  The entirety of those votes will be chosen by the College Democrats of Ohio Executive Board who will vote as a “block” with the endorsed candidates unless overridden by two-thirds of the chapters at least one month prior to the College Democrats of America Annual Convention date. The votes will be cast at the College Democrats Annual Convention by present members of the Executive Board listed first under Article IV of this document.  If only one member of the Executive Board is present, this person shall cast all votes.  College Democrats of Ohio shall require chapters to vote in a “block” unless previously overridden by the two-thirds chapter majority one month prior to the College Democrats of America Annual Convention.
  • Section 3:  Members of College Democrats of Ohio shall be encouraged to run for the offices of the College Democrats of America. College Democrats of Ohio shall discourage the event of more than one candidate from Ohio for the same office.
  • Section 4: Members of the College Democrats of America national executive board or chairs of a College Democrats of America national caucus from Ohio shall be actively involved in the College Democrats of Ohio executive board.  The national officer shall be invited to all executive board meetings and events, although the officer shall hold no vote in executive board decisions unless he or she is also an elected member of the College Democrats of Ohio executive board.

Article XII:  Amendments

  • Section 1: The Constitution can be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Board or by a majority of voting chapter presidents or their designees at the annual convention.

Article XIII:  Ratification

  • Section 1: The Constitution shall be operatively effective upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Board and enter into full force by a majority of voting chapter presidents or their designees at the annual convention.