The HCS Constitution
Article I. Organization Name
The name of this organization shall be the Harvard Computer Society.
Article II. Purpose
The Harvard Computer Society shall promote, improve, and develop interest in computing and information technologies among members of the Harvard community. The Society shall meet this goal by appropriate means such as meetings, publications, seminars, and other activities.
Article III. Membership
Membership in this organization is open to all students in good standing currently enrolled at Harvard University regardless of sex, race, creed, sexual preference, religious preference, operating system preference, editor preference, national origin, or ethnic origin. Honorary membership, without voting privileges, shall be available to non-Harvard students at the Board's discretion.
The membership of the Society shall be determined by standards established by the Board. These standards must always be published. The Board may change the standards of membership at any time, but no change can go into effect until two weeks after they have been announced and published according to the bylaws. These standards may at any time be contested by the membership like any other Board action, pursuant to Article VIII Section 2.
Members shall at all times observe the constitution and bylaws of the Society, as well as the regulations governing the Society's systems and other privileges.
Article IV. Officers
The Governing Board of the Society shall consist of a President, a Business Manager, Communications Coordinator, Projects Manager and Membership Coordinator. The Board shall act as the central executive body of the Society and shall have supervision and control of its activities and programs. The Board shall also concern itself with the general direction and long-term future of the Society.
The role of the President shall be the primary representative of the Society, lead meetings, oversee the day to day operation of the Society, and tend to the immediate needs of Society projects and activities. The President shall also set the general tone of the Society.
The Business Manager is charged with the management and oversight of the financial affairs of the Society, and shall maintain accurate records of all transactions of the Society. The Business Manager shall also be charged with exploring ways of acquring new funds for the Society, and ensuring its future solvency.
The Projects Coordinator shall oversee individual project leaders and shall provide and manage resources to assist the project leaders. The Projects Coordinator shall also determine the feasibility of project proposals and make recommendations to the board, as well as facilitate the placement of members into project roles.
The Communications Manager is responsible for all of the Society's records and archives. The Communications Manager is also responsible for processing routine external and internal communications, and for the publishing and announcement of all matters that require it. The Communications Manager also shall be responsible for administrative duties within the University.
The Membership Coordinator is charged with ensuring the representation and bringing the voice of the Society to the board. The Membership Coordinator will also oversee all recruiting programs, as well as social and informal events.
Article V. Projects
A Project may be initiated by the Board at any time. Every project must have a Director appointed by a majority of the Board at all times. The Board may remove any director by unanimous vote at any time. Any project that lacks both a director, acting or full, and members shall automatically be defunct.
Any Project may choose to create bylaws specifying their membership or policies at any time using the same methods used to create the Society's bylaws, with the director of the project acting as the President and half the membership of the Project being a quorum. A majority of the Board may veto any bylaw of any committee, but they may not make bylaws for a committee on
The Board may also appoint members as general directors for specific purposes or missions that do not require projects, such as alumni relations, publicity and recruitment, or whatever other tasks the Board deems necessary for the good of the Society.
Article VI. Elections and Officers.
Elections to Board positions shall occur during a the fall term, which must be held before the winter break. The term of office shall begin the first day of the spring term and shall terminate the last day of the next year's intersession. Any undergraduate member of the Society who will be able to complete the term of office may be nominated for election to the Board.
The board shall appoint an election commissioner to supervise and set the rules and procedures of the election at least a day before the last general meeting of the fall term. The election commissioner shall determine the procedures of the election within any constitutional and bylaws restrictions. All rules of the election shall apply equally to all members running.
The Election Commissioner shall announce and publish the procedures and rules of the elections at least one day before the last regular meeting of the term. After the rules are announced, the members shall have the opportunity to revoke the rules at the next regular meeting occurring at least a day after their announcement. At that meeting, a two thirds majority of the members present, a lesser quorum being present, may vote to overturn the rules of the election and substitue an alternate set. The membership may not overturn the election rules without endorsing an alternate set of elections rules which a member has put forward at that meeting.
After that point, the election rules are final. The election must occur at a minimum of two days after the meeting at which the rules are finalized.
There shall be two methods of removing officers; removal of the entire Board, and removing an individual officer of the Board. In general, the entire Board shall be removed in cases of numerous decisions contrary to the best interests of the Society, willful or otherwise. Individual Board officers shall be removed in general for gross personal misconduct or extreme negligence in fulfilling their dutes as a Board officer. No individual should be removed for actions and decisions that rested on the entire Board's authority.
Any five members may together move at any time to impeach the Board. This motion shall be announced and published, and the matter shall be considered at the next regular meeting of the Society for which a greater quorum is present and which is not held less than a week after the announcement. Removing the Board shall require a three fifths majority of those present at the meeting. This action shall be the first order of business on the agenda over all matters except constitutional amendments and removal of an individual member.
A three fifths majority will remove the Board, at which time elections following the rules of Article VI, sections 1, 2 and 3, and 4 will immediately be called to occur at the next regular meeting of the society. These articles' time limitations shall not apply; the procedures of election should be announced as expeditiously as possible, with the election to follow at the next general meeting. Or, an emergency meeting of date and time determined by the members may be called, if the next regular meeting is more than two weeks away from the date of impeachment. The entire Board must be removed at the same time by this method, but any removed member is allowed to run again for office.
The removed board shall continue to serve until the results of the election are announced the day thereof; at that point the newly elected Board shall immediately assume office.
Any five members may together at any time move to impeach an individual member of the Board. The procedure for removing an individual Board member shall be the same as that for removing the entire Board, save that it shall require a two thirds majority of those present. An impeached Board member may run again for any office in any election of the Society.
If an officer should resign their post for any reason, or become no longer eligible to hold office in the Society, an election according to the standard rules listed above shall be held at the next general meeting. If the President should prematurely leave office, the Business Manager will act as President until a new one is elected. If the Business Manager wishes to run for President, an Election Commissioner must then be appointed for the special election.
Article VII. Meetings.
A lesser quorum shall be present at all times when changes in the bylaws is considered, or to reverse an action of the board. A greater quorum shall be required to amend the constitution of the Society or to impeach the Board or any of its members therein.
Other meetings and business, regular or no, shall have no required quorum, as such formal matters are not intended to be frequently applied.
Article VIII. Normal Operation.
In all matters brought before the membership for a vote, the matter shall be announced and published one week ahead of time by the Communications Manager of the Society. All matters important enough to require a vote of the Membership shall be decided at the regularly scheduled meetings of the Society as defined in the bylaws. Each member shall be entitled to one vote at the meeting. Ordinarily the President shall not vote, but in the event of a tie vote, the President shall decide the matter.
The main duty of the Board shall be to govern and oversee the actions of the Society. In general, most decisions should be made by the approval of a majority of the Board. However, any five members may insist that any Board decision be brought to the consideration of the membership at an official meeting. The business shall be announced one week before it can be considered, and any action must take place at the next regular meeting of the Society at which the lesser quorum is present.
At that meeting, a majority vote with a lesser quorum present, after due discussion, may overturn the decision of the Board. But until such time as the Society votes to nullify an action of the Board, the action remains in effect.
The Board may also, in matters of unusual importance or controversy, voluntarily elect to put business before the Membership. Such business should be announced one week before being considered in a regular meeting of the Society. At that time, after due discussion, and with no quorum required, a majority vote will decide the matter. The Board is then obligated to follow the wishes of the Membership.
The Board shall take no action that is contrary to the Constitution or Bylaws of the Society.
Any five members may move during a regular meeting that an Auditor be appointed to examine the financial records and stability of the Society. A majority vote of those present at the meeting is required to go forward with the appointment of an Auditor, provided a lesser quorum is present. If no quorum is present, the vote is postponed until the next meeting at which a quorum is available. If the motion succeeds, nominations from the membership for the position shall be accepted by the Communications Manager until the next regular meeting, and the same balloting method used for the last selection of officers shall be used to appoint the Auditor. The Board officers shall not have votes in this election, but instead shall have the right to appoint their own Co-Auditor from the membership to assist and accompany the member's Auditor.
Both Auditors shall be given full access to all financial records by the Business Manager on demand. They shall keep the details of those records as privileged and confidential information if the current circumstances of the Society are currently such that the financial records are not a matter of public knowledge. They shall report to the Membership in no more than one month whether or not the records are sound. If they find irregularities or evidence of improper conduct, then they shall divulge details concerning that matter only so far as it is necessary to give the Members an understanding of the problems found to decide action.
Article IX. Bylaws.
The Bylaws shall at all times reflect the current working order of the HCS. The Bylaws are intended to be malleable and change with the Society, not to keep the Society to one method when another might work best. The Bylaws are intended to instead illuminate the inner workings of the Society and keep the administration clear and unmysterious, not to codify and limit what the Society may do.
The Bylaws at all times shall contain the following definitions and specifications. No proposed change that removes any of the following things and does not replace them with another bylaw sufficient to the standards of the Constitution shall be enacted. Constitutionally mandated bylaws shall have changes go into effect a month after such changes are voted through, during which time the Society may vote to rescind that change at another regular meeting with another majority vote, a lesser quorum being present.
A definition of announced and published shall at all times exist in the Bylaws of the Society. "Announced" shall consist of some method of directly contacting all members, by a messaging system or some other means. "Published" shall be placing the information in a publicly accessible place, either electronically or otherwise, such that all members and others have access to the information published. The Bylaws have the responsibility of defining these terms specifically to meet these general criteria.
A definition of a regular meeting shall at all times exist in the Bylaws of the Society. Such meetings should occur at regular intervals during the semester.
The Board shall at all times keep published their explicit criteria for membership. Their policy on membership may be both voluntarily submitted to the Society members for a non-bindingvote of approval by the Board, or be overturned by the members like any other action of the Board.
Article X. Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by a two thirds majority during a regularly scheduled meeting. A greater quorum must be present. The proposed amendments must be announced and published two weeks before the meeting.
Any five members may propose an amendment to the Constitution.
Amendments to the Constitution shall always be the first order of business at any meeting when they are to be considered. They must be voted upon in the meeting when they are first considered-- no amendment shall be kept as unresolved business between meetings.
Article XI. Ratification
This constituion entirely replaces the Harvard Computer Society Constitution of 1991, amended 1994. As such, it takes effect when passed at a general meeting within the rules of the old Constitution.