Chapter of the Society of Physics Students at the
University of Central Florida (SPS)
Constitution Guidelines and Bylaws
ARTICLE I NAME
The name of this organization shall be “Chapter of the Society of Physics Students at the University of Central Florida.”
ARTICLE II PREAMBLE
The purpose of this Chapter shall be the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of the science of physics and the encouragement of student interest in physics throughout the academic and local communities.
ARTICLE III OFFICERS
The officers of the Chapter shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, Treasurer, Netadmin, and a Historian; succession shall be in accordance with this order. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by this Chapter. In order to hold a leadership position in this organization members shall be required to meet the minimum leadership requirements as stated in the Golden Rule. The current minimum requirements to have a leadership position are:
- During fall and spring semester, be currently enrolled as a student activity fee-paying half-time student (currently defined as at least six (6) credit hours as an undergraduate degree-seeking student or a postbaccalaureate student, or at least five (5) credit hours in a graduate degree-seeking program). During summer session, be currently enrolled for at least three (3) credit hours in at least one of the terms.
- Have an minimum overall GPA of 2.5 for all hours earned while in attendance at UCF.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined in the current Undergraduate Catalog and the current Graduate Catalog of UCF, as appropriate.
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University, defined as not being on academic or disciplinary probation.
- Be free of any holds on university records.
In addition the officers must be in good standing with the club, as outlined in Article VIII. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements may submit a written appeal to the Eligibility Appeals Board through the office of Student Activities within 2 weeks from the first day of class each semester. The offices that may be voted on are as follows:
(a) President Conducts the SPS meetings and plans the order of conversation; promotes, plans, and coordinates chapter activities; keeps the chapters bylaws up to date; represents the chapter’s interests when required; has signature authority over club funds.
(b) Vice President Assists the president and fills in for the president in his/her absence; oversees refreshments for guest lectures, SPS meetings, and applicable activities; coordinates fund raising. This office is optional and may be deemed unnecessary by a majority vote.
(c) Secretary Keeps an attendance list and records minutes of the meetings; updates and keeps a current roster of SPS members; records names, phone numbers, and e mail addresses of all new members; announces meetings by e mail and by posting notice in the appropriate areas (SPS bulletin board, SPS web page, and departmental bulletin board) at least two days in advance of regular meetings and as soon as possible for special meetings; updates the calendar of events; responsible for meeting, activity, and advertisement fliers; assists chapter advisor with paper work for national office.
(d) Treasurer Keeps track of the chapter’s finances and earnings from fundraising activities; deposits and withdraws funds with president’s authorization and signature; keeps a ledger of petty cash expenses and earnings.
(e) Netadmin Maintains all SPS controlled computer equipment and assists secretary with maintenance of web related resources, documents, and other assigned duties delegated by President and Vice President.
(f) Historian Maintains official record of the activities and events of the Society of Physics Students in conjunction with the President, Vice President, and Secretary. This office is exempt from office that falls upon the secretary.
(g) Any temporary officer positions the officer board elect deems necessary can be created and appointed after elections. Examples include: Social Media Coordinator, Outreach Chair, Event Coordinator.
ARTICLE IV SELECTION OF OFFICERS
Officers, excluding the presidential office, shall be elected at the first official meeting in April of each year. Nominations shall be by open nomination at the first last official meeting in March. Vice president, secretary, and treasurer will be nominated by open nomination. One individual can only be nominated for two positions. The president must be nominated from the current officer board, excluding temporary officer positions. If only one officer is running for president, a majority vote must be held on whether to open the floor for open nominations. If this vote fails, then that officer is now president-elect. If no officers accept a nomination, the process will switch to open nominations. Nominees must meet the requirements to hold a leadership position as stated in Article III. The elections shall be by closed ballot with the ballots being counted and the result being announced by the president. The faculty advisor shall monitor this process and ensure the count is correct. Each position will be voted on separately with the candidates being absent during the vote. Only members in good standing as outlined in Article VIII and present at the election may vote in the elections. Additionally, no candidate may be elected who will graduate before completing at least one half year in office. Officers are elected by a majority vote excluding the offices of netadmin, and historian, and any other optional officers. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the candidate with the fewest votes will be removed from consideration and another vote will be held. The excluded offices and any other officer position the new board deems necessary shall be appointed by the a majority vote of the elected officers and shall have a voice at officer meetings but no vote. No person may hold more than one office. No person may hold the same office for more than 1½ years. The current officer board will retain power until the last meeting of the spring semester. During this time period, they are responsible for helping new officers get established in their new roles (e.g. by inviting them to officer meetings and turning over control of all necessary accounts and documents).The incoming officers should inform all members of the time and location of interviews for appointed positions with reasonable notice. They should then interview all applicants and select these officers. After the last meeting, power transitions. The previous officer board is only responsible for completing and submitting the chapter report.
ARTICLE V REMOVAL OF OFFICERS
Officers no longer wishing to serve on the board must submit their resignation to the President at least two (2) weeks in advance. Prior to the officer’s final day he/she shall provide all documents relating to the organization and brief his/her replacement of current projects in his/her care. Officers may be removed from office by a 2/3 vote of members who are in good standing as outlined in Article VIII. This vote may be brought by any member in good standing. The election must be announced at the preceding official meeting.
ARTICLE VI VOTING POWERS OF OFFICERS
Officers may cast votes as regular members with the exception of the president who will only cast a vote when there is a tie.
ARTICLE VII VACANCIES
If there is a vacancy of office an election will be held at the next official meeting following, the outline of Article IV concerning voting procedure. The newly elected officer shall serve out the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE VIII MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Society of Physics Students Membership
Membership is limited to all students who have paid fees and are enrolled with the University of Central Florida. No discrimination shall be made on the basis of gender, race, color, creed, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation/preference, parental status or veteran’s status. No hazing or discrimination will be used as a condition of membership in this organization. Membership shall be open to all those individuals interested in physics.
For graduate students in physics or related fields, all members elect either
(a) Shall meet the requirements for undergraduate members elect, based upon their undergraduate records or,
(b) Shall have completed at least one year of graduate work , meeting departmental standards for satisfactory progress towards an advanced degree.
For faculty members, research staff members, and UCF Alumni, who are in physics or related fields affiliated with UCF, election to affiliate membership shall be based upon their professional attainments and voted on during an official meeting. UCF faculty, staff, alumni, Central Florida Research Park employees, as well as any person without limitation with respect to age or occupation, interested in participating in the Society of Physics Students University of Central Florida but is not affiliated with the University of Central Florida may be non-voting members with voice but will not count towards quorum.
Section 2. Membership Detail
(a) Membership may be obtained throughout the year.
(b) Members remain in good standing by keeping dues paid to the National Society and to the local chapter if a due is required.
Good Standing: A member is in Good Standing if they have accumulated an appropriate number of “Meeting Points.” Attending an Informal Meeting earns a student one (1) Meeting Point, and attending a Formal Meeting earns two (2) Meeting Points. Good Standing can be attained by meeting the qualifications for either of the two tracks below:
“Returning Member” Track:
-Have acquired at least half the points (50%) from all meetings in the previous semester, and
-At least a quarter (25%) of the points from meetings so far in the current semester.
“New Member” Track:
-Have acquired at least 75% of the points from meetings so far in the current semester, and
-The current semester is at least halfway completed.
Additional points may be awarded to members who demonstrate exemplary service to SPS or the Physics Department. Any points awarded to members for volunteering at events must be equally applied to all members who volunteered at the event and agreed upon by a majority vote of the officer board. A member cannot receive more than half of their points in this way.
(c) Membership entitles members voting rights on anything brought before the chapter. Members may also attend chapter sponsored events.
(d) Membership may be revoked if a member does not keep up dues or fails to meet the requirements set forth in Article VIII Section 1.
(e) Example Calculation: Suppose there have been four formal meetings and three informal meetings so far in a semester, this means there are 11 (4*2 + 3) total possible points a member could have earned. Now suppose a student has attended three formal meetings and one informal meeting, this allots them 7 (2*3 + 1) points. This means they have earned about 64% of total points. If this student had earned 73% of the total meeting points last semester, then, through the “Returning Member” track, they would be considered in Good Standing. If, however, they had not earned at least 50% of meeting points from the previous semester, they would have to follow the “New Member” track and would not qualify to be a Member in good standing.
ARTICLE IX FINANCES
Local chapter dues are collected by the Treasurer. The option to charge dues and how much to charge will be voted on during the first official meeting of the newly elected officers. If local dues are taken, every member, except faculty/staff, are expected to pay. Signature authority will be passed from the outgoing president to the newly elected president during the period between the election and the next official meeting. The treasurer will also pass all necessary information to the newly elected treasurer during this period. The president and treasurer are responsible for allocating funds for activities, which have been voted on by the chapter. Both the president and treasurer must authorize a withdrawal of funds. If one of these is absent, the advisor may substitute. Once the president and treasurer have formulated a budget, it will be presented to the chapter at the next official meeting. In the event of the dissolution of the group the physics department shall take over any remaining funds.
ARTICLE X MEETINGS
Definition of Meetings:
Formal Meetings: Meetings that are core to the professional development of students or core to the SPS mission. During a given semester, at least one formal meeting must be held per month. Examples include: professional talks (faculty, business, or organization), professional development workshops (resumes, LaTeX, etc.), and research talks by students.
Informal Meetings: Any meeting that is not a formal meeting. These tend to be more social or casual in nature. Examples include: game nights, (non-research) student presentations, discussions, and socials.
Special meetings may be called by the president or vice president. These special meetings must be announced and posted as soon as possible. There shall be at least three meetings per semester. The summer semester shall be exempt from meetings unless otherwise decided by a majority chapter vote. An official meeting must have 2/3 of current members in good standing present and at least two officers present ( quorum ). Succession of order will follow as outlined in Article III.
ARTICLE XI ADVISOR
The chapter advisors are up to two faculty members who shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Physics Department, after consultation with the chapter officers in regards to number and identity of advisors. Each advisor will be expected to meet the following guidelines.
The length of his/her term will be unconstrained as long as he/she stays a member of the faculty. The chapter advisor shall provide liaison among the chapter, the Physics Department and the national office of the SPS. The chapter advisor will supply counseling to the chapter, furnish continuity of experience in chapter operations, and provide long range perspective to ensure departmental interest in and support of the SPS The chapter advisor shall assist the secretary in furnishing the national office with the required data and shall monitor finance allocations. The chapter advisor will act as a faculty advocate on behalf of chapter members. The chapter advisor is responsible for making time to listen to feedback from members, and to provide inclusive, and if necessary, confidential, advice and counselling to members upon request. The advisor may not vote in the chapter.
For responsibilities which involve only one signatory power, such as but not limited to: the role of advisor with OSI, reporting activities to National SPS, and monitoring finances, the advisors will decide between themselves a fair division of such activities. Advisors are expected to be familiar with these specific requirements.
ARTICLE XII REMOVAL OF ADVISOR
The advisor will be notified in writing of the possible removal at least 72 hours prior to the vote and will be allowed to address the organization in order to relate to members any relevant defense prior to the voting for removal. Upon a 2/3 majority vote of eligible members the advisor will be remove from his/her duties. A new advisor will be appointed by the Chairman of the Physics Department within 14 calendar days, after consultation with the chapter officers.
ARTICLE XIII EXTERNAL AFFILIATIONS
This is a local chapter of the National Society of Physics Students. Items not covered in this constitution shall be governed by the National Society’s constitution where it does not conflict with the local chapter’s.
ARTICLE XIV PUBLICATIONS
This local chapter shall forward an annual report to the national chapter as required. A budget shall be drafted to be presented to the SGA for funding. This budget shall be drafted two months before the deadline for SGA funding and voted upon by the chapter. All publications of the organization must comply with the Golden Rule “Advertising and Signs” section, Student Organization Guidelines “Advertising” section, and the University Identity and Standards Manual.
ARTICLE XV AMENDMENTS
These articles may be amended by a 2/3 vote of members in good standing, provided that the amendment shall have been proposed at least one meeting previous to the time of vote. Such amendments shall conform to the regulations established by the national constitution of the SPS or agree with the spirit set forth by the same.
HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION
Created: 5th day of August in the year 2000
Revised: 3rd day of November in the year 2002
Revised: 12th day of November in the year 2002
Revised: 15th day of April in the year 2005
Revised: 23rd day of January in the year 2018
Revised: 22nd day of January in the year 2019
Revised: 12th day of February in the year 2019
Revised: 26th day of March in the year 2019