If you have any questions regarding the Constitution, please contact the GBB Executive Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We the members of the Governing Board at Barnard recognize this Constitution as the governing document intended to make clear the purposes, structures, and powers of this board.
This Constitution will serve as the guiding principle of the Governing Board at Barnard, hereafter referred to as GBB, in order to insure the fair governance of all groups that fall under it and the responsible allocation of student activity fees.
The Governing Board at Barnard (GBB) is dedicated to representing, advocating for, and recognizing clubs at Barnard College. GBB operates on behalf of the undergraduate student councils and governing groups whose functions do not fall under the other governing boards unless dually recognized. GBB serves the following primary purposes:
1. Serves and represents the interests of its groups;
2. Enhances the mission of Barnard College by supporting student organizations that foster and enrich our community;
3. Coordinates allocations from the councils and provides financial resources to groups;
4. Strives to facilitate the creation and maintenance of spaces in our community for underrepresented identities and marginalized social groups;
5. Collaborates with the Student Life office as well as other governing boards of Columbia University to maximize campus opportunities and events for the greater student body.
Section 1 – Executive Board
The GBB Executive Board shall consist of the following four officers:
Clause 1. Executive Chair, whose powers and responsibilities include handling all external relations, working on behalf of the clubs with all members of the administration, cooperating with the other members of the Student Leadership Collective and other governing boards, preparing and presenting at F@CU, making policy changes to better serve the needs of all clubs, and setting agenda for weekly board meetings
Clause 2. Vice Chair, whose responsibilities include being responsible for maintaining and amending the Constitution when necessary, managing recognition and derecognition processes, monitoring club activities and status, and overseeing all town hall meetings
Clause 3. Finance Chair, whose responsibilities include overseeing club spending, managing all cosponsorships, sending and receiving allocation packets in the spring, maintaining the internal budget, and preparing and presenting at F@CU
Clause 4. Communications Chair, whose responsibilities include website maintenance, sending out the bi-weekly newsletter, controlling all social media sources on behalf of the board, advertising and promoting on behalf of GBB, and promoting all clubs and activities.
Section 2 – Officers
Clause 1. Representatives for general body (2 total), whose responsibilities include acting as liaisons to clubs (cultural, publications, performances, special interest, pre-professional), assisting with communications & publicity (website, newsletter, etc.), and advocating to GBB around shared needs/concerns
Clause 2. Programming Coordinator, whose responsibilities include coordinating Town Hall, elections, SLC events, special events and assisting with Club ReFUEL.
Clause 3. Inter-Collegiate Coordinator, whose responsibilities include acting as a liaison to inter-board events and representing GBB on inter-collegiate committees pertaining to student clubs and organizations.
To be a recognized group under the GBB, a group must:
Clause 1. The organization’s mission statement must reflect that of GBB’s.
Clause 2. The organization must be composed of at least ten members and at most one-fourth of the membership may consist of graduate students. At least half of the members of the group must be Barnard students and at most one-fourth of membership may consist of graduate students.
Subclause 1: The number of people in each group is subject to review by the GBB Executive Board.
Clause 3. The executive board of the organization must be composed of at least one-third Barnard students. The President, Vice President or Treasurer, or their equivalents must be a Barnard student. Dually recognized groups will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Clause 4. The organization must present an appropriate constitution and membership list to the Vice Chair and GBB. The constitution must include a list of all the officers, a description of their duties and procedures for their election. A majority vote of the general body at Town Hall is needed for recognition.
Clause 5. In cases in which the purposes and/or goals of the new organization are the same as those of an existing GBB recognized organization, the two groups will be encouraged to merge. GBB reserves the right to deny recognition for a club if a similar club is already in existence.
Clause 6. No clubs involving membership on an exclusive basis shall be recognized at Barnard College; nor shall organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation or ability.
Subclause 1: An identity-based group (such as a women-only, ethnicity- or nationality-based group) can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Clause 7. No organization affiliated with a political party, candidate or organization, be it national or political, shall be recognized by the GBB.
Clause 8. No club recognized by the GBB shall charge its members dues, nor shall a Barnard or Columbia organization require dues payment from Barnard students.
Subclause 1: Club allocations cannot be used to pay national chapter dues.
Clause 1. The organization that wishes to become a Stage 1 recognized club must first create a member list with the contact information of ten students and submit this information either electronically to the Vice Chair or by a hard copy to the GBB Office.
Subclause 1. The following information concerning each member shall be included: name, class year, school affiliation (BC, CC, SEAS, GS), and e-mail address.
Subclause 2. Clubs recognized after Fall 2013 may only be recognized by one governing board. They will not be able to obtain dual recognition.
Subclause 3. The organization’s executive board officers must have several committed members, preferably of varying class years.
Subclause 4. Each member shall be contacted by the GBB to verify membership.
Clause 2. Any organization that wishes to apply for club recognition must have been active for at least two semesters.
Clause 3. The organization’s general body members are required to meet with the organization’s executive board officers at least once prior to applying for recognition.
Clause 4. The organization must present an appropriate constitution and membership list to the Vice Chair. The constitution must include a list of all the officers, a description of their duties and procedures for their election. The Vice Chair may provide the organization with a sample constitution to be used as a template.
Clause 5. The organization must create a petition and gather the signatures of at least fifty students, with their name, class year, school affiliation (BC, CC, SEAS, GS) and e-mail address, not affiliated with the organization that support its recognition. These students must be Columbia University undergraduate students, but are not required to be Barnard College students.
Clause 6. Once the Vice Chair and GBB board have received the application, at least two of the organization’s executive board officers must make a presentation to the GBB board.
GBB will inform the general body of recommendations prior to voting. (Note: Recommendations by GBB do NOT determine recognition. All applicants are encouraged to present at the Town Hall.)
Clause 7. If the GBB board has approved the group’s application for the next General Body meeting (Town Hall), then the applicant group must present its application for membership to the General Body. A 51% vote of the quorum is required for recognition.
Clause 8. The GBB will reserve space for one activity for a potential club prior to recognition. This allows the GBB to determine the potential of the organization to contribute to Barnard College campus life. A member of the GBB shall attend this event to evaluate and its success, or lack thereof. (Please note: Funding is not supplied.)
Clause 1. Newly recognized groups are considered to be in the “Stage 1” category.
Groups in Stage 1 may:
1. Reserve space on Barnard and Columbia’s campus
2. Have an advisor from Barnard Student Life
3. Have an account in which they may deposit funds raised
4. Hang fliers on Barnard’s campus, in accordance with the Barnard College Posting Policy
5. Hang fliers on Columbia’s campus, in accordance with the Columbia University Posting Policy
Clause 2. After a minimum of one full semester of Stage 1 recognition, a club can apply for Stage 2 recognition through GBB, whose executive members will vote on whether clubs will proceed to Stage 2 recognition
Subclause 1. Groups in Stage 2 may:
1. Reserve space on Barnard and Columbia’s campus
2. Have an advisor from Barnard Student Life
3. Have an account in which they may deposit funds raised
4. Hang fliers on Barnard’s and Columbia’s campus
5. Apply for a GBB allocation via F@CU
Clause 1. The activation of all clubs shall be renewed each Fall upon submission of the Registration form at club ReFUEL. A club that registers will be active for the entire academic year, and need not re-register in the spring semester.
Subclause 1. All information on the registration form must be filled out. This includes the contact information of club officers and club emails.
Subclause 2. The accounts for Stage 2 clubs who have registered will be activated for the semester after club ReFUEL.
Clause 2. Unregistered clubs may still request a budget for the following year; however they will not have access to their account until they have attended club ReFUEL and registration procedures have been completed.
Clause 3. If a club fails to register for one academic year, the club shall be placed on probation, the terms of which are determined by GBB’s Vice Chair, GBB, and the club’s Student Life advisors.
Clause 4. If a club fails to be registered for four consecutive semesters, the club is officially deactivated and must go through the recognition process again.
Clause 5. Newly recognized groups must register within one month of their recognition.
Clause 1. All clubs must submit Monthly Reconciliation forms to the Finance Chair by the first day of the following month.
Subclause 1. A Monthly Reconciliation form is still required if a club does not spend a portion of its allocation during a given month.
Subclause 2. Clubs that fail to submit a Monthly Reconciliation form shall have their accounts frozen until their missing Monthly Reconciliation Form(s) have been submitted.
Clause 2. In the beginning of the year, the Vice Chair and the Finance Chair will provide all clubs with a list of the type of events and expenses that the GBB allocation will and will not fund through the Budget Guidelines given out at FUEL.
Clause 3. Each club is required to meet their Student Life Advisor at least twice per semester. If a club fails to meet with its advisor, the club shall be placed on probation.
Clause 4. The Student Life Office must approve all contracts involving outside speakers, caterers, performers etc. Requisition forms are then submitted, along with the contract to the GBB Bookkeeper. In case of contracts involving social functions, ((approval must be obtained at least two weeks prior to the date of said function.
Clause 5. All financial transactions must go through the GBB Bookkeeper.
Clause 6. All clubs are required to attend Club ReFUEL.
Clause 7. All clubs are required to report change in leadership and constitution to the Vice Chair.
Clause 8. In the spring, all clubs must provide the GBB with contact information for their executive board for the upcoming semester.
Clause 1. Clubs may be designated to a probationary period as determined by the Vice Chair and the Student Life Advisers, taking into consideration individual circumstance.
Clause 2. Reasons for probation include but are not limited to the following club bylaw violations:
1. Failure to hold one event on Barnard’s campus each semester
2. Failure to meet with the club’s Student Life advisor at least twice per semester
3. Failure to register for one academic year at Re-FUEL or a Re-FUEL make-up Session
4. Violations of Barnard College or Columbia University policy
5. Failure to attend two consecutive mandatory GBB Town Hall Meeting
Once placed on probation, if a club continues to fail to meet the aforementioned criteria they risk derecognition.
Clause 1. Conditions for club de-recognition include, on the recommendation of the GBB Vice-Chair:
1: Any serious violation of the conditions stated in the GBB By-Laws
2: Having been on probation for one semester
Clause 2. The Vice Chair will meet with the GBB board and the Executive Board of the club in question and present its findings.
Clause 3. The club in question will be allowed to present its case before the GBB executive board.
Clause 4. A majority (at least two thirds quorum) vote of the members of the GBB and club leaders at the semesterly Town Hall.
Section 1 - Eligibility
Executive Board and Coordinator positions are open to any continuing full-time undergraduate student in Barnard College, Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, or the School of General Studies.
Clause 1. GBB Board members cannot be abroad or graduate early during their terms.
Section 2 - Election Procedures
The Executive Board Officer elections and coordinator position elections shall be held together. All candidates for a GBB position are required to hand in a candidate statement to be made available to the voting population before the date of the election.
Clause 1. Election of GBB Board Members:
Subclause 1. Candidates for each Officer position will be elected by club members at the Spring Town Hall.
Subclause 2. A majority vote of the quorum is necessary for election to the GBB board.
Subclause 3. Voting for an office will commence after all candidates for that office have spoken. Elections will proceed in the order of Chair, Vice Chair, Finance Chair, and Communications Chair.
Subclause 4. Elections for GBB Coordinators will take place at the same Town Hall. All groups are required to send one member to each Town Hall and to vote during the voting period.
Subclause 5. Each GBB recognized group may cast one (1) vote for GBB Executive board members and coordinators. Proxy votes are prohibited. An executive board member of a GBB recognized group who sits on the executive board of another group may cast separate votes on behalf of his/her respective organizations.
Section 2 - Resignations
Clause 1. If any member of the board resigns, applications for the vacancy shall be solicited from the general membership. A new representative may then be appointed by a simple majority of the GBB.
Section 3 - Impeachment and Removal
Clause 1. Grounds for impeachment shall include serious abuse of membership privileges, neglect of the duties set forth in the GBB Constitution, or deliberate violation of the GBB Constitution.
Clause 2. Impeachment proceedings may be initiated by one of the following methods:
Subclause 1. A request submitted in the form of a petition signed by the majority of the GBB board members.
Subclause 2. A request submitted in the form of a petition signed by one or more officers of no fewer than one-fifth (1/5) of all registered GBB groups
Clause 3. An impeachment session will occur at the Town Hall following the request for impeachment.
Subclause 1. Two representatives from the group who submitted the impeachment request will be given a brief opportunity to present on what grounds they believe the officer in question should be impeached
Subclause 2. The officer in question in will be given a brief opportunity to defend him/herself, if the officer so chooses
Section 3 – Vacant Positions
Clause 1. Applications for the vacancy shall be solicited from the Barnard/Columbia student body. A new representative may then be appointed by a simple majority of the GBB.”
Subclause 1. The student who wishes to be appointed for the vacant position must first complete and submit the appropriate application to GBB.
Subclause 2. He/she is required to meet with the organization’s executive board officers at least once prior to applying for the vacant position
Subclause 3. GBB executive members will vote on whether the applicant will be granted the position
Amendments to the GBB constitution must be passed by the General Body at a town hall. Each club will get a vote, as well as the GBB board, which will have only one vote. Amendments must be passed by a majority vote or 51% of total votes placed.
Clause 1: A draft of the proposed amendment will be posted on the GBB website.
Clause 2: At the next GBB board meeting after the posting of the amendment, the amendments will be presented for a vote by the GBB board. 51% majority vote is required. Once the changes are accepted, they will be presented to the GBB general body for special vote.