Lawrence International is governed by a combination of the jurisdiction of the executive board, past precedent, and the LI Constitution. Various practices have, over time, deviated from the Constitution. Therefore, the Constitution is currently under review and undergoing substantive changes. Till such a time as when the Constitution is updated, it remains subject to the sole interpretation of the executive board.
The present Constitution, pending updates and subject to board interpretation, is as follows:
The Constitution of Lawrence International
We, the members of Lawrence International (L.I.), in order to
1. promote integration among the cultures represented in the Lawrence University community;
2. facilitate the adjustment of international students to college life and American society;
3. facilitate American understanding of diversity;
4. foster comradeship among L.I. members;
5. transcend the boundaries of membership through activities open to the Lawrence University and Fox Valley Communities.
do ordain and establish this Constitution for Lawrence International.
Article I: Principles
The organization and its members, in pursuit of the purposes stated in the Preamble, shall act in accordance with the following principles.
1. Equality of all its members, regardless of nationality, sex, or race.
2. Fulfillment of the obligations assumed by membership.
3. Political neutrality: L.I. shall refrain from taking any stance on political issues pertaining to any country.
Article II: Membership
Section I. Membership in L.I. Is open to all Lawrence University students, faculty members, and staff who espouse the purposes of the organization above and who are able and willing to carry out those purposes. Membership is to be recorded on the mailing list of L.I.
Section II. A member of L.I. Who has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Constitution may be expelled from the organization by the Executive Board.
Section III. Rights: to attend meetings and special events; to voice suggestions for the betterment of the organization; to propose activities; to nominate and vote for Executive Officers.
Section IV. Expectations: to attend weekly meetings; to collaborate with the Executive Board during special events; to report any violation of the present Constitution to the Executive Board through written statement.
Article III: Executive Board
Section I. Composition: the Executive Board shall consist of one President, one Vice-President, two Secretaries, one Publicity Manager, two Events Coordinators and two one year student positions.
Section II. Terms of Office: the Executive Board shall start its functions one week after it has been elected to office. Its term shall terminate one week before the annual election. All Executive Officers serve on the board for its whole duration.
Section III. The two one year student positions will be voted in the first week of November and shall be held until the end of the school year or when the student leaves Lawrence University.
Section IV. Voting: all decisions made by the Executive Board except those pertaining to dismissal procedures shall be based on majority vote.
Section V. Resignation procedures: should any Executive Officer desire to resign, she/he shall submit a letter of resignation to the Executive Board at least two weeks in advance, where she/he shall include: reasons for resigning and at least two recommendations to cover his/her vacancy. The Executive Board shall call on the elected board members on the waiting list to fill the vacant position, then the vacant office shall be open to the general membership. The position shall be publicized in the weekly memo. Members interested in the open position shall give a brief oral statement at the following General meeting stating their interest in joining the Board. The members shall vote on the candidates. The President and Advisor will count the votes and the President shall call the candidates to inform them of the results. The results will be presented to the L.I. membership via the weekly memo. Note: Once specific duties for a particular event have been undertaken, executive officers must complete them regardless of resignation procedures.
Section VI. Procedure for dismissal of Executive Officer: any board member may propose a vote for dismissal of another officer. The proposal must be ratified by at least three other officers. The President calls the vote. A unanimous vote is required for the dismissal to go into effect. Grounds for dismissal of Executive Officers: violation of L.I. Constitution; unsatisfactory performance and/or non-fulfillment of duties; a minimum of three unexcused absences to executive meetings (two instances of tardiness – 10 minutes or over – shall count as one unexcused absence).** Executive Officers who are prosecuted for dismissal may appeal to the general membership by means of a referendum, which shall take place within one week after the board initiates dismissal procedures. The Executive Board shall revise, and may revoke, its dismissal decision upon completion of the referendum. Fifty percent of the vote on the Executive Board will suffice to revoke the decision. Should the decision of dismissal remain after the vote following the referendum, the defendant may appeal to L.I.’s official advisors, who shall meet with the defendant and one delegate from the Board to revise the decision. The Advisor shall have the power to invalidate the dismissal. Executive Officers who are dismissed from the Board may not run for office in subsequent Lawrence International elections.
** Absences are to be excused in advance. The legitimacy of excused absences is left at the discretion of the President and the Vice-President. If both officers do not agree upon the justification of the absence, the matter shall be discussed and the judgment shall be done at the following Board meeting.
Section VII. Functions and powers of the Executive Board.
1. to achieve goals and purposes of the organization;
2. to enforce compliance with the obligations and duties stated in the present Constitution;
3. to promote membership participation in all events through sign-ups and advertising of upcoming events;
4. to plan and carry out L.I. activities.
Section VIII. Duties of Officers.
1. attend executive meetings
2. attend weekly meetings
3. present officer reports at every Executive meeting
4. sign up to cooperate in ALL special events
Rights: all officers shall enjoy the right to propose a vote, voice their opinions and initiate any L.I. activity outside their jurisdiction.
1. President: to call Executive meetings; to preside over executive meetings; to plan and assign duties to other Executive Officers; to ensure satisfactory performance of other officers to collaborate with other officers; to call votes; to serve as a liaison between L.I. and the community (Lawrence University faculty, staff, local community); to enforce attendance and membership policies; to coordinate the Orientation for International Students and the International Cabaret.
2. Vice-President: to assist the President in planning activities, in case of the President’s inability to discharge her/his powers and duties, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President; to coordinate with the Events Coordinators; to prepare L.I.’s budget proposal; to submit proposal to LUCC; to keep record of L.I.’s financial status and budget allocation; to prepare weekly fiscal reports; to submit one written report to the Executive Board on a monthly basis; to keep in touch with the LUCC Finance Committee; to handle reimbursements and any other transactions through the Campus Activities Office.
3. Secretaries: to take minutes at Executive Meetings; to coordinate Ius Gentium (the LI newsletter); to write weekly memos to all members, to update the mailing list once a term; to handle general mail (“thank you” notes, invitation, etc); to include new member’s names on the mailing list.
4. Publicity Manager: to assist the Events Coordinators in advertising L.I.’s upcoming events; which entail preparing and posting signs, table tents, fliers, etc; to take photographs during events (if unable to attend the event, the Historian should designate a substitute); to collect photographic material from LI members; to update LI’s yearbook; to coordinate Host Family Program.
5. Events Coordinators: to plan activities for weekly meetings, to announce planned activities at least one week in advance; to take into consideration members’ suggestions for activities (weekly events include presentations, group discussions, shopping trips, cookouts, games, etc.); to plan and carry out special activites; to assign duties to other Executive members; to sign-up regular members for extra help; to clear financial issues with the Vice-President; to make all necessary reservations (International House, Vans, etc.); to place food orders with Downer Commons (special events include theme dinners, fundrasiers, educational and recreational trips, dances, parties, etc.).
6. One Year Student Positions: to assist the board in activities and other work pertaining to the board. Unlike other positions, these members do not have voting power.
7. Advisor: executive officers shall nominate one or more advisors from Lawrence University faculty and/or staff to whom they are ultimately answerable. The advisor may attend all Executive Board meetings and all LI events. The advisor may be consulted by the President of LI and/or a designated delegation of Executive Officers about all matters pertaining to the functioning of the organization.
Article IV: Procedure for the Election of Executive Officers
The date and the procedures of the election shall be publicized at least four weeks in advance, in the weekly memo and at the weekly meeting. At that time, nominations for the new board begin to be collected, and the retiring Executive Officers describe their duties to general members. Elections take place at the specified date (usually during a weekly meeting). Provisions for absentee votes are to be made and publicized by the Executive Board. All LI members present at the meetings may cast a vote. The ballot shall consist of two sections: the first part shall include the names of the candidates for the office of President and vice-President; the second section shall include the names of the candidates for the Executive Board (no specific offices). Note: a candidate’s name may appear on both sections of the ballot. LI’s President and Advisor shall conduct the election. The President shall announce the result of the election. At the first Executive Board meeting, the newly elected officers shall choose their offices according to preference. Should a conflict arise between two or more new officers, the President shall call a vote among the Executive Members to decide who will cover the contended position.