• Student Media Board Constitution

    To read constitutions of the individual student media publications, click the links below:

    The constitution of the Hamline University Student Media Board, first approved in 2005, is as follows:

    Article I. Name

    A. This body shall be known as the Hamline University Undergraduate Student Media Board, herein referred to as the Board.

    Article II. Purpose

    A. The purpose of this body shall be to support and oversee the various student various media organizations under its authority in the following ways:

    • To act as an advocacy organization for student media to all constituencies of the university, especially current students, faculty, staff, and administration.
    • To provide feedback on the performance of the various media organizations regarding accountability to their own charters, constitutions, and/or statements of purpose.
    • To provide a forum for concerns and comments from the student body at-large in relation to the functioning of Board organizations.
    • To advise Board organizations on available university resources.
    • To approve yearly budgets for operating and capital expenditures.

    B. The Board shall uphold the editorial independence of each member organization, with all editorial decisions resting in the leadership of each organization, in accordance with First Amendment protections.

    • The Board shall never engage in prior restraint of publication or broadcast.
    • The Board shall never withhold or threaten to withhold funding from any member organization in response to its editorial content.

    C. The Board shall operate independently of the university administration, staff, faculty, and student body.

    Article III. Media Organization Membership

    A. The student media Board will have authority over the student media organizations.

    B. Each member organization shall be responsible for developing, maintaining, and updating a staff handbook that details its policies, purpose and internal succession plan. An updated handbook must be accessible on the Board website.

    C. New membership

    • Student-run organizations that provide a media service to the undergraduate student body are eligible to become members of the Board and receive funding.
    • Prospective organizations will be required to present a proposal to the Board that includes statement of purpose and benefit to Hamline community, constitution, list of current members, proof of active advisor,budget history and proposed budget, outline of leadership structure and responsibilities, and retention and succession plans.
    •  Membership may be granted to a new organization by a 2/3 vote of the media Board at any time during the academic year.
    • Once approved, a new organization will have probationary membership and may be approved for a limited budget by a 2/3 vote of the board.
    • During the probationary period, members of the organization will be required to attend meetings, provide proof of work, and demonstrate appropriate use of funds.
    •  Members of probationary organizations have ex-officio status and are not allowed to vote.
    • During the next budgeting period, the board will vote whether to extend the probationary period, grant membership or remove the organization from the board.
    • After membership is granted, the new organization must prepare a full budget to be approved by the Board for the upcoming academic year.
    • If a new organization is granted membership after the Board finalizes the budgets for the upcoming academic year, the organization must wait until the following year to submit a budget.

    D. Suspension

    • Membership may be suspended or revoked by a 2/3 vote if either of the following conditions are met:
      • The member organization has not published or broadcast for one academic year.
      • The leadership or staff of the member organization is nonfunctional or nonexistent.
    • Membership may be reinstated by a 2/3 vote if the organization demonstrates to the Board that it has resolved the issues that led to its loss of membership.
    • Suspended media organizations shall not be considered for funding during the annual budgeting process.

    Article IV. Board Membership

    A. The Board will not discriminate in membership on the basis of race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or political affiliation.

    B. The Board will consist of the following voting members:

    • The editor-in-chief or highest-level manager of each student media organization
      • During annual budget presentation and voting, the editor-in-chief or highest-level manager of each student media organization will not be granted voting power on his or her own budgets.
    • The faculty advisor of each student media organization.
    • Up to two students at large per each media organization.
      • At large students shall be selected and/or recruited by existing Board members and granted membership by a 2/3 vote of the Board.
      • Student representatives shall have no term limits.
      • Students holding elected or appointed positions within the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress executive board or holding editorial board positions within member organizations are not eligible for Board positions.

    C. In the event of a vacancy, the Board will solicit applicants to complete the terms of the vacated seat.

    D. Members must attend all meetings of the Board unless excused by the chairperson prior to the meeting in question.

    Article V. Ex-Officio Board members

    A. The following persons shall support the Board and its member organizations as non-voting members:

    • i. A designated staff person from each member organization.
    • ii. One representative of the university's Dean of Students office.

    B. These members shall assist in any special cases of need or concern as voiced by the Board.

    Article VI. Officers

    A. Chairperson

    • The chairperson shall be elected from the Board's voting members at the first Board meeting of each academic year.
    • The chairperson shall act as presiding officer at all meetings of the Board, appoints committees, and may appoint a Board member chairperson pro tem in the event of her or his absence from one or more meetings.
    • The chairperson shall act as budget authority for the Board's general fund.
    • The chairperson may vote on all motions.

    B. Secretary

    • A secretary shall be elected from the Board's voting members at the first Board meeting of each academic year.
    • The secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes of each meeting and distributing them to all Board members in a timely fashion. The secretary also serves as historian and record keeper for the Board.
    • The secretary shall be responsible for requesting and providing updated organizational budgets to the Board.
    • The secretary may appoint a Board member to serve as secretary pro tem in the event of her or his absence from one or more meetings.
    • The secretary must provide to the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress, upon request, a list of all active organizations on the Board, to ensure no organization is being double-funded.
    • The secretary may vote on all motions.

    C. Stipends for officers

    • Both the secretary and chairperson shall receive a Sl00 stipend per year to be paid from the media Board's general fund.

    Article VII. Meetings

    A. The Board will meet no later than the second full week of each academic year to set meeting schedule for the remainder of the year.

    B. The Oracle editor-in-chief and advisor have the responsibility to organize and call the first meeting of the academic year.

    C. Meetings shall be held at least once per month.

    D. Member organizations shall provide detailed accounts of their financial status, current work, and future plans at each meeting.

    E. The chief editorial officer or advisor of any member organization may call an emergency meeting of the Board for the purpose of seeking consultation.

    F. At least once per semester, the Board will publicize and hold an open forum to give all members of the Hamline community an opportunity to voice their questions and concerns regarding the Board and its member organizations.

    G. Votes of the Board will be binding for all matters of decision-making in this constitution if quorum (50% +l of voting Board members) is met.

    H. Meetings shall be open to the campus community.

    Article VIII. Budgeting

    A. Each member organization shall receive funding from the Board in accordance with the Board's authority within the university to levy a fee for all undergraduate students.

    B. Member organizations shall develop a yearly itemized budget proposal including funding for publishing and/or broadcasting, technology needs, student staff stipends, advisor stipends, office supplies, and travel and registration for relevant conferences. The budget proposal shall be given to the treasurer of each organization.

    C. By February 1, each Board organization must submit a budget estimate to the Office of Student Affairs for the following year to comply with the university's budget timeline.

    D. Proposed budgets shall be submitted to the Board for approval no later than March 1. This budget will include an itemized account of the member organization's spending during the previous full fiscal year and the current fiscal year up to March 1.

    E. Final budgets must be submitted no later than April 1.

    F. The Board will carefully consider the proposed budgets of each member organization, keeping in mind the needs of the organization and its staff as well as the interests of the student body.

    G. The Board will collaborate with member organizations to arrive at a budget amount that balances need and resources.

    H. In order to promote solidarity, member organizations shall not be made to compete with one another for funding.

    I. Following a majority vote approving each member organization's budget, the Board shall submit a total amount to the university, which shall be divided by the next year's projected undergraduate enrollment to arrive at a fee for each student.

    J. In the case that a budget proposal is not approved by the Board, the organization presenting the budget proposal will be allowed to debate the unapproved portions of the budget in order to reach a compromise.

    K. Final budgets for the next academic year are to be sent to the accounting office by May 30 of each year.

    Article IX. Disbursement

    A. Upon receiving final budgets, the accounting office shall disburse the collected student fees into member organization accounts as early as possible in the fall semester.

    B. Money remaining in member organization accounts at the end of the academic year (June 30) shall roll over into the next year, collected into a single rollover fund.

    • The rollover fund will be available to all student media organizations for unexpected expenses, including but not limited to conference funding.
    • Student media organizations, when requesting money from the rollover fund, must prepare a request and present it to the Board during a scheduled meeting. If the Board approves the request by a 2/3 vote, the money will then be appropriated to the organization requesting it.
    • Budget authority for the rollover account will be determined at the last meeting of the Board of the academic year, preceding summer.

    C. The chief editorial officer, treasurer/business manager, and advisor of each organization shall have signing power on and be responsible for the organization' s account.

    D. Fundraising

    • Funds raised independently by member organizations, including advertising money, shall be kept in separate accounts accessible by the organization' s chief editorial officer and treasurer/business manager.
    • Money remaining in member organization fundraising accounts shall rollover into that organization's fundraising account the following academic year.
    • Fundraising money shall not be considered during the budgeting process, as these funds cannot be consistently relied upon from year to year.
    • Fundraising money shall be used to further the short-term survival and long-term improvement of the various member organizations.
    • Acceptable uses for fundraised money include, but are not limited to:
      • 1. Needed or urgent technology upgrades
      • 2. Necessary office supplies
      • 3. Food and beverage for staff and recruitment meetings
      • 4. Special events and programs 

    Article X.Impeachment and Succession

    A. Officers

    • Any officer of the Board found to be remiss of her or his duties under this charter may be removed by a 2/3 vote of the Board.
    • Officer positions left vacant by impeachment shall be filled by election.

    B. Board members

    • Any Board member who has missed more than one Board meeting in succession without excuse or who has not worked in good faith in the interest of all student medial may be removed by a 2/3 vote of the Board.
    • Positions left vacant by impeachment shall be filled by the seat's regular process described in Section VI.

    C. Member organization leaders

    • Leaders of member organizations may not be removed from their positions by the Board.
    • An editor-in-chief or other executive officer may only be removed by a vote of the member organization's editorial Board or staffing accordance with the organization's individual charter.

    Article XI. Complaint Procedure

    A. Members of the Hamline community (students, alumni and university employees) may bring informal complaints to the editor-in-chief or highest level manager of the relevant media organization, and then to the advisor.

    B. If the process described in Section XI a. above does not result in a satisfactory resolution, a formal complaint may be taken to the Board. It must be in writing, explain why the situation remains unresolved, and specify a desired outcome. The Board will appoint a committee to consider the complaint, consisting of the faculty advisor from the organization in question, two student members not from the organization, and at least one faculty non-Board member familiar with media ethics and law. Decisions of the committee are final and will be reported to the Dean of Students.

    Article XII. Ratification and Amendment Procedure

    A. Once established, the Board will become an independent, self-perpetuating organization.

    B. The document may be amended by a 4/5 vote of the Board.

    Constitution approved by the Hamline Undergraduate Student Media Board February 4, 2005.
    Amended February 20, 2008.
    Amended March 3, 2010.
    Amended May 4, 2010. 
    Amended December 10, 2019.