Constitution

The Constitution of the Model United Nations Association of the University of Ottawa

PREAMBLE

Whereas it is necessary in order to educate ourselves as citizens of the world, to cultivate knowledge of international affairs and diplomatic interaction, to develop public speaking skills, and to effectively express our opinions in public;
Whereas it is imperative for us to create a constitution for our Club,
Therefore, do we in the year 2013 affirm ourselves to be the UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA Model United Nations Association, and adapt for our club the following Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations.

SECTION ONE: NAME

This organisation shall be known as the “Model United Nations Association,” abbreviated as MUNA.

SECTION TWO: OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL REGULATIONS

1. In the spirit of the United Nations, the objectives of this Association shall be to educate members about historical and contemporary world issues, to improve members’ knowledge of diplomatic interaction and parliamentary procedure, to develop members’ abilities in public speaking and in analytical and critical thinking in order to help members gain a broader appreciation for different peoples and cultures. In so doing, the Association aims to provide an enjoyable environment in which members may achieve these
goals.
2. The primary focus of the Association shall be to send delegates to those inter-university Model United Nations conferences in which the Executive elects to participate with the consultation from the membership. For conferences in which the Association chooses not to participate but which individual members wish to attend, the Association will endeavour to provide those members with information and support in their preparations.
3. The Executive will undertake to organize a meeting at the beginning of each semester for the purpose of opening the selection of conferences to the membership for the upcoming semester. Members may present any conference of their choice, which will be voted by the members present. A simple majority will compel the exec to commit to investigating the possibility of sending a delegation. The executive holds final say in the decision making of conference coordination, but should heavily consider the popular will of the membership and offer independent avenues for said delegates to pursue a delegation. The executive will ensure that all conference options are open and advertised to members of the Association. Executive members will make a payment option for members to pay for conferences they are interested in. However:
1. Outside of the organized conferences, members will be responsible to pay both the delegation fee and delegate fee for conferences they are interested in attending
2. Members who want to sign up for conferences not selected by the executive must pay by a hard deadline selected by the executive
1. This deadline will not be extended, and once this deadline passes all members who pay will be registered as part of the University of Ottawa
c. If the Executive decides that sending a delegation organized by MUNA is unfeasible, any delegates wishing to attend that same conference will have the opportunity to do so, taking into consideration that:
1. The organization of the delegates attending the conference will not be the responsibility
of the Executive or VP Delegate Coordination, including, but not limited to:
1. Transportation fees, accommodation fees, attendance of delegates, and any other expenses related to attending a conference,
2. The Executive will organize the registration of delegates who have paid but will take no further measures to organize the delegation attending said conference,
3. The Head Delegates will be decided on by the delegates attending, contention over the positions of Head Delegates will not be the responsibility of the Executive,
d. If the Executive decides that attending a conference is possible, they will undertake the responsibility of organizing the delegation as per their mandate.
4. Concerning inter-university Model United Nations conferences, the Executive will determine selection of participants, by a simple majority vote. Should there arise contention regarding the participation of
particular individuals, the Executive shall resolve the issue. In such a case, the Executive must:
a) Take into account the member’s conference experiences in that year, making sure to allow all members of the Association to
b) Take into account the member’s participation in other Association activities;
c) Take into account the member’s past performances at other conferences and assess their capacities and qualities as a debater, and whether or not they are an asset to the delegation being sent;
d) Put the matter before the Executive for a simple majority vote.
5. The decision of the Executive is final.
6. To receive funding from the Association in order to participate at inter-university Model United Nations conferences, a member must be registered as a student at the University of Ottawa.
7. (1) A member may be deemed ineligible to participate in any Association-sponsored activity if the Executive deems that:
a) The member’s conduct may be potentially detrimental to the image, credibility, and standing of the Association;
b) The member’s conduct may be potentially detrimental to the image, credibility, and standing of the University of Ottawa;
c) The member owes funds to the Association.
(2) The Executive will resolve the issue by:
d) Discussing whether the member’s conduct does in fact qualify as the one described in either paragraph (a) and/or (b) and/or (c) of Article 6(1), Section Three;
e) Putting the matter to a simple majority vote;
f) In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote;
g) If a member’s ineligibility has been determined based on behaviour that took place prior to the membership period in question, and that decision of the Executive effectively blocks the member from participating in any Association activities, then the member, if he/she so wishes, can cancel
his/her membership in the Association, and is then entitled to a full reimbursement of his/her membership fees.
(3) The decision of the Executive is final.
8. The secondary focus of the Association shall be to provide opportunities for members to engage in activities pertaining to international affairs. This shall be done by hosting guest speakers, holding
internationally themed events, and hosting conferences; the ultimate goal of which is to encourage further participation by members in student life.
9. The head delegate(s) shall be chosen amongst the existing executive members to represent the Model United Nations Association and the University of Ottawa, unless no members will be attending said
conference. In such a case, the head delegate(s) will be decided, as a collective, amongst the executive from the participating delegates. The selection processes shall be as follows:
9.1) Executive Member Head Delegates:
a) Executive members may nominate themselves to represent The Model United Nations Association at a conference
b) When choosing a head-delegate or co-head delegates, executive members should consider:
a. Conference experience
b. Participation within the executive and the club
c. Previous head-delegate experience
d. Graduation date
e. Or other factors
c) Executive members with no experience representing MUNA should be considered above those who have previously been chosen as head-delegate(s)
d) Head Delegates are chosen by a two-third vote by the executive. Members who are nominated cannot vote for themselves
e) In the event of the executive being unable to decide with a two-thirds vote, the president has veto.
9.2) Non-Executive Head Delegates:
a) Members can nominate themselves or be nominated by a member of the executive
b) Previous MUN experience (in high school and/or as part of the club)
c) Participation within the club (in-houses, special events, etc.)
d) Head Delegates are chosen by a two-third vote by the executive
e) In the event of the executive being unable to decide with a two-thirds vote, the president has veto.

SECTION THREE: MEMBERS

1. Full membership with voting privileges shall be acquired 2 (two) weeks after paying their dues as set by a majority vote of the Executive, unless they have attended any of the following:
a. an external conference as a delegate of the University of Ottawa
b. an internal conference or training session as either a delegate or in a logistical role
c. a special event hosted by MUNA
2. All those present at any meeting of the Association shall be deemed members of the Assembly, and will be entitled to speak. A person who is considered a full member will be entitled to vote.
3. It shall be the duty of the VP Communications to keep a current roll of the members of the Association. Only members on the roll are eligible to vote in elections, referenda, and other voting matters.

SECTION FOUR: EXECUTIVE

1. The Association shall be governed by an Executive composed of the following members: President, VP Delegate Training, VP Finance, VP Communications, VP Delegate Coordination, VP Information Technology, VP Social, VP Fundraising, and the Director General of High School Model United Nations (Conference).
2. All of these posts shall be held by registered students of the University of Ottawa.
3. Should the Executive deem it advisable, other individuals may be admitted to assist the Executive in their responsibilities. The said individuals shall be referred to as Officers of the Association.
4. Elections shall be held each year for all Executive positions.
5. All Executive members shall have voting rights on the Executive during their entire period in office.
6. The elected Executive members shall divide duties amongst themselves in a manner, which seems most fitting in light of their offices. Their specific responsibilities shall be:
a) The President shall preside at all Executive meetings, seeing that their executive decisions are carried out, shall represent the Association at external meetings and events when relevant, and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office.
b) The VP Finance shall be responsible for administering the Association’s finances, assisting with fundraising, and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office.
c) The VP Communications shall keep records of the Association, register names and members, initiate and retain relations with student associations, student clubs and the general student body in order to promote the association and its activities in both official languages. This individual must be
bilingual, send out weekly or bi-weekly updates to members through email, take minutes at each executive meeting and organise them in an accessible format and distribute them to the executive council within 48h after the meeting. Additionally, they must closely collaborate with all Vice
President positions, specifically VP Internal Affairs and VP Information Technology and work as a liaison between the University and MUNA, MUNA and UNS, embassies, government officials and dignitaries in order to strengthen the club’s position with the university, within the capital, and on the
MUN circuit.
d) The VP Delegate Coordination shall primarily determine the conferences the Association shall attend in consultation with the membership, act as the liaison between delegations and the Executive, report conference accomplishments, and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office.
e) The VP Information Technology shall be responsible for the construction and maintenance of the Association web site and electronic media. He/she must have knowledge of basic HTML, CSS, graphic and website design. He/she is responsible for maintaining the MUNA website, email account and Paypal as well as any technology used in in-houses or for training purposes. He/she must also work with the VP Internal Affairs to create graphics and packages for sponsorships, work with the VP Communications in managing social media and digital promotions, and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office.
f) The VP Social will be responsible for running events for members and creating a sense of community within the club and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office including support other Executive officers.
g) The VP Delegate Training shall conduct workshops for conference preparation, and organise at least one two in-house conferences per semester so as to adequately prepare delegates for upcoming conferences, and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office.
h) Collective Executive Duties are to include:
i. The allocation of positions for delegates at external conferences according to the following procedure:
1. All members attending a conference must apply for positions through an online application (with the exception of those who have been given specific conference application based positions).
2. Once applications have been received, it is the responsibility of the executive to come together in person and determine positions for members shall be based on the information provided by the application and previous MUN experience (if applicable).
3. Once positions have been determined they are to be distributed to members.
4. Once members receive their positions it is up to their discretion to trade amongst themselves as their position is their property.
i) The Director General of High School Model United Nations (Conference) shall receive voting rights and be in charge of creating and maintaining communications with high schools in the immediate Ottawa area in order to foster interest in Model United Nations simulations. They will also be in charge of creating a two to three year plan for a forthcoming Model United Nations
High School Conference which shall be held at/by the University of Ottawa and the Model United Nations Association. However, the executive can have a two-third vote over decisions regarding the high school conference, if seen detrimental towards MUNA and/or the University of Ottawa. This person should have previous Model UN administrative experience, and shall report
bi-weekly to the executive about the progress of the conference; and shall perform all other duties pertaining to their job.
j) The VP Fundraising will be responsible for generating revenue for the Association through seeking support and fundraising events and shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office including support other Executive officers.
k) The Membership Liaison shall participate as a non executive officer in Executive meeting with voting rights on procedural matters. Her / his role would be to represent the view of the membership especially new members to the Executive. As such the Membership Liaison would consult the membership on important issues pertaining to the operations of the Association, concerns of the members and any others matters she / he consider to be of importance and report those issues to the Executive. She / he shall perform all other duties pertaining to his/her office. This person should preferably be a new member of the Association (as not be a full member for less then a year)

SECTION FIVE: ELECTIONS

1. The annual election of all Executive members shall be held at an official meeting in March.
2. To be a member of the Executive, one must be
a) A member of good standing in the Association;
b) Able to commit to their full term in office; for the duration of the academic year.
3. A chief electoral officer (CEO) will be hired, on a voluntary basis, at least two weeks prior to the election date by the current executive. This individual will be responsible, in collaboration with the President if she is not re-running, for coordinating and facilitating the elections.
a) If the current President is running for re-election, the executive member next in line of precedence who is not re-running or who is not running for another position on the executive shall assume collaboration with the CEO.
b) The CEO does not need to be a member of MUNA, though a member may assume this role provided they are not running for a position and are impartial. Members of the current executive may also be hired as CEO provided they are not running for any executive position.
c) If there should be a question as to whether or not a member can vote, the CEO shall decide. Should she/he be unable and/or uncomfortable in making the decision, members of the current executive who are not running shall make the decision by a majority vote.
d) Any decision made by the CEO can be overturned by a 2/3 majority vote of current executive members, regardless of whether they are re-running, or by a majority vote of all present members and the executive.
4. Announcements of the election shall be made at the second and third meetings prior to the election, and by email via the Association listserv.
5. Nominations for Executive positions must be made by a member of the Association, at least 48 hours before the election.
6. Candidates also have the opportunity to submit a platform for the position, which will be circulated to members prior to the vote. To be circulated officially through the club, platforms must be submitted one week before the election.
7. The following maximum time limits are applied to candidates at the election meeting:
a) Two minutes for an introduction speech
b) Five minutes for answering questions in the Question and Answer period.
8. The elections shall be by secret ballot. The following measures are taken for the participation of members in the election that cannot attend:
a) When presenting their candidacy at the election, members may:
i. Have a proxy do their speech,
ii. Pre-record a speech to be played at the election,
iii. Use Skype or other video chat platforms,
iv. Use any other measure pre-approved by the CEO
b) When voting, members who are not able to attend the election must:
i. Notify the CEO by 9 PM the day before the election, via email,
ii. Vote via a secure online response collection platform (such as Survey Monkey or Google forms),
iii. Or via any other measure that is approved by the CEO;
9. The CEO shall only vote in the case of a tie; she/he shall cast the deciding ballot, which is to be filled out prior to voting and secured in a sealed envelope at the bottom of the ballot box. Should the vote not be required, it shall be destroyed.
10. The ballots shall be counted by the CEO in the presence of minimum one current executive member who is not running for a position on the future executive.
11. All resignations of Executive members must be provided in writing to the President of the Association:
a) 7 days in advance if no Association activity is planned within the said 7 days;
b) 14 days in advance if an Association activity is planned within the said 14 days.
12. The Executive must, as soon as it is given notice, advise the Association members via the web site and listserv, of the said letter.
13. In the case of a vacancy on the Executive, the Executive may appoint a member of the Club to the position by a two-thirds vote of the Executive. This decision must be ratified by a simple majority vote of the assembly of the club within two meeting dates from the appointment.
14. Newly elected officers shall assume their position immediately.
15. (1) Any member of the club may call for the resignation of
a)Any member of the Executive other than the President by submitting a claim
b) The President by submitting a claim to the next Executive member in the order of precedent
(2) The claim shall be grounded in one of the following reasons:
c) Incompetency in fulfilling their role
d) Breach of trust owed to the membership
e) Behaviour that is deemed harmful to the image of the club or the University of Ottawa
(3) The claim may be supported by signatures of other members
(4) The claim must be brought forward to the Executive once it is submitted
(5) The Executive, excluding the officer in question, have the duty to assess the validity of discussing the claim
(6) If the majority of the Executive, excluding the officer in question, find the claim reasonable by anonymous ballot then the Executive shall call a General Assembly:
f) At the General Assembly the claim shall be read out to the membership
g) At the General Assembly the Executive against whom the claim is brought may briefly speak to the membership to defend their actions
h) At the General Assembly an anonymous vote will be held, and if the majority find the claim to be valid the Executive member is to be dismissed immediately
(7) The claim and associated signatures are to remain completely confidential and must not be disclosed by the person who received the claim

SECTION SIX: MEETINGS OF THE EXECUTIVE

1. The Executive shall assemble at least once during the fall and winter terms, on dates, which they determine, reserving the right to meet in camera.
2. If the Executive cannot come to an agreement, the question shall be put to a simple majority vote.
3. The Executive shall make its minutes available to members of the Association, and endeavour to provide agendas including times of upcoming meetings.

SECTION SEVEN: MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION

1. Meetings will normally be held at least once a month during each term, the day(s) being determined by the Executive.
2. For meetings, the Executive may arrange Model United Nations Seminars, guest speaker appearances, information sessions, or other innovations, which members of the Association may suggest and which meet with the general approval of the Association.
3. (1) Any member may call for a meeting of the Association
(2) The member must, for the request to be in order, submit it in writing to the Association’s Executive, and outline the reason for such a request.
(3) Upon receiving the request, the Executive must:
i) Determine if the reasons for the request are valid;
j) Put the validity of the reasons expressed in the request to a simple majority vote;
k) If the vote determines the reasons are not valid:
l) The matter is deemed closed;
4. The Executive must inform the member of the Executive’s decision;
5. The decision of the Executive is final.
6. If the vote determines that the reasons are valid, the Executive must:
a. Inform the member of the Executive’s decision;
b. The Executive shall set a meeting date;
c. The Executive shall inform the Association via the listserv of the aforementioned date.

SECTION EIGHT: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

1. Proposed constitutional amendments may be brought forward by any member of the Association.
2. This constitution shall not be amended or altered except by a two-thirds vote of the Membership and Executive combined present at a Constitution Meeting
3. Constitution Meetings shall:
1. be planned and advertised via the most accessible avenue of communication for the association two weeks in advance
2. have an equal or greater proportion of non-executive members to executive members, and at the very least, fifty percent of the executive, and
3. be chaired by the president, who may only vote in the case of a tie
1. If the president is not able to attend, the chairing shall be delegated to the next executive member as in order presented in Section 4, Subsections 6a to 6e

SECTION NINE: FINANCES

1. All expenses shall be authorised by the Executive by a simple majority vote, excepting conference fees and purchases under 50$.
2. A review of the budget shall be presented to the Association at the last meeting of the winter semester, and the first yearly meeting of the Executive.
3. (1) Any member of the Association can request a copy of the status of the Association’s finances.
(2) The member must, for the request to be in order, submit it in writing to the Association’s Executive, and outline the reason for such a request.
(3) Upon receiving the request, the Executive must:
i. Determine if the reasons for the request are valid;
ii. Put the validity of the reasons expressed in the request to a simple majority vote;
iii. If the vote determines the reasons are not valid:
iv. The matter is deemed closed;
4. The Executive must inform the member of the Executive’s decision;
5. The decision of the Executive is final.
i. If the vote determines that the reasons are valid, the Executive must:
ii. Inform the member of the Executive’s decision;
iii. Produce a status of the Association’s finances within:
i. 7 working days if the Association has no activities planned within the said 7 days;
ii. 14 working days if the Association has an activity planned within the said 14 days;
iii. The decision of the Executive is final.

SECTION TEN: AGENCY CLAUSE

1. The Model United Nations Association is not an agent of the Student Federation of the University of
Ottawa and its views and actions do not represent those of the SFUO.