Constitution of Willard Residential College
Preamble We, the members of Willard Residential College, intend to live together in harmony, mutual respect, and love. We wish to enlarge our intellectual and emotional perspectives both through the classroom and through outside experience. We also intend, through our carefully planned government system, to have a lot of fun together. Membership in the college requires a commitment to active participation.
Article I: Definition of the Constitution
This is an official Constitution, containing the basic rules of the College and general definition of terms. These rules and procedures are the heart of the College and rarely need amendment. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Board is needed to amend the Constitution.
If the Executive Board decides that the constitution is out of date or otherwise in need of significant revision, a new Constitution may be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board, assuming it is not vetoed by the Faculty Chair, Associate Chair, and Assistant Chair.
Article II: University Regulations
All members of the College, as members of the University community, are subject to the rules of the University, including, but not limited to, those rules contained in the student handbook.
Article III: College Membership
A. Members of the College will be divided into four groups: residents, non-residents, faculty fellows and graduate associates, and Willard alumni.
B.Membership in the College requires payment of dues collected as maintenance fees and as social dues. (Faculty members, Faculty Chair, Associate Chair, Assistant Chair, and other persons named by a majority vote in the Executive Board shall be exempted.)
C. The Faculty Chair, Associate Chair, Assistant Chair, and Area Coordinator may offer input on voting, but are not voting members.
D. Priority of membership
- Nonresident members will be given first priority in becoming resident members.
- Resident members moving out of the College will have first priority in becoming nonresident members.
A.Routine business of the College is delegated to the Executive Board.
B. The Executive Board shall be composed of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, two Academic Chairs, two Social Chairs, two Fireside Chairs, and a Philanthropy Chair. The roles and responsibilities of each position are listed here.
1. President -
a. Representation on RCB and RHA
b. Liaison between RCB and Willard
c. Attend weekly RCB meetings
d. Running weekly exec meetings
e. Admin of Slack
f. Coordinates with created chair positions
g. SOFO trained and signed in
(i) Approves financial transactions on the debit card
(ii) Signs off on SOFO vouchers
h. Aids other Exec members with their responsibilities
2. Vice President -
a. Organization of Wildcat Welcome events
(i) Willard tour/traditions presentation for each floor
(ii) Meet the faculty fellows and chairs
(iii) Meet the exec board
(iv) Lakefill bonfire
(v) Events at night (i.e. a cappella performances)
b. Willard housing priority assignments in Spring
(i) Keeps a master list of points (updated once every three weeks)
3. Secretary -
a. Creates agenda for weekly meetings
b. Takes minutes at weekly meetings
c. Books Willard spaces for groups and events
d. Manages the Willard Calendar
e. Manages Willard official website (willardrc.org)
f. Manages ListServ
g. Manages Willard-wide GroupMe
4. Treasurer -
a. Must be SOFO trained and signed in as treasurer
(i) Signs off on SOFO vouchers
(ii) Processing reimbursements
(iii) Reconciling the account and debit card
(iv) Retrieving tax exempt forms
(v) Balancing the budget
(vi) Holding onto and issuing the debit card5. Academic Chair -
5. Academic Chair -
a. Faculty fellow liaison program
b. High tables
c. Faculty fellow barbecue (both fall and spring)
d. Faculty fellow appreciation night
e. Faculty fellow dinners
6. Social Chair -
a. Willard participation in Inter-Residential College (IRC) events
(i) Intramural (IM) sports
(iii) Woo-Shep Olympics
(iv) RCB formal
(v) RCB field day
(vi) Homecoming festivities
d. Polka Party
e. Willard Follies
f. Frances Willard birthday party
7. Fireside Chair -
a. Organize faculty fellow firesides and student firesides
(i) Send emails to faculty and students about hosting
(ii) Publicize firesides
(iii) Must attend firesides
8. Philanthropy Chair -
a. Willard participation in philanthropic affairs
(i) Project pumpkin
(ii) Turkey taxi
(iii) Dance marathon
(iv) Relay for life
9. Public Relations Chair -
a. Promote college events and for keep residents informed about Willard affairs
b. Publish an issue of Shits and Giggles on the third Sunday of every month
(i) They may recruit residents to write articles and/or post S&G in bathroom stalls.
c. Send weekly emails with events of the week and abridged minutes to residents
d. Flyering and other publicity efforts including social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
C.The attendance at Executive Board meetings shall be composed of the Faculty Chair, Associate Chair, Assistant Chair, a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, two Academic Chairs, two Social Chairs, two Fireside Chairs, a Philanthropy Chair, and a Public Relations Chair unless another individual is invited by a member of the Executive Board.
D.The Executive Board will be elected at a well-publicized all-College meeting before the third week of February. The two weeks preceding the election will be the following: 1 week to register for the election in addition to collecting signatures and then 1 week to campaign.
- Elections shall take place in by secret-ballot and will be counted by the existing Executive Board, barring any incumbents running for re-election. In this case, these currently serving Executive Board members will be barred from counting ballots.
- The offices shall be elected in the following order: President, Vice (or Co-) President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Chairs (2), Academic Chairs (2), Fireside Chairs (2), Philanthropy Chair and Public Relations Chair.
- All candidates must have been members (residential or non-res) of the College for five (5) academic weeks. At the time of petitioning, they may be eligible for consideration for housing in the College the following year and have a minimum of thirty (30) points. Candidates must live in the College for the tenure of their office or they shall forfeit their office. Candidates cannot run as a ticket (together for one position). The above policies mentioned can be modified/waived under extenuating circumstances as determined by the current executive board.
- The candidates can run for up to three (3) offices, accepting only one office. All candidates must obtain twenty-five (25) members' including at least two current executive board members signatures on a petition to run for each office for which they are running. Once this is achieved, the candidate must then submit their petition(s) to run to the current Vice President, no later than midnight, one week prior to election night. The VP must then use these records to check that all candidates have satisfied the points, housing, and member signatures requirements referred to in points 3 and 4. Candidates should be notified immediately if any part of their application is incomplete and the rest of the current Executive Board notified if extenuating circumstances may require a waiver decision (as under point 3). Otherwise, the candidates should be notified that they are now officially ‘running for office.’
- Elections will be allowed to take place either in person or online. Candidates will be allowed to give a speech to the college at an appointed time. Voting will be open for 24 hours after this event has ended.
- Should there be a deficient number of eligible candidates running for any particular position at the time the petitions have been reviewed, the President may elect to extend the timeframe for submitting petitions. If this is the case, those candidates will be allowed to be included on the same ballot as other candidates for their position. The night of elections need not be changed from that which was originally planned.
- Voting will be executed in the form of instant runoff, in which voters rank their candidates by preference. (First choice is ranked number one, second choice ranked number two, and so on.) The top-ranked votes are then counted as if in a simple majority election, and if a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, he or she is declared the winner.
- If there is no majority winner based on No. 1 votes, then the candidate with the fewest No. 1 votes is eliminated, and his or her votes are distributed to the other candidates by next choice.
- Step 8 is repeated until a candidate receives a clear majority. In the case of two- person chairs, repeat step 8 as though it is a one-person chair. Once one of the two chairs is selected by a clear majority, cross that candidate’s name off of the collected ballots. Renumber the remaining candidates on each ballot, keeping them in the same order, but omitting the already chosen candidate. Again, repeat step 8 until another clear majority winner remains. Only one set of ballots is needed for this process--do not collect two sets of ballots. Do not announce the winners of the election until both officers are determined and do not disclose the order in which the officers are selected.
- In the case of a perfect tie between candidates, the current exec board will break the tie by eliminating 1 candidate at a time (as per step 9).
- Upon being elected, each newly appointed officer must schedule a time to meet with their current position holder to discuss the duties of office. In addition, each newly appointed executive member must meet with the Assistant Chair to ensure each member has a clear idea of his or her duties, goals, and responsibilities.
- The new executive board will shadow the current executive board at least one meeting before the end of Winter Quarter.
E.Removal of an elected officer might be requested by any two of the following:
- By a one-third (1/3) secret vote of the Executive Board
- By the Faculty Chair and by the Assistant Chair
- By at least three (3) Residential Assistants
- By petition, calling for such an action, signed by at least one hundred (100) members of the College, excepting members of the Executive Board, the Central Committee, the College Staff, or the Residential Assistants.
Such removal requests must be made to the President, and has to be fully substantiated. (If the request for removal is aimed at the President, such a request will be made to the college staff instead.) The President/college staff will notify the officer in question of the request and the officer will have at least three (3) days to decide whether or not to voluntarily resign. If the member in question chooses not to resign then the Executive Board may remove them by two-thirds (⅔) vote.
F.It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to request the removal of an officer for failure of the officer to perform his/her duties.
G.Should any officer resign from or lose his/her office for any reason, all election procedures and requirements contained in point three (3) go into effect at that time to elect a replacement. Current officers who would like to assume the position must run for it; however, they need not give up their office until they are elected to another one. Should a current officer be elected to another office, the requirement of obtaining a petition will be waived and a replacement for the vacant office shall be elected during the same meeting. Note: this can be altered at the discretion of the exec board and the College Staff.
H.The newly elected Executive Board takes office the first day of Spring quarter and keeps office until the last day of Winter quarter (exam week) of the following year.
Article VI: Willard Representation
A. The President will be responsible for attending RCB meetings, but in the case that the president cannot attend, any member of the Executive Board can represent the college.
B. One representative from the new executive board can be decided as the Willard representative to serve on the board for the College’s Area Council upon request.
Article VII: College Meetings
A. A well-publicized all-college meeting (as opposed to any other meeting) shall be a meeting held following sufficient notification to the College at large instituted at least four (4) days prior to such a meeting.
B. A well-publicized all-College meeting may be called
- By a simple majority of the Executive Board
- By the Residence Director, College Chair, or at least three Residential Assistants
- If specified as necessary by this Constitution
Article VIII: Faculty Fellows, Faculty Fellow Liaisons, and Coffee Chairs
A.Faculty fellows are crucial to the nature of the residential college, and therefore, faculty fellows should be encouraged to dine with students, attend Willard’s weekly coffee hour, attend firesides, hold firesides themselves, and attend major social events.
B.The Academic Chairs shall appoint one or two students from within the college's membership to serve as liaisons for each faculty fellow.
C.The exec board may also appoint a board of students (depending on the number of qualified candidates) to serve as coffee chairs for the weekly coffee hour. The coffee chairs are responsible for making the coffee and getting snacks for coffee hour, encouraging student and faculty participation (the latter being ideally achieved through coordination with the Academic Chairs and use of the faculty fellows), and then cleaning up all materials related to coffee hour and safely securing them until the following week.
Article IX: The Willard Contribution-College Point System
- The contribution requirement is designed to gain input, planning and activity from each member of the College. A Residential College is a community that must demand participation from each of its members: the community as a whole has a right to expect participation of each individual member.
- The requirement institutes a policy of self-determination for each member. If one wishes to remain a part of the College, (s)he will fulfill the requirement.
- The requirement also adds some rationality to housing policy: it strengthens our policy of self-determination in housing.
B. Each member of the college must obtain forty (40) points over the previous three (3) quarters and therefore be allowed housing for the following year. This requirement will be administered by awarding points according to the point system in Point F of this Article. The requirement is the same for both resident and nonresident members. Members with less than forty (40) points may be readmitted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Faculty Chair.
- The cutoff to apply to be a non-resident member is the third week of winter quarter in order to participate in the housing selection process.
C.In the case of a person who takes a leave of absence from Northwestern University for a year or more, (s)he maintains the eligibility status of the last year at Northwestern. In the case of a person who takes a leave of absence from the University for one or more quarters, but for less than a year, (s)he is waived from the minimum requirement for consideration for housing in the College. The Vice President will work with the housing office and upperclassmen who study abroad or complete a practicum or internship during the school year to allow them to live in the residential college, while operating inside the bounds of the housing office. Students studying abroad or otherwise absent for a quarter or two must notify the Vice President prior to the year containing their departure to allow proper notice to plan housing.
D.People interested in becoming nonresident members must fulfill three requirements in order to be considered for admittance into the College for the following school year.
- The person must apply for non-residency via the Office of Residential Academic Initiatives.
- The person must pay the social dues for the number of quarters that (s)he is a nonresident member.
- The person must fulfill the minimum point requirement for the quarter during which the person is a nonresident member.
E. Procedure: The activity or event designed to meet the requirement is to be approved by the appropriate member of the Executive Board or by the Faculty Chair or Assistant Chair. The person in charge of the event will be the supervisor and (s)he should present the sign-up sheets at the event. The sign up should include the person's name, his or her room number, the event worked, and the signature of the Executive Board member in charge of the event. The completed slip should be given to the Vice President or put in the Vice President's mailbox within two (2) weeks of the event, or by the end of the reading week, whichever is first. The Vice President will keep a master list of points earned which will be posted at least once every three weeks, depending on the frequency of point submission.
F. Administration: The points system for Willard Residential College is as follows:
- One (1) point shall be given to participants in services to the college such as setting up chairs for events, running the halls to garner participation in events.
- Two (2) points shall be given to participants who publish articles in S&G (at the discretion of the Secretary), post S&G, attend the weekly coffee hour, attend high table, attend a student fireside, attend Willard Follies.
- Two (2) points shall be given to residents who participate in Willard-wide and Willard-only events hosted by the RAs.
- Five (5) points may be earned for attending a faculty fireside or a fireside sponsored by the exec board, performing in Willard Follies, participating on the Willard Quizbowl Team, philanthropy events such as Project Pumpkin when participation is through Willard, and other events as decided by the executive board. Additionally, 5 points may be earned for participation in Woo-Shep Olympics and per game for participating in Intramural Sports.
- Appointed coffee chairs will receive five (5) points per coffee at which they provide service to the college up to forty (40) points per person. In the event of two coffee chairs, both will receive three (3) points per coffee hour. They may still receive participation points for attending coffee hours outside of those they host.
- Ten (10) to twenty (20) points will be given for a planned event such as hosting a fireside, organizing a munchies, or hosting/organizing a discussion group at coffee hour, etc. Total number of points will be determined by attendance at the discretion of the chair under whose purview the event falls.
- Ten (10) to twenty (20) points will be given for holding a regular service position such as faculty liaison or a created chair position such as birthday chair.
- Twenty (20) to thirty (30) points will be given for creating a chair position in service to the college approved by the Executive Board and maintaining it throughout a quarter.
- Twenty (20) to thirty (30) points will be given for planning a Willard trip in cooperation with the College Staff or the Executive Board, excepting the traditional events.
- Executive Board Members receive forty (40) points per term (not quarter). These points are only for Housing and cannot be used for the House Cup competition. Members may receive housing points like any other member of the Willard Community.
- 10 points will be deducted from all parties involved in fraudulent sign ins
- Other questions related to points not covered above may be determined at the discretion of the Faculty Chair.
Article X: Ethical Conduct Policy
A.Online and in person harassment will not be tolerated, including direct attacks on a single person, their ethnicity, race, gender, religion, creed, sexual orientation, and/or political beliefs. This is determined when a Willard member feels singled out, attacked, or perceives any post as harassment.
B.Ethical conduct: healthy discussion is encouraged but if the posts become offensive or considered a personal attack it will be perceived as a transgression of ethical conduct and dealt with accordingly.
- All emails sent over the Willard listserv will be Willard, RA, or RCB - related content and the same will be true for anything shared by Willard accounts on social media.
- Repeatedly sending out emails with the same purpose is considered spamming. A maximum of 10 advertisements on the same topic may be submitted by any Willard member.
- Violations of spamming rules will result in a warning before suspension from the listserv or removal from the Facebook group.
- Members of the exec board who perform actions deemed as spamming will receive 2 warnings before a vote is held by the exec board to determine whether they will be removed from the board.
D.Facebook Group: The Facebook Group is specifically for residents and non-resident members of Willard (with exceptions as determined by the executive board). The executive board can remove any other Facebook user if not abiding by A, B, and C.
E.Disciplinary process in sequence:
- Offender will be taken off the listserv/Facebook group immediately for violating any of the policies outlined above.
- While the thread or post cannot be taken off the listserv, it is recommended to all members of the listserv to cease posting on the thread in question.
- To be reconstituted, offender must speak with the Residential Director and receive his/her permission which will be sent to the Secretary by email.
Article XI: Amendments to the Constitution
A.See Article I for Amendment Policies.