The YSEC Constitution

Created for the 2012-2013 school year

YSEC Mission Statement

As Yale’s oldest undergraduate environmental organization and 501(c)3 non-profit, we advocate environmentally conscious behavior, responsible consumer choice, sustainable university policy, and environmental justice.  We seek to partner with campus organizations, other colleges and universities, non-profits, and major international initiatives to bring our objectives to light at Yale, within New Haven, and around the world.

Introduction

As the umbrella organization for environmental groups on campus, YSEC allows students and groups with similar interests to communicate and collaborate smoothly. YSEC creates a support system for project groups by providing funding, transportation, training, coordination, and office resources.

YSEC advocates action over hierarchy, but we believe that delegating roles and responsibilities results in more efficient action. The goal of our coalition structure is to be a catalyst for action by uniting students and facilitating coordination, by supporting leadership at every level to cultivate the adaptability and spontaneity crucial to the protection of our changing environment.

Purpose of the Constitution

This YSEC Constitution is intended to explain the structure of the coalition, define resources available to project groups, and clarify what YSEC asks of project groups. Explicitly stating this information should make it easier for YSEC members to know to take advantage of available resources, help project groups communicate with the Board, and make clear how the Board intends to facilitate coordination among groups.

Article I.
The Board

The YSEC board exists to facilitate Project Group activity and plan coalition-wide initiatives and events. The board handles the paperwork to maintain YSEC funding and resources, physically maintains the YSEC office meeting space, keeps track of the whole Coalition’s activity, and communicates with the public regarding the Coalition as a whole.

Currently, a four-member Board represents YSEC. The four positions are President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Events Coordinator. Applications for Board positions occur in mid-Spring for a year long term. New Board members are selected by the previous board via consensus. If a current Board member re-applies for another term, he or she will not be part of the decision-making process for any of the positions. If, for any reason, a Board member becomes demonstrably incapable of completing his or her duties, the other Board members may decide to select a new member to re-fill that position.

The Board is responsible for planning weekly YSEC meetings, maintaining the YSEC office space, fulfilling Dwight Hall member group requirements, maintaining the YSEC budget and tax-exempt nonprofit status, scheduling classroom space for Project Group meetings, sponsoring campus events, and basically making sure YSEC operates as a well-oiled machine (using renewable energy, of course). Descriptions of Board member roles are posted on Board applications.

Board members must meet each week to discuss Coalition coordination, budgeting, and collaboration with groups outside Yale. Board members must attend each weekly YSEC meeting except in dire circumstances.

Article II.
Resources Available to Project Groups

Project groups are allocated $250 annually for discretionary spending. Additional funds may be distributed according to need, if they are budgeted at the start of each semester. YSEC will also maintain a budget for unexpected expenses, which can be applied for on a rolling basis throughout the year.

All approved funds spent shall be reimbursed by check by the YSEC Treasurer. All funding approval is subject to the discretion of the Board, but because the Coalition aims to fund environmental advocacy, project groups are assured that when YSEC is incapable of providing funding, the Board will actively assist leaders in securing other financial sources.  As a 501(c)3 non-profit, YSEC is partially restricted in dispensation of funds, but the YSEC Treasurer can assist in finding additional avenues of funding.

A complete up-to-date list of resources other than funding available to project groups through YSEC is posted on our website, https://yaleysec.wordpress.com/.

Article III.
Communication with the Board

Project group leaders are expected to meet with the Board in the beginning of the year to plan and budget funding. Throughout the semester, Project Groups are encouraged to maintain contact with the Board through the Project Group Liaison. If they fail to meet with the Board in the beginning of the year, or contact the Project Group Liaison, they may be denied funding or other resources.

All significant events must be reviewed by the Treasurer, who will track event waste and efficiency.

Project groups should email the President with information to be shown in the weekly newsletter or on the website.

Article IV.
Weekly Meetings

The Project Group Liaison will update the Coalition with summaries of each project group’s activities at the beginning of each meeting. Project Group Leaders are encouraged to communicate with the Project Group Liaison in order to make sure that the coalition hears about their work.

Project group leaders are expected to attend the weekly YSEC general meetings at least once per month, unless a significant excuse is provided. If the Board determines that a project group leader is not attending enough meetings, then they will be pilloried and subjected to public shame.

This Constitution was written to articulate the existing structure of YSEC, thus will be in effect at the start of the Fall 2012 semester unless objected to by any Project Group Leader or Board member. Amendments to the Constitution can be proposed by any member of YSEC through contacting the President. The Board may approve amendments.

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About Yale Student Environmental Coalition

Yale Student Environmental Coalition (YSEC) is the umbrella organization of environmental groups in Yale College.
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