Sample Constitution

Constitutions will vary according to the needs of each organization. This sample is to help you think about your organization and its needs. All language in italics is required in your organization's constitution and must be abided by. 

Article 1: Name of Organization

1.01. The name of the organization shall be _____________________. (The "Organization"). 

Article 2: Objectives and Purposes

2.01. The purposes for which the Organization is to be organized shall be consistent with the aims and objectives of a liberal arts education as pursued by Dartmouth College. No purpose or objective of the Organization shall be in conflict with applicable state or federal laws presently in force or hereafter enacted.

2.02. The specific purposes and objectives which the Organization shall be organized to pursue include (insert statement of aims and objectives). * Organizations must have a clearly stated purpose and mission statement that aligns with and supports the mission of Dartmouth College. In its mission statement, each organization must have a learning component and either a leadership or intellectual component.

2.03. Hazing is strictly prohibited at Dartmouth College, by both College policy and New Hampshire law. Dartmouth College is first and foremost an educational institution. College hazing prevention policies and response procedures for hazing incidents are based on that educational mission.

Hazing practices within the organization are prohibited pursuant to New Hampshire State and Dartmouth College Policy presented herein:

Dartmouth's definition of hazing includes, but is no limited to activities that would fall within the New Hampshire statutory definition of hazing (RSA 631:7). Under New Hampshire law and College policy, hazing is defined as "any act directed toward a student, or any coercion or intimidation of a student to act or to participate in an act when

  1. Such act is likely or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any person; and
  2. Such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued membership in or association with any organization."

Dartmouth's definition of hazing also includes the following activities if they occur as part of initiation or admission into an organization, group, or team, or are required for continued membership in an organization, group, or team:

  • The consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances​
  • Removing, damaging, or destroying property​
  • Behavior that disrupts College or community activities​
  • Violating any Standard of Conduct or College policy

The definition of hazing applies whether or not the participants or others perceive the behavior as "voluntary." The implied or expressed consent of any person toward whom an act of hazing is directed is not a defense. Assertions that the conduct or activity was not part of an official organizational event or was not officially sanctioned or approved by the organization are also not a defense. This definition applies to behavior on or off College property or organization premises. 

Article 3: Membership

3.01. Membership in the Organization shall be open to all members of the Dartmouth community. Dartmouth prohibits any form of discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, religious, sex, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, national origin, citizenship, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other legally protected status in the administration of and access to the College's programs and activities. The organization must have at least ten (10) undergraduate members. In no event shall more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the Members be non-Dartmouth students. All officers must be Dartmouth undergraduates.

3.02. Membership in the Organization shall be determined by attendance at two consecutive meetings of the Organization. All Members (herein so-called) shall have equal rights and privileges with respect to the election of the Officers of the Organization (defined below).

3.03 Any disputes that arise shall be mediated by the President of the organization. After this process, any disputes unable to be resolved shall be resolved by a majority affirmative vote of members not involved in the dispute.

3.04 Voluntary Members Withdrawal: Any member of our organization, at any time, can voluntarily withdraw membership from the organization.

3.05 Non-Voluntary Members Withdrawal: After bringing an issue with a member to the COSO Board and COSO advisor, a member may be removed from the group under specific circumstances that are at the discretion of the COSO Board or COSO Advisor. 

Article 4: Officers and Duties

4.01. The Officers of the Organization shall consist of a President, one or more Vice Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer who, with the Advisor to the Organization, shall constitute the Executive or Steering Committee (herein so-called) of the Organization.

4.02. No non-Dartmouth undergraduate student shall be eligible to be an Officer of the Organization.

4.03. Any Dartmouth undergraduate eligible to be an Officer of the Organization shall not be permitted to hold more than one office in that organization at any one time.

4.04. The Officers of the Organization shall be elected by majority vote of the Members present during a meeting to be called in the third week of the spring term for the express purpose of electing the officers. Any Officer of the Organization shall be required to be in residence at Dartmouth for two (2) of the four (4) academic terms for which elected to be eligible to serve in such office. A list of the Officers and their respective classes will be provided by the President to the Council on Student Organizations ("COSO") within three days of the election thereof. The selection of new leaders/officers should consider the voices of multiple group members and all members should be informed about how the selection process works. 

4.05. The President shall call all meetings of the Membership, regular or otherwise, and shall serve as the chairman of such meetings. In addition, the President shall, with the advice of the Executive Committee, plan and coordinate the events to be sponsored by the Organization in forthcoming terms; with the Treasurer, prepare and present an annual budget request to COSO, and shall in all events serve as a liaison with COSO.

4.06. In the absence of the President, or should the President prove unable or unwilling to perform the duties described in Section 4.05 above, the Vice President shall assume the responsibilities of the President. In addition, the Vice President shall preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee called pursuant to Section 5.06 below and shall also perform other duties as the President may assign from time to time.

4.07. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining accurate financial records of the Organization and shall be allowed to request checks or purchase orders on behalf of the Organization. The Treasurer, with the President, shall prepare and present any budget requests to COSO. The officers shall insure that all funds are properly kept within the College accounting system. No outside accounts are permitted.

4.08. The Secretary shall be responsible for recording accurate minutes of any Meeting, regular or otherwise, of the Membership or the Executive Committee. The Secretary shall also record all votes of the Membership or Executive Committee. The Secretary shall be responsible for the writing and distribution of a newsletter or other notice to the Membership informing them of any Meeting or other gathering of the Organization, and furthermore shall at all times maintain an accurate and complete list of the Membership of the Organization.

4.09. The Advisor to the Organization must be either a faculty member or administrator of the College. The Advisor shall attend all meetings of the Executive Committee as a non-voting member thereof and shall provide guidance and administrative assistance in the preparation of a program of events to be pursued by the Organization in forthcoming terms.

4.10. The Executive Committee shall prepare a program of events to be sponsored by the Organization in forthcoming terms. The program so prepared shall be presented to the Membership for their approval at the Meeting of the Members of the Organization next scheduled after the program has been developed.

4.11. Any Officer of the Organization may resign at any time by delivering a written notice of such resignation to the President, or in the case of the resignation of the President, to the Vice President.

4.12. At the next regular meeting of the Membership of the Organization, an election shall be held to elect an Officer to fill the position made vacant by such resignation.

4.13. If any Officer of the Organization is absent from the Dartmouth campus for any leave or off-campus term, an election shall be held at the first Meeting of such term to elect an individual to serve as such Officer until the regularly elected Officer shall return to campus.

4.14. Any Officer of the Organization may be removed from such office by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the Members.

Article 5: Quorum and Meetings

5.01. A quorum shall exist at any Meeting of the Membership where at least fifty percent (50%) of the Members then in residence at Dartmouth are in attendance.

5.02. Actions requiring a majority vote at any Meeting at which a quorum is not present may be submitted to the Members for a mail vote.

5.03. Regular Meetings (herein so-called) of the Organization shall be held at least twice per term at such time and place to be determined by the President.

5.04. A Special Meeting (herein so-called) of the Membership shall be called upon written request to the President of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the Members then in residence at Dartmouth.

5.05. All Members shall be notified of any Meeting and the nature of the business to be transacted thereat at least one day before such Meeting. No Meeting shall be called with the intent to exclude any one Member or any portion of the Membership.

5.06. The Executive Committee of the Organization shall meet at least once before any Meeting of the Membership at such time and place to be determined by the President. At such Meetings of the Executive Committee a quorum shall be deemed to be the attendance of any three (3) members of the Executive Committee.

Article 6: Voting

6.01. Each Member shall have one (1) vote.

6.02. There shall be no absentee or proxy voting with respect to any matter other than the nomination and election of the Officers.

6.03. All motions except those described in Section 7.02 below require an affirmative vote of a simple majority of the Membership to be effective.

6.04. All votes of the Executive Committee shall require an affirmative vote of three (3) of the Officers to be effective.

Article 7: Miscellaneous

7.01. This Constitution shall have been presented to the Membership of the Organization and shall be ratified by a majority vote thereof.

7.02. This Constitution may be amended or repealed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Members of the Organization then in residence at Dartmouth.

7.03. Any amendment to this Constitution shall be attached hereto and made a part hereof for all purposes.

7.04. This Constitution and any amendments and changes hereto shall be kept on record with the Student Involvement Office and shall be available to any Member of the Organization for inspection during reasonable office hours.