The Record Constitution

Preamble:

Since 1887, The Record has been the official student publication of St. John’s University. In 2001, The Record became the official newspaper of the College of St. Benedict. Since freedom of speech is valued as a fundamental human right, and as a basis for our liberal republic, The Record is and will continue to remain autonomous from both the institutional administrations and the student governments. The opinions expressed within The Record are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty, staff, university administrations, or other community organs. Finally, The Record is the last defender of students’ rights. Therefore, The Record is empowered to hold all parts of the institutions, including the administrations, the faculty, the staff, student governments, clubs, the Joint Events Council, and especially itself accountable to the student body.

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1: Name 

The name of this organization since 1887 has been The Record and forever onward shall continue to be The Record.

 

Section 2: Purpose/Mission 

As a media organization, The Record shall strive to inform, enlighten, entertain, and engage the communities of St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict through local news, arts, entertainment, sports news, and by voicing campus opinions. Furthermore, The Record, as a co-curricular organization, will strive to educate its members and readership in the ways of print journalism as well as to all matters newsworthy on the two campuses.

 

Section 3: Affiliation: 

The Record is affiliated directly, indirectly, and tangentially to several organizations. Groups included may be, but are not necessarily the Associated Collegiate Press, the Minnesota Newspaper Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

 

Article II: Membership

Section 1: Eligibility for Membership 

The Record functions in a far more businesslike manner than do other clubs. Due to the requisites of common collegiate-level journalistic practice, as well as to the necessities of accountability and efficacy, only two elected positions – editor in chief and managing editor – exist in the entirety of The Record’s organizational structure. As such, all other positions are directly responsible to their immediate superiors. All positions are open to any CSB/SJU student.

 

Representation of CSB/SJU: The Record is the first and last haven of meritocracy at CSB/SJU. That long-standing tradition of this paper must not be compromised for any reason. Nonetheless, as the official paper of both CSB and SJU, The Record recognizes the prudence and even the necessity of allowing for both CSB and SJU to be represented as equally as possible within both the Executive and Editorial Boards. As such, all staff members, particularily the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor, are strongly advised to ensure that both CSB and SJU are represented in both boards. Nonetheless, this document will not mandate equal representation of CSB and SJU on the boards, as that would severly hinder and de-legitimize the standards of excellence and meritocracy, which for so long have been The Record’s unfaltering hallmarks.

 

Section 2: Voting Member Criteria 

State how a student becomes a voting member [e.g., attends a certain % of meetings/events, pays dues, etc] and if there are any criteria for any other membership categories. This is an important issue for your organization – you want to make sure that students listed on your voting member list are active, interested students in your group.

 

Section 3: Removal of Members 

State the process to remove any member who is not in good standing with the club. Due process must be followed. Things to consider are: reasonable notice to the person being considered for removal, opportunity to defend their position, quorum* needed to vote, timeline for the process, appeal process.

While you will hopefully not need this section, it is very important that you have a process in place. When you need it, this will clarify the procedure and take out some of the difficult personal issues….

Article III: Officers

Section 1: Officer Qualifications 

Identify what qualifications a student must have to be eligible to be an officer. This may include GPA, length of time in organization, previous experience, etc. All officers must be current CSB/SJU students. See Article IV for Election procedures.

 

Section 2: Elected Officers 

  1. Editor in chief
    1. Powers

 i. As it always has been, the Editor in Chief (EIC) has the power to unilaterally override any decision made by any member of The Record at any time.

 ii. The EIC may unilaterally change the constitution if he/she sees grave reason to override constitutional processes.

  1.  
    1. Responsibilities

 i. The EIC is responsible for every decision made in the newspaper.

 ii. The EIC will defend and protect The Record, the constitution of The Record, and all matters pertaining to the welfare of The Record and its staff to the greatest extent possible.

 iii. The EIC monitors the well-being of the entirety of the newspaper and reviews the paper before it is printed each week.

  1.  
    1. Accountability

 i. The EIC is accountable to both the Editorial Board and the Executive Board.

 ii. The EIC may be impeached by the processes listed in Article XXX.

 iii. The EIC is accountable for the actions of The Record to the campus community.

  1. The Editorial Board
    1. Membership

i. The Editorial Board consists of three permanent positions and two optional additional positions, which may be filled by any student chose by vote of the three permanent members.

1. Editor in Chief

2. Managing Editor

3. Opinion Editor

4. 2 Student Representatives (preferably, one representative from the CSB student body and one from SJU)

  1.  
    1. Selection/Removal

i. Any CSB or SJU student can apply for one of the student representative positions. The position will be advertised via e-mail or other form at the beginning of the year or semester, or whenever the position is open.

ii. The student representative positions are voted on by the three permanent members (EIC, ME, Opinion Editor).

  1.  
    1. Function/Duties

i. The Editorial Board is collectively responsible for making all decisions regarding the official opinion of the newspaper. The lead editorial, any and all endorsements made by the newspaper, and all forms of official paper opinion shall by decided by the Editorial Board.

ii. The Editorial Board can conduct interviews for open Editorial Board positions.

  1. The Executive Board

i. Membership:

1. The Executive Board consists of the Managing Editor and the Editor in Chief.

2. No other positions may vote on who makes up the Editorial Board.

ii. Functions:

1. The Executive Board is collectively responsible for making all decisions regarding the official non-editorial business and administrative questions facing the paper.

2. The Executive Board shall also act as a steering committee for the basic direction and non-print activities, events, and issues The Record may address.

3. The Executive Board will also hire and fill all non-print Record personnel, including: Business Manager/Treasurer, Advertising Manager, Circulation Manager, and Web Editor.

iii. Removal:

1. Members of the Executive Board can be removed only through impeachment, since by default they are all elected members of The Record.

  1. Changes to Structure/Positions

i. The Editor in Chief may change the nature of the organizational structure or the nature of any position within The Record in order to facilitate the efficient and successful operations of the newspaper.

ii. The Editorial Board & Executive Board may also change the organizational structure or the nature of a position within The Record without changing the constitution.

  1. Student
    1. Common Positions: Many common positions exist within The Record. These are the positions held by the majority of the staff of the newspaper and include, but are not limited to the following:

i. Reporter

ii. Photographer

iii. Copy Editor

iv. Circulation Manager

v. Cartoonists

vi. Other

  1.  
    1. Section Editor Positions: A limited number of Section Editor positions exist within The Record. Several of these positions can be shared positions. If so, it is noted. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

i. News Editor(s) (1-2)

ii. Variety Editor(s) (1-2)

iii. Sports Editor(s) (1-2)

iv. Opinion Editor (1)

v. Web Editor(s) (1-2)

vi. Photo/Graphics Editor(s) (1-2)

vii. Copy Desk Chief (1)

  1.  
    1. Administrative Positions: A limited number of Administrative Positions exist within The Record. Several of these positions can be shared positions. If so, it is noted. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

i. Business Manager/Treasurer (1)

ii. Advertising Manager (1-2)

iii. Advertising Assistant (Multiple)

  1.  
    1. Elected positions: Two elected positions exist within The Record. The two positions may not be discontinued except by constitutional amendment. Elections are outlined in Article III, Section F.

i. Managing Editor

ii. Editor in Chief

  1. Faculty or Staff Advisor to The Record
    1. Selection: the Editor in Chief, with advice and recommendations from the members of the Editorial & Executive Boards, will select the advisor of The Record. The advisor will be chosen based on interest, qualifications, and ability to meet the needs of The Record staff. The advisor will remain in that position until such time as The Record chooses a replacement, or The Record receives written confirmation from the advisor that the advisor is terminating said advisory responsibilities.
    2. Qualifications: The sitting administration of The Record shall determine most qualifications, but the advisor may be a member of either the staff or faculty of the institutions, or a local professional. The advisor should be an avid defender of the right to the freedom of the press.
    3. Responsibilities: The advisor to The Record is to be a resource for The Record staff, to connect The Record to the faculty and staff of the institutions, and to assist The Record staff with any academic pursuits they may have initiated which require the participation of a club advisor. The advisor is meant to give advice and consult with the staff of The Record.
  2. Open Positions & Selection
    1. Annual Hiring Process (Applicable to all non-elected positions)

i. If the positions are not filled by current members of the staff, the positions will be advertised to the student body via e-mail at the beginning of each semester.

ii. Position-specific applications may include requests for writing samples, administrative experience, etc…

iii. The Executive Board will hire those best qualified for the non-print personnel positions.

iv. Candidates will be hired on the basis of their abilities to fulfill the positions as described in the Bylaws.

  1.  
    1. Open Positions

i. If a position opens during the year, the EIC and ME will fill that position.

ii. Even if the open position is an elected one, the Editor in Chief may choose to appoint a candidate without an election if the opening occurs after or prior to the spring elections.

8. Position Duties, Responsibilities, & Eligibility
  1.  
    1. Position Duties are listed in the Bylaws.
    2. Position Responsibilities are listed in the Bylaws.
    3. Position Eligibility requirements are listed in the Bylaws.
  2. Elections
    1. Article III, Section B must be read or included with any election announcement.
    2. Regularly scheduled elections will take place no later than March 15 of each spring semester.
    3. Announcement

i. The sitting Editor in Chief shall announce the date of the elections and the positions up for election via email to all members of The Record’s Section Editor-level and Manager-level positions and above.

ii. The primary announcement must take place two weeks before the scheduled elections.

  1.  
    1. Candidacy

i. Those wishing to become candidates for open positions must reply to the entirety of the primary announcement e-mail sent by the Editor in Chief announcing his/her candidacy for a specific position and any platform s/he may wish to include.

ii. No one person may run for more than one position.

iii. Candidates must meet eligibility requirements outlined in the Bylaws of this Constitution. The sitting Editor in Chief shall act as judge in determining whether the candidates satisfy the said requirements.

  1.  
    1. Voting

i. Voting shall take place via email. The Editor in Chief will email the same people as listed in the primary announcement email allowing two days for voting to take place.

ii. The sitting Editor in Chief shall keep votes secret and announce the winners promptly.

iii. A 50% plus 1 majority is required to elect a candidate.

iv. In the case of a tie, a revote via email shall be organized and directed by the sitting Editor in Chief

  1.  
    1. Transition

i. The newly elected officers shall train in with the sitting officers until the new budget has been approved and all business for the current semester has been concluded.

ii. The sitting officers may opt to train in the newly elected officers in any manner they see fit.

iii. There are no specific terms of office for any position at The Record.

Section 3: Duties of Officers

Listed in Section 2.

Section 4: Vacancy in Office

A. Impeachment/Discontinuation

1. Any staff member may be removed for gross dereliction of duty, including, but not limited to, repeated section neglect, repeated and/or intentionally attempting to publish material clearly inappropriate for their section, repeated or blatant violation of The Record Code of Ethics, or attempting to adhere to Roberts Rules of Order in a staff meeting.

2. Removal Process

a. A member of The Record brings the accusation to the attention of Editor in Chief. Should the defendant be the EIC, the accuser brings the accusation to the Managing Editor.

b. The judging entity (EIC, ME) determines if the action involved warrants reprimand, or is potential grounds for dismissal.

c. If deemed grounds for potential dismissal, the judging entity then calls a meeting of the Editorial Board, and the accused staff member.

d. If the accused is an elected member of The Record, see Article II, Section I, Part 3.

e. At the meeting, both accuser and accused make their case, after which time the Editorial Board votes—a majority needed for removal from position, with responsibility for filling any created vacancies left to the Editorial Board.

3. Impeachment

a. If an elected member of The Record is accused of gross misconduct, s/he may be impeached.

b. Once an accusation is brought to the EIC or ME, if the accused is determined to be an elected member and the accusation may warrant impeachment, then the judging entity calls a meeting of the entire Section Editor-level and Manager-level and above staff of The Record.

c. At this meeting, the accusation will be aired to the entire group present. The accused will be allowed to defend him/herself at an appropriate time during the meeting.

d. Once both the accusation and defense have been discussed, the accused may cast a secret ballot to impeach/not impeach him/herself and exit the room.

e. All remaining members of The Record present will then vote to impeach or not to impeach.

f. A successful impeachment requires a two-thirds majority vote with a quorum of at least 20 members present.

g. If the EIC is successfully impeached, the Managing Editor will become the Editor in Chief and appoint a new ME, or new elections will be held. A joint meeting of the Editorial & Executive Boards will determine which process to utilize.

Section 5: Removal of Officers

See Section 4.

Section 6: Appeal of Removal of Officers

See Section 4.

Article IV: Club Status, Preeminence of Constitution

Upon approving the club status of The Record, the pertinent authorities signify their acceptance of this document. Upon acceptance of this constitution, all other previous constitutions, guidelines, rules, or stipulations are declared null and void and this document supercedes the authority of previous documents.

Article VII: Meetings

A. The Record has traditionally met the Sunday evening preceding a publication week at 7:45 p.m. in The Record office. These meetings are mandatory for all Section Editors, are led by the Managing Editor or Editor in Chief, and open to all members of The Record. Roberts Rules of Order are not allowed, and it is the responsibility of the EIC to keep pandemonium from spilling out from The Record office to the general campus.

B. Special meetings can be called by the EIC, at his/her discretion. If they are called for spurious reasons, no one will attend.

Article VIII: Finances/Contracts

  1. The Co-Funding Board: The Record, as the oldest known college newspaper in the five-state region, will apply for financial disbursement from the CFB in order to continue its journalistic endeavors in the collegiate tradition. Funds bestowed from such esteemed institutions as the CFB will be used for operating and publication expenses of The Record, and in so doing will be used to promote and improve quality of life at CSB/SJU for the good of all.
  2. Allocated Funds
    1. Will be used at the discretion of the Executive Board.
    2. May be spent by signature of the Editor in Chief, Business Manager/Treasurer, and Advertising Manager.
  3. Generated Funds
    1. Will be used at the discretion of the Executive Board.
    2. May be spent by signature of the Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Business Manager/Treasurer, and Advertising Manager.
  4. Honorariums are a form of gratuity to recognize individual leaders of The Record who have demonstrated service to the entire student body.
    1. Determination: Honorariums shall be determined by the Executive Board, in consultation with the Business Manager/Treasurer.
    2. Eligibility:

i. All staff members are eligible for honorariums, but due to limited monies, positions underneath Editor-level members or Manager-level members will not receive honorariums.

ii. The Executive Board, in consultation with the Editorial Board, may determine that an editor has not performed his/her job adequately and therefore may not receive a stipend.

  1.  
    1. Restrictions:

i. Total honorarium monies may not represent more than $6,000 or 60% of Generated Funds (whichever is greater) per semester.

ii. The Editor in Chief and Managing Editor may not receive more than $1000 per semester.

iii. Other positions may not receive more than $900 per semester.

  1. Any contract affecting The Record for more than one year of its existence must be approved by the entirety of the Editorial & Executive Boards.

Article VIV: Amendments

A. Any member of The Record may suggest amendments to the Constitution or the Bylaws of The Record.

B. Only members of the Editorial Board and Executive Board may vote to ratify amendments.

C. Ratification requires a quorum of two members of the Executive Board and four members of the Editorial Board to be present for the vote.

D. A two-thirds majority of all votes is required to pass an amendment.

Article X: Bylaws

The Bylaws of The Record may be amended by the same process described in Article VIV of the Constitution and shall describe the positions, duties, and eligibility requirements for all members of The Record as well as outline the Code of Ethics used by The Record.

The Record admits students without regard to their race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and other activities, generally accorded or made available to members of the organization.

Article XI:

The Record considers hazing to be a degrading and destructive activity which is inconsistent with the standards of this student organization. The Record recognizes the dignity of every person and opposes all forms of hazing.