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Constitution of the Undergraduate Astrophysics Society

1. Name of Organization: The Undergraduate Astrophysics Society or the UAS. The UAS is affiliated with the University of Florida Department of Astronomy.

2. Purpose: The UAS has three primary purposes:

a) To prepare undergraduate astronomy and physics majors for a professional career in astronomy through: 1) Discussions

2) Guest speakers, including presentations from staff and graduate students on current research as well as outside professionals in astronomy.

3) Free tutoring in astronomy, math, and physics for members by members.

4) Informal interaction with the departmental staff.

5) Formal attendance of departmental events (i.e. colloquiums, journal clubs, etc.)

6) Participation in public nights at the teaching observatory

7) Planned trips including visits to Rosemary Hill Observatory.

8) Preparing undergraduate members for graduate admission applications by reviewing the requirements and studying for the physics GRE.

b) The UAS actively pursues new members as well as undergraduates to the UF astronomy program by: 1) Contact with high school students and community college transfers.

2) Outreach to current UF students.

3. Membership: Membership is open to all students, including graduate and postbacs, planning to pursue professional careers in astronomy. It is recommended, but not required, that members have completed the introductory physics sequence. Membership applications will be available from the club's secretary at any formal meeting of the UAC. Conditions of membership are: a) Each membership lasts for one academic year beginning in the Fall-semester.

b) The UAC will not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability. Minorities are encouraged to pursue a career in astronomy. The secretary will compile a list of scholarships available to minorities-in-science.

c) Members may have their membership revoked without a refund at any time, by a majority vote of officers, if they violate the rules of conduct stated in the student handbook or if they grossly misrepresent the constitution of the UAC.

d) If a member does not renew their membership at the beginning of the following academic year it will be automatically canceled.

e) Members will not be subjected to any form of hazing and sexual harassment, which is prohibited and punishable by state laws.

f) Any member wishing to disassociate themselves from the UAS can do so without retribution although the club dues will not be refunded.

g) Any member who meets the following requirements is considered in "Good Standing" with the UAC:

1) Attended at least half of the regular meetings.

2) Has paid club dues in full.

3) Takes an active part in the astronomy department by going to colloquia, attending public nights, public outreach, tutoring, recruiting, journal club, etc.

h) Note: only members in "Good Standing" with the UAC will be eligible to take part in club trips, including RHO and the end of the semester field trip, or vote at meetings.
4. Meetings: Meetings will be held once every two weeks for about one-hour. Special meetings can be called in addition to the regular meetings if deemed necessary by the president. The procedure for a typical meeting will be as follows: a) Refreshments will be served 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

b) The meeting will start with adjournment by either the President or Vice-President.

c) There will be a brief 10-15 minute discussion on official business (finances, calendar of events, attendance, etc.).

d) One or more members, faculty, or guest speakers will then give a 45-minute presentation on topics of particular interest to the undergraduate astronomy student.

e) Non-members who meet the criteria for membership and faculty are welcome to sit in on UAS meetings but cannot vote or take part in the business aspect of the meetings.

f) The dates and times of meetings will be established the first meeting of each semester according to the officers' availability.

5. Finance: The UAS will be funded by: a) The department of astronomy

b) Club dues.

1) The cost of club dues is $10 per semester.

2) Club dues are to be paid to the treasurer before the third meeting in order to stay in "Good Standing" with the UAS.

3) Other individual, optional, expenses may arise including the making of hats and T-shirts, joining the American Astronomical Society, etc.

c) Club fundraisers.

d) Organizational and corporate sponsorship.

A projected budget for each semester is to be established by the second meeting of each semester by a standing budget committee consisting of the treasurer, president, and vice-president. Any requests for funds must be made in writing and turned in to the president. After purchases are made all receipts are to be turned in to the treasurer for filing.

6. Officers: The officers of the UAS will be as follows:

a) President. 1) Conducts all meetings.

2) Serves as head of the UAS.

3) Takes an active part in the functionality of the UAS.

4) Oversees the progress of committees.

5) Guides the other officers and members in a direction that upholds the overall purposes of the UAS.

6) Actively seeks new funding venues and sponsorship.

b) Vice-President.
 
  1) Acts as president in the absence of the president.

2) Serves as president in the case of impeachment or resignation of the president until the remainder of the term.

3) Helps to oversee the general progress of the clubs objectives.

c) Treasurer. 1) Collects and holds all club dues as well as other monetary gains from fundraisers, donations, sponsorships, etc.

2) Keeps an accurate record of all financial transactions including receipts and voided checks for expenses and bills outstanding.

3) The treasurer will also keep an accurate record of members' dues status (paid, not paid, and partially paid)

d) Secretary. 1) Will keep and organize all paperwork related to the AUS.

2) Will take attendance and notes at every meeting.

3) Will summarize the previous meeting in a short description to be handed out at the next meeting.

4) Will keep record of all scheduled appointment dates and times in a day planner and inform the President (or acting President) of such dates during the beginning of the meetings.

5) Keep all phone numbers and email addresses relevant to the UAS current and accessible to all officers.

6) Inform the Office of Student Activities of any changes in officers, constitution, contact persons, advisors, phone numbers, etc.

e) Ambassador. 1) Bears all public relations duties.

2) Hosts guest-speakers.

3) Communicates on behalf of the UAS with the University of Florida, the UF Department of Astronomy, and its faculty.

4) Acts as contact person for the UAS as stated in the SAC handbook. Explains the UAS and its constitutional purposes to all new members or anyone interested in becoming a member.

5) Corresponds with High School and Community Colleges students who are interested in the undergraduate astronomy program at UF.

6) Represents the UAS to any group or organization the UAS may come in contact with.

7) Note: the official role of the ambassador is to take some of the burden off of the President in terms of outside relations. It is suggested, but not required, that the ambassador has good people skills and be able to present a professional overall attitude and appearance.

f) Faculty Advisor. 1) There must always be a faculty advisor for the UAS.

2) The faculty advisor must be from the astronomy department.

3) Faculty advisors must be a professor or likewise as stated in the student-activities handbook.

4) Advisors are chosen by the president alone.

5) Advisors will help guide the club (via the officers) in the direction that is most beneficial for a professional degree in astronomy and astrophysics. The F.A. will challenge the members of the UAS by posing ideas and suggestions as well as mentoring their progress as students and astronomers. Faculty advisors council and serve the students, and the UAS, as a resource person as well as to assist in the area of program content and purpose.

6) An important role of the F.A. is to maintain the continuity of the group as members graduate. The F.A. provides consistency and communicates goals to future generations of members and officers.

7) Faculty advisors may withdraw their participation at any time. A replacement F.A. must be found immediately.

8) Note: the faculty advisor does not have to pay dues and cannot vote on business.

These positions are not mutually exclusive. The president can also be elected treasurer or secretary but not both. The vice president can likewise be elected treasurer or secretary but not both. The ambassador is an important position but may be left out of a term due to lack of participation. All other officer positions are mandatory in order to maintain registration of the UAS. All officers must have a good understanding of the handbook of student organizations as well as the UF student handbook.

7. Elections and Impeachment.

a) Officers are nominated by two members and voted upon by all members in attendance on the first meeting of the academic year.

b) The President must be voted in by a 2/3-majority vote of all members in attendance. The president must be an undergraduate astronomy or dual astronomy/physics major.

c) Officers will serve their term effective immediately after the election until the first meeting of the next academic year.

d) An officer may resign at any time in writing given to the president or vice president. An election will be held at the beginning of the next meeting to replace that officer.

e) In the case of resignation of the president the vice-president automatically takes over as president until the end of the term and an election is then held the following meeting to replace the position of vice-president.

f) The president can be impeached by a 2/3-majority vote of all members only if he or she has violated one of the following:

1) Grossly misrepresented the UAS as stated in the club's constitution.

2) Grossly misrepresented the UF Department of Astronomy.

3) Violated civil, state, or federal laws while representing the UAS.

4) Violated UF laws as stated in the student handbook.

g) All officers must be in compliance with subsection 2 of the Florida Administrative Code: 6C1-4.003 Student Affairs: Student Organizations. Failure to comply could result in the cancellation of registration.
8. Committees. a) Will be appointed by acting president.

b) The members of each committee will be on a volunteer basis only.

c) Committees will have a chair and a secretary, to be decided by the members.

d) The president and vice-president must authorize all business proposed by a committee.

e) A committee must be comprised of at least two persons but no more than six.

9. Amendments. a) Any member may propose an amendment to the constitution of UAS during a regular meeting as long as it meets a specific need for the club. Any formal amendment proposals must be written and submitted to the president.

b) All proposals must be seconded for consideration and ratified by a 2/3-majority vote of all members in the UAS.

c) A committee may be assigned to prepare the pros and cons of a proposed amendment. After a two-week period, arguments for or against accepting the amendment may be given at the meeting in front of all members present.

d) If the amendment is ratified it will then be added to the constitution the next time it is updated with Student Affairs.

Drafted by Shawn Lamb: shawnlamb@gru.net on 11/29/00.