ARTICLE I – Name
In the spirit of supporting the freedom of ideas and expression at Drexel University, this organization is named the Drexel Freethought Society, also referred to as DFS.
ARTICLE II – Object
The Drexel Freethought Society‘s mission is to establish and support a secular community at Drexel University for atheists, agnostics, humanists, and freethinkers. The DFS is dedicated to encouraging free thought and defending science, logic, and reason while discouraging/responding to harmful personal beliefs forced on others.
Our mission is as follows:
(1) Actively defend reason and science at Drexel University.
(2) Provide a community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, and freethinkers.
(3) Offer a secular voice in academic discussions around the University.
(4) Initiate discussions on religion, science, and philosophy.
(5) Encourage the open and free exchange of ideas.
(6) Discourage unsupported harmful personal beliefs.
(7) Support the separation of church of state.
(8) Organize/participate in events centered on the interests of the secular community.
(9) Support skepticism, rationality, and positive atheism.
(10) Actively participating in public service.
(11) Work with the secular community at large to promote these ideals.
ARTICLE III – Membership
Section I – Definition of Membership:
Membership in the Drexel Freethought Society is open to all Drexel University students, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
Any membership privilege allocation is under the discretion of the President. To gain membership privileges students must attend three meetings. To maintain membership privileges individuals must regularly attend meetings and contribute to the community.
As per the Drexel University Office of Campus Activities’ rules for student organizations, only current full-time undergraduate and graduate students can be members of the Drexel Freethought Society. Other classifications of students, faculty, and staff may participate in our organization, but are not considered members, and may not have the same rights and privileges as members.
Section II – Rights of Members:
a. All members have the right to vote or object decisions.
b. All members have the right to hold office if qualified and elected, unless previously impeached.
c. All members have the right to participate in DFS events and meetings.
d. All members have the right to speak at DFS meetings.
e. All members have the right to a copy of the DFS Constitution and any other organization documents.
f. All members have the right to object to the Constitution or other DFS proceedings, and have the right to suggest revisions.
g. All members have the right to access to general body information under the discretion of the President.
Section III – Removing Members:
The DFS reserves the right to remove current members from the DFS if he/she breaks any rule listed in the DFS constitution as well as any rule put forth by Drexel University, or any State/Federal Laws.
Members of Drexel Freethought Society may be removed by a simple majority quorum vote of DFS members (excluding the vote from the member that is being impeached). Quorum vote will hereafter be 60%-75% of the total DFS membership. Any member of DFS may call for a removal vote, but the member(s) facing removal must be given proper notification and allowed sufficient time to prepare a defense. The officer(s) in question may ask for the impeachment vote to be delayed to the next general meeting. Only one request of this kind is allowed.
If any DFS member is found committing/engaging in any activity that is criminal in nature, every member of the DFS has the responsibility to report the crime to the proper authorities.
ARTICLE IV – Officers
Section I – General Officer Duties:
Officers of the Drexel Freethought Society are executive leaders and caretakers of the DFS community. All officers must be full-time undergraduate or graduate students.
All officers are responsible for planning the annual budget. All officers should be present at all DFS general meetings, DFS officer meetings, and DFS events. If an officer is going to miss a meeting or event, he/she should give the other officers sufficient notice.
a. If an officer misses three consecutive officer meetings or events, then he/she is subject to impeachment, unless there is valid reason for missing the meetings.
i. Class or co-op is not valid reason to miss three consecutive meetings.
ii. Valid reasons will be determined by simple majority vote of the DFS officers.
Section II – Drexel Freethought Society Officers:
a. The President is the main representative of the DFS, and will lead DFS meetings, activities, and events. He/ she will represent DFS with outside correspondence/speakers/meetings/special figures. This officer is responsible for all monetary transactions, organizing events, coordinating with other student groups and University departments/officials, filing appropriate paperwork with SAFAC and the Office of Campus Activities, and updating organizational materials. The President may delegate work, projects, change meeting times, and event planning to DFS members; this includes organizing special committees and electing Special Officer Chairs.
b. The Vice President will help the President and other officers with general duties. The Vice President should be present at all meetings and events that the President is unable to attend. This officer must be prepared to take-over the President’s role in case of sudden vacancy. If the presidential office becomes vacant, the vice President will serve as interim President until a Special Election can be organized.
c. The Treasurer will be in charge of maintaining the budget of the DFS, and is responsible for ensuring the financial stability of the organization. This officer should be knowledgeable about SAFAC policies and procedures, and work with the President to secure adequate funding.
d. The Secretary is charged with keeping minutes of all general meetings; photographing and documenting all DFS activities and events; posting this material in an accessible place on the Internet. The Secretary is also in charge of the newsletter, its frequency can be decided and its writing can be delegated by the Secretary under the discretion of the President.
e. Special Officer Chairs are positions that work directly under the President, and under the Presidents discretion. These positions have limited power, and a very specific purpose. They are individually powered; DFS members are delegated for specific projects for the chair in correspondence with the President. These positions are as follows:
1. Advertisement Chair: This person heads the advertisement needs of the DFS, he/she will lead in the creation of posters, hanging up advertisements, and work with outside venues for advertizing requirements.
2. Webmaster Chair: The webmaster will be in charge of the DFS websites, he/she will maintain any and all internet related DFS materials.
3. Current Events Chair: During each meeting we will share current events in the political/religious/secular community; the Current Events Chair will provide current information. Note everyone should also read up on such information.
4. Community Service Chair: This person will find and organize community service endeavors with correspondence with the President.
Section IV – Rights of Officers:
Officers of DFS have the right to attend officer meetings, which meet before each scheduled DFS meeting or previously scheduled meetings for the officers. During officer meetings all officers have the following rights:
a. All officers have the right to vote or object to decisions made by any officer.
b. All officers have the right to speak at DFS officer meetings.
c. All officers have the right to a copy of the DFS Constitution and any other organization documents.
d. All officers have the right to object to the Constitution or other DFS proceedings, and have the right to suggest revisions.
e. All officers have the right to pose new material for the DFS.
f. All officers have the right to pose new ideas for the DFS.
g. Any officer can request extra DFS members for help under the Presidents discretion.
h. Each DFS officer has a right to the official DFS email related to the office.
i. Each DFS officer has right to edit/utilize information not given to the general DFS members, under the discretion of the President.
Section IV – Electing Officers:
a. The offices of Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary once voted for are temporary positions. The DFS member in each position may remain until a time they are impeached/he/she chooses to step down for one full year.
b. Because President is a highly sought after position which also requires an enormous amount of responsibility, the DFS supports the notion that the President does not expire. Instead, a new President is voted for in Special Election when the previous President is impeached/steps down/graduates. The new President is appointed by simple quorum majority vote.
c. Special Officers are volunteer positions under the Presidents discretion, and in the event that there is more than one member who volunteers for the same chair position, the President will chose the Special Officer.
Section V – General Elections:
a. Elections will be held during the winter term of every year.
b. The election should be announced at least one meeting prior to voting, and allow adequate time for all interested candidates to announce their candidacy and develop platforms.
c. Any DFS member may run for any position.
d. Elections will be run by a DFS Election Chair, who will be responsible for organizing the election process, and counting votes. The Elections Chair may not be a member currently running for office.
e. Voting should be conducted in a way to conceal the identity of the voter.
f. To be elected, candidates need a simple majority to win office (50%+1).
g. Elected officers will take office at the beginning of the spring term.
h. Officers are elected for the period of one year (spring, summer, fall, and winter terms).
i. If impeached or a position is suddenly vacant for another reason and must be refilled by standard voting methods on the next meeting period via a Special Election.
Section VI – Impeachment:
Officers of Drexel Freethought Society may be impeached by a a simple majority quorum vote of DFS members (excluding the vote from the member that is being impeached). Any member of DFS may call for an impeachment vote, but the officer(s) facing impeachment must be given proper notification and allowed sufficient time to prepare a defense. The officer(s) in question may ask for the impeachment vote to be delayed to the next general meeting. Only one request of this kind is allowed.
A vote for impeachment can be proposed for the President if he/she:
a. Neglects his/her duties for an extended period of time without reason or attempt to secure other accommodations.
b. Does not regularly attending meetings or events for at least two months.
c. Acts in a way that undermines the mission of the DFS.
d. Participates or commits any criminal activity under DFS, Drexel University, Pennsylvania, and United States of America rules and laws.
Section VII – Special Elections:
In the event of a vacancy in any officer position, a Special Election will be called for the next general meeting. General election rules apply. These Special Election calls will be called until all positions are filled.
ARTICLE V – Advisors
The Drexel Freethought Society will have one main advisor that is a full time faculty or staff member of Drexel University. This advisor must be approved by a simple quorum majority vote during DFS annual elections. Advisors are approved for the period of one year.
Any DFS member may nominate another advisor by providing the advisor’s name, department, position and contact information. All potential advisors must be contacted before voting confirms their position.
Additional advisors may be appointed to aid the organization with specific projects. These advisors may be any full time faculty or staff members of Drexel University.
All Drexel Freethought Society advisors should:
a. Have basic knowledge about the history and philosophy of secular ideology.
b. Maintain contact with DFS officers, and provide guidance to help the organization identify and attain its goals.
c. Be knowledgeable about University policies and procedures, and any city, state, or federal laws that affect the activities of the DFS.
Under no circumstance should advisors work on projects, organize events, or have control over DFS funds. This provision has been added both to maintain student control and independence, but also to prevent officers from pushing their work onto the advisors.
ARTICLE VI – Committees
The President may ask members to form special committees to oversee larger and more complicated projects and event planning. These special committees are meant for short life-spans, and will be dissolved after their specific tasks have been completed. Dissolving committees is under the Presidents discretion.
ARTICLE VII – Meetings
The Drexel Freethought Society holds general meetings once a week, in addition to various events and activities. Meetings should be conducted in a place that is easily accessible to all members. In addition officer meetings are held before general body meetings, length can be determined.
Officers and committees may plan meetings as needed in correspondence with the President.
ARTICLE VIII – Finances
The Drexel Freethought Society will not collect any dues from its members unless voted for by general vote. Normally all funds should be obtained through SAFAC or independent fundraising (e.g. selling t-shirts). Fundraising will be organized with the intent of funding a specific project, and members will never be required to purchase or donate anything.
Private donations to fund specific projects or events may be accepted (e.g. rotaries) as long as the donations do not require DFS to meet unrealistic demands or undermine its mission.
ARTICLE IX – Ratification
The President must introduce ratification of the Drexel Freethought Society Constitution in the general meeting for electing officers and confirming advisors. Ratification of the Constitution must happen every year. Ratification requires two-thirds vote from DFS members.
ARTICLE X – Amendments
Any Drexel Freethought Society member may propose an amendment to the Constitution at any time. All Constitutional Amendments must be reviewed by all DFS officers, and approved by a simple majority quorum vote of DFS members. If the amendment fails to pass, a DFS officer may call for a vote from DFS members. An amendment voted on by the general membership needs a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
Amendments are entered into the Constitution by the DFS President.
ARTICLE XI – Dissolution
Any officer of the Drexel Freethought Society may call for the organization’s dissolution. If an officer wishes to dismantle the DFS, they must call a meeting of all Drexel University students, faculty, and staff members involved with the organization. A vote of two-thirds of DFS members will voluntarily dissolve the organization.
If the DFS has no participants through two different coop cycles (fall-winter and spring-summer) other than the officers, the President must call for the dissolution of the organization.
Involuntary dissolution of the organization may, with cause, be ordered by the Office of Campus Activities.
ARTICLE XII – Unscripted Power Allocation
Any powers that are not listed to any officer or individual in this Constitution are given to the elected officers, under the discretion of the DFS President. Any responsibilities not allocated to officers or another source under the Constitution are the responsibility of the DFS President.
Revisions: November 2, 2011, David G. McDevitt