College Democrats of Minnesota Constitution

Article I: Organization Name 

For all promotional and organizational purposes, this organization shall be called College Democrats of Minnesota. 

Article II: Ratification 

Upon completion of drafting the constitution, the constitution will be voted on, and must receive “Yes” votes from 2/3rds of the Executive Board members. Upon ratification, the Constitution will be recognized as the supreme law within the organization. No action taken by an executive officer can go against the College Democrats of Minnesota Constitution, and officers who do not follow the Constitution are subject to losing their position. 

Article III: Purpose 

Section 1. The College Democrats of Minnesota will fight for the values of all college students in the State of Minnesota. Through lobbying members of the State Legislature, to working on campaigns, College Democrats of Minnesota will work to make sure the youth voice is heard in St. Paul and elsewhere. College Democrats of Minnesota will also serve as an extension of the Democratic Party and College Democrats of America, representing their values and beliefs in our actions. 

  1. The College Democrats of Minnesota State Convention will be held annually at an announced location, with all chapters invited to attend.

 

Article IV: Membership

Section 1. Membership in the CDMN is open to (1) any student currently enrolled in a Minnesota college or university that has a chartered chapter of CDMN and (2) supports the platform of the Democratic party and wishes to be known as a College Democrat. 

Section 2. Membership in the CDMN shall not be contingent on or in any way amended due to gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. CDMN and its affiliate chapters shall not engage in or tolerate hazing, bullying, or victimization of any degree. 

Article V: Chapters

Section 1. College Democrat Chapters in the State of Minnesota shall be recognized by the CDMN by such criteria as may be established by the Executive Board, and reviewed periodically. Recognition shall be required for chapters to participate in CDMN programming, events, elections, and conferences. 

 

Section 2. To be recognized as a chartered chapter with the CDMN, chapters shall complete an application provided by and reviewed by the Membership Director. 

    1. All chartered chapters with the CDMN will also be considered chapters of College Democrats of America.  

 

Section 3. The College Democrats of Minnesota can unaffiliate themselves with a chapter with a ⅔ vote from the Executive Board and a ⅔ vote from the State Council. A chapter that is unaffiliated may reapply for membership after one calendar year has passed.


Article VI: Executive Board

Section 1. Description: The Executive Board will be the main decision making body of CDMN, and all be elected under the process and system set out in Article VIII. The Executive Board will consist of the President, Vice President, Development Director, Membership Director, Political Director, Communications Director, and Programs Director. 

 

Section 2. Terms: All positions associated with the College Democrats of Minnesota have terms of one year, with a two term limit per position. Further, all positions will serve their final day on April 30, with new leadership taking over on May 1. 

 

Section 3. President: The President shall be the executive director of the Executive Board. The President will also be the chief operator of the College Democrats of Minnesota. The President will work with all officers, and will direct the focus of the organization. The President will also represent the organization at the College Democrats of America Conventions, as well as various state conventions. The President will also have the power to appoint affiliated members to executive positions as outlined in Article VI Section 8 of the Constitution. The President will have the power to propose the apportionment of funds to various campaigns and initiatives; appropriation of funds will need approval by a majority of executive board members. The President, along with the Programs Director, will also be in charge of organizing the College Democrats of Minnesota State Convention. The President will be elected at the State Convention. 

 

Section 4. Vice President: The Vice President will be the second-in-command of the Executive Board. If the office of the Presidency is vacant, the Vice-President will fill the position until the next State Convention. The Vice-President is responsible for working with all executive board members to create progress within the organization. The Vice President will be in charge of reaching out to non-college affiliated organizations in order to grow the organization. The Vice-President will be responsible for conducting the business of College Democrats of Minnesota during the meetings and State Conventions. The Vice President will also take minutes at meetings in addition to presiding over all voting processes, and appoint the Elections Chair. the elections process. The Vice President chairs the State Council and has the power to convene the council when they deem necessary. The Vice President will be elected at the State Convention. 

 

Section 5. Development Director: The Development Director will be responsible for all the financial obligations of the organization. The Development Director will be the chief fundraiser, as well as distributor of funds to the organization’s members. The Development Director must also maintain a transparent and complete record of all financial transactions that take place within the organization and file timely and accurate reports with the Campaign Finance Board. The Development Director will provide a budget update at every Executive Board meeting. The Development Director, along with the President, will also be in charge of proposing and revising the organization’s budget as often as needed. The budget will be adopted by a simple majority vote of the executive board. The Development Director will be elected at the State Convention.  

 

Section 6. Membership Director: The Membership Director is responsible for the outreach activities of the organization. The Membership Director will work with all college chapters to expand membership, as well as reaching out to new chapters. The Membership Director will be responsible for handling all documentation and gathering of information for each college chapter. The Membership Director will be elected at the State Convention. 

 

Section 7. Political Director: The Political Director is responsible for the political activities of CDMN. They are in charge of working with campaign partnerships, providing voter registration and campaign resources to chapters, and organizing statewide efforts to support Democratic candidates. They should primarily be focusing on voter registration, get out the vote efforts, and canvassing during election cycles. There should be plans for these cycles made during the off years. They are also responsible for protests, keeping track of legislation that would impact college students, ensuring CDMN has a voice in these efforts, and the endorsement process. The Political Director will oversee any CDMN sponsored caucuses. The Political Director will be elected at the State Convention.

 

Section 8. Communications Director: The Communications Director has the responsibility of managing several aspects of CDMN communications. They are to keep track of any email lists, social media accounts, and a website, in addition to updating them regularly with content. They also are in charge of press releases or any other press related actions. The Communications Director will be elected at the State Convention.

 

Section 9. Programs Director: The Programs Director is in charge of organizing the state convention, in addition to any leadership retreats, socials, or other events that CDMN does. They will be coordinating the entire effort and get to make any convention related decisions, though they can be overridden by a majority of the exec board if they are doing something the majority disagrees with. The Programs Director is elected at the State Convention.

 

Section 10. Appointment of Executive Board Members and Creation of New Positions: In the case that a position is vacated, a member is removed, no candidate runs for a position, or any other circumstance, the President has the power to appoint members. These appointments must be approved by a majority of the executive board members. The President also has the power to create new executive positions as deemed necessary. All new positions must receive approval by the Executive Board. Approval is defined as a simple majority. 

 

Section 11. Removal of Elected Executive Board Members: Any CDMN recognized member can introduce articles of removal against any of the Executive Board members, with just reasoning. The removal voting process will be conducted by the sitting Vice President, unless they are the position in question, in which case the Executive Board will appoint a new manager. The articles of removal will be sent to all chartered organizations at least one week prior to the vote. After debate and discussion on the removal, each CDMN executive, other than the member in question, will receive one vote. Each chartered organization will also receive one vote, which will be cast by their State Council Member. For approval, a removal vote must receive 3/4’s majority vote. 

  1. Under discretion of the President, the vacated position can be filled by appointment, following the set appointment process established in Article VI Section 8, or remain open until the next election. 

  2. The Order of Succession will be as follows:

    1. President

    2. Vice President

    3. Development Director

    4. Membership Director

    5. Political Director

    6. Communications Director

    7. Programs Director

 

Article VII: College Democrats of Minnesota State Council

Section 1. Purpose of the CDMN State Council: The College Democrats of Minnesota is to serve as the voting body of College Democrats of Minnesota. They will vote on constitutional amendments, the removal of officers, submit ballots for elections, endorsements, and other matters deemed necessary by the Vice President. 

 

Section 2. Membership of State Council: The State Council will consist of one member from each chartered chapter, as decided by the individual chapter’s leadership. 

 

Section 3. Chair of the State Council: The State Council will be chaired by the Vice President. The Vice President has the power to convene the State Council when they deem necessary. 

 

Section 4. Terms: The term of state council members will begin and end at the same time as all College Democrats of Minnesota positions, as noted in Article VI Section 2. All positions will serve their final day on April 30 and new leadership will take over on May 1.

Article VIII: Elections

Section 1. Electing the College Democrats of Minnesota Executive Board: The Election of CDMN officers will occur annually at every State Convention. All of the officers will be up for re-election at every State Convention, regardless if the officer has served the entire term.  

Section 2. Candidate Qualifications

All individuals seeking to run for office must complete the guidelines listed below. This includes incumbents running for re-election: 

  1. The potential candidate must prove active membership in one of the chartered chapters.

  2. Candidates must be a current student at the time of the election. 

  3. After all candidates have been allowed the opportunity to promote their candidacy, each chapter present at the convention will have five votes that they can distribute as they see fit. In the event of a tie, the Executive Board will vote on the candidates. 

  4. No more than three members of the Executive Board can be enrolled in the same institution, meaning if the maximum number from one school has been met that no other candidates are eligible.

Section 3. Elections Committee

The elections committee will be in charge of overseeing the CDMN’s elections at the state convention. 

  1. Elections Chair

    1. The Elections Committee will be headed by the Elections Chair. 

    2. The Elections Chair shall not be seeking election. 

    3. The Elections Chair shall be appointed by the Vice President, at least one month prior to the convention, with a simple majority vote of the executive board. 

  1. The Elections Committee will further consist of at least one more member, who will be responsible for verifying the election results. This member will be appointed by the Elections Chair. 

  2. The Elections Committee will follow the procedures in Article VIII Section 4.

 

Section 4. Election Procedures

  1. One month prior to the convention, the Elections Committee will send a form to all CDMN members calling for candidates. Candidates will have two weeks to complete the form. 

  2. At the state convention, the Elections Chair shall announce the position and the names of the candidates running for the position.

    1. In alphabetical order, each candidate will give a speech not to exceed three minutes to the members of the meeting. 

    2. Upon the conclusion of all speeches, the Elections Chair will make an open call for candidates for any of the positions that do not have a declared candidate. Any new candidates will have the ability to make a speech not exceeding three minutes. 

    3. After this concludes, a five minute recess will be held for voting. All voting will take place at the convention. 

    4. Votes will be cast by the State Council Member of a chartered chapter. In the case that a State Council Member cannot attend, a preapproved delegate can vote in their place. 

      1. Each chartered chapter will get 5 votes per position. State Council Members will be responsible for coordinating with their chapter to decide how to divide votes between candidates. 

    5. When all chapters have voted, the votes will be tallied by the Elections Chair and the winners will be announced.

    6. Elections will be conducted with ranked choice voting. 

  3. State Council Members can request to vote absentee. The Elections Committee will send out absentee ballot requests a week before the convention and set any additional rules and processes for absentee voting. 

Article IX: Affiliation with Organizations

Section 1. Any progressive leaning or Democratic collegiate group who wishes to affiliate themselves with the College Democrats of Minnesota will follow these steps: 

  1. An official written document expressing intent to petition must be turned in to the Vice President via email or through the mail. 

  2. The group must have a written constitution, as well as an executive officer board that has been elected by a majority of the members of each respective group. 

  3. The group must turn in a list of active members.

  4. The group must also open their social media pages for full review by the Executive Board. 

  5. Upon completion of the tasks above, the Executive Board must approve the petition of the respective organization. Approval is defined as a simple majority of members voting in favor of acceptance.

Section 2. College Democrats of Minnesota reserves the right to unaffiliate themselves with any organization by a ⅔ vote of the executive board and a ⅔ vote by the State Council. 

Article X: Affiliation and Endorsements with Campaigns 

Section 1. The College Democrats of Minnesota reserve the right to volunteer, and endorse, or disburse funds to any Democratic candidate. Members of College Democrats of Minnesota may campaign in any election they choose, provided they do not use the title of “College Democrats of Minnesota” during their time with the campaign.  

Section 2. Endorsement Process.

If necessary, the College Democrats of Minnesota can endorse a candidate. The endorsement process will be overseen by the Political Director. 

  1. The requirements for deciding which campaigns the College Democrats of Minnesota will be as follows: 

    1. The candidate in question must be affiliated with the Democratic Party. 

    2. The candidate must be seen as an efficient and effective Democrat, consistently representing Democratic values. 

    3. The candidate will complete a survey and other requirements as set by the Political Director. 

    4. The College Democrats of Minnesota Executive Board will determine which candidate to endorse by simple majority vote. 

    5. The State Council will vote whether or not to approve the Executive Board endorsement. A simple majority is required. 

 

Section 3. Chartered organizations of CDMN retain their right to endorse candidates in primary elections, if they so choose; however, this does not indicate an endorsement by the College Democrats of Minnesota. 

 

Section 4. College Democrats of Minnesota reserves the right to revoke an endorsement for a candidate with a ⅔ vote of the executive board and a ⅔ vote by the State Council. 

 

Section 5. A CDMN endorsement will be nullified if the candidate does not win the DFL endorsement. 

 

Article XI: Amending the Constitution

Section 1. Any member of a chartered organization has the ability to offer an amendment to the Constitution. The Amendment voting process will be conducted by the sitting Vice President. All amendments will be sent out to all chartered organizations at least one week prior to the vote. After debate and discussion on the amendments, each CDMN executive will receive one vote. Each chartered organization will also receive one vote, which will be cast by their State Council Member. For approval, an amendment must receive 3/4’s majority vote. 

 

Section 2. Each Executive Board member has the ability to offer an amendment to nullify the current constitution and call for a rewrite of the College Democrats of Minnesota Constitution. This amendment must be announced 10 days before a State Convention, and will be voted on by all members of the organization. Each member will receive one vote, and the amendment must receive 7/8 support. Upon approval, it is the responsibility of the CDMN Executive Board to write and approve a new constitution within one month after the State Convention.

Article XII: Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. All business of the Executive Board will be conducted following Robert’s Rules of Order, unless a process is elsewhere defined in this Constitution.

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