Our Provisional Constitution
Since its founding in March of 2017, Bard Democrats has been operating off of a special constitution. The following is a codification of these special rules, which were improvised to (1) give the executive the flexibility and initiative necessary to jumpstart the organization and (2) provide the caucuses with a fair, equal, and even-handed framework to draft, edit, and agree upon a constitution which would bind them all.
The draft constitution, which will be proposed at our September 2017 convention, may be accessed here.
These rules are set to expire at the end of the first convention of the Bard Democrats, which will occur in September of 2017.
Spring 2017 Special Rules of Order
- This organization shall be known as the “Democrats of Bard College” or “Bard Democrats,” abbreviated "Bard Dems."
The Executive Branch shall consist of the Acting President, the Acting Vice-President, and the Cabinet;
The Executive Branch shall handle the operational aspects of the organization.
Axel Clavier (Re) shall serve as the Acting President of the Bard Democrats until the end of the first convention, set to occur in September of 2017.
The Acting President shall serve as the chief executive officer and statesman of the organization, overseeing the operational tasks necessary to its functioning.
The Acting President shall orchestrate the relations of the Bard Democrats with outside groups and organizations in consultation with the Assembly.
If the President wishes to resign, they must present the Chair and the Acting Vice-President with a written note.
The Acting President shall appoint a Cabinet of officers, and may abolish or create offices according to the needs of the moment.
In order to fill these positions, the Acting President must submit the candidates in question to the Assembly along with a summary of their intended role.
The Assembly must approve candidates by a simple majority vote before they can assume their duties.
The Acting President may fire their officers at any time.
Any executive officer who wishes to resign from their post must provide the President with a written note.
The Cabinet shall, in conjunction with the Chair and Parliamentarian, organize Conventions.
Shayna Alexandra Koczur (Re) shall serve as the Acting Vice-President of the Bard Democrats until the end of the first Convention, set to occur in September of 2017.
The Acting Vice-President shall act to support of the President as their right hand and executive assistant, and shall act in their stead in their absence or incapacity.
The Acting Vice-President shall, in the event of the President’s graduation, expulsion, removal, resignation, or death, assume the Presidency.
The Acting Vice-President may call meetings of the Assembly and address it at will.
If the Acting Vice-President wishes to resign, they must present the Chair and the President with a written note.
In case of vacancy, the Acting Vice-Presidency may be filled by a two-thirds majority vote in the Assembly until the next quarterly convention.
The Cabinet shall be composed of the following appointments.
Haris Talwar (Re) as Political Director; he shall be charged with managing our relations with other student groups on campus.
Emily Münstedt as Communications Director; she shall coordinate our messaging and message dissemination and keeps our website up to date.
Tinatin Bezhanidze as Treasurer; she shall manage the flow of money in and out of the organization and handle fundraising.
Ehsun Qamar (Re) as Policy Director; he shall aid the President in the draft process of the organization’s laws.
Ava Mazzye as Lead Organizer; she shall lead our volunteers, plan and execute events, and oversee organizing operations.
Caucuses are organizations which have chosen to affiliate themselves with, participate in, and send representation to the Bard Democrats.
Caucuses are entirely self-organizing and self-governing.
Caucuses may therefore enter into willing associations and contracts with one another, such as this constitution.
Caucuses may join and leave the organization at any time, but they shall only be accorded voting power at quarterly conventions.
Caucuses shall send a number of representatives to the Bard Democrats.
Each caucus representative shall be accorded one vote in the Assembly.
The Assembly shall set policy and rules for the organization as a whole through bylaws and resolutions.
Meetings of the Assembly on any subject may be called by the President, the Vice-President, the Chair, or three or more members of the Assembly. The Chair shall be responsible for coordinating and notifying all involved of the details of the impending meeting and ensuring attendance.
Meetings of the Assembly are chaired by the officers who called them, advised and supported by the Chair.
The Assembly possesses great legislative prerogative; it may:
Create rules to govern the operations of the organization, Caucuses, the Assembly, and the Executive Branch.
Cede its power to the Executive Branch at will.
Summon a member of the Bard Democrats to testify about a particular question by an absolute three-fifths majority vote; No officer, by which is meant the President, the Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, the Chair, representatives to the Assembly, and Caucus Chairs, may decline to testify; ordinary members not in positions of responsibility may not be compelled to appear, but they can be asked.
The Assembly shall elect a Chair from among its members with an absolute majority vote at its first meeting after a quarterly convention.
The Chair of the Bard Democrats shall sit on the cabinet, may partake in all meetings of the cabinet, shall actively be kept informed of its operations, and shall act as a liaison between the Cabinet and the Assembly.
The Chair may call meetings of the Assembly.
If the Chair wishes to resign, they must notify the Assembly and the President with a written note immediately; an election for Chair will immediately follow at the next meeting of the Assembly.
The Chair may be removed through a vote of no-confidence by majority vote; the Chair may present a defense once the motion is introduced; an election for the Chairmanship shall immediately ensue.
The Chair shall, in conjunction with the Executive and Parliamentarian, organize Conventions.
The Assembly shall be composed of any Caucus who indicates their interest, and all caucuses shall be apportioned one representative regardless of their size.
The Assembly may, with the agreement of the Chair, President, Vice-President, and all other Caucuses, close a truant caucus; all writing pertaining to that caucus shall be kept.
Said caucus must be reinstated immediately if contact is reestablished.
Jacob E. Lester (Pr) was elected as Chair of the Bard Democrats on May 8, 2017 by the Reform and Progressive Caucuses, who at the time composed 100% of the votes in the Assembly.
The caucuses shall work together to produce a draft constitution to present at the September convention.
All caucuses shall have a veto over the constitution.
The consensus Constitution may not proceed to the Convention floor for ratification unless all parties have given their assent.
Should a constitution be produced by this process, and garner the assent of all caucuses, it shall be presented and defended at the Convention by all caucuses.
Caucuses may revise and ask for changes in the constitution as they join the Federation.
To go into effect, the Constitution shall pass the Convention by a three-fifths majority vote of all attendees.
The Executive and Chair shall organize the first convention of the Bard Democrats, which shall take place before September 30, 2017.
These rules shall expire at the end of the September 2017 Convention.