U of T Canadian Politics Society
University of Toronto Canadian Politics Society

Constitution

Read our organization’s constitution.

Last updated March 13, 2019

General

Article I: Name

The official name of this recognized campus group is “Canadian Politics Society.”

The acronym or abbreviation of this group is “CanPol.”

Article II: Purpose

The purpose, objectives, mission and/or mandate of organization is outlined here:

The Canadian Politics Society aims to engage the student population of the University of Toronto by providing events and opportunities that help foster an interest in Canadian politics. Our main event is a two day first ministers simulation (hereinafter referred to as “the simulation”) meant to recreate a federal-provincial conference between the Prime Ministers and Premiers of the provinces and territories of Canada. This simulation aims to provide an opportunity for interested students to learn about intergovernmental relations and engage in respectful and productive discussion around important political issues in Canada. Furthermore, due to the nature of the simulation, students will get the opportunity to represent political views that might differ from their own, which will contribute to greater respect and understanding of diversity of political views within the University of Toronto community. In addition to this main event, we will be hosting meetings throughout the year, including a combination of the following: election night viewing events, expert panels, structured debates, and/or professor-led discussions.

Article III: Membership

(a) General Membership Requirements

Membership to the group is open to all the University of Toronto members (students, staff, faculty and alumni).

U of T members are permitted to run, nominate, and vote in elections and constitutional amendments. The group is open to non-U of T members. However, these members do not hold the aforementioned rights. Members must register with a designated executive by submitting their full name, student number, and a valid email address. There is no membership fee to be a part of the group.

For recognition by the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), the group must maintain a minimum of 30 members, a total of 51% of membership are UTSU members. The group must also maintain recognition from the Office of Student Life. These requirements are subject to change and should be checked with UTSU annually to ensure qualifications are met.

(b) Simulation Participant Requirements

Participants of the simulation will be a subset of the members of the group. The participants of the simulation and their assigned roles shall be selected by the Executive through a merit-based application process. The Executive is required to be as objective as possible when assigning roles, and to not discriminate whatsoever based on political views, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, disability, or any other grounds. If a member does not feel like their application was treated fairly, they can appeal to the wider membership of the group and override the Executive’s decision with a simple majority. Current executive members may not be participants in the simulation.

The minimum number of participants required to run the simulation is fourteen.

The Simulation Participants shall:

  • complete position papers

  • research the issues on the agenda

  • fully participate in the simulation over the two days.

Article IV: Executive List and Duties

(a) Elected Officials

The executive committee (“The Executive”)  shall be comprised of the following elected officers with the listed responsibilities:

The President shall:

  • Oversee the operations, management and success of the group

  • Be the spokesperson for the group

  • Hold signing officer authority along with the Treasurer for financial purposes

  • Preside over executive and general meetings

  • Coordinate the annual simulation, including the:

    • application process

    • orientation

    • dissemination of informational material to participants

    • pre-conference events

    • two-day conference

  • Coordinate other group events

  • Ensure transition of office to the future Executives

  • Be a liaison between the Office of Student Life, UTSU, and the group

  • Maintain a list of all registered members and their contact information

  • Record notes and motions for meetings

  • Handle official correspondence of the organization

  • Any other responsibilities that unexpectedly arise during the course of the year will fall to the President

The Vice President (elected in March or April) shall:

  • Run the social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) to advertise the club

  • Coordinate the website

  • Create and execute an advertising plan so that all members of the community are properly informed

  • Run all external communications activities

  • Coordinate the annual simulation, including the:

    • application process

    • orientation

    • dissemination of informational material to participants

    • pre-conference events

    • two-day conference

  • Coordinate other group events

  • Ensure transition of office to the future Executives

  • Assist the President in all activities of the organization

The Operations Coordinator (elected in March or April) shall:

  • Coordinate all room bookings

  • Coordinate all catering requests

  • Assist the other appointed and elected officers with extra duties

The First Year Representative (elected in September) shall:

  • Assist with the general planning activities of the executive

  • Take on other responsibilities as necessary, within reason

(b) Appointed Officials

The Executive shall be supplemented by the following appointed officers with the listed responsibilities. These positions do not hold executive decision making authority. The roles must be fulfilled by current members of the group. The appointed officers will be selected by the Executive through a merit-based application process. These roles, excluding the Treasurer as it is a necessary position, are not required to be filled every year, depending on the needs of the organization. It shall be up to the Elected Officials to determine which positions are required. For the termination of appointed officers, see Article V below.

The Treasurer shall:

  • Record all financial transactions of the group

  • Hold signing officer authority along with the President for financial purposes

  • Maintain a budget of income and expenses along with receipts

  • Advise members on financial position of the group

  • Prepare an annual budget for the group as well as budgets for specific events

The Design and Media Coordinator shall:

  • Create graphics and content for the club

  • Coordinate with the Communications Coordinator to develop website content

The Outreach &  Recruitment Coordinator shall:

  • Communicate with other campus groups to promote collaboration

  • Aid the Communications Coordinator in advertising the group to make sure all members of the community are properly informed and encourage to join

The Official Photographer shall:

  • Take photographs of the meetings and simulations

  • Be responsible for obtaining permission from members before photos are published

  • Digitally distribute photographs to members

Article VI: Termination of the Executives or General Members

Any member of the club who commits an act negatively affecting the interests of the club and its members, including non-disclosure of a significant, continuing conflict of interest or demonstrated hateful/bigoted behaviour towards another member, may be given notice of removal. The member up for removal shall have the right to defend their actions. A vote will be held at an executive meeting, and a two-thirds majority vote of the current executives present in favour of removal is required. The member must have the right to an appeal before the general membership, and the majority vote of the general membership will have the final say on the matter.

The member will be removed from the club’s membership and will lose any privileges associated with being a member of the club.

Elected executive members are subject to termination if they commit an act negatively affecting the interests of the club and its members. The executive up for removal shall have the right to defend their actions. A vote will be held at a general membership meeting, and a two-thirds majority vote of the members present in favour of removal is required.

Appointed executive members are subject to termination if they commit an act negatively affecting the interests of the club and its members or if the general membership believes the appointment was made unfairly. The appointed official up for removal shall have the right to defend their actions. A vote will be held at a general membership meeting, and a simple majority vote of the members present in favour of removal is required.

Term of appointed executive members shall be one year from their appointment date.

Article VII: Elections

The executive committee shall strike the Elections Committee and appoint one (1) Chief Returning Officer (CRO) from the general members on the committee to conduct and hold elections in either March or April/September. All members of the Elections Committee shall be unbiased and shall be required to disclose any and all conflicts of interest in advance of the election.

The CRO shall accept nominations only from group members that are registered U of T members for candidacy of executive positions from the general membership one week before the scheduled election date. Candidates have to be members in good standing and be part of the group for at least one month prior to the nomination period.

The CRO shall hold the elections during the annual end-of-year meeting in March or April for the President, Vice President, and Operations Coordinator. The CRO will hold elections for the First Year Representative position during the start-of-year meeting in September. The election date must be announced in a minimum of two (2) weeks prior and must fall on a weekday. During the election and prior to voting, candidates will be required to give a one (1) to two (2) minute speech to the general members explaining their qualifications and platform.

The CRO shall provide each U of T member with a paper ballot on the voting date and ask the member to place their ballot in an enclosed box.

In preparation for a tie, the CRO shall cast their ballot and seal it in an envelope. In the event of a tie for an executive position, the CRO shall break the seal and count the ballot in order to break the tie.

After the election is over, the CRO shall count the ballots. The candidates with the most votes shall be elected to the position. The CRO shall submit a report of the results of the elections to the Executive Committee and general members.

Registered U of T members may not vote by proxy. Non-U of T members may not nominate or vote in elections.

Only U of T members who have been a member in good standing for 30 days prior to election dates are eligible for voting.

Term of elected executive positions shall be from May 1st to April 30th.

Article VIII: Finances

The Treasurer shall keep records of all income and expenses. The Treasurer shall present a report on the group's financial health at each annual general meeting. The Executive Committee will vote on expenditures of over $100.00 by majority vote at an executive meeting.

The group’s executive or members may not engage in activities that are essentially commercial in nature. This is not intended to preclude the collection of charges for specific activities, programs or events, or to prohibit groups from engaging in legitimate fundraising. However, the group will not have as a major activity a function that makes it an on-campus part of a commercial organization, will not provide services and goods at a profit when that profit is used for purposes other than for those of the organization, and will not pay salaries to some or all of its officers.

Article IV: Meetings

(a) Annual General Meetings (AGMS)

The group shall hold general meetings at least twice per year, i.e. once per academic term.

The Executive Committee will announce these dates at least two (2) weeks prior to holding the meetings. These meetings are intended to go over the group’s annual activity plan, financial health and propose or vote on constitutional amendments, if any. Motions will require ⅔ majority of registered members in attendance for a vote to be cast. The motion with the most votes will be passed.

(b) Executive Meetings

The executive shall meet on at least a monthly basis where date and times are to be set by an executive. The quorum of executive meetings shall be 50%+1 of executives.

Article V: Amendments

Any registered U of T members may propose and vote on amendments to this constitution. The Executive will administer the process of having amendments discussed at general meetings.

Constitutional amendments shall require a ⅔ majority to be passed at Annual General Meetings by registered U of T members in attendance.

The Executive shall formally adopt the new constitution and submit the revised constitution to the respected University offices (i.e. The Office of Student Life, the University of Toronto Students’ Union, etc) within two (2) weeks of its approval by general members.