It is hereby declared that the Carleton University Debating Society exists to the following ends:
- To foster clearheaded and open-mined discussion among the individuals, communities, and organizations of Carleton University on issues relating to Carleton University, the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and the World;
- To develop the skills and confidence of all members of the society to better participate in such discussion;
We call into force this Constitution of the Carleton University Debating Society on April 8, 2001.
- To represent Carleton University and advance its reputation in formal and informal debating competition, at all levels.
Article I – The Organization
1.The Organization shall be known as the Carleton University Debating Society (CUDS), and herein after shall be referred to as the “Society.”
2.The Society shall operate as a non-profit organization.
3.The official Mascot of the society shall be XERXES – the four-foot inflatable androgynous space-alien.
4.As official debating association of Carleton University, the Society shall represent the University as an independent member of the Canadian Universities Societies for Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID) and its related organizations.
5.CUDS aspires to have its active membership representative of the diverse Carleton University population as a whole.
Article II – Purpose
1. The organization shall provide post secondary students enrolled at Carleton University a forum in which to exchange ideas and opinions via debate and oration, cultivate skills conducive to logical and reasoned argument, participate in competition and foster friendships amongst members.
2. Members shall assemble to hone skills in Parliamentary debate, oration, seminars, or any other activity pursuant to the Society’s raison d’être.
3. The Society shall abide by all terms and conditions of the Carleton University Students’ Association’s Constitution.
4. The Society shall not tolerate discrimination of any type between members, either during or outside official Society activities. Non-compliance shall result in revocation of membership.
Article III – Membership
1. All students of Carleton University are welcome to become a member of the Society, with the exception of students demonstrated to have been involved in the circumstances resulting in the decertification of the Carleton Dorchester Debating Union. The Chair of any Business or Debating meeting shall be empowered to remove any person who disrupts any proceedings, or acts in a threatening or abusive manner.
2. Only Members in Good Standing shall be eligible to receive Society funding for external events. The society is prohibited from charging any member more than 20$ for the registration, transportation and accomodation costs of attending a CUSID sanctioned tournament, including the WUDC, which is part of the society budget, when the member has been duly selected to represent the society.
3. A Member in Good Standing shall be defined if the individual,
i. Is a student at Carleton University, and
ii. Has paid a $5.00 membership fee, and
iii. Has submitted their name, phone number, e-mail address, and major to the Vice President Administration, and
iv. Has attended at least two Debating Meetings.
4. The society is prohibited from compensating members for the use of a personal vehicle beyond the cost of fuel and unanticipated, demonstrable costs.
Article IV – Business and Debating Meetings
1. The Following outlines Business meeting procedure:
i) “Business Meetings” shall be held to conduct regular society business, and be held no less than once per month during the academic year.
ii) All external and public activities of the Society, including, but not limited to, participating in tournaments, public debates, or taking a position on a matter of public interest, must be approved in principle at a business meeting.
iii) Regardless of what is Article V, section 1(ii), in situations where potential public activities of the society that could not reasonably have been foreseen arise prior to the next scheduled business meeting, and where it is impractical to defer a decision on the matter to the subsequent business meeting, approval may be sought via a discussion on CUSIDnet. The approval will follow this process. The membership shall be made aware of this discussion via the society listserv, website, and any other means deemed reasonable and the period of voting shall not be less than 48 hours, not including statutory holidays. Discussion shall be open to all, but only the votes of members with voting rights shall be counted; quorum must be satisfied. When deemed necessary by the executive, it shall be acceptable to submit votes privately by contacting the President and Vice-President administration through electronic mail.
iv) No matter involving the public activities of the club or expenditure of club funds or in excess of $100 may be added to a business meeting agenda after it is posted. Exception in cases of unexpected expenses relating to accommodation or transportation at an external tournament that could not reasonably have been foreseen. In such situations, members of the executive, or their designated representative, in attendance are authorized to approve such expenditure so as to economically provide the level of service expected by those duly selected to represent the society.
v) Business Meetings shall be chaired by the President, or in his/her absence, the Vice President Administration
vi) The President shall post the Agenda for a business meeting no less than 2 days in advance of the meeting.
vii) No matter involving the expenditure of society funds in excess of $100 may be added to a business meeting agenda after it is posted.
viii) A minute taker shall be selected at each meeting.
ix) Minutes from the previous meeting must be posted no less than 2 days in advance of a Business meeting, and they must be approved.
x) The Executive shall indicate at each meeting those individuals with voting rights.
xi) The VP Administration shall provide a financial update at each business meeting.
xii) The agenda, minutes, financial report, and voting membership shall be posted to the CUSIDnet forum, Society webpage, and other means that are reasonable.
2. Business Meetings are open to the Executive and to voting members, defined as those Members in Good Standing who have attended,
i. At least one external tournament during the current academic semester, or
ii. At least two external tournaments during the current academic year
iii.Six Debating Meetings within the past two months of society operations, excluding from the Annual General Meeting to August 31 inclusive.
iv. An external or internal tournament, and four meeting in the previous two months, as described above.
3. The Executive and voting members shall have the right to,
i. Speak on any Society issue;
ii. Vote at all Business Meetings;
iii. Vote in all elections;
iv. Seek nomination for any executive position.
v. Partake in any events of the Society;
vi. Be informed of all meetings, events, elections, and competitions.
4. The Executive will be the administrative body of the organization, composed of members elected from the General Membership, consisting of,
i. President – Responsible for overall leadership of the Society, coordination of executive duties, chairing meetings, communications with CUSID and the University. Will be the vote holder for CUSID meetings. Official voice of the Society. Tie breaking vote in cases of ties. May delegate responsibilities as need be.
ii. Vice-President Administration – Responsible for maintaining Society records and managing Society funds, including the administration of the student levy. Responsible for maintaining a list of past tournament results according to the Past Tournaments Results By-Law. Responsible for preparing a proposed annual budget in September. Responsible for preparing a detailed statement of society expenses bi-annually, the first before the winter break, and the second prior to the Annual General Meeting. Budget and expense reports should be presented to the membership on the CUSIDnet forum, through the society mailing list, and in person at a regular society meeting. Acts in the absence of the President.
iii. Vice President Communication – Responsible for maintenance of the Society web site, mailing list, servers and fora. Responsible for keeping the society web site updated with all upcoming events, results and tournaments in a timely fashion. Will also liaison with external organizations, including media organizations, with regards to Society events. Responsible for assisting the equity officer in all relevant areas.
iv. Vice President Internal – Responsible for society activities within Carleton, including setting up the weekly meetings and business meetings, and organizing public on-campus debates. Responsible for recruitment and retention of members.
v. Vice President External – Responsible for organizing Society participation in external debating events and maintaing the sign up list for external tournaments.
vi. Vice President French Debate – Responsible for facilitating communication between CUSID-French, French tournament organizers, and executive members of external French clubs. Responsible for training and recruiting Francophones as well as increasing the visibility of the French debating at Carleton
vii. Novice Representative – Responsible for representing the interests of novice members in the Society. To be eligible, a candidate must hold novice status, as defined by CUSID, and is elected by fellow novices no later than October 30.
5. The executive shall have the power to create “officers of the society.” These positions shall be created and given a mandate by the executive. The executive reserves the right to determine how the officers are selected. The mandate of any officer of the society will end on April 30th of the academic year of the appointment, and the executive shall have the power to renew the position.
6. The executive shall appoint an equity officer at the beginning of each academic year to Enforce equity policy.
7. In addition, the Society shall elect Tournament Director(s) who shall be responsible for coordinating and organizing CUDS hosted events, including, but not limited to, the Xerxes and Dorchester Cups. Tournament Directors shall operate as officers of the society, and be responsible to the Executive, not members of it. A Tournament Director may also concurrently sit on the Executive
8. The membership of the society will be required to approve the choice of a Chief Adjudicator for any tournament hosted by the society. Approval is deemed as requiring a 50% plus one vote at a business meeting.
9. Honorary members so named by a simple majority vote of the General Membership or nomination shall be eligible to participate in all society activities.
10. Debating Meetings shall be scheduled for at least once per week, where numbers permit, during the sitting academic year. A brief report shall be made about the previous Business Meeting at the beginning of the Debating Meeting by a member of the Executive or other member as empowered by the President. The remainder of the meeting shall be devoted to engaging in debating related activities.
11. Quorum for Business meetings is any three (3) Executive members, or one (1) Executive member plus three (3) voting members.
12. To the Best of the societies' ability, any funds allocated by the departments or units of Carleton University must be allocated by the Society generally, and not to an individual member.
13. Voting members shall be allowed to submit directed proxies to business meetings in the period between the posting of the agenda and the time of the meeting. Proxies must follow regulations stipulated for all other proxies, and must include a reason as to why the member cannot attend the business meeting that the executive deems to be a sufficient barrier to attendance.
Article V- Annual General Meetings
2. The Following outlines the process for holding the Annual General Meeting:
i) An Annual General Meeting shall be held no more than 3 weeks after the CUSID National Championship.
ii) Executive elections shall be held at the Annual General Meetings.
iii) Any constitutional amendments may be considered without advance notice at the Annual General Meeting
iv) The President shall announce the date of the Annual General Meeting no less than ten days in advance.
3. In general, decisions of the Society at the Annual General Meeting or Business meetings should not be amended or overturned until the subsequent Annual General Meeting. In exceptional cases, decisions may be overturned at a business meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present.
Article VI – Elections and Impeachment
1. The Executive shall be elected for a term of one year at a General Meeting held in March.
2. Notice to all members shall be given ten days prior to a General Meeting being held for the purpose of conducting an election or by-election.
3. Elections shall proceed as follows:
i. Members may nominate any member for any Executive position;
ii. Each nomination must be seconded by another Member;
iii. After nominations are presented, nominations will be closed and speeches shall be heard from all nominees;
iv. Where there is one nominee for the position, that person shall be acclaimed to that position following a certification vote;
v. Where there is more than one nominee for the position, a secret ballot shall be cast and the winner shall receive the majority of votes for that position. Should no nominee receive more than fifty percent of eligible votes cast, a second ballot shall be cast excluding the nominee with the fewest votes. This shall continue until such a time as a Nominee receives more than fifty percent of eligible votes cast;
vi. If an Executive position becomes vacant during the year, a by-election shall be called to fill the position at the earliest possible time.
vii. Upon completion of the election, the newly elected executives shall take their respective offices up to three weeks thereafter. The intervening period of time should be used to transfer all necessary articles, effects, legal authorities, etc. from the departing Executive to the incoming Executive.
4. Any Executive member may be removed from office when the person
i. Is no longer a Member of the Society,
ii. Violates the Society Constitution or CUSA Constitution, and
iii. Is incompetent, negligent or untruthful in the carriage of duties intrinsic to the position.
5. At least ten days notice of impeachment must be given to the Executive Member in question and members of the General Assembly.
6. During a motion of impeachment, the Executive Member in question shall have the opportunity to speak to the motion in front of voting members.
7. The Executive Member shall be removed from office if two-thirds of the members vote in favour of the motion to impeach. A by-election pursuant to Article V, Section (3), Subsection (vi) shall be conducted immediately.
8. In the event o f an election where the final two candidates receive an equal number of valid
votes, each voting member shall be allowed to vote three times, distributing those between
candidates as they see fit.
9. All members with voting rights may submit their vote through a proxy for all elections,
constitutional amendments, and the Annual General Meeting. The President will post the proxy
policy to the CUSIDnet forum, the Society Listserv and website no less than 7 days in advance
of the relevant meeting. those seeking to submit a proxy must contact the President and the Vice
President Administration no less than 2 days in advance of the meeting. The onus will be on the
member submitting a proxy to ensure that it is received.
Article VI – Constitutional Amendments and Organization Dissolution
1. A motion for Constitutional Amendment may be heard if it has been presented at a regular weekly business meeting, with notice subsequently given to the membership of the Society.
2. The Constitution shall be amended if two-thirds of the members present vote in favour of the amendment at the following week’s regular business meeting or at the Annual General Meeting.
3. Any amendments to a Constitutional Amendment motion must be friendly to the original mover.
4. On dissolution of the Society all assets gained through CUSA shall be returned to CUSA and all other assets shall be given to a charity so chosen by the Executive.
Appendix A - Tournament Participant Selection Policy
Teams and/or individuals who are chosen to go to tournaments will be decided in a closed meeting of the tournament selection committee (TSC), on a tournament-by-tournament basis. Proposed funding for each tournament will still be proposed by the executive and passed at business meetings. The TSC will be composed of five members, including the President, who will act as chair, the Novice Representative, and three members of the society. The additional members of the TSC will be elected on a yearly basis at the AGM, by the same procedures that apply to the executive elections, except that each member of the society will vote by single transferable vote.
Interpretation of these criteria is not binding, however, they should be used unless there are exceptional circumstances. It shall be implemented fairly across all candidate teams, with interpretation based on the goals of the tournament. Following the team selection meeting, the results will be announced, and a rationale, agreed upon by members of the TSC, will be told to tournament applicants. Decision made by the TSC can be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote of all membership present at the meeting.
In addition, should a member of the Society have obligations to attend a tournament, including such reasons as being a member of the national CUSID executive, the society may choose to subsidize up to half of their costs for transportation at the discretion of the executive.
The TSC will decide and announce pairings in a timely fashion, allowing for at least one business meeting between the announcement of pairings and the date of departure for the relevant tournament.
Originally drafted and passed at the Annual General Meeting of the Carleton University Debating Society on April 8, 2001, as amended at the Annual General Meeting of the Carleton University Debating Society of March 28th, 2003, April 7, 2004, April 6, 2005, March 24, 2006, April 5, 2007, April 4th, 2008, and April 11th, 2009.