Article I – Membership and Duties

Section 1 – Board Composition

The Activities Board at Columbia board shall be composed of the following:

Executive Board:
President, elected by the ABC board
Vice President, elected by the ABC board
Treasurer, elected by the ABC board
Secretary, elected by the ABC board
Director of Technology, appointed by the executive board

15 Representatives, each elected by and representing the ABC groups in one of the following categories:

  1. Academic

  2. Black

  3. Dance

  4. East Asian

  5. Engineering

  6. European and Middle Eastern

  7. Indigenous

  8. Latinx

  9. Media

  10. Musical

  11. Performance

  12. Pre-Professional

  13. Publications

  14. South, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander

  15. Special Interest

4 Council Liaisons, appointed by their respective student councils.

Section 2 – Duties of the President

The President shall lead the weekly ABC board meeting and Executive Board meeting, along with other ABC functions such as town halls.

The President shall represent the ABC in meetings with administrators and other student leaders.

The President shall regularly communicate with the leaders of other undergraduate student governments.

The President shall be the chief advocate for the ABC during F@CU and work with the Treasurer in putting together a F@CU packet and presentation.

The President shall work together with the Treasurer during Student Financial Advising account closing over the summer, such as reclamations, overdrafts, and any other items relating to transitions between fiscal years.

The President shall work together with the Secretary to inform groups of their starting allocations at the beginning of the year.

The President shall work together with the Secretary on outreach to ABC groups  via email and other forms of communication.

Section 3 – Duties of the Vice-President

The Vice-President shall preside over ABC meetings when the ABC President is unavailable.

The Vice-President shall assist the President and other officers in executing and enforcing policy decisions made by the ABC.

The Vice-President shall assist the President in communicating with administrators and student leaders.

The Vice-President shall head the Policy Committee for at least the first semester of the school year.

Section 4 – Duties of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for balancing the ABC account.

The Treasurer shall execute monetary legislation made by the ABC.

The Treasurer will respond to groups’ questions regarding their financial accounts.

The Treasurer must head the Finance Committee for at least the first semester of the school year.

Section 5 – Duties of the Secretary

The Secretary shall facilitate the New Group Recognition Process, including answering groups’ questions regarding the process.

The Secretary shall send out the regular ABC newsletter.

The Secretary shall take minutes of weekly ABC meetings and make them publicly accessible.

The Secretary must head the Outreach Committee for at least the first semester of the school year.

Section 6 – Duties of the Director of Technology

The Director of Technology shall be responsible for maintaining the ABC website and responding to group and administrator inquiries regarding the ABC website.

The Director of Technology will be a non-voting role of the ABC, but the position may be held by an existing representative or council liaison.

The Director of Technology is not required to attend regular ABC meetings but  should make a concerted effort to be present.

The Director of Technology may be removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the ABC board.

Section 7 – Duties of the ABC Representative

The ABC representative shall be active advocates and liaison for groups within their categories, seeking to promote the well being of both their groups and student life in general on campus.

The ABC representative shall act as the primary source of information for the ABC regarding the group’s activities and make recommendations to the ABC with regard to actions taken by the board concerning the group’s programming and finances.

The ABC representative shall advise groups with programming, finances, and ABC procedures, rules, and regulations.

The ABC representative shall maintain regular communication with group leaders, including meeting a group’s leadership at least once a semester and making a concerted effort to attend one event for each group.

The ABC representative must respond to groups’ FTFs within 72 hours upon notification of their submission. If the representative does not respond to FTFs within 72 hours, groups may appeal to the ABC executive board for approval, and a warning to the representative shall be issued.

ABC Representatives are encouraged to approve FTFs within 24 hours of submission, but failure to do so is not grounds for appeal to the ABC executive board.

The ABC representative must serve on at least one committee of the ABC.

The ABC representative shall present their groups’ co-sponsorship requests.

The following may be grounds for a representative’s impeachment:

  1. Failure to meet ABC’s attendance requirement;

  2. Failure to complete the responsibilities above; and

  3. Disrespectful or hurtful behavior from the representative to any of their groups, including but not limited to email etiquette, in-person interactions, and ABC board discussions.

After three distinct complaints from other representatives, groups or Advisors to the ABC executive board, a warning shall be issued to the representative, and a meeting between the representative and the executive board will take place to discuss solutions.

Section 8 – Duties of the Council Liaisons

Council liaisons shall represent their respective councils’ positions during discussions and votes.

Council liaisons shall update the ABC on relevant and important developments within their respective councils.

Council liaisons are active voting members of the ABC.

Until a council liaison is confirmed by their respective student council, he or she will not count towards the total voting member count when determining quorum.

Section 9 – Attendance

All voting ABC members are required to attend weekly board meetings, committee meetings, and other mandatory ABC events, such as town halls and NGR meetings.

Members are given two excused absences per semester. More than two unexcused absences or an unexcused absence will put the position of the member under review.

Two unexcused lates equal one unexcused absence.

In the cases of emergencies, absences and lateness must be accompanied by at least 24 hour’s notice to the Executive Board in order to be excused.

Section 10 – Conflict of Interest

When relevant during discussion, members must disclose any groups they currently work with or have worked with in the past. Members must also disclose close personal relationships with individuals within a group in question.

If a representative happens to submit a FTF for a group he or she represents, the FTF will be approved by a member of the ABC Executive Board.

Article II – Meetings

Section 1 – Weekly Board Meetings

Regular ABC Board meetings shall take place every week. All meetings shall be open to the public unless closed by a 2/3 vote by the ABC board.

A quorum of 2/3 the voting members of the board must be present for any business to be conducted.

The President shall act as presiding officer during ABC meetings and conduct all votes and lead discussions. In the event the President is absent, the Vice-President shall be the acting presiding officer. The presiding officer cannot vote, except to break a tie.

A motion for a vote can be made at any time by any voting member of the ABC. In order for the motion to be voted on, the motion must be seconded by another voting member of the ABC.

Every member of the ABC shall only have one vote, except for the presiding officer..

Meetings shall be adjourned at the discretion of the President of the ABC. Another member of the board may adjourn the meeting if given the power to do so by the President.

Section 2 – Weekly Executive Board Meetings

The Executive Board will hold a closed meeting at least once a week to discuss the direction of the ABC and the agenda for upcoming board meetings and events.

Section 3 – Committee Meetings

Committee meetings shall take place at a time and place decided by the committees’ members. The frequency of the meetings shall also be decided by the committees, but may not be less frequent than once a month.

All committee meetings shall be open to the public unless closed by 2/3 vote of the committee in question.

Article III – Committees

Section 1 – ABC Committee Structure

The ABC will have three committees: Policy, Finance, and Outreach.

The ABC may add or remove committees based on a simple majority vote.

At least one executive officer of the ABC must serve on each committee.

Committee assignments will be made by the ABC Executive Board.

Section 2 – Policy Committee

The Policy Committee pursues policy initiatives designed to benefit student groups that are not closely tied to student group finances.

Section 3 – Finance Committee

The Finance Committee pursues policy initiatives designed to benefit student groups that are closely tied to student group finances.

Section 4 – Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee focuses on informing ABC groups of resources and relevant developments through various methods, such as social media.

Article IV – Group Categories

Section 1

The names of group categories and the category to which a group belongs may be changed by a simple majority vote of the ABC board.

Article V – Allocations

Allocation decisions will start from the third to last board meeting of the year.

Representatives will provide the board with a written list of recommendations and explanations before allocation discussions.

Allocation decisions require a simple majority of the Board.

All allocation packets and decisions will be made available to the public at the beginning of the following academic year.

Article VI – Spending Guidelines

Refer to Spending Guidelines.

Article VII – New Group Recognition (NGR)

Section 1 – NGR Phase 1

Step 1: Group expresses interest in NGR and may meet with NGR Chair or Student Engagement/OMA advisor to explore options and learn about process.

Step 2: Group submits recognition packet to the ABC.

Step 3: Group is invited to interview with the ABC during an NGR Day, a day dedicated to interviewing and voting on all NGR applicants for the semester. If the group cannot make it to the NGR Day, the board may schedule a separate interview for the group.

Step 4: The full board votes on whether or not the group is to be recommended for phase 2 of the recognition process.

Step 5: Group is notified of ABC decision.

Step 5A: If a group does not receive the recommendation for phase 2 from ABC — NGR Chair emails them the decision and may include reasons why based on notes taken at committee and full board meetings. NGR Chair cc’s the ABC advisor. End of process for majority of groups.

Step 5B: If a group does receive the recommendation from ABC — NGR Chair emails them letting them know that they have been recommended for Phase 2 of the recognition process, the meeting with their potential advisor and constitutional review. ABC advisor is cc’ed on correspondence to be able to follow up immediately.

Section 2 – NGR Phase 2

Phase 2 of the NGR Process is handled largely by the ABC Advisor. The process is outlined below.

Step 1: ABC advisor receives group’s NGR packet as well as full board notes on decision to recommend (preferably within one week of ABC full board vote).

Step 2: ABC advisor assigns group to potential advisor in either Student Engagement or OMA depending on group’s needs and niche.

Step 3: ABC advisor circulates application and recommendation materials to potential advisors for constitutional review. Any concerns are collected by potential advisor.

Step 4: Student Engagement/OMA advisor schedules meeting with group to discuss organizational needs, programming, and any questions that are presented from the constitutional review.

Step 5: Group either contests or agrees to constitutional changes.

Step 6: ABC advisor and potential advisor meet to discuss the group’s application. They vote on a decision that may include caveats depending on any agreements made with the group during meeting or constitutional review. If the vote is not in line with the original ABC recommendation, a meeting is held with the NGR Caucus. Caucus group includes ABC President, NGR Chair, ABC Advisor, and group’s potential Student Engagement/OMA advisor. If there is still disagreement on the recognition status, the caucus moves to vote. Any member of either ABC Executive Board or Student Engagement/OMA staff may serve as proxy if a time conflict does not allow for attendance.

Section 3 – NGR Phase 3

The ABC advisor and NGR chair draft letter with the final decision after Phase 2. For groups who are approved for recognition, the ABC President, the ABC advisor, the NGR Chair, and the group’s President and Treasurer sign the recognition letter. This letter includes any agreements crafted during either Phase 1 or Phase 2 and the amount of initial allocation. The document is also accompanied by the approved constitution, completing the Recognition File located on the shared drive. The ABC advisor emails letter and constitution to the group, group advisor, the ABC Executive Board, SACBO, UEM, and additional stakeholders as needed. The email, letter, and constitution are archived in group’s folder on shared drive. SACBO sends a welcome email to the group with financial advisor information as well as account number. ABC assigns representative. SACBO financial advisor, ABC rep, and ABC advisor enroll student leaders in training on respective policies and procedures.

If the group is not approved for recognition, the ABC advisor and NGR chair email group with notification and recommendations for moving forward (if any).

Section 4 – Appeals

A. Phase 1

Groups may appeal to the ABC and in some instances are granted a second interview with the full board if the full board votes it so. Usually, these interviews are granted if new information surfaces that the full board (through vote) believes is critical to the understanding of the group and its functions.

B. Phase 2

A group may submit an appeal to the ABC Advisor. A meeting is then called with the NGR Chair, the potential advisor and rep, the ABC advisor, and members of the group if the appeal is deemed warranted (similar criteria utilized as in Phase 1).

Section 5 – De-recognition Prerequisite for Spring NGR

As stated in Article IV, Section 4 of the ABC Constitution, the ABC may recommend groups for recognition in the spring semester only if de-recognition for the year has been completed.

Article VIII – Group De-recognition

Section 1 – Criteria

The ABC may de-recognize groups that violate ABC policies (including no longer meeting the criteria for group membership) or that have been deemed inactive for two consecutive semesters.

Section 2 – Procedure

Step 1: ABC and Student Engagement/OMA share correspondence about groups’ activities. Any groups who have not programmed within the year are considered for de-recognition and are investigated.

Step 2: The ABC communicates with the groups currently being investigated for de-recognition and informs them of the investigation. If the group unresponsive, an effort should be made to contact past boards. Regardless of the responsiveness of the group, the investigation should continue for the purpose of making a timely and informed decision regarding the group’s possible de-recognition.

Step 3: The ABC communicates with Student Financial Advising to document that there is no financial activity on the account.

Step 4: The ABC communicates with UEM to document that there is no booking of space on the group’s account.

Step 5: The ABC board votes whether to recommend the group for de-recognition. A 2/3 vote is required to vote a group for de-recognition.

Step 6: The ABC emails the groups recommended for de-recognition of the ABC’s decision.

Step 7: A final email is circulated to ABC, Student Engagement, and OMA asking for any final information.

Step 8: With no reservations from any of the three, the group is de-recognized.

Step 9: A letter is signed by the NGR chair as well as the ABC advisor and circulated to all parties involved – Student Financial Advising, ABC, OMA, and Student Engagement.

Step 10: Group is removed from the ABC site, LionLink, and Student Financial Advising accounts records.

Section 3 – Appeals

A group recommended for de-recognition wishing to make an appeal must provide reasons for remaining recognized to the ABC within fourteen days of the date of original notification. A 2/3 vote by the full ABC board is required to approve the appeal.

Article IX – ABC Co-Sponsorships

Section 1 – Purpose

The ABC provides its groups with an ABC General Co-Sponsorship to help fund enhancements to recurring programming or projects. ABC representatives will have complete prerogative in determining the efficacy of general co-sponsorships.

The ABC also provides its groups with a separate Community Programming Fund (CPF) Co-Sponsorship for events designed to foster inclusivity within and open to the entire Columbia undergraduate community. ABC representatives will have complete prerogative in determining the efficacy of CPF co-sponsorships.

During allocation review at the end of each spring semester, effective utilization of General Co-Sponsorships and CPF Co-Sponsorships will be one factor in determining allocation increases.

Section 2 – Approval

A group’s respective ABC representative will present its co-sponsorship request and will require a majority vote of the entire board for approval.  

ABC General Co-Sponsorships will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Adherence to the group’s purpose and/or mission statement

  • Purpose and target audience of event

  • Accuracy of funding estimates and amounts

  • Relevance to the group’s pre-existing events

CPF Co-Sponsorships will be evaluated on the above criteria and the following:

  • Openness to the Columbia undergraduate community (CC, SEAS, Barnard, GS)

  • Requirements and/or barriers to attendance

  • Degree of planned publicity/outreach

If approved, allocation will be transferred to the group in the amount of the approved co-sponsorship. The subsequent spending of said allocation must adhere to ABC spending guidelines.

Section 3 – Deadline

General Co-Sponsorship and CPF Co-Sponsorship requests will be accepted until the fourth-to-last meeting of the spring semester. Allocation review will commence the following week.

Section 4 – Discussions

When discussing ABC General and CPF Co-Sponsorship Requests, there will be a default 5 minute cap on discussions, at the end of which the board will have to provide a simple majority vote to continue discussions. Otherwise, a motion on the co-sponsorship request must be brought to the board.

Section 5 – Transparency

ABC General and CPF Co-Sponsorship Requests and Decisions will be made available to the public throughout the year.

Article X - Heritage Months

Section 1 – Introduction

The ABC provides Heritage Months with funds to support their programming and their co-sponsorship of other groups’ events during the month. Except for the funding process, Heritage Months are treated identically as, and are held to the same standards as, other ABC groups. New Heritage Months must also go through New Group Recognition in order to receive space and funding privileges.

Section 2 – Funding

Heritage Months will not submit an allocation packet or receive an allocation. Instead, they will complete a Heritage Month funding application that will require a simple majority vote of the entire ABC board for approval. The money will then be transferred from the ABC account to the Heritage Month. Heritage Months must reapply for funding every year.

Section 3 – Co-sponsorships

Heritage Months may receive funding to co-sponsor related programming by other on-campus groups during the month. Requests for co-sponsorship funding must be received before the first event of the month and may be submitted with the main Heritage Month funding application.

If possible, co-sponsorship requests must be accompanied by the name of the group being co-sponsored and a brief description of the expenses being covered by the co-sponsorship. Co-sponsorships are subject to the same spending guidelines as regular Heritage Month programming.

Section 4 – Timeline

Heritage Months must work with their advisor and corresponding ABC representative on their funding application and Heritage Month programming at least six weeks before the first event of the month. The application must be received by ABC at least four weeks before the first event of the month.

Heritage Months beginning less than six weeks after the start of the fall term must adhere to the above deadlines, but may work with the ABC Executive Board on their funding application before the start of the term.

Heritage Months beginning less than four weeks after the start of the spring term must submit their funding application by the last regular ABC meeting of the fall term.

Section 5 – Spending Guidelines

Heritage Months must adhere to all spending guidelines mentioned in Article VI of this document, with the following exceptions:

A.   Heritage Months may spend up to $0.50 per projected event attendee on publicity. The sum of the projected attendees for all Heritage Month events may be used for this calculation, and publicity need not be for any specific Heritage Month event.

B.   Heritage Months may not spend money on or co-sponsor events that fall outside of the month, unless explicitly authorized to do so by ABC.

C.   For banquets and events where food is the main focus, up to half of the cost of decorations may be covered by ABC funding.

Article XI – Adoption of Bylaws

Section 1

These bylaws shall become binding when adopted in the manner described in the ABC constitution.

Section 2

Bylaws must be reviewed at the first meeting of each academic year to determine whether changes in student group needs or University policies warrant amendments to the bylaws.

Last Approved: February 27th, 2019