The Constitution

The Constitution is reviewed annually to best serve the needs of the society.

Article I – Name
The Name of this organization shall be the African American Society.

Article II – Objectives

The objectives of the African American Society are:

  1. To ensure the recruitment, matriculation, and retention of Black students reflecting multiple regional and economic levels, as well as national / international population levels.
  2. To create an academic, cultural, political, and social exchange with the Black community as well as the greater Bowdoin community. The Black community should be interpreted as including Black professors, students, parents, Black organizations, and residents of Maine, Black alumni, and the students at other institutions.
  3. To encourage and aid all Black students and members of the Society in achieving the highest level of academic performance.
  4. To use our knowledge and facilities to identify problems confronting Black people and find solution.
  5. To make the African American Society a self-sufficient body by soliciting alumni support and anticipating future budget cuts so that we are responsible for our own programming.*
  6. To guarantee the African American Society a permanent and ever growing role in the Bowdoin College community.

Article III – Membership

Members of this organization shall consist of Bowdoin students who are committed to the political, educational, cultural, and social cause of Blacks/African-Americans.

A member of good standing is:

One who attends two-thirds of the General Body meeting and who participates in a majority of the society sponsored activities.

Article IV – Meetings

Section 1

The meetings of the organization shall be called by the President and the officers at regular intervals, or at the request of a majority of the members. The meetings shall proceed in an orderly and efficient manner.

Section 2 – Excused Absence

  1. Members: An excused absence can be obtained with the approval of the President, Vice President, or Secretary before the meeting. The excused absence will be recorded as an attendance.
  2. Central Committee: In regards to the Central Committee, three absences will be allowed before the Central Committee members brought up for review by the Central Committee.

Article V – The Central Committee

The Central Committee (CC) shall be composed of all elected officials who are expected to propose policy statements for the organization. The Central Committee shall be representative of the members of the African American Society.

Section 1. Central Committee Members

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Secretary
  4. Treasurer
  5. Minister of Public Relations
  6. Minister of Culture & Education
  7. Historian
  8. First-Year Representatives
  9. House Resident

Section 2 – Meetings

The CC shall meet once a week and will be open to general body members.

Section 3 – Special Officer Committees

Officer’s committees shall be comprised of the Society members. The committees will be formed according to the needs of the Society and at the discretion of the CC.

Committee for Ebony Ball, Black History Month, Events, Conferences, Activism

Section 4 – Responsibility for Policy Making

The CC is responsible for proposing policy statements, concerning rules and regulations. All such statements are subject to the Society modification or rejection.

Section 5 – Eligibility

First-year students will be eligible to hold office only in the second semester if an unexpected vacancy needs to be filled. Students who are studying abroad the year a position (Secretary and Historian) is to be filled must find another student who will fill the position the semester that they are abroad. These students must run as a pair. In the event of special circumstances, a first-year student may be elected to fill a position, if necessary.

Article VI – Officers and their duties

Section 1 – President

The President shall: preside at all meetings and may vote only to break a tie; be the official representative of the organization in business transactions and other affairs subject to the authorization of the CC; have general responsibility of the affairs of the organization; shall perform all duties incidental to the office; attend all CC meetings.

Section 2 – Vice President

The Vice President, in the absence or incapacity of the President shall: perform the duties of that officer, and duties incidental to the office; be responsible for welcoming new students and maintaining members’ interest in the Society, coordinate fund raising for Society self-sufficiency; maintain contact with community organizations; attend all CC meetings; The role of Vice-President may be a duo position at the discretion of the Society. Candidates for election may not run in pairs.

Section 3 – Secretary

The secretary shall have the responsibility for internal secretarial duties including the announcements of meetings, taking notes,the posting of minutes; maintain contact with other Maine schools, including Bates, Colby, and the University of Maine at Orono and their respective multicultural organizations; and attend all CC meetings.

Section 4 – Treasurer

The treasurer shall: be responsible for monitoring the society’s finances at all times; sign all vouchers and expenditures; draft the budget for the Student Activities Fee Committee; investigate ways to raise funds other than through College budgets (e.g. grants, alumni, etc.); communicate with alumni about potential funding; attend all CC meetings.

Section 5 – Minister of Public Relations

The Minister of Public Relations shall: be concerned with all campus and off-campus publicity and correspondence; be responsible for publicizing events effectively, using the necessary means; and maintain the Facebook group; attend CC meetings.

In conjunction with the Secretary, the Minister of Public Relations will maintain contact with black alumni, and correspondence with black organizations in the community and at other New England schools.

Section 6 – Minister of Culture & Education

The Minister of Education shall: be responsible for all educational programs for the Society, including the development of topics for political and cultural discussions, workshops, and any other programs sponsored by the Society; provide tutorial assistance through a self-help network;generate ideas for cultural activities presented by the Society throughout the academic year, including Holiday celebrations, parties, etc.; be the contact person for all proposed co-sponsorship with other campus organizations, per approval of the Society; attend all CC meetings.

Section 7 – Historian

The historian shall: have the responsibility of the maintenance and organization of the society files; attend all society functions documenting the society’s activities; creating an annual photo-journal for the society; maintaining the historian’s office and attend all CC meetings.In conjunction with the Minister of Public Relations, the Historian will work to manage the Facebook group.

Section 8- First-Year Representatives

Two first-year students shall be elected by the General Body within the first month of the fall semester and must attend all CC meetings and general meetings. These positions are necessary to orient the first-year students to the goals of the Society. These positions will be filled by a male and female student, ideally.The representatives must plan two events, one during the fall and one in the spring semester for the Society. The representatives are also responsible with planning the end of the year Senior BBQ.

Section 9 – House Resident

The House Resident serves as the official link between the Society and Russwurm House. They shall be responsible for assisting the House Manager in the upkeep of the house; welcome new members of the house; host an open house in conjunction with the African American Society during the academic year; must attend all general meetings.

Article VII – Elections

All officers shall be elected in the spring semester. This is to allow the new officers to become familiar with their offices, though they will not assume office until the following semester. In addition, it is the responsibility of current board members to train rising officers.
Nominations will be sent out at least three days before the day of elections. Campaign speeches will be delivered on the day of elections. Ballot submissions will be submitted anonymously on the day of elections. After the meeting, the ballots will be counted by a current board member. An email will be sent out to the members regarding who is on the new CC board.