Constitution and By-Laws

 

Article One. Name.

 

The name of this organization shall be Brandeis Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (hereinafter referred to Brandeis SALDF).

 

Article Two. Purpose.

 

I.  The Brandeis SALDF is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.

 

II.  The Brandeis SALDF is dedicated to the goals of educating the law school and surrounding community about forms of institutionalized and individualized animal abuse, and engaging in projects that combat that abuse.

 

III.  The activities of Brandeis SALDF shall include, but not be limited to: hosting speakers, debates, and conferences on current issues in animal rights and animal welfare law; carrying out research projects for lawyers and organizations promoting animal welfare and animal rights litigation; networking with students at other law schools, colleges, universities, and high schools;conducting educational events such as information tables and video screenings on pertinent issues; and advocating on behalf of vegetarian/vegan students within our law school.

 

Article Three. Criteria for Membership.

 

I. Membership in Brandeis SALDF shall be open to all students currently enrolled in Brandeis Law School, regardless of gender, race, creed, age, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, or emotional disability. Individual membership in the Animal Legal Defense Fund is encouraged but not required for all Brandeis SALDF members.

 

II. Regular membership shall consist of those students of the Brandeis Law School who (a) have agreed to uphold this Constitution and (b) participate fully in the activities of Brandeis SALDF, including attendance at two meetings per semester or at the discretion of the Executive Board. Regular members shall have the right to vote.

 

III. Non-student membership shall consist of those persons who fulfill the requirements of Article Three, Section II except that they are not enrolled at the Brandeis Law School. The membership of the Brandeis SALDF will not consist of more than 50% non-students. Non-student members shall have the right to vote.

 

Article Four. Officers.

 

I. The officers of Brandeis SALDF shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and shall collectively be referred to as the Executive Board.

 

II. The responsibilities of the President shall be as follows:

  • To communicate with the designated contact person at the Animal Legal Defense Fund;
  • To preside at meetings of Brandeis SALDF;
  • To serve as the representative of this Brandeis SALDF to the University Administration, the Student Government Association, the Student Bar Association, and other organizations;
  • To execute the orders of Brandeis SALDF, subject to the approval of the membership;
  • To appoint chairpersons and members of all committees, subject to the approval of the membership;
  • To delegate Presidential responsibilities when deemed appropriate, subject to the approval of the membership;
  • To have signature authority on all checks issued by Brandeis SALDF;
  • To inform succeeding officers of their responsibilities to Brandeis SALDF, University Administration, the Student Government Association, and other organizations;
  • To perform other such duties as the membership or Constitution may specify.

 

III. The responsibilities of the Vice-President shall be as follows:

  • To assist the President in her/his duties;
  • To preside at meetings of Brandeis SALDF in the absence of the President;
  • To establish, administer, and enforce an attendance policy for meetings, subject to the approval of the membership;
  • To assume the office of President in her/his absence, vacancy, resignation, or dismissal;
  • To perform other such duties as the membership or Constitution may specify.

 

IV. The responsibilities of the Secretary shall be as follows:

  • To prepare agendas and to record minutes of meetings of Brandeis SALDF;
  • To handle all correspondence of Brandeis SALDF not under the purview of the President:
  • To pick up all mail received at the Student Government Association and the Law School mailbox at least once a week, in addition to any other location at which mail for Brandeis SALDF may be delivered;
  • To maintain an accurate list of the membership of Brandeis SALDF;
  • To update and maintain all files of Brandeis SALDF;
  • To assume the office of Vice-President in her/his absence, vacancy, resignation, or dismissal;
  • To perform other such duties as the membership or Constitution may specify.

 

V. The responsibilities of the treasurer shall be as follows:

  • To keep accurate records of the financial status and transactions of Brandeis SALDF;
  • To receive and disburse all monies of Brandeis SALDF;
  • To have signature authority on all checks issued by Brandeis SALDF;
  • To hold personal responsibility for all organization funds in her/his possession;
  • To represent Brandeis SALDF when requesting funds from the Student Government Association or Student Bar Association;
  • To assume the office of Secretary in her/his absence, vacancy, resignation, or dismissal;
  • To perform other such duties as the membership or Constitution may specify.

 

VI. Qualifications for persons who are eligible to serve as officers of Brandeis SALDF are as follows:

  • registration as a student at Brandeis Law School,
  • membership in Brandeis SALDF,
  • attendance at a minimum of two meetings of Brandeis SALDF during the Spring voting semester,
  • agreement to uphold the goals and purposes of Brandeis SALDF, and to comply with the mission and goals of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

 

VII.  The Executive Board shall consist 100% of student members of the Brandeis Law School. In the event that an officer, for whatever reason, expected or unexpected, is unable to continue in the capacity of their office, the vacated office shall be filled within two weeks.

 

VIII.  In the event the Executive Board consists entirely of officers in the 3L class, the Executive Board shall have the power to fill the position of 2L Representative. The 2L Representative will be subject to the membership requirements in Article Three. The 2L Representative shall be responsible for recruitment of  new members and shall perform any duties that the Executive Board deems necessary in carrying out the purpose andmission of the Brandeis SALDF. The Executive Board shall determine the procedure for selecting the 2L Representative, which may include (but is not limited to): appointment by the Executive Board, accepting a volunteer, or carrying out an election consistent with the guidelines set out in Article Five. If chosen by appointment, the appointment must be accepted within 5 days of notification for the appointment to be valid. If an appointment is not accepted within 5 days or rejected, then the Executive Board shall have the power to appoint another member as a 2L Representative, contingent on that member's timely acceptance. The 2L Representative shall serve his/her term until a new Executive Board is elected. Procedures set out in Article Four, Section VII, Article Six, and/or this Section shall be followed in the event the 2L Representative steps down or is removed from office.

 

IX.  A 1L Representative shall be elected at the last meeting of the Fall Semester. The 1L Representative shall be subject to the membership requirements set out in Article Three. The Board shall hold an election to choose the 1L Representative consistent with the guidelines set out in Article Five.  In the event that no 1L member runs for the office, the Board shall have the power to appoint a 1L Representative.  The 1L Representative shall be responsible for 1L recruitment and enhancing the involvement of the 1L class in the Brandeis SALDF. 

 

 

Article Five. Elections.

 

I. Candidates for any office of Brandeis SALDF must be Regular Members. Candidates for any office shall be nominated by the voting membership or shall nominate themselves. In electing officers, each member shall have one vote per office.

 

II.  Election of officers shall take place at a meeting of the Brandeis SALDF called for that purpose to occur in April, with term of office lasting one year.

 

III. Election of officers shall be by a majority vote. In the case of a tie, the Faculty Advisor shall cast the deciding vote. In the event that no candidate attracts the requisite number of votes for election, a run-off shall be held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes. If there is only one candidate applying for an office, that candidate shall take office by default.

 

IV. No person shall occupy two offices at the same time.  Officers may be re-elected without limitation.

 

V. Students interested in serving as officers shall so inform the Brandeis SALDF no later than one week prior to the election.

 

Article Six. Removal

 

I. Any officer may be removed by a three-fourths vote of the membership. In case of a tie, the Faculty Advisor shall cast the deciding vote. A vacancy of any office shall be filled by Presidential appointment, subject to the approval of the membership.

 

Article Seven. Meetings.

 

I.  Regular meetings of Brandeis SALDF shall be held at least twice per Fall and Spring semester, the general day and hour to be set by the voting membership at the first meeting of the Fall Semester. 

 

II. Special meetings of Brandeis SALDF may be proposed by two members, who shall inform the President of the proposed meeting and agenda at least one week prior to the date of the proposed meeting. The Executive Board shall have discretion in calling the proposed special meeting. The President shall have the authority to modify the meeting calendar as benefits the majority of the schedules of members of the Brandeis SALDF.

 

III. Decisions at meetings shall be made by a majority of the members present, with every present party agreeing to, dissenting to, or abstaining from every action there decided. A necessary quorum for all decisions shall be at least 51% of all members present at the time the decision is made and must include at least one officer.

 

Article Eight. Affiliation with the Animal Legal DefenseFund.

 

I. Activities of the Brandeis SALDF shall at all times be consistent with the mission of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (hereinafter "ALDF"). No litigation will be initiated, endorsed, or supported in the name of the Brandeis SALDF, without prior approval of ALDF. All public policy positions taken by the Brandeis SALDF shall be consistent with the mission of ALDF:"to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals." The Brandeis SALDF will not purport to speak for ALDF or commit it to any position on any matter of public policy or law on behalf of ALDF without ALDF's prior written consent.

 

Article Nine. Amendments.

 

I.  Any two current members shall be entitled to propose amendments. Proposed amendments shall be consistent with these By-Laws, and shall be communicated to the ALDF and all current SALDF officers, who shall schedule a meeting for the purpose of approving these amendments. If the date of submission of these amendments is near the date of a regular or special business meeting, then no additional meeting need be scheduled. A two-thirds majority of all regular chapter members must vote on any amendments to this constitution. Non-student members shall have the right to vote on all amendments, with the exception of those regarding Article Three Section III.