Rice Program Council Constitution
Updated September 2019
Reviewed by Irene Chu (President) and Ryan Morgado (Staff Advisor) in conjunction with RPC Executive Board
- DEFINITION AND ORGANIZATION
Section 1 Definition
The Rice Program Council shall be the official program organization of Rice University. The purpose of the Council is to enhance the quality of life of the Rice community by providing programs of social, cultural, educational, and recreational value. The Council shall endeavor to present programs that represent and foster participation among the members of the Rice community. The Council shall coordinate the planning and scheduling of programs among the residential colleges and affiliate student organizations.
Section 2 Executive Officers
The Executive Officers of the Council shall be the President, the Internal Vice President, the Social Vice President, the External Vice President, the Director of College Relations, and the Treasurer. Each office shall be held by no more than one person.
Section 3 Membership
- The Council shall consist of the Executive Officers, College Representatives, Committee Co-Chairs, and committee members. At no time shall fewer than half of the organization’s members be student members.
- Eligibility. Only student members who are not on Disciplinary Probation or otherwise prohibited from holding office in a registered student organization shall be eligible to seek and hold office.
- Voting positions shall be the President, the Internal Vice President, the Social Vice President, External Vice President, the Director of College Relations, and the Treasurer.
- The President of the Council shall be elected through the Student Association general election.
- To be on the ballot for the Student Association general elections, the individual must have been a member of the Council for at least one (1) full semester.
- The other Officers of the Executive Council shall be reviewed and selected by the incoming President in consultation with the prior Executive Council and Staff Advisor within two weeks of the Student Association general election results announcement.
- Committee Chairs shall be reviewed and selected by the voting members of the Executive Council.
- Committee Members shall be reviewed and selected by Committee Chairs with the approval by the Executive Council.
- The college representatives shall be selected by their respective colleges.
- For a position on the Council, each candidate must be a member of the student body not on disciplinary or academic probation.
- For a position on the Council, each candidate must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
- All incoming members of the Council will assume their duties, including weekly Executive Council meetings and 1:1 meetings with the staff advisor, after Beer Bike. Transition will occur in the 30 days following the selection of the incoming Executive Council and meetings will be conducted as needed.
- Outgoing executive council will maintain responsibility of previous calendar year events including their liaison responsibilities.
- All members of the Executive Council, Committee Co-Chairs, College Representatives, and committee members are expected to attend each regular meeting, unless a conflict occurs with a scheduled class time. If circumstances prevent that person’s attendance, that person should inform the Internal Vice-President.
- If any member misses 2 regular meetings per semester without notifying the Internal Vice-President, said individual will have an individual meeting with the Internal Vice President. If said individual misses 2 more meetings (4 total) without notifying the Internal Vice-President, the individual will meet with the Internal Vice President, other pertinent exec board members, and the staff advisor. The individual’s membership will be considered for review.
Section 4 Meetings
- All members of the Council must be notified of any special meetings at least one week in advance.
- Meetings may be called either by the President of the Council or by a member of the Executive Council.
- Every committee will present at each meeting on pertinent activities and updates of the committee.
Section 5 Removal Process
- If a member is believed to not be performing their obligations outlined by their position, the member will be called for a special meeting with their executive board liaison and the President. The member will receive a warning, specific recommendations for improvement, and adequate time for improvement. If improvement does not occur by the end of the allotted time, the individual will be considered for removal by the Executive Council.
- Any member may be removed from a Committee Co-Chair, College Representative, or Committee Member position by a unanimous vote of the Executive Council.
- If a member of the Executive Council is believed to not be performing their obligations as outlined by their position, the member will be called for a special meeting with the President. In consultation with the staff advisor, the President and member in question will form a leadership contract with deadlines and measurable methods of improvement. If terms of leadership contract are not fulfilled, the other members of the Executive Council will meet with the member in question. The member will have a chance to present his/her case. Following this, the other board members will vote on removal of the member in question. The position will be filled as necessary and as deemed by the President.
- If a Committee Co-Chair is removed or resigns from their position, the Executive Council shall hold a special selection process to choose a new Committee Co-Chair within two weeks of removal or resignation.
- If a College Representative is removed or resigns from their position, the college shall be notified within one week of removal and a new College Representative must be selected by the Executive Council within two weeks of removal or resignation.
- If a Committee Member is removed or resigns from their position, the Executive Council shall replace that committee member at the discretion of the co-chairs of that committee.
Section 6 Resignation Process
- If a member wishes to resign from their obligations outlined by their position, the member must inform in writing their Committee Co-Chair(s), IVP, and Executive Liaison at least two weeks before their resignation.
- The member must arrange a meeting with their Committee Co-Chairs, IVP, and Executive Liaison to explain their resignation.
- The Internal Vice President will act as the primary contact for obtaining information regarding the resignation. The Executive Liaison will facilitate the transition of roles if a replacement member is deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.
- If this protocol is not followed, their resignation may be taken into account in their subsequent applications, if any.
Section 1 Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Council, with the President of the Council as chairman. The committee shall regularly review the activities of each standing committee of the Council and meet with and make recommendations to the chairmen of each standing committee.
- Each Executive Committee member will meet with the Staff Advisor in weekly one on ones.
- Each Executive Committee member shall have at least one liaison committee and will meet with that liaison committee during their bi weekly one on ones.
- Organize events not falling under any of the standing committees as defined in Article C, Section 2.
- Be responsible for managing requests for co-sponsorship. Potential co-sponsorship events may include joint activities with registered student organizations, departmental groups, and athletic support groups. Co-Sponsorship request forms will be available on the RPC website.
- Executive committee shall conduct a review of their constitution at the end of each position term.
Section 2 Standing Committees
- The Council shall have the following standing committees: Passport to Houston, Beer Bike, Festivals, Publicity, Socials, Traditions, Night Owl Antics, and Design.
- Each standing committee will be chaired by an appropriate number of chairperson(s). These chairpersons of the standing committees will be selected by the Executive Council within 3 weeks after the incoming officers have been selected.
- The chairperson(s) of each standing committee shall be responsible for the completion of all duties of their respective committees.
- Each committee shall be prepared to present a verbal report of committee activity during each regular meeting of the Council.
- Each committee must compile documentation following each event to outline the event’s activities, contacts, and feedback.
- The Executive Council may appoint additional committees as needed.
- FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Section 1 Club Funds
- All funds gathered by the organization must be deposited into a club account through the Office of Student Activities within one business day of their receipt.
- Misuse of Funds: The sponsor shall refer to the relevant University office(s) any member reasonably suspected of spending club funds without authority, failing to deposit club funds appropriately, or otherwise misusing or abusing club funds.
Section 2 Expenditures
- Inform Treasurer of check requests at least four weeks prior to payment deadline.
- Committee members, committee co-chairs, college representatives, and Executive Council members can utilize club funds once they have completed the required internal training provided by the Executive Council during the annual fall retreat and the purchase and spending budget is approved by the Treasurer.
- All expenditures in excess of $1000 must be approved by the Executive Council. Requests for such expenditures must be made in a timely manner.
- Expenditures will be estimated prior to an event for the purposes of approval.
Section 3 The budget shall be developed by the Executive Council, led by the Treasurer, using former budgets as a guide for decision making.
- STAFF SPONSORS
Section 1 The Assistant Director of Camps Events shall serve as the official staff sponsors of the Council. Other staff sponsors may be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Council. If the sponsor resigns, is replaced, or is otherwise unable to continue serving as the sponsor for the remainder of the academic year, the organization shall select a new sponsor and notify the Office of Student Activities of the change within 15 class days.
- CAMPUS WIDE POLICIES
Section 1 Nondiscrimination Policy: This organization shall not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status.
Section 2 Anti-Hazing Policy: This organization shall not engage in any form of hazing, as defined by the Code of Student Conduct and any other applicable Rice University rules and regulations.
Section 3 Conflict of Interest Policy: The business of this organization shall not be conducted in any manner that creates a conflict of interest or the reasonable appearance thereof.
Section 4 Approval of Contracts: No commitments or contracts shall be made by any member of this organization on behalf of this organization without the approval of both the sponsor and a majority vote of the Executive Committee.
- RELATIONSHIP WITH STUDENT ASSOCIATION
Section 1 This organization shall recognize the primacy of the Student Association Executive Branch, the Student Senate, and ultimately, the Student Association. This organization shall be bound by the requirements of the Constitution of the Student Association and any associated rules and regulations. This constitution and any bylaws or policies adopted by this organization are subordinate to the Constitution of the Student Association.
Section 1 Approval by Student Association Parliamentarian. Amendments approved by the membership shall be submitted to the Student Association Parliamentarian. Amendments may not take effect until they are approved by the Parliamentarian or the Student Senate in accordance with the Constitution of the Student Association. The Date of Last Revision on the title page of this constitution shall be updated to reflect the date of approval by the Parliamentarian or Senate.
BY-LAWS to the Rice Program Council Constitution
- DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1 The President shall:
- Be the official representative of the Council.
- Preside at the meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee.
- Have the power to call regular meetings of the Council and shall provide agendas for such meetings.
- Be an ex officio member to all committees.
- Determine, at the beginning of each semester, an appropriate time at which all members of the Council can meet on a regular basis.
- Communicate with the Executive Liaison of each committee to ensure that they are proceeding effectively.
- Appoint the rest of the Executive Committee, as outlined in the constitution: Article A, Section 3, Part f.
- Appoint, with the assistance of the Executive Committee, the chairperson(s) of the standing committees as described in the constitution: Article A, Section 3, Part g.
- Facilitate transition meetings between the incoming and outgoing Executive Council. These include but are not limited to: a Joint Exec meeting (everyone on the incoming and outgoing Executive Council), a Constitution meeting (everyone on the incoming and outgoing Executive Council), a Calendar meeting (incoming and outgoing EVPs and Presidents), and a Budget meeting (incoming and outgoing Treasurers and Presidents).
Section 2 The Internal Vice President Shall:
- Act as President if the President is unable to carry out his or her duties.
- Track member volunteer hours and follow-up with those who do not meet the requirements.
- Plan General Body Meetings.
- Manage attendance for General Body Meetings and follow-up with those who cannot make the meetings.
- Carry out the nomination process for Member of The Month award.
Section 3 The Social Vice President Shall:
- Promote internal morale among the council through creative and exciting means by organizing at least two non-RPC related social event per semester.
- Be responsible for retention of RPC members. Be responsive to member needs and solicit feedback to make ensure retention events are inclusive and enjoyable.
- Oversee and track individual committee bonding funds.
Section 4 The Internal Vice President and Social Vice President Shall:
- Collect and organize member information at the beginning of the term. Information includes t-shirt sizes, contact information, college, food allergies, and any information deemed relevant by the Executive Council. The Internal Vice President and Social Vice President should share this information with the Council, and update and maintain the information throughout the year.
- Maintain internal RPC listserv
- Collaborate to organize a spring retreat for all co-chairs, Executive Council members, and college representative within 2-3 weeks of all the new co-chairs and college representatives being selected
- Collaborate to organize a fall retreat for all co-chairs, Executive Council members, committee members and college representatives of all the new committee members being selected
- Collaborate to organize a Year-End dinner for all co-chairs, Executive Council members, committee members and college representatives before the end of the spring semester after their term
- Manage the budget shared by the Internal Vice President and Social Vice President
- Organize the RPC closet on an as-needed basis and at least at the end of every semester.
- Create an inventory of the RPC closet at the beginning of each semester.
Section 5 The External Vice President Shall:
- Compile a calendar of events for each semester, utilizing any sponsorship or advertisements that may be provided. The calendar shall be compiled each semester to coordinate events (for the following semester) of the Council, the residential colleges, and affiliate student organizations. A calendar meeting will be held prior to the end of the Spring semester to determine the dates for the following year’s RPC events.
- Maintain event posts to events.rice.edu that reflect the RPC Calendar.
- Be responsible for RPC recruitment. This includes holding necessary recruitment events before executive board applications, chairperson, and member applications are due and reaching out to the appropriate listservs for recruitment.
- Serve as the liaison to other campus organizations. This includes the Homecoming Committee and attending the meetings of the Student Association Senate, as needed and if called upon.
- Oversee the fencing rental process.
- Keep accurate meeting minutes for all meetings held by the Executive Board.
- Manage transition documents for all committees and Executive positions. The External Vice President should update and send a template with detailed instructions to facilitate the process. Transition documents should be reviewed and approved by the External Vice President in a timely manner from events being completed.
- Develop and enforce a File Sharing system among Council. The External Vice President shall create or update a standard file sharing protocol (Team Drive for all committees except Beer Bike) to ensure that folders and files are accessible to the relevant parties, organized, and reflect a standard file sharing structure across all of RPC. This may involve downloading and re-uploading all files that are not in the Team Drive to the Team Drive to ensure that folders/files are not lost in transition.
Section 6 The Director of College Relations Shall:
- Act as chief liaison between the college representatives and the Council, to ensure proper communication of Council events and announcements, and to maximize responsiveness to opinions and concerns of the student body.
- Develop and maintain a solidified college representative change-over process, including but not limited to: interest meetings, outlining responsibilities for candidates, and mandatory trainings.
- Promote college representative morale among the reps through non-RPC related events at least once a semester.
- Increase accountability of the college representatives to the Council.
Section 7 The Treasurer shall:
- Supervise the finances of the Council and keep complete and accurate records of all incomes and expenditures of the Council
- Shall maintain the budget as outlined in the constitution: Article C, Section 3.
- Review periodically the financial records and practices of each standing committee and report the results of these reviews to the Council. As a minimum, this should be accomplished at during the middle and end of each semester.
- Train the newly elected Treasurer, who shall be an ex officio member of the Council during the period between elections and turnover. Up to the last calendar year event, the newly elected Treasurer shall become familiar with the position while assisting the current Treasurer with the execution of his or her duties.
- Keep all money received from the Council’s events in the Student Center Office safe at all times, and deposit any amount exceeding $200 in cash and checks within seven days.
Section 8 The College Representatives shall:
- Represent and communicate to the Council the ideas and opinions of their respective colleges.
- Actively promote and communicate to their respective colleges all programs of the Council.
- Each residential college shall be allowed one College Representative. In the event that a residential college elects more than one person to act as its representative, then all the representatives of that Residential College shall represent a total of one College Representative to the Council and shall act as one unit.
- Must attend meetings of the Council. Representatives may miss no more than two meetings per semester and cannot exceed two proxies per semester. In the event that a representative does not meet these expectations, the Council retains the right to remove said person as a representative and will contact their college asking for a new representative to be appointed.
Section 1 The Rice Program Council Standing Committees shall be as follows: Passport to Houston, Beer Bike, Concerts, Publicity, Socials, Night Owl Antics, Traditions, and the Design Team
Section 2 Standing Committee Requirements
- All standing committees will meet bi-monthly with the Staff Sponsor and their Executive liaison.
Section 3 Standing Committee Functions
- The Passport to Houston Committee shall:
- Purchase tickets for cultural, musical, and sporting events to be given away for free or sold at a discounted price to the students.
- Seek to promote events in the Houston area that might be of interest to the Rice student body.
- The Festivals Committee shall:
- Be responsible for planning the Welcome Back Festival on the first day upperclassman can return to campus.
- The Socials Committee shall:
- Be responsible for the implementation of University-wide recreational and entertainment events, including the annual events of Screw-Yer-Roommate and Crush Party.
- Provide, as a minimum, one formal during the fall entitled Esperanza and one formal during the spring semester entitled Rondelet (depending on budget capabilities).
- The Traditions Committee shall:
- Be responsible for coordinating at least one RPC Homecoming event.
- Be responsible for coordinating at least one RPC Willy Week event during the week before Beer Bike.
- Organize an RPC Study Break during Dead Days of each semester.
- Organize an event that occurs at the campus-wide Activities Fair.
- The Beer Bike Committee shall:
- Be chaired by an appropriate number of people, preferably only upperclassmen with knowledge of the event, who will coordinate a committee to assist them.
- Be responsible for planning Beer Bike, which is held during the end of March or early April.
- Be responsible for selecting Area Coordinators during committee member selection.
- The Night Owl Antics Committee shall:
- Plan a minimum of 5 substance-free, night programming events per academic year, which may include inter-committee collaborations.
- Be responsible for planning an annual Gingerbread House Building Competition close to the end of the fall semester.
- The Publicity Committee shall:
- Oversee the external RPC listserv that will consist of an email with a consolidated list of upcoming RPC events to be sent out once a week.
- Plan 2 “Night Bites” event per semester for the purpose of publicizing a future RPC event or item of significance.
- Work with other standing committees to publicize RPC events.
- Oversee RPC social media accounts (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat)
- Conduct annual review and regular update of RPC website
- The Design Team shall:
- Work alongside Publicity Committee and work with other standing committees to design appropriate RPC graphics for all events or items. Designs will be made for social media, print media or any other forms of communication.
- This Team shall be chaired by the Design Co-Chairs.
- The Passport to Houston Committee shall:
Section 1 Amendments to the By-Laws may be proposed by any member of the Council and must be approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the Council, and subsequently approved by a 4/5 vote of the Student Senate, as outlined in the Student Association Constitution.