Constitution of the Yale Political Union
Updated May 2020
Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Yale Political Union.
Section 1: The purpose of the Yale Political Union shall be to provide Yale with a non-partisan forum for parliamentary debate and to encourage the discussion of matters of public interest by other suitable means.
Section 2: The Union shall be open to any and all political viewpoints in its capacity as a forum.
Section 3: No part of the net earnings of the Yale Political Union shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Yale Political Union shall be authorized and empowered to provide reasonable compensation for services rendered, and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II, Section I hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the Yale Political Union shall be the dissemination of propaganda or other attempts to influence legislation, and the Yale Political Union shall not participate in, or intervene in (including by publishing or distributing statements about) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the Yale Political Union shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation contributions to which are deductible under § 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Section 4: Upon the dissolution of the Yale Political Union, assets shall be distributed for one or both of the following exempt purposes under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code: (a) to educate students and Yale University concerning the political issues of the day, and (b) to enhance political discourse at Yale University. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of in accordance with the law by the State of Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of New Haven, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations which are , as said court shall determine, organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
Section 1: There shall be three classes of membership in the Union, which shall be Full Members, Patron Members, and Honorary Members.
Section 2: Students and alumni of Yale University shall be eligible to be Full Members of the Union. Membership shall be by Session. Anyone who purchases a membership for a fall Session must also purchase a membership for the following spring Session. Anyone eligible to purchase a membership may choose to purchase membership for eight sessions for the cost of six consecutive Sessions. Anyone eligible to purchase a membership may choose to purchase a membership for life, which shall cost an amount equal to the cost of ten consecutive Sessions minus any amount the purchaser has previously spent on the purchaser’s own membership in the Union.
Section 3: All those who have been elected president or speaker of the Union before the adoption of this constitution shall upon its adoption be granted full membership for life, and upon election to the office of speaker or president, a member shall automatically and immediately be granted full membership for life, but nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the body’s ability to strip a member of membership.
Section 4: All members of the Oxford and Cambridge Union Societies shall be Full Members of the Yale Political Union.
Section 5: The Executive Board shall set the cost for fall and spring memberships, though it may not change the price of membership for any Session after the first meeting of the Executive Board during that Session. The costs of membership for the fall and spring Sessions do not need to be the same.
Section 6: Any person who is ineligible to purchase membership in the Union may become a Patron Member by paying an amount equivalent to the cost of a membership of the same duration. Patron Members shall have floor privileges but may not vote on any matter before the Union.
Section 7: The Executive Board may grant honorary membership to any non-member it wishes for any length of time it wishes. Honorary Members shall have floor privileges but may not vote on any matter before the Union.
Section 8: Membership in the Union is subject to revocation by the body in accordance with the rules set forth in the parliamentary authority. No refund of any amount shall be granted for a revoked membership.
Section 9: Honorary and patron membership in the Union is subject to revocation by the body in accordance with the rules set forth in the Parliamentary Authority, except that there shall be no requirement of notice. In addition, the Executive Board may, without notice, revoke a patron membership by a two-thirds vote, and it may, without notice, revoke an honorary membership by majority vote. No refund of any amount shall be granted for a revoked patron membership.
Section 10: Any Member may resign at any time by writing a letter in the Member’s own hand and delivering it in person or by United States Mail to the President or Speaker of the Union. Such resignations take effect immediately. No refund of any amount shall be granted for a resigned membership.
Section 11: Any Full Member who has attended at least three meetings, or one-half the meetings, in a Session of the Union during the time specified by Article X, Section 2, shall be considered an Active Member. All Voting Members shall also be considered Active Members.
Section 12: Any Active Member who has participated in at least two meetings, or one-half the meetings, in a Session of the Union during the time specified by Article X, Section 2, shall be considered a Voting Member. All Voting Members shall be eligible to vote in the Union elections at the end of the same Session.
Section 1: The President shall be elected to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Union; to preside over meetings of the Executive Board; to supervise all other Union officers; to appoint, with the Advice and Consent of the Executive Board, the Outreach and Operations Director, the Secretary, and other officers as deemed necessary for the functioning of the Union, the chairmen of all committees except the Rules Committee and Advisory Committee, and officers to fill elected offices which become vacant during the Session; to appoint Full Members to serve temporarily in the absence of officers; to communicate with advisory bodies, especially alumni and faculty; to submit to the Executive Board, in accordance with Article VII, a proposal for the budget for the Session; and to submit a memorandum at the end of the Session to future Presidents and the Executive Board, on the events and developments of the Session, which shall be deposited in the Union Archives. The President shall be ultimately responsible for the success of the Union.
Section 2: The Speaker shall be elected to preside over all meetings of the Political Union; to act as Chairman of the Rules Committee; to supervise the floor leaders and oversee the construction of a speaking docket for each debate; to appoint, subject to the restrictions stated in Article VIII, the Teller; to appoint acting Tellers in the absence of the Teller; to advise the Executive Board on parliamentary and constitutional matters; and to submit a memorandum at the end of the Session to future Speakers and the Executive Board, on the events and developments of the Session, which shall be deposited in the Union Archives. The Speaker shall be responsible for the student contribution to debate.
Section 3: The Vice President shall be elected to procure guests for debates; to set a tentative schedule for the current and following Sessions in accordance with Article VII, and to update the Executive Board regularly on the status of said schedule; to produce an end-of-term report on the status of invited guests; to maintain a database of past, present, and potential guests; to make the necessary practical arrangements for the travel and accommodation of guests; to communicate with guests regarding tentative resolutions; to accompany guests on campus; to organize meals or other events with guests; to assist the President in the operation of the Union; to act as president in the President’s absence; and to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant during the Session. The Vice President shall be responsible for all matters concerning guests.
Section 4: There shall be two treasurers, the Senior Treasurer and the Junior Treasurer, who shall be elected to collect and disburse Union funds; to sell Union Memberships; to assist the President in drafting a budget proposal for the Session; to advise the Executive Board on financial matters pertaining to the Union; to raise money for the Union from sources including, but not limited to, corporate entities, non-profit organizations, and Yale University; to maintain the Union’s financial records, which shall be open to inspection by any Full Member; to provide complete reports of the Union’s financial status monthly, or as instructed, to the Executive Board; and to deposit a copy of the Union budget as approved by the Executive Board with the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Union archives. The Senior Treasurer shall be responsible for the above mentioned duties and may delegate tasks to the Junior Treasurer. Union funds may only be disbursed in accordance with a duly-passed budget for the Session, or as specially authorized by the Executive Board in accordance with Article VII, or as required by this constitution. The budget of the fall Session shall include plans for the finances of the entire academic year, while the budget of the spring Session shall amend and clarify the fall Session budget. A Junior Treasurer shall be elected each session. The Junior Treasurer will become the Senior Treasurer in the session immediately following their election, except in the event of the Junior Treasurer’s resignation. The Senior Treasurer will serve as a mentor and adviser to the Junior Treasurer, with the objective of training them to become the subsequent Senior Treasurer. The Treasurers shall be responsible for the financial stability of the Union.
Section 5: The Director of Development shall be elected to raise money for the Union from sources including, but not limited to, past and present Members of the Union; to oversee the coordination of any alumni functions or events deemed necessary by the Executive Board; to maintain an accurate alumni database; to publish at least one newsletter, with the assistance of the Secretary, approved by the Executive Board, by the end of the Session, to be distributed to alumni and members of the Union and placed in the Union archives; and to submit to the Executive Board a plan for fundraising in current and future Sessions no later than ten class days after the beginning of the Session. The Director of Development shall be responsible for strengthening the Union’s ties with alumni.
Section 6: There shall be two floor leaders, the Floor Leader of the Left and the Floor Leader of the Right, who shall be elected to promote the quality of debate within their Coalitions and to assist the Speaker in coordinating Union debates. Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the Speaker’s freedom in presiding over meetings or assigning the floor. The floor leaders shall be responsible for their respective Coalitions’ contributions to debate.
Section 7: The Outreach and Operations Director shall be appointed to oversee logistics necessary for Union debates; to serve as liaison between the Union and other campus organizations; to be responsible for the publicity of Union events; to promote Union events to relevant academic departments; to maintain the Union’s online presence; and to ensure the visibility of the Union in campus media. The Outreach and Operations Director shall be responsible for strengthening the Union’s ties with the Yale community.
Section 8: The Secretary shall be appointed to record the minutes of Union, Rules Committee, and Executive Board meetings; to submit the minutes to the Executive Board in a timely fashion and, upon approval, to post the minutes publicly and place them in Union archives; to assist the President and Vice President with Union correspondence and other projects; to assist the Director of Development in producing content for newsletters to alumni; and to maintain the Union archives, which shall be open to any Member’s inspection. The Secretary will work with the President to create an accession to the archives at the end of each semester. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping a record of Union proceedings.
Section 9: The Teller shall be appointed to maintain the Union’s membership and attendance rolls; to communicate regularly with the Executive Board on the status of Union recruitment efforts; to compose a weekly membership and attendance report to be submitted to the Executive Board and to be placed in the Union archives; to make available attendance records, which shall be open to inspection at the request of any Active Member; and to ensure only authorized persons are admitted to Union meetings. The Teller shall be responsible for keeping a record of Union membership.
Section 1: Elections shall be conducted each Session by the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee shall certify the election of officers by majority vote and no officer shall be deemed elected unless so certified.
Section 2: Elections shall take place on the first full weekday of Reading Period, as defined by Yale College, unless the Rules Committee shall, by two-thirds majority vote, set a new date for elections. The Rules Committee shall set the time and location of elections by majority vote. Public Notice shall be given of the date, time, and location of elections.
Section 3: Elections shall be held for one continuous period of time, lasting no less than three hours and beginning no earlier than noon. Elections may be held in only one location, unless otherwise decided by a unanimous vote of Rules Committee. Neither absentee ballots nor proxies shall be allowed.
Section 4: Any undergraduate Member of the Union who intends to remain an undergraduate of Yale College throughout the Member’s proposed term in office, and is eligible to vote in the Union elections, may be elected to any office. However, no Member who has resigned an elected office shall be eligible to be elected for the following Session, unless the Rules Committee shall, at the time it certifies the list of Voting and Active Members, vote by two-thirds majority to allow that person to be a candidate for election.
Section 5: To be a candidate for nomination to any office, a Member must submit to the Speaker either a letter of intent to run for that office by noon seven days before the scheduled date of elections, or a petition signed by a quorum of the Union by noon three days before the scheduled date of elections. The Speaker shall provide Public Notice of the names of all those seeking elections to each office by 10:00 AM on the day of elections.
Section 6: To appear on the ballot a candidate must be nominated by a Party. A Party may nominate only one candidate for each office and may nominate a candidate for Floor Leader of a coalition only if the Party has at least one affiliated Member eligible to vote in the election of said coalition’s floor leader. For each candidate to be nominated, a Party must submit a letter of nomination to the Speaker before 9:00 AM on the day of elections.
Section 7: The membership of the Union shall be divided into two coalitions, a Coalition of the Left and a Coalition of the Right. A Member affiliated with a Party that has officially designated itself in one coalition shall be a member of that coalition and all other Members shall be considered unaffiliated by default, with the exception that a Member’s Coalition affiliation from the previous election cycle shall automatically be carried over into the current Session. However, any Member may register with either, or neither, coalition by notifying the Teller of a preferred affiliation for the current Session before Midterm (as specified by Yale College). No Member or Party may register or change a coalition affiliation after Midterm, except those Members who sign in for the first time after Midterm may register with a Coalition at the time of that Member’s first sign-in.
Section 8: In order to be eligible to be elected Floor Leader of a coalition, a Member must be eligible to vote in the election of the Floor Leader of that same coalition. No Member shall under any circumstances be eligible to vote in the election of both floor leaders. If at any time the Floor Leader’s coalition registration is changed, the Floor Leader immediately and automatically resigns the office.
Section 9: The Teller shall prepare a preliminary list of Voting and Active Members by noon eight days before the scheduled date of elections. This list shall show the name, party affiliation, and coalition of each Voting and Active Member; shall be distributed to the members of the Rules Committee, members of the Executive Board, and the chair or chairman of each Party; and shall be posted publicly.
Section 10: The Rules Committee shall meet at some point between noon seven days before the scheduled date of elections and noon four days before the scheduled date of elections to draft a certified list of Voting and Active Members. After this certified list, showing the name, party affiliation, and coalition of each Voting and Active Member, has been drafted and approved by majority vote it shall be distributed to the members of the Rules Committee, the members of the Executive Board, and to the chair or chairman of each Party. In addition, it shall be posted publicly at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of Union elections. No corrections may be made after Rules Committee approves the certified list.
Section 11: Elections shall be by secret ballot. Electioneering shall not be allowed in the room where ballots are cast. Nominees shall appear by office in alphabetical order on the ballot. The office of Treasurer shall not appear on the ballot during elections for the spring Session unless the elected Treasurer has resigned the office at least fifteen days before the scheduled day of elections, or if an appointee holds the office of Treasurer. For each office that appears on the ballot a line shall be designated for write-in candidates.
Section 12: A plurality of votes cast for any office shall be required to elect, except as provided for in Section 16 of this Article.
Section 13: Under no circumstances may a Member serve in more than one office at the same time.
Section 14: In the event that there is no eligible candidate for an office, the Rules Committee may, by two-thirds vote, elect any eligible Member to that office.
Section 15: In the event that, due to a tied vote, no candidate for an office receives a plurality, the Rules Committee may, by three-fourths vote, elect one of the tied candidates to that office. If the Rules Committee does not so elect a Member, it shall call a special election to be held within three days of the original election, at which there will be a run-off between the tied candidates. A candidate shall then be elected by a plurality of the Members voting in that election. Any Member who was qualified to vote in the original election may participate in the runoff, but the Rules Committee may create any additional rules it deems necessary for conducting such an election.
Section 16: No more than three of the five persons serving as President, Speaker, Vice President, Treasurer, and Director of Development, shall be from the same Party. If at the time of the certification of new officers more than three of the persons set to be certified for these five offices are affiliated with the same Party, the officers-elect from the Party in question shall be given 24 hours in which to submit an appropriate number of resignations withdrawing from contention for the offices to which they were elected. If the issue remains unresolved, the Rules Committee shall decide which offices will be forfeited by majority vote and the runners up for these offices, as determined by strict plurality, shall be elected. For the purposes of this Section, a Member shall be considered to be from the Party with which the Member was affiliated at Midterm. If the semester in question is the Member’s first semester of Union membership, the Member shall be considered to be from the Party with which the Member is affiliated in the list of Voting and Active Members. The Rules Committee may, by majority vote at least two days before the day of elections, determine that the Member shall be considered affiliated with a different Party or with no Party at all.
Section 17: The Rules Committee shall establish any standing rules necessary for the conduction of elections.
Section 1: Upon petition of one-tenth of the previous semester’s Voting Members the Executive Board shall call a meeting of the Union, to take place within ten class days, to consider rescinding an officer’s election. Public Notice must be given of the meeting and only those who were eligible to vote in that officer’s election may vote on the question of the rescission of that officer’s election. A two-thirds vote shall be required to rescind an officer’s election.
Section 2: A motion to rescind an officer’s election may not be rescinded or reconsidered. Any Union officer whose election has been rescinded shall be ineligible to hold elected or appointed office in the Union for the remainder of the Session during which said officer was removed, as well as during the following Session.
Section 3: All appointed officers serve at the discretion of the officer who appointed them.
Section 4: Any holder of elected office who ceases to be an undergraduate of Yale College shall immediately and automatically resign the office.
Section 5: Any Officer may resign their office at any time by writing a letter and delivering it in person or by United States Mail or by electronic mail by the officer’s Yale electronic mail address to the Chairman of the Rules Committee. Such resignations take effect immediately.
Section 1: The executive powers and responsibilities of the Union shall be vested in the Executive Board. The Board shall consist of the President, Speaker, Vice President, Treasurers, Floor Leaders, Director of Development, Outreach and Operations Director, and Secretary of the Union, as well as the chairs and chairmen of the Parties or their designated representatives. All members of the Executive Board shall be able to vote on a matter before the Executive Board with the exception of the Junior Treasurer, Outreach and Operations Director, and Secretary.
Section 2: The Executive Board shall be empowered to conduct the business of the Union; to call meetings of the body; to invite guest speakers; to select resolutions for debate; to give advice and consent to appointments made by the President; and to set membership prices.
Section 3: The Executive Board shall have the power to modify and to approve the budget presented by the President and the Treasurers. The President may approve expenditures of up to $500 total for the entire semester, but special authorization for expenses exceeding $500 must be approved by a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the Executive Board.
Section 4: The Executive Board shall set the time and place for its own meetings. Should it fail to do so, the President may summon it at discretion. Quorum of the Executive Board for non-emergency meetings shall be consist of a majority of all its voting members, as well as one-half of the chairs and chairmen or their representatives. Except in cases of emergency, Public Notice shall be given of all meetings of the Executive Board.
Section 5: In the event of an emergency, the President or any two members of the Executive Board may summon a meeting but no action may take place at such a meeting unless two-thirds of the members present vote to recognize that Public Notice was not possible. Quorum at an emergency meeting shall be a majority of chairs and chairmen or their representatives and a majority of voting members. No emergency meeting of the Executive Board shall be called to order until a good faith effort has been made to contact all voting members of the Executive Board and the Speaker. The Rules Committee shall have the power to, by majority vote, determine that such a good faith effort was not made and any action taken at such an improperly called meeting of the Executive Board shall be null and void.
Section 6: The chair or chairman of any Party may delegate any other individual who is not a voting member of the Executive Board to represent said chair or chairman at Executive Board meetings.
Section 7: Two-thirds or more of all party chairs and chairmen or their representatives may veto any action of the Executive Board.
Section 1: The Rules Committee shall be the committee on rules and procedures for the Union. All rules established by the Rules Committee shall remain in force until amended or repealed by the Rules Committee. A majority of the entire voting membership of the Rules Committee may establish, amend, or repeal any such rule.
Section 2: The Rules Committee shall be responsible for interpreting this constitution.
Section 3: The Rules Committee shall be composed of representatives from each Party. Each Party shall be entitled to two voting representatives if there are five or fewer Parties, or one voting representative if there are six or more Parties. Each Party chair or chairman shall designate the voting representatives from that Party to the Chairman of the Rules Committee. The party chairs and chairmen shall have the right to change their respective Parties’ representatives at any time.
Section 4: The Speaker shall be the Chairman of the Rules Committee. In the absence of the Speaker, the Rules Committee may elect any Member of the Union to the position of chairman pro tempore of the Rules Committee. Under no circumstances shall the Chairman of the Rules Committee have a vote on any matter before the Rules Committee.
Section 5: The Chairman of the Rules Committee or any two Rules Committee members from different Parties may call a meeting of the Rules Committee. Public Notice shall be provided and all committee members shall be individually notified, but a unanimous vote of Rules Committee members may waive the requirement for public notice. Quorum of the Rules Committee shall be a majority of its voting membership.
Section 6: The Secretary of the Union shall be responsible for keeping minutes of the meetings of the Rules Committee, posting these minutes publicly, and filing the minutes in the Union archives. In the absence of the Secretary of the Union, any Member of the Union may be elected Secretary of the Rules Committee pro tempore by the members of the Rules Committee.
Section 7: The Rules Committee shall be empowered to give Advice and Consent to the Speaker in the appointment of a Teller.
Section 1: The Advisory Committee shall advise the Executive Board and the President, and shall provide long term planning for the Union.
Section 2: At the beginning of each Session of the Union, the members of the committee shall select one member to serve as its chairman and moderate committee meetings. Each Session, the Chairman shall appoint one member to serve as the committee’s secretary. The Secretary shall take minutes at each meeting. These minutes shall not be publicly posted, but shall be placed in the Union archives. The Committee shall select one member to serve as a liaison to the Executive Board.
Section 3: The Committee shall set the time and place of its meetings. Should it fail to do so, the Chairman of the Committee may summon a meeting at discretion. Meetings will be closed to all but Committee members and the President. Other Union members may attend these meetings by invitation from the Committee.
Section 4: The Committee shall provide an evaluation of the Executive Board before Midterm. The President may appoint members of the Committee to serve as advisers to Union officers at discretion.
Section 5: Significant actions of the Committee, as determined by the President, shall require the consent of the Executive Board. The Committee shall report regularly to the Executive Board, at least twice per semester and at least once before Midterm.
Section 6: Committee members shall be nominated by the Chairman with the advice and consent of the Committee, and, upon acceptance of the nomination, shall be appointed by majority vote of the Executive Board. All former presidents of the Union shall be automatically nominated for seats on the committee. The committee may include, in addition to former presidents, up to six additional members. No member of the Executive Board, nor chair or chairman of any Party, shall serve as a member of the Advisory Committee.
Section 7: A member of the Committee shall serve until either resignation or graduation.
Section 8: A current or past member of the Committee may only run for Union office after submitting a statement of intent to the Advisory Committee and two-thirds of the remaining Committee members vote to allow it. If allowed to run, the member must immediately resign from the Committee, and the Chairman of the Advisory Committee must notify the Speaker of this member’s eligibility to run for office.
Section 9: Upon graduation, a member of the Committee shall be awarded lifetime membership in the Union, but this shall not be construed to provide reimbursement for previous dues paid.
Section 10: The Chairman of the Committee shall be responsible for providing Public Notice to the entire Union in cases of rescission of an officer’s election and motions to correct the Executive Board.
Section 1: Attendance at a meeting shall mean the physical presence of the member within twenty minutes after the meeting is called to order.
Section 2: Participation at a meeting shall mean the physical presence of the member from within twenty minutes after the meeting is called to order until the end of the debate, or until four speeches have been given, whichever is sooner.
Section 3: The Speaker may grant excuses for late attendance, and may allow for late participation if a member is present for a period similar to the requirements of Article X, Section 2.
Section 4: All meetings of the Union shall count towards attendance requirements for voting, except that no meeting held after ten days before the first full day of Reading Period shall count toward attendance requirements.
Section 5: Quorum for meetings of the Union shall be thirty-five Members, or a majority of the Active Membership of the previous semester, whichever is less.
Section 6: The Speaker shall chair Union meetings. In the Speaker’s absence, the President or a Member appointed by the President shall act as Speaker pro tempore.
Section 7: Union meetings shall be free and open to the public, but any meeting of the Union may be restricted to Members by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.
Section 8: Everyone present at a Union meeting shall be allowed to vote on any matter before the body, unless a motion is passed to restrict the voting to Members. Such a motion will require a majority of Members present to pass.
Section 9: A motion to instruct or correct the Executive Board shall be in order following procedures outlined by the Parliamentary Authority. The passage of such a motion shall be considered to overrule any motions or resolutions, including the budget, passed by the Executive Board that inhibit or contradict it.
Section 10: When a special order set by the Executive Board or a motion to rescind an officer’s election is pending, the motion for the previous question shall not be in order until at least ten minutes of debate on each side have been allowed.
Section 1: Any Parties formed in accordance with the procedures described in Sections 3-5 of this article shall be recognized by the Union. Any Party that fails to meet the Party Qualification Requirements shall be on Probation for the following semester.
Section 2: All Parties shall enjoy full autonomy in the conduct of their internal affairs, including enrollment of their members and the election of their officers. All Parties that register as separate organizations with Yale University shall enjoy full autonomy in the conduct of their external affairs, including political activities. No Party shall engage in any activity that endangers the status of the Union as a nonpartisan and tax-exempt forum.
Section 3: A group of Yale students that seeks to form a new Party must submit a petition to the Speaker after the third meeting of a Session and before noon ten days before the scheduled date of elections. This petition must contain the valid signatures of a number of Yale students to meet the Party Petitioning Standard. The petition must explicitly express the intention of the Yale students who have signed it to affiliate with that Party as soon as it shall be recognized as such. These Yale students shall remain affiliated with their previous Parties, if any, until such a time as the Speaker shall certify that the new Party has been recognized. A Yale student must date the signature, and the signature shall only count if the petition is submitted in the same session as the date of the signature. If a Yale student signs more than one application in a single Session, only the signature on the first petition to be verified shall be counted.
Section 4: Within 24 hours of receiving such a petition, the Speaker must publicly announce receipt of the application, providing the names of those Yale students intending to affiliate with the new Party. Within a week of receiving the petition or upon the Rules Committee meeting to certify the list of Voting and Active Members, whichever is sooner, the Speaker must verify the signatures on the application and publicly announce if the application meets the requirements in Section 3. Upon the announcement that these requirements have been met, the new Party will be recognized as a Petitioning Party and all Yale students who signed the petition will be automatically affiliated with it. For the remainder of the semester, these signing Yale students will not be permitted to switch to another Party, but must list themselves as unaffiliated if they wish to leave the Petitioning Party. As a Petitioning Party, Yale students will be able to affiliate with it in the attendance records at remaining meetings in that Session and the Petitioning Party may make an announcement at Union meetings, but the Petitioning Party will have no representation on the Executive Board or Rules Committee.
Section 5: To become a full Party, enough Yale students who originally signed the petition must qualify to vote in Union elections for the Party to meet the Party Qualification Requirements. If this requirement is met, the new Party will be officially recognized immediately upon the certification of the list of Voting and Active Members and shall enjoy all the privileges and responsibilities of a Party in the Union. However, the Party must also meet the Party Qualification Requirements for its first Session as a full Party as well. If in either its Session as a Petitioning Party or its first Session as a full Party the new Party fails to meet this requirement, after the certification of Voting and Active Members it will cease to exist and all Members affiliated with it will be considered unaffiliated.
Section 6: For the purposes of this article, a Member shall be considered a Member of the Party with which the Member last affiliated in writing to the Speaker, except that no Member may change affiliation between noon ten days before the scheduled date of elections and the end of the Session. This section shall not be construed to contradict the requirements in Article V, Section 16 or Article XI, Section 4.
Section 1: Nothing in this article shall apply to the Rules Committee or the Advisory Committee.
Section 2: The President of the Union shall create committees at discretion and shall appoint their chairmen with the Advice and Consent of the Executive Board.
Section 3: The chairmen shall be empowered to appoint the members of their respective committees.
Section 4: Every committee shall be given a charter signed by the President and approved by the Executive Board outlining its responsibilities, powers, and privileges. No committee shall have any power not delegated to it by the Executive Board.
Section 5: The President shall have the power to disband any committee, to appoint a new chairman, or to give a new charter to any committee with the Advice and Consent of the Executive Board.
Section 1: The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Union in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Union’s Constitution or any standing or special rules of order it should choose to adopt.
Section 2: The following definitions shall be observed in interpreting the Constitution and the Parliamentary Authority:
a) A day of classes or class day is any day Monday through Friday on which classes are held in Yale College, excluding the Reading Period;
b) A Session of the Union is the period of time between the certification of the election of officers and the certification of the election of their successors;
c) Public Notice shall consist of informing all current members of the Executive Board, as well as all interested former members. Additional means of communication satisfying the Public Notice requirement may be specified by the Rules Committee in the Standing Rules. Public Notice shall be given at least 72 hours in advance of the event for which it is required, unless a longer period of notice is required;
d) Advice and Consent of the Executive Board is a two-thirds majority vote of the entire Executive Board following discussion;
e) Public posting of minutes, list of Voting and Active Members, officer candidates, etc., shall consist of posting these announcements publicly and archiving them in the Union office;
f) To fulfill the Party Qualification Requirement, a Party must have at least 25 Active Members affiliated with it, or one-eight of the total number of Active Members from the previous Session, whichever is less;
g) A party goes on Probation for the following Session if the list of certified voters for the previous two consecutive terms show that the Party failed to fulfill the Party qualification requirement. Probation consists of two semesters:
- Should a Party, in its first semester of probation, fail to meet the probationary party qualification requirement, then that Party will cease to be recognized as a Party of the Union.
- Should a party, in its first semester of probation, successfully meet the party qualification requirement, then it will immediately regain its status as a full party.
- Should a party, in its first semester of probation, equal or exceed the probationary party qualification requirement but fail to meet the party qualification requirement, then that Party will continue on to a second semester of probation.
- If a party in the second semester of Probation fails to meet the party qualification requirement, then it will cease to be recognized as a Party of the Union.”
h) The Party Petitioning Standard shall be equal to 1/6 of the number of Active Members from the previous Session unless that number is less than 20 or greater than 65, in which case it shall be 20 or 65 respectively.
Section 1: Any six Active Members may introduce an amendment to this constitution by submitting it to the Speaker prior to the last two weeks of the Session.
Section 2: The Rules Committee shall discuss the proposed amendment within ten class days. Copies of the proposed amendment shall be available from the Speaker at least 72 hours before the scheduled discussion by the Rules Committee, and Public Notice shall be given for the Rules Committee meeting.
Section 3: The Rules Committee may amend the proposed amendment within its scope by a two-thirds vote. If the Rules Committee does so amend the proposed amendment, one-third of the Rules Committee may compel the postponement of the vote on whether to report the proposed Amendment until the next meeting of the Rules Committee, which must take place within ten class days.
Section 4: In order to be reported to the floor, the amendment must be approved by a three-fourths vote of the entire voting membership of the Rules Committee. When an amendment is so approved, it shall be submitted for a floor vote at the first meeting the Speaker deems appropriate. This must occur within thirty class days of approval by Rules Committee and before the conclusion of the Session. Public Notice shall precede the reporting to the floor of the proposed amendment.
Section 5: No proposed amendment to this constitution may be amended by the floor of the Union.
Section 6: Amendments to this constitution shall require a two-thirds vote on the floor of the Union for adoption. Only Members shall be permitted to vote on proposed amendments.
Rule 1: The order of business for a regular meeting of the Yale Political Union shall be:
1.) Party announcements
2.) Committee announcements
3.) Other announcements
b) special orders
c) general orders and unfinished business
d) new business
Rule 2: The President, or, in the President’s absence, a Member at the Speaker’s discretion, shall be recognized to make an announcement before the consideration of special orders in a regular meeting, if that person so chooses.
Rule 3: Guests addressing the Union shall not have their time limited except at the Speaker’s discretion.
Rule 4: Members giving docketed speeches on special orders shall be allowed five minutes for their speech and questions.
Rule 5: Members giving floor speeches shall be allowed four minutes for their speech and questions.
Rule 6: Additional questions for Members and guests, when their allotted time has expired, shall be at the Speaker’s discretion.
Rule 7: Immediately following a speech on any question, a motion to thank said speaker shall be privileged and undebatable, and shall supersede all other motions.
Rule 8: The Speaker, may, subject to appeal, refuse to recognize points of information at any time by announcing that no points of information will be entertained for a specified duration.
Rule 9: After the previous question has been moved and passed but before the special order has been voted on, the Speaker may recognize guests for the purpose of making closing remarks.
Rule 10: Points of order relating to the use of the third person shall not be in order when anyone has the floor.
Rule 11: Censuring an attendee of a Union meeting shall require a motion to censure made by a Member from the floor. This motion shall require a second and shall be undebatable. The Speaker shall call for a vote from the floor; a three-quarters majority of Members present will be required to pass the motion.
Rule 12: No special order set by the Executive Board may have any of the following motions applied to it except through the suspension of the rules:
a) postpone indefinitely
b) commit or refer
c) postpone definitely
d) lay on the table
Rule 13: The Speaker shall have the authority, subject to appeal from the floor, to limit or extend the total time of debate or length of speeches on any motion. Such a ruling, if appealed, shall require a two-thirds vote to sustain. This shall not be construed to give the Speaker authority to limit debate in cases where the floor would not have such authority.
Rule 14: A Member who has given Public Notice of an intention to introduce a motion to instruct or correct the Executive Board at a particular meeting may do so after the body has disposed of any special orders for that meeting. If the meeting is not a regular meeting, the Member may be entitled to make the motion before the meeting is adjourned, unless a regular meeting has been called for some date within five class days. Said motion shall require a majority vote of Members present for passage.
Rule 15: In cases where Public Notice effectively kills a motion to instruct or correct the Executive Board, the Speaker may, subject to appeal, allow the notice period to be shortened. In such a case, said motion shall require a two-thirds vote of Members present for passage.
Rule 1: When calling a meeting, the Executive Board may choose to designate it as a presentation meeting; otherwise, it shall be a regular meeting.
Rule 2: All debate resolutions and other items of business set in the Executive Board motion to call for a meeting will be considered special orders of that meeting.
Rule 3: The Party order shall be: Socialist Party, Party of the Left, Independent Party, Federalist Party, Conservative Party, Tory Party, and Party of the Right.
Rule 4: Business attire shall be the dress code for people speaking on the docket.
Rule 5: The Union shall provide water for the Speaker, the President, and any invited guests at each meeting.
Rule 6: The President, the Speaker, and any invited guests of the Union shall be the only people on stage during Union meetings, unless the Speaker chooses to allow others.
Rule 7: Minutes for Union meetings and Executive Board meetings shall be subject to amendment, and must be approved by the Executive Board before they are placed in the archives.
Rule 8: Minutes for Rules Committee meetings shall be subject to amendment, and must be approved by the Rules Committee before they are placed in the archives.
Rule 9: Books for recording attendance at meetings shall be opened fifteen to thirty minutes before the beginning of a meeting, and books for recording participation shall be closed fifteen minutes after the end of a meeting, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board.
Rule 10: Speaker’s notes may be granted for late participation if a member is present at a meeting for a period of at least sixty minutes.
Rule 11: Ballots for Union elections shall have a section for general comments at the bottom.
Rule 12: Minutes for Rules Committee meetings at which elections are certified shall not contain the contents of any individual ballot.
Rule 13: Recipients of prize memberships shall be reimbursed for any previous memberships purchased.
Rule 14: Judging of prize debates shall be as follows: the Speaker and floor leaders shall submit for the approval of the Executive Board a slate of no fewer than five judges (with an eye to ideological balance) to be drawn from former floor leaders and speakers as well as the sitting President, and, if necessary, from former presidents, former chairs and chairmen, and the Advisory Committee. Such a slate requires approval by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
Rule 15: No speech that concludes within twenty minutes of a meeting being called to order shall be considered for the purposes of Article X, Section 2.
Rule 16: The term “genteel” shall be an honorific for non-binary people speaking on the floor.
Rule 17: No motion shall be made to commemorate or honor any institution, group, event, or person, living or dead, excepting members of the Yale Community. This rule shall not be construed as applying to motions to thank which may arise in the ordinary course of debate.