The Constitution of the Student Public Health Association
ADOPTED – April 25, 2005
Current as of February 5, 2020
Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the Student Public Health Association (SPHA).
Article II – Purpose
The purpose of the Student Public Health Association is to further the professional competencies of Health Science students at Truman State University through service and educational activities both on and off campus.
Article III – Members
Section 1. Membership Eligibility
Persons interested in becoming members must be currently enrolled students at Truman State University. Potential members must have expressed genuine interest in the topic of public health and the Student Public Health Association. Potential members who are not graduating seniors in their final semester will be allowed to apply and interview with no restrictions.
Section 2. Potential Membership
During recruitment week, potential members must attend at least two of three meetings, with professional development night being mandatory. Recruitment nights will include one service night, one education night, and one professional development night. Information about the organization will be shared on the first two (2) nights of recruitment. Potential members will undergo an interview on professional development night, where one (1) or two (2) executive officers will interview each potential member. The executive officers will
convene and decide (with a majority vote) which potential members may continue in the new member process based on the conducted interviews.
Section 2a. Potential Member Quiz
Potential members shall be required to complete and pass a potential member quiz with a 70% prior to Initiation. The quiz will include questions concerning the five sectors of the Student Public Health Association, the purpose of the Student Public Health Association, the hour requirements for each semester, the attendance requirements for meetings, and other pertinent information as needed. Potential members will have two attempts at the quiz per semester.
Section 2b. New Membership Requirements and Initiation
Potential members will be required to participate in two (2) service hours, two (2) education hours, one (1) professional development event, and one (1) social event. Upon completion of hours, potential members will undergo Initiation near the end of the semester. At Initiation, the Code of Ethics for the Health Science Profession will be signed by each initiate, and membership will become official.
Section 3. Membership Requirements
Members will participate in four (4) service hours, four (4) education hours, two (2) professional development events, and two (2) social events per semester. Members will be required to obtain four (4) conference hours per academic year. Additional conference hours exceeding four (4) per academic year may be counted as professional development events (1 hour = 1 event). Members may not submit hours they completed to fulfill a requirement for another organization or course. All submitted hours must either be from an organization-sponsored event or approved by the executive board. Only one (1) hour of education and one (1) hour of service per semester will be accepted from events that are not promoted by the Student Public Health Association (pending approval by the executive board). If a member signs up for hours and is not in attendance when the hours take place, the member will be responsible for completing the missed hours in addition to their normal hour requirements for the semester. All special cases will be reviewed by the executive board.
Section 3a. Committees
Members must actively participate in at least one (1) committee each semester. Executive officers will develop committees based on the number of projects they will undertake in that semester. Members will rank their top choices and will subsequently be assigned to a committee at the beginning of each semester.
Section 3b. Leave of Absence
If a member would like to take a leave of absence for a semester, they must notify the executive board before they lose good standing in the organization. Members must present their reason for needing the leave of absence in writing, and the executive board will review the request. If the request is granted, there are two options:
1) Members may choose to remain on the roster by paying member dues and fulfilling all other requirements aside from attendance. Members will be excused from all meetings for the semester.
2) Members may choose to not fulfill any requirements for the semester and be removed from the roster. Members will not have to go through Initiation to be reinstated the following semester.
Section 3c. Associate Membership
The purpose of associate membership is to give members the opportunity to proactively remain off probation for a particularly challenging semester. Any member that is not a new member (less than one full semester of membership) or graduating member (less than one full semester until graduation) may apply to be an associate member of the Student Public Health Association for one semester in their organizational career. Applications are provided on the Student Public Health Association website and will be due at the first general body meeting of the semester. Associate members will be required to participate in two (2) service hours, two (2) education hours, one (1) professional development event, and one (1) social event. Associate members will be required to pay full dues for the semester but will only be required to attend half of the general body meetings. Executive members will not be eligible to apply for associate membership at any time during their elected service.
Secton 3d. Membership Probation
Members who fail to complete the required hours by the semester deadline will be placed on probation. Members under probation will be required to complete all of the missing hours from the previous semester before midterm. Failure to complete the previous semester’s hours before midterm will result in termination of membership. Members may not be on probation for more than two (2) non-consecutive semesters. Failure to complete a third non-consecutive semester of hours or a second consecutive semester of hours will result in termination of membership. All extenuating circumstances will be reviewed by the executive board on a case-by-case basis. If a member has three or more unexcused absences within a semester, the member will be called to the executive board and membership will be reconsidered.
Section 4. Hazing
Hazing is any action taken or situation created, either intentionally or unintentionally, on or off the college campus, that produces physical or mental discomfort, embarrassment or ridicule, or physical harm or injury. The Student Public Health Association does not participate in or condone any form of hazing.
Section 5. Dues
Dues are assessed each semester and must be paid by Initiation. Dues will be $25 per semester or $45 for the academic year. A member is only allowed to pay dues for two semesters in August. If a member is in their last two semesters of college and has been a member of the Student Public Health Association for at least four semesters, their dues will be $20 per semester or $35 for the academic year. If the same member has been on the executive board for at least two semesters, their dues will be $15 per semester or $25 for the academic year. These amounts can change with a majority vote of the General Body. Failure to pay dues on or before Initiation will result in a five (5) dollar weekly charge until the amount is paid. The late charges will be capped at forty-five (45) dollars per semester. Membership will be reconsidered at the end of the semester for any member that has failed to pay their dues or make arrangements to pay them.
Section 6. Capstone Funding
Members who wish to receive funding for their HLTH 440 capstone must turn in an application by the determined date. A hard budget will be set at the beginning of the year and cannot be exceeded. The treasurer will collaborate with the HLTH 440 professor to set all deadlines and budgets for capstone funding. The General Body will vote on each application and decide if and how much money to provide each applicant. Any member who
receives funding from the organization must make a short presentation about their experience before the end of the semester in which funding was granted.
Section 7. Conference Funding
Members who wish to receive funding for a conference must turn in an application by the determined date. A hard budget will be set at the beginning of the semester and cannot be exceeded. The General Body will vote on the applications and decide if and how much money to provide each applicant. Any member who receives funding from the organization must make a short presentation about their experience before the end of the semester in which funding was granted.
Article IV – Offices
Section 1. Offices Held
The elected officers of the organization shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Service Chair, Education Chair, Professional Development Chair, Social Chair, Public Relations Chair, Fundraising Chair, MOPIP Liaison, and Webmaster. Co-chairs are allowed at the discretion of the General Body.
Section 2. Executive Board
All elected positions will comprise the executive board. The executive board will supervise the affairs of the organization between its business meetings, make recommendations to the organization, apply for organizational awards, and perform other duties as specified. The Vice President will oversee executive board meetings and will not vote during these meetings.
Section 3. Elections
Elections shall take place every fall semester, two weeks after the opening of nominations. Active members seeking office must receive a nomination and make a presentation (two-minute limit for President, one-minute limit for other positions) to the General Body for each office they wish to hold. Nominations will remain open until the first candidate delivers their presentation, and elections will be held in the order of offices listed in Section 5. Seven days following the election, current and newly elected officers are to attend a formal
transition meeting at which current officers will pass on information regarding their term in office.
Section 3a. Emergency Elections
The position opening must be announced at least 1 week before the next general body meeting. This will be done through an email to the entire organization. The Vice President will assume the vacant position until a new individual is elected to fill the position. Interest in the position will be expressed through self-nomination when the individual emails their interest to the organization’s email. Self-nomination must be completed 24 hours before the election process. The election will commence at the following general body meeting. Interested individuals must present a one-minute speech regarding their interest in the position. The election will occur through paper ballot and the winner will be elected by majority. Quorum must be met in order for the vote to occur. The transition of the newly elected individual into office will occur at the executive board meeting following the election. Current executive board members may not run in an emergency election unless they hold a co-chair position on the board.
Section 3b. Requirements for Candidates
Candidates for officer positions must have a grade point average of 2.75 or above to be considered for office, as verified by the current executive board. Candidates must have at least two semesters of college remaining and be in good standing in the organization.
Section 3c. Ballots
Elections shall be by secret ballot. Candidates receiving the majority of votes by members present during the election meeting shall be elected to office.
Section 4. Length of Terms
Officers shall be elected to serve one full year beginning seven (7) days after election. Vacancies shall be filled by following the emergency election protocol listed above (Article IV, Section 3a).
Section 5.The Elected Offices
Elected officers must perform their responsibilities as stated in this Constitution. If deemed unsatisfactory in their duties, the officer in question will be notified by their peer officers and
given a grace period in which to fulfill their duties. If found unsatisfactory in action after this time, immediate removal from office will result.
Section 5a. President
The President is responsible for presiding over all formal meetings, excluding executive board meetings. The President shall determine dates of meetings; oversee that officers of the organization discharge their duties faithfully, impartially, accurately, and promptly; make an annual report of his or her official acts and the general condition of the organization; and make recommendations as he or she may deem proper. The President is responsible for overseeing the selection and involvement of committees, reading all executive board decisions deemed necessary at the following formal meeting, and co-signing all checks disbursed by the Treasurer. The President will remain neutral and not vote or discuss matters brought up at bi-weekly meetings. All presidential candidates must have held an executive board position before running unless circumstances do not allow this stipulation to be upheld. No returning executive member will be forced to assume the position of President or automatically be assigned the position at any time.
Section 5b. Vice President
The Vice President is responsible for assisting the President in the performance of his or her duties, and in the absence or disability of the President, shall assume the duties of the President. They shall be responsible for overseeing the executive board meetings. All vice presidential candidates must have held an executive board position before running unless circumstances do not allow this stipulation to be upheld. No returning executive member will be forced to assume the position of Vice President or automatically be assigned the position at any time.
Section 5c. Secretary
The Secretary is responsible for recording the minutes of every meeting, making the minutes available to the entire organization, keeping records of the membership of the organization, recording attendance of each meeting, communicating with current members, keeping track of quorum during voting procedures, and recording all hours completed by members.
Section 5d. Treasurer
The Treasurer is responsible for receiving and disbursing all monies on behalf of the organization, co-signing all checks, depositing all monies received in the name of the organization, keeping an accurate account of finances, setting each semester’s budget, reporting the semester costs and incomes, paying bills duly acquired and approved by the President, and performing an end-of-term audit.
Section 5e. Service Chair
The Service Chair is responsible for coordinating all service activities, attending all service-oriented events outside of formal meetings, and overseeing and communicating with the philanthropy. The Service Chair is required to plan at least one (1) service event for the organization each month.
Section 5f. Education Chair
The Education Chair is responsible for coordinating all education events and programs and attending all education-oriented events outside of formal meetings. The Education Chair is required to plan at least one (1) education event for the organization each month.
Section 5g. Professional Development Chair
The Professional Development Chair shall be responsible for planning at least one (1) professional development event for the organization each month.
Section 5h. Social Chair
The Social Chair is responsible for coordinating all inter- and intra-organization activities and is required to plan at least one (1) social event for the organization each month.
Section 5i. Public Relations Chair
The Public Relations Chair is responsible for taking pictures at organization functions, updating the Student Public Health Association bulletin board each month, maintaining all social media accounts, and marketing organization events.
Section 5j. Fundraising Chair
The Fundraising Chair is responsible for coordinating and implementing all fundraising events and planning at least two (2) fundraisers each semester.
Section 5k. MOPIP Liaison
The MOPIP Liaison is responsible for attending all MOPIP meetings and reporting back to the Student Public Health Association about the current proceedings of the partnership.
Section 5l. Webmaster
The Webmaster is in charge of updating and maintaining the Student Public Health Association website.
Article V – Meetings
Section 1. Regular Meetings
Bi-monthly formal meetings are mandatory for all members. Members are required to wear official Student Public Health Association attire. Attire will be ordered each semester. Each member is allowed two excused and two unexcused absences from a formal meeting each semester. All excuses (submitted through a form on the Student Public Health Association website) are due to the Secretary by noon on the day of the formal meeting. Members who attend a meeting without the proper attire will be counted as absent (unexcused). All special cases will be reviewed by the executive board.
Section 2. Executive Board Meetings
Executive board meetings will be held between the regular meetings. All members of the executive board are required to attend all executive board meetings. All extenuating circumstances will be reviewed by the rest of the executive board on a case-by-case basis.
Section 3. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the President upon the written request of five (5) members of the organization (excluding the President). The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the notice, and three days notice shall be given except in cases of emergencies.
Section 4. Quorum
Three-fifths (3⁄5) of members shall constitute a quorum. To be counted as a member for quorum purposes, members must pay dues and not have more than two unexcused absences for the semester.
Article VI – Advisors
One or more advisors shall be selected by the executive board. An advisor must be a Truman State University faculty or staff member. Responsibilities shall be those assigned by Truman State University policy.
Article VII – Parliamentary Procedure
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and special rules of order the organization may adopt.
Article VIII – Amendments
This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by majority vote of quorum, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting. Any member of the organization may bring up amendments to be voted on at general body meetings.
Article IX – Risk Management
The President of Student Public Health Association is in charge of risk management. Members of the organization are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct and follow local, state, and federal laws. Any member found not abiding by these guidelines will risk losing membership in the organization, along with going through the University’s conduct system. Student Public Health Association fully understands and will abide by the anti-hazing policy as set forth in the Student Code of Conduct of Truman State University 8.050.2 Expectations for Student Organization Conduct Section 14: Abusive affiliation.