The Catholic University of America

 CONSTITUTION

STUDENTS FOR PUBLIC INTEREST LAW

Article I - NAME

The name of the organization shall be Students for Public Interest Law.

Article II - PURPOSE

SPIL's purpose is to foster awareness of and participation in public interest law.  The organization seeks to raise awareness about the importance of service and giving back to our communities, to raise funds for stipends for students who complete summer internships in the public interest sector, to provide networking opportunities for careers in the public interest, to contribute to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program which benefits students who pursue public interest careers, to participate in various community outreach activities, and to cultivate relationships between students who support public interest law.

Article III - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.  Members shall consist of students enrolled at least part time at the Columbus School of Law.

Section 2.  Members should support careers in public interest law.

Article IV - EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1.  The officers of this organization shall be:

    1. President (as elected according to Article V)
    2. Vice-President (as elected according to Article V)
    3. Auction Chair(s) (as elected according to Article V)
    4. Event Coordinator(s) (as elected according to Article V)
    5. Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) Liaison (as elected according to Article V)

Section 2.  There are no specific qualifications for the positions.

Section 3.  The duties of each officer are as follows:

    1. President:
      1. To be responsible for the total operation of the organization;
      2. To outline the work of the organization;
      3. To keep members informed on all matters pertaining to the organization;
      4. To establish committees for special needs and/or programs;
      5. To coordinate, attend, and participate in meetings of the Executive Board;
      6. To monitor each Board member's progress;
      7. To coordinate the meetings of the committees and monitor each committee's work;
      8. To coordinate general meetings and ensure the meetings are publicized;
      9. To assemble the agenda for each executive board and general meeting;
      10. To be responsible for the budget;
      11. To be responsible for seeing that expenditures do not exceed the budget of the organization;
      12. To consult regularly with appropriate personnel such as administrators and the faculty advisor;
      13. To consult with the Vice-President regarding all executive decisions;
      14. To keep a register of members;
      15. To update and maintain the SPIL TWEN site;
      16. To designate a webmaster to update and maintain the SPIL website;
      17. To ensure Constitution is updated and amended as the need arises; and
      18. To maintain the files of the organization;
      19. To meet with and train the incoming President and distribute necessary information.
    1. Vice-President:
      1. To meet with the President early in the school year to clearly establish his or her responsibilities;
      2. To assist and support the President in his or her duties, as necessary;
      3. To meet regularly with the President to address pressing issues and develop strategies for the course of the year; and
      4. To attend and participate in all Executive Board meetings.
      5. To meet with and train the incoming Vice-President and distribute necessary information.
    1. Auction Chair(s):
      1. To secure donations, catering, and equipment for the auction;
      2. To meet with administrators, alumni, staff, and faculty members, as necessary;
      3. To request participation of SPIL members in auction activities;
      4. To attend and participate in all Executive Board meetings, and apprise the Board of any auction developments or problems; and
      5. To otherwise assume all duties necessary to raise the maximum amount of money for the organization.
      6. To meet with and train the incoming Auction Chairs and distribute necessary information. 
    1. Event Coordinator(s):
      1. To plan various events with the advice and consent of the Executive Board in order to raise money for the initial auction costs;
      2. To plan various events with the advice and consent of the Executive Board in order to generally promote public interest law, raise awareness of the organization, and cultivate relationships between students who support public interest law; 
      3. To coordinate the meetings of the Community Service Committee and to monitor its work;
      4. To meet with administrators, alumni, staff, and faculty members, as necessary;
      5. To request participation of SPIL members in events;
      6. To attend and participate in all Executive Board meetings, and apprise the Board of any event developments or problems; and
      7. To otherwise assume all duties necessary to raise the maximum amount of money for the organization. 
      8. To meet with and train the incoming Event Coordinators and distribute necessary information.
    1. LRAP Liaison:
      1. To assemble a committee;
      2. To act as principal liaison and representative for LRAP to administrators, staff, faculty, and students;
      3. To coordinate activities with LRAP representatives from other student groups, including, but not limited to, the Student Bar Association and the American Bar Association;
      4. To engage in fundraising activities to increase the LRAP endowment; and
      5. To keep the student body informed on developments of loan repayment assistance. 
      6. To meet with and train the incoming LRAP Liaison and distribute necessary information. 

Article V. - ELECTIONS

Section 1.  Elections for Executive Board positions shall be held during the spring semester.

Section 2.  Nominations by SPIL members shall be solicited and processed at least a week before the election meeting by the President.

  1. The President shall coordinate and conduct a meeting to explain each of the Executive Board positions.

Section 3.  All SPIL members shall have the opportunity to vote for each Executive Board position. 

Section 4.  Executive Board positions shall be won by a simple majority.

Article VI. - REMOVAL

Section 1.  Any Executive Board member who desires the removal of another Executive Board member shall approach the President or Vice-President with a proposal and supporting reasons to remove that Executive Board member.

Section 2.  If necessary, the President or Vice-President shall coordinate a removal meeting, during which the removal proposal and supporting reasons will be considered and adjudicated pursuant to subsections a. and b.

  1. The Executive Board member sought to be removed shall have the opportunity to make a statement addressing the Executive Board.
  2. Removal of an Executive Board member requires a simple majority vote by all Executive Board members, including the Executive Board member sought to be removed.

Section 3.  The President or Vice-President shall contact the officer sought to be removed at least one week prior to the removal meeting, and at that time, shall notify the officer sought to be removed of the Executive Board's supporting reasons. 

Article VII. - FACULTY/STAFF ADVISOR

Section 1.  The faculty/staff advisor shall be selected by the President.

Section 2.  The faculty/staff advisor may be removed by the President.

Article VIII. - FUNDS

Section 1.  Stipends.  Each year before the SPIL Stipend Application deadline, the Executive Board shall submit a list of SPIL Members in Good Standing to the Financial Aid Office.

  1. Definitions
    1. The term "member in good standing" means any law school student who has completed fifteen hours of service for SPIL throughout the year.
    2. The term "hours" shall be defined by the Executive Board.
    3. The term "points" refers to the 100 points that can be earned on the SPIL Stipend Application. 
    4. The term "bonus points" means points that can be earned in addition to the 100 points that can be earned on the SPIL Stipend Application.
  2. Hours
    1. Hours may be earned for actions such as: organizing SPIL meetings and/or events; attending SPIL meetings and/or events; completing work in preparation for SPIL events, such as the auction; and any other action as determined by the Executive Board.
    2. Hours shall be recorded pursuant to subsections i. through iii.
      1. The Executive Board shall distribute log sheets to all SPIL members at the beginning of each academic year, and make the log sheets readily available throughout the year.
      2. SPIL members are responsible for recording their hours of service throughout the year, and are bound to abide by the Columbus School of Law's Honor Code in recording their hours.
      3. The Vice-President shall make efforts to note, to the best of his or her ability, the service of SPIL members throughout the year.
    3. SPIL members shall sign and submit their log sheets to the Financial Aid Office with their Stipend Applications.
  3. Determination of Members in Good Standing
    1. The Executive Board shall retrieve the log sheets from the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible after the application deadline.
    2. The Executive Board shall hold a meeting to certify Members in Good Standing as soon as possible after the log sheets are retrieved.
    3. The Executive Board shall certify SPIL members who have completed fifteen hours of service for SPIL throughout the year.
    4. The Executive Board shall submit their list of students who have been certified as Members in Good Standing to the Financial Aid Office for consideration with their SPIL Stipend Applications. 
  4. Significance of Certification
    1. In addition to the 100 possible points on the SPIL Stipend Application, students who have been certified as Members in Good Standing, according to the procedures listed above, will receive 25 bonus points.

Section 2.  In recognition that LRAP supports the public interest work of students upon graduation,

    1. SPIL pledges a minimum of 10% of its net funds raised over the course of each school year to the LRAP endowment, pursuant to subparagraph (1).
      1. The net funds shall not include the auction funds matched by the law school.

Article IX. - AMENDMENTS

Section 1.  This Constitution shall be reviewed yearly by the President.

Section 2.  If an Executive Board member believes change(s) in the Constitution is necessary, that Executive Board member shall propose the change(s) to the President.

Section 3.  If the President determines that changes or updates are necessary, he or she shall meet with the Vice-President to discuss the changes and/or updates, and then submit the changes to the Executive Board for a vote.

Section 4.  Changes and updates shall be implemented based on the simple majority vote of the Executive Board.