MESS Constitution


This is the updated constitution as voted in by MESS on Tuesday April 18th, 2015.

McGill Environment Students’ Society (MESS)

McGill University

McGill Environment Students’ Society (MESS)
McGill University
Final version as presented to SSMU
January 28, 1999

Revised: January 12, 2005 (Presidents presiding: Shiri Noy and David Brodkey)
Revised: January 22, 2012 (President presiding: Lindsay Toth)
Revised: January 28th, 2014 (President presiding: Aaron Eger)
Revised: March 22, 2015 (President presiding: Rachel Gould)
Edited by: Alessandro Bisagni (February 19, 2005)
Edited by: Emily Coffey (January 23, 2012)
Edited by: Aaron Eger (February 4, 2014)
Edited by: Rachel Gould (March 22, 2015)

Article I: Name

1.1 The organization shall be called the McGill Environment Students’ Society (MESS), herein referred to as “MESS”.

Article II: Aim and Purpose

2.1 The aim of MESS shall be to represent its members and to promote their interests through cultural, educational, recreational, and social activities sponsored by MESS.

2.2 MESS shall have jurisdiction and final authority over all its activities and any affiliated activities.

2.3 MESS shall not be regulated or subordinated by any other constitution or council, other than the constitution of MESS.

2.4 MESS shall promote environmental awareness and exhibit environmental responsibility.

Article III: Membership

3.1 MESS shall consist of all students currently registered in the McGill School of Environment, pursuing degrees of B.A., B.Sc., B.A.&Sc., B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc.) or Diploma of Environment.

Article IV: Membership Fees

4.1 The organization fee shall be collected from each member by the Cashier of McGill University and shall first be forwarded to the Arts Undergraduate Society of McGill University (AUS) and the Science Undergraduate Society of McGill University (SUS), and then to MESS from said societies.

Article V: Financial Restrictions

5.1 Control of all monies belonging to MESS is under the jurisdiction of the MESS executive and its use must be agreed upon by:
a) The VP Finance and the Co-Presidents (or, President) for amounts less than $50;
b) A majority of the executive (50%+1) for amounts that exceed $50;
c) Unanimous approval by the executive members of MESS in the case of sponsorships and endorsements from/to sources outside of McGill University.

5.2 The spending of money shall reflect the aims of MESS.

5.3 Any member of MESS shall have access to the financial records of MESS within a reasonable time after a request is made.

Article VI: Executives of MESS

6.1 The executives of MESS shall be:
a) Co-Presidents (or, President)
b) VP Finance
c) VP Events
d) VP Outreach
e) VP Media
f) VP External – AUS
g) VP External – SUS
h) VP External – Macdonald Campus
i) VP Academic
j) VP External – BASiC

6.2 MESS executives shall act as representatives of MESS, and shall act in the best interests of MESS.

6.3 All executives of MESS must be elected by the members of MESS in the spring prior to the academic year in which they will hold office.

6.4 All elected executives of MESS are required to submit an exit report to their successor. This report will outline the duties of the position as well as provide any information deemed useful for the operation of the following year’s council.

6.5 The Co-Presidents (or, President) shall be responsible for the general organization and administration of all MESS activities and shall reside as the co-chairs (or, chair) at executive meetings. It is the ultimate responsibility of the Co-Presidents (or, President) to ensure representation within AUS, SUS, BASiC and the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society (MCSS). The Co-Presidents (or, President) shall be elected by members of MESS and shall have previous experience on Council.

6.6 The VP Finance shall be responsible for all monetary flow into and out of the MESS bank account and for keeping a record of financial transactions in a ledger kept for that purpose.

6.7 The VP Events shall be responsible for coordinating the logistics of events. Whenever necessary, they will delegate tasks associated with event planning and execution to the rest of the executive. They shall also organize those members outside the executives who wish to plan and help with MESS events. For academic events, the VP Events shall collaborate closely with the VP Academic.

6.8 The VP Outreach shall act as a liaison between MESS and the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), faculty associations (with the exemptions of AUS and SUS) and all other relevant campus and external groups. They shall be responsible to take meeting minutes and communicate with members of MESS through the listserv.

6.9 The VP Media shall be responsible for maintaining communication with MESS members and the public through all social media outlets and publicity materials. They shall be responsible for maintaining the MESS website and any interactions with external media.

6.10 The VP External – AUS shall represent MESS’ interests before the AUS and attend AUS meetings. They shall represent the interests of B.A. Environment students to the MESS executive.

6.11 The VP External – SUS shall represent MESS’ interests before the SUS and attend SUS meetings. They shall represent the interests of B.Sc. Environment students to the MESS executive.

6.12 The VP External – Macdonald Campus shall represent MESS’ interests before MCSS when required. They shall represent the interests of B.Sc.(Ag.Env.Sc) Environment students to the MESS executive. The VP External – Macdonald Campus must be taking a minimum of half the credits of a full course load at Macdonald campus during their year in office.

6.13 The VP Academic shall represent MESS’ academic interests to the McGill School of Environment. They shall sit on and attend any academically relevant committees, councils, summits or consultations. The VP Academic shall conceptualize academic events for students and collaborate with the VP Events to coordinate the logistics of these events.

6.14 The VP External – BASiC shall represent MESS’ interest before BASiC and attend BASiC meetings. They shall represent the interests of B.A. & S.c. Environment students to the MESS executive.

Article VII: Elections

7.1 All members of MESS shall be eligible to vote for the executive of MESS.

7.2 Elections shall be conducted in accordance with this constitution and the bylaws of MESS.

7.3 Elections are passed by plurality.

7.4 All members of MESS are eligible to stand for elections to the MESS executive.

7.5 All elected individuals must remain members of MESS throughout their mandate.

7.6 Procedures:
a) Elections shall take place the spring prior to the academic year in which they will hold office. Polls must be opened for at least two full afternoons.
b) A Chief Returning Officer (CRO) will be appointed from within the executive to run the election. The CRO must be a graduating student. The CRO will establish election deadlines, campaigning rules and choose a voting system from the available options.
c) Candidates must have at least ten nominations signatures of MESS members in order to run for a position.
d) Votes will be counted by the CRO and at least one other person, chosen by the CRO. Alternatively, if votes are collected by an unbiased third-party organization, the count must only be verified by the CRO.
e) In the event that there is only one candidate for a position, the candidate shall assume the position if a confidence vote of 50% +1 is achieved.
f) In the event that a suitable candidate for a position cannot be found, a qualified member of MESS may be appointed to the position by unanimous decision of the executive at any time during the academic year of office. A person who ran for an executive position in the most recent election, was the only candidate and did not receive a confidence vote of 50% +1 is not eligible for appointment by the executive.
g) In the event that no one person is eligible to run or those eligible are unwilling to run for the position of president, the field will be opened to all members of MESS. Successful submission of nominations will be contingent upon approval from 50 + 1% of the presiding MESS council. This rule will only apply if the position of president is to be unfilled. If there exists a person who is eligible as defined in Article 6.4 and willing to run as president, the position of co-president will not be open to persons lacking previous experience on MESS council.

Article VIII: Changing the Constitution

8.1 The constitution may be changed at the will of the executive, if a majority (50%+1) of the executive agrees with the proposed changes for the 1998-99 academic year. Thereafter, any changes must be passed by a referendum of MESS, with a majority (50%+1) vote. Changes may require approval of other governing student bodies.

8.2 All changes to the constitution must reflect the aims of MESS as specified in Article II.

Article IX: Support and Opposition of Causes

9.1 MESS executives may issue statements and opinions on behalf of MESS regarding various issues that affect Environment students.

9.2 When time permits, appropriate means of student consultation shall be employed, including but not limited to online polls, social media and personal communication.

9.3 MESS executives shall choose the degree to which they will pursue an issue, ranging from neutrality, written support/opposition, promotion of stance to members or direct participation in demonstrations and movements.

9.4 MESS shall take a stronger stance on issues directly related to the environment or directly affecting a large number of MESS members.

9.5 MESS executives may voice personal opinions regardless of MESS’ stance on an issue but they must make clear that these opinions are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of MESS.

Article X: MESS Representative to SSMU

10.1. Environment Representative to SSMU shall be accountable to the MESS and shall:
a) Be elected and hold one (1) vote on the Council;
b) Be a voting member of the SSMU Council and be bound by the SSMU Constitution and By-Laws;
c) Represent the views of Environment students to the SSMU Legislative Council;
d) Report on all relevant decision and discussions of the Council to SSMU and of SSMU to the Council if needed;
e) Serve as a liaison between Environment students and the SSMU;
f) May not run or hold AUS, SUS, or Arts & Science SSMU Representative Position

Article XI: Conclusion

11.1 This constitution has been written to document the activities and workings of MESS. It has been written by the 1998 MESS constitutional working group, who officiate it with the following signatures.
Meaghan Obee
Nadia Cavallin
Raissa Marks
Louanne Rioux
Hannah Shenkar
Caroline Canning