Bioengineering Undergraduate Student Society Constitution
We, the People of undergraduate McGill Bioengineering, in order to form a more perfect department, establish equality, insure solidarity, provide for the common interest, promote the general welfare, do ordain and establish this great constitution for the undergraduate Bioengineering students at McGill University.
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a McGill bioengineering undergraduate council, which shall be officially known as the Bioengineering Undergraduate Student Society (BUSS) Council. The BUSS Council, as well as The Society shall be bound by all conditions presented in this constitution.
This constitution has been approved by a general referendum of the undergraduate students in Bioengineering
- 1 TITLE I – THE SOCIETY
- 2 TITLE II – BUSS COUNCIL OUTLINE (EXECUTIVE BRANCH)
- 2.1 Article 1 – The BUSS Council positions outline
- 2.2 Article 2 – Powers and Duties
- 2.3 Article 3 – The President
- 2.4 Article 4 – Vice-President External
- 2.5 Article 5 – Vice-President Internal
- 2.6 Article 6 – Vice-President Finance
- 2.7 Article 7 – Vice-President Engagement
- 2.8 Article 8 – Vice-President Academic
- 3 TITLE III – THE BUSS COUNCIL (REPRESENTATIVE BRANCH)
- 4 TITLE IV – MEETINGS , TERMS OF OFFICE , AND VACANCIES
- 5 TITLE V – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION , THE CONSTITUTION AND SPENDING
- 6 TITLE VI – LANGUAGE RIGHTS
- 7 TITLE VII – ELECTIONS
TITLE I – THE SOCIETY
Article 1 – Definitions
- Article I.1.1 : The official name of the Society shall be the Bioengineering Undergraduate Student Society (BUSS).
Article 2 – Members
- Article I.2.1 : The Regular Members of BUSS shall be all students currently registered at McGill University in an undergraduate program of the Faculty of Engineering, majoring in Bioengineering.
Article 3 – Governance and its Purpose
- Article I.3.1 : A student-run student society to protect and promote the interests of the members of BUSS exists in the form of a council officially referred to as the BUSS Council.
- Article I.3.2 : The BUSS Council has obligations to Regular Members of BUSS and the EUS. These obligations include but are not limited to:
- i. to regroup in association the Regular Members of the BUSS Council.
- ii. to represent and promote the views of its members, and to implement academic, cultural, educational, physical, professional, social, and other programs of interest to its members.
- iii. to engage in other such activities and undertakings as may seem appropriate to the Society.
- iv. Act as a liaison between the Members and the department.
Article 4 – Rights of Regular Members
- Article I.4.1 : the right to vote in the general elections for BUSS Council positions.
- Article I.4.2 : the right to attend BUSS Council meetings.
- Article I.4.3 : the right to speak for or against any Motion at BUSS Council meeting.
- Article I.4.4 : the right to nominate candidates in the BUSS elections.
Article 5 – Privileges of Members
- Article I.5.1 : A petition presented to BUSS Council with a minimum of 10% of undergraduate student signatures requires a formal response agreed upon by the Council within 7 days. This must take place by the President or acting President in 2 forms:
- i. A personal class announcement response to all 4 years of undergraduate bioeng by the Ureps.
- ii. A formally written email by the President regarding the position of the Council in response to the petition.
- Article I.5.2 : A petition presented to BUSS Council with a minimum of 20% of the undergraduate student signatures warrants an immediate response by the council.
- Article I.5.3 : A petition presented to BUSS Council with a minimum of 20% of student signatures in a particular class year requires an informal response by the class representative on behalf of the council.
Article 6 – Obligations
- Article I.6.1 : All Regular Members, including Councillors must conform to the BUSS Constitution and EUS Constitution.
Article 7 – Society Fees
- Article I.7.1 : There shall be no additional membership fees aside from those already deducted from student fees and remitted to the BUSS by the EUS.
Article 8 - Finances
- Article I.8.1 : All expenditures made by the BUSS must be authorized by both the VP Finance and the President of the BUSS.
- Article I.8.2 : All expenditures authorized by the VP Finance and the President of the MBUSS shall be refunded from the BUSS funds held in trust by the EUS through the appropriate procedures.
- Article I.8.3 : BUSS shall not run a deficit, unless it is to use surpluses of previous years. If this is the case, the President and VP Finance must agree on the size of the deficit, and it should be such that the bank account of the BUSS has a positive balance after all expenses of the year are accounted for.
TITLE II – BUSS COUNCIL OUTLINE (EXECUTIVE BRANCH)
Article 1 – The BUSS Council positions outline
- Article II.1.1 : Executive branch positions
- i. : President
- ii. : Vice-President External
- iii. : Vice-President Internal
- iv. : Vice-President Academic
- v. : Vice-President Finance
- vi. : Vice-President Communications
- vii. : Vice-President Engagement
- Article II.1.2 : Representative branch positions
- i. : U4 Class Representative
- ii. : U3 Class Representative
- iii. : U2 Class Representative
- iv. : U1 Class Representative
- Article II.1.3 : The candidates for positions on the BUSS Council must be Regular Members of BUSS and remain Regular Members for the entire duration of their mandate.
Article 2 – Powers and Duties
- Article II.2.1 : No member of the BUSS Council shall receive financial remuneration or any action taken as such.
- Article II.2.2 : Coordinate and administer the policies, activities and other day-to-day affairs of the BUSS Council.
- Article II.2.3 : Take action to inform themselves on matters to be debated at meetings of the BUSS Council.
- Article II.2.4 : Call meetings of the BUSS Council.
- Article II.2.5 : Report its activities and decisions to the EUS Council.
- Article II.2.6 : Uphold the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies, and Regulations of the BUSS Council.
- Article II.2.7 : Each member of the Council shall prepare a year-end report to be submitted no later than May 15.
- Article II.2.8 : Any member of the Council shall cease to remain in office upon acceptance of their letter of resignation or their impeachment by the BUSS Council.
- Article II.2.9 : All members of the Council are required to complete a full year term. For more details, refer to the EUS constitution.
- Article II.2.10 : Any Council member may delegate part of their mandate to another consenting Councillor.
- Article II.2.11 : Disagreements between Councillors are to be solved through a democratic vote at Council meetings.
Article 3 – The President
- Article II.3.1 : Duties of the president include but are not limited to:
- i. The general management and supervision of the affairs of BUSS
- ii. Establish a schedule for BUSS Council meetings
- iii. Be the official spokesperson of BUSS
- iv. Attend all the necessary BIEN departmental meetings, the MESC meetings, the EUS Council meetings and presidential meetings, amongst others
- v. Delegate tasks to the Representatives and/or Executives of BUSS
- vi. Prepare the President’s End of Year Report, compile and approve the BUSS End of Year Reports and be responsible for transferring this to the incoming president
- vii. Attend all the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee meetings, at least one per semester.
- Article II.3.2 : The President is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.3.3 : To be nominated in the spring to run as President, the student must, at least, be entering U2 in September. The President must be in U2 or higher for the fall term of their mandate.
- Article II.3.4 : The President is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the elections period in the winter semester and their mandate shall begin May 1st.
- Article II.3.5 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the President.
Article 4 – Vice-President External
- Article II.4.1 : Duties of the VP External include but are not limited to:
- i. Represent the BUSS Council and its regular members in communication with professional, government and industry bodies as well as the other departmental bodies at McGill University
- ii. Develop and maintain relations with industry bodies for the purposes of student career opportunities and BUSS sponsorship.
- iii. Organize and create events dedicated to the participation of Bioengineering undergraduate in industry-related activities, such as but not limited to: lab visits, industry talks, career days.
- iv. Be responsible for maintaining relations with the McGill Engineering Career Center.
- v. Organize at least one departmental trip during the duration of their mandate to visit an industry.
- vi. Organize at least one industry networking event during the duration of their mandate.
- Article II.4.2 : The VP External is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.4.3 : The VP External is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the winter term preceding the beginning of their mandate May 1st.
- Article II.4.4 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the VP External.
Article 5 – Vice-President Internal
- Article II.5.1 : The Vice-President Internal shall be responsible for the organization of events that are internal to the bioengineering department. Such events include but are not limited to:
- i. Host welcome events for U0 and U1.
- ii. Apartment crawls
- iii. All blues pubs
- iv. Bioengineering fall banquet and winter gala BBQ,
- v. Committees within Bio-Eng
- vi. E-Week
- vii. Samosa sales, and other fundraising initiatives
- Article II.5.2 : The VP Internal is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.5.3 : The VP Internal is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the winter term preceding the beginning of their mandate May 1st.
- Article II.5.4 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the VP Internal.
Article 6 – Vice-President Finance
- Article II.6.1 : The Vice-President Finance shall be responsible for the financial matters within the bioengineering department. Such tasks include but are not limited to:
- i. Conform and follow to all E.U.S. Financial By-Laws
- ii. Be responsible for preparing the current year’s End of Year Statement of Expenses.
- iii. Keep proper financial accounts and records of all transactions of the BUSS Council.
- iv. Prepare budgets for all events and set prices
- v. Prepare funding applications for events and trips
- ivi. Prepare and present to the BUSS Council a review of the Budget.
- vii. Perform deposits and obey all By-Laws regarding the use of the safe
- viii. Help vp internal in organizing fundraising events for BUSS such as samosa sales, bake sales, BBQs
- Article II.6.2 : The VP Finance is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.6.3 : The VP Finance is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the winter term preceding the beginning of their mandate May 1st.
- Article II.6.4 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the VP Finance.
Article 7 – Vice-President Engagement
- Article II.7.1 : The Vice-President Engagement shall be primarily responsible for the organization and creation of small events and initiatives to promote spirit within the bioengineering department, which include but are not limited to:
- i. Organizing bioengineering sporting events and/or tournaments
- ii. Organizing clothing orders once per semester
- iii. Organizing small events throughout the semester for bioengineering students
- iv. Coordinating with class representatives to plan spirit days and activities
- Article II.7.2 : The VP Engagement is to aid the VP Internal in the organization and execution of larger events.
- Article II.7.3 : The VP Engagement is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.7.4 : The VP Engagement is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the winter term preceding the beginning of their mandate, May 1st .
- Article II.7.5 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the VP Engagement.
Article 8 – Vice-President Academic
- Article II.8.1 : The Vice-President (VP) Academic shall be responsible for the organization of departmental academic related activities including but not limited to:
- i. Academic forums
- ii. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee meetings at least once per semester
- iii. The update and modification of course packs and other useful academic material
- iv. The organization of the McGill open house in conjunction with the department and president
- Article II.8.2 : Familiarize him or herself with the academic concerns of the BUSS electorate and represent chemical engineering students on all the necessary committees.
- Article II.8.3 : Be the primary representative responsible for managing the BUSS portion of the Engineering Equipment Fund (EFC), including but not limited to:
- i. Verifying all purchases made in the previous year
- ii. Working in conjunction with the chemical engineering department to realize the current requests
- Article II.8.4 : Act as a liaison between BUSS students and departmental officials for all academic issues and concerns.
- Article II.8.5 : The VP Academic is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.8.6 : The VP Academic is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the winter term preceding the beginning of their mandate May 1st.
- Article II.8.7 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the VP Academic.
Article 9– Vice-President Communications
- Article II.9.1 : The Vice President Communications is responsible for the promotion and advertisement of all BUSS related events and activities, including but not limited to:
- i. Organize class announcements to be made by the Representatives
- ii. Be responsible for all internal council communication systems including the BUSS official email address, and maintenance of appropriate discussion groups
- iii. Other social networking communication methods
- iv. Send weekly emails to the BUSS members
- v. Maintaining and updating the BUSS website
- vi. Taking minutes during meetings and distributing them to all council members
- Article II.9.2 : The VP Communications is entitled to one vote during BUSS Council meetings.
- Article II.9.3 : The VP Communications is to be democratically elected by a majority vote during the winter term preceding the beginning of their mandate May 1st.
- Article II.9.4 : All undergraduate bioengineering students are eligible to vote for the VP Communications.
TITLE III – THE BUSS COUNCIL (REPRESENTATIVE BRANCH)
Article 1 – Class representatives
- Article III.1.1 : The main responsibility of the class representatives is to serve as a liaison between their constituency in that particular year with the EUS and BUSS councils. Representatives are responsible for the following tasks including but not limited to:
- i. Informing their constituents on matters of the BUSS Council.
- ii. Representing the interests and concerns of their Constituents at the BUSS Council.
- iii. Attending the EUS Council Meetings.
- iv. Supporting the executives in event planning and execution of all BUSS activities.
- Article III.1.2 : A Class Representative who misses three (3) Regular Meetings of the EUS Council may be impeached as outlined in the EUS constitution.
- Article III.1.3 : The term of office for a Class Representative shall begin on May 1, and last for one year. In the case of a vacancy, another Class Representative shall be appointed by the BUSS Council.
- Article III.1.4 : Class representatives are entitled to one vote at BUSS meetings and one vote at EUS meetings.
- Article III.1.5 : The class representatives are to be democratically elected, BUSS students can only vote for the representative in their respective year.
- i. Note there is an exception for the U1 representative because of unavailability of them the semester during the election period, see Article III.1.6
- Article III.1.6 : The U1 representative is to be appointed by selection committee, consisting of the BUSS President and one (1) to two (2) other members of the BUSS Council, before September 30th.
TITLE IV – MEETINGS , TERMS OF OFFICE , AND VACANCIES
Article 1 – Meetings
- Article IV.1.1 : The BUSS council shall meet at least once every week while classes are in session during the Academic Year.
- Article IV.1.2 : Quorum shall be held if two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Council are present.
Article 2 – Terms of Office
- Article IV.2.1 : The terms of office of the all elected councillors shall begin May 1st and terminate after 1 calendar year.
- Article IV.2.2 : The terms of office of the appointed councillors shall begin when they are appointed (before Sept 30th, and their mandate will terminate the following May 1st.
Article 3 – Vacancies
- Article IV.3.1 : Shall any Council position (except President) become vacant due to resignation, disappearance or impeachment, a replacement will be sought by the Council by selection.
- Article IV.3.2 : In the case of a vacancy in the position of President, VP internal shall assume the responsibilities of President of the BUSS Council until a selection is made for a new President by the council.
- Article IV.3.3 : In the event of a vacancy of any other position, the Council must within 2 weeks find a replacement though appointment with an appropriate, competitive campaign.
Article 4 – Impeachment
- Article IV.4.1 : Any member of the BUSS Council may be removed from office for impropriety, violation of the provisions of the BUSS constitution, violation of BUSS Bylaws, or delinquency of duties.
- Article IV.4.2 : A Motion to impeach an BUSS Council member may be presented to Council in the three (3) following manners:
- i. A Motion to remove an BUSS Council member must be signed by at least one-third (1/3) of the members of the BUSS Council
- ii. The President may call a motion for an BUSS Council member’s impeachment due to delinquency of duties.
- iii. At least ten percent (10%) of the Regular Members of BUSS, and must be presented in writing at a Regular Meeting of the BUSS Council. The Motion shall be inscribed on the agenda of the next Regular Meeting of the BUSS Council
- Article IV.4.3 : Quorum of four-fifths (4/5) of the members of the BUSS Council shall be required to consider a Motion to remove a member of the BUSS Council.
- Article IV.4.4 : A two-thirds (2/3) majority of members present shall be required to carry a Motion to remove a member of the BUSS Council.
- Article IV.4.5 : If an MBUSS Council member is impeached from a position, they are permanently barred from running, or being appointed for any position on Council in the future.
TITLE V – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION , THE CONSTITUTION AND SPENDING
Article 1 - Freedom of information
- Article V.1.1 : All take out documents attached to the BUSS Council shall be public documents, except for minutes of a confidential session.
- Article V.1.2 : The President of the BUSS Council shall not be obliged to release information, or documents concerning ideas, actions, or motions which were not acted upon.
Article 2 – The Constitution
- Article V.2.1 : This Constitution supersedes all previous BUSS constitutions that may have existed.
- Article V.2.2 : The BUSS Council may, at any time, amend the BUSS constitution with a 2/3 majority vote of the current BUSS Council.
- Article V.2.3 : The EUS shall take precedence over BUSS. In the case of conflict between the EUS Constitution and the BUSS Constitution, the EUS Constitution shall prevail.
Article 3 – Spending restrictions
- Article V.3.1 : The amount of money contributed from Council funds, must not exceed 3 times the percentage of students attending the event.
- i. Objective of this Article is to prevent careless spending on events that do not fully represent the student body
- Article V.3.2 : An exclusive event, which for whatever reasons, a significant proportion of students in the undergraduate body are barred from attending due to reasons beyond their control; restricts the event to receiving a maximum subsidy that is proportional to the amount of students attending that event.
- i. This Article is to prevent the excessive spending of funds that is acquired from a certain group of students (perhaps the U1’s through the sale of course-packs) and spent on an event exclusively for U3’s, or a minority or fringe group etc.
- ii. Events with a capped attendance amount such as banquet, or apartment crawl do not fall under this category, since there is considerable diversity at these events and no “attendance requirements.” All students are essentially on a level playing field.
- iii. A brief example: A group of 10 students wants a subsidy from Council to travel to the USA to go drinking at a bioengineering bar in Vermont. Since a significant portion of bioengineering undergraduates are not of legal age to drink in the US, or are not legally able to travel to the US with their student visa’s this event is legally impossible for some individuals. The percentage of students that attend this event (out of the undergraduate body) is the maximum percentage of subsidy money (as a percentage of current balance) that can be designated for this event.
- Article V.3.3 : A deficit should never be budgeted for, a future council should never inherit debt. However, a future council should never inherit a surplus that is greater than 25% of the average balance maintained throughout the year.
- i. As a non-profit organization with a primary objective to serve its students, money must be spent and not-hoarded for future Bioengineering cohorts. This insures students see the return on their money, rather than the depreciation of a stagnant balance losing its value over time.
- Article V.3.4 : Only the President, and Vice-President Finance shall ever hold the key, or know the combination, for accessing the safe. All other Council members are encouraged to deposit money in a timely manner to the safe.
Article 4 – Definitions
- Article V.4.1 : The Academic Year shall be defined to begin the first day of class in the Fall semester and end the last day of final examinations of the Winter semester as defined by the McGill calendar.
- Article V.4.2 : A Bylaw shall be any of a set of rules adopted by the BUSS Council for governing its own meetings or affairs.
- Article V.4.3 : A Constituency shall be defined as all students of a department who began their studies in that department during the Academic Year.
- Article V.4.4 : A Departmental Society shall be a group of Regular Members of the EUS who are representative of a particular department.
- Article V.4.5 : The E.U.S. shall be the Engineering Undergraduate Society of McGill University.
- Article V.4.6 : The Executive Committee shall be the Executive branch of the BUSS.
- Article V.4.7 : The McGill Community shall be defined as the staff, students, and faculty of the University.
- Article V.4.8 : A Motion shall be defined as a proposal formally made in a meeting of the BUSS Council.
- Article V.4.9 : Quorum shall be defined as the required attendance and conditions for a meeting of an official body of the BUSS Council to be opened and for all subsequent transactions to be ratified.
- Article V.4.10 : To Ratify shall mean to pass or approve a Motion or appointment.
- Article V.4.11 : A Regular Meeting shall be any meeting of the BUSS Council not otherwise stipulated.
- Article V.4.12 : A Resolution shall be defined as a formal statement of opinion or determination of the BUSS adopted by a meeting of the BUSS Council.
- Article V.4.13 : A two-thirds (2/3) majority shall be defined as two-thirds (2/3) of votes cast by all members of the BUSS Council. An abstention shall not count as a vote cast.
- Article V.4.14 : A Regular Member shall be defined as any student enrolled in undergraduate Bioengineering. \
- Article V.4.15 : A Coordinator shall be defined as an appointed aide who will temporarily take on the duties and responsibilities of an BUSS Executive Member, with the following exceptions. They will not receive voting power. They must also be a Regular Member of BUSS.
- Article V.4.16: Term of Office or mandate, shall be defined as beginning on the first of May and ending on the 30th of April.
- Article V.4.17 : Committees of the BUSS The Executive Committee may, as it sees fit, establish committees to assist in implementing large projects and studying concerns of the BUSS.
TITLE VI – LANGUAGE RIGHTS
- Article VI.1 : Languages of the Society English and French are the official languages of the BUSS. At all meetings of the BUSS and its committees, members may use either official language providing that translations are provided upon request.
TITLE VII – ELECTIONS
- Article VII.1 : The elections shall be conducted in accordance with the Electoral Bylaws of the E.U.S.
- Article VII.2 : The elections for the aforementioned BUSS council positions shall occur annually during the months of February and March, with the exception of the U1 Representative.
- Article VII.2.1 : The U1 Representative shall be appointed in September or October of the new academic year.
- Article VII.3 : The length of term shall be one year, commencing at the end of the winter semester during which the new council was elected.
- Article VII.4 : Current and future BUSS council members shall take proper steps in facilitating the transition from one council to the following.