YFT Constitution




Article I: Name

   A. The name of this organization shall be Friends of Turkey, Yale Undergraduate (YFT). 
   B. Hereafter in this constitution, the organization shall be referred to as YFT.

Article II: Mission

   A. The mission of YFT is to disseminate information about the Republic of Turkey to members of the Yale University community, which information may include information about Turkish culture, and to foster an atmosphere in which YFT members (as defined below) may convene to discuss relevant issues, which issues include administrative and cultural matters related to YFT.

Article III: Constitution

   A. The provisions contained herein shall become effective by ratification (defined below).

   B. Incorporation of Amendments into the Constitution shall require 3/4 super-majority approval from all the attendees at a meeting of the Executive Board, and must include the President, with no quorum requirement otherwise.

Article IV: Membership

   A. Any undergraduate member of the Yale University community may become a member of YFT (“Member”) and thereby assume all the rights and privileges thereto.

   B. A Member may be expelled from YFT only by a unanimous decision of the whole Executive Board (defined below).

Article V: Executive and Advisory Boards

   A. Executive Board

     1. The Executive Board shall consist of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Chair, Publicity Chair, Web Master and an Historian (each a “Board Member”).

     2. Each Board Member shall serve for a period determined by annual elections.

     3. Elections to the Board shall be conducted according to Article VII.   

   B. Duties and responsibilities of Executive Board members include

     1. All Board Members shall carry equally significant voting power.  

     2. Each Board Member shall be responsible for:

          a) to the extent possible, all promises made in Board Member candidacy statements;
          b) attending all Executive Board meetings in a timely manner; upon nonattendance at more than two meetings, an     Executive Member shall be subject to disqualification from the Executive Board at the Executive Board’s discretion as discussed in Article IV;
          c) attending the Yale University Freshman Bazaar,
          d) clearly and distinctly acknowledging, and carrying out, her/his position-specific responsibilities;
          e) executing every additional task given by the Executive Board during social events and activities,
          f) bringing every campus activity, program or any other type of event that the member deems significant to the Executive Board’s attention; 
         g) attending the elections;
         h) submitting event reports for all events spearheaded by himself or herself, within one week after said event.

     3. The President shall:

          a) announce the next election date on the first Executive Board meeting,
          b) be the primary official representative of YFT
          c) be present at all events held by YFT,
          d) be in charge of proper functioning of all Executive Board meetings, social events and projects, 
          e) monitor all Executive Board members in matters regarding compliance with specific duties and responsibilities set forth in this Constitution,
          f) set items of agenda and notify Board Members before each meeting,
          g) hold primary signature authority, along with the Treasurer, for all financial matters including bank accounts, checks, payments, transactions, applications and reimbursements,
          h) be responsible for election procedures and practices,
          i) submit the any future Executive Board a comprehensive project plan at the ’transfer-of-authority’ meeting,
          j) submit the newly elected Executive Board an annual report at the ‘transfer of authority’ meeting,
          k) be responsible for the active involvement of advisory Executive Board members,
          l) decide on all urgent discretionary matters not voted upon during regular meetings,
          m) contact the Members, along with the Vice-president, Social & Publicity Chair and Secretary, about upcoming YFT events and activities.
          n) collect event reports

     4. The Vice-President shall:

          a) replace the authority and responsibility of the President in her/his absence,
          b) update and maintain the member list of YFT,
          c) prepare and present a review report at mid-semester regarding the activities of advisory Executive Board members,
          d) prepare and present a comparative study on the activities of other cultural organizations in campus, as well as alternative suggestions, to be submitted no later than the 5th meeting of fall semester,
          e) register every official YFT event as needed,
          f) be responsible for the sources and uses of all equipment required in official events,
          g) be responsible for the weekly bulletin on Mondays.

     5. The Treasurer shall:

          a) properly manage the YFT account and all related transactions involving this account,
          b) prepare and present a provisional budget at the beginning of the fiscal year, in light of the President’s provisional project plan after Executive Board approval,
          c) fill out the necessary application for funding from the UOFC and other bodies of Yale University,
          d) prepare and present a comprehensive report on alternative sources of funding, to be submitted no later than the 3rd meeting of the fiscal year
          e) record every transaction and report it to the President,
          f) be the sole authority in any transaction that involves the use/deposit of cash from/into YFT account,
          g) keep a copy of every financial document received or released by YFT.

     6. The Secretary shall:

          a) record the next election date, 
          b) file and keep all official documents of YFT, which include but are not limited to:
             i) the Constitution,
             ii) candidacy statements of each Member,
             iii) project plan and annual report of the President,
             iv) review report and comparative study of the Vice President,
             v) provisional budget and funding report of the Treasurer,
             vi) activity proposal by the Social & Publicity Chair,
             vii) copies of all other non-financial documents,
             viii) schedule of official deadlines,
          c) record the meeting minutes,
          d) inform Members on the minutes via e-mail, at the discretion of the Executive Board,
          e) prepare an official schedule of report submission and election deadlines before the first meeting of the fall semester,
          f) have the authority to remind and emphasize the deadlines set in this schedule,
          g) purchase and maintain office material required for meetings, elections and publicity purposes,
          h) transfer all official documents to the new Secretary at the end of his or her term as Secretary.

     7. The Publicity Chair shall:

          a) be responsible for the appropriate publicity of YFT,
          b) orchestrate the design, distribution and demonstration of all publicity material,
          c) monitor and enforce the appropriate use, order and cleanliness of social spaces during social events,
          d) establish and keep necessary contacts with other undergraduate student organizations,
          e) organize the YFT stand at the Yale University Freshman Bazaar

     8. Social Chair:

          a) prepare and present an activity proposal on social matters that will provide benefits YFT, to be submitted no later than the 2nd meeting of the fiscal year,
          b) spearhead all social events, defined as cordial gatherings with minute cultural significance, including parties, happy hours and study breaks.

     9. Webmaster:

          a) upgrade the design of the YFT website by the 2nd YFT meeting of each semester and make the necessary design changes as recommended by plurality of the Executive Board.
          b) update the YFT website as new events approach

     10. Historian:

          a) keeps an archive of all materials, including but not limited to posters, handouts, table tents, flyers, instructions and event reports.
          b) keeps a photographic history of all events.

   C. Advisory Board

     1. Advisory Board shall consist of two groups. Non-elective positions of the Executive Board shall be subject to appointments from the Executive Board. Members of Yale Faculty and Yale College are to be appointed for such non-elective positions. The elective positions shall be filled by members of graduate schools who are not listed on the faculty lists of their corresponding departments, masters and doctorate students.

    2. In order to encourage participation among new members, the Executive Board may appoint said new members to non-elective positions, and they shall be named liaisons or faculty advisors as appropriate.

    3. Elective positions shall consist of the President, the Vice President and Social & Publicity Chair of the Graduate Club,

    4. President of the Graduate Club shall:

          a) hold the authority and responsibility to synchronize and coordinate graduate activities with the Executive Boards’ decisions,
          b) be the primary contact of YFT with graduate committees and councils,c) monitor the proper functioning of the members of the advisory Executive Board,
          d) be in close contact with faculty members of the advisory Executive Board,
          e) report the agenda topics regarding the graduate body to the President before the weekly agenda notification.

     5. Vice-President of the Graduate Club shall:

          a) handle all financial interactions with graduate committees and councils,
          b) establish and maintain contact with academic centers that are in any way related to YFT activities,
          c) research, along with treasurer, all possible sources of funding and equipment support in and outside of Yale University,
          d) in cases of graduate affiliation, register YFT events and activities with relevant centers or offices,
          e) co-operate with the Vice-President of the Executive Board to provide material for the weekly bulletin.

     7. Social & Publicity Chair of the Graduate Club shall abide to the same set of regulations announced for the Social & Publicity Chairs of the Executive Board, as stated in Article V, Section B, Part 7 and 8, to the extent and only to the extent that said regulations are substantially relevant to the graduate community.

     8. Elections for the positions in Advisory Board are subject to the same procedures as defined under Article VII.

     9. Advisory Board shall be responsible for:

          a) advising the Executive Board on operational and organizational matters,
          b) providing support for the activities of YFT, as needed,
          c) monitoring the proper functioning of the Executive Board, 
          d) discussing matters relevant to graduate members of YFT,
          e) establishing cooperation between undergraduate and graduate Members,
          f) providing the Executive Board with essential assistance during events with non-Yale involvement.

     10. Executive Board meetings are fully accessible to all Advisory Board Members. Members of the elective positions are expected to attend at least 3/4 of the total number of meetings in an executive term. Occasionally, if under their own auspices and discretions by majority vote of all Advisory Board members present at a meeting they deem it necessary, the Advisory Board may hold separate meetings from the Executive Board.

Article VI: Electoral Procedure

   A. Elections for the Executive Board shall take place during the first Sunday of the month of April at a time and place announced by the Executive Board.

   B. The President shall be in charge of the election process.

   C. Eligibility Requirements:

     1. Executive Board positions shall be open to all undergraduate Members. Candidacy for the position of the President requires at least one-term Executive Board experience.

     2. Advisory Board elective positions are open to graduate and post-graduate research Members.

     3. The President shall announce the elections one week before the election date.

   D. Regulations for Campaign Period

     1. Candidates shall openly declare their candidacies no later than 72 hours before the elections. Every candidate is required to submit a candidacy statement to the President along with a declaration of his of her candidacy.

     2. Once declared, the candidate accepts full responsibility of all position requirements defined in Article V,

     3. The President shall announce the candidates and their statements within the next 5 hours after the advertised candidacy deadline.

     4. Candidates may initiate an election campaign in any way or by any means, as long as the campaign does not impinge negatively on other candidates’ personal lives, which lives are not pertinent to carrying out one’s YFT duties as defined in this Constitution.

     5. A candidate may only run for two positions at each election.

   E. Regulations for Election Period

     1. Before the elections, each candidate shall be given seven minutes of speaking time, on matters of candidacy and provisional agendas.

     2. The winner of the election shall be the candidate who receives the plurality of the ballots cast for his position. In case of a tie between the two top candidates, there shall be a runoff between them. In case of a further tie, the Executive Board shall hold a meeting to announce its decision, which shall solely be based on the candidacy statements submitted by the candidates.

     3. In case of an absence of candidates running for any particular position, the Executive Board shall have the authority to appoint a Member for that position immediately after the completion of the elections.

     4. All appointments and decisions emanating from the Executive Board with respect to election matters requires a 2/3 majority.

     5. If a position becomes vacant, the Executive Board shall appoint a replacement until YFT can hold an election to fill that vacant position.

Article VII: Executive Meetings’ Procedure

   A. Executive Board meetings

      1. The President shall call the meeting to order and make announcements. The other Officers and Members can also make announcements during this time. After announcements, the President shall introduce the discussion topic for the week.

     2. The President shall adjourn the meetings.

     3. All Executive Board topics shall be voted upon. 

     4. Any officer can make a motion or second a motion on the table. Once a motion has been made and seconded, it must be voted on immediately or withdrawn.

     5. Motions shall pass with the approval of a majority of the members of Advisory and Executive Boards present with a tie broken by the vote of the President, unless otherwise excepted in this Constitution.

Article VIII: Activities

   A. YFT aims to organize various events to promote Turkish culture on Yale campus.

   B. YFT is tax-exempt for tax purposes.

Article IX: Disbursement of Funds

   A. YFT’s funds will be used in organizing new events to cover the various costs involved with these events.

Article X: Dissolution

   A. If YFT dissolves, its assets will be distributed to Yale University.

Article XI: Ratification

   A. This Constitution shall be ratified by the signing of the members of YFT Executive Board.

   B. The Constitution shall be effective by 2/3 majority of the members participating in the Executive Board Meeting.