Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of the Queer Students Alliance
The University of Texas at Austin

Ratified April 18, 2007
Amended January 9, 2013

We the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied population of the University of Texas and surrounding Austin area will work to promote an environment of equality, understanding, and harmony for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions by providing campus-wide programs to raise awareness, community visibility, and serve as a link between other queer campus groups and the university.

Article I. Nomenclature and Purpose
Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Queer Students Alliance.
Section 2: The QSA shall assist the University of Texas with its goal of creating a welcoming environment for all by representing the needs and concerns of sexual minorities through campus-wide awareness programs, advocacy, support, and educational resources. The QSA will also foster leadership and provide opportunities for activism and promotion of queer social justice.
Section 3: The QSA shall educate the University of Texas and surrounding community about queer culture by working collaboratively with other university departments and student organizations.
Section 4: The QSA shall serve as a link between the University of Texas’ Student Government Association and the other campus queer organizations. This link is meant to serve as a line of support between all queer students, allies, the Austin community, and the university administration.

Article II. Membership

Section 1. Membership shall be open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of The University of Texas at Austin without discrimination.
Section 2. The QSA is open to the Austin community as non-official members but still are allowed full participation in the activities of the QSA.
Section 3. All members have the right to vote on constitution, officer, and other general elections deemed appropriate by the Executive Board.
Section 4. No monetary dues are required of QSA members but active membership is highly encouraged.

Article III. Governance

Section 1: There shall be an annually elected Executive Board, consisting of seven or eight positions, who must be full-time University of Texas students. The Executive Board shall be collectively charged with the following duties:
  1. To maintain accountability and responsibility in all QSA matters; and
    1. Sole authority of the QSA is held collectively by members of the Executive Board; and
    2. While the director is charged with administrative power, they do not hold authority over the organization as a whole; and
  2. Upon direction of the membership, to implement policies, activities, and programs; and
  3. To develop and manage an agenda to be better defined by the bylaws; and
  4. In order to achieve the above, to create committees and organize volunteer participation; and
  5. By a majority vote of all Executive Board members, who shall all have one equal vote, to commit any resources (human, capital, or otherwise), implement policy and set the general agenda; and
  6. To prepare and present the annual student budget with the aid of all interested members and advisors in the Student Government Association, the Gender and Sexuality Center, and Dean of Students Office; and
  7. To aid other board members and committee chairs with their respective duties; and
  8. To hear and receive all impeachment proceedings; and
  9. To keep the confidentiality of the membership.
Section 2: The Executive Board shall consist of Director, Vice-Director, Secretary, Treasurer, Queer Campus Liaison, Queer Austin Liaison, and Public Relations.

The Director or Co-Directors shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. To represent the organization and maintain contacts with the university administration, other campus organizations, and off-campus persons, organizations, and institutions;
    2. To represent or delegate someone to represent the organization on university committees such as the Campus Safety Board, Distinguished Speakers Committee, Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship, OneTexas, and any Gender and Sexuality Center committee; and
    3. To work as an administrator on tasks that cannot be referred to a particular committee as stated by the bylaws or by necessity; and
    4. To delegate all information, tasks, and plans to the appropriate officers and to oversee all duties of the officers; and
    5. To co-chair all general meetings with the Vice-Director and chair all Executive Board meetings unless otherwise delegated; and
    6. To hold the position of (co-)director(s) according to Student Government
      1. Agency Director position is applied for in the Spring through Student Government
      2. Student Government upholds that the QSA can but is not required to be run by 2 co-directors.
      3. According to the Executive Board the second co-chair position can be filled at their discretion.
      4. Attend weekly Student Government meeting and report of QSA agenda during Agency Reports.
  1. The Vice-Director(s) shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. To carry out delegated correspondence with outside groups, persons, and institutions; and
    2. To manage organizational communication with the Secretary; and
    3. To help raise community visibility through general advertisement and publicity; and
    4. To manage relations with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied alumni of the university and the QSA; and
    5. To coordinate programs and activities, information and relevant administrative duties with committees and committee chairs; and
    6. To create committees and appoint committee chairs for specific programs approved by the Executive Board; and
    7. To integrate and oversee all committee activities; and
    8. To “stand-in” for the Director when the Director is pre-disposed; and
    9. To co-chair all general meetings.

  1. The Secretary shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. To carry out delegated correspondence with the Executive Board. (Up to the Secretary’s discretion in how this communication shall take place); and
    2. To carry out official correspondence of queer activities, surveys, or opportunities on campus or within the Austin community to the organization; and
    3. To keep a historical record of all activities conducted during the general and Executive Board meetings, specifically through the minutes; and
    4. Send out weekly listserv emails with QSA and other Queer events to all members; and
    5. Establish and maintain a Queer Calendar with QSA events as well as all other Queer events on and off campus; and
    6. To work through Student Government to reserve space for all events.

  1. The Treasurer shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. Allocate the QSA funding and manage the finances of the organization; and
    2. Prepare a working budget of finances including both University funds and generated revenue, which include all dues, donations, and funds raised by the organization; and
    3. Assist the other executive board members and committee chairs with budget planning and formulation; and
    4. Give budget briefing at executive meetings and at the last general body meeting of every semester; and
    5. Report all necessary budgetary information to the appropriate and necessary university officials; and
    6. Follow all necessary rules concerning University funding use, including seeking trademark approval; and
    7. Be held accountable for all QSA monetary transactions.

  1. The Queer Campus Organization Liaison shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. Effectively communicate with the myriad of queer campus organizations to relay information and provide QSA support; and
    2. Help form a coalition of queer campus organizations to make a more cohesive queer community on campus; and
    3. Organize and provide preliminary support to QSA sponsored/endorsed campus events; and
    4. Maintain an updated list of active Queer Organizations on campus with their contact information, meeting times, and events; and

  1. The Queer Austin Liaison shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. Retrieve information about the Austin Queer events, meetings, clubs, etc; and
    2. Keep a database of queer organizations in the Austin community; and
    3. Organize and provide preliminary support to QSA sponsored/endorsed community events; and
    4. Promote and establish at least one social outing for QSA monthly.

  1. The Public Relations Officer shall be specifically charged with the following duties:
    1. Provide social media including but not limited to website design, Facebook, Twitter; and
    2. Be in change of DigiKnow and Know Events Calendar; and
    3. Design of logos, t-shirts, programs and working directly with Treasurer on trademark confirmation; and
    4. Chair of the Public Relations Committee (PRC) which will be in-charge of tabling, media, and other on-campus social advertisements. The PRC size and membership is at the discretion of the Public Relations Officer.

Article IV. Meetings

Section 1. Regular meetings shall occur at least once a month during each long semester at a time and place designated by the Executive Board. These meetings shall be open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Queer campus organization representatives will attend these meetings to give updates concerning their organization.
Section 2. The Executive Board meeting shall occur at least once per week during each long semester at a time and place designated by the Executive Board. These meetings shall be required of all Queer Students Alliance officers and when requested queer campus organization representatives, committee members, and invited guests.
Section 3. Requests for special meetings may be called by any member or adviser of the Queer Students Alliance so long as requested in advanced notice.
Section 4. The first Executive Meeting of the month shall be designated as an open Executive meeting which any and all QSA members and other queer organization leaders are invited to come share their ideas, opinions, and events for the following month.

Article V. Method to Amend the Constitution

Section 1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by any member or adviser of the Queer Students Alliance. The amendment will go before the Executive Board and a two-thirds majority is required for the amendment to pass.
Section 2. Members will be notified of changes in this constitution at the next general body meeting.

Article VI. Dissolution Clause

Section 1. In the event that an officer is unable to perform their necessary duties, as deemed by the Executive Board, the Executive Board has the capacity to entertain nominations for a replacement officer to serve out the length of the former officer’s term. These nominees must meet all standard qualifications for the position for which they are nominated. The Executive Board (excluding the officer who is vacating office) will vote to elect an officer to serve out the length of the term. A majority vote is required to name a replacement officer.
Section 2. Should the Queer Students Alliance disband, any remaining funds or property shall be donated to the Gender and Sexuality Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Bylaws of the Queer Students Alliance
The University of Texas at Austin

Ratified December 8, 2012

Bylaw I. The Executive Board

Section 1. Each member of the Executive Board is expected to attend all Queer Students Alliance meetings and events and work toward the fulfillment of their job description.
Section 2. Each member of the Executive Board shall serve a term of one year, from March/April-March/April.
Section 3. Each member of the Executive Board shall serve as the lead coordinator on at least Queer Students Alliance standing event each year.
Section 4. All officers shall complete-end-of-term reports to help transition of new leadership

Bylaw II. Committees

Section 1. Standing committees of the Queer Students Alliance include the executive committee (Executive Board)
Section 2. Special committees may be appointed by the Board of Directors as needed, in coordination with standing QSA events.
Section 3. Directors may operate subcommittees pertaining to their job duties.

Bylaw III. Elections

Section 1. The first tier of Queer Students Alliance elections shall be the election of the (co)-director(s). (Co)-director elections shall take place each March/April. To become (co)-director, one must have served previously on the Board of Directors.
  • (Co)-Director candidates need to have met with the Gender and Sexuality Center before being nominated.
  • (Co)-Director candidate elects need to apply through Student Government for the Queer Student Alliance Agency (co)-directorship in the Spring semester.
Section 2. Elections for new (co)-director(s) will be held in March/April of the Spring semester, new (co)-director(s) will assume office after the conclusion of Pride Week in April while standing (co)-director(s) assist in the transfer of information and responsibilities related to the director position.
Section 3. Co-director candidates will run as a combined ticket for all intents and purposes during their campaigning.
Section 4. Once a director or two co-directors have been elected, Elections for officer positions will be held in April of the Spring semester, new officers will assume office immediately.
- no formal qualifications other than being a currently enrolled student are necessary.
Section 5. If a majority vote is not achieved in any election described above, the standing Executive Board shall move into run-off balloting that would include the top vote getters (in the case of co-directors) or the top two vote getters (in the case of all other director positions).
Section 6. Any officer may serve more than one term in the specified officer position, but officers must re-apply each year to the desired board position.
Section 7. All balloting shall be open ballot.
Section 8. Advisers to the Queer Students Alliance may be called upon to make recommendations to the Executive Board in any election dispute.

Bylaw IV. Quorum

Section 1. At least half of the Board of Directors must be present to conduct Queer Students Alliance business; only exception shall be end-of-term report meetings when each officer shall meet with the (co)-director(s).

Bylaw V. Standing Events

Section 1. Annual events of the Queer Students Alliance shall include but not limited to:
  • Summer orientation programming for LGBTQ students
  • Welcome event for LGBTQ students (early fall)
    • Queer Carnival
    • Bloq Party
  • Queer Leadership Institute in conjunction with QPOCA(spring)
  • Follow-up to State of LGBTQ Affairs report (fall, typically in October)
  • Coming Out Week (centered around National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11)
  • Delegation trip to Creating Change (early spring, typically in February)
  • Queer Texas Conference (fall)
  • Pride Week (spring)
  • Day of Silence (set nationally by GLSEN, typically in late April)
  • National Transgender Day of Remembrance (typically in November)

Bylaw VI. Training and Capacity Building

Section 1. At least once during each academic year, the Executive Board shall receive at least three hours of social justice training and at least three hours of Safe Space training.
Section 2. At least once during each semester, the Executive Board shall meet in a retreat of four hours or longer to plan strategically and assess capacity.
Section 3. At least once over the summer, the new elected officer shall meet to plan out Fall events and general meetings.