This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification, but shall not directly affect the tenure or responsibilities of any current officer of the Union without his or her consent.
The Union is established to benefit English students and other members of the University of Toronto with extracurricular-academic programmes, intracurricular-academic advice, encounters with faculty and professionals in disciplines connected with English, events for associating with other students of English, and representation (of English students) in the Department of English, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Arts and Science Students’ Union. The Union shall also collaborate with the Arts and Science Students’ Union to prepare and publish course evaluations. These ends are entrusted primarily to the officers of the Union, acting on behalf of its general membership.
Terms and Definitions
1.1. ASSU shall mean the Arts and Science Students’ Union
1.2. The Union shall mean the English Students’ Union
1.3. The University shall mean the University of Toronto, St George Campus
1.4. The Department shall mean the Department of English at the University
1.5. The Faculty shall mean the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University
1.6. Members shall mean members of the Union
1.7. Officers shall mean the officers of the Union
1.8. Member of the University shall mean any graduate or undergraduate student, faculty member or staff person at the University
1.9. The Board shall mean the IDIOM Editorial Review Board, consisting of one (1) Editor-in-Chief, one (1) Deputy Editor-in-Chief, one (1) Assistant Editor-in-Chief, one (1) Managing Editor, one (1) Layout Editor, one (1) ESU-IDIOM Liaison, and six (6) Associate Editors.
2.1. Should any contradiction arise between this constitution and the ASSU constitution and by-laws, the latter shall prevail. All provisions of the ASSU constitution concerned with course unions not duplicated here shall, notwithstanding, be understood as applying to the ESU.
2.2. Should any contradiction arise within or between provisions of this constitution, the President shall determine which provision takes precedence pursuant to the interests of the Union and its members.
Members of the Union shall belong to one of two classes: general members and officers.
3.1. General Members
Any student shall be a member of the Union if she has, in the current academic year, taken at least one half-course equivalent (0.5 FCE) in the Department, or been enrolled in a programme in the Department. For the purposes of elections, she shall be eligible for membership if she has, in the current academic year taken and intends to in the following academic year to take at least one half-course equivalent (0.5 FCE) or enrol in a programme in the Department in the ensuing year. Although any member of the University shall be entitled to participate in any of the Union’s events, only members shall enjoy certain privileges concerning the governance of the Union.
Only members of the Union, as defined above, shall be eligible to serve as officers. Officers will be elected at a general meeting according to the procedures described in III., IV., and VI. Every officer shall have the right to vote at executive meetings. Should any officer be absent from two (2) consecutive executive meetings without reasonable excuse, or from four (4) non-consecutive executive meetings, that office shall, at the discretion of the President(s), be considered vacant. Any function assigned by the following shall be subject to reassignment or revocation at the discretion of the President(s). No individual shall occupy more than one office.
3.2.1. President(s) (1 or 2) shall:
- be the chief officer(s) of the Union, vested with final responsibility for all its affairs. Any decision of the President(s) shall be revocable only by a unanimous vote of the other officers.
- be a signing officer for any bank account owned by the Union; all expenditures shall be subject to the President(s)’ approval.
- occupy without fail the seat on the ASSU council, or ensure the presence of a substitute in the event the President(s) cannot.
- appoint individuals to fill any office vacated between general meetings, subject to change or ratification at the next general membership meeting, and appoint additional officers at their discretion.
- preside over the election of officers.
- chair the executive and general meetings of the Union, with the exception of Spring elections, casting a vote only in the event of a tie.
3.2.2. Vice-President(s) (1 or 2) shall:
- act as deputies to the President.
- under any circumstances where the President is unable, for any reason, to discharge his responsibilities, assume those duties for the duration of the President’s incapacity.
- chair the executive and general meetings of the Union, with the exception of elections, casting a vote only in the event of a tie, if the President(s) are unable to.
- assume any other responsibilities as delegated by the President(s).
3.2.3. Treasurer (1) shall:
- be responsible for the finances of the Union, subject to the supervision of the President(s).
- in conjunction with the President(s), prepare the semi-annual budgets of the Union, and ensure the Union’s compliance with those budgets, and with all pertinent ASSU and University regulations.
- be a signing officer for any bank account owned by the Union.
3.2.4. First-Year Representatives (2) shall:
- assist the other officers in the performance of their functions.
- undertake to represent the interests of first-year students of English at the University and to promote the participation of these students.
- be in their first year of study during their tenures.
3.2.5. Second-Year Representative (1 or 2) shall:
- assist the other officers in the performance of their functions.
- undertake to represent the interests of second-year students of English at the University and to promote the participation of these students.
- be in their second year of study during their tenures.
3.2.6. Events Co-ordinators (2) shall:
- be responsible for organising and supervising certain academic and non-academic events authorised by the Union. In so doing, they will collaborate with other officers of the Union where they are concerned.
3.2.7 Social Media Manager (1) shall:
- assist with the design and printing of promotional materials.
- assist with social media outlets for the promotion of ESU events.
- be responsible for advertising the events of the Union online.
3.2.8 General Executive Member (1 to 4) shall:
- assist the other officers in the performance of their functions.
- undertake to represent the interests of all students of English at the University and to promote the participation of these students.
4.1. Executive Meetings
The President(s) shall convene an executive meeting no less than once per month. Executive meetings shall be devoted to administering the Union and transacting whatever business is not put to the general membership. All officers of Union shall be entitled and expected to attend executive meetings, at which each shall exercise one (1) vote, and for which quorum is one half (1/2) of officers, including either the President or her delegate.
4.2. General Meetings
The President(s) shall convene a general meeting no less than once each Spring and Fall Session. Notice, including a preliminary agenda, shall be published at least two (2) weeks in advance of a general meeting, unless some urgent circumstance dictates otherwise. At each general meeting, the President(s) and any other officers who choose shall present reports on the Union’s activity in the period since the last general meeting, and any constitutional amendments shall be ratified. Any member of the University shall be entitled to attend general meetings, but only members of the Union shall enjoy the right to vote, speak, or introduce a motion. Any member may, at any time, introduce a motion to go in camera: a majority voting in favour, all those not members shall be excluded from the meeting. One general meeting per year shall be held at the end of the Spring session to elect the officers of the Union for the following year according to the procedure described below. Quorum for a general meeting shall be ten (10) members of the Union, of which a minimum of five (5) shall be officers. Amendments to the agenda of a general meeting occurring at that meeting shall be made only upon a unanimous vote of the members present.
IDIOM: The English Undergraduate Academic Journal
5.1. Relationship between IDIOM and the ESU
IDIOM shall be an ESU publication. The IDIOM Board is annually appointed on the basis of experience and merit and will generally function independently, so long as communication and understanding exists between the Board and the Union. Once the Board has selected essays for publication, the Union executive can request a joint meeting with the Board in which the chosen works are presented and general selection choices accounted for.
5.2. Structure of the IDIOM Board
The IDIOM Editorial Review Board will consist of one (1) Editor-in-Chief, one (1) Deputy Editor-in-Chief, one (1) Assistant Editor-in-Chief, one (1) Managing Editor, one (1) Layout Editor, and six (6) Associate Editors. Each position will be filled in accordance with the following procedures:
5.2.1 The Editor-in-Chief shall:
i. be officially appointed each Spring, by the previous Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief shall choose her successor each Fall, and mentor this person for one (1) academic year. During this period, the successor will be known as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief. Each individual may only hold the office of Editor-in-Chief (and consequently, Deputy Editor-in-Chief) once. As a result, the Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editor-in-Chief will change each academic year.
ii. appoint a Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Assistant Editor-in-Chief each Fall. Both positions can be appointed prior to the application process (and appointment of the board) if the candidates for these positions have had a minimum of one (1) years experience on the Board. If there are no suitable candidates with previous Board experience, the Editor-in-Chief may, at her discretion, choose to fill these positions by means of open application process.
iii. conduct an open application, interview, and hiring process each fall. The purpose of this application process shall be to select qualified individuals, based on experience and merit, to fill the positions of one (1) Managing Editor, one (1) Layout Editor, (6) Associate Editors, as well as one (1) Deputy Editor-in-Chief and one (1) Assistant Editor-in-Chief—if the Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Assistant Editor-in-Chief have not yet been appointed.
iv. be subject to impeachment if she does not fulfil her duties and manage the journal in an effective manner. It shall be the responsibility of any Board or Union executive member to raise the issue, and arrange a meeting with all Board and Union executive members present. At this meeting, there shall be a vote to either retain or impeach the current Editor-in-Chief. To impeach the Editor-in-Chief, there must be a vote of majority (50%+1) amongst the Union and Board executive. If the Editor-in-Chief were impeached, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief would automatically become the Editor-in-Chief for the remainder of the academic year.
5.2.2 The Deputy Editor-in-Chief shall:
i. be appointed by, and at the discretion of, the Editor-in-Chief each Fall, based on experience and merit. The Deputy Editor-in-Chief may be appointed prior to the application process (and appointment of the Board), if she has had a minimum of one (1) years experience on the Board. Consequently, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief shall shadow, and be trained by, the Editor-in-Chief for a period of one (1) academic year.
ii. officially occupy the position of Editor-in-Chief following the journal’s publication and launch each Spring.
5.2.3 The Assistant Editor-in-Chief shall:
i. be appointed by, and at the discretion of, the Editor-in-Chief each Fall, based on experience and merit. The Assistant Editor-in-Chief may be appointed prior to the application process (and appointment of the Board), if she has had a minimum of one (1) years experience on the Board.
ii. work closely with the Editor-in-Chief and the Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and may only hold the office of Assistant Editor-in-Chief once. As a result, the Assistant Editor-in-Chief will change each academic year.
5.2.4 The Managing Editor, Layout Editor, and six (6) Associate Editors shall:
i. be appointed each Fall. All interested individuals must submit an application form to be considered, regardless of prior IDIOM experience. Candidates under consideration will be contacted by the Editor-in-Chief, and shall be interviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and the Deputy Editor-in-Chief.
5.3. Avoiding Disputes and Dispute Resolution
To avoid and resolve disputes, should they arise, the Board shall:
i. implore an English Instructor or Professor at the University to serve as a Staff Advisor for the journal. The Staff Advisor shall aid in the editing process and anticipate and resolve potential disputes between the ESU and the Editor-in-Chief.
ii. call a meeting between the President(s) of the Union, the Editor-in-Chief and the Staff Advisor if any dispute between the Union and the Board is recurring, or cannot be settled easily.
Elections shall be held no less than once per year, or whenever any elected office becomes vacant, at a general meeting convened by the President(s) for that purpose. The elections shall be advertised no less than two (2) weeks in advance. The First-Year Representatives shall be elected at the first general meeting of the year, along with any other office that remains vacant after the final general meeting of the preceding year.
Nominations shall open two (2) weeks in advance of the election, and close at the time of election. Valid nominations shall include the name, year of study, and signature of the candidate as well as a brief written or typed candidate statement. In the event that no nomination is submitted for an elected office, nominations from the floor shall be entertained at the meeting, or, at the discretion of the executive, a by-election shall be held at the beginning of the following year, compliant with the same procedures as enumerated above.
Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot (to be collected, at the discretion of a majority of Union officers, at an in-person general meeting or via an online platform). Positions will be granted to candidates who receive the greatest number of votes. Elections will be conducted by one of the following:
i. an outgoing senior executive member (i.e. a President or Vice-President), who is not running in the elections, and will not be returning to the executive in the following academic year; OR
ii. a Returning Officer appointed at least two weeks prior to the election. Said Officer must be ratified into their position by a majority vote (50%+1) of the current executive.
6.2.1 In the case of by-elections, the procedure will be conducted by the current President(s), who shall not be eligible to cast votes.
An officer of the Union may be impeached at an executive meeting, or at a general meeting. In the former case, if the officers present vote unanimously for impeachment, the officer in question shall be impeached and the office considered vacant, subject to ratification by a general meeting. In the interim, the officer in question shall be suspended, and at the discretion of the President(s), a provisional replacement shall be appointed (if deemed necessary). In the latter case, if a petition of impeachment bearing the signatures of twenty five (25) members of the Union is presented to the President(s) (or, in case the President is subject to impeachment, the Vice-President(s)), she shall convene a general meeting at the shortest possible interval. All the signatories of the petition appearing at the meeting, and two-thirds (2/3) of the meeting voting for impeachment, the officer in question shall be impeached, and office considered vacant. A President may be impeached only by this method.
In the event that an executive member resigns from Office, at the President(s)’ discretion,
the newly vacated position may be handled in one of the following was:
i. The position may be left vacant;
ii. If there are upcoming by-elections, the position could be opened to candidates interested in running, pursuant to the stipulations laid out in the Constitution;
iii. A call for applications could be opened up to the general membership;
iv. A current executive member may be appointed to fulfil the role, provided that the decision is ratified by a majority vote (50%+1) by the remainder of the executive council.
The officers, or any general member of the Union may propose an amendment to the constitution. In the former case, with a majority of the officers voting to propose an amendment, it shall be presented at the next general meeting for ratification by vote of a simple majority (50%+1). In the latter case, the text of the amendment and a petition bearing the names and signatures of twenty (20) members of the Union being communicated to the President, it shall be presented at the next general meeting for consideration. The text of the amendment shall be published no less than two (2) weeks in advance of the meeting, unless circumstance dictates otherwise. No modification to the text of the amendment shall be permitted after it has been so published, either before or during the meeting. With all the signatories of the petition appearing at the meeting, and two-thirds (2/3) of the meeting voting for the amendment, it shall be ratified and implemented.