Peaslee Debate Society Constitution

This constitution was ratified by unanimous voice vote on December 8, 2003. It was amended by unanimous voice vote on November 26, 2012, by secret ballot on December 2, 2013, and by a series of votes on May 2nd, 2016

  1. Membership
    1. There are no requirements for attending meetings. Because of limited resources, the executive board retains the right to impose requirements for attending tournaments and social events, including but not limited to meeting attendance and practice rounds.
    2. Voting membership shall be granted to those who have judged or debated at three off-campus tournaments in their time on Peaslee in addition to having fulfilled two of the following three criteria:
      1. Having judged or debated at 2 off-campus tournaments in the given semester.
      2. Attending 10 practices in the given semester
      3. Acting as a Tab Director, Assistant Tab Director, Tournament Director, Assistant Tournament Director, or Adjudication Core Member at a Swarthmore tournament in the given semester.
    3. Exemptions shall be provided only to people who were voting members in the previous semester for one of two reasons;
      1. The member is studying abroad in the given semester.
      2. Extreme extenuating circumstances have prevented the member from being able to fulfill the semester specific criteria. This must be approved by a unanimous secret ballot of the board.
    4.  For votes that are taking place before the last tournament on the APDA schedule in the Fall Semester or APDA Nationals in the Spring Semester, voting membership will be granted to those who qualified as a voting member in the previous semester in addition to people who have met the criteria in the given semester.
      1. Only emergency votes, e.g. impeachment or emergency replacement, shall be held before these dates each semester.
  2. Executive Board
    The executive board is composed of the President, the Vice President of Operations, the Vice President of Finance, the Vice President of Communications, and the Member at Large. Their specific duties are detailed below. All officers are required to attend all meetings unless special circumstances obtain. Each officer retains the right to delegate tasks although ultimate responsibility lies with the officer. If an officer is unable to serve the remainder of his or her term, a special election will be held to fill the position. If no candidates are willing to run, the Vice President of Operations shall take over the duties.

    1. President
      1. Novice recruiting and training
      2. Direct meetings
      3. Register for tournaments
      4. For non-title tournaments the President will choose and present pairings for approval by the board
      5. Official APDA representative
      6. Liaison to school administration during the term
    2. Vice President of Operations
      1. All van logistics
      2. Liaison to school administration as needed
      3. Assist other members of the executive board as needed
      4. Organize formal social events in consultation with the board, delegating as necessary.
    3. Vice President of Finance
      1. Liaison to business office
      2. Liaison to other schools for all financial matters
      3. Oversight of preparations for tournaments hosted by Peaslee
      4. Take out money for tournaments and other needs
      5. Keep track of team finances and ensure fiscal responsibility
    4. Vice President of Communications
      1. Keep track of attendance
      2. Write minutes to post on website and mailing list
      3. General website and mailing list maintenance
      4. Press releases about team successes in school and local newspapers
      5. Send out emails to alumni regarding the state of the team.
      6. Propaganda
    5. Member at Large
      1. Advertise public events hosted by Peaslee
      2. Assist other board members as needed
  3. Elections
    Elections shall be held to fill the executive board positions on an annual basis and to fill vacant positions according to the following procedures:

    1. Election meetings shall be well-advertised ahead of time.
    2. Candidacy and voting privileges at elections shall be granted to all voting members as defined in Section I.
    3. All elections are conducted on a secret ballot basis.
    4. Candidates shall be given time to make speeches and to answer any questions that voting members may have.
    5. Voting shall be conducted by a non-candidate member of the executive board who may choose assistants.
    6. Elections shall be conducted on a drop-down basis. Any candidates who are not elected after each round of voting may choose to run in the next-down election. The drop-down order is: President, Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Finance , Vice President of Communications, Member at Large. An election for the Member at Large position may be held if and only each of the other four board positions has been filled.
    7. In the event of a tie, there shall be a run-off election between the tied candidates.
    8. In the event that no candidate garners a majority of the votes, run-offs will be conducted as follows:
      1. If there are five or more candidates, a run-off will be held between the top three candidates. In the even that there is no majority between the top three candidates, a run-off will be held between the top two.
      2. If there are four or less candidates, a run-off will be held between the top two candidates.
  4. Activities
    1. Tournaments
      1. The team will collectively decide on which tournaments to attend based on schedules published by APDA, CUSID, and the Worlds committee.
      2. Peaslee will pay for registration fees at any tournament sanctioned by one of the above bodies.
        1. Peaslee will not pay for transportation costs with the exception of gas and tolls for the Peaslee van and personal cars used in the event of overflow.
        2. Exceptions to the above rule will be considered on an individual basis by the executive board.
      3. Seeding and lettering at all tournaments and attendance at Nationals, Worlds and other limited registration tournaments shall be at the President’s discretion with consultation from the executive board and the entire team. Such decisions shall be made while considering the following factors: attendance and participation at prior meetings and tournaments, debate experience and accomplishments, relative sign-up time, and responsibilities at Peaslee-hosted tournaments.
    2. Hosting tournaments
      1. Peaslee shall, from time to time, host tournaments on the Swarthmore campus. Such tournaments may include an in-house tournament and a novice tournament at the beginning of fall semester and a varsity tournament in the spring semester.
      2. The Tournament Director (TD) shall be selected by the executive board in consultation with the previous TD.
      3. All other positions and responsibilities concerning the tournament are at the discretion of the Tournament Director in conjunction with the executive board and other tournament staff. Bidding for title tournaments shall be done in consultation with the entire team.
    3. Social activities
      1. The executive board shall, according to interest, plan social activities on a semesterly basis.
      2. Such activities will be open first to voting members and then all members on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    4. Peaslee’s executive board should make active efforts to engage alumni, and should keep and update a list of alumni to be used by team members for connecting Peaslee generations. Additionally, the team shall make a good faith effort to run an annual reunion for debate alumni. The executive board shall appoint a team member to run this event.
  5. Impeachment
    A motion for impeachment of a member of the board can be proposed by any voting members and shall be voted on by the body on a well-advertised date no less than one week and no more than two weeks after impeachment is proposed. A 2/3rds vote of the body will be required for the motion to pass. Actions deserving of impeachment shall include but not be limited to: gross negligence resulting in harm to the team, intentional misuse of team funds, or inflicting harm on another member of the team. A unanimous vote of the rest of the board shall have the power to suspend the accused officer of their duties until the impeachment motion is decided.
  6. Ratification and Amendments
    1. This constitution shall go into effect after obtaining a 2/3 majority vote of those attending a well-advertised meeting for this purpose.
    2. Amendments may be made by any voting member and will go into effect by the same procedures as ratification of the constitution.