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Argosy Publications, Inc. Constitution

Argosy Publications, Inc. Constitution

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Published by Geoff Campbell
The Constitution of Argosy Publications, Inc., Independent Student Newspaper of Mount Allison University.
Amended and Approved by Argosy Funders, Nov. 17, 2011 Revised by Publication Board, April 2011
Drafted by Julie Stephenson
The Constitution of Argosy Publications, Inc., Independent Student Newspaper of Mount Allison University.
Amended and Approved by Argosy Funders, Nov. 17, 2011 Revised by Publication Board, April 2011
Drafted by Julie Stephenson

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Published by: Geoff Campbell on Nov 18, 2011
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Argosy Publications INC.


Amended and Approved by Argosy Funders, Nov. 17, 2011 Revised by Publication Board, April 2011 Drafted by Julie Stephenson Original Document – Argosy Constitution, c. 2006

Bylaw I – Interpretations Bylaw II - Name Bylaw III – Letters Patent Bylaw IV – Offices Bylaw V – By-Laws Bylaw VI – Finances Bylaw VII – Membership Bylaw VIII – BAGM Bylaw IX – Board of Directors BY-LAW X – RECORDS OF ARGOSY PUBLICATIONS INC. BY-LAW XI – PROTECTION AND INDEMNITY OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS Bylaw XII – Hiring of Staff

BYLAWS OF ARGOSY PUBLICATIONS INC. PREAMBLE Whereas The Argosy is the independent student newspaper of Mount Allison University, it strives for fair, insightful, and respectful coverage of the campus and community. Founded in 1875, it is a regular publication during the academic year, and is partially funded by the students of Mount Allison. The Argosy is bound by its code of ethics and constitution and these are enforced by its Editorin-Chief and Board of Directors. The Argosy is published by Argosy Publications Inc. The Argosy maintains strict fact checking, editing, and strives to ensure that libellous material is never printed. All material is read by the Editor-in-Chief prior to publication and all potentially problematic material is referred to a lawyer. Argosy Publications, Inc. And The Argosy exist separate from Mount Allison University and the Studentsʼ Administrative Council. The Corporation and the Publication exist at the will of the Funders, the students of Mount Allison University, and answer directly and only to that body. The opinions expressed in The Argosy are not necessarily those of the University, nor of any subsidiary or related university association. The Argosy encourages student contribution and prints unsolicited material at its discretion, ensuring the material conforms to all applicable ethical standards and libel laws. The Argosy shall recognize as its mission to serve Mount Allison University and the community of Sackville through truthful, accurate and respectful reporting. The Argosy will provide training and instruction for its staff members in the principles and practices of responsible journalism. The Argosy will provide a forum for the Mount Allison community to debate and discuss the issues and events of the day. We affirm that this Constitution is a living document, and only continual criticism, refinement, reevaluation and renewal can ensure it remains so. BY-LAW I – INTERPRETATIONS 1.01 DEFINITIONS Unless otherwise indicated: a) Argosy Publications Inc. is the organization that publishes The Argosy. b)The Argosy is the independent student newspaper of Mount Allison University. c) The Constitution is the collective document that governs Argosy Publications Inc. d) Corporation means Argosy Publications Inc. e) These Bylaws are the collected by-laws that govern the day to day operations of The Argosy. f) Statutes mean the Letters Patent or Supplementary Letters Patent of the Corporation. g) Standing Resolution means any resolution passed as such at a general meeting.

h) General Meeting means funders convened for a general meeting of the Corporation. i) Funder means any member of the corporation as outlined in the Constitution. j) Board means the Publication Board of the Corporation. k) Officer includes any member of the Board and any person appointed Officer by the Board. l) Staff means any and all staff members employed by the Argosy Publications, Inc. m) Editorial Board means any and all section editors including but not limited to News, Features, Submissions, Humour, Entertainment, Arts and Letters, Science and Technology, Sports and Online. n) EIC means Editor in chief of The Argosy. 1.02 INTERPRETATIONS a) Terms used in the singular may also refer to the plural, and vice-versa; those terms applying to individuals also apply to legal entities, particularly corporations and other non-incorporated groups. b) Any person interpreting the Corporationʼs By-laws shall respect the terms defined as follows: (i) “Shall” means an absolute obligation. (ii) “May” means a discretionary power, permission but not obligation. This power is to be exercised in the best interests of the Corporation and not in an arbitrary fashion. BY-LAW II – NAME 2.01 The name of the publication produced by Argosy Publications, Inc. is The Argosy. BY-LAW III – LETTERS PATENT 3.01 The Letters Patent of Argosy Publications, Inc. as delivered by the Province of New Brunswick shall be kept in form at the offices of The Argosy. BY-LAW IV – OFFICES 4.01 The head office of the Corporation shall be located in the town of Sackville, in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. The main office shall be located in a central location on the Mount Allison University campus so that all students may have access to it. 4.02 The Corporation may establish such other offices and agencies elsewhere in Canada as deemed expedient by a resolution of the Board of Directors or Funders. If other offices must be established, for whatever reason, the Funders must be notified within seven (7) days of the decision. BY-LAW V – BYLAWS 5.01 By-laws of The Argosy may be enacted, repealed, or amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast at a General Meeting. Typography errors, spelling errors, and incorrect citations in the By-laws may be corrected by a unanimous decision by the Board of Directors at any of its regular meetings, provided that no fewer than thirty (30) days notice is given to the membership. Modifications enacted by the Board of Directors may not alter inherent spirit or implicit meaning of the By-laws. 5.02 The enactment, repeal, and/or amendment of any By-law shall not be enforced or

acted upon until the approval of the membership has been obtained. Except as noted in 5.01. 5.03 In extreme cases of By-law revision or alteration the Board of Directors may vote by two-thirds (2/3) majority to temporarily empower the revised By-Laws. The By-laws must be officially enacted, repealed, or amended by the Funders within six (6) months. a. Extreme cases of By-law revision are restricted to (i) changes made corresponding with the end of an Academic Term or Year, (ii) emergency changes during the Publishing Year, or (iii) changes occurring during a unprecedented suspension of publishing. By-law VI – Finances 6.01 year. The fiscal year of The Argosy shall begin May 1 and end April 30 of the following

6.02 An annual budget for the upcoming year shall be prepared for the last Board meeting of each year. The annual budget will be collaboratively prepared by the incoming and outgoing EICs and the outgoing Business Manager. a) The projected budget is to be developed in consideration with the following aspects: i. ii. iii. iv. b. c. d. The previous yearʼs budget and fluctuations in advertising revenue, Projected student numbers, which the outgoing Business Manager should get from the Mount Allison University Controller or Admissions Department, Any planned investments, projects, or necessary payments, and Outstanding loans.

Each annual budget should incorporate approximately a five (5%) per cent contingency line. Honoraria for each staff position should be evaluated based on the annual staff survey administered by the Human Resources Representative. The budget must be set and approved by the final Board meeting of the winter term.

6.03 Any changes to the budget during the publishing year of The Argosy must be reviewed and approved by the Board. a) Any adjustments to staff honoraria must be approved by the Board. 6.04 At the close of each fiscal year, the Business Manager shall have a third party conduct an official audit that will have a copy of a: a. Balance Sheet b. Statement of Revenue and Expenses c. Statement of Surplus d. Statement of Change in Financial Position 6.05 The outgoing Business Manager will include the incoming Business Manager in the creation of the budget for the following year and year end. The outgoing Business Manager will

also provide the incoming Business Manager with copies of both by the end of the outgoing Business Managerʼs term on May 1. 6.05 Signing Authority

a) The bank account(s) of Argosy Publications Inc. shall have as signing officers the Editor in Chief, Business Manager, and the Chair of the Board. Other officers may be added from the Board, but must be approved by a 2/3 majority. i. ii. All payments made by Argosy Publications Inc, including bills, honoraria, and miscellaneous expenditures, will be made by cheque. All cheques from Argosy Publications Inc. must be signed by two signing officers. a. The Editor in Chief and the Business Manager may not sign cheques to themselves for expenditures of over $500. The cheques must be co-signed by a Board signing officer who is not either the Editor in Chief or the Business Manager. Cheques of over $500 which are signed by both the Editor in Chief and Business Manager must be photocopied and kept in a file by the Business Manager for review by the Board at the next Board Meeting. Photocopies of all cheques issued by Argosy Publications, Inc. must be presented at the Board meetings following their issuance.


c. iii.

Prior to each publication year, the appropriate measures will be undertaken to update the signing officers.

b) The officers with signing authority will also apply to legal documents such as loans, leases, and other legal documents. c) The funds in said account(s) are solely for the use of Argosy Publications Inc. No signing officer may access them for his/her personal use. d) If a signing officer no longer holds his/her position on the Board, the signing authority of said person must be terminated immediately. 6.06 Petty Cash

The Business Manager shall allocate a maximum of fifty (50) dollars in petty cash to the lock box held in The Argosy office during the publishing year. The monies may be used for unplanned necessities such as, but not limited to office supplies, story expenses, and food and drink. Receipts for purchases shall be left within the petty cash envelope. If an official receipt is not possible, a signed note by the Editor in Chief or Business Manager must be left with the receipts. BY-LAW VII – MEMBERSHIP 7.01 All registered students at Mount Allison University are considered members of the Corporation and therefore known as Funders. 7.02 All funders pay an annual fee, split into two payments, to fund the operation and

publication of The Argosy. 7.03 All funders have voting rights during Bi-Annual General Meetings.

7.04 All funders have the right to view The Argosyʼs financial and historical records. Requests for each must go through the Editor in Chief, who will arrange a time to access the documents. 7.05 Quorum for Funders at Bi-Annual General Meetings is five (5) non-staff and nonBoard member Funders. BY-LAW VIII – BI-ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS 8.01 The Board of Directors shall call one Fundersʼ Meeting per academic term. The Board assumes responsibility for promoting the meetings, which must consist of: a. A half page advertisement advertising the date, time, location, and purpose of the Fundersʼ Meeting. The advertisement shall be published in the two (2) issues of The Argosy prior to the meeting. Publication of the meetingʼs agenda in The Argosy. The fall Fundersʼ Meeting must include the following business: A business report presenting The Argosyʼs budget for the current fiscal year, and the professional audit of The Argosyʼs previous fiscal year. A report given by the Editor in Chief, presenting the staff list, editorial priorities and challenges of the year, and any other pertinent business. If Board positions are vacant, the election process will follow that outlined in Article 8, section 3, sub-section c, substituting “fall” for “winter.” The winter Fundersʼ Meeting must include the following business: A business report presenting The Argosyʼs projected budget for the past year and actual expenditures. A report given by the Editor in Chief, reviewing accomplishments, priorities and challenges of the year, and any other pertinent business. Selection of the Board members for the next academic year, following Article 9, section 2. Approval of the EIC Selection committeeʼs recommended Editor in Chief candidate for the next year.

b. 8.02 a.



8.03 a.




8.04 Quorum at a Fundersʼ Meeting shall consist of five (5) non-staff Funders, and a majority of Argosy staffers in attendance. The Editor in Chief, Business Manager, and the Chair

of the Board must also be present.

a) The Board of Directors shall uphold Argosy Publications, Inc.ʼs By-Laws and other policy as set by the Funders. b) The Board has the power to ensure that the provisions of the Constitution and the Code of Ethics are respected, and to ensure the proper financial management of Argosy Publications Inc. c) The Board of Directors shall oversee the governance of the publication, The Argosy, make interim and short-term policies and ensure member input into the operations of the Corporation. d) In the event that The Argosy is charged with conduct or publishing content that is illegal, violates the Code of Ethics, or one or more articles of the Constitution, the Board will review editorial content and decide upon following action. d) The Board of Directors shall make budgetary revisions as necessary. e) The Board of Directors must authorize all unbudgeted expenditures over $1,000. The Board may not authorize any single unbudgeted expenditure over $10,000. f) Board decisions may be overturned by a full majority decision of the Funders at the Bi-Annual General Meeting. g) Each Director and the Board as a whole shall abide by all corporate motions of policy, and provincial and federal regulations and laws. h) All meetings of the Board shall be conducted in accordance with Robertʼs Rules of Order, except when unanimous consent of voting members has been given to do otherwise. 9.02 Composition of the Board a) The Board of Directors shall be composed of the following; i)Two (2) students, each holding a two (2) year term. At least one student must be elected each year. In case of a graduating student being elected to the Board, they may be permitted to hold a one (1) year term. i. ii. These students may not hold staff positions at The Argosy during their term on the Board. These students still retain member voting rights at general meetings.

ii) Two (2) faculty members, each holding at least a two (2) year term and each during alternative years. iii. The faculty member who has served on the Board for the longest period of time shall Chair the Board. The second faculty member shall serve as Vice Chair, and act as interim - Chair in the Chairʼs absence. The faculty members may only vote on Board matters and not during Funderʼs meetings.


iii) The Editor in Chief of The Argosy shall sit as a member of the Board in his/her capacity as President of Argosy Publications Inc. v. He/she will retain member voting rights at general meetings.

iv) The Business Manager of The Argosy shall sit as a member of the Board in his/her capacity

as a business person. vi. vii. The Business Manager will also serve as Treasurer of the Board. He/she will retain their member voting rights at general meetings.

v) The Office Manager of The Argosy shall sit as a member of the Board in his/her capacity as a management personnel and Human Resources Representative. viii. ix. He/she will hold voting rights on the Board and will retain member voting rights at general meetings. He/she will also serve as the Secretary for the Board. He/she will keep minutes of all Board meetings.

b) Two groups may not hold seats on the Board at any time: x. Current members of the Studentsʼ Administrative Council, including appointed positions, Executives, and voted members. This does not include members of the union, only those who sit on the council. Current members of the Mount Allison University Administration.


9.03 Board Membersʼ Duties a) Directors shall have read The Argosyʼs By-Laws and Policies before their term commences. b) Each Director is responsible for attending all board meetings, as they are called by the Chair. c) Directors must attend all Fundersʼ Meetings. Extenuating circumstances that result in absences must be approved by the Chair and the Editor in Chief. d)  With due consideration, the Board may suspend the Editor in Chief and/or Business Manager, by a majority vote and pending a formal review by a third party committee. i) The suspension of the Editor in Chief or Business Manager would temporarily remove the person as an authority on The Argosy and their signing authority. ii) The third party committee will be comprised of three (3) student representatives, two of which will be the student representatives on the Board, the Chair, and the Office Manger. iii) The review committee must conduct a formal interview with the Editor in Chief/Business Manager and complete a final report, detailing their decision. ix) The review committeeʼs decision can be appealed, but must be done within 72 hours of the final decision. If the decision is appeal, a general meeting of the corporation will be called and it will take a 2/3 majority vote to repeal the committeeʼs decision. Each side will be given 2 minutes to speak to the funders. x) In the place of the suspended Editor in Chief/Business Manager, the Editorial Board will elect from the senior editors, an interim replacement. The name must be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval within 24 hours of the suspension of the Editor in Chief/Business Manager. 9.04 Duties Of The Executive b) Chair: i) The Chair shall act as spokesperson of the organization for matters pertaining to the Board of Directors. ii) The Chair shall be the senior Faculty member from among the Board of Directors. iii) The Chair shall be responsible for calling and chairing all meetings of the Board.

iv) The Chair shall act as a signing authority on financial documents. b) Vice-Chair: i) The Vice-Chair shall be the second Faculty member from among the Board of Directors. ii) The Vice-Chair shall be responsible for taking over the duties of the Chair in the event that the Chair cannot fulfill his or her duties iii) The Vice-Chair shall also provide support to the Chair as needed. c) Treasurer: i) The Treasurer shall be the Business Manager of The Argosy. ii) The Treasurer shall be responsible for providing a financial report at each regularly scheduled Board meeting. This report shall be given to the Chair at least one week before the meeting is convened. iii) The Treasurer is responsible for making financial recommendations to the Funders at the Bi-Annual General Meetings. iv) The Treasurer shall act as a signing authority on financial documents. d) Ombudsperson i) The Ombudsperson shall be elected from among the voting student-at-large members of the Board of Directors by the voting members of that Board. ii) The Ombudsperson shall serve as a general information and reference centre for individuals to advise of their rights and responsibilities, the existence of applicable policies, procedures and practices which may assist any person in pursuing their objective; iii)The Ombudsperson shall investigate or facilitate the investigation of any complaint, inquiry or grievance of an individual which may arise against The Argosy; iv)The Ombudsperson to act where called upon, as an impartial mediator in disputes in which The Argosy is involved; v) The Ombudsperson will promote and inform the Mount Allison community of the role and services of the Ombudspersonʼs office; vi) The Ombudsperson shall refer inquirers to appropriate bodies, offices and resources; vii) The Ombudsperson will recommend or advise on changes in policy or procedure within The Argosy; viii) The Ombudsperson will bring his/her findings and/or recommendations to the attention of those in authority by the most expeditious means possible, and to the Mount Allison community at large to the extent this seems appropriate; ix)The Ombudsperson will refuse, in consultation with the Judicial Ombudsperson, to further investigate any matter which he/she feels is frivolous, vexatious, in bad faith or an abuse of the processes of the Office of the Ombudsperson. In any such case The Argosy Ombudsperson will give reason for his/her decision to the complainant; and x)The Ombudsperson will prepare an annual report to the Studentsʼ Council and to make the same available to the Mount Allison community at large e) Secretary: i) The Office Manager of The Argosy shall act as Secretary. ii) The Secretary shall maintain the organizationʼs minutes, Policy Manual, Constitution and other legal material. 9.05 Persons Entitled To Be Present a) The only persons entitled to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be the Directors, and auditors of the Corporation. b) Other persons may be admitted only on the invitation of the Chair with the consent of the

voting members of the Board. The Board should grant such invitation to all staff and any Funders who are interested in attending the Board meeting or outside groups with pertinent business. 9.06 Quorum a) Quorum at a Board of Directors meeting shall the Editor in Chief, Chair, and two other members. b) In the event that the Board of Directors must decide on the dismissal or appointment of a staff member quorum shall be 2/3 of voting members of the Board. 9.07 Frequency Of Meetings a) The Board of Directors shall meet at least three (3) times per academic term; two of these meetings shall be at Bi-Annual General Meetings. 9.08 Notice Of Meetings a) Notice of regular Board meetings shall be given to the Directors at least three (3) weeks in advance by the Chair. b) Notice of regular Board meetings shall be confirmed by the Directors within one week of notice being given. c) The Chair shall provide an agenda to all members seven (7) days before any regular Board meeting. 9.09 Emergency Board Meetings The Chair must give at least forty-eight (48) hours notice to the Directors before an emergency meeting of the Board can begin. 9.10 Proxying Votes Directors shall be allowed to proxy their votes to another voting Director with the approval of the Chair. Proxies shall not count towards quorum. 9.11 Minutes a) Minutes shall be compiled by the Secretary within one month of each Board meeting. b) Minutes shall be made available to the membership within fourteen (14) days of them having been approved. 9.12 Conflict Of Interest a) Directors are expected to recognize situations where their personal interests are, or may appear to be, in conflict with the best interests of the Corporation, and to excuse themselves from discussion and decisions in which they have a fiduciary or complimentary interest. b) Other Directors may also request a Directorʼs absence if they can identify a potential conflict of interest, as in accordance with Robertsʼ Rules. BY-LAW X – RECORDS OF ARGOSY PUBLICATIONS INC. 10.01 The minutes of the Board of Directors and General Meetings, and other books and records of the Company shall be kept in The Argosy Offices. 10.02 The books and records of the Corporation may be inspected by Members in the Corporation office on any working day during normal office hours provided twenty-four hours written notice is given.

BY-LAW XI – PROTECTION AND INDEMNITY OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS 11.01 No Director or officer of the Corporation shall be liable for the acts, receipts, neglects, or defaults of any other Director or officer, or for joining in any receipts or other act for conformity, or for any loss or expense happening to the Corporation through the Board for or on behalf of the Corporation, or for the insufficiency or deficiency of any security in or upon which any of the moneys of the Corporation shall be invested, or for any loss or damage arising from bankruptcy, insolvency, or tortuous act of any person with whom the moneys, securities or effects of the Corporation shall be deposited , or for any loss occasioned by any error of judgement or oversight on their part, or for any other loss, damage, or misfortune whatever which shall happen in the execution of the duties of an office or in relation thereto unless the same shall happen through that directorʼs or officerʼs own dishonesty. 11.02 Directors, former directors, officers, and former officers of the Corporation and their heirs, executors, or administrators, and estate and effects, respectively, shall, from time to time and at all times be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the Corporation, from and against: a) All costs, charges and expenses whatsoever which such director, former director, officer, or former officer sustains or incurs in or about any action, suit or proceedings which is bought, commenced, or prosecuted against him or her, for or in respect of any act, deed, matter, or thing whatsoever, made, done, or permitted by him or her, in or about the execution of the duties of his or her office; and also b) All other costs, charges, and expenses which he or she sustains or incurs in or about or in relation to the affairs of the Corporation; c) Except such costs, charges, or expenses as are occasioned by his or her own wilful neglect or default.

BYLAW XII – HIRING OF STAFF 12.01 Staff of The Argosy The Argosy will be staffed by the Editor in Chief, Business Manager, Production Staff, Circulations Staff, Editorial Staff, Advertising Staff, and Writing Staff. a) The exact divisions of staff will be dictated by The Argosy Hiring Policies. 12.02 Hiring of the Editor in Chief The Editor in Chief of The Argosy shall be selected by the Editor in Chief Selection Committee no later than the first Friday of March for the following May 1 to April 30 term. b) The Editor in Chief Selection Committee shall be composed of the following members: i. The outgoing Editor in Chief shall serve as Chair of the committee and may only vote in the event of a tie. i. If the outgoing Editor in Chief cannot sit on the committee for whatever reason, the position shall be filled by an outgoing member of the Editorial Board, to be voted in by the editors.

ii. Two (2) students, chosen from The Argosy correspondents, nominated and selected

at a general meeting before the Thursday before Reading week of each year. i. Correspondents will be defined as those volunteers who have contributed to least three (3) issues of The Argosy in one (1) semester.

iii. One (1) student chosen from the outgoing Section Editors, selected by the Editorial Board from accepted nominations at an Editorial Board Meeting held no later than the Wednesday before Reading Week of each year. i. Should the Editorial Board prove unable to fill these positions internally, Section Editors from previous years (with preference to more recent employees) shall be considered for the remaining seat.

iv. The two (2) students –at-large from the Publication Board, who shall be offered the seats before the Thursday before Reading Week of each year. i. In the event that they are unable to sit, they should assist the Editor in Chief in finding a replacement who will also be a student knowledgeable in the qualifications necessary in an appropriate Editor in Chief.

c) Editor in Chief hiring procedure is to be conducted as determined in The Argosy Policy Manual. 12.03Hiring of the Operational Staff, Production Staff, Support Staff, Editorial Staff, and Writing Staff. The remaining staff of The Argosy shall be selected by the Staff Hiring Committee before the third Saturday of March for the following May 1-April 30 term. d) The Staff Hiring Committee shall be composed of the following members: a) The outgoing Editor-in-Chief. b) The incoming Editor-in-Chief, who shall serve as Chair of the committee. c) Three (3) outgoing or returning staff members who have demonstrated exceptional knowledge in the organization and operation of The Argosy as selected by the incoming and outgoing Editor-in-Chiefs. e) Staff hiring procedure is to be conducted as determined in The Argosy Policy Manual. 12.04 Generation and Termination of Employment Any funder may apply for a staff position on The Argosy. f) Staffers must, prior to being hired, be told their responsibilities as a staff member, including: a. Projected time commitments, b. Expected job duties, and c. Prospective honoraria. g) Staffers must also read the Constitution and Code of Ethics after being hired, and sign a statement affirming that they have done so. h) The Editor in Chief shall present the Staff Hiring Committeeʼs recommendations for all staff positions for the Boardʼs ratification before the end of the academic year preceding his/her term.

a. If staff members are recommended after this, the Board must approve as soon as possible. i) If a staff member has committed a serious offence affecting his/her performance as an Argosy staff member, the EIC has the right to suspend them immediately and recommend their dismissal to the Board. a. The Board must meet within five business days to decide whether to uphold this dismissal. In this vote, the EIC will not vote on whether the staff member should be dismissed. The guidelines for dismissal will be set within The Argosy By-laws. Upon the recommendation of termination, the EIC must present to the Board the name of an individual who has agreed to work in the position of the affected staff member prior to the termination taking effect. The EIC may present their own name in this capacity. To contest dismissal, a staff member must appeal to the Chair of the Board, in writing, within thirty days following their dismissal. The chair will then form a grievance committee, consisting of the chair and other disinterested parties, to review the dismissal.

b. c.


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