The Constitution of the New Jersey Association of Student Councils was last revised in 2014, being ratified by the Student Council Presidents of our state at the Fall Business Meeting on October 14, 2014.
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this association shall be the New Jersey Association of Student Councils (NJASC), Inc.
ARTICLE II - Purpose
The purpose of this association shall be, but it not limited to, aiding school councils in furthering and improving student participation in school government, while publicly representing the collective opinions of the students of New Jersey.
ARTICLE III - Affiliation
This association is affiliated with the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) and National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Affiliation with other organizations involved with or having an interest in student leadership may be proposed by the Executive Board or Executive Director(s) to the Trustees of NJASC, Inc. for their consideration and approval.
ARTICLE IV - Membership
Any public, parochial, or private junior, middle or high school in New Jersey can attain membership upon payment of annual dues. This shall include any school containing any or all of grades 5 to 12.
Any county or sectional student council organization in New Jersey can attain associate membership (full membership, but may not submit a candidate) upon receipt of a written application and payment of annual dues.
ARTICLE V - Executive Board
The Executive Board shall consist of nine members: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, three Executive members, Middle Level Representative, and State Board of Education Representative. All Executive Board members shall be present at the executive meetings and have equal voting rights with the exception of the President who votes only in the case of a tie.
The President shall preside at all meetings and shall be chairperson of the Executive Board.
The Vice-President shall preside in the President's absence or leave of office, and shall handle elections and public relations.
The Secretary shall record all minutes, organize and put together the scrapbook, and take care of all correspondence.
The Treasurer shall assist the Executive Director(s) in keeping the books of the NJASC. He or she will assist in receiving dues of member schools and paying bills. He or she shall assist the Executive Director(s) in the preparation of a detailed statement of all funds received and expended during his or her tenure of office. A copy of this statement shall be distributed to the member schools at the annual Convention. He or she shall also coordinate the Top Ten Projects program.
Executive Member in charge of State Charity:
The Executive Member in charge of State Charity shall have the responsibility of chairing the NJASC Charity Drive.
Executive Member in charge of Publications:
The Executive Member in charge of Publications shall be the editor of the NJASC Review and other NJASC publications.
Executive Member in charge of Special Projects:
The Executive Member in charge of Special Projects shall coordinate the NJASC Regional Programs and Standards of Excellence Program.
Middle Level Representative:
The Middle Level Representative shall supervise the New Jersey Student Council week and the Honor School Program.
State Board of Education Representative:
The State Board of Education Representative shall be the official voice of the students of New Jersey as a non-voting member of the State Board of Education at their monthly meetings and will report to the NJASC Executive Board concerning the activities of the State Board of Education.
The Executive Director(s) shall be (an) active, former, or retired advisor(s) from a current or past member school, and be selected by the trustees of the NJASC, Inc. to serve a term of three years. There shall be no limitation on the number of terms, consecutive or otherwise, that an Executive Director may serve. The Executive Director(s) shall:
- Serve in an advisory capacity to the Executive Board.
- Provide continuity between the Executive Board of one year and that of another.
- Assist the trustees of the NJASC, Inc. to keep the files and records of the Association.
- Assist the Executive Board in setting up the annual conference, business meeting, and awards program.
- See to it that all schools eligible for membership are informed of the Association's activities.
- Assist the trustees of the NJASC, Inc. to organize and supervise the annual Leadership Training Conference (LTC).
- Assist the trustees of the NJASC, Inc. to organize a Coordinating Committee, which shall advise the Executive Director(s) and the Executive Board in planning of the annual LTC.
The powers and duties of The Executive Board shall be, but are not limited to:
- Planning the annual conference, and business meetings.
- Issuing reports of the annual conference.
- Assisting in the organization of new local student councils and helping with the organization of county, regional, or sectional Student Council information.
- Serving as a clearing house for Student Council information.
- Having jurisdiction over all of the NJASC funds.
- Further carrying out the duties necessary to fulfill the purpose of the NJASC.
- Sponsoring a leadership training conference.
- Sponsoring programs for member schools.
- Choosing one state charity to support per year
ARTICLE VI - Eligibility for Candidacy
The map of New Jersey shall be divided into two geographic sections; North and South. Each year, eligibility for office shall alternate between these two sections:
The Northern Section shall include counties of: Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Middlesex, Morris, Warren, Union, Hunterdon, and Somerset.
The Southern Section shall include the counties of: Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic, Cumberland, and Cape May.
In order for a candidate to be eligible, he or she must be a sophomore or junior and remain in high school for the duration of his or her term, except for the middle level representative who must remain in middle or junior high school for the duration of his/her term.
In order for a candidate to be eligible, he or she must be present at the Running for State Office meeting held during the annual Fall Business Meeting. To remain eligible, he or she must also be present at the Executive Interview Meeting, and at the Winter Convention to deliver his or her speech and be sworn into office if elected.
In cases of unanticipated personal emergency that would preclude a potential candidate from attending the Running for State Office meeting held during the annual Fall Business Meeting, Executive Interview Meeting or the Winter Convention, the approval of a two-thirds supermajority of the Executive Board may waive the attendance requirement of this Section for the event in question.
A nominating committee, consisting of the entire Executive Board, shall begin work on elections and nominations at least three weeks prior to the annual Winter Convention. Each member school in the geographic section eligible to submit candidates for the coming year shall have the privilege of recommending one candidate for a position on the Executive Board. These recommendations shall be submitted at least five weeks prior to the annual Winter Convention. The nominating committee shall then form a slate composed of at least one candidate for each office and submit this slate to member schools at least one week prior to the annual Winter Convention.
Only candidates that have attended the NJASC Leadership Training Conference (LTC) may be slated for the offices of President and Vice President.
If no candidate is initially submitted for the position of Middle Level Representative, the Executive Director(s) will contact all member schools in the section of the state electing officers to seek candidates. The Executive Board will interview all candidates submitted as a result, and will select one to become the next Middle Level Representative.
If an insufficient number of high school candidates are submitted to form a slate, the Executive Director(s) will contact all member schools in the section of the state electing officers to seek candidates. The Executive Board will interview all potential candidates submitted as a result, and include them in the slate that will be submitted to the member schools.
ARTICLE VII - Election of Executive Board Members
Members of the Executive Board shall be elected at the NJASC annual Winter Convention.
All candidates shall deliver a speech not to exceed two minutes in length except in the case of the candidates for President, whose speeches shall not exceed three minutes. There shall be no bartering of votes on the floor, and no ballots will be accepted until all candidate speeches have been completed.
ARTICLE VIII - Removal of Executive Board Members
The failure of a member of the Executive Board to attend any NJASC function without a reason, or to perform their assigned duties as previously stated, may result in his/her removal from office. Also, the school from which the officer is enrolled shall retain the right to remove him/her from office.
Any member of the Executive Board may move for the removal of another member. A vote of all members, with the exception of the person in question, shall be taken. The motion must pass unanimously.
If a position of the Executive Board, with the exception of the President, becomes vacant, the Executive Board shall choose a runner-up for the position form the present board's election. If the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall then assume the President's duties and a replacement for the Vice-President shall be found in the same procedure as mentioned above.
ARTICLE IX - Voting Power
At all meetings of the NJASC, each member school shall have one vote.
ARTICLE X - Conferences
The Executive Board shall determine the exact time and place of all NJASC conferences.
ARTICLE XI - Dues
The amount of dues for the following year shall be determined by July 1. If there is a change in dues, notification will be sent to the advisors of member schools by September 1. The membership year shall be from December 1 to November 30 of the following year.
ARTICLE XII - Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee of the NJASC shall consist of the following people:
- A high school advisor from the Northern section, as defined in Article VI, elected in even years. Term, two years.
- A high school advisor from the Southern section, as defined in Article VI, elected in odd years. Term, two years.
- A middle school advisor elected from the section of the state that just elected officers. Term, one year
The trustees of the NJASC, Inc. may consult the Advisory Committee to assist it in the selection of the Executive Director(s).
Members of the Advisory Committee may be consulted to provide assistance to, or additional input and insight for, the NJASC.
ARTICLE XIII - Amendments
Suggested amendments to this Constitution and by-laws must be submitted at least sixty days prior to a regular Conference and must appear in the NJASC Publication before the Conference, Suggested amendments may be proposed at the Conference and accepted for consideration by a vote of one-third of the schools having delegates in attendance at the Business Meeting. Such amendments must again appear in an NJASC publication and shall be submitted to the delegates at the following Conference Business Meeting. If ratified by 60% of the member schools, the amendment(s) shall become effective within three months of the vote.
ARTICLE XIV - History
The birth of this association is marked by the first interscholastic conference of student council representatives in the country. This took place on January 14, 1927, at the invitation of the student council of New Brunswick Senior High School. This is now the annual conference of the NJASC occurring every January. As a result of the unification of the student councils in New Jersey, Columbia High School was selected to write a constitution creating a statewide student council association. It was at the following annual conference that an affirmative vote of 620 delegates representing 70 schools in the state of New Jersey made this constitution effective as of 1933. The constitution has been amended numerous times since then in order to keep the association modern, the latest of which was made effective as of the 15th of October, 2014.
ARTICLE XV - Incorporation and Bylaws
This constitution shall not conflict with the Articles of Incorporation of the NJASC, Inc. (the corporation) as presented in the restated certification of incorporation dated November 28, 2005 or as revised thereafter. Additonally, this constitution shall not conflict with the adopted bylaws of the corporation. In the event of any conflict, the bylaws of the corporation shall take precedence as required by the laws of the State of New Jersey.