Harvard University HRSFA HRSFA
index
info
constitution
history
sigs
calendar
library
officers
wiki
links

This constitution is now for historical purposes only , and has been replaced with the 4th HRSFA Constitution as of May 2011. That constitution is here.

CONSTITUTION
of the
HARVARD-RADCLIFFE SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION

[Third Constitution ratified on Sunday, April 21, 1991.]
[Commentary by Dave Nichols '92 on Constitution]

  1. Article I. Intent
  2. Article II. Membership
  3. Article III. Affiliation
  4. Article IV. Authority and Procedure
  5. Article V. Officers
  6. Article VI. Special Interest Groups
  7. Article VII. Budgeting
  8. Article VIII. Amendments
  9. Amendment I
  10. Amendment II
  11. Amendment III

Article I. Intent

[Commentary on article]

The purpose of the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association (HRSFA) is to promote science fiction (speculative fiction/science fiction, fantasy, and horror), in all its (their) manifestations, and to aid and abet the gathering and activity of those interested in this (these) genre(s).

Article II. Membership

[Commentary on article]

HRSFA is open to current and former students at Harvard University. Associate membership in HRSFA is open to any interested entity.

HRSFA may levy dues on its membership in exchange for certain services and privileges, and may also limit voting rights to these dues-paying members.

HRSFA may not discriminate against any current or potential member on the basis of race, sex, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, or handicap.

Article III. Affiliation

[Commentary on article]

HRSFA transcends petty political disputes. It is prohibited from taking a stance, as an organization, on a political issue not directly related to the science fiction (speculative fiction/science fiction, fantasy, and horror) genre(s).

Article IV. Authority and Procedure

[Commentary on article]

All powers and responsibilities not delegated to the officers of HRSFA, as described in Article V, are retained by the voting members of HRSFA, with decisions on policy to be made at general meetings.

If there is a decision to be made or action to be taken that cannot wait until the next general meeting, that decision can be made (or action taken) by an affirmative vote of a majority of officers (four). If a majority of officers cannot be assembled in time, then one co-chair and one other officer can make the decision, or perform the action. These decisions and actions must always be reported with all due haste by the two performing officers to the assembled officers, and by the assembled officers to the general meeting.

When possible, the assembled officers may overturn any such decision by the two aforementioned officers, and the voting members of HRSFA may overturn any officerial decision in a general meeting, by way of a majority vote.

The officers of HRSFA must meet at least once a month, and a general meeting of HRSFA's voting members must be held at least once a month, during the school year (in both cases). One of two conditions must exist at such meetings for official decisions to be made and business conducted:

  • A majority of voting members must be present, either in person or by proxy, or
  • The voting membership of HRSFA must have been notified of the time and location of the general meeting five days in advance.

If the latter situation pertains, but not the former, elections, voting on proposed amendments to this constitution, and voting on the removal of an officer from office may not be conducted, but all other business may be.

Any two officers can suspend a vote at a general meeting until the next general meeting. This suspension may only be done once for a given vote; the text of the suspended decision must be displayed in an accessible location at least five days (one week) prior to the general meeting until which it has been delayed.

In addition, voting on nominations for officerial positions, on proposed constitutional amendments, and on the removal of an officer from office is automatically delayed until the general meeting following that at which the decision in question is proposed. The text of these proposals must also be displayed in an accessible location at least five days (one week) prior to the meeting at which they will be voted on.

A majority vote of the voting members of HRSFA present at a general meeting is required to make a decision on business, except in the case of amendments to this constitution, and the removal of an officer from office.

Article V. Officers

[Commentary on article]

There are six officerial positions within HRSFA:

  • The two co-chairs, who shall be generally responsible for leading HRSFA, and specifically responsible for dealing with the administration of Harvard University and with other organizations affiliated with Harvard;
  • The treasurer, who shall maintain HRSFA's financial records, assemble its budget, and have the power to dispense a discretionary fund of revenue the amount of which shall be determined at HRSFA budget meetings;
  • The managing secretary, who shall maintain HRSFA's records, including those of its Special Interest Groups, and physical plant (if any);
  • The coordinating (corresponding) secretary, who shall maintain HRSFA's correspondence, and supervise its relations with organizations and persons outside of Harvard University;
  • The editor-in-chief, who shall be responsible for HRSFA's publications.

Nominations for officerial positions shall be made at the first general meeting of the second semester of a given academic year, or whenever a vacancy opens in a specific office. These positions are to be held for one year from the time of election, except where an officer voluntarily terminates this tenancy before the end of his term, or where the officer in question is removed from office.

An officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the voting membership of HRSFA, convened in a general meeting subject to the restrictions outlined in Article IV.

Article VI. Special Interest Groups

[Commentary on article]

Any eight members of HRSFA may, upon submitting their names and a statement of purpose to the managing secretary, form a Special Interest Group of the Association (or SIG). HRSFA SIGs possess the same privileges as the Association itself, and may request funding for their activities at HRSFA's semestral budget meetings, or at any general meeting of the Association.

No SIG may so constitute itself so as to limit its membership on the basis of race, sex, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, or handicap. SIGs are also subject to the limitations placed on the Association as a whole under Article III.

If a SIG's membership ever falls below five persons, that SIG shall cease to exist as utterly and finally as did Czechoslovakia in 1939.

Article VII. Budgeting

[Commentary on article]

Any HRSFA SIG, or the editor-in-chief, who desires funding from HRSFA for its or his activities must submit a budget of desired expenditures to the treasurer at least five days (one week) before the last general meeting of HRSFA prior to the Undergraduate Council's deadline for the submission of monetary requests. The treasurer will then prepare that part of the budget relating to requests by the SIGs and by the editor-in-chief, and submit it to the aforementioned last general meeting before the aforementioned U. C. deadline -- the budget meeting -- which will ratify and complete that budget for submission by the treasurer to the U. C..

Such budget meetings will occur every semester, in accordance with the U. C.'s own appropriations schedule.

Article VIII. Amendments

[Commentary on article]

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of HRSFA's voting membership, assembled in a general meeting under the restrictions outlined in Article IV. Why you'd want to do such a thing, I'll never know.

Amendment I

[Amendment adopted on Sunday, January 8, 1995.]

At general meetings, one of two conditions must exist for any official decisions, including elections, voting on proposed amendments to this constitution, and voting on the removal of an officer from office, to be made and business conducted:

  • A majority of voting members must be present, either in person or by proxy, or
  • The voting membership of HRSFA must have been notified of the time and location of the general meeting five days in advance.

Amendment II

[Amendment adopted on Sunday, March 17, 2002.]

A voting member is anyone for whom one of the following two conditions applies.

  • They are a member of HRSFA who is present at the meeting, or
  • They are a member of HRSFA who is a Harvard undergraduate who submitted their proxy vote to the designated person before the appropriate deadline.

Amendment III

[Amendment adopted on Sunday, February 2, 2003.]

  1. The constituency will annually vote whether or not to hold Vericon Speculative Fiction Convention during the following year at the time of nominations for officerial positions.
  2. If the constituency votes to hold Vericon during the following year, there will be the officerial position of Vericon Chair for that year.
    1. The positions of Editor-in-Chief and Vericon Chair will be appointed by the officer board after the annual officer elections and before the following general meeting.
    2. Any officer under consideration for Vericon Chair or Editor-in-Chief will abstain from the vote on that position.
  3. If the officer board is unable to come to a decision, an appointed position is decided by the membership at the following general meeting.
  4. The Vericon Chair and Editor-in-Chief will take their new roles at the following general meeting.
    1. An individual may hold multiple appointed positions during their tenure as an elected officer.
    2. Said officer will retain only one vote on the officer board.
  5. Outside of the exceptions presented in Amendment III clauses 3, 4, 5, and 6, the Vericon Chair and Editor-in-Chief are otherwise to be treated as full officers of HRSFA with all the associated responsibilities and requirements.

Last updated 2 May 2010. ©1995-2017 HRSFA.
The Harvard name and VERITAS shield are trademarks of the President and Fellows
of Harvard College and are used by permission of Harvard University.