Constitution

1. General

1.1. Name

The name of this organization shall be Physics Student Union, abbreviated PhySU.

1.2. Constitution

As a substructure of the Arts and Science Students' Union (ASSU), PhySU adopts the ASSU constitution in addition to the articles listed in this document.

1.3. Membership

Members of PhySU include all full-time undergraduate students on the University of Toronto St. George campus registered in a course offered by the Physics Department (PHY, ENV, JPE, JPH etc.), and any full time student with a Subject POSt in physics or offered by the Physics Department (courses and programs as posted on the UofT Arts & Science Faculty calendar).

1.4. Rights

All members of PhySU have the right to

Only executive officers hold voting privileges during PhySU executive meetings.

1.5. Lounge and Office

The PhySU lounge is located at MP217 and the PhySU office is MP217C.

2. Selection of Executive Officers

2.1. Modes of Selection

All executive officers shall be selected through election. All executive officers, with the exception of the First Year Representatives, shall be elected at the end of year elections in April. The First Year Representatives shall be elected at the First Year Representative elections in September. Supplementary elections may be called at the discretion of the President, in the case of vacant executive officer seats.

2.2. Electorate

All members of PhySU are eligible to vote in elections.

2.3. Eligibility

Any PhySU member may be a candidate for an officer position under the following conditions:

2.4. Nomination Period

The end of year election must be preceded by a nomination period no less than two weeks, and the First Year Representative election must be preceded by a nomination period of no less than one week. The nomination period for supplementary elections may be decided at the discretion of the President. Candidates must complete a self-nomination form which outlines a written agreement to adhere to the duties of a PhySU Executive member, if elected. The self-nomination form is to be signed by three (3) members of the PhySU constituency and submitted in the PhySU lounge, with the exception of the VP First Year Representatives.

2.5. Campaigning

Candidates may begin campaigning following commencement of the nomination period. Candidates may only campaign for themselves, and may not endorse any other candidate, or otherwise form a joint campaign. Executive and outreach officers are similarly not allowed to endorse any candidate. Candidates who are incumbent executive or outreach officers are not allowed to use privileges granted by their positions in their campaigning.

2.6. Election Procedure

2.6.1. End of term election

The end of term election is an annual election, held at the end of each academic year, to elect the President, Treasurer, and Vice Presidents (with the exception of the First Year Representatives). 

The positions will be elected in the following order: President, Treasurer, Vice President. The seven vacant Vice President positions are elected simultaneously, without specification to their Vice President position. The Vice President positions shall be decided internally following the end of term elections.

Unsuccessful candidates to the President and Treasurer positions may run for other executive officer positions in the same election cycle.

2.6.2. First Year Representative election

The First Year Representative elections are held at the beginning of the Fall term of each academic year to elect the First Year Representatives for PHY131/2 and PHY151/2 courses.

2.6.3. Supplementary election

Supplementary elections are called at the discretion of the President to fill any vacant executive officer spots that may arise during the academic year.

2.6.4. General Procedure

All elections must be conducted in person by secret ballot. Each member may submit up to one ballot, and every ballot counts equally. Electorates must demonstrate proof of PhySU membership before submitting their ballot, by presenting their subject POSt, or timetable, from ACORN, for the current academic year. 

The default voting system is single-choice voting. Members may vote for exactly one candidate, and the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes is elected. 

In the election of Vice Presidents at the end of year elections, members may vote for up to six candidates, the number of available Vice President seats. 

In the case of a tie, the vote is repeated, with only the tied candidates on the ballot.

Proxies are allowed. Members must appear in person to vote. 

If the executive team wishes, they may adopt an alternate voting system, such as ranked ballots, for their elections.

2.7. Vacant Seats

Should seats for executive officers become vacant in the course of the academic year, the President may hold a supplementary election to elect a new executive officer. Specifically, in the case that a First Year Representative is not enrolled in PHY151/152 or PHY131/132, a supplementary election will be held to elect a new First Year Representative.

Alternatively, the President has the prerogative to create an ad hoc committee of at least three executive officers to fill the vacant seat via application, none of whom have conflicts of interest in the decision making process. The President need not sit on the ad hoc committee. 

If the seat of President becomes vacant, the remaining executive officers shall hold a supplementary election for the election of the President.

3. Executive Officers

3.1. Term

The term of all executive officers, with the exception of the VP First Year Representatives, begins at the start of the summer term following the elections. The term of VP First Year Representatives begins immediately after the First Year Representative elections. The term of outreach officers begins immediately after their appointment. The term for all officers conclude at the end of the academic year.

3.2. Eligibility

All officers must satisfy the membership criteria of PhySU for the length of their term in office.

3.3. Positions and Duties

The executive officers of this student union shall consist of the following:

3.3.1. President

It shall be the duty of the President to:

3.3.2. Treasurer

It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to:

3.3.3. VP Secretary

It shall be the duty of the VP Secretary to:

3.3.4. VP Communications

It shall be the duty of VP communications to:

3.3.5. VP Academic Affairs

It shall be the duty of the VP academic affairs to:

3.3.6. VP Internal and External Affairs

It shall be the duty of the VP internal and external affairs to:

3.3.7. VP Social Events

It shall be the duty of the VP social events to:

3.3.8. VP Asset Management

It shall be the duty of the VP asset management to:

3.3.9. VP First Year Representatives

It shall be the duty of the 131/2 and 151/2 VP First Year Representatives to:

3.3.10. General Duties

In addition to the specific duties assigned for each position, it shall be the duty of all executives to:

Each executive officer is responsible for the completion the tasks listed for their seat, and under general duties. If unable to fulfill the duties assigned, each executive officer shall be responsible for finding another officer that can fulfill the duties.

Failure to meet obligations is grounds for removal from office as described in section 7.

3.3.11. Office Hours

Each executive officer must hold an office hour on a weekly basis in the PhySU lounge. During this office hour, members of the constituency are encouraged to bring questions or concerns regarding PhySU to the attention of the executive officer.

It is the duty of VP Secretary to organize an office hour schedule for all executive officers and to advertise this schedule on PhySU social media platforms and in the PhySU Lounge. The schedule must be finalized by the end of the first month of each semester.

3.3.12 Equity Training

Each executive officer must complete one ULead workshop under Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion by the end of October of their presiding year. It is the duty of the President to ensure that all executive officers have fulfilled their equity training. Failure to complete training will result in a temporary probation period for the executive officer until training is completed. During this probation period, the executive officer's duties will be redistributed among the other executive officers in accordance with Section 2.7: Vacant Seats.

4. Meetings

4.1. General Meetings

General meetings are open to any member of the constituency, and may be called at the discretion of the President. These may serve to inform the constituency of event programming and other agenda decided by the executive team, and gain feedback from the constituency. They may also be called in order to vote on certain items, such as a new constitution.

4.2. Executive Meetings

Meetings are to be held monthly through the year. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the President.

4.2.1. Decisions

Decisions are made by vote. All executives receive one vote, with each vote counting equally. Decisions may be simple majority, or require a supermajority to pass, at the discretion of the President. The President holds the tie-breaking vote.

The President may veto decisions made if they deem it to be contrary to the interests of the constituency of PhySU. This is not to be used frivolously, and should only be invoked in significant decisions, such as large expenditures. The Treasurer may also veto significant decisions of a financial nature.

If no consensus can be reached, a general meeting shall be held, and the decision voted on by the constituency.

5. Referenda

For significant decisions affecting a large percentage of the constituency, a referendum may be called at the discretion of the executive committee. The decision in question must be announced to the constituency at least one week in advance, and have a voting period of at least 48 hours. Each member receives one vote, and each vote counts equally.

6. Outreach Committee

6.1. Overview and Scope

The Outreach Committee has three primary goals:

1. to promote physics and the programs offered at U of T to high school students

2. to assist the physics department in their outreach programming

3. to encourage girls in entering STEM fields

6.2. Selection Process 

The Outreach Committee shall be appointed through an application process, by an ad hoc committee of three individuals. They shall consist of the President, the incumbent outreach chair, and another executive or outreach officer mutually agreed upon by the President and outreach chair. 

In the case of a conflict of interest (eg. the outreach chair is running for outreach chair a second time), they may recuse themselves from the selection procedure (either fully or partially), or another individual may be added to the ad hoc committee to facilitate the selection process.

The selection is held at the end of each academic year, and seats are held from the start of the summer following the appointment until the end of the next academic year. The Outreach Committee for the following year must be decided prior to the end of year elections. This is to prevent the Outreach Committee from being used as a "fallback'' position.

6.3. Duties

Execute programming conducive to the three stated goals of the Outreach Committee. The committee shall meet at least monthly, at the discretion of the outreach chair. 

The outreach chair is responsible for liaising with the executive committee on outreach programming. Objectives include ensuring that the constituency is aware of relevant outreach programming, that calls for volunteers are well publicized, and that the executive and Outreach Committee may assist with each others' programming at their discretion.

6.4. Finances

Since the programming and scope of outreach does not necessarily affect the constituency directly, the executive committee is not obligated to provide funding to the Outreach Committee.

6.5. Removal

In the case that an outreach officer is deemed to have acted in violation to the PhySU or ASSU constitution, or acted contrary to the best interests of the goals of outreach, any member of outreach may motion for impeachment.

The accuser shall need to motivate, and the accused given an opportunity to defend themselves. The President and Outreach Committee, excluding the accused, shall then come to an arbitration.

7. Removal from Office

7.1. Impeachment

In the case that an executive officer is deemed to have acted in violation of the PhySU or ASSU constitution, or to have acted contrary to the best interests of the constituency in a significant manner, any executive officer may motion for impeachment. The motion may be put forward anonymously to the President. Impeachment of the President is discussed in paragraph 3 of section 7.2.

7.2. Procedure

In the case of a motion for impeachment, the President must call for an executive meeting within 10 days of the motion. The accuser shall justify their motion, and the accused will be given the opportunity to defend themselves. In the case of an anonymous motion, the President shall speak on behalf of the officer which motioned.

A blind vote shall be held for arbitration. The impeachment motion is successful if at least five executives vote in favour of impeachment. The vote may be carried out on a later date to allow for deliberation, but no longer than 7 days following the initial meeting. Every executive officer, excluding the accused, may vote. Each vote carries equal weight.

In the case of the impeachment of the President, the accuser may call for a meeting themselves. Anonymous motions in this case shall be put forward to the secretary, who will then schedule an executive meeting. 

In the case of a successful impeachment, the impeached officer loses all privileges of the executive officer, effective immediately. Their previous position is then vacant, and may be filled at the discretion of the President, or the remaining executive committee.


8 Auxiliary Definitions

"PhySU social media platforms” is defined as any social media account run by a PhySU executive member on behalf of the Physics Student Union with permission of the current PhySU President.