Bylaw and Statutes

Bylaws and Statutes of CHAT

Bylaws of the Community Health Advocates at Tufts

Article I – Identity

Section 1: Official Name. The name of the organization shall be the Community Health Advocates at Tufts.

Section 2: Nature of Organization. The Community Health Advocates at Tufts hereinafter referred to as CHAT, is an organization of Tufts University students with a special interest in health promotion, health policy and engaging the community at local, state and national levels about issues of public health relating to health promotion, disease prevention and management.

Section 3: State and National Affiliation. The Student Chapter shall be affiliated with the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA). MPHA shall provide CHAT members with volunteer opportunities and guidance related to health promotion and advocacy.

Section 4: University Accreditation. CHAT shall be formally accredited as a student organization with Tufts University’s Office of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs.

Section 5: Official Address. The official address and secretariat of CHAT shall be c/o the Office of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs at the Tufts School of Medicine.

Section 6: Official Website

Email CHATufts [at] gmail [dot] com

Article II – Purpose

Section 1: Vision. CHAT shall be a highly motivated and enthusiastic body of future leaders in health promotion advocacy growing together in their knowledge and understanding of public health and health policy issues related to health promotion and networking with one another and with key experts in the field.

Section 2: Mission. CHAT shall build and maintain an active network for Tufts University students with an interest in health promotion advocacy and policy to interact with one another, as well as with faculty and other stakeholders in health promotion, policy and program implementation. Provide students with real-world work experience in health promotion advocacy through short and long-term opportunities.

Section 3: Goals. CHAT will strive:

a. To enhance the professional development experience of Tufts University students interested in health promotion and policy by exposing them to the current state of the art in the fields of health promotion, policy and disease management.

b. To provide extra-curricular learning opportunities through interaction with health policy professionals, legislators and stakeholders.

c. Encourage student participation in public health related conferences through financial support including registration and associated travel costs.

d. To foster an environment in which interested Tufts University students can envision an exciting career pathway in health promotion policy, program implementation and management.

Article III – Membership

Section 1: Members. Full members of CHAT must be current part-time or full-time students at Tufts University. Members may also be joint degree program students with Tufts’ affiliate programs.

Section 2: Minimum Membership. CHAT must maintain at least ten (10) full members from TUSM in order to be an active chapter in good standing with Tufts University.

Section 3: Open Membership. Membership shall be open to all students from any school or department of Tufts University, provided they have an active interest in health policy, with priority given to PHPD students.

Section 4: Diversity. There shall be no discrimination in individual membership on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, social status, economic background, national origin, academic level, or program of study.

Article IV – Officers and Leaders

Section 1: Faculty Advisor. CHAT shall maintain one of the professors in the PHPD department as a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor shall be available as a general mentor to the officers and members of CHAT, and provide liaison with other faculty, university administration, and field experts.

Section 2: Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall comprise the following officers:

a. President

b. Vice President

c. Treasurer

d. Publicity Officer

Section 3: The President.

Acts as the chief executive officer, and chairs all meetings of CHAT

Serves as the main spokesperson of CHAT, and chief signatory on its behalf

Represents CHAT to the MHPA and to the PHPD of Tufts School of Medicine

Oversees CHAT‘s adherence to its statutes and bylaws, as well as to Tufts University regulations

Supervises the implementation of the annual plan of CHAT activities

Appoints interim subcommittees and member task forces to perform specific assignments on behalf of CHAT

Submits an annual report on the status of CHAT to all stakeholders

Performs such lawful actions as may be required to sustain the good standing of CHAT.

Section 5: The Vice President.

■ Maintain records of all the official documents of CHAT including but not restricted to correspondence, minutes of meetings, and bylaws and statutes

■ Prepares and distributes summaries of minutes of CHAT’s meetings

■ Acts as the time-keeper during meetings of CHAT

■ Maintains an accurate record of all current members of CHAT

  • Maintains an accurate record of all meeting attendees

■ Announces meeting dates, venues, and agendas to all participants

■ Plan and organized 1-2 learning lecture lunches per semester

■ Introduces new members to the procedures and activities of CHAT

■ Spearheads peer-to-peer collaboration and mutual mentorship among members

■ Serves as acting President in the absence of the President

Section 6: The Treasurer.

Conducts financial transactions and administers funds on CHAT’s behalf

Negotiates with vendors for student discounts on travel and other expenditures

Issues periodic financial reports to the executive and to members

Cultivates potential donors and financial benefactors of CHAT

Spearheads fundraising drives

Prepares and submits an annual budget of projected expenditure

Maintains a record of all transactions made throughout the year.

Ensures that the budget is kept up to date after every transaction throughout the academic year.

Section 7: Publicity Officer.

Publicizes CHAT and its activities

Secures venues for upcoming Chapter events and meetings

Synchronizes Chapter events with those of other on-campus groups

Oversees website and social networking site upkeep

Produces pamphlets, brochures, and other materials showcasing CHAT

Places ads of CHAT in Tufts University, Tufts School of Medicine and PHPD magazines, newsletters and other publications

Provides feedback to the Executive Committee from Chapter members and Tufts students about the on campus perceptions of CHAT

Article V – General Meetings of Members

Section 1: Frequency. CHAT shall hold a meeting of its members at least four times each academic year, two times each semester.

Section 2: Order. Either the President or Vice President shall preside over all general meetings as chairperson. In the absence of the said officers, the meeting chairperson shall be selected by a plurality of the Executive Committee members present.

Section 3: Quorum. At least two officers and five other full members must be present for a meeting to achieve the quorum required to make binding decisions governing the day-to-day business of CHAT. No quorum or prior membership shall be required for academic or social meetings unless and until a business decision needs to be made.

Section 4: Decisions. Ordinary business matters shall be settled by consensus among all members present after a short, focused, and informed discussion. Where such consensus is not forthcoming on any matter of CHAT’s business, the latter shall be resolved by a plurality of votes by the members present. Every full member in good standing who is present shall be entitled to one vote on CHAT’s ordinary business. In the case of a tie vote, the President or Vice President (in that order) shall cast the tie-breaking vote. All full members (present or absent) are entitled to a vote on matters deemed by the officers to be extra-ordinary business. The officers shall exercise discretion over the extra-ordinary status of any business at hand, and will reserve the right to solicit for a vote from all the registered full members without unduly holding up CHAT’s progress.

Section 5: Collective Responsibility. Members who were not present at the meeting where a general business matter was settled will be taken to have implicitly agreed to the decision and to be collectively responsible for its implementation. An exception to the ‘collective responsibility’ shall be exercised on condition that: (i) the absent person is a full member of CHAT, (ii) that s/he proactively informed the officers of his or her inability to attend the meeting, and (iii) proactively communicated a dissenting view on the matter that would have changed or tied the vote in favor of the decision. Where such an exception is determined by the executive to be applicable, the matter shall be revisited and a new decision taken without unduly holding up CHAT’s progress.

Section 6: Communication and Notification Process. All CHAT members will be notified about all meetings, group-sponsored activities, events (etc.) by email. Potential members will be notified by email and posted announcements around the Tufts School of Medicine.

Article VI – Meetings of Executive Committee

Section 1: Frequency. The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice in each semester and meetings shall be open to any full non-executive members who wish to attend as non-voting observers.

Section 2: Convenor. Executive Committee meetings shall be convened and chaired by the President, or Vice President if so delegated by the President.

Section 3: Medium. Executive Committee meetings can be either live face-to-face discussions or via conference call or videoconference.

Section 4: Minutes. The Vice President shall record all minutes and circulate an executive summary of the same in the period following the meeting.

Section 5: Decisions. Executive business shall be settled by consensus or plural vote, upon the discretion of the situation. Matters critical to the well-being and good standing of CHAT shall be referred, as extra-ordinary business, to a general meeting of full members for their final and binding decision.

Section 6: Veto Power. Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be subject to veto by two-thirds of all the current full members of CHAT.

Article VII – Elections and Balloting

Section 1: Frequency. Elections of officers shall be held once in each academic year at an Election General Meeting called for the express purpose of such elections. In the case that an elected executive member is unable to fulfill his/her year-term, elections will be held a second time in accordance with bylaw and balloting procedures.

Section 2: Eligibility. Only full members of the Group shall be eligible to be elected as officers of CHAT. All executive members must be able to serve for one full academic year. All candidates must be present during the election to run for an executive team position.

Section 3: Timing. The Election General Meeting shall be announced at least one week prior. The Fall Semester Election General Meeting shall be in March or April of the preceding academic semester. If necessary, the Spring Semester Election General Meeting shall be in December of the preceding academic semester.

Section 4: Electoral College. Each officer shall be elected on the basis of a plurality of votes cast for that office by the full members present. Anonymous written votes shall be counted by the Faculty Advisor. In the event of a tie vote in the first round, successive rounds of balloting shall be conducted among full members only until one candidate receives a plurality of full members’ votes.

Article VIII – Parliamentary Procedure

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all parliamentary procedure unless otherwise specified.

Article IX – Chapter Probation or Inactive Status

Section 1: Probation Status. If CHAT does not meet affiliation requirements of accreditation requirements by Tufts University, it will be placed on probation for six months. CHAT’s eligibility for the benefits and privileges of such affiliation will be suspended during the probation period.

Section 2: Inactive Status. If the requirements are not met by the end of the probationary period, CHAT will be considered inactive and will lose all benefits of a Tufts University student organization.

Section 3: Individual versus Chapter Status. The individual status of full members with the MPHA will NOT be affected by CHAT’s status.

Article X – Amendment or Revision of Bylaws

These Bylaws may be amended or revised by a two-thirds majority vote of full members of CHAT.

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