A constitution is a document that provides the rules on how an organization of people (e.g. a small club, a university group, or even a group as large as a country or state) runs its affairs. For most people, the need to write a constitution will likely arise in the context of a small organization. If you are writing a constitution for a student organization, your university may have a sample constitution on which you can model your own.
Part One of Four:
Writing the Preamble, Name, and Purpose Edit
Write the preamble. Begin your constitution with a preamble. The preamble should introduce the constitution in a few sentences. It should also state the reasons and purpose for which the organization is being formed. 
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Write the name of the organization. After the preamble, write “Article 1: Name.” This article should provide the name of your organization. 
- Section 1 of Article 1 may state, for example: “The name of this organization shall be (insert full name), hereafter referred to as (insert a shortened name).”  The shortened name may also be an acronym, and if you use an acronym, this article may say, after stating the full name of the organization, “This organization will use the name or its acronym (enter acronym) in all publicity materials and correspondence.” 
- Section 2 of Article 2 may state, for example: “The officers of (enter shortened name or acronym) shall make up the Executive Board of (enter shortened name or acronym), hereafter referred to as the ‘Board.’” 
Write the purpose of the organization and of the executive board.
This article should be Article 2 of your constitution. Write “Article 2: Purpose.”
- Section 1 of Article 2 should provide the purpose of the organization. You can write, for example: “The purpose of this organization shall be (enter in a few sentences the purpose of the organization).” 
- Section 2 of Article 2 should provide the purpose of the executive board. You can write, for example: “The Board shall (enter purpose of the executive board).” 
Part Two of Four:
Writing the Rules on Membership, Meetings, and Officers Edit
Provide rules on membership. Article 3 of your constitution should provide the rules on membership of the organization. This article should provide the specific requirements of membership, the rights and responsibilities of members, and the grounds for revocation of membership. 
- Section 1 of Article 3 can say, for example: “The general body of the organization must be comprised of at least two-thirds of (enter the group(s) to whom you wish to extend two-thirds majority membership, such as students within a specific department). The requirements of membership are (insert requirements).” 
- Section 2 of Article 3 can say, for example: “The privileges and responsibilities of membership are (enter a list of rights and responsibilities).” 
- Section 3 of Article 3 can say, for example: “Membership may be revoked (by whom and by what procedure) due to (list criteria).” You can also use this section of Article 3 to note any restrictions on membership of specific group(s) of people. Note, however, that in the case of university organizations, it is generally against the rules to exclude people from joining your organization on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability.  This may also be true of non-university organizations, and it is in your best interest not to include in your constitution arbitrary rules that exclude certain groups from joining your organization for no legitimate reason.
- To make clear your nondiscrimination policy, you may write, for example, “Membership shall be open to all current students, faculty, and staff of (enter name of university), regardless of age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, national origin, or status as a veteran. This list is not exhaustive.” 
Provide rules on meetings and procedures. Article 4 of your constitution should provide the rules on meetings and procedures for your organization.
- Section 1 of Article 4 can state the frequency of meetings and can designate the party who has the right to call meetings.
- Section 2 of this article can indicate how policy decisions will be made and how formal voting will take place for the approval of those decisions.  You can write, for example, “A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum to transact any business. A majority of those voting shall constitute an affirmative vote of the Board. Each Officer shall be entitled to one vote and the vote of the majority of the Board at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be sufficient to transact business.” 
Provide the rules on holding office. Article 5 of your constitution should provide for how officers will be nominated and elected and the eligibility criteria for holding office. This article should also list the duties of officers, the length of their terms, and any restrictions on membership. 
- Section 1 of Article 5 can say, for example: “The organization shall have the following officers…” followed by a list of officer titles. This section should also indicate the methods of nomination and election of these offices and who is eligible to hold these offices. 
- Section 2 of Article 5 can say, for example: “The duties of these officers shall be (list duties).” 
- Section 3 of Article 5 should state the lengths of terms that the officers can hold and any term limits. 
- Section 4 of Article 5 should state the group from which the president and treasurer of the organization may be chosen. You can write, for example: “Only members who are undergraduate students in the College of Engineering may hold the position of president or treasurer.”  This section should also state that no member can be president and treasurer at the same time. 
Part Three of Four:
Writing the Rules on Elections, Committees, and By-Laws Edit
Write the rules on elections, appointments, and removal of officers. Article 6 of your constitution should provide the rules on elections, appointment procedures, and removal of members. This article should also provide the rules on interim appointments or elections in the case of a mid-term vacancy. 
- Section 1 of Article 6 can say, for example: “Organizational elections must take place at least once per year.”  This section should also provide the general rules on elections, whereas more specific election rules can be written in the organization’s bylaws.  The general rules on elections may include, for example, rules on voting procedure. You can write, for example: “The winners of the elections for representatives shall be determined by plurality vote. No student, however, shall be elected as class representative unless he or she receives the vote of ten percent (10%) of the class from which he or she was elected.” 
- Section 2 of Article 6 should provide the general appointment procedures for appointing officers, whereas more specific appointment procedures can be written in the bylaws. 
- Section 3 of Article 6 can say, for example: “The members of the Board may be impeached and removed (enter grounds for impeachment and removal and enter impeachment and removal procedures).” 
- Section 4 of Article 6 can say, for example: “In the event of a mid-term vacancy of an elected officer…” followed by the procedure for electing an interim or permanent replacement officer. 
Write the rules on committees. Article 7 of your constitution should provide the names of committees, the duties of each committee, the rules on selection and removal of committee members, and the procedures for formation and dissolution of committees. 
- Section 1 of Article 7 can say, for example: “The standing committees of this organization shall be…” followed by a list of all standing committees.  Note: a standing committee is a permanent committee whose purpose is to consider all matters that relate to a particular subject. 
- Section 2 of Article 7 can say, for example: “The duties of each of these standing committees shall be…” followed by a list of the duties. 
- Section 3 of Article 7 should provide the rules on how committee members will be selected and removed. 
- Section 4 of Article 7 can say, for example: “Additional committees may be formed and dissolved by the organization…” followed by the procedures for adding and removing committees. 
Provide for the creation of bylaws. Article 8 of your constitution should provide the rules on how the organization’s and executive board’s bylaws will be created and amended and who has the power to do so.  Note: Bylaws are rules that an organization adopts to govern its internal operations and its dealings with others.  These rules are intended to complement the constitution. Bylaws can be detailed rules that cannot be covered in detail in the constitution itself.
- Section 1 of Article 8 can say, for example: “Bylaws of the organization shall be established and amended by…” followed by the procedures for creating and amending the organization’s bylaws. 
- Section 2 of Article 8 can say, for example: “Bylaws of the Board shall be established and amended by…” followed by the procedures for amending and creating bylaws of the executive board. 
- Bylaws should not contradict anything in the Constitution. Generally, bylaws contain detailed provisions on such topics as membership, dues, duties of officers, the Board, committees, order of business, amendment procedures, and other specific policies and procedures necessary for the organization or its operation. 
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