Operating Procedures

CHAPTER 1

Article I. Name and Symbol.

Section 1. Name. The organization’s name shall be National Association of Black Journalists at the University of Southern California.

Section 2. Initials. The organization shall be known by the initials NABJ USC.

Section 3. Symbol. The organization shall adopt an official corporate seal that may include the date and place of incorporation, the symbol of NABJ USC, the initials NABJ USC or such other necessary and desirable information.

Article II. Purpose.

Section 1. Purpose. NABJ USC shall enable a union of black student journalists dedicated to:

(a) Monitoring all media to promote best practices or advocate for improvement with respect to coverage of the African-American community and black diaspora, and fairness in the workplace for black student journalists.

(b) Increasing the number of black journalists working as staff, supervisors and management in both student and professional newsrooms.

(c) Being an exemplary group of student journalists and emerging professionals that honors journalism excellence and outstanding achievement.

(d) Encouraging and supporting black students journalists aiming to become media entrepreneurs and or work independently.

(e) Encouraging our peers, high school students and people working in other professions to become journalists.

(f)  Providing professional development and training as well as information about fellowships, internships and scholarships.

(g)  Increasing the number of African Americans working as faculty and leaders withing USC Annenberg’s journalism programs.

 

Article III. Compliance.

 

Section 1. Compliance. This constitution, adopted in conformity herewith, shall comply with applicable federal, state or District of Columbia law governing the transaction of NABJ USC business. Accordingly, this constitution shall also serve as the organization’s bylaws.

CHAPTER 2

Article I. Elected Leaders.

Section 1. Campus Officers. The officers of the organization shall be president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

Section 2. Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of the organization’s campus officers. At times there will be four officers at most on the executive board.

Section 3. Duties and Descriptions of Officers. The duties and descriptions of the officers of the organization, to wit, the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer shall be as specified in the organization’s operating procedures and may be amended as necessary.

Section 4. Members. The organization’s overall governing body shall be the membership. Between on- and off-campus events and outings, the executive board shall be the organization’s governing body, subject to the constitution and the organization’s operating procedures

Article II. Eligibility for Office and Term of Office.

Section 1. Eligibility for Office. To be eligible for office in the organization, a candidate must be a member in good standing, demonstrate continued interest in the media industry and abide by previous stipulations.

Section 2. Term of Office. All officers and representatives of the organization shall be elected or appointed at the end-of-the-school year meeting.

(a)   The following special provision shall apply for the election of members to the board of directors for terms of office that will commence at the annual meeting of 2015:

(i)    The president, vice president, secretary and representatives shall be elected.

(ii)  The vice president, treasurer, media-related representative shall also be elected or appointed.

 

Section 4. Vacancies. In the event that an officer or member does not complete his or her term – or if no one seeks a particular office or seat on the board – the president shall appoint an eligible NABJ USC member to serve for the remainder of the term.

Section 5. Removal From Office. The president, with the executive board’s’ approval, shall have the authority to remove from his or her seat any officer, representative or regional director who has not been active or devoted the time necessary to carry out his or her duties.

CHAPTER 3

Article I. Powers and Duties of the Executive Board.

Section 1. Executive Director. The board of directors shall have the authority to employ a person of suitable qualifications who, whenever possible, shall be an NABJ member; whose title shall be executive director, and whose duties shall be to operate the organization’s national office, subject to the board’s supervision, pursuant to the executive board’s direction.

(a)   The executive director shall primarily report to the president and is otherwise subject to the executive board’s and board of directors’ supervision.

(b)  The board of directors shall set the executive director’s salary. He or she shall be bonded in a sum the board of directors determines.

(c)   The executive director shall serve at the board of directors’ discretion and direction. The executive board, acting as the personnel committee, may remove the executive director from his or her position, but only after consultation.

Section 2. Annual Budget. The board of directors shall adopt an annual operating budget for NABJ.

(a)   The operating budget so approved shall, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, allocate expenses and disbursements as are usual and customary in the operation of similar organizations for the succeeding calendar year.

(b)  The president shall present the next year’s proposed calendar-year budget – as prepared by the treasurer – to the board of directors for adoption as close as possible to the prior calendar year’s last business day – and also to the membership for disclosure as soon as possible by electronic means and at the organization’s next annual meeting.

(c)   The fiscal year of NABJ USC shall begin on Jan. 1 and end on Dec. 31 of each year.

Section 3. Chapters. The executive board is authorized to oversee the relationship with existing NABJ chapters and to enter into a relationship with neighboring chapters, pursuant to the operating procedures.

Section 4. Meetings. The executive board  shall meet at least once a week. The president or executive board may call special e-board meetings.

CHAPTER 4

Article I. Composition of the National Membership and Membership Eligibility.

Section 1. Membership Composition. The organization shall be composed of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate journalism  and communication students, journalism educators, students interested in pursuing a career in journalism and people or entities that support the organization’s vision and goals.

Section 2. Professional Members. Professional membership shall be open to any person whose principal livelihood comes from creating, producing or supervising the creation of journalism. Professional members may serve on the executive board and vote in any NABJ USC matter calling on the entire membership to decide, except for the election of the academic, media-related or student representatives to the executive board.

Section 3. Emerging Professional Members. Emerging professional membership shall be open to anyone who otherwise meets the criteria for professional membership as provided above, but is also within the first five years of his or her journalism career. Emerging professionals may not serve on the board of directors, but may vote in any NABJ matter calling on the entire membership to decide, except for the election of the academic, media-related or student representatives to the board of directors.

Section 4. Academic Members. Academic membership shall be open to high school, college and university faculty and other academic professionals, including administrators and trainers, with research and or teaching interests in journalism. Academic members with at least five years prior experience in journalism may serve in the academic seat on the board of directors, and may vote in any NABJ USC matter calling on the entire membership to decide, except for the election of the media-related or student representatives on the board of directors. And only such academic members are eligible to serve as – or to vote for – the academic representative to the board of directors.

Section 5. Alumni Members. Alumni membership shall be open to anyone who had been a professional or academic member of NABJ USC for at least 1 year and has graduated from USC. Alumni members may not serve on the board of directors, but may vote in any NABJ USC matter calling on the entire membership to decide, except for the election of the academic, media-related or student board representatives.

Section 6. Media-Related Professional Members. Media-related professional membership shall be open to an individual working primarily in a field related to journalism – such as public relations, public information, marketing, communications, advocacy, legal, etc. – and whose work supports the mission of NABJ. Media-related professional members shall be admitted to national membership sessions, may voice a non-binding opinion at such meetings and may serve on committees, provided they do not comprise more than one-third of any committee. Only media-related professional members are eligible to serve as – or to vote for – the media-related professional representative on the board of directors. Media-related professional members may not vote in any other NABJ matter.

Section 7. Student Members. Student membership shall be open to college or university students – including undergraduate, graduate and associate degree students – who have a demonstrated interest in journalism. Student members shall be admitted to national membership sessions, may voice a non-binding opinion and may serve on committees, provided they do not comprise more than one-third of any committee. Only college or university student members are eligible to serve as – or to vote for – the student representative on the board of directors. Student members may not vote in any other NABJ USC matter.

Section 8. Status prior to 2014. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any individual who once held full member status between August 2009 and August 2014 may become a lifetime or professional member provided he or she seeks lifetime or professional member status by August 1, 2015. Any individual deemed a lifetime or professional member by such date may retain such status indefinitely, provided his or her membership dues never lapses.

Section 9. Membership Committee. All applications for any NABJ USC membership category as provided above shall be subject to the membership committee’s review. Anyone wishing to appeal a related committee decision may do so to the board of directors, which may endorse or overrule the committee’s decision.

Section 10. Disclaimer. Nothing in this constitution or in this article shall be construed as limiting the right of the organization to refer to persons or entities associated with it as “members,” even though such persons or entities are not members as defined in Sections 2-6 above, and no such reference shall constitute anyone a member unless such persons shall have qualified for and be a member in good standing as defined in Sections 2-6 above. All references in this constitution, the NABJ USC bylaws, or in the Law, to “approval by the members” or “approval by a majority of members” or a “quorum of the members” shall be deemed to apply to the membership categories specified in Chapter 4, Article I, Sections 2-6 only.

Article II. Membership Meeting, Powers and Voting.

Section 1. Purpose. The campus membership shall assemble at least biweekly at such times and places as the board of directors may determine for the purposes of:

(a) Hearing and acting upon the reports of the national officers and board of directors.

(b) Providing education and professional development workshops at a national convention.

(c) Providing a job fair primarily for those journalists seeking job opportunities.

(d) Hearing and acting on such business that may be presented to and by the membership.

Section 2. Powers. The national membership shall have the power to:

(a) Adopt amendments to the constitution.

(b) Elect national officers as prescribed above in Chapter 2, Articles I and II.

(c) Do such other things as may be necessary or appropriate for the good of the organization and its members.

Section 3. Voting and Voting Eligibility. Any member as defined in Chapter 4, Article I, Sections 2 through 6, can vote in accordance with this constitution, the operating procedures and election committee guidelines. A quorum of 51 percent of a majority of the voting membership must be registered at the convention. The membership shall have the authority to adopt, subject to ratification by simple majority of those members voting at a duly called and authorized annual meeting, any appropriate resolution, including, without limit, any emergency resolution.

CHAPTER 5

Article I. Chapters.

Section 1. Type of Chapters. NABJ USC will align itself with two types of organizations for the purposes of extending its mission into local communities and to journalists.

(a) Professional chapters shall be located in such cities, municipalities or areas the board of directors may approve.

(b)   Student chapters shall be made up principally of college or university students interested in pursuing a career in journalism.

 

Section 2. Chapter Organization. An organization of five or more NABJ professional members may be considered for professional chapter status if all of the following occur:

(a) The membership committee determines the applying organization’s constitution aligns with this constitution. Any person wishing to appeal a related committee decision may do so to the board of directors, which may endorse or overrule the decision.

(b) The applying organization, at the time of its application for alignment with NABJ USC, and at the time of the annual renewal of that status, submits to NABJ USC a membership list showing that two-thirds of the organization’s members are eligible for NABJ USC status as provided in Chapter 4, Article I, Sections 2-6 of this constitution.

(c) The president and vice president(s) of the applying organization are lifetime or professional NABJ  members as provided in Chapter 4, Article I, Section 2 or 3 and the remaining officers are NABJ USC members.

Section 3. Student Chapter Organization. An organization of five or more NABJ USC student members may seek student chapter status if it meets the criteria in the above section and has as its advisor an NABJ USC member as defined in Chapter 4, Article I, Sections 2-6 of this constitution.

Article II. Regions.

Section 1. Regions. NABJ USC shall be composed of one geographic regions pursuant to guidelines prescribed in this constitution, the organization’s operating procedures and election committee guidelines.

CHAPTER 6

Article I. Constitutional Amendments and Effective Date.

Section 1. Amendment Proposals. The board of directors or any professional member may propose amendments to this constitution.

Section 2. Process. The constitution may be amended as follows:

(a) Proposed changes to this constitution must be submitted in writing to the executive board. At that time, the executive board will convene to discuss or amend any proposed changes. The committee will forward any proposed amendment(s) to the board of directors with a recommendation. If approved by the board of directors, the committee, through the national office, will circulate the proposed amendment(s), to the national membership at least sixty (60) days prior to the next convention. The membership would be asked to approve the amendment(s) at such convention. Two-thirds of the total number of votes cast shall be required for an amendment to be adopted.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in this constitution, amendments become effective sixty (60) days following the adjournment of said annual national convention. The parliamentarian, assisted by the national office, must circulate any approved amendments to the board of directors and national membership within those sixty (60) days.

Section 3. Enactment. This constitution as amended shall take effect on May 22, 2015, and shall supersede any prior NABJ USC constitution.

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