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Union Council Constitution

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this organization shall be The Wisconsin Union of the University of Wisconsin.

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

Section 1: The purpose of The Wisconsin Union shall be to provide a common life and cultivated social program for its members.

Section 2: The motto of The Wisconsin Union shall be "Societate Crescit Lumen" - light is increased through human relationships.

Section 3: The emblem shall be the Indian Pipe of Peace, with ribbons attached, displayed against a cardinal and white arrowhead shield which is superimposed on a mariner's compass card - a symbol of fellowship and unity among diverse peoples.

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

The Wisconsin Union may include five classes of members as follows:

Section 1 - Student Members: Every student upon enrollment in the University and the payment of incidental fees, which include a fee for the operation and maintenance of the Memorial Union Building, shall become a member of The Wisconsin Union for the period of enrollment covered by the fees paid. He/she may become a life member upon the payment of the specified aggregate amount in Union fees, or in subscriptions to the Memorial Union Building Fund, or both together, such aggregate amount to be recommended by the Union Council and approved by the Board of Regents.

Section 2 - Faculty Members: Any member of the University staff is eligible to membership upon the payment of the annual fee or of the life membership subscription to the Memorial Union Building Fund voted by the Union Council. Faculty life members of the Memorial Union Building Association shall automatically be life members of The Wisconsin Union.

Section 3 - Alumni Members: Any former student of the University is eligible for membership upon the payment of the annual fee or of the life membership subscription to the Memorial Union Building Fund voted by the Union Council, and under such other conditions as the Council may determine. A special non-resident annual fee may be voted by the Council at its discretion. Alumni life members of the Memorial Union Building Association shall automatically be life members of The Wisconsin Union.

Section 4 - Patron Members: The Union Council shall have power to elect at its discretion a person to patron membership who is not connected with the University as a student, alumnus or faculty member, providing that he/she pay the annual fee or the life membership subscription to the Memorial Union Building Fund voted by the Union Council.

Section 5 - Honorary Members: The Union Council shall have power to elect honorary members at its discretion.

ARTICLE IV - GOVERNMENT

Section 1 - The Union Council:
The governing body of The Wisconsin Union shall be known as the Union Council, which body shall be responsible to the Board of Regents through the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor in charge of business affairs, Madison campus. Nothing contained in this constitution is intended to limit in any way the final authority or control of the Board of Regents over all persons and organizations connected with or receiving benefits from the University or as superseding the University rules governing the social activities of the student body.

The Union Council shall be constituted as follows:

  • Four student representatives, at least one a woman student, from the body recognized by the University as the all-student governing board and chosen by such board;
  • Four students in charge of Union House Committee or Club activities and elected as representatives of Union committees and clubs on the Council as provided in the By-Laws;
  • One student elected as President of the Union Council under Sec. 2, Art. IV;
  • Two members, one from the faculty, and one from the academic staff, appointed by the Chancellor of the University, Madison campus;
  • Two alumni, one appointed by the Chancellor of the University, Madison campus, and one chosen by the governing board of the Alumni Association;
  • The Director of The Wisconsin Union;
  • The officer of The Wisconsin Union in charge of business operations, ex-officio.

Section 2 - Officers and Their Duties:
The officers of the Union Council shall be as follows:

  • President - A student elected by the members of the outgoing Council as provided for in the By-Laws.
  • Vice President - A student elected by the members of the outgoing Council as provided for in the By-Laws.
  • Secretary - Director.
  • Treasurer - Officer of The Wisconsin Union in charge of business operations.

Whenever the Union Council may so order, the offices of Secretary and the Treasurer may be held by the same person.

  • The President shall preside at all meetings of the Union Council of The Wisconsin Union, and perform such other duties as are incumbent upon the office.
  • The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence.
  • The Secretary shall keep all records and the minutes of all meetings.
  • The Treasurer shall keep the financial accounts of The Wisconsin Union, making such reports as are requested by the Union Council.
  • The Union Council may provide for the appointment of such additional officers as it may deem in the interests of The Wisconsin Union.

All of said officers and members of the Union Council shall perform such addi tional or different duties as shall from time to time be provided or required by the Union Council, or as may be prescribed from time to time by the By-Laws.

Section 3 - Executive Committee:
The Union Council at its discretion may authorize the officers, together with another member or members of the Council if it so chooses, to serve as an Executive Committee, acting for the Council between its sittings.

Section 4 – Functions:
The Union Council shall direct the administration of the affairs of The Wisconsin Union (and of) including the Memorial Union and Union South, subject to the counsel and approval of the Board of Regents.

All groups or individuals having jurisdiction in the Memorial Union and Union South, or using the buildings, shall be responsible to the Union Council. The Council shall have the power, provided it does not supersede University rules, to govern the activities of members, guests, and organizations in the building, and may suspend membership, deny the privileges of the building, and (or) impose fines to maintain discipline.

The Union Council shall approve all budgets for the social activities supported by The Wisconsin Union membership fees.

The Union Council shall recommend to the Chancellor of the University, Madison campus, for appointment by the Regents the Director of The Wisconsin Union. The administrative officers of the building shall be responsible to the Board of Regents through the Vice Chancellor of the University in charge of business and finance, Madison campus, for the financial management of their respective departments, but shall accept guidance in the performance of their duties from the Union Council. The officers of The Wisconsin Union shall consider authoritative only such recommendations as to policy (excepting University business policy) as may come from the Union Council.

The Union Council shall fill any vacancies in its membership from the group represented by the retiring member and for a term expiring with the succeeding regular election or appointment.

The Union Council shall formulate its own rules of procedure and By-Laws.

Subject to the approval of the Board of Regents, the Union Council shall exer cise all powers not herein especially assigned.

Section 5 - House Committees:
House Committees and special interest clubs shall plan for and oversee the social and educational programs under their respective jurisdictions, submitting recommendations to the Union Council and carrying them into effect in cooperation with the Director and the staff.

These committees and clubs shall consist predominantly of students, but may include faculty members and alumni. The House Committees shall be appointed by the Union Council and shall be responsible to the Union Council. Such clubs as may be sponsored by the Council may organize on a club basis, electing officers as their own organizational articles may prescribe.

The chairs of such House Committees and Clubs may be formed into a Union Directorate, with such purposes, functions, and procedures as the Council may provide in the By-Laws.

ARTICLE V - AMENDMENTS

This constitution may be amended at any time during the first three fiscal years of operation of the Memorial Union Building by a majority vote of the Union Council, subject to the approval of the faculty and of the Board of Regents. After the third fiscal year, amendments, upon majority approval of the Union Council, must be submitted to student members for approval at a regular student election or on a special date fixed by the Union Council and publicly advertised two weeks in advance.

Such amendments on vote of the Council may be submitted to the resident faculty and alumni members of The Wisconsin Union by mail, in which case the ballots of these members shall be cast by mail, to be received by the Director and counted by a special elections committee named by the Union Council.

Amendments shall be declared adopted which receive a two-thirds majority of votes cast (providing the affirmative votes number at least four hundred) and which receive the ratification of the faculty and of the Board of Regents.

Amendments may be proposed to the Union Council by members of the Council or by the petition in writing of one hundred qualified members of The Wisconsin Union.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND & DATES OF ACTION

Related materials and support documents:
Wisconsin Union Bylaws

For interpretations, resolution of problems and special situations contact:
Secretary of Union Council: WU Director
Chair of Union Council: WU President

Policy Authority (suggested amendments should go through these bodies):
Executive Committee of Union Council
Union Council
University of Wisconsin

Date(s) of Action:
October 10, 1948; Rerun January, 1959; December, 1964; Adjusted to show the Chancellor as the chief officer of the Madison campus, April 1965; June, 1968; December, 1970; March 1972; Retyped and run June, 1973; May, 1990; and other technical modifications, May, 1990.