The Young Democratic Socialists of America at UVA Constitution


  1. The name of the organization shall be Young Democratic Socialists of America at the University of Virginia, hereafter referred to as “the Chapter”.
  2. The Chapter shall be affiliated with the Young Democratic Socialists of America, the youth wing of Democratic Socialists of America. 


  1. Our mission is to educate and organize students and young people and to play a helpful and principled role in the movement for social justice. Within and throughout this struggle, we will articulate and defend the idea that true human liberation is impossible under capitalism. We seek social change which extends democracy into all aspects of life — social, political and economic. This is the struggle for democratic socialism. Our vision of socialism is profoundly democratic, feminist, and anti-racist. 


  1. Membership in the organization shall be open to any member of the campus community, including students, faculty, and staff, at the University of Virginia.
  2. The membership shall consist of all eligible individuals who have signed their name in that semester’s roll book. 
  3. Upon the conclusion of the attendance of a second meeting, one may sign the roll book and become a member.
  4. Young Democratic Socialists of America at UVa does not restrict its membership, programs, or activities on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family and genetic information.
  5. Voting rights shall be determined by those who are members of the Democratic Socialists of America. 
    1. There shall be no minimum payment of dues
    2. Upon verification of dues payment members are to be considered in good standing 
    3. The central committee may suspend the requirement of membership to vote on a specific item by a 2/3 vote


  1. The Central Committee shall be composed of one (1) Chair, one (1), Vice-Chair, one (1) Secretary, one (1) Treasurer, one (1) Communications Chair
  2. To be eligible for Central Committee, candidates must be members of DSA.
  3. Candidates will be nominated by themselves or other members of YDSA at UVA the night of the election, but may announce their candidacy at any point beforehand.
  4. Elections shall occur during the final meeting of Spring semester, or at such time as there are vacancies on the Central Committee.
  5. All elections shall be first-past-the-post.
    1. In the event that no candidate reaches a majority, a runoff will immediately take place between the candidates with the two highest vote totals.
    2. In the event of a tie, successive votes will be held until a winner is determined.
  6. The term the Central Committee shall last two semesters. Vacancies shall be filled by special election.
  7. Central Committee members may be subject to recall by petition with three (3) signatures. Submission of such a valid petition shall trigger a recall election to be held no later than the next general meeting. The meeting for a recall vote shall be properly noticed to the membership.
  8. The duties of the Chair shall be:
    1. To chair meetings, or to designate another member to chair meetings
    2. To reserve space for meetings, events, and tabling
    3. To communicate with national YDS representatives
    4. To attend any university functions mandatory for organization presidents
  9. The duties of the Vice-Chair shall be: 
    1. To assist in the duties of the Chair or to fulfill them in the event of absence of the Chair. 
    2. To manage and facilitate chapter relationships with other student and community organizations.
    3. To maintain the Constitution and keep a record of all changes made to the Constitution.
    4. To fill in for other officers when necessary
  10. The duties of the Secretary shall be:
    1. To take minutes at general meetings
    2. To send meeting minutes and attendance numbers to everyone on the organization’s email list within twenty-four (24) hours.
    3. To maintain a list of active members and build an email list.
    4. The secretary is responsible for keeping the roll book for the semester. 
  11. The duties of the Treasurer shall be:
    1. To manage any funds of the organization
    2. To fill out university grant request forms when necessary
    3. The duties of the Communications Chair shall be: To maintain the social media accounts of the group.
    4. To manage advertisement of planned events.
  12. In the occurrence that the entire Central Committee resigns or is otherwise indisposed towards their duties as defined by the consensus of the regular membership, any member may call a Special Election to be held at the membership’s earliest convenience during a regular session of the University.


  1. The organization shall be funded through the following means: fundraisers, chapter dues, contributions and scholarships from Democratic Socialists of America, and any approved financial assistance granted by the university.
  2. All money transactions must be approved by the Treasurer.
  3. The Central Committee shall maintain a record of all financial transactions and accounts. These records shall be made available at any time by the request of any YDSA national officer and will be reported regularly to the membership of the Chapter. 


  1. General meetings of the organization shall be held at regular intervals established by the unanimous consent of the central committee. The day of the week and time will be determined at the beginning of every semester.
  2. Special meetings may be called by any three members of the Central Committee acting in concert. Votes and elections may not occur at such meetings. Special meetings must be announced through electronic mail at least one week prior to the date of the meeting.
  3. Agendas for meetings shall be prepared by the Central Committee and will be available at the request of members before a meeting.
  4. A quorum for any regular or special meeting shall be two thirds (2/3) of total members present at the previous general meeting, as determined by the Secretary.


  1. The Chapter shall have such committees and working groups as deemed necessary by membership. 
    1. The formation of such committees and working groups shall be approved at a regular meeting by the assent of the majority of the membership. 
    2. The members of any committee or working group shall elect a Chair by majority vote, who will be responsible for scheduling and facilitating meetings of the committee or working group. 
    3. All committees and working groups may be dissolved at a regular meeting by the assent of the majority of the membership.
  2. The Chapter shall operate as a non-profit association and no profits may accrue to any individual within the organization.
  3. Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, decisions of the organization shall be made by a simple majority of those present and voting, with those abstaining from the vote not figuring into the determination of the majority required.
  4. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution or the Bylaws or standing rules of the organization.


  1. This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by the approval of two thirds (2/3) of the membership of the organization, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing to the Central Committee and read before the Chapter at the previous regular meeting.


  1. This organization shall aim to be a safe space for a person of any oppressed group.  
  2. Members should keep an open mind and be sensitive towards other members when confronted with behaviors which, either consciously or unconsciously, make others uncomfortable for any reason.


  1. The Chapter shall use the procedures for investigation and trial found in § 63 of Roberts Rules of Order (11th Ed.). 
    1. A motion to initiate expulsion proceedings may be made at any regular meeting, and must be approved by one half (1/2) of members present and voting.
    2. The Central Committee may also initiate expulsion proceedings by a majority vote.
    3. Once expulsion proceedings have been initiated, the Central Committee shall constitute the Investigative Committee, with any members of the Central Committee who are involved in related incidents recusing themselves from proceedings.
    4. The Chair may appoint any additional members of the Investigative Committee as deemed necessary. 
    5. Upon the initiation of expulsion proceedings, the accused member shall be promptly notified through written or electronic mail.
  2. The Investigative Committee shall submit a report, adopted by a majority vote of the Committee, to the Chapter in closed session, making its recommendation on the matter of expulsion.
    1. The Chapter may, at that time, accept, reject, or amend the report by a vote of one half (1/2) members present. 
  3. Members who repeatedly engage in micro-aggressions or outright hostility towards other members due to their association with an oppressed group, or members who engage in behavior which threatens the safety of Chapter members, are subject to temporary ban at the unanimous discretion of Central Committee members not personally involved in related offences.
    1. A temporary ban shall bar the banned member from attending general meetings, committee meetings, or social activities organized by the Chapter. 
    2. Upon issuing a temporary ban, the Central Committee shall promptly inform the member in question through written or electronic mail. 
    3. A temporary ban shall either last for a fixed duration, agreed upon between the member in question and the central committee, or shall be unilaterally placed in effect by the Central Committee until an expulsion hearing can be held. 
  4. A hearing on expulsion shall take place prior to the last regular meeting of the same academic semester as the successful motion to initiate expulsion proceedings.
  5. The Chair may waive the requirement for a speedy hearing and fix a date for hearing at a later time if the accused member consents in writing and the Chair finds the interests of fairness so require. 
    1. If the Chair denies the accused member’s request to waive the requirement for a speedy hearing, the accused member may seek the vote of a majority of members in attendance at a regular meeting to waive the requirement for a speedy disposition of proceedings. 
    2. No delay may be granted for more than five months at a time.
  6. The hearing for the purpose of expulsion shall be held before the Central Committee at a special meeting called exclusively for that purpose, and shall be the only order of business at said meeting. 
    1. The Vice-Chair, or if the Vice-Chair has recused themselves some other member of the Chapter designated by the Chair, shall represent the Chapter in proceedings. 
    2. The hearing must take place while the University is in regular session.
    3. Vote by secret ballot will commence immediately following closing arguments. 
  7. The Central Committee may adopt such special rules of order for the hearing as the interests of fairness so require, provided that reasonable notice of such special rules shall be provided to both the Central Committee and the accused member.


  1. Should the organization be dissolved due to lack of interest or other reasons, it is the responsibility of the current Chair to notify the University of Virginia that they have disbanded and provide reason. The treasurer is responsible for ensuring all fundraising dollars go to Democratic Socialists of America and notifying the University of Virginia that any allocated funding left will not be used.