The ACLU is a nationwide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and defending the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and laws of the United States.
The ACLU was founded by a roomful of activists in 1920 outraged by the civil liberties abuses they were witnessing all around them. Now, the ACLU is truly a national organization with over 550,000 members and supporters as well as affiliate or national chapter offices in all fifty states and Puerto Rico. The ACLU has always maintained the position that civil liberties must be respected, even in times of national emergency.
The ACLU of Gustavus Adolphus College is an affiliate of the national organization. The ACLU of GAC will work in the St. Peter and Mankato area based on those principles outlined in the Bill of Rights.
The ACLU works to defend and advance the civil liberties, civil rights and other fundamental human rights of all people. The ACLU of works in three areas: public education, lobbying, and when necessary, litigation. Public education efforts are aimed primarily at helping the Gustavus campus understand their rights and responsibilities.
CONSTITUTION OF THE ACLU-MN
CAMPUS CLUB OF GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE
Article 1: Purpose and Status
Section 1(Mission Statement):
The primary goal of the Gustavus Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union
(GAC-ACLU) is to raise awareness of civil liberties issues, and to safeguard those civil
liberties both on and off campus. This goal shall be accomplished through events
organized by GAC-ACLU and through dialogues with the Gustavus
Administration, other campus organizations, and both the regional and national American
Civil Liberties Union.
The Club will represent itself in a way consistent with the mission and
views of the ACLU. The Club will not claim to represent the ACLU in any media
outlet other than those affiliated with Gustavus; furthermore, the Club will
accurately represent the views of the ACLU in any campus media venue and will
seek clarification on ACLU views from the ACLU-MN when necessary.
Upon receiving permission, the Club may send a representative to
Affiliate Board meetings, but is not permitted to vote on Board issues.
The ACLU is a non-partisan organization. The Club will not endorse or
oppose particular political parties or candidates and will consult with the ACLU
-MN before endorsing or opposing any ballot initiative.
The Club will submit a new registration form at the beginning of every
academic year. The Club will immediately notify the ACLU-MN of any changes
in leadership or contact information and will maintain ongoing contact to update
him or her regarding status and projects, at least once per school term.
Article II: Membership
Section 1: Nondiscrimination Clause.
Membership shall be open to current students, faculty, and staff of Gustavus.
regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin,
disability, age, or status as a veteran.
Every Gustavus faculty, student and staff member is eligible to join the club
regardless of political preference, with the exception that it poses harm to others.
Membership will be divided between leadership positions and general members. Only
those in leadership position are required to have regular attendance.
Upon signing the membership list, releasing name, e-mail and year in school,
participation is granted. Membership lasts the duration of time at Gustavus but can be
terminated any time at the member’s discretion. Membership is not dependent on
involvement with the organization, except in the case of leaders.
Membership may be terminated through request to the Membership Coordinator, whose
responsibility involves keeping track of the club’s members as well as contact and
distribution information. Equally, members may be reinstated by contacting said
Article III: Leadership
Leadership positions are open to all potential members: students, staff and faculty.
Section 2: Composition:
There are six officers: Director, Associate/Deputy Director, Financial Manager, Events
Manager, Communications Manager, and Membership Coordinator.
Section 3: Duties and Responsibilities:
Director: Generally the founding member of the chapter, this person leads meetings,
chooses areas of focus, and should be given the final say when it comes to important
Associate/Deputy Director: A deputy director should be chosen, in case the president is
unable to fulfill his or her duties at any given time. It is important for the director and the
deputy director to work closely together so that the deputy is completely prepared to take
over the director’s position should the need arise. If the director is unavailable, chapter
Financial Manager: The financial manager is in charge of drafting the club’s budget and
keeping track of funds. These duties are further explained in the “Funding” section of this
Events Manager: It is the events manager’s job to coordinate chapter events such as
rallies, speak-outs, and any fund-raising activities the group opts to do.
Communications Manager: A specific person may be assigned the job of
communicating your group’s message to the student body, as well as keeping in touch
with your local affiliate. A communications associate must make sure the group is
promoted properly and adequately, and that ties between the college chapter and the local
affiliate remain strong. A communications associate should take the time to update their
affiliate on their chapter’s upcoming events and current focus and activities once every
other month. Of utmost importance is their familiarity with the ACLU’s position on
certain issues, and with the ACLU’s protocol when it comes to communicating this
Membership Coordinator: A membership coordinator will keep track of the chapter’s
members. It is their job to keep the members’ contact info up-to-date, and they may be in
charge of helping the members to become official card-carrying members of the ACLU
by distributing information and collecting funds. The membership coordinator may work
closely with the communications associate to promote the college chapter to potential
*Under certain circumstances, one member may fill more than one leadership position. If
said person is unable to complete the responsibilities of each position leaders may further
divide them up.
Section 4: Term of Office:
Leaders must serve for the entire academic year of which they are elected
Section 5: Removal:
In the case of the removal of a leader, a complaint may be filed to the faculty advisor, or
ACLU-MN coordinator, who will help take steps to remedy the situation.
Section 6: Vacancy:
In the case of the president’s temporary or permanent absence, the vice president will
take succession. The other leaders will be elected based on a 2/3 vote by members
present at the designated meeting to make this decision.
The Primary and Secondary leaders of the Club are expected to become
members of the ACLU and should encourage membership among other Club
leaders, members, and attendees at events.
Article VI: Elections
Section 1: Nomination:
Those seeking leadership may be nominated at a designated time during the weekly
meeting. If desired, members may have to option to nominate their self.
Section 2: Eligibility:
Those desiring to vote and present at a designated meeting will be able to.
Section 3: Voting:
Voting will occur in the form of a secret ballot. There will be a 2/3 majority vote in order
to decide future leaders. Elections will be held during a specific meeting time as
determined by the officers.
Section 4: Installation:
In the case of electing leaders for the next year, they may assume office each year in the
last month of school. By doing this leaders will have the chance to get experience and
advice from current leaders. In the case of those elected as a result of an unexpected
leave with the year, status as an officer begins the moment that they are elected.
Article VI: Meetings
Section 1: Time and Place:
Meetings will be determined by GAC-ACLU leaders and advertised via normal means of
communication such as email, facebook, posters, etc. Location will vary depending on
availability and type of facilities required for meeting’s activities.
Every meeting’s agenda will depend on ACLU issues being discussed and/or debated and
type of activities the leaders have scheduled for the meeting. No specific agenda is
required to qualify the meeting as official.
No certain number of member is required to conduct an official meeting.
Article VII: Finances
There will be no fees to join the GAC-ACLU Club and no general member or leader
will be required to contribute financially to the group. It is the choice of all student,
faculty, and staff to donate or not to donate financially to the ACLU-MN or national
Section 2: Fundraising:
The Club will not solicit funds from individual donors and
will notify GAC-ACLU of monetary gifts or offers of gifts. Plans for
fundraising will first be cleared with ACLU-MN.
Section 3: Budget:
Any funding will be provided by the Gustavus Campus Activities Board (CAB). Proper
procedures according to CAB requirements must be adhered to. Budgeting plans are to be
negotiated and agreed upon by the GAC-ACLU leaders and ACLU-MN authorities.
Section 4: Financing events:
The Club will submit a well-organized budget proposal to ACLU-MN at least one
month in advance to request funds from ACLU-MN for programming.
In the event that the Club establishes a bank account, this account will
not be established in the name of the ACLU, ACLU-MN, or the ACLU
Campus Club, but will rather be established in the name of the Civil Liberties Club
or other similar title. School-designated procedures for establishing an account will be
Article VIII: Amendments
Section 1: Initiation:
A leader may propose and amendment in written form to the committee.
Section 2: Voting:
Once a month, amendments, along with other leadership issues, will be discussed and
voted upon by club leaders. A 2/3 majority passes the amendment.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota here by acknowledges that the ACLU chapter at Gustavus Adolphus College is officially affiliated with the local and national ACLU of Minnesota will serve as a resource for the GAC chapter. The college chapter can request a representative to attend a campus group meeting as well as partner with ACLU-MN to sponsor a program or event.