Choosing Healthy Options: an Intentional Community Experience
Student Organization Name
Choosing Healthy Options: an Intentional Community Experience
Statement Of Purpose/ Mission
CHOICE is a community of responsible individuals dedicated to maintaining a substance-free lifestyle through both a living and learning environment that is friendly, open-minded and respectful, and a signed CHOICE contract committing to the substance free lifestyle. Program participants create and implement activities and programs for the enjoyment of the CHOICE students while intentionally inviting the entire campus community to participate as well as make healthy decisions.
Gustavus Adolphus College
CHOICE: Choosing Healthy Options: An Intentional Community Experience
A. The name of this organization shall be: “CHOICE: Choosing Healthy Options: An Intentional Community Experience.”
B. The organization may also be known as: “CHOICE.”
II. General Purpose of CHOICE
A. Mission of CHOICE
1. CHOICE is a community of responsible individuals dedicated to maintaining a responsible, law-abiding, and healthy lifestyle through both a living and learning environment that is friendly, open-minded and respectful, and a signed CHOICE contract committing to the responsible, law-abiding, and healthy lifestyle. Program participants create and implement activities and programs for the enjoyment of the CHOICE students while intentionally inviting the entire campus community to participate and make healthy decisions.
B. Importance of CHOICE
1. The concept of a substance free community was generated by student requests in the early 1990s.
2. CHOICE Housing allows students to live a life free from the immediate and residual effects of all types of smoke and tobacco products, alcohol and illegal drugs.
3. CHOICE is a supportive community for students who for personal or medical reasons choose not to smoke, use tobacco products, or use illegal drugs, and drink alcohol only in responsible, legal, and healthy ways.
C. Goals of CHOICE
1. To create a living and learning community environment free from the presence and residual effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
2. To put into action programs and activities for CHOICE members that will allow for and enhance the development of strong interpersonal relationships, creating a CHOICE community.
3. To create, implement, and assess attractive programs and activities for the campus community to provide interesting and exciting alternatives throughout the duration of the academic school year.
III. Structure of CHOICE
A. CHOICE Program
1. The CHOICE Program will be considered a Gustavus Housing Program and will be maintained under the authority of the Residential Life Office.
2. Any member of the Gustavus campus community can join the CHOICE Program, whether as a member of CHOICE Substance Free Housing or on an individual basis throughout the campus.
a. To be a part of CHOICE, members of the Gustavus community will have the option of living in the CHOICE Substance Free Housing or opt to live elsewhere on campus and join CHOICE by signing the CHOICE contract.
c. CHOICE At-Large members will have two separate contracts that members will sign based on their age. Members who are under the age of 21 will sign the “A Contract”, which states that they will choose to refrain from use of any drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products. Members who are over the age of 21 will sign the “B Contract”, which states that they will refrain from use of drug and tobacco products, and can use alcohol in a responsible, law abiding, and healthy way.
3. Any member of the Gustavus campus community is invited to participate in the CHOICE campus-wide programs and activities.
B. CHOICE Substance Free Housing
1. Students accepted to live in CHOICE Substance Free Housing will be housed within:
a. Several sections in Norelius Hall, to be determined by Residential Life on a yearly basis.
b. Prairie View Hall
2. Assigned to CHOICE Substance Free Housing
a. Incoming first-year students desiring to be a member of CHOICE through living in the campus’ substance free lifestyle residential areas must indicate on their Housing Contract and Preference Questionnaires of their interest in participating in the CHOICE Substance Free Housing Program.
b. Upperclassmen may elect to live in CHOICE Substance Free Housing through the Housing Selection Process in the spring of each academic school year.
c. Upon arrival in the fall students sign a contract addendum confirming his/her desire to reside in a CHOICE Substance Free Housing Area, which will be considered an Honor Code.
C. Removal from CHOICE Substance Free Housing
1. A student that violates the substance free agreement will be relocated to another campus living area.
2. Staff will document the violation of policy.
3. Student will meet with his/ her respective Area Coordinator. During this conversation, an alternate rooming assignment will be discussed and deadline for moving out of the Substance Free room will be made.
D. CHOICE Membership At-Large
1. All Gustavus students will be able to gain membership to the CHOICE Program and community without living in the assigned substance free residential areas.
2. If not in CHOICE Substance Free Housing, students desiring to gain membership will need to sign a CHOICE contract available in September of the academic school year.
3. At-Large Members who are over the age of 21 will sign a “B contract”, which states that they will refrain from drug and tobacco use, but will have the option to use alcohol in a responsible, law abiding, and healthy way.
E. CHOICE and the International Studies Program
1. While the CHOICE Program is an Honor Code, a student studying abroad may choose to drink as part of the enrichment of that cultural experience.
F. CHOICE Council
1. A CHOICE Council will be elected to plan, implement and oversee activities for members of the CHOICE Program and for members of the larger campus community.
IV. CHOICE Council
A. Structure of the CHOICE Council
1. The Executive Board shall consist of the following five officials:
a/b. Two CHOICE Co-Presidents
c. The CHOICE Secretary
d. The CHOICE Treasurer
e. The CHOICE Historian
2. The CHOICE Council shall also be filled with Student Representatives, two elected from each CHOICE floor or section, and a minimum of one and a maximum of five representatives from the at-large members of CHOICE.
3. A CHOICE Collegiate Fellow may also serve as member of the CHOICE
Council if he/ she so desires. As a member, a CHOICE Collegiate Fellow will be expected to fulfill all duties as a member of the CHOICE Council, including meeting attendance.
B. Relationship with Residential Life
1. The CHOICE Council, being that CHOICE is a Residential Life Housing Program, will work with Residential Life to create a program helpful and encouraging to students choosing to live a substance free lifestyle.
2. The CHOICE Council will work closely with Residential Life Advisors who will also be members of the CHOICE Executive Board.
3. In the event that there is an active CHOICE Intern working through the Residential Life Office, that person will act as an advisory role to the CHOICE Council. The intern will not have voting power, unless he/she is elected to the council by his/her floor/section or at-large membership.
C. CHOICE Committees
1. At various times, committees will be established consisting of CHOICE
Council members to plan, oversee and implement various activities for CHOICE members, the entire Gustavus community, or for other tasks deemed necessary by the Executive Board (i.e. Constitutional Amendments).
A. Any student who has signed and abided by the CHOICE contract is eligible to be elected to the CHOICE Council.
B. A student may become a part of the CHOICE Council by winning an election as a
CHOICE Representative of a CHOICE Housing section or floor, or of the at-large membership vote.
C. Selection of CHOICE Representatives
1. Nominations of CHOICE Council Representatives
a. The CHOICE Executive Board will ask for nominations from the representative groups near the beginning of each year.
2. CHOICE under the sponsorship of Residential Life and the Executive
Board will hold elections in September of each academic year.
a. Students in each floor or section will elect two student representatives from the nominated individuals or a write-in candidate.
b. Members of the at-large portion in the CHOICE Program will nominate and elect from amongst themselves representatives to the CHOICE Council. All at-large members will vote for all at-large representatives. The total number of at-large representatives shall not exceed five.
c. Representatives are elected to serve for one academic year and may run for reelection the following September.
d. The CHOICE Executive Board can choose to enlist the help of the Collegiate Fellows of CHOICE Housing Areas in coordinating the election process.
e. At-large elections will be held concurrently with the CHOICE residential election, but will be facilitated through the Residential Life Office and sponsored by the Executive Board.
f. After all the representatives are elected, the President will send out the names of the entire CHOICE Council to all CHOICE members.
D. Selection of CHOICE Council Executive Board
1. In the Spring of each academic school year, the current CHOICE Council will elect five members to fill the five positions of the Executive Board for the upcoming academic school year.
2. All CHOICE members who will be a part of the CHOICE Program the following school year are eligible for the CHOICE Council Executive Board.
3. Selection of CHOICE Vice-President, CHOICE Secretary, CHOICE
Treasurer and CHOICE Historian
a. Prior to the Spring election, any current CHOICE member may nominate himself/ herself or another member for CHOICE Vice-President, CHOICE Secretary, CHOICE Treasurer and CHOICE Historian. Nominations will be submitted to the CHOICE Council.
b. Upon verification of the nominees, a ballot will be created. The CHOICE Council will invite the nominees to explain their qualifications. The CHOICE Council will then discuss and vote.
4. Selection of CHOICE President
a. Only members of the current CHOICE Council are eligible to fill the position of CHOICE President for the next school year.
5. If there is a shortage of members willing to become a part of the Executive Board, the CHOICE Council will hold an election to fill that position in October, after the elections of the CHOICE Representatives.
VI. Removal from Office
A. A student shall voluntarily remove himself/herself from the CHOICE Council if he/she no longer is able to fulfill the requirements of the role.
1. This representative will offer his/her written resignation to the CHOICE President, and the President will bring the written resignation to the following CHOICE Council meeting in order to inform the members.
B. If a CHOICE Council member is found to be delinquent in his/her duties, he/ she will be notified of his/ her delinquency and placed on a thirty-day probation period. At the end of these thirty days, the Executive Board, Director of Residential Life and CHOICE Area Coordinator(s) will meet in order to review his/her performance. At this time, the Executive Board, Director of Residential Life and CHOICE Area Coordinator(s) may elect to remove the council member with a three-fourths vote in favor of removal.
C. If a CHOICE Council member is removed from the CHOICE Program due to substance violations, he/ she will be removed from the Council.
D. Any student who is removed from office will be replaced in a timely fashion. If a representative is removed, the represented section or floor will immediately hold an election to fill the spot. If an Executive Board member is removed from office, the Council will hold a special election to fill the position.
VII. Responsibilities of CHOICE Council Members
A. The CHOICE President shall:
1. Serve as the presiding officer at all CHOICE Council Meetings.
2. Oversee all school activities under the responsibility of the CHOICE Council.
3. Act as a regular, voting member of the Executive Board but will vote only to break ties in CHOICE Council Meetings.
4. Order CHOICE Executive Board Meetings as needs dictate.
5. Serve as communication between CHOICE Council and Residential Life.
6. Send out e-mail to CHOICE Council about upcoming meetings and tasks.
7. Strongly consider living in Prairie View during their elected term.
B. The CHOICE Vice-President shall:
1. Assist the CHOICE President in the organization and execution of all meetings and activities.
2. Act as the presiding officer at all CHOICE Council Meetings when the president is unable to attend.
3. Assume the office of CHOICE President if the president is unable to fulfill the duties of the office.
4. Serve as the sergeant-at-arms charged with maintaining order during CHOICE Council Meetings.
5. Act as the parliamentarian at all CHOICE Council Meetings.
6. Responsible for reserving meeting rooms for the CHOICE Council.
C. The CHOICE Secretary shall:
1. Take the official attendance and minutes of all CHOICE Council meetings and post them in a timely fashion.
2. Take the official attendance and minutes of all CHOICE Executive Board meetings and post them in a timely fashion.
3. Report the minutes of the previous meetings and keep them on file.
4. Determine the presence of a quorum, defined as 50% plus one of the eligible and voting members of the CHOICE Council.
D. The CHOICE Treasurer shall:
1. Keep all records pertaining to the collection and accounting of CHOICE funds in conjunction with those in the Residential Life Office.
2. Work with various committees for CHOICE activities to ascertain appropriate funding and support.
3. Present a report of activity spending to the CHOICE Council when requested.
E. The CHOICE Historian shall:
1. Keep an accurate record of all CHOICE Program activities.
a. Maintain a summary of the activity as well as photos.
2. Work with Residential Life to maintain the CHOICE Program online presence,
3. Post CHOICE Council meeting minutes online on a weekly basis.
F. The CHOICE Representatives shall:
1. Serve as a liaison to report the interest of their floors or sections to the CHOICE Council.
2. Inform their floors or sections of the important matters and decisions of the CHOICE Council.
G. The Residential Life Advisor shall:
1. Serve as the liaison between the CHOICE Program and the Faculty, Administration and Staff regarding all issues that affect the student body as a whole.
2. Work closely with the CHOICE Council concerning the distribution of funds and implementation of activities.
H. Additional Consultant
1. The CHOICE Council reserves the right to invite an optional additional consultant to assist in fulfilling the mission of CHOICE.
A. CHOICE Council Meetings
1. CHOICE Council Meetings will be held weekly at a time determined by that year’s Council.
2. Other CHOICE Council Meetings may be called, as need dictates.
3. The CHOICE President will preside over these meetings.
4. Meetings shall be governed by the rules of parliamentary procedure, and enforced by the CHOICE Vice-President.
5. A majority (fifty percent plus one) decides the outcome of all CHOICE elections and CHOICE Council votes, with the exception of Constitutional Amendments, which require a two-thirds plus one majority.
6. All members are invited to participate as non-voting members of the CHOICE Council Meetings.
7. Any member of the CHOICE Program and Gustavus Adolphus College community who chooses to be present at a CHOICE Council Meeting will be subject to the Vice-President acting in his/her capacity as sergeant-at-arms. CHOICE Council Members will fulfill duties as established in article VII.
B. Meeting Attendance
1. Attendance is required of all CHOICE Council members to each meeting and is part of the duties of the CHOICE Council members.
2. Excused absences will consist of school events or personal emergency.
3. If one is unable to attend the next meeting, he/she should contact the President in a timely manner explaining the circumstances.
4. The CHOICE Secretary should keep ample note of attendance as well as excused and unexcused absences.
5. At the discretion of the Executive Board, frequent unexcused absences can lead to a thirty-day probation period as outlined in article VI B.
C. CHOICE Executive Board Meetings
1. These meetings will be called when deemed necessary by the CHOICE President and/or Assistant Dean of Students/ Residential Life Director or CHOICE Area Coordinator(s).
2. These meetings will serve to clarify CHOICE organizational issues, relations to the faculty, administration and staff, and to assist in the establishment of the priorities and direction for CHOICE Council Meetings.
IX. Amendment of the CHOICE Constitution
A. Upon the approval of the CHOICE Executive Board, this Constitution may be opened for amendment at any meeting of the CHOICE Council upon a two-thirds plus one majority vote, after the Secretary has certified the presence of the quorum.
B. The proposed amendment must be submitted in written form, prior to the posting of the agenda, to the Executive Council.
A. This Constitution shall go into effect beginning with the Fall semester of the 2014-2015 academic school year. The provision of this Constitution will guide the CHOICE Executive Board elections for the 2014-2015 school year.
B. Upon ratification, this Constitution will be the official operational document of the Gustavus Adolphus College CHOICE Program. It will remain so until it is amended or replaced.
C. This Constitution shall serve as both the empowerment instrument and the guidance for the CHOICE Program of Gustavus Adolphus College.
XI. Constitution Review
A. The CHOICE President will initiate a review of the CHOICE Constitution every February and will report his/her findings to the Executive Board.
B. If, upon completion of the review, it is found necessary to amend this document, it will be done so according to the provisions set forth in article IX A.
We, the undersigned, do hereby enact and ratify this Constitution for the CHOICE Program of Gustavus Adolphus College on this 14th day of May 2011. It shall serve as the operational document and as the tool of empowerment for both this organization and the members of the CHOICE Program. This Constitution shall serve these purposes until such time as it is reviewed and amended in accordance with the provisions set herein.
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