Constitution

Constitution for NU-Alliance

(August 2009)

NU-Alliance is a student group established to work with the university, in addressing needs and concerns related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students at Niagara University, in ways that are appropriate to our Catholic and Vincentian mission.

A. Mandate

To educate themselves and others on Catholic Church teachings related to human sexuality and social justice, helping to ensure that the NU community fosters human dignity and mutual respect for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation AND

To provide a safe, confidential and supportive environment in which NU students can gather and discuss issues of concern with regard to sexual orientation and to provide them with support appropriate to those issues.

The group will fulfill its mandate through the following education and support activities:

  • Educate themselves and others on policies and resources at NU that can be of support to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender students, and others with common concerns.
  • Study, discuss, respect and understand Catholic teaching on human sexuality, specifically the teaching that distinguishes homosexual orientation from activity.
  • Undertake activities to educate themselves and the NU community on issues related to sexual orientation with the goal of helping to eliminate destructive stereotypes and behaviors regarding homosexuality, and making the NU community more knowledgeable and respectful for students of all sexual orientations.
  • Provide supportive opportunities for students of all sexual orientations to share their experience and express concerns in an open and welcoming environment.
  • To achieve mutual goals and ensure that students are directed to appropriate services when needed, the group will work in concert with the university Diversity Committee, Counseling Services, Campus Ministry and Student Life.

In all its activities, the group will act in harmony with the Catholic and Vincentian values of Niagara University, respecting the Catholic stance of acceptance of homosexuals but non-promotion of homosexual activity.

B: Structure

Because its activities are intrinsic to the university’s diversity initiatives and concerned with group rights that are protected under the law, the group will operate as a student organization mandated and funded through the university administration (similar to Campus Programming Board and MISA). It will be sponsored and funded through the office of the executive vice president, but will operate in accordance with the same administrative processes as outlined in NU Club and Organization Handbook and Advisor Handbook.

In the fall of 2010, the group’s operations will be reviewed by the student participants and the university administration.

The NU group does not propose to be a chapter of another organization, and will not be associated with any outside organization.

C: Name

The name of the group will be NU-Alliance.

D: Advisors

The group will have two co-advisors, plus additional faculty resource persons to be determined. They will advise, provide support, and help maintain confidentiality within the group and hold other responsibilities as outlined in Niagara University’s Club and Organization handbook.

The co-advisors will include a full-time NU faculty or staff member and a campus minister to be selected by the university administration after appropriate consultation with the students.

E: Membership

The group will be a true alliance of all Niagara students, regardless of sexual orientation. Membership will be open to all undergraduate and graduate students. . Members will be required to register with the officers at meetings for attendance and quorum purposes. To be considered an active member, a member must attend at least three meetings in a semester. The group will also allow non-members to attend meetings, and respect wishes to be kept off of the roster for privacy purposes. No student wishing to join will be turned away for any reason; however, students who act in a manner to make others uncomfortable will be asked to leave. Hate speech in all of its forms is strictly forbidden. Any private issues students feel the need to address or disputes to be solved may be brought to the Council and the Advisors. In following these rules, the organization will promote the safe space it provides.

F: Council

There shall be five elected leaders that comprise a Council. The members of the Council will be elected by popular vote after expressing a desire to be on the Council. The top five people will reside on the Council. All members may vote. The group will select, by vote, one person to serve as chair, and one as vice-chair.

G: Council Responsibilities

The Council will have the final say in decisions made at the level of the group. However, all group input will be heard and considered by Council members who will work with the co-advisors to make a decision most acceptable for the majority of the group and that falls within University policy and Catholic and Vincentian values. The Council will meet and discuss among themselves and with their advisors any activities to be carried out by the group.

H: Amendments

If the group wishes to amend the constitution, the Council will work with the co-advisers to write up changes, which must be approved by the group and the university administration.

I: Hazing

The group will not engage members in hazing or other practices that could be seen as harmful to the individual and will act in compliance with New York State law.