Constitution

Constitution of the Mayors’ Council of the University of Florida Graduate Family Housing

I. NAME

This organization’s name is Mayors’ Council; it may also utilize the acronym “MC” in correspondence. The Mayors’ Council website is http://mayorscouncil.housing.ufl.edu/.

II. PURPOSE

Committed to creating an engaging learning community, the purpose of the Mayors’ Council is to promote the general welfare of, and foster a sense of community among, all residents living in the Graduate and Family Housing system at the University of Florida. Regularly scheduled village meetings, as well as inter- and intra-village events and programs are examples of how this organization will achieve this purpose. Because diversity and multiculturalism are celebrated as a key resource of this residential community, events and programs are dedicated to featuring diverse cultures from around the world.

III. COMPLIANCE STATEMENT

Upon approval by the Department of Student Activities and Involvement, Mayors’ Council shall be a registered student organization at the University of Florida. Mayors’ Council shall comply with all local, state and federal laws, as well as all University of Florida regulations, policies, and procedures. Such compliance includes but is not limited to the University’s regulations related to Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment (including sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), Hazing, Commercial Activity, and Student Leader Eligibility.

IV. UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS

Section A. Non-Discrimination

Mayors’ Council agrees that it will not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

Section B. Sexual Harassment

Mayors’ Council agrees that it will not engage in any activity that is unwelcome conduct of sexual nature that creates a hostile environment. Behaviors that could create a hostile environment include sexual harassment (which could include inappropriate sexual comments), sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Section C. Hazing

Mayors’ Council agrees that it will not initiate, support, or encourage any events or situations that recklessly, by design, or intentionally endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student for any purpose including but not limited to initiation or admission into or affiliation with any student group or organization.

Section D. Responsibility to Report

If this organization becomes aware of any such conduct described in this article, Mayors’ Council will report it immediately to Student Activities and Involvement, the Director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, or the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

V. MEMBERSHIP

Membership in this organization is open to enrolled students at the University of Florida. Non-students, spouses, faculty, and staff may be associate members; however, they may not vote or hold office. All members and associate members are free to leave and disassociate without fear of retribution, retaliation, or harassment.

VI. OFFICERS

Section A. Officers

The elected officers comprising the Mayors’ Council include the President, Vice President,  Treasurer, and five Mayors (one Mayor per village of Graduate Family Housing).

Section B. Terms of Services

The term of office of all Mayors Council members is one year with the exception of the treasurer position who will be given the opportunity to extend his/her term for one more year via a vote of confidence of the Mayors’ Council. The voting procedure for both Executive board member and Mayors are outlined in Article VII. There is a three consecutive term limit per office. Terms of office are as follows:

  • Mayors are elected in March.
  • Executive Board members are elected in March.
  • Mayors Council will have the right to decide if emergency elections are necessary or if waiting for the beginning of the term is a more appropriate approach.

Section C. Duties

The duties of the officers include, but are not limited to:

President:

  • Shall act as the representative of the interests of the students living in Graduate and Family Housing in meetings and with other organizations
  • Shall conduct meetings of the Mayors’ Council
  • Shall act as spokesperson for Mayors’ Council before other organizations
  • Shall see that all provisions of this Constitution are followed
  • Shall serve as supervisor of elections on a rotating basis
  • Shall undertake any other duties as directed by the Mayors’ Council
  • Is encouraged to attend Mayors’ Council events
  • Shall be present at any Student Government official hearings concerning Mayors’ Council
  • Shall approve SARs
  • Shall help the new president transition to his/her new role
  • Shall conduct meetings of the executive board
  • Shall serve as a liaison to the Family Housing senator
  • Shall conduct mediation meetings with anyone on Mayors’ Council if needed
  • Shall individually meet with each executive board member, mayor, and advisor at least once a semester
  • Shall schedule Mayors’ Council meetings agreed upon by a majority vote before the first week of each academic term.
  • Shall not reach a total of two (2) unexcused absences or three (3) excused absences in Mayors’ Council meetings within each semester, or removal will occur

Treasurer:

  • Shall keep accurate records of all financial transactions of Mayors’ Council regarding the Student Government Account
  • Shall prepare the annual budget to Student Government based on budgets submitted to the Mayors’ Council by each village through its Mayor
  • Shall serve as supervisor of elections on a rotating basis
  • In absence of the President, the Treasurer shall chair meetings of the Mayors’ Council.
  • Shall help the new treasurer transition to his/her new role
  • Shall compose SARs
  • Shall compose permits
  • Shall submit permits
  • Is encouraged to attend Mayors’ Council events
  • Shall provide the copy of submitted SAR to the mayor
  • Shall take part in the constitution review process
  • Shall not reach a total of two (2) unexcused absences or three (3) excused absences in Mayors’ Council meetings within each semester, or removal will occur

Vice President:

  • Shall keep minutes of all Mayors’ Council meetings and distribute copies to interested parties
  • Shall keep website materials current (minutes, programming documents, calendar, posts) as they happen
  • Shall keep records of Mayors’ Council activities in order to preserve institutional memory
  • Shall serve as supervisor of elections on a rotating basis
  • Shall help the new Vice President transition to his/her new role
  • Shall be present at any Student Government official hearings concerning Mayors’ Council
  • Shall keep attendance records for all Mayors’ Council meetings and events
  • Is encouraged to attend Mayors’ Council events
  • Shall control/manage/monitor the Mayors’ Council listserv and give access rights to Mayors’ Council members when necessary
  • Shall conduct the constitution review process
  • In absence of the President, shall conduct meetings of the Mayors’ Council
  • Shall develop a system to collect/keep track of all voting results and present to Mayors’ Council upon request
  • Shall develop a system to keep track of all voting results and present to Mayors’ Council upon request
  • Shall compile the agenda for each Mayors’ Council meeting.
  • Shall not reach a total of two (2) unexcused absences or three (3) excused absences in Mayors’ Council meetings within each semester, or removal will occur
  • Organize community service events with the purpose of giving back and helping others, which increases the sense of social responsibility of the organization

Mayors:

The Mayors are expected to be a positive influence for, and a valuable resource to their community.

They:

  • Shall schedule and hold monthly meetings with the residents of their respective villages
  • Shall compose and send the minutes to the Vice President no later than five days after the meeting
  • Shall schedule (date, time, and location) all resident’s meetings one week before the beginning of each semester
  • Shall submit to the Vice President the ERSs for village events (date, attendance, description, budget with taxes, vendor details) at least one month before the event
  • Shall help the new mayor transition to his/her new role
  • Shall inform the residents of the issues and information discussed at Mayors’ Council meetings
  • Shall represent the will of the village residents at Mayors’ Council meetings
  • Shall be aware of their villages’ financial situation and participate actively in their villages’ budgeting process
  • Shall compose ERSs for programs they sponsor as approved by the Mayor’s Council
  • Mayor(s) submitting ERS are required to follow up with treasurer or via Docutraq until the event is cleared of holds and/or any contracts/receipts
  • Shall update the Mayors’ Council on events at their village
  • Shall meet monthly with their resident director/area coordinator
  • Shall serve as a supervisor of elections on a rotating basis
  • Shall support the events of other mayors and of the Mayors’ Council
  • Shall be concerned about the curb appeal of the villages
  • Shall be responsible for attending events approved for their village by Mayors’ Council and the Department of Housing and Residence Education
  • Shall be responsible for the online purchases after the SAR is cleared of holds
  • Shall pick up the supplies related to the SARs approved
  • Shall comply with all local, state, and federal laws, as well as all University of Florida and Graduate and Family Housing regulations
  • After the SAR is approved on Docutraq (can be confirmed by the treasurer), mayor(s) shall proactively follow up with the Student Government Finance and the Student Activities and Involvement regarding contracts and permits, respectively, for the events held in their villages
  • Shall be responsible for events approved for their village by Mayors’ Council and the Department of Housing and Residence Education, including food and materials pick up from the vendors or the Student Government office
  • Is encouraged to attend events of respective mayors’ village
  • Shall post his/her agenda items to the Vice President two (2) days prior to the Mayors’ Council meeting
  • Shall not reach a total of two (2) unexcused absences or three (3) excused absences in Mayors’ Council meetings (including residents’ meetings) within each semester, or removal will occur.

Section D. Removal

A Mayors’ Council member who fails to conduct his or her duties may be removed upon a vote of two-thirds of the Mayors’ Council. Before voting on removal, the Mayors’ Council member shall be provided five business days of advance notice and the opportunity to be heard by the Mayors’ Council. Any member of the Mayors’ Council may bring another member forth for removal by written communication to the Mayors’ Council. If a Mayors’ Council member wishes to resign, that member shall submit a written resignation statement to the Mayors’ Council president as soon as possible.

VII. ELECTIONS

1. General

A. For electing an Executive Board Members:

President, Vice President, and Treasurer elections shall be held every March. The offices of President, Vice President, and Treasurer shall be filled according to a simple majority vote of the current Mayors’ Council members. Officers may not vote for themselves. Each Mayors’ Council applicants are required to disclose their affiliation and potential conflict of interest with University of Florida Department of Housing in their election nomination form. The election may be forfeited if this disclosure was not made in election nomination form by a simple vote of majority within the council. Mayors will be elected by the student residents of their respective villages. Executive Board members can also be elected when there is an anticipated vacancy, a resignation, or successful impeachment, provided that adequate time is given to announce the vacancy and to ensure appropriate time frames for candidacy and election.

B. The election process shall consist of:

  • Mayors announce elections or position vacancy at resident meetings and receive written nominations within the appropriate time frame for candidacy. Nominations may be received from third parties, provided that the nominee is eligible. Any full-time registered student is eligible to become a candidate. At this time, the timeline for the process shall also be announced. Nominations cannot be more than a month before elections.
  • The supervisor of elections announces elections in the community update and includes a summary of duties, time commitments, and benefits.
  • The supervisor also accepts written nominations via email within the appropriate time frame for candidacy.
  • Candidates shall fill out the appropriate Mayors’ Council nomination form (available on the Mayors’ Council website) and submit it to the supervisor of elections.
  • No fewer than two weeks shall be allocated to seeking nominations for any position of the Executive Board.
  • The supervisor of elections will share the nominations and candidate nomination forms with the full council via e-mail and then again at the first council meeting after the close of the nomination period.
  • President nominee must hold a position in mayors’ council for one full term (mayor, vice president, or treasurer) prior to being approved for candidacy.
  • Candidates will have an opportunity to present themselves to the mayors’ council on Election Day prior to voting.
  • Mayors’ Council members can also ask questions of the candidates at this time. Questions shall be limited to the interests of the council.
  • Candidates will then be asked to leave the room while voting takes place.

2. Voting

A. To Elect EB officer

Each Mayors’ Council member, excluding the members to be elected (if the current EB member is rerunning for the position or current EB member is not considering to re-run, outgoing members are not advised to be part of the voting process), is entitled to one vote in Mayors’ Council. The President is a non-voting officer except as described below.

Voting in the Mayors’ Council may occur by proxy. In the event of a vote by proxy, the absent member must give advance notice to any Mayors’ Council officer or to an Advisor. Any person sent instead of a Mayor to vote must be a resident of the Mayor’s Village, the Mayors’ Council President or faculty advisor and be approved at least 24 hours prior to Mayors Council meeting by the Vice President.

Voting in the Mayors’ Council may not occur unless a quorum is present. A majority (greater than 50%, or five members or more) of the Mayors’ Council members must be represented in order to achieve quorum.

In the case of a tie in the Mayors’ Council, the President will cast the deciding vote in non-presidential elections.

On the voting card, there should be two options given 1. Yes, 2. No,

Simple majority will conclude the election results. If majority vote No then elections are forfeited and requires a call for fresh nominations and elections.

If there is a valid blank ballot or blank voting card, it will be counted towards as a No. If there is un-deciding/non-understandable ballot with multiple options, it will be counted as no.

Supervisor of Elections:

  • For the office of President, the supervisor of elections shall be the Treasurer or the Vice President.
  • For the office of Treasurer, the supervisor of elections shall be the President or the Vice President.
  • For the office of Vice President, the supervisor of elections shall be the President or the Treasurer.
  • At least one incumbent Executive Board member must be available at all times to perform these electoral duties.

B. To Elect a Mayor

Elections for mayors shall be held once a year in each village. This may be excepted if an election is forfeited. An election is considered forfeited if there is only one candidate. In the event that there is an incumbent mayor who is willing to continue serving for another term, he or she may announce this at the same resident meeting or apply for candidacy within the appropriate time frame when candidate nominations are sought. However, the incumbent cannot campaign during this or any other resident meeting. Incumbent mayors are allowed to run for a maximum of three full terms.

Elections shall be split as such: Corry, Maguire, UVS, Diamond, and Tanglewood, shall hold elections each March.

The term of office is May 1st – April 30.

  1. Election process

Announcement and Nominations: At the first residents’ meeting of the spring semester, the mayors and supervisors of elections will announce the election cycle to residents. Residents will also be notified by email. Any student resident can nominate himself or herself for mayor of his or her respective village. The supervisor of elections will confirm the receipt of nominations within two weeks. Supervisor of elections announces elections in the community update and includes a summary of duties, time commitments, and benefits. The supervisor also accepts written nominations via email or in the village office until the end of the two week period.

2. Campaigning:

Candidates shall fill out the appropriate Mayors’ Council nomination form (available on the Mayors’ Council website and submit it to the supervisor of elections within the two-week time frame for nominations.

Information in the Mayors’ Council nomination form and campaigning materials/activities shall conform to campaigning guidelines. No door-to-door campaigning will be permitted. Candidates will be limited to discussing their own qualifications and platforms.

The candidate’s nomination form is reviewed by the supervisor of elections, who then distributes it to the members of the Mayors’ Council. The Mayors’ Council reserves the right to disprove the nominations based on eligibility of the candidate. The disapproval process requires the council to vote on the proposal bought forwarded by the election supervisor or and by the board members.

The campaign platforms from the candidates’ nomination forms will be posted on village bulletin boards, in the village office and other appropriate venues, and distributed to the appropriate village residents via email.

The supervisor of elections will send out an electronic community update about the forthcoming elections including date and time of voting and alternative voting options such as proxy.

Only current students residents of the village with a valid Gator 1 can vote to elect the village mayor.

If a current student resident wishes to vote by proxy, he or she must contact the supervisor of elections in advance of the voting by email. Then the student resident can send any person with his or her valid Gator 1 ID during voting to cast his or her vote. The supervisor of elections will accept proxy votes only after confirming that the valid Gator 1 ID is of a village resident.

3. Electoral Timeline for Mayors’ Elections

Nominations: February residents meeting, not more than a month before elections.

Voting: March Resident Meeting

Taking office: May 1st

4. Supervisor of Mayors’ Elections

Mayors from other villages or members of the executive board can serve as supervisor of elections. If the outgoing mayor of the village does not re-apply for candidacy, then he or she can serve as supervisor of elections. Once the outgoing mayor agrees to serve as and is nominated supervisor of elections for the village, he or she cannot re-apply for candidacy.

5. Voting in the Mayor Election

Residents will vote by secret ballot. Supervisor of Elections will tally the votes including votes by proxy. Another Council member or Faculty Advisor must verify the tally. Supervisor of elections and election staff must verify that voters have a valid Gator 1 stating “student.”

A graduate and family housing staff member will be available in the respective village office before the commencement of the residents’ meeting on the day of the election.

Fifteen percent (15%) of the village’s current apartment occupancy must vote in order for the election to be valid.

6. Terms of office

All mayors shall hold office from May 1st to April 30th, unless elected mid-term. If a mayor is elected mid-term, then he or she will hold office till the end of the current term in April. When a mayor is elected mid-term, he or she is understood to be serving out the previous mayor’s term.

7. Transition

There shall be a one-month transition period during which the immediate past mayor will transfer office to the mayor-elect of each village. During the transition period, each Mayor-elect shall attend two Mayors Council Meetings and one Resident’s meeting.

The current mayor is to complete the tasks outlined in the Mayor Training checklist. Should a mayor be elected when the immediate past mayor is not available, other members of the Mayors’ Council shall fulfill this role. Mayors who know they will not be able to fulfill their term shall notify the Mayors’ Council as soon as possible, but no later than one month prior to leaving office. If a Mayor is unable to finish a term, the President shall submit a call for Mayor to the respective vacant village and an emergency election will be held at the next Mayors’ Council meeting by the executive board and a new Mayor will be elected to complete the term.

8. Voting for approving decisions made within the mayors’ council including constitutional amendments, programming and events

Roberts’s rule of order will be followed for all voting related to events programming and mayors’ council business.

Each Mayors’ Council member, excluding the President, is entitled to one vote. The President is a non-voting officer except as described below:

Voting in the Mayors’ Council may occur by proxy. In the event of a vote by proxy, the absent member must give advance notice to any Mayors’ Council officer or to an Advisor. Any person sent instead of a Mayorto vote must be a resident of that Mayor’s Village, the Mayors’ Council President or faculty advisor.

Voting in the Mayors’ Council may not occur unless a quorum is present. A majority (greater than 50%, or five members or more) of the Mayors’ Council members must be represented in order to achieve quorum. Each member will cast a secret ballot vote, which votes are to be tailed by the supervisor of elections and verified by the council members. In case of a tie in the Mayors’ Council, President will cast the deciding vote in a non-presidential elections.

VIII. STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL ADVISOR

The student organization advisor shall serve as a resource person and provide advisory support for the officers and members of the organization. The student organization advisor should attend executive and general meetings; however, the student organization advisor may not vote in any Mayors’ Council matters. The student organization advisor shall be nominated by the officers and confirmed by the majority vote of the members. The student organization advisor will serve a term of one (1) Academic year. In the event that the student organization advisor is unable to continue in their position, officers may nominate a replacement at any time, to be confirmed by a majority vote of the members.

IX. FINANCE

There is no membership dues required of Mayors’ Council members.

The Mayors’ Council shall have an operating budget derived from Student Government funds and any other funds as provided to the Mayors’ Council in compliance with the rules and regulations of the University of Florida.

Money received by Mayors’ Council for the benefit of the residents of Graduate and Family Housing shall be distributed in accordance with budgets prepared by the individual villages and in response to special requests made to the Mayors’ Council.

The Mayors’ Council has the power to refuse to disburse funds that violate the Constitution of Mayors’ Council, the Charter / Constitution of an individual village, or the rules and regulations of Student Government or the University of Florida.

X. DISSOLUTION OF ORGANIZATION

In the event that this organization should be dissolved, all monies left in the treasury, after outstanding debts and claims have been paid, shall be donated to LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.

XI. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

This Constitution may be amended or changed by a majority vote of the members of the Mayor’s Council. Any member may propose an amendment to the constitution. Amendment proposals shall be sent to the Vice President at least two weeks in advance to be considered at the next regularly scheduled MC meeting. A vote shall be taken after the proposal. At that time, amendments will be submitted directly to Student Activities and Involvement in writing for review and approval. Only upon said approval can amendments be finalized and become ratified