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Charlottesville, VA 22903

571-263-1600

Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE VIRGINIA FENCING CLUB

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

 

Article I. ORGANIZATION TITLE

 

The name of this organization shall be the Virginia Fencing Club (hereafter “VFC”) at the University of Virginia.

Article II. PURPOSE

Section II.01 The purposes of the VFC are to:

(a) Form and train a competitive intercollegiate fencing team;

(b) Increase the visibility of, and access to, the sport of fencing among members of the University Community; and

(c) Foster a positive, inclusive environment that facilitates team cohesion and the overall fitness of its members.

 

Activities of the club are expected to serve at least one of the three main purposes of the club. Those activities that do not clearly serve one of those purposes should be justified by, at minimum, a rational basis.

Article III. MEMBERSHIP

Section III.01 Non-Discrimination

The VFC follows a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of age, citizenship, color, disability, gender, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.

Section III.02 Restriction

Membership in the VFC is restricted to full-time students and faculty of the University of Virginia who are in good standing (see §7.08 “Good Standing” Defined).

Section III.03 Conditional Membership 

In the event that a member in the VFC is no longer able to enroll as a full time student at the University of Virginia, he or she may apply to be a Conditional Member. Conditional Members will not be recognized as an official Member of the VFC by the University of Virginia, but will have the same privileges and duties as regular Members, with the exception that they are not allowed to attend collegiate tournaments.  Conditional Members will pay a portion of the dues required for the duration of their Conditional status, whether that duration is a semester or a year; the exact percentage of dues owed within this time will be determined by the Treasurer. A Member can only receive Conditional status with the approval of the Treasurer and President.

Article IV. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section IV.01 Purpose

The purposes of the Executive Committee (hereafter “Ex. Com.”) are to:

(a) Organize and run activities that advance the purposes of the VFC;

(b) Establish and maintain a positive relationship with the University of Virginia and the Department of Intramural and Recreational Sports; and

(c) Provide a model of leadership to VFC members.

Members of the Ex. Com. are to be considered jointly responsible for upholding the above purposes. While the expected duties of the Ex. Com. are specified to each of its several members, a failure by any individual is a failure by the committee as a whole. By its very nature as a committee, the Ex. Com. is a cooperative effort. All members are responsible for all duties outlined below.

Section IV.02 Organization of the Ex. Com.

The Ex. Com. will be organized into two categories:

(a) Officers, who are elected by an Elections meeting of the VFC and who have voting power during Ex. Com. meetings; and

(b) Appointed Members, who are to be selected by the Ex. Com. Appointed Members and have all rights and responsibilities as Officers, except for voting power within Ex. Com. meetings. Appointed Members required to attend meetings only as needed.

Let it be noted that a VFC Ex. Com. Officer may hold an Appointed Member position in addition to his or her Officer Position

Section IV.03 Officer Eligibility

Contracted Independent Organization (CIO) Officers (hereafter “VFC Ex. Com. Officers”) must be:

(a) Only holding one Ex. Com. Officer Position;

(b) Registered students at the University of Virginia; and

(c) Members of the VFC.

Section IV.04  Appointed Member Eligibility

VFC Ex. Com. Appointed Members must follow the same guidelines for eligibility as VFC Ex. Com. Officers, with the exception that Appointed Members can hold one officer position or one additional Appointed Member position. No more than two positions can be held at any one time.

Section IV.05 President

As the head of the Ex. Com., the President of the Ex. Com. (hereafter “VFC President”) is expected to uphold each of the VFC Ex. Com. Officers to the purposes of both the VFC and the VFC Ex. Com. outlined in §2.01 and §4.01.

The expectations of the VFC President are to:

(a) Schedule, reserve space for, and preside over meetings of the Ex. Com. and the VFC;

(b) Schedule and reserve space for practices of the VFC;

(c) Reserve space for the VFC in public demonstrations;

(d) Serve as the primary liaison to representatives of the University of Virginia and the Department of Intramural and Recreational Sports;

(e) Ensure that all activities of the VFC comply with this Constitution;

(f) Ensure that VFC Ex. Com. Officers and Appointed Members uphold the purposes laid out in this Constitution as well as fulfill their expected roles;

(g) Collaborate with and oversee the other VFC Ex. Com. Officers and Appointed Members regarding their individual responsibilities as necessary;

(h) Oversee the finances of the VFC; and

(i) Serve as the USFA liaison for the VFC. This duty requires the President to apply for and attain Professional Membership standing with the United States Fencing Association (USFA). This duty otherwise primarily comprises working with the USFA to plan a tournament and date. All tournament planning is to be done also in conjunction with the Treasurer, Men’s Captain and Women’s Captain.

 

Section IV.06 Men’s Captain

As the head of the men’s half of the VFC, the Men’s Captain is primarily responsible for managing the affairs of the Men’s Team. The men’s captain must be male, so as to qualify for the men’s tournaments.

The expectations of the Men’s Captain are to:

(a) Cooperatively prepare and lead practices of the VFC with the Women’s Captain;

(b) Coordinate VFC participation in, and represent the VFC to, the Mid-Atlantic Conference Fencing Association (MACFA), the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), Virginia Cup (VA Cup), and United States of America Collegiate Fencing Club (USACFC) organizations;

(c) Select and confirm the male VFC members who will fence in competitions in which the VFC participates;

(d) Together with the Women’s Captain, confirm the selection of the weapons captain(s) by weapon squad(s);

(e) Organize fencing clinics each semester with outside coaches, including a one week fencing clinic before the beginning of the spring semester with the assistance of the President and Women’s Captain; and

(f) Be a source of leadership and competitive inspiration.

Section IV.07 Women’s Captain

As the head of the women’s half of the VFC, the Women’s Captain is primarily responsible for managing the affairs of the Women’s Team. The Women’s Captain must be female, so as to qualify for the women’s tournaments.

The expectations of the Women’s Captain are to:

(a) Cooperatively prepare and lead practices of the VFC with the Men’s Captain;

(b) Coordinate VFC participation in, and represent the VFC to, the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association (NIWFA), the Virginia Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association (VIWFA), as well as the Temple Open;

(c) Together with the Men’s Captain, confirm the selection of the Weapons Captain(s) by weapon squad(s);

(d) Organize fencing clinics each semester with outside coaches, including a one week fencing clinic before the beginning of the spring semester with the assistance of the President and Men’s Captain;

(e) Select and confirm the female VFC members who will fence in competitions in which the VFC participates; and

(f) Be a source of leadership and competitive inspiration.

Section IV.08 Treasurer

The Treasurer is expected to manage the finances of the VFC.

The expectations of the Treasurer are to:

(a) Prepare the VFC budget that will be submitted to Student Council;

(b) Keep accurate financial records (income, expenditures, assets and liabilities) for the VFC;

(c) Manage VFC bank accounts;

(d) Reimburse VFC members for approved expenditures on behalf of the team;

(e) Assist with equipment purchases;

(f) Assist the Captains with the financial aspects of tournament planning such as hotels and rental cars;

(g) Collect dues from all VFC members at the beginning of each semester; and

(h) Keep a record of those VFC members who are in good standing.

Section IV.09 Fundraising Chair

The fundraising chair is responsible for seeking out, planning, and carrying through opportunities by which the team can raise funds for equipment, traveling, and tournament fees

The expectations of the Fundraising Chair are to:

(a) Raise funds for use by the VFC for the purpose of attending tournaments, bettering the fencing abilities of its members, and fostering team cohesion;

(b) Work with the treasurer to address times of financial need; and

(c) Seek out and make connections in the University of Virginia community that aid the VFC in raising funds.

Section IV.10 Secretary

The Secretary is primarily responsible for managing advertising and communications within and without the VFC.

The expectations of the Secretary are to:

(a) Record accurate minutes of all VFC and VFC Ex. Com. meetings, and disseminate those minutes in a timely fashion;

(b) Manage and moderate e-mail lists and contact lists pertaining to the VFC;

(c) Manage and update the VFC website, or get help with the website as needed;

(d) Take charge of advertising for the club, which includes creation and distribution of VFC fliers as well as making use of the various methods by which the club can be publicized; and

(e) Maintain and distribute to VFC members a calendar of VFC activities.

Section IV.11 Social Chair

The Social Chair responsibilities revolve around the purposes of VFC identified under §2.01-(b) and §2.01-(c).

The expectations of the Social Chair are to:

(a) Organize Social Events outside of practice to build team cohesion;

(b) Make team orders for VFC paraphernalia other than that maintained by the Masters-At-Arms, which includes t-shirts, team jackets, and the VFC patch;

(c) Aid in alumni relations;

(d) Plan the Hell Week Banquet;

(e) Propose to the Ex. Com. a comprehensive recruitment and retention program at the beginning of each semester; and

(f) Lead the newly elected executive committee in preparing the end-of-the-year banquet.

Section IV.12 Men’s Master-At-Arms

The Men’s and Women’s Masters-At-Arms are responsible for maintaining the VFC’s competition equipment. The Men’s Master-At-Arms must be female.

The expectations of the Men’s Master-At-Arms are to:

(a) Along with the Women’s Master-At-Arms, keep all VFC equipment in good working order, a duty which includes periodic washing of jackets, plastrons, and knickers;

(b) Provide for the security and good condition of equipment and equipment packing, before, during, and after tournaments. Safe transit and equipment maintenance and weapon repair fall under this category;

(c) Keep the armory clean and devise ways to encourage members to keep the space clean;

(d) Together with the Women’s Master-At-Arms, rent VFC equipment to members for use over breaks, keep track of what equipment is currently loaned out, and create a contract for this purpose to be signed by each VFC member renting equipment;

(e) Make the Ex. Com. (particularly Treasurer, Captains, and President) aware of the necessity for an equipment order;

(f) Keep a current inventory of all VFC equipment;

(g) Attend male-only tournaments to address equipment malfunctions within the purview of the Men’s Master-At-Arms that present themselves;

(h) Together with the Women’s Master-At-Arms supervise the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms and Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms.

 

Section 4.12.1 Appointed Member: Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms

The Men’s and Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms are responsible for maintaining the VFC’s competition equipment. The Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms must be female.

The expectations of the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms are to:

(a) Along with the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms, follow instructions by the Men’s Master-At-Arms and the Women’s Master-At-Arms;

(b) All duties which pertain to the Men’s Master-At-Arms are expected of the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms but those duties are to be only carried out with the consent of the Men’s or Women’s Master-At-Arms;

(c) Report to the Men’s Master-At-Arms on a basis to be determined by the Men’s Master-At-Arms and the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms so as to facilitate the expansion of operations the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms can carry out in the capacity of the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms;

(d) Attend male-only tournaments in the capacity of Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms at the discretion of the Men’s Master-At-Arms.

 

Section IV.13 Women’s Master-At-Arms

The Men’s and Women’s Masters-At-Arms are responsible for maintaining the VFC’s competition equipment. The Women’s Master-At-Arms must be male.

The expectations of the Women’s Master-At-Arms are to:

(a) Along with the Men’s Master-At-Arms, keep all VFC equipment in good working order, a duty which includes periodic washing of jackets, plastrons, and knickers;

(b) Provide for the security and good condition of equipment and equipment packing, before, during, and after tournaments. Safe transit and equipment maintenance and weapon repair fall under this category;

(c) Keep the armory clean and devise ways to encourage members to keep the space clean;

(d) Together with the Women’s Master-At-Arms, rent VFC equipment to members for use over breaks, keep track of what equipment is currently loaned out, and create a contract for this purpose to be signed by each VFC member renting equipment;

(e) Make the Ex. Com. (particularly Treasurer, Captains, and President) aware of the necessity for an equipment order;

(f) Keep a current inventory of all VFC equipment;

(g) Attend female-only tournaments to address equipment malfunctions within the purview of the Women’s Master-At-Arms that present themselves;

(h) Together with the Men’s Master-At-Arms supervise the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms and Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms.

 

Section 4.12.1 Appointed Member: Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms

The Men’s and Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms are responsible for maintaining the VFC’s competition equipment. The Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms must be male.

The expectations of the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms are to:

(a) Along with the Men’s Apprentice-At-Arms, follow instructions by the Men’s Master-At-Arms and the Women’s Master-At-Arms;

(b) All duties which pertain to the Women’s Master-At-Arms are expected of the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms but those duties are to be only carried out with the consent of the Men’s or Women’s Master-At-Arms;

(c) Report to the Women’s Master-At-Arms on a basis to be determined by the Women’s Master-At-Arms and the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms so as to facilitate the expansion of operations the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms can carry out in the capacity of the Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms;

(d) Attend female-only tournaments in the capacity of Women’s Apprentice-At-Arms at the discretion of the Women’s Master-At-Arms.

 

Section IV.14 Appointed Member: Weapons Captain

The Weapons Captain, or Captains during years in which both the Men’s and Women’s Captains are members of the same weapons squad, is responsible for the training and maintenance of the individual weapons squad of which he or she is a part. The Weapons Captain is to be selected by his or her weapons squad, with the final decision being confirmed by the Men’s and Women’s Captains. Expectations of a Weapons Captain are as follows:

(a) Work with the Men’s and Women’s Captain to train an intercollegiate fencing team;

(b) Keep track of tournament results for both individuals and teams for the squad;

(c) Plan and execute drills and training exercises with the purpose of helping individual fencers within the squad to improve overall fitness and fencing ability; and

(d) Be a source of leadership and competitive inspiration.

Section IV.15 Appointed Member: Historian

Historian will be responsible for documenting the team’s social and tournament activities, making photo albums, scrapbooks, and other memorabilia for the enjoyment and recollection of past events by both current and future VFC members alike. Historian will also send out periodic newsletters to VFC alumni and parents.

Article V. MEETINGS

Section V.01 Ex. Com. Meetings

(a) All Ex. Com. officers are expected to attend all called meetings of the Ex. Com.

(b) Ex. Com. meetings may be called by any Ex. Com. officer in a time of emergency. Otherwise, they are scheduled by the President.

(c) Ex. Com. meetings are open to Ex. Com. officers and those holding Appointed Member positions.

(d) Appointed Members are required to attend only those Ex. Com. meetings at which they are requested.

Section V.02 General Meetings

(a) General meetings are to be scheduled regularly by the President.

(b) All VFC members are allowed in General Meetings.

Article VI. THE ELECTION OF NEW OFFICERS

Section VI.01 Timing

Elections are to be scheduled in February by the Ex. Com.

Section VI.02 Voting Eligibility

Persons present at elections may only cast a valid vote for a position under the following conditions:

(a) The individual was present for the entirety of the election process for the position, which begins with the reading of the constitutional description to the actual voting process; and

(b) He or she is a member in good standing.

Section VI.03 Process

(a) Elections will be run by the current President or a graduating member of the Ex. Com. if the President is not graduating.

(b) Nominations of candidates may take place before and during the Elections Process, and can only be submitted by members in good standing(see §7.08 “Good Standing” Defined).

(c) Elections are done in the order the positions appear in this Constitution.

(d) Nominees must be present to be eligible.

(e) To start the process for each position, the constitutional description of the office is read and the office’s current occupant speaks briefly about the requirements of the office and traits desired in the next officeholder.

(f) Following the process outlined in (e), Candidates must present themselves before the VFC and explain why they are running. During steps (e) to (g), only one candidate may be present in the room at one time.

(g) VFC members may ask questions of Candidates.

(h) After questioning, the final candidate leaves the room and all present and eligible VFC members conduct open discussion about each Candidate.

(i) The President or other facilitator conducts an anonymous vote, decided by simple majority.

Section VI.04 Term and Term Limits

(a) Ex. Com. Officers and Appointed Members serve a calendar year term, beginning with their election.

(b) New and Old Ex. Com. Officers and Appointed Members are to serve simultaneously during a transition period. The Old Ex. Com. is to be completely phased out by the End of the Year Banquet.

(c) Ex. Com. Officers and Appointed Members may serve as many terms as they are elected to, provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements.

Article VII. BY-LAWS

Section VII.01 Resignation and Removal

(a) When an Ex. Com. Officer or Appointed Member feels he or she can no longer effectively carry out the tasks and responsibilities of his or her position it may be appropriate for the individual to resign from the position. Resignations must be oral or written and be delivered to the President and or entire Ex. Com.

(b) Officers may be removed only after a formal list of complaints, detailing how the Officer has not fulfilled their duties and or has not acted in a manner reflecting the values of the University of Virginia and or of the VFC, is presented to the Ex. Com. 10 days before the vote for removal. At least seventy-five percent of all other current Ex. Com. Officers must vote in favor of removing the Officer for the removal to take effect. Should the vote for removal fail the Ex. Com. may consider other sanctions.

Section VII.02 Succession

(a) In the event of the removal or resignation of an Ex. Com. Officer a Special Election for that Ex. Com. Officer position will take place immediately. A Special Election shall comprise a debate and nomination by the Ex. Com. of suitable replacement candidates. The Ex. Com. shall then confirm the acceptance of candidacy with the selected candidates, and put it to an immediate informal vote by simple majority at the next possible appropriate General Meeting of the VFC or practice.

(b) In the event of the removal or resignation of an Appointed Member the Ex. Com. shall appoint a new Appointed Member.

Dues

Dues must be determined by a majority vote of the Ex. Com. and collected from each member at the beginning of each semester or year depending on individual arrangement.

 

Section 7.03.1 Refund of Dues

The dues decided on by the Ex. Com. can be refunded only during the specific period starting from the first practice of the semester and ending on the date at which dues are due for that respective semester.

(c) Members who have paid for a single semester and request a refund of dues during the above specified period for that semester are entitled to a full refund.

(d) Members who have paid for the year and request a refund of dues during the above specified period for the fall semester are entitled to a full refund.

(e) Members who have paid for the year and request a refund of dues during the above specified period for the spring semester are entitled to a refund of a quarter of the amount of dues paid.

(f) Members who have obtained a refund of dues are no longer members of the club in good standing until such time as they have paid dues in full.

Section VII.03 Fundraising Expectations

All VFC members are expected to participate in fundraising activities. Non-participation may jeopardize a member’s standing on competition rosters.

Section VII.04 Proper Use of Funds

All monies of the VFC are to be used only for planned activities of the VFC as directed by the Ex. Com. Misappropriation of VFC funds may jeopardize a member’s standing in the club.

Section VII.05 Tournament Eligibility

To be considered eligible for a tournament position, an individual fencer must meet the following requirements:

(a) Be a member in Good Standing (See Section 7.08); and

(b) Attend a majority of practices as defined by individual Men’s, Women’s and Weapons Captains.

(c) Additionally, the following factors may be taken into account: previous tournament results, number of years of work and involvement with the team, general good attitude, and strong team spirit.

Let it also be noted that fence-offs are not an acceptable determinant for tournament eligibility. Final roster decisions will be made be the Men’s and Women’s Captain working together with the weapons captain(s).

Section VII.06 Notification of Tournament Absence

A competition team member may not drop out of a tournament roster after the captains send out the final list. If a member drops out of a roster without an excuse deemed appropriate by the Men’s and Women’s Captains, he or she forfeits tournament eligibility for a period determined by the captains based on individual circumstances. If the team has had to pay a fee for the fencer’s participation, the fencer must pay his or her tournament fee for an individual tournament or $50 if his or her withdrawal causes the team ineligible for fair competition based on a team definition of three fencers per squad. Failure to comply may result in additional penalties determined by the Ex. Com.

Section VII.07 “Good Standing” Defined

(a) A prospective VFC member may attend 4 practices without having paid dues.

(b) Upon paying dues for the semester, the Treasurer is to keep a record that the VFC member is in good standing.

(c) An individual who continues to attend practice in bad faith may face serious repercussions, as determined by the Ex. Com., including but not limited to a report being filed with the Honor Committee if the individual in question violates the Honor Code while avoiding paying dues (such as lying about dues payment).

Section VII.08 “Oversee the Finances” (§4.05–(h)) Defined

(a) The President is to authorize and review all team expenses under the advice of the Treasurer and other relevant Ex. Com. Officers.

(b) A Purchase made on behalf of the VFC without the prior consent of the President will be the responsibility of the purchaser unless the Ex. Com. agrees by a majority vote to assume that debt.

Section VII.09 Budget

All members of the VFC that are in good standing are allowed to view the budget prepared for the current semester.

Section VII.10 Personal Equipment

(a) The VFC shall not be liable for the maintenance or security of personal equipment. Storage and upkeep incurred is taken at the risk of the individual and permissible only whilst VFC-owned equipment/resources and space permit.

(b) Utilization of VFC’s Men’s and Women’s Masters-at-Arms (or Apprentices) for personal equipment is a privilege and subject to the limitations of available stock, time, and manpower. All risk of service is absorbed by the client party. As the primary duty of the Master-at-Arms is to VFC-owned equipment, personal equipment is considered of secondary priority. A reasonable effort shall be made to satisfy the requests of all VFC members by the Master-at-Arms.

(c) Costs incurred beyond a negligible sum for upkeep, creation, or storage of personal equipment, given prior and sufficient notice, will fall to the owner of the non-VFC equipment.

Article VIII. Amendments

Section VII.01 Process

(a) Proposals for amendments must be submitted to the President who, along with the Ex. Com., will determine the feasibility and usefulness of the proposal and its relevance to the purposes of the VFC as outlined in §2.01.

(b) If the proposed amendment fits these criteria, a two-thirds majority vote by members present at a General Meeting passes the Amendment.

(c) If the proposed amendment is an alteration of Article VIII, then the amendment may be passed by either a unanimous vote of the Ex. Com. or a two-thirds majority vote of members present at a General Meeting.