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House Constitution


The Constitution of the Ware College House of Franklin and Marshall College

 

The Constitution of the Ware College House of Franklin & Marshall College

Preamble

The members of the Ware College House (the House) of Franklin and Marshall College (the College) establish this constitution so that they might create a supportive residential community for all members based upon the principles of respect for peers, the pursuit of knowledge, individual liberty, and civic responsibility.  Through this constitution, the House seeks to support the mission of the College

Article I – Membership

Section 1: House membership shall be determined from the entering students of Franklin and Marshall College by the Faculty Dons acting in concert, and shall not be changed thereafter except by petition to a review board, established by the College, for hearing such petitions. 

Article II – The Government

Section 1: The Ware College House Government shall be composed of (1) the House Parliament, (2) the House Committees, (3) the House Court, (4) the House Directorate, and (5) the House Constables. The powers and obligations of these branches shall be enumerated in this constitution. 

Article III – The Parliament

Section 1: Duties of the Parliament The Ware College House Parliament shall conduct the executive and legislative business of the House. 

Section 2: Representatives The House Parliament shall be composed of the First-Year and Sophomore Classes, according to cohort year, who shall each elect five Representatives to Congress.  The Junior and Senior Classes shall together elect ten Representatives between them.  All Representatives shall be elected by members of their respective classes. 

Clause 1: Of the ten Junior and Senior representative positions, there shall be no fewer than two members of a given Junior or Senior class represented on Parliament. 

Clause 2: In the event that there are five or more members of each the Junior and Senior classes running for election, the top five vote-getters of each class shall be elected.  If there are fewer than five members running from one class, but more than five running from the other, then the latter class shall fill the vacant seats. 

Clause 3: A voter from a given class may only vote for five members from their own class to serve as their Representatives to Parliament.  No voter may vote for a candidate for a Representative position not of their own year. 

Clause 4: Each Representative must meet all requirements and be a member of the House in good standing in order to become a Member of Parliament.  A Representative of the Parliament must have been a member of Ware College House for at least one day. 

Clause 5: At least eleven members of Parliament must agree to join the Summer Parliament Committee, including the Prime Minister, and all Committee Chairs, which will vote via email if a vote is necessary throughout the summer.  A vote will pass with a majority vote. 

Section 3: Election of Representatives

Clause 1: Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Class Representatives shall be elected in the spring semester and shall take office following the last day of finals following election, until the last day of finals in the following spring semester. 

Clause 2: Freshman Class Representatives shall be elected no later than the second week of class in the fall semester, and shall assume office immediately upon election. Their term in office shall last until the last day of finals in the following spring semester. 

Section 4: The Cabinet

Clause 1: From within the ranks of elected Parliament Members, a Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer, Secretary, and the chairs of each House Committee shall be elected as Cabinet members.

Clause 2: The Cabinet shall be composed of The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer, Secretary, and three Parliament Committee Chairs. 

Clause 3: In order to be elected to a Cabinet Position, a candidate must receive a majority vote of the incoming Parliament.  Should there be an instance in which a majority cannot be met, the case will go to House Directorate, who as a committee shall select one candidate.

Clause 4: The incoming Parliament shall convene no more than two days following the general election in order to elect the Cabinet Members. 

Clause 5: In order to be elected to a Cabinet position, a Member of Parliament must be nominated and seconded, before accepting nomination. 

Clause 6: The candidate(s) shall then choose to give a speech about why they desire the position and/ or their qualifications, followed by a vote which is called by the then-sitting Prime Minister.  The vote shall be cast by secret ballot (counted by the Prime Minister and delivered to Parliament) and the new Cabinet Member placed in his/ her position.  If the Prime Minister is involved in the election, then the Deputy Prime Minister shall oversee the votes. 

Clause 7: Should a candidate not be elected to a position, they may choose to run again for another position. 

Clause 8: Following the Cabinet elections, all outgoing Cabinet members shall meet with their successors no later than the last day of finals in order to turn over any pertinent materials or information, and to aid in their transition.

Clause 9: The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer and Secretary shall be exempt from committee obligations during their tenure as Cabinet members.

 

Section 5: The Prime Minister

Clause 1: The Prime Minister of the Parliament shall be elected by the incoming Parliament members and shall serve for one year upon election at the beginning of the spring semester. He/she must have sat on Parliament for one year and attended at least eight meetings of Parliament and eight Committee meetings in the previous semester in order to be nominated for the position.  The Prime Minister must be a member of Ware College House, and must have been affiliated with the House for at least one full academic year. 

Clause 2: The Prime Minister will retain his/ her seat on Parliament through the end of year elections, and upon the completion of his/ her term, shall serve as a Representative on Parliament through the remainder of the academic year.  Should the outgoing Prime Minister choose to resign from Parliament following their term, the Parliament shall vote to appoint a new Class Representative in their stead. 

Clause 3: The Prime Minister of the House Parliament shall represent the House in external matters, shall propose a House budget for approval by the Parliament, shall convene and organize the activities of the House Parliament, and has the power to appoint student liaisons to offices and organizations on campus and in the larger community. 

Clause 4: The Prime Minister shall be the overseer of all government actions and ensure responsible management of House Funds by acting as cosignatory to all budgetary issues. 

Clause 5: The Prime Minister has the overriding authority to act as the sole representative for Ware College House for all functions, which shall include but is not limited to student government.

Clause 6: The Prime Minister shall have the authority to call town hall meetings and shall act as moderator for such meetings. 

Clause 7: The Prime Minister reserves the right to call emergency, closed-door, legislative meetings to which all elected representatives must attend.  The Prime Minister also reserves the right to address the Parliament during previously scheduled meetings and may offer proposals during those meetings. 

Clause 8: The Prime Minister holds the right to cast an e-mail vote should one be necessary for a funding allocation or any other matter pertaining to the Parliament. 

Clause 9: The Prime Minister may veto all legislative bills, actions, laws, funding allocations etc.  Only by two-thirds majority revote of the Parliament may the Prime Minister’s veto be overridden.  The Prime Minister must be given all legislative minutes and an account of all votes; the Prime Minister shall have up to five school days to veto legislation after being presented with this information. 

Clause 10: The Prime Minister is to serve as a tie-breaking vote amongst the Parliament, though he/she may express an opinion on all matters to which there is a discussion regarding a vote. 

Clause 11: The Prime Minister is to act in a manner to best serve the Ware College House, the College House system, and the Franklin and Marshall Community at large as outlined in the Ware House Rules and Responsibilities and the Franklin & Marshall College Life Manual.

Clause 12: If the Prime Minister is not performing these duties, the Parliament has the ability to impeach the Treasurer.  In order to be removed, a 2/3 majority vote for the Parliament is necessary.  The person will hold his/her original seat in the Parliament. 

Section 6: Deputy Prime Minister

Clause 1: The Deputy Prime Minister will be elected by the Parliament following the election of the Prime Minister, at the beginning of the spring semester. He/she must be a current voting Member of Parliament, whether the current position is a Committee Chair or Representative.  However, the Treasurer and Secretary cannot be elected the Deputy Prime Minister.  The Deputy Prime Minister must also have attended eight meetings in the previous academic semester.

Clause 2: The Deputy Prime Minister term will last from the first meeting of Parliament following the election of the Prime Minister for an entire year, unless the Deputy Prime Minister does not receive re-election in the general election at the end of the academic year.  Should the Deputy Prime Minister not be re-elected to Parliament, a new Deputy Prime Minister is elected from within the Parliament and their term shall last until the new election of the Prime Minister at the beginning of the second semester. 

Clause 3: The Deputy Prime Minister is to stand in for the Prime Minister when the Prime Minister is unable to perform them.  The Deputy Prime Minister will also be the representative of the House if the Prime Minister is unable to do so.  These duties will be in addition to normal duties the Deputy Prime Minister has as an elected Member of Parliament.

Clause 4: The Deputy Prime Minister shall serve as a voting member of the Cabinet and the Parliament. 

Clause 5: As Deputy Prime Minister, duties also include overseeing and managing the implementation of all non-voting Committees and Subcommittees to Ware College House Parliament.

Clause 6: The Deputy Prime Minister shall attend all meetings of the Diplomatic Congress, whether the Prime Minister is present or not. The Deputy Prime Minister shall also report to the Parliament the noteworthy announcements from the Congress.

Clause 7: The Deputy Prime Minister shall also be responsible for the construction of a semester report, outlining the accomplishments of that term’s Parliament, as well as a summary of noteworthy stories. Report must be submitted to the Prime Minister before being published.

Clause 8: If the Deputy Prime Minister is not performing these duties, the Parliament has the ability to impeach the Deputy Prime Minister.  In order to be removed, a 2/3 vote for the Parliament is necessary.  The person will hold his/her original seat in the Parliament. 

Clause 9: If the Prime Minister resigns or is impeached, the Deputy Prime Minister will become the Prime Minister of the House and will finish the remaining term. 

Section 7: The Treasurer

Clause 1: The Treasurer shall manage the House budget and track House spending. 

Clause 2: The Treasurer is responsible for handling and distributing House funds, must keep and maintain an up-to-date Treasurer’s Report at all times, which much be delivered at the beginning of each meeting of Parliament, as well as signing checks, as per the approval of Parliament.  Additionally, the Treasurer is responsible for the transfer of all funds both to, and from the Ware Parliament account.  He/she shall serve as a cosignatory for all budgetary issues.  The Treasurer shall serve as a voting member of the Cabinet and the Parliament. 

Clause 3: The Treasurer shall be elected by the Parliament members in the spring semester, and shall assume office on the last day of finals.  He/she shall remain in the Cabinet until the last day of finals in the following spring semester.

Clause 4: If the Treasurer is not performing these duties, the Parliament has the ability to impeach the Treasurer.  In order to be removed, a 2/3 majority vote for the Parliament is necessary.  The person will hold his/her original seat in the Parliament. 

Section 8: The Secretary

Clause 1: The Secretary shall take the minutes of Parliament, call roll in Parliament, and organize and record the votes of Parliament. 

Clause 2: The Secretary is responsible for all correspondences between the Parliament and other external groups or individuals.  He/she is responsible for disseminating the weekly meeting notes to the Parliament, and the House community.  Additionally, it is their responsibility to check the Parliament mail.  The Secretary shall serve as a voting member of the Cabinet and the Parliament. 

Clause 3: The Secretary shall be elected by the Parliament members in the spring semester, and shall assume office on the last day of finals.  He/she shall remain in the Cabinet until the last day of finals in the following spring semester.

Clause 4: If the Secretary is not performing these duties, the Parliament has the ability to impeach the Secretary.  In order to be removed, a 2/3 vote for the Parliament is necessary.  The person will hold his/her original seat in the Parliament. 

Section 9: Committee Chairs

Clause 1: Committee Chairs shall be elected by the Members of Parliament in the spring semester, and shall assume office after the last day of finals. 

Clause 2: Committee Chairs must be re-affirmed at the end of the Fall Semester, when the Prime Minister is elected.

Clause 2: In order to be nominated for a Committee Chair position, a candidate must have attended eight meetings of the Committee to which they are applying to be Chair during the previous semester. 

Clause 3: If the Secretary is not performing these duties, the Parliament has the ability to impeach the Secretary.  In order to be removed, a 2/3 vote for the Parliament is necessary.  The person will hold his/her original seat in the Parliament. 

Section 10: Meetings and Attendance

Clause 1: The Parliament shall meet in assembly at least bi-weekly. 

Clause 2:  All parliament members are required to sit on a committee and are expected to participate actively in committee business, as dictated by the Chair of their respective committees. Failure to participate may result in the impeachment of said representative.

Clause 3: All House Committee proposals must be approved by a majority vote of the Parliament.  If a Committee proposal includes the expenditure of more than 25% of the House programming budget, or if a proposal changes the fundamental character of the House or its symbols (i.e. House colors, motto, crest, etc), the Parliament must approve that proposal by a ¾ vote. 

Clause 4: The Parliament approves all nominees for positions on the House Court and all nominees for positions as House Director and House Constable by majority vote of the Parliament. 

Clause 5: Automatic impeachment of a Representative shall occur if the Representative is absent without excuse from any three (3) consecutive meetings of Parliament and/or their individual committee meetings.  If removed, the Representative relinquishes his or her membership in Parliament, but no other privileges of House membership. 

Clause 6: Automatic impeachment of a Representative shall occur if the Representative is absent without excuse from 25% of meetings and events for an academic semester. 

Clause 7: If the aforementioned level of involvement is not met:

A) Following the first semester, the Representative shall be impeached through the House Court. 

B) Following the second semester, the Representative shall be impeached thorough the House Court and not permitted to run for reelection again. 

Clause 8: Should any of these qualifications not be met, a Member of Parliament is automatically impeached and shall be tried before the House Court for removal from office. 

Clause 9: If a Member of Parliament has to go through the impeachment process more than once in an academic year, or two times in two years, they are automatically removed from the Parliament, and shall not be permitted to run for an elected position again in the House. 

Clause 10: Excused absences are to be given at the discretion of the Prime Minister. 

Clause 11: Parliament has the right to fill open Representative seats.  Parliament will vote and approve new members with a majority vote.  These new members are not required to have attended any previous meetings. 

Clause 12: No voting Member of Parliament may hold a position on either the House Court or the House Directorate while serving on Parliament. 

Clause 13: Any non-voting individual present in a Parliament meeting must be recognized by the Prime Minister in order to be granted permission to speak publicly.  In the event of a debate regarding a vote, the non-voting member may be present for the deliberations and subsequent vote at the discretion of the Prime Minister. 

 

Article IV – House Committees

Section 1: Committee Members and Chairs

Clause 1: There shall be three House Committees: a House Life Committee, a Social Committee, and an Operations Committee. 

Clause 2: All House members in good standing have the right to participate in all House Committees. 

Clause 3: Each House Committee shall have a Committee Chair who will manage the activities of that committee and be a voting Member of Parliament.  Elections for these Committee Chairs shall take place in the spring semester following the general election by the House.  Then, from its ranks, the incoming Parliament shall elect Committee Chairs. 

Clause 4: The Chair of one House Committee may not simultaneously be the Chair of another Committee, but may participate in any House Committee as a regular member. 

Clause 5: Committee Chairs are responsible for running and implementing Committee Meetings, recording and reporting their meeting minutes to the Prime Minister and to the Parliament, and delegating tasks to members of their respective committees, while overseeing and managing the implementation of all projects to completion. 

Clause 6: There shall be an active sign-up period of no less than three days, no later than the second week of the academic year, for House members to join House Committees.  House members may join a committee at any time throughout the semester. 

Clause 7: Committees shall meet, at a minimum, biweekly but preferably weekly beginning within the second week of the academic year.  Failure to meet this clause will result in disciplinary action at the discretion of the Parliament.  In addition, they are subject to removal of their Chair position and potentially impeachment by the House Court. 

Clause 8: Should there be an instance in which there is no Member of Parliament who is able or willing to Chair a Committee, then a non-elected Member of the House on the Committee may be appointed Committee Chair, and shall attend all meetings as a non-voting member. 

Clause 9: Should a Committee Chair decide to step down from their Chair Position, he or she retains their position as a Class Representative to Parliament.  In this instance, an election from within Parliament would take place to reappoint the Committee Chair. 

Clause 10: Committee Chairs are responsible for taking minutes of all Committee Meetings, and distributing them to the Prime Minister after each meeting. 

Clause 11: Committees can be altered or added only by amendment of this constitution.

Section 2: House Life Committee

Clause 1: The House Life Committee shall be responsible for the physical property of the House as well as traditional House business.  This shall include monitoring and maintaining the kitchen and furniture; fostering House pride through apparel, regalia, and ceremonies; and sustaining the reputation of the House. 

Section 3: Social Committee

Clause 1: The Social Committee shall be responsible for all social needs of the House including planning, implementing, and advertising events.  Additionally they are to coordinate with other Houses in the organization of Inter-House events.

Clause 2: The Social Chair is required to coordinate with their counterparts on other house governments for Inter-House events at least once per month.

Clause 3: The Social Committee shall oversee the Ware Mentors Program for incoming first-year and upperclassman Warians.

Clause 4: There shall be at least one Ware Mentors Director to oversee the Ware Mentors program and they shall be responsible for planning one (1) event for the program each year, as a kickoff event. In addition, they are responsible for pairing incoming first-years and upperclassmen over the summer. When not actively planning the Mentors program, the Directors sit on Social Committee as committee members.

 

Section 4: Operations Committee

Clause 1: The Operations Committee shall be responsible for maintaining House business through the House email, website, and newsletter.  Operations shall be responsible for increasing attendance at House events, and shall notify House members using various forms of advertisement.  In addition, they must update the Ware College House website and work to make the homepage a user-friendly site

Clause 2: These Election Chairs shall be in charge of all aspects of the election as dictated by this Constitution. 

Clause 3: An Election Chair may not run for any office while chairing an election.  Election Chairs shall be responsible for recruiting volunteers to man the voting tables.  No person running for a contested position may man a table. 

Section 5: Ware in the World

Clause 1: Ware in the World shall serve as a non-voting Subcommittee of Parliament. 

Clause 2: Ware in the World shall determine their own management as a subcommittee to further House pride and image, as well as serving as the community service arm of the House.  This subcommittee shall appoint its own chair if desired.  If elected, the subcommittee chair or other representative must attend Parliament meetings as a non-voting liaison to update the Parliament on the affairs of Ware in the World. 

Clause 3: The Parliament representative to Ware in the World may or may not be a current, elected representative of Parliament. 

Section 6: Sustainability Committee

Clause 1: Sustainability Committee shall serve as a non-voting Subcommittee of Parliament. 

Clause 2: Sustainability shall determine their own management as a subcommittee to further House pride and image, and shall be responsible for educating the House on environmental issues, as well as coordinating House sustainability initiatives.  This subcommittee shall appoint its own chair if desired.  If elected, the subcommittee chair or other representative must attend Parliament meetings as a non-voting liaison to update the Parliament on the affairs of the Sustainability Committee. 

Clause 3: The Parliament representative to Sustainability Committee may or may not be a current, elected representative of Parliament. 

Section 7: Additional Subcommittees

Clause 1: Any other non-voting Committees (to serve as subcommittees to the Parliament) may be created and managed at the discretion of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. 

Clause 2: All non-voting Committees to Parliament are to be overseen and managed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Parliament. 

Article V – House Constables

Section 1: There shall be House Constables who are responsible for being on-call, documenting damages, and reporting violations of House and College rules and policies. House Constables are paid a stipend from the House student staff budget.

Section 2: There shall be no fewer than seven (7) Constables, nominated by the House Don and Prefect, and approved by majority vote of the Parliament in the beginning of the fall semester.  Constables assume office on the first day of the subsequent fall semester. 

Clause 1: Upon assuming office, the House Constables nominate and elect a Chief Constable, who organizes and directs the activities of the Constables. 

Section 2: House Constables serve for one academic year. 

Section 3: Parliament has the right to remove a House Constable by a 2/3 majority vote. 

Article VI – The House Court

Section 1: Duties of the Court: The House Court is a body created to address violations of the House rules and to arbitrate disputes between House members. 

Section 2: Justices

Clause 1: The Court shall be composed of seven (7) Justices who are House members, who shall be nominated by the House Don and House Prefect from a pool of volunteering students, and who must be approved by the Parliament by majority vote.  The House Don and House Prefect shall nominate, and the Parliament must approve by majority vote, Justices to complete the unfinished term of any Justice who leaves the Court before the end of his/her term. 

Clause 2: Justices shall serve on the Court until their cohort class graduates, or until they resign, in writing, from the Court. 

Clause 3: No Justice is eligible for any other elected House position during his/her tenure on the Court, though they may be active in Committees as members. 

Clause 4: The protocols governing the Court are enumerated in the House Court handbook, and can only be amended by the unanimous consent of the Justices. 

Clause 5: All Court hearings shall be open to all House Members and the House Don and Prefect, as observers, with the exception of the deliberation phase of a dispute hearing. 

Section 3: House Elections

Clause 1: The House Court shall administer all House elections.

Clause 2: The Prime Minister shall coordinate with the elections board to implement election procedures.

Clause 2: Four Associate Justices shall make up the elections board.

Clause 3: The senior member of the elections board shall serve as chair. 

Clause 4: The remaining three Justices shall make-up the Appeals Board, with the Chief Justice serving as Chair.

Clause 5: At minimum, two Associate Justices must co-chair an election. 

Clause 6: The General Elections shall take place at the end of the Spring Semester.

Clause 7: House Court Justices shall be responsible for recruiting volunteers to man the voting tables.  No person running for a contested position may man a table. 

Article VII – The House Directorate

Section 1: Duties of the Directorate The House Directorate shall hear appeals of House members.  All decisions made by the House Court may be appealed, on procedural grounds, to the House Directorate.  The House Directorate shall also decide disputes relating to the application of the House constitution upon the request of the parliament. 

Section 2: Directorate Members

Clause 1: The House Directorate shall be composed of the House Don, the House Prefect, and three House members (House Directors). 

Clause 2: House Directors shall be nominated by the House Don and House Prefect in the spring semester, and must be approved by the Parliament by majority vote.  House Directors assume their duties on the first day of the subsequent fall semester. 

Clause 3: House Directors serve in their position until their cohort class graduates, or until they resign, in writing, from the House Directorate. 

Clause 4: The House Don and House Prefect shall nominate, and the Parliament must approve by majority vote, a House member to complete the unfinished term of any House Director. 

Clause 5: House Directorate must meet with the Chief Justice before making a decision for an appeal from the court, and with the Prime Minister before making a decision for an application of the House constitution. 

Clause 6: No House Director is eligible for any other elected House position during his/her tenure on the Court, though they may be active in Committees as members. 

Article VIII – Impeachment of House Officers

Section 1: House officers may be impeached and removed from office if they fail to fulfill their duties as prescribed by this constitution, or if they use their position in the House government to act unethically or in a manner that violates House or College rules or policy. 

Section 2: Any House officer (Parliament Member, Justice, Constable, House Director) shall be impeached by a 2/3 vote of the Parliament. 

Section 3: If impeached, the House officer shall be tried by the House Court, and shall be removed from office upon a majority vote of the participating Justices. 

Article IX – Amendment

Section 1: Amendments to this constitution must be approved by a ¾ vote of the Parliament, followed by a general vote of House members in good standing. 

Section 2: Amendments to this constitution must be approved by a ¾ vote of the Parliament. 

Clause 1: Amendments last only for the semester until a House vote. 

Clause 2: Amendments must be approved by the House Directorates on constitutional basis before taking effect without a House vote.

Section 3: Amendments must be approved by a general vote by the House members in good standing before the end of the semester. 

Clause 1: The Parliament must organize a reasonable voting location and period. 

Clause 2: A minimum of 3 booths must be placed at reasonable locations. 

Clause 3: Amendments to this constitution must be approved by the majority in the general vote. 

Article X – Ratification

Section 1: This constitution takes effect in the semester following a general vote of approval by House members in good standing.  Each fourth year following ratification, for 16 years, the Ware College House constitution must be re-ratified, with modification/amendment, by majority vote of House members in good standing. 


~RATIFIED APRIL 25, 2006~

~AMENDED SPRING 2008~

~AMENDED SPRING 2010~

~AMENDED SPRING 2011~

~AMENDED SPRING 2012~

 

 

Prime Minister -- Represents House externally, proposes budget, convenes and runs Parliament meetings, appoints liaisons

Deputy Prime Minister-- Stands in for the Prime Minister if he/she is unable to perform his/her duties; Oversees all non-voting subcommittees

Treasurer -- Tracks House spending and budget, has signature authority Secretary -- Keeps minutes, calls roll, takes Parliament votes

Parliament -- Approves nominees, votes on rules and spending, has impeachment power

Committees -- (House Life, Social, Operations) Do work of House, propose spending items to Parliament

House Directorate -- (Directors/Don/Prefect) Hear appeals of House court, interpret constitution

House Court (Justices) -- Hear cases involving alleged violations of House rules; Arbitrate disputes within the House

Constables -- Write incident reports, On-call for residents, report violations of College and House rules


  • Click here to see a powerpoint on the Constitutional amendments being voted on this spring as well as an explanation of the changes.