Constitution of the Joint Activities Committee


We, the students of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, realizing the vital importance of extracurricular activities in developing a sense of responsibility and social competence in preparation for capable citizenship, and aware of our opportunities and responsibilities, as has been expressed in the letter accompanying the Deed of Trust of The Cooper Union by Mr. Peter Cooper:

"Desiring as I do, that the students of this institution may become preeminent examples in the practice of all the virtues, I have determined to give them an opportunity to distinguish themselves for their good judgement by annually recommending to the Trustees for adoption, such rules and regulations as they, on mature reflection, shall believe to be necessary and proper, to preserve good morals and good order throughout their connection with this institution.

* * * * * * * *

I trust that the students of this institution will do something to bear back the mighty torrent of evils now pressing on the world."

do hereby establish this Constitution for the students of the Cooper Union.

Article One--Name of Organization

  1. There shall be a Joint Activities Committee, which is to be the student organization governing extracurricular activities at Cooper Union, having jurisdiction over the process of funding student groups and acting to promote liaisons between the students of the three schools.

Article Two--Powers and Duties of the Committee

Section I

  1. The Joint Activities Committee shall require each student club to have a submitted constitution.
  2. Each student club should submit a list of its members and officers at the beginning of the academic year.
  3. If the practice and conduct of any organization is found to be in contradiction with its constitution by the Joint Activities Committee, the organization may have its Joint Activities Committee funding withdrawn.

Section II

  1. The disbursement of funds allocated by the Business Office to Student Activities shall be subject to the approval of the Joint Activities Committee.

Section III

  1. This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present from each school of the entire Joint Student Council. The Joint Activities Committee must be notified and consulted before the proposed amendments are voted upon.
  2. The Student Activities Committee shall maintain, and publish this Constitution and any amendments thereto.

Article Three--Membership

  1. The Joint Activities Committee shall consist of up to two (2) representatives elected from each school's student council. Each member shall serve for the academic year, beginning in the fall semester. In addition to these representatives, the Joint Activities Committee banker and secretary will serve on the Joint Activities Committee.
  2. The Joint Activities Committee may recommend the removal of a member by his or her representative schools Student Council. This recommendation shall require a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Joint Activities Committee.

Article Four--Meetings

Section I

  1. The Joint Activities Committee will schedule budget review meetings three times a year. The meetings will be scheduled as follows:
    1. One meeting held within the first three weeks of the fall semester will determine the budget allocations for events during the Fall funding period. This period starts one week after this meeting and ends one week after the following meeting held at the beginning of the spring semester.
    2. One meeting held within the first three weeks of the spring semester will determine the budget allocations for events during the Spring funding period. This period starts one week after this meeting and ends on the last day of the spring semester.
    3. One meeting held within the last three weeks of the spring semester will determine the budget allocations for events during the Summer funding period. This period starts the day after the Spring funding period ends and ends the day before the Fall funding period begins.
    4. The Student Banker will publish the funding periods at least a year in advance. Every May, the Banker will set the dates for the following Fall, Spring, and Summer funding periods.
  2. The Joint Activities Committee meeting in May will be a special session designed to help student groups sponsor activities during the fall semester before the Fall funding period begins. To leave the maximum flexibility to the next year's Joint Activities Committee, the total allocations must be no greater than 10%. If the Business Office cuts the appropriation, the early fall funding will be prorated accordingly.
  3. One week after each budgetary meeting, the Joint Activities Committee will hold an appeal meeting for clubs that are dissatisfied about their allocations. Every group is allowed two (2) group members present at the appeals meeting. However, segments of this meeting during which budgetary allocations are being reconsidered are closed. The date and time of this meeting will be posted online at least one week in advance.

Section II

  1. It is the Student Banker.s responsibility to notify JAC representatives of any meetings at least a week in advance. All budget allocations will be determined by a majority vote of those present at the meetings. Each member may only cast one vote.
  2. The students, by a vote of more than twenty-five (25) percent of the total student enrollment may petition for a referendum vote on any Joint Activities Committee decision.

Article Five--Funding

  1. Joint Activities Committee funds are intended to foster leadership skills, to teach responsibility in handling funds, to reward good planning and attention to detail, to develop awareness of ethnic and cultural diversity, to encourage service to community, to kindle friendships and promote social discourse, and to enhance the quality of life at Cooper Union. Over the course of the semester, the goal is to encourage a broad range of activities so that every segment of the student body has a chance to participate.
  2. Each student club that submits a list of the signatures of all its active members to the Joint Activities Committee is eligible for an annual fifty (50) dollar administrative budget to support justifiable administrative expenses. Groups that desire additional money for administrative costs must submit a budget request for such expenses to the Joint Activities Committee. An allocation petition must be submitted online at by each group to receive this budget.
  3. All funding requests must be made through the JAC website by the deadline set by the Student Banker.
  4. Events that are funded by Joint Activities Committee monies must be advertised in 41 Cooper Square, the Foundation Building, and the dormitory at least one week prior to their taking place and be open to the entire student population. Student groups that violate these guidelines may be denied funding in the subsequent budgeting cycle.
  5. Travel expenses may only be funded after the student group has approached other sources of funding support and at or after the appeals meeting.
  6. To receive reimbursement for any event, the sponsoring club must submit, within two weeks of holding the event, a brief report about the event, listing participants and details as to the time and place of the event and providing a copy of the advertisement and receipts for the event.
  7. Student groups that decide they wish to spend their allocated money for a different purpose than listed on their original Joint Activities Committee budget request must have the consent of the Student Banker for amounts below $200. For amounts greater than $200, the consent of one third of the Joint Activities Committee is necessary.
  8. A club that spent less than 50% of the money allocated to it in any JAC period during the previous academic year must submit a written explanation when it submits a request for money in the new funding period of why it failed to do so.
  9. The funding for student clubs and professional groups will be determined by the Joint Activities Committee.

Article Six--The Recognition of Clubs

  1. A club shall present, as its forming documents, a constitution, a list of officers, and of the names of members consisting of at least ten Cooper Union students supporting organization of the club.
  2. During the JAC budget allocations meeting following the submission of a club.s forming documents, the Joint Activities Committee will consider the following to determine whether or not a club will be officially recognized:
    1. the uniqueness of the club's purpose;
    2. the club's appeal to a wide number of Cooper Union students;
    3. the seriousness of the club's intent;
    4. demonstrated ability amont the officers and/or members to accomplish the club's goals.
  3. Once a club is officially recognized, it is eligible for JAC funding. Clubs without recognition are not eligible for JAC funding. If a club was not eligible for JAC funding due to inadequate forming documents, the JAC will notify the prospective club officers of the reasoning for this decision. Prospective club officers will have the opportunity to amend their forming documents and appeal for their club formation and JAC funding at the appeals meeting.
  4. Each group must be present at the Fall Festival or it will be deemed ineligible for fall funding.
  5. If a club has not had funding for the preceding three consecutive JAC periods, it shall be deemed to be inactive and will need to reapply for club recognition.

Article Seven--Ratification

  1. This Constitution, upon the two-thirds approval of the Student Activities Committee, shall be ratified by a two thirds affirmative vote of those representatives present from each school at the Joint Student Council meeting.
  2. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon ratification.

Article Eight--Precedence

  1. This Constitution supersedes all previous Joint Activities Committee constitutions.