Student Environment Centre


[Chartered by the Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia]

[Updated October 28, 2019]

a. The Student Environment Centre (SEC)

a. Statement of Principles
i. We recognize that human activities have a tremendous impact on the state of the ecosystem, both locally and globally, and see it as important for humanity as a whole to reduce our negative effects on the natural environment, keeping in spirit with the idea of sustainable development.

i. To provide resources to UBC students and the community on ecological issues.
ii. To coordinate events and activities related to pertinent environmental issues.
iii. To improve the state of sustainability on campus.
iv. To network with groups on campus that have complementary mandates.
v. To be a visible presence on campus.

Active Members
a. An active member shall be defined as an individual who attends a minimum of one (1) meeting every academic year. After attending one meeting, these individuals have the power to vote.
b. Meetings that are eligible for the “active member” requirement include weekly meetings, Annual General Meetings, subcommittee meetings, and event planning meetings.

General Executive Duties
i. Coordinate elections.
ii. Select a facilitator for every meeting.
iii. Provide orientation for incoming executives.
iv. Assist in preparing a year-end report.
v. Update and maintain the resources of SEC.
vi. Ensure subcommittees adhere to the objectives of SEC.
vii. Publicize Annual General Meetings at least two weeks in advance through campus and social media.
viii. Encourage membership participation in all aspects of SEC.
ix. Complete administrative work around the office and maintain its organization and tidiness.
x. Attend a consensus building workshop (optional, subject to availability).

i. Co-chairs (2)

  1. Act as the primary representatives of SEC to the UBC community at large.
  2. Conduct and facilitate meetings on a regular basis.
  3. Work to make SEC a visible organization on campus.
  4. Support project coordinators.
  5. One co-chair must act as an AMS Bookings Representative for SEC.
  6. Check the email address regularly.
  7. Send out regular email newsletters in coordination with the Secretary.
  8. Prepare agendas for meetings and make available to other executives prior to the meeting.
  9. Maintain an updated website.
  10. Confirm receipt of funding proposals and follow up with announcement of decision.
  11. Manage paperwork when necessary.

ii. Treasurer

  1. Acts as the sole signing officer of SEC.
  2. Prepares the annual budget in consultation with other members.
  3. Maintains comprehensive records of all financial transactions.
  4. Provides an orientation for the incoming treasurer.
  5. Checks the SEC folder provided by the AMS at the Financial Office.
  6. Ensures that the SEC budget is met.
  7. Follows the guidelines for the treasurer role as set out by the AMS.

iii. Events Coordinator

  1. Ensures that events and activities are run on a regular basis (e.g. speaker series, movie nights, etc.).
  2. Supports initiatives by recruiting volunteers, scheduling shifts, and liaising with organizers.  
  3. Organizes socials for active SEC members to foster a sense of community (e.g. potluck dinners).
  4. Plans activities for all members to increase environmental awareness (e.g. field trips).
  5. Coordinates planning and promotion of said events with the Outreach Coordinator.

iv. Secretary

  1. Takes minutes of all SEC meetings and archives them on the website in coordination with the Co-Chairs.
  2. Appoints a substitute to take minutes if they are unable to attend a meeting.
  3. Takes care of office paperwork (paying bills, renewing magazine subscriptions if applicable, etc.) in coordination with the Co-Chairs.
  4. Sends out regular email newsletters in coordination with the Co-Chairs.

v. Outreach Coordinator

  1. Communicates with other environmental groups on campus (e.g. Common Energy, Sprouts, UBCC350).
  2. Consults with other environmental groups in the city, province, etc. (e.g. Greenpeace, Forest Ethics, Dogwood Initiative).
  3. Liaises with campus media outlets, including CiTR, the Ubyssey, the Talon, and others.
  4. Provides support in advertising SEC events.
  5. Ensures that SEC has a visible presence on campus through social media (twitter and Facebook) and promotional products (stickers, buttons, etc.).

vi. Sub-Committee Coordinator

  1. Is elected in the advent of formation of a sub-committee or auxiliary group of the Student Environment Centre, lasting a minimum of one (1) full academic semester. A Sub-Committee Coordinator may be elected by one of the following methods:
    Election during an Annual General Meeting or By-Election
    Election by a 2/3 majority vote in a Weekly General Meeting, following guidelines from section E (b through f). Sub-Committee Coordinator elections must be advertised a minimum of one (1) week in advance.
  2. Organizes Sub-Committee meetings on a regular basis.
  3. Ensures that the Sub-Committee runs events and activities on a regular basis.
  4. Reports back to SEC, either by attending Weekly General Meetings, or by reporting to the Events Coordinator.
  5. Submits formal budget to the Treasurer for events requiring SEC funding.

Terms of Office
a. The term of office for the coordinators shall begin immediately following the meeting in which they are elected and be for one full academic year.
b. Executive Meetings
i. Executive meetings shall be held as deemed necessary.
ii. Quorum for executive meetings shall consist of at least three (3) executives.
iii. Executive meetings shall be open to any member who wishes to attend.

a. Elections shall be held once a year in the spring, or as needed in an Annual General Meeting held for that purpose.
b. Any member in good standing of the Alma Mater Society is eligible to run for office.
c. Candidates shall email their propositions for the position(s) they are interested in prior to the election, and attend and introduce themselves, describing their goals for their prospective positions at the General Meeting. Each candidate shall have no more than five (5) minutes.
d. Candidates shall be briefed by the current executives on all aspects related to running SEC and the duties and obligations of each position.
e. All voting in the executive elections shall be decided via a secret ballot (or eyes closed, hands raised with a non-partial hand counter). Unanimous agreement is required for a candidate to be successful.
f. Where a coordinator has resigned or for any reason there occurs a vacancy in a coordinator position, the following shall apply:
i. Should the position be necessary for the continuation of SEC (e.g. Co-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary), a short-term vacancy may be for a period of one month or occur when winter classes are not in session, or if longer than one month, an interim coordinator/executive shall be appointed by the coordinators and voted on by present active members.
ii. Should the vacancy be in a non-essential role, a by-election may be held to fill the vacated position, or the position may remain vacant until the next AGM and election.

Weekly General Meetings
a. The business of SEC shall be conducted at weekly meetings during the winter session of classes. Summer meetings can occur when and if they are needed, dependent on executive and active member availability.
b. Quorum shall consist of at least two executives and at least two active members, or three executives.
c. Meetings may be divided into “Event Planning” and “Administrative” meetings, catering to individuals who are more interested in one or the other. Each should meet at least twice a month.
d. Business shall be conducted according to the following structure:
i. A facilitator shall be chosen on a rotating basis.
ii. The facilitator shall be responsible for:
1. Listing agenda items before the start of the meeting.
2. Establishing proposed guidelines for the agenda items.
3. Introducing the purpose of the group and the focus of the meeting for new members.
4. Ensuring all members have an equal voice.
5. Maintaining a speakers list.
6. Keeping the discussion focused and on time.
7. Ensuring that all members know the structure and format of the meeting.
iii. In the event that a consensus decision cannot be reached after a reasonable amount of time, all interested individuals must call another meeting to further discuss the issue and reach consensus (unanimous agreement).
iv. Meetings shall be run in an inclusive manner.
v. Priority shall be given for first-time speakers.
vi. One co-chair will send/make available a draft of the agenda to the executive list prior to the meeting, and shall send the agenda to any active member who requests it prior to the meeting.
vii. The agenda shall contain:
1. A round of checking in.
2. Outline of what SEC is and what is currently going on (if necessary).
3. Reports from Project Coordinators.
4. New business.
5. Wrap-up and evaluation of the meeting: proposed agenda items for the following meeting.

Annual General Meetings
a. Annual General Meetings (AGMs) shall be held twice during every school year. One shall be held in the fall, one in the spring. The spring meeting will include a “wrap up” discussion.
i. At least two (2) weeks notice shall be given prior to the holding of an AGM.
ii. The Fall meeting will welcome new members and elect any needed executive positions.
iii. The spring meeting shall be held for the purpose of reviewing the financial statements, reviewing the budget, electing any needed executives, and wrapping up the year.
b. AGMs cannot be held outside of the fall and winter sessions.

Special General Meetings
a. Special General Meetings (SGMs) shall be called for the purpose of amending the constitution or to conduct by-elections for the coordinators.
i. At least two (2) weeks notice shall be given prior to the holding of an SGM.
ii. SGMs shall be called in the following manner:
1. By the coordinators for the purpose of conducting a by-election.
2. By successful resolution at a regular meeting.

a. Due to the mandate, structure and activities of SEC, it is hoped that its projects and upkeep will be carried out without the need for formal staff.
b. In the event that the group, at an AGM, decides to hire staff for the everyday workings of SEC, the process will include:
i. Consultation with the active members at the weekly general meetings.
ii. The election of a hiring subcommittee to:
1. Advertise the available positions.
2. Interview prospective candidates.
3. Make a collective hiring decision.
4. Provide an orientation for the new staff member.
iii. Payment of staff will be coordinated by the Treasurer.
iv. Co-Chairs, or another individual as elected by the hiring Sub-Committee and ratified at a weekly general meeting, will supervise the activities of hired staff.

a. When SEC has funds allocated in its annual budget for honouraria, they shall be dispensed in the following manner:
i. An honourarium is available to any active member who will or has dedicated significant time and energy to a specific SEC project during the course of the year.
ii. Honouraria must comply with AMS and RGAC guidelines.
iii. Honouraria may be applied for before an initiative is started or after it has been completed, with proper documentation of the work to be done or that has been done.
1. Documentation should be a record of hours worked on the initiative and should include a summary of accomplishments for that time period.
2. To apply for an honourarium, an individual must present a written proposal and presentation detailing a timeline, objectives/accomplishments and budget of the initiative to the members of SEC at a weekly meeting.
3. The applicant will be asked to leave the meeting after their presentation and the remaining members will discuss the proposal and achieve consensus on whether or not to award the honorarium, and the amount.
b. All applications for honouraria must be seconded by one active member of SEC.
c. Amounts allocated for each honourarium may vary depending on the initiative, the SEC budget and by a decision made at a weekly meeting.
d. Honouraria will be dispensed after the project has been completed and appropriate documentation has been submitted to the treasurer and the AMS.

a. The Constitution of SEC may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) resolution of the members of a general meeting held for that purpose.

a. Nothing in the Constitution of SEC shall be interpreted in a manner repugnant to the Constitution, Bylaws, or Code of Procedure of the AMS.

Professional Development
a. Any active member may present to the general assembly a paid opportunity to improve their leadership/sustainability knowledge that they wish to participate in.
b. Following discussion active members will vote on whether to approve the expenditure.
c. Travel expenses must be submitted in a written funding proposal.

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