CULTURAL DEBATE CLUB
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I - NAME
The name of this organization shall be The Tidewater Community
College Cultural Debate Club, hereafter referred to as the Debate
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
The purpose of the Debate Club is to provide for and establish
the skills required to participate in intelligent, reasoned debates,
and to promote a sense of teamwork among its members. This offers
positive contributions of the members to political discourse and
quality of life through the development and argumentation of evocative
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Any Tidewater Community College student in good standing
shall be eligible to become a member of the Debate Club. Although
NOT a prerequisite, it is recommended that the highly motivated
student possess some public speaking/oral communication skills.
Section 2. The Debate Club members shall vote by ballot on each
application for membership. A minimum three-fourths (3/4) vote is
required for acceptance of the candidate into the Debate Club.
Section 3. The accepted application for membership shall be endorsed
by the Debate Club President or Vice-President and forwarded to
the Student Activities Coordinator for final approval.
Section 4. To promote a true sense of camaraderie, any member
may continue their affiliation through various classes of membership
A. Active Members - Only current Tidewater Community College students
can be considered Active Members.
B. Alumni Members - Any active members in good standing shall
become Alumni Members upon graduating from Tidewater Community College.
These members may participate in the Debate Club, as well as possess
the right to vote in matters of the Debate Club.
C. Honorary Members - Any Debate Club officer may nominate an Honorary
Member that the Debate Club must elect with a minimum three-fourths
(3/4) vote. These members may participate in the Debate Club, but
shall have no right to vote in matters of the Debate Club.
ARTICLE IV - SCORING
A points system shall be established, in order to recognize the
various degrees of success of each participating member. Points
may be earned through competition and through public speeches/appearances
with a minimum of 15 adults in attendance. The Debate Club members
shall receive a certificate of completion for each degree of accomplishment
throughout their membership to be determined in accordance with
sections 2 through 7.
Section 1. Points system - The following charts delineate the
scoring sequence during the competitions of the Debate Club, and
1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place 5th Place Others
Originality 6 5 4 3 2 1
Interpretation 5 4 3 2 1 1
Delivery 4 3 2 1 1 1
Any student speaking publicly, with attendance of 15 adults or more,
shall be awarded 7 points. The length of the speech shall be 5 minutes,
at a minimum. Proof of the speech can be established through electronic
media, or by eyewitness accounts of fellow members.
Section 2. Recognition - A member receiving 30 points, including
a minimum of 10 points in competition shall receive the Certificate
Section 3. Significance - A member receiving the Certificate of
Recognition and 60 points, including a minimum of 20 points in competition
shall receive the Certificate of Significance.
Section 4. Honor - A member receiving the Certificate of Significance
and 100 points, including a minimum of 40 points in competition
shall receive the Certificate of Honor.
Section 5. Excellence - A member receiving the Certificate of
Honor and 200 points, including a minimum of 80 points in competition
shall receive the Certificate of Excellence.
Section 6. Distinction - A member receiving the Certificate of
Excellence and 350 points, including a minimum of 125 points in
competition shall receive the Certificate of Distinction.
Section 7. Superiority - A member receiving the Certificate of
Distinction and 500 points, including a minimum of 200 points in
competition shall receive the Certificate of Superiority.
ARTICLE V - COMPOSITION
The Debate Club shall consist of an Executive Committee and the
members of the Debate Club. Members can be active, alumni, or honorary
in accordance with Article III.
Section 1. Executive Committee - The executive power of the Debate
Club shall be vested in the Executive Committee and shall consist
of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. This committee
shall meet bi-weekly to discuss matters of the Debate Club.
A. The Debate Club President shall have the following duties and
1. To call and preside over all meetings of the Debate Club;
2. To uphold and execute the constitution and the by-laws of the
Debate Club, and in pursuance thereof, to appropriately utilize
all powers to carry out the function of the office of President;
3. To veto any action of the Debate Club that does not support
the best interest of the Debate Club and/or the campus;
4. To attend all Inter Club Council meetings and report on matters
of the Debate Club.
B. The Debate Club Vice-President shall have the following duties
1. To assume the office of President in the event that it is vacated;
2. To discharge all duties as assigned by the President.
C. The Debate Club Secretary shall have the following duties and
1. To record the minutes of all Executive Committee meetings;
2. To record the minutes of the Debate Club meetings, excluding
any debates or panel discussions;
3. To maintain a permanent list of all members of the Debate Club
and to update all contact information on this list, every semester;
4. To maintain a record of all award points earned by each member
of the Debate Club;
5. To report to the Debate Club President the status of all member
points and to provide the necessary certificate of completion for
level achieved by the Debate Club member.
D. The Debate Club Treasurer shall have the following duties and
1. To report to the Student Activities Coordinator on all financial
expenditures and income and assist in maintaining the necessary
documentation of the Debate Club budget;
2. To submit a budget report to the Debate Club, monthly, or at
the request of the Debate Club President;
3. To assist the Debate Club President in recommending the expenditures
of the Debate Club budget to the Student Activities Coordinator
Section 2. Members of the Debate Club - The various degrees of
membership in the Debate Club and their duties and responsibilities
are listed below.
A. Active Members - Active members shall have the following duties
1. To formulate and adopt rules, standards, and regulations pursuant
to the constitution that pertains to all student affairs of the
2. To compose its by-laws in accordance with the constitution;
3. To recommend to the Executive Committee any budget expenditures
of the Debate Club;
4. To meet as necessary to provide for and participate in Debate
Club competitions and to promote the belief of fairness in competition;
5. To participate, whenever possible, in public speeches/appearances
in order to act as ambassadors of the Debate Club;
5. To override a veto of the Debate Club President by a two-thirds
6. To be the judge of improper conduct by any Debate Cub Officer,
and to remove any Officer, if appropriate, by a two-thirds (2/3)
vote. The faculty advisor shall be notified of any intent to remove
an Officer prior to the submission of any vote.
B. Alumni Members - Alumni members shall have the following duties
1. To vote on matters of the Debate, providing the Alumni member
has adequate knowledge of the issue that will be determined by the
2. To provide for and participate in Debate competitions, whenever
possible, and to promote the belief of fairness in competition;
3. To be called upon as guest speakers at Debate functions, when
availability and schedules permit.
C. Honorary Members - Honorary members shall have the following
1. To provide for and participate in Debate Club competitions,
whenever possible, and to promote the belief of fairness in competition;
2. To be called upon as guest speakers at Debate Club functions,
when availability and schedules permit.
ARTICLE VI - ELECTION
Section 1. The elections of the Debate Club officers shall be
conducted by September 30th of each year. In the case of a vacated
office, elections will be conducted as time and schedules permit.
The Student Activities Coordinator shall have final approval authority
in all elections. This is necessary to ensure each candidate is
in good standing while attending Tidewater Community College.
Section 2. The terms of Debate Club officers shall be one year
from the date of their certification. The Debate Club President
and Vice-President may not run for re-election in the same office.
The Debate Club Secretary and Treasurer may run for re-election.
All Debate Club officer candidates/incumbents must remain in good
standing while attending Tidewater Community College.
ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by any
Debate Club member.
Section 2. Proposed amendments shall be tabled for a period of
two weeks, during which time the proposed amendment may be discussed.
Section 3. Following the tabling period, the proposed amendment
must be approved by a majority vote of the Debate Club members.
All active members shall be required to vote on the proposed amendment.
In extreme cases, determined by the Faculty Advisor/Student Activities
Coordinator, Debate Club members may submit an absentee ballot that
will be held by the Student Activities Coordinator until voting
occurs. Alumni members may vote, but must possess adequate knowledge
of the proposed amendment and be available to cast their vote. No
absentee ballot vote will be accepted from an alumni member.
ARTICLE VIII - RATIFICATION
Section 1. Ratification shall be decided by a two-thirds (2/3)
vote of the Executive Committee. Once ratified, this constitution
shall supercede and take precedence over all previous Debate Club
Section 2. In the case of conflict between other previously existing
Debate Club documents and the present constitution, the provisions
of the latter shall govern.
Section 3. Ratification shall occur by October 31st of each year,
or after an amendment has been added.
The Tidewater Community College Cultural Debate Club Constitution
has been ratified with a minimum two-thirds (2/3) acceptance vote
of the Debate Club Executive Committee, containing eight (8) Articles
and Amendments on this day of in the year, .
Chapter 1. Every chapter of the Debate Club may appoint additional
officers to support their cause as needed. This will be accomplished
in accordance with By-Law Chapter 2.
Chapter 2. The election and voting procedure for the Debate Club
shall be as follows:
1. All voting shall be done on official ballots and maintained
by the Debate Club
Secretary. Official ballots will be decided upon and written by
each Debate Club Chapter.
2. The Debate Club Secretary will provide the necessary ballots
to the Chapter
President and Faculty Advisor for endorsement of the election or
3. Voting shall be performed only on the day agreed upon by all
members, and shall be completed that day. No extensions on voting
will be allowed.
4. A quorum (majority of members) must be reached prior to voting
of elections or issues. Abstention is an acceptable vote.
5. Official ballots shall be submitted to and counted by the Faculty
Advisor and/or the Student Activities Coordinator. The Debate Club
President shall be informed of the results of the voting, and shall
announce the results to the members of the Debate Club. Results
may be posted depending upon the decision of the Debate Club Chapter.
6. Secret ballots may be requested for sensitive issues, but must
be approved by the Faculty Advisor/Student Activities Coordinator
prior to the vote. The results of the voting shall be recorded and
all pertinent documentation surrendered to the Faculty Advisor/Student
Chapter 3. These By-Laws can be amended by each Debate Club Chapter
to stimulate teamwork and fair play.
Chapter 4. If a By-Law is deleted during an amendment process,
the chapter number
shall also be deleted.
Chapter 5. If an active member transfers his/her degree prior to
graduation from Tidewater Community College to a local (geographical
area) college/university, that member may become an alumni member
upon proof of graduation from the transfer college/university.
Chapter 6. Officers of the Debate Club Executive Committee may
in no way use the powers of their office to intimidate any Debate
Club member, or influence the outcome of any issue/election. Violations
of this may be considered as improper conduct and will result in
removal from office. Campaigning for issues/elections shall not
be considered abuse of power and is therefore acceptable.
Chapter 7. Any candidate requesting admittance into the Debate
Club shall be invited to two (2) meetings in which he/she may participate
in panel discussions/debates. After such time, acceptance into the
Debate Club shall be determined in accordance with Article III,
Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution.
Chapter 8. Officers of the Debate Club Executive Committee shall
designate a substitute to attend external meetings in the case of
the absence of the officer in question.
Chapter 9. In the event of the absence of the Debate Club President,
the Executive Committee shall be chaired by the Vice-President,
or the Secretary, if the Vice-President is absent. If all three
are absent there shall be no meeting due to the inability to establish
Chapter 10. It is important to note that the Debate Club encourages
expression of a wide range of views among its members, and to ensure
that the Debate Club members' lives will be enriched by public speeches/debate