CONSTITUTION (AND BYLAWS) OF THE HARVARD SATYRICAL PRESS
Article One: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Harvard Satyrical Press: A GSAS Student Organization.
Article Two: Purpose
The major objective of the Harvard Satyrical Press (HSP) is to publish a high quality, satire format humor magazine run by Harvard graduate students, but with contributions also encouraged from students in the professional schools and from undergraduates. Our belief that a little more comedy is a crucial ingredient towards improving the quality of life of students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and the Harvard student community at large. The magazine, which will begin as a website only (and hopefully end up in printed form), will, in practice, be largely directed towards GSAS students, although, as noted, in the spirit of inclusiveness, it will accept and encourage submissions from Harvard students outside GSAS. Although submissions will be limited to the Harvard student community, the audience of the HSP can in principle extend to Harvard faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and staff, and in reality, any citizens of the world who happen to find the website, and for some reason think it's funny. This will be the first and only current official graduate student run humor magazine, and we hope to give the existing undergraduate humor publications a little healthy competition, and maybe even convince some of their best comedians to venture over to the dark side.
This goal is achieved by:
1. Publishing really, really funny articles on the website, with high fidelity graphics to enhance laughter as desired. The Harvard Satyrical Press will be primarily a news format satire magazine (inspired in many ways by The Onion http://www.theonion.com), and which began as an unofficial Scientist/Other Nerds tribute to The Onion, cleverly named The Sci-Onion The Sci-Onion in a remarkable fit of creative inspiration.
2. Dealing tactfully with the publication of articles with potentially controversial or offensive content. For articles dealing with touchy or controversial issues, a responsibility which any legitimate satire magazine must accept, we take the position that the more controversial an article, the funnier it has to be to be worthy of publication. The idea is that the bar is raised for articles dealing with topics that are likely to make a substantial portion of our readership uncomfortable. As an expression of freedom of speech, the format of satire must tackle tough issues head on, and often requires the use of profanity. It can and will touch upon issues that some would consider offensive. This is considered necessary and reasonable and is justified by the nature of satire as a unique medium in which to explore and critique a plethora of social, political, economic, religious, sexual, scientific, intellectual, and banal human issues.
3. Finding funny writers in GSAS, and the other graduate and professional schools (Divinity, Design, Law, Medicine, Business, Education, Government, etc...), as well as undergraduates. We will recruit HSP officers (who must be GSAS students), contributing writers, and general members via mass e-mail, word of mouth, and flyer based advertising.
4. Employing an effective and humane editorial review process to weed out writers who we simply don't think are funny, but telling them so nicely.
5. Advertising the online magazine via mass e-mails to members and GSAS residents, and in the physical world, via flyers in Dudley House, the GSAS Residence Halls, on kiosks around campus, and in other campus locations consistent with our audience, for example in the undergraduate houses.
6. Keeping in mind a long term plan, in addition to the website, of distributing the magazine 2-3 times a semester in either black and white, or high quality color printed form, the latter of which might perhaps be printed as a yearly anthology of online articles. This would undoubtedly require supplementary funding, perhaps in the form of advertisements from local businesses.
Article Three: Criteria for Membership
A. Membership Criteria for HSP General Members
During each academic year, the HSP will advertise and try to recruit a general membership base, basically readers of the magazine who have the right to attend general meetings, contribute to the magazine, help out the officers of their own free will, and voice their opinions on HSP policies.
1. All residents of the GSAS, as well as other graduate and professional schools at Harvard (Divinity, Design, Law, Medicine, Business, Education, Government, etc...), and Harvard undergraduates are eligible to be members, regardless of sex, race, creed, age, color, national origin, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or handicap. Membership is meant to be inclusive to the Harvard student community at large.
2. There is no limit to the number of individuals who may be members.
3. There must be at least 10 members.
4. To become a member, a person need only contact one of the officers and ask to be put on the membership and e-mail list, or explicitly consent to becoming a member upon being asked by an officer.
5. HSP Officers (who must be GSAS students) are members by default.
6. However, the e-mail list can include non-members including Harvard faculty, postdocs, staff, and individuals that are not part of the Harvard community, but are interested in receiving updates about the magazine. These people could in principle attend general meetings, but would not be eligible to vote in elections, run for office, or vote on amendments to the constitution.
B. Weakly Defined Responsibilities of HSP General Members
1. Attend HSP bi-monthly meetings (if they feel like it).
2. Read the magazine/arrive at opinions on the content (if they feel like it).
3. Help recruit HSP officers by word of mouth (if they're not too busy).
4. Help promote the magazine by word of mouth advertising to the Harvard community and even the world at large. (Unless they have something better to do).
5. Help out the officers with things like posting flyers. (If it's not too much trouble).
6. All members are eligible to write and submit articles with graphics (and must agree to have no hard feelings if their articles don't make it through the editorial sieve)
Article Four: Officers
A. Criteria for Officer Positions
All HSP Officers must be GSAS students. Harvard undergraduates and Harvard students in the other professional schools (Divinity, Design, Law, Medicine, Business, Education, Government, etc...), while eligible for general membership, are not eligible to be officers.
B. Description of HSP Officer Positions
1. Editor In Chief
a. S/he shall be the chief executive officer and shall carry out the decisions of the Harvard Satyrical Press.
b. S/he shall call and preside at the bi-monthly meetings of the HSP which are open to HSP officers, general members, and any prospective members.
c. S/he shall be the chief spokesperson for the HSP to present its decisions and recommendations to any bodies concerned with the formulation of GSAS or Graduate Student Council (GSC) policy.
d. S/he will be responsible for ensuring that the HSP is regularly represented at meetings of the Graduate Student Council.
e. Until further notice, s/he shall be the webmaster of the Harvard Satyrical Press, but can and will reserve the right to ask for help from other officers, contributors, and general members in regard to:
i. Formatting the articles using Dreamweaver (or other web page software),
ii. Formatting printable Word documents,
iii. Creating of graphics for the articles using Adobe Photoshop,
iv. Maintaining the webpage in general.
f. Until further notice, s/he shall be responsible for the creation of graphics for articles that have not been provided by submitting writers.
g. Along with the Vice Editor, s/he shall notify all officers and members of the time and place of HSP meetings, mainly by mass e-mails.
h. Along with the Vice Editor, s/he shall be responsible for sending out mass e-mails to the officers and general members advertising new online issues of the Harvard Satyrical Press, as well as any announcements s/he deems pertinent.
i. Along with the Vice Editor, and Treasurer, s/he shall be responsible for advertising to recruit officers, general members, and contributing writers.
j. Along with the Vice Editor, s/he shall be responsible for the editorial review process for submitted articles, and shall conduct such a process in a fair and humane manner, discriminating between articles based only on comedic merit, and politely notifying potential contributors of the decision to publish or not publish the article.
k. Along with the other officers s/he shall draft any proposals for funding from the GSC.
l. Prior to the first election, the Editor in Chief will appoint the first generation of officers (July 2003).
2. Vice Editor
a. S/he shall keep a permanent record of all HSP meetings (chiseled in stone...just kidding).
b. S/he shall be responsible for monitoring the attendance of general members and officers at HSP meetings and determining the voting eligibility of attendees.
c. S/he shall keep a record of all current officers and members along with their contact information, most importantly, their e-mail addresses.
d. Along with the Vice Editor, s/he shall notify all officers and members of the time and place of HSP meetings, mainly by mass e-mails.
e. Along with the Editor in Chief, s/he shall be responsible for sending out mass e-mails to the officers and general members advertising new online issues of the Harvard Satyrical Press, as well as any announcements s/he deems pertinent.
f. Along with the Editor in Chief and Treasurer, s/he shall be responsible for advertising to recruit officers, general members, and contributing writers.
g. Along with the Editor in Chief, s/he shall be responsible for the editorial review process for submitted articles, and shall conduct such a process in a fair and humane manner, discriminating between articles based only on comedic merit, and politely notifying potential contributors of the decision to publish or not publish the article.
h. Along with the other officers s/he shall draft any proposals for funding from the GSC.
i. S/he shall ensure that a copy of the HSP Constitution is available upon request, or can refer persons to the HSP website.
j. S/he shall fulfill the responsibilities of the Editor In Chief if the Editor In Chief cannot.
a. S/he shall receive and distribute all monies on behalf of the HSP.
b. S/he shall prepare a financial report to present to all HSP officers and representatives at regular HSP meetings. The HSP books shall be open to every HSP member. A copy of the report will be available upon request.
c. S/he shall provide reports and other information as requested to the GSC or GSAS.
d. S/he shall use funds to purchase snacks and drinks to be consumed at HSP general and Executive Committee meetings.
e. Along with the other officers s/he shall draft any proposals for funding from the GSC.
4. Staff Writers (Officer X)
a. All Officers are eligible to submit articles to the Harvard Satyrical Press which are reviewed by other officers. In fact, the officers are expected to comprise the core of staff writers, especially in the early years of the organization (July 2003).
b. New officers (i.e. staff editors, staff writers etc...) may be appointed at any time by The Editor in Chief to supplement the responsibilities of the three main officers. This is especially important during the early stages of the organization. Hence Officer X. New officers may also be elected at the beginning of each academic year (July 2003.)
All Officers shall be responsible for the training of their replacements for the following academic year.
All officers can participate in the editorial review process at the discretion of the Editor in Chief.
Italicized officer responsibilities above which are currently shared will eventually be delegated to individual officers to make the distinctions between job responsibilities much clearer. For now, many job responsibilities are shared since the organization is just beginning, which means that the Editor in Chief, (and writer of this document) will be doing most of the work at first. As the organization evolves, the officer ranks grow, and the job responsibilities become more well-defined, they will be restructured accordingly in the constitution. (July 2003).
B. The Executive Committee
1. The Executive Committee consists of the three officers and any new officers appointed by the Editor in Chief or elected at the yearly elections (July 2003).
2. The Executive Committee shall meet between the regular meetings of the HSP at their convenience to prepare an agenda and to discuss and vote on funding applications. The Editor in Chief is responsible for calling and presiding over these meetings.
3. The Executive Committee may act on behalf of the HSP between HSP meetings and during the summer.
4. The Executive Committee shall organize the HSP for the academic year beginning in September.
C. Election of Officers
1. Any member who has attended at least two HSP meetings (other than the election meeting) is eligible to vote in the elections for officers. This includes undergraduates and non GSAS graduate students, who can vote, but who are not eligible to run for officer positions.
2. Any member is eligible to run for an officer position, with the exception of undergraduate members and non GSAS students.
3. The order of the election, the times for speeches given to the candidates, and the creation and description of any new positions which are open for election are left to the discretion of the Executive Committee prior to the time of the election. These changes must be ratified and amended to the constitution by the executive committee prior to the election meeting, and communicated to the members via e-mail prior to the election.
4. Officers shall be elected by secret ballot by a majority vote.
5. A candidate running unopposed wins. With several candidates, all voters shall rank the candidates in order of preference. Each ballot is credited towards its first choice candidate. If no candidate should receive a majority of votes, the last place candidate shall be eliminated and ballots credited to that candidate redistributed to their respective next eligible choices. This procedure continues until one candidate receives a majority.
6. Should two positions of the same type be open, the winner of the first position shall be determined as provided for in (5) above. The winner of the second position shall then be determined by an immediate recount of all ballots according to the same runoff process, with the name of the already-elected candidate eliminated.
D. Officer Recall and Replacement
1. Any officer may be recalled from his office at the discretion of the Editor in Chief. Most likely the decision will be mutual.
Article Five: Submission and Editorial Process
Article Six: Relationship with other Graduate Student Organizations
HSP shall strive to maintain good collaboration and communication with the other graduate student groups on campus (e.g. Dudley House, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate Student Council).
Article Seven: HSP Meetings
All general meetings of the HSP (not meetings of the Executive Committee) shall be open to anyone.
A. Frequency and Agenda of General Meetings
1. The HSP shall meet at least once every two months during the academic year. The Editor in Chief may call additional meetings or cancel meetings as s/he sees fit in addition to the separate Executive Committee meetings.
2. The agenda, date, and place of the meeting shall be decided upon by the Executive Committee prior to the meeting. The Editor in Chief and/or Vice Editor shall announce the time and place of the meeting to all residents at least three days prior to the meeting, mainly via mass e-mails.
Article Eight: By-Laws and Standing Rules
The HSP may pass by majority vote all by-laws and standing rules it deems necessary. By-laws and standing rules may be repealed by majority vote at general meetings.
Article Nine: Amendments
The Constitution may be amended by two-thirds vote at Executive Committee meetings, or a two-thirds vote at HSP at general meetings. For amendments presented at general meetings, a one week's written or e-mail notification of a HSP vote on an amendment shall be provided to the officers and communicated to the members via e-mail by the Editor in Chief and/or Vice Editor.
Article Ten: Ratification
This constitution became effective on