Constitution

Mount Holyoke College 

Rugby Football Club Constitution 

Preamble: The purposes of the MHCRFC are to further the club sport of women’s rugby and to further the club sport of rugby within the Mount Holyoke College community in particular. The constitution is herewith a series of articles meant to articulate the offices, processes, and by-laws of this club. 

Article I: Membership 

  1. All registered students in good standing within the college are eligible for membership. 
  2. Experience is not a prerequisite to membership to the club. 
  3. Members of MHCRFC will abide by the tenets of safe and sportsmanlike play. 
  4. Voting members are those members who have joined the club, have attended half of the on field events, and have paid their dues. 
  5. Social Members, faculty, and alumnae may be associate guests of the club, but they cannot have voting privileges. 
  6. Individuals attending an affiliated five-college institution may be members of the club, providing that no rugby club exists at their home institution. They are privy to all privileges of MHC members, with the sole exception of holding office. 
  7. Each semester dues are required to be paid prior to the game roster poll due date. If an active player requests financial aid for CIPP-ing fees or dues a contract shall be required. 

Article II: Board of Directors 

  1. The activities and functions of the club will be governed by a Board of Directors. 
  2. The Board will meet on a monthly basis (minimally) during the academic year. 
  3. The Board will consist of the following officers: President, Treasurer, Match Secretaries (2), Social Secretaries (2), Captains (2) DEI Coordinators (2), Manager, and Ombudsperson. 
  4. Faculty representation, including the Assistant Athletic Director, Coach, and other athletic administrators can be board members at the discretion of the Membership, but these non-students may not have voting privileges. These Board members would only serve the club on an advisory capacity. 

Article III: Offices of the Club 

  1. President: The President of the Club is the chair of all board meetings. The President of the club is also the chair of all Annual Meetings, including those wherein amendments of the constitution, elections, and other special meetings might be conducted. The President is expected to maintain an orderly process in conducting meetings. Presidency includes the responsibility of ensuring that all other Board members are keeping up with their duties, and doing/ delegating those duties if they are not being met. The President is the club’s first representative and is expected to represent the club at club functions, with affiliated rugby union(s), attending (or finding someone to attend) SGA meetings, calling Board Meetings, and coordinating with the Student Activities Office. The President represents rugby as its voting member of the Club Sports Council. In the event that the President is elected to chair the Council, only then can this seat be delegated to another member. The President is expected to abide by the constitution and uphold the articles therein. The President will also have the most contact with NERFU and will be in charge of CIPP forms. 
  2. Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for collecting dues and keeping track of finances and informs the Board of the financial status of the club. The Treasurer is also responsible for coordinating the budget with the Student Activities Office, the SGA, and the affiliated union(s). The Treasurer is responsible for organizing jerseys, balls, equipment, T-shirts, and other club function purchases. The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing all fundraising functions and merchandise sales, and for coordinating with the Social Chairs on flyering, cash boxes, change and reserving spaces for those fundraising events. They are liaison to all committees functioning in a fundraising capacity. The treasurer will not begin their duties until they have completed authorized signers training. 
  3. Match Secretary: The Match Secretary is the officer charged with the task of organizing the club’s game schedule for the Fall and Spring seasons. This individual must publish the schedule in advance of the season, and is responsible for coordinating with the other club’s schedule secretaries and the unions. This individual will also be responsible for organizing directions for the clubs visiting Mount Holyoke College and for issuing directions to MHCRFC members and arranging transportation for away games. The Match Secretary is responsible for coordinating the scheduling and the preparation of the athletic fields for home games. The Match Secretary must notify the Kendall Field director at least 3 weeks before home games and give him/her a season game schedule a.s.a.p. The Match Secretary is responsible for insuring that the fields are properly marked in accordance with the NERFU Laws of the Game, and that flags, goal posts, and cones are available for home games. The Match Secretary is also responsible for coordinating changing facilities for the visiting team, for coordinating EMTs to be available for home games, and for arranging referees. The Match Secretary also must check in with the hosts of tournaments and games about playing players that identify as transgender. The Match Secretary is also responsible for coordinating with the Treasurer for the purchase of equipment and for keeping the MedKit stocked at all times. 
  4. Junior Match and Field Secretary: This position is an extension of the Match and Field Secretary’s main responsibilities. This position will primarily involve assisting the Match and Field Secretary with pre game preparation and communication. These are the potential responsibilities for this position: 
  5. Ensuring that the field is properly equipped and lined
  6. Reserving EMT’s 
  7. Reserving a ref at NERRS 
  8. Make sure the Health Center is informed that we have a home game occurring 
  9. Email the Associate Athletic Director/Facilities (Currently Barbara Sadlier) for away team locker room usage 
  10. Other responsibilities will be assigned on a week by week basis by the Senior MFS 
  11. Social Chairs: The Social Chairs are responsible for organizing the social reception traditionally following the conclusion of the home games and are also responsible for planning and organizing the Friday social hour(s). These individuals are responsible for the selection of the site of the reception and for the organizing the refreshments. These individuals work very closely with the with the Treasurer to ensure that there are sufficient funds for refreshments so that MHCRFC remains held in high regard by visiting clubs. When the team does fundraising and publicity, the Social Chairs are responsible for coordinating with the Treasurer in flyering, cash boxes, change and reserving spaces for those fundraising events 
  12. Captains: The Captains are responsible for, in conjunction with the Coaches, organizing the practices and games as well as keeping attendance. The Captains are the team leaders in regards to the scheduling of practices and for ensuring that there is proper equipment for practices. The Captains are also responsible for the selection process and serves as the Chairs of the Selection Committee. The Captains are the field captains in all game situations unless they are unable to play, in which case they shall appoint a temporary on field captain. They are also responsible for maintaining a roster of active members. Such a roster should be up-dated for each Board meeting and for club functions. Finally, it is highly recommended that there be one line captain and one scrum captain, though this is not a necessity. 

  1. DEI Coordinators: 
  2. Role on the board:

The DEI Coordinators serve as the point people for club programming concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Coordinators work collaboratively with other board members and the team to uphold the Constitution’s Article X: Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  The Coordinators are involved in every aspect of the team programming, providing oversight to promote active accountability and ensure that the board is aware, sensitive and equitable. They ensure that every team member feels valued, included, and supported.

  1. Incident bias:

They receive responses from the anonymous bias incident report form and are responsible for bringing these problems to the board. They work with the ombudsperson to address conflicts and bias incidents. The entirety of board is responsible for addressing discrimination on the team, before and after incidents arise. Every board member is expected to support the DEI Coordinators however is necessary. The DEI Coordinators will utilize school resources such as the Office of Student Involvement when appropriate. 

III. Trainings, education and sensitivity:

The DEI Coordinators are responsible for arranging DEI training for the team and the board every semester. They partner with the treasurer on the team budget to allocate funds needed for training. Those in this role also receive intersectional DEI training. The DEI Coordinators ensure all members abide by the anti-racism contract.

  1. Resources:

The DEI Coordinators are responsible for making sure resources to support diversity, equity, and inclusion are readily accessible to the team. They collaborate with the treasurer to administer aid funds to BIPOC and/or Low Income players. They actively form connections with resources on campus so members can utilize organizations such as MHC DEI offices, community advocacy services, and counseling services that can help facilitate prevention, interventions, and remedies for those who experience racism and discrimination.

  1. Communication and engagement:

The DEI Coordinators will provide their contact information so members can communicate with them. They monitor the bias incident report form and the board feedback form to allow for anonymous contact from team members. They will prioritize accessibility and flexibility when addressing incidents pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This can include informal meetings and other available ways to communicate with members.

  1. Manager: The manager will be responsible for establishing and implementing a system for organizing equipment and delegating equipment/laundry responsibilities and also coordinating team travel arrangements off campus. The manager will work with the treasurer to make purchasing decisions for the team, taking into account input from the captains and the coach. The manager will provide support to the social chairs and other board members as needed in planning and executing rugby events. As a member of the rugby board, the manager will be responsible for attending a minimum of three practices per week as well as rugby board meetings. 
  2. Omsbudsperson: The Omsbudsperson will be responsible for mediating any team conflict. The Omsbuds person will hold office hours twice a week. The Omsbuds person will work with the MFS to contact hosts of tournaments and games with reference to playtime for those players that identity as transgender. 
  3. All officers must attend 3 practices each week and games regularly. 
  4. A Board Member will be assigned the task of keeping board minutes. 

Article IV: Election of Board members 

  1. Student Board members will be elected annually at a meeting previously announced by the current club Board of Directors, no later than December 1st
  2. Any student member of the club may hold office provided that they are in good standing. The roles of President and Captains should, if at all possible, be filled by players with more than 2 seasons of collegiate playing experience. 
  3. The members present will propose candidates for offices. Candidates can nominate themselves or be nominated by other members of the team. A brief speech will be made regarding the merits of the individual proposed for office, and the membership will vote on the candidates. Members who are unable to attend the meeting may assign a proxy and submit a speech to be read at the meeting. Candidates who earn a simple majority are said to have won office. 
  4. Members who are unable to attend the meeting may assign a proxy and submit a speech to be read at the meeting. No member can vote by proxy; they must be present at the meeting for their vote to count. 
  5. Elected officers will assume their offices prior to the spring season. 
  6. No Board member can hold multiple offices. 
  7. Faculty Board members: The Membership can request that the Coach, the Assistant Athletic Director (the administrative affiliation of the Club), and other faculty may serve on the Board. These Members are non-visiting advisors to the club, assigned to the Board to provide consistency, leadership, and experience to the student board members. 
  8. In the case of a tie: The team is polled two more times, if a tie still exists both candidates are asked if they’d like to step down. If neither does the captains and the President will decide. 

Article V: Removal and Replacement of Board members 

  1. Removal from office: Board members who fail to attend 3 consecutive Board meetings, who make no attempt to notify others or reschedule meetings, who (in the opinion of the Board) fail to execute their responsibilities, or who fail to meet the requirements of membership will be removed from their office. The Board will vote on such removals with a 2/3 majority determining whether to recommend impeachment to team members. A simple majority of quorum is required for impeachment. The Board will post this said removal in the Board Minutes. Officers who are forced to surrender their office remain eligible to hold future offices as long as they are members in good standing. 
  2. Voluntary Surrender of Office: Board members who are unable (for whatever reason) to fulfill their responsibilities may voluntarily resign their office to the Board. Officers who resign their office remain eligible to hold future offices as long as they are members in good standing. Resigning officers should allow sufficient time of their resignation such that their position can be filled effectively. 
  3. Active Board members: When the Board has established a vacant office, the Officers may select another member (from the list of members in good standing) to fill the vacancy on a temporary basis. 
  4. Election of a replacement: When the Board has established a vacant office, the Board shall publicize the resignation and allow at least one week to solicit applications for the vacant position. Team members will nominate themselves the same way, but in order to avoid ambiguity and bias, each rugby board member will have one vote. 
  5. Each rugby board member will pay their dues at the beginning of each season so that if a position becomes vacant they will by definition of the constitution be a voting member. 

Article VI: Selection Committee 

  1. Selection of players for the first “A” team and the second “B” team will be conducted by the captains and the Coach, thus forming the Selection Committee. 
  2. The Captains and Coach shall determine those players from among the available players that can best comprise successful teams/sides. Selectors shall consider the following factors, not necessarily in this order: eligibility based on past performance of individual players, attendance at practices, balance in position between both A and B-sides, and so on. 

Article VII: Affiliations 

  1. The MHCRFC Board shall annually review its participation in the available local unions. New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) is the current union affiliation, and the rules of the game, policies, and practices of that Union will be abided by. The team is also a member of USA Rugby and must pay dues to that organization at the beginning of every calendar year. 
  2. Union Participation: The MHCRFC is expected to have access to representation within the unions that the Club maintains affiliations with. The President of the club is expected to stay informed of union policies, union dues structure, and union representation. The President and Match Secretary of the club (or their designee(s)) shall represent the club at union meetings. 

  1. Change in Union Affiliation: If there becomes a substantive reason to sever the relationship with a current union, or there is some utility to be gained by developing affiliations with multiple unions, the union affiliations will be recommended by the Board and put to a vote by the Membership and passed by a simple majority. 
  2. Non-Union Affiliations: The MHCRFC expects that it will abide by union policies except that the club retains the right to affiliate with other clubs not in the union. This includes holding matches with any club not in the union, holding matched with clubs from other unions, and holding matches outside the assigned division affixed by the affiliated union. 

Article VIII: Amendments to the Constitution 

  1. Amendments of the Constitution may not be made by the Board of Directors alone. Amendments of the Constitution should be conducted in an open forum available to the entire club membership. 
  2. Amendments of the Constitution are permissible during open annual meetings wherein there is a majority quorum of the membership. A quorum is here defined as a majority (51% or better) of the Membership. 
  3. Proposed amendments of the Constitution will be made public at least one week prior to an open meeting announced to the general membership. 
  4. Amendments will be made only by a two-thirds majority vote of the present members in a meeting previously announced to the Membership. 

Article IX: Vehicle Accident Policy 

  1. In the case of a Fleet Vehicle Accident, when said vehicle is both rented by and for MHC Rugby, the current board will review the accident. All accidents will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the board. If the driver is found to be not at fault by the board, with optional input from the reporting officer, the whole team will reallocated funds and fundraise in order to pay for any damages. If the driver is found to be at fault by a majority vote by the board, with optional input from the reporting officer, then the driver is responsible to pay for any damages. If a passenger in the vehicle is responsible for the accident and is found to be at fault by the board then the same individual standards apply and they are responsible to pay for any damages. 

Article X: Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  1. The Mount Holyoke College Rugby Football Club has a zero tolerance policy for all types of discrimination. Our mission is to build a community that supports all individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, age, national origin, religious/spiritual identities, and all other intersecting identities. We are committed to an environment free of discrimination in which all individuals are treated with a common standard of decency, respect, love, visibility and understanding. We will ensure representation of diverse groups in recruitment and at all levels of the organization. We will actively fight to make everyone on the team feel able to participate and contribute to the team athletically and socially. All diverse backgrounds, cultures and social identities will be accepted into our team dynamic as we work to create a broader sense of community. Simultaneously, we will be mindful of every individual’s unique history and experience. Our goal is not to erase differences and force members to conform to one identity. It is to embrace diversity.

  1. The Mount Holyoke College Rugby Football Club acknowledges the harm inflicted by our history of racial discrimination. Moving forward, we commit ourselves to a continuing effort to confront and resist discriminatory attitudes and actions wherever they appear in our community. All members of the team will be protected against all forms of discrimination through and the obligation to protect and promote human rights. We will utilize organizations such as MHC DEI offices, community advocacy services, and counseling services that can help facilitate prevention, interventions, and remedies for those who experience racism and discrimination. For members to be allowed on the team, they will be bound by an anti-racism contract and educated in order to prevent discriminatory acts. 

  1. We’ve established complaint mechanisms to deal with allegations of systemic and individual acts of racism and discrimination. To voice concerns or incidents of bias to the team board, DEI person, ombudsperson, as well as the Mount Holyoke administration, members are entitled to submit the ombudsperson form, DEI incident form, or DEI work feedback form. We will take immediate steps to direct team mates to the right resources needed to resolve any incident. The MHCRFC  board will respond to issues brought forward by members with concern, empathy and action towards resolution and healing. Each incident will result in a hearing facilitated by the board members and/or officials from the Office of Student Involvement. Before the hearing, the board will take steps to make involved members feel immediately safe. In addition, members have access to the DEI Coordinators and the Ombudsperson. The ombudsperson and the DEI Coordinators are both available for informal meetings for flexibility and accessibility. The board will also be completely transparent with their efforts to uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion on the team through board meeting notes being made available online and sent via email to all players. In addition, members are allowed to attend board meetings. As we take steps to eliminate identity barriers, we will also measure our progress with the DEI work feedback form for reflection and growth. 

  1. If any member of the team feels as though we are not upholding these values of diversity, equity and inclusion, they can bring their complaints to board through the ombudsperson form, DEI incident form, or DEI work feedback form. The board is obligated and required to do everything within their power to solve these issues as efficiently and quickly as possible. If the board fails to do so, please take any of the following steps: report it to the school through the bias incident report, contact the Associate Director for Student Involvement and Leadership, and/or contact the Office of Student Involvement at 413-538-2478 or involvement-consultants@mtholyoke.edu.
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