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Writing Across Communities (WAC) Alliance Constitution and By-Laws

Draft date: January 31, 2006;
Approved: Fall 2007 (By-Laws resubmitted with no amendments or changes and no member objections)

Article I: The name of the organization is Writing Across Communities/WAC Alliance.

Article II: The WAC Alliance is a forum for the conversation regarding writing, a think tank of and for the UNM learning community. We advocate active, engaged writing-to-learn processes across disciplines through innovative teaching in order to cultivate a culture of writing and inquiry. Our goal is to engage the campus in dialogue regarding writing to learn and writing to communicate while addressing accommodation of the changing needs of the student body to ensure academic as well as professional success at all levels.

The three main components of Writing Across Communities include civic, academic, and professional communities. The WAC Alliance seeks to bridge these communities and maintain communication between the various entities on and off campus while cultivating discussion and pedagogical support for diverse literacy practices across UNM discourse communities.

Article III: Membership to the Alliance is open to any student at any level at UNM, all other staff and faculty at UNM, as well as any non-UNM community member who is interested.

A. Members will attend at least 75% of meetings to be considered a full member. Head Council (hereafter, HC) members will attend 100% of meetings or send a representative in their place. Full members receive voting rights and are eligible for any grants offered by the Alliance. Full members will also be posted on the WAC Alliance website.

B. No dues will be collected at this time.

Article IV: Officers shall be equal in duties and responsibilities and referred to as the Head Council (HC).

A. Head Council members are elected volunteers who are individually in charge of a committee and act as representative of that committee.

B. Position held for one semester and can be renewed at the end of each semester for the following semester based on a vote.

C. Head Council will consist of either five, seven, or nine individuals including at least 1 Undergraduate, 1 Graduate, 1 Part-time Instructor, 1 Teacher's Assistant, 1 Faculty member (other than the Faculty Mentor), 1 Community member, the WAC Director, and the WAC GA should there be interest among any of these categories or individuals. If there is more than one individual interested from a category, the Alliance will vote but only if there are more than 9 people total interested in being on Head Council.

D. HC will act as representative of their committee and will therefore report and present opinions and decisions from their committee as accurately and objectively as possible.

E. HC representative's main concerns in making decisions shall lie within the community's best interest rather than an individual's best interest.

F. Should a HC member be unable to remain objective, they shall select another committee member to represent that issue or topic as a temporary HC representative.

G. Head Council will discuss all decisions with the entire council prior to enacting decisions. When a decision is to be made immediately, a HC member must attempt to contact the rest of the Council by calling an emergency meeting or via email or by phone to discuss the matter. All members must answer before decisions are to be made by a 2/3 vote. All members must make every effort to respond to requests ASAP. In the event that a decision is to be made on the spot, the HC member must contact the rest of the Council immediately afterwards to inform them of the decision and action.

H. Should a HC member wish to be selected for any grants offered or other positions within the Alliance, they must be represented by someone else within the Alliance to avoid a conflict of interest.

I. In the case of inappropriate behavior exhibited by a HC member as determined by an Alliance or another HC member, the individual will be addressed by only one HC member who will discuss the situation and come to agreement and the report back to the HC if necessary or decide that the person should be further addressed by the HC as a whole to determine fair process in handling the situation.

J. Should there be a dire situation with a HC member and only after discussion by the HC, that HC member may choose to step down or will be asked to step down and another Alliance member will be elected in their place.

K. HC collaborates with the WAC Director.

Article V:   Faculty mentor/advisor will be either self-selected or requested by an Alliance member and will change every semester unless no new mentor can be found and the previous mentor is still interested in continuing.  

A. Faculty mentors should be from a different academic department every semester if possible.  

B. Faculty mentors will be selected at the end of each semester along with the HC.

Article VI: Alliance meetings will be called at the beginning and end of each semester to prepare committees, elect HC, choose a faculty mentor, welcome new members, discuss amendments, and any other business necessary for the entire Alliance.

A. These meetings shall be held within the first 3 weeks of classes and within the last three weeks of classes for the semester.

B. The Alliance may also meet as a whole as necessary and when called by the HC.

C. Committees will meet at a time scheduled by the committee and the HC representative on at least a monthly basis or as determined by the HC representative for that committee.

D. HC will meet at least on a monthly basis as determined by the HC.

Article VII:

A. HC must meet as a whole to conduct business depending on the number of representatives each semester (5, 7, or 9).

B. If an elected HC representative is unable to attend, another committee member will be selected to represent the committee and stand in as temporary HC representative at the HC meeting.

C. Committee meetings shall conduct business if only at least 3/4 of that committee’s members are present. A committee shall consist of at least three members including the HC representative.

Article VIII: The WAC Alliance By-Laws shall govern the general and administrative operations of the organization.   In all other matters, common fairness shall govern with an emphasis on the community rather than the individual.

Article IX: Any amendments to the constitution and by-laws shall be submitted in writing to the Head Council at least one (1) week prior to any meeting.   Approval of an amendment shall require 2/3 vote of either the active, voting members present at such meeting or by the HC as determined by the HC.