OSE student organizations

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Students that want to get involved and help build OSE can consider teaming up with other students at their school and starting a student organization. OSE would like to help students organize themselves and be as effective as possible at their university. Every school is different, with various cultures, procedures, and institutional organization but some basic steps are outlined below to help student open sourcers find the easiest route to get involved in OSE.

Your University

Colleges and Universities officially recognize student organizations giving them certain rights and privileges and different kinds of assistance. To get access to meeting space and use bulletin board space you may need some sort of official recognition. Schools and departments may be interested in helping develop an OSE concept or have expertise in a field to share and may form more formal partnerships with OSE. Informal student groups are also encouraged. OSE may be able to assist in organization, finding speakers, or advertising your efforts. Students need to examine their university's environment and the level of student and faculty interest and then decide how to proceed.

What can you do

So you're a student but you don't have any experience or skills to contribute? You can still help OSE. Student organizations are as much about connecting like minded students together as they are engaging in extracurriculars. Starting an organization may be a way to bring together open minded students for discussions and debates, organizations can host speakers or technology demonstrations, members can use the organization to direct and enrich their education. Ideally, organizations would take on a part of the GVCS or OSE product ecology to develop. Students can also organize trips to FeF (after coordinating with OSE) in order to help on-site.

Advantages and disadvantages of working within the University system

Setting up a student organization

Forming a student organization can be simple and done in matter weeks at some universities, while the process can take up to a year at others. Finding out the requirements of gaining and maintaining recognition are important considerations before proceeding. Most universities require a Constitution/Statement of purpose, list of members and executive board members, faculty advisor, agreement to university standards, and possibly a meeting with a student or administrative board. The first step in finding your student activities office and finding out the requirements for recognition.

  1. Find student activities office
  2. Find members
  3. Find faculty advisor
  4. Write Statement of purpose and submit paperwork
  5. Gain official recognition
  6. Learn about support ($) from university for organizations
  7. Get active, recruit, start a project

Sample Constitution

Below is a sample constitution that can be adapted for use. Check with your university to see their guidelines for organizations constitutions.

Article I - Name A. The name of the student organization shall be Your University Open Source Ecology Student Organization.

Article II - Purpose A. The purpose of the organization is to further the Open Source Ecology project to students and the campus community. Open Source Ecology is a project of people open sourcing the information and tools the that underlie modern civilization. The student organization seeks to assist the project and spread awareness on campus, while contributing to learning and development of students. The requirement is that the students understand the distinction between proprietary and open source, and in particular, that any designs produced by the organization fall under the CC-BY-SA license consistent with the Open Source Hardware Definition.

Article III - Membership A. Membership is open to all students of the University in good standing. B. Membership is the organization is received by attending two meetings as recorded by the secretary. C. A faculty advisor will provide information and advice to the organization and may be invited to take on further duties by the executive board or general membership. D. The organization and its members are bound to the rules of the campus and will uphold the character of the University

Article IV - Officers & Elections A. President - responsible for scheduling and conducting meetings, is the main manager of the organization and acts to facilitate action
Secretary - responsible for recording attendance and proceedings of each meeting, maintain contact information for all members, must document all organization efforts Treasurer - responsible for maintaining financial records and approving all purchases, has tie breaking vote B. These officers make up the organizations executive board and are representatives to the University as such. The officers do not have votes in meetings, except the treasurer in cases of a tied vote. C. Officers will be chosen at the first meeting of the year. Nominations shall come from the floor with all those present having a vote. D. Officers shall serve through one school year. E. An officer impeachment may be called at a meeting by a majority vote of all members of the organization with removal from office requiring 2/3 of members. After a successful vote of impeachment all present members, executive board members, and the faculty advisor must be given a chance to address the assembly if they wish.

Article V - Meetings A. Meetings will be schedule by the President. A gathering of a majority of organization members can be called to an official meeting by voice vote and in the absence of the President a President pro tempore shall be elected by a majority of present members. B. The organization must have a general meeting at least once a month. C. Quorum is majority of active members.

Article VI - Constitutional Amendments A. Any member can propose an amendment to the constitution at a general meeting either by being on the agenda or during open floor. An amendment must be submitted in writing to the secretary at the time of the vote. An amendment shall be under consideration by a majority vote of present members. B. An amendment shall be voted on at the next meeting, which shall not be scheduled sooner than one week and no later than one month from the vote of consideration. It is the secretaries duty to contact all members within 48 hours of the vote of consideration informing them of the amendment and following meeting information. C. A constitutional amendment will be ratified by a 2/3 votes of present members at the following meeting and will be officially part of the constitution following University approval.

Article VII - Dissolution A. The official business of the organization will be closed at the end of spring semester. B. Resources and moneys of the organization will be left in the care of the President or Treasurer.