Association of Big Ten Students

Together, we represent more than 500,000 undergraduate students. As some of the largest universities in the world, we firmly believe we have the ability to affect higher education policy and the lives of our peers. 

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ABTS BYLAWS

Revised Summer 2017

Preamble: The mission of the Association of Big Ten Students is to increase information sharing and networking among student government organizations and serve as the active collective voice of students of the Big Ten Conference. 

Name: The official name of this organization is “The Association of Big Ten Students”; hereinafter it will be referred to as “ABTS”. 

Article I. Membership 

Section 1. Membership of ABTS shall include the central/main student government organizations of the Big Ten universities that have formally ratified a statement of membership to the Association of Big Ten Students. 

    A. Membership of the Association of Big Ten Students (referred to as a delegation) shall be extended but not limited to the following Universities: 

        a. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

        b. Indiana University 

        c. University of Iowa 

        d. University of Michigan 

        e. Michigan State University 

        f. University of Minnesota 

        g. Northwestern University 

        h. University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

        i. The Ohio State University 

        j. The Pennsylvania State University 

        k. Purdue University 

        l. University of Wisconsin 

        m. University of Maryland 

        n. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 

 

Section 2. Termination of Membership 

A. Membership of a delegation to the Association of Big Ten Students may be terminated by: 

    a. Ratifying a statement withdrawing membership from ABTS and submitting the ratified statement to the Executive Director.

 

    b. Failure to either participate in or attend three (3) consecutive conferences. 

 

Article II. The Officers 

Section 1. The Executive Director 

A. An Executive Director shall be annually elected by the ABTS delegation at the summer conference by a majority vote of participating member delegations during a Legislative Meeting. 

B. The Executive Director shall 

    a. Facilitate the advancement of the legitimacy for ABTS. 

    b. Facilitate the cooperation and relationship of ABTS with the Big Ten Conference and other external entities. 

    c. Propose a calendar of meetings for the Executive Committee. 

    d. Notify the Delegation Liaisons of any resignations and appointments. 

    e. Preside as the chair of the ABTS Legislative Meetings and Executive Committee meetings. 

    f. Serve a full year term beginning at the close of the summer conference until the close of the following conference.

C. In the event of resignation of the Executive Director the line of succession shall be: 

    a. The Associate Director 

    b. The Director of Legislative Affairs 

    c. The Secretary 

 

Section 2. The Associate Director 

A. An Associate Director shall be annually elected by the ABTS delegation at the summer conference by a majority vote of participating member delegations during a Legislative Meeting. 

B. The Associate Director shall 

    a. Coordinate and facilitate all inter-collegiate communication year-round. 

    b. Create a database of categorized information, sorted by school that can be easily accessed by all members of the ABTS. 

        i. The Associate Director shall update the database annually in the last month of their term. 

    c. Coordinate with ABTS Delegation Liaisons to fulfill rolling information requests and complete the annual update of the database. 

    d. Present the collected information to the ABTS Delegation Liaison that made their request within 10 days of being received. 

    e. Prepare a monthly report that shall be sent out to ABTS members with all information requested over the past month. 

    f. Preside as the parliamentarian of the ABTS Legislative Meetings and Executive Committee meetings. 

    g. Complete any tasks and responsibilities delegated by the Executive Director. 

    h. Serve a full year term beginning at the close of the summer conference until the close of the next summer conference. 

C. In the event of resignation of the Associate Director the following procedure shall be followed: 

    a. The Executive Director must inform all Delegation Liaisons of resignation. 

    b. The position shall remain vacant until an election is held at the next scheduled legislative meeting. 

    c. The candidate that achieves a majority vote shall be declared the winner of the special election. 

 

Section 3. The Director of Legislative Affairs 

A.  A Director of Legislative Affairs shall be annually elected by the ABTS delegation at the summer conference by a majority vote of participating member delegations during a Legislative Meeting. 

B. The Director of Legislative Affairs shall: 

    a. Coordinate Association wide government advocacy programs. 

    b. Facilitate advocacy programs for member Universities at the federal, state and municipality levels. 

    c. Serve a full year term beginning at the close of the summer conference until the close of the next summer conference. 

    d. Complete tasks as delegated by the Executive Committee. 

C. In the event of resignation of the Director of Legislative Affairs the following procedure shall be followed: 

    a. The Executive Director must inform all Campus Directors of resignation. 

    b. The position shall remain vacant until an election is held at the next Legislative Meeting. 

    c. The candidate that achieves a majority vote shall be declared the winner of the special election. 

 

Section 4. The Secretary 

A. A Secretary shall be annually elected by the ABTS delegation at the summer conference by a majority vote participating member delegations during a legislative session. 

B. The Secretary shall 

    a. Take and submit written minutes for all Legislative Sessions and Executive Committee meetings. 

    b. Maintain the official list of membership and the contact information for each delegation. 

    c. Maintain the ABTS list of contact information.

    d. Serve a full year term beginning at the close of the summer conference until the close of the next summer conference. 

    e. Complete other tasks delegated by the Executive Committee. 

C. In the event of resignation of the Secretary the following procedure shall be followed: 

    a. The Executive Director must inform all Delegation Liaisons of resignation. 

    b. The position shall remain vacant until an election is held at the next scheduled Legislative Meeting. 

    c. The candidate that achieves a majority vote shall be declared the winner of the special election. 

 

Section 5. The Conference Coordinator 

A. The Conference Coordinator shall be annually elected by the ABTS delegation at the summer conference. 

 B. The Conference Coordinator shall:    

    a. Be responsible for all aspects of the conference at their home University 

    b. Act in accordance with the conference guidelines detailed in Article IV. 

    c. Update as needed the “ABTS Conference Guide Book.” 

    d. Serve a full term beginning at the close of the previous conference until the conclusion of the hosted conference. 

C. In the event of resignation, the host University’s primary student government organization shall appoint a new Conference Coordinator and notify the Executive Director. 

Section 6. The ABTS Delegation Liaison 

A. Each member delegation of the ABTS shall have an ABTS Delegation Liaison, which shall be appointed in any manner the University sees fit. 

B. The ABTS Delegation Liaison shall 

    a. Serve as the primary contact for ABTS communications and / or coordination between conferences. 

    b. Be responsible for providing any necessary information or fulfilling reasonable requests for the Conference Coordinator. 

    c. Regularly communicate with the Associate Director. 

    d. Fulfill rolling information requests from the Associate Director within 7 days of receiving each request. 

    e. Work with the Associate Director to annually update the database of information in the last month of their term. 

    f. Make information requests to the Associate Director on behalf of any member of their organization. 

C. In the event of resignation, the member University’s primary student government organization shall appoint a new ABTS Delegation Liaison and notify the Executive Director. 

Section 7. The Treasurer

A.   The Treasurer shall be annually elected by the ABTS delegation at the Summer Conference.

B.    The Treasurer shall:

       a. Be responsible for ensuring financial payments for conference expenses are facilitated

       b. Develop the role of Treasurer within the purview of ABTS in collaboration with the Executive Committee

C.    In the event of resignation of the Treasurer, the following procedure shall be followed:

       a. The Executive Director must inform all ABTS Delegation Liaisons.

       b. The duties of the Treasurer will fall under the purview of the Executive Director.

       c. The position shall remain vacant until an election is held at the next scheduled legislative meeting.

       d. The candidate that achieves a majority vote shall be declared the winner of the special election.

Article III. The Executive Committee 

Section 1: Membership 

A. Membership of the Executive Committee shall be composed of: 

    a. The Executive Director

    b. The Associate Director 

    c. The Director of Legislative Affairs 

    d. The Conference Coordinator 

    e. The Secretary 

    f.  The Treasurer

B. Each member shall have one (1) vote. 

C. Candidates for Executive Committee members shall be from a member University. 

D. No more than two (2) Executive Committee members may be from any member University. 

E. The Executive Committee shall: 

    a. Serve as the central authority body to manage the business and internal operations of ABTS 

    b. Set and approve the agenda for Legislative Meetings of ABTS             

    c. Act on the behalf of the ABTS with two-thirds (2/3) approval of the Delegation Liaisons. 

    d. Submit a semi-annual report to all member delegations. 

 

Section 2: Meetings 

A. All Executive Committee Meetings shall: 

    a. Be conducted in accordance with the latest versions of Robert’s Rules of Order. 

    b. Achieve a quorum of a majority of eligible voting members in order to conduct official business. 

B. Written agendas and minutes shall be kept for all Executive Committee Meetings. 

C. The Executive Committee shall meet on a regular basis as proposed by the Executive Director and approved by the Executive Committee. 

Article IV. Conferences 

Section 1. Conference Procedure 

A. ABTS shall gather semi-annually at Delegate Campuses, once in the winter (“ Winter Conferences”) and once in the summer (“Summer Conferences”). 

B. ABTS shall gather annually in Washington D.C. for the “Big Ten on the Hill” conference, hereinafter referred to as “BTOTH”. 

C. The Conference host shall rotate in accordance with the Conference Host Schedule. 

D.   A University must participate in the previous Association of Big Ten Students Conference in order to host a Conference. The Conference Host Schedule is, as follows: 

    a. Iowa

    b. Indiana

    c. Wisconsin

    d. Minnesota

    e. Northwestern

    f. Nebraska

    g. Maryland

    h. Rutgers

    i. Penn State

    j. Ohio State

    k. Illinois

    l. MSU

    m. Michigan

    n. Purdue

E. The Host University shall: 

    a. Notify the Executive Committee and all Delegation Liaisons of the date and times of the conference at least three (3) months prior to the conference. 

    b. Work with the Conference Coordinator and Executive Board to provide an itinerary for the conference to be distributed no later than two (2) weeks prior to the conference, which must include: 

            i. A list of selected issue sessions with their descriptions. 

            ii. Scheduled time for a Legislative Meeting with consultation of the Executive Committee. 

    c. Provide speakers and / or facilitators for the issue sessions. 

F. All primary student government organizations within the Big Ten Conference, shall: 

    a. Be invited to attend each Conference. 

    b. Bring up to the set number of people, as decided by the Executive Committee and the host university. 

    c. Submit members of a University’s delegation no later than two (2) weeks prior to the conference to the Conference Coordinator or designee. 

 

Article V. General Legislative Meetings 

Section 1. General Provisions 

A. All Association of Big Ten Students Legislative Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the latest versions of Robert’s Rules of Order. 

B. All proposed legislation requires three (3) weeks notification and must be submitted electronically to the Executive Director. 

C. Written agendas and minutes shall be kept for all Legislative Meetings. 

D. A member University may participate in the Legislative Meeting, including voting, if prior arrangements have been made and approved with the Executive Committee, including but not limited to use of: 

        a. Phone conference equipment. 

        b. Live streaming video chat services. 

 

Section 2. Voting Procedure 

A. Each attending member University shall receive one (1) vote for all Legislative Meeting business to be cast by their delegation’s designee. 

Article VI. Amendments and Enactment 

Section 1. Procedure to Amend 

A. Amendments to the bylaws must be submitted to the Executive Director no later than three (3) weeks prior to the start the conference. 

B. Amendments require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all member delegations. 

Section 2. Enactment 

A. These Bylaws shall supersede all previously existing bylaws. 

B. All provisions of these bylaws shall become effective immediately upon ratification. 

Amendment I: Teleconference Meetings 

Section 1. Purpose and General Procedure 

A. For the purposes of more frequent interaction among member institutions of the Association of Big Ten Students, the Executive Committee may schedule more frequent meetings, to be attended via electronic means of communication. 

B. For the purposes of this article, legislation shall be considered at a Special General Meeting of Delegation Liaisons of the Association of Big Ten Students. 

C. For the purposes of this article, formal statements, press releases and internal policy may be set with an affirmative written response to the Executive Director & Secretary from no less than 2/3 of member institutions. 

Section 2. Special General Meetings 

A. Special General Meetings shall be scheduled by the Executive Committee, convened by the Executive Director or upon petition to the Executive Director of no less than 2 Delegation Liaisons. 

B. No less than 1 week prior to any Special General Meeting, the Secretary shall inform the Delegation Liaisons of member institutions and apprise them on the purpose of the meeting and further, provide to them the agenda and legislation to be considered. 

C. Legislation to be considered at a Special General Meeting shall be submitted to the Executive Director at least one week ahead of a scheduled meeting or upon petition calling for a Special General Meeting. 

D. For the purposes of this article, a quorum must be present to adopt any legislation. 

Section 3. Means of Communication 

A. For the purposes of this article, member institutions shall communicate by telephone conference or via teleconferencing software.