Constitution

PREAMBLE

We the Steering Committee of the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education, do hereby adopt this Constitution for the purpose of organizing a formal body to promote sustainable practices across New York.

CONSTITUTION

Article I: NYCSHE

The name of this organization shall be the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (NYCSHE).

Article II: Purposes

The purposes of NYCSHE shall be to inform and promote sustainable practices including, but not limited to, the following categories:

  •  Campus emissions reductions
  •  Climate resiliency
  •  Community outreach
  •  Energy efficiency and conservation
  •  Green building technology and strategies
  •  Green cleaning
  •  Green purchasing
  •  Institutional environmental commitment 
  •  Land, air and water stewardship
  •  Pollution prevention
  •  Renewable energy
  •  Social and Environmental Justice
  •  Sustainability assessment, reporting and planning 
  •  Sustainable investing
  •  Sustainability learning, research and development, and curriculum
  •  Sustainability policy formulation 
  •  Transportation, infrastructure and institutional commuting improvements
  •  Waste reduction

Article III: Membership and voting

The membership of the Coalition is focused on sustainability personnel or those formally tasked with sustainability programming at an institution of Higher Education in New York State.  It is also open to organizations pursuing sustainability programming and are affiliated with higher education including but not limited to private companies, non-profits or government agencies. 

Membership is by individuals and institutions can have more than one member in the Coalition.  Only members employed in a higher education institution will have voting rights. Each member gets one vote.  Official resolutions of the Steering Committee and any committee elections must be approved by a majority of those voting.

All potential members of the Coalition shall submit an application form and this will be approved by consensus of the Steering Committee before being formally admitted as a member. 

No membership fee is required to join NYCSHE. 

Article IV: Steering Committee 

The Steering Committee serves to perform duties necessary for the operational existence of the Coalition. The committee shall number at least five (5) and not more than seven (7) members with a presiding Chairperson and shall consist of Coalition members as voted on by the membership with voting rights. Committee terms are two years in length. Membership on the committee is strongly recommended to be limited to 2 consecutive terms, when possible, to allow for capacity building and leadership development across institutions. 

If a Steering Committee member is not able to complete their term, the current Steering Committee reserves the right to determine whether and how to fill the vacancy.  Individuals who become Steering Committee members based on appointments to full vacant positions shall be eligible for two consecutive full terms.  

The Steering Committee shall meet once a month for the purpose of conducting business. Additional meetings may be called by the Steering Committee with adequate and appropriate notice to the members, or by petition signed by ten percent of the membership.

The agenda for each Steering Committee meeting shall be distributed to the members at least two business days’ notice prior to the meeting. Notes for each meeting shall be distributed to all members within one calendar week after the meeting. 

Each member of the Steering Committee shall undertake a specific focus point of the group.  The Steering Committee responsibilities include:

  • Promoting NYCSHE
  • Recruiting members
  • Scheduling monthly conference calls 
  • Distributing meeting minutes 
  • Organizing an annual membership meeting
  • Coordinating Steering Committee elections
  • Updating website
  • Reporting on sustainability issues external to NYCSHE
  • Advertising member events
  • Organizing networking meet ups at sustainability conferences
  • Coordinate advocacy activities
  • Creating ad hoc committees if the need arises

The members of the Coalition may nominate themselves on the election ballot to serve on the Steering Committee.  Steering Committee members’ work is voluntary.

Article V: Regional Representatives

  • The Coalition’s activities and networking capability will be assisted through Regional Representatives.  These volunteers will help build a stronger network across the state and leverage our collective knowledge and power to promote sustainability in higher education and beyond.  
  • Regions will be determined by the Steering Committee and they shall appoint the assigned rep for each area.  Members can self-nominate for a Regional Rep position.
  • Regional Reps will be responsible for: 
    • Assisting NYCSHE with expanding the sustainability network in the state 
    • Surveying their region to identify topics of interest and areas of expertise 
    • Building contacts and recruiting new members 
    • Providing information from the region to NYCSHE

Article VI: Dues

  • There are no dues to participate in NYCSHE.  Any expenses incurred shall be donated by members and/or obtained via grant funding.

Article VII: Endorsements

NYCSHE remains free from any party or political affiliations.  Although NYSCHE members may share best practices and product or service recommendations with other members, NYCSHE remains commercially neutral and will not endorse any specific product or service.

Article IX: Amendments

1. The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority electronic vote from the Steering Committee members. An amendment may be proposed by any member and must be submitted in writing to the Chairperson. Notice of amendment(s) change must be submitted by the Chairperson to the Steering Committee members at least one calendar week prior to the upcoming meeting.