Lutheran Student Movement in the
United States of America
Updated July 2010
We, Christian students following in the Lutheran tradition, recognizing our identity in the Christian faith as confessed by the Apostle’s Creed, and living in a creative and dynamic relationship with all believers, frame this Constitution to inform and empower a faithful witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ in the academic community. It is our purpose to enable and facilitate that witness and service to which God calls local communities of faith in higher education. We acknowledge that all have sinned and fall short of the grace of God and therefore, we welcome all individuals as we are all saved solely by the grace of God and in need of God’s forgiveness.
ARTICLE I – NAME
A. The name of this organization shall be Lutheran Student Movement in the United States of America, hereinafter referred to as LSM-USA.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSES
The purposes of LSM-USA shall be:
A. To strengthen and develop the faith and life of the believer through participation in the Community of Word and Sacrament;
B. To advance the understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications for the life of the believer in the world, and especially believers within higher education;
C. To enable and encourage believers in serving their neighbors for the glory and honor of Christ;
D. To provide a well-developed program of study, assembly, discussion and action, which shall provide for the expression of fellowship in Christ and of the social and intellectual concerns of campuses, of communities and of the entire world;
E. To encourage active participation in the life and mission of the Lutheran churches and the whole Christian church;
F. To promote Christian unity in every possible way; and
G. To communicate and cooperate with fellow Christians in ecumenical concerns, and to provide opportunities that encourage community with and witness to non-Christian persons and groups.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
A. The membership of LSM-USA shall consist of such groups and individuals as subscribe to the purposes stated above and qualify for membership according to the Bylaws.
ARTICLE IV – THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
A. The powers of LSM-USA shall be vested in the Legislative Assembly, which shall conduct its business as is deemed feasible by the LSM-USA Council.
B. Notice of the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly, shall be sent to all members at least 90 days prior to the event.
C. The Legislative Assembly during its business meeting shall vote on positions and actions for LSM-USA. The legislation adopted is an active response to our growing understanding of what it means to be God’s people in today’s world. The legislation serves to express our needs, concerns and actions to the church bodies and to our fellow students here and abroad.
D. Deadlines for Presentation of Legislation
1. The deadline for legislation that will be guaranteed consideration at the business meeting shall be 60 days prior to the business meeting.
2. The deadline for legislation that shall be considered as time allows shall be received 30 days prior to the business meeting.
3. Any legislation received after this date shall only be considered with approval of the assembly.
4. A simple majority vote by the assembly shall allow the presentation of the legislation.
5. The deadline for all revisions to legislation by the author shall be 30 days prior to the business meeting.
6. All legislation shall be submitted to the LSM-USA President.
7. All legislation received at least 30 days prior to the business meeting shall be posted on the LSM-USA web-site and limited hard copies of legislation will be available upon request at the national gathering.
ARTICLE V – TYPES OF LEGISLATION
a. Address particular issues by providing necessary background information and outlining specific actions for LSM-USA.
b. Commit all affiliated groups and individuals supportive of the resolution to follow through on specified action(s)
2. Passage by Assembly requires a simple majority of votes cast.
B. Position Papers
a. Define LSM-USA’s particular position on an issue relevant to the life and mission of the LSM-USA for advice and counsel to members and representatives of LSM-USA.
2. Passage by Assembly requires a two-thirds majority.
C. Regional Concerns
a. Inform Assembly of the commitment of a specific region or group to action on a particular issue.
b. Does not commit Assembly to any actions.
2. No vote is required.
D. Study/Action Projects
a. Explore different aspects of an issue or a problem with the intention of providing impetus for local group discussion.
2. Passage by Assembly requires simple majority.
ARTICLE VI – THE COUNCIL
A. Between business meetings of the Legislative Assembly, the affairs of LSM-USA shall be managed by the Council, whose members will be elected according to the Bylaws.
ARTICLE VII – THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
A. Between meetings of the Council, the affairs of LSM-USA shall be managed by the Executive Committee.
B. The Executive Committee shall include the following officers, the manner of election or appointment of whose members are specified in the Bylaws.
1. The President shall convene and preside over the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly and meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee, shall manage the affairs of LSM-USA between meetings of the Executive Committee in consultation with the Council, and shall oversee and offer support to all committees of LSM-USA but shall not chair any committee. The president shall establish and maintain relationships with international students and student groups.
2. The Vice-President for Regional Concerns, shall maintain the correspondence of the Council and of the Executive Committee, keep accurate records of the meetings of the Council, the Executive Committee, and the Legislative Assembly, and maintain a physical record of all legislation and publications of LSM-USA. This vice-president shall be responsible for providing the Council and Legislative Assembly a financial report; and also, in conjunction with an ELCA staff person, monitor the expenditures of LSM-USA and coordinate fundraising when determined by the council.
3. The Vice President for Diversity and Service-Learning, shall establish and maintain relationships with all students and student groups including multicultural students at local, regional, and national levels, and promote a broader understanding and awareness of multicultural issues and concerns facing LSM-USA. This vice-president shall be responsible for the creation and promotion of a national service-learning theme to be taken part in by each of the regions, as well as aiding regions in any service-learning projects or discussions.
a. The candidate running for this position is encouraged to be a member of color, or a member whose first language is not English, or a member who was raised outside the United States of America for the majority of his/her life, or a member who identifies as a minority.
b. This elected position shall be a member with desire and passion to end social injustice and to educate LSM-USA, its regions, and the world about diversity and social injustice.
C. LSM-USA acknowledges that all peoples are equal in the eyes of God and that the Executive Committee should be elected on the basis of a candidate’s ability and call to serve Christ in a given office. LSM-USA further acknowledges that the abilities and callings which are given by Christ transcend all peoples, regardless of their identities and orientations, and that all members shall be encouraged equally to follow a call to serve in elected office.
ARTICLE VIII – AFFILIATION WITH CHURCH BODIES
A. LSM-USA is an affiliated college and university student movement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a non-profit religious organization.
B. LSM-USA welcomes all students to be involved within the movement regardless of church body affiliation.
ARTICLE XI – DISSOLUTION
A. LSM-USA may be dissolved only as follows: At a meeting of the Council, dissolution shall be proposed and ratified two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Council. At the next annual conference, the proposal must be ratified by vote of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Legislative Assembly.
B. In the event of dissolution of LSM-USA and all of its regions, all funds, records, and property of LSM-USA shall be given to the leaders, directors and overseers of Lutheran Campus Ministry within the ELCA for use only in conjunction with Lutheran Campus Ministry. If any regions vote to remain active after the dissolution of LSM-USA, they may maintain control of regional funds for continued LSM regional ministry.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
A. This Constitution may be amended by vote of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Legislative Assembly, provided that notice of each proposed amendment shall have been given to all members of LSM-USA at least ninety (90) days prior to the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
Lutheran Student Movement in the
United States of America
Updated January 2010
ARTICLE I – VOTING AND NON-VOTING MEMBERS
A. The right of voice at the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly shall be granted to all members of LSM-USA.
1. Members need not be affiliated with any specific Lutheran body such as a church or campus ministry, but should in some way identify with the Lutheran tradition.
2. Full members of LSM-USA shall be any individual who is enrolled in one or more instructional programs of any established institution of post-secondary education in the United States and declares affiliation with LSM-USA by attending the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly. Full members shall vote through their respective member groups.
3. Associate members of LSM-USA may include those individuals who are not students, but who find an identity in the Christian faith as confessed by the Lutheran churches. Associate members shall have voice but may not vote.
4. Honorary members of LSM-USA shall include those individuals who, in the judgment of the Legislative Assembly, have made a significant contribution toward the realization of the mission of LSM-USA. Honorary members shall have voice but may not vote.
B. Each member group shall be granted one vote at the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
1. A member group is composed of all members present at the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly who attend the exact same established post-secondary institution of education.
2. If an institution has only one member present, that one member shall be the member group.
3. If an institution has multiple campuses, each campus will be one member group.
ARTICLE II – LEGISLATION FORMAT
A. Authors shall properly footnote all facts in the legislation that they propose to LSM-USA.
B. Templates for each type of legislation will be provided and maintained on the LSM-USA website and be made available via hardcopy to the LSM-USA President upon request.
C. Minor grammatical errors contained in received legislation shall be corrected. All changes will be made in conjunction with author approval.
ARTICLE III – THE REGIONS
A. The regions of LSM-USA shall be as follows:
1. Region 1 (PAC-Northwest): Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
2. Region 2 (PAC-Southwest): California, Hawaii, Nevada
3. Region 3 (Desert Southwest): Arizona, New Mexico, Western Texas, Southwestern Colorado, Southwestern Nevada
4. Region 4 (Rocky Mountain): Colorado, Utah, Wyoming
5. Region 5 (Tri-Ota): Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
6. Region 6 (Central Midwest): Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula Michigan
7. Region 7 (Central) Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri
8. Region 8 (ALTO): Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma
9. Region 9 (IMOK): Indiana, Lower Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky
10. Region 10 (NELSM): New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts
11. Region 11 (MALSM): Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia
12. Region 12 (Blue Ridge): Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina
13. Region 13 (GALSM): Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico
B. Regional boundaries may be adjusted by a simple majority vote of the Legislative Assembly.
ARTICLE IV – THE COUNCIL
A. Voting members of the council shall include members of the Executive Committee and one representative from each region of LSM-USA.
B. Regional representatives to the Council shall be elected according to the practice of each region. Each region shall select an alternate representative who shall serve in the absence of the regional representative or in the event of a vacancy in the office of regional representative.
C. Non-voting members of the Council shall include advisors, staff of LSM-USA, and any persons whom the Council of the Legislative Assembly shall so designate.
D. The Council shall meet in conjunction with the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly and between meetings of the Legislative Assembly. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the President or at the request of one-third (1/3) of the voting members of the Council. With the exception of those meetings held in conjunction with the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly, notice of all meetings shall be given to all members of the Council at least thirty days prior to each meeting.
ARTICLE V – THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
A. The Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice-President of Regional Developement, and Vice President of Diversity and Service-Learning of LSM-USA shall be elected by the voting members of LSM-USA Council; the candidate with the most votes shall be elected.
B. No officer shall serve more than two terms on the Executive Committee.
C. In the absence of the president or in the event of a vacancy in the office of president, the duties and office shall be assumed by the vice-president.
D. In the absence of any member of the Executive Committee or in the event of a vacancy in any office of the Executive Committee, the duties and office shall be assumed by another member of the Executive Committee or by a member of the Council upon election by vote of a majority of the Council.
ARTICLE VI – ADVISORS
A. The council shall select one advisor from among the Lutheran campus ministry of the ELCA personnel in the United States.
a. This advisor shall be limited to one non-renewable two year term.
b. The two year term shall run concurrently with the elected Executive Committee.
c. In the event of a vacancy a new advisor may be appointed by the Council to finish the term.
B. Additional advisors shall include the appropriate staff members within the unit of Vocation and Education as set forth by the ELCA, and any other persons whom the Council may designate.
ARTICLE VII – QUORUM
A. A quorum for business meetings of the Council or the Executive Committee shall be a majority of the voting members of those respective bodies.
B. A quorum for the business meetings of the Legislative Assembly shall be a majority of the voting members of LSM-USA who are in attendance at the business meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
A. The appointment and instruction of committees shall be the province of either the Council or the Legislative Assembly.
ARTICLE IX – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
A. In all procedures not covered by its Constitution and Bylaws, LSM-USA shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order as most recently revised.
ARTICLE X – REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Regions shall be required to submit an annual budget to the Vice President of LSM-USA.
B. Regions are not required to possess a bank account; however for those that possess a bank account:
1. Signers shall include the regional representative, an additional regional officer, and at least one regional advisor.
2. A year end summary of all regional accounts shall be rendered to the LSM-USA Vice President.
C. Regional representatives shall maintain a record of all pertinent information to the welfare of LSM-USA and its respective regions.
D. Regional representatives shall ensure that LSM-USA has the most current and up-to-date constitution and bylaws on file.
E. Regions shall be responsible for designating and sending a representative to all Council meetings.
F. Regions shall be responsible for advertising and promoting all LSM-USA events and programs.
ARTICLE XI – AMENDMENTS
A. These Bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Legislative Assembly, provided that notice of each proposed amendment shall have been given to all members of LSM-USA at least ninety (90) days prior to business meeting of the Legislative Assembly.