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Constitution

In seeking to represent Muslim students at Duke, the MSA executive board is committed to democratic decision-making and transparency regarding our structure. To learn about our election cycle (held every spring semester), meetings, executive board roles, and rules, please read our constitution below.

The constitution of:

The Muslim Students Association at Duke

A student organization at Duke University

December 1994 by the SOFC


Article 1: Name

This organization shall be known as The Muslim Students Association at Duke and shall be abbreviated as Duke MSA when space or context dictate.


Article 2: Mission

The mission of Duke MSA is to facilitate involvement and provide representation for Muslim students and their interests on Duke's campus in addition to celebrating the Islamic faith and the various cultures associated with it. Duke MSA seeks to accomplish this mission by fostering a tolerant, vibrant, and diverse community that will provide forums for discussing the realities of Muslims on Duke's campus and worldwide, facilitate ritual observances and spiritual practices of Muslim students, organize cultural events to celebrate Islam and Muslim students' experiences, and actively engage the surrounding communities through education and civil service.


Article 3: Members

All undergraduate and graduate students at Duke University are eligible for membership. Members must notify the Secretary-Historian in order to be listed on the official roster. Only members on the official roster are eligible to vote on organization business.


Article 4: Non-Discrimination

Duke MSA shall not discriminate on the basis of political ideology, race, color, national and ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation or preference, gender, or age in its membership, activities, and projects. Duke MSA & Duke University shall not tolerate harassment of any kind. In accordance with this policy of non-discrimination, Duke MSA shall not discriminate on the basis of any individual's association with Islam in the organization's membership, activities, and projects. Fulfillment of and dedication to Duke MSA's mission does not require any level of personal identification or adherence to the Islamic faith, and the organization shall not discriminate on that basis.

Article 5: Officers

Any member of Duke MSA can become an officer. Officers shall be elected annually in the Spring semester by a majority vote of the membership. The officers of this organization and their basic duties follow. Every position has the additional role of serving as an ex-officio member of any committee that is created through the by-law.

  • President

    • Calls and presides over official meetings of the organization

    • Acts as the tie-breaking vote in matters of business

    • Maintains organization in good standing with Duke University via communication with the Office of Student Activities and Facilities and/or other interested

    • Acts as the official representative of Duke MSA

    • Provides vision and general discretion for matters not otherwise outlined in the constitution or by-laws

    • Appoints executive board positions, besides the Officers outlined in the constitution, which are subject to ratification by majority vote of the executive board

  • Vice President

    • Oversees the executive board's operations and ensures the fulfillment of Duke MSA Officer's duties as dictated in the constitution and the Officers' Responsibilities by-law

    • Promotes a welcoming and inclusive environment for the Duke Muslim Community - prioritizes new members of the community, especially first years

    • Aids in the responsibilities of the President and assumes those responsibilities in case of the President's absence or failure to fulfill them otherwise.

  • Treasurer

    • Maintains accurate ledger and financial records

    • Approves all expenditures from the organization financial account

    • Approves (i.e. signs) all requests for allocations from third-party sources

    • Delivers a financial report to the membership once a semester in Fall and Spring

  • Secretary-Historian

    • Maintains the official roster of the organization

    • Records minutes of all official meetings of the organization

    • Maintains official historical file for the organization (constitution, by-laws, minutes, rosters, financial records, risk management records, etc...)

    • Maintains the MSA website (www.dukemsa.com)

  • Weekly Activities Chair

    • Coordinates weekly activities and events for Duke MSA membership, including but not limited to Jummahs and Friday meetings

      • Jummah Khutbahs are arranged in conjunction with the CML

    • Promote unity within the Muslim community at Duke University by planning social and spiritual events

    • Promote/create an accepting environment that is conducive to the comfort and ease of the constituents of the Muslim Student Association

    • Promote and plan interactions with MSAs at neighboring colleges/universities

  • Civic Engagement and Outreach Chair

    • Fosters productive relationships with external groups, these include but are not limited to: religious, cultural, and service student organizations at Duke and at other nearby schools, local mosques and other houses of worship, and academic departments at Duke

    • Coordinates interfaith activities in order to foster interreligious harmony on Duke's campus

    • Coordinates activities designed to identify and address issues of public concern, especially through charity and service work

    • Serves as a reference to organizations and people outside of the Muslim community, to answer questions or educate them more about Islam

  • Events Chair

    • Coordinates and serves as head of the committees planning all major, signature events of the MSA, including but not limited to: major speakers, Welcome Back BBQ, Islam Awareness Month, Eid Banquet, Muslim Youth Leadership Conference

  • Publicity Chair

    • Creates multimedia publications, digital branding and design files to promote MSA and MSA events

    • Publicizes activities of the MSA by appropriate means (e.g. e-mail, website, Facebook, flyers)

  • Class Representatives

    • Ensures each class has a collaborative environment, promotes the supportive network between members of the class

    • Promotes the supportive network between members of the class: this can be done through events such as dinners, study groups, or even just hangouts.

    • Attend exec meetings and gather ideas as to how to gain more attendance and ensure each class is having the best experience as possible.

  • Graduate Student Committee

    • Coordinate graduate student involvement - running the FB page and list serve

    • Collaborate with MSA to encourage graduate student involvement with MSA events and activities

    • Oversee social activities, including organizing biweekly brunches and dinners with other graduate students


Article 6: Advisor

A full-time faculty or staff member of Duke University shall be selected by the executive board and serve as the organization advisor. The advisor shall be an ex-officio member of the organization and all of its committees.

Advisor duties:

• Interpret University policy for organization

• Direct membership to appropriate campus resources to accomplish organizational goals

• Act as the official university contact in matters of policy violation


Article 7: Removal of Officers

Officers may be removed with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general body cast by ballot. The officer in question must be notified of the vote of removal at least one (1) week in advance and shall have the opportunity to speak before the general body prior to the vote.


Article 8: Executive board

The executive board of Duke MSA shall be composed of the organization officers, the advisor, and any appointees deemed appropriate by the President. The executive board shall generate and present recommendations to membership for approval that effect and promote the mission of the organization.


Article 9: Procedural Meetings

General body meetings shall be organized at least once per semester and at the discretion of the President at other times at an on-campus venue. The meeting shall be publicized to the general membership at least one (1) week in advance. During general body meetings, quorum shall consist of all members in attendance.

In addition to general body meetings, Duke MSA executive board shall meet on a regular basis, at least weekly, during the Fall and Spring academic semesters and at the discretion of the President at other times at an on-campus venue. An executive board meeting may last no longer than 90 minutes unless the President notifies board members of a longer meeting at least 1 week in advance. Board members are allowed up to 2 unexcused absences and 3 excused absences per semester from these meetings. An excused absence must be recognized by the President at least 24 hours in advance before an executive board meeting. Arriving more than 10 minutes late to a meeting shall count as one half of an unexcused absence. If a board member exceeds the allotted number of absences, the executive board (including said board member) will discuss and vote on whether they remain fit to serve. Board members who are absent from a meeting may still be assigned tasks and are responsible for reading the minutes from that meeting as soon as possible.

Class representatives are only required to attend two meetings per month.


Article 10: By-laws

By-laws shall be created to dictate the structure and procedures of the organization. By-laws may be proposed by any member and must obtain a majority vote of the members voting at the meeting. No by-law shall infringe on the authority of the constitution. Required by-laws, which shall be ratified annually, include:

• Organization Committees

• Parliamentary Modification (ratified at first meeting of a new executive board’s term)

• Election of Officers

• Officers' Responsibilities


Article 11: Committees

Committees of the organization shall be created from time-to-time by the executive board in order to organize and distribute the workload of the organization. Committees shall be governed by by- law and shall not have authority over the executive board or the general body.


Article 12: Parliamentary authority

Meetings and voting shall be governed by a modified version of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, tenth edition. Modifications to Robert's Rules of Order shall be described in the Parliamentary Modification by-law.


Article 13: Elections

Elections must be openly publicized for at least two (2) weeks and open to the members of the organization. Elections shall be structured by the Election of Officers by-law. The election process will be formalized and be free of charge. Elections will be held in March to ensure plenty of time for transition from the old executive board to the new, and will abide by the following guidelines:

  • Nominations for all vacant positions will be taken from the general body members and executive board through online ballot. Self-nominations will be accepted. Recipients have the opportunity to accept or reject nominations if they so choose.

  • All executive positions will be up for election each year. Previous board members are free to run for their positions again. Previous board members will also be allowed to run for a different position for the following year.

  • A ballot with the finalized candidates for election will be made available to the general body at least a week in advance of elections.

  • Any candidate who has one or more opponents will be required to speak in front of the general body at elections. The speech should address why the candidate is suitable for office in the specified role.

  • To win, a candidate must earn the majority of the votes.

  • All elected positions must be approved and established prior to elections, to allow fair and sufficient time for nominations. No impromptu positions may be created once a nomination form has been sent out to the general body.


Article 14: Succession

In the case that any member of the executive board must leave his or her post during the term of office, succession will result in the order of board members as mentioned in Article Five. No board member will be forced into a position – in the event that a position cannot be filled by succession, the board may agree on another board member to fill the vacancy, given that that board member’s current position ranks lower on the current list contained in Article Five. If no one on the executive board is able to fill the gap, the board may find someone in the general body to appoint. Also, if agreed upon by the board, a position may be merged into the responsibilities of another. For example, the Weekly Meetings Chair position may be merged with that of the President and Vice President jointly.


Article 15: Amendment

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed in writing by any member and must obtain approval from EITHER two-thirds (2/3) of the entire executive board OR a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general body.


Document History: Created: 5 August, 2010 by: Ahmad Jitan, modified by Nabil Enayet

Modified: 6 March, 2016 by: Yossra Hamid

Record of Organization Standing: Chartered: December 1994