Climate Justice Club Constitution
Article I: Name and Purpose
Section 1: Name
Climate Justice Club (CJC)
Section 2: Mission/Purpose
Climate Justice Club serves as a platform for students to organize, exercise leadership, and advocate for intersectional issues related to the climate justice movement. CJC envisions a climate-just world where our ecosystems and communities are healthy and resilient. Through dialogue and activism, CJC seeks to engage our local community and be active members of a global network of youth-focused on protecting the earth. CJC centers the leadership of frontline communities*, creating a space for grassroots organizing and building power from underserved groups. Ultimately, it is our goal to provide students with the experience and skills to organize around issues they care about, now and throughout their lifetimes.
While climate change is one of the greatest threats to our generation, it also presents one of the greatest opportunities: to reimagine and rebuild the social, cultural, and physical infrastructure of our world. Now is the time to construct societies that are equitable, accessible, safe, and healthy for all. We aim to take part in co-creating a world that values all bodies, promotes joy through creative expression, and provides what people and the planet need to thrive.
Through the pillars of CJC -- knowledge-sharing and activism -- we engage in praxis, putting our knowledge into practice to realize climate justice. The knowledge-sharing branch prioritizes education and the co-creation of knowledge, both learning and educating about how climate change impacts the lives of the CSB/SJU community on and beyond campus. The activism branch creates local, regional, and global opportunities for students to engage with the larger climate justice movement. In the past, our activist teams have: 1) urged CSB/SJU to align their financial investments with their moral values by divesting from fossil fuels, 2) petitioned to hire a SJU president who is a climate justice leader, 3) organized dialogue activities in solidarity with global youth climate strikes, and 4) engaged in advocacy with politicians to ensure the climate is prioritized in policy and elections.
In our organizing, we work to embody the changes we hope to see in the world. Our leadership structure is horizontal and collaborative, sharing power. We highlight mentorship, encouraging younger club members to shadow board members. Our discussions aim for radical inclusivity, ensuring everyone has the space to voice their ideas. We also work to form coalitions and friendships of genuine trust through relational organizing. Finally, we center intersectionality, how intersecting layers of oppression work to compound an individual’s experience of climate crisis. Because of their direct experiences, those best equipped to produce just solutions and lead the climate movement are frontline communities*. In every possible avenue, such as choosing speakers or themes for events, we look to the leadership of Indigenous peoples, people of color, gender and sexual minorities, undocumented people, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and youth.
As we build a climate-just world, CJC actively contributes to the CSB/SJU community by promoting all Benedictine values, especially community, justice and peace, stewardship, moderation and listening with the ear of the heart. A climate-just world will have local clean energy and food production, ensuring communities have autonomy. A climate-just world will have clean air, immigrant rights, universal health care, green spaces, free education, fair wages, housing security, no privatization of water, racial equity, and Native sovereignty.
Article II: Membership and Dues
Membership is open to any undergraduate student on the CSB/SJU campuses with an interest in our mission. There are no membership dues. An active member is a member who has attended at least two meetings and been involved with one event over the course of the semester.
Mentorship: Each involved member will be paired with a newer member to engage in mentorship.
- After receiving mentor pairing from Central Focal Point, meet two or more times per semester with mentee to learn about them personally, what brought them to climate justice club, what gives topics about climate justice or teams within climate justice are most exciting and why, what they like to do, etc
- Advance the mentee’s understanding of climate justice as a concept
- Invite mentees to participate in events they are going to, both CJC and non-CJC related
- Ask if mentee would like to collaborate on a project within CJC, co-facilitate discussions for CJC, schedule meetings for CJC and otherwise help the mentee develop organizing skills necessary to become a leader
- Convey what they hope to get out of this mentorship
- Attend events with mentor
- Ask about mentor’s passions and why they became involved with CJC
- Set up a meeting with Mentor and Mentee if Mentee or Mentor so desires
Article III: Government
The affairs and policy of the CJC are under the responsibility of the board, which consists of the Central Focal Point, Knowledge Sharing and Activism Focal Points, Treasurer, and Communications Leader of the club.
Section 1: Responsibilities:
Central Focal Point
Role: Works to unify all branches of the Climate Justice Club and ensure all members are satisfied in their positions.
- Ensure all actions align with the CJC Mission Statement
- Stay up to date with what each branch is working on by connecting with the Knowledge Sharing and Activism Focal Points, The Treasurer, and The Communicator; make sure all branches are running smoothly, staying on track, and working in conjunction
- Meet (have coffee, a meal, a phone conversation) with all new club members to understand their interests, talents and how they would best contribute to and enjoy participating in Climate Justice Club; help connect them with the team that best fits their interests
- Provide input and support to all Climate Justice Club branches
- Organize meetings between focal points (i.e. board meeting)
- After the first general meeting of each semester, send out an email to asking who would like to participate in a mentorship opportunity (use email list from involvement fair and list of attendees of the first meeting) This email should include a question on whether or not the member is interested in becoming a leader of CJC at some point.
- Pair (with the help of the board) each involved member with a newer member. Whether a member is involved or new is up to the Central Focal Point’s discussion, but potential guidelines could include whether the member has been involved with CJC for more than one year or less than one year, or how regularly the member attends meetings. Those who answered that they would like to become a CJC leader should be paired with someone on the board
- This mentorship program is optional but highly encouraged. The purpose of this program is to acknowledge the continuity and intersectionality between the interests of the old and new members of CJC
- Mentor at least one new club member, and one younger, involved club member .
Knowledge Sharing Focal Point
Role: Organizes all members of the corresponding branch and ensures the goal of reciprocal learning between the Climate Justice Club and the larger CSB/SJU community.
- Serve as the organizer for the Knowledge Sharing Branch, which includes communication, meeting agendas and facilitation, and record-keeping
- Delegate tasks and duties to all branch members and ensures their satisfaction and involvement
- Create new teams (e.g. Cultural and Social Difference presentation team, high school presentation team, general meeting planning) when necessary to work on different projects within the knowledge sharing branch; makes sure each team is on track through regular check-ins, while supporting their needs
- Design the agenda for all Climate Justice Club general meetings in a way that ensures new members learn about climate justice and connect with activism to enact their learning
- Assist in bringing speakers that emphasize voices of frontline communities to CSB/SJU
- Ensure all CJC discussions and communications, both within the club and with the community, are open-minded, valuing different opinions
- Work with Cultural and Social Difference professors to include environmental issues in the classroom
- Mentor at least one new club member through a mentorship program highlighting knowledge sharing. Refer to the Central Focal Point for further mentorship program information.
- Communicate with the Central Focal Point and other board members
Activism Focal Point
Role: Organizes all members of the corresponding branch and ensures the goal of connecting with the global and local climate justice movement and climate justice vision through activism at CSB/SJU
- Serve as the organizer for the Activism Branch, which includes communication, meeting agendas and facilitation, and record-keeping
- Delegate tasks and duties to all branch members and ensures their satisfaction and involvement
- Creates new teams (e.g. General Election Organizing, Pipeline Resistance, President Petition) when necessary to work on different projects within the activism branch; makes sure each team is on track through regular check-ins, while supporting their needs
- Connect Climate Justice Club with new ways to lead activism in the CSB/SJU, St. Cloud, and Minnesota communities
- Seek out collaborative activist actions that correspond with Climate Justice Club’s mission
- Stay up to date on important environmental moments on the local, regional, and global scale
- Mentors at least one new club member through a mentorship program highlighting activism. Refer to the Central Focal Point for further mentorship program information.
- Communicate with the Central Focal Point and other board members
Role: Handles all finances related to Climate Justice Club
- Communicate with each branch about their financial needs each semester
- Coordinate payments and purchases for the club
- Make funding requests to the co-funding board and student senate
- Organize end-of-year party
- Mentors at least one new club member through a mentorship program highlighting finance. Refer to the Central Focal Point for further mentorship program information.
Role: Ensures that all communications between the Climate Justice Club and the CSB/SJU community are timely, complete, and effective
- Mentors at least one new club member through a mentorship program highlighting communication. Refer to the Central Focal Point for further mentorship program information.
- Ensures the following takes place by either doing these tasks themselves or delegating responsibility to others:
- Social media is up-to-date, engaging, and informative
- All emails are responded to by the correct individual within 24 hours of being received
- Creates or coordinates flyers, posters, and general emails for all Climate Justice Club events
- Ensures that the image of the Climate Justice Club is consistent, accurate, and visible on campus.
Section 2: Vacancy in Office
In the event the Central Focal Point should be absent or resign, then the board will discuss who would be the next best fit to take on this role.
Section 3: Removal of Officers
If one member of the board is not upholding their role, the Central Focal Point will first discuss the problem with the board member. If the behavior does not change, then the board will hold a discussion with the board member in question as well as the entirety of the board, mediated by a neutral party, likely the advisor. Then the board will have a discussion in the absence of the board member in question and decide, by consensus, whether or not to remove the member. Other forms of conflict will be addressed in a similar manner.
Article IV: Elections
Section 1: Nomination Process & Elections
Beginning in April every year, the Central Focal Point and Branch Focal Points will begin to determine the best candidates for the following positions: Central Focal Point, Knowledge Sharing Focal Point, Activism Focal Point, Treasurer, and Communications Leader. The process of selecting the individuals to fill these roles should be a collaboration between the current leaders and those that wish to hold a leadership position. To ensure accessibility and transparency, there needs to be a board meeting dedicated to the election process each spring. The procedure is set as follows:
- Hold a general club meeting where current CJC leaders take space to explain their position and what they do. At that general meeting, put a call out for interested students to send in a 200-word interest proposal to the CJC board
- In addition, send an email out to the student body stating that CJC is electing new leadership and would like anyone to apply by sending in their interest proposal
- Once the deadline for submission passes, host sessions where interested students can meet personally with current Climate Justice Club leaders to ask questions, get a feel for interests, and receive commentary on their proposal which will be turned into their testimony to be presented
- The week after spring break, the interested students need to present their testimony in 2 minutes or less at a general meeting where any interested parties can attend. At this meeting, an electronic vote will take place
- The link for voting will also be sent out to the list of club members if they are unable to attend that specific meeting
- People eligible to vote: Members of CJC (criteria listed under “Membership) are permitted to vote in the election. On the electric form, two supplemental questions will be listed. “How many Climate Justice meetings have you attended this semester?” and “When was the last time you attended a Climate Justice meeting?” Board members are also expected to recognize who has been most involved in the club over the semester to understand which votes hold the most weight.
- The list of new CJC leaders will be announced with 2-3 weeks left of the Spring semester
The current CJC leaders will communicate with all members of CJC about the various projects that require leadership roles. All members are entitled to participate in leadership activities, regardless of their position in CJC. Current leaders are required to maintain satisfaction of members by offering a variety of projects and leadership opportunities to all members of CJC. The current leaders can then work to make sure each person that wants to be involved in the leadership team has a working position that they feel satisfied with.
More than one person can hold a given position as long as all involved are satisfied and each person negotiates certain roles so they do not overlap in work. A member may choose to lead one specific project instead of one of the previously mentioned positions. The selection process should not take more than 2 weeks and should strive for transparency and consensus of CJC members.
Article V: Advisor
Section 1: Selecting an Advisor
The board members are responsible for finding and contacting an advisor(s).
Section 2: Duty of Advisor
The duties of the advisor consist of providing feedback on the strategy of campaigns, connecting students with institutional resources, and assisting the club with events.
Article VI: Meetings & Events
Section 1: Club Meetings
General meetings will occur biweekly (every other week) and board meetings will occur biweekly on the opposite schedule, alternating with general meetings.
Section 2: Events
Two large events per semester will be ideal, at least one event will be located at CSB/SJU and at least one event will correspond with external local and global organizing of the climate justice movement.
Section 3: Special Meetings
In the event that something goes wrong in the club, or the club faces a serious obstacle, the central focal point can call a mandatory meeting at any time, with two day’s notice. The attendance of the board as well as the members potentially involved in the situation that called for this meeting will be expected.
Article VII: Finances
Section 1: Co-Funding Board (CFB)
The club intends on applying for CFB monies. If allocated resources, the CJC will follow all institution and CFB regulations.
Section 2: Honorarium
The CJC does not give honorariums to any member of its board of directors.
Section 3: Dues
The CJC welcomes all interested students as members and there are no dues required for admittance to the club.
Article VIII: Amendments
This constitution may be amended by consensus of the board; provided the amendment was submitted formally in writing and discussed at the previous board of directors meeting.
The CJC agrees that its activities, mission statement, and goals are consistent with the Benedictine Values.