Pittsburgh Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club



Article I: Purpose

            The Purpose of the Pittsburgh Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club (hereinafter “Club”) shall be to promote the learning of, and training in, the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  The Club will train in methods consistent with the history and traditions of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a grappling-oriented martial art system.  Training in this martial art will focus on self-defense, athletic and physical development, and competitive ability.


Article II: Activities

The above Purpose will be served through regular weekly training, seminars with Gustavo Machado of Virginia Beach, VA and other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, and through participation in tournaments and competitions, as well as social events as a Club to promote camaraderie and the bonds of friendship.


Article III: Membership Requirements and Obligations

            Membership in the Club is open to all persons, regardless of age, sex, handicap, race, creed, or nationality.

            There are no financial obligations for membership in the Club, nor will there be “associate member” status requirements distinct from general club membership except by special disposition at the discretion of the President.  Promotions through the Club may be attained at additional cost for testing and belts, but promotion is optional.  Uniforms of heavy judo or jiu-jitsu gis are required for all students in order to participate in Club training.

            No hazing or illegal discrimination will be used as a condition of membership in this organization.


Article IV: Membership Application and Acceptance; Removal from the Club

            All interested persons will be required to sign a waiver of liability to the University of Pittsburgh (“University”), as well as to the Club, releasing all parties from liability in the event of injury.  This is the only requirement of membership.

            To be considered active and in good standing, members must attend 50% of meetings and training sessions.  Members may become inactive by either ceasing to attend meetings, or by expressly stating their desire to be removed from membership lists.

            All members will have the right to offer their views, opinions, suggestions and insights into the day-to-day and long-term operation of the Club.

            Members may be removed from the Club by a vote by two or more officers for one or more of the following reasons:

a)     Blatant disregard for the health and safety of fellow Club members

b)     Actions not in the spirit of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the martial arts

c)      Disrespect to the officers or Advisor of the Club

Persons removed from the Club may petition for restoration of good standing status no sooner than two months after the vote of removal.  A unanimous vote by all officers is required to re-instate former members.  Re-instatement may only occur once; a second vote of removal constitutes permanent banning from the Club.


Article V: Voting on Issues Unrelated to Selection of Officers

            Any elections regarding specific issues or operation of the Club, will be announced a minimum of two weeks prior to the date of elections.  All elections shall be by secret ballot, unless all members in attendance agree to a show of hands or alternative method of election.

            Voting privileges are limited to active student members in good standing with the organization.  All members in attendance on the date of elections will be considered to be in good standing, as well as any members who express their interest in voting but are unable to attend.  Voting by proxy will be handled through communication with the Vice President.


Article VI: Officers

The Club shall have the following officers; President, Vice-President, and Business Manager.


Article VI: Duties of Officers

A.  Duties of the President:

            The President will have the responsibility for setting the curriculum, both for the long term training of the Club and its members, as well as the training schedule for each training session.  The President is also primarily responsible for promoting the Club to the University and its students, monitoring and encouraging recruitment of new members, maintaining the current membership list, and conducting the meetings of the Club acting as Chairperson.  The President will also be responsible for maintaining records and articles related to the existence and function of the Club, including but not limited to, this Constitution, any By-Laws or Amendments, and required paperwork for the University.  These documents will be kept orderly and be available at the request of any Club member, officer or Advisor.  The President will be permitted to vote in any election except a motion for impeachment against him or her.  In the event of a tie, the President’s vote shall count as the tie-breaker.  The President may also grant special dispositions to members seeking to remain in good standing and active who are unable to fulfill the 50% attendance requirement.  These dispositions shall be limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as long-term injury, travel, or similar situations.


B.  Duties of the Vice-President:

            The Vice-President will have the responsibility of conducting the training of each session of the Club.  He will conduct meetings in the absence of the President, as well as support and assist the efforts and responsibilities of the President when called upon.  The Vice-President will act as proxy for any members who desire to vote in elections not involving the office of the Vice-President but are unable to attend.  He will do so in a fashion not inconsistent with the method of voting used and any anonymity afforded to members during said elections.  The Vice-President will be permitted to vote in any election except a motion for impeachment against him or her


C.  Duties of the Business Manager:

            The Business Manager shall act as record keeper for the Club, maintaining in good order any and all records of expenses, incomes, assets and other financial accountings of the Club.  The Business Manager will report to the President and Vice-President monthly on the status of the Club and its finances.  The Business Manager will also act as liaison with the University, and specifically with the Student Organization Resource Center (“SORC”) regarding all Club business and University compliance issues.  The Business Manager will be permitted to vote in any election except a motion for impeachment against him or her


Article VII: Election of Officers

Elections for Officers will be held the second training session or meeting in October, no later than October 15th.  Elections will be by secret ballot only, with no option for proxy or absentee voting.  Voting privileges are limited to active student members in good standing with the organization.  Elections will be held at the close of said training session or meeting.  Prior to the casting of ballots on the day of elections, each candidate will be given 3 minutes to address the Club members in attendance as to the merits of their candidacy.  The following requirements apply to officer elections:


A.  Eligibility for Officer Positions

            Officer positions are available to all active members in good standing, subject to the following office-specific requirements.  To be eligible for the position of President, the interested member must hold a recognized rank of blue belt or higher in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  To be eligible for the office of Vice-President or Business Manager, the interested member must have at least two consecutive semesters of active in good standing status.  No one person may hold multiple positions, unless there are no other eligible members to fill the open officer positions.  In the event there are no persons with recognized rank high enough to fill officer positions, all active members with at least two consecutive semesters in good standing are eligible for office.


B.  Nomination for Office

            All persons interested in running for office must be nominated during any Club meeting or training session during the month of September.  Officer candidates may be nominated by any Club member, including themselves, subject to a seconding by a different member of the Club.  A seconding must be obtained during the same meeting or training session, or else the candidate must be nominated again at a later meeting or session.  Persons currently holding an officer position are not barred from serving a second or multiple terms, or serving in a different officer position.


C.  Requirements for Election; Announcement and Induction of New Officers

            All offices will be filled by simple majority of secret ballots, counted by each current officer as well as at least one non-officer member.  Run-offs in the event of a tie will be a re-cast of votes between the two candidates who received the most votes.  The run-off election will be held the same day as the initial election, and run-off elections will continue until all officer positions are filled.  After each position has been filled, the new officers will be introduced in their positions before the meeting or training session is adjourned.  Each new officer will be trained and prepared to their position by the outgoing officer, and the new officers’ terms shall begin on the first training session of the spring semester, or January 15th, whichever is sooner.


Article VIII: Removal of Officers; Special Elections

            Officers may be removed by an impeachment process.  Impeachment begins on a motion, with a seconding, from a non-officer member during any Club meeting or training session.  Upon seconding, the officer the member wishes to impeach, if present, will leave the area.  The remaining members and officers present will then vote by secret ballot as to the removal of the member from their officer position.  A two-thirds majority is required for removal.  If an officer is removed, a special election to fill the position must be held no later than 30 days after the removal is effective, following the same rules of eligibility and nomination specified in the above Article, with the following change: nomination must be offered and seconded within 14 days of the effective date of removal.  Voting privileges are limited to active student members in good standing with the organization.

            The same special election requirements will be used to fill any unexpected vacancies not the result of impeachment, including but not limited to, death or injury to an officer, the departure from the area by an officer or the officer’s graduation.


Article IX: Committees

            No committees are created by this Constitution.  However, at any time, the President has the discretion to create any committee he or she feels is appropriate to fulfill the express, stated goals of the office of President.  Such ad hoc committees shall exist only so long as they are required by the President, and may be terminated by unanimous consent of both the Vice-President and Business Manager along with all Club members not on the committee.


Article X: Required Meetings and Reports

            The only required meeting or report will be a monthly accounting by the Business Manager to the President, or to the Vice-President if the President is unavailable, of the financial status of the Club.  This meeting may be informal, but all findings by the Business Manager must be given in hard copy to the President for filing, as well as maintained on digital or electronic record.


Article XI: Meetings

            Meetings may be called by any officer of the Club, with a requirement of one week’s notice given if the meeting does not coincide with a regularly scheduled training session.  At such ad hoc meetings, the President will act as Chair, unless he or she is unable to attend, in which case the Vice-President will sit as Chair.  If neither the President nor Vice-President is available, the meeting will not be held.

            There is no quorum required for business to proceed.  The meeting may be adjourned by a seconded motion from any member, subject to the express override of the Chair if the Chair has just cause to continue the meeting.  All proceedings, motions, and the like will be held in accord to Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise specified at the beginning of the meeting by the Chair.

Article XII: Finances

            The Business Manager is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all financial records.  The Business Manager will submit to the Club a bi-annual budget, with a detailed report of all expenses, assets, and income from the previous six-month period, as well as projections for the coming six months.  These reports should approximately coincide with the University semester schedule. 

            Club monies will be spent only on items or events directly related to the Purpose of the Club.  This includes, but is not limited to, uniforms, belts, testing fees, seminars, tournaments, hosting guests instructors or students, and charity events.  All expenditures over $50 require unanimous consent of all three officers.

            At any time, any member or officer may request and shall receive a copy of the financial report prepared by the Business Manager.  This request shall be honored within one week from the date it is made.


Article XIII: Advisor

            The advisor to the Club shall assist the Business Manager when needed when acting as liaison with the University.  The Advisor, unless in possession of a recognized rank in Kajukenbo equal to or greater than the President’s, shall have no input as to the curriculum or training sessions of the Club.  The Advisor will have access to any Club materials, including but not limited to the financial reports, in order to insure this Constitution and any Amendments, by-laws and University regulations are complied with at all times.  The Advisor may at any time choose to train with the Club, but his or her attendance is not required as part of the duties and responsibilities of the position of Advisor.


Article XIV: External Affiliations

            At the time of this drafting, the Club is not affiliated with any external organization. 


Article XV: By-Laws and Amendments

            By-Laws may be proposed at any meeting or training session of the Club by any member, and are subject to a simple majority show of hands vote for adoption or repeal.  By-Laws shall be duly recorded by the President of the Club.

            Amendments to this Constitution shall be proposed by seconded motion during any meeting or training session of the Club.  A special election by secret ballot will be held one week after the passage of the motion on the merits of the Amendment.  A two-thirds majority of at least 50% of active members’ votes is required to pass the Amendment.  Upon its passage it is effective immediately, unless specified in the Amendment, and it shall be duly recorded by the President.