Constitution of Seesaw Theatre 2018-2019

Constitution of Seesaw Theatre 2018-2019

                        ARTICLE I - INTRODUCTION
Section I – Name
The official name of the group shall be Seesaw Theatre.

Section II – Purpose
Seesaw Theatre strives to enrich the lives of individuals living with Autism Spectrum
Condition (ASC) and other developmental differences by increasing their access to
theatre and fostering the use of performance as a channel for expression.

Section III – Objectives
To provide accessible multi-sensory theatre performances to individuals with
developmental differences.
To develop an education program that offers creative drama lessons to Chicagoland
students with developmental differences.
To serve as a resource for Northwestern students and other inclusive theatre
practitioners through on-campus informational programming.

Section I – Executive Board
   A. List of Executive Board Positions and General Responsibilities
   The elected Executive Board for 2018-2019 shall consist of the Executive Director,
   Artistic Director, Business Manager, Producer, Outreach Director, Marketing
   Director, Head Adventure Guide (HAG), Winter Event Director, External Education
   Director, Internal Education Director, Event Coordinator, Design Chair, Technical
   Director, and Research Chair. All members will be current undergraduate students at
   Northwestern. Their duties are as follows:
      1. The duties of the Executive Director (1) shall include the general oversight of
            the Executive Board, involving the leading of Executive Board meetings,
            petitions and deliberations, drawing up agendas for meetings, representation
            to the Associated Student Government (ASG), and acting as the general
            representative to the theatre community. Duties shall also include bringing
            together the goals of artistic collaborators and the board's mission in a
            cohesive and creative season of programming. The Executive Director will
            see to it that shows uphold all the values of Seesaw Theatre.
      2. The duties of the Business Manager (1) shall be to manage the group’s
            financial accounts and to act as Treasurer for all external matters including
            maintaining relationships with the Student Organization Finance Office
(SOFO), the Associated Student Government (ASG), the Student Activities
     Finance Committee (SAFC), and the Campus Life (CL), insofar as it relates to
     finance. For all fundraising endeavors the Business Manager is responsible
     for the collection of money and supply of starting funds. Their duties shall
     also be the planning and organization of fundraising events and the research
     and organization of grant applications. They also act as a mentor for
     members of a production’s business team. In the absence of the Executive
     Director, the Business Manager shall run Executive meetings.
3.   The duties of the Producer (1) shall include the general oversight and
     managing of the current MainStage production. This includes assembling a
     production team with the Artistic Director/HAG, budgeting the show, being
     in contact with audience members and classrooms (along with Outreach and
     the HAG), being in constant communication with the rehearsal room, and
     facilitating conversation between the rehearsal room and the production
     team. The Producer will act as a voting member of the Executive Board to
     ensure the focus of Seesaw Theatre remains on the creation of theatrical
     productions. After their tenure, the producer will mentor the incoming
4.   The duties of the Artistic Director (1) shall include curating Seesaw’s full
     season of programming under a unified artistic statement. In addition, they
     shall serve as a mentor to the artists involved in any Seesaw event throughout
     the season. They will be responsible for the direction and leadership of the
     spring MainStage production. Along with the Producer and HAG, the Artistic
     Director chooses the show's theme, holds auditions for an ensemble of cast
     and adventure guides (traditionally in fall quarter), and leads the devising
     and rehearsal process. The Artistic Director must have been involved in a
     previous Seesaw production. The Artistic Director will act as a voting
     member on the Executive Board to ensure the focus of Seesaw Theatre
     remains on the creation of theatrical productions.
5.   The duties of the Head Adventure Guide (1) shall include collaboration with
     the Artistic Director to ensure the audience members who attend the
     Mainstage production are receiving the appropriate attention and that
     necessary safety measures are taken. They are responsible for ensuring the
     ensemble is prepared to work with each audience member and navigate any
     potential obstacles, so they attend workshops whenever possible and gather
     other research in order to share information with the rehearsal team. The
     HAG is also heavily involved in the artistic process, ensuring the safety and
     open nature of the world we create. In addition, the HAG will serve as a
     resource for the Winter Event Director, working to ensure the same
     principles of access are applied to the event geared towards families and tour.
     The HAG will act as a voting member on the Executive Board to ensure the
     focus of Seesaw Theatre remains on the creation of theatrical productions.
6.   The duties of the Winter Event Director (1) shall include executing the
     artistic vision of the annual winter event for families, which is followed by a
     tour or residency in local Chicagoland schools. They coordinate with the
     Event Coordinator to cast the show, lead the devising process, and facilitate
     any adaptations necessary for tour.
7.  The duties of the Outreach Director (1) shall include maintaining and
    promoting Seesaw's relationship with both organizations on campus and
    external organizations, in addition to schools, families, and other groups in
    the greater Evanston and Chicagoland communities. The Outreach Director
    will reach out to special education teachers to invite classrooms to Seesaw
    performances and schedule Seesaw theatre workshops in their classrooms.
    They facilitate communication with teachers and families surrounding both
    workshops and performances to ensure meaningful partnerships. They will
    also reach out to organizations in Evanston and Chicago, and on campus that
    work with people with different abilities to expand audience membership.
    Additionally, the Outreach Director is responsible for distributing the
    audience surveys and forwarding information to the research team,
    coordinating each production’s outreach efforts, maintaining the Seesaw
    Theatre email account, and communicating with TWIST, the Seesaw Theatre
    listserv, and the broader Seesaw community.
8. The duties of the External Education Director (1) shall include the
    organization and planning of all workshops done by Seesaw Theatre
    members off campus, including at schools and various local organizations.
    They create lesson plans and work closely with our teaching artists to execute
    these workshops and events. In doing this work, the External Education
    Director creates opportunities for our ensemble and affiliates to gain
    experience working with our audiences, and for potential audience members
    to get a taste of what we do. They also serve as a voice for the teaching artists
    with regards to Board operations and planning and help coordinate storage
    needs for education materials. The External ED remains in communication
    with the Internal ED and the Outreach Director to keep Seesaw’s
    programming consistent and engaging throughout the year.
9. The duties of the Internal Education Director (1) shall include facilitating
    community education efforts with the Northwestern population. This
    includes coordinating and managing events to engage Northwestern students
    in a dialogue about the field of inclusive theatre amongst themselves and
    with working professionals, such as the annual Inclusive Theatre Festival. In
    doing this work, the Internal Education Director creates spaces for the
    Northwestern and Chicagoland community to learn about inclusive theatre
    practices. They also help manage Seesaw alumni relations and foster
    connections across other student groups to promote inclusive practices in the
    arts through special events and helping coordinate Sensory Friendly
10. The duties of the Design Chair (1) shall include mentoring current
    production designers in the specific practices of designing for Seesaw
    Theatre. The Design Chair will work closely with the Technical Director.
    When designers are chosen, the Design Chair will reach out to them to help
    them better understand the work of Seesaw and how designing for Seesaw
    may be different than designing other shows on this campus. This includes
    providing assistance in creating feasible design timelines and helping
    designers with the construction/ realization of their designs. The Design
    Chair will check in at least twice with each designer throughout the process.
They also maintain a Design Handbook. The Design Chair should have
            experience with Seesaw design.
      11.   The Technical Director (TD) (1) serves as a resource for designers and the
            Production Team in figuring out and communicating logistics for building
            and on­the­ground support during build, load­in, tech, and strike. The
            Technical Director oversees maintaining and managing the Public Storage
            Unit and of coordinating the use of on-campus storage spaces with regards to
            current production needs.
      12.   The duties of the Event Coordinator (1) shall include producing the Winter
            Seesaw Event, geared towards families. This includes collaborating with the
            Winter Event Director to create a team of Teaching Artists and designers and
            coordinating with Outreach to build an audience base. They will forge
            connections with the Chicagoland community to acquire space and
            coordinate programming, which may include facilitating a tour. In addition
            to the Winter Event, the coordinator will help in the production of the
            Inclusive Theatre Festival and collaborate with other Board members to
            produce other events during the year.
      13.   The duties of the Marketing Director (1) include managing all of Seesaw’s
            various social media accounts (such as Facebook and Instagram) and
            updating the Seesaw website to create a cohesive online presence. They are
            also in charge of creating all official Seesaw merchandise and helping
            facilitate all copyright and licensing agreements for our body of works,
            including lesson plans, scripts, and all other official written material as
            Seesaw expands its reach. The Marketing Director manages all outside Board
            communication, such as collaborating with newspapers and other
            organizations interested in partnerships and manages the Board’s image in
            relation to such potential collaboration, including preparation for interviews.
            They manage Seesaw Theatre’s blog and collaborate with the Outreach
            Director in distributing official written materials, such as newsletters, to the
            Seesaw community.
      14.   The duties of the Research Chair (1) shall include remaining updated on
            current Autism Spectrum Disorder research (and research into other
            developmental differences). They present findings to the board and
            production team, producing a research packet for use in the rehearsal room
            and design processes. The Research Chair will collaborate with the Internal
            Education Director to create events informing the greater Northwestern
            community of Seesaw’s goals in the context of research and lead a team of
            students to build a database of research.
B. Qualifications for Becoming an Officer
New Executive Board members shall be selected by a written application and interview
with the outgoing Executive Board. The timing of this election is dependent on the needs
of the organization for the given year, but should provide adequate opportunities for
student involvement with Seesaw Theatre prior to elections.
C. Terms of Office
Board members shall serve a term of one full academic year until elections are held
again. Every member of the Executive Board is required to assist in transitions following
new elections. During that time, the current individual(s) in that position will teach the
incoming position holder(s) of their duties. These meetings will occur during the week
following position announcements. At the end of that week, the new Executive Board
assumes all appropriate responsibilities.
D. Procedures for Filling Vacated Offices
In the case of a vacated position on the Executive Board, the whole Board will meet to
develop a course of action that meets the needs of the organization at that time. This
may involve a special election, in which case all members of the Seesaw general
membership who meet the typical criteria for office are eligible to run. Alternatively, the
Board might decide to dissolve a position for the academic year after the position is
vacated. In this instance, the Board will work together to cover the responsibilities of
that role.

Section II – Committees
There are no special committees within the organizational structure of Seesaw Theatre.

Section III – Advisor
The advisor of Seesaw Theatre shall serve as a resource person and provide advisory
support for the officers and members of the organization. The advisor will not be
required to attend executive and general meetings, but may provide input in difficult
Board decisions upon request. The advisor shall be nominated by the Board and
confirmed by a two thirds majority vote of the Board. The advisor will serve a term of
one (1) academic year. At the end of the term, the officers might choose to nominate the
adviser from the previous year or they might choose to nominate a different adviser if
they believe such a choice would benefit the organization. In the event that the advisor is
unable to continue in their position, officers may nominate a replacement at any time, to
be confirmed by a majority vote of the Board.

Section IV – Dissolution of Organization
In order for the Board to undergo dissolution, the current serving executive Board must
reach a consensus to determine that such a course of action is the only course of action
available for Seesaw. Dissolution should only be treated as a last resort option when the
membership of Seesaw is such that there are not enough interested and qualified people
to serve in general membership and Board positions.

                        ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section I – Membership Eligibility
Membership in this organization is open to all Northwestern University students in
Good Academic Standing who have paid their Student Activity Fee. Non-voting
membership may be extended to interested faculty, administrators, staff members, and
alumni of the University
Members shall be defined as those who help Seesaw Theatre further the goals in their
mission statement. Membership in Seesaw Theatre shall consist of those serving on the
Executive Board of Seesaw Theatre, the ensemble and production team involved in the
winter event and spring production, and the team of teaching artists. Efforts will be
made to ensure that every new member find a place in one of the aforementioned
groups. Voting rights and executive decisions shall remain under the authority of the
Executive Board.

Section II – Executive Board Eligibility and Qualifications
All candidates must be full time registered students at Northwestern University. All
candidates must have been active members within the Seesaw Community prior to the
annual elections. This member activity may be as part of our production teams, our
show ensembles, our team of teaching artists, or our research team.

Section III – Committee Eligibility
Seesaw Theatre does not have specific committees, and thus does not have eligibility

Section IV – Executive Board Resignation
Under exceptional circumstances, an officer may resign. Two weeks before his or her
resignation, the resigning officer must submit in written reasonable reason for resigning
to the Executive Board. Resignation only becomes effective after the Executive Board
approves and a general discussion at the general meeting had taken place.

Section I – Selection Timing
The election of the new Executive Board takes place annually, allowing members of the
community adequate time to become familiar with our work before applying to serve.
While there are no set dates for elections, they traditionally take place in the weeks
following a major artistic process within our season in late winter or spring quarter.

Section II – Nominations
There is no official nomination process for the Executive Board. Current Board
members may reach out to qualified general members encouraging them to apply, but
with the understanding that this is no guarantee of a position on the Board. Any general
member of the Seesaw community may apply regardless.

Section III – Election and Voting Procedures
New Executive Board members will apply through a two-part process. They will
complete a written application and interview with members of the current serving
Executive Board. After all applicants have completed both parts of the process, the
current serving Board will meet to vote on which members they feel are best qualified to
join. A two-thirds majority is required to officially elect applications to their future
position. Outgoing Board members who are seeking reelection will not be present while
the Board discusses their application. Positions on the Executive Board are flexible to
the needs of Seesaw Theatre in its current state, allowing for the addition and removal of
currently held positions on a year­to­year basis as seen fit by the current Executive
Board. This may be a discussion that is a part of the election meeting.

Section IV – Notifications and Posting of Elections
All eligible general members will be invited to interview through an official email
announcement and social media event closed to only eligible parties. These
announcements will include official information about potential Board positions and
Board goals for the upcoming academic year.

Section V – Grounds for Removal
If there are extreme circumstances in which the Executive Board or general membership
calls for the removal of a sitting Executive Board member, three-fourths of the Board or
two-thirds of the membership must submit an official petition to the Executive Director.
In the event that they call for the Executive Director’s removal, they will submit this
petition to the Business Manager.

Section VI – Procedures for Impeachment
If the Executive Board or general membership calls for impeachment, the Executive
Director will notify the Board member in question two weeks in advance and call an
impeachment hearing of the Executive Board. The entire Board must be present for this
hearing. A Board member shall be impeached only by a unanimous vote (as done
through secret ballot) by the Executive Board immediately after such a hearing. In the
case of the Executive Director’s impeachment, the Business Manager shall handle this
process. The Executive Board will be in charge of selecting a replacement or will be
responsible for picking up the duties of the position.

Section VII – Procedure for Appeal of Impeachment
Any student whose Executive Board position is revoked will have exactly 96 hours/four
(4) calendar days to appeal the revocation. The appeal must be submitted in writing to
the Executive Board, and must include any relevant information that has not already
been presented. The Executive Director will share the information of the appeal to the
Board. The Board will then render a decision at the next Board meeting or in seven (7)
calendar days, whichever occurs first. If no appeal is submitted, the Board’s decision is
automatically binding.

                           ARTICLE V – MEETINGS

Section I – Types and Occurrence of Meetings
Seesaw Theatre’s Executive Board will meet weekly throughout the entire academic
year. Unless special invitation has been extended, these meetings are closed to the
general public. Meetings between individuals serving on the board occur as necessary.
Meetings between members of Seesaw’s artistic processes occur as needed, determined
by the producer or artistic leader of each individual project. For example, production
teams typically meet once a week throughout the quarter in which the event takes place.

Section II – Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called during the quarter upon the approval of a majority of the
Executive Board.

Section III – Quorum
A quorum shall consist of at least one half of the total membership. No votes may be
taken in absence of a quorum.

Section IV – Parliamentary Procedure
The Board will follow Robert’s Rules when bringing an item to a vote unless extenuating
circumstances demand another form of parliamentary procedure.

Section V – Meeting Minutes and Records
Prior to every Executive Board meeting, the Executive Director will send out a brief
agenda to the Board. Any Board member who would like to include additional material
in the meeting’s agenda should communicate this information directly to the Executive
Director. At the start of each new term, the Board will nominate a member to take
meeting minutes throughout the year. This person will then be charged with taking
meeting minutes and posting all minutes to the Board’s digital archive.

                  ARTICLE VI – HANDLING OF FUNDS
Section I – Student Organization Finance Office
All funds collected will be deposited in our student organization’s Student Organization
Finance Office (SOFO) account.

Section II – Treasurer
The treasurer shall be the primary officer designated to handle organization finances.
Seesaw Theatre’s official title for treasurer is Business Manager.

Section III – Dissolution of Organization
In the event this organization dissolves, all monies left in the treasury, after all
outstanding debts and claims have been paid, shall be donated to Bluelaces Theatre
Section I – Amendment
Amendments or additions to this constitution may be made at any Executive Board
meeting provided notice of the proposed amendment was given one week prior to a vote.
This notice should include reasons for the amendment or addition and any
supplementary material to inform the Board’s vote. Amendments require a two-thirds
vote of the voting members in attendance at the meeting, and are subject to final
approval by the Student Organizations & Activities. All amendments or additions to the
constitution will be Sections in Article XIII of the Seesaw constitution unless otherwise
decided by the Board.

Section II – Ratification
This Constitution shall become effective upon its ratification by a two-thirds majority
vote of the Executive Board at any weekly Board meeting. Upon ratification of this
Constitution, all prior constitutions shall be null and void.

As a recognized student organization, we will participate in a constitutional review
process every three (3) years. It will be updated according to the new sample
constitution (if necessary) and will meet with the Student Organizations & Activities
staff to review it.

This is not-for-profit organization. Any funds obtained through fundraising or other
means must go back to the organization.

As a student group seeking affiliation to Northwestern University, we hereby state that
this student organization does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any
member of its community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental
status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship or veteran status in matters of
admissions, employment, housing or services or in the educational programs or
activities it operates. Harassment, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on
any of these characteristics, is a form of discrimination. This includes harassing conduct
affecting tangible job benefits, interfering unreasonably with an individual's academic or
work performance, or creating what a reasonable person would sense is an intimidating,
hostile or offensive environment. While Northwestern University is committed to the
principles of free inquiry and free expression, discrimination and harassment identified
in this policy are neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of
academic freedom.

This organization will not engage in or permit hazing. The University forbids hazing and
all other activities that interfere with the personal liberty of an individual. The
University defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, whether on or off
University premises and whether presented as optional or required, to produce mental
or physical discomfort, servitude, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule for the
purpose of initiation into, affiliation with, or admission to, or as a condition for
continued membership in, a group, team, club, or other organization. Hazing activities
may also violate the Illinois Hazing Act 720 ILCS §5/12C-50

This organization shall comply with all Northwestern University policies and
procedures, including but not limited to, those policies set forth in the Northwestern
University Student Handbook and The Guide to Student Organizations, as well as local,
state, and federal laws.

Section I – Intellectual Property
All productions created under Seesaw Theatre are the intellectual property of Seesaw
Theatre as an organization. If any individual or organization wishes to present a
production, event, or lesson plan originated by Seesaw Theatre, they must contact
Seesaw and credit appropriately as determined by the current Executive Board.
Composers shall be credited by name. If the current Seesaw Board would like to
remount an old production, they should credit the year it was created.
Updated May 2018.
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