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Colorado Student Media Association


Colorado Student Media Association


Colorado Student Media Association


CSMA Bylaws and Constitution

(Revised March 2023)

ARTICLE I – Organization’s Name
The name of this organization shall be the Colorado Student Media Association (CSMA).

ARTICLE II – Purpose of Organization
The purpose of this organization shall be to:

  • Encourage interest in journalism through participation in student media.
  • Promote high standards for student media.
  • Encourage the recognition of journalism as an important course of study – particularly as it reflects the ability of students to use the mass media in their role as media consumers and citizens.
  • Encourage student media to accept responsibility as a vital means of communication in the school community.
  • Foster student interest in print, broadcast, and online journalism.
  • Encourage students to communicate accurately, concisely, ethically, aesthetically, and responsibly.
  • Encourage knowledge of and appreciation for the rights and responsibilities stated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and in Colorado state law.
  • Encourage students to exercise their legal rights and uphold their ethical responsibilities as student journalists.
  • Provide support for and encourage the professional growth of advisers.

ARTICLE III – Membership
Membership in the Colorado Student Media Association shall consist of two classifications: active and honorary members. Active memberships shall require the payment of annual dues.Active membership shall be by school medium, with the media adviser acting as the official representative for each medium. In the event of a change in adviser during a school year, the new adviser becomes the official representative. Active membership shall be open to school sponsored student media in secondary schools in the state of Colorado. Active member dues include all CSMA-sponsored contest fees.Honorary membership shall be granted to retired advisers and other individuals devoted to the promotion of school journalism at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Honorary memberships may be elected to lifetime membership by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE IV – Officers and Board of Directors
The elected officers shall comprise the Executive Board, consisting of: President, Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, Immediate Past President, Advocacy Coordinator, Education Coordinator, Digital Media Coordinator, and Middle School Coordinator.

Officers shall be elected from among active members of CSMA, and all nominees must be current advisers of CSMA-member media when nominations are made. Elected officers may only serve in one position per term.

Only Executive Board members shall have voting rights at Board meetings, though any member may attend.

The Board of Directors shall consist of the Executive Board, Executive Director, Regional Representatives, and Special Committee Chairs.

Three unexcused absences from regularly scheduled meetings in one academic year by any board member shall be grounds for dismissal. A majority vote of the Executive Board is required to remove a board member.

ARTICLE V – Election of Officers
All Executive Board officers shall be elected in the following manner:

The president of CSMA shall appoint a nominating committee of three members, with the immediate past president acting as chair.

The nominating committee shall propose a slate of nominees. Ballots shall be sent to active and retired members in April and are due and tabulated by May 1.

A plurality of all votes cast by active members shall be necessary to constitute election of officers. Election of officers shall be verified by the nominating committee.

All officers are elected for two-year terms. The positions are separated into two groups, with elections for each group held in alternating years, to provide continuity for the board.

Vacancies in Executive Board positions will be filled through appointment by the president to serve until filled in the next regularly scheduled vote by the membership.

Presidential vacancies shall be filled by the current vice-president/president-elect or another member appointed by the Executive Board.

The vice-president shall be elected as a president-elect and will move to the president’s position at the end of two years as vice-president, or earlier if the position of president opens prior to the regular election cycle.

Newly-elected officers shall assume duties at the first meeting of the Board of Directors following the election. Election results will be announced to the membership by email and through the CSMA website.

ARTICLE VI – Filling Staff Positions and Appointive Positions
Appointive positions shall be selected in the following manner:

The Executive Board, upon election, shall designate/confirm the appointive positions. The President shall present the Executive Board with recommendations, and board members may propose additional names.

Vacancies for appointive positions shall be addressed by the president at the recommendation of the Board of Directors.

University representatives shall be designated by the journalism or communications department at that school and professional representatives shall be designated by the professional organization.

The Executive Director shall be hired by the Executive Board and the contract reviewed each two years.

ARTICLE VII – Changes in the Constitution
Changes to the Constitution can be proposed by any Board member and adopted by a majority of the Executive Board.

Members must be notified in writing of proposed constitutional changes and may file a response to changes within a reasonable period to be designated by the Executive Board.


(Revised June 2022)

ARTICLE I – Annual Dues
The annual dues of CSMA shall be for the current school year, payable to CSMA. Dues are determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Invoices will be sent out in May and August with membership information packets. Dues shall be payable by August 1 of each year.

ARTICLE II – Organization Finances
The Executive Board shall set a budget in the summer of each year.

The Executive Director shall approve the payment of all bills.

All Board members are expected to stay within the limits of the budget unless the Board approves a budget item change.

The Board of Directors’ designees shall be authorized to make proper reimbursement for expenses incurred on approved business.

A financial report shall be made following the close of each fiscal year (June 30) and presented to the membership on the CSMA website and through social media.

ARTICLE III – Meetings
Announcement of election results and a preliminary financial report shall be part of the annual CSMA summer Board meeting.

The Board of Directors shall meet as necessary, either in-person or electronically, and the President will call all meetings.

Special meetings of the Executive Board or Board of Directors may be called at the discretion of the CSMA president.

Active members shall vote on the slate of executive officers.

The Executive Board shall vote on motions brought before the Board of Directors. Passage requires a majority of votes cast, provided a quorum is present.

A quorum shall be defined as the majority of the Executive Board.

ARTICLE V – Standing and Special Committees
Chairs of Special Committees are non-voting members of the Board of Directors, serving two-year terms concurrent with each election cycle.

Committee Chairs may make motions and contribute to Board discussions.

Standing Committees will be chaired by Executive Board members, assisted by the Executive Director, and include: Honors and Awards (President), Public Relations (Secretary), Summer Adviser Workshop (Immediate Past President), Mentoring (Vice President), All-Colorado (Education Coordinator), and Best of Colorado (Education Coordinator).

Standing Committee Chairs may create sub-committees for recurring activities and initiatives that come under their responsibilities.

Special Committees address specific issues or for limited ad hoc occasions. Special Committee Chairs are appointed by the President, who defines the goals and end point of each Special Committee.

Regional Representatives may also serve on Standing or Special Committees, but are specifically charged with maintaining contact with and representing the views of assigned schools in their region. Regional Representatives are appointed by the President, who defines regions, in consultation with the Board. Regional Representatives may make motions and contribute to Board discussions.

ARTICLE VI – Job Descriptions
The Board of Directors will review all CSMA job descriptions during the summer Board meeting each year. Those detailed job descriptions will be adopted/renewed each year by the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VII – Changes in the Bylaws
Changes in the bylaws can be proposed by any Board member and adopted by a majority of the Executive Board.

Members must be notified in writing of proposed Bylaw changes and may file a response to changes within a reasonable period to be designated by the Executive Board.