Clemson University

Student Media Association Bylaws

I. Structure

A. The Clemson University Student Media Association shall consist of Semantics, Clemson Television (CTV), The Tiger, The Tiger Town Observer, Taps and WSBF FM Clemson. Other organizations may be added by the process outlined in Section I, C below.

B. Media Adviser

  1. The Assistant Director of Student Media shall be appointed by the administration of Clemson University.
  2. The duties of the Assistant Director shall include receiving, reviewing and compiling annual budget requests from each media organization; aiding in the negotiation of necessary business contracts; monitoring funds and budget expenditures; acting as a liaison between administration and students; serving as executive staff and recording secretary to the Media Advisory Board; providing training and educational programming to enhance and improve the media ’s performance; overseeing equipment inventory; and ensuring all applicable University policies and procedures are followed.
  3. The Assistant Director shall meet with the leaders of Clemson University's six student media organizations on a regular basis, and at those meetings shall provide those leaders with current copies of their respective organizations' budgets and other information necessary for those leaders to make sound resource-related decisions on behalf of their organizations.
  4. Each medium may have an additional adviser, selected by the individual staff for the purpose of offering professional advice.

C. Membership

  1. An organization that wishes to be considered for membership in the Student Media Association must first be recognized as a student organization by Clemson University.
  2. The prospective organization must have been in uninterrupted operation for no less than three consecutive semesters, with the exception of Maymester, Summer I and Summer II.
  3. The prospective organization must be staffed by Clemson University students.
  4. The subject matter of the prospective organization's medium must be primarily about Clemson University and the Clemson community.
  5. The organization must present a proposal to the MAB containing, at minimum:
    a. the documentation provided to the Clemson Student Senate at the time of official recognition;
    b. an operating budget;
    c. a portfolio of past publications and content;
    d. a schedule and plan for the future; and
    e. an organizational chart to include complete job descriptions for each person named.
  6. There must be a two-thirds vote for approval from the Media Advisory Board for the organization to be accepted as a member of the Student Media Association.

II. Media Advisory Board

A. A Media Advisory Board shall be established.

B. The board shall have eleven voting members as follows:

  1. One administrator, who shall be appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  2. One representative from Clemson University's News Services Division, who shall be appointed by the Chief Public Affairs Officer.
  3. The leader or designee thereof from each student organization: Semantics, Taps, The Tiger, The Tiger Town Observer, CTV, and WSBF FM Clemson.
  4. Three at-large representatives who may be faculty, staff and/or members of the following professional sectors: print journalism, radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, graphic design and the literary arts.

C. Board members terms are for one academic year (August to May), with elections of prospective Media Advisory Board members to be held each April for the following year. A member may be appointed for consecutive terms.

D. The Media Advisory Board will elect a chair and a vice chair for a one-academic-year term. The Media Advisory Board has the option to vote to renew the chair’s appointment for up to three consecutive terms. The chair will facilitate the meetings and the vice chair will fulfill the duties of the chair in his or her absence.

E. The Media Advisory Board's duties shall be as follows:

  1. Provide input to the student media representatives and media advisers on issues affecting campus media and/or media-related issues, when necessary.
  2. Allocate University resources to student media organizations as available (including space, budget dollars, equipment and funding from the Media Reserve Account.)
  3. Review written complaints and suggestions from any person concerning any media organization or the media in general and issue non-binding recommendations and resolutions to the media adviser(s) and the affected media organization as to the proper course of action to take in response to the complaints or suggestions. The Media Advisory Board will review complaints only after an attempt has been made to resolve the issue with the respective media officers and the media adviser(s). The chair will have the right to invite the complainant to a board meeting if deemed appropriate. The Media Advisory Board may also refer individual students to the Clemson University Office of Community and Ethical Standards when appropriate.
  4. Make recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs relating to the Media Advisory Board structure, media policies and other issues relating to student media.
  5. Accept or reject the annual budget proposal presented by each student media organization receiving funds from student fees through Clemson University's Student Government Association. That process shall be as follows:
    a. A group consisting of the student leaders of each Student Media Association member and the Assistant Director shall formulate an initial funding request for submission to the Media Advisory Board.
    b. That initial funding request - including sub-requests and draft budgets from each Student Media Association medium - will be presented to the Media Advisory Board for acceptance or rejection.
    c. Upon approval by the Media Advisory Board, the initial funding request - excluding sub-requests from each Student Media Association member organization - will be presented to the Student Government Association for its consideration.
    d. In cases where the Student Government Association's final funding allotment for Student Media Association organizations differs from the initial funding request, the group outlined in section II, 5, a above will reconvene, and attempt to arrive at a fair and equitable distribution of the final funding allotment.
    e. In cases where a consensus is reached in the process outlined in section II, 5, d above, the revised funding request, as well as individual organization budgets related thereto, will be submitted to the Media Advisory Board for acceptance or rejection.
    f. In cases where a consensus cannot be reached in the process outlined in section II, 5, d above, the Media Advisory Board shall make the final decision on each Student Media Association organization's individual allotment.

G. A simple majority of voting members present will be required to approve any action by the board.

H. The individual staffs shall determine the intrastaff policies and procedures of each media organization, including procedures for the election of student leaders.

I. The individual staffs shall determine their own leadership and, when necessary, discipline their own staff members for violation of intra-organization rules according to the policies and procedures proscribed in their own organizational charters, constitutions and bylaws.

J. Each Student Media Association member organization recognizes the authority of the University and the Office of Community and Ethical Standards, and shall not enact nor enforce any intra-organizational rule which runs counter to Clemson University's Code of Student Conduct.

III. Media Advisory Board policies

A. Meetings

  1. The Media Advisory Board shall hold a minimum of one meeting per month, with the exception of summer semesters, and as many additional meetings as the board may deem necessary. The Assistant Director shall give written notice of the date, time and place of the meeting not less than 10 working days prior thereto to each Media Advisory Board member and student organization.
  2. Special meetings may be called by the chair, or at the written request of three Media Advisory Board members. Special meeting requests from board members shall be submitted to both the chair and the Assistant Director. Notice of the special meetings shall be given not less than 48 hours in advance and state the object of the meeting.
  3. The agenda shall be drafted by the Assistant Director. Request to be placed on the agenda shall be made to the Assistant Director within 24 hours of the meeting.
  4. A simple majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Media Advisory Board will follow a set procedure as determined by the board. The phrase “a simple majority” shall mean no fewer than six voting members.
  5. Standing agenda items for each meeting shall include reports from each student medium, a question-and-comment period open to all board members, and a review of each organization's current budget.
    a. At or near the midpoint of each academic year, one Media Advisory Board meeting shall be devoted to a thorough review of each university-funded organization's fiscal standing through the use of current organizational budgets, Budget Status Reconciliation reports and any other documents deemed helpful to that endeavor by the staff and Media Advisory Board. All documentation for these mid-year meetings shall be compiled and distributed by the Assistant Director, who shall be assisted in that task by Student Media's Graduate Assistant and other members of the University staff.
  6. Minutes of the board meeting shall be kept by the Assistant Director and distributed to all members of the board and to each media organization. They are considered public record.

B. Attendance policy.

  1. One absence per representative, per semester will be allowed.
  2. If absences are exceeded by an organization, the organization will lose voting privileges for the next three (3) meetings.
  3. If a representative must leave a meeting early, they are encouraged to have another representative present.
  4. The Media Advisory Board always has the option of excusing any absence.
  5. If more than one meeting is missed during the semester by the designated representative of any Student Media Association organization, the Media Advisory Board has the option of requesting a replacement or replacing a representative (whichever applies.)
  6. Other circumstances that arise will be reviewed by the MAB.

C. Media Reserve Request Procedures

  1. The Media Reserve Account is to be used for emergencies only.
  2. A written proposal must be submitted to the Assistant Director and Media Advisory Board chair from the leader of the requesting student media group.
  3. Proposals must include:
    a. the organization requesting the funds;
    b. the reason for and circumstances leading to the request;
    c. the amount of the request;
    d. a list of all resources to be procured through the request;
    e. a repayment plan; and
    f. when appropriate, any policy changes to be implemented by the requesting organization to prevent similar circumstances in the future.
  4. A special Media Advisory Board meeting must be scheduled within the guidelines proscribed in Section III, A, 2 above after the request is received unless an earlier date is agreed upon by all involved parties.
  5. A quorum must be present to vote on the proposal.
  6. Proposal must receive a two-thirds vote of the Media Advisory Board members present.
  7. If the proposal is approved, the signatures of at least three student media leaders and the advisor are required for distribution of the funds to the requesting organization.
  8. A copy of the approved, signed proposal must be kept on file with the Media Advisory Board chair and the Assistant Director.

IV. General Media Policies

A. Clemson students have the opportunity to share their talents and gain valuable experience by working with one or more of the six media organizations on campus. Semantics, the art, literary and variety magazine; Taps, the yearbook; The Tiger, the newspaper; and The Tiger Town Observer, a conservative journal are published for the Clemson University student body. WSBF FM Clemson, the radio broadcasting station, is operated for the student body under license granted to Clemson University by the Federal Communications Commission, and Clemson Television (CTV) develops programming to be aired on Clemson’s closed circuit cable network.

B. These student communications media are recognized as legitimate student activities sponsored by the University. Students are protected in their exercise of free expression by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

C. It is the policy of the University that recognized student media have been established as forums for student expression and as voices in the uninhibited, free and open discussion of issues. Each medium should provide a full opportunity for students to inquire, question and exchange ideas.

D. Members of Student Media shall have the right to determine the content of official student media. The University administration does not censor contents of Semantics, Taps, The Tiger or The Tiger Town Observer, or the broadcasts of WSBF and CTV. Students who work with student media determine the content of these media and are wholly responsible for that content. Students are encouraged to follow professional standards of journalism and broadcasting.

E. All student media organizations at Clemson University are expected to adhere to all federal and state statutes, including South Carolina State Statute 16-3-730 regarding publication of a victim’s name in criminal sexual assault cases. The opinion/advice of University counsel is available to the media organizations should there be a question about printing or broadcasting potentially libelous materials.

E. As communications media for the Clemson University student body, Semantics, Taps, The Tiger, The Tiger Town Observer, WSBF FM Clemson and CTV should provide a broad forum for the Clemson Student Body.

F. The editors-in-chief of Semantics, Taps, The Tiger, and The Tiger Town Observer, the program director of WSBF FM Clemson and general manager of CTV are responsible for the entire contents of any publication or broadcast.

G. Clemson University fully supports the First Amendment rights of all students; the duties of the administrative adviser do not extend to editing or censoring materials produced by student media.