UVIABJ Constitution and Bylaws

UVI Association of Black Journalists (UVIABJ)

The University of the Virgin Islands,
St. Croix and St. Thomas Campuses



We, the members of the University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists, believe that students working toward degrees in journalism at the University of the Virgin Islands should work together under the auspice of the NABJ in the education of its members with respect to the journalism field, as well as the pursuit of scholarship, internships and professional opportunities, do ordain and establish these ByLaws for the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists.

ARTICLE I: Name & Symbol

Section 1 The name of the organization shall be the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists.

Section 2 In this document, the National Association of Black Journalists shall also be referred to by the acronym “NABJ” and by the term “Association.” And, the University of the Virgin Islands shall also be referred to by the acronym “UVIABJ” and by the term “the University of the Virgin Islands.”

Section 3 The University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists shall also be known by the acronym “UVI.” The UVIABJ may also be referred to in this document as the “Chapter” or “Organization.”


Section 1 The purpose of the UVIABJ, in terms of its relationship with the NABJ, shall be:

(A) To work under the auspice of the NABJ in accord with such officers as the student representative, regional director and regional student representative.

(B) To educate its members and the University’s community about the history of the NABJ, as well as the issues the Association seeks to address in the journalism industry.

(C) To interact and collaborate with fellow student chapters in journalismrelated matters and assist in the establishment of new student chapters.

(D) To network with both aspiring and professional journalists.

(E) To have representation at both the regional conference and national convention each year so that the Chapter may be publicized and enlightened about the inner workings of NABJ.

Section 2 The purpose of the UVIABJ, in terms of its relationship with its members, shall be:

A) To establish a strong union among black students pursuing degrees in journalism at the University of the Virgin Islands for the purpose of receiving guidance from both the NABJ and its professional affiliate chapters.

B) To promote academic excellence at the University of the Virgin Islands.

C) To meet for the purpose of exchanging journalismrelated ideas and information through workshops, symposiums and lectures.

D) To inform members of journalismrelated workshops, conferences and conventions, and assist members with short and longrange career planning.

E) To serve as a clearinghouse for journalismrelated internships, jobs, scholarships, grants and awards.

F) To honor excellence and outstanding achievements in journalism by members and chapter alumni.

G) To commend those who positively address matters of diversity in the media regarding hiring, promotion, retention and coverage.

Section 3 The purpose of the UVIABJ in terms of fostering excellence in journalism, shall be:

(A) To protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, as granted by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

(B) To promote high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.

(C) To exchange ideas and information with people and organizations concerned with people of color in the media.

(D) To critique the media’s portrayals of minorities in their respective presentations.

(E) To work with local high schools to identify potential journalists, encourage their enrollment at UVI or other institutions with strong journalism programs, and teach them the benefits of the NABJ.

Section 4 The purpose of the UVIABJ, in terms of its relationship with the College’s Journalism Department, the College and surrounding community, shall be:

A. To advocate for curricula, equipment and facilities that would properly prepare UVI journalism graduates for their respective careers

B. To work with professors and administrators to make the curricula of the College’s Journalism Department relevant to the coverage of minority communities.
C. To promote a diverse faculty within the Journalism Department.
D. To sensitize local media to institutional racism in their coverage and employment practices.

E. To assist the local community in its understanding of media.

Section 5 The UVIABJ, as an entity, may take positions or act on issues of social, collegiate or professional concern only after approval by the majority of its members.

ARTICLE III: Membership

Section 1 Membership in the UVIABJ shall be open to students seeking degrees in Journalism, as well as students seeking degrees in English, Radio, Television & Film, Photography and Communication Design at UVI whom also:

(A) Are in good academic standing with the UVI.

(B) Pay in full the annual membership dues, as dictated by Article VII, Section 2B and Article VII, Section 2C.

(C) Are paid members of the NABJ.

(D) Actively participate, and fulfill given duties, in at least one standing committee.

(E) Do not act outside the mission of the NABJ or UVIABJ to the detriment of either entity.

Section 2 Membership in the UVIABJ is open to students without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

Section 3 Members in good standing shall enjoy full membership privileges, including the right to vote, hold office and chair committees.

Section 4 The UVIABJ Executive Board shall be the Chapter’s final authority on any matters pertaining to the interpretation of qualifications and censorship of members.

Section 5 Annual dues are set by the UVIABJ Executive Board prior to the start of the fiscal year. No dues shall be refunded to any Member whose membership terminates for any reason.

Section 6 Membership shall not be a prerequisite for participation in the functions of the Organization. However, exceptions to this rule are elections and other events so declared by the UVIABJ Executive Board.

Section 7 Benefits of membership, except voting privileges in elections, shall be extended to all Chapter advisers, but payment of dues is not a prerequisite.

Section 8 Honorary membership in the UVIABJ shall be open to persons who have made superior contributions to the field of journalism or the UVIABJ

(A) Such persons may be nominated by a member of the UVIABJ during a meeting of general assembly and must be approved by a majority vote of members present.

(B) Honorary members are eligible to participate in all UVIABJ functions and receive all official UVIABJ communiqués.

(C) Honorary members shall not be required to pay membership dues.

(D) Honorary memberships shall not expire.

(E) Honorary members shall not be eligible to vote.

ARTICLE IV: Membership Meetings

Section 1 Meetings of the UVIABJ shall be held biweekly during the University’s fall and spring academic semesters.

Section 2 The UVIABJ fiscal year shall start at the beginning of the fall semester and conclude at the end of the spring semester.

Section 3 The Executive Board shall determine the customary times, dates and places of UVIABJ general assembly meetings for that fiscal year prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Section 4 Meetings of the UVIABJ shall not be conducted on days the College sets aside for the observance of holidays or on days the University forbids extracurricular activities.

Section 5 During the last meeting in April, the general assembly shall conduct elections, by which the Executive Board for the following fiscal year shall be chosen.

Section 6 Special meetings may be called by the president, or at least three members of the Executive Board, for the purpose specified in the notice.

Section 7 Notice of all UVIABJ meetings concerning the general assembly must be communicated at least 36 hours in advance.

Section 8 Notice of UVIABJ elections, during which the general assembly will elect the Executive Board for the following fiscal year, shall be communicated at least 21 days in advance.

Section 9 Modes by which the general assembly shall be informed of meetings and other notices