We, the members of the Smith Master Student Association, establish this Constitution of the Smith Master Student Association as the guiding instrument of our club.


Article I – Name
The organization’s name is the Smith Master Student Association, hereafter referred to as “SMSA”, or “the Organization”. The governing body of the SMSA shall be called the SMSA Board, hereafter referred to as “the Officers”, “Executives” or “the Board”. 


Article II – Purpose
SMSA will enhance the Business Master’s student experience by providing academic, professional and social opportunities. SMSA is charged with, but not limited to:

  1. Enhancing the educational experience and professional development of all members;
  2. Adding value to the program by coordinating student-run events and activities.
  3. Acting as a liaison with Smith administration and faculty, alumni, students and the business community;
  4. Promoting and enhancing the reputation of the Robert H. Smith masters programs;
  5. Managing resources to promote SMSA-recognized clubs and supervising SMSA-recognized clubs;
  6. Providing a networking environment for the Smith community and enhancing the communication between students, alumni, faculty, and professionals

SMSA understands and is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities of abiding by University of Maryland, College Park policies.


Article III – Membership
Membership of SMSA shall be any Smith Business Master student who has fulfilled payment of relevant financial obligations as determined by the Officers.

SMSA does not restrict membership or discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.


Article IV – Officers

All Officers shall be SMSA members. Preference is given to members who served as an SMSA Ambassador. Officers are expected to attend the monthly club leader meeting with all SMSA Officers and affiliated club officers, and other regular SMSA Officer meetings.

SMSA will be led by the following Officer positions:

  1. President will facilitate the development and implementation of the overall vision and strategy for SMSA in coordination with the students and Smith School departments, including, but not limited to, Masters Program Office, Office of Career Services, Office of Development, Office of Alumni Relations, and the Dean’s Office. The President will preside over the SMSA officer meetings, and represent SMSA at events and meetings. The President will facilitate partnerships with other student clubs. The President will have signatory rights for contracts and agreements.
  2. Executive Vice President of Operations will preside over officer meetings and represent SMSA at events and meetings when the President is not able to be present. The Executive Vice President of Operations will provide guidance and operations oversight to SMSA-affiliated clubs. The Executive Vice President of Operations will serve as the campus room scheduler for SMSA and SMSA-affiliated clubs.
  3. Executive Vice President of Administration will preside over officer meetings and represent SMSA at events and meetings when the President or Executive Vice President of Operations is not able to be present. The Executive Vice President of Administration will lead Ambassador activities, record and maintain all officer meeting minutes, maintain the storage of all documents (including electronic files), and submit SMSA’s registration renewal with the University of Maryland Student Organization Resource Center annually.
  4. Vice President of Finance will lead the development and implementation of the annual budget, handle all issues associated with income and expenditures, including allocation of funds to SMSA-affiliated clubs, and will and present the annual financial report to all members. At the beginning of the fall semester and at the beginning of the spring semester, the Vice President of Finance will work with the Smith School Office of Finance & Accounting to obtain fees paid by current students for that semester.
  5. Vice President of Marketing and Communications will be responsible for the internal communication within SMSA, as well as the external communication among all students and officers. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications will, in collaboration with the Office of Marketing Communications, announce meetings and events hosted by SMSA and any significant decisions made by the officers. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications will regularly update the SMSA web site, social media accounts, and Smith School plasma screens. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications will create and monitor registration forms for events.
  6. Vice President of Community and Professional Development will act as a liaison between the students, student clubs, and the Smith School Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Career Services. The Vice President of Community and Professional Development will ensure alumni participation as guests or speakers, for SMSA-hosted activities, as appropriate. The Vice President of Community and Professional Development will lead the development of academic skill-building activities.
  7. Vice President of Student Affairs will work with the Master’s Program Office to plan and implement the New Student Orientation and social initiatives that foster a sense of community in the program. The Vice President of Student Affairs will oversee the creation and operations of the Orientation Committee, will preside over the grade appeals process, and will act as a liaison between master students and faculty.
  8. Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will represent Business Master’s students on the Smith Diversity Officer and Diversity Empowerment Council (DEC) to foster an inclusive environment, prepare students to thrive in diverse working environments, and embrace Smith's multitude of cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. The Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will facilitate activities, and provide updates on DEI news and events within Smith and the broader campus. The Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will meet with the Smith School's senior leadership focused on diversity issues at least once each semester.


Article V – Committees

Standing Committees will include:

  • Nominating Committee, which will select a slate of candidates for officer positions, according to the “Election Process” in Article VII - Operations. The members of the Nominating Committee should be current Business Master’s students, and include:
    • At least five current SMSA officers
    • SMSA’s advisor
  • Business Master’s Orientation Committee, which will consist of the SMSA Vice President of Student Affairs and additional students who volunteer—ideally at least one student from each degree program. The committee members will work collaboratively with Masters Programs Office staff to plan and implement a successful orientation, and the committee will be charged with directly leading and implementing designated orientation activities, such as ice-breakers, team-building exercises, and social activities. The committee will also provide feedback to MPO staff for email communication and chat sessions that take place during the summer.

At any time, SMSA Officers may assemble Ad-Hoc Committees, as needed. These Committees must be led by a current SMSA officer, and that officer has the ability to appoint the committee members. The Ad-Hoc Committees may include:

  • Events Committee, to work collaboratively with the Executive Vice President of Administration in planning events.
  • Finance Committee, to work collaboratively with the Vice President of Finance in managing budgets and expenditures.
  • Marketing Committee, to work collaboratively with the Vice President of Marketing and Communications to make announcements, and maintain the web site and social media accounts.


Article VI – Ambassadors

Ambassadors are students that are interested in securing a position as an SMSA officer for the next SMSA election. The number of Ambassadors should not exceed five percent of the total Business Master’s students. All Ambassadors must be currently-enrolled Business Master’s students. The term of Ambassadors will be three months—from September to December.


Article VII – Operations

Voting Eligibility

Students who have voting rights are those members meeting the requirements of active membership, as stated in Article III.

Election Process

At the beginning of each new academic year (in August and September), current SMSA Officers will recruit new SMSA Ambassadors by emailing all Business Master’s students with a description and instructions on how to apply to be an Ambassador. SMSA Officers will interview all individuals interested and eligible to serve as Ambassadors, and select the most qualified and appropriate students, based on SMSA’s strategic goals. Once selected as an Ambassador, they will start to take responsibilities of planning and implementing activities on behalf of SMSA, with the guidance of the current Officers.

In early November each year, the Nominating Committee will determine the Ambassadors who are interested in SMSA Officer positions and will create a slate of candidates for the Officer election. The slate of candidates will be based on an evaluation of each student’s effectiveness as an Ambassador. The same evaluation instrument(s) will be used to evaluate all Ambassadors and will include feedback from peers and current Officers. The Nominating Committee may, by majority vote, include students on the ballot to serve as an Officer who did not first serve as an Ambassador. Members of the Nominating Committee are not excluded from becoming nominees for elected office. During Nominating Committee meetings, if a committee member is being considered, the member should be excused from the meeting during the discussion regarding that office but may return for the vote which shall be by ballot. The Nominating Committee should make every effort to provide a slate of candidates that is balanced in terms of program areas, and reflects the diversity of the Smith School population.

Elections for Officers will be held by mid-November annually. Officer positions will be determined by a majority vote of the current students. The voting will be via an anonymous electronic ballot prepared by the Nominating Committee; the results will be shown publicly to all members of SMSA.

Termination or Resignation of Officers

Any SMSA officer may be terminated if any of the following conditions are met, and with a consensus vote from other current Officers:

  1. An Officer fails to fulfill his/her duties.
  2. An Officer has made severe mistakes which caused serious consequences, has violated University of Maryland regulations and rules or has broken the State or Federal Laws.
  3. An Officer who does not attend the meetings regularly, after receiving written warning.

Officers who wish to resign must do so by submitting a written resignation request to the SMSA President, and copying the SMSA Advisor.

When a SMSA Officer position is left vacant by a termination or resignation, the remaining SMSA Officers may select a new officer with a majority vote by remaining Officers.

Officers of SMSA will have regular meetings (ideally once a week) at a time and location mutually convenient to current Officers and current Advisor.


Article VIII – Finances

SMSA will finance its activities and the sponsorship of SMSA-recognized clubs through:

  1. Fees from current students (amount is set by the current Officers and Advisor each spring semester);
  2. Departmental funds (including MPO, Academic Departments, Centers, etc.)
  3. Graduate Student Government;

Fundraising activities and sponsorships will take place in accordance with all University of Maryland policies.


Article IX – SMSA-Recognized Club Responsibilities

SMSA-recognized clubs will receive funding from SMSA and access to other resources within the business school including website space, University email, calendaring and other support.

All SMSA-recognized clubs must have description, which should be publicly available to all Business Master’s students, and must address the following issues:

  • Purpose of the club
  • Membership
  • Club officer roles and responsibilities
  • Officer election process

Officer Elections

SMSA-recognized clubs must ensure a fair and equitable election for their Officer positions that is done in consultation with their Advisor. All SMSA-recognized clubs must have a President and a Vice President of Finance and those positions must be held by a Smith School Business Master’s student. Each club will have no more than five Officer positions; clubs that have a compelling reason for additional Officers may seek an exception from SMSA. No SMSA Officer may also hold a board position with any of SMSA-recognized clubs.

Funding and Finances

All clubs must comply with SMSA’s policies and procedures for funding and finances. Club activities may be funded by SMSA, and/or activity participation fees, and/or support from a Smith School department. Clubs that collect participation fees for activities must do so through SMSA’s fee-collection platform. Clubs are responsible for seeking SMSA budget approval prior to implementation of any activity. In general, clubs are responsible for paying for activities out of pocket, then seeking reimbursement as outlined by SMSA. The SMSA Vice President of Finance will make every effort to reimburse no later than one month after the activity has occurred.


Article X – SMSA-Recognized Club Creation Process

To become an SMSA-recognized club:

  1. A lead student must collect the signatures of 10% of all Master students that support the creation of the club.
  2. Develop a description that meets the requirements mentioned in Article IX, and a draft must be submitted to SMSA officers.
  3. Confirm a faculty or staff member of the Smith School that is willing to serve as the club advisor.
  4. Deliver a presentation to the existing club presidents and SMSA Officers stating:
    1. The purpose and interest area of the prospective club.
    2. The value that the club would add to the Smith School and its Master students.
    3. A description of potential club events.
    4. The list of proposed inaugural club officers.

After these steps are complete, the existing club presidents and the SMSA Officers will determine whether the club will be recognized. Approval will be granted by a simple majority of votes by existing club presidents and SMSA Officers in favor.


Article XI – SMSA-Recognized Club Dissolution Process

SMSA may choose to terminate a club’s SMSA affiliation with a consensus vote from current SMSA Officers, if any of the following conditions are met:

  • The club fails to be in compliance with its Constitution
  • The club consistently fails to follow appropriate club guidelines and procedures established by SMSA, as outlined in the SMSA Handbook for Student Clubs
  • The club does not plan and implement at least two activities per term

Article XII – Campus Registration

SMSA will be a registered University of Maryland, College Park student club. SMSA will apply to the Student Organization Resource Center for registration/renewal on an annual basis.


Article XIII – Amendments to Constitution

Constitution revisions can be made only once a year and may not be made from the beginning of fall semester through the end of the Officer Election process. A revision of the constitution requires the following steps:

  1. Proposal: Amendment(s) to the constitution must be proposed in writing by any voting member of the SMSA at any Board meeting at which over two-thirds (2/3) of the Officers are present. Every officer should receive a copy of proposal draft at least two days prior to the meeting. Once a simple majority approved the draft, an official amendment draft should be written after meeting for public announcement and voting process.
  2. Voting: The quorum is consists of:
    1. at least two thirds of the SMSA-recognized clubs represented by a Club President or other Club Officer or 25% of the Organization membership; the influenced members, groups or clubs.
    2. The amendment will become effective following approval by a simple majority and amended constitution should be released in a week.


Updated April 10, 2023