WVAU: The Constitution

WVAU Constitution

We, the members of WVAU, subscribing to the regulations and policies of American University, establish this Constitution to govern the matters within our organization.

Article I – Name

The name of this organization is WVAU. It’s the only student-run radio station at American University. There is no other affiliation.

Article II – WVAU’s Philosophy

Section 1. What is WVAU?

WVAU is AU’s student-run, online-only, music-based college radio station in the country, primarily serving the American University campus and student body.

Funding for the station is derived wholly from the student activity fee, which is shared among all recognized student organizations. WVAU continues the more than 60-year-old tradition of student radio at American University.

Section 2. “Music-Based”

WVAU’s music-exclusive programming model is reflective of the liberal arts educational philosophy. By promoting non-commercial music on the radio, WVAU provides a variety of unique musical viewpoints and perspectives intended to bring the listener closer to a “musical truth”: that the world of music is virtually infinite and vaster than a person can hear switching on the radio or browsing iTunes and Spotify top-played charts. Therefore, it is the organization’s duty to excavate, explore, and celebrate the music that exists within this vastness, but may lie a bit below the surface.

Every show on WVAU must be first and foremost a music program. WVAU was created to allow musically enlightened or enthusiastic DJs to broadcast interesting sounds to AU’s campus and the world, for the sake of exposure, thought, diversity, and enjoyment.

Section 3. “Non-Commercial…College Radio”

Unlike commercial radio, college radio is allowed to break the simplified format corporate regulations. WVAU seeks to embody the spirit of college

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radio and broadcast music that is avoided in other formats.

With that in mind, shows that primarily focus on music that can be heard on every commercial radio station (current/past pop hits, non-deep cut classic rock or 80s- 90s-and-today pop played on every MIX 102.9 station) will be observed and not put on the schedule.

Of course, there is a little wiggle room in this rule. Used sparingly, there is no harm in playing something that you have nostalgia for or especially love.

Article III – Membership

Section 1. “Serving American University”

All WVAU DJs and staff members must be currently enrolled AU students. Alumni, unfortunately, cannot have shows or work at the station.

Clause 1: WVAU is open to all students and will not discriminate in membership selection on the basis of race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, religion, marital status, family responsibility, political affiliation or source of income, or other rights secured by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Clause 2: Student organization membership is open to any University students in good academic standing who express interest American University Student Life.

Clause 3: Student organizations cannot investigate potential Student Conduct or Equity Title IX violations.

Section 2. Members

• The conditions for active membership shall be: o Being an enrolled student at American University

o Mandatory attendance at 1 staff orientation meeting

o Working diligently throughout the entire semester under your staff director and meeting their expectations for work output and involvement

• Privileges of members include: o The use of WVAU studio space and access to members-only events

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• There are no dues to join this organization.

Article IV – The Executive Board

This group serves as the committee which runs WVAU. They include but are not limited to: General Manager, Music Director, Program Director, Web Director, Station Manager, Promotions Director, Events Director, Art Director, and Tech Director.

The Executive Board has the right to remove programming that is primarily sports/politics/gossip/news-related.

Section 1. General Manager(s)

The General Manager oversees all departments of WVAU and runs the executive board. They serve as the mediator between the organization and AU’s multiple departments. All purchases, event requests, access requests, rule changes, organizational shifts, etc. must be approved by the General Managers. While anyone can apply to be General Manager, this position is usually given to a member of the Executive Board. The General Manager does not manage the staffing of different departments (Music + Web Staff). A General Manager’s term is one full academic year.

Section 2. Station Manager

The Station Manager oversees the day-to-day running of the station. They keep the station clean and organized and obtain swipe access for all DJs and staff. It’s the Station Manager’s job that the Tech Directors have all of the equipment that they need. A Station Manager’s term is one semester.

Section 3. Music Director(s)

The Music Directors are in charge of all the current music on the rack. They work with record labels and promotions companies to get various genres on the rack. They organize a system to review and introduce this music to the DJs. They also maintain and continually update the rack playlist, which lives on Spotify. A Music Director’s term length is one semester.

WVAU Constitution

Section 4. Program Director

The Program Director is in charge of the content of WVAU’s programming. They act as the liaison between the Executive Board and the DJs. They are in charge of creating the semester schedule, keeping track of strikes, and evaluating DJs shows. All applications for shows will be reviewed by the entire executive board, but it is at the discretion of the Program Director to schedule shows based on availability and the consensus of the e-board. It is a one-semester term.

Section 5. Web Director(s)

The Web Directors are in charge of WVAU’s website and social media content. They manage the web staff, which includes editing and publishing articles submitted by writers. Social media management is shared by the Web Directors and Promotions Director, but it is the ultimate responsibility of the Web Director to publish writers’ content on all platforms. It is a one-semester term.

Section 6. Promotions Director

The Promotions Director works with the Events Director, Program Director, Web Director, and Art Director to actively promote WVAU’s programming and events, as well as the overall brand and image. They also work with DJs to help promote individual shows. It is a one-semester term.

Section 7. Events Director

The Events director oversees the planning and organizing of events for both the campus public and WVAU. This includes concerts (Capitol Boogie), in-studio performances, open mic nights, movie nights, trips off-campus, etc. Events directors also serve as the organization’s EMS Requestors. It is a one-semester term.

Section 8. Art Director

The Art Director oversees the visual branding of WVAU and serves as editor-in-chief of WVAU’s zine, The Stream. They create any materials used by WVAU including event art, programming arc art, and merch. It is a one-semester term.

Section 9. Tech Director(s)

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The Tech Directors are in charge of ensuring that WVAU is up and running as well as helping set up for any sound-related events that WVAU has going on. This includes training DJs on the studio equipment and responding to tech problems. It is a one-semester term.

Section 10. Staff

The Music Directors, Web Directors, and the Art Director have staff to help make their jobs less hectic. These include…

● Music Staff: Review new albums for the rack and for wvau.org

● Web Staff: Write and update content for the website

Zine Staff: Create WVAU’s semesterly zine, The Stream

Article V – Elections

Section 1. Executive Board Elections

In accordance with best practices established and observed over time, voting power within the Executive Board, the body directly responsible for all official decisions and actions made on behalf of the organization, is to be evenly split between each member. The election of new Executive Board members is to be decided by the current Executive Board, with each member entitled to one individual vote. The General Manager is voted on by the general body; however, the candidate must have previous experience on the Executive Board.

To be a candidate for office, you must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be in good standing with the University. In order to be a candidate in the election, you need to fill out the application, which is on Google Forms, for each position you would like to be considered for. You can apply for multiple positions a semester but can only be elected to fill one. Applications for executive board positions are released at the end of every semester, with the exception of the year-long General Manager term. In order to be considered for the position, you must have completed the ENTIRE application by its due date, which is set no less than a week after the application is released. Applications that have AI-generated material are automatically disqualified.

WVAU Constitution

Elections are held at the end of every semester over zoom. Completed applications are given to the board to review and discuss over the call. Sitting executive board members are removed from the call and do not receive the completed applications for any positions they have applied to or have close personal relationships to in order to avoid bias (i.e. the election of a significant other). The sitting executive board votes to elect the next executive board, using ranked choice voting method on the campus Engage platform. Votes are confidential. The quorum necessary to vote election is at least 2/3 of board members on the call. All executive board members vote even if they are not present on the call. GMs are elected once a year at the end of the previous academic year, and other board members are elected at the end of the preceding semester to their term.

Election results are released in the WVAU Slack Channel, which all club members should be a part of, as well as posted to our social medias. Applicants will be notified via the email they provided on the application whether they were elected before the results are released to the public.

This voting method does not apply to decision-making processes outside of Executive Board elections. The power to approve purchases exists in the hands of the General Manager, who can veto any purchase request by a member of the Executive Board. Members of the Executive Board do have the right to overturn a veto, by calling an official vote on the purchase and winning 3⁄4 of that vote.

Section 2. Impeachment

Although offered as a final course of action for any dispute unable to be settled through Executive Board consensus, any individual with an official role in WVAU (staff member, DJ, Executive Board member) who has not violated the three strikes policy reserves the right to impeach the General Manager. Several actions must be met to do this: 1) Consultation and approval from the WVAU Advisor. 2) Signatures from 50% of the existing WVAU body. 3) A majority vote from the Executive Board in favor of impeachment.

The General Manager also reserves the right to remove members of the Executive Board if their actions violate the Three-Strikes policy, or they are unable to perform their duties adequately. In order to remove a member of the Executive Board, the General Manager must call a meeting with the Executive

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Board and Club Advisor to decide how to proceed. In order to be impeached, their needs to be a majority vote from the entire Executive Board in favor of impeachment.

In the case of impeachment, WVAU will hold a standard election process to fill

the position of General Manager.

Section 3. Provisions for filling vacancies.

In the event that there is a vacancy on the Executive Board during the semester, it will be filled by holding a special election. All WVAU members will be notified through Slack and Instagram of the vacant position, as well as provided with the application form. The application is open to all members for at least 5 days. After applications have been submitted, the procedure will follow the normal elections but with an in person meeting rather than a zoom call to discuss the candidates. The executive board will use Google Forms to conduct an anonymous vote on the open position. The applicant with the most votes wins the position. The general manager will collect and report the results, notifying the applicants and then the members at large.

Section 3. The Strike System

WVAU works on a 3-strike system. If a staff member breaks one of the main rules as outlined below you will be notified that you have a strike. The privilege of having a show on broadcast radio and representing WVAU on air comes with the expectation to act appropriately and respectfully. Here is the way strikes work.

• 1st Strike – You will be emailed by the Program Director telling you that you have received a strike, the reason for the strike, and a warning not to do it again.

• 2nd Strike- You will be emailed again by the Program Director telling you that you have received a strike. This time you must meet with the General Manager to discuss your two strikes and how not to receive a third one. This must be done before two weeks have passed since your notification (barring certain special circumstances) or you will receive a third strike.

• 3rd Strike- You have a meeting with the General Manager, Executive Board, and WVAU Advisor for a misconduct hearing. You may be removed from the WVAU schedule, your swipe access is revoked, and lose access to Subsonic and your timeslot is given away. If this meeting results in removal, you will not be able to apply for a show until the following semester.

WVAU Constitution

Exceptions to the Strike Policy

WVAU reserves the right to call a disciplinary hearing with the General Manager and WVAU advisor for violating the rules outlined below.

1. Intentional Vandalism of WVAU property

2. Stealing/Borrowing without GM permission of WVAU property

3. Breaking American University policies, including but not limited to the use of alcohol or drugs

4. Having a show whose format does not follow WVAU’s music-programming basis

Strike Offenses

1. Eating or drinking in the studio

WVAU has a lot of very expensive equipment in the studio and we would like to keep it nice. If you need to eat or drink, please do it in the library and remember to throw out all trash after you are done.

2. Missing a show without notification.

You have been given a timeslot with the expectation that you will do your show in that timeslot. If you are missing a show for a legitimate reason you need to inform the Program Director at least 24 hours before your show starts. Sending out an email to all DJs asking for someone to take your time does not count as telling the Program Director. The Program Director has the right to give you a strike if you do not inform them before the 24-hour period.

3. Swearing on air

Though WVAU is not an FCC-regulated station, the organization does need to set up a professional face as the American University radio station. Swearing is not allowed on air unless…

a. It is the name of a band or a song

b. It is in an artistic context such as lyrics or a poem

c. You are reading a direct quote from someone who is relevant. Your friend’s messages to you do not count.

4. Missing a WVAU all-DJ meeting without notification

You are required to come to these meetings unless you give the Program Director notification 24-hours before the meeting. The same thing goes here as in the case

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of missing your show. If you have your show during one of these meetings you may choose to do either one, but you need to still let the Program Director know the situation.

5. Not playing rack spins

Unless you are a special case you are required to play 2 or more rack spins per hour. These songs cannot be all from the same album.

6. Arriving late, leaving early/late from your show without notification

DJs are required to arrive 15 minutes before their show to ensure a smooth transition. If a DJ is noticeably late, they may receive a strike from the Program Director. Also, if a DJ needs to arrive to their show late or leave early for a valid excuse, they need to inform the Program Director as soon as they possibly can. There is also not anexcuse to go over time if there is another show on. Taking time from another DJ can and will result in a strike.

7. Untrained Co-Host

All main co-hosts must have been trained by a member of the Executive Board before they are able to be a co-host. Individuals who are regularly on the program can be considered co-hosts and strikes may be given following warnings.

8. Offensive and inappropriate speech on air

Though this is subjective, a General Manager or Program Director can give a strike to any DJ whose program is deemed offensive on air. For instance, racially/sexually offensive slurs are never okay to say on WVAU’s airwaves, even as a quote. Inappropriate topics, or language that promotes hate or violence towards individuals or groups, need be avoided.

9. Program Director/General Manager discretion

Though a first time offense will receive a warning and not a strike, should these behaviors continue the Program Director or General Manager may feel the need to give a DJ a strike for these activities:

• Mentioning how many listeners a program has

• Complaining about non-public figures (DJs, friends, professors)

• Balancing talk and music

• Associating WVAU with negative content, criticizing another DJ or the station on social media

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Belligerence clause

Any WVAU member at any public event (including WVAU sponsored events, parties or school function), behaving in a drunk and disorderly way, making others feel uncomfortable, or hurting others, will be subject to disciplinary action if deemed necessary by the executive board. This can result in a strike or a disciplinary meeting with WVAU Advisor to further discuss offenses. Non-members in the studio or at WVAU-affiliated events are subject to this clause in a case of belligerence–meaning disorderly, aggressive, threatening, or causing discomfort in any way.

Article VI – Meetings

Section 1. Regular Meetings

• The Executive Board will hold meetings once a week, every week throughout the semester (with exceptions).

• There is one required orientation meeting at the beginning of the semester for each staff of WVAU. In order to be a member of the staff, you must attend.

• Programming Directors will hold the DJ Training; Art Directors will hold the Zine Staff Meeting; Music Directors will hold the Music Staff Meeting; and Web Directors will host the meeting for Web Staff.

o Each of these meetings will be advertised on the WVAU Slack, as well as by email as you are notified that you have been accepted by a staff.

• Each meeting is under the Director’s discretion on format and rules.

• A quorum shall consist of 50% of voting members present at any meeting.

Article VII – WVAU Advisors

The WVAU Advisor role is to be filled by a full-time staff or faculty member whose values and ideals for non-commercial radio exist in general accordance with those listed above. While the role of the Advisor may take different forms

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under different administrations, the Advisor exists to provide continuity between administrations, taking the long-view and helping guide the organization meet long-term goals that may not be accomplished in a single year. The Advisor does not have any vote on the Executive Board, nor does the Advisor have any official power to intervene in decision making on behalf of the organization.

Section 1. Advisor Selection & Removal

WVAU is required to have a full-time faculty or staff person as an advisor as a registered student organization.

Clause 1: Upon vacancy, the faculty advisor for WVAU is chosen by the General Manager during the Summer registration process. The faculty advisor should be specialized in business and entertainment, broadcast journalism, or a WVAU alumni. The faculty advisor will automatically be the same year to year unless removed by vote or the faculty advisor

Clause 2: Advisor can be removed by a unanimous vote by the executive board, but only after every other avenue has been exhausted. Lack of cooperation, lack of participation in club events, being unresponsive to club needs and outreach, and inhibiting the success of our club are grounds for removal.

Section 2. Advisor Responsibilities

Advisor Expectations/Duties

• Assist in the development of the organization and its members

• Interpret University policies and regulations

• Meet with organization officers or membership to discuss the progress and direction of the group

• Be available to the officers and membership

• Aid in leadership transitions

• Ensure accountability to governing documents by organization leadership

• Act as a liaison to The Center for Student Involvement

• Support student programs and activities

Article VIII – Constitutional Amendment Process

In order to amend the WVAU Constitution, the Executive Board must hold an

WVAU Constitution

official vote, and gain an approval with 3⁄4 percent of the vote. Amendments can be proposed by executive board members. After it is ratified by the ¾ board vote, it is added to the Constitution document on our website and in our files indefinitely.

Article VIII – Additional WVAU Rules

Section 1. Guest Policy

It is fine to bring guests onto your show. Bring your roommate, partner, friends, whoever. Remember this, however, any guests that you have on your show are your responsibility and if they break any of the rules you will be the one receiving the strike. Also, as guests they are not trained to be a host of a WVAU program, meaning that they should not use any of WVAU’s equipment. Unauthorized use of the board/computers/CD players may lead to you receiving a strike.

It is within the e-board’s rights to remove any non-member from the studio if they are using the equipment unauthorized, bringing alcohol and/or illicit drugs, or causing members to feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the studio. Failure to comply with these rules can also be directed to the attention of Public Safety at the discretion of the e-board.

Be sure to evaluate how many guests you have on one program. Five is at most the greatest number of people to have in the studio at one time given the space restraints.

Section 2. Notes on the Rack

The Rack is one of the most important parts of the whole WVAU system. In it is the lifeblood of WVAU’s musical tricks and treats. As a DJ you will get to know the rack well. Let’s begin your introduction here…

What is the rack?

The rack is a continually updated group of new CDs found either in physical form near the board or in digital form on Subsonic. Everything on the rack was sent to WVAU by record labels in order to get their music on the air. Without these

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albums, WVAU has no way to show the College Radio Journal (CMJ) that we exist and are continually broadcasting new music. Without the constant updates from the rack WVAU simply ceases to exist and our status as an official college radio station (and all the album perks that come with that status) would be revoked.

The Rack Basics

DJs are required to play 2 (1 hour shows) or 4 (2 hour shows) songs from the rack every show that they do. These songs cannot be all from the same album.

Rack Exceptions

It is rare for a show to be exempted from being required to play rack spins. In order for that to occur the show must be completely designed around a format that prevents any possible rack spins to be played on the show. So far this has included one single format – classical music. If your show is punk, metal, rap, general world or indie this exemption does not apply to you. It also does not apply to shows designed around certain decades of music. Unless it is some 20s ragtime, you can find music on the rack that would work for the format.

Suggesting rack adds

If a newly released album is not on the rack presently you can request to have it added. If you can supply an official, legal copy all the better. WVAU can only put on the rack the music that it receives, so if it receives an album from you that could work they’d be happy to put it in the system (they’d be even happier if you wrote a review of it as well). You can also recommend labels for the Music Directors to bug.

Your favorite album/genre not being on the rack is no excuse for not playing rack spins. This is a great opportunity for you to put your own personal touch to WVAU. Get suggesting/contributing!

Rack reviews

Every single album on the rack is reviewed by either an Ass MD or its submitter. This may mean that a review isn’t as positive/accurate as you may want it to be. You can do something about it! Submit your own counter review to the Music Directors and they will evaluate it and put it on the album as a response to the original review. It is a great way to get your voice heard.