Constitution & Bylaws



Updated in 2015


Environmental Law Society (“ELS”) of the Chicago-Kent College of Law is hereby formed as an independent, student-run organization consisting of students currently enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law who also fulfill the requirements of Article II. ELS is located at 565 West Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois 60061.


Section 1:  ELS is committed to improving student and faculty awareness and education in the field of environmental and energy affairs from ethical, legal, scientific, economic, policy, and sociological perspectives. ELS will further promote the improvement in ecological integrity.

Section 2:  ELS will accomplish the purposes in Article II, Section 1 through educational programming and networking events.  ELS may also accomplish its purposes through any other means ELS finds appropriate through the procedures provided in Article V.

Section 3:  ELS will coordinate with the Director(s) of the College’s Program in Environmental and Energy Law (PEEL Program) as appropriate.

Section 4:  ELS will raise money for a student fellowship for unpaid or underpaid students working or interning in the field of environmental law or energy.


Section 1:  Any student who supports the purposes of ELS as delineated in Article I, Section 1 and Article III may apply for ELS membership.

Section 2:  Membership dues will be collected in accordance with Article III, Section 3. Dues will be payable to ELS and the Treasurer shall keep an official roll of paid ELS members for each academic year. A due date for payment will be set by the Executive Board, as defined in Article IV, and announced at the first general meeting of each school year.

Section 3:  Dues shall be set by the Executive Board, as defined in Article IV.  Anyone applying for membership may appeal to the board for a waiver through a written statement showing financial hardship. The executive board will approve or disapprove the waiver by majority vote.


Section 1:  The Executive Board shall consist of at least five (5) officers who will have the responsibilities enumerated in this Article and those contained in Article II.

Section 2:  The President shall have oversight over all programs and events of ELS; appoint officers for offices that have fallen vacant due to resignation, death, or academic dismissal; call meetings of the organization and/or Executive Board; and recommend policies to the Executive Board.

Section 3:  The Vice-President shall coordinate external affairs of ELS, conferences, roundtable events, and other functions that the Executive Board may deem appropriate.

Section 4:  The Secretary shall coordinate the communications within ELS including promoting and tabulating membership, advertising ELS functions, and coordinating publicity through on- and off-campus news and media sources, including Record announcements.

Section 5:  The Treasurer will be responsible for the financial management of ELS, including the drafting and submitting of a budget and request for fees to the Student Bar Association (SBA), collection of dues, and disbursement of monies in a timely manner.

Section 6:  The Publicity Chair will be responsible for coordinating all fundraising activities for ELS.

Section 7:  In the event that all positions are filled and there is interest, the Executive Board may also appoint an Alumni Coordinator. The Alumni Coordinator will be responsible for organizing alumni receptions and other events and for compiling and maintaining a list of Alumni who are willing to mentor and/or participate in events and perform other functions as deemed appropriate by the Executive Board.

Section 8:  The Board may also elect student representatives from each of the 1L sections, 2L class, evening division and 3L class as deemed necessary. These Representatives will be responsible for publicizing ELS activity to their fellow students and other duties as deemed appropriate by the Executive Board. Additionally, the ELS board may elect other members to the board to assist in various functions, as approved by members of the board.

Section 9:  In the event that the President is unable to perform the duties of that office for any reason, the Vice President shall assume the office of the President. In the event that the Vice President is also unable to fill the office, the Treasurer shall assume the duties of the President.

Section 10: Any Executive Board member may be removed upon a two-thirds vote by those ELS members present at any meeting where notice that the possible removal would be discussed was sent at least three days before the meeting to the entire e-mail list of ELS members. Removal may only occur upon a showing of substantial misconduct.  The notice shall include the information that the meeting is open only to ELS members. The vote will be by secret ballot, and a two-thirds majority of those present will constitute a removal vote.  Quorum will be met by the presence of at least five board members and four ELS members, who may or may not be Board members.

Section 11:  The Executive Board shall assemble committees or task forces as it deems appropriate to address specific issues, events, or activities. Furthermore, the Executive Board will appoint a chair to head those committees and implement their charges as necessary.


The President shall have the authority to call to order meetings of the Executive Board as he or she may deem necessary. At such meetings, all issues requiring a vote by the Executive Board shall be passed, upon motion by any Board Member, upon majority vote and become effective so long as more than half of the Board Members are present. If any such changes need approval pursuant to the bylaws of the Student Bar Association, such approval shall be requested.


Section 1:  The Executive Board will be elected by the membership before the first day of Spring finals each year.  All Executive Board positions will be decided by a popular vote, via simple majority by electronic secret ballot.

Section 2: Only one person may be elected to the role of President and only one person to the role of Treasurer. Either of these roles may not be occupied by the same person.  However, ELS may outline reasonable prerequisites for occupying any Executive Board position when deemed necessary.

Section 3:  Any member may run for any office.  1L students may run for any available positions at the beginning of each year. Their acceptance onto the board will be decided by a majority vote.

Section 4: All elections held by ELS through electronic secret ballot may be challenged by the Student Bar Association as deemed necessary.

Section 5: At least one member of the Executive Board must attend the Student Bar Association’s Leadership Conference, if in existence, held annually in the fall.


Section 1:  The Executive Board will recommend to the membership organizational endorsements, co-sponsorships, and policy positions for the ELS. The membership will vote on those recommendations and the vote will be determined by a simple majority of the present membership at any such meeting.

In the event that a meeting cannot be called with sufficient time to vote on the proposed issue, the Executive Board shall provide notice of the proposed position to all membership through e-mail and/or posting on the ELS website and bulletin board. If no members object within one week, the recommendation shall be adopted.  The Executive Board shall entertain any reasonable objections.  If one or more is received, the Board may elect to call a meeting, or to make the changes included in the reasonable objection(s) and again provide notice of the proposed issue electronically, with the same possible outcomes.

Section 2:  Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws will be made according to Article V.


As environmental affairs affect all species as well as persons of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, regardless of handicap, and as underrepresented communities traditionally have experienced disproportionate damage to their local environments, ELS, in working to remedy such inequities, will encourage the diversification of environmental law professionals.