Michigan State University Fencing Club Constitution

Article I: Name and Purpose


For seventy years, fencing existed at Michigan State at the varsity level until 1997. The club was organized to continue the competitive fencing tradition at the University. This includes fielding competitive men’s and women’s squads in foil, epee, and sabre, with the intent of intercollegiate competition with varsity and club teams within the Midwest Fencing Conference as well as around the country. Moreover, the club shall compete annually at Club Fencing Championships, provided adequate funding is available. The club shall also promote interest in the sport of fencing through recruitment and training of new members. We are committed to teaching fencing to those individuals who are enthusiastic and who demonstrate a strong interest in the sport without regard to prior experience.

Article II: Membership


 Section 1: Non-Discrimination Policy

a) All MSU students are welcome to join. We do not discriminate and are willing to accept any enthusiastic MSU student into our organization. The organization will not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight. Also, only MSU students may be officers and/or voting members.

Section 2: Club Membership

a) Dues are $60.00 per semester. This entitles the member to the use of club equipment, to the opportunity to attend practices, and to instruction with coaches and other members. It also guarantees the member the right to be considered for a position on the travel team and the opportunity to compete collegiately if so presented with one. This non-refundable fee shall be paid in full at the beginning of each semester. Prospective members may have a grace period of not more than eight weeks during which they may experience the benefits of membership without submitting dues. If a member chooses not to utilize the benefits of club memberships, MSU Fencing is in no way obligated to return the membership fees.

b) The MSU Fencing Club shall strive to present a full competitive travel team at all intercollegiate events attended. This is minimally fulfilled by 6 fencers (3 men and 3 women) in each of the 3 weapons: foil, epee, and sabre. Transportation and lodging shall be arranged prior to each event if applicable. Club funds are limited and will be dispensed according to the priority of need in each given situation. Travel team members are encouraged to purchase their own equipment for competition and may be required to pay for their own transportation and lodging costs, meals, and individual entry fees. The club will do its best to alleviate the financial burden, primarily by covering the tournament entry fee as well as MFC and USACFC dues.

c) Selection of travel team members shall be made by the squad captains under the advisement of the coaching staff. Selection factors shall include, but are not limited to: work ethic, attendance, enthusiasm, team compatibility, and skill. In order to be eligible for a spot on the travel team a member must attend at least two practices a week. Exceptions may be made due to illness or other special circumstances deemed acceptable by their respective squad captain. They should also communicate to their squad captain if they are unable to attend any practice. The team captains reserve the right to override a squad captain’s choice when both team captains feel the selection will be detrimental to the team as a whole. If the squad captain in question is also the team captain, then the other team captain has the authority to override their selection. The team captains and squad captains automatically gain berth on the travel roster.

d) The purchase or consumption of alcohol by club members on a fencing trip or at a tournament is banned. Violation of this shall invoke a mandatory minimum punishment of an immediate ban from competition at the current tournament, as well as ineligibility for the next scheduled collegiate tournament. Any additional measures shall be decided by a majority vote from the officers.

Article III: Officers and Coaches

Section 1: Officers

a) Club President: Controls all business aspects of club operation. This includes, but is not limited to: overseeing the progress of the other officers, as well as reserving gym space, making hotel/restaurant/travel accommodations, attending IM sports meetings, completing all IM sports paperwork, participating in the MFC conference call, purchasing club equipment, writing the alumni newsletter, registering the club through the university and the IM, paying dues, organizing club events, representing the club at the university level, presiding over officer meetings, and actively checking the fencing email account. The president may delegate these duties to other officers and may also assign any other tasks to them as seen fit. In administrative matters, the president shall have the final decision.

b) Team Captains: This old, prestigious title descends from MSU’s days as a varsity fencing school. The club shall have a position for both a Men’s Team Captain and a Women’s Team Captain. It is their duty to train the team for competition, organize team practices, advise selection of the travel squads, lead post-tournament meetings, and control the athletic aspects of the club. Team Captains are responsible for conditioning the team, but this should include working with the squad captains. Team Captains will have the final decision in athletic matters.

c) Vice President: Assists the Club President with his or her duties. Responsible for organizing selected club projects, such as ordering club shirts and warm-ups. Also responsible for being a liaison to anyone chosen to lead individual projects.

d) Secretary: In charge of keeping minutes, alumni records and addresses, and maintaining relationships with the alumni through the newsletter. They shall aid in public relations and keeping record of club publicity. In addition they will also assist the webmaster in keeping track of tournament results. If another officer needs help with a project, the secretary can be utilized as an assistant.

e) Treasurer: Responsible for collecting club dues and other fees and managing club finances.

f) Fundraiser: Responsible for organizing fundraisers as well as soliciting alumni donations, private company donations, small business and merchant contributions. Will also explore other possible avenues of monetary gain. Shall aid in application for ASMSU funding as approved by the officers.

g) Recruiter: Responsible for recruiting new members and expanding club membership according to the membership guidelines listed in Article II. They are responsible for posting fliers and actively recruiting new members. Also shall act as a liaison to new members in order to help them gain familiarity with club operations.

h) Webmaster: In charge of keeping the web page up to date and posting current and/or relevant information in a timely fashion.

Section 2: Coaches

a) There shall be one HEAD coach and as many assistant coaches as are available under his or her command. Coaches will be appointed by a majority vote of the officers, which may be done at any point in the season. They will be responsible for the athletic side of the team and therefore will work with the team captains. They will also be responsible for relations with other teams.

Section 3: Squad Captains

a) Squad captains shall be elected by a majority vote of their squad members at the team banquet, following the end of the competitive season. Only members of each squad will be eligible to vote for their captains. Elections shall be held by anonymous ballot. They will be responsible for managing their squad, leading them in practice, and selecting travel team members. They do not receive a vote on officer matters, but will be invited to participate in officer meetings if they so desire.

Section 4: Team Captains

a) Team captains shall be elected after the annual team banquet from the pool of squad captains. They shall be elected by anonymous ballot by a majority vote of the officers. Due to the nature of their responsibilities, team captains shall be unable to hold administrative officer positions, including President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer.

Section 5: Officer Election

a) Officers shall be elected by winning the majority of the membership votes. Elections shall be held annually at the team banquet, concluding the end of the competitive season. Elections shall be held by anonymous ballot. Upon their election, new officers shall begin to work with the former officers in order to transition duties. There shall be no limit to the number of times an officer may be re-elected.

Section 6: Removal of Coaches, Officers, and Members

a) Club officers may remove an officer, coach, or member by a unanimous officer vote, provided the accused had been afforded an opportunity to explain their actions to the officers. If the person in question also holds an officer position, they may not be involved in the vote for removal.

b) When an officer is removed from a position mid-term, the remaining officers may appoint a member of the club to replace that officer for the remainder of the term. If the officers are unable to come to a consensus, a club election shall be held.

Section 7: Armorer

Officers MAY, if they so choose, appoint an Armorer or Armorers. This Armorer will be nominated by Team Captains, and elected by a majority vote of the officers. The Armorer must have knowledge of Armoring, or display strong interest in learning. The duties of the Armorer include repair and upkeep of club owned equipment, communicating with captains and officers about the equipment needs of the team, and when necessary, organizing armory clean up days. The Armorer is NOT responsible for repairing privately owned gear, or for cleaning up after other members. They do not receive a vote on officer matters, but will be invited to participate in officer meetings if they so desire.

Article IV: Club Operations

Such activities are under the direct control of the club president and the team captains. The president controls the club; the team captains control the travel team. Club officers are responsible for club operations within their specific positions as defined in Article III. Officers are expected to work together for the betterment of the team. Failure to perform duties shall be adequate grounds for dismissal.

Article V: Amending this document

The constitution can be amended at any time provided the amendment in its final wording is announced to the membership at large at least one week in advance. An amendment can be proposed by any member of the organization, but should be submitted to the officers, who will discuss particulars of wording. The final version will be announced to the membership at large one week prior to a final officer vote to allow for comments. A vote to amend the constitution requires a majority of all officers to pass.


1) The purchase or consumption of alcohol by club members on a fencing trip or at a tournament is banned. Violation of this shall invoke a mandatory minimum punishment of an immediate ban from competition at the current tournament, also well as ineligibility for the next scheduled collegiate tournament. Any additional measures shall be decided by a majority vote from the officers.

2) All Officers and Captains shall be required to attend a Harassment Training Session each season. This training will be given by a third party, and be provided by the club. Any club member may attend if they so wish.