1 Article I: Name and Purpose
The Saudi Youth for Sustainability (SYS) is established as a youth-led national organization that aims to connect young leaders to drive positive changes towards a sustainable future.
1.2 The Missions:
- Create seeds of student sustainability groups in Saudi universities
- Promote national and international networking of youth change-makers in Saudi Arabia to scale sustainable solutions
- Foster knowledge sharing in sustainable development and UN-SDGs
- Advance and disseminate best practices of youth sustainability initiatives
1.3 The Approach:
SYS was founded by members of Students for Sustainability with the support of the Provost Office, the Strategic National Advancement and the Sustainability Office at KAUST as a national initiative. KAUST acts as a beacon of this youth sustainability movement in Saudi Arabia, in which KAUST will foster its growth until the organization can self-sufficiently prosper. The organization aligns well with local, national and international visions: KAUST vision, Vision 2030, and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
1.4 The Outcome:
- Build an online hub for engagement and knowledge sharing on sustainability initiatives.
- Initiate joint efforts for sustainable solutions on university campuses and nearby communities.
- Hold collaborative events and initiatives for sustainability engagement (e.g. sustainability seminar series, upcycling workshops, week of awareness, and tours).
- Host an annual gathering of youth-led sustainability groups to empower, cultivate and celebrate achievements.
2 Article II: Membership
2.1 Type of Memberships
2.1.1 Students (Young Changemakers)
- Any student in a Saudi university or a Saudi studying abroad can apply for student membership.
- Students who complete the membership form shall be issued internally a unique membership ID and named young changemakers.
- SYS will not discriminate based on any characteristic listed in KAUST’s nondiscrimination statement.
- If SYS charges any monetary dues, there will be exceptions made for students that cannot afford these dues.
2.1.2 Professionals (Impact Supporters)
- Any professional with a strong interest in supporting youth can apply for an impact supporter membership.
- Professionals who complete the membership form shall be issued internally a unique membership ID and named impact supporters.
- SYS will not discriminate based on any characteristic listed in KAUST’s nondiscrimination statement.
2.1.3 Student Groups
- Any group of students in a Saudi university can form a campus club and apply as a student group.
- This student group shall include at least 5 members and complete the Membership Agreement Form to be considered in SYS network.
- This student group shall work at least toward one of the sustainable development goals and shall be named by the founders in any sound and respectful name that agrees with SYS policy.
- If SYS charges any monetary dues, there will be exceptions made for student groups that cannot afford these dues.
2.2 Membership Benefits:
- Drive positive impact & be the catalyst of change towards a sustainable future as part of a self-driven system.
- Partake the foundation to be recognized nationally and internationally.
- Explore different theories and practices of change-making.
- Sharpen your leadership skills and networking capacity.
- Represent the Organization on high level national and international events.
- Navigate your future career trajectory.
- Acquire skills for trending careers.
- Attend the Annual meeting.
3 Article III: Executive and Advisory Board Members
3.1 Executive Board
SYS shall have at a minimum, six executive board members:
The President shall be responsible for assuring that all activities are aligned with the vision and missions. The president shall be responsible for leading all regular meetings. The president shall offer members to submit their agenda before the regular meeting. He/she shall be the primary point of contact between the Association and the Advisory Board, but by no means the exclusive contact. They shall oversee and coordinate the responsibilities of other Executive Board officers and offer their help and assistance to other officers whenever needed. If an Executive Board position is left unfilled, they are responsible for allocating the responsibilities of that position amongst the remaining officers (including themselves) until a new officer can be appointed.
The President shall have the power to appoint special project coordinators. Any Ambassador may nominate themselves for such a position provided that they are in good standing with the SYS. The President will be responsible for overseeing that officers have the information and resources needed to fulfill their designated duties.
3.1.2 Vice President
The Vice President will aid in the President’s goal of maintaining progress and recruitment. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall step in to assume their rights and responsibilities. The vice president will be responsible to run the elections of the executive board and assure fair operations.
The Secretary shall assist in coordinating activities. The Secretary shall keep track of general deliverables such as proposal and conference registration due dates. They will also take minutes during general body meetings and make these notes available to Ambassadors in a timely manner via email and the Google Drive. The Secretary is also responsible for e-invites for general body meetings throughout the year.
The Treasurer shall keep financial records and accounts of all financial transactions of SYS. They shall handle all receipts and expenditures and will be responsible for reimbursing officers for any SYS-related purchases. They will maintain an appropriate budget information sheet that is updated throughout the year. Finally, they will be responsible for budget allocations. The Treasurer shall also be in charge of ordering and shipping materials, booking conference attendance, and other monetary-related items.
3.1.5 Outreach and Public Relations Coordinator
The Public Relations Coordinator will maintain the website, and any social media sites in active use. They will also help other officers promote any upcoming events via these channels. They will facilitate the organization of promotional and networking events.
3.1.6 Professional Development Coordinator
A Professional Development Coordinator develops, implements, manages, and evaluates customized professional development programs and activities for SYS members.
3.1.7 Special Project Coordinators
The Special Project Coordinators will be responsible for proactively completing their projects. This role is on demand. They are responsible for making decisions and maintaining involvement with their teammates.
3.2 Advisory Board:
Professionals from academic, governmental, and industrial sectors can join the advisory board by invitation. The main purpose of the SYS advisory board is to provide management advice about the organization’s direction. Specific goals for this coming year include:
- Developing an outreach strategy.
- Shaping SYS presence.
- Planning for the annual meeting in summer 2022.
The board will meet two times a year, with each meeting consisting of up to two-hour discussion.
4 Article IV: Elections
- Elections of the executive board shall occur in November every two years by the vice president.
- Any member of SYS is eligible to run for office.
- Quorum for elections is (two-thirds) of the SYS.
- The candidate with the most votes is declared the winner of a position.
- The term of office runs for two years from January.
- Removal: Officers may be removed by a (two thirds) vote of the members.
5 Article V: Meetings
- Executive board meetings shall be held at least once a month. Advisory board meetings shall be held at least twice a year. University members meeting shall be held at least every quarter.
- Meetings shall be presided over by the President or the advisory chair, unless she/he is absent, and in that case the Vice President shall preside.
- All decisions shall be made by a majority vote of all executive board members present.
- Quorum for a meeting shall be one quarter of the executive board members of SYS.
6 Article VI: Amendments
- Amendments shall be presented by any executive board member of the organization.
- Amendments shall be passed by two thirds vote of the executive board members present.
- Quorum for amending this constitution shall be half of all members of the SYS.
7 Article VII: Governance Clause
- The working atmosphere of SYS is open, dynamic, transparent and respectful.
- A general guideline for all SYS activities is to assure whether this activity is viable, bearable, and equitable.
8 Article VIII: Sponsorship Mechanism
- The SYS is a non-profit organization and funding shall be operated through sponsorships/ fundraising and membership fees.
- There should not be any conflict of interest between the SYS visions/missions and sponsoring organizations.
- The name of the event cannot include the name of the sponsor, although the sponsor can be cited/advertised as a co-sponsor.
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for sourcing and applying for grant funding where necessary.
- The purpose and amount of funding should be clearly stated in the funding proposal, and the sponsored grant should cover all the expenses for the planned event.
- The Treasurer shall keep financial records of funding sources - to be presented during the board meeting.
Appendix A: Student Groups’ Development:
The following section is dedicated to the establishment and development of new or reactivated student groups. The material was developed to provide the founding members of a student group with helpful hints and guidance, and to share information with students from other Saudi universities who are looking to develop or reactivate an SYS Student Group.
The founding of a SYS Student Group is a unique experience. As founding members of any group, you are the individuals who are setting the framework for the future. All your effort will carry on to the next group of students as long as you establish your group with some long-range, broad-based goals in mind and think about the coming years. Several SYS Student Groups established their group with the intent to hold an event or project that is unique unto itself and will continue to develop and evolve year to year. After reviewing this section, please fill this form to convey your intent to establish a student group. The executive members of SYS are always keen to support you.
A1. Step One: Searching for Success
A strong core group of students interested in forming a campus club is important in initiating a new SYS Student Group. Be sure to include all interested students, the staff from the Affairs Department, your Faculty Liaison, and the SYS public relations officers assigned to your region on all communications from the start.
- Founding Members’ Recruitment
Inform individuals about the contributions that an SYS Student Group can make to your university and community. You will need at least five students who agree to be charter members of the group ( President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Outreach officer). Invite them with in mind the membership benefits mentioned above. You may use KAUST Students for Sustainability as an example.
- SYS Faculty Liaison (Group Advisor)
The SYS Faculty Liaison, some groups name this role the Group Advisor, is a faculty or staff member at your university. It is imperative that you work closely with the faculty liaison to make sure that your proposed new student group meets all the requirements for the university. This person is ideally someone who is a strong advocate of sustainability.
- Campus Recognition
SYS Student Groups must be aware of the policies that exist on campus concerning the establishment of a student group. On most college or university campuses, student groups must establish formal recognition on campus in order to host events, reserve campus meeting rooms, and apply for student funding through the university. Check with your SYS Faculty Liaison or Dean of Student Affairs to determine the steps a new student group must follow to gain recognition on your campus. You must be recognized on campus to be considered an active SYS Student Group. If your School or College runs individual groups through an umbrella organization and individual recognition is not possible, please contact us.
A2.Step Two: The Official Group Induction and Ceremony
The SYS Student Group induction ceremony helps establish and publicize a newly formed SYS Student Group. The group president should apply for the group charter by submitting a copy of the constitution and by-laws approved by the charter members of the group, the group affiliation agreement and roster of the charter members. There must be at least 5 charter members who are currently students. The ceremony officially announces the formation of a new student group and allows for a program to be developed. A formal chartering ceremony is not mandatory but will help establish a firm foundation on which the group can build and attract the participation of university officials, leadership and students. A student group can use this program to help encourage student membership, bring a lot of attention to the new group, and help establish the group as a viable group on campus. The founding members and officers should be officially inducted during the chartering ceremony. In many instances, the group advisor or a university leader reads the induction ceremony script. The student members involved in developing the program can determine who officially inducts the SYS Student Group. See the model constitution for the officer induction ceremony.
A3.Step Three: Group Management
The last step in group development is to manage and expand upon what you’ve built. See the group management section of the Student Group Operations Manual for more information. As with ongoing sustainability projects, documentation is critical to inform future group officers of what was done and how it was completed. This can be as simple as keeping a copy of the group activity reports in a binder or as a word document on the cloud. Although starting a Student group is a crucial step in promoting sustainable community, managing the group correctly will ensure the longevity of your efforts. Stay organized and try not to be discouraged if your efforts do not go as planned the first time around.
A4.A Few Last Words of Advice
Maintaining clear and frequent communication with the student affairs department at your home university, Student Group Members, SYS Faculty Liaison, SYS Leadership, will greatly enhance the success of your Student Group. This will include regular group meetings, officer meetings between group meetings, flyers to announce meetings at least several days in advance, and a willingness to talk to others as well as listen. Remember, starting an SYS Student Group provides an invaluable rich experience. You will not lose if you are willing to take action and be persistent. There are not many students who have the opportunity to become a founding charter member of a group that will continue to grow on your campus. Now, go make it happen!