Updated Fall 2015
Article I – Name of Organization
The name of the organization shall be The name of this organization shall be the Jay Rockey Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, abbreviated as PRSSA.
Article II – Affiliation
This organization shall be affiliated with Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA national) and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and shall abide by its constitution and by-laws. The constitution and by-laws shall not be in conflict with Washington State University policies and procedures. WSU policies and procedures shall take precedence over the constitution and by-laws of PRSSA.
Article III – Purpose
The purpose of PRSSA at WSU shall be to encourage the understanding of current theories and procedures in the practice of public relations, to provide and promote a better understanding of the functions of public relations and its values, to stimulate and encourage public relations professionalism through public relations education, to apply the skills, creativity and energy of public relations to help solve social problems, to develop the individual abilities of its members, to provide students of public relations with the opportunity to become acquainted not only with their peers but with professional practitioners as well, and to encourage students to adhere to the highest ideals and principles of the practice of public relations and to instill in them a professional attitude.
Article IV – Membership
Section 1: Membership shall comprise undergraduate students who are interested in strategic communication or public relations, but is not limited to only public relations majors. However, students of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, specifically strategic communication majors, benefit greatest from this Chapter. Membership will not be based on or refused to anyone for reasons of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or age. Only those students enrolled in Washington State University shall be eligible for membership.
Section 2: Honorary or associate membership. Non-voting members may consist of WSU employees or non-students.
Section 3: Non-discrimination clause. Consistent with all applicable federal and state laws and University policies, this organization and its subordinate bodies and officers shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, veteran’s status, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or disability in its selection of members
Section 4: Chapter dues for the academic year will be set by the Chapter officers and Faculty Adviser. Dues shall be collected by the Vice President of Finance at a time to be established by the Chapter officers. Dues will include a combination of local chapter dues and the addition of national dues. Chapter dues are due at the same time as national dues. PRSSA Members may also be entitled to various PRSSA promotional items as part of member benefits (i.e. T-shirt, lanyard, drawstring bag).
Section 5: National dues: National dues shall be collected from each member by the Chapter Treasurer at the outset of each academic year and sent to PRSSA Headquarters not later than November 1 and March 1. National dues for students joining the Chapter on November 1 shall be forwarded by the Chapter Treasurer, together with the official forms provided by PRSSA, to PRSSA Headquarters in the fall. On payment of said dues, a student is entitled to one full year’s membership, extending from November 1 to October 31 of the following year. National dues for students joining the Chapter on March 1 shall be forwarded by the Vice President of Finance, together with the official forms provided by PRSSA, to PRSSA Headquarters in the spring. On payment of said dues, a student is entitled to one full year’s membership, extending from March 1 to the last day of February the following year. There shall be no prorating of dues during either one‑year period.
Article V – Officers
Section 1: The officers of this Chapter shall be President, Vice President and Principal, Murrow Public Relations, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Membership and Recruitment, and Vice President of Internships and Special Events.
Section 2: Election of officers. The appointment of the following year’s officers will take place at the end of the school year in May, with those elected assuming office the following June 1 for one calendar year. If an officer is graduating following fall semester, his/her term may last only one semester. Other Chapter officers may be elected to handle local needs.
Section 3: Officers shall take office on April 30th and shall serve for a period of one full academic year.
Section 4: Officers shall not be on academic or University probation at the time of their elections and throughout their term of office. (GPA requirement shall be 2.0 cumulative average or higher.)
Section 5: Officers failing to fulfill the given responsibilities and duties may be removed by the active organization.
Section 6: The removal of an officer requires a majority vote of (two-thirds, three-quarters) organization members following notification of the officer in question. Such notification shall be provided in writing no less than seven days prior to the vote.
Article VI – Advisors
Section 1a: Method of selecting faculty advisor. The Chapter shall elect or ratify annually, before April 15, for a one‑year (renewable) period the Faculty Adviser who is a Member or Associate Member of PRSA. S/he shall teach at least one of the public relations courses required for the establishment of a PRSSA Chapter. The Faculty Adviser shall be recognized as the official faculty representative in and to the Chapter, and shall act as the official link between the student Chapter and the Public Relations Society of America. The elected Faculty Adviser shall assume office on June 1.
Section 1b: Method of selecting professional advisor. The Chapter shall elect or ratify annually for a one‑year (renewable) period one Professional Adviser who has at least five (5) years of professional public relations experience or is Accredited in Public Relations, who shall represent the practice rather than the academic. Professional Advisers must be members in good standing of the PRSA Chapter sponsoring the Chapter application and may not be associate members. To facilitate the students’ election of Professional Advisers, the officers of the sponsoring PRSA Chapter shall nominate eligible members of their Chapter annually as possible Professional Advisers and submit the names to the student group for ratification. While the PRSSA Chapter is not obliged to choose the submitted nominees, any Professional Advisers elected annually must be a Member of PRSA and must agree to volunteer his or her time for the betterment of the students and the student Chapter. The elected Professional Adviser(s) shall assume office on June 1.
Section 2: The advisor must take an active role in assisting the student organization achieve its mission and purpose.
Section 3: List specific duties or responsibilities of the advisor. The advisor should act as a liaison between Campus involvement and the organization he/she is advising.
The Faculty Adviser is the official link between the student Chapter, the college or university and the sponsoring PRSA Chapter. The Faculty Adviser must be the following:
A full-time teacher of at least one of the public relations courses offered.
A member or Associate member of PRSA.
Recognized as the official faculty representative to the PRSSA Chapter.
Elected annually by Chapter members, the Faculty Adviser carries out several vital functions for the success of the PRSSA Chapter. Some responsibilities include:
Set a tone of professionalism for the Chapter, its officers and members.
Motivate members through example and counsel to be active members of PRSSA.
Provide the resources, support and mentoring to members that enhance their leadership development.
Stress that PRSSA is a national organization; it is the affiliate of PRSA, the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals.
Stress that a PRSSA Chapter is not a “club.”
Represent the Chapter in the sponsoring academic department.
Explain the objectives of PRSSA to other faculty members.
Obtain the support of faculty and other college or university officials in decision-making positions on behalf of PRSSA and of public relations as a “teachable” profession.
Communicate department messages to Chapter members and sponsoring PRSA Chapter.
Continue communication with the sponsoring PRSA Chapter, particularly with the PRSA member who has been designated as the PRSSA Chapter’s Professional Adviser, to encourage an active, productive relationship between the PRSSA and PRSA Chapters.
Meet with the Professional Adviser, PRSSA and PRSA Chapter presidents early in the academic year to establish objectives for the PRSA/PRSSA relationship.
Each PRSSA Chapter annually elects one or two Professional Advisers to serve as its connection to its sponsoring PRSA Chapter. The Professional Adviser must be Accredited or have at least five years of professional public relations experience. Associate members of PRSA do not qualify for this position.
Professional Advisers are usually the most visible role models of the public relations profession. The following are some of the distinct responsibilities of a Professional Adviser:
Demonstrate that the practice of public relations is an ethical profession.
Show that the professional practitioner is genuinely interested in and concerned about events that affect the community, the nation and the world.
The Professional Adviser is accountable to the Chapter president and board of his or her PRSA Chapter, and should report to the board at least twice a year.
Assist in the scheduling of PRSA members to discuss case histories and problems at PRSSA meetings and in classrooms.
Provide the resources, support and mentoring to members that enhance their leadership development.
Invite students and Faculty Advisers to attend meetings of the sponsoring Chapter.
Be available to individual students for counsel about career questions, including job seeking, résumé writing and interview techniques.
Arrange one-on-one contact between PRSA and PRSSA members.
Involve PRSSA members and their Faculty Adviser in PRSA Chapter activities, such as seminars, public service programs, publications and conferences.
Arrange field trips to public relations departments, counseling firms and media.
Conduct internship programs.
Establish means to identify entry-level jobs in public relations so that seniors and graduates can follow up with résumés and requests for interviews.
Article VII – Meetings
Section 1: A regularly scheduled general meeting shall be held at least three times each semester not including special events, fundraisers and meetups. The officers may call additional meetings when the need arises.
Section 2: A quorum shall consist of (4) voting members present at any regular or special meeting to conduct official business.
Section 3: A quorum shall be present in order for any official business to be conducted. Official business shall include election of officers, setting of dues, and any other major decisions.
Section 4: Parliamentary Authority (Roberts Rules of Order is typically used.)
Article VIII – Quorum
Section 1: Quorum is defined as 50% of the organization’s total membership plus one.
Section 2: Quorum is necessary for any voting that occurs within the organization.
Article IX – Method of Amending Constitution
Section 1: These bylaws may be amended by a three‑quarters favorable vote of the membership of the Chapter, provided that the amendment shall have been proposed at least one meeting previous to the time of voting. Amendments to the Chapter Constitution and Bylaws, however, shall become effective only upon their approval by the National Committee of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Such amendments shall conform to the National Bylaws of the Public Relations Society of America.
Section 2: The constitution may be amended by a vote of (two-thirds or three-quarters) majority membership at any regular or special meeting.
Article X – Student-Run Firm
Section 1: This Chapter will also function as a student-ran agency. Senior account managers in charge of managing accounts (e.g. registered student organizations) must be appointed to be in charge of accounts. All senior account managers must report to the Vice President of the Chapter.
PRSSA Bylaws [pdf]
2016-17 Leadership Team
President: Haley Donwerth
Vice President and Principal, Murrow Public Relations: Shewitt Mehari
VP Marketing & PR: Cynthia Heng
VP External Relations: Amanda Moss
VP Internships & Special Events – Maricela Diaz
VP Membership & Recruitment: Ava Tolcacher
VP Finance: Thad Lewis
Faculty Advisor: Rebecca L. Cooney, MSC – Clinical Assistant Professor, Strategic Communication
Professional Advisor: Lisa Laughter, Academic Advisor & Professional Development Coordinator, Murrow Student Services