I. Duties of SPARC
A. To oversee the student newspaper, student yearbook, and campus radio station. SPARC also reserves the right to oversee all other student-run media activities, which include The GUM and The Grinnell Review.
B. To determine the publication(s) and radio station(s) that are to receive funding for the semester or fiscal year. SPARC extends the definition of "publication" to include online publications (residing on Grinnell College webspace).
C. To meet to conduct the business of SPARC and to discuss problems pertinent to student media. Committee meetings are open to the public, but final votes can be made in executive session. All decisions must be made by at least three members unless otherwise noted.
D. To decide policies concerning financial and business management of student media not inconsistent with college policy. Under these policies, SPARC shall:
1. Require budgets, financial statements, and progress reports from all media heads.
2. Recommend the amount and manner of compensation for all media employees.
3. Determine and distribute the salary of individual media heads, to be paid not out of that media's budget but directly from SPARC.
4. Have authority to maintain a contingency reserve for the student media and to set policy for its use.
D. To call for applications from among students, and appoint media heads by majority vote. These selections will be based on written applications, resumes, references by current media-heads, and interviews. This process should take place in February, before the spring student elections in March. The current committee will select the media heads who will serve the following year.
E. To call for statements of intent to run for election to SPARC from among students in good academic standing. These positions will be full-year positions, officially beginning at Graduation, continuing to the following year. The SPARC Business Manager will work with the SGA Administrative Assistant/Election person to coordinate the election to coincide with the SGA executive elections.
F. To sanction the removal, by the media head involved, of any person holding a media staff position who violates college policy, including these bylaws, or (in the case of radio) any code, regulation, licensing requirement, or other policy of the Federal Communications Commission.
G. To act as a board for student body complaints against student media. SPARC will investigate all complaints and act promptly.
H. To determine, with the help of the College Treasurer and Vice President for Student Affairs, the SPARC portion of the Student Activity Fee. In November preliminary budgets for the next year are called for and collected. From these budgets, a total will be derived. This total will be divided by the college standard of students (in Fall 99 it is 1250) to determine the SPARC portion of the fee. This fee, part of the comprehensive set of fees, is under the ultimate discretion of the College Treasurer, President of the College, and the approval of the Board of Trustees at their annual budget approval meeting. From this fee, SPARC is funded in its entirety.
II. Duties of the SPARC Business Managers
A. To execute day to day duties for SPARC and the publications.
B. To contact the office of the treasurer regularly to receive statements of the budget.
C. To be the default representative and designated speaker in presenting issues to the college administration.
SPARC reserves the absolute right to terminate any media head, any media employee or any publication or broadcast at any time. As financial accountability is of importance, gross overspending may result in termination of the media head or the suspension of the media involved for one semester. These actions will be conducted only with a full committee. SPARC will provide a written explanation to the individual(s) involved, as well as to the campus community. Media heads and publications are protected from arbitrary suspension and removal solely because of public disapproval of editorial policy or content.
IV. Elections and Appointments
A. SPARC will be made up of at least five students who have voting rights: at least three committee members, a business manager, and an assistant business manager. All members will be selected by popular vote from the student body in March, to coincide with SGA executive elections. SPARC will call for statements of intent from any students interested in becoming members of SPARC. These people then will be responsible for their own publicity. SPARC will put each of their names on the ballot. The election itself will be by secret ballot, allowing five votes to each student, disregarding multiple votes on one ticket for the same candidate. The election should be organized with cooperation of the SGA election committee chair.
B. All members have one vote, and no member directly affected by a decision will be allowed to vote on that decision.
C. The elected committee members will convene with the outgoing Business Manager some time before the end of the year to select the new Business Manager and Assistant Business Manager from its membership.
A. The elected members form the core of the committee. The business manager and the assistant business manager both have voting rights for matters that do not directly affect them or their position.
1. Each elected member of SPARC should be elected by the above election process.
2. Alternate Appointment Policy: If a student-at-large expresses interest in joining SPARC, the committee must consider an application from this student and interview him/her, assuming this student is in good academic standing. If accepted by majority vote, the student will gain voting privileges at the start of the next academic semester.
B. The term for elected members is from graduation to the end of the following May. The members-elect do not have voting rights, but are encouraged to become active in the committee in other ways. No appointed member can serve more than one year without being elected.
C. SPARC members are not eligible for positions as media heads, and media heads are not eligible for membership in SPARC.
D. The Dean of Residence Life will act as a non-voting advisor to the committee.
SPARC is to maintain a policy of fostering both freedom and responsibility among student publications-freedom to pursue and to disseminate information without prior clearance or restraint, and responsibility to do so without engaging in libel, slander, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, unwarranted invasions of privacy, or techniques of harassment and innuendo. The following are guidelines for new and existing publications:
A. Funding will be distributed only if the publication is intended for the general campus community.
B. All publications funded by SPARC are copyright of SPARC and cannot be reproduced elsewhere without specific written consent from SPARC. This copyright notice must appear on the publication as specified by law (Title 17, US Code).
C. A publication that has not previously contained advertisements cannot initiate advertising without the permission of SPARC.
E. All publications must meet any and all local, state, and federal laws that are applicable.
F. Publications funded by SPARC are not-for-profit.
SPARC, in cooperation with a station adviser and the station staff, is to provide for the monitoring of the station, its personnel, and programming to assure that these are in compliance with all codes and regulations (including licensing of the station and its personnel and all reporting requirements) of the Federal Communications Commission. Such monitoring is not at any time to be in the form of prior restraint by requiring station personnel to clear programming in advance with SPARC.
Funding for radio will follow the guidelines for publications that have been set out in VI, and are also subject to guidelines prescribed by SPARC.
A. All appeals regarding decisions of SPARC shall be directed to SPARC itself, although the Dean of Residence Life retains the right to overturn SPARC decisions.
B. A written statement must be submitted to SPARC no more than one week after the decision has been made. SPARC will then meet with the individual filing the grievance. This meeting will be open to the public, and witnesses on behalf of the individual filing the grievance may be brought forward. SPARC will then vote privately on the matter to reach a decision and determine the outcome.
C. All decisions may only be appealed once.
SPARC assumes final responsibility for all student media. Any rights or duties not outlined above that are required in order for SPARC to exercise this responsibility shall be allotted to the committee.