Spinnaker Media Advisory Board By-Laws
I. Creation and Purpose
Spinnaker Media serves as the umbrella organization over student-run media outlets at the University of North Florida. The student-run media outlets are:
- Spinnaker News, the official publisher of the University of North Florida;
- Spinnaker Radio, the official radio station of the University of North Florida;
- Spinnaker Television, the official television station of the University of North Florida;
- Spinnaker Business; and
- Spinnaker Creative Services Department, the official student-run marketing and promotions outlet of the University of North Florida.
- Spinnaker Media, through its Advisory Board, is responsible for
- formulating yearly budget requests for itself, Spinnaker Business, Spinnaker News, Spinnaker Creative Services, Spinnaker Radio and Spinnaker Television.
- endorsing those budget requests to the appropriate funding bodies each year;
- providing support to each of the student outlets and the Media Adviser;
- assisting each medium in developing goals and objectives for the year and evaluating the performance of each of the outlets based on those goals; and
- selecting the leadership for each of the student outlets.
- Spinnaker News, Spinnaker Creative Services, Spinnaker Radio and Spinnaker Television are granted certain freedoms defined by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Spinnaker Radio and Spinnaker TV are guided by the regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission. Spinnaker Media outlets' content independence is expressed in their institutional statement of relationship with the university. Spinnaker Media also recognizes that with freedom comes responsibility, and the student-run media outlets must abide by the rules, regulations and body of law set forth specific to each.
- Spinnaker Media shall be guided by the direction and advice of the Media Adviser, a position in the Division of Academic Affairs at the University of North Florida who must
- be approved by the Chair of the Department of English at the University of North Florida;
- have experience and knowledge in the respective fields of each media entity;
- have knowledge of the process and procedures involved with creating synergy between the respective media outlets;
- display fiscal understanding regarding each entity's budget request; and
- be responsible for day-to-day oversight of the operations of the individual media outlets in Spinnaker Media in cooperation with the student leaders of each outlet. Assisting and advising does not include the right to dictate or to punish for editorial content.
II. Student Media Advisory Board
- The Media Advisory Board is composed of 14 voting members.
- There are seven (7) voting student representatives, who have completed 60 credit hours and major in communications with a concentration in journalism. If enough such candidates can't be found, then the board may add representatives who have completed 60 credit hours, preferably including the Media Law & Ethics course at UNF. Representatives cannot be involved in any of the student media or Student Government. The students must be recommended by the Communication faculty board member, subject to approval by the Chair of the Department of English, who can modify or add to the selections as appropriate.
- There are seven (7) non-student representatives:
- a representative of the University of North Florida full-time School of Communication faculty, appointed by the President of the UNF Faculty Association and the Chair of the School of Communication; and a representative of the University of North Florida full-time Department of English faculty, appointed by the Chair of the Department of English; and
- five representatives from professional media outlets in Jacksonville, chosen respectively from the fields of print media, digital media, television broadcasting, radio broadcasting and media business. The media adviser recommends the representatives from professional media outlets in Jacksonville.
- The Media Adviser is the chairperson and votes only in the case of a tie.
III. Selection and Length of Terms
- Lengths of terms for all Board members are one year, to commence with the University's summer academic term and end at the conclusion of the following spring term.
- If any Board member resigns during his/her term, a replacement will be immediately recommended by the appropriate party, following the selection criteria outlined in Section II.
IV. Powers of the Student Media Advisory Board
- Voting power and responsibilities are shared equally among members of the Student Media Advisory Board
- The Media Adviser provides support for recording the minutes of Student Media Advisory Board meetings and makes arrangements for meetings and handles appropriate correspondence.
- As an Advisory Board only, Board members must respect the rights and protections granted the media outlets by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the institutional statement of relationship with UNF. Board members also must respect the rights and protections granted to Spinnaker Radio and TV by the Federal Communications Commission, among which are disengagement from day-to-day operation decisions and programming decisions. The media outlets are not under the direct supervision of the Advisory Board.
- In keeping with federal case law and the direction of UNF's first university president, the board must not have any entanglements or agendas other than maintaining a free student media. To that end, all board members must sign a form disclosing any conflicts of interest at the beginning of each term of service. The Chair of the Department of English and the media adviser are tasked with overseeing this aim.
V. Duties of the Student Media Advisory Board
- The leaders of the student outlets, in conjunction with the Media Adviser, will develop budget requests and present such requests to the Advisory Board. The Board will then discuss each budget request individually and give advice before voting to endorse and support the outlets' request. The Media Adviser and each media leader will then present their budget proposals to the applicable budget committee. The committee will subsequently develop a recommended allocation based on those presentations.
- Board members are expected to
- help student-media leaders establish goals;
- stay current with the activities of the student-run media outlets;
- informally evaluate the progress of student-run media on a regular basis; and
- share observations with the Media Adviser and student leaders. A presentation regarding their activities will be made monthly by student media outlet leaders.
- Board members are expected to review policy and procedure manuals for each of the student outlets and to offer opinions and advice as appropriate.
- The Board will solicit applications for leadership positions at each of the media outlets in the summer/fall academic term and in the spring academic term, allowing for a two-week application window. The available positions will be advertised in Spinnaker Media outlets and/or UNF's jobs Web site for the duration of the application period. During its board meetings no later than December and April, respectively, board members select the Spinnaker Editor-in-Chief, the Spinnaker Creative Services Director, the Spinnaker Business Manager, a General Manager for Spinnaker Radio and a General Manager for Spinnaker Television. These media leaders' terms of offices commence with the University's summer academic term and end at the conclusion of the fall term and commence with the beginning of the spring academic term and end at the conclusion of that spring term.
- In the event a Board member does not fulfill his or her responsibilities as outlined in this section, he or she may be removed by vote of the Board, so long as a quorum approve the action at a properly noticed meeting.
- The Student Media Advisory Board shall have monthly meetings during the school year to discuss ideas and matters regarding the student outlets. Special meetings of the Student Media Advisory Board may be called by the Media Adviser at his/her discretion, or upon the request of at least a majority of the Board Members, when action for consideration is necessary to the continuance of the media's operations.
- Notification of all meeting dates and times to board members must be made at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the designated meeting time. Two consecutive absences from Board meetings by a Board member without prior written notification to the Chair will lead to immediate expulsion from the Board. Expulsion from the Board also constitutes removal from the respective student outlet leadership position, upon a quorum vote of the Board.
- No official board action can take place unless a quorum is present. Eight active voting members constitute a quorum if all board positions are filled; half of the active voting members plus one constitute a quorum if any positions are empty. Minutes shall be taken at all Board and general meetings, with a copy of the minutes sent to each Board member, per request. A file containing minutes of meetings must be maintained by the Media Adviser or designee.
- In the case that quorum cannot be established, an interim decision can be reached if action for consideration is necessary to the continuance of an outlet's operation, provided that at least the Chair of the Advisory Board, one (1) voting student member and one (1) voting non-student member are present. Such an interim decision will remain in effect for up to forty-five (45) days or until the next regularly scheduled Board meeting or a quorum of Board members officially meets for discussion of the decision.
VII. Media Adviser
- In conjunction with the leaders of the media outlet, the Media Adviser is charged with oversight and fiscal advising of the yearly budget allocation to each of the student outlets.
- In conjunction with the leaders of the media outlets, the Media Adviser is charged with oversight of the day-to-day operations of Spinnaker Media, as well as assisting and advising the staff of the student media outlets as needed. Assisting and advising do not include the right to dictate or to punish for editorial content.
- The Media Adviser is expected to adhere to professional standards set by the College Media Association organization or other appropriate professional organizations whose focus is student media and to adhere to job duties as delineated in the University Position Description. That description includes supporting a learning community that integrates professional media skills, values, ethics and responsibilities, and an intentionally professional spirit internally and externally, as outlined in each media unit's policies and procedures.
- As head of Spinnaker Media, the Media Adviser reports to a designated individual within Academic Affairs in the Department of English.
VIII. Organization and Governance
- Organizationally, Spinnaker Media rests within the Division of Academic Affairs in the Department of English at the University of North Florida. Student media are independent in regard to content but each student employee's conduct is subject to the supervision of the university as governed by the UNF student handbook. Each student media outlet is governed by its policy and procedure manual, with the outlet leader giving final approval to content-related policies and the Chairperson of the Department of English giving final approval to conduct-related policies.
- Any Spinnaker Media leader wanting to change the format of their department, such as the type of print product or format of the radio station, must bring the change up before the five leaders and get unanimous approval.
- The leaders must unanimously approve the annual budgets for Spinnaker Media.
- At least three out of the five leaders must approve any change to expenses or revenue greater than $100.
IX. Amendment and Suspension of Bylaws
- The bylaws of Spinnaker Media are reviewed yearly by the Board. These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed by a quorum vote of the Board at any regular or special meeting, so long as notice of the proposed amendment or repeal is provided in the meeting notice.
X. Rights, Privileges and Emoluments
- The mission of the media outlets is to inform, to educate, to entertain and to lead their audience, who at the University of North Florida include undergraduate and graduate students, full-time and adjunct faculty, administrators, support personnel, and visitors. The mission of the outlets is divided into three main areas:
- To serve the campus community as a forum for accurate, fair and comprehensive news, entertainment and information. This includes the expression of public opinion, which state and federal courts consistently have found to be constitutionally protected, especially in public universities such as the University of North Florida.
- To offer staff members an opportunity to apply their skills of writing, reporting, editing, photography and graphic design; sales, marketing, product delivery and promotion; online, mobile and other digital media skills including innovation, programming and design; and broadcast technology, video and audio production and editing.
- To give students opportunities to fill leadership positions and to provide a legitimate service to students; to learn to provide direction in personnel and budget management; to set an agenda; to select, organize and manage a staff of student peers; to conceive and put into effect a content plan for a publication or electronic medium; to build teamwork and consensus; and to meet deadlines.
- In regard to student-run print and digital outlets, Spinnaker Media, its student-run outlets, the Student Government and the university community recognize and respect First Amendment protections. Spinnaker Media will, in no way, tolerate any form of censorship from any outside entity.
- In regard to student-run electronic media, Spinnaker Media, its student-run outlets, the Student Government and the university community recognize and respect Federal Communications Commission promulgations and First Amendment protections. Spinnaker Media will, in no way, tolerate any form of censorship from any outside entity..
- In recognition of the special nature of student-run media outlets, especially their ability to generate revenue through advertising/sponsorships, promotions, services, etc., student-run media outlets will maintain auxiliary budget accounts through the Division of Academic Affairs. Unspent revenue in these accounts will be carried forward from one fiscal year to the next fiscal year and will be placed in reserve funds.
XI. Media Outlet Leadership
- After an interview process, the Advisory Board will hire the Spinnaker Editor-in-Chief, Spinnaker Creative Services Director, Spinnaker Business Manager, and General Managers of Spinnaker Radio and Television.
- Power and Duties
- These leaders shall be paid as Other Personnel Services (OPS) positions, in accordance with established UNF Human Resources policies and procedures. Their duties are to oversee matters and processes for their respective outlets as delineated in appropriate policy and procedure manuals. In order to effectively and consistently publish and broadcast, student media leaders will be expected to fulfill their duties and be eligible for compensation at a minimum of 16 weeks of a calendar year, regardless of the University's academic calendar.
- The leaders must not be on academic probation or suspension as defined by the most-recent University of North Florida course catalog. Applicants for any of these positions must provide an unofficial transcript as evidence of their good standing.
- If at any time during the academic year the candidate or leader of a media outlet is placed on academic probation by his or her department or college, the candidate or leader must notify the Media Adviser and Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will discuss the student's academic standing at its next meeting and may consider removing the leader from office or may allow for a one-semester waiver.
- The student leaders may hire and terminate student staff in compliance with terms specified in the University of North Florida Office of Human Resources Personnel and Policies Procedures and with Spinnaker Media departments' policies as follows:
- University of North Florida Human Resources statement on Student Employment: "Student employees are employed at the will of the employing department and do not have rights to termination of employment; however, employing departments must ensure such termination does not discriminate or violate the civil rights of the student."
- In order to be eligible for a paid position in any of the media outlets, the candidate must be a registered and enrolled student at the University for the semesters during which he/she will be employed, with the exception of the summer sessions
- Removal of Leaders
- In the event that the respective student-media outlet leaders are not in compliance with these aforementioned bylaws in Section XI, the Board may relieve the leaders for conduct reasons by vote so long as a quorum of the voting members approve the action at a properly noticed meeting. In all cases, effort will be made to provide two-week's notice to the affected leader if possible. The adviser may suspend the affected leader without pay or reassign the leader to other duties beforehand, with the method chosen in an immediate voice and/or electronic vote of the board. At that point Spinnaker Media will properly notice a meeting to take place in 48 hours so that the board can decide whether to continue that status during the two-week waiting period. If a media outlet leader is permanently relieved of his or her responsibilities, the Board will prepare a written statement documenting its decision-making process and the grounds for such removal. Copies of this statement will be provided to the removed leader and kept in the official record.
- The affected leader is entitled to the due process afforded to all students in conduct-related matters including a final appeal to UNF's Dean of Students. For decisions unrelated to content or conduct, the board will collaborate with the Chair of the English Department to reach a solution.
- Upon the resignation or removal of the student leader, the Media Adviser will immediately advertise the vacancy and accept applications for a period of two weeks. An interim leader will take office for this two-week period, following the chain of command outlined in each outlet's respective policies and procedures. At the conclusion of the application period, the Adviser will convene an emergency meeting of the Advisory Board to select a replacement. The new leader will serve the remainder of the unexpired term, concluding at the end of the following fall or spring academic term.
Last revised September 3, 2021