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C l e f t o m a n i a c s


I. Name of Organization

  1. This organization shall be known as the College of William & Mary Cleftomaniacs.


II. Purpose of Organization

  1. The Cleftomaniacs shall be an all-gender a cappella group. The group can sing any genre of music the members deem appropriate (revised Fall 2019).


III. Membership in Organization

  1. Any student in the William and Mary community is eligible for membership in the Cleftomaniacs. This includes both undergraduate and graduate students. This also includes any former undergraduate or graduate students who have taken a temporary leave of absence from the college.

  2. Membership in the Cleftomaniacs shall be determined by an audition process. Auditions may include, but are not limited to, the auditions scheduled by the A Cappella Council at the beginning of each semester. The decision to have auditions can be made at any time and proposed by any member, and is to be determined by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

  3. The agenda for auditions shall be determined by the Music Director after they have received input from the other members.

  4. Directly after auditions, the group will hold a meeting in which it decides whom it is willing to accept as new members. The group will also determine an order of preference for the potential new members. The Business Manager or the Music Director will act as moderator for the meeting, and any continuation of debate or call for a vote shall be determined by the moderator. Any decision made by the moderator can be overturned by a majority vote by all members present. The final preference list shall be approved by a unanimous vote by all members present.

  5. For any vote to occur, two thirds (2/3) of the group must be present.

  6. Dues for membership in the Cleftomaniacs shall be determined by the treasurer and collected each semester following approval from the board (revised Fall 2019). Accommodations will be made for anyone financially unable to pay their dues.

  7. This Constitution shall be shared with all current group members each semester following the audition process (Fall 2021). 


IV. Offices

  1. The offices of the group are Business Manager, Music Director, Assistant Music Director, Treasurer, Public Relations Chair, and Recording Chair. Every officer is expected to keep a binder with all information pertinent to their office, which is to be given to the next person to hold the office before the end of the semester.

  2. The Business Manager is expected to be the primary administrator for the group. This includes coordinating potential concert opportunities and maintaining a group roster. It also includes handling any necessary communication with current and former members of the group. The Business Manager is also the spokesperson for the group.

  3. The Music Director is responsible for all musical aspects of rehearsals and performances and for scheduling extra rehearsals as needed. They also are  responsible for deciding which songs the group will perform at a given performance, taking into account the sentiments of the group. The group can overturn the Music Director’s decision by a majority vote. Additionally, it shall be the responsibility of the Music Director in conjunction with the Assistant Director to determine an “alternative” to rehearsal once per semester (Fall 2019).

  4. The Music Director and the Business Manager shall together make any pressing decisions when a group vote cannot be obtained, taking into account information from other officers or specific group members, if necessary.  The Music Director and the Business Manager together will make up the representatives to the A Cappella Council.

  5. The Assistant Music Director is responsible for helping the Music Director in any way needed. They should conduct certain songs and run certain rehearsals to ensure that, in the case that the Music Director cannot attend a rehearsal or performance, the group can continue to run smoothly.

  6. The Treasurer is responsible for all financial records and transactions for the group, including, but not limited to, reimbursement of group members for expenses incurred because of group activities, management of group funds, and the costs of CD recording and production. The Treasurer will coordinate with the Public Relations Chair in fundraising.

  7. The Public Relations Chair is responsible for publicizing the group around campus. This includes, but is not limited to, publicizing concerts, auditions, and CD sales and releases. The Public Relations Chair is also responsible for updating and revitalizing the group website (Fall 2012).  Additionally, the Public Relations Chair is responsible for matters related to performance attire.  They will outline anything and everything that may constitute formal, casual, and competition attire, and will make the final decision before each performance as to which set of attire will be worn (Fall 2019).

  8. The Recording Chair is responsible for matters related to recording and producing music professionally.  It shall be the job of the recording chair to assess group and member schedules and other relevant factors each semester and present a recording plan/proposal to the board.  They shall work in conjunction with other relevant board positions to accomplish each step of the recording process, but remain the primary point of contact throughout the process (Fall 2021).     


V. Elections

  1. The six (6) officers will be elected prior to the end of each winter semester. At this time the group will also elect a social chair, or pair of social chairs to manage the group’s social functions throughout the year (Fall 2021). Each candidate must be nominated for a specific office by a member of the group; self-nominations are accepted. Each candidate must be present to accept his or her nomination and will be allotted two (2) minutes to speak on their behalf. Nominations shall occur in the same order as the offices are listed above, and a vote will occur for each office before nominations for the next office begin. The candidates shall leave the room following their speeches so that the group may freely discuss and vote.  

  2. The current Business Manager shall act as moderator in addition to having a vote.  If the current Business Manager is a candidate for a position, they shall be replaced as moderator for that position only. The order of succession is as follows:  Music Director, Assistant Music Director, Public Relations Chair, Recording Chair, Treasurer, Social Chair(s) (revised Fall 2021). The voting process shall be defined as follows:

    1. The group discusses the attributes of the candidates.

    2. The moderator decides that debate is over and calls for a vote. The moderator’s decision can be overturned by a majority vote.

    3. All present members shall vote for one candidate, or multiple candidates if such is deemed appropriate by the moderator. If any particular candidate or candidates receive significantly fewer votes than the others in question, the moderator may ask the group if they consent to removing said candidate or candidates from contention. (revised Fall 2019)

    4. The moderator may decide that further discussion is required. After that further discussion has concluded, repeat step 3.

    5. This process shall continue until only one candidate remains. If at any point a single candidate receives a majority of votes from the group equivalent to ⅔ of the number of members present for discussion or greater, then they will be awarded the position in question, provided there are no serious objections from the group.  In the case of serious objections, further discussion may be allowed by the moderator. (revised Fall 2019)  

  3. If a vote results in a tie between two candidates, one of whom must be eliminated, the group will vote, following a brief discussion, on which of the two candidates shall be removed from contention for that office. If a tie occurs again, the moderator may decide to continue discussion and hold another vote, or, if the group is hopelessly deadlocked, a simple majority vote will suffice. Again, the moderator’s decision may be overturned by a majority vote. Any member may abstain from voting, but a minimum of two thirds (2/3) of the present members must vote for the election to be valid.

  4. Each term for any office shall last for one year. No office has a term limit. If an office is vacated or empty, a special election shall occur at the group’s next meeting to fill the vacancy. The voting process for a special election is identical to the voting process detailed above. If an officer fails to meet his or her specific duties, any member can call for a vote to remove said officer. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of all group members is required for such a removal.


VI. Meetings and Attendance

  1. Whenever possible, the group shall rehearse at least two (2) times per week. Members of the Cleftomaniacs are expected to be at all practices and performances. Each member is expected to arrive early enough so that practice can start at the appointed time.

  2. Excused absences include, but are not necessarily limited to: absences due to physical or mental health concerns, family emergency, mandatory class attendance, or unavoidable job conflict. Additional circumstances that may constitute excused absences should be discussed with the Business Manager and Music Directors in advance of the rehearsal or event in question (revised Fall 2021).

  3. Members must contact the Business Manager and Music Director with reasonable prior notice if they will miss or arrive late to a rehearsal, concert warm-up, or other group meeting. In cases of emergency circumstances when prior notice cannot be given, it will be the expectation that members simply notify the Business Manager and Music Director as soon as possible (revised Fall 2021). 

  4. If a member misses an event without prior notification or any explanation, or a member consistently arrives late to group events with no prior notification or explanation, they will have to meet with the Business Manager and Music Director to discuss their situation and what can be done to avoid it in the future. It should be the primary objective of this meeting, and all parties involved, to come to a mutual understanding and discuss any necessary solutions or adjustments to avoid the problem moving forward. If the problem persists, the Business Manager and Music Director, with the help of the rest of the executive board if necessary, may discuss implementing consequences, including but not necessarily limited to requesting that the member be removed from the group either temporarily or permanently. In extreme cases of non-compliance, if all other measures have failed to remedy the situation, the group, as a whole, may vote on the member in question’s place within the group (revised Fall 2021).

  5. Members of the Cleftomaniacs are required to notify the Music Director at least three (3) weeks in advance if they have to miss a concert, excepting if they must miss the concert for any of the excused reasons listed above that were unknown to the member three weeks in advance. Any member that fails to do this will have to meet with the Business Manager and the Music Director to discuss the consequences.

  6. If a member misses one or more of the rehearsals before a concert or major event, they will not sing at the concert or major event unless the Music Director deems said member’s participation indispensable to the group’s performance.

  7. The Music Director can schedule or cancel rehearsal, but their decision can be overturned by a majority vote. The group can decide whether or not it will perform at a certain event by a majority vote.

  8. Every semester, each member will be allotted one (1) free day. Members may use this privilege on any day during which the group has a scheduled rehearsal to miss said rehearsal for any reason that they choose with no questions asked. The member must notify the Business Manager and Music Director of their choice to exercise their free day privilege and miss the rehearsal in question, but are not required, nor expected, to offer their reason for doing so. Any member who chooses to exercise their free day privilege should face no  judgement nor reticule from the group for doing so. Members who miss a rehearsal for their free day will be responsible for attaining the same level of preparedness as the rest of the group for the following rehearsal. For example, if the rehearsal in question marks the memorization deadline for a particular song, the member taking their free day will still be expected to have that song memorized by the following rehearsal or gig, whichever comes first (Fall 2021). 


VII. New Arrangements

  1. Music can be arranged for the group by any member. Before arranging a song, a member should mention it to the group to determine if the group is interested in learning and performing said song. The Music Director will decide, with input from the group, when the group will begin learning a recently arranged song. The arranger and the Music Director will work together to help teach the song to the group.

  2. By the rehearsal during which the group will begin to learn the new arrangement, the arranger must make sure the new arrangement is copied, either stapled or hole-punched, and brought to rehearsal to ensure that each member of the group may have his or her own copy.

  3. When the Music Director has determined that sufficient progress has occurred with a new song, if applicable, they will announce solo auditions for some subsequent rehearsal. Solo auditions shall be conducted identically to elections, except that, in place of a speech, members desirous of the solo shall perform a portion of the solo chosen by the Music Director.


VIII. Retreats

  1. Once per semester, the group will hold a retreat to build unity and teamwork among members. The dates and times of departure and arrival to and from campus must be planned at least one week in advance for the sake of the hosts of the retreat, and to allow any work not pertaining to the Cleftomaniacs to be done ahead of time. Such planned dates and times are not subject to change.

  2. The retreat will include hours of rehearsal designed to prepare the group for the semester. Also, the group will participate in activities that are not musically based to build relationships among members. 


IX. Amendments

(Revised May 2010)

  1. Any member of the group may submit to the group a written amendment to the constitution. After discussion, an amendment takes effect immediately if and only if it is approved by a four-fifths (4/5) majority of all current members in the group.


X. Ratification

  1. This constitution takes effect once it is unanimously approved by the current members of the group.

  2. The above Constitution was voted into effect on December 9, 2006.



  1. In addition to his or her other responsibilities, the Public Relations Chair will handle fundraising for the group in coordination with the Business Manager. PR will also send a quarterly newsletter to alumni and fans concerning the group’s activities as well as letters concerning donations to the group.

  2. In addition to their other responsibilities, the Public Relations Chair and the Business Manager will together head the Recording Committee responsible for CD production and sale

  3. Members do not have to be present at elections to run for office in the case of study abroad, semester off, or emergency circumstances. Those interested must submit a letter of intent to be read at elections by the Business Manager.

  4. Arrangements

    1. A meeting will take place at the end of each semester to determine which songs will be added in the next semester. During this meeting potential songs may be proposed by any group member, even if this member does not intend to arrange the song themself.

    2. Song proposals must explain why the song is appropriate for a cappella, specifically why it is appropriate for the group. The group will listen to a recording of the song following the proposal. After all songs are discussed the groups will review the choices and vote based on the types of songs needed at the time, specifically genre and solo.

    3. If a song proposed by one willing to arrange it is selected, this arranger is bound to arrange the sound to be ready at the beginning of the following semester.

    4. If a song is proposed by one not willing to arrange it, the group will nominate possible arrangers, who may accept or decline the nomination. A vote will then be taken to determine who will arrange the song.

    5. The group must learn at least three new arrangements each semester. For song selection--pass four songs with no alternate.

    6. The group may vote to bring back a retired arrangement in place of, or in addition to, a new arrangement. The group may decide to bring back old arrangements at the same meeting during which they will select new songs.

    7. Non-returning members will not be allowed to vote during the song selection for the following semester.

    8. It is not a requirement that the key in which new arrangements are written match those in which the proposed pieces were originally recorded.  Whether or not an arrangement may be transposed from its original key is up to the discretion of the arranger(s), and, as with all arranging matters, subject to the scrutiny of the music directors (Spring 2021). 

  5. Retiring Songs

    1. A song may be performed for a maximum of four semesters with the original soloist within a four-year time span or from the semester they are premiered. A song must be performed for at least two semesters before it may be retired.

    2. A song may be kept for one additional semester at the discretion of the director.

    3. Previously-retired arrangements may be proposed as new songs during song selection (Spring 2019).

    4. The Alumni Song of the Cleftomaniacs is “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” arranged by Heather LeMunyon.

    5. The group has an established permanent repertoire, and songs may be added during Constitutional Revisions with a ⅘ majority vote. (December 2014.)

  6. Attendance

    1. The previous provisions to this section, added in December of 2014, have been removed. It was determined by the group in December of 2021 that the group’s priority concerning attendance should not necessarily be keeping a numerical count of each member’s absences and tardies and assigning punishments based on that count (Fall 2021). 

    2. It shall be the goal of the group and the appropriate officers to assess when a member’s pattern of attendance becomes problematic, and attempt to remedy the problem first by discussion with the appropriate officers, only issuing punishment when it has been determined that the problem cannot be remedied otherwise. The Constitution has been edited to reflect this change (Fall 2021)    

  7. Recording

    1. A recording plan will be presented to the group at the beginning of each semester. This plan will be developed by the board, taking into account the group’s schedule and financial resources (Fall 2019).

    2. It shall be a goal of the group to record at least once per semester in some capacity (Fall 2019).

    3. To aid in this effort, a minimum of two fundraising initiatives or events shall be held per semester.  A high-paying gig can be substituted for either event if the semester schedule deems it necessary (Fall 2019).  

  8. Offices

    1. The title of President has been changed to Business Manager. The Constitution has been edited to reflect this change (December 2014).

    2. The title of Business Manager has been changed to Treasurer. The Constitution has been edited to reflect this change (December 2014).

  9. The Constitution has been revised to include gender-inclusive language. All variations of the pronouns “he” or “she” have been changed to “they.” Furthermore, the purpose of the group shall be to be an “all-gender” a cappella group, as opposed to the previously written “coed” (Fall 2019).

  10. Senior Solos

    1. During each member’s final semester with the group, they may select one song from any point of the group’s repertoire throughout their time in the group to perform as a “senior solo” at a given concert/event during said semester (Spring 2021).

    2. It is not a requirement that said song be one that the senior performer has solo’d on previously, nor is it a requirement that the song be a piece of the group’s current rep (Spring 2021).

  11. Free Day

    1. Once per semester, each member is permitted to miss a scheduled group rehearsal for any reason that they choose, no questions asked. This privilege shall be referred to as a “free day” (Fall 2021)

    2. The Constitution has been edited to include the provision of the free day (Fall 2021) 

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