The by-laws are the governing document for the California High School Speech Association. Each year, in September, the CHSSA Council votes on amendments to the by-laws in order to create a document that maintains the intent, and desires of the association. October first the final by-laws for the school year are released. No changes may be made to the by-laws past this point, and the document remains in effect for the duration of the school year.
By-Laws by Section
The by-laws are broken down into seventeen sections that provide rules and regulations for the individual. Below are each of the individual sections broken down into separate parts. Click on any drop down to see that individual section.
- Article I – Finances
- Article II – Elections
- Article III – Duties and Reports
- Article IV – Committees
- Article V – Leagues
- Article VI – Hall of Fame
- Article VII – State Tournament Qualification and Eligibility
- Article VIII – State Tournament Events
- Article IX – Individual Event Rules
- Article X – Individual Events Tabulation
- Article XI – Debate Rules
- Article XII – Debate Tabulation
- Article XIII – Congress Rules and Tabulation
- Article XIV – State Tournament General Administration
- Article XV – Grievance Procedure/Protest Procedures
- Article XVI – Initiative and Referendum Process
- Article XVII – Amendment Process
The CHSSA Constitution is designed to provide a clear set of goals and roles to CHSSA members.
Article 1: Name
Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the California High School Speech Association.
Article 2: Purpose
Section 1. To foster a healthy and well-rounded curricular and extra-curricular speech program
for the high schools of California
Section 2. To organize, supervise and determine rules for the California State Speech Tournament.
Section 3. To coordinate the activities of the various speech leagues of the state.
Section 4. To provide liaison with the National University Extension Association (NUEA) and
the National Federation of High School Activities Association.
Section 5. To improve the coordination of the high school and college curricular and extracurricular speech programs.
Section 6. To provide the necessary funds for the operation of the State Speech Tournament and the operation of the Association.
Section 7. To provide liaison between the various speech leagues in California and the Association of California School Administrators.
Section 8. No substantial part of the activities of the Association shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Association shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign, including the publishing or distribution of statements on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Section 9. The property of this Association is irrevocably dedicated to Scientific and Educational purposes meeting the requirements for exemption provided by Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and no part of the net income or assets of this organization shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or member thereof, or to the benefit of any private persons. Upon dissolution or winding up of the Association, its assets remaining after payment or provision for payment of all debts and liabilities of this Association shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or association which is organized and operated exclusively for Scientific and Educational purposes and which has established a tax exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Article 3: Membership
Section 1. Membership shall be open to all California high schools and to junior high schools that include the ninth grade upon payment of any dues established and the filing of required membership application.
Section 2. Associate membership shall be open to secondary teachers who are non-sponsors of speech programs, to college and university instructors, and other interested persons or institutions. Associate membership does not make an institution eligible for the State Qualifying League or State Final Speech Tournament competition.
Article 4: Legislative Powers
Section 1. The legislative powers of the organization shall be vested in a California State Speech
Section 2. Membership of the California State Speech Council shall be composed of:
A. Duly elected officers: President, Vice President-Activities, and Vice President-Curriculum;
B. Area Chairpersons: one Chairperson for each of the designated Areas I, II, III, and IV;
C. Curriculum Representatives: one Representative for each of the designated Areas I, II, III, and IV;
D. League Representatives: one Representative for each League but not more than four League Representatives per Area; Area Chairpersons may appoint Representatives-at-Large to bring the total number of League Representatives to the maximum of four per Area in Areas where there are fewer than four Leagues;
E. A representative from the Association of California School Administrators; in lieu of such a representative, a delegate for lodging and hospitality shall be appointed by the President; which representative/delegate shall have a vote;
F. The following voting members appointed by the President: Editor of the California State Speech Bulletin, Treasurer of CHSSA, Secretary of CHSSA; Historian of CHSSA;
G. The immediate past president of CHSSA for a period of not more than one year; H. The President of the California Speech Communication Association ex officio;
I. No member of the CSSC may hold more than one voting position. A proxy vote will be allowed at a meeting only to a non-CSSC member who has been properly designated in writing by the absent CSSC member. Written proxies must be submitted at the opening roll call of the CSSC meeting.
J. All appointed members of the CSSC shall serve a term of one year. The term shall be from July 1 to June 30. Appointments may be renewed yearly.
Section 3. The CSSC shall have the power to:
A. Establish a State Speech Tournament;
B. Establish procedures for qualifying to the State Speech Tournament;
C. Establish yearly dues for all schools and entry fees for the State Tournament;
D. Appoint and instruct the CHSSA representative to the annual Debate Wording Committee meeting;
E. Determine such policies and procedures as shall be necessary to carry out the purpose of the CHSSA;
F. Admit new Leagues, hearing qualifications for membership as determined by the CSSC; G. Establish yearly dues for the associate memberships.
Section 4. A quorum of the CSSC shall consist of three-fourths of the voting membership.
Article 5: Executive Powers
Section 1. The executive powers of the organization shall be vested in a President, a Vice President-Activities, a Vice President-Curriculum, a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Editor of the California State Speech Bulletin, and the four Area Chairpersons.
Section 2. The President and Vice Presidents shall be elected from and by the membership of the CSSC. The Secretary, Treasurer and Editor shall be appointed by the President.
Section 3. In the event the elected President cannot serve the balance of their term, the President shall be succeeded by the Vice-President Activities for the remainder of the term.
Section 4. If a vacancy in any elected office other than the office of the President occurs, the President shall appoint, from the members of the CSSC with the advice and consent of the four area chairs, an individual to serve in that office for the remainder of the term.
Section 5. The President shall have the powers to:
A. Represent the CHSSA in all professional relationships; B. Preside at all meetings of the CHSSA and the CSSC.
Section 6. One of the Vice Presidents shall assume the president’s powers when so directed by either the President or a three-fourths majority vote of the CSSC. A. One Vice President shall serve as coordinator of Curricular Activities. B. One Vice President shall serve as coordinator of Forensic Activities.
Section 7. The Secretary shall maintain such records as are deemed necessary, as well as conduct correspondence as directed. The Treasurer shall receive and disburse CHSSA funds as directed by the CSSC. The Editor shall supervise the publication of the California State Speech Bulletin.
Article 6: Judiciary Powers
Section 1. The CSSC shall interpret the Constitution and By-Laws in all cases brought before it
Section 2. Any member school may be reprimanded for violation of this Constitution and By- Laws by a majority vote of a committee comprised of the four Area Chairpersons and the President. A request for an investigation shall be brought before the committee by any Area Chairperson or officer of the CSSC.
A. All investigations of the committee shall follow a prescribed procedure.
- The request must be in writing.
- The request must be made by the coach of record of a member school.
- The request must specify the alleged violation.
- Reasonable notice shall be given to all member schools which may be involved. Saidnotice shall state the nature of the violation to be considered. This procedure shall not beused in case of violations during actual operation of the State Tournament.
- The committee shall meet with the member school coach of record initiating the requestfor investigation and any other persons involved.
- Said meetings shall be held in private without the presence of any extraneous persons.
- A statement of the specific allegation of violation in question shall be made before theparties concerned at that time.
- All parties concerned shall have the right to present any evidence and arguments whichmay be germane to the issue in question.
- The committee shall deliberate in private after presentation of information by both sides.
- A vote shall be taken, recorded, and the minutes retained by the President of CHSSA forone year.
- All concerned parties shall be informed of the decision immediately.
B. By a majority vote, the committee may send an official letter of censure to the coach of a member school by informing him/her of the finding of the committee.
C. By a majority vote, the committee may, in addition, inform in writing a member school’s administration of any action against or censure of that school’s coach.
D. Any member school found in violation may appeal the decision of the committee to the CSSC which may affirm or reject the decision of the committee.
Section 3. Following censure, any member school may be suspended from the CHSSA by a two- thirds vote of the CSSC for a period of time to be determined by the CSSC.
Article 7: Meetings
Section 1. The CHSSA shall hold a general non-legislative meeting each year during the State Tournament. Notification of the time and place and agenda of this meeting shall be included in the official State Tournament schedule.
Section 2. The CSSC shall meet at least once in every school semester.
Section 3. Each League shall be responsible for the attendance of its representative at CSSC meetings.
Section 4. The President or a quorum of the CSSC shall be empowered to call special meetings.
Article 8: Amendments
Section 1. Proposed amendments to this constitution must be submitted to the President of
CHSSA at least 90 days prior to first consideration by the CSSC.
Section 2. Proposed amendments to this constitution must be submitted to all member schools at least 60 days prior to first consideration by the CSSC.
Section 3. Proposed amendments to this constitution may be ratified by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the CSSC at a meeting subsequent to the meeting of first consideration.
Section 4. All amendments shall take effect immediately upon ratification.
Article 9: Ratification
Section 1. This Constitution and By-Laws shall be in effect beginning in the fall of 1965 if ratified by two-thirds of the CSSC at one of its meetings at or prior to that time.