MIT DIYbio:Constitution Ideas

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  • encourage DIYbio at MIT, the greater Boston/Cambridge area, and the world
  • create a space and a culture where MIT students can come together to share knowledge and ideas about bioengineering and biohacking


  • open group; anyone can be a member
  • a few requirements for "full members" or keyholders, who would have a key to our space (if any) and a vote in elections
    • attend a few meetings
    • sign a statement about ethics and biosafety
    • pay dues, if any (?)
    • anyone is eligible to be a keyholder, even non-MIT


  • regular but infrequent (biweekly?)
  • meeting goals
    • making group decisions
    • talking about new projects
    • discussing how recent projects worked (or didn't work in interesting ways)
    • socializing
  • consensus-driven or formal voting?

Recognition, Funding, and Space

  • ASA Recognition
    • forms due around the end of September
    • requires answering some questions, attending a meeting, constitution, 5 members, president, and treasurer
  • Funding
    • Can be funded by a department or through the MIT Finboard
      • Finboard funding requires ASA recognition
    • We can also ask for money from the MIT "Fresh Fund" (requires ASA recognition)
  • Space
    • Working with Department of Biological Engineering to obtain space
      • Request has been forwarded to "BE's administrative officers as well as the instructors of the 20.109 and 20.309 laboratories"
    • Could also request space from the ASA
      • Tends to be horribly oversubscribed

Officers and Executive Board

  • President
    • handles administrative details
    • meeting chairperson
    • provides direction and vision for the group
    • must be MIT student (ASA regulations)
  • Vice President
    • assists president
    • in charge of office space and biosafety (could delegate these responsibilities)
    • publicity/recruitment directory (could delegate these responsibilities)
  • Treasurer
    • must be MIT student (ASA regulations)
    • handles money, collects dues (if any), signs off on purchases
  • Secretary
    • takes minutes
    • webmaster
    • organizes group's library
  • Members-at-Large (1 or 3?)
    • represent other members of DIYbio
    • serve as advisors for the rest of the Board
    • ambassadors to the greater DIYbio community
  • The purpose of an executive board is not to hoard power and responsibility for a group; it is a fallacy to pretend that only a handful of elected officers are responsible for the continued existence and success of an organization. The purpose of officers is simply to ensure that some basic administrative functions are always performed. Anyone in DIYbio, whether an officer or not, should feel equally welcome to propose ideas and work for the betterment of the group.