MOVIMIENTO ESTUDIANTIL CHICANA/O DE AZTLAN/ ASSOCIATED LATIN AMERICAN STUDENTS

CONSTITUTION

Preamble

El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan (MEChA) arose from the struggles of Mexican/Chicana/o/Latino students who sought social, political, intellectual and economic recognition for all Latinos. In 1969, MEChA was founded by activists who believed in and fought for the self-determination of La Raza. Today, more than ever, Latino students need MEChA as a strong association which organizes our struggles on the campus and which gives support to struggles in the community and workplace.

We feel it is important that we promote unity and respect each other. As members of MEChA/ALAS, our unifying goal is to become better informed and educated on the struggles of the Latino community. Therefore, our primary function is to serve as a support group in the academic, social, cultural and political realms of the Latino population at Occidental College. By serving in this capacity, MEChA/ALAS ultimately seeks to develop a greater understanding of the needs and concerns of the Latino community, and thus to serve as a source of leadership for it. The manner in which this goal will be realized is through the dedication to academic success, community ties and involvement, and life long commitment to increase social, political and cultural consciousness.

MEChA/ALAS has historically served to support and educate students as well as to promote social change. MEChA/Latino student organizations exist on campuses to provide personal and political support for Latino students given racist and alienating atmospheres, providing a home away from home for involved students. We believe that MEChA/ALAS must continue this role and should function democratically. It is in this spirit that we put forward the following guidelines.

Updated: March 2004

Guidelines

1. Democratic Functioning: MEChA/ALAS will continue to respect the democratic process and civil liberties provided for in the US Constitution and the Bill or Rights. Majority rule will govern all decisions; directions and positions will be pursued by the MEChA/ALAS general body, while respecting the ideals and opinions of those in the minority.

2. Mutual Respect: WE shall respect all members of MEChA/ALAS. Disruptions, threats, rumors, slanders and the pitting of MEChA/ALISTAS against each other can only result in disharmony and division of MEChA/ALAS as we attempt to address pertinent issues affecting all students. These actions will not be tolerated. Persons who persist in these improprieties, once warned, should be brought to the Executive Board for consideration.

3. Diverse Membership: Any student who actively works to support the betterment of La Raza in its quest for self-determination and equality, regardless of race, political, or religious beliefs is invited to become a MEChA/ALISTAS.

4. Equal Status and Respect for Each Other: Chauvinism has no place in our movement. We need the contributions of men and women working together for the betterment of nuestra Raza. MEChA/ALAS aims to have equal representation between women and men.

5. La Union Hace La Fuerza: Although MEChA/ALAS is organized on a campus by campus level, our strength is in unity. WE should support other MEChA/LATINO organizations in their struggles. Regionally, we should strive to develop strong and democratic Centrales with representation from all area campuses. WE must strive to build MEChA as a Statewide and National political force. Through Unity There is Strength.

(Guidelines passed at the MEChA statewide Conference at Stanford University, November 12, 1986 and amended by MEChA at Occidental College, September 1990)

Article I: Name

El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan/Association of Latin American Students.

MEChA/ALAS shall remain the name of this organization as it ties throughout the state of California.

Article II: Purpose

The long term objectives of Occidental College MEChA/ALAS are those delineated in the preamble of this Constitution. Short term objectives (i.e. the method in which these goals will be realized) are to be determined the first meeting of each academic term. Also, we are:

1. To promote communication between all Latino students in the colleges and high schools, and to mobilize the youth of our state to fight for our rights as Latinos.

2. To encourage Latino high school students to attend an institution of higher education by making them aware of the importance of furthering their education.

3. To provide an atmosphere which can promote the support and success of Latino students in higher education.

4. To educate Occidental College on the issues facing Latinos on campus and in the communities.

5. To promote awareness and pride in our national identities; the rich cultures and languages of our people, and express this throughout art, music, theater and dance.

Article III: Membership

Section 1. Membership consists of, and is open to, all Occidental Students, faculty and administration.

Section 2. Membership is of two types: Active and Associative
a. The status of Active membership is gained by attending two consecutive meetings and familiarizing oneself with the MEChA/ALAS Constitution. Active membership status is maintained by attending two-thirds of the meetings held.
b. Active Members are entitled to all rights and privileges of the organization, including voting and the holding of office.
c. Associative membership status is attained after attending one MEChA/ALAS meeting and becoming familiarized with the MEChA Constitution.
d. Associative members are entitled to participate in all activities and any other privileges of the organization with the exception of the following: (1) Voting for Executive Board, (2) Holding office, and (3) Heading a standing committee.

Article IV: Officers

Section 1. The Executive Board of MEChA/ALAS is composed of seven offices: (1) Chair, (2) Co-Chair, (3) Administrative Chair, (4) Historian, (5) Treasurer, (6) External Affairs, and (7) Internal Affairs.

Section 2. All officers shall be elected by secret ballot during the spring term. Officers shall continue in office for one year.

Section 3. Vacancies in office may be filled by special petition.

Section 4. Officers are required to attend all meetings.

Section 5. The Executive Board shall not vote on issues discussed during a MEChA/ALAS general meeting.

Article V: Meetings

Section 1. There shall be a minimum of two meetings a month.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the Chair or any three MEChA/ALAS Active members.

Article VI: Quorum

One half of the participants present at the meeting shall constitute a quorum. Exception: Executive Board elections, in which, only Active Members and Officers will vote; one half of Active membership shall constitute a quorum.

Article VII: Amendments

Section 1. This Constitution may be amended during any regular meeting by a two-thirds quorum vote. The proposed amendments must be submitted in writing and read to the organization at a regular meeting at least one week before being voted upon.

Section 2: By-laws may be adopted, amended, or repealed at any regular meeting by a two-thirds vote.

BY-LAWS

Article I: Dues

There are no dues required of membership

Article II: Duties of Officers

General duties of officers shall be as follows:

1. Attend all officersí and organization meetings
2. Support all organizations activities
3. Be familiar with the Purpose and Mission
4. Have a basic knowledge of Robertís Rule of Order
5. Attend a mandatory officerís retreat held annually
6. Attend at least (1) leadership development conference as need arises
7. Set a positive example of leadership and consider the needs and concerns of the student body
8. Oversee the production of a monthly newsletter, editor to be determined annually by the Executive Board

The Chair shall have the following duties:

1. Serve as the chief representative of the organization
2. Preside over all meetings
3. Meet with the advisor regularly (meeting times TBA)
4. Ensure that organization By-Laws are followed
5. Ensure that the organization is represented at monthly Intercultural Club Leadership Council (ICLC) meetings
6. Have possession of MEChA/ALASís Constitution
7. Responsible for MEChA/ALASís notebook and reports on events
8. Responsible for keeping the officers informed

The Co-Chair shall have the following duties:

1. Serve as chief representative in the absence of the Chair
2. Preside over meetings in absence of the Chair
3. Coordinate projects with External Affairs
4. Work with the Internal Affairs as supervisor of committees
5. Responsible for accessing voting results and reporting them to the Administrative Chair

The Administrative Chair shall have the following duties:

1. Record, distribute, and file minutes and agendas of all officers and organizational meetings
2. Maintain files of all committee meeting agendas and minutes
3. Coordinate correspondence as directed
4. Responsible for administrative Affairs (letters, thank you cards)
5. Posting minutes and making duplicates upon request
6. Maintain MEChA/ALAS notebook and inform membership
7. Coordinate publicity flyers with Historian

The Supervisor of Committees shall have the following duties:

1. Preside over all regular and called meetings of his/her committees
2. Delegate responsibilities as needed to members of his/her committee
3. Be responsible for ensuring the necessary arrangements prior to all scheduled activities
4. Submit budget requests to the Treasurer
5. This position will be held by the Co-Chair and the Internal Affairs

The Historian/Publicity Chair shall have the following duties:

1. Be responsible for all on and off campus publicity (posters and flyers) in compliance with the SAC and Residence Life rules
2. Be responsible for keeping a picture diary
3. Be responsible for slide show for banquet
4. Work with supervisors of committees

The Treasurer shall have the following duties:

1. Oversee budget reports all year
2. Allocate club funds with discretion
3. Fill out a form to fund money ahead of time
4. Any deviation from the normal process must be priorly approved by the treasurer and officers
5. Can approve or disapprove a fundraising project

Internal Affairs shall have the following duties:

1. Keep in touch with the ICC Staff
2. Work with Co-Chair supervising committees
3. Join the chair in attending the ICLC
4. Work with other clubs and maintain relations
5. Be responsible for informing the membership of what the ICC is doing
6. Be aware of all on campus social justice issues

External Affairs shall have the following duties:

1. Keep track of significant incoming mail pertaining to External Affairs
2. Keep officers informed about information from community
3. Develop and maintain communications with other MEChA/Latino organizations
4. Make an attempt to be aware of all campus social justice issues/groups
5. Designate Liason to a particular organization when needed

Article III: Elections

Section 1. Elections shall take place during the spring term

Section 2. Candidates for office may be nominated from the floor by any member

Section 3. Nominations do not have to be seconded

Section 4. A motion to close nominations may be made and, if carried by a two-thirds vote, stop further nominations

Section 5. Elections are conducted through a secret ballot

Section 6. It is strongly recommended that office of Chair shall not be held by a Senior due to time commitment that a senior standing requests (i.e. Comps, Graduation plans)

Section 7. Voting restrictions of Executive Board are void in election of officers

Section 8. Voting results will be administered by two chosen officers not chosen for reelection

Article IV: Closed Meetings

Section 1. When necessary, the Executive board of MEChA/ALAS may call for a closed meeting

Section 2. Only members may be present at closed meetings

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