The Constitution

Constitution of Alianza – The Hispanic/Latino Student Alliance

 

PREAMBLE:

The intent of this document is to ensure and guarantee the rights and responsibilities of the elected representatives and its members. 

 

MISSION STATEMENT:

The purpose of Alianza, the largest Hispanic/Latino student organization at Northwestern University, is to unite and support its members to work towards the advancement of an empowered, productive, Hispanic/Latino presence at this institution.  Alianza is a cultural, educational, and social programming body, which also serves as a vehicle for activism.  

 

ARTICLE I:

The official name of this organization shall be Alianza – The Hispanic/Latino Student Alliance. 

 

ARTICLE II

Active membership in Alianza is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni interested in promoting Hispanic/Latino culture and supporting our mission. Membership is continuous and may be subject to membership dues as established by the elected representatives and approved by members. Voting rights are afforded to those members whom the elected representatives deem active and who are committed to upholding the mission of Alianza. Affiliate membership shall have full rights with exception to voting at the discretion of the Executive Board. An active member is defined by attendance at no less than six events per year. Recommend two events per quarter.

 

ARTICLE III:

The Executive Board, which shall consist of full-time undergraduate students at Northwestern University, will be the governing body of Alianza.  The Executive Board is required to be in attendance at all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events, unless excused (valid excuses determined at the discretion of the Executive Board).  In the case that an officer is unable to attend a program or event she/he is responsible for notifying the Executive Board at least 48 hours in advance.  If excessive unexcused absences occur, she/he must meet with the advisor and President to discuss the matter.  (Please refer to ARTICLE IV.)  Two people shall hold an office as long as the responsibilities as outlined below are fulfilled and consensus among the general membership is reached.  The Executive Board shall consist of officers whose duties are outlined below: 

 

A. PRESIDENT:

1.      Shall preside over all meetings and serve as facilitator;

2.      Shall be responsible for supervising the organization of all the activities of Alianza with approval of the Executive Board;

3.      Shall be the official spokesperson for the organization:

         a. Shall speak for Alianza at large;

         b. Shall delegate any active member to speak on behalf of Alianza at meetings, Alianza sponsored and          co-sponsored events, and any other programming deemed appropriate by the President;

4.      Shall function as a liaison to all other Latino/Hispanic organizations on campus;

5.      Shall work in conjunction with the Treasurer to address all Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) concerns; 

6.      Shall attend SOFO training and all related mandatory meetings;

7.      Shall be in charge of overseeing, drafting, and proposing new policies for the future of the organization;

8.      Shall report weekly to the Vice President on programming decisions;

9.      Shall attend quarterly Presidents’ Roundtable headed by the Director of Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs;  

10.    Shall act as the Alianza representative for the Coalition of Colors;

11.    Shall be responsible for the making and distribution of all agendas in a timely manner;

12.    Shall act as a liaison between Hispanic/Latino interests groups including but not limited to LANU, G-SALSA, NU medical school, NU law school, and OLE;

13.    Shall meet weekly with the Alianza Advisor;

14.    Shall work with the Treasurer in drafting proposals for funding allotted by the Student Activities Funding Board (SAFB), both in the spring and for supplemental resources in the fall;

15.    Shall attend Associated Student Government Lab during the Spring Quarter;

16.    Shall post agenda prior to executive board meetings, a direct copy shall be sent to the Secretary;

17.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

18.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

19.    In the case that the President steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, the Vice President shall be appointed President by the Executive Board with the support of 50% of the membership.

 

B. VICE PRESIDENT: 

1.      Shall act as the President’s representative when the President is absent;

2.      Shall oversee committee chairs;

3.      Shall be directly in charge of membership; 

         a. Spearheads the recruitment of new members; 

         b. Assumes the organization’s responsibilities for the New Student Week and delegates authority as              she/he sees fit;

4.      Shall be in charge of supervising resources (e.g. decorations, cash box, etc.) and acquiring them; 

5.      Shall act as a liaison to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, CLAVE and the admissions office;

6.      Shall help coordinate programs with the Graduate Assistant for the Office of Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs;

7.      Shall work with the Mezcla Chair to create a recruitment event;

8.      Shall be responsible for coordinating Festival LatiNU in the fall;

9.      Shall meet bi-monthly with the Alianza Advisor and President;

10.    Shall act as the contact person for New Student Week activities, the Latino Luncheon, and the Latino Experience; 

11.    Shall create an annual calendar of events sponsored by Alianza with the cooperation of the Alianza Advisor by the end of Spring Quarter and shall update it throughout the year as necessary; 

12.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

14.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

15.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

16.    In the case that the Vice President steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, the Secretary shall be appointed Vice President by the Executive Board with the support of 50% of the membership.

 

C. SECRETARY: 

1.      Shall keep minutes of all Formal Executive meetings and distribute them through the e-mail listserv within 48 hours after the meeting takes place;

2.      Shall update membership roster through the listserv;

3.      Shall serve as the holder of the Constitution;

4.      Shall be in charge of correspondence, internal and general;

a.      Shall assume responsibility for thank-you notes and other expressions of gratitude to individuals contributing to the welfare of the organization;

b.      Shall be in charge of letter correspondence to prospective students, current members, and alumni;

5.      Shall serve as the main contact person for the listserv and shall respond to questions in a timely manner;

6.      Shall be in charge of the listserv (subscribing or unsubscribing members);

7.      Shall keep a calendar of events for the organization;

8.      Shall be responsible for reserving rooms for all meetings and events;  

9.      Shall be responsible for compiling a student group directory and an Alianza membership directory;

10.    Shall compile contact information of groups at other schools to advertise for our events;

11.    Shall be a part of the Multicultural Center listserv;

12.    Shall keep a hard copy and electronic copy of attendance for general meetings and events;

13.    Shall keep an electronic copy of attendance for executive meetings;

14.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

15.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

16.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

17.    In the case the Secretary steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, a secretary shall be appointed by the Executive Board with the support of 50% of the membership.

 

D. TREASURER:

1.      Shall be responsible for the organization’s finances;

2.      Shall give a weekly report on the financial status of the organization to the Executive Board as well as a documented update posted in the electronic storage space;

3.      Shall keep a detailed up-to-date account book of all Alianza expenditures;

4.      Shall collect and dispense funds for activities approved by the Executive Board and any necessary expenses;

5.      Shall head fundraising committee;

6.      Shall work with the President in drafting proposals for funding allotted by the Student Activities Funding Board (SAFB), both in the spring and for supplemental resources in the fall;

7.      Shall serve as liaison to SOFO, Account Executive, and SAFB;  

8.      Shall be responsible for coordinating quarterly fundraisers, at least one per Quarter;

9.      Shall attend monthly audits with the President and Account Executive;

10.    Shall submit written letters requesting donations for events; 

11.    Shall provide the Alianza account balance at each Executive Board meeting;

12.    Shall balance the Alianza account before the end of each quarter;

13.    Shall be responsible for unfreezing the Alianza account should it freeze;

14.    Shall attend SOFO training, Associated Student Government LAB, and all other mandatory financial meetings;

15.    Shall submit receipts, for member reimbursement, to SOFO no later than one week after receiving them;

16.    Shall submit a copy of the audit trail each month to the President;

17.    Shall apply for the Thank-a-thon program each year;

18.    The outgoing treasurer will still be responsible for all audits as well assigning out the SOFO account after May 1st until the end of the academic year;

19.    Shall keep track, collect, and deposit in a timely manner, all Executive Board members’ fines; 

20.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

21.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

22.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

23.    In the case that the Treasurer steps down or cannot complete his/her duties, a treasurer shall be appointed by the Executive Board with the support of 50% of the membership.

 

E. ASG SENATOR: 

1.      Shall be elected by two-thirds of quorum during Executive Board elections;

2.      Reports ASG bills and important information to the Secretary to post on the listserv;

3.      Shall attend general meetings to elicit opinion from the membership;

4.      Shall abide by ASG guidelines and bylaws;

5.      Shall attend Executive Board meetings to learn about upcoming Alianza events;

6.      Shall be responsible for finding an alternate for weekly ASG meetings if she/he cannot attend;

7.      Shall be in charge for applying for the ASG Senate seat every spring;

8.      Shall act as a representative, with the President, to the Coalition of Colors;

9.      Shall petition and lobby for the development of a Latina/o Studies autonomous unit through the ASG Academic Committee;

10.    Shall support other multicultural groups and their endeavors in Senate meetings as she/he deems fit;

11.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

12.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

13.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla general meetings;

14.    In the case that the ASG Senator steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, an ASG Senator shall be elected by 50% of the membership. 

 

F. MEZCLA CHAIR: 

1.      Shall organize and recruit membership for the Mezcla committee;

2.      Shall coordinate a quarterly show and an annual event;

3.      Shall hold bi-monthly meetings with committee; 

4.      Shall create a Mezcla listserv;

5.      Shall oversee programming and delegate duties as he/she sees fit;

6.      Shall report weekly to the Executive Board and bi-monthly to the Mezcla advisor on programming decisions;

7.      Shall seek outside funding and coordinate fundrasiers;

8.      Shall report committee updates to the membership during general meetings and elicit feedback;

9.      Shall be the main point person for the Spring event but shall work in conjunction with the outgoing Mezcla Chair;

10.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

11.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

12.    In the case that the Mezcla Chair steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, a new chair shall be elected by 50% of the membership.

 

G. COMMUNITY OUTREACH CHAIR: 

1.      Shall oversee social and community service programming and delegate duties as she/he sees fit;

2.      Shall report weekly to the Executive Board on programming decisions;

3.      Shall preside over the community service committee, which shall make decisions on upcoming community service events;

4.      Shall speak to the Treasurer on funding for social programs;

5.      Shall assist the Vice President with freshmen programming (for fall and winter quarters);

6.      Shall organize at least one community service and one social program per year;

7.      Shall plan Executive Board social outings;

8.      Shall organize and seek co-sponsorships for any events involving food;

9.      Shall report committee updates to the membership during general meetings and elicit feedback;

10.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

11.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

12.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

13.    In the case that the Community Outreach Chair steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, a new chair shall be elected by 50% of the membership.

 

H. PUBLICITY CHAIR: 

1.      Shall report weekly to the Executive Board on publicity campaigns;

2.      Shall design and distribute flyers (both paper and electronic versions) to members to advertise events;

3.      Shall serve as the historian, coordinating the documentation of all the organization’s events through any and all media available (including, but not limited to video, photographs, and audio equipment);

4.      Shall preside over the Publicity Committee, which shall promote Alianza events;

5.      Shall organize a schedule to flyer for Alianza events;

6.      Shall be responsible for announcing Alianza events on online social networking groups and print media, and submitting flyers to various listservs;

7.      Shall be in charge of creating and distributing announcement quarter sheets during general meetings; 

8.      Shall be responsible for reserving banner space for Alianza events and spearheading the creation of a banner;

9.      Shall be responsible for member recognition with the “Bien Hecho” awards and initiate nominations for the award;

10.    Shall maintain and update the Alianza website;

11.    Shall be in charge of compiling a newsletter for incoming freshmen;

12.    Shall be responsible for updating the Alianza brochure;

13.    Shall report committee updates to the membership during general meetings and elicit feedback;

14.    Shall be responsible for posting all Alianza events on NUlink;

15.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

16.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

17.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

18.    In the case that the Public Relations Chair steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, a new chair shall be elected by 50% of the membership.

 

I. LATINA/O STUDIES PROGRAM CHAIR: 

1.      Shall serve as a liaison for all Latina/o Studies related events;

2.      Shall organize and delegate duties to ¡LSP AHORA!, the Latina/o Studies student planning committee;

3.      Shall recruit membership for committee;

4.      Shall hold bi-monthly or weekly meetings as necessary;

5.      Shall create and keep a ¡LSP AHORA! listserv;

6.      Shall coordinate and attend bi-quarterly meetings with Weinberg Deans;

7.      Shall oversee and coordinate programming for the development of a Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University;

8.      Shall coordinate programming and student activism towards raising awareness of socio-political issues;

9.      Shall work in conjunction with the ASG senator and academic committee to promote the development of a Latina/o Studies Program;

10.    Shall report weekly to the Executive Board on current campaigns;

11.    Shall report committee updates to the membership during general meetings, on the listserv, and elicit feedback;

12.    Shall send agenda topics to the President prior to Executive Board meetings;

13.    Shall promote all Alianza sponsored and co-sponsored events;

14.    Shall attend all Mezcla sponsored events, including but not limited to Mezcla committee meetings;

15.    In the case that the Latina/o Studies Chair steps down or cannot complete her/his duties, a new chair shall be elected by 50% of the membership.  

 

ARTICLE IV

The Executive Board must maintain 100% attendance at all events unless excused by the President.  All absences must be submitted in writing to the President 48 hours in advance of the event in order for the absence to be excused.  All absences will be reviewed by the President on an individual basis in order to be deemed as excused.  Upon missing an event which is deemed unexcused, the Executive Board Member will be required to pay $5. Upon being tardy/leaving early the unexcused Executive Board Member will be required to pay $2.50.  If an Executive Board Member is more than 10 minutes late she/he is considered tardy. If being tardy/leaving early results in missing 50% or more of the event time it will be deemed as an unexcused absence. 

 

ARTICLE V: 

The following shall be the Alianza ─ The Hispanic/Latino Student Alliance Executive Board Expectations and Code of Ethics by which all the Executive Board members shall abide by:

1. Honor the Alianza Constitution. 

2. Accept their executive position in good faith, with full intention of honoring it through leadership commitment to Alianza.

3. Honor their executive position description and responsibilities. 

4. Maintain consistent communication with the Executive Board, members, faculty, and staff advisors. 

5. Shall submit agenda topics as requested by the President. 

6. Provide accurate progress reports to general membership, faculty, and staff advisors at meetings. 

7. Honor appointments, campus deadlines, and procedures. 

8. Support all programming through planning and participation. 

9. Provide accurate and honest information about participation and experience with Alianza events.

 

ARTICLE VI: 

Outgoing and incoming Executive Board members are required to attend the Transition Retreat coordinated with the Office of Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs.  This retreat will take place early in the spring quarter after elections have taken place.  Every outgoing and incoming officer will be expected to prepare requested documentation and files to be shared and exchanged at the Transition Retreat.  This retreat will ensure that each incoming officer is familiarized with the responsibilities and expectations of their respective position and as a member of the Alianza Executive Board.

 

ARTICLE VII: 

In order to encourage the active participation and involvement of freshman and transfer students, Alianza will coordinate a Junior Executive Board.  This board will allow new students to have an active involvement through the opportunity to coordinate events and shadow the current Alianza Executive Board.  The Junior Executive Board will be structured similarly to the Alianza board and have a representative at Alianza Executive Board meetings.  For example, the Junior Executive Board will assist with coordination of events for new students, the Mezcla Big Show, Festival LatiNU, etc.

 

ARTICLE VIII: 

The Alianza Executive Board will be responsible for completing an Event Evaluation for each program/event sponsored and co-sponsored by Alianza.  One evaluation must be completed per event.  Alianza will conduct quarterly and annual reviews of each position and program.  Quarterly Reviews will assess the progress of each Executive Board member’s accomplishments of their goals and responsibilities.  The Quarterly Review will also track each event coordinated and/or sponsored by Alianza.  These Reviews will be used in the ASG Annual Review, Petition for Spring Funding and Alianza Annual Review.  The Annual Review will compile the quarterly reviews as well as the progress of each Executive Board member, all events/programs sponsored and co-sponsored by Alianza as well as the progress and accomplishments of the organization as a whole.  The Alianza Annual Review will be used in the ASG Annual Review as well as future planning for the organization.

 

ARTICLE IX: 

General meetings shall be held on a bi-monthly basis. 

Elections shall occur annually, during the week prior to Reading Week in Winter Quarter.  

The newly elected representatives shall take office on May 1st of that year. 

The positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, ASG Senator, Community Outreach Chair, Publicity Chair, Mezcla Chair, and LSP Chair are nominated and elected separately in the above order by a majority of the votes of all active members (outlined in Article II).

A quorum of 50 % of the eligible membership in attendance is required for the vote. 

Parliamentary procedures, as directed in Robert’s Rules of Order, shall be implemented where controversy may arise – including, but not limited to, constitutional change and debate.

The Alianza Advisor shall act as the intermediary individual who will supervise proceedings and ensure the implementation of Robert’s Rules of Order. 

 

ARTICLE X:

Amendments to the constitution shall be presented in writing at any general meeting.  Any member of the organization can propose a formal amendment.  A quorum of 50% of eligible membership in attendance shall be required for the vote.  The amendment is ratified by at least two-thirds of the active members.  The Associated Student Government (ASG) Financial Vice President must approve the amendment before it can be considered valid.

 

ARTICLE XI:

In order to ensure that Alianza does not diverge from its mission, Alianza will not support or endorse any co-sponsorship that contradicts the above articles and sentiments of the membership at-large. Said sentiments may be expressed from members through general feedback.

 

ARTICLE XII:

¡Ahora! Magazine shall have a representative that serves as a liaison to the Executive Board.  ¡Ahora! Magazine will elect the representative and the Executive Board shall confirm by a 2/3 vote.  ¡Ahora! Magazine will continue to serve as an autonomous unit and will maintain executive power.  The representative shall be required to be in constant communication with the Alianza president.    

 

ARTICLE XIII:

Should an elected representative seek to vacate her/his position before the end of her/his term, she/he must:

1. Submit an official letter of resignation to the Alianza advisor and Executive Board.

2. Will be required to submit an announcement of resignation to the general membership.

3. Fulfill all pending duties prior to his/her official resignation.  

 

ARTICLE XIV:

Should an Executive Board member fail to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the Constitution then the remaining Executive Board members and the Alianza Advisor reserve the right to remove her/him from office.

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