Thursday, October 19, 2006

I. Mission Statement

I. Mission Statement

We, Poder Latina/o, shall endeavor to address the needs and concerns of the Latina/o/a community at Vassar College, both as a social support group and as an organization that takes concert action on various issues. We will strive to promote communication and understanding between members of Poder Latina/o and the greater Vassar community via, forums, lectures and social events. Through the creation of a strong network between Poder Latina/o and other Latina/o/a communities, particularly in the local community and at other campuses, we shall promote strength and support towards issues concerning the Latina/o community. This shall include, but is not limited to any sister organization at Vassar College, educational institution and any other Latina/o/a community organization sharing the ideals of advancement and empowerment of fellow Latina/os/as.


II. Membership

A. All members of the Vassar community are eligible to become members of Poder Latina/o. Particular effort will be made to recruit Vassar Latina/o/a students, to whom this group is dedicated. However, full membership in Poder Latina/o, like any other serious organization, is contingent upon regular attendance to weekly meetings and other forms of active support (i.e. through the assistance with and attendance at Poder Latina/o events.)
B. Poder Latina/o cannot support members of the Latina/o Community who do not make their unique points of view understood by other members at weekly meetings. While it is understood that some people will not be able to attend every meeting and/or event, a minimum amount of effort will be expected of everyone who wants to be considered a member of Poder Latina/o.
C. To request that any non-Vassar campus event be subsidized by Poder Latina/o, he/she must be present and recorded in the attendance log of the Poder Latina/o Secretary, at either the Executive Board of the General Body meetings for no less than one-half weeks prior to the time of registration for the event. Otherwise he or she must pay the full cost of attendance.
D. Members of any Poder Latina/o Sister organization at Vassar College are considered general Body constituents and shall enjoy all rights pertaining to membership.

III.The Executive Board

III. The Executive Board

A. The purpose of the Executive Board is to bring up ideas and suggestions for the agenda, and provide leadership in achieving the goals of Poder Latina/o.
B. The members of the Executive Board carry the title of “Chair.” the roles of the various Chairs are not rigid. The Executive Board members are encouraged to help one another in their duties. The Chairs shall collaborate with one another for support. They should delegate some of the workload to other Poder Latina/o members who show interest.
C. Ultimately, however, full responsibility for the duties of each Chair lies on every Chairperson. Chairs who cannot for any reason perform their duties at professional level should resign.
1) Any member of the Executive Board who misses three Executive Board meetings during the academic year of his/her tenure, or fails to provide a minimum of 24 hours notification to another Executive Board member (who will be present at the meeting to be missed by the other member) that he/she is unable to attend an Executive Board meeting, will be impeached.
2) Subsequently, a special election for the vacant position will immediately commence in accordance with the Poder Latina/o Constitution.
D. Delegation of Responsibility
In the event of the absence of the President the chain of responsibility is as follows: Vice President, Secretary, Community Relations Chair, Special Events/ Publicity Chair, Finance Chair, Freshman Representative. If any member of the Executive Board is absent, the Head Chair will delegate responsibility to ensure the duties are fulfilled.
E. Executive Board Confidentiality
1) The Executive Board shall inform the general Body of all decisions and motions taken place during the Board meetings, via approved agenda, general notice, or minutes of the Secretary. Non-board members within the General Body may request a copy of the Secretary’s minutes.
2) General body members and members of the Vassar community may also request to attend Board meetings, daring those dedicated to resolving internal executive conflict.
3) General discussion within the Executive Board is otherwise confidential unless it pertains directly to the function and well being of Poder Latina/o.
4) Violation of confidentiality may result in impeachment proceedings.

IV.Chair Descriptions

IV. Chair Descriptions

A. President
Acts at the official spokesperson for Poder Latina/o, facilitator for all meetings and overseer of all Poder Latina/o functions. The Head Chair must be a sophomore or above. Vice President
Acts as an intermediary between Poder Latina/o and academic departments for the cosponsoring and mutual support of Latina/o/a events; establishes and maintains a working relationship with the administration. The Co-Head Chair will serve in place of the Head Chair when the latter is absent. The Co-Head Chair must be a sophomore or above.
B. Special Events/ Publicity Chair
The Special Events/ Publicity Chair can be one or two positions depending on what the board deems necessary, but should remain a Sophomore or above for the year in which he/she will be in office. As one chair the duties would be as follows:
Is responsible for all Poder Latina/o public relations; disseminates information about Poder Latina/o events to the Vassar community; reminds members of the time and place of meetings; sends out special invitations and updates to selected administration and faculty.

E. Community Relations Chair
This position will consist of up to two chairs. One will address issues concerning the Vassar Latina/o/a community, and the other will address the issues concerning the larger Latina/o/a community beyond Vassar College. The responsibilities are:
1. Address issues and concerns of the Latina/o/a population at Vassar College, and create and maintain the Vassar Latina/o/a Alumni network.
2. Work to develop and foster communication between community based organizations in the Hudson Valley region, and to coordinate special functions to actively recruit prospective students of Latina/o/a descent from area high schools, churches, etc.
3. The co-Chairs will each sit on the executive Board and they should be a sophomore or above for the full academic year he/she will hold.

F. Historian/ Current Events Chair (Optional)
Organizes and maintains Poder Latina/o archives, subscribes to magazines and books for the Poder Latina/o library; researches current events affecting Latina/os/as in the United States and in Latin America; films and takes photographs of current Poder Latina/o minutes, flyers, etc.

G. Secretary Chair
Records minutes at all Poder Latina/o meetings, maintains and archives records, takes attendance and chairs elections. The Secretary Chair is responsible for submitting all Vassar Student Association monthly organization reports on time. Organizes and maintains Poder Latina/o archives, subscribes to magazines and books for the Poder Latina/o library. The Chair should be a sophomore or above for the full academic year in which he or she will hold office.

I. Finance Chair
Regulates all finances for Poder Latina/o; attends all mandatory Vassar Student Association Treasurer meetings; leads organization and adherence of the Poder Latina/o budget with other Executive Board members; turns in requisitions and keeps receipts. The Chair should be a sophomore or above for the full academic year in which he or she will hold office.

J. Assistant Chairs
Help their assigned Chair carry out his/ her duties. Although the assistant chairs’ familiarity with the Chair’s responsibilities is an asset to their possible election to the Chair’s office in future academic years, their later election to that office is not guaranteed. Assistant Chairs cannot vote within the executive Board. The positions of assistant chairs are optional. Poder Latina/o will decide at the beginning of each year whether or not it will elect assistant chairs for that school year.

K. Freshman Representative
Serves as a liaison to the Executive Board members and freshmen. He./she serves as a representative for Multicultural Awareness (MAW) Week. This position is elected sometime in the first semester.


V. Voting
A) The Election Process
1. The election process will consist of three weeks. The first week acceptance of nominations will be publicly announced on the agenda flyer and at that week’s General Body meeting. The second week nominations for any, and all, positions will be announced on the agenda flyer and will be held at the General Body meeting for that week. Write-in Nominations will be accepted for any Poder Latina/o election.

2. Prior to the day of the election, at the General Body meeting, each candidate is to give a campaign speech of no more than 5 minutes, and allow up to 5 minutes to answer any and all questions by eligible voters of Poder Latina/o. If there is more than one candidate running for a position, then the 5 minutes allotted to each will be pooled together, and the question and answer period will begin after the final speech by the last candidate.

3. If the Poder Latina/o secretary happens to be running in an election, then the duties of the Elections Chair will pass in the following order (until an Executive Board member who is not running in that election is found): Head Chair, Co-Head Chair, Special Events/Publicity Chair, Community Relations Chair, Finance Chair, and Freshmen Representative. If none are available, the Executive Board will appoint a Poder Latina/o member, who is not running in the election.

5. In the event a person running for a position is absent from the election (reasons include but are not limited to; being JYA of on a leave of absence), he/she cannot have a proxy. However, he/she is allowed to write a speech before the said election, which the Head Chair will read out loud, and the elections will proceed as usual. The Head Chair must receive the speech at least 7 days before the election.

B) Nominations for Positions on the Executive Board
The Secretary must be notified of candidacy at least 72 hours before the scheduled election time. The Special Events/ Publicity Chair will notify eligible voting members of the list of candidates by campus mail at least 24 hours before the election. After this time, no further nominations will be accepted.

C) Special Election
1. A special election will be held for a vacancy. Or the anticipated vacancy, on the Executive Board when the officer can no longer fill that position during the academic year in which it was filled.
2. All special elections will take place in accordance with all applicable regulations pertaining to a regular election.

D) Candidacy and Voting Eligibility
All elections, special and regular, will be subject to the following criteria. In order to vote, and run for a position on the Executive Board, he/she must have been present, and recorded in the attendance log of the Poder Latina/o Secretary at either the Executive Board or the General Body meetings for no less than three of the weeks from the beginning of the academic year in which meetings were held to the time nominations are accepted.

VI.Voting Within the Executive Board

VI. Voting Within the Executive Board
Will follow Robert’s Rules of Order.

VII.Impeachment of the Executive Board Members

VII. Impeachment of the Executive Board Members
A) A 2/3 “yes” vote of all voting members of the Executive Board is required in order to enact impeachment proceeding against any officer, or appointee, of Poder Latina/o

B) An Executive Board member chosen by the Executive Board will facilitate the impeachment. Then each will be allotted minutes for and against the impeachment and is open to any Poder Latina/o member.

C) Subsequently a “secret” ballot will take place. All votes will be tallied by two members of the Executive Board.

V III. Amendments to the Poder Latina/o Constitution

V III. Amendments to the Poder Latina/o Constitution
A) All amendments to the Poder Latina/o Constitution will require a majority “yes” vote at the Executive Board meeting in order to be enacted. In the case of an accepted amendment superseding parts of the Poder Latina/o Constitution, the Executive Board will convene as a body to determine all sections, which shall be so deleted. They will present the changes to the General Body to be approved by a majority vote. In the case of conflicting amendments, the amendments with the greatest number of votes above a majority will be enacted.

Finally, Poder Latina/o will follow the rules and procedures of the Vassar student organizations in accordance with the Vassar Student Association Constitution.

Robert’s Rules of Order will be used as default.