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The CASA Constitution

PREAMBLE

We, the members of the Caribbean-American Students Association (CASA) of the University of Pennsylvania, hereby establish this constitution for the purposes of structuring our organization. It is our aim to maintain and share our culture, promote the concerns of the Caribbean student body, and provide social and academic support to the same.

I. MEMBERSHIP

1. The organization is open to anyone in the University Community interested in or from the Caribbean. 2. Official membership shall be offered only to those who have paid the required dues, the amount of which shall be determined annually; 3. Official members shall be entitled to participate in all activities of the organization; 4. Official membership shall run per semester with dues collected at the first general body meeting of each semester.

II. MEETINGS

1. Shall be held at least once a month; 2. Shall be open to the public with the exception of those occasions when a motion is made to close a meeting and such motion carries.

III. PROCEDURE-VOTING

1. Any member has the privilege to propose a motion; 2. Every motion shall be determined by majority vote; 3. Voting shall be open to all official (paid) members and officers; 4. The president shall only vote during a tie.

IV. PROCEDURE – ELECTIONS

1. Elections of all officers shall be held before the close of the Fall semester. 2. Nominations for all positions shall be made open to all official members (see part III) 3. Voting for officers shall be made by a secret ballot; 4. Every official member shall have one vote except the president who shall not vote; 5. Office shall be awarded to the candidate with the largest number of votes; 6. In the case of a ties, a run-off election shall be held; 7. In the case of a ties in the run-off election, the current president shall cast a deciding vote; 8. The presidency will be the first position contested in the elections.

V. OFFICERS

All elected officers shall be official members of CASA

1. President

a. Shall prepare agendas for all general and steering committee meetings b. Shall conduct all general and steering committee meetings c. Shall represent the views and interests of the organizations d. Shall be informed of all the activities of the committees by the vice-president e. Shall be kept abreast of the decisions made by other officers, representatives and liaisons that affect CASA

2. Vice-President

a. Shall fulfill all the duties of the president in his/her absence b. Shall serve as coordinator for all committees and shall keep the president abreast of their activities c. Shall serve alongside the president to ensure the growth and development of CASA d. Shall oversee the production of CASA’s monthly newsletter, Caribsun, alongside the publicity chair.

3. Treasurer

a. Shall control and be responsible for all financial matters b. Shall attend all SAC meetings c. Shall vote at said meetings in the best interest of CASA d. Shall keep the group informed of SAC activities e. Shall prepare a monthly treasury statement to be presented at Board meetings f. Shall serve on the joint CALABASH committee with members of PASA, GQ and DHSA.

4. Recording Secretary

a. Shall record the minutes of all general and steering committee meetings b. Shall read the minutes of the previous meeting at the beginning of each meeting c. Shall establish a directory of members, past and present d. Shall assist the Publicity Chair in any capacity e. Shall keep record of all events held by CASA within the academic year

5. External Liaison

a. Shall carry out all official correspondence to external parties (not including general members) b. Shall develop relationships with close by Caribbean organizations of other schools and be responsible for all communications with said organizations c. Shall be responsible for maintaining alumni records and relations d. Shall represent the interests of CASA at any non-Penn meetings/ activities e. Shall co-chair the publicity committee with the Publicity Chair

6. Publicity Chair

a. With the help of the recording secretary, shall contact all members of the organization prior to general meetings b. Shall be responsible for the maintenance of the CASA listserv and CASA website c. Shall serve as liaison to internal members d. Shall assist the Vice President with the production of CASA’s monthly newsletter e. Shall serve on the CALABASH committee with members of PASA. GQ and DHSA.

7. Activities Chair

a. Shall create activities for the organization at general meeting and throughout the year b. Shall serve on the CALABASH committee with members of PASA, GQ and DHSA c. Shall organize CARIFEST (weeklong celebration of Caribbean culture) in March or April d. Shall stair the activities committee

8. Community Service Chair

a. Shall propose and plan community service projects for the organization b. Shall be responsible for reporting to the President regarding all community service endeavors c. Shall be responsible for organizing fundraising efforts in support of community service endeavors

9. New Student Liaison

a. Shall serve as a liaison between the steering committee and the incoming class of freshman and graduate students b. Shall send welcoming letters to prospective students of the University with Caribbean origin or parentage c. Shall work to recruit new members for the organization from the incoming class d. Shall ease the transition of new students to life at Penn

10. UMC/UMOJA Liaison

a. Shall attend all meetings of the United Minorities Council (UMC) b. Shall represents the interests of CASA within the UMC c. Shall attend all UMOJA meetings d. Shall represent the interests of CASA with UMOJA e. Shall choose an alternate to attend said meetings if they are unable f. Shall inform the group of all UMC and UMOJA activities

VI. THE BOARD (Steering Committee)

1. Shall consist of all below listed officers 2. Shall facilitate the smooth operation of CASA 3. Shall, in an emergency, decide on an issue that cannot be resolved in a general meeting 4. A board meeting may be called by any member of the board 5. Board meetings are closed to other members to the constituency

VII. REMOVAL FROM AND VACANCY OF OFFICE

1. Any officer may be removed from office in the event that he/she fails to fulfill his/her duties properly as stated in the constitution; 2. A board meeting must be called for impeachment motion; 3. No less the a ¾ vote within the entire Board shall be required to present the motion at a general meeting; 4. A majority vote of the members present at a general meeting shall be deemed sufficient to pass the impeachment motion; 5. In the event that a vacancy occurs, the steering committee shall fill said vacancy by appointing a new officer from the general body membership. i) The appointment shall be made by a unanimous decision ii) The general body may vote on a new appointment only if: (1) The vacancy to be filled is for the President, Vice President, or Secretary (2) When the steering committee is unable to reach a unanimous decision (3) When an officer has been impeached.