Columbia APALSA Constitution

As ratified on September 17, 2007

PREAMBLE

The Asian and Pacific Islander American law students of the Columbia University School of Law establish this Constitution in order to bring about meaningful change and to promote and articulate the unique needs and issues facing the Asian Pacific American community.

ARTICLE I. Name of Organization

The name of this organization shall be the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, hereinafter referred to as APALSA.

ARTICLE II. Purpose of Organization

The purpose of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association shall be to:

(1) assist members in completing their program of study at the law school;

(2) recruit Asian Pacific American students into the law school;

(3) work with other organizations toward the realization of common goals;

(4) educate Asian Pacific American communities as to their legal rights and to inform them of past, present and developing issues which affect Asian Pacific American social, economic, and political development; and

(5) educate and inform law students and the larger law school community about issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.

ARTICLE III. Definition of Members

Any Columbia Law School student who participates in the activities of the organization, demonstrates a genuine interest in furthering the purposes of the organization, and pays his/her dues shall be considered a member of APALSA. Membership shall be open to all Columbia Law School students without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, age, handicap or disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, political affiliation, or the general exercise of a studentís right of free speech or association.

ARTICLE IV. General Membership Voting Procedures

Section 1. Only APALSA members as defined by Article III are entitled to vote at all general meetings.

Section 2. Voting shall be done in accordance with the By-Laws of APALSA.

ARTICLE V. Executive Board

Section 1. Composition of Executive Board

Clause 1. APALSA members shall be elected annually by the general membership for the following positions:

(a) Co-Chairs

(b) Secretary

(c) Treasurer

(d) Academic/Professional Development Chair

(e) Recruitment Chair

(f) Alumni Chair

(g) Social Chair

(h) Community Chair

(i) Political Chair

(j) First-Year Representative

(k) Third-Year Representative

Clause 2. The number of students designated to serve in each position, for positions (d) through (k), shall be specified in the By-Laws of APALSA.

Section 2. Election of Executive Board Members

Clause 1. Only dues-paying APALSA members as defined by Article III are eligible to run for Executive Board positions.

Clause 2. Elections for all positions except First-Year Representative (see Clause 8) shall take place at the penultimate general meeting of the academic year or the April general meeting, whichever comes first. Nominations shall either take place through a secret ballot for a period of no less than five academic days prior to the election meeting and/or through open ballot at the election meeting.

Clause 3. All persons receiving at least one nomination and one second shall be placed on the general election ballot, pending his or her approval.

Clause 4. Voting shall be through secret ballot.

Clause 5. In order to be elected to the Executive Board, with the exception of the Chair(s), a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast for the particular position. In the event that no person receives a majority of the votes, a run-off election shall be held between the candidates with the largest and second largest number of votes. The run-off election may include more than two candidates.

Clause 6. The decision to elect the Chair or Co-Chairs must be made through majority vote at the election meeting before the election vote. Procedures for the election of the Chair or Co-Chairs shall be left to presiding election officers.

Clause 7. The new officers shall assume their positions by the end of the school year.

Clause 8. Election of the First-Year Representative(s) shall take place at a general meeting no later than October 15.

Clause 9. Executive Board positions without candidates may be filled through a special election or may be left vacant at the discretion of the outgoing and incoming Executive Board Chair or Co-Chairs.

Clause 10. Upon a petition signed by two-thirds of the general membership, the issue of impeachment of the Chair or Co-Chairs shall be brought to a vote. Upon a three-fourths majority vote by the general membership, the Chair or Co-Chairs shall be removed.

Section 3. Nondiscrimination Policy.

Leadership positions shall be open to all Columbia Law Students without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, age, handicap or disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, political affiliation, or the general exercise of a studentís right of free speech or association.

ARTICLE VI. Meetings

Section 1. There shall be at least two meetings of the general membership per semester.

Section 2. The number of Executive Board meetings shall not be less than the number of general membership meetings.

ARTICLE VII. By-Laws

Issues and rules not herein addressed shall be governed by the By-Laws of APALSA, insofar as the By-Laws are not inconsistent with Constitution.

ARTICLE VIII. Amendment Process

Section 1. A proposed amendment shall become effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast.

Section 2. Voting shall be done in accordance with the By-Laws of APALSA.

ARTICLE IX. Ratification

Section 1. Constitution shall become valid upon ratification by a majority of the votes at a ratification meeting.

Section 2. Voting shall be opened at a general membership meeting.

ARTICLE X. Standing Committees

Section 1. APALSA shall have six (6) standing committees: Fundraising, Gala, Conference, Community Action, Professional Development, and Social.

Section 2. Committees shall be composed of general members on a voluntary basis, except for the Fundraising Committee, which shall be constituted as described in Section 4 of this Article.

Section 3. The committee member designated by the Executive Board as director of that committee shall serve as the liaison between the committee and the Executive Board; directors may be members of the Executive Board, except for the Director of the Fundraising Committee.

Section 4. Composition of the Fundraising Committee.

Clause 1. The Director of the Fundraising Committee shall not be an Executive Board member, and shall be selected by the Executive Board at an Executive Board meeting prior to the end of the academic year in which it has been elected, following an announced application process open to the general membership excepting members of the Executive Board.

Clause 2. The Executive Board and the Director of the Fundraising Committee shall select, following an announced application process open to the general membership, the three members of the Fundraising Committee who shall begin working immediately to cultivate sources of funding and sponsorship for the various activities in which APALSA will seek to engage during the upcoming academic year.

Clause 3. At the first general meeting of the following academic year, the Chair or Co-Chairs shall solicit first-year students to apply for the Fundraising Committee. The Director of the Fundraising Committee shall select one first-year student to join the Fundraising Committee, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board.