Group Constitutions
Accion Boricua of Columbia University

Statement of Purpose

The name of the organization shall be Accion Boricua of Columbia University, hereafter referred to as ABCU. ABCU will attend to the socio-political and cultural needs of the Puerto Rican student body at Columbia University. The organization will provide a forum where fraternizing between Boricua students will be fostered while encouraging the long standing relationship that Puerto Ricans have held for years with Latin Americans.

Issues that will be addressed pertain primarily to those confronted by the islanders as they migrate to the US and vice versa, the role of the Puerto Ricans in New York City as the largest Hispanic ethnic group in the metropolitan area, and the issues a Puerto Rican may face upon enrollment in an institution like Columbia University, especially those from the island.

The Organization will also encourage students from the island and other parts of the US to apply to Columbia University and other institutions of higher education.

Article I: NAME

The name of the organization shall be Accion Boricua of Columbia University, hereinafter referred to as ABCU; whereby "Columbia University" will encompass Barnard College, Columbia College, and the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.


Section 1. To enable the "Boricua" (hereinafter, synonymous with "Puerto Rican") students at Columbia University to generate an environment that is conducive to their cultural awareness and motivating them to meet the needs of their community.

Section 2. To encourage Boricua students from the mainland and the Island to seek higher education, with particular attention to the benefits of a collegiate education at Columbia University.

Section 3. To foster an understanding of issues confronting the Boricua students at Columbia University and promoting their general well-being through cultural, academic, and social functions.


Section 1. Memberships will be granted to all students enrolled in Columbia University who identify with the culture of Puerto Ricans and demonstrate a willingness to further the aims of ABCU. Membership will not be denied to any person on the grounds of religion, politics, race or sexual orientation.

Section 2. Full membership will incorporate students from Barnard College, Columbia College, and the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.

Section 3. Associate membership will be open to students of all other schools within the University, other than those listed in Article I. Faculty and alumni/ae of the University will also be associate members. Associate members will not act as voting participants and will not hold office.

Section 4. Any person who fails to uphold the principles and laws of the organization, who comports himself in a manner that is detrimental to ABCU, or intentionally attempts to corrupt its integrity, is subject to expulsion. Expulsion can only be introduced by a petition placed through the Cabinet, of which, a minimum conceding votes of five Cabinet members are needed to initiate the proceedings. A final two-thirds vote of a general ABCU meeting ensues the expulsion.


Section 1. Cabinet: Officers of the Organization shall be elected annually on the last general meeting of March, of each academic year. The newly-elected Cabinet shall partake in activities and Cabinet meetings, however, without the right to vote (as a Cabinet member) during the term of transaction. The departing Cabinet will instruct the newly-elected Cabinet on its duties and responsibilities, during the term of transition. The newly-elected Cabinet shall be sworn in and resume leadership on the last meeting held during the academic year. The Cabinet shall be comprised of and constitute the collective leadership of: a) President, b) two Vice-Presidents, c) Secretary, d) Treasurer, e) Recruitment Director, f) Cultural Director, g) United Minorities Board Representative.

Section 2. Eligibility to hold Office

a) No freshman may run for President of the Cabinet.

b) All members of the Cabinet must be Full Members during their tenure (as per Article III, Section 2).

c) At least one Barnard member must hold a seat on the Cabinet, in order to maintain Barnard College recognition and funding.

d) No full member may simultaneously hold more than one office within the Cabinet.

Section 3. Resignation/Impeachment

    1. Resignation/Impeachment Resignation from any office shall be in writing and addressed to the President who shall promptly report such resignation to the Cabinet and the General Body. In case of a Presidential resignation, the Cabinet shall also be notified with a written statement.
    2. A motion of impeachment against any member of the Cabinet may be moved by at least five members of the Cabinet, including the President, who must state and support, in writing, the reasons for such a motion, before the general body. Both parties will then be allowed to present their respective cases before the general membership. After discussion, the general body will then vote on the motion. In order for the motion to pass, a majority (>50%) is necessary. A motion of impeachment may be passed by any Full Member via the Cabinet.

Section 4: Duty of the Officers

President shall be the chief representative of the organization. He/She shall preside over general and Cabinet meetings. He/She shall have final responsibility over the coordination of all Cabinet committees. He/She shall make policy statements about and for the organization. He/She shall have the power to act in all emergency situations and shall promptly report to the Cabinet. He/She shall vote only in the event of a general or Cabinet meeting tie vote--except in the case of a Cabinet impeachment process (as per Article IV, Section 3, b). may exercise veto power over those decisions of the general or Cabinet body which he/she considers detrimental to the organization and shall give reasons for actions taken. A vote of two-thirds majority of the full members present shall override the veto.

Vice Presidents shall assist the President in the performance of his/her functions. One Vice-President shall head the Alumni Committee, and the other Vice-President shall head the ABCU Task Force (dealing with faculty/administration/studies issues). Should the President be unable to continue his/her duties, one of the Vice-Presidents shall be elected through a runoff election, and then resume all duties and commitments pertaining to that office, in addition to his/her duties as Vice-President. Leaving ABCU with one VP until elections.

Communications Officer will record the minutes of all meetings, serve all notices (i.e., correspondences, club events, etc.) and up-keep the membership roster. He/She will be responsible for the distribution of organizational flyers and keeping the ABCU members abreast with current/future events, via a newsletter.

Finance Officer will receive a copy of any budget submitted to the Cabinet and shall be responsible for keeping the Organization's accounts in order. He/She will work with the various committees to raise funds and must be present at all Polity and financial related meetings. The Finance Officer will be signatory together with the President, to all documents for the dispensation of ABCU funds.

Recruitment Officer will work with the Admissions Offices within BC, CC, and SEAS. Of primary importance, will be the continuance of the recruitment of Puerto Rican/Hispanic students, especially within the Metropolitan Area. He/She must be present at all Minority Admissions meetings and will ensure the representation of Puerto Rican faculty/alumni/ae at BC, CC, and SEAS Minority Admissions events. He/She is also expected to keep up to date with statistical Admissions/Retention information concerning Boricua students at Columbia University.

Cultural Officer will organize activities which advance and disseminate the culture of Boricua. In cooperation with the other Cabinet officers, he/she will coordinate events such as dinners, festivals, forums, and concerts that will be exhibit and exemplify Boricua "life." He/She will also be responsible for co-sponsoring events with the other three co-existing Hispanic organizations, as well as other campus University groups.

United Minorities Board Representative will represent ABCU at all UMB meetings and events. To ensure direct communications with our fellow minority organizations, the UMB Rep. will be part of the Cabinet and will keep the Organization abreast of University/minority related events.


This constitution may be altered, amended, repealed, or otherwise added to by a 2/3 majority vote of a quorum at the next General Meeting, or if necessary, at a special meeting called for that purpose.

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