CHARLES HAMILTON HOUSTON PRE-LAW ASSOCIATION
ARTICLE I Name
The name of the organization shall be known as the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association (alternately referred to as "the Association" in this document).
ARTICLE II Purpose
We, the members of the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association, are particularly concerned with the slow advancement and under representation of students of color pursuing careers in the legal profession. In an attempt to improve the conditions that impede our entrance into and subsequent success in the field of law, we form the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association. The utmost priority of this organization is to supplement the needs pre-law students by sponsoring forums clarifying the process of attaining a legal education as well as defining the professional duties and ethical standards required of one practicing law. We also intend to pay particular attention to the unique obstacles faced by people of color. In addition, we recognize the importance of the Columbia Law Mentors
Program (hereinafter referred to as "CALM" ) as a valuable resource. Therefore, we intend to seek their assistance and will work in conjunction with CALM towards the attainment of the aforementioned goals described in Article II, Section A.
ARTICLE III Membership
Membership is open to all undergraduate students of color of Columbia College, Barnard College, the School of General Studies, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences interested in the field of law. This is not to exclude members of the general population of the undergraduate community of Columbia University also interested in pursuing a legal career. In fact, we encourage their participation within the organization towards achieving our goals in light of the common interest that all pre-law students share. However, members should recognize and accept that the primary focus of this organization is to address the special needs of students of color. To be considered an active member of the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-law Association one must:
(1) consistently attend general meetings and special functions. A mandatory attendance rate of 50% required.
Those members who do not adhere to the regulations set forth in Article III, Section B shall be considered "negligent members." Negligent members will be denied voting privileges, participation in the CALM Program, attendance at special functions and may not participate in committees. However, negligent members shall be allowed to attend general meetings and benefit from the information disseminated from such. The executive of officers shall determine the conditions for reinstatement and once said conditions are fulfilled, the negligent member can be reinstated by a 2/3 vote of the Association.
Other students of the University who do not meet the requirements for membership set forth in Article III, Section A and are interested in the agenda of the Association shall be deemed "associate members." Associate members cannot hold the offices of President, Vice President, CALM Representative and USCC Representative. However associate members may benefit from all the privileges of active membership and are encouraged to participate in any committees.
ARTICLE IV Columbia Alumni Law Mentors Program CALM
The Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association shall actively participate in the CALM program and use its resources to benefit the members of the association with practical legal experience and counseling.
A member of the general body will be elected during the general elections to act as a liaison between the administrators and participants of CALM and the general body. This person will inform prospective interns in the CALM Program of the opportunities available and will aid in matching mentors and menthes.
The Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association will use the mentors of the CALM Program as resources to aid in planning forums, general meetings, special events and in attaining internship opportunities for its members.
A committee will be formed to aid the CALM representative in his/her duties.
ARTICLE V Officers
The of officers of the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association shall be:
(2) Vice President
(5) CALM Representative
(6) United Students of Color Coalition Representative (alternately referred to as "USCC Representative" in this document.
(7) Student Liaison
The powers of the above are herein defined:
(1) The President shall preside at meetings. S / he will have power to call meetings and will report on the progress and conditions of all projects. The President shall be responsible for all committees and the businesses of each and will preside at all elections. S/ he shall be one of the officers along with the Treasurer empowered to sign all notes, warrants, or other orders for payment of funds duly drawn by the Treasurer. In addition, the President shall preside over the newly establish CALM committee and work closely with the CALM representative. (2) The Vice President shall, during the absence or inability of the President to render or program his/ her duties or exercise his/ her powers as set forth, the same shall be informed and exercised by the Vice President. Additionally, the Vice President shall also be directly in charge of all committees and shall assist the President in his / her duties. S / he will also preside with the President over the newly established CALM committee and work closely with the CALM Representative. The Vice President will also be one of the officers, along with the Treasurer empowered to sign all notes, warrants, or other orders for payment of funds duly drawn by the Treasurer. (3) The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meetings and shall give and serve notices of the Association. S/ he will be custodian of all records and shall have custody of all records belonging to the Association, which are not especially under the charge of any other officer. The Secretary shall be one of the officers, along with the Treasurer empowered to sign all notes, warrants, or other orders for the payment duly drawn by the Treasurer. (4) The Treasurer shall be responsible for all the funds, securities and financial records of the Association which shall be open to inspection of all members. S/ he shall be responsible for showing detailed accounts of all transactions. S/ he shall also briefly report at every meeting the state of the Association's financial affairs. The Treasurer shall be required to present an audit of the general body and elected officers twice each term and any time two or more officers request one. (5) The CALM Representative shall report to the general body and aid in matching mentors and mentees. She/ he shall also supervise the CALM committee and advise the executive officers and the general body of internship opportunities. The CALM shall also be expected to use CALM mentors in the planning of events and meetings. (6) The USCC Representative shall be required to attend all USCC meetings and will also be required to present reports at every general meeting. The USCC Representative must give 24 hours notice if s/ he cannot attend a meeting as well as find a suitable replacement to represent the Association. Failure to carry out these duties will be grounds for impeachment (See Article VIII, Section B).
IN ORDER TO AVOID THE SUBVERSION OF THE PURPOSE STATED IN ARTICLE II, SECTION A, WE IMPLEMENT THE FOLLOWING CLAUSE: THE COMPOSITION OF THE CHARLES HAMILTON HOUSTON PRE-LAW ASSOCIATION SHALL BE AS SUCH:
FOUR OUT OF SIX OFFICERS MUST BE STUDENTS OF COLOR MEANING: AFRICAN AMERICAN, LATINO, CARIBBEAN AMERICAN, NATIVE AMERICAN, ASIAN AND OTHER HISTORICALLY OPPRESSED PEOPLE OF COLOR. ARTICLE II, SECTION A AND ARTICLE V, SECTION C MAY NOT BE AMENDED ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. ANY ATTEMPTS TO MAKE ANY AMENDMENTS OF THIS KIND WOULD RESULT IN THE INVALIDATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION IN ITS ENTIRETY AS THIS WOULD COMPLETELY UNDERMINE THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE CREATION OF THE ASSOCIATION.
ARTICLE VI Committees
All committees shall be appointed at the discretion of the President who will at the formation of a committee also appoint a head to oversee the entire operation along with a clerk to keep notes on all businesses initiated by the committee. All committees must report to the general body at all general meetings. All committees, especially the head, are under the discretion of the President and Vice President. The provisions set forth in sections A, B. C of Article VI also extend to the newly established CALM committee previously described.
ARTICLE VII Procedures of the Meetings
An annual meeting will be held in each academic school year for the purpose of meeting with other pre-law students and organization of other colleges and universities. Regular meetings shall be held at least twice a month. Special meetings may be held at any time upon request of the President or Vice President All members shall have one vote each at all meetings. Voting shall be done at the general meeting by either written ballot or by absentee ballot in special circumstances. The act of the majority of members at a meeting at which quorum is present shall be an act of the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Association. Two-thirds (2/3) of one hundred percent of the active members of the Association shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Elections of officers shall take place at a meeting especially called for that purpose, during the second week of March. At that period until the end of the school year, they shall co-hold the of office with the officers of the prior year and function along with them to familiarize themselves with the duties and operations of their respective offices. All business that concerns the future of the Association shall be handled by the newly elected officers. Officers hold their positions until a new member is elected to that office or until a full term has expired. Any exceptions to this provision shall be in the case of impeachment or resignation. ARTICLE VIII
Resignation and Impeachment Resignations must be submitted in writing and expressed verbally to the executive board. In the event of a resignation, the executive board shall appoint a replacement to serve until the general elections. (1) The executive e board and the general body will consider impeachment of an officer if and only if five active members of the Association submit a proposal citing the grounds for impeachment. (2) Any officer faced with possible impeachment will be allowed to address a specially formed disciplinary committee. The disciplinary committee will be created under the auspices of the executive board. The disciplinary committee shall be created only in the event of possible impeachment. The disciplinary committee will report their findings to the general body. (3) Impeachment will be considered only after the criteria mentioned in Section B(1) and B(2) have been met. Impeachment will be executed after a 4/5 vote of the general membership.
ARTICLE IX Amendments to the Constitution
The constitution shall not be done away with or amended except by a vote of 75% of the Association's members at two successive official meetings as well as with the approval of the Board of Administrators. Article IX, Section A does not apply to the clause outlined in Article V, Section C.