Group Constitutions
The Caribbean Students Association of Columbia University


Article I


  1. This organization shall be called the Caribbean Students Association of Columbia University.

Article II


Section 1

  1. The aim of the Association is to enable Caribbean students to generate and foster a sense of unity and understanding among themselves, with their fellow students at Columbia University, and with the surrounding community.
  2. This goal will be realized through the sponsoring of educational, cultural, social, and other such activities which tend to further the aims of the Association.

Article III


Section 1

  1. Membership will be open to all students enrolled in the University who identify with the culture of the Caribbean and are willing to further the aims of the Association. Membership will not be denied to any person on religious, ethnic, or political grounds.

Section 2

  1. Voting membership will be granted to all undergraduate students currently participating in one of the committees of the Association.

Section 3

Expulsion of members

  1. Any member who behaves in a manner detrimental to the Association will be expelled.
  2. A motion for the expulsion of any member shall follow the procedure as detailed in Article IV, Section 2ii. The grounds for expulsion will be similar to those outlined in Article IV, Section 2iii.

Article IV


Section 1

Composition of Executive Board

  1. The officers of the Association shall be annually elected to the Executive Board by the general membership. The Executive Board shall constitute the collective leadership of the Association and shall be comprised of: a) two co-chairs, b) the treasurer, c) the Secretary, d) the Cultural Chairperson, e) the Educational Chairperson, f) the Social Chairperson, g) the Public Relations Chairperson, h) the Political Chairperson, i) a Collegiate Networking Chairperson, j) a Community Networking Chairperson, and k) a United Minorities Board Representative.
  2. Eligibility to Hold Office

  3. In order to be eligible to become a candidate for Executive office a student must be a voting member as described in Article III, Section 2.

    Number of Offices

  5. No voting member may simultaneously hold more than one office within the Association. No member may run for the same office after having held that office for two full consecutive, elected terms, unless circumstances deem otherwise. If after the general elections, a position has not been filled, the executive board will decide the proper course of action, subject to the approval of the general body.

Section 2

Termination of Executive Positions


  1. Resignation from any office shall be submitted, in writing, and addressed to at least one of the co-chairs who shall promptly report said resignation to the Executive Board and to the general body.
  2. Impeachment of Officers and Expulsion of Members

  3. A motion for impeachment against any member of the Executive Board may be moved by at least five voting members, 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 be passed: 1) a quorum of twenty people must be reached and 2) a two-thirds majority is required for impeachment.

Grounds for the Impeachment of an Officer iii. Impeachment procedures against an officer may be brought about for incompetence, neglect of duty, refusal to carry out the expressed wished of the general body, a persistent lack of cooperation, betrayal of the trust placed in him/her by the Association and any conduct which subjects the association to public scorn, ridicule, or disparagement.

Section 3 Duties of the Officers

  1. Co-Chairs.
  2. There shall be two chairs of the Association. The co-chairs shall be the chief representatives of the Association. They shall preside over general and executive meetings. They shall make policy statements for and about the Association. They shall have the power to act accordingly in all emergency situations and then shall promptly make a report before the Executive Board. The co-chairs shall vote only in the cases of executive or general meeting tie votes. In cases where the individual cochair votes will cause a tie, the co-chairs must then cast a consolidated vote. The cochairs may exercise veto power over those decisions of the general or executive body which they consider detrimental to the Association and shall give reasons for actions taken. A vote of two-thirds of the voting members present shall override the veto. In addition, the co-chairs are responsible for the coordination of the various committees. Should either co-chair be unable to continue their duties, within thirty days thereof, special elections shall be conducted to choose a successor from among the membership, subject to a simple majority of the general body.

  3. Treasurer.
  4. The Treasurer will receive a copy of any budget submitted to the Executive Board and shall be responsible for keeping the Association's accounts in order. He/she shall work with the various committees to raise funds and is required to make monthly statements to the Executive Board regarding the Association's financial status. The Treasurer shall be signatory together with the co-chairs, to all the documents for the dispensation of the association's funds. In addition, the Treasurer must attend all Polity meetings.

  5. Secretary
  6. The Secretary shall be responsible for taking the minutes of general and executive meetings and present copies of the minutes to the board. In collaboration with the other Executive board members, he/ she will be responsible for making a record of all committees, for keeping an accurate, up-to-date record of all name, addresses, telephone numbers, countries of origin, and if possible, fields of study of all the members of the Association. Members shall reserve the right to withhold information about themselves if they so desire. The Secretary shall also be responsible for maintaining the general administrative duties of the Association.

  7. Educational Chair
  8. The Educational chair shall be responsible for organizing the Educational Committee, which shall program activities of an educational nature, which are relevant to the Caribbean peoples. These activities shall promote a general awareness of the educational resources available to the membership of the Association.

  9. Cultural Chair
  10. The Cultural chair shall be responsible for organizing the Cultural Committee, which shall program activities of a cultural nature, which advances, upholds, and disseminates the culture of the Caribbean peoples.

  11. Social Chair
  12. The Social chair shall be responsible for organizing the Social Committee, which shall program activities of a social nature. The Social committee shall organize functions of a social nature aimed at fostering fellowship among the members of the Association, the Caribbean community, and the University.

  13. Public Relations Chair
  14. The Public Relations Chair shall be responsible for all the external correspondence of the Association, as well as maintaining information on the community.

  15. Community Networking Chair
  16. The Community Networking Chair shall be responsible for community outreach, as well as the coordination of activities for and among the Caribbean community-at-large.

  17. Collegiate Networking Chair
  18. The Collegiate Networking Chair shall be responsible for actively pursuing the development and maintenance of a network of Caribbean organizations within the college community.

  19. Political Chair
  20. The Political Chair is responsible for formulating the Political Committee which shall be responsible for keeping the Association informed on past and present political developments which are pertinent to Caribbean students on all levels.

  21. United Minorities Board Representative

The United Minorities Board (UMB) Representative is responsible for representing the needs and concerns of the Association through the regular attendance of UMB meetings, as well as actively participating in the functions of the UMB. This Representative is responsible for maintaining communication with the other organizations represented in the UMB. In addition, the Representative is also responsible for presenting the Executive Board with bi-weekly reports detailing upcoming UMB events, new policy concerns of other campus groups.

Section 4

Ad-Hoc Committees

  1. Constitutional Committee
  2. The Constitutional Committee shall be composed of members who volunteer their assistance and shall be coordinated by one of the co-chairs. This committee shall be convened annually for the review of all previous amendments. The results from this review shall be presented to the general body for subsequent ratification.

  3. Electoral Committee

This committee shall be chosen by one of the co-chairs from the general body This committee shall be responsible for officiating the procedures of the election.

Article V

Committee Requirements

Section 1

Committee Programs

  1. All committee programs, together with their budgets, are subject to the approval of the Executive Board

Section 2

Report of Committees

  1. The standing committees are required to organize at least one major program each semester. Each committee must give a monthly report to the general body.

Article VI

Procedure for the Election of Officers

Section 1


  1. Each year there shall be nominations for positions on the Executive Board during the last week of March. Elections will take place one week after the nomination of candidates. No one on the current Executive Board may be involved in the conduct of the election. All balloting will be done in secret.

Section 2

Proxy Votes

  1. A member of good standing (i.e. voting member) may vote by proxy by sending a signed and sealed envelope containing his/her ballot to the Electoral Panel.

Article VII

Voting at General Meetings

  1. Voting on any issue at general meetings is open to all voting members . Voting by proxy is permitted during general body meetings, provided that members direct their votes in a signed and sealed envelope to the chairperson of the meeting.

Article VIII

Constitutional Processes

Section 1


  1. A clause in the Constitution may be amended. A motion for an amendment may be moved by the general membership and it will then be forwarded to the Constitutional Committee. After the review of this motion by the Constitutional Committee, the motion must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the general body, provided that a quorum of twenty people has been reached .

Section 2


  1. The Constitution shall be submitted for ratification annually. Ratification will be by a two-thirds majority of the general body present.

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