Constitution

This version of the Constitution was originally ratified in 1985. Ratified with name change from Hispanic Law Students Association to Latino Law Students Association and changes to committee titles and functions in 1994

Preamble 

The University of Michigan Latino Law  Students Association serves to promote and to enhance the progress of individual  Latino Law Students as well as the political socio-economic progress of the Latino community.

Article I
Composition 

Section 1 
LLSA will be the official name of this organization. 

Article II
Objectives

In furtherance of the  general purpose set forth in the PREAMBLE, the students of LLSA will strive to  achieve the following specific objectives but shall not be limited to these and  may also strive to achieve such other objectives as the members of LLSA will from time to time deem appropriate. 
 

Section 1 
To increase the  number of Latino law students at the University of Michigan. 

Section  2 
To participate in the administrative admissions process. 

Section 3 
To conduct a national effort to recruit applicants to the University of Michigan Law School with emphasis on all areas with a high Latino population. 

Section 4 
To encourage the participation of Latino alumni in developing and remaining responsive to the social,  political, and academic promotion of the Latino community. 

Section 5 
To assist members in procuring academic and financial aid as may be  necessary to insure their successful completion of studies. 

Section 6 
To provide a cooperative atmosphere conducive to creativeness, innovativeness, and friendliness among its members. 

Section 7 
To promote an awareness in the law school of Latino problems and perspectives, culture and heritage. 

Section 8 
To participate in community projects designed to assist other Latinos. 

Section 9 
To promote and encourage the hiring of Latino faculty and visiting professors as well as administrators. 

Section 10 
To encourage the law school curriculum to include courses, seminars, and clinical skills  related to Latino concerns.

Section 11
To rebut and refute  any racial ethnic stereotype images of our Latino culture and heritage both  within and outside the organization. 

Section 12 
To promote the understanding and respect of the various Latino cultures. 

Section  13 
To promote and encourage unity between all Latino organizations on campus. 

Article III
Membership

Section 1 
Membership in LLSA is open to any individual interested in fulfilling  the purposes of LLSA. 

Section 2 
Members may elect to impose  annual or semester dues as a condition of membership. 

Section 3 
Membership will be extended to any present and past law students or  members of the community who identify with the goals of LLSA. 

Section  4 
Honorary membership may be extended to any individual in appreciation of their contribution to the organization by a majority vote of the membership. 

Article IV
Organizational Structure

Section  1 
The Executive Board will consist of eight positions to be elected at large by the membership. 

a) The Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary will be elected by the General Membership in the Winter term and will  serve in their positions beginning with the last meeting of the Winter semester. 
b) Chairpersons for the Standing Committees listed in Article VII will be elected by the General Membership no later than the third week of the Fall semester. 
c) If no candidates run for Chair of a Standing Committee, the Executive Board may appoint a general member, if that general member agrees, as Chair. 

Section 2 
Members of the Executive Board may not be  Chairs, but may be Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees. 

Section 3 
The Chairs of the Standing Committees will report to the Executive Board  on ongoing projects on at least a biweekly basis. The Executive Board will discuss, modify and approve plans of the Standing Committees as needed. Chairs of the Standing Committees must obtain approval of the Executive Board for any of the following: 

a) Planning of expenditures over $100.00. 
b) Setting dates for major events. 
c) Binding LLSA to a contract. 

Section 4 
The Executive Board will have authority to remove  the Chair of a Standing Committee by three-fifths vote. 

Section 5 
Any decision of the Executive Board can be overturned by a majority vote at a General Membership meeting. 

Article V
Structure of the Executive Board and Conduct of Executive Board Meetings

Section 1 
The Executive Board will meet on a regular basis and no less than twice a month. 

a) It will answer and record all correspondence directed to the organization, and refer inquiries to the appropriate committee chairpersons. 
b) Notify all Executive Board members of any special Executive Board meetings at least two days before that meeting. 
c) Any action required to be taken by the Executive Board may be taken  without a meeting, without prior notice, if a resolution of the action is signed in writing by a majority of the Board. The written resolution may be signed after the vote is taken by telephone.

Section 2
Meetings shall be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order. 

a) Specifically: 
a.1 The following format will be followed: Approval of Agenda Correction and Approval of the Minutes Announcements Treasurer�s Report Committee Reports Unfinished Business New Business Adjournment 
a.2 Executive members will be  allowed to speak on the issue at hand only in the same order with which they asked to speak. No exceptions. 
a.3 A motion to vote on the issue must be  called before any issue can actually be voted upon. If the motion fails, discussion of the issue must continue. 

Section 3 
Voting within the Executive Board will be conducted in the following manner: 

a) A quorum of the Executive Board will consist of 50% of the Executive Board  membership. 
b) Every Executive Board member will automatically have a vote at the beginning of each term and will subject this vote to forfeit if s/he is  exceedingly absent. See Article X, Section 3. 
c) There will be no absentee voting. To vote, the Executive Board member must be present at the meeting in which the vote is taken. 
d) Whenever a vote is taken, the Chairperson will  count the votes and ensure that the motion, if approved, is accurately approved. 

Article VI
Authority and Duties of the Executive Board

Section 1 
In general, policy should be made by the general membership. The Executive Board will act to enforce such policy guidelines. 

Section 2 
Any expenditures over $100.00 must be approved by  the general membership. 

Section 3 
The Chairperson will: 

a) Preside over all meetings of the organization and the Executive Board. 
b) Prepare and post agenda before every Executive Board and General  Member ship meeting. 
c) If the Chairperson forsees her/his absence, the Vice-Chair will preside over the meeting. In the event that the Vice-Chair is  unable to preside, the Chairperson will designate another board member to chair  that particular meeting. If the Chair fails to do so, the treasurer will chair that meeting. 

Section 4 
The Vice-Chair will: 

a) Preside over meetings that the Chairperson is unable to attend. 
b) Serve as  an official liaison to alumni in conjunction with the Chairperson. 
c) Write and distribute the annual �Michigan Law School Latino Alumni Association Newsletter� to alumni. 

Section 5 
The Treasurer will: 

a) Maintain an accounting of the financial affairs of the organization. 
b) Pay bills of the organization when receipts for expenditures are turned in. 
c) Submit quarterly reports to the membership during the months of November, February, and April. 
d) Disburse all monies as the organization may direct. 
e) By March 31, submit a proposed budget for the following year  to be adopted and submitted by the organization to the Law School Student Senate (LSSS), and attend the LSSS Budget Hearings. 

Section 6 
The  Secretary will: 

a) Record all meetings: date, time, members present, members absent, name of member who introduces a motion, etc. 
b) Maintain a  yearly calendar of activities. 
c) Give written notice to all members of meetings and agenda to be covered, as well as have it posted. 
d) Keep and  read the minutes of the previous meeting. 
e) Read important correspondence or give summary of it. 
) Call a meeting to order in absence of a Chairperson  until election of Chairperson pro-tem. 
g) Maintain the bulletin boards. 

Article VII 
Standing Committees

The Standing Committees will be constituted and function as set forth below. Where not otherwise specified or restricted by the provisions of this Constitution, by action of the organization, or by external authority, the composition,  functions, and manner of conducting the business of the respective Standing  Committees will be determined by the bodies themselves, or (sheer membership  composition is not definite) by the respective Committee Chairpersons. 

Section 1 
Admissions Committee 

a) Chaired by the  Admissions Liaison. 
b) Composition: At minimum, one second-year student and  one third-year student. 
c) Functions: 
c.1 Answer letters from  prospective law students inquiring about the law school, as well as letters from  incoming first-year students. 
c.2 Provide a third-year student (as required  by the Dean of Admissions) to review incoming applications from Latino students. 
c.3 Maintain records of the applicants who are accepted, placed on the waiting list, rejected. 
c.4 Contact incoming first-year students. 
c.5  Record committee expenses for proper reimbursement from the Treasurer. 
c.6  Update the LLSA information packet. 
c.7 Contact alumni and ask them to speak to prospective students. 
c.8 Select areas of the United States where  recruitment will take place for the ensuing year, with the approval of the membership. 
c.9 Allocate budget (within the limitations set by the Dean of Admissions) to determine where representatives will be sent or where possible poster/mail recruitment will occur. 

Section 2 
Faculty  Recruitment Committee 

a) Chaired by the Faculty Liaison. 
b) Composition: Open 
c) Functions: 
c.1 Attend all faculty recruitment interviews and report results to the general membership. 
c.2 Identify scholars and practitioners to nominate for faculty and administrative positions at the University of Michigan Law School on behalf of the organization, with approval of the general membership. 

Section 3 
Banquet &  Symposium Committee 

a) Chaired by one or two persons identified as Banquet & Symposium Chair (Co-Chairs). 
b) Composition: Open 
c) Functions: 
c.1 Plan and prepare all activities pertaining to the annual Juan  Tienda Scholarship Banquet, including serving as a liaison to invited speakers  for this event. 
c.2 Plan and prepare any symposia relating to this event, or as a stand-alone event. 
c.3 Prepare a proposal, at the beginning of the Fall semester, soliciting funds from University offices for LLSA speaker events. 
c.4 Attempt to involve faculty, whenever possible, in the LLSA speaker events as a means of communicating important current Latino concerns. 

Section 4 
Social Activities Committee 

a) Co-Chaired  by the General Body Representative and the First-Year Representative (selected by general membership vote no later than the third week of the Fall semester). 
b) Composition: Open 
c) Functions: 
c.1 Organize the annual Fiesta Dance with other Latino organizations on campus, as well as an annual Law School Dance co-sponsored by the Black Law Students Alliance. 
c.2 Stage events to  raise money for social and informal gatherings of organization members and the Law School community. 
c.3 Coordinate the Hermano/Hermana Program and other tutorial and special interest events particularly aimed at the entering class. 
c.4 Sponsor films and speakers that will increase awareness of Latino  issues. 

Article VII
Meetings

Section 1
The entire membership will meet on a regular basis, but not less than once per month. The regular scheduled meeting will be held during the first week of  the month on the agreed day and time. 

Section 2 
A duly constituted meeting requires only three days posted notice. 

Article  IX
Voting and Elections

Section 1 
To qualify to vote in the General Elections, a member, as defined in Article III, must have attended at least one general membership meeting prior to the vote. 

a) Only a member qualified to vote may run for elective positions. 
b) The Secretary will maintain a list of all members qualified to vote. 

Section 2 
Elections for membership to the Executive Board are  to be held two weeks after Winter Break, with nominations allowed until one day prior to the scheduled vote. 

a) A First-Year Representative will be elected during the second week of the Fall semester, with nominations remaining open until the day prior to the elections, unless the General Membership  provides otherwise. 

Section 3 
A General Elections Committee  consisting of non-Executive Board members will be formed at the first meeting in February. This committee will: 

a) Publicize the election date. 
b) Choose the polling place and the times to vote. 
c) Decide on balloting procedures, including appropriate provisions for absentee voting. 
d) Regulate ballot preparation, security and counting. 
e) Regulate campaign conduct. 
f) Hear and decide election protests and appeals. 
g) Certify election results. 
h) Post winners the day following the election. 
i) Inform any candidate, so desiring, of the tally of the vote. 

Article  X 
Resignation, Removal and Excessive Absences of Executive Board Members

Section 1 
Members and officials wishing to resign  from elective or appointive positions must submit a signed letter of resignation to the Chairperson or Secretary stating the reason therein. 

Section 2 
The members of the organization may remove from office any elected official upon a two-thirds vote of the membership. 

Section 3 
Three unexcused absences anytime during the academic year from a scheduled Executive Board meeting will operate as the resignation of that Executive Board member. 

a) Three unexcused absences from either regular  or special Board meetings at any time during the academic year by an Executive  Board member will operate as a resignation. 
b) An unexcused absence is defined as a failure to notify the Executive Board of the Executive Board member's absence. Notification occurs when the Board member posts her/his excuse  in the office. 

Article XI
Amendments 

Section 1
This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds vote  of the general membership. 

Section 2 
No amendment may be adopted  without the entire membership receiving a written copy one week prior to the meeting at which the amendment will be voted upon.

Article XII
Ratification

Section 1 
This Constitution will be  ratified article by article by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership. 

Section 2 
The provisions of the Constitution will be effective immediately upon ratification.