Constitution

PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to cultivate and promote a general knowledge of the Black culture and society on the University of South Alabama campus; to work towards goals of mutual benefit to all students; to aid the Black student in their transitional stages from the community, high school, or another institution into the U.S.A. community; to bring about unity among Black students, Black faculty and the U.S.A. administrators on the University of South Alabama campus; to enhance a better relationship among all students, faculty and the U.S.A. administration; and to serve as the spokesman of the Black students of the University of South Alabama in all issues.

Revised Fall 98

Article I. Dues

Section 1. Dues will be five dollars per member each academic year.

Section 2. There will be no honorary members.

Article II. Election of Officers

Section 1. Officers shall be elected by simple majority vote of the membership.

Section 2. Officers shall be installed at the annual Black Student Organizations banquet.

Section 3. Each officer shall hold his/her office no less than one year and no more than two or shall at any time resign or be recalled by two-thirds vote of the membership.

Section 4. Officers are subject to dismissal if there are more than three absences per semester or six per year.

Section 5. Officers must attend the annual AASA retreat.

Article III. Duties of Officers
    1. President 
      1. Chief executive power shall be vested in the President.
      2. Shall serve as Ambassador of the AASA in all affairs.
      3. Shall have the power of approval of all executive action unless otherwise stipulated in this Constitution.
      4. Shall appoint any executive appointees and create an executive position he deems necessary for the execution of his duties, such actions are subject to approval by Senate.
      5. Shall sign, validate, or approve all correspondence concerning AASA.
      6. Shall have the power to remove from office, unless stipulated otherwise in this constitution, any person filling a position created by this constitution or anyone whom he initially appoints to a position.
      7. Shall appoint a person to fill any vacancy which occurs between elections. Such appointments are with the approval of Senate.
      8. Shall, when he deems it necessary, recommend the removal from office of any member voted in or appointed to any position with the approval of Senate.
      9. Shall nominate a Chief Justice and 4 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. Nominations must be approved by Senate.
      10. Shall preside over the Executive Board and general assembly meetings.
      11. Shall uphold the AASA Constitution as well as laws that apply within the Lowdown.
      12. Shall review and make recommendations for expenditures from the AASA budget..
      13. Shall co-sign all checks.
      14. Shall appoint two first semester freshmen senators to Senate at the end of the fall semester.
      15. Shall delegate to the Executive Board and to his executive appointees the authority to fulfill his constitutional duties when and as he deems necessary. The responsibility for fulfilling these duties remains with the President.
      16. Shall have the power to pass or veto any legislation.
      17. Shall return all legislation to the AASA Senate within seven days after receiving it, either approved, disapproved or without comment. Said legislation shall become effective upon return to Senate whether it is approved or whether it is returned without comment.
      18. Shall be required to keep at least ten office hours per week between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. Office hours will be posted in the AASA office at the beginning of each semester.
      19. Shall give a State of the Association address at the first general assembly meeting of each semester.
      20. Shall be responsible for securing an advisor.
      21. Shall have the power to call special sessions of the AASA Senate, with a 24hr notification for Senators.
      22. Shall fulfill such other duties as may be set forth by the Student Government Constitution and statues.
    2. Vice-President
      1. Shall uphold the duties of the President in his absence.
      2. Shall serve as President of Senate.
      3. Shall supervise all elections.
      4. Shall be chairperson of the membership committee.
      5. Shall schedule officer office hours.
    3. Treasurer
      1. Shall be responsible for coordinating all financial matters for the AASA.
      2. Shall record all expenditures, credits, receipts, and disbursements of the AASA.
      3. Shall be responsible for helping chairpersons propose their budget requests which must be approved by the President and presented to Senate for approval by two weeks before the last day of each semester.
      4. Shall give a report of financial transactions at each general assembly meeting.
      5. Shall issue a monthly written report to the President, Vice- President and Recording Secretary.
      6. Shall be present at all AASA activities involving money, unless other arrangements are discussed with the President.
      7. Shall co-sign all checks.
    4. Recording Secretary
      1. Shall record minutes of all proceedings.
      2. Shall post a legible copy of the minutes of all proceedings in the AASA office at least three days after the meeting.
      3. Shall provide copies of the minutes of all proceedings at each executive officer meeting.
      4. Shall file and return all records of said meetings in the AASA office.
      5. Shall keep a separate record of all financial matters presented by the Treasurer.
    5. Corresponding Secretary
      1. Shall perform the duties of the Recording Secretary in his absence.
      2. Shall when deemed necessary by President or Vice-President send all correspondence of AASA activities to party intended.
      3. Shall keep accurate up-to-date files of correspondence.
      4. Shall answer all official letters.
    6. Attorney General
      1. Shall uphold the laws of this Constitution.
      2. Shall act as prosecutor for infractions of the Constitution.
      3. Shall be knowledgeable of the University by-laws as outlined in the U.S.A. Student Handbook.
      4. Shall serve in an advisory capacity for all complaints.
    7. Program Director
      1. Shall coordinate all programming activities.
      2. Shall be responsible for the development, philosophy, and direction of the AASA programs, special events, and social activities.
      3. Shall be chairperson for the Publicity Committee.
      4. Shall oversee most activities performed by any AASA committee and shall report to the executive board the status of all committee once per month.
      5. Shall directly advise any committee chairperson on any ideas or problems that may occur.
    8. Miss AASA
      1. Shall be chairperson of the Service Committee
      2. Shall lead all service projects of AASA in the community or within the University.
      3. Shall be the AASA's representative in all Homecoming events and Public relation affairs.
      4. Shall serve as Dean of Women.
      5. Shall serve as official hostess at AASA events.
    9. Advisor
      1. Shall be a University Employee.
      2. Co-sign checks when necessary.
      3. Shall be present at all AASA events.
      4. Shall advise AASA of university policies and procedures.
    10. Mr. AASA
      1. Shall be co-chairperson of the community service committee.
      2. Shall lead all service projects of AASA in the community or within the University.
      3. Shall serve as Dean of Men.
      4. Shall be AASA's representative in all Homecoming Events and public relations affairs.
      5. Shall serve as official host at AASA events.
    11. Alumni Affairs Director
      1. Shall coordinate all alumni activities such as fundraising, social, educational, and cultural.
      2. Shall serve as liaison to alumni members.
      3. Shall send quarterly newsletter to alumni members.
      4. Shall organize any BSU reunion or anniversary.
      5. Shall recruit graduating members to alumni members.
      6. Shall compile and keep an up-to-date roster of alumni members with contact information.
      7. Shall serve as chairperson of alumni affairs committee.

Article IV. Senate

Section 1. Shall consist of two sophomores, two juniors, two seniors and two freshmen to be appointed during fall semester or before spring semester.

Section 2. Quorum shall be a simple majority of the voting members of the Senate.

Section 3. Shall represent members in all legislative matters.

Section 4. May override the President by a two-thirds majority vote on any legislative matter. Said legislation shall then become effective.

Section 5. Shall nominate and elect a President Pro-Tem from its members.

Section 5.1 Duties of President Pro-Tem

      1. Shall serve as presiding officer in absence of the President of the senate.

Section 6. The President of the senate shall submit all passed legislation to the President within forty-eight hours after passage.

Section 7. Shall pass legislation of two types: statues and resolutions.

Section 7.1 Statues

      1. Shall be read at the meeting at which they were introduced. Discussion by members may be entertained but the final legislative action on proposed statue and resolutions must be approved by Senate.
      2. Shall be passed by simple majority of Senate.
      3. Upon becoming effective, shall be binding upon executive officers, Senate and members.

Section 7.2 Resolutions

May be adopted at the meetings at which it is introduced by a simple majority.

Article V. Judiciary

Supreme Court

Section 1. Shall exist as the final avenue of appeal.

Section 2. Shall have the power to declare null and void any law passed by the Senate which is found to be in violation of this Constitution.

Section 3. Shall hear and resolve disputes between all members..

Section 3.1 Order of Dispute

      1. Formal complaint must be filed with Chief Justice.
      2. Supreme Court will meet to decide if a case shall go to trial by a simple majority.
      3. If a case is to be tried, trial date must set within ten working days.
      4. Counsel is optional.
    1. Chief Justice
      1. Shall be the presiding officer of the Supreme Court.
      2. Shall be appointed by the President and approved by Senate
      3. Shall preside over all hearings concerning the interpretation of the Constitution and any disciplinary measures.
      4. Shall insure that accurate records are kept of all Supreme Court hearings, cases, and decisions.
      5. Shall abstain from voting in all cases before the Supreme Court except in case of a tie.
      6. May voluntarily choose not to hear a case in which he feels biased.
    2. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
      1. The Supreme Court shall consist of four associate justices.
      2. Justices shall be nominated by the President and approved by Senate.
      3. Shall hear all cases involving question of interpretation of the Constitution and By-Laws.
         
Article VI. Elections

Section 1. The election of officers shall be held on the first Wednesday of April for the purpose of electing the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Attorney General, Senators, Miss AASA, Program Director, Mr. AASA, and Alumni Affairs Director..

Section 2. The AASA must post election date at least thirty (30) days prior to the election.

Section 3. All official candidates must be registered at least three (3) weeks prior to the election.

Section 3.1 Requirements

      1. All candidates running for President or Vice-President must have a cumulative 2.5 grade point average.
      2. All candidates for other positions must have a cumulative 2.0 grade point average.
      3. Must have served as a AASA member at least one semester in advance of elections.
      4. Must be an enrolled student at the University of South Alabama.

Section 4. All elections shall be supervised by the Vice-President.

Duties shall be:

      1. a. Responsible for getting booths.
      2. To appoint poll watchers.
      3. To establish and maintain a list of the available positions.

Section 4.1. If the Vice-President decides to become a candidate, the senate will appoint an election chairperson.

Section 5. Campaigning will begin two (2) weeks prior to the election and extend up through the day of the election. Election day campaigning shall be restricted in the place of voting.

Section 6. To be eligible to vote, a student must have a filed application and paid membership fee at least one semester prior to the election.

Section 7. Elections shall be by a simple majority vote of membership.

Section 8. Any protest of AASA election must be submitted to the Vice-President (Election Chair), and Chief Justice within one week after the day of the election.

Section 9. The AASA itself cannot endorse any candidate for a AASA office.

Section 10. Candidates seeking AASA office cannot solicit endorsements from the faculty, staff, or administration of the University of South Alabama.

Section 11. In addition to these specified guidelines all candidates must follow the university guidelines.

Article VII. Amendments

Section 1. An amendment to this constitution must be presented to the membership by the Senate.

Section 2. There shall be a public announcement of the meeting at which an amendment change will be voted upon.

Section 3. Discussion may be entertained at any time prior to the amendment being voted on.

Section 4. The amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of Senate.

Article VIII. Disciplinary Procedures

Section 1. Any officer of the AASA may be subject to disciplinary procedures. He may be charged by any officer of the AASA (except members of the court) or by any petition signed by thirty percent of the membership.

Section 1.1 A copy of the complaint must be submitted in writing along with a summary of the evidence supporting the charge to both the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

Section 1.2 The Chief Justice must then notify the official of the charges against him, and offer him and his accuser an opportunity to appear before the Supreme Court in a closed preliminary hearing. The official must be given written notice at least ten class days prior to the court hearing.

Section 1.3 Upon indictment the Chief Justice will set a court date within fourteen days to formally hear the charge.

Section 1.4 A simple majority vote of the Supreme Court shall be necessary to declare the official guilty of charges, unless otherwise stipulated by this constitution.

Section 1.5 If convicted, the official shall be removed from office pending senatorial action.

Section 2. Disciplinary procedures will be initiated when officer is charged with improper conduct, misuse of funds, failure to fulfill his duties or violation of this Constitution.

Article IX. Impeachment

Section 1. Any officer convicted of violation by the Supreme court shall be brought before the Senate for impeachment from office.

Section 2. Impeachment shall be by a two-thirds vote of Senate.

Article X. Committees

Section 1. Committees are directly governed by the Executive Branch of this constitution.

Section 2.

    1. All committee chair persons are to be appointed by the President.
    2. Any committee chairperson must be an AASA member with the exception of the AASA choir director.

Section 3. There are seven permanent committees that will always function within the AASA:

    1. Black Awareness Committee

      This committee will be responsible for all activities and programs of an educational nature. Besides being responsible for Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, and Black History Month, this committee will plan all speakers, and awareness programs. The chairperson will be appointed by the President.

    2. Publicity Committee

      This committee will function as a helping hand to all other committees in the area of publicizing events. This committee will always be chaired by the Program Director.

    3. Membership Committee

      This committee will serve as the recruiting device for the AASA. It will also create different programs and ideas to increase membership. This committee will be chaired by the Vice-President.

    4. Service Committee

      This committee is responsible for service work in the community and University for the AASA. It is also responsible for preparing Mr. and Miss AASA during U.S.A. Homecoming, or any other pageants where AASA is represented. This committee will be chaired by Mr. and Miss AASA.

    5. AASA Choir

      This committee will be the singing voices of the AASA. It will be responsible for, but not limited to performing as a choir as well as planning musical entertainment for the University. The choir director will be appointed by President.

    6. AASA Dance Team

      This committee will be the choreographed performers of the AASA. It will be responsible for but not limited to performing as a dance team as well as planning choreographed entertainment for the university. The coordinator of the
      dance team will be approved by the President.

    7. Alumni Affairs Committee

      This committee will be responsible for creating and planning different cultural, social, educational, and fundraising events to include alumni members. This committee will be chaired by the Alumni Affairs Director.

Section 4. Committee chairpersons will meet with the Program Director once a month with a report of the status of each committee.

Section 5. Duties of Committee Chairpersons

    1. Projecting a committee budget prior to each semester of activities. This budget must be submitted to President for approval. Then it will approved by Senate.
    2. Delegating responsibilities to members of their committee.
    3. Serving as the spokesperson for his/her committee.
    4. Calling committee meetings as needed.
    5. Promoting positive attitudes within his/her committee.

BRANCHES OF AASA

I. The Executive Branch
The executive branch of the African-American Student Association consists of the president, vice president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, attorney general, program director, Mr. and Miss AASA, and the Alumni Affairs Director. Officer's responsibilities are listed in the AASA constitution.

II. The Legislative Branch
The legislative branch of the AASA is composed of the AASA Senate. The senate consists of eight persons, six of whom are elected as senators in the spring semester. Two seats are reserved for freshmen appointing fall semester each academic year. The Senators vote on the allocation of funds, and introduce new legislation (laws and bylaws) to be voted on.

III. The Judicial Branch
The Judicial branch of the AASA is composed of a supreme court. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice (nominated by the President and approved by the Senate), and four associate justices (nominated by the attorney general and approved by the Senate). The Supreme Court hears all cases involving the interpretation of the AASA constitution and by-laws.