Constitution

We, the Latina/o students of the UCLA School of Law, recognize the need to assemble as one united organization dedicated to promoting the integrity, recognition, leadership and advancement of our people. In the pursuit of these goals, we hereby set forth the following Constitution as a proclamation of our commitment

Article I

SECTION 1 - NAME: The name of our organization is La Raza Law Students Association of UCLA, hereinafter referred to as La Raza. We are part of the School of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

SECTION 2 - GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The goals and objectives of La Raza are declared to be the following:

  1. to actively recruit Latina/o applicants to the UCLA School of Law in order to continually strengthen the voice and presence of Latina/os in the law school and legal profession,
  2. to provide academic, social, and moral support for Latina/o law students to ensure the graduation of La Raza law students,
  3. to educate Raza students about the legal areas that need to be served and to reinforce our responsibilities in assisting the larger community in areas such as womenís rights, immigration, education, health, housing, employment, language rights, race relations, and other vital areas,
  4. to advocate for the recruitment and retention of Latina/o faculty,
  5. to encourage interaction between all student organizations of color and other allied groups on campus and at the law school(s) so that we may come to recognize and understand the concerns of our peers and their respective communities,
  6. to provide an arena for Raza women to discuss issues affecting them as women of color facing multiple forms of oppression,
  7. and to advocate for the admission of Latina/o students who demonstrate a commitment to the Raza community through their work and personal histories.

Article II

Membership

SECTION 1 - ELIGIBILITY: Membership shall be open to all students of UCLA School of Law who subscribe to the goals and objectives of La Raza and who will work towards achieving those goals and objectives.

SECTION 2 - MEMBER DEFINED: A member shall be a person who has paid her/his dues

SECTION 3 - DUES: Membership dues shall be $20 per member per school year or as unanimously approved by the Board.

  1. Dues shall be collected by the Treasurer at the start of each semester, collection deadline per semester to be established by the Board.
  2. Installment payments plans may be arranged with the Treasurer.
  3. Due waivers will be considered and approved by the Board.
  4. The Treasurer shall maintain a membership list based on dues collected.
  5. Non-dues paying students may give La Raza authorization to place a red dot on student lounge mailboxes in order to receive Raza information.

Article III

Officers

SECTION 1 - OFFICERS: The officers of this organization shall be Co-Chairpersons (2), External Co-Chairpersons (2), Academic Support Chairpersons (2), Secretary, Treasurer, Recruitment Co-Chairpersons (2), Admissions Chairperson, Social Chairperson, Inter-Org Chairperson, Community Service Chairperson, First Year (1L) Representatives (2), and Third Year (3L) Representatives (2).

SECTION 2. CO-CHAIRPERSONS: Shall,

  1. Preside at La Raza Board Meetings
  2. Preside at La Raza General Membership meetings
  3. Execute all orders and resolutions of La Raza
  4. Represent La Raza in all matters regarding its relationship with UCLA School of Law and other matters not delegated to other officers or members of La Raza
  5. Call Special Meetings when required
  6. Ensure the La Raza Womenís Coalition operates as a support group to Raza women law students
  7. Appoint special committee groups as needed to research, organize, implement, or otherwise facilitate the resolution of specific issues of concern which may arise
  8. Co-sign checks with Treasurer
  9. Organize a Board member retreat to take place within the first month of Fall semester
  10. In the early Fall semester, develop an annual budget with Treasurer for yearly events
  11. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 3- EXTERNAL CO-CHAIRPERSONS: Shall,

  1. In the absence or disability of the Co-Chairpersons, perform all the duties of the Co-Chairperson. In so acting, she/he shall have all powers of, and be subject to, the restrictions of the Co-Chairpersons
  2. Establish and maintain relationships with other schools, organizations, and associations outside of the UCLA School of Law
  3. Work in conjunction with the UCLA School of Law Alumni Office and La Raza Alumni Association to update and maintain the addresses of Latina/o alumni
  4. Organize the La Raza Law Students Associationís Alumni Dinner in the Spring semester, including development of budget
  5. Request donations from alumni for scholarship, Raza graduation, and the Alumni Reception in conjunction with the Treasurer
  6. As part of the Alumni Dinner, two alumni shall be honored, preferably a male and female, upon the approval of the majority of the board
  7. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 4 - ACADEMIC SUPPORT CO-CHAIRPERSONS: Shall,

  1. Be responsible for developing and maintaining adequate support services to help La Raza Members maintain good academic standing
  2. Shall attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 5 - SECRETARY: Shall,

  1. Keep minutes of all regular meetings to archive and approve at subsequent meetings
  2. Notify all members of General Meetings in writing
  3. Keep a register containing the names, addresses, and telephone number of all members in order to create a La Raza directory
  4. Receive correspondence and delegate mail according to Board member responsibilities
  5. Record Board Member attendance at each Board and General Meeting
  6. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 6 - TREASURER: Shall,

  1. Collect membership dues and maintain a list of members who have paid dues
  2. Keep accounts and accounting of La Raza and report the financial status at each board meeting
  3. Have signatory powers, along with the Co-Chairpersons, over the La Raza bank accounts
  4. Ensure a minimum of three fundraising events take place per year
  5. Request donations from alumni for scholarship, Raza graduation, and the Alumni Reception in conjunction with the External Co-Chair.
  6. Ensure that La Raza has planned enough fundraising events to fund the La Raza Law Students Association Scholarship
  7. Maintain and update a reference list of all available sources of funding from the law school administration, the law school SBA, and UCLA campus-wide programs, the Graduate Student Programming Office, and any other resources.
  8. In early Fall semester, develop annual budget with Co-Chairs for yearly events
  9. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 7 - RECRUITMENT CO-CHAIRPERSONS: Shall,

  1. Organize representatives of La Raza to appear at pre-law conferences to actively encourage and recruit Chicana/o, Latina/o applicants to the law school
  2. Organize at least one (1) Fall semester event, namely a People of Color Law School Admissions Workshop which covers the topics of taking the L.S.A.T., admissions, preparation of statements of purpose and resumes. Collaborate with Treasurer to develop budget for the event
  3. Coordinate campus visits for interested Chicana/o & Latina/o applicants and any other interested groups or individuals who contact La Raza in conjunction with Admissions Chairperson
  4. Create, update, and maintain a list of Chicana/o & Latina/o undergraduate pre-law societies for purposes of facilitating communications and distribution of information to Chicana/o & Latina/o students interested in attending law school
  5. Within the first five meetings of the Fall semester, present and report to the Board and General Membership the outlined duties for Recruitment including a plan for the academic year
  6. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 8 - ADMISSIONS CHAIRPERSON: Shall,

  1. Be responsible for advocating on behalf of ethnic minority applicants in the admissions process by applying to the SBA Faculty Admissions Committee
  2. Upon notification of accepted Chicana/o & Latina/o applicants to UCLA School of Law, contact the admits by correspondence or telephone or via e-mail to encourage their acceptance of UCLA School of Lawís admissionsí offer
  3. Coordinate campus visits for interested Chicana/o & Latina/o applicants and any other interested groups or individuals who contact La Raza in conjunction with Recruitment Chairperson
  4. Assist in planning at least one (1) Spring time event, namely a Admit Weekend to recruit admitted Chicana/o & Latina/os to UCLAW
  5. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 9 - ORGANIZING CHAIRPERSON: Shall,

  1. Organize events and maintain communications with other ethnic and allied organizations in the law school
  2. Represent La Raza in issues pertaining to systems of oppression in efforts to challenge the subordination of La Raza and other ethnic and allied communities
  3. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 10 - COMMUNITY SERVICE CHAIRPERSON: Shall,

  1. Facilitate and/or organize La Razaís participation in at least one activity per year that is to be discussed and approved by the Board
  2. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 11 - SOCIAL CHAIRPERSON: Shall,

  1. Maintain constant communication with the first year class to ensure a healthy and supportive social climate
  2. Schedule La Raza sponsored social activities in order to provide a social balance in an academic setting
  3. Organize a ìWelcomeî event within the Fall semester and an End of the Year event in the Spring semester
  4. Facilitate Mentor/Mentee Program including introductory meeting and a minimum of one (1) subsequent activity
  5. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 12 - FIRST YEAR (1L) CO-REPRESENTATIVES: Shall,

  1. Act as official representatives of the first year class by voicing its concerns before the organization and by acting as liaison to the La Raza Board
  2. Act as assistant to the Academic Support Chairperson in conducting supportive services for the first year students
  3. Attend every board and general meeting.

SECTION 13 - THIRD YEAR (3L) CO-REPRESENTATIVES: Shall,

  1. Act as official representatives of the third year class by voicing its concerns before the organization and by acting as liaison to the La Raza Board
  2. Organize La Raza Graduation including collaborating with Treasurer to develop budget for the event
  3. Attend every board and general meeting.

Article V

Election of Officers

SECTION 1 - TIMING: Elections shall be held every year during the Spring semester, no later than the twelfth week, to allow time for a transitional board meeting.

Elections for the First Year (1L) Representative shall be held during the Fall semester, no later than the fourth week.

SECTION 2 - PROCEDURE: Nominations will be made from the floor, and each nominated candidate shall, prior to voting, voice whether they will accept or decline the nomination. At such time as nominations for specific positions are closed, such nominees shall give a brief speech stating their qualifications, and/or reasons for aspiring to a particular office, she/he seeks. The election shall be by secret ballot and shall require a majority vote. Run-off elections will be conducted as necessary.

  1. Members of the upcoming third year class shall elect the Third Year (3L) Representatives.
  2. Members of the First Year class shall elect the First Year (1L) Representatives.

SECTION 3 - RESTRICTIONS: No officer shall succeed her/himself, except in exceptional circumstances where vacant positions cannot be filled by any other member.

SECTION 4. ELIGIBILITY: No member shall be eligible to vote or hold office unless said member has paid her/his dues.

Articles VI

Meetings

SECTION 1 - GENERAL BODY MEETINGS: The General Body shall meet at least five (5) times per semester and at least as often as once every three weeks.

SECTION 2 - BOARD MEETINGS: The Board shall meet at least 5 times per semester and at least as often as once every three weeks, to precede each General Meeting.

SECTION 3 - SPECIAL MEETINGS: 

  1. The Co-Chairpersons may call a Special Meeting if so desired. The Secretary shall notify all members in writing
  2. Such meetings may also be called by vote of one-fourth of the membership upon written request to the Secretary, whose duty it shall be to call the Special Meeting

Article VII

Removal of Officers and Resignations

SECTION 1 - REMOVAL: An Officer of La Raza may be removed from office by resolution of two-thirds of the membership or by unanimous vote of the Board for the following reasons:

  1. Absence from multiple board/general meetings, unless there are extenuating circumstances and a Co-Chairperson is given prior notice. It is the officerís responsibility to inform her/himself of what occurred at the meeting,
  2. Misfeasance of funds, or
  3. Violation of any provision of the Constitution.

SECTION 2 - NOTICE OF ACTION:

  1. Prior to any action as set forth in Section 1, of this Article, at least fifteen days written notice must be sent to the member involved stating the reasons for the anticipated action before any action of removal shall commence.
  2. No notice of disciplinary action is required pursuant to Section 1(a)

SECTION 2 - RESIGNATIONS: An officer of La Raza who wishes to resign from office shall,

  1. Provide the entire board with written notice
  2. Provide transitional information for replacing officer
  3. Hold subsequent election to fill vacant officer position in accordance with Article V within 21 days.

Article VIII

Committees

SECTION 1 - ESTABLISHMENT: Committees may be formed and duties established by the Co-Chairpersons, or the La Raza General Body, if so requested of the Co-Chairpersons in writing.

SECTION 2 - POWER TO APPOINT SUB-COMMITTEES: The power to appoint Sub-Committees shall be vested in the committee of which the Sub-Committee is a part. A Sub-Committee may be created by the relevant Committee by a majority vote.

Article IX

Miscellaneous

SECTION 1 - INSPECTION OF THE CONSTITUTION: La Raza shall keep in its office the original copy of the Constitution as well as the Constitution as Amended or altered to date. These shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times during office hours.

SECTION 2 - AMENDMENTS: A new Constitution may be adopted or this Constitution may be amended or repealed by resolution of four-fifths of the membership.

SECTION 3 - NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT: (required as of August 10, 1994). The La Raza Law Students Association of UCLA, in accordance with applicable Federal and Sate law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, medical condition (cancer related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam era Veteran or special disabled Veteran. The La Raza Law Students Association of UCLA also prohibits sexual harassment. This non-discrimination policy covers organization membership, access to organization programs and activities, and the general treatment of members in the organization.

Last Amended on: March 12, 2007
Amendments Effective on: July 1, 2007

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