The Asian and Pacific Islander American law students of New York University School of Law establish this Constitution for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) in order to ensure the representation of Asian Pacific American needs before the school administration and the legal community.
Article I. Name of the Organization
The name of this organization shall be the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA).
Article II. Purpose of the Organization
The purpose of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association shall be:
First, to address the needs and concerns of Asian Pacific American law students within the Law School community through programs including but not limited to:
Recruitment and retention of Asian Pacific American law students;
Assisting Asian Pacific American law students in achieving their academic and professional goals;
Fostering a sense of community within APALSA.
Second, to work with Asian Pacific American communities, both locally and nationally, toward the realization of common goals by:
- Providing APALSA members with access and opportunities for involvement within these communities;
- Serving as a source of information for Asian Pacific American community organizations.
Third, to educate, inform, and work with the Law School community concerning issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.
Article III. Definition of Membership
Clause 1. All New York University law students of Asian or Pacific Islander descent shall be automatically considered general members of APALSA, unless an affirmative denial is made by that individual.
Clause 2. In addition, any New York University law student who affirmatively demonstrates a genuine interest in furthering the purpose of the organization shall be considered a member of APALSA.
Clause 3. APALSA shall not exclude any individual from its general membership or its functions on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, or disability.
Clause 4. In the event there is a dispute regarding membership status, such dispute shall be resolved by a majority vote of the APALSA Executive Board.
Article IV. General Membership
Section 1. Purpose of General Membership Meetings
Clause 1. General Membership Meetings shall generally be for the purpose of sharing individual Committee reports and presenting issues for general discussion.
Clause 2. Committee representatives may elicit help on projects, as well as discussion and constructive criticism, from the general membership in attendance.
Clause 3. The general membership meetings shall address issues of major importance submitted by individual APALSA members or the Committees.
Clause 4. General announcements may also be made during the general membership meetings.
Section 2. General Membership Voting Procedures
Clause 1. Only APALSA members as defined by Article III are entitled to vote.
Clause 2. "Referendum" - In order to be considered for a vote by the general membership, a motion/referendum on any subject matter requires either 1) a request by at least 10% of all APALSA members for a general membership vote, or 2) a majority vote of the Executive Board requesting a general membership vote. Proof of a valid request by the membership shall be in the form of a written petition to the Executive Board, formatted to include the printed name, signature, phone number, and student identification number of each signing member.
Clause 3. The Executive Board will decide by a majority vote as to whether a motion/referendum will be governed by Clause 6 or Clause 7 of this Section 2.
Clause 4. In order to be considered for a vote by the general membership, notice of the issue to be decided shall be provided to the general membership for no less than three academic days prior to the vote.
Clause 5. A quorum shall be required in order for a general membership vote to determine official action by APALSA. A quorum shall be 30% of all APALSA members.
Clause 6. All official statements or positions adopted in the name of APALSA shall receive a 2/3 majority vote of the quorum for approval.
Clause 7. All other issues to be decided by the general membership under this section shall receive a majority vote of the quorum for approval.
Clause 8. The procedure for all general membership votes shall be by secret ballot through the use of student mailboxes.
Clause 9. The period for returning ballots shall be no less than five academic days.
Article V. Committees
Section 1. The purpose of the Committees shall be to serve as the programming body for the association.
Section 2. The Committees shall be responsible for the events, activities, and workshops of the association. Its powers shall include the ability to set general policy and goals within each Committees' area of concentration, and the ability to plan, create, schedule and execute events.
Section 3. All Committee decisions shall be subject to review by both the Executive Board and the General Membership.
Section 4. There shall be created the following Committees:
Clause 1. Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee shall be chaired by two co-chairs: one elected from the association's membership in the spring, and the second, a first-year students, elected from the association's membership in the fall. The responsibilities of the Admissions Committee shall include, but are not limited to, coordinating all APALSA admissions/recruitment-related events; appointing an APALSA representative to the law school admissions office; and coordinating efforts with the admissions representatives from the Black American Law Students Association, the Latino American Law Students Association, the South Asian Law Students Association, and the Native American Law Students Association.
Clause 2. Outreach Committee. The Outreach Committee shall be chaired by two co-chairs: one elected from the association's membership in the spring, and the second, a first-year student, elected from the association's membership in the fall. The responsibilities of the Outreach Committee shall include, but are not limited to, informing members of current legal and non-legal issues involving various Asian Pacific American communities; working with both legal and non-legal Asian Pacific American organizations outside of the law school to strengthen Asian Pacific American law student organizations both locally and nationally; coordinating the attendance of APALSA members at the National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Conference; and maintaining ties with Asian Pacific American organizations at all undergraduate and graduate schools of the New York University.
Clause 3. Professional/Curriculum Committee. The Professional/Curriculum Committee shall have one chair elected from the association's membership in the spring. The responsibilities of the Professional/Curriculum Committee shall include, but are not limited to, coordinating academic informational sessions each semester; organizing and maintaining the APALSA library; appointing a liaison to the law school Placement Office; informing APALSA members of job and internship opportunities; appointing a liaison to the Asian American Bar Association of New York and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association; updating APALSA alumni contact lists; and maintaining communication with the Black Latino Asian Pacific Alumni association.
Clause 4. Social/Cultural Committee, The Social/Cultural Committee shall be chaired by two co-chairs: one elected from the association's membership in the spring, and the second, a first-year student, elected from the association's membership in the fall. The responsibilities of the Social/Cultural Committee shall include, but are not limited to, monitoring the wants and needs of the membership on an individual level and as a whole; organizing activities aimed at fostering a sense of community within APALSA; building a support network for Asian Pacific American students at the law school; coordinating the mentor/mentee program for incoming students; and, increasing awareness and appreciation of Asian Pacific American culture.
Clause 5. Heritage Week Committee. The Heritage Week Committee shall be chaired by either one chair or two co-chairs elected from the association's membership in the fall. The responsibilities of the Heritage Week Committee shall include the planning of APALSA's annual Heritage Week in the spring.
Article VI. Executive Board
Section 1. The purpose of the Executive Board shall be to serve as the administrative body for the association.
Section 2. The Executive Board is responsible for the administrative details required for the running of the association. Its powers shall include the ability to create ad hoc committees and the ability to appoint official representatives to law school committees, through a majority vote of the Executive Board.
Section 3. In the event a dispute arises between the Executive Board any Committee, the Executive Board may overrule the Committee's action only by a unanimous vote of the Executive Board, subject to a referendum by the General Membership as defined in Clause 2 of Section II of Article IV.
Section 4. The Executive Board shall consist of only the following five positions, each position to be filled by only one member:
Clause 1. Chair. The responsibilities of the chair shall include, but are not limited to, overseeing the activities of the Executive Board officers; facilitating communications among the various bodies of the association; serving as a liaison between the Executive Board and the Admissions, Curriculum/Professional, and Heritage Week Committees; chairing Executive Board and general membership meetings; and serving as the official representative of the association.
Clause 2. Vice-Chair. The responsibilities of the Vice-Chair shall include, but are not limited to, providing assistance to the chair; serving as a liaison between the Executive Board and the Outreach and Social/Cultural Committees; serving as the representative of the membership on the Executive Board; maintaining the official membership list of APALSA; preparing and distributing contacts lists of all APALSA members; and assuming the duties of the Chair if the Chair is unable to fulfill those duties. In the event that the position of Chair is vacated, the Vice-Chair shall assume the position of Chair.
Clause 3. Communications/Finance Director. The responsibilities of the Communication/Finance Director shall include, but are not limited to, publishing APALSA newsletters; recording minutes at all Executive Board and General Membership Meetings; maintaining the finances of APALSA; and submitting, defending, and appealing the APALSA budget through the procedures prescribed by the Student Bar Association. The Communications/Finance Director shall reserve the power to assign various Communication duties upon the First-Year Liaison, various Finance duties upon the Third-Year Advisor, and the maintenance of the APALSA membership e-mail network upon a member of APALSA as the need arises.
Clause 4. First-Year Liaison. The responsibilities of the First-Year Liaison include, but are not limited to, serving as a liaison between the Executive Board and the first-year class; representing the concerns of the first-year class within the Executive Board; assisting the Communications/Finance Director with communication duties; and serving as co-editor with the Third-Year Advisor of APALSA's semi-annual Perspectives publication.
Clause 5. Third-Year Advisor. The responsibilities of the Third-Year Advisor include, but are not limited to, serving as a link between the third-year class and other APALSA members; advising the Executive Board as to APALSA history and law school precedents; conducting all elections; assisting the Communications/Finance Director with budgeting duties; and serving as co-editor with the First-Year Liaison of APALSA's semi-annual Perspectives publication.
Clause 1. Each Executive Board member is entitled to one vote only.
Clause 2. In order to be considered for action by the Executive Board, a motion shall be raised and seconded by another Executive Board member.
Clause 3. Voting by a show of hands shall be the method of issue resolution upon a motion of the Executive Board seconded from the floor. Three votes shall be sufficient for approval of a motion unless otherwise specified in this Constitution.
Clause 4. No action may be taken by the Executive Board unless quorum is met. A quorum shall be four members of the Executive Board.
Article VII. Election of Committee Chairs and Executive Board Members.
Section 1. Any individual who wishes to run for a Committee Chair or Executive Board position shall be a member of the association as defined by Article III at the time of nominations.
Section 2. Nominations shall take place through a secret ballot and the period of nominating candidates shall be no less than five academic days.
Section 3. All persons receiving at least one nomination shall be placed on the general election ballot pending the candidates approval.
Section 4. Voting shall be by a secret ballot through the use of student mailboxes, and the period for voting shall be no less than five academic days.
Section 5. In order to be elected as a Committee Chair or a member of the Executive Board, a quorum shall be reached for the particular position, and a candidate shall receive a majority of the votes cast for that position. In the event that no person receives a majority of the votes, a run-off election shall be held between the candidates with the largest and the second largest number of votes.
Section 6. Elections for Committee Chairs and Executive Board positions with the exception of the First-Year Liaison, and other Committee Chairs as designated above, shall be held, the week prior to Spring Break with new officers assuming their positions after the election results are complete.
Section 7. Elections for the First-Year Liaison, and other Committee Chairs not filled during the spring, shall be held, no later than the first week in October.
Section 8. Committee Chairs and Executive Board positions without candidates after the fall election may be filled through a special election or may be appointed by a majority vote of the Executive Board.
Article VIII. Recall
Section 1. All elected officers are subject to recall by the General Membership. Any elected officer who is recalled shall be removed from office.
Section 2. To bring any recall proposal to a vote of the General Membership by secret ballot, a recall proposal shall be signed by twenty-five members, formatted to included the printed name, signature, phone number, and student identification number of each signing member.
Section 3. The Third-Year Advisor, acting in capacity as a voting official, shall be responsible for confirming any recall proposal, scheduling a hearing and administering the voting procedure. An exception shall be made if the Third-Year Advisor is the elected officer named in a recall proposal. The Vice-Chaise shall assume the duties of the Third-Year Advisor in those proceedings.
Section 4. An official notification of a confirmed recall proposal shall be made to the elected officer and the General Membership no less than five academic days prior to the hearing. A hearing shall be held no less than three academic days before voting.
Section 5. Voting shall be by secret ballot through the use of student mailboxes. The period for voting shall be no less than five academic days.
Section 6. Recall will only be implemented by a two-thirds vote of quorum of the General Membership.
Article IX. Amendment Process
Section 1. Amendment proposals to this Constitution shall be submitted to the Third-Year Advisor, and shall be signed by 10% of all APALSA members, formatted to included the printed name, signature, phone number, and student identification number of each signing member.