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Constitution

Mission Statement

The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) at the University of California, Berkeley recognizes the importance of understanding emerging narratives about the Vietnamese American experience and offers a means for the Berkeley community to explore this culture. By promoting cooperation and bonding, this organization fosters a greater understanding of issues facing the Vietnamese and Vietnamese American community. Ultimately, Cal VSA strives to empower its members to become leaders of their communities and preserve the history and heritage of the Vietnamese culture for future generations.

We, the students of the University of California, Berkeley and members of the Vietnamese Student Association present the following Constitution consisting of nine articles, which will be the foundation for our organization.

ARTICLE I: Name, Principles, and Purposes
ARTICLE II: The Cabinet
ARTICLE III: Internship
ARTICLE IV: Special Committees
ARTICLE V: Membership in Cal VSA
ARTICLE VI: Nomination and Election
ARTICLE VII: Amendment & Succession Procedures
ARTICLE VIII: The Properties of Cal VSA
ARTICLE IX: Dissolution of Cal VSA

ARTICLE I: Name, Principles, and Purposes

Section 1: Name

  • The official name of the Vietnamese Student Association at the University of California – Berkeley is the Cal Vietnamese Student Association (Cal VSA).

Section 2: Principles

  • As a Student Initiated Service Group (SISG) under the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), Cal VSA is a non-profit as well as a democratic group.

Section 3: Purposes

  • Academic: to encourage and assist members of Cal VSA and the Vietnamese community in intellectual development
  • Community: to enhance and promote the welfare of the Vietnamese population
  • Cultural: to preserve and cultivate the Vietnamese heritage and traditions

ARTICLE II: The Cabinet

Section 1: The Cabinet Officer Positions

Each Cal VSA official member can only hold one Cabinet Office position per term.
The Cabinet shall be composed of the following officer positions:

  • The President
  • The Internal Affairs Vice President
  • The External Affairs Vice President
  • The Academic Chairperson
  • The Culture Chairperson(s)
  • The Finance Chairperson
  • The Historian(s)
  • The Intercollegiate Council Representative(s)
  • The Outreach Chairperson(s)
  • The Publicity Chairperson(s)
  • The Retention Chairperson(s)
  • The Secretary

Section 2: Powers and Duties

  1. The President
    • Acts as the official spokesperson of Cal VSA
    • Acts as the chairperson at all meetings of the cabinet
    • Supervises all Cal VSA activities
    • Oversees the spending of Cal VSA money
    • Oversees the organization of the election at the end of his/her term
    • Shall have the power to appoint a cabinet member to participate in the activities of other organizations and associations as a representative of Cal VSA
    • Shall have the power to veto any resolutions of the cabinet. However, this veto can be overridden by three-fourths vote of the officers of the cabinet excluding the president
    • Organizes and oversees relations with Cal VSA alumni
    • Fosters leadership development within cabinet
    • Communicates to members concerning Cal VSA related activities
  2. The Internal Affairs Vice President
    • Represents the president in deciding matters within Cal VSA in the case the president is absent or unable to fulfill his/her duties
    • Assists the president in supervising all Cal VSA activities for members
    • Supervises all activities within Cal VSA cabinet
    • Implements the evaluation process of cabinet performance
    • Mediates conflict between cabinet members
    • Oversees the internship program of Cal VSA
  3. The External Affairs Vice President
    • Acts as a liaison between Cal VSA and other organizations, associations, and the community
    • Represents Cal VSA within the ASUC
    • Records all approved amendments to the constitution and submits to the ASUC
    • Seeks to connect Cal VSA to the greater Southeast Asian community at Berkeley
    • Assists the president in supervising all Cal VSA activities
    • Promotes awareness about issues revolving around the Vietnamese community
    • Assists the president in maintaining alumni affairs
  4. The Academic Chairperson
    • Organizes activities relating to the professional, academic, and cultural development of Cal VSA and its members
    • Strives to develop more community-oriented and informed leaders in our membership base
    • Reinforces academic development as a goal within Cal VSA
  5. The Culture Chairperson(s)
    • Organizes the annual Culture Show
    • Cultivates a sense of Vietnamese and Vietnamese American culture within the community
    • Reinforces cultural development and awareness as a goal within Cal VSA, specifically for general events
  6. The Finance Chairperson
    • In charge of bookkeeping and fundraising for Cal VSA
    • The president and the finance chairperson must approve all expenditures. Both the finance chairperson and the president must approve any expenditures exceeding $100 or 10% of the available funds of Cal VSA
    • Must be an ASUC agent and be responsible for the mid-semester report, and spring budgeting
    • Presents financial statements to cabinet members who request them under approval of the president and finance chairperson; the decision of the president and the finance chairperson can be overruled by a two-thirds majority vote
    • Inventories financial properties that include membership fees and event dues.
  7. The Historian(s)
    • Documents the activities of Cal VSA
    • Keeps the records of Cal VSA, which includes documents, photographs, computer files, etc.
    • Maintains photo archive on SmugMug
    • Archives, maintains, and distributes publications of Cal VSA
  8. Intercollegiate Council (ICC) Representative(s)
    • Acts as a liaison between Cal VSA and NorCal UVSA
    • Pursues active relations between Cal VSA and United Vietnamese Student Association of Northern California (UVSA), Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (uNAVSA), and other collegiate-level VSAs
  9. The Publicity Chairperson(s)
    • Designs, prints, and oversees the distribution of announcements concerning Cal VSA and/or its activities
    • Organizes the marketing of all Cal VSA activities
    • Maintains and updates the official website of Cal VSA
    • Maintains Cal VSA website subdomains in conjunction with designated special committee web administrators
    • Maintains and updates online accounts pertaining to Cal VSA
    • Facilitates the social network & social media presence of Cal VSA online
  10. The Retention Chairperson(s)
    • Supervises activities relating to the social system, including, if any, the family system, for Cal VSA official members
    • Oversees the retention of Cal VSA official members
    • Reinforces recruitment and retention strategies within the cabinet
  11. Outreach Chairperson(s)
    • Organizes the VISION program
    • Contact VSA alumni to find donations for VISION
    • Create curriculum for VISION and train committee members to outreach for VISION
    • Create theme and goals for the year for VISION
    • Maintain contacts with high school and community college counselors
    • Provide continual support and resources to former mentees through e-mails or a Facebook group
    • Lead the VISION committee as the Director and organize meetings
    • Speak as the representative for VISION
    • Attend other organizations’ meetings and network with other API organizations on and off campus to promote VISION
  12. The Secretary
    • Records, prepares, and maintains the minutes for every Cal VSA cabinet meeting
    • Maintains and updates records of organizations’ membership
    • Communicates with event coordinators in creating event evaluations
    • Incorporates past event logs to current event proposals
    • Acts as the primary signatory for Cal VSA
    • Responsible for the space allocation application process

Section 3: Procedures for Governing

  • The cabinet shall convene at least five times per semester
  • At least two general meetings of all members of Cal VSA shall be called per semester
  • All resolutions concerning Cal VSA shall be passed by majority votes of cabinet officers, unless otherwise stated
  • Every cabinet officer shall be eligible to vote except the president. In the case of a tie, the president shall vote to break the tie
  • All chairpersons of the committees shall be responsible for the activities of their committees, except when the cabinet intervenes
  • There shall be a transitional session for the outgoing cabinet and the incoming cabinet. Outgoing cabinet officers are responsible for helping their successors transition.
  • The cabinet shall convene at least one time per semester to re-evaluate and organize all Cal VSA physical properties
  • The Constitution shall be reviewed at least once each school year.

Article III: Internship

Section 1: Procedures for Becoming an Intern

  • Official members must submit an application to the Internal Affairs Vice President.
  • Applicants must be interviewed by the Internal Affairs Vice President.
  • The Internal Affairs Vice President shall determine the process to become an intern.
  • The term of an intern shall be until the end of the current semester.

Section 2: Responsibilities for Interns

  • Attend at least three cabinet meetings
  • Attend events as cabinet assistants
  • Responsibilities of Interns are as defined by respective intern officers
  • Publicize Cal VSA as deemed appropriate by the Publicity Chairperson
  • Assist in planning of events.
  • Collectively coordinate one event per semester under the advisory of the cabinet.

Article IV: Special Committees

Section 1: Procedures for Establishment

  • Cal VSA official members wishing to form a special committee must first seek a cabinet officer for sponsorship
  • A charter outlining the purposes and powers of the special committee must be drafted by the sponsoring cabinet officer
  • The formation of a special committee requires a two-thirds majority vote of approval by the cabinet
  • Emergency establishment
    • The number of member(s) who wish to form an emergency special committee must be greater than the number of cabinet officers
    • The member wishing to form the special committee must contact the current president
    • If the above condition is met, then the president and/or vice presidents must call a cabinet meeting within twenty-four hours to vote on the establishment of the special committee, which requires a two-thirds majority vote of approval by cabinet

Section 2: Procedures for Governing

  • The special committee, acting within its approved charter, has the power to use the name of Cal VSA
  • The special committee shall be composed of Cal VSA official members
  • The sponsoring cabinet officer acts as the official liaison between the special committee and the cabinet
  • The cabinet has the power to dissolve a special committee by a two-thirds majority vote
  • The cabinet will reconvene every semester to reevaluate the continuation of said special committee
  • The special committee form shall be sent to the current Cal VSA executives three days prior to the weekly cabinet meeting

ARTICLE V: Membership in Cal VSA

Section 1: Membership

  • Only currently registered students, faculty, and staff at the University of California, Berkeley may be active members in Cal VSA. Only active members may vote or hold office.

Section 2: Membership Requirements

  • Official members are:
    • A UC Berkeley registered student, faculty, or staff
    • Voluntary participation and required payment of any membership fee
    • Follow all the rules and regulations set forth by Cal VSA
    • Specific membership requirements shall be up to the discretion of the cabinet and must be decided upon at the beginning of each semester.

Section 3: Rights of Members

  • Official Members
    • The official members shall have the right to participate in all Cal VSA activities, nominate and elect Cabinet Officers, run for a Cabinet position, and attend Cabinet meetings
    • All activities of the official members concerning the principles and properties of Cal VSA require the approval of the Cabinet.
  • We will not haze according to California State Law.
  • We will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy (including pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services (including membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services).

ARTICLE VI: Nomination and Election

Section 1: Term of Office

The term of office for the following positions shall be one academic year:

  • President
  • Culture
  • Finance
  • Intercollegiate Council Representative
  • Outreach

The term of office for the following positions shall be one semester:

  • Internal Affairs Vice President
  • External Affairs Vice President
  • Academics
  • Historian
  • Publicity
  • Retention
  • Secretary

Section 2: Unique Procedures for Select Offices

  • The President and two Vice Presidents
    • The candidates for President and the two Vice Presidents are required to be official members of Cal VSA for at least one semester prior to the Election Day. In addition, the candidate for President and the two Vice Presidents are required to be previous Cabinet Officers for at least one term.
    • The candidates for President and the two Vice Presidents are to run on separate tickets from each other. In the case that a candidate for Vice President is unavailable, the candidate for President, once elected, shall have the power to appoint his/her Vice President(s) at a later time.
    • In the case that a candidate for President or Vice Presidents has never been a Cabinet Officer, a two-thirds majority vote of approval of all Cal VSA official members present needed before he/she can run for office.
  • The Culture Chairperson and Outreach Chairperson
    • If two candidates so choose to run as co-Chairpersons they are to run under a single slate.
    • In any other case, only one Chairperson shall be elected.

Section 3: Procedures for Election

  • Election for new Cabinet Officers shall be held no later than the fourteenth week of the semester.
  • The number of official Cal VSA official members present at the election must be 1.5 times, rounded up, of the number of Cabinet Offices up for election. If this number is not met, then another election shall be held within one week. If again this number is not met, then the President Pro Tempore has the authority to temporarily suspend Cal VSA indefinitely until a general meeting can be held to resolve the issue.
  • The election for all offices shall be done openly and properly. The election for all Cabinet offices shall be done by secret ballot.
  • The candidate for an office shall win the office if he/she receives the plurality of the votes of Cal VSA official members present at the election.
  • In the case that not all of the Cabinet Offices are filled after the election, the President Elect has the power to appoint Cabinet Officers for these positions with the two-thirds majority approval of the Cabinet.
  • In the case that more than half of the Cabinet is filled but the Presidency is not, the newly elected Cabinet Officers have the power to appoint a President. This appointment will be decided by a two-thirds majority vote of approval of the incoming semester Cabinet Officers.
  • In the case that fewer than or equal to half the Cabinet Offices are filled but the Presidency is not, the election is deemed void and the President Pro Tempore has the responsibility to call a new election.
  • There is a mandatory cabinet application requirement for candidates that desire to run for an executive office. In the case that there are no candidates that previously desired to run for an executive office, then proceed to standard election procedures.
  • The election committee will determine specific details of the election process.

ARTICLE VII: Amendment & Succession Procedures

Section 1: Amendments

  • The Amendment shall be passed if it receives a two-thirds majority vote by the Cal VSA Cabinet Officers and official members present at the constitution meeting if it is in compliance with UCB and ASUC regulations and policies.
  • All amendments, additions or deletions to this document must be filed with the LEAD Center in 102 Hearst Gym.
  • All amendments, additions, or deletions shall be taken into effect the semester following adoption.

Section 2: Temporary Resolutions

  • A temporary resolution shall be passed by majority vote in the Cabinet except when this resolution is in conflict with items in ARTICLE I. Section 3: Procedures for Impeachment Trial
  • A two-thirds majority vote of approval by Cabinet Officers are required to call an impeachment trial, which will take place within a week of the approval for having a trial.
  • The Internal and External Affairs Vice Presidents together shall have the power to call such a trial.
  • Cal VSA official members have the power to call such a trials when:
    • The Vice Presidents have refused
    • The number of members of official members calling such a trial equals or exceeds the number of cabinet officers
    • The Cabinet has been given five business days of prior notice.
  • A two-thirds majority vote of approval by all Cal VSA official members present at the trial are required to remove a Cabinet Officer.

Section 4: Procedures for Resignation

  • The resigning officer must meet with the executive officers before submitting a resignation letter.
  • The resigning officer must submit to Cabinet a resignation letter two weeks prior to the official resignation date.
  • The resigning officer must follow all procedures for transitioning.

Section 5: Procedures for Succession

  • If the President cannot complete the full term of office, then the Internal Affairs Vice President shall assume the office of Presidency.
  • If the President and the Internal Affairs Vice President cannot complete their full terms of office, then the External Affairs Vice President shall assume the office of Presidency.
  • If the President and the two Vice Presidents cannot complete their full terms of office, then the Secretary must call a general meeting to elect the new President and two Vice Presidents with two-thirds majority of Cal VSA official members present.
  • If one of the two Vice Presidents or one of the chairpersons cannot complete his/her term of office, then the President shall appoint a Cal VSA official member to fill the vacancy with the two-thirds majority approval of the Cabinet.

Section 6: Procedures for Transitioning

  • Each cabinet officer must submit an officer kit for his/her position.
  • Each cabinet officer must have a thorough, one-on-one meeting to discuss the duties of his/her respective position and duties of being a Cabinet Officer.

ARTICLE VIII: The Properties of Cal VSA

Section 1: The Properties of Cal VSA shall be composed of

  • Any membership fees
  • ASUC funding
  • All donations, either cash or goods, from other organizations or individuals
  • Money from fundraising events
  • All assets and documents (electronic or otherwise)

ARTICLE IX: Dissolution of Cal VSA

Section 1: Dissolution

  • Cal VSA shall be dissolved at the agreement of one hundred percent of Cal VSA official members present at a general meeting. In this case, all unspent ASUC funds shall remain the property of the ASUC; all Graduate Assembly funds shall remain the property of the Graduate Assembly. Remaining privately-obtained funds may be donated to another nonprofit organization with prior approval of the ASUC Senate Finance Committee.

Updated April 28, 2014.