Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations Constitution 

Mission Statement:

To foster a community for young professionals to strengthen their leadership and professional skills while creating connections with cultural roots and the greater Vietnamese/Asian Pacific Islander (API) community in the Southwest.

Vision Statement:

To be an organization that unites and supports the Vietnamese Student Associations within the region communities’ goal to educate, achieve inclusiveness and promote cultural awareness.

Article I – Constitution

The Constitution will be made accessible to all of the Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (SWUVSA) officers and members upon request. Amendments to the Constitution may be made by following the rules in Article V, Section 2. The Constitution MUST be reviewed annually by October and updated by all Executive Board (E-board) members as needed. SWUVSA has always been considered as and shall continue to be known as an independent, non-profit entity that operates as a constitutional republic.

For the Supplementary to the Constitution, see Addendum.


Article II – Goals

The main objectives of the Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations shall include the following:

Article III – Membership and Partnerships

Section 1 - Requirements         

Section 2 - Nondiscrimination Clause

Section 3- Membership and Partnership Rights           



Section 4 - Inclusion Process

In the event of including and adding a new student organization to SWUVSA, a meeting must be held to discuss the possibility of the prospective partnership:

  1. The student organization in question must have the same or similar goals as SWUVSA.
  2. The student organization in question must be willing to contribute to SWUVSA’s Vision and Mission Statement.
  3. All presidential members from collegiate student groups must be aware of the process of inclusion.
  4. All Executive Board Members and Council of School Representative must vote on whether or not said student organization is compatible with SWUVSA.
  1. Full induction requires 2/3 majority vote
  1. In the event that majority for full induction is had, news of the new partner must be made known to the public.


Section 5 - Withdrawal Process

In the event of a withdrawal of a current partnership, a meeting of all SWUVSA Executive board members must be held for discussion of the necessary steps.

  1. A current partner exercises its right to withdraw from the SWUVSA.
  2. A meeting with representation from both parties must be held: 
  1. Discuss the effects of full withdrawal.
  2. Ensure all parties end professional relationship amicably.
  3. The organization wishing to exercise their right must submit a formal written request to be removed as a partner of the organization.
  1. Begin process to remove information relating to student organization in question.
  2. Announce withdrawal of current partnership to internal organization and to updated UNAVSA of changes
  3. The VSA/VASA organization will receive a copy of how their organization can rejoin SWUVSA if they choose to do so in the future.


Article IV - Representatives

Section 1 - Definition

Section 2 - Executive Board Members and The Cabinet

Executive Board Members 


Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. The president shall ensure that the organization operates in conformity with the principles set forth in this Constitution.
  2. Presides over executive and general board meetings.
  3. Revise the Supplementary President and Executive Board Goals by June 30th of each year. This should reflect the vision and goals of the newly elected executive board members.
  4. Delegate responsibilities.
  1. Oversees all projects and delegate responsibilities to board members
  1. Set goals for the Executive Board and for the organization.


Internal Vice-President

Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. Second-in-command at the request of, or during the absence of, the President.
  2. Will spearhead projects that involve collaboration events, and activities.
  1. Summer Summit
  2. Diamond Scholarship
  1. Serves as the main communicator of all VSAs/VASA in partnership with SWUVSA.
  2. Oversees the Council of School Representatives.


External Vice-President

Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. Third-in-command at the request of, or during the absence of, the President.
  2. Shall be voted in through the organization’s constituents and made the Co-Regional Representative of the Southwest to the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA).
  3. Carry communications with other external organizations not directly involved with partnered VSAs/VASA. throughout the region as well as with the greater Vietnamese community in the extended partnerships with SWUVSA.
  4. Maintains relations with UNAVSA Executive Board as well as other regions in North America.
  5. Oversees all Alumni relations regarding communication of current events in the organization
  6. Serve as the official representative of the organization to the community


Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. Maintains  detailed documentations and prudently monitors accrued expenses, bank balances, reserves, and all sources and uses of funds.
  1.  Makes a quarterly report consisting of bank statements and other financial platforms like paypal
  1. Maintains a statement of income and expenditures to be held accountable at all times to the officers and members upon request.
  2. Organizes and files all SWUVSA documents concerning the treasury.


Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. In charge of the correspondence work which is carried on with other organizations and businesses.
  2. Is the official record keeper.
  3. Inform and update all SWUVSA Officers of new information and meetings.
  4. Organizes and files all documents, excluding those concerning the treasury.
  5. Periodically updates the SWUVSA inventory.

The Cabinet


Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. Archive SWUVSA accomplishments, events, and activities.
  2. Document history of regional UNAVSA attendance.
  3. Archive collective information gathered from VSA/VASA affairs that pertain to SWUVSA.
  4. Historian will work in conjunction with the Media chair to manage the SWUVSA website.
  5.  Will document and record events through photography, video, and other approved mediums

Media Chair

Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. Actively maintains and engages individuals on all social media.
  2. Maintain the SWUVSA website.
  3. Creates all promotional materials for SWUVSA related events and projects.
  1. Add in specifically what examples we do
  1. Market events (to be worded)

Council of Regional Representative (CoRR)

Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:

  1. Will work closely with the External Vice-President as the primary CoRR representative for the Southwest region.
  2. Responsible for relaying all CoRR related information to executive board members and the cabinet
  3. Responsible for promoting the Collective Philanthropy Project (CPP) to the Southwest Region and the current beneficiary and its current project.
  4. Will act as liaison between CPP and The Council of School Representatives, along with keeping track of each VSAs/VASA fundraising efforts.
  5. Other duties as assigned.


  1. Assist the executive board and fellow cabinet members as needed
  2. Assist in alumni relations.
  3. Learn about the potential roles of eboard.
  4. Other duties are assigned.  


Section 3 - Council of School Representatives (CoSR)

[Effective: October 22, 2013]

  1. Each school is recommended to have two representatives to aid in communication with the SWUVSA Executive Board and help with planning projects.
  2. The purpose of CoSR is to make connections and collaborate between constituent Vietnamese American Student Association (VASA), Vietnamese Student Associations (VSA), and the Southwest UVSA.
  3. Each school representative serves as the voice of their respective student organization.
  4. Representatives are entirely up to the VSA/VASA and their voting process. Depending on the specific school’s constitution and voting rules, the representative can serve as the voting power or merely a liaison.


Section 4 - Board of Advisors

[Effective: September 2014]

  1.  Role and Responsibilities but not limited to:
  1. Step in as a mediator for the motion of No-Confidence of an Executive Board member
  2. Advise and approve political statements before public release, as needed.
  3. Be a resource for the VSA/VASA organizations within the region as well as to the Executive Board.
  4. The Board of Advisors are expected to commit one (1) year starting in June/July.
  5. At any time during the term, an advisor can withdraw from being part of the Board of Advisors for any reason. The President of SWUVSA will conduct quarterly check-ups and ask if they would like to continue to be part of the Board of Advisors.
  6. [Optional] Be a part of the Election Selection committee during election years at Apex Conference.
  1. The Board of Advisors is not a group of elected officials. Members consist of those individuals who have furthered the Southwest UVSA in some shape or form since its conception.
  2. An individual can be added if unanimously agreed upon by the majority of Executive Board members and the Board of Advisors.
  1. The board may consist of up to 7 members, after which an individual can only be added if a member steps down.
  2. The board of advisors will be consisted of individuals appointed by members of the executive board.
  1. Members affiliated with any partner of the Southwest UVSA are encouraged to appeal to any advisors with any concerns or issues.
  2. In addition to the Motion of No-Confidence by an Officer as stated in Article V, Section 3, the Board of Advisors retains the ability to intervene with Southwest UVSA affairs.
  1. However, this is possible if, and only if, the entire Board of Advisors have come to a unanimous agreement. Otherwise, any actions conducted by the Board of Advisors are null and void.
  2. This serves as a system of checks and balances. This motion should only be considered under extreme circumstances.
  1. Each advisor retains the right to endorse any proposal presented by any member of SWUVSA.
  2. In addition, each advisor is permitted to attend SWUVSA general meetings. However, no advisor is permitted to make any executive decisions regarding the Southwest region.

Article V - Executive Board Meetings

Section I - General Voting Among Executive Board Members 

  1. Most decisions will be made by the president and with mutual agreement among the Executive board members. However, in the event that an officer is not satisfied with the outcome of a decision, the officer opposing the president's decision may propose an alternative solution and summon for a vote.
  2. Voting must be done with [1] a secret ballot, [2] at least 2/3 of the Executive Board members present, and [3] a 2/3 vote supporting the motion. All numbers shall be rounded to the nearest whole number (ie. 2/3 of 8 officers is 5.33, or 5 officers).
  3. In the event that less than 2/3 or 5 of the officers are present, the president must call another officer meeting within two days. Once more, if less than 2/3 or 5 of the officers are present at the following meeting, the voting will be carried out regardless of attendance.
  4. There shall be no absentee voting.
  5. Only in cases where the circumstances are significantly altered may the president choose to have a re-vote.

Section 2 - Revisions to the Constitution

  1. A written proposal must be presented to all of the Board members.
  2. The proposed revision (if approved by the Board members) must finally be ratified by 2/3 of the members of CoSR.
  3. For any revisions, strikethrough and changes must be marked until reviewed by CoSR and Board of Advisors.

Section 3 - Motion of No-Confidence by Board Member

  1. Any Board member may put forward a motion of no-confidence on another board member by informing the president.
  2. The president must then call an extraordinary board meeting within 2 weeks of the notice. All board members  and the Board of Advisors must be notified of the meeting.
  3. In the event that the motion of no-confidence is served upon the President, the Internal Vice-President shall assume the responsibility of the president by calling the meeting, presiding over the meeting, and superseding the president (if the motion is passed).
  4. At the extraordinary board member meeting, the person who moved the motion and the person whom the motion is served upon shall each be given 5 minutes to speak before the board members and 10 minutes to answer questions.
  5. Following that, the person who moved the motion and the person whom the motion is served upon will be dismissed and those remaining will discuss the findings.
  6. Board members and the Board of Advisors will then put forth a secret ballot.
  7. If the motion is defeated, then a motion of no-confidence cannot be served upon them again in the future based on the same accusations.


Article VI - Board Member Elections and Selection        

Executive board member elections will be held once every two years in March/April. The head representatives and other officials are chosen by election, rather than inheriting their positions, making the union a republic.

Cabinet members selection will be held once every year in April/May.

Section 1: Conditions for Candidacy

  1. In order to become eligible to apply for candidacy for any of the executive board positions, an individual must meet the following conditions:
  1. Reside in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, or Utah for ¾ of the calendar year
  2. Must have at least one (1) year of leadership experience (VSA/VASA officer, SWUVSA cabinet, and/or SWUVSA Executive Board)
  3. Candidates may not hold any VSA/VASA officer positions during their term.
  1. In the event that a candidate does meet at least one (1) of the conditions for candidacy, it is the discretion of the executive board to create terms in which the individual may become eligible to be a candidate for the executive board elections.

Section 2: Rules for Executive Board Member Election

  1. Each member (defined in Article III, Section 1) will be given one ballot for all Executive Board candidate during elections.
  2. Candidates for the 5 Executive Offices must be nominated through an application process.
  3. The order for election of each position will be as follows: Secretary, Treasurer, External Vice-President, Internal Vice-President, President.
  1. Elections for Executive Board positions will occur every other year.
  2. Candidates can only apply to one position during the elections period and must commit to that choice
  1. For the election of EACH Executive Board position, the following rules will be applied:
  1. The order of the speech will be determined alphabetically by last name, then first name.
  2. Each candidate shall be given 3 minutes for the speech and 5 minutes (at most) to answer questions from members.
  3. A voting form will be released once all candidates have presented.
  4. The partnered VSAs/VASA will deliberate with their respective CoSR representative(s) in regards to each candidate.
  5. Candidates are chosen by a simple majority out of the total school and CoSR vote
  1. Schools must be present and active
  2. A simple majority will determine the school’s vote and CoSR’s vote
  1. The result of the election will be announced at the end of Apex Conference. 
  1. In order to have voting privileges during elections, you must be a current student of any of the partnered VSAs/VASA. Alumni and external guests are allowed to spectate but are not allowed to partake in the voting process.
  2. Any of the partnered VSAs/VASA may exercise their right as a majority to abstain their vote for the reason of no-confidence at any given time.
  3. In the event where a candidate cannot attend the Apex conference, the individual can have a separate recorded interview with the Executive Board which will then be aired during elections for deliberation.
  1. The candidate will then have their speech recorded and played during elections, which will include the position-specific questions.
  1. In the event that a executive board position remains vacant after elections at Apex Conference, the incoming executive board may choose to hold a special elections period where the selection will be conducted internally.

Section 3: Cabinet Member Selection

  1. The Cabinet will be selected by the Executive Board in April/May through an application process.
  1. Refer to Article IV, Section 2 for cabinet positions.  

Section 4: Elections Committee

  1. The election committee is composed of executive board members who are not re-running along with any members of the Board of Advisors who wish to participate in the process.
  2. The elections committee will consist of 5 members.

Article VII - Finances

Section 1: Access of banking information and documentation

  1. The president and treasurer will be associated as co-signers on the bank account and check books associated with SWUVSA.
  2. Upon inauguration of the new board, the former president and treasurer must accompany the new president and treasurer to the banking institution to transfer account ownership within the first few weeks.
  3. The treasurer will keep a log of all expenses and reimbursements.
  1. The treasurer will organize and distribute a comprehensive financial statement to the Board of Advisors and Council of School Representatives each fiscal quarter.
  2. In the event of a financial discrepancy, the Board of Advisors will launch an investigation in order to locate any missing funds and allocate them accordingly.

Section 2: Procedure for reimbursements to organization related expenses

  1. All expenses must be approved by the treasurer.
  1. All expenses over $500 must be reviewed and approved by the entire Executive Board.
  2. If expenses were not approved, individuals may not be reimbursed.
  1. Individuals requesting the reimbursement is required to fill out the form as indicated by the treasurer.
  2. All reimbursement requests requires a submission of proof of purchase/receipts/invoices. Accepted method(s) of submission includes…
  1. Emailing proof of purchase in a PDF to treasurer@swuvsa.org or
  2. Submitting the physical proof of purchase to the treasurer
  1. Full name of the individual requesting the reimbursement should be on the top of each receipt.
  2. Receipts of expenses must be submitted to the treasurer for documentation within 1 week after the event in which the purchase was made for has occurred.
  1. Reimbursements will be distributed via check.

Section 3: Restrictions

  1. The preferred method of cash flow through the organization must be through the reimbursement process
  2. In the event where the purchase/transaction of over $3,000.00, the organization’s debit card may be used with the approval and discretion of the Executive Board.

Article VIII - Miscellaneous


SWUVSA Current Affiliates