The Constitution

Vietnamese Student Association (VSA)

Article I – Name

The organization shall be known as the Vietnamese Student Association, or VSA. Formerly known as the Vietnamese American Student Association, or VASA.

Article II – Purpose and Goals

Section I. Purpose

The purpose of VSA is to promote the education and awareness of the Vietnamese Culture within Texas A&M University and the surrounding community.

Section II. Goals

The main objectives of VSA shall include the following:

1. Create and unify a diverse community by participating in social, cultural, and philanthropic events

2. Educate organization members of the Vietnamese culture and heritage

3. Spread awareness of the Vietnamese culture throughout Texas A&M University and the surrounding community

Article III – Membership

Section I. Eligibility

Members must be undergraduate or graduate student who are currently attending the Texas A&M University at College Station, TX.

 

Section II. Requirements and Standards

Members of VSA must adhere to these requirements:

  1. Uphold and pursue the purpose and goals of the organization as outlined in Article II.
  2. Pay an annual or semester membership due established by the current officer board.
  3. Embrace diversity within the organization while still being focused on Vietnamese culture.
  4. Must not participate in any action that harasses, injures, or endangers another person.
  5. Comply with all University, local, state, or federal policies or laws.

Section III. Rights

Members shall be reserved the followings rights:

  1. Review of financial records upon request
  2. Proposal of a motion of no-confidence on an officer following the procedures outlined in Article IV Section VI.
  3. Proposal of Constitution Amendments following procedures outlined in Article VII.

Section IV. Removal Process

If the member fails to maintain the requirements and standards as prescribed in Section II, a notice (email or letter) shall be issued by the officer board to the offending member. The offending member shall have the opportunity to share their perspective. If the behavior is not corrected, the offending member will be subject to removal by a 2/3 (rounded to the nearest whole number) vote of the officer board.

Article IV – Officers

Section I. Definition

The Executive Board, or E-Board, will consist of the President, Internal Vice President, External Vice President, Secretary, and the Treasurer. The Chair Staff will be dependent on the roles the E-Board deems necessary. The E-Board and the Chair Staff will collectively be known as the Officer Board. All officers are first and foremost considered members as defined by Article III.

Section II. Integrity

No officers shall use VSA property for their personal benefit. No officers shall use VSA money for their personal benefit. Allocation of VSA budget for the purpose of rewarding officers will be prohibited. In the case that VSA dissolves, VSA property and money will be given to the advisor to donate to a local charity.

Section III. Eligibility

The officers of this organization must meet the following requirements:

(a) Have a minimum cumulative and semester grade point ratio (GPR) as stated below and meet that minimum cumulative and semester GPR in the semester immediately prior to the election/appointment, the semester of election/appointment and semesters during the term of office.

1. For undergraduate students, the minimum cumulative and semester GPR is 2.00. In order for this provision to be met, at least six hours (half-time credits) must have been taken for the semester under consideration. In one limited circumstance, summer semester hours may be applied to this provision. In order for summer coursework to qualify toward a grade point ratio prior to election/appointment, at least six credit hours must have been taken during the course of either the full or two summer session(s).

2. For graduate level students the minimum cumulative and semester GPR is a 3.00 and for first professional students the minimum cumulative and semester GPR is 2.50. In order for this provision to be met, at least four hours (half-time credits) must have been taken for the semester under consideration. In one limited circumstance, summer semester hours may be applied to this provision. In order for summer coursework to qualify toward a grade point ratio prior to election/appointment, at least four credit hours must have been taken during the course of either the full or two summer session(s) unless fewer credits are required as they complete the final stages of their degree. 

(b) Be in good standing with the university and enrolled:

1. at least half time (six or more credit hours), if an undergraduate student (unless fewer credits are required to graduate in the spring and fall semesters) during the term of office. Students enrolled in the Blinn TEAM program are also eligible to hold an office, as long as the student is meeting all applicable Blinn TEAM requirements and is in good standing with the program.

2. At least half time (four or more credits), if a graduate level student (unless fewer credits are required in the final stages of their degree as defined by the Continuous Registration Requirement) during their term of office.

(c) Be ineligible to hold an office should the student fail to maintain the requirements as prescribed in (a) and (b).

Section IV. Roles and Duties

General Duties of Officers:

  1. Serve one full academic year
  2. Support and attend VSA events
  3. Recruit VSA members
  4. Act as parents for VSA families

Roles of the Executive Board:

President:

  1. Oversees all organization activities
  2. Sets goals for the organization and officers
  3. Represents VSA in all official capacities (internal and external)
  4. Reviews and evaluates the performance and conduct of officers
  5. Makes final executive decisions
  6. Presides over Officer meetings

Internal Vice President (VPI):

  1. Second-in-command
  2. Acts as a delegate to other Texas A&M organizations (APC, ISA, etc.)
  1. Plans and executes major internal event (historically, Tet)
  2. Supervises intern program

External Vice President (VPX):

  1. Third-in-command
  2. Acts as a delegate to VSAs at other universities
  3. Plans and execute major external event
  4. Serves as the ICC representative on UVSA South General board

Secretary:

  1. Maintains all non-financial records (meeting minutes, agendas, calendars, etc.)
  2. Acts as the main line of communication for the members (website, email, social media)
  3. Supervises member recruitment and retention (family system)
  4. Presides over general meetings

Treasurer:

  1. Oversees the VSA budget and inventory
  2. Creates and manages annual budget
  3. Maintains final discretion over budget usage
  4. Supervises organization funding efforts (concessions, grants, etc.)

Roles of Chair Staff:

Social Chair – Creates icebreakers during general meetings. Plans and executes social events for members, excluding major social events (camping, formal, etc.)

Culture Chair – Creates culture lessons during general meetings. Plans and executes culture workshops for members. Organizes culture dance teams.

Sports Chair – Holds practices and tryouts for sports teams. Registers and manages sports teams.

Philanthropy/Service Chair – Plans and executes fundraising events. Organizes community service opportunities.

Media Chair (or Historian and Graphics Chair) – Creates and edits media for officers and organization (photography, videography, etc.). Creates digital art and graphics for the organization.

Asian Olympics (AO) Chair – Plans and executes AO during TAMU VSA host year. Fundraises, finds sponsors, and manages TAMU AO sports teams during TAMU VSA non-host years.

Chair Staff positions will change depending on E-Board's goals for the year. Historically, co-chairs have been implemented to maximize efficiency of certain chair positions. Media Chair can be divided into two positions: Historian specializing in capturing and editing media (photography and videography) and Graphics Chair specializing in creating digital art for the organization. AO Chair has only been implemented during host years, but it is recommended that the position be implemented during non-host years also.

Section V. Selection Process

The selection process will begin at the end of the spring semester. In early March, applications for E-Board and Chair Staff will be sent out at the same time.

Eboard selection process:

Chair Staff selection process:

Section VI. Removal Process

Motion of no-confidence by a member:

A member may propose a motion of no-confidence on any officer if they have the supporting signatures of at least 1/2 (rounded down) of the total membership. The proposal must be submitted to the President (or VPI if the no-confidence is served upon the President). A notice (email or letter) will be issued to the offending officer.

The President (or VPI) will call and preside over an extraordinary general meeting. The proposer and offending officer shall be given time to speak before the members. The motion of no- confidence will be approved if 1/3 (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the total membership is present and a secret ballot with 3/4 (rounded to the nearest whole number) vote supports the motion. Absentee voting will not be allowed.

If any of those requirements cannot be met at the extraordinary general meeting, the motion is defeated. If the motion is defeated, the offending officer cannot be served another motion upon the same accusations.

Motion of no-confidence by an officer:

An officer may propose a motion of no-confidence on any officer. The proposal must be submitted to the President (or VPI if the no- confidence is served upon the President). A notice (email or letter) will be issued to the offending officer.

The President (or VPI) will call and preside over an extraordinary officer meeting. The proposer and offending officer shall be given time to speak before the members. The motion of no-confidence will be approved if 3/4 (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the officer board is present and a secret ballot with 3/4 (rounded to the nearest whole number) vote supports the motion. Absentee voting will not be allowed.

If any of those requirements cannot be met at the extraordinary officer meeting, the motion is defeated. If the motion is defeated, the offending officer cannot be served another motion upon the same accusations.

Replacement of removed officer:

The existing officer board will determine how to manage a vacant officer position. Recommended options: (1) The position is left vacant and the responsibilities will be distributed across the officer board. (2) The officer board may fill the vacancy with a qualified member. (3) An officer may move into the vacancy and the officer board will discuss options for the newly opened position.

If the President is removed, the VPI will supersede and the officer board will replace the VPI position with the options outlined above.

Article V – Advisor

Section I. Eligibility

The advisor must be a current faculty member at Texas A&M University

Section II. Expectations

  1. Speak up during discussion when have relevant information.
  2. Provide alternative thoughts or contributions to help both sides of the issue.
  3. Attend organization activities.
  4. Request to see the treasurer’s books and assist when needed with financial matters.
  5. Keep the organization aware of its stated objectives when planning events.
  6. Mediate interpersonal conflicts that arise or refer members to appropriate campus resources.
  7. Inform the organization of leadership opportunities in which members can participate.
  8. Encourage teamwork and cooperation among the officers of the organization.

Section III. Selection Process

When looking for a new advisor, the President will work with the TAMU student activities department to look for candidates. The President is not limited to the student activities department and may search for potential candidates through other means. The President will identify and contact multiple candidates to gather initial interest. The President will present the interested candidates to the officer board, and the officer board will narrow down the final candidates.

The final candidates will be asked to attend one general meeting and one officer meeting. The officer board will select the advisor candidate that has shown the most interest and compatibility with the organization. An offer will be extended to the selected candidate and if accepted, the advisor transition process will begin with the student activities department.

Article VI – Constitutional Amendment Procedure

Any member (including officers) may present a formal written proposal to the officer board. At the next officer meeting, the officer board will discuss the proposed amendment. The proposal will be approved if 3/4 (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the officer board is present and a secret ballot with 3/4 (rounded to the nearest whole number) vote supports the amendment. Absentee voting will not be allowed.

If any of those requirements cannot be met at the officer meeting, the proposal is unapproved and defeated.

All major revisions to the constitution and justification will be noted in Appendix A. Major changes do not include grammar/spelling errors, phrasing changes (unless to clarify ambiguity), or any other changes that do not affect the meaning or procedure of the constitution.

This constitution is reviewed annually and subject to the approval of the Department of Student Activities.

Article VII – Financial Procedures

All monies belonging to this organization shall be deposited and disbursed through a bank account established for this organization at the Student Organization Finance Center and/or the Fiscal Office. All funds must be deposited within 24 business hours after collection. The advisor to this organization must approve and sign each expenditure before payment. 

Article VIII – Harassment and Discrimination

We of VSA encourage a climate that values and nurtures collegiality, diversity, pluralism and the uniqueness of the individual within our state, nation and world. We prohibit discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Individuals who believe they have experienced harassment or discrimination prohibited by this statement are encouraged to contact the appropriate offices or persons.

Appendices

A. Revisions & Amendments

03.07.2017         Article II Section I

Redefined purpose statement

Previous purpose was more goal-like than purpose-driven. Broadened the scope of VSA.

Article II Section II

Redefined goals

Previous goals were broad and repetitive of the purpose statement. Focused and prioritized the goals of VSA.

Article III Section I

Added eligibility requirement for members

No previous eligibility requirement stated. Needed to be stated to ensure that this organization serves Texas A&M University students.

Article III Section III

Added the rights of members

No previous rights established for members. Allows members to keep the officer board and constitution accountable.

Article IV Section I

Defined the officer board

Previous officer board structure was loosely defined and not stable. Established the infrastructure of officer board, specifying the difference between E-board and Chair Staff. Allows some stability and will balance out the workload of the officer board.

Article IV Section II

Added Integrity section

No previous integrity statements. States the standards officers should uphold with VSA property and money.

Article IV Section III

Added membership requirements for officer eligibility

No previous VSA membership requirements. Ensure that officers are active VSA members.

Article IV Section IV

Redefined roles and duties

No previous general duties of officers. Added to ensure that all officers share common duties that will help VSA expand. Previous E-board roles were too specific and did not encompass all the realistic roles of E-board. Prioritized and summarized the overall role of E-board. Previous Chair Staff roles were too broad and some jobs tended to overlap. Focused the Chair Staff roles so less confusion and more clear definitions of certain roles.

Article IV Section V

Refined and redefined selection process

Previous selection process gave too much control to the President. Selection process will be mediated by committee so more voices and opinions can be heard.

Article IV Section VI

Redefined and added removal process

No previous process for motion of no-confidence for members or officers. New process for motion of no- confidence gives more accountability power to the members and officers. Makes the process fairer and streamlined. No previous replacement process. Added to recommend options and streamline process.

Article V Section I

Added eligibility for advisor

No previous eligibility requirement for advisor stated. Ensure that the advisor is a part of the Texas A&M University system.

Article V Section III

Added selection process for advisor

No previous process established. Created to streamline process and ensure that all officers can voice their opinion on the advisor candidate. Ensure that the advisor is compatible with the organization.

Article VI

Redefined amendment process

Previous process was vague. Exact process was established to streamline. No previous process for members to propose amendments. Allows more rights of the members to influence the organization. No previous documentation to track amendments. Added to allow documentation of amendments and justifications for future officers. 

01.21.2018        Article IV Section V

Redefined selection process

Process now includes the voices of the members by changing from a selection process to an election process. Allows for greater member input in the direction of the E-board.

03.04.2019        Article IV Section V

Specified selection process

Process is defined more clearly and provides protocol for the event that there are no qualified applicants.