MEChA Constitution

The Movimiento is a pursuit of greater gains by individuals united loyally with one another, not content with the status quo, but instead striving to bring about respect and equality in an environment which fosters ignorance. The energy to lead the Movimiento stems from the creative consciousness of its members, los Estudiantes, driven not by self-righteous motives, but by the firm belief that united as an organization, the interests of the greater Chicano community can be attained. The spirit that guides these Estudiantes Chicana/os is rooted in their past, their homes, and their heart–Aztlán. The spirit that gave their ancestors life, the spirit that thrived in the soul of the Mexica, it is that same spirit which gives the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán strength to endure. And as members of this Movimiento at Yale University, we recognize that we are part of a greater national network of Chicana/os embodied by the National Movimiento, and thus we respect and recognize the core philosophical papers, los Planes, of the national organization.

Article I: Name
The name of the organization shall be MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán) de Yale.

Article II: Mission Statement/Essence
We MEChA de Yale, recognize the history of Chicanos at Yale that have brought us here today. We realize that we are faced with circumstances that are unique to our region. MEChA de Yale seeks to foster, empower and strengthen a community in the Yale – New Haven area, through communication and cooperation while respecting all segments of our community. MEChA de Yale seeks to promote social, cultural, political and educational empowerment and awareness.

Article III: Membership
Anyone shall have the right to join MEChA.

Section 1: Requirements for member status

Clause 1: Members are entitled within meetings to the following:

A. Express issues of concern, both personal and those affecting the community
B. Propose a new action or activity
C. Share expressions of culture
D. Social support from the MEChA community.

Clause 2: Members outside of meeting are:

A. Expected to participate in and attend MEChA events.
B. Entitled to express their individual opinions as members of MEChA, recognizing that within MEChA, there are a diversity of views.
C. Expected to promote cultural consciousness.

Article IV: The Steering Committee
Section 1: Offices

A. Moderator, Treasurer, Secretary, Este Aztlán Region of MEChA representatives, and the Fresh person Liaison will serve on the Steering Committee.

Section 2: Responsibilities

A. The Steering Committee is responsible for:

1. Meeting on a bi-monthly basis.
2. Discussing and assembling a working agenda for the semester.
3. Developing and updating the yearly budget.
4. Overlooking large-scale activities.
5. Voting on issues pertinent only to the committee.

Section 3: Voting within The Steering Committee

A. Voting will take place openly, to pursue channels of discussion when a consensus does not exist.

Article V. Voting
All decisions of issues, candidates, or otherwise will be reached in the following manner:

Section 1. All voting shall be done by the parliamentary procedure per Robert’s Rules of Order. If there is no clear majority for any candidate or issue, then a run-off by the two highest vote-getters must be held. A simple majority will determine the winner of a run-off.

Section 2. Voter eligibility: A member must attend 4 general meetings during the previous or current semester to be eligible to vote. This requirement is waived for first semester members (1st semester freshpeople, transfer students, etc.).

Section 3. A signed proxy will be honored from a member (not valid for a run-off election).

Article VI: Committees
Section 1. Standing committees shall be established by the general body of MEChA. The standing committees are:

A. Political Action Chair (PAC)
B. Social Activities Committee (SAC)
C. Community Action Committee (CAC)
D. Ad-hocs

Section 2. Committee requirements:

A. Each committee must report to the general membership every other week.
B. All final committee decisions must be approved by the general voting membership.

Section 3. PAC Chair responsibilities

A. Look over all political activities within MEChA
B. Developing relationship and acquiring information from Student Recruitment Coordinators.
C. Responsible for attending student coalition groups.
D. Collaborate with other organizations.
E. Creating and maintaining a scrap-book of Political references for MEChA, in conjunction with the historian. (Political newsletter, magazines, clippings, etc)

Section 4. SAC Chair responsibilities

A. Head fundraising activities.
B. Look over social and fundraising events.
C. Coordinate Pre-frosh events throughout the year, in conjunction with freshperson liaisons and src’s.
D. Coordinate annual retreat and Senior Party.

Section 5. CAC Chair responsibilities

A. Develop community service activities for MEChA.
B. Establish working relationship with Dwight Hall.
C. Responsible for submitting applications for funding from Dwight Hall.
D. Attend monthly Dwight Hall meetings.

Article VII: Elections
Section 1. Terms of Office

A. Fiscal year begins last meeting of Fall semester.
B. Terms of office of the Moderator, Treasurer, Webmaster, Secretary, Historian, ECCSF representatives will be year long. The este-aztlan will be elected in the end of the spring term, freshperson liaison and ECCSF representatives at the beginning of the fall term, and moderator, treasurer, secretary, and historian at the end of the fall term.
C. Term of office for Freshperson Liaison is one school year long.

Section 2. Nominations

A. Nominations are open to any Yale-MEChA affiliate.
B. Nominations for each office should be made at a MEChA meeting at least two weeks in anticipation of the actual election.
C. Nominations will remain open until one week before elections.
D. Nominations and offices must be distributed through the Yale Dean’s Office.
E. Nominees must be present at election and present a speech in order to be considered for elections.

Section 3. Resignations

A. In case of a resignation, the Steering Committee will appoint an emergency replacement.
B. These new officer(s) are temporary until the meeting following the resignations; at which point elections will be held as described in article VII.

Article VIII: Offices
Section 1. Types of offices.

A. The offices shall consist of a Moderator, a Treasurer, a Secretary, a PAC Chair, a SAC Chair, a CAC Chair, a Historian, a Freshperson Liason and two representatives for the East Coast Chicana/o Student Forum (ECCSF).
B. An individual cannot hold more than one position (eccsf reps, este aztlan reps, historian and webmaster not included)

Section 2. The Moderator.

A. To call and conduct general meetings.
B. To call and conduct Steering Committee meetings.
C. Moderator must submit a weekly agenda to the secretary.
D. To uphold the constitution.
E. Moderator must meet bi-monthly with Cultural Center Director and Treasurer.
F. Responsible for keeping in contact with alumni, along with historian.
G. Moderator is an official spokesperson for MEChA.

Section 3. Treasurer

A. To act as Moderator in the absence of the acting Moderator.
B. To draft and update a yearly budget for the semester’s expenses.
C. Treasurer must meet bi-monthly with the Chicano dean (along with Chair).
D. Responsible for applying for funds from the university every semester. (UOFC, Dean’s office, etc).
E. To be the contact person to other campus organizations

Section 4. Secretary

A. Must record and distribute minutes for both Steering Committee and general meetings.
B. Must take attendance at each general meeting.
C. Must write-up and distribute agenda provided by the Moderator.
D. Must be responsible for all MEChA conference.
E. Must record any MEChA statement to alumni, administration, press, etc.

Section 5. ECCSF Representative

A. Must attend at least two ECCSF conferences a year; and one of the two representatives must be present at every conference..
B. Coordinate trips to conferences at other schools.
C. Coordinate conferences that are sponsored by Yale.
D. Have the power to make decisions and vote during ECCSF meeting on behalf of MEChA.
E. Must update ECCSF and MEChA activities, this includes submitting report to ECCSF newsletter, Sol Del Este.
F. Must update MEChA on ECCSF activities.
G. Work with Chair and Historian on Alumni relations.

Section 6. Historian

A. Responsibility to keep an ongoing account of the year’s activities through the collection of pictures, posters, flyers, table tents, etc.
B. Should be present at two-thirds of MEChA functions (political, social, meetings, and otherwise) and be able to photograph.
C. Is responsible to complete and present a project recapping MEChA’s activities throughout the year.
D. Must keep MEChA archives in order and maintain them as such.
E. Must gather documents and information compiled by the other officers at the end of their term.
F. Work with Chair and ECCSF reps. On Alumni Relations.

Section 7. Freshperson Liason

A. Must focus on the establishment and development of a relationship between Freshpeople and other MEChA members.
B. Plan activities for Freshpeople members.
C. Coordinate freshpeople forum within MEChA to open a medium of communication.
D. Coordinate Pre-frosh activities.

Article IX: Amendments

Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution should be proposed in writing to the membership at a general meeting and will be voted on during the second general meeting thereafter.

Section 2. Amendments can only be passed by a two-thirds vote of the voting members.

Article X: Impeachment

Section 1. All offices can be subject to impeachment.

Section 2. Impeachment shall be conducted by a vote.

Section 3. A petition containing fifty-one per percent of the members’ signatures must be submitted in order for a motion of impeachment to be voted on.

Section 4. A two-thirds vote by the voting members is required for a motion of impeachment to carry through.


Amendment I: Elections

Elections for all officers shall take place during the last meeting of fall semester and all offices shall have a term of one fiscal year.

Amendment II: Public Relations Officer

A Public Relations office shall be created.

A. To facilitate communication with campus news publications.
B. To coordinate advertisements through campus news publications.
C. To coordinate submission of editorials to campus news publications near the dates of major events that address issues inherent in the subject of the events.
D. To be responsible for the creation of publicity packets and for regularly submitting them to the campus news publications.

a. Publicity packets must contain the dates and locations of MEChA events and explanations of their importance.

E. Public Relations Officer must meet with the steering committee monthly.

Amendment III: Office of Historian

The duties of the Historian shall be expanded to include the following responsibilities:

A. Must maintain the MEChA office in order. This includes the proper display of MEChA paraphernalia and proper organization and storage of supplies.
B. Must record and submit all MEChA de Yale officer files, meeting agendas and minutes, email correspondence, photographs and records of events that are older than two years and no longer in current use (this includes materials on National MEChA, ECCSF and any other conferences, organizations or events pertinent to MEChA de Yale) to the Manuscripts & Archives Collection at Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University.
C. Submissions to the University Library shall be made at the discretion of the Historian.