Last Revised by Nancy Gallardo: November 5, 2017
Article I: Name and Mission Statement Section I. The name of the organization shall be known as Latin American Student’s Organization (LASO). Section II. Latin American Student’s Organization welcomes and embraces people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or spirituality, class, ability, gender expression, sexual orientation, or immigration status. Section III. Latina(s)/o(s)/x(s) are used in this Constitution to refer to people who identify as Latin American, Latin@, Latinx, Hispanic, or their diasporas and heritage.
Article II: Purpose Section I. The purpose of this organization shall be: To provide a support network for Latinas/os at Smith College. To actively create, assist, and maintain a safe space for students who share similar cultural backgrounds. To foster an active cultural, social, and political exchange and cooperation between students, at Smith and the other colleges of the Pioneer Valley, of different Latina/o/x origins and allies. To promote and educate members and the greater Smith community about injustices facing Latinas/os on Smith’s campus as well as the rest of the world. To generate unity and understanding between Latinas/os/xs of different backgrounds. Section II. Latin American Student’s Organization will function under the auspices of Smith College, therefore all rules and regulations of the college concerning student organizations are hereby applicable.
Article III: Membership Section I. Membership of Latin American Student’s Organization shall be open to students of Latina/o/x heritage and to those students interested and invested in Latina/o/x culture.
Article IV: Meetings Section I. All meetings involving the whole membership will be open to anyone who is interested. Section II. Meetings shall be divided into informal and business meetings. The latter conducted according to parliamentary procedure in order to maintain order and continuity.
Article V: Activities
Section I. All activities will be of an open nature for the benefit of members as well as the larger college campus and local community. These activities may be open to the public, or more specifically to the Smith College campus, general members, or only active members. Some activities are free while others may have an admittance fee.
Article VI: The Executive Committee, which will be referred to as MESA Section I. The Executive Committee (MESA) within Latin American Student’s Organization will be headed by all members of the council and will be facilitated by the two co-chairs. Section II. The members of MESA shall be elected as per Article VII of the Constitution. Section III. MESA will be elected the semester prior to new academic year. If there are vacant positions after this initial election, a new election to fill those positions will be held in the following fall semester. Section IV. The term of office shall be one academic year, or if MESA believes another election must be held in the spring semester for vacant positions, the term will be for the remainder of the academic year. Exceptions to this include members who have informed MESA of semester-long study abroad plans and members who have had to withdraw the position for unforeseen reasons. Section V. Officers or current MESA members may become candidates for election and re-election as long as they remain active members. The definition of an active member is given in Article VII in the Constitution.
Article VII: Election of the MESA Section I. Only those students who are active members of Smith College have the right to vote. An active member is hereby defined as a member who has attended three meetings (or 60% of the General Body meetings, whichever is greatest) of the semester of the election. Section II. Only those students enrolled at Smith College who are active members can and may run for a vacant position in MESA. Their term in MESA begins in the first MESA meeting following the elections. Section III. The succession of MESA positions will be nominated and voted on by a simple majority vote of the active members present at the election meeting.
Article VIII. Duties of MESA Section I. The duties of the (2) Co-chairs shall be: To call and facilitate all meetings. To be responsible for maintaining communication within the group through regular meetings with the members. To be responsible for checking in on MESA members and their projects.
To act as liaisons between the administration, the Student Government, other Unity presidents in the Unity Presidents Council, and LASO. To organize group activities with MESA. To be responsible in getting together with the other members in MESA and establish an agenda, which is to be distributed to all members and discussed in the next group meeting. To be responsible for announcing an upcoming election two meetings prior to when the election is to be held. To work with the treasurer in compiling a budget for the next year. The co-chairs and the treasurer present the budget to the Senate body and the Organization Resources Committee. Section II. The duties of the (1) Secretary shall be: To record the minutes for each LASO meeting, and is expected to be present for each meeting. To type and distribute minutes to MESA. To set-up e-mail distribution lists and a directory of membership. To keep minutes organized in filing for every meeting of the organization and prepare reports on them. To keep a record of attendance of members to the meetings so as to inform members of their attendance records. To maintain an accurate record of the overall functions of the organization to be shared with the next Secretary/Historian. It shall include specifics in activities, expenditures, fund-raisers, etc. To distribute a monthly calendar of events and meetings to general membership. Section III. The duties of the (1) Historian shall be to leave a record of LASO’s activities and events in the Smith College Archives and online. Section IV. The duties of the (1) Treasurer shall be: To maintain a record of expenditures and allocations. To hand-in at the end of the academic year a report to the secretary demonstrating the group’s financial situation for the year. To handle the entire group’s money for each semester of the academic year. To present, plan and compile a budget with the co-chairs and the rest of MESA. The treasurer and the co-chairs will present the budget to the Senate body and Organization Resources Committee. To train her successor accordingly as to aspects of the job. Section V. The duties of the (2) Five-College Representatives shall be: To act as a liaison between Smith College and the rest of the Five-College Community, particularly the other Latina/o student organizations, concerning Latina/o community affairs. To attend 5-College meetings. To plan and organize 5-College events. To establish a 5-College committee to assist with events and planning throughout the year.
To ensure that Smith’s campus and the other four colleges are aware of LASO events. To maintain open lines of communication with the 5-College Latina/o organizations and community. To create 5-College Latina/o directory/contact sheet of organizations. To communicate 5-College, especially Unity organizations, cultural events to LASO members. Section VI. The duties of the (2) Publicity Chairs shall be: To publicize all of LASO’s events (i.e. lectures, dinners, workshops, dances, etc.) within the Smith community through flyering, online outreach, chalking, etc. To work in conjunction with the Five-College Representative in publicizing events throughout the Five-College community. To prepare and attend the organizations fair. To design posters and invitations for events. All posters/flyers must be approved by MESA at a MESA meeting; if not made in advance, they must be approved by both co-chairs. To recruit members to complete a project, such as publicizing at other colleges. To communicate with the Treasurer on publicity funding for events. Section VII. The duties of the (2) Social Co-Chairs shall be: To organize social events within organization’s members, including bonding ice-breakers at general body member meetings and Big Sib/Little Sib. To plan parties and other social events, such as Taste of Latin America, within and for the Five-College area and the Pioneer Valley community. Section VIII. The duties of the (1) Conference Chair shall be: To keep members informed about all Latina/o conferences and compile an organized list of previous and future conferences. To research understand how to apply to Smith funds and fundraise for conferences. To lead LASO-hosted conference committees. Section IX. The duties of the (1) Alumni Representative shall be: To act as a liaison between the Association of Latina Alumnae of Smith (ALAS) and LASO, as well as a liaison between the Associate Director of Alumnae Engagement (or relevant officer of the Alumnae Association of Smith College) and the general membership. To keep an updated database on alumni. To connect current LASO members with Latina/o alumni. To organize LASO Alumni Tea and other events involved alumni. To send information (newsletters, invitations, etc.) to Latina/o alumni. To contact graduating seniors and their information for the alumni database. Section X. The duties of the (2) Community Service Co-Representatives shall be: To act as liaisons between local community-based organizations and members. To act as liaisons between Smith College’s Community Service Organization and members.
To plan LASO community service trips with different organizations to provide a diverse array of opportunities. Section XI. The duties of the Student Academic Advisors (SAAs) is intended for all members, particularly new students. This position of SAA is not a part of MESA but is highly encouraged to elect. SAAs hold open hours weekly for students to ask academic questions, and are also available for questions and guidance outside those hours. Section XII. The organization shall create positions for other officers as the organization deems appropriate. Section XIII. MESA members are expected to not only perform the duties of their position, but also lead other initiatives and events for LASO.
Article IX: Amendments Section I. Any member of MESA or an active member may propose an amendment to the Constitution. Section II. An amendment may also be proposed by a petition signed by ten percent of the group’s members. Section III. Such an amendment must be approved by the active members with a simple majority vote.
Article XII: Ratification Section I. The ratification of the Constitution shall be an affirmative vote of a simple majority of the active members. In addition, the Smith College Senate must approve the amendment. Article XIII: Anti Hazing THE NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY FOR ORGS WITH SMITH MEMBERS ONLY Membership in this organization shall be open to all students in good standing currently enrolled at Smith College regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, or with regard to the bases outlined in the Veterans Readjustment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
THE NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY FOR ORGS WITH 5 COLLEGE MEMBERS Membership in this organization shall be open to all students in good standing currently enrolled at Smith College (or a Five College institution) regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, or with regard to the bases outlined in the Veterans Readjustment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In accordance with the Smith College Student Handbook and Massachusetts state law, there shall be no hazing, harassment or mandatory participation in activities in which a member does not wish to participate. Hazing and the punishments are defined by the Smith Student Handbook, which states…..
“Though it is not uncommon for the student community to engage in humorous pranks, all individuals and groups are expected to ensure that such activities never exceed the bounds of good humor and respect for others. Such activities must never infringe on a student’s rights, inflict physical or psychological pain, causes personal humiliation or damage to college or personal property, see the Hazing Statute for additional information. Any action that gives rise to such consequences will be subject to disciplinary action and possible prosecution under Massachusetts State Law.”