ARTICLE I: NAME AND PURPOSE
The name of this organization shall be “Asian Pacific American Law Students Association” of the University of Michigan Law School (APALSA). The purpose of APALSA shall be:
A. To foster and maintain a supportive community of Asian Pacific American (APA) law students at the University of Michigan Law School;
B. To articulate and promote the needs and goals of APA law students at the University of Michigan Law School;
C. To examine and cultivate a greater awareness of the relationship between the American legal system and APA law students and attorneys and to promote changes where necessary;
D. To foster professional competence among APA law students at the University of Michigan Law School.
E. To influence the legal community to effect significant change in the legal system to meet the needs of the APA community.
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS
Section 1: Membership
Membership in APALSA shall consist of any student of the University of Michigan Law School who has 1) paid the requisite annual membership dues as determined by the APALSA Executive Board and 2) shown a commitment to the purposes of APALSA.
Section 2: Rights and Responsibilities of Members
a. Rights – Members of APALSA are entitled to participate in all activities sponsored by APALSA, vote on APALSA business, vote in APALSA elections, and are generally eligible to hold office subject to the specific qualifications for each office.
b. Responsibilities – All APALSA members are required to attend general body meetings of APALSA regularly and are expected to support activities sponsored by APALSA.
ARTICLE III: EXECUTIVE BOARD
APALSA shall be led by an Executive Board elected annually for a term of one year to commence in the last month of the winter semester. In addition, one 1L Representative will be elected to serve on the Executive Board in the first month of the fall semester. The Executive Board shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other position that may be created by act of the Executive Board for fulfilling the purposes of the organization. The Executive Board is responsible for the internal administration and the external relations of APALSA. Failure of Executive Board members to attend five Executive Board meetings or two membership meetings shall result in automatic expulsion. The number of terms of office for Executive Board members shall be unlimited.
Section 1: President
The duties of the President shall include, but shall not be limited to, chairing all Executive Board and general membership meetings; channeling issues to appropriate committees for consideration and overseeing the activities of those committees; serving as a spokesperson for APALSA; coordinating the work of the other officers and ensuring that they function together as a team; and providing the overall vision and sense of direction for the organization.
Section 2: Vice President
The duties of the Vice President shall include, but shall not be limited to:, fulfilling the responsibilities of the President in those instances where the President is unable to serve; assuming the office of the President in the event that the President either resigns or is impeached; generally managing the internal affairs of APALSA and any other duty as the President so designates.
Section 3: Secretary
The duties of the Secretary shall include, but shall not be limited to keeping minutes at all meetings of the Executive Board and general body; maintain thorough organizational files and records; handle organizational correspondence; distributing meeting minutes to members, and assisting the President and the Vice President with other administrative duties, and serving as a liaison between the Executive Board and one of the standing committees.
Section 4: Treasurer
The duties of the Treasurer shall include, but shall not be limited to collecting and disbursing all APALSA funds; maintaining an accurate record of all members; establishing and submitting an annual budget request to the Law School Student Senate; depositing and withdrawing funds; maintaining an accurate record of APALSA revenues and expenditures; reporting regularly to the Executive Board and to the membership the group’s financial status; working closely with Student Organization Accounts Service; and applying for grants.
ARTICLE IV: COMMITTEES
APALSA shall maintain any number of committees assigned to execute the purposes of the organization. These committees shall be authorized by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall make provisions directing the selection of committee chairs or co-chairs and other members of each of the committees. While not bound by these areas, committees that have historically existed include those that dealt with academics, admissions, alumni affairs, community service, political advocacy, guest speaker sponsorship, social events, faculty hiring, first year student mentoring, and other areas deemed necessary by the Executive Board to fulfill the purposes of APALSA.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
Section 1: Membership Meetings
The membership of APALSA shall meet at the discretion of the Executive Board although it is often necessary to meet at least twice a month during the academic year. Meetings shall generally consist of committee reports, Executive Board reports, and any business or elections requiring the vote of the membership. All major policy decisions regarding the official positions and the general direction of APALSA shall be brought before the APALSA membership for approval.
Section 2: Executive Board
The Executive Board of APALSA shall meet at the discretion of the Executive Board although it is often necessary to meet at least once a week during the academic year.
Section 3: Committees
Committees shall meet as often as deemed necessary by the leaders of that committee or by the Executive Board.
Section 4: Special Meetings
The President or one-third of the Executive Board can call a special meeting of the membership, the Executive Board, or the committee.
Section 5: Notice
Reasonable advance notice shall be given to all appropriate members for meetings and should include the place, date, and time of the meeting.
Section 6: Quorum and Voting
Each body needs a quorum of one-third plus one of that specific body. All business shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the quorum present, except where otherwise specified. Voting shall take place by a voice vote or a show of hands unless a ballot vote is deemed necessary by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VI: ELECTIONS
Section 1: Date and Time
Elections for the APALSA Executive Board shall generally take place sometime during the Winter semester before the year of service commences. The Executive Board determines the specific date of the election. If there are first year students who are to serve on the Executive Board, the election for these students shall be in the September of their year of service on a date determined by the Executive Board.
Section 2: Election Commission
At least fifteen days prior to the election date, the Executive Board shall create an Elections Commission. The Commission shall be composed of any three members not seeking an elected office. The Commission has oversight over the procedures for members to declare the candidacy, making the electorate aware of the candidates and the candidates’ positions, creating the ballots, conducting the voting, tabulating the voting, and making the membership aware of the results.
Section 3: Voting Procedures
The election shall be by a secret ballot. All members can vote. Write-in candidates are allowed so long as those candidates are members of APALSA. A candidate shall be elected to office if that candidate receives a greater number of eligible votes than any other candidate for that office. In the event that a candidate runs unopposed, a minimum of five of the ballots cast shall be required to elect that candidate to office. In the event of a tie, there shall be a run-off election between the candidates for that office that received the highest number of votes. The Election Commission shall count the ballots and preserve them for 30 days following an election in case the election results are contested. The results shall be generally published to the membership. Absentee voting shall not be allowed.
Section 4: Special Elections
If there is a vacancy in any office, the Executive Board shall authorize the Election Commission to hold a special election to fill the vacancy according to the procedures outlined above.
ARTICLE VII: IMPEACHMENT
Section 1: Grounds for Impeachment
Any member of APALSA may be impeached. Grounds for impeachment shall include, but shall not be limited to failure to maintain active involvement in the organization; failure to make a good faith effort to perform duties; becoming incapacitated; noncompliance with goals and missions of APALSA and; conflict of interest and non-disclosure of such conflict of interest.
Section 2: Process
An article of impeachment may be filed against any member of APALSA stating the grounds for impeachment. It must also be signed by 25% of the membership. The article of impeachment must be filed with the President. If it is filed against the President, the article must be filed with the Vice President. The President or Vice President, respectively, will notify the member against whom the article of impeachment has been filed and set a date of hearing to be held before the general body not less than five days after receipt of the charges and not more than ten days after the receipt of the charges. The President or Vice President, respectively, shall chair the hearing. The charged member shall have the opportunity to speak at the hearing to defend against the charges. The general body shall have the opportunity to question the charged administrative officer or representative. At the close of the hearing, the members shall vote on the article of impeachment. A two-thirds vote of all the members is required to impeach and remove the individual either from office or from membership with APALSA.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
This Constitution shall be adopted by two-thirds vote of all current APALSA members. This Constitution may be amended or rescinded by APALSA upon two-thirds vote of the members, provided that the proposed change has been submitted in writing at least two days prior to the general body meeting.
This page was updated by APALSA's 2017-2018 Board.