Ratified: Feb 16th, 2015
The Vietnamese American youth community has organized itself to serve different needs over the years, as reflected by these six different organizations from the past:
- Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of Northern California (UVSA); 1991-1997
- Light Up Our Faith Vietnamese-American Youth Network of Northern California (MLNT); 1999
- Vietnamese American Youth for the Future (VAYF); 1999–2001
- Vietnamese Student Association Link (VSAL); 1999–2004
- Vietnamese Student Association Union of Sacramento (VSAU); 2003–2006
- Vietnamese-American Public Research Institute (VAPRI); 2003–2006
- Bay Area Vietnamese Student Association (BAVSA); 1999–2008
Founded in 2002, the United Vietnamese Student Associations of Northern California (UVSA) has organized to meet the needs of the current generation of Vietnamese American youth. The purpose of this Constitution is to establish the structure and foundation of UVSA as a youth community.
ARTICLE 1. Name
The name of the organization shall be: United Vietnamese Student Associations of Northern California; hereinafter referred to as UVSA or Tổng Hội Sinh Viên Việt Nam miền Bắc California.
ARTICLE 2. UVSA Foundation
Section 1. Vision
The vision of UVSA is to create a youth community that has a respected voice in the broader Vietnamese American community.
Section 2. Mission
The mission of UVSA is to be a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization as a means for youth to organize socially and civically in Northern California.
Section 3. Values
Subsection A. Leadership
Mentorship – Guidance and compassion
Ethics – Being transparent, fiscally responsible, and performing properly
Teamwork – being open to ideas, promoting respect
Subsection B. Community
Promoting brotherhood/sisterhood, solidarity among Vietnamese Student Associations
Having a seat at the table in the broader Vietnamese-American community
Culture of teaching and learning from each other
Subsection C. Education
Preserving culture and language
Personal and organizational growth
Subsection D. Creativity
Fostering idealism, having fun, and being open to change.
ARTICLE III. Affiliation
Section 1. Relationship with Affiliate VSAs in Northern California
Subsection A. UVSA may intervene and serve as mediator in the event of intraorganizational disputes and/or disagreements. If no mediation can take place, UVSA may and will enforce each individual VSA as per their respective constitution.
Subsection B. Inclusion and Removal of Affiliates
- Paragraph 1 In order for a youth organization to be eligible to become an affiliate of UVSA, the organization must fulfill the following requirements:
1. The organization must be recognized by its school.
2. A representative from the organization must attend 3 consecutive Intercollegiate Council (ICC) meetings. ICC meetings compose of at least one per month face-to-face meeting.
3. The organization must host 3 general events of its own or as collaboration with current UVSA.
4. Upon completion of the above requirements, the organization’s petition for affiliation will then be put under review by the ICC board and E-Board.
- Paragraph 2 An affiliate may be put under review for the removal of its affiliate status from UVSA if one of the three criteria is met:
1. The affiliate has failed to produce a representative at two consecutive ICC meetings. One (1) of the missed meetings may be excused provided the representative notifies the E-Board of his/her absence at least one week prior to the meeting.
2. The ICC may have a proxy if the ICC representative cannot attend and notify the E-Board at least one week prior to the meeting.
3. The affiliate has missed three out of five (3 out of 5) week period.
4. The affiliate is no longer recognized by its school.
Section 2. Relationships with Other Entities
Subsection A. UVSA can elect to formalize a relationship with any other entity that does not go against our mission, but that relationship cannot extend past the term that created that relationship. UVSA can only formalize its relationship with other entities upon a ¾ combined vote of both the ICC and E-Board.
Subsection B. UNAVSA
- Paragraph 1 As an exception to Article III, Section 2, Subsection A, UVSA recognizes that it is part of the community of the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA), so long as that relationship does not go against UVSA’s mission.
- Paragraph 2 The ICC can rescind this recognition upon a majority vote, but only after giving UNAVSA representatives an opportunity to be heard on the matter. If this occurs, recognition of UVSA’s relationship to UNAVSA must be reviewed in each subsequent term to determine whether reinstatement is appropriate, with UNAVSA representatives being able to speak on the matter each time before the decision is made. Reinstatement must be passed by a ¾ combined vote of both ICC and E-Board
- Paragraph 3 This subsection shall become completely null and void should the ICC and E-Board vote unanimously to rescind recognition of its relationship to UNAVSA during any term.
ARTICLE IV. Offices
Section 1. The Intercollegiate Council
Subsection A. The Intercollegiate Council (ICC) shall consist of the student representatives from the affiliate members of UVSA. There shall be no more than two (2) representatives for each affiliate. Each affiliate is still limited to a single vote in the ICC.
Subsection B. ICC representatives shall be chosen every year by the electors of their respective organizations.
Subsection C. The times, places, and manner of holding elections of ICC representatives shall be determined by the members whom they represent.
Subsection D. Terms for the ICC shall start upon their elections/appointments until the following term.
Section 2. The Executive Board
Subsection A. The Executive Board (E-board) shall consist of up to seven (7) officers elected by members of the E-Board and Intercollegiate Council. Those officers are as follows:
- President (1)
- Vice-President of Internal Affairs – IVP (1)
- Vice-President of External Affairs – EVP (1)
- Treasurer (1)
- Secretary (1)
- UNAVSA Council of Regional Representative Representative(s) – CORR Representative(s) (1-2)
Subsection B. Terms for the E-Board shall be for two year.
Subsection C. Members of the E-Board, except for UNAVSA Council of Regional Representative Representative(s), shall be no younger than twenty (20) and no older than twenty-eight (28) years of age at the beginning of their term, with the exception of special consideration.
Subsection D. The UNAVSA Council of Regional Representative(s) shall be no younger than eighteen (18) and no older than twenty-eight (28) years of age at the beginning of his or her term, with the exception of special consideration.
Subsection E. Each E-Board member will be a voting member of the ICC.
Subsection F. Board will be the primary authority of UVSA
Section 3. General Staff
Subsection A. The General Staff shall consist of individuals appointed by the E-Board or the ICC, and shall serve the entity that appointed them.
Subsection B. General Staff shall be instated by a 3/4 vote of the E-Board, or a 3/4 vote of the ICC.
Subsection C. Terms of General Staff shall run concurrently with the E-Board terms.
Section 4. Board of Advisors
Subsection A. The Board of Advisors shall consist of prominent individuals in the community, former E-Board members, and supporters.
Subsection B. The number of advisors shall be determined by the ICC, although there shall be no more than five (5) advisors.
Subsection C. Advisors shall be instated by a three-fourth (3/4) combined vote by the E-Board.
Subsection D. The Board of Advisors shall serve concurrently with the term of the E-board that appointed them.
Subsection E. Advisors are charged with helping UVSA fundraise.
ARTICLE V. Duties and Powers
Section 1. The Intercollegiate Council
Subsection A. The responsibilities of the ICC are to:
- Paragraph 1 Plan and execute events that promote UVSA’s mission.
- Paragraph 2 Foster the relationship between affiliate members of UVSA.
- Paragraph 3 Take positions on issues that reflect the opinions of the affiliates they represent. Any such decisions must be passed by a ¾ majority.
- Paragraph 4 Responsibly allocate the resources of UVSA to properly fund and support UVSA’s activities, which includes:
- Subparagraph a Creating and approving an annual budget in conjunction with the Treasurer.
- Subparagraph b Adjusting the annual budget as needed to maintain UVSA’s fiscal viability with the Treasurer.
- Subparagraph c Approving budgets for UVSA’s activities that fall within the limits established by the annual budget.
- Paragraph 5 Elect a chair to facilitate its efforts for each term.
Subsection C. The responsibilities of the ICC Chair are to:
- Paragraph 1 Set times and agendas for all ICC meetings.
- Paragraph 2 Facilitate communication among ICC representatives.
- Paragraph 3 Serve as the official representative of the ICC.
- Paragraph 4 Ensure that the ICC and its members perform the duties required of them.
- Paragraph 5 Maintain ICC’s relationship to the E-Board.
Section 2. The Executive Board
Subsection A. As the administrative support for UVSA, the E-Board performs those functions that are necessary to maintaining UVSA as an organization.
Subsection B. The responsibilities of the E-Board are to:
- Paragraph 1 Provide advice and guidance to the ICC in the performance of its duties.
- Paragraph 2 Attend ICC meetings in the performance of its duty to advise and guide the ICC.
- Paragraph 3 Ensure that UVSA complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Paragraph 4 Represent UVSA to the community.
- Paragraph 5 Build and maintain UVSA’s relationship to the community.
- Paragraph 6 Maintain and keep all UVSA records in an organized and accessible manner.
Subsection C. The responsibilities of the President are to:
- Paragraph 1 Maintain general active management of the organization.
- Paragraph 2 Uphold the integrity of the Constitution.
- Paragraph 3 Represent the organization to the public.
- Paragraph 4 Ensure that each committee has a chairperson, and maintain communication with the chairperson to ensure that their work is executed.
- Paragraph 5 Ensure that board matters are handled properly, including preparation of meeting materials, functionality of committees, and orientation of new Board of Advisor members.
- Paragraph 6 Co-sign with the Treasurer on all financial statements for UVSA.
- Paragraph 7 Co-sign with the Vice-President of Internal Affairs on all contractual agreements pertaining to UVSA.
- Paragraph 8 Serve as a voting member of the E-Board.
Subsection D. The responsibilities of the Vice-President of Internal Affairs are to:
- Paragraph 1 Act as the President in the absence of the President.
- Paragraph 2 Keep the E-Board informed of all affiliated VSA activities.
- Paragraph 3 Manage all intra-organizational issues and operations of the E-Board and staff under the E-Board.
- Paragraph 4 Serve as the principal point of contact for the ICC Chair in maintaining communication between the E-Board and the ICC.
- Paragraph 5 Serve as a voting member of the E-Board.
Subsection E. The responsibilities of the Vice-President of External Affairs are to:
- Paragraph 1 Act as the President in the absence of the President and the Vice-President of Internal Affairs.
- Paragraph 2 Act in support of the President in representing UVSA to the community.
- Paragraph 3 Assist UVSA in all public relation matters.
- Paragraph 4 Keep the E-Board informed of all matters affecting UVSA, its affiliated organizations, and the local Vietnamese community.
- Paragraph 5 Serve as a voting member of the E-Board.
Subsection F. The responsibilities of the Treasurer are to:
- Paragraph 1. Act as the President in the absence of the President, Vice-President of Internal Affairs, and Vice-President of External Affairs.
- Paragraph 2. Produce an annual budget in conjunction with the ICC, maintain records of all transactions, and monitor all of UVSA’s activities to ensure that UVSA remains within the budget and fiscally viable.
- Paragraph 3. Provide advice and counsel to the ICC with regards to any and all matters involving the finances of UVSA.
- Paragraph 4. Ensure timely processing of financial statements with appropriate governmental bodies.
- Paragraph 5. Co-sign with the President on all financial statements for UVSA.
- Paragraph 6. Serve as a voting member of the E-Board.
Subsection G. The responsibilities of the Secretary are to:
- Paragraph 1 Act as the President in the absence of the President, Vice-President of Internal Affairs, Vice-President of External Affairs and Treasurer.
- Paragraph 2 Keep minutes of all official E-Board meetings, distribute minutes promptly following each meeting, and provide minutes when necessary.
- Paragraph 3 Collect and maintain ICC meeting minutes.
- Paragraph 4 Inform the E-Board and the ICC of any correspondence addressed to them as Secretary of the organization.
- Paragraph 5 File any certificates required by any statute, federal or state.
- Paragraph 6 Be the official custodian of the records and seal of this organization.
- Paragraph 7 Serve as a voting member of the E-Board.
Subsection H. The responsibilities of the UNAVSA Council of Regional Representative Representative(s) are to:
- Paragraph 1 Act as the President in the absence of the President, Internal Vice President, External Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.
- Paragraph 2 Assess and monitor the needs of the schools and youth organizations within each region.
- Paragraph 3 Serve as a liason between UNAVSA and UVSA, with regular reports to the ICC on the activities and actions of UNAVSA and the Representative in support of UNAVSA.
- Paragraph 4 Support UNAVSA operations in the region.
- Paragraph 5 This position can be concurrently occupied by a maximum of two (2) people.
- Paragraph 6 Serve as a voting member of the E-board.
ARTICLE VI. Removal of an Officer and Filling Vacancies
Section 1. Removal of an Officer
Subsection A. The ICC may remove a member of the ICC or E-Board upon a ¾ vote. The person to be removed must be given the opportunity to address the ICC before it makes its decision.
Subsection B. A member of the ICC is considered removed if the affiliate it represents chooses to remove it. The affiliate shall determine its own process for removing its representative from the ICC.
Section 2. Filling Vacancies
Subsection A. President shall appoint a person to fill any vacancies on the E-Board. That appointee must be confirmed by a 3/4 vote of the ICC.
Subsection B. In the event of a vacancy on the ICC that belongs to an affiliate, the affiliate must fill the vacancy within 30 days. Should the affiliate not fill the vacancy within 30 days, the ICC may place the affiliate’s membership under review.
ARTICLE VII. Quorum
Quorum shall be 50 percent, plus one member, of the voting body. Quorum is required to conduct any voting within the ICC or the E-Board.
ARTICLE VIII. Bylaws
The provisions of the Constitution shall be carried out in accordance with the current Bylaws of UVSA. Amendments to the Bylaws require passage of a simple majority vote within the ICC. This Constitution is considered a higher authority than the Bylaws.
ARTICLE IX. Elections
Regular elections shall be overseen by the Elections Committee, as outlined within the Bylaws.
ARTICLE X. Amending the Constitution
Section 1. Process
Subsection 1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be reviewed and passed by a ¾ vote of the ICC. Those amendments to the Constitution must then be reviewed and voted upon by the officers of each of the affiliate organizations. The affiliate organization approves the proposed amendment if three-fourth (3/4) of its officers approve. Amendments are adopted if three-fourth (3/4) of all affiliate organizations approve. Approval of those proposed amendments by the affiliates must be shown at a constitutional convention that is separate from an ICC meeting.
Subsection 2. For purposes of amending the Constitution, the E-Board shall only have to vote on the proposed amendment once, and that is as a sitting member of the ICC.
Section 2. Notice
All offices and their constituents shall be informed 14 days in advance of meetings designated for the purpose of making amendments.
ARTICLE XI. Dissolution
Section 1. Process
Dissolution of UVSA must be by a unanimous vote of both the E-Board and the ICC, where each member of the E-Board is counted as a vote.
Section 2. Transfer of Assets
All funds or other assets of UVSA, including any rights to funds, present or future, contingent or actual, shall be irrevocably assigned and transferred to any successor organization, which has among its principal purposes the development of Vietnamese youth leadership, and has qualified as an exempt organization under Section 501 of the 1954 Internal Revenue Code, or any amendments thereto.
Section 3. Successorship
The selection of the successor organization shall be approved by a three-fourth (3/4) majority vote of the ICC and be named in the Board’s minutes and its Articles of Dissolution, but need not be named in the motion or petition for dissolution.
ARTICLE XII. Ratification
Section 1. Member Organizations
The organizations that must consider ratification of this document are those currently affiliated with UVSA at the time of its ratification on Feb 16, 2015
- The Vietnamese Student Association of California State University of East Bay (VSA CSUEB)
- The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal VSA)
- The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of California, Davis (UCD VSA)
- The Vietnamese Student Association of San Jose State University (SJSU VSA)
- The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of California, Merced (UCM VSA)
- The Vietnamese Student Association at Stanford University (SVSA)
- The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)
- The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of the Pacific (UOP VSA)
Section 2. Process
Each organization must approve the document by at least seventy-five percent of their officers. This document shall be considered ratified once four (4) of the member organizations approve it.
ARTICLE XIII. Signatories
The approval of the member organizations shall be represented by the signature of their current respective ICC representatives of the time of signing.
- Tu Tran, University of California at Berkeley VSA
- Van Nguyen, University of California at Berkeley VSA
- Quang Nguyen, De Anza Community College VSA
- Nancy Le, University of California at Davis VSA
- Kimberly Le, University of California at Merced VSA
- Michael Tran, San Jose State University VSA
- Brain Tran, Stanford University VSA
- Dom Do, University of California at Santa Cruz VSA
- LeAnne Tran, University of the Pacific VSA
- Henry Le, University of the Pacific VSA
This approval was witnessed and verified by the active Board of UVSA 2014–2016.
- Jason Le, President
- Tony Tran, Vice-President of Internal Affair
- William Phuong, Vice-President of External Affair
- Ngoc Tran, Secretary
- Tony Tran, UNAVSA Council of Regional Representative
- Nancy Le, UNAVSA Council of Regional Representative
This Constitution is hereby ratified and shall be the governing document for the United Vietnamese Student Associations of Northern California.