Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) Constitution
Drafted June, 2001
Modified August 2003, October 2007, May 2010, October 2012
Article I – Definitions
Board of Directors: Refer to the OLAS at St. George executive members, unless otherwise specified.
Executive Officers: Members who are elected to administrative positions including: President, Social Coordinator, Treasurer, Marketing Executive, External Affairs Officer and others. In order to be considered for the executive positions, members must be in good standing and have followed administrative qualifications under Art. V.
Good Standing: Members are in good standing when they have paid their annual fee and do not have any pending conflicts with OLAS at St. George. Members in good standing are eligible to vote and run for elections, as well in the organization of any event.
Membership: Consists of anyone in the university community who participates in the OLAS at St. George and is in good standing.
Organization of Latin American Students – St. George: A student-run cultural organization operating from the University of Toronto, St. George Campus hereinafter referred to as OLAS at St. George.
Project Coordinator: Refers to the leader of an OLAS project, who does not have to be an executive, but is the person who bares sole responsibility for coordinating a project.
University Community: Includes, but is not limited to, students, staff, faculty and alumni.
Article II – Purpose and Objectives
2.1 To protect, maintain and advance the interests of its members.
2.2 To promote Latin American cultural and social exchange to its members with the purpose of embracing the richness of Latin American roots and welcoming individuals of diverse backgrounds.
2.3 This constitution adheres to the principles and values enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act, 1982 and to the policies that affect student groups at the University of Toronto.
2.4 Cultural Waves is a title for the Cultural Exchange of OLAS at St. George. The goal of this project is to raise Latin American awareness at the university level and to promote the diversity found in Latin America. For a cultural event to be entitled Cultural Waves, it must take place during one designated week in the first semester of the academic fiscal year.
2.5 Student Aid and Learning Opportunities Programme (SALO) – This project is intended to counter the under representation of Latin American Students in post-secondary institutions in the Greater Toronto Area. The project consists of student volunteers providing a tutoring service to high school students free of charge. The relationship provided by the tutor will provide guidance and a role model for the tutored student. Aside from providing academic assistance, the tutor will continually stress the importance of post-secondary education in a manner that the tutored student will perceive it to be inevitable part of their academic life.
2.6 Getting Here – In March of every academic year, SALO will implement one day of outreach, where SALO tutors and mentors will welcome highschool students to the St. George campus. On this day, highschool students will have an opportunity to learn about student aid, attend lecture(s) of their interest, receive a tour of the St. George campus and hear from motivational speakers, all in an effort to promote postsecondary education to Latin American highschool students from the community.
2.7 Spanish Conversation Classes (Charlas)– These classes are offered with the purpose of furthering the knowledge of the Spanish Language and culture on campus. Classes are open to all OLAS members free of charge. No prior knowledge of the Spanish language is required.
Article III – Fees
3.1 Members are required to pay a nominal fee defined by the executive officers to participate in the St. George OLAS branch.
3.2 Members must pay their membership fee once a year to remain in good standing.
3.3 Fees shall be used for operating costs of the OLAS at St. George and toward its various events.
3.4 Members are expected to pay their fees within a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the executive officers.
Article IV – Officers
4.1 The following positions shall be available by election:
(a) 1 President or 2 Co-Presidents as defined by the executive officers.
(b) Vice President
(c) V.P. Treasurer
(d) V.P. Cultural Coordinator
(e) V.P. Social Coordinator
(f) V.P. External Affairs Coordinator
(g) V.P. Internal Affairs Coordinator
(h) V.P. Student Outreach Coordinator
(i) V.P. Marketing Coordinator
(j) Marketing Committee Coordinator
(k) Marketing Committee
(l) Events Committee Coordinator
(m) Events Committee
(n) V.P. Community Service Coordinator
(o) College representatives.
(p) Latin American Studies Liason
(q) Dance Team Coordinator
4.2 If no member is willing to take any of the positions(s), the remaining officers will share the duties and responsibilities of the vacant positions until someone can be found to fulfill the positions(s).
Article V – Duties of Officers
5.1 It shall be understood that the priority of all Officers is the interest of the OLAS at St. George and its members as outlined in Article II. Officers may be expected to perform beyond the call of duty and to share duties with other officers for the success of OLAS at St. George.
5.1.1 Executive Officers will be referred to as Board of Directors unless otherwise specified.
5.2 The responsibilities of the President shall encompass but not limited to:
(a) Guide and oversee the OLAS at St. George and the other executive officers in the best interest of OLAS at St. George and its members.
(b) Call and preside at all OLAS at St. George meetings.
(c) Be the liaison between University authorities, OLAS at St. George and the OLAS Council.
(d) Is held responsible to attend all OLAS at St. George meeting and events, OLAS Council meetings and events and all community outreach events, or to make the appropriate arrangements for a representative to take their place.
(e) Create an annual report, which must be available to the membership and public at the end of the August of each electoral year. The Vice-President and Treasurer must collaborate in this document.
(f) Must be the primary signing officer for the organization at the University of Toronto level, and secondary signing officer for the organization’s finance accounts.
(g) Must inform the Treasurer as earliest as possible of any monetary transaction made involving the clubs monetary funds.
5.3 The responsibilities of the Vice President shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Responsible for membership records
(b) Upon resignation or removal of the President, the Vice-President becomes the interim President. It is the immediate responsibility of the interim President to call a General Meeting and hold elections.
(c) Must aid the President in drawing up an annual report due at the end of August of each active year.
(d) Must be the secondary signing officer for the organization at the University of Toronto administrative level, and has absolutely no access to the organization’s financial accounts.
5.4 The responsibilities of the Vice-Presidential (V.P.) Treasurer shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Management of the finances and accounting of the organization.
(b) Drafting a budget, ensuring income covers expenses and that the budget balances at the end of the term.
(c) Preparing an overview of the budget and financial transactions for every meeting of the executive officers and general meetings.
(d) Must draw-up an annual financial report due at the end of August or whenever requested for administrative purposes.
(e) Must inform President at the earliest convenience of any monetary transactions involving the organization’s funds.
(f) Is the primary signing officer of the organization’s finance account.
5.5 The responsibilities of the Vice-Presidential (V.P.) Cultural Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Organize and promote cultural events within the OLAS at St. George.
(b) Be the liaison between cultural aspects within clubs and organizations at the University of Toronto and OLAS at St. George.
(c) Works closely with the External Affairs Officer and the Social Coordinator.
(d) Is in charge of organizing OLAS cultural waves.
(e) Is in charge of OLAS weekly salsa lessons along with the Social Coordinator.
5.6 The responsibilities of the Vice-Presidential (V.P.) Social Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Organize and coordinate social events within the OLAS at St.George.
(b) Be the liaison between social aspects within clubs and organizations at the University of Toronto and OLAS at St. George.
(c) Works closely with the External Affairs Officer and the Cultural Coordinator.
(d) Is in charge of organizing OLAS salsa lessons along with the Cultural Coordinator and OLAS massive parties.
(e) Is in charge of weekly soccer games and the annual tri-campus soccer tournament.
5.7 The responsibilities of the Vice-Presidential (V.P.) External Affairs Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Liaison between OLAS Council and the OLAS at St. George.
(b) Liaison between entities outside the University Community and the OLAS St. George.
(c) Works closely with the social and cultural coordinator.
(d) Is responsible for OLAS at St. George attendance at the OLAS Council meetings.
5.8 The responsibilities of the Vice-Presidential (V.P.) Internal Affairs Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Internal communication and networking.
(b) Relaying event updates and information via the weekly or biweekly OLAS newsletter to all OLAS members via electronic mail.
(c) Responsible for taking minutes during meetings.
(d) Responsible for contacting all executive members when required.
5.9 The responsibilities of the Vice-Presidential (V.P.) Marketing Committee Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Obtain private sponsorship for OLAS at St. George.
(b) In charge of the coordination of the advertisement of the various events held or endorsed by OLAS at St. George.
5.9.1 The responsibilities of the Marketing Committee shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Assist the marketing coordinator with projects.
(b) Must put up posters and distribute flyers as needed around the St. George campus and the GTA.
(c) Have no voting powers.
5.10 The responsibilities of the Events Committee Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Is in charge of promoting OLAS at St. George and holding events to recruit new OLAS members.
(b)Help organize and coordinate social events within the OLAS at St.George.
(d) Help coordinate the advertisement of the various events held or endorsed by OLAS at St. George.
(e) Works closely with the External Affairs Officer and the Social Coordinator.
(f) Works closely with the Marketing Committee Coordinator.
(g) Helps organize, implement and carry through OLAS cultural waves.
5.10.1 The responsibilities of the Events Committee shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Assist the events coordinator with projects.
(b) Must assist in OLAS events as needed.
(c) Have no voting powers.
5.11 The responsibilities of the Vice-President (V.P.) Student Outreach Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Project Head of SALO and Getting Here.
(b) Must promote SALO at the beginning of each academic year to highschools and highschool students across the GTA.
(c) Is responsible for finding and applying for external funds for SALO.
(d) Is the liaison between SALO and the University of Toronto Student Access and Outreach Coordinator.
5.12 The responsibilities of the V.P. Community Service Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Liaison between OLAS at St. George and all establishments and institutions outside the university dealing with social assistance (these include, but are not limited to: community centres, retirement homes, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc.).
(b) Is responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers for any OLAS St. George event.
(c) Shall keep a record of the contributions of every volunteer that may be used to calculate the community service hours they have put into OLAS St. George.
(d) Must approve all declarations, contracts or documents expressing the amount of community service hours that an individual has dedicated to OLAS.
5.13 The responsibilities of the College Representatives shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Responsible for promoting OLAS events.
(b) Have voting powers
(c) Go to lectures and announce OLAS and OLAS at St. George events.
(d) Assist in projects headed by other executives.
(e) Assist in the well-being of the club and whose overall purpose is to promote Articles 2.1 and 2.2.
5.14 The Latin American Studies Liason will be appointed by the Latin American Studies Department.
5.14.1. Said appointment should be approved by simple majority (50% + 1) by the Board of Directors.
5.14.2. The responsibilities of the Latin American Studies Liason shall encompass but are not limited to:
(a) Act as a link to the LAS Department, expressing concerns, issues, and information that the LAS Department might have to the Board of Directors.
(b) Express the concerns of OLAS to the LAS Department and promote events to the department.
(c) Express the concerns and aspirations of students in the Latin American Studies Program.
(d) Have no voting powers.
5.15 The responsibilities Dance Team Coordinator shall encompass but are not limited to:
5.15.1 Responsible for managing any and all affairs too do with OLAS dance
220.127.116.11 Choreography and costumes
18.104.22.168 Managing space and reporting booking requests to the president and vice president
Article VI – Selection of Officers
6.1 A general election will be held every year at the end of April.
6.2 This election shall be made by an anonymous vote by OLAS at St. George members during a general meeting. The candidate who receives the majority or the plurality of the votes cast will be declared the winner.
6.2.1 In the case that there is only one candidate for a position at the time of an election, the candidate is acclaimed.
6.3 The exception includes a position other than the President opening at a random time due to resignation or removal. In this case, a by-election will be held if there is more than one willing candidate to fill the position. In the case that there is one willing candidate, the executive council will appoint the candidate President and the members of OLAS at St. George will ratify the appointment by vote.
6.3.1 On the occasion that there is more than one willing candidate general elections will be held at the earliest convenience.
6.4 To be eligible for an executive position the following rule must apply. Under the University of Toronto student organization policy, nominee must be a University of Toronto student, alumni, staff or faculty member.
6.5 Eligibility for the position of President rests on the following criteria of experience:
(a) Must have organized two (2) OLAS at St. George events that promoted Articles 2.1 and 2.2 and that also placed significant impact on the
University community and its members.
(b) Must have held a previous executive position in a responsible manner, without the threat of impeachment or any other form of removal.
6.6 Eligibility for the position of Vice-President rests on the following criteria of experience:
(a) Must have organized one (1) OLAS at St. George event that promoted Articles 2.1 and 2.2 and that also placed a significant impact on the University community and its members.
(b) Must have held a previous executive position without threat of impeachment or any other form of removal.
6.7 Eligibility for the position of Vice-Presidential Treasurer rests on the following criteria of experience:
(a) Handling money and accounts, or any form of bookkeeping experience.
(b) Must have held a previous executive position in a responsible manner, without the threat of impeachment or any form of removal.
6.8 To be eligible for election for any of the positions, nominee must be a good-standing OLAS at St. George member, and be either a University of Toronto student or alumnus, staff/faculty member.
6.9 A Board Member that has been impeached, removed or resigned cannot run for any given position for a period of two (2) years. After two years, if they should decide for another term, they must inform Members and the Board of Executives of their impeachment, removal or resignation and the reasons thereof in order to be eligible for candidacy.
Article VII – Term of Office
7.1 All Executive Officers shall serve one-year terms commencing on the last day of classes during the second semester and after General Elections are held under normal circumstances. In case of by-elections the term commences immediately after elections are held and lasts until the end of the regular term.
7.2 Officers can serve only two successive one-year terms in any one position.
7.3 Once an Officer has served a two-year term period in a particular position that person cannot return to that position but may be appointed to a different position.
7.4 Once executive officers are elected, they are to share duties with the outgoing executive team in order to learn their positions, until that time when their term commences.
Article VIII – Committees
8.1 An Officer may establish a committee, composed by OLAS at St. George members only, as he or she deems necessary and may delegate their own authority to committee members.
Article IX – Finances
9.1 The President and the Treasurer shall have signing authority over all finances of the OLAS at St. George.
9.2 All funds remaining in the OLAS at St. George account at the end of term will be carried over to the next term office.
9.3 Any event which has 30% of its cost covered by participants, and the participants themselves input more than a total of 100$ should:
9.3.1. Split the total payment into separate deposits, each at a different point in time before the event.
9.3.2. Have as a stipulation that once a deposit due date has already passed, all deposits made are non-refundable.
9.3.3. An exception to the previous article should be a death in the family, unforeseen medical occurrence, etc.
9.3.4. Any case that does not fall into the above mentioned categories shall be reviewed by the executive.
9.3.5. Before making a deposit, participants of the event must be told that the deposit is non-refundable.
Article X – Arbitration and Settlement of Disputes
10.1 Should irreconcilable differences occur, there shall be a vote within the executive officers as to the settlement of the dispute.
10.1.1 There should be a 75% majority.
10.2 In the event that the officers should fail to achieve a consensus with regard to the said dispute the President shall have the final decision on the previously-mentioned matter.
10.3 In the event that the concern shall be related to an issue of misconduct with the President, the Vice-President and the Treasurer have final authority.
Article XI – Constitutional Amendments
11.1 Suggested amendments shall be directed toward any OLAS Executive Officer.
11.2 These suggestions shall be voted upon by the OLAS members after being broadly discussed in a general meeting.
11.3 Amendments shall be agreed upon by the OLAS members before being instituted.
Article XII – Meetings
12.1 General meetings must be held at least two times per year, at least one per term.
12.2 The President of OLAS at St. George must call all meetings.
12.3 Notification should be made at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
12.4 Executive Officers meeting must be held at least twice per month.
12.5 General members are welcome to attend Executive Officers’ meeting
12.5.1 General members do not hold voting right in these meeting
Article XIII – Officer Impeachment
13.1 Any member of OLAS at St. George (including members of the Executive Council) may file a grievance against a member of the Executive Council.
13.2 Grounds for impeachment include but are not limited to: failure to adhere to their executive responsibilities; failure to be present for 3 consecutive meetings (valid excuses include accident or illness, Act of God, vacation or any other excuse the Board of Directors deems acceptable); failure to finish a project they have started.
13.3 A meeting of the Executive Council will be convened at the earliest convenience to address the matter. The complainant will present their case and the Executive Officer in question will be given the opportunity to present a defense. If the matter cannot be settled in within the Executive Council (i.e. through discussion and/or vote), or if the Executive Officer being impeached wishes to appeal the decision of the Executive Council, the matter will be presented to the general membership, who will then cast the deciding vote.
Article XIV – Method of Officer Resignation
14.1 Written document must be submitted for the records which will be released to the executives and members.
14.2 Must give 2 weeks notice to allow the Board of Directors to adjust to the change and outcome of resignation.
Article XV – Arbitration
15.1 Submit a formal written complaint to the OLAS President and allow for 30 days for complaint to process; a special OLAS Board of Directors will be selected, with at least 2 non-executive members to deal with the complaint. If no resolution has been received by the plaintiff, please submit a formal complaint to the University Authorities, University of Toronto Student Union and Student Life Programs and Services.
15.2 Complaint must be made within 6 months from when the infraction occurred.