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The Mission of BSA

The Carleton Black Student Alliance is a multi-cultural organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of Black students at Carleton through political action, community action, and social events.

Understanding that the world changes for the better through the determined efforts of concerned people, and that we are strongest when we are united, BSA exists in order to create that unity and foster that change in hopes of furthering the cause of equality. As a student-run organization, BSA is responsible for advocating for the students at Carleton, taking political stands, and creating the sense of community necessary to unite students to work for positive change.

On campus, we strive to meet the needs of the Black community by holding weekly and/or bi-weekly meetings that are pertinent to the lives of Black students on campus and that create a supportive community for all Black students at Carleton. BSA also creates a sense of a safe and active community in order to adequately represent and respond to the Black community. This sense of community must come from both current social activities and from a sense of shared history and culture. Our strength comes from not only the collective struggle of our contemporaries as well as the cumulative struggles of thousands who have sacrificed before us. Let us strive in our efforts so that we may fulfill the dreams of those who struggled before and brighten the futures of those yet to come.

ARTICLE I - Purpose
The Black Student Alliance shall exist to allow the participation of all people in the promotion of black cultural, intellectual and social interests at Carleton College and in the surrounding community. Above all the alliance shall serve:

  1. To uplift the conscious awareness of the Black Student, politically, culturally, and intellectually.
  2. To champion and ensure the rights of Black students and our community.
  3. To be a guiding and uniting force for the Black Student on campus and the surrounding community.

    This canon shall be met by providing for cultural, political and intellectual weapons, in the form of programs and events for students, faculty, and administrators at Carleton and the surrounding community. This shall be the basic set of rules or principles by which the Black Student Alliance shall govern itself.

    ARTICLE II - Membership
    Membership in the Black Student Alliance is open to the entire Carleton community and will be renewed by registration at the beginning of each academic year.   The Black Student Alliance shall not discriminate against any student on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, sexual orientation, national origin, or handicap.

    Section A. Registered members support the organization but do not engage actively in its events and meetings.  To become a registered member, a student must register with the organization.  Registered members are not allowed to vote nor run for elected office.

    Section B.  Active members, in addition to being registered, active members must either serve on at least one committee or work with at least one Executive Committee member per term.  Active members are allowed to run for an elected office and vote. Active student members must attend 3/4 of the general meetings. The final discretion will be left to the Executive Board upon which they will base their decision upon committee involvement and participation of events.

    ARTICLE III.  Organizational Structure
    The Alliance shall consist of the general membership, the Executive Board elected officers and those created committees, both standing and temporary.

    Section A. The General Body shall consist of the entire membership of the Carleton College Black Student    Alliance. 

    Section B. The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the President, Executive Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Freshman Representative. 

    Section C. The Executive Board shall be the chief policy making body of the Alliance and debate and decide issues in lieu of the general membership. Any decisions made by the Executive Board may be overturned by a majority vote of the general membership.

    ARTICLE IV.  Officer Duties & Expectations

     Section A.  Expectations

    1. Each executive board officer must have at least one scheduled office hour per week or by appointment. This office hour will provide an opportunity for Black Student Alliance members and other people to contact the officers and discuss issues about which they are concerned. 
    2. If an officer must step down or is negligent in fulfilling the responsibilities of their position, the officer should submit a written resignation to the Executive Vice President.
    3. Each officer must attend all General Body and all committee meetings to which they are members.
    4. Each executive board officer must present reports on the activities of their respective divisions at Executive Committee and General Body meetings.
    5. No member of the executive committee can build a formal coalition, make an agreement, or commit to co-sponsorship in the name of the Black Student Alliance without the approval of the Executive Committee.

    Section B.  Committee Chairs
    The committee chairpersons shall include: Academic Chair, Educational Chair and Social Chair.
    Each committee chairperson shall:

    1. ensure that the responsibilities of the committee are carried out.
    2. report to the Executive Vice-President of the Black Student Alliance.
    3. ensure that their respective committees meet twice a month.
    4. coordinate publicity for their respective committees.
    5. represent their committee on the Executive Committee.

    ARTICLE V.  Office of the President
    The President of the Black Student Alliance shall:

    1.       preside over and formulate a set agenda for the Black Student Alliance and for Executive Committee meetings.

    2.       be knowledgeable of each committee and their responsibilities.

    3.       enforce Officer Expectations and Duties

    4.       be principle representative of the Black Student Alliance in all activities outside of the organization unless otherwise delegated.

    5.       serve as the liaison to other campus organizations

    6.        delegate responsibilities to officers in accordance to their constitutional responsibilities.

    7.       work in coalition with presidents of other cultural groups and attend designated meetings of the President’s Council and Intercommunity Council.

    8.       work to assure that the college offers as wells as maintains/promotes relevant programming for Black students.

    9.       foster communication with various college offices (i.e. Dean of Students Office) to remain abreast of issues that touch the lives of Black students outside of the academic realm.

    ARTICLE VI.  Office of the Executive Vice President
    The Executive Vice President shall:

    1.       assume the presidency in the event that the President resigns or is impeached, or is for any reason unable to fulfill his/her duties.

    2.       prepare monthly evaluations of officers. This may be done through meetings or written correspondence.  Be prepared to discuss these evaluations with the Executive committee member concerned.

    3.       preside over and formulate a set agenda for General Body meetings in consultation with the President

    4.       assist the President in enforcing Officer Duties and Expectations.

    5.       act as the voice of the Black Student Alliance on various campus boards as designated by the President.

    6.       assume the responsibilities of vacated positions until a replacement is appointed.

    7.       interview and recommend a replacement no more than two (2) weeks after a position is vacated.

    8.       work with President and the Executive Board to write bylaws to govern the Executive Committee

    ARTICLE VIII.  Office of the Treasurer
     The Treasurer shall:

    1.      report to the President and Executive Vice President.

    2.      give a financial report at each Executive Committee meeting.

    3.      advise committees of funds available to them.

    4.      authorize funding requests of Black Student Alliance officers and consult with the President and Executive Vice President before authorization.

    5.      deposit all monies in the form of ticket sales, donations, etc. into the appropriate accounts.

    6.      compile a proposed line item budget for the upcoming academic year in the beginning of May to present to Carleton Student Association Budget Committee of the Carleton College Student Government.

    7.      verify that all financial transactions.

    8.      present a revised budget of remaining funds to the Executive Committee at the beginning of each trimester.

    9.      oversee the drafting of funding proposals in consultation with President and Executive Vice President.

    ARTICLE VIII.  Office of the Secretary
    The Secretary shall:

    1.       report to the Executive Vice President.

    2.       take minutes at every Executive Committee and General Body meeting.

    3.       keep a record of and post  all minutes and agendas in online for easy access by General Body members within a week after a particular meeting.

    4.       arrange meeting places for the Executive Committee and General Body meetings.

    5.       manage the Black Student Alliance files and supplies.

    6.       maintain an accurate Black Student Alliance mailing list of all current members and former members.

    7.       maintain an updated contact list of cultural and BSA Umbrella group Presidents.

    8.       maintain the BSA email list and post announcements

    9.       coordinate BSA membership registration drive at the beginning of the academic year and as necessary.

    10.    update the announcement guidelines as needed.


    ARTICLE IX.  Freshmen Representatives
    The Freshmen Representatives shall:

    1.       report directly to the Executive Board.

    2.        be selected by Active Members

    3.       keep the Executive Committee  Board abreast of freshman concerns and issues.

    4.       coordinate at least one programming event for first-year African American students.

    ARTICLE X.  Meetings

    Section A.  The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice a month.  These meetings shall serve as a place for Executive Committee members to:

    1.       make the policy decisions for the organization.

    2.       set any agenda items for future action.

    3.       discuss current issues facing the organization.

    4.       make reports of their actions.

    5.       discuss new business and policy affecting the Executive Committee and General Body.

    6.       discuss the Black Student Alliance’s financial status.

    7.       all meetings are open to General Body unless President decides otherwise.

    Section B.  The General Body shall meet at least twice a month with the time and place to be decided by the executive committee.  General Body meetings shall serve as a place for:

    1.      all interested persons to discuss issues that are relevant to the Black Student Alliance.

    2.      the Executive Committee to inform the General Body of any community activities or policy decisions.

    3.      Black Student Alliance members and all other persons to make announcements or ask for support.

    4.      A floor to introduce relevant guest speaker sharing pertinent information to the BSA community.

    Section C.  Each Committee shall meet at least twice a month, holding any additional meetings at the discretion of the chairperson. 

    Section D.  Parliamentary procedures include:

    1.         Particular agenda points shall be discussed for no longer than 10 minutes.  After open discussion on a particular agenda item, the floor will hear 4- 5 comments from the floor for each side of the debate (8-10 total).

    2.          Members may table an issue by a simple majority vote.

    3.         A quorum must be reached in order to carry out a vote.  A quorum is a simple majority of the current voting members present at the time of the vote.  In the case of a tie, the parliamentarian delivers the deciding vote.  Thereafter, if the quorum is passed, the members present will re-vote on the motion.

    ARTICLE XI.  Elections

                Section A.  Voting
                Any active member of the Black Student Alliance may vote.

    Section B.  Election of Officers

    1.       Any active member may run for an elected office.

    2.       The offices of President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Freshmen Representative shall be elected by the General Body, and those elected shall serve within their offices until a new administration is secured.   

    Section C.  Election Rules include:

    1.      Any person who is a active member may vote in the election.

    2.      The President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected in the earlier second half of the spring semester, no later than May 15th.  The new officers will shadow the current administration during the remainder of the semester at all Executive Committee meeting.

    3.      A simple majority vote of the total votes cast is required to be declared the winner.  A run-off will be scheduled with the top two candidates if there is no majority vote in any race. 

    4.      A candidate for any elected office must submit a platform, due at least ten days before the voting date.  A candidate must be an active member by that date.  Each candidate must attend a candidates’ meeting, which shall be scheduled at the discretion of the Executive Board.

    5.      A candidate will participate in an open Candidate’s Forum in which each candidate will be allowed to speak for a given number of minutes after which voting will take place on the same day as the Candidate’s Forum.  Votes will be counted and results will be announced during a meeting and/or end of the year Banquet.

    6.      Mass e-mailing and slandering other candidates by any Black Student Alliance members are strictly prohibited and may result in forfeiture of candidacy if deemed appropriate by the Parliamentarian.

    7.      No candidate shall be considered for more than one office simultaneously.

    8.      No candidates shall be on probation for violation of the Honor Code or Discipline Codes of the college.  A candidate must be a full time student at Carleton College and must understand that being an officer is a commitment for the entire year, or two terms if studying abroad. 

    ARTICLE XII.  Impeachment and Resignation Policies

    Section A.  Any active member of the Black Student Alliance can bring impeachment charges against an officer of the Black Student Alliance, provided he/she first submits a petition with signatures of 2/3 of the Executive Committee.

    Section B.  The Executive Committee shall notify, in writing, the officer against whom the impeachment proceedings is being brought and the reasons for said impeachment.

    Section C. A special Executive Committee meeting will be called to handle the impeachment proceedings.  Evidence from both sides will be heard following parliamentary procedures.  A 2/3 majority vote of those present is necessary to determine whether or not an impeachment is necessary.

    Section D.  A 2/3 majority vote of those present is required for conviction and removal from office.

    Section E. If the President resigns or is unable to complete his/her duties, the Executive Vice President will assume his/her position.  The Treasurer will take over as Executive Vice-President in such a circumstance.  If an elected officer resigns or loses his/her position, the Executive Committee will appoint a new officer with a simple majority vote.

    ARTICLE XIII.  Amendments and Ratification

    Section A.  Amendments to the Constitution may be offered at any time by any active member of the Black Student Alliance.  For an amendment to be considered, a majority of the Executive Committee must vote to consider it.  If 2/3 of the present members of the Executive Committee vote in favor of the amendment, it will be incorporated into the constitution and take effect the semester in which it is approved.

    Section B.  All statutes, rules, and policies that are in effect at the time of ratification of the amendments and are not incoherent with the amendments shall remain valid and binding upon the Black Student Alliance until revised in accordance with the new amendments.

    Section C.  In the event that the Constitution is changed, the new Constitution must be ratified by the majority of the Executive Committee.