Constitution

Umunne Cultural Association
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The Constitution of Umunne Cultural Association In Minnesota
Article I. Name of the Association
The association shall be called Umunne Cultural Association in Minnesota, United States of America.
Article II. Purpose of the Association
The purpose of the association is to enhance the cultural, educational, civic and general well-being of its members; to educate members of our community about Igbo culture and traditions; and to involve our members in community development and charitable causes, within the meaning of section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code.
Article III. Membership
Section A. Class of Membership
Umunne Cultural Association recognizes two (2) classes of membership, namely: full membership and honorary membership
Subdivision 1. Full Membership
Full membership shall be open to “Individuals” and “Families” of Igbo-speaking origin who are resident in the state of Minnesota.
1. “Individual” Membership 2. “Family” Membership
“Individual” is hereby defined as a person of Igbo-speaking origin who is 18 years or older.
“Family” is hereby defined as a household unit of husband and wife. Relocation of a member shall not be grounds for revocation of full membership. Revocation of full membership on the basis of residency shall not be retroactive.
Subdivision 2. Honorary Membership
Honorary membership may, on a simple majority vote of the general membership, be bestowed upon any person who is not otherwise a member, in recognition of that person‟s contributions to the purpose, goals and objectives of the association. Honorary membership shall not be accorded any of the rights, benefits or privileges, nor be bound by the duties or obligations, of full membership. The association shall reserve the right to terminate without recourse a person‟s honorary membership by a simple majority vote of the general membership.
Umunne Cultural Association
Section B. Registration Fees, Dues and Levies
Subdivision 1. Financial Obligation
A member‟s financial obligation shall include all registration fees, dues, levies, fines and other financial assessments approved at general meetings.
Subdivision 2. Family Membership Discount
To derive the financial obligation of a family membership, a 25% discount shall be applied across the board to an amount equal to twice the amount of an “individual” member‟s registration fee, dues, levies and other financial obligations. The actual amount of all fees and/or dues shall be as specified in the association‟s bylaws.
Subdivision 3. Post-facto Spousal Membership Discount
Upon registration of a member‟s spouse, the spousal member‟s financial obligation shall be derived from a 25% discount applied to an individual member‟s fees, levies and dues for the spousal member‟s first year of membership. Thereafter, the rules of family membership discount shall apply.
Subdivision 4. Membership Dues
Membership dues shall be payable in quarterly installments at the beginning of each quarter of the calendar year.
Subdivision 5. Donations
A donation, as defined by Umunne Cultural Association in Minnesota, means a voluntary gift of cash or material possessing a cash value, given willingly by a member or group of members, non-member or group of non-members through a verbal pledge or in writing, to Umunne Cultural Association.
Subdivision 6. Refund Policy
All amounts paid or donated to Umunne Cultural Association shall be non-refundable, non-negotiable and non-transferable.
Article IV. Membership Status, Rights, Benefits, Privileges and Duties
A member in good standing shall be accorded all of the rights, benefits and privileges of the association, and be bound by their duties and obligations to the association, as enumerated below and/or subsequently modified by amendment.
Section A. Membership Status
A member shall be deemed in good standing if all the following conditions are met: 1. All financial obligations are paid in full. 2. An „individual‟ member must attend a minimum of three (3) meetings in a calendar year. 3. A „family‟ unit must attend a minimum of four (4) meetings in a calendar year.
Section B. Rights of Full Membership
A full member in good standing shall be accorded the following rights of full membership: 1. The right to speak at general meetings. 2. The right to vote.
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3. The right to be voted for. 4. The right to hold office. 5. The right to represent the association at a conference or seminars or other events when requested by the President. 6. The right to petition the executive body as a means of presenting issues of concern to the general assembly. 7. An “individual” member shall be entitled to one (1) vote. A “family” unit shall be entitled to two (2) votes, one for the husband, and one for the wife. 8. The right to request copies of the association‟s official documents except privileged or confidential documents.
Section C. Benefits of Full Membership
Subdivision 1. Death Benefit
1. When a member dies, the association shall: a. Assemble a delegation to visit the family of the deceased. b. Appropriate a sum of money necessary to sustain the cost of traditional all-night wake-keeping at a location designated by the family of the deceased member prior to burial or repatriation of the body. c. Convey to the family of the deceased proceeds of all death benefits accruing to the deceased member, as specified in the bylaws of the association. 2. Qualifications for Benefits of Membership shall be continuous, uninterrupted membership in good standing for a minimum period of six (6) months.
Section D. Privileges of Full Membership
1. When an immediate relative of a member (limited to parent, spouse, child, brother or sister) is deceased, the association shall send a delegation to pay a traditional bereavement visit to the member. 2. When a member gets married, the association shall appropriate a sum of money for the celebration as specified in the by-laws of the association. 3. Qualifications for the marriage privilege shall be continuous, uninterrupted membership in good standing for a period of three (3) months prior to the marriage.
Section E. Duties of Full Membership
Each full member shall have the following duties: 1. Register to host a general meeting after one year of membership. 2. To represent the association at conferences, seminars or other events when called upon by the President. 3. Respect the association and its members. 4. Respect the property of the association and those of its members. 5. Respect the laws of the association. 6. Uphold the image of the association and its well-being.
Article V. Officers of the Association
The officers of the association shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. The officers of the association are:  President  Vice President  Secretary  Assistant Secretary
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    
Financial Secretary Treasurer Social Secretary Assistant Social Secretary Provost/Parliamentarian
Section A. Duties of the Officers
Subdivision 1. Duties of the President
1. Administrative Duties
a. b. c. d. The President shall: Be the official spokesperson for the association in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer. Preside over all meetings of the association Executive all policy decisions formulated by the executive cabinet and approved by the general assembly. Be vested with veto privileges to resolve all issues, in the event of disagreements within the executive committee. A two third (2/3) majority of the executive cabinet shall be required to override the President‟s veto. e. Oversee the conduct of all business of the association. f. Be responsible for general management of all activities of the association. g. Be responsible for appointing and dissolving committees, except constitutionally mandated committees. h. Be a member of all committees, except constitutionally mandated committees. i. In the absence of the Treasurer, the President shall be the sole signatory of all approved expenditures up to the maximum amount as specified in the by-laws. j. Shall be a co-signatory to the Umunne general account.
2. Emergency Powers
In an emergency situation, the President in consultation with a simple majority of the executive committee may approve expenditures not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00) per year. This amount shall be replenished if the general assembly approves the emergency expenditure.
3. Discretionary Spending
The President, at his discretion, may spend an amount not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00) per year.
Subdivision 2. Duties of the Vice President
1. Administrative Duties
The Vice President shall: a. Assist the President in executing the duties of the office of the Presidency. b. Coordinate the annual budget of the association with the executive committee.
2. Assumption of Power
In the absence of the President or in the event that the President is incapacitated, or otherwise unable to execute the duties of the office of the Presidency, the Vice President shall assume the duties of the President during the period of absence or incapacity
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Umunne Cultural Association
Subdivision 3. Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall: 1. Record, file and present the minutes of all the general meetings 2. Handle the correspondences of the association. 3. Keep record of all the property of the association.
Subdivision 4. Duties of the Assistant Secretary
The Assistant Secretary shall: 1. Assist the Secretary in performing the duties of secretary. 2. Send out meeting notices. 3. Keep an up-to-date attendance record of all members. 4. In the event that the Secretary is incapacitated or otherwise unable to execute the duties of the office of the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary shall assume the duties of the Secretary until a Secretary is elected.
Subdivision 5. Duties of the Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary shall: 1. Collect all fees, annual dues, donations and levies; document the amount received and transfer all monies to the Treasurer. 2. Record and report on the financial status of the association at each monthly meeting. 3. Provide all financial records in his/her possession to the audit committee whenever an examination of the financial records is required.
Subdivision 6. Duties of the Treasurer
The Treasurer shall: 1. Be the custodian of all the financial assets and liabilities of the association. 2. Keep records of account, which shall show all financial transactions, assets and liabilities of the association. 3. Provide all financial records in his/her possession to the audit committee whenever an examination of the Association‟s financial records is required. 4. Make bank deposits of all cash receipts of the association within two (2) business days of their receipt. 5. Be the sole signatory on approved expenditure up to the amount specified in the by-laws 6. Be a co-signatory with the President to the general account of the association.
The Social Secretary shall: 1. Schedule, coordinate and oversee all social activities of the association. 2. Conduct and execute community outreach directives of the President in furtherance of the promotional and social agenda of the association.
Subdivision 7. Duties of Social Secretary
Subdivision 8. Duties of the Assistant Social Secretary
The Assistant Social Secretary shall: 1. Be the custodian of all property of the association as specified in the by-laws. 2. Assist in the execution of the duties of the Social Secretary.
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Subdivision 9. Duties of the Provost/Parliamentarian
The Provost/Parliamentarian shall: 1. Enforce all rules of procedure in the conduct of meetings of the general assembly. 2. Maintain order at all meetings of the general assembly. 3. Perform other tasks as delegated by the President.
Section B. Committees of the Association
The President shall appoint all committees of the association except those which are mandated by this constitution. Membership in good standing is a prerequisite for appointment or nomination to any of the committees of the association.
Subdivision 1. Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall be required for each calendar year by mandate of this constitution and shall have the following responsibilities: 1. Conducting internal audits of the association‟s records as required. 2. Oversee and coordinate the conduct of external audits of the association‟s records. 3. Monitor the financial operations of all other committees of the association. 4. Report the financial status of the association to the general body. The general assembly shall nominate three members of the association to the Finance Committee, subject to approval by a two-thirds majority vote of all members present.
Subdivision 2. Judicial Council
1. The Judicial Council shall be made up of the last three available for presidents of the association and two other full members of the association to be appointed by the President, subject to approval by the general membership by a two-thirds majority vote. 2. The Judicial Council shall mediate all disputes and adjudicate and preside over all disciplinary and impeachment proceedings. 3. A qualified former president who is the subject of disciplinary action under consideration by the Judicial Council shall be excluded from the council and replaced by the next available qualified former president
Article VI. Disciplinary Sanctions
Section A. Termination and Suspension of Membership
1. 2. Any member who is indebted to the organization to the amount of $100.00 for four (4) consecutive quarters shall have his or her membership privileges suspended until the full amount is paid. Any member whose membership is suspended for four (4) consecutive quarters shall have his or her membership terminated. A terminated member will have to reapply to the organization to be a member and pay off all outstanding debts to the association.
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Section B. Expulsion or Suspension from the Association
Subdivision 1. Grounds for Expulsion and Suspension
1. 2. 3. 4. The following shall constitute grounds for expulsion or suspension from the association: Embezzlement of the association‟s funds. Felony conviction or other serious offences. Battery or assault on a member during the association‟s events.
Subdivision 2. Process of Expulsion or Suspension
1. The Judicial Council shall preside over the proceeding. 2. The Council shall review the matter, and recommend dismissal of the case, fine, suspension or expulsion of the member. 3. A two-thirds majority of the Council members shall be required to approve the council‟s decision. 4. The Council shall present its recommendations to the general assembly for a vote. 5. A two-thirds majority of the full members in attendance shall be required to accept the Council‟s recommendation.
Subdivision 3. Status of a Suspended Member 1. A suspended member shall remain responsible for his or her financial obligation.
2. During the term of the suspension, the suspended member shall lose all Rights of Full Membership as defined in Article IV, Section B.
Subdivision 4. Readmission of an Expelled Member 1. An expelled member may be readmitted to the association after at least five years of expulsion.
2. An expelled member shall submit a competed application for admission to the Judicial Council. 3. The Judicial Council shall recommend the approval or denial of an expelled member‟s application. 4. A simple majority of members present at a general meeting shall be required to accept the Council‟s recommendation.
Section C. Impeachment of an Officer of the Association
Subdivision 1. Grounds for Impeachment
An officer of the association may be impeached for corrupt conduct, crimes committed while in office or for dereliction of duty. Impeachment shall not extend beyond removal from office or permanent disqualification from holding office in the association or appointment or nomination to any constitutionally mandated committee.
Subdivision 2. Impeachment Procedure
A member shall bring a motion for impeachment of an officer, with signatures of one-half of the full membership of the general assembly in good standing. 2. After due deliberation of the general assembly, a two-thirds majority vote of members in good standing present at the general meeting will be required to impeach an officer of the association. 3. The Judicial Council shall preside over all impeachment proceedings. 1.
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Article VII. Election of Officers
Section A. Election Committee
1. The President shall appoint a four-person election committee at least two months before the general election, subject to approval by the general body. Approval by the general body shall require a two-third majority of members in good standing present at the general meeting. 2. The committee shall organize and conduct all elections. 3. The committee shall determine eligibility of candidates for election prior to the election date, as provided in the laws of the association. 4. The committee shall determine the eligibility of members to vote prior to the election as provided in the laws of the association. 5. Candidates for election shall belong to the election committee.
Section B. Conduct of the General Election.
1. Every officer of the association shall be elected by secret ballot. 2. A candidate shall be nominated by motion of a member and such a nomination shall be seconded by another member 3. There shall be separate nominations and separate balloting for each office. 4. In all cases, a simple majority carries the vote. 5. A maximum of three candidates shall be on the ballot in the general election for each office. 6. For each office for which there are more than three candidates, a primary election shall be held no later than thirty days prior to the date of the general election. 7. A candidate shall be declared elected by acclamation where his/her nomination is not contested. 8. Any office not filled due to a resignation and/or because no candidate accepted the nomination, shall remain under the control of the president until such office is filled. 9. Where the candidates are tied in votes received, voting shall be repeated until the tie is broken and a winner declared. 10. No member shall be nominated in his/her absence. 11. Only members who are in good standing shall be eligible to run for office or vote in any election. 12. Elections shall be held during the month of March. 13. No member shall hold more than one office during the same term.
Section C. Term of Office
1. 2. 3 4. 5. The fiscal year for the association shall begin on the first day of April and end on the last day of March. Officers shall be elected for a term of one (1) year. New officers shall assume office in April of the new fiscal year. The president shall not hold the office for more than two consecutive terms. There shall be no term limit for other executive offices.
Section D. Vacancies and Resignations
1. Any officer may resign his/her position in writing to the secretary. 2. A vacancy created by the resignation, removal or death of any other officer, shall be filled during the meeting following such resignation, removal or death; provided that the meeting notice indicates that such a vacancy shall be filled.
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Article VIII. General Meetings of the Association
A. General meetings of the association shall be held on the last Saturday of each month, except for the month of December. B. The venue for each meeting shall rotate among members. If a designated member is unable to host, he/she shall have the responsibility to make alternate arrangements. C. A notice for each general meeting, stating date, time and place shall be sent to be received by members before the date of the general meeting. D. Ten percent (10%) of active membership roster shall constitute a quorum.
Section A. Special Meetings
Special meeting may be held on the call of the President at a place and time designated by the President in the notice of the meeting, or by written petition delivered to the secretary and signed by four members of the executive committee at a place and time designated in the notice of the meeting.
Section B. Proxies
Full members may vote by proxy on any matter relating to the association. The appointment of a proxy shall be in writing filed at or before the meeting with the secretary of the association.
Article IX. Expenditures and Withdrawals
A. All valid receipts, checks or liability must be in order for all financial disbursements. B. Unless otherwise provided, the general membership shall have the final authorization for all expenditures.
Article X. Audit of the Association’s Records
All records of the association shall be open to internal and external audits at all times.
Section A. Internal Audits
The general assembly, by a simple majority may authorize internal audits of the association‟s records. A minimum of one internal audit shall be required for each fiscal year. Upon authorization of an internal audit, the Finance Committee shall proceed with the conduct of the audit of the association‟s records.
Section B. External Audits
A two-third majority of the association‟s membership shall approve a periodic external audit of the association‟s financial records. Upon approval, the Finance Committee shall select a firm to audit the association‟s financial records.
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Article XI. Constitutional Amendments
A. Any full member in good standing may submit to the secretary a written proposal for amendment of the constitution of the association at a general meeting for a vote. B. A majority vote on the proposal by members present at the general meeting shall be required to authorize the president to appoint a constitutional amendment committee. C. The president shall appoint a constitutional amendment committee to review and draft a constitutional amendment provision which the committee shall then present to a general meeting for discussion and a vote. D. Notice of the meeting of the members at which an amendment of this constitution is to be considered shall state the purpose of the meeting, shall include or be accompanied by a copy of each proposed amendment and shall be given to each member. E. The constitution of Umunne Cultural Association shall be amended only at a general meeting in which at least Two-thirds (2/3) of all members are present. F. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all members present shall be required for ratification of a constitutional amendment. G. All amendments so ratified shall immediately become an integral part of the Constitution of Umunne Cultural Association.
Article XII. Dissolution of the Association
The association shall be dissolved by the members in a general meeting with a two-third majority of active members present at the meeting or required by law.
Section A. Discharge of Liabilities
1. Umunne Cultural Association shall be solely responsible for all expenses incurred for all activities and operations of the association. 2. Upon the dissolution of the association, the executive committee shall pay or make provision for the payment of all liabilities of the association.
Section B. Liquidation of Assets
Upon dissolution and discharge of all liabilities, the executive committee shall: 1. Liquidate the assets of the association. 2. Dispose of all cash and non-cash assets of the association exclusively to organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. 3. All cash and non-cash assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of Ramsey County in a manner consistent with the laws and policies of this association.
Article XIII. Governance
A. All members shall be bound by the rules and regulations of the association. B. The constitution shall be the supreme law of the association.
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Article XIV. Rights of the Association
No provision of this constitution shall limit the association‟s rights to initiate appropriate legal action against any person in defense of its rights.
Article XV. Indemnification
  Any member or executive officer of the association who is authorized by the association to incur costs and expenses for travel or other purposes for the advancement of the goals and objectives of the association may be reimbursed for the amount of those costs and expenses. The association shall indemnify any full member in that member‟s official capacity, if the person is authorized to perform specific acts for the advancement of the association‟s goals and objectives, in the member‟s official capacity, from any liability asserted against and/or incurred by the person arising from that capacity. The foregoing right of indemnification and the right to receive advances of expenses shall not be exclusive of other rights to which any officer or member may be entitled as a matter of law, agreement or otherwise.

Article XVI. Adoption And Effective Date
The constitution is hereby ratified by Umunne Cultural Association on this 28th day of November, 1998. This constitution shall become effective at 12:01 A.M. on January 1, 1999.
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