Constitution & By-Laws
The name of this organization shall be the Hispanic Policy Network (HPN) at Texas State University.
HPN is a staff and faculty organization committed to the improvement of opportunities for Hispanics.
The purpose of HPN shall be to provide a forum for the discussion of issues and concerns related to the Hispanic community (staff, faculty, and students) at Texas State University (Texas State) and to cooperate in providing workable solutions to these issues.
The goals of HPN shall be:
- Educational Advocacy.
To serve as a resource for the university to provide a premier student-centered and culturally-competent educational experience that fosters student retention and success at all levels by supporting programs and initiatives designed to serve Hispanic students.
To engage actively in dialogue with the staff, faculty, and students for the purpose of articulating educational concerns, needs, and trends of Hispanics in higher education and collaborating with university administration and entities to address them.
To assist in maintaining the effective institutional programs to recruit and retain a diverse staff, faculty, and student population at Texas State. To serve as a resource on information regarding Hispanics.
To collaborate with the university to enrich our learning and working environment by attracting and supporting a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body and ensuring that Texas State can serve as an example for closing gaps in recruitment, retention and academic/professional success.
- Culture Promotion.
To embrace and celebrate the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanics at Texas Sate and acknowledge how these enhance the climate at and the value of the degrees awarded by Texas State.
- Professional Advocacy.
To advocate for a safe and beneficial working environment for all Hispanic staff, faculty, and students as well as to promote and advocate for their professional development.
- Educational Advocacy.
Membership shall be open to staff and faculty employed at Texas State interested in the stated purposes and goals of the organization. Eligibility extends to graduate students employed by the university. Undergraduate students are eligible for membership if they are considered a “regular” employee (one hired to work at least 20 hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half months and whose appointment is not dependent on student status.)
Paid members shall be entitled to the following privileges during their period of paid membership:
- To vote at general membership meetings.
- To submit agenda items for regularly scheduled meetings.
- To propose New Business at regularly scheduled meetings.
- To propose or request HPN sponsorship for initiatives that support the organization’s purpose and goals (see Article V, Dues and Finance).
All new business and agenda items must be submitted at least 7 business days prior to each scheduled monthly meeting. Any items brought forward with less than 7 business days prior to a meeting may be deferred to the following general meeting’s agenda at the discretion of the Executive Board.
Annual membership dues shall be set at $30.00. The membership period shall align with the university’s fiscal year, September 1 through August 31. Dues may be paid at any time but will not be prorated. Membership dues are payable to HPN and will be collected by the Treasurer. One half of each paid membership will be contributed to the HPN Scholarship Endowment.
Disbursement limits, process and reports:
- Disbursements up to $300 may be approved by the Executive Board
- Any disbursements over $300 will need to be approved by the membership.
- Motions to co-sponsor a program not primarily organized by HPN shall generally be limited to no more than $300.Requests or motions for sponsorships or other expenses exceeding $300 should be presented to the Executive Board for consideration at least 30 days prior to the General Membership meeting at which the motion/proposal will be made.
- All expenses shall be reported to the membership in a prompt manner and recorded in regular Treasurer’s reports.
General meetings of this organization shall be conducted monthly during long semesters provided that the university is open for normal business operations, by default, on the third Wednesday of the month. To maximize membership participation at General Membership meetings, the Executive Board may evaluate what day/time during long semester months will allow for the majority of the board and the greatest number of members to attend. Regularly scheduled meetings will be announced at least 30 days in advance; should a regular meeting need to be cancelled/rescheduled or scheduled on an emergency basis, membership must be notified with a minimum 7-day notice. The time and location of each meeting will be announced with the agenda prior to each meeting.
While no quorum will be required to proceed with a regular meeting that has been properly called, a simple majority of the Executive Board members and a number of paid members greater than the number of Executive Board Members present shall be required to elect officers, amend bylaws or approve expenditures/sponsorships greater than $300. As an alternative, such business may be conducted remotely through technology readily available to all paid members provided that an equal notice is given to the membership – 30-day notice, unless the President calls for an emergency vote, election or amendment with a majority approval of the Executive Board, in which case it will only require a 7-day notice. The call and outcome of these votes shall be documented and reported to the membership at-large.
At general meetings, the President only votes in the event of a tie. The following outlines general business meeting protocol:
- Call to order
- Roll call
- Approve meeting minutes
- Officer reports
- Committee reports
- Old business
- New business
Chairs/co-chairs of active committees shall meet with the Executive Board to provide a committee update on a monthly basis.
The officers of the HPN shall be the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Historian. Elected officers will comprise the Executive Board of HPN. The Executive Board shall be responsible for the overall governance of HPN in accordance with its stated purpose Article II.
The President shall perform all duties proper to the office and appoint any and all standing committee, ad hoc, and special chairpersons after consultation with the Executive Board. The President shall preside at all HPN General Meetings when present. The President has the right to call an emergency meeting with majority approval of the Executive Board. The President shall serve as mentor to the President-Elect and, during the summer ending the President’s term, ensure a smooth transition of leadership. The HPN President is also responsible for keeping the Advisory Board appropriately informed regarding HPN’s significant activities and undertakings. While conducting business at General Membership meetings, the President only votes in the event of a tie.
The President-Elect shall preside in the absence of the President or if the President is unable to perform his/her duties. The President-Elect will assist the President in his/her duties. The President-Elect will oversee the functions of each Chair/Co-chair of the standing committees.
The secretary shall keep and distribute an official record of the proceedings of HPN general membership meetings. The secretary shall preserve official records (minutes, treasurer’s reports, and official correspondence) in permanent files. As required by the Executive Board, the secretary shall be responsible for HPN correspondence.
The Treasurer shall have charge of all monies of HPN and shall report in writing thereon at the regular meeting of HPN.
The Historian will be responsible for coordinating the documentation and archiving, for historical purposes, of HPN programs, activities, and events. Archiving may include records and artifacts that may be used for future reference and review. The Historian shall, directly or through a committee, develop, use and promote communication of HPN programs, activities, and events through available platforms, including websites and social media.
Tenure. A President-Elect will be elected to serve a one-year term as President-Elect, automatically followed by a one-year term as President. A member serving as President-Elect may not be re-elected to serve a consecutive President-Elect term. A Treasurer, Secretary and Historian will be elected for a one-year term.
Vacancies. The vacancy of the President shall automatically be filled by the President-Elect. Should the office of President-Elect become vacant, through early succession or otherwise, a special election shall be held at the next regularly scheduled HPN meeting. If the office of Secretary, Treasurer or Historian shall become vacant, the Executive Board shall appoint a member to fill such office to complete the term of office.
Paid HPN Members are eligible to run for office. Nominations will be requested for the offices of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Historian. Verification of acceptance to these positions may be made prior to the printing of the ballots. Arrangements shall be made so that the Election Committee collects, counts and certifies the votes.
Annual elections will be held no earlier than April 1st and no later than May 31st. In any race, if a candidate receives a simple majority of votes, the candidate will be declared the winner of the race. If no candidate earns a simple majority, the candidate with the most votes but minimally 40% of the vote shall be declared the winner of the race. If no candidate earns at least 40% of the vote, there will be a run-off election between the top two candidates; the winner of the run-off election will be by majority vote.
Newly elected officers will assume their positions on June 1st. The exiting officers shall work together with and mentor the newly elected officers to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
An Advisory Board shall be in place to ensure the continuity and long-term success of HPN. The Advisory Board, including the Chair, will act in a consulting and advisory capacity and not as Officers or part of the Executive Board and shall primarily:
- Serve as a resource for the HPN President and Executive Board in support of the HPN purpose and goals as well as any strategic efforts identified by the Executive Board.This may include identifying other resources such as funding, in-kind contributions and sources of knowledge that may support HPN’s purpose, goals and efforts.
- Support the Executive Board, and if appropriate the General Membership, by providing mentorship, “corporate memory” and social capital accumulated through past service within HPN and longevity/appointment at Texas State.
- Ensure, through collaboration with the Executive Board, that HPN and the Executive Board are in compliance with university and HPN policies, procedures and bylaws as well as local, state and federal statutes.
- Bring forth concerns to the Executive Board regarding critical matters that may impact HPN, Hispanic faculty/staff/students or the Hispanic community at-large.
The Advisory Board shall consist of the three immediate past Presidents, a faculty member (or staff member if the three immediate past Presidents are faculty members), and a community member. During the summer months of the new term, the President shall appoint the latter two and designate one of the past Presidents as the Advisory Board Chair, preferably one serving in his/her second or third year on the Advisory Board. If one of the three immediate Past-Presidents is unable to serve or in case of vacancies, the President shall appoint any past president of HPN, faculty (or staff) or community member to fill the respective Advisory Board seat.
The Advisory Board shall meet with the President and President-Elect twice per long semester.
The Advisory Board Chair shall:
- Lead the Advisory Board in its activities, including coordinating minimally two meetings of the Advisory Board per long semester.
- Serve as the principal liaison between the Advisory Board and the HPN Executive Board.
- Keep the Advisory Board apprised on important issues discussed with the HPN President and/or other officers.
Amendments of these Bylaws shall be submitted in written form by the proponents to the Bylaws Committee of HPN. The Bylaws Committee shall submit all proposed amendments in a regular meeting of HPN. All amendments shall be adopted upon a simple majority of the paid members present and voting, provided that written notice of the proposed bylaws change is given to the membership at least 30 days in advance of the meeting at which the vote is to take place. Alternatively, amendments may be conducted remotely through technology readily available to all paid members provided that an equal notice is given to the membership – 30-day notice – and outcomes documented and promptly reported to the membership at-large.
These Bylaws shall serve as the governance/procedure in the conduct of HPN business. When not otherwise provided, Robert’s Rules of Order (revised) shall govern parliamentary procedures.
HPN will adhere to policies of the Board of Regents and the university and does not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law.
The President with the approval of the Executive Board will appoint the chairs of the standing committees: Bylaws, Social/Fundraising, Membership, Marketing, Staff/Faculty Relations, and Student Relations. Special Committees and other appointments may be created by the Executive Board as needed. Any HPN member may volunteer to serve on any committee.
The Bylaws Committee shall be comprised of the Executive Board and shall review all written suggestions and recommendations from the membership and present the recommendation to the general membership for approval.
The Social/Fundraising Committee shall be comprised of three (3) or more representatives of the general membership and must include at least one faculty member and one staff member. The committee will be responsible for planning and implementing drives, sales, or any other event(s) for the sole purpose of raising funds for HPN. Such funds will be raised for use as deemed appropriate by a general consensus of HPN members after duly-conducted voting.
The Membership Committee shall be responsible for initiating, planning, and directing activities designed to recruit and retain members for affiliation with HPN. Duties will include maintaining a membership directory. The committee shall be comprised of three (3) or more representatives of the general membership and must include at least one faculty member and one staff and will include the HPN Treasurer.
The Marketing Committee will, upon request, publicize and disseminate information about the organization and events sponsored by the organization. The Committee shall be comprised of three (3) or more representatives of the general membership and must include at least one faculty member and one staff member.
The Staff/Faculty Relations Committee shall provide a forum to staff and faculty to voice concerns and matters pertaining to the working environment at Texas State. The committee shall relay concerns from staff and faculty to HPN officers to determine what appropriate action may be taken, and provide staff and faculty with a supportive environment.
The Student Relations Committee shall establish and maintain open communication with all Hispanic students and Hispanic student organizations to promote cooperation in approaching solutions to their concerns.
Activities may include but are not limited to:
- Establishing and maintaining a membership list of Hispanic student organizations and Hispanic students.
- Be an advocate for Hispanic students in all matters of university life.
- Provide opportunities for leadership development through mentoring and advocacy.
- Develop a pamphlet that provides information to students on appropriate procedures when seeking assistance with a diversity of problems.
The Election Committee will consist of three or five people who will not accept nominations for HPN office the following year. Members of this committee will be HPN paid members who volunteer to serve. The members will be approved by a majority of those present during a general meeting or a majority of respondents via a remote vote conducted through technology readily available to all paid members. For the Election of Officers, see Article X.