Cameroonian American Community of Houston
Adopted April 10, 2010
ARTICLE I: NAME, VISION AND OBJECTIVE
Section 1: Name
The name of this organization is Cameroonian American Community of the Greater Houston Area herein after referred to as CAMCOH.
SECTION II: VISION
The vision of CAMCOH is to be an umbrella organization that will strife to bring all Cameroonians and well wishers to collaborate in a non-profit and service organization.
SECTION III OBJECTIVES
The objective of CAMCOH is to function as a non-profit, non-ethnic, non-religious, non-political organization that will provide support, advice, fellowship, and sustain the unity of the Cameroonian Community in the Greater Houston and the contiguous counties. The Organization shall also promote Cameroon culture in the region, serve as a networking organization; a resource for information for all people interested in Cameroon. The larger raison d’etre is to serve as an unifying organization for interested Cameroonian cultural and social, alma mater, and professional groups.
Section I Qualifications
Membership is open to all Cameroonians by birth, marriage, and well wishers of Cameroon who will respect the Constitution, objectives, mission, and goals, of the CAMCOH and pay their membership fees as required by the Constitution and adjusted by the general assembly.
Section II Student Membership
Student membership will be granted to persons who are currently enrolled in an academic institution.
SECTION III Other Categories of Membership
Different categories of membership may be determined by the General Assembly of the organization.
Section IV: Privileges of Memberships
- Full voting rights in the organization
- Eligible to run for any elected position in the organization.
- Inclusion in organization mailing list and access to resources on the website
- Free announcements on the organization’s list serve and email group
- Participate in one graduation ceremony for all graduates in the academic year
- Referrals of members to appropriate resources within the Houston area
- Inclusion in a community data base that would be used to provide information and check on the wellbeing of members during times of emergency.
SECTION V Membership Dues
Membership dues shall be determined by a vote of the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive committee and the Council of the organization.
SECTION VI:Code of Conduct
- Members of CAMCOH shall be expected to exhibit:
- A spirit of tolerance, understanding, respect for the privacy and dignity of all members
- Respect the Constitution and rules of the organization
- Cultivate norms that encourage free speech
- Act in a way that will promote the goals of the organization
- Fulfill all their membership obligations
- Participate in activities aimed at providing relief to the group
- Live law abiding lives in and out of the organization
SECTION VII Disciplinary Actions Termination of Membership
- Members will be disciplined for disorderly conduct
Membership can be terminated by any of the following:
- Voluntary withdrawal by a member
Revocation of membership on the recommendation of the Executive council to the Board for the following reasons:
- Failure to pay membership dues.
- Engagement in actions that misrepresent the Community.
- Failure to abide by the constitution and bylaws.
- Prior to the termination of membership, the Executive Committee should work with the individual, the Board, and representatives of the Council of the Assembly to resolve the issues. Termination of membership should be the last resort.
- Membership can be resumed when a member who resigned or left voluntarily fulfills all membership requirements. Membership for those who were suspended would be restored when the executive, board, and Council work with the individual to address issues that led to the suspension of membership. Restoration will take place only when the Board and the Council agree that the situation which led to the suspension of membership has been rectified.
ARTICLE III: LEADERSHIP AND OFFICERS
SECTION I Leadership
- The highest decision making organ of CAMCOH shall be the General Assembly made up of all registered members who may vote to delegate their authority on certain matters to the Council. Such a vote shall cover only one specific issue and is not transferable to other issues.
The second Leadership Organ shall be Advisory Council made up of representatives of the various cultural, alumni, social and professional groups.
- The council will be constituted by the representatives of the cultural, alumni, and professional groups.
- When necessary and at the request of the President and/or the board, the council shall prepare a position paper on important and sensitive cultural issues.
- Represent the different cultural, alumni, and professional groups in the planning and execution of cultural festivals.
- Work with the organization to represent CAMCOH at relevant celebrations in the region.
- The Council shall elect their own leadership structure.
The third level of leadership shall be the Board of Governors elected by the General Assembly for a two year term.
- The Board shall be made up of 5 members and its composition shall reflect gender and professional balance
- Members of the Board shall be elected by the General Assembly.
- The board shall elect its own President.
- The duties of the board shall include:
- Overseeing the functioning of the organization
- Taking steps to ensure that the organization carries out its functions in compliance with its constitution and bylaws.
- Works with the Executive Committee to ensure that the fiduciary and legal issues of the organization are taken care of.
The Executive Committee/Officers: The business of CAMCOH shall be conducted by officers elected by the General Assembly. The following officers shall constitute the Executive and shall be chosen to serve a two year term.
President: The President shall serve as the spokesperson of the CAMCOH.
- The President shall uphold the constitutional provisions of the organization.
- The President shall preside over the Meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee.
- The President shall promote and implement actions taken to achieve the goals of the organization.
- The President shall provide leadership over membership issues and work as directed by the executive and the council to resolve disputes
- The President shall also serve as an ex-officio member of the Council and Board of Trustees.
- Shall report to the Board, Council, and at every biennial General Assembly on the state of CAMCOH.
- The President shall be one of the signatory to the account and also sign checks drawn on the account of the organization
- Assist the President
- Chair the membership committee as delegated by the President.
- Oversee the growth of the organization
- Coordinate the work of the other standing committees
- Chief recording officer of the organization
- The secretary will ensure that all records of the organization are accounted for in both hard copies and electronic form with appropriate back up.
- Keep minutes of the organization and when necessary work with the President to appoint recording secretaries for the General Assembly, or council meetings.
- Works with the President and other leaders to set the agenda of meetings.
- The secretary shall communicate by mail or electronic mail and keep records of such communication to members of the organization.
- The Secretary shall work with designated individuals to develop and maintain a website and mailing list of the organization, and when necessary the Secretary and the President shall moderate special discussions of the organization on line, should the situation arise.
- The Treasurer is the Chief Financial Officer, a signatory on the account and shall also carry out duties relating to fund raising as directed by the President and the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall keep all financial records. The Treasurer shall be responsible for disbursing money in the name of the organization.
- The Treasurer shall prepare and submit a financial statement of the organization to the Executive Committee, board Meetings, Council Meetings and the General Assembly.
- The Treasurer shall preside over the meetings of the Finance Committee and work with the committee to recommend a budget to the Executive Committee and the General Assembly for discussion and approval.
- The Financial Secretary shall assist the Treasurer in recording the financial activities and collections of the organization.
- Shall serve as the auditor of the organization.
- Shall also serve as the Coordinator of the insurance program of the organization and report to the President, the Executive, the Board, Council and the General Assembly on the insurance policies of the organization
- The records of CAMCOH shall be audited two times a year.
- Two recreational/cultural coordinators
- They shall be elected by the General Assembly.
- They will be responsible for planning and advising the organization on recreational activities.
- They shall serve as serve as co-chairs of the cultural committee and will be charged with consulting with the Executive Committee in planning the biennial cultural fellowship.
- Work with the President, Treasurer, financial Secretary to coordinate major fund raising activities.
- Keep the President and the Executive Committee informed about community’s activities and carry out consultations with members of the community and advice the President and the Executive on deaths that have occurred in the community which may need the involvement of the organization.
- President: The President shall serve as the spokesperson of the CAMCOH.
Section II Officers
The executive Committee shall serve as officers of the organization for a two year term.
Section III: Elections and Installation of Officers
- The Executive committee will appoint a nominating Committee at least one month to the time of the General Assembly to nominate candidates for the various positions.
- The Nominating Committee will conduct the elections and serve as the polling and returning officers at the General Assembly Meeting.
- The Nominating committee shall also entertain nominations from the floor at the General Assembly.
- The candidates that are elected shall serve a two year term and will be eligible for re-election.
- Newly elected officers will take an oath of office and installed as the final activity of the Biennial General Assembly. They will assume their responsibility after the installation. In order to make this effective, all officers should prepare their reports and have everything in order to hand over at the General Assembly meeting.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS
I. the General Assembly of CAMCOH will semiannually in the spring and the fall to discuss and report on the affairs of CAMCOH. All registered members are participants and have voting rights in the General Assembly.
- This meeting will hold at a time and location to be determined by the Executive council in consultation with the board.
- When necessary, this meeting could be held in conjunction with a major festival or recreational activity of CAMCOH. The Executive Committee shall solicit the services of Members to plan and coordinate the organization leading to and including the holding of the meeting or event and cleaning of the premises that have been used for the meeting.
- The Executive committee and other committees could conduct electronic meetings. Members may be invited to vote on the issues discussed and the decision taken shall be binding.
- The agenda for all meetings shall be distributed two weeks in advance of the meeting to inform members of the issues and keep the meeting on schedule.
- Decisions of the organization shall be made by a simple majority but decisions that have a bearing on the constitution shall be made by two-thirds of the members present at the meeting.
- The Council shall hold semiannual meetings or as necessary.
- The Board will hold semiannual meetings or as necessary.
- The Executive Committee shall meet quarterly.
ARTICLE IX: FINANCES
- The Financial year of CAMCOH shall begin in January 1 and end in December 31.
- CAMCOH will raise revenue for its activities from the following sources:
- Membership dues
- Fund raising activities
- Donations from members and well wishers
- Special appeals for funds to assist the Community deal with disasters and emergencies
- The Executive shall prepare an annual budget and present it to the Assembly during the Spring General Assembly for discussion and approval.
- All funds will be accounted for by the financial secretary and the Treasurer who shall deposit them in CAMCOH’s bank account.
- The Treasurer, the Vice President and Financial Secretary shall have signatures on the account.
- Checks for routine expenses up $500 shall be signed by the Treasurer. But all other checks above that amount shall require two signatures. All other disbursements shall be authorized by the Executive after consultation and in line with the budget approved by the general assembly.
ARTICLE X: COMMITTEES
SECTION I: PERMANENT COMMITTEES
Membership on standing committees shall consist of volunteers who are dedicated to assisting the organization live up to its objectives. Where the Chair of a committee is not designated by the Constitution, the members of the committee shall appoint their own chair. The various committees shall report to the executive, and the General Assembly. The following shall be the Standing committees of CAMCOH:
MEMBERSHIP AND OUTREACH COMMITTEE:
- They shall be responsible for recruitment of new members.
- Work with the Executive Committee to investigate problems and recommend the necessary corrective action.
- Provide information and assist members in networking.
- Assist new members with necessary information about the Greater Houston area.
- The main function of the Finance committee shall be coordinating fund raising activities.
- They shall oversee the financial matters of CAMCOH
- They shall negotiate contracts on behalf of CAMCOH
- They shall create and manage CAMCOH’s Life Insurance Policy.
- The treasurer and the Financial Secretary shall be members of the Finance Committee.
- They shall investigate and propose to the general assembly for approval development projects, including the purchasing of assets for the organization.
- On special projects, they shall collaborate with the Finance Committee
CULTURAL ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
- They shall work with the recreational and cultural officers to organize
- Cultural and recreational activities.
- They shall work with the Executive Committee and Council to plan the biennial Cultural Festival.
- They shall work with the recreational and cultural officers to plan the Annual community graduation celebrations.
- They shall work with the Executive to plan emergencies and funerals.
YOUTH AND CHILDREN'S COMMITTEE
- This committee shall organize activities for the youths of CAMCOH.
- Maintain a data base of area school
- Organize educational activities for students and where necessary
- provide tutorials for those needing such assistance.
SECTION II AD HOC COMMITTEES
When necessary, the President on the advice of the Executive may appoint an ad hoc committee to discuss and provide written reports and recommendations on important or emergency issues. The term of the committee shall be determined at the time of the appointment and the committee would be dissolved when it has completed its task.
ARTICLE XI: Dissolution
Should circumstances arise that make it difficult for the organization to carry out its objectives and set goals, CAMCOH shall dissolve. The dissolution can only take place when the following things have been done.
- The Executive Board submits a written request to the membership to dissolve the Association; and
- The general Assembly of CAMCOH shall submit a written request to members at least two months. Members shall discuss the issues and a two thirds majority is necessary to dissolve, and
- Arrangements are made to settle the debts of the organization, and
- An accurate accounting of the assets is done and reported and a decision is made to transfer the assets to another non-profit organization that shares similar objectives.
ARTICLE XII: Amendment
- This constitution may be amended only at a General Assembly by a two thirds votes of all the members. Electronic votes will be accepted
- The sections to be amended should have been submitted to the members at the previous General Assembly.
ARTICLE XIII: By Laws
By-Laws will be established by CAMCOH and reviewed as needed to enable the organization to carry out its objectives efficiently.
This Constitution was approved at the General Assembly meeting held in Houston on April 10, 2010.
- Board members
- All members in attendance