Metta Cultural and Development Association DFW (M E C U D A) CONSTITUTION 2 PREAMBLE We, the sons and daughters of Metta from Momo Division, North-West Province, Cameroon, residing in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Area (DFW), Texas, U.S.A., conscious of our common heritage, and the alarming inhumane social status of our people (Minority) reflected in the birth and death rate, have solemnly resolved to unite in an indissoluble body referred to as The Metta Cultural and Development Association (MECUDA); Our ultimate purpose is to enhance the social, economic well-being and pursue, preserve, and educate the children of this forgotten region, while sharing with the community at large the dignity, custom, and cultural values of the people of the Metta Clan. Humbly invoking the blessing of the almighty God the people of the Metta clan do ordain and establish this constitution. 3 ARTICLE I: NAME This Organization (a non-profit cultural association) shall be called “THE METTA CULTURAL AND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION” (MECUDA), with headquarters in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. ARTICLE II: MOTTO Unity, Charity, and Development. ARTICLE III: PURPOSE To maintain and promote Metta culture and traditions. To establish a channel of communication between Metta people at home and abroad. To contribute to the social, cultural, educational, and economic advancement in Metta. To provide the moral support necessary to enable members to realize the goals of their education pursuits. To participate in multicultural activities with other associations, provided such activities are consistent with the goals, purposes, objectives, and spirit of those of MECUDA DFW. ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP Active membership shall be open to all people of Metta origin, either by birth or marriage upon registration. Honorary membership may be conferred upon a non-member who identified with interest and aspiration of the association. Such a person shall be recommended by a member in good standing and approved by a simple majority of the association. ARTICLE V: REGISTRATION The registration fee shall be thirty dollars ($30.00) per member, with a monthly contribution of ten dollars per member. These fees will increase as the association grows. Upon registration, all new members shall swear allegiance to the association and promise to uphold the constitution and its by-laws. 4 ARTICLE VI: COMMUNICATION The medium of communication during all meeting will be Metta, or any foreign languages understood by a majority of the general assembly. ARTICLE VII: OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION The association shall comprise of the following officers. President ------------------------------------------------------- Elected Vice President ------------------------------------------------------- Elected Secretary ----------------------------------------- Presidential Appointed Financial Secretary ---------------------------------------------- Elected Treasurer ------------------------------------------------------- Elected Publicity/Social Secretary ------------------------------------- Elected Protocol Officer -------------------------------- Presidential Appointed ARTICLE VIII: DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS (a) PRESIDENT Shall direct the day-to-day affairs of the association. Shall interpret and enforce strict compliance with the association. Shall prepare annual reports Shall provide leadership in the conceptualization and realization of projects. Shall represent the association in person or by delegation. Shall be a role model of Metta people in dignity, culture, and aspiration. Shall be the chief executive officer of the association. Shall preside over general meeting and executive committee meetings. Shall have the rights to convene emergency meeting as the need arises. Shall be one signatory to the association’s bank account. (b) VICE PREDISENT Shall act in the capacity of the president as needed. Shall discharge other duties entrusted to him or her by the president. 5 (c) SECRETARY Shall be responsible for recording minutes of all general, emergency, and executive committee meetings in the minute book. Shall receive and keep a copy of every official correspondence received or dispatched by the association. Shall at no time write any correspondence on behalf of the association without prior authority from the president. (d) ASSISTANT SECRETARY Shall assume all the function of the secretary in his/her absence. (e) FINANCIAL SECRETARY Shall keep all records of every financial transaction, and shall make such record available at any time he/she is requested to do so. Shall collect all monies of the association and issue receipts. Shall hand over all monies collected during each meeting to the treasurer within twenty-four (24) hours of such collections. Shall issue checks for expenditures approved by the general assembly. Shall be a signature to the association bank account. (f) TREASURER Shall be the custodian of the association’s funds Shall deposit all funds belonging to the association in a bank designated by the association within twenty-four (24) hours. Shall make all disbursement only by check. Shall keep all monetary transactions. Shall be a signatory to the association’s bank account. (g) PUBLICITY/SOCIAL SECRETARY Shall be responsible for planning and organizing all social and cultural activities and the acquisition of materials needed for such activities. Shall supervise all social activities of the association. Shall publicize the association’s activities to the society. (h) PROTOCOL OFFICER Shall be responsible for collecting fines. Shall be responsible for maintaining law and order during all meetings Shall be responsible for directing the affairs of the meeting. 6 ARTICLE IX: ELECTION OF OFFICERS Election shall be held yearly, during meeting hours in November, and shall be conducted by 2 members voted by the association. The terms of office of the president shall be one year. The president and the executive committee members shall be elected by the general assemble, by secret ballot. The executive committee members shall all be elected in the same manner the president is elected and on the same day. The appointment of the secretary and protocol officer shall be done no latter than December prior to the handing over to the president elected. ARTICLE X: MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS If a member becomes sick, and is hospitalized all members are encouraged to visit him/her at the hospital as soon and as often as possible. Financial aid of ($….) in dollars shall be given to a hospitalized member iin good standing. In the even of death of a member, other members of the association will have to make a contribution. Member shall keep company with the bereaved family until either the body is sent home or the period of interment is over. Members shall pay a condolence visit to any member that loses a family member at home or out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Members are encouraged to attend wedding and graduations as well as other social events of fellow members. Marriages/Weddings: MECUDA shall present a gift toward the marriage or wedding of fellow members. A member in good standing is entitled to a send off party once. The send off party stipulation will be to members returning home or relocation to other states in the US. BIRTH OF A CHILD: The association shall organize “Tewah” and a gift of One hundred dollars ($100.00) presented to the child of a member in good standing. EMERGENCY LOANS: Any member in good standing having serious financial difficulties should contact the association for an emergency loan, which shall be administered by the executive committee, and the written contract between the borrower and the lender must be signed by the association’s president, financial secretary, and treasurer. 7 BY-LAWS The association shall be guided by the following by-laws. (a) PAYMENT TO THE ASSOCIATION. All payments to the association (including registration fee, monthly contributions, and fines) shall be in cash, check, or money order. Checks and money order shall be made payable to “MECUDA.” A penalty of ten ($10.00) dollars shall be assessed for bounced checks. All payments to the association are non-refundable. (b) EXECUTIVE MEMBERS The secretary and protocol officer shall be the only executive member appointed by the president. The general association shall have the powers to recall or impeach a president or any member of the executive committee, if such an official is indulged in any kind of fraud, misrepresentation, divisive behavior, embezzlement, and unconstitutional action or show an inability to administer as defined by the constitution. Thus, any impeached member will be barred for two years from any elective position. If both the president and vice-president are absent from a meeting, a member of the executive committee shall preside over the meeting. (c) SWEARING IN OF EXECUTIVE MEMBERS During the handing over ceremony, in December, the new executive members shall, in front of the members of the association, each swear allegiance to MECUDA and promise to uphold the constitution and its by- law; each member shall repeat the following sentence, which has to be read by someone designated by the association. “I, (name of officer), swear by the name of God, my allegiance, and promise to uphold and abide by its constitution and by-laws.” (d) ELECTIONS Elections shall be by secret ballot, and all issues shall be decided by a simple majority of the members present and voting. Executive committee election shall be held in November, and the president-elect shall take over in January. Only registered members shall have voting rights; on Election Day, new members shall not be permitted to vote. 8 In the event of dismissal, resignation, or death of the president, the vise- president shall assume the position of the president until the end of the term. During the handing over ceremony, the outgoing president must hand over to the president-elect every single document and record of the association. (e) MEETING MINUTES Meetings shall only be held if at least 3 members are present. All association-meeting minutes shall start with a quorum of the past meeting. After approval, meeting minutes shall be field chronologically. (f) SPONSSORING OF MEETING Members shall participate in the sponsoring of the monthly meeting as the men will bring drinks and the ladies will take care of the food. (g) DEFINETION OF GOOD STANDING A member in “Good Standing” is one who has either paid the entire registration fees, and monthly dues, and who has not missed more than 3 meetings the entire year, without tangible reasons. (h) MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Birth of a child gift shall be given based on the parent’s “good standing” status. The gift of the child, which will not exceed one hundred ($100.00) dollars per child, can be even much less, depending on the parent’s commitment to MECUDA. MECUDA women will select one day a year to be MECUDA women’s day. On such a day, men will arrange a camp or outdoor park luncheon for all the members of the association. Men will do all the cooking and serve the MECUDA women and children. 9 (i) DISIPLINE Association meeting shall be held once every month of the third Saturday of the month. The secretary shall communicate the date and place to all members at least 2 – 4 weeks in advance. During all meetings, the president shall determine and limit the length of time each member can speak. Once the meeting starts, no member shall speak without being called to do so by the president. All meetings shall start promptly at 8:30 PM. Members who arrived at the venue of the meeting after 8:30 PM shall be subject to lateness fee of $5.00. All members are expected to attend all meetings and be on time. However, a member who is prevented from attending a meeting because of work, illness, or an emergency shall not be penalized, provided the host/hostess or president was informed about the situation at least twenty four (24) hours before the scheduled meeting. Members who are fined must pay the fines promptly or at least before the next scheduled meeting. The meeting will discipline those who insist on not paying lateness fees accordingly; disciplinary action to be taken may range from a further fine to suspension from the association. The association shall impose penalties for any misconduct by its members, which the association considers directly or indirectly detrimental to the good name of the association. The penalty shall be decided by a simple majority of the members voting. (j) AMENDMENT Changes to the constitution shall be made only through written request, which shall be debated by the general association and voted upon. Once adopted by a simple majority, the change shall be recorded into the constitution like an amendment and shall become effective following the vote at the next meeting session. All association decision shall be made by a simple majority of the members present and voting. Such decision shall be binding all members, unless and until the association reverses them. (k) INTERNAL DUSPUTE WITHIN THE ASSOCIATION There shall be a three-man mediation/reconciliation committee to settle disputes. These members shall be selected by the executive committee and approved by the association. 10 Changes to make? 1.By-Laws should be a second document, not part of the constitution. 2.Membership benefits location in 2 sections (article X, and by- laws…consolidate and list only in 1 section. 3.Update motto? 4.Someplace list the email forum address. 5.Duties of president and protocol officer mixed in bylaws, and constitution. Consolidate and remove/correct. 6.Fill in the amount under benefits for sick, hospital. 7.update item B, a member impeached for embezzlement, fraud should be barded from election for life. 8.update by-laws regarding payments to the association….write to MECUDA? Is this the correct name the banks will use to cash checks? Should it be mecuda dfw?
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