MSA West Constitution (Sahifa)
Section I: Mission Statement
MSA West is an organization comprised of different MSA’s across the West Coast and is a council of MSA National. We are here to form a cohesive coalition to unite for the sake of Allah, take unified actions, and embody the concepts of unity, strength, and activism. We aspire to increase the level of brotherhood and sisterhood and serve as an outreach to neighboring Muslim communities. We strive to establish Islam as the forefront of all movements by speaking the Truth, increasing awareness, destroying stereotypes, resisting oppression, and strengthening the bond between Muslims worldwide.
- Develop a greater understanding of Islam.
- Promote unity and conduct joint activities among Muslims by building a cohesive coalition between all MSA’s in the West.
- Increase unity and activism.
- Strengthen the level of brotherhood and sisterhood.
- Outreach to Muslims in high schools and junior colleges.
- Common knowledge of current events in the local and global Ummah.
- Provide da’wah.
- Review admissions of Muslim students to insure a continuous flow of activism after strong MSA members graduate.
- Serve as a resource pool for all MSA’s—help campuses start MSA’s, invite speakers, handle fitna, assist in conducting activities, including financial support, etc.
- Act as one voice to take a united stance in response to emergency situations, both global and local.
- Coordinate regional and state events to increase the level of the Muslim student voice.
- Create a Website to share information, communicate, research ideas for posters, flyer, etc.
- Connect with other Muslim organizations and community members.
- Establishing a lasting infrastructure.
Section II: Organizational Structure
The Executive Board (Majles Al-Shura)
An executive Board member counts as one of the two delegates from each respective campus.
- Amir (a)
- Vice Amir (a)
- Communications Director
- Northern Regional Development Coordinator
- Southern Regional Development Coordinator
The delegates of MSA West are responsible for electing a new Executive Board every summer following the annual MSA West conference. They must also vote on which of the Board members will serve as Amir (a). Executive officers should be at least two of each gender (a process to facilitate this is to be determined).
The election process will follow such a procedure
- Nominations for officers are asked for beforehand through email
- Each delegate can nominate 2 brothers and 2 sisters and one other person of their choice
- In order for someone to be eligible for the election, they must be nominated by at least 2 delegates
The criteria needed to be elected is as follows
- attended a minimum of four conference calls
- and/or attended two official delegate, regional or committee MSA West meetings
- and/or received recommendation from two current MSA West officers
- and then voted in by the delegates at the Election meeting
Two delegates are chosen by the MSA they represent. Delegates are either board members from their schools or chosen to represent their school by the board members. We encourage two-year delegate terms for the sake of continuity. Delegates must report back to their MSA’s. Delegates vote on all measures and can propose additions to the constitution.
Webmaster is in charge of the MSA West web-site in terms of setting it up and regulating it. This can be a non-delegate who is appointed for this task since this is not an Executive position.
Meetings will be held twice each semester (once each quarter) at minimum and once over the summer - to be decided by the Amir
Section III: Conduct/Responsibilities
Each member shall avoid controversial statements, exercise tolerance and respect the rights of others to their own opinion. Questions, comments, and concerns are to be given respectfully with one person speaking at time.
- The Amir (a)—sees that the tasks of the organization are being met and helps all officers with their duties. He/she organizes the format and location of the meetings and facilitates discussion. Any modifications of the constitution can be made through a majority vote. The Amir (a) has the responsibility to override any decision that is not in the best interest of the Ummah.
- Vice Amir (a)—assists the Amir (a) and serves as Amir (a) if the present Amir (a) is unable to fulfill any duties.
- Northern Regional Development Coordinator–- promotes the seriousness of the organization, enforces constitution, and keeps meetings on topic.
- Southern Regional Development Coordinator –- promotes the seriousness of the organization, enforces constitution, and keeps meetings on topic.
- Treasurer—responsible for finances, fund-raisers, and distribution of money.
- Communications—takes notes at every meeting and posts them on e-mail, and recaps the minutes from each previous meeting.
- Delegates must attend meetings regularly.
- It is each delegate's responsibility to represent their MSA and address the issues of their school.
- Delegates are all responsible for participating in the development of MSA West activities.
- Delegate changes throughout the year, due to any unforeseeable circumstances should be approved by the individual MSA, and approved by MSA West as long as the Officer’s Board is notified 7 days in advance.
- If a new school attends two consecutive meetings they should be allowed to elect delegates.
- New schools can vote in the second consecutive meeting that they are in attendance
- Miss 3 consecutive meetings and you are back to the origin point (contact Amir (a)).
In order to localize the work of MSA West, a regional structure will be established in order to organize more effectively within different areas.
The five regions within California are:
- Bay Area
- Central California/Fresno/Cal Poly SLO
- Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire)
- San Diego
Out of state regions include:
- MSA Northwest (consisting of MSA’s primarily in Washington)
Each region will meet regularly and will include delegates from each different school in the regions. A regional head will be established in order to insure that work continues in the region. Each region will determine amongst the delegates how the regional head is determined until the regional structure is defined in more detail as regions develop. An officer or ex-officio is required to hold a close relationship with the region they reside in, serving as a line of communication between the MSA West Board and the region.
As regions are still developing, some regions may combine and work together until they are able to function on their own.
The work of MSA West will be facilitated via various temporary and standing committees.
The two recognized standing committees are:
- Political Action Committee
- Education and Training Committee
Additional standing committees may be created or dissolved as deemed necessary, per the approval of the officers.
The members of each of the committee will determine from amongst themselves who the amir(a)s will be. The standing committees are to have at least one physical meeting a year, at the annual MSA West Conference. All committees and subcommittees will be held accountable to the MSA West Board via the MSA West Vice Amir(a).
The recurring temporary committees are:
- Tajdeed Retreat Committee
- MSA West Conference Program Committee
- MSA West Conference Workshop Committee
Additional temporary committees can be formed or dissolved as deemed necessary by the officers, advisors and delegates.
After an officer’s term ends, in order to have a consistency in the work and ideals of MSA West, they will be an advisor for five years unless outstanding circumstances do not permit them to fulfill this role. There will a minimum of two officers'-advisors' retreats during each term. The first officers'-advisors' retreat must take place before the first MSA West Delegate or Action Meeting. The second officer-advisor retreat may happen at the discretion of all those involved, but prior to end of the term. All current board members, current advisors, and former advisors will be invited to both officers'-advisors' retreats, and their schedules taken into consideration when planning each retreat.
Section IV: Judicary Procedures
Any violation of the constitution is subject to reprimand. Executive officers and delegates are all required to uphold the vision and must abide by the rules decided upon by MSA West or will be asked to either refrain or leave the organization.
Article I: Dissolution of Fitnah
There is zero tolerance for fitna. Persons who engage or perpetuate divisions in the Ummah will be dealt with accordingly. The Amir (a) will speak to those who take part in fitna in private and ask them to refrain themselves. If destructive behavior continues the issue will be addressed in a meeting with all noninvolved delegates.
Article II: Misappropriation of Funds
Any abuse of funds will result in termination of position or any other related task within MSA West.
Article III: Nonattendance
Executive officers and delegates that miss two or more consecutive meeting without contacting the Amir(a) will be asked to resign from MSA West and that a new delegate be chosen to represent that school.
Article IV: Removal
If an executive officer is not meeting his or her duties specified in section 2, he or she will be asked to step down and the delegates will chose a replacement officer from among the current delegates. Voting power is non-transferable. This requires a majority vote of the executive board.
Article V: Amendments
Any modifications of the constitution can be made through a majority vote. The Amir(a) has the responsibility and the obligation to override any decision that is not in the best interest of the Ummah.