National Association of Chinese American Student Unions

NACASU Description

NACASU is an initiative and a project of the United Chinese Americans (UCA). Our goal is to create a national organization of Chinese American Student Unions across the country, somewhat similar to the Hillel, starting with those organizations within colleges and universities. Although NACASU will have consistent contact and mentorship with the UCA as well as support, NACASU is a member-managed organization.

We want to create a collective of Chinese American student unions in order to provide both a support network and potentially even a professional network across the country whereby different student unions can come together and share their programming and experiences with one another. We want to offer Chinese American Student organizations like yours resources that the UCA has access to: funding, event planning, internship opportunities, and programming. We even plan to host a UCA National Youth Convention where our generation of Chinese American students can come together in person to find community and solutions.

Mission Statement: The mission of National Association of Chinese American Student Unions (NACASU) is to enrich, empower and inspire Chinese American students during their college years and beyond.

Vision Statement: We envision a world where every Chinese American student can and will realize their full academic, civic, cultural and political potential so that they can better serve and lead the humanity.

NACASU Organizational Structure

NACASU is an autonomous, self-managed member organization. This means that NACASU is fundamentally run by its student union members. Because of this, in order to be a part of NACASU, we ask that each organization designates a member of their organization (i.e. President or otherwise another nominated member from your organization) to be a committee/board member of NACASU.

Once NACASU has reached a critical mass of member organizations (tentatively set to 25 founding organizations), the board will be formed. The board is made up of:

  • The presidents/nominated leaders of every member organization (3⁄4 of the board).

  • Independent board members who are not tied to member organizations (most likely about 1⁄4 of the board). These members will be nominated by the UCA and voted on by the existing board members.

  • Two UCA-appointed board seats. These are employees of the UCA.

There will also be an advisory board made up of UCA appointed older graduates and alumni members. They will be appointed for a one year tenure which will be renewed annually. These members will offer advice and networking opportunities to the board, providing guidance and suggestions on best practices and operations.

Eventually, the board will form its own executive team by a vote which will consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Programming Director, Marketing/Communications Director (and whatever additional roles that the Board agrees and votes on) along with the two UCA-appointed board seats. All board members, with the exception of the two UCA-appointed board seats, can run for these positions. Although members may run for more than one position, they may only take one position in the event they are voted into two. The person with the next highest number of votes for the position that the member with two positions does not want will assume that position. Voting is by majority vote (at least more than 50% of the vote).

Every board member will have voting power within the board to approve/disapprove of decisions headed by the Executive Council. The elected Executive Council has more responsibility in making decisions and pushing initiatives as well as guiding the focus of NACASU’s programming. They also have the power to call emergency meetings and make executive decisions if there is a need. However, every member organization will have a say in those decisions.

Eventually, we hope that board members will form sub-committees based on the initiatives they are the most passionate about (i.e. mental health programming or leadership programming) to advance the mission statement of NACASU.

Relationship with the UCA

Although NACASU is a self-run organization, the UCA will function as its advisor, providing guidance and a consistent, stabilizing force within the organization. Legally, NACASU is a part of the UCA but in terms of management, NACASU is self-run according to the organization structure described above. As stated above, two of the board members will be appointed by the UCA in order to maintain a healthy liaison between the two organizations. The UCA will also provide funding, networking opportunities, and resources within the nonprofit and political sphere.