What is a Caucus?
Caucuses are sources of initiative in the Association. Caucuses are groups of members of the Association who address substantive issues and organizational structure relevant to the Association. Membership in a Caucus is not mandatory to be a member of the Association. Caucus meetings during the Association's annual meeting are open, however, to participate it is recommended that you become a member of the caucus. The following text comes from the Association's Bylaws.
The internal structure of the Caucuses is determined by their membership in keeping with the general tone and direction of the Association. Caucuses must elect a Chair to the Coordinating Committee, select Caucus FOCO Representatives, and submit names to the Coordinating Committee for NACCS committees. The Caucuses are expected to work from within the FOCOs.
Section 1: Members
The members of the Association may choose to be part of any Caucus based on the descriptions and limitations provided. There is no requirement that members of the Association must participate in Caucuses. Some caucuses are safe places for Association's members and members should take this into consideration when choosing to participate in a Caucus.
Section 2: Caucuses
NACCS shall be represented in the following caucuses:
- Chicana Caucus
The Chicana Caucus consists of women NACCS members and women NACCS conference attendants. The caucus is concerned with gender equity and the needs and interests of women, heterosexual and lesbians. The Caucus addresses issues of sexism and patriarchy in the Association and in everyday life. At the annual conference the Caucus elects one representative as Chair for a two-year term, and one representative as a Chair-Elect also for a two-year term.
- Committee on Action
This Caucus, also known by its acronym COMPAS, consists of persons interested in the empowerment and welfare of the Chicana and Chicano community. The Caucus is concerned with direct social action to address issues in our community and the organization.
- Student Caucus
The Student Caucus consists of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. The Caucus is concerned with equity for students and the needs and interests of students. Unlike the other Caucuses two students are selected as Chairs of this caucus, one male and one female student. If possible a graduate student and an undergraduate student shall be represented. Both of these students serve for a one-year term.
- Lesbian Caucus
The Lesbian Caucus was founded to address and challenge the ongoing homophobia and heterosexism prevalent within academia and academic associations. The caucus supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered agendas and affords space in NACCS to meet, to have workshops, and discuss issues in the continuing of Chicana and Chicano studies and the transformation process that is education. The Caucus at the annual conference selects a Chair for a two-year term.
- Joto Caucus
The Joto Caucus consists of gay, bisexual, and transgendered men. The Caucus is concerned with homophobia, heterosexism and equity and the needs and interests of gay, bisexual, and transgendered men. The Caucus addresses the issues of "sexualities, identities, homophobias, masculinities, and every day Chicano practices." The caucus at the annual conference elects one representative as Chair for a two-year term.
- Community Caucus
The Community Caucus is comprised of community activists from all parts of the country. It is concerned with issues of community empowerment and with the needs and interests of the community.
- K-12 Caucus
The K-12 Caucus consists of any person concerned with the development, promotion, and institutionalization of Chicana and Chicano Studies in K-12 curricula.
Section 3: Election of Caucus Chairs
At Caucus meeting held during the national conference, the Caucuses shall elect a Caucus Chair, who shall serve as a voting member on the National Coordinating Committee. The Student Caucus will elect two Chairs. In the event of resignation or inability to serve, the National Coordinating Committee, in consultation with the Caucus members, may appoint an interim Chair until a permanent Chair is elected by the Caucus membership.
Section 4: Caucus Chairs Terms and Duties
Each Caucus Chair shall serve for a two-year term beginning and ending at the annual meetings. The Student Caucus Co-Chairs will serve for one year. The Caucus Chair shall serve as a voting member on the National Coordinating Committee. The Student Caucus Co-chairs share one vote on the National Coordinating Committee. The Caucus Chair must be familiar with the operation of the Association and its Bylaws. Each Caucus Chair is responsible for the following: overseeing all communications with Caucus members; maintaining regular communication with the National Chair and other members of the Coordinating Committee regarding the activities and needs of the Caucus; attending all National Coordinating Committee meetings; organizing and presiding over the caucus's business meetings during the annual meetings; compiling and submitting resolutions within the timeframe to the designated officers [see Art. XIII]; providing a written report of Caucus activities for publication in the NACCS newsletter; promoting the general welfare of the Association; undertaking duties assigned by the National Coordinating Committee and the National Chair; and representing the interests of their respective caucuses within NACCS.
Section 5: Rules Governing the Establishment of a New Caucus
A proposal for a new Caucus shall first be presented to the National Coordinating Committee for review with a list of 30 paid NACCS members representing the new group. A new Caucus must bring a diverse perspective not represented within an established caucus or in the discipline. If approved by the Coordinating Committee, the proposed Caucus members shall then submit a resolution to the general membership for a vote at the national business meeting. If the resolution is passed by the membership the group shall become a new Caucus as an ad-hoc committee for a period of two years. The Chair(s) is responsible for organizing and locating meeting space at the annual conference. At the end of two years, the ad-hoc committee must submit a mission statement, activity report, and membership list of NACCS paid members representing a new Caucus. Upon the recommendation of the Coordinating Committee the ad-hoc committee becomes a permanent Caucus or may continue as an ad-hoc committee.