Persian Student Association
The Persian Student Association is a non-political volunteer student organization which shall respect the religious identities of all its members and whose objective shall be to sponsor Persian social and cultural activities and events, to promote an understanding of Persian culture, to help foster friendship among different cultural groups, and to provide a source of union and support for the Persian community at Stanford.
Membership is open to all Stanford students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, and their spouses. New members may join at the beginning of every quarter, their membership extending through the academic year in which they join.
A: Titles and responsibilities:
Members of the Board of Directors (Including Secretary and Treasurer)
All Officers must be currently registered, Stanford students enrolled in a degree-granting program
The Authorized Representative, who is also a Board member, presides over the Board of Directors’ meetings and reports to the ASSU on behalf of PSA.
The Board of Directors consists of five (5) members and is responsible for planning the budget and coordinating activities. The Board shall cooperate with the Ombudsperson regarding members’ concerns. However, the Ombudsperson is not a member of the Board.
The Board shall designate one of its members as Treasurer and one of its members as Secretary. These positions may be rotated among the board. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping and updating financial records. The Secretary is responsible for reporting minutes of the general meetings, maintaining membership records, and conducting the general elections every year.
The Ombudsperson oversees elections and serves as a bridge between the members and the officers by addressing and working to resolve all potential grievances. The Ombudsperson also oversees the proceedings for the removal of any officer. The Ombudsperson shall maintain the confidentiality of concerned parties.
B: Elections and removal process:
Elections and vote casting procedure:
The format for all elections and vote castings is as follows:
After the elections meeting, members have one week to cast their votes. If less than fifty percent (50%) of members have voted by the end of this week, the voting period shall be extended by one week after which the elections result is finalized.
A general elections meeting will be held during the fourth week of February. Each term begins in the autumn quarter following the elections and lasts for the duration of the academic year.
When the Ombudsperson receives signatures requesting the removal of an officer from eight (8) members or fifteen percent (15%) of the membership, he/she shall call for a special vote casting meeting.
If a removal is enacted in the summer, all PSA activities will be suspended until the following autumn.
Length of term
The length of term of each officer is one year. Each member may be elected to office at most two times. The Authorized Representative and Ombudsperson cannot run again for their previously held positions.
Dissolution of organization
If PSA is dissolved, the uncommitted funds and property shall be designated to the Bechtel International Center.
Procedure to amend the constitution
When the Ombudsperson receives signatures requesting a specific amendment to the constitution from eight (8) members or fifteen percent (15%) of the membership, he/she shall call for a special vote casting meeting. The constitution may not be amended in the summer.
History of PSA Constitution:
As with any active democratic organization, PSA undergoes organizational changes and refinements as the needs of its membership evolve. These changes take shape via amendments to the PSA constitution which are voted on by members.
The following are amendments which have been proposed in past years. These include a record of the discussion forum held for each amendment.
- Amendment – November 1999 (Passed)
- Amendment – November 1998 (Passed)
- Amendment – October 1998 (Did not pass)
PSA is a registered voluntary student organization (VSO) and a member of Graduate Student Council. Here is the definition of VSOs by the Office of Student Activities at Stanford.
Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs)
Voluntary student organizations (VSOs) are groups formed for a specific purpose. Their structure may be formal or informal. Some local groups are affiliated with national organizations, but the local campus organization and student members must make all decisions. VSOs meet the following criteria:
- Membership is not mandatory and must meet the University’s nondiscrimination policy.
- Membership is both open and limited to currently registered Stanford students.
- Stanford students must make all organizational decisions and hold all leadership positions, including that of Authorized Representatives.
- Other members of the Stanford community (faculty, staff and alumni) may participate in organizational activities, but they cannot be considered organization members
- Members of the Stanford community other than current students may serve in an advisory role but cannot lead or direct the organization’s activities in any way.
- New groups must not duplicate the goals, activities or name of existing student organizations.
Each organization must designate three currently registered students to serve as Authorized Representatives when registering with the University, a President and a Financial Officer.
The Authorized Representatives bear ultimate responsibility for the organization and its activities. They acept the responsibility of staying informed about, and following, University policies, guidelines and procedures that relate to their organization’s plans. They must also inform their members of all applicable University policies and resources. The University expects the Authorized Representatives, especially the President, to speak and act with authority for the group and accurately represent the group and its activities to the University. When groups organize events, an Authorized Representative must attend or specifically designate someone else to attend and be responsible for the event.
Once registered, it is essential that the registration information remains accurate throughout the academic year. Should your organization change leadership mid-year, you must notify both the OSA and the ASSU through a Transfer of Authority form, accessible through the OSA website.
Awards and Honors
Dean of students outstanding achievements award – May 2009
The Persian Student Association receives the Dean of Students outstanding achievements award for academic year 2008-2009.
This award recognizes an outstanding level of achievement by a student group that has enriched the quality of student life at Stanford. The recipients of the award exhibit excellence and innovation in the implementation of programs or projects; benefit the campus community; and demonstrate a unique quality.
Sharif University of Technology Association Award – November 2008
The PSA is recognized by the SUTA for its excellence in supporting the Iranian community at Stanford University.
Dean of students outstanding achievements award – April 2003
Sina Zahedi and Persian Student Association receive the Dean of Students outstanding achievements award for academic year 2002-2003.
This award, given annually to graduate and undergraduate student groups, was established in 1999 to provide institutional recognition of the many contributions that student groups make to greater Stanford community.