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GSG By-Laws

Graduate Student Government By-laws

Article I

MEMBERSHIP, COMPOSITION AND ELIGIBILITY

1. All Executive Board members, as elected officials, are members of the Association during their tenure as an Executive Board member.

2. Senators are elected in the manner prescribed by Article III of these Association By-laws.

3. Each Senator has one vote. There will be no proxy votes. The President chairs the Senate and is an ex-officio member of all Association standing committees. The President has limited voting rights and votes only in case of a tie. The Vice Presidents have the rights and privileges of a Senator and are entitled to one vote each.

4. Any graduate student may attend meetings of the Senate. Non-voting members may or may not be recognized by the chair to participate in debate. Senators may yield the floor to non-voting members for purposes of debate or discussion. Non-voting members may work with any committee, Senator and Executive Board member.

5. All elected officers are required to work a minimum of hours. The President must work a minimum of fifteen (15) per week, and the Vice Presidents for Student Affairs/Services, Academic Affairs and Financial Affairs must work a minimum of ten (10) per week. The Vice President for Administration and Programs and Vice President for Public/Media Relations and Membership each must work a minimum of eight (8) hours per week. Senators are required to fulfill the responsibilities of the Senate.

6. The Senators are required to attend the monthly Senate meetings, attend all Special Senate meetings, join and participate in one of the standing committees or commit to one office hour.

Any Senator accumulating three or more unexcused absences during the semester from the monthly Senate meetings will be deemed by the Executive Board to have abandoned their seat. To be excused from a meeting, a Senator must submit in writing to the President a letter explaining the absence 24 hours in advance of the meeting. In extenuating circumstances, the President has the option to waive the 24-hour requirement.

Senators must participate in their selected standing committee meetings. Beginning with the third absence, which is not excused, each absence from a standing committee meeting will count as an absence from a Senate meeting for the purpose of maintaining the Senate seat. If a Senator cannot attend a weekly committee meeting, the Senator must submit in writing to the committee chair formal notification, 24 hours in advance. In extenuating circumstances, the Chairperson has the option of waiving the 24-hour requirement

The only exceptions to the above rules will be illness or death in the immediate family, or an academic (Co-op/Practicum is considered academic) commitment.

Article II

STANDING COMMITTEES

There will be five (5) Standing Committees to help coordinate the activities of the Association. The President and the Executive Board may establish additional ad-hoc committees. Each standing committee shall be chaired by a Vice President and shall operate in the best interests of the Association. Each committee will maintain minutes of all meetings and, upon request, make them available to the Executive Board and the Senate. Committees are open to all members of the University Community, unless a motion to go into Executive session is carried by a two-thirds vote of the voting members of that committee. Senators are the only members with voting privileges and limited to one vote per senator. The chair of the committee will vote only in case of a tie. The Association President is an ex-officio member of each Standing Committee. Quorum for Standing Committees is simple majority of the committee membership.

A. ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

Under the charge of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, this committee shall be responsible for any academic matters brought to the attention of the Association. The Committee shall also specifically speak to issues surrounding Stipended Graduate Assistants (SGAs). The Committee shall be specifically in charge of planning and executing the Provost Forum in the Fall Semester with the Vice President for Administration and Programs.

B. STUDENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

The Vice President for Student Affairs/Services will chair the Student Affairs Committee. The Committee is responsible for coordinating all efforts with the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Life. It is responsible for planning and coordinating the President’s Forum each Spring with the Vice President for Administration and Programs as well as any other events related to graduate recruitment and student life.

C. FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Finance Committee, under the supervision and charge of the Vice President for Financial Affairs, shall be responsible for the smooth financial operation of the Association. The Finance Committee shall advise the Executive Board on the budget, review procedures, policies, objectives, and makes recommendations on the process of budget allocations, decisions and award grants/allocations to graduate student organizations and individual students on a semester basis. The GSG President shall work closely with the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall be governed by the Finance Committee By-laws, which are to be approved by the Senate.

D. PROGRAMS COMMITTEE:

This committee shall address the needs of the culturally diverse graduate student population on campus. It shall be chaired by the Vice President of Administration and Programs. The Programs Committee will make recommendations to the Senate on Association policies and objectives in the programming area. This committee will also coordinate the Senior Week Program on behalf of the Association as well as programs that bring together the graduate student community as a whole. The Programs Committee will work with the Academic Affairs Committee for the Provost’s Forum and the Student Affairs/Services Committee for the President’s Forum.

E. PUBLIC/MEDIA RELATIONS & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

This committee shall work to recruit active members and increase member participation in Association activities. This committee shall be responsible for nominations and elections for both the Senate and the Executive Board. It shall make recommendations to the Executive Board prior to the election process regarding Executive Board positions. It shall be chaired by the Vice President for Public/Media Relations and Membership.

Article III

NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
A. EXECUTIVE BOARD

1. Any Executive Board candidate must be a full-time or part-time graduate student in good standing with the institution, and must reside within a 100 miles of the Association Office, during their term of office.

2. Nominations for the Executive Board for the following year will be announced at the February Senate Meeting. The Nomination period will be no less than 3 weeks and no greater than 6 weeks. Typically, Elections will be held at the next Senate Meeting (March), and be conducted by Executive Board.

3. Special elections may become necessary should an Executive Board member resign, be impeached, or deemed by vote of the Executive Board to have abandoned their office under Article VI, Section B of the Constitution. An election will be called following the Constitutional guidelines for nominations and elections in conjunction with the stipulations concerning Senate meetings.

B. SENATE

1. Senators will be appointed or elected from amongst their recognized Graduate or Professional Schools. In addition, interested students could apply to the Executive Board to receive Senatorial Status.

2. All Senators will provide the Executive Board with a Senator Nomination Form duly attested by both the Registrar and the Graduate School Dean or his/her designee.

3. Senators must be in good standing according as defined by each of their respective graduate school policies.

Article IV

ABANDONMENT/IMPEACHMENT

1. Impeachment is defined as the process whereby an accusation is brought against a member for serious misconduct. These charges must be initiated on the floor of a Senate Meeting. Any member of the Senate may move Articles of Impeachment and name the person at whom the charges are directed. There must be a second to the motion. Before stating the motion and naming the individual(s), the mover must motion to into executive session to hear a motion to impeach. The motion may then be debated with the accused individual given due opportunity to answer the charges. Once debate closes, a vote will be taken to determine if the process should be continued. A simple majority will carry this motion. If the Senate votes to continue the process, a Special Senate meeting will be convened to hear the impeachment charges and to decide whether or not to remove the accused individual. At this meeting, the Senator who made the initial motion shall present detailed reasons for requesting the impeachment. The person so accused will then have a second opportunity to rebut the charges. A vote will be taken on the question and must pass by three-fourths (3/4) majority. If issues remain unclear, the motion can be postponed for one week. The three-week notification requirement for this Senate meeting will be waived, however, with at least one-week notice given to Senators prior to such meetings and the quorum rule for all Senate meetings will apply.

2. If under the provisions of Article V, Section D, of the Constitution, the Executive Board concludes that an election for any Officer should be held, and/or the presiding officer believes that one or more of the Executive Board officers has abandoned their responsibilities. Abandonment is defined as a sustained failure to perform required duties as set forth in the Constitution, Bylaws, Legislation, or persistent absences from meetings of Senate Meetings, Executive Board Meetings, Committees, or on other bodies served. The motion will be voted upon by the Executive Board and needs a simple majority to pass. If the motion passes, the Executive Board will put forward its recommendation(s) at the Senate meeting immediately thereafter, and ask that the position(s) be declared vacant and that election(s) be held to fill it. The Senate will confirm this motion by a simple majority vote. Vice Presidents who abandon their responsibilities will automatically forfeit their seat in the Senate.

Article V

VOTING PROCEDURES

1. Proxy voting will not be accepted for regular Senate meetings.

2. All votes concerning legislation will be by mandatory roll call votes unless a motion is made from the floor for a motion to move by unanimous consent. If no objection is raised to the motion, the legislation and/or amendment is considered passed. If an objection is raised, a roll call vote must result. Roll call votes are not mandatory for voting on the minutes, or any other motions.

Article VI

AMENDMENTS

1. To amend the Bylaws, the Senate must approve a motion by a simple majority vote.

2. Proposed amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws must be submitted in writing no less than one week in advance of a Senate meeting to the Executive Board to be placed on the agenda and considered by the Senate.

3. The agenda and proposed amendments will be provided to the Senate no less than three (3) working days before the Senate Meeting.