Constitution and By Laws
Constitution of the Graduate Student Association
As amended March 2011
The Graduate Student Association (GSA), governed by the Graduate Student Council (GSC), is a member of the Student Government Association (SGA). The GSA shall provide official channels for the administration of graduate student affairs and of the budget allotted by the SGA. The GSA shall provide the following through council meetings:
• A forum of communication between graduate student populations.
• An opportunity to participate in the formation and revision of budgetary and administrative policies.
• Open communication with the Officers of the GSC who represent the GSA at SGA Student Senate Meetings.
• A means to educate graduate students of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges.
• A reservoir of interested students for appointment to University committees.
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP
1. The membership of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) shall consist of all nonprofessional graduate students in good standing enrolled in University-recognized post-baccalaureate programs.
2. The GSA shall not discriminate against Members for any reason mentioned in the University of Louisville Diversity Vision Statement or Non-Discrimination Statement, unless otherwise required by law.
3. The voting membership of the GSC shall consist of one Representative from each academic department as established in the University of Louisville’s Graduate Catalog and an indefinite number of non-voting members.
4. No one person may serve as the Representative for more than one academic department.
5. The duties of the Representatives shall be as follows:
ARTICLE II: AUTHORITY
1. The authority of the GSA and the GSC to act on behalf of graduate students is granted under Article V of the Constitution of the SGA.
2. The GSC shall have no authority to direct the internal affairs of the departments from which the Members come, other than such affairs as relate to this constitution and its by-laws.
ARTICLE III: ORGANIZATION
1. The Graduate Student Council (GSC) shall govern and be elected by the GSC.
2. The GSC Executive Council shall consist of five officers: President, Vice President, Information Chair, Treasurer, and Travel Administrator. In addition there shall be two Senators Proxy. All officers shall serve as Senators of the SGA Student Senate and shall attend, in person or via proxy, all SGA Senate meetings.
3. The GSC shall maintain the following standing committees, which shall perform such duties as the By-Laws shall prescribe: Constitution and Elections Committee, Event Committee, and Information Committee.
4. Ad-hoc committees shall be created at the discretion of the Executive Council.
5. Representatives to such external committees, councils, or other organizations as require representatives from the GSC, shall be elected by the GSC. When necessary the Executive Council may appoint committee members who will then be affirmed by the GSC at the next meeting.
ARTICLE IV: ELECTIONS
2. Nominations for the Executive Council, committee chairs, and external representatives may be accepted at the February meeting of the GSC; nominations may also be accepted at the March meeting. Annual elections shall be held at the March GSC meeting.
3. All elected officials shall serve until the date of the Spring Graduation ceremony.
4. All elected officials shall transition the officers for the next academic year beginning with the March elections. The newly elected officers will officially take office beginning the day following the Spring graduation ceremony.
5. In case of a vacancy in any elected position, an election to fill the position shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the GSC.
6. Elected officials shall be re-elected no more than one time to the same position and no more than three total consecutive years on the executive board. In case no one is eligible to serve according to the requirements set forth in this Constitution or no one who is eligible desires to serve, the requirements may be waived upon a two-thirds vote of those GSC members present once a quorum has been established. Any GSA member may then run for the office for which the requirements were suspended. If an officer is elected under these circumstances, the said officer shall have full authority as described in Article III.
7. All members of the Executive Council, with the exception of the President, may serve as representatives of their respective departments.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
1. No general membership meeting of the GSA shall be required.
2. GSC Meetings
3. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the GSC in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution and any special rules of order the GSC may adopt.
ARTICLE VI: VOTING
1. Each Representative shall have one vote, but the President shall only vote in case of a tie.
2. A quorum shall consist of one half of the representatives from all departments that are not currently inactive.
3. A simple majority vote of those present shall prevail in all matters unless otherwise stated herein.
ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
1. Any Representative may submit in writing to the Executive Council an amendment to this Constitution and By-Laws. The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Vice-President at least seven (7) days before a scheduled GSC meeting.
2. The proposed amendment shall be debated and a vote held at the next regular GSC meeting. The amendment shall be approved by a three-fourths majority of the Representatives present after a quorum has been established.
BY-LAWS OF THE GRADUATE STUDENT COUNCIL
1. Inactive and Probationary Departments:
2. Allocation of Funds
3. Duties of the Standing Committees of the GSC
The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees with the exception of those times/meetings when election issues may be discussed on the Constitution and Elections Committee.
Administrative Guide for the Disbursal of Research/Travel Awards 2009-2010 School Year
1. Research-travel awards shall be granted to the Members of the GSA on a first-come-first-serve basis. At the discretion of the Executive Council, the number of awards granted in the fall semester, for travel during the fall semester, may be limited in order to reserve funds for the spring semester.
2. The Travel Administrator shall conduct training workshops, as necessary, on the Research-travel award process.
3. The maximum amount of money for a single award may be adjusted from the $250.00/$300.00 current award by a three-fourths majority vote of the GSC. Students who travel to the NAGPS Regional or National meetings shall also be permitted to access the "NAGPS Travel" and "Discretionary" line items of the budget at the discretion of the President or apply to the SGA Finance Committee for SGA funding.
4. If fifteen or more students from the same department travel to the same meeting, no more than fifteen times the maximum individual award shall be awarded to the group as a whole. Furthermore, if the department was in inactive status at the end of the previous academic year, the maximum group award shall be limited to ten times the maximum individual award.
5. Research-travel award requests shall be submitted to the Travel Administrator through the GSC Website at least four weeks prior to the anticipated date of travel. Requests for exceptions to this policy must be made in writing to the Travel Administrator at least five business days before the anticipated date of travel, and shall be granted only on the approval of a majority vote of the Executive Council.
6. A properly completed reimbursement form and all original receipts shall be submitted to the designated university official in charge of reimbursements within six weeks of returning from travel. An abstract, essay, or other written documentation about your participation shall also be required. Requests for extensions due to extenuating circumstances shall be made in writing to the travel administrator within the six-week period and shall be subject to approval by the Executive Council.
7. No awards shall be made to a Member whose department is in inactive status when the request is made. The Travel Administrator shall make it known to Members who were thus denied funds when their department regains active status and that they may then reapply. The department must not go into inactive status during the processing of the award or it may be revoked.
8. No department shall be allowed to access more than twenty percent of the total "Travel/Research" line-item budget of the GSC in a single fiscal year. The Travel Administrator shall notify the department Representative when 15% of the said budget has been allocated to that department.
9. If the travel administrator is not notified by the departure date of the cancellation of a Member's travel plans, that Member shall be ineligible to receive Research-travel funds for the remainder of that academic year.