Constitution and By Laws
of the Graduate Student Association
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:
forum of communication between graduate student populations.
opportunity to participate in the formation and revision of budgetary and
communication with the Officers of the GSC who represent the GSA at SGA
Student Senate Meetings.
means to educate graduate students of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges.
reservoir of interested students for appointment to University committees.
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP
membership of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) shall consist of all
nonprofessional graduate students in good standing enrolled in University-recognized post-baccalaureate programs.
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.
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.
one person may serve as the Representative for more than one academic
duties of the Representatives shall be as follows:
a. To accurately represent the constituents of
their respective departments.
b. To attend all GSC meetings in person
or via proxy.
c. To communicate regularly with the GSC
in such a manner as the President shall direct.
d. To disseminate information to their
ARTICLE II: AUTHORITY
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.
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
Graduate Student Council (GSC) shall govern and be elected by the GSC.
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
a. The duties of the President shall be as
i. To serve as the official spokesperson and a
primary means of contact for the GSC.
To schedule, preside, or appoint someone to
preside over all GSC meetings.
iii. To deliver a report on the activity of the GSC
to the SGA when directed to do so.
iv. To act as liaison between the GSC and
the University Administration.
v. To act as Controller of the Budget and as
vi. To appoint Senators and their proxies when
vii. To prepare the annual budget in conjunction
with and for review by the Executive Council no more than two weeks prior to
the budget deadline of the SGA.
To serve as the GSC's representative on the
b. If the President is unable to fulfill his or
her duties, the Vice-President shall act as President until such time as the
President can resume his or her duties, or a new election may be held to
replace the President.
c. The duties of the Vice President shall be as
i. To assume the duties of the President when
ii. To assist with the planning of the meeting
agendas of the GSC.
iii. To keep the agendas, minutes, and attendance
records of all official GSC meetings.
iv. To assist with the preparation of the annual
v. To ensure that all current committees, both
internal and external, have any needed resources.
vi. To ensure that all current committees, both
internal and external, are properly staffed.
vii. To serve as chair of the Constitution
and Elections committee of the GSC.
d. The duties of the Information Chair shall be
i. To establish a means of communication with
the representatives on the GSC.
ii. To serve as the Webmaster of the GSC.
iii. To maintain an e-mail list for the GSC.
iv. To publish the GSC newsletter when necessary
e. The duties of the Treasurer shall be as
i. To serve as chief accountant of the GSC
budget, to prepare monthly reports, and to keep records of all expenditures.
ii. To administer all aspects of the budget and
to serve as a representative of the President as signatory on T-forms, purchase
order forms, etc.
iii. To assist with the preparation of the annual
iv. To serve as chair of the GSC Events
v. To assist the Travel Administrator with the
travel award program.
f. The duties of the Travel Administrator shall
be as follows:
i. To administer the travel award program.
ii. To assist the Treasurer on other budget
items as necessary.
g. The Senators Proxy shall assume duties as
needed by the GSC including but not limited to serving as proxies for
the executive officers when necessary as well as attending Executive Council
meetings when appropriate.
h. Removal of Officers
i. An officer may be removed from office if he
or she fails to uphold his or her responsibilities. This may include, but is
not limited to, failure to attend meetings of the GSC and the SGA
Student Senate or failure to fulfill the duties of his or her office as defined
in this Constitution.
ii. In order to remove an officer, a written
letter must be submitted to the Executive Council. The officer in question
shall be notified by the Executive Council within twenty-four hours of the
receipt of the letter submitted to the Executive Council. A hearing shall be
held at the next regular GSC meeting held at least two weeks subsequent
to the receipt of the letter by the Executive Council, at which time the
officer shall present his/her defense. The officer shall be removed from office
by a three-fourths majority vote of the Representatives present after a quorum
has been established. Quorum status will be reaffirmed before the vote occurs.
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.
committees shall be created at the discretion of the Executive Council.
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
a. All candidates for positions on the
Executive Council shall be Members of the GSA for at least one academic
b. The candidates for President and Vice
President shall have been active GSC representatives for at least one
c. All committee chairs shall be
Representatives on the GSC.
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
elected officials shall serve until the date of the Spring Graduation ceremony.
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
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.
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
members of the Executive Council, with the exception of the President, may
serve as representatives of their respective departments.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS
general membership meeting of the GSA shall be required.
a. Regular meetings of the GSC shall be
held at least once each month in which classes are held during the fall and
spring academic semesters.
b. The President shall call a special meeting
upon receipt of a petition signed by at least one fourth of the Representatives
to the GSC or one twentieth of the Members of the GSA.
c. Any and all meetings of the GSC and GSC
Committees, with or without a quorum present, shall be open. Any part of a
meeting that involves the discussion of the appointment, discipline, or
dismissal of an individual member may be closed to the public. Only representatives
of the GSC shall be entitled to vote.
d. Representatives of the GSC shall be
notified of meetings at least one week in advance. The Executive
Council of the GSC shall notify directors of graduate study of all
departments eligible to send representatives before the first meeting of 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
Representative shall have one vote, but the President shall only vote in case
of a tie.
quorum shall consist of one half of the representatives from all departments
that are not currently inactive.
simple majority vote of those present shall prevail in all matters unless
otherwise stated herein.
ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION
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
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
and Probationary Departments:
a. A department that lacks representation at
more than two meetings in one academic year shall be deemed inactive and shall
lose the right to vote or access the budget or travel funds in any way. The GSC
Executive Council shall send notification of such status to the Representative
of the inactive department and to its Chair. A department that has missed one
meeting shall be on probationary status until the next regular meeting of the GSC
when that department shall either become inactive for failing to send a
representative or active again if a representative is in attendance
b. A department shall be restored to active
status upon the attendance of its Representative at a regular meeting of the GSC.
c. A reinstated department shall have the right
to vote immediately upon reinstatement, but access to the budget or travel
funds shall not be restored until its Representative has attended two
a. At the beginning of each fiscal year the GSC
shall approve by a majority vote the administrative Guide for the Disbursal of
Research/Travel Awards (the Guide) and post the approved Guide to the GSC
b. The Guide may be amended at any time with
vote of the Council but changes shall not result in the revocation of any award
granted up to the date of the vote.
of the Standing Committees of the GSC
a. The duties of the Constitution and
Elections Committee are as follows:
i. To ensure that the GSC remains in
compliance with this Constitution.
ii. To accept nominations, as necessary, for all
elected positions and verify the eligibility of the nominees.
iii. To establish procedures for conducting
elections that are affirmed by the GSC.
b. The duties of the Event Committee shall be
i. To plan such events as the GSC may
ii. To appoint a representative to serve on the
SGA House of Representatives and the Student Activities Board when such an
appointment is required or requested.
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
2009-2010 School Year
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.