CONSTITUTION OF THE GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION
THE UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO
REVISED APRIL, 2015
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Graduate Student Association of the University of Toledo, hereinafter referred to as GSA.
The governing body of the GSA shall be the General Assembly.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
SECTION I. The purpose of GSA shall be to represent the graduate student body, assist in solutions of pertinent problems and create, develop, and promote activities of all types for the graduate students of the University of Toledo.
SECTION II. Activities and programs sponsored by this organization will keep within the organizations stated objectives. The property and income of the GSA shall be used solely to further the purposes expressed in this article.
ARTICLE III – ADVISOR
SECTION I. The College of Graduate Studies (COGS) Dean shall serve as the UT faculty administrator advisor to the GSA. The COGS Dean provides oversight on the GSA annual budget and expenditures. The COGS Dean approves the annual stipends to be paid to officers. The COGS Dean meets with the GSA President and other officers on a regular basis to provide input regarding GSA activities and assures they are within the UT approved scope of student organizations.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP OF GSA
SECTION I. Membership of the GSA
Any student enrolled in a graduate and/or professional post-baccalaureate program of the University of Toledo shall be a member of GSA.
Any student enrolled in a graduate and/or professional post-baccalaureate program of the University of Toledo shall be eligible to become an Active member of the GSA and gain additional privileges.
The GSA does not categorically deny membership to an individual, based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran’s status or the presence of a disability.
SECTION II- Privileges to Membership
a. May be a non-voting participant at any or all Assembly meetings.
b. May be appointed by the President to serve on any Assembly committee.
c. Are eligible to vote for officers of the GSA as provided for in the By-Laws.
d. May participate in any or all GSA organized and/or GSA sponsored events.
ARTICLE V – REPRESENTATIVE AND VOTING MEMBERSHIP OF THE GSA
SECTION I- The assembly of the GSA shall be composed of graduate student representatives from each college of the University having a graduate and/or professional program, and of the officers of the GSA.
SECTION II- All colleges with a graduate and/or professional program shall be entitled to a maximum of (2) representatives to the Assembly.
SECTION III- Representatives to the Assembly shall be elected by their college-specific process or appointed by the GSA executive board following an application process from each college having a graduate and/or professional program.
SECTION IV- Terms of office of the representatives shall be for one year, from the beginning of the Fall Semester of their election until the election of a new Assembly the following Fall, unless appointed for a shorter term.
SECTION V- A representative is automatically removed from office after three (3) unexcused absences from meetings, defined as an absence without proxy.
SECTION VI- Representatives of the assembly are appointed the privilege of voting on any issues brought before the Assembly.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
SECTION I. The officers of the executive board, serving as the officers of the GSA and the Assembly, shall consist of the President, Vice President, Main Campus Secretary, Health Science Campus Secretary, Communications Specialist, and Treasurer. These officers shall be elected as provided in the By-Laws. A graduate faculty member of the Graduate Student Affairs committee of the Graduate Council will serve as a non-voting ex officio member of the GSA executive board.
Only currently registered UT students may hold office. Officers of the organization shall not be on academic or disciplinary probation.
All officers, when acting for the GSA and the Assembly are bound by all decisions of the Assembly. Their terms of office run from July 1 of the year of election until June 30 of the following year.
The executive board of the GSA shall operate under the following guidelines.
a. The executive board shall be empowered to organize the GSA’s business and affairs between assembly meetings.
b. A quorum of the executive board shall be 50% plus 1 members.
c. The president shall report all executive board actions at the Assembly meetings.
d. The executive board shall appoint voting members to the assembly when a college does not have their own process for electing members.
e. The executive board members are non-voting members of the Assembly.
f. The executive board shall appoint 4 members to the Graduate Student Affairs Committee of the University Council at the beginning of the Fall semester.
g. In all matters, the Assembly as a whole retains the right to approve, overrule, or alter any decision of the executive board by majority vote if a quorum of Representatives is present and voting.
SECTION II. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Assembly. S/he shall be empowered to handle all executive matters not delegated to other officers between meetings of the Assembly and during the summer term(s). The President, with the consent of at least one other officer, may conduct normal business and financial matters while the Assembly is not in session, provided s/he does not embark upon actions a) contrary to the expressed decisions of the Assembly and b) that expenditures do not deviate from the approved budget. S/he shall be the official delegate to any National Conventions and the official co-delegate to any state meetings involving graduate students. S/he shall serve on the Graduate Council Executive Committee of the Graduate Council. S/he shall serve on the University Council. S/he shall serve as the co-lead symposium coordinator for the Midwest Graduate Research Symposium.
SECTION III. The Vice President shall assume all presidential duties in the absence of the President. Should the presidency become permanently vacant for any reason, the Vice President shall become President in name and fact, at which time a new Vice President shall be elected from the GSA. S/he shall serve on University Council. S/he shall serve as an alternate to the GSA President on the Graduate Council Executive Committee of the Graduate Council. S/he is in charge of any impeachment proceedings brought against a Representative or Officer. S/he shall serve as the co-lead symposium coordinator for the Midwest Graduate Research Symposium.
SECTION IV. The Main Campus Secretary shall have the duties of approving by signature the preparation of the minutes, records, and correspondence of this organization. The Main Campus Secretary shall furnish copies of all records in his/her control upon request of any member of the GSA. In addition, s/he will prepare sign in sheets and monitor attendance at all GSA meetings or events.
SECTION V. The Health Science Campus Secretary will have the duties of scheduling all room reservations for General Assembly Meetings. S/he will also have the duty of updating
the electronic GSA calendar and ensuring office hours in the GSA office are filled during the week.
SECTION VI. The Communications Specialist will have the duty of continually updating the GSA website, Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media sites.
SECTION VII. The Treasurer shall have the duties of handling all financial, budgetary, and travel reimbursement matters. S/he shall submit a financial report to the GSA at least once per fiscal year or upon the request of any member of the GSA. Further, the Treasurer shall serve as Chairperson of the Travel Reimbursement Committee.
SECTION VIII. Vacancies within the officers of the GSA shall be filled as follows. A vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the Vice President. A vacancy in any other GSA officer position shall be filled via the following guidelines.
a) The executive board can choose to nominate a current officer to change positions to fill the vacated office. This nomination must be approved by a majority vote of the executive committee under quorum. At the following Assembly meeting the change in officer positions must be announced and the Assembly reserves the right to veto the position change upon motion and majority approval by the Representatives. Any remaining vacancies in the officers of the GSA will be filled via a special election.
b) The executive board can choose not to nominate any officers to change positions. The vacated position will then be filled be a special election.
c) Any Representative or member of the GSA shall be eligible to run for vacated position provided they meet the guidelines detailed in By-Law number 1. An Officer of the GSA may choose to run for the vacated position even if the executive board does not nominate them. Should an Officer choose to run for the vacated position without executive board approval, they must first resign their current Officer position. The newly vacated position will then be added to the ballot of the special election.
d) The special election will follow the same guidelines as the annual elections as detailed in the By-Laws. The only exception is the election process must begin at the first Assembly meeting immediately following the vacancy of the officer position. Nominations will take place for two weeks after the vacancy is announced and the voting must be completed no later than the Assembly meeting following the announcement of the vacancy.
SECTION IX. The Assembly, retaining all powers not delegated in this document, may give the officers additional duties as it chooses.
ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES
SECTION I. The Assembly shall create, staff, and disband such committees as needed to conduct its business. Appointments to Assembly, University and Graduate Council standing committees will be made by the Executive Board. The GSA will have its own committees. All committee chairpersons will be chosen by the committee members and approved by the
executive committee. Committees shall convene during Assembly meetings and at least once between each Assembly meeting during the Fall and Spring terms.
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS OF THE ASSEMBLY
SECTION I. The Assembly shall meet at least once per calendar month during the fall and spring terms. The schedule of the meetings is determined by the executive board.
SECTION II. The meetings of the Assembly shall be conducted according to the procedures stipulated in the By-Laws, as specified in Robert’s Rule of Order, or in another manner desired by the Assembly, in this order.
SECTION III. Executive Board members are non-voting members of the Assembly.
SECTION IV. A quorum for Assembly meetings will be 51% of the representatives of the Assembly.
SECTION V. A majority vote of the Representatives at any meeting at which a quorum is present shall be necessary for the transaction of business.
ARTICLE IX – IMPEACHMENT
SECTION I. Any Representative or Officer of the Assembly shall be liable to removal from office upon initiation and completion of impeachment proceedings, provided that the initiation and completion of it do not occur within seven calendar days of each other.
SECTION II. The procedure for impeachment by either a Representative of the Assembly or by the constituents of the Representative or Officer to be impeached is as follows:
1. If a Representative or Officer initiates the impeachment proceedings against an Officer or a Representative, the initiating Representative, must obtain the signatures of 1/3 of the representatives of the Assembly (excluding the impeached Representative) on an impeachment petition. When this petition is submitted to the Vice President of the GSA, s/he must conduct a vote in the Assembly at the next meeting following the submission date of the petition. The impeached Representative or Officer shall be removed by vote of 2/3 of the Representatives.
2. If the impeachment proceedings are initiated by one of the impeached Representatives or Officers constituency, then an impeachment petition signed by a minimum of 10 members or 51 percent of the constituency, whichever number Is smaller. The petition signed by the constituents shall be presented to the Vice President of the GSA. At the next Assembly meeting following the receipt of this petition, the Vice President shall conduct an impeachment vote among the Active members of the impeached Representative’s or Officer’s constituency. The impeached Representative or Officer shall be removed by a vote of 1/3 of the total Active members of the impeached Representative’s or Officer’s constituency.
3. If the Vice President is determined to have a conflict of interest, s/he shall recuse him/herself from the impeachment proceedings and the President shall conduct the vote.
4. A University of Toledo faculty advisor must be present in all removal/impeachment proceedings.
5. Replacement of impeached representative or officer shall be through the procedures of Constitution articles and by-laws delineated in this document.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
SECTION I. To propose an amendment to this Constitution or to the By-Laws the proposing assembly member will read and present a written copy of the amendment at a regular meeting of the Assembly. At the subsequent general assembly meeting, the Assembly will vote upon the amendment. The amendment shall be adopted upon a majority vote by the Representatives of the Assembly. The COGS Dean must review amendments before GSA vote.
SECTION II. A quorum for adoption of an amendment shall be 2/3 of the Representatives of the Assembly, either present or by absentee ballot. Adoption shall require 2/3 assenting vote to pass. Amendments shall take effect upon their adoption.
ARTICLE XI – ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION
SECTION I. Upon the adoption of this Constitution, it shall supersede all previous governing documents and practices of the GSA of the University of Toledo. A quorum for adoption of future Constitutions shall be 2/3 of the Representatives of the Assembly, either present or by absentee ballot. The constitution shall be adopted upon a majority vote by the Representatives of the Assembly.
SECTION II. Upon the adoption of this Constitution, all persons holding office in the GSA shall continue as officers of the Assembly until the end of their terms or until the election.
ARTICLE XII – ADOPTION OF TRAVEL REIMBURSMENT RULES
SECTION I. The following are the three basic provisions that determine travel reimbursement eligibility.
a. Each applicant must be a member of the GSA in order to be eligible for such benefits.
b. Any applicant who attends two of the GSA General Assembly meetings, within 6 months of each other, will be eligible to enjoy additional benefits of Active membership for the following 6-months. Alternatively, applicants may attend committee meetings outside of general assembly meetings to gain active status. Two committee meetings are considered to be equal to one general assembly meeting. Members may also volunteer at the MGRS to become an Active member.
c. Reimbursement amounts will be determined based on the budget for each academic session. These amounts will be set at the beginning of each fiscal year and will remain unchanged until the next fiscal year begins.
ARTICLE XIII – ADOPTION OF THE MIDWEST GRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
Section I. The GSA shall organize a symposium during the spring term each year that celebrates graduate and professional students and graduate student research. This symposium will be called the Midwest Graduate Research Symposium (MGRS)
Section II. The President and Vice President shall serve as the co-lead symposium coordinator for the MGRS. They shall oversee the organization of the symposium.
a) The President is responsible for convening a committee of graduate and professional students to organize the MGRS. The President shall appoint all members of the committee.
b) The Vice President is responsible for scheduling and running all MGRS committee meetings.
c) All members of the GSA are eligible to serve on the MGRS committee.
1. Election of GSA/Assembly officers shall take place no earlier than the 6th week of the Spring Semester or any later than the 10th week of the Spring Semester.
The President shall appoint an ad hoc committee to oversee the election. This committee will prepare the online ballots, be responsible for security of information during the election, count the ballots, and announce the results of the election. The Election Committee shall be made up of 3 Officers and/or Representatives who are not running for office. Members of this committee must come from different colleges and at least one college from each campus must be represented. On an annual basis, the GSA will consult with the Graduate Council Executive Committee and the College of Graduate Studies Dean for the definition of Main Campus and Health Science campus prior to elections.
The elections shall be held over a period of not less than two days no more than seven days, including times convenient for both day students and evening students. Ballots must be cast online via the link posted on the GSA website maintained by the Election Committee.
The Election Committee shall announce the exact date of the election at least two weeks prior to the election by an announcement in the Assembly meeting and by memorandum to all graduate students so that anyone interested in offices is duly notified. All interested parties should be invited to attend any Assembly meeting prior to the election.
a. Any registered graduate student may nominate candidates. The nomination must be submitted to the GSA. Nominations will be accepted during a period specified by the Election Committee. The nomination period must end at least one day prior to the start of elections.
b. The position of Main Campus Secretary must be filled by a graduate or professional student whose primary degree program resides on the Main Campus of the University of Toledo. The position of Health Campus Secretary must be filled by a graduate or
professional student whose primary degree program resides on the Health Science Campus of the University of Toledo.
c. All graduate students registered during the semester in which elections are held are eligible to vote in the election. A graduate student is defined under ARTICLE IV Section I of the Constitution.
d. Balloting will take place for President, Vice President, Main Campus Secretary, Health Science Secretary, Communications Specialist, and Treasurer. Write-in nominations will be allowed on the ballot for any office. Any office that does not have any nominated candidates will be left on the ballot with only the option of writing in a candidate available for voters.
e. Colleges are limited to a maximum number of two officers elected to the GSA executive board. To ensure these maximums are not exceeded, the officer positions will be filled in the order of President, the Treasurer, the Vice President, the Main and Health Science Secretaries, and the Communications Specialist. The officer candidate who receives the most votes will be elected to that office unless two individuals from their college have already been elected to office. If the elected candidate is from a college already at the maximum number of officers, then the individual with the next highest number of votes will be elected to the office.
f. If an officer position remains vacant following elections, then nominations will be taken from the floor of the following Assembly meeting. A vote will be held prior to the completion of the meeting with all graduate and/or professional students, who are present, given the right to vote. The officer candidate who receives the most votes will be elected to that office. Any vacant position remaining after this assembly meeting shall follow the procedures outlined in ARTICLE VI SECTION VIII of the Constitution.
2. Required qualifications for candidates and officers are:
a. The candidate must be a registered graduate or professional student in good academic standing during the semester in which elections are held.
b. The executive officers shall be registered graduate or professional students during their term of office excluding summer session(s).
c. The executive officers shall be in good academic standing during their term in office and be an active member of GSA.
d. Any officer not in good academic standing will be subject to impeachment.
3. Officers elected shall take office at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1 and serve until June 30 of the following calendar year.
4. The election or appointment of college representatives to the Assembly shall take place in the Fall semester. The Vice President shall be responsible for notifying all graduate students of applications for representatives opening for colleges that do not have their own representative election process. The Executive Board will then appoint two representatives per college to serve prior to the first general assembly meeting for colleges that do not have an election process.
5. The Main Campus Secretary shall have available at every meeting of the Assembly copies of the Constitution and By-Laws.
6. The Candidates for president must have at least one-year experience serving on the GSA executive board. If there are no candidates or only one candidate that match these criteria, the position will be opened up to previous Representatives of the GSA. If there are one or fewer candidates, then the position will be opened up to all members of the GSA.
7. All major expenditures of the Assembly must be approved by a majority vote of the Assembly, unless they fall under the President’s authority to make necessary budgetary expenditures under the amount of $200.00, which is not involved in the normal business and communication activities, such as postage, stationery, printing, etc. The Executive Board can approve major expenditures by majority vote under quorum up to $1500, which is not involved in the normal business of the GSA. Any major expenditure made under the authority of the President and/or the Executive Board must be reported at the following GSA meeting.
8. The GSA Executive Board shall have the duty of reviewing the By-Laws every year and recommending By-Laws as needed.
9. The GSA shall set aside $10,000 to fund the GSA Graduate Research Award. The purpose of this award is to provide financial support for costs associated with approved research projects required for a degree that are not covered by other resources. The Graduate Student Affairs Committee of the University Council is responsible for selecting the award recipients from all eligible applicants.
10. The GSA owned poster boards are available for loan from the GSA for any event on campus in which graduate and/or professional students are represented. The GSA officers are responsible for providing a loan contract for the department or organization to sign, which states the department or organization is responsible for any damage to the boards.
11. Representative members of the Assembly shall be required to serve office equivalent to 1 hour per week during the Fall and Spring semesters as scheduled with the Health Science Campus Secretary. Failing to do so is grounds for removal from office.
Revised April, 2015
Revised May, 2013
Adopted May, 2008