1|Page

The Constitution of the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) of Georgetown University
Last revised: March 2012 Preamble We, the graduate students of Georgetown University, in order to promote graduate student interests, represent graduate students before the faculty and administration of the University, and create opportunities for graduate students to develop professionally, socially, and academically, do decree and establish this Constitution for the Graduate Student Organization. Article I: Membership and Jurisdiction §1. All graduate students, part-time or full-time, matriculated in any University sanctioned program, are members of the GSO. § 2. Any matter that influences or affects any portion or whole of the graduate student body shall be considered within the competency of the GSO. Article II: The GSO Assembly §1. Composition, Privileges, and Duties. A. The GSO Assembly shall be composed of members chosen every academic year by the graduate Departments and Programs of Georgetown University, as well as the Executive Officers of the GSO. B. The Assembly shall elect, by majority vote, a President, three Vice-Presidents, an Information Officer, and a Treasurer to serve as Executive Officers of the GSO. At least one member of the GSO Executive Board must be a PhD student. C. Assembly meetings shall be open to all graduate students. D. Only members of the Assembly may make procedural motions and vote on matters before the Assembly. E. The Assembly shall be responsible for enacting and administering all GSO programs and functions. F. The Assembly shall maintain four standing committees to perform the basic operations of the GSO: the Budget Committee, the Constitution Committee, the Advocacy Committee,

2|Page and the Social Committee (see Article V). Officers of the Executive Board may create ad hoc committees as they see fit. If there are not at least 3 members of each committee, the Executive Board shall assume the role of the Committee. §2. Representatives. A. Prior to the first Assembly meeting of the academic year, the Executive Officers of the GSO shall contact the Administrative Secretaries of all Graduate Departments and Programs and invite those Departments and Programs to select GSO Representatives to the Assembly. B. Each Graduate Department and Program shall establish its own procedures for selecting their GSO Representatives. C. GSO Representatives shall be registered students within the departments they represent. D. There will be a minimum of 1 and maximum of 3 representatives per graduate program. 1. The amount of representatives will be determined at the beginning of each calendar year. 2. The graduate school will provide the GSO Executive Board with the program enrollment statistics, in which the Executive Board will notify the Administrative Secretaries of all Graduate Programs the programs allotted representation in the General Assembly. 3. An enrollment of 1-50 graduate students will be granted one representative. 4. An enrollment of 51-100 graduate students will be granted two representatives. 5. An enrollment of 101+ graduate students will be granted three representatives. E. Each GSO Representative shall receive one vote on all matters that come before the Assembly for a vote. F. In the case that a GSO Representative will be absent from an Assembly meeting, the Representative shall have the power to choose a member of his/her department or program to act as a proxy for that meeting. G. All GSO Department Representatives will be required to join one of the 4 standing committees. Article III: The Executive Board

3|Page §1. Composition, Privileges, and Duties A. The executive power of the GSO shall be vested in an Executive Board consisting of a President, three Vice-Presidents, Public Relations Officer and a Treasurer. B. Members of the Executive Board are ex officio members of the Assembly and accordingly shall enjoy all the privileges of Representatives with the following exceptions: 1. The President shall have no vote, unless the Assembly is equally divided, in which case the President shall cast the tie-breaking vote. 2. The Treasurer shall have no voting privileges in the Assembly. 3. Executive Officers may not assign their voting power to a proxy; any absentee votes by Executive Officers must be cast in writing. C. The Executive Officers of the GSO shall have primary responsibility for the implementation and execution of the programs approved by the Assembly and are accountable to the Assembly for these purposes. D. Executive Officers are empowered to conduct the day-to-day operations of the GSO, subject to review by the Assembly. E. Executive Officers shall serve for one-year terms with re-election permitted. F. No Executive Officer may be a GSO Representative under Article II, Section 2, unless, upon petition by the Department or program involved, a 2/3 majority of the present assembly agrees to permit an exception. G. The Executive Board shall meet regularly for the purpose of establishing Assembly agendas and to ensure that the Assembly meetings run smoothly and efficiently. H. An e-mail notifying the graduate student community of upcoming votes on elections, procedures or constitutional revisions must be sent to the graduate school community at least one week in advance. §2. The President. A. The President shall serve as a liaison between the GSO and all other University and non-University bodies or Representatives. B. The President shall be responsible for appointing representatives to those University committees and councils that have contacted the GSO asking for a graduate student representative. The President shall keep abreast of all these University Committees and Councils and ensure that the seat is filled and the representative reports to the Assembly on a regular basis.

4|Page

C. At every scheduled meeting of the Assembly, the President shall be responsible for delivering a report titled “President’s Report of University Business” detailing any pertinent information learned in his/her official capacity. D. The President shall be responsible for seeing that the duties of all standing and ad-hoc committees be carried out. E. The President shall act as Parliamentarian of the GSO. The President may delegate this responsibility as he/she sees fit. F. In the event that the President, for whatever reason, is unable to fulfill his/her duties in the ordinary course of business, those responsibilities shall fall to the Vice Presidents. G. The President shall receive a 1500 dollar per year stipend. §3. The Vice-Presidents. A. The Vice-Presidents shall serve as co-equal members of the Executive Board. B. Each Vice-President shall assume the role of chairperson of one of the following three standing GSO Committees: the Social Committee, the Constitution Committee or the Advocacy Committee. C. In the event that the Vice-Presidents, for whatever reason, are unable to fulfill their duties in the ordinary course of business, the President is granted the ability to delegate those responsibilities to the members of the Executive Board. §4. Public Relations Officer A. The Public Relations Officer shall serve as the focal point for information in the GSO. B. The Public Relations Officer shall have the responsibility for disseminating the Agenda for the Assembly meeting to all GSO Representatives prior to the day of each meeting. C. The Public Relations Officer shall be responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of the Assembly meetings to all representatives; and maintaining the minutes of all GSO meetings. D. The Public Relations Officer shall be responsible for maintaining the GSO website. The Information Officer may delegate this responsibility as he/she sees fit. E. The Public Relations Officer shall be responsible for keeping record of attendance and notifying the assembly of absences.

5|Page F. The Public Relations Officer will be responsible for posting meeting minutes to the website in order to make them publicly available to the graduate student community. G. The Public Relations Officer will be in constant communication with the Executive Board and Georgetown Graduate Students. The Officer will also play an active role in assisting the Vice President of Advocacy and Vice President of Social in planning events, activities, and the like. §5 The Treasurer. A. The Treasurer shall assume the role of chairperson of the Budget Committee. B. At every scheduled meeting of the Assembly, the Treasurer shall be responsible for delivering a report titled “Treasurer’s Report” regarding the status of the GSO budget and any other pertinent monetary information. Article IV: Standing Committees §1. Budget Committee. A. The Budget Committee shall have primary responsibility over funding requests and the drafting of the GSO Budget and shall be comprised of a minimum of three members including the chair. B. All funding requests from GSO members, GSO sanctioned groups, or University departments or Programs shall be handled in the following manner: 1. All funding requests shall be initially referred to the chair of the Budget Committee. 2. The Budget Committee and the Executive Board shall review all funding requests for procedural defects and may keep the funding request in committee until such time as those defects are remedied. In order to participate in the Budget Committee review, members must have served on the Budget Committee for at least one semester. 3. At such time that the funding request is free from procedural defect, the Chair of the Budget Committee shall recommend to the President that the request be placed on the agenda for the next Assembly meeting for consideration by the entire Assembly. 4. During the Assembly discussion of the proposal, the Chair of the Budget Committee may endorse, reject, or abstain from comment on the proposal under consideration as he/she sees fit.

6|Page C. The Chair of the Budget Committee shall be responsible for approving, in advance, all petty cash expenditures. D. The Budget Committee shall prepare the GSO Annual Budget in the following manner: 1. A proposal for the GSO Budget shall be prepared by the Budget Committee prior to the last meeting of the spring academic semester. The Budget Committee should coordinate their efforts with the President and VicePresidents, and seek input from other members of the Assembly. 2. The Budget Committee shall present its budget draft to the Assembly in the first meeting of the fall academic semester for approval. 3. The Assembly shall consider the proposed budget, and GSO representatives shall be given the chance to offer amendments as they see fit. Once presented to the Assembly, the Budget Committee does not retain any residual control over the process and cannot veto or block Amendments. E. The Budget Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that the funds committed to a GSO member, or University Department or Program, are not used for any purpose other than that specified in the funding request. F. In the case that the Budget Committee finds that funds are being used inappropriately, the Committee shall bring this information before the Assembly as quickly as possible. Based on a simple majority vote, funds can be sanctioned, the group can be prohibited from receiving funds the following semester or the group may be required to repay the funds used inappropriately to the GSO. G. Any GSO recognized student group in good standing may not request more than $1500 per semester from the GSO. Should a group request less than $500 for the Fall semester, they may request up to $2000 for the Spring semester of the following calendar year. H. The budget ceiling may be reapportioned and adjusted upon a majority vote by the Assembly. §2. Social Committee. A. The Social Committee shall have primary responsibility for implementing and executing the GSO Assembly’s social goals. B. All suggestions and formal proposals for social events shall be initially referred to the chair of the Social Committee. C. Following creation of the GSO budget for the calendar year, the social committee shall

7|Page meet and devise a proposal for how it will spend funds allotted to social events. The Social Committee shall present its proposal, subject to change, for adoption by the Assembly. D. The Social Committee may request additional funds from the Assembly as the academic year progresses. §3 The Advocacy Committee A. The Advocacy Committee shall have primary responsibility for implementing and executing the GSO Assembly’s advocacy goals. B. Each semester the members of the Advocacy Committee will engage in formal and/or informal outreach to member of the graduate student community to identify student concerns across the spectrum of graduate student life at Georgetown University C. The members of the Advocacy Committee will decide which issues to focus on each semester. 1. The Committee will be in consultation and work in conjunction with the General Assembly and Executive Board to select issues most pertinent to graduate students. 2. The Committee may set up sub-committees to work on particular advocacy issues, with the goal of engaging as many students as possible in advocacy efforts (as appropriate). D. The Advocacy Committee will organize events and activities to bring graduate students’ concerns to the attention of the Georgetown Administration 1. If the Advocacy Committee were to speak on behalf of the GSO in writing (i.e. a letter to the editor) or verbally to a member of the Georgetown Administration, the Advocacy Committee must first seek the approval of the GSO executive board and General Assembly.
E.

The chair of the Advocacy Committee will be the Vice President of Advocacy.

§4. Constitution Committee. A. The Constitution Committee shall be primarily responsible for new GSO groups or clubs and for Amendments to the GSO Constitution. B. All constitutions for new graduate student groups or clubs shall be handled in the following manner: 1. The Constitution Committee shall review the Constitution of the new group

8|Page for procedural defects, typographical errors, and other glaring deficiencies in light of the requirements of Article VIII of this document. The Constitution Committee may keep the proposal in committee until such time as those defects are remedied. 2. At such time that the Constitution Committee deems the group’s proposal is ready to be considered by the Assembly, the Constitution Committee shall recommend to the President that the club or group be placed on the agenda for the next Assembly meeting. 3. The group must then have their constitution recognized by both the University office benefits through the GSO and the GSO Assembly. A simple majority is required by the GSO Committee to recognize a group. C. All proposed Amendments to the GSO Constitution shall be handled in the following manner: 1. The Constitution Committee shall review all proposed amendments for procedural defects and may keep the proposal in committee until such time as those defects are remedied. 2. At such time that the proposal is free from procedural defects, the Chair of the Constitution Committee shall recommend to the President that the proposal be placed on the agenda for the next Assembly meeting for consideration by the entire Assembly. 3. During the Assembly discussion of the proposal, the Chair of the Constitution Committee may endorse, reject, or abstain from comment on the proposal under consideration as he/she sees fit. 4. The Constitution shall be amended when a two-thirds majority of the assembly approves the proposed Amendment. Article V: Meetings, Assembly Voting Procedure §1. Schedule and Frequency of Meetings. A. The first meeting of the year shall be scheduled as early in the semester as feasible, and must be held during the month of September. B. Meetings shall be held monthly throughout the academic year, and in any case shall not be held less than four times per academic semester. C. A quorum is defined as consisting of two-thirds of the present departmental/program

9|Page Representatives in the assembly. D. Meetings shall not occur during examinations periods, school breaks, or summer sessions unless provided for by special resolution in each case. §2. Voting Procedures for Assembly Matters. A. A simple majority is defined as half of the voting members present plus one (not to include the President). B. Points of Order are used to call the President’s attention to violations of rules and/or the Constitution. The Chair shall decide if the rule is valid and act accordingly. C. Appealing a ruling of the President. 1. A motion to appeal a Presidential ruling does not require a second. 2. A statement of appeal shall be followed by a short defense by the chair and a short rebuttal by the opposition to the Chair. 3. The motion to appeal passes with simple majority approval. D. Motions to table discussion or close debate. 1. Motions to table or close debate require a second. 2. A statement in favor of closing the discussion shall be followed by a short defense of the discussion and a short rebuttal. 3. A motion to table or close debate passes with simple majority approval. E. Motion to reopen tabled issued. 1. Motions to reopen issue require a second. 2. A statement in favor of reopening the issue shall be followed by a short statement in defense of keeping the issue closed and a short rebuttal. 3. A motion to reopen a tabled issue passes with two-thirds majority approval. F. In all other matters of procedure, the President shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order to the extent possible. In the midst of consensus, the President may deviate from the set procedure as he/she sees fit. G. If a quorum is called and quorum requirements are not met the meeting is suspended without debate. Unless called, a quorum is assumed to exist. Article VI: Elections, Special Elections §1. Elections for Officers. A. Four of the Officers of the Executive Board (President, Vice President for New Group

10 | P a g e and Constitutional Affairs, Vice President for Advocacy and Treasurer) shall be elected in a meeting called by the sitting President during the month of April in each spring semester. The elections of the remaining two Officers (Public Relations Officer and Vice President for Social Committee) shall be elected at the first meeting of the GSO in September. B. Notification of annual elections shall be publicized on campus. C. Any registered graduate student may nominate himself or herself for a position by submitting a letter to the Elections Committee expressing his/her interest in running for a position. D. If candidates choose to submit a “Letter of Objectives” the Information Officer or other member of the Executive Board shall distribute that letter to the entire Assembly. E. If the candidates choose to present a statement prior to the Assembly vote, the President shall grant the candidate the floor for as long as the President sees fit. F. The officers shall be elected by a simple majority vote of all elected Representatives and officers. In the event that no one person receives a simple majority vote during the first polling, a run-off election between the two persons having the most votes shall immediately follow. The vote required to win in a run-off election will also be a simple majority. G. If the President sees fit, he/she may appoint a Special Projects Chair at any time. This appointment will last for one semester and must be approved by a simple majority of the Assembly. §2. Special Elections. A. If one of the officers should resign, or an office otherwise becomes vacant before the annual term has expired, the President shall call for a special election at the earliest time possible. B. The Assembly shall elect a replacement for the remainder of the term. C. Procedure for special elections shall follow procedure for regular elections as closely as possible, including the voting of a simple majority of the present assembly. Article VII: Impeachment, Recall of Representatives §1. Impeachment. A. To begin impeachment proceedings, a written petition of two-thirds of GSO representatives must be submitted to the Chair of the Constitution Committee. B. In such case that the Chair of the Constitution Committee is the officer facing

11 | P a g e impeachment, the President shall delegate the role of Chair to another member of the Assembly. C. If the Constitution Committee receives a petition under paragraph 1, the Chair of the Committee shall make the petition public. The Chair shall bring the issue up for a vote at the next Assembly meeting. D. The officer facing impeachment shall have the opportunity to rebut all claims against him/her during the Assembly meeting. E. Following an impeachment discussion, a simple majority of those present may remove an officer from his/her post. F. All members of the Executive Board can be impeached. §2. Recall of Representatives. A. Should a department or program fail to be represented by their GSO Representative or an alternate at two consecutive regular meetings of the Assembly, the Representative has effectively failed to represent his/her department and is subject to a Notice of Recall. B. Recall Procedures. 1. When a GSO Representative misses at least two consecutive regular meetings of the GSO, the Information Officer shall bring a Notice of Recall to the attention of the President. 2. The President shall then make his/her best effort to reach the offending GSO Representative and inform the Representative of the Notice of Recall. 3. If the President has made his/her best effort to reach the GSO Representative, and the GSO Representative does not attend the next scheduled meeting, the Representative shall be removed by a simple majority vote on the matter. Article VIII: GSO Group Access to Benefits §1. In General. A. The GSO seeks to help build and maintain a graduate community which is characterized by a commitment to learning and knowledge, a celebration of diversity, and a respect for academic freedom. The GSO seeks to foster these ideals in student groups and in its own organization and practices. B. Access to GSO funds does not indicate University recognition or endorsement of the merits of any activity or objective.

12 | P a g e C. All student groups receiving funding from the GSO are required to have a representative present at each GSO general assembly meeting, excluding end-of-year election meetings. D. Should a student group that is receiving funding from the GSO not have a representative at two consecutive GSO general assembly meetings, that group will no longer receive GSO funding for the semester in question and, further, will be placed on probation for the following semester. Student groups on probation must attend three consecutive meetings in order to be restored to regular status and receive regular funding. §2. Criteria for Student Groups. A. A student group should be nondiscriminatory and open to the entire Georgetown University Graduate Student Community. B. A group should not duplicate the purpose and/or activities of an existing GSO group. C. A group must have a minimum of ten currently enrolled graduate student members in order to be considered eligible for benefits. D. Each group must maintain a Constitution that includes: 1. A clearly articulated and descriptive statement of the group’s purpose; 2. A clearly articulated process for the election of the group’s leaders; and 3. A clear procedure for amending the group’s Constitution. E. All officers of the group must be currently enrolled students. F. All groups must at all times comply with any and all relevant University policies, policies of the Office advising graduate student groups, procedures, rules, regulations, and guidelines. G. The aforementioned criteria for student groups are explicitly recognized to be binding on the GSO. Article IX: Constitutional Amendments §1. Initiation of Amendment. A. Any GSO Representative can propose an amendment to the GSO Constitution. B. The initiation of an Amendment shall be handled in the following manner:

13 | P a g e

1. Any proposed Amendment shall be initially referred to the Chair of the Constitution Committee. 2. The Constitution Committee shall review the proposed Amendment for typographical errors, procedural, or other glaring deficiencies. The Constitution Committee may keep the proposal in committee until such time as those defects are remedied. 3. At such time that the Constitution Committee deems the group’s proposal is ready to be considered by the Assembly, the Constitution Committee shall recommend to the President that the proposed Amendment be placed on the agenda for the next Assembly meeting. §2. Ratification. A. The President shall give adequate time for discussion of any constitutional amendment. B. The Constitution shall be amended upon approval by a two-thirds majority of the Assembly. C. Any Amendment shall take effect immediately upon adoption.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful