Constitution & By-Laws

Constitution and Bylaws for the Genetics Graduate Student Association

Preamble

We, the graduate students of the Interdisciplinary Program of Genetics at Texas A&M University, in order to provide an officially recognized graduate student organization to identify and represent graduate student interests, promote graduate student participation in the overall policy and decision-making processes which affect the Interdisciplinary Program of Genetics at Texas A&M University, enhance the quality and scope of education at Texas A&M University, form a communicative coalition with the Graduate and Professional Student Council of Texas A&M University, and promote the general welfare of the student body, do hereby adopt and establish this Constitution for the Genetics Graduate Student Association.

Article I – Name

This organization shall be known as the Genetics Graduate Student Association (hereinafter referred to as the GGSA) of Texas A&M University.

Article II – Purpose and Goals

The GGSA seeks to:

  • identify and represent graduate student body interests,
  • promote the general welfare of the graduate student body,
  • enhance the quality and scope of education pertaining to the discipline of genetics,
  • participate in policy and decision-making processes as they affect the Interdisciplinary Program of Genetics at Texas A&M University, and
  • form a communicative coalition with the Graduate and Professional Student Council of Texas A&M University.

Article III – Membership

Section I – Eligibility

All graduate students who currently meet the requirements of the Interdisciplinary Program of Genetics and are duly classified as genetics majors at Texas A&M university are members of the GGSA. There shall be no Constitutional process to remove a member of  the GGSA.

Section II – Active Membership

If there have been less than four Stated Meetings in the current academic year, an active member is defined as a member who has attended at least one Stated Meeting. If there have been four or more Stated Meetings in the current academic year, an active member is defined as a member who has attended at least two of the last four GGSA Stated Meetings. All other members will be termed regular members. There is no membership fee required to be either an active or regular member. Attendance at Stated Meetings can be excused as long as a valid academic excuse is presented to the Treasurer within two weeks of the absence. Valid excuses can include but are not limited to classes, teaching, conferences or lab meetings. Academic reasons other than those listed above will be evaluated by the Treasurer, the GGSA President and the Genetics Program Administrative Advisor and if necessary, put to a vote.

Section III – Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will comprise of a subset of active members that shall serve as the governing body of the GGSA. This Executive Committee is comprised of the following officers: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Graduate Recruiting Representative, Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) Delegate, GPSC Representative I, and GPSC Representative II.

Article IV – Officers

Section I – Requirements

The officers of the GGSA must be an active member of the GGSA; this necessitates attendance at meetings as per Article III, Section II.

Section II – Officers and Duties: The Executive Committee

  1. All executive powers shall be vested in the Executive Committee (EC) of the GGSA.
  2. No person may concurrently serve in any two or more elected offices of the GGSA EC. No person may hold the same EC office for more than one term of service.
  3. The chief executive officer shall be the President. He or she shall have served a term as a member of the GGSA EC in the past. In the event of the inability of the President to fulfill the duties of the office, the Vice President shall assume the office of President. In the event of removal from office or resignation of the President, a special election will be called to elect a new President.
  4. The duties and powers of the President shall include:
    1. Presiding over all meetings of the EC in accordance with the GGSA Bylaws
    2. Creation and appointment of all needed executive officers and committees not already provided for, with the approval of a majority of the active members present and voting at a stated or special meeting.
    3. Execution of all decisions of the EC for which he or she shall be responsible to the EC.
    4. Calling special meetings of the EC at his or her discretion.
    5. Removing any of his or her appointees at his or her discretion, with the approval of the EC.
    6. Addressing the GGSA and the EC for the purposes of answering questions and clarifying information.
    7. Acting as ceremonial representative of the GGSA.
  5. The Vice-President shall assist the President whenever necessary. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in his or her absence.
  6. The Treasurer shall maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records for the GGSA, oversee execution of the GGSA’s financial transactions, and present an end-of-year report to the GGSA.
  7. The Secretary shall include recording the Minutes and typing and distribution of the Minutes, and the typing and distribution of the Agenda as submitted to the Secretary by the EC. The Secretary is also responsible for all correspondence of the EC and the GGSA.
  8. The Graduate Recruiting Representative shall serve as the liaison and representative of the GGSA to the Genetics Recruiting Committee.
  9. The GPSC Delegate and Representatives shall serve as the liaison of the GGSA to the GPSC and vice versa. The GPSC Delegate and Representatives will ensure that the GGSA is an active and recognized student association within the GPSC.

Section III – Election Process

Elections shall be held at the first stated meeting during the month of April. A quorum (ten percent of the present membership) must be present and a simple majority vote will win. Newly elected officers shall assume responsibility on June 1 of the year in which they were elected and the term of office shall end on May 31 of the following year. If a vacancy arises in the EC, the active membership of the GGSA shall elect a member to fill the position within thirty days of the vacancy.

Section IV – Removal of an Officer

Any regular member may request to hold a vote to remove an officer. A two-week notice must be given of the intent to hold the vote, and the vote must take place at a Stated Meeting. During this two week period, the officer under consideration may address the membership explaining why they feel they should not be removed from office. When the vote is held, the vote requires a simple majority from attending members to pass.

Article V – Advisors

Section I – Expectations

  1. The advisors to the GGSA shall be a Texas A&M University employee as defined by the Human Resources Department. The advisors will be willing to obtain an appropriate level of experience, resource information, and knowledge related to the mission, purpose and activities of the club.
  2. The advisors will regularly attend executive and general meetings. They will be available for consultation outside of the meetings.
  3. The advisors will assist the organization with the development of goals and objectives for the academic year. The advisors will also assist the organization with event planning and facilitation. When necessary, the advisors will be willing to attend events as identified through the planning process.
  4. The advisors will be aware of the University Student Rules and will assist the organization with adherence to these expectations.

Section II – Replacement

If for any reason the advisors are no longer willing and/or able to fulfill the responsibilities, they will formally communicate this to the student organization and the Department of Student Activities in writing, as stated in the bylaws. The organization will then determine the appropriate course of action for replacing the advisors.

Article VI – Meetings

Section I – Business conduction

  1. The EC shall assign all pending business to the appropriate standing or ad hoc committee. All new business must be presented to the EC at the time the Agenda is set. The EC shall decide whether to include the item on the Agenda. An item must be included on the Agenda if at least five members petition to include it at the time the Agenda is set. Urgent new business, which has not been presented to the EC for inclusion on the Agenda, must be brought to the attention of the presiding officer prior to the beginning of the meeting at which the item is to be discussed. Any business which has been assigned to a committee may be brought to the floor by that committee whether or not the item appears on the Agenda.
  2. Business item(s) that requires the vote of GGSA members at a meeting should provide an opportunity for open forum discussion at said meeting prior to the vote. The discussion will be mediated by the President, per his or her discretion.
  3. Special meetings of the GGSA, in addition to being called by the President pursuant to Article IV, Section II (D. d), shall be called by the President within one week of presentation of a petition to the Secretary, signed by at least five of the members of the GGSA.
  4. If a committee fails to review business within a reasonable period of time, a one-third vote of the members present and voting at a stated or special meeting shall take the business from the committee and allow the EC to consider it.

Section II – Definitions

  1. “Stated meetings” shall mean those meetings of the GGSA at which business may be conducted, which are scheduled in advance at regularly stated intervals.
  2. “Special meetings” shall mean those meetings of the GGSA at which business may be conducted, which are called by the President, pursuant to Article VI, Section I (D), with a minimum of forty-eight hours notice to the membership either in writing or by announcement at a stated or special meeting.
  3. “Term” constitutes one full academic year beginning in June.

Article VII – Finances

Section I – Financial Transactions

All monies belonging to this organization shall be deposited and disbursed through a bank account established for this organization at the Student Organization Finance Center and/or the Fiscal Office. All funds must be deposited within 24 hours after collection. The advisor to this organization must approve and sign each expenditure before payment.

Article VIII – Amendments and Revision

Section I – Amendments

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at two consecutive stated meetings. All approved amendments will be incorporated into the body of the Constitution in the appropriate place, subject to the approval of the Director of Student Activities.

Section II – Revision

This document must be reviewed every year and should be submitted to the Department of Student Activities.

Section III – Prior Constitutions

All previous Constitutions are null and void.

Section IV – Approval

This Constitution stands approved as of 10-05-2016