Graduate Student Association bylaws

 

ARTICLE I. Budget

  1. A budget shall be suggested by the Judicial, Budget and Finance (JB&F) committee following when final enrollment numbers are published publicly. The suggested budget shall be communicated to the GSA Executive Council and finalized in cooperation with the GSA Senior Advisor. The budget is then put forward for approval by the GSA Council at the first meeting of the new academic year. Modifications to the proposed budget can be resolved by motion during the Council meeting; if the budget is not approved by the Council the budget will be sent back to the Judicial, Budget and Finance committee in order to create a new budget proposal. If the proposed budget by the JB&F Committee is rejected by the GSA Council twice, a new budget proposal will be created by the GSA Executive Team with the GSA Senior Advisor in attendance using the previous year’s Fall approved budget to serve as interim budget. The new proposed budget will then be put forward for approval by the GSA Council at the next meeting. This process will be repeated until a budget is approved by the GSA Council. 
  2. The budget report from the previous year and a proposal for the projected year shall be presented by the GSA Advisor at the first meeting of the new academic year.
  3. Financial reports shall be presented to the GSA Council by the GSA Advisor as requested by the Executive Council or GSA Council.
  4. Retroactive funding is prohibited. However, the GSA Council may approve reimbursements of up to $50.00 for expenditures by GSA elected Representatives, Officers and employees that are directly related to GSA activities. Requests for such reimbursements must be made within 30 days of the purchase. This article may be suspended after investigation by the GSA Advisor if it is proven that the requesting party followed proper funding request procedures.
  5. Individual students may not be funded for academic pursuits outside of regular GSA programs.
 

ARTICLE II. Elections

A. GSA Council Seat Apportionment (C.A. III):

  1. 'Apportionment' is defined as the number of voting GSA Council Representative seats allotted to a college based on proportionate enrollment. Apportionment is determined as follows:
    1. Obtain the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) graduate students from the Graduate School, including graduate specials, sorted by college. FTE for the purposes of GSA seat apportionment comprises all members of the GSA. This shall be done in the spring semester soon after the final drop date, allowing ample time for the GSA Council to vote on reapportionment prior to elections.
    2. Divide the number of graduate students in a college by the total number of graduate students (both numbers are based on FTE) and multiply by 100.
      Where A = College's apportioned number of seats on the GSA Council,
      A = [ (Graduate students in college) / (total graduate students)]*100
      The resulting percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number and the (25) seats are allotted accordingly.

B. Executive Position Term Limits

  1. An individual shall only serve for a maximum of three (3) elected terms in any combination of President or Vice Presidential positions.

C. President Elections (C. A. V Sect. 3):

  1. The GSA President shall be elected to serve one calendar year beginning June 1st.
  2. Any graduate student desiring to run for GSA President must meet the following requirements:
    1. The student must be enrolled in a graduate program and must be in good academic standing.
    2. The student must submit, in writing, to the GSA Senior Advisor his or her intent to run in the Presidential election, on or before the deadline.
    3. The student must attend at least 3 GSA council meetings prior to the Presidential election.
      1. The student must declare at each of these meetings his/her attendance for the purpose of establishing eligibility for Presidential candidacy at each of the three meetings during public comment.
      2. This declaration should be addressed to the GSA Advisor in writing.
      3. The student must attend each meeting in its entirety.
      4. Current GSA Council members may use their official attendance at GSA Council meetings to meet this requirement.
      5. In the event an applicant was unable to attend one (1) meeting of the previous or current council’s regular council meetings due to a class conflict or other serious intervening reason, the applicant shall provide the reason in writing to the GSA Senior Advisor, GSA Internal Vice President, and to the chair of the elections committee for review and approval purposes. Accepted exemption to this requirement does not exempt the candidate from any other eligibility requirement
  3. The GSA President shall be elected by a majority vote by the University of Nevada, Reno GSA Members between the 4th and 6th meeting of the Spring Semester as decided by the GSA Advisor.
    1. In the event of a tie, the procedure shall be as follows:
      1. President-elect must win by the majority of votes; thus
        1. If there are more than two candidates, a run-off vote between the two with the highest number of total votes shall be held.
        2. If there are only two candidates for the position, the outgoing GSA President shall cast the tie-breaking vote. If one of the candidates should be the outgoing GSA President, voting shall continue until the tie is broken.
  4. In the event that a President does not complete his or her term of office the GSA Council must elect a new President from among its members to serve out the remainder of the term of office.
    1. The GSA Council must vote to declare the position open and to set a date for the election not less than two weeks and not more than one month following the vacancy of the office.
    2. Individuals must announce their candidacy at or before the GSA Council meeting scheduled two weeks prior to the election of the new President. The GSA IVP shall act as President and presiding officer for any interim period

C. Vice President Elections (C. A. V Sect. 3):

  1. The GSA Vice Presidents shall be elected to serve a 10-month term, beginning August 1 and ending May 31.
  2. Any graduate student desiring to run for a GSA Vice Presidency must meet the following requirements:
    1. The student must be elected through their respective college as the following academic year's GSA Council Representative.
    2. The student must declare candidacy prior to the penultimate GSA Council meeting of the current academic year, at which the student will articulate his/her platform and answer any questions regarding his/her candidacy.
    3. The student must attend at least 3 GSA Council meetings prior to the Vice-Presidential elections.
      1. The student must declare at each of these meetings his/her attendance for the purpose of establishing eligibility for Vice Presidential candidacy, during public comment.
      2. This declaration should be addressed to the GSA Senior Advisor, in writing, on or before the deadline.
      3. The student must attend each meeting in its entirety.
      4. Current GSA Council members may use their official attendance at GSA Council meetings to meet this requirement.
      5. In the event an applicant was unable to attend one (1) meeting of the previous or current council’s regular council meetings due to a class conflict or other serious intervening reason, the applicant shall provide the reason in writing to the GSA Senior Advisor, GSA Internal Vice President, and to the chair of the elections committee for review and approval purposes. Accepted exemption to this requirement does not exempt the candidate from any other eligibility requirement.
    1. Vice Presidents shall be elected at the transition meeting from among the new GSA Council Representatives. The transition meeting is the first meeting of the new GSA Council following spring elections and is the last Council meeting of the academic year.
    2. In the event of a tie, the procedure shall be as follows:
      1. The Vice-President-elect must win by a majority vote; thus:
      2. If there are more than two candidates, a run-off vote between the two with the highest number of total votes shall be held.
      3. If there are only two candidates for the position, the current GSA President shall cast the tie-breaking vote.
    3. In the event that a Vice President does not complete his or her term, the GSA Council must elect a new Vice President from among its council members to serve out the remainder of the term of office.
      1. The GSA Council must vote to declare the position open and to set a date for the election not less than two weeks and not more than one month following the vacancy of the office.
      2. Individuals must announce their candidacy at or before the GSA Council meeting scheduled two weeks prior to the election of the new Vice President.
      3. The GSA executive council collectively shall act as [internal/external] President for any interim period.

    D. GSA Council Representative Elections (C. A. III. Sect. 2):

    1. Any graduate student or graduate special in good academic standing may run for a Representative seat in their respective school or college. If the student is enrolled in multiple programs through multiple colleges, then they may run for either college seat.
    2. Each Representative shall be elected by a general vote of his or her constituents as dictated by seat assignment. For example, if a college has four seats, the top four candidates will become the elected Representatives for said college.
    3. Candidates for Representative must apply to run prior to being declared a candidate for the position by a date to be set by the Elections Committee. Prior to the general election, the Elections Committee must verify all applications.
      1. To run for elected council positions, eligibility requirements include attendance at one (1) meeting of the previous or current council session’s regular council meetings in advance of the General Election. This requirement must be included in the solicitation for GSA council applications. Returning council members may fulfill this requirement by their regularly scheduled attendance at GSA council meetings during the application period.
      2. In the event an applicant was unable to attend one (1) meeting of the previous or current council’s regular council meetings due to a class conflict or other serious intervening reason, the applicant shall provide the reason in writing to the GSA Senior Advisor, GSA Internal Vice President, and to the chair of the elections committee for review and approval purposes. Accepted exemption to this requirement does not exempt the candidate from any other eligibility requirement.
    4. A Representative's term of office begins on August 1 and ends on May 31 with the exception of the Judicial, Budget, and Finance Committee.
    5. In the event of a vacant seat, the GSA Council may appoint a new Representative by a majority vote of a quorum to serve out the remainder of the term. The candidate must have met the qualifications to have originally run for said seat.
    6. No elections for open GSA Council seats are to occur during the last two GSA Council meetings of the academic year.
    7. Upon being elected to the GSA Council for the following academic year, new Representatives shall attend the penultimate meeting of the current GSA Council.
      1. This requirement may be waived due to academic conflicts.

    E. Voting Procedure for GSA Council Elections:

    1. The Elections Committee shall present rules and a timeline for the general election to be approved by the general council no later than 45 days prior to the general election.
      1. lections may only be changed by a majority approval vote of the General Council indicating that the required timing of the election cannot be accommodated.
    2. Any graduate student or graduate special at UNR is eligible to vote.
    3. The Elections Committee shall create and disseminate an elections notification containing:
      1. call to vote" will be sent to all currently enrolled graduate students through campus email.
      2. Descriptions of the duties of President, Vice Presidents, and Officers.
      3. The dates of deadlines related to the elections.
    4. Students may vote for any nominated candidate. Write-in candidates are not accepted.
    5. Students are allowed to vote for as many candidates from their college as there are Representative seats. For example, if the college has six seats, constituents may vote for up to six candidates.
    6. GSA voting is conducted through WebCampus and requires a NetID and password for access.
    7. Voting will be open for a period of no less than one week. Results will be announced via the GSA website.

    F.  Candidate Endorsements:

    1. he GSA Council will not officially support or endorse any candidate in the election; however individual members may officially support any candidate as an individual GSA member.

    G.  Campaign Expense Reporting for Presidential Candidates.

    1. Campaign finance report must be submitted within 10 days after the election to the GSA Elections Committee which contains all campaign-related purchases and expenses. This includes donations provided to the candidate, expenses for advertising, and any money provided to the candidate’s election.
    2. Each candidate will not exceed over $400 in campaign-related expenses.
      1. Campaign-related expenses are defined as any expense in which the candidate used their personal, donated, or compensated funds to help in their election.
 

ARTICLE III. Attendance and proxy (C. A. IV. Sect. 6)

  1. Representatives are expected to attend all GSA Council meetings. GSA Council Representatives may receive a scholarship for their service to the GSA Council.
  2. In the event that a Representative must miss a meeting, they must designate a proxy sending an email to the GSA Senior Advisor, a minimum of two hours before the meeting copying the chairperson of the meeting.
  3. A Representative may designate a proxy for a maximum of two meetings per semester. A third proxy request will be treated as an unexcused absence (See Item I).
  4. A proxy may be either a constituent of the Representative or another GSA Council member from the same college. In the event that only one Council member from a specific college is seated on the GSA Council, they may designate a proxy from a different college.
  5. A proxy shall count towards a quorum and will have all voting rights and privileges.
  6. A GSA Council Representative may proxy for no more than one person per meeting.
  7. A proxy is a privilege. Any specific instructions regarding voting on behalf of the Representative must be made in writing to both the proxy and the GSA Advisor; otherwise, the proxy assumes responsibility for voting.
  8. GSA Council Representatives are also expected to attend all GSA committee meetings for committees to which they belong. In the event that a Representative must miss a committee meeting, he/she must inform the committee chair a minimum of two hours before the meeting. After two unexcused absences, removal proceedings may begin for the Representative as outlined in Article IV.
  9. If a Representative should miss a general meeting without designating a proxy the absence shall be counted as unexcused. A Representative is permitted no more than one unexcused absence per academic year. After one unexcused absence, the GSA Council Member shall receive a warning from the IVP; in the event of a second unexcused absence, removal procedures may begin.
  10. All extenuating circumstances must be discussed with the IVP and the GSA Senior Advisor.
 

ARTICLE IV. Grievances and removal procedures (C. A. III. Sect. 6)

  1. Any Representative or Executive Council Officer may be removed from office. Removal of the Council member is conducted by the Judicial Committee with the Internal Vice President as chair. GSA Council members may be removed for refusal to perform duties of a Council member, excessive absence (as described in Item 6, Article E), or violation of GSA Constitutions or Bylaws, placement on academic probation by the University, or following the violation of the Student Code of Conduct..
  2. If the Internal Vice President is charged, the External Vice President shall chair the Judicial Committee.
  3. It is the responsibility of the Judicial Committee to review the appropriateness and validity of the charges and to determine which specific charges shall be brought to the full GSA Council for a removal vote. In order for a charge to be brought to the full GSA Council, the Judicial Committee must pass a majority vote.
  4. The individual in question shall be informed of the charges and any other supporting evidence related to the charges in writing at least fourteen (14) days prior to a vote of removal. At least one week prior to the meeting at which the vote will be held, all members of the GSA Council must receive written notice that a vote of removal has been scheduled.
  5. The chair shall be responsible for all notifications and shall be the presiding officer at the vote of removal.
  6. At the meeting in which the vote is to take place, the individual in question shall have the right to address the GSA Council.
  7. A two-thirds vote of the GSA Council shall be necessary for removal. Any Representative or Executive Officer removed from his or her seat shall surrender all positions held within GSA for the remainder of their term.
  8. If a two-thirds vote of the GSA council to remove the official fails, then a simple majority vote to censure the official may proceed by motion. A censure may be brought forward as a primary course of action rather than secondary to removal procedures.
    1. A censure is defined as GSA Council acknowledging on the record that the actions of the individual are inconsistent with the values and Bylaws of the GSA and may be used internally for subsequent failures of duty. 
 

ARTICLE V. Executive Council and advisor (C.A. V. Sect. 3.2)

  1. The Executive Council shall operate as set forth in the GSA Constitution. The Executive Council shall also ensure that all Officers are performing their duties as set forth in the Bylaws.
  2. President:
    1. Benefits:
      1. The President shall receive a full Graduate Assistantship including a stipend and fee waiver for time served.
    2. Job Description:
      1. The position of President shall be a 20-hour per week position.
      2. The President shall chair all GSA Council meetings. The President cannot simultaneously be a GSA Council Representative.
      3. The President shall be familiar with GSA policies, the Constitution, Nevada Open Meeting Law and Robert's Rules of Order.
      4. The President shall set and conduct a minimum of one Executive Council meeting per month during the academic year.
      5. The President shall attend meetings as required during the calendar year, including summer.
      6. The President shall attend regular meetings of the UNR Foundation, Board of Regents, Nevada Student Alliance, Faculty Senate, and the Graduate Council. The President shall also attend University meetings as needed.
      7. The President shall maintain an e-mail address for communication with Representatives and constituents.
      8. The President shall maintain 5 posted office hours per week.
      9. The President shall maintain a job description notebook.
      10. The President shall perform all duties as stated in the Bylaws and Constitution.
      11. If the President fails to perform his or her duties as described above, they will be reviewed by the Judicial Committee and the GSA Senior Advisor in attendance.
      12. The President is also required to abide by the university guidelines for employment. If the President commits any employment related violation, the GSA Advisor may dismiss the President from his or her duties without going through the Judicial Committee process. In this case, it will trigger the Article II, Section B, Item 5.
  3. Internal Vice President (IVP)
    1. Benefits:
      1. The Internal Vice President (IVP) shall receive a half-time Graduate Assistant stipend and half-time fee waiver for time served.
    2. Job Description:
      1. The position of IVP shall be a 10 hour per week position.
      2. The IVP shall remain a Representative and therefore is responsible for two GSA committees and one University committee.
      3. At the beginning of each semester, the IVP will update the University committee lists and ensure that all Representatives are meeting their GSA and University committee obligations. The IVP shall also ensure that there is a GSA Representative at all appropriate University meetings.
      4. The IVP shall be responsible for communication between the GSA and its recognized clubs and organizations. This includes updating clubs and organizations with changes in the GSA Bylaws, Constitution, and policies as and when required, as well as maintaining updates from Clubs and Organizations.
      5. The IVP shall work on special projects as determined by the President and GSA Council.
      6. The IVP shall preside over the GSA Council meetings whenever the President is absent.
      7. The IVP shall attend University meetings if and when the President cannot.
      8. The IVP shall be familiar with GSA policies, the Constitution, Nevada Open Meeting Law and Robert's Rules of Order.
      9. The IVP shall maintain an e-mail address for communication with GSA Representatives and constituents.
      10. The IVP shall maintain 5 posted office hours per week.
      11. The IVP shall maintain a job description notebook.
      12. The IVP shall perform all duties as stated in the Constitution and Bylaws.
      13. The IVP shall abide by the Constitution and Bylaws to ensure that all articles of said documents are carried out.
      14. If the Internal Vice President fails to perform his or her duties as described above, they will be reviewed by the Judicial Committee with the External Vice President, as chair, and the GSA Senior advisor, in attendance.
      15. The Internal Vice President is also required to abide by the university guidelines for employment. If it Vice President commits any employment-related violation, the GSA Advisor may dismiss the Vice President from his or her duties without going through the Judicial Committee process. In this case, it will trigger Article II, Section C, Item 5.The IVP may ask the committee chair for their notebook at the end of the academic year to be passed on to the next year's IVP
      16. The IVP shall be responsible for any changes to Article VII of the GSA bylaws to be transmitted to the application for club funding.
  4. External Vice President:
    1. Benefits:
      1. The External Vice President (EVP) shall receive a half-time Graduate Assistant stipend and half-time fee waiver for time served.
    2. Job Description:
      1. The position of EVP shall be a 10 hour per week position.
      2. The EVP shall remain a Representative and is responsible to sit on the Executive Council and one other GSA committee as well as one university committee. The EVP may also be asked to sit on other University committees or task forces as the need arises.
      3. The EVP will be responsible for coordinating Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, also named Awards Week.
      4. The EVP will be responsible for updating the GSA Council on any and all NAGPS news.
      5. The EVP will be responsible for keeping updates on any and all current legislative issues affecting graduate students both within the state of Nevada and nationally.
      6. The EVP shall work on special projects as determined by the President and GSA Council.
      7. The EVP shall preside over the GSA Council meetings and attend University meetings whenever the President and IVP are unable to do so.
      8. The EVP shall be familiar with GSA policies, the Constitution, Nevada Open Meeting Law and Robert's Rules of Order.
      9. The EVP shall maintain an e-mail address for communication with GSA Representatives, constituents, and NAGPS.
      10. The EVP shall maintain 5 posted office hours per week.
      11. If the External Vice President fails to perform his or her duties as described above, they will be reviewed by the Judicial Committee with the Internal Vice President, as chair, and the GSA Senior advisor, in attendance.
      12. The External Vice President is also required to abide by the university guidelines for employment. If it Vice President commits any employment-related violation, the GSA Advisor may dismiss the Vice President from his or her duties without going through the Judicial Committee process. In this case, it will trigger Article II, Section C, Item 5.
  5. GSA Advisor
    1. Job Description:
      1. In addition to the job duties outlined by the Graduate School for the GSA Advisor; they will be responsible for the following:
        1. The GSA Advisor is the Chief Fiscal Officer of GSA, responsible for overseeing all GSA budgets and contracts and for the administration of programs.
        2. The GSA Advisor shall be an advisor to the GSA Council, boards and committees, and shall advise GSA recognized groups as required.
        3. The GSA Advisor shall attend all GSA Council meetings but shall have no vote.
        4. The GSA Advisor shall serve as liaison to the Graduate School and to the Student Services division, and keep informed of federal, state and local laws and statutes in conjunction with the GSA Constitution.
        5. The GSA Advisor shall provide general support for GSA for on and off-campus events.
        6. The GSA Advisor shall conduct periodic meetings with the Executive Officers to review their performance of job duties as listed in the GSA Constitution and Bylaws.
 

ARTICLE VI. GSA Committees and boards

  1. The GSA Senior Advisor and GSA Internal Vice President (hereafter, “IVP”) will convene a committee that will conduct elections, hereafter, the “Elections Committee”, and evaluate each college’s seat apportionment as deemed necessary by the GSA Council
    1. The principal goal of this committee is to conduct elections, fill vacant council seats, and report the results of elections and filling seats to the GSA membership.
    2. The Elections Committee may propose to combine several schools into a single or multiple representative seats based on the schools’ population or overlap in curriculum to adhere to the 25 allotted GSA Council Representative Seats. This combination of schools into a single or multiple representative seat(s) is then put forward for majority approval by the GSA Council.
    3. The Elections Committee shall present rules and a timeline for the general election to be approved by general council no later than 45 days prior to the general election.
  2. The Council will elect five current representatives including one alternate to serve on the Judicial, Budget and Finance Committee at the beginning of the academic year.
  3. All GSA Committees and Committee Representatives shall adhere to the Bylaws.
  4. Representatives are required to sit on one University Committee and one recognized GSA committees. The representative will also be asked to volunteer for other events, activities, or task forces as the need arises.
  5. Committees shall maintain a committee notebook. This notebook shall contain copies of all agendas, minutes and any other pertinent documentation relating to the business of the committee. This notebook shall be submitted to the IVP at the end of each academic year to be passed on to the next academic year's IVP.
  6. Unless otherwise noted in the committee Bylaws, the chair of each committee is selected at the first meeting of the academic year. If that chair position should become vacant, a new chair shall be elected from the current membership of the committee. The committee shall formulate its goals for the year at its first meeting.
  7. Graduate students who are not elected members of the GSA Council may apply to serve on any GSA committee upon approval of the IVP. The total membership of non-Council members on any committee may not exceed 30% of the total membership of the committee. Non-GSA members of any committee may be removed by the Chair of the Committee, IVP, or the GSA senior advisor if the Non-GSA member violates the GSA Constitutions or Bylaws, is placed on academic probation by the University, or following the violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  8. Committee chairs are responsible for maintaining respective GSA websites and email accounts.
  9. GSA committees are required to meet once a month. Committee chairs are responsible for posting the meeting agenda on the group website at least three days before the meeting date, and meeting minutes within five days of the meeting date.
  10. Ad Hoc committees may be formed as needed by the GSA Council by a majority vote. The GSA Council must specify a time at which the committee will no longer exist. This expiration may be extended by a majority vote of the GSA Council.
  11. New committees may be formed by a two-thirds vote of the GSA Council.
 

ARTICLE VII. GSA clubs and organizations

  1. GSA shall set the policy to recognize graduate student clubs and organizations.
  2. Once recognized, all GSA clubs must update their information, including constitutions, bylaws and executive officers on a yearly basis. It is mandatory for all GSA recognized clubs and organizations to submit an updated roster to the EVP on or before the 9th of October in order to continue their recognition from GSA. Should a club not submit updated information prior to the deadline, the club must complete the full recognition process.
  3. GSA Clubs and Organizations receiving funds from the GSA should recognize the GSA at their events if appropriate.
  4. Each club will be allowed to apply for a maximum of $500 per year. This funding will be dependent on the overall budget and the number of active clubs, the club will be awarded accordingly.
  5. Items that are not funded by GSA include, but are not limited to, honorariums, gifts, alcohol, and prizes.
  6. GSA does not condone or support underage drinking, and neither does it fund alcohol purchases for GSA clubs and organizations. If a club plans to provide alcohol at an event, via self-purchase or other funding, it is that club's responsibility to check IDs and verify that alcohol is not being served to minors.
 

Revisions

(April 3, 1999)
(Revised April 18, 1998)
(Revised August 17, 1999)
(Revised October 16, 2001)
(Revised May 7, 2003)
(Revised April 7, 2004)
(Revised May 09, 2007)
(Revised Dec 03, 2007)
(Revised April 2008)
(Revised April 2009)
(Revised February 2010)