EGSA Constitution

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Constitution

English Graduate Student Association

Vanderbilt University

Amended October 2013

 

Article I:          The organization shall be called the English Graduate Student Association.

 

Article II:        The Association shall represent the interests of its members to the Department of English.  The Association shall foster and support the scholarly activity of its members through opportunities for scholarly discussion about literature in English between and among graduate students, departmental faculty, and the broader academic community.  The Association shall foster and support the social activity of its members through opportunities for collegial social interaction between and among graduate students, faculty, and the broader academic community.

 

Article III:       All students seeking graduate degrees (M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D.) in the Department of English of Vanderbilt University are eligible for membership.  Membership shall commence upon enrollment in a departmental graduate course and shall terminate upon the conferral of the degree or upon termination of enrollment in the department. Dues will be requested, but not required.

 

Article IV:       The Administrative Assistant of the Department of English shall serve as the Faculty/Staff Adviser for the Association.

 

The President of the Association shall preside over full meetings of the Association, conduct Association elections, and ensure that the activities of the Association and its committees are consistent with the spirit of this Constitution.  The President shall also act as Representative to the department’s Graduate Committee and shall be responsible for acting as the Association’s liaison to the faculty in matters involving the Graduate Program.  The President shall be elected from among those graduate students who have passed Comprehensive Examinations.

 

There shall be two Vice Presidents of the Association, one a Ph.D. candidate and the other an MFA candidate. In case of the President’s absence or incapacity to fulfill the duties of the President, one of the Vice Presidents shall assume those duties.  The Ph.D. Vice President shall act as the Chair of the Association’s Academic Committee and shall be responsible for coordinating the academic and administrative activities of the Association and for surveying the Association’s members in order to identify their concerns.  The Ph.D. Vice President shall be elected from those students who have undertaken at least two semesters of coursework in the department but who have not yet passed Comprehensive Examinations.  The MFA Vice President shall act as the liaison to the MFA faculty in matters involving the MFA program.  The MFA Vice President shall be elected from those MFA students who have undertaken at least two semesters of coursework in the department.

 

The Secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes of full meetings and for maintaining records of the Association’s activities.  The Secretary shall also be the liaison for correspondence between the Association’s officers and members.  The Secretary shall be elected from among those students who have undertaken at least two semesters of coursework in the department.

 

The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting dues, submitting requests for funding to the Association’s Financial Adviser, and conducting all other financial transactions of the Association.  The Treasurer shall also be responsible for annually renewing the Association’s registration as an official campus organization with Vanderbilt University’s Division of Student Life.  (NOTE: THIS NOW TAKES PLACE IN APRIL, NOT SEPTEMBER.) The Treasurer shall be elected from among those students who have undertaken at least two semesters of coursework in the department.

 

The Social Chairs (two or three persons, as decided by election) shall be responsible for organizing frequent social events designed to encourage collegial social interaction among graduate students.  The Social Chairs shall be elected from the general membership of the Association.

 

The Service Chairs shall be responsible for three main duties. First, the Service Chairs shall be in correspondence with the Graduate Student Council service representative so as to keep the EGSA informed of GSC service opportunities. Second, the Service Chairs shall seek out information regarding other campus- and community-based service opportunities. Third, the Service Chairs shall organize one group service event for the EGSA/English Department per semester. The Service Chairs shall report on these service opportunities at each monthly meeting and send email notifications as needed. The Service Chairs shall be elected from among those students who have undertaken at least two semesters of coursework in the department. Two (2) to three (3) students who satisfy the eligibility requirements for this office may be elected per academic year.

 

The two Recruitment and Orientation Coordinators of the Association shall be responsible for organizing and implementing the department’s Open House weekend in the spring for the recruitment of prospective students and the department’s Orientation program in the fall for new students.  They shall coordinate graduate student involvement in both programs and shall serve as liaisons to the Director of Graduate Studies on issues pertaining to recruitment and orientation.  The Recruitment and Orientation Coordinators shall be elected from among those members who have not completed their first semester of coursework. (Note: It is strongly recommended that those nominated have attended the department recruitment the previous year.)

 

The Technical Coordinator shall be responsible for maintaining the Association’s listserv and website.  The Technical Coordinator shall also be responsible for communicating any concerns the Association may have about technology to the University’s Information Technology Services and / or to the Division of Student Life, as warranted.  The Technology Coordinator shall be elected from the general membership of the Association.

 

The Graduate Student Council Representative shall be responsible for acting as the Association’s liaison to the University’s Graduate Student Council at the council’s monthly meetings.  The Graduate Student Council Representative shall keep the Association’s members informed of issues of interest to graduate students and of events, which promote collegial social interaction with the broader academic community.

 

The Teaching and Professionalization Liaison shall be responsible for acting as the Association’s liaison to the Director of Undergraduate Writing, the Center for Teaching, and the English Department’s TA training program.  The Teaching and Professionalization Liaison shall work with Graduate Students and other interested parties to insure that TA training and workshops are meeting their current and future teaching needs.  In consultation with the aforementioned resources, as well as the office of Career Development for Graduate School Students, the Teaching and Professionalization Liaison will inform the Association of relevant career-related seminars, workshops, and other events. Ideally, the Teaching and Professionalization Liaison will survey the Association’s members to gauge key needs and interests, and take some steps to address them. The Teaching and Professionalization Liaison shall be elected from among those students who have completed at least one year of teaching at Vanderbilt.

 

 

The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Chair, and Technical Coordinator shall be elected at the end of the spring semester of the calendar year in which they take office.  The Graduate Student Council representative shall be elected at the beginning of the fall semester of the calendar year in which they take office and the Recruitment and Orientation Coordinators shall be elected at the beginning of the spring semester of the calendar year in which they take office.  Each elected official shall be determined by a simple majority of members in attendance at the meeting during which the election occurs.  Students may vote in absentia by communicating their wishes in writing to President of the Association.  Terms of office are for one year.  Officers may run for re-election.  Any officer may be removed for failing to fulfill the obligations of the office, or for unsatisfactory performance, with a two-thirds majority vote of the Association.

 

Two members wishing to share an office must submit said request in writing to the full membership of the Association at least seven days prior to the election.  A simple majority of members in attendance at the meeting during which the election occurs shall be required for the pair to run as a single ticket.

 

Article V:       The full membership of the Association shall meet monthly throughout the year.  All meetings, whether regular or special, shall be called with ten days’ notice, and all Association members shall be duly notified.  A simple majority of graduate students shall constitute a quorum at these meetings.

 

Article VI:      The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Association shall constitute the Executive Council of the Association.  The Executive Council shall be responsible for setting the agenda for full meetings of the Association and shall consult with the other officers prior to such meetings to identify additional items for the agenda.  Meetings of the Executive Council shall be called with three days’ notice.  The President shall preside over the Executive Council.

 

Article VII:    The Association shall have one standing committee.  The committee shall be called the English Graduate Student Association Academic Committee.

 

Section 1:      The Vice President and one representative from each class-year of the Ph.D program shall constitute membership of the Academic Committee. The Vice President shall preside over the Academic Committee

 

 

Section 2:      The Academic Committee shall be responsible for organizing and facilitating scholarly and professionalization programming for the Association. The Academic Committee shall be responsible for organizing one graduate student reading series event per semester, one guest lecturer in the Rheney Series per academic year, and at least one other event per semester. The Academic Committee shall report regularly to the Association at large.

 

Section 3:      The Academic Committee shall meet as needed. Meetings of the Academic Committee shall be called within seven days’ notice. A simple majority of members shall constitute a quorum at these meetings. Minutes shall be taken at these meetings by a member of the Academic Committee and posted on the Association’s website.

 

Section 4:      Representative to the Academic Committee shall be selected by members of their class-year (one for each Ph.D. year). Five class-years shall be recognized. Association members who have been in the program more than five years shall be considered part of the fifth class-year. The selection of Academic Committee members shall occur at the end of the spring semester prior to the academic year in which they take office. The first class-year representative shall be selected upon arrival to campus in the beginning of the fall semester in which they take office. Term of service is one academic year. Representatives may run for re-election. Association officers (except for members of the Executive Council) are eligible for selection.

 

Section 5:      [To be automatically dissolved June 1, 2014]: The Academic Committee shall begin organizing and facilitating scholarly and professionalization programming for the Association in the beginning of the spring 2014 semester. Representatives will be selected by the October Association meeting. Between October and the beginning of the spring 2014 semester, the Academic Committee shall coordinate with officers organizing fall 2013 events, such as the graduate student reading series, as well as with the Rheney Speaker organizer. While the Academic Committee shall take on responsibilities for organizing these events in the spring, the Academic Committee shall consult with current officers who had previously held the Committee’s duties in spring 2014, so as not to interrupt the regular business of the Association.

 

 

Article VIII:   Amendments to this Constitution may be ratified at full meetings of the Association with a two-thirds vote of the quorum.  Proposed amendments shall be distributed to the membership at least one week prior to the meeting that takes the amendments under consideration.

 

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