Constitution

  • Preamble

    Considered an exceptional student both in ability and ambition, the graduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is known for a mature sense of responsibility and understanding of their representation in the academic community. A graduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania also has rights and responsibilities distinctively different than those of an undergraduate student. The Graduate Student Assembly addresses those responsibilities and provides a platform for professional development, communication, and through parliamentary procedures, voice questions and concerns on all instances regarding the well-being of graduate students’ university wide.

    Mission Statement

    The Four Corners of the Graduate Student Assembly are as follows:

    • Protect the rights and interests of the graduate student body.
    • Attempt to gain/Uphold any position on university boards and committees in which issues that are of interest to graduate students can be directly addressed.
    • Gain recognition as an organization throughout the state system of higher education and within IUP.
    • Provide all graduate students a vocal and physical representation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Article I — Name

    The name of the organization shall be The Graduate Student Assembly of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Article II — Purpose

    As a representation of graduate student interest throughout the university, the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) shall regularly review and suggest recommendations on existing and upcoming policies both the university and more specifically the School of Graduate Studies and Research that are of concern in context of cultural, intellectual and social aspects of the part- and full-time graduate student.

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action for its students, employees and applicants. The university is committed to providing equal educational and employment rights to all persons without regards to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, ancestry, or sexual orientation. Each member of the university community has a right to study and work in an environment free from any form of racial, ethnic, sexual, and hereto any other form of discrimination in accordance to federal and state law. The university has a zero tolerance for discrimination against these aforementioned reasons.

    This policy is placed in this document in accordance with state and federal regulations including Titles Vi and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 as well as all applicable federal and state executive orders. This policy extends to disabled veterans and active-duty service members.

    Article III — Definitions

    Section 1

    A graduate student as used in this document is a student pursuing a post-secondary degree of Master’s or Doctoral level. All students under this category shall be referred to as both part- and full-time graduate students.

    Section 2

    Unexcused absences as used in this document are defined as any absence by a representative from a regularly scheduled GSA meeting where the representative has not provided the executive board officer with prior notice.

    Section 3

    Quorum as used in this document is defined as means of the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.

    Section 3.1

    In the ordinances of business matters, a minimum of three voting members and one member of the executive committee shall be present. The only exception shall be the first meeting of each academic year, as this will always be a business and voting meeting.

    Section 3.2

    In the ordinances of voting matters, a minimum of half of the active members shall be present. Voting quorums are needed in the event of expenditures exceeding $200 and elections. Any active member of the GSA can call for a voting quorum on any issue he/she deems necessary.

    Article IV — Membership

    Section 1

    All members of the IUP Graduate Student community shall be members of the Graduate Student Assembly without regards to race, color, gender, religious creed, disability, national origin, affectional or sexual orientation.

    Section 2

    The graduate coordinator of each department offering a graduate program shall be responsible for the selection of at least one student to serve as representatives for their department. Representatives may be appointed by the graduate coordinator or elected by the graduate students of the department.

    Section 3

    Representatives shall serve terms of one academic year, without any limitation on the number of terms allowed.

    Section 4

    Representatives may be removed from the GSA by a majority vote of the representatives’ department, or by a three-fourths majority vote of the active members within the GSA. Removal of the representative requires documentations stating the cause of such. Copies of said documentation shall be provided to the Dead of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Appeals may be made to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

    Section 5

    Duties of Representatives

    Section 5.1

    Representatives shall attend all regularly scheduled GSA meetings and report to their respective graduate coordinators of any significant matters.

    Section 5.2

    Representatives shall have active participation in the business of GSA.

    Section 5.3

    Representatives shall serve on internal standing or ad hoc committees as necessary.

    Article V — Officers

    Section 1

    The GSA shall elect a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Director of Public Relations from among its members. Officers shall serve terms of one year with allowances for succession.

    Section 1.1

    All aforementioned officers shall be elected in April of the academic year.

    Section 1.2

    The internal committee chairs shall be elected at the second meeting of the Fall Semester.

    Section 1.3

    Special elections may be called by the President to fill vacancies. No office shall be left vacant for more than two consecutive meetings.

    Section 1.4

    An officer who has two consecutive unexcused absences from meetings shall forfeit his/her office. Therefore, this office shall be considered vacant and filled pursuant to Section 1.3.

    Section 2

    Election of officers shall be a majority vote from active members. The President can only vote in the case of a tie.

    Section 3

    Duties of the officers.

    Section 3.1

    The President of the Graduate Student Assembly shall preside at all meetings, liaise with Student Congress and other relevant external bodies including the graduate coordinators, setting the agenda for meetings, set the meetings for the year, serve as a member of the Student Co-op Board of Directors, and appoint external committee representatives.

    Section 3.2

    The Vice President of the GSA shall preside at all meetings, preside in the presidential role in absence of the president and shall perform all other duties as assigned by the president. The Vice President is also responsible for advising the GSA on parliamentary procedures and managing internal and external committees.

    Section 3.3

    The Secretary of the GSA shall preside at all meetings, take the official minutes at both general and executive meetings and shall distribute these to the members and file them in the GSA office. The list of all representatives will also be maintained, both active and inactive, and accessed when necessary.

    Section 3.4

    The Treasurer of GSA shall maintain all financial records of the GSA, disburse and collect all monetary aspects as directed by the representatives, and maintain accountability of all assets of the GSA.

    Section 3.5

    The Director of Public Relations shall advertise and promote the GSA, its activities, socials, and other events of graduate student interest.

    Article VI — Advisor

    The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research or a representative appointed by the Dean shall serve as adviser to the GSA. The adviser must be an employee of the university.

    Article VII — Meetings

    Section 1

    The Graduate Student Assembly shall hold a minimum of two meetings per month during the Fall and Spring semesters.

    Section 1.1

    The minimum meetings can be met by one general meeting and one executive meeting.

    Section 2

    Special sessions of the GSA may be convened by the President of the GSA, or by petition of one-fourth of the active representatives of the GSA, or at the request of the President of the university, or at the request of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

    Section 3

    All general meetings shall be governed by Roberts’ Rules of Order at the discretion of the presiding officer.

    Article VIII — Attendance Requirements

    Section 1

    Members are expected to attend all general meetings, and, if the member is unable, they are responsible for informing a member of the executive board so that the absence may be recorded as excused, otherwise, it will be deemed unexcused. Illnesses, accidents and family deaths constitute emergencies.

    Section 1.1

    Active members are the only members who will be able to vote. Active members are those representatives who have attended a minimum of two consecutive meetings with the following exceptions:

    a. All program representatives and members of the executive board are considered active members at the start of each academic year.

    b. New program representatives attending their first meeting shall be considered active members.

    Section 1.2

    Inactive members are those representatives who have had two unexcused absences from consecutive meetings.  They become active again at the second consecutive meeting they attend.

    Article IX — Expulsion and Impeachment

    Section 1

    Any active member of the GSA shall have the right to initiate impeachment proceedings against an officer of the GSA in the form of a motion following Roberts’ Rules of Order.

    Section 2

    A two-thirds majority vote of the active membership of the GSA shall be needed to send the impeachment claim(s) to committee.

    Section 3

    In the event of an impeachment motion, the by-law committee shall conduct an investigation into the claim(s).

    The committee shall report its findings to the GSA.  If the committee finds that the claim(s) are justified, a vote of a two-thirds active majority of the membership of the GSA shall be necessary to remove the officer from office.  If the committee finds that the claims are not justified, then the motion to impeach fails.

    A two-thirds majority of the active membership is necessary to reinstate the original claim(s) of impeachment.  At its next meeting a two-thirds majority vote of the active membership of the GSA removes the officer from office.

    Article X — Committees

    Section 1

    The GSA shall have internal Standing Committees, representation on all university-wide committees with graduate student seats, internal Ad Hoc Committees and representation on Senate Committees as called for in this document.

    Section 1.1

    The GSA shall have the following standing committees:

    a. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall prepare the agenda for GSA meetings, conduct elections, establish Ad Hoc committees, prepare the budget, and receive all proposed amendments.  Membership shall consist of the GSA President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Director of Public Relations, and the chairs of the other standing committees.

    b. Social Committee. The Social Committee shall plan social events for the GSA and provide the Director of Public Relations and the website chair with the information for publicity efforts both on and off campus.

    c. Service Committee.  The Service Committee shall organize service opportunities for GSA representatives and graduate students.

    d. Constitution Committee.  The Constitution Committee shall revise the constitution and codify amendments.

    e. Web Site Committee.  The Web Site Committee shall maintain, update, and innovate the GSA webpage.

    f.

    By-laws Committee.  The By-laws Committee shall create rules beyond the

    constitution, revise them, and hand them to the Constitution Committee to codify.

    Section 1.2

    Ad Hoc committees shall be created as necessary by the Executive Committee of the GSA and dissolved upon completion of the assigned task.

    Section 1.3

    The GSA shall be represented on Senate Committees as follows:  In all cases, the committee representative(s) must be active GSA members, appointed by the President, and approved by the active members.  Committee members must report to the GSA on a  monthly basis.

    a. Graduate Committee (3 voting members)

    b. Student Affairs (2 voting members)

    c. Rules Committee (1 voting member)

    d. Academic Committee (1 voting member)

    e. Libraries and Educational Services Committee (1 voting member)

    f. University Development and Finance Committee (1 voting member)

    g. Awards (1 voting member)

    h. Research (1 voting member)

    Section 1.4

    The President shall appoint a GSA Grade Appeal Representative who will be contacted in relation to issues connected to graduate grade appeals and who will sit on the Level II committee of the Grade Appeal process.

    Section 2

    Members of the GSA shall serve on Senate Standing and/or Ad Hoc committees as voting or non-voting members.  Representatives shall be limited to membership on four standing committees.

    Section 3

    Ex-officio, or non-voting, members may be appointed by the President to GSA committees to serve as consultants.

    Section 4

    External committee members can be removed from their position if they do not report to the GSA monthly about their committees.  Any university senate member can be removed from their position if they have one unexcused absence from the senate.

    Section 5

    Internal Committee Procedures

    Section 5.1

    All committees shall meet as required by the GSA.

    Section 5.2

    All graduate students shall have the opportunity to volunteer to serve on a committee. Active representatives shall serve on ad hoc committees as necessary.

    Section 5.3

    Each committee shall elect a chairperson and such other positions as necessary. The chairpersons will be approved by the president before assuming their responsibilities.

    Section 5.4

    Committee chairpersons shall make reports to the GSA as necessary.

    Section 5.5

    Committees shall have the right to invite consultants to attend meetings for informational purposes.

    Article XI — Financial Obligation

    No dues are required from members.

    Article XII — Amendments

    Section 1

    Any graduate student currently enrolled at IUP may submit a proposed amendment to the GSA for possible adoption.

    Section 2

    A proposed amendment must be submitted to the GSA in writing for its approval at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which any action is taken. The proposed amendment should first be directed to the GSA Secretary who then will forward the document to the Constitution Committee for review, and subsequent distribution to the membership.  The GSA may approve the proposal by a two-thirds vote of all the active members.

    Section 3

    Amendments cannot change or delete any items that are required for continued university recognition.