• Preamble

    The graduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is considered an exceptional student both in ability and in ambition. The graduate student has a mature sense of responsibility and understands that s/he holds a unique place of privilege in the academic community. The graduate student is one whose rights and responsibilities are distinctively different from those of the undergraduate student. The Graduate Student Assembly is formed with the concerns of these students in mind.

    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 positions on boards and councils which dictate issues that are of interest to the graduate students.
    • Gain recognition of the GSA within the state system of higher education and within IUP.
    • Provide the graduate student body at IUP with a voice.

    The GSA will work to this purpose in order to protect every graduate in the IUP system.

    Article I — Name

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

    Article II — Purpose

    The Graduate Student Assembly (hereafter GSA) represents the graduate student body's interests at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and within the Indiana community. The GSA shall review regularly and make recommendations on the policies of both the university and the Graduate School and such matters that are of concern in the cultural, intellectual, and social life 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 regard 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, and sexual discrimination. In accordance with federal and state laws, the university will not tolerate racial or ethnic discrimination or discrimination on the basis of disability.

    This policy is placed in this document in accordance with state and federal laws including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational 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 veterans of the Vietnam era.

    Article III — Definitions

    Section 1

    Graduate student. As used in this document, a graduate student shall refer to both part- and full-time graduate students.

    Section 2

    Unexcused absence. As used in this document, an unexcused absence is defined as any absence by a representative from a regularly scheduled GSA meeting where the representative has not provided an officer of the GSA with prior notice.

    Section 3

    Quorum. As used in this document, a quorum shall be specified as either a business or a voting quorum.

    Section 3.1

    Business quorum. A business quorum shall be composed of a minimum of three voting members and one member of the executive committee. The only exception to this shall be the first meeting of a new semester which will always be a business and voting meeting.

    Section 3.2

    Voting quorum. A voting quorum shall be composed of a minimum of half of the active members. A voting quorum is needed for all 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 GSA without regard to race, lifestyle, color, religious creed, disability, national origin, affectional or sexual orientation, or gender.

    Section 2

    The voting body of GSA shall consist of two graduate student representing each master’s and doctoral degree offered at IUP and the members of the executive board.

    Section 3

    The graduate coordinator of each department offering a graduate program shall be responsible for the selection of two representatives to the GSA. Representatives may be appointed by the graduate coordinator or elected by the graduate students of the department.

    Section 4

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

    Section 5

    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 membership of the GSA. Removal of a representative shall be documented as to cause. Copies of said documentation shall be provided to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Appeals may be made to the dean of the Graduate School.

    Section 6

    Duties of Representatives

    Section 6.1

    Representatives shall attend all regularly scheduled GSA meetings and report to their respective departments.

    Section 6.2

    Representatives shall participate actively in the business of the GSA.

    Section 6.3

    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 allowance for succession.

    Section 1.1

    The president of the GSA, the vice president, secretary, treasurer, and director of Public Relations shall be elected in April.

    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 by a majority of the active representatives. The president can only vote in the case of a tie.

    Section 3

    Duties of the officers.

    Section 3.1

    The president of the GSA shall preside at GSA meetings, liaise with Student Congress and other relevant external bodies including the graduate coordinators, oversee the setting of the agenda for meetings, set the meeting schedule for the year, act as a member of the Student Co-op Board of Directors, and appoint external committee representatives and the Grade Appeal representative.

    Section 3.2

    The vice president of the GSA shall preside at GSA meetings in the absence of the president and shall perform all other duties as assigned by the president. The vice president shall advise the GSA on parliamentary procedures and manage all internal and external committees.

    Section 3.3

    The secretary of the GSA shall take minutes at both general meetings and those of the executive committee and shall distribute these to the membership and file them in the GSA office. The secretary shall also maintain a list of representatives, both active and inactive, and utilize the list as necessary.

    Section 3.4

    The treasurer of the GSA shall maintain all financial records of the GSA, disburse and collect all moneys of the GSA 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 of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, shall serve as advisor to the GSA. The advisor must be an employee of the university.

    Article VII — Meetings

    Section 1

    The GSA shall hold a minimum of two meetings each month during the Fall and Spring semesters.

    Section 1.1

    The minimum can be met by one general meeting and one executive board 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 meetings, and, if they are unable, then they should inform a member of the executive committee to record them as excused, otherwise they will be recorded as absent. Illness, 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 universitywide 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 member)

    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.