Constitution & Bylaws

1. Name

The name of this organization is the Graduate Student Association of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

2. Mission

The purpose of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) is to represent the interests of graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, advocating for their concerns, providing funding, hosting professional development, and building community among graduate students.

3. Membership Requirements

All graduate students of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are ipso facto members of the GSA. The GSA is open to all UNCG students who wish to participate regardless of age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity and expression, disability, socioeconomic status, or creed. 

4. Executive Board Officers

The following officer positions will lead the Graduate Student Association:

  1. President 
  2. Vice President
  3. Student Relations Chairperson
  4. Treasurer

5. Executive Board Officer Requirements 

Any UNCG graduate student who is enrolled, has a minimum 3.0 cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA), and has maintained academic good standing (unique to each department) will qualify for office. Additionally, it is preferred that students have either served as a GSA Senator or have significant student government experience. This experience will be considered sufficient if approved by the current GSA Senate (hereafter “the Senate”) by a 2/3 vote and unanimously approved by the Executive Board. If the Senate is not in session, unanimous approval by the Executive Board will suffice until the first Senate meeting where the approval will be confirmed with a 2/3 vote. Terms will last for 12 months, beginning on April 1st and ending on March 31st of the following year. If a vacancy exists, then an election will be held to replace the vacant position(s) in the next assembly meeting (see Section 9). If there is a summer vacancy, the remaining Executive Board can host an emergency election using willing previous senators as voters. The election results will still need to be confirmed by a 2/3 vote from the Senate at the first assembly meeting of the following semester. 

6. Duties of Officers/Executive Board

6.1 President

The office of the President shall serve as the general head of the organization, and their duties shall include (but are not limited to) those enumerated here:

  1. Shall be the official head of the organization
  2. Shall attend weekly Student Government Association (SGA) meetings
  3. Shall be an advocate for policy change at UNCG to better graduate students’ quality of life
  4. Shall chair all Executive Board and Advisory Board meetings
  5. Shall represent the organization at official campus functions
  6. Shall serve as the formal liaison between the University administration and GSA
  7. Shall create ad hoc committees as the need arises
  8. Shall meet with the SGA President and Vice President once a month to discuss graduate student concerns
  9. Shall meet weekly with organization advisors
  10. Shall meet with both the Graduate School advisor and student affairs representative as needed
  11. Shall meet monthly with the Dean of the Graduate School
  12. Shall attend the Graduate Student Council and Faculty Senate meetings
  13. Shall meet with the Executive Board on a bi-weekly basis and attend monthly GSA assembly meetings
  14. Shall assume other duties as is necessary

6.2 Vice President 

  1. Serves as President Pro Tempore in the absence of the President
  2. Shall Chair Programming Committee
  3. Shall keep the Constitution, Bylaws, meeting rules current
  4. Shall oversee all policies concerning GSA policies/procedures
  5. Shall reserve meeting and program space for all meetings
  6. Shall appoint GSA representatives to the various committees with which the GSA has the ability to appoint a member
  7. Shall attend any committee that does not have an appointed representative
  8. Shall complete all paperwork and requirements necessary to maintain affiliation with UNCG
  9. Shall meet with the Executive Board on a bi-weekly basis and attend monthly GSA assembly meetings
  10. Shall chair all GSA assembly meetings
  11. Shall assume other duties as is necessary

6.3 Student Relations Chairperson

  1. Shall solicit the appointment of Senators from the various Graduate Program Directors (GPD)
  2. Shall chair Student Engagement Committee
  3. Shall publicize all activities of the GSA
  4. Shall maintain the GSA website and social media pages
  5. Shall maintain GSA records and office space
  6. Shall keep records of attendance and voting
  7. Shall take minutes of all Executive Board and general assembly meetings
  8. Shall meet with the Executive Board on a bi-weekly basis and attend monthly GSA assembly meetings
  9. Shall assume other duties as is necessary

6.4. Treasurer

  1. Shall help graduate students process all funding applications
  2. Shall chair Finance Committee
  3. Shall maintain financial records
  4. Shall report funding allocation updates to GSA Executive Board and Senators
  5. Shall meet with the Executive Board on a bi-weekly basis and attend monthly GSA assembly meetings
  6. Shall assume other duties as is necessary

7. Duties of the Senate

7.1 Senate

  1. Shall be composed of 2 graduate senators from each department or graduate program within UNCG
  2. Shall be elected by their departmental peers after volunteering by the Graduate Program Director of their respective department
  3. Shall attend monthly GSA Senate meetings
  4. Shall give advice to the Executive Board on all matters
  5. Shall inform the Executive Board on the needs and concerns of the graduate student population at UNCG and of their respective departments
  6. Shall represent the best interests of the departments’ students when voting on procedure changes to the GSA, interests should be collected via polling and conversation with graduate peers
  7. Shall propose amendments to the GSA Constitution as needed
  8. Shall elect the GSA Executive Board during the March meeting of the GSA or when a vacancy occurs during the academic year when the senate is active

7.2 Duties and Composition of GSA Committees

All special and/or ad-hoc committees shall be formed upon request of any member of GSA that is approved by a majority vote of the GSA, or by recommendation of the President that is approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board. The individual initiating the request for formation of the committee shall describe the purpose, intent, and scope of the committee. The Vice President shall appoint interested Senators to the standing committees. 

The following are the standing committees of GSA:

  1. Programming Committee
  2. Student Engagement Committee 
  3. Finance Committee

At each meeting of the Senate, each committee will be required to inform the Senate of its activities. This shall be the responsibility of either the Chair, or a committee member designated by the Chair. 

7.3 Programming Committee 

The GSA Vice President will serve as the chair of the Programming Committee.  Programming committee:

  1. Shall consist of 3-5 Senators
  2. Shall create events for all graduate students to attend
  3. Shall poll and collect student preferences on social events and professional development
  4. Shall coordinate graduate student calendar with the Graduate School
  5. Shall create events intended for Senators to get to know each other

7.4 Student Engagement Committee

The GSA Student Relations Chairperson will serve as the chair of the Student Engagement Committee.  

Student Engagement Committee:

  1. Shall consist of 3-5 Senators
  2. Shall focus on the following areas:  
  1. A) Healthcare and insurance 
  2. B) Graduate student compensation and funding 
  3. C) Parking, transportation, and housing
  4. D) Online student representation and involvement 
  5. E) Finding suitable meeting times for all students involved
  6. F) All other areas in which the Chair and the President agree the committee should focus. 

7.5 Finance Committee 

The GSA Treasurer will serve as the chair of the Finance Committee. 

Finance Committee:

  1. Shall consist of 3-5 Senators
  2. Shall focus on the proper allocation and distribution of the budget  
  3. Shall decide on the percentage of each PDF and RCF each year to best utilize funds
  4. The budget will automatically be broken up into these percentages:
  1. Professional Development Fund (PDF) & RCF 75%
  2. Officer Salaries 20%
  3. Programming events 3%
  4. Leadership Travel funding 2%

7.5.1 Finance Committee Rules

  1. The PDF and RCF will be divided into two semesters so that the PDF will be broken up into 30% available in the Fall and 30% in the Spring semesters. The actual percentage allocations will be made by the Treasurer and Finance Committee. 
  2. The fall semester funding will encompass funding events that occurred between July 1st of the previous summer to December 31st.
  3. The spring semester funding will encompass funding events that occurred between January 1st and June 30th.
  4. GSA funding will only be available to departments whose representatives attend the monthly GSA meetings. If neither graduate senator of a department attends GSA meetings, then the entire department’s constituency will be ineligible to secure GSA funds. 
  5. A GSA advisor or 3/4 vote by the Executive Board can reinstate a department’s eligibility if the representatives can provide adequate reasoning for the absence
  6. Additional funds not used by March 31st, will be redistributed to ensure use, based on a 75% vote by the Executive Board.

7.6 Constitution Review Committee

The GSA Vice President will serve as the chair for the constitutional review ad-hoc committee.

Constitution Review Committee:

  1. Shall consist of 3-5 Senators (or other interested graduate students) and a minimum of 2 Executive Board officers, all appointed by the Vice President
  2. Every 3 years a Constitution Review Committee shall be created to review all GSA Governing documents
  3. All revisions must be presented to the Senate at a regularly scheduled Senate meeting and approved by a 2/3 Senate vote at the following Senate meeting
  4. Any Senator or Executive Board officer can propose constitutional amendments at any Senate meeting with a second from another member. The amendment can be approved by a 2/3 majority of the Senate who casts a vote.
  5. Any non-substantive changes to the constitution may be made by the GSA Executive Board and will be tracked and reported at the next meeting

8. Impeachment

Any executive board officer who is not adequately performing all duties of office can be removed from that office through a 2/3 vote of the Senate at a regularly scheduled Senate meeting. Either an Executive Board officer or senator can call for impeachment. The Vice President (unless they are the officer being accused; then the notice will be made by the President) shall notify the accused officer of the date, time, and location of any hearing to consider the impeachment, no less than 1 week before the hearing. At the hearing, the accused shall have the right to speak in their defense, refuse to appear, or remain silent. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Senate shall openly deliberate, and then vote by a roll call vote as to whether or not the officer should be impeached. Impeachment shall require a 2/3 vote of the Senate; abstentions shall not be entertained. If the impeachment vote is unsuccessful, the charges will be dismissed.

If the impeachment vote is successful: 1) The GSA President shall immediately transmit a report of the proceedings to the Senate, Vice President for Student Affairs, and all advisors, explaining the proceedings and identifying the officer who was impeached, and 2) The officer shall be immediately suspended from their position, and shall lose all rights and privileges of office. Any officer so removed will be replaced as if they had resigned their position. 

9. Elections

Elections will be held in the March meeting of the spring semester. Any student who qualifies for running for an Executive Board position may nominate themselves or may be nominated by another student. All voting will occur electronically using UNCG’s voting system on SpartanConnect. A simple majority is required to be elected to any office. Elections and nominations will be discussed in the first meeting of the spring semester by the head officer. An unofficial transcript will be required to verify GPA before a student can run for office. Only the advisor to GSA will have access to the transcript.

10. Meetings 

Meetings will be held once a month. The first meeting shall be held no later than September. Meeting times should be decided by Executive Board availability and preference of the Senators. Members will be notified of the meeting via electronic communication from the Student Relations Chairperson. Group decisions will be made by a simple majority of the Senators. All senators of the group will be eligible to vote on all matters concerning the group. Thirty senators shall comprise a quorum. 

11. Amendments

Any member of the Senate or Executive Board may propose an amendment with a second from another member. The amendment can be approved by a 2/3 majority of the Senate who casts a vote.

12. Parliamentary Procedure

The officers will decide upon the procedures at the beginning of every term after an election and will be enforced by the Vice President.

13. Advisor(s)

The advisor will be an ex officio member of the leadership and will advise on proper procedures. The advisor(s) will be determined by the Dean of the Graduate School followed by approval from the Executive Board, and will serve for at minimum 12 months. If issues arise with advisor selection once appointed, all matters and action will be dealt with by the Dean of the Graduate School and/or Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

14. Affiliation 

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is not affiliated with any organization outside of UNCG.

Last Revision: October 2020