Constitution of ecogsc department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst



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Constitution of ECoGSC Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Second Edition



ARTICLE I - Name and Purpose

Section 1 Name of the Organization: The organization shall be named Environmental Conservation Grad Council (ECoGSC)

Section 2 Purpose: The purpose of the ECoGSC is to facilitate and support activities that meet the academic, social, cultural, and professional needs of ECoGSC’ students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

ARTICLE II – Membership and Non-Discrimination Policy

Section 1 General Definition of Membership: Membership shall be open to all graduate students in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Section 2 Active Membership: To be an active member it is only required to have a graduate student status in the Department’s record.

Section 3 Non-Discrimination Policy: The ECoGSC does not discriminate for any purpose on the basis of race, ethnicity, linguistic abilities, religion, sexual identity, political affiliation, disability status, or marital status.

ARTICLE III - Officers, Duties, and Terms

Section 1 Term of office: All officers shall have a term of office of one year starting with every academic year. If an officer needs to retire before the end of her/his term, she/he will propose a replacement for the position.

Section 2 Duties: All officers shall work to achieve the goals, planned activities and to build a friendly environment for all the members of the ECo grad school. Detailed responsibilities are:

Co-Chair's Primary Responsibilities:

The co-chair, or co-chairs, have the responsibility to represent our organization in front of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and the University. At least one co-chair has to complete the GSS training. After the training the co-chair(s) will have 'signature power'. The co-chair(s) can also act in place of the Treasurer if the need arises. 'Signature power' means that the co-chair has the responsibility to request and authorize the use of money for activities in our annual budget. Also, the co-chair typically organizes Council meetings where planned activities are designed and responsibilities assigned. Co-chair(s) do not make major decisions without other member’s approval; yet they have the power to decide, together with the treasurer, minor issues or administrative decisions that require the understanding of the internal procedures. The co-chair(s) must write up (or delegate the responsibility of writing up) minutes after each meeting and share it with all the other council members.

Treasurer's Primary Responsibilities:

  • Supervise the organization's budget

  • Sign official documents and forms

  • Complete the yearly 'line item' budget application in late March.

  • Schedule meetings

  • Make administrative decisions

The treasurer needs to complete a GSS training at the beginning of every academic year. The treasurer will meet with the GSS treasurer to learn the protocols related to requesting and spending council funds, including the online budgeting platform. The treasurer will determine the budget balance before and after every event that involves the expenditure of council funds. At the end of the spring semester, the treasurer will prepare and submit a proposed budget application to the GSS treasurer. If needed, the treasurer will meet with the GSS to explain the proposed budget.

Section 3 Listing of officers: Leadership will be shared by two Co-Chairs and a Treasurer. Chairs will be responsible for administering Council meetings, and coordinating members to help organize activities and events. They will handle internal communication within the Council, and external communication to the Department. Co-Chairs will contact the Department’s representative to the Graduate Student Senate for funding appeals. If there is no Senator at the time, the Chairs may choose to appoint a liaison to the GSS. The Treasurer will be responsible for managing the Council’s budget, procuring purchase cards, and all other monetary responsibilities.

ARTICLE IV - Election and Appointment Procedures

Section 1 Election Schedule: Elections will be held at the end of the Spring semester for positions for the next academic year. The election will proceed as required by the members of the Council.

Section 2 Nomination Eligibility: Any active member may be nominated for any position. Any active member may nominate any active member including her/himself.

Section 3 Election Period: The candidates and election period will be announced through the graduate student list serve. If only a single candidate is nominated for a position, they will be announced as the winner, as long as the council approves their nomination.

Section 4 Votes Counting: The election will be conducted through the University’s online election software.

Section 5 Determinations: A winner shall receive a majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the leading candidates sharing the tie shall participate in a runoff election following the general procedures in sections 3 and 4.

Section 6 Appointment Procedures: In the event of a sudden or continued vacancy in an executive position, the Chair may choose to appoint an active member to the position in a temporary manner until an election can be held for the position.

ARTICLE V - Meetings

Section 1 General Meetings: General meeting will be held as needed. The objective of these meetings is to coordinate scheduled activities and keep track of the progress of the planned activities at the beginning of the semester.

Section 2 Planning Meetings: At the beginning of every semester the member of the council will gather to decide the activity schedule for the semester.

Section 3 Special Meetings: Extraordinary meetings can be called by any member of the council. If a minimum quorum of three member is not achieved a new meeting will be appointed. If a second meeting doesn’t meet with this minimum quorum the meeting will still take place and after all the members shall be informed about the decisions.

Section 4 Voting: The decision will be made by general consensus.

ARTICLE VI - Rights and Privileges of Members

Section 1 General Rights of Members: All active members have the right to participate of all the activities, to propose new ideas and to bring new potential members to the Council.

Section 2 Voting Rights of Active Members: All active members have equal right to vote for a decision.

ARTICLE VII - Amendments to the Constitution

Section 1 Proposal: A member may propose an amendment by distributing it in written format and reading it aloud in a meeting. Voting of a proposal will take place in the same meeting as that in which the proposal was made.

Section 2 Approval: After a thorough discussion to the satisfaction of all members present for the voting of a proposal, a general consensus needs to be achieved in order to approve the proposal. A minimum quorum of three members is required. If this quorum is not achieved the proposal will be discussed in a new meeting. If a second meeting doesn’t meet with this minimum quorum the decision about the approval will still take place and further all the members shall be informed of the decisions made during the meeting.


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