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Biological Sciences Graduate Society Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of the Biological Sciences Graduate Society

Article I: Name

Section 1. Name

This organization will be known as the Biological Sciences Graduate Society of Ohio University, hereinafter referred to as BSGS.

Article II: Purpose

Section 1. Purpose

BSGS will be the voice of graduate students within the five disciplines of the Department of Biological Sciences: Cell Biology and Physiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Exercise Physiology and Muscle Biology, Microbiology, and Neurobiology. BSGS is designed to accurately represent the concerns and needs of graduate students to the department administration and university as a whole, to facilitate interdisciplinary exchanges, to foster professional growth, to liaise with other student government associations, and to provide programming of special interest to the graduate students of the program.

Section 2. Structure

The government of the BSGS shall consist of an Assembly and an Executive Board. The structure is designed to assure that BSGS is representative of graduate students within the disciplines of the department of Biological Sciences a Ohio University. In recognition of the time constraints placed on graduate students, the structure is decentralized and meetings are minimized.

Article III: Affiliations

Section 1. Affiliations

This organization is affiliated with the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Article IV: Membership

Section 1. Membership

Every graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences shall be a member of the BSGS, and shall have an equal voice with his or her fellow students. This membership is extended to those students enrolled in the Molecular & Cellular Biology graduate program within the Department of Biological Sciences.

Section 2. Definition of Graduate Student

A graduate student is any student who is enrolled and in good standing with the Department of Biological Sciences as well as considered a graduate student at Ohio University.

Section 3. Non-Discriminatory Statement

The entity of BSGS and its members shall not discriminate against any individuals for reasons of race, national origin, color, religion, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, and/or ability status.

Article V: Assembly

Section 1. Powers

All legislative powers of BSGS shall be vested in the BSGS Assembly. All powers not specifically granted to another person or entity that is necessary to student government is reserved to the Assembly or its designee.

Section 2. Membership
  1. Assembly members: The BSGS Assembly shall consist of all graduate students enrolled in Biological Sciences. All assembly members have a vote.
  2. The BSGS Executive Board: The BSGS Executive Board shall have the following membership: specifically the President, Vice President, Treasurer/Secretary.
  3. Removal: Officers who repeatedly fail to perform their duties or abuse their office for personal ends may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly. An officer must be given notice of an intended motion for removal at least five business days before the Assembly meeting at which such removal is voted on.
Section 3. Assembly Responsibilities & Powers

The powers of the BSGS Assembly shall be to establish policy and legislate for the BSGS, and the graduate student body in the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University. These powers include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Propose legislation, resolutions, rules, regulations and policies to the Assembly for adoption;
  2. Serve as a forum for graduate student interaction;
  3. Elect the BSGS Executive Board;
  4. Approve the BSGS budget, when applicable;
  5. Confirm graduate student representatives to University and non-BSGS bodies and committees;
  6. Propose amendments to the Constitution in a judicious manner.
Section 4. Fiscal Powers

The BSGS Assembly shall have the following fiscal powers:

  1. Accept any funds appropriated for the use of BSGS by the University, or any other person, group, organization or corporation; and
  2. Allocate appropriate funds for the obligations and expenditures of the BSGS. A two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly may direct that an appropriation can otherwise be made.
  3. All funds will be held in the BSGS account established at the Bursar’s office at Ohio University.
Section 5. Meetings
  1. Quorum for the BSGS Assembly shall be one-fourth of the total number of voting Assembly members. But due to the constraints on graduate students, the meeting shall proceed without quorum if all Assembly members present are in agreement to continue.
  2. The Assembly shall meet at least once per month during the fall, winter and spring quarters.
  3. The BSGS President shall preside over the Assembly, and shall vote only in case of a tie.
  4. In the event that an Assembly Representative is unable to attend a meeting, that member may voice his or her opinions on agenda items by written notice sent to a member of the Executive Board, electronically or by hard copy.
  5. At the request of thirty-five percent (35%) of the voting membership of the Assembly, a meeting of the Full Assembly must be held within 7 days.
  6. Meetings of the BSGS Assembly shall be open to the public, unless called into executive session.
  7. In addition to BSGS Assembly members, the following persons shall have full speaking privileges at Assembly meetings:
    1. All graduate or professional students;
    2. Executive members and Senators from the GSS.
Section 6. Legislation
  1. No legislation shall become binding unless it is introduced and presented in writing by an Assembly member, read, and passed by a majority vote at a meeting of the Assembly.
  2. All legislation of the Assembly shall be categorized as follows:
    1. Laws: Rule and regulations governing graduate and professional students, graduate and professional student organizations, financial allocations, and the creation of committees or subsidiary organizations.
    2. Bylaws: Rules of order and procedures governing the Assembly or its Committees. Such Bylaws may be enacted upon previous notice and a simple majority vote. Subsequent amendments to the Bylaws require previous notice and a two-thirds majority vote.
    3. Decrees: Advisement, ordering or prescribing the method for a BSGS official, whether elected or appointed, to fulfill some duty provided for in this Constitution, Bylaws or Laws of the Assembly. Decrees must be passed by a two-thirds majority vote.
    4. Resolutions: Expressions of the sentiment of the Assembly.
Section 7. Assembly Representatives’ Duties and Responsibilities

Each Assembly Representative to the BSGS Assembly is obliged to undertake the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Attend all Assembly meetings;
  2. Obtain an electronic mail address from the university computing services;
  3. Disseminate with due diligence all communications between BSGS and other student organizations;

Article VI: Executive Board

Section 1. Composition

The BSGS Executive Board shall have the following membership: specifically the President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer.

Section 2. President

Powers:

  1. The President shall be the primary representative of BSGS and the Biological Sciences graduate student body.
  2. The President shall have the authority to make and revoke appointments to non-BSGS bodies and committees with the advice and consent of the Assembly.
  3. All powers and duties of the Executive Board not specifically delegated shall be vested in the President.

Duties:

  1. Preside at BSGS Assembly and Executive Board meetings, and prepare the agenda for those meetings;
  2. Act as liaison between the graduate student body of the department and other student organizations, the department head, and the University faculty and administration;
  3. Enforce the Constitution, laws, decrees, and bylaws of BSGS; and
  4. Make appointments where allowed or required.
Section 3. Vice President

Duties:

  1. Exercise the powers of the President in his or her absence;
  2. Conduct the Executive Board election before the end of the spring semester;
  3. Coordinate the operation of the BSGS Assembly;
  4. Report to the Executive Board and BSGS Assembly;
  5. Assist the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, Assembly and Executive Board in the preparation of reports;
  6. Provide the primary maintenance for the BSGS website.
Section 4. Secretary/Treasurer

Duties:

  1. Maintain BSGS files, available for public inspection, including, but not limited to, the minutes of all Executive Board and BSGS Assembly meetings, all legislation, laws, bylaws, resolutions, and authorizations of BSGS Assembly;
  2. Prepare and distribute information on BSGS activities, including press releases and flyers;
  3. Take Minutes at all Executive Board and Assembly meetings;
  4. Serve as contact person for other student organizations;
  5. Have the power to authorize the payment of BSGS expenditures as they come due.
  6. Keep strict and accurate records of all BSGS income and expenditures in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;
  7. Make a regular report to the Executive Board and the BSGS Assembly regarding the financial posture of BSGS.
Section 5. Powers
  1. The Executive Board is vested with the authority to carry out the day to day operations for BSGS Assembly, including:
    1. Making administrative decisions;
    2. Coordinating the activities of the Assembly and BSGS Executive Board;
    3. Reassigning the duties of the members of the Executive Board in order to balance the workload among the Executive Board members.
  2. The Executive Board is vested with the duty and power to act for the BSGS Assembly in the following circumstances, subject to the review of the Assembly:
    1. Between BSGS Assembly meetings, unless the situation is sufficient to warrant the call of a special meeting of the BSGS Assembly;
    2. In matters of an emergency nature;
    3. At times when it is impractical for the BSGS Assembly to meet.
Section 6. Elections
  1. Executive positions shall be elected by the Assembly. Any and all graduate and professional students who plan to enroll for at least one additional academic year are eligible to run for positions on the Executive Board.
  2. Executive board elections shall be held at the April meeting of the spring quarter. The Assembly meeting at which the elections are held will be advertised.
  3. The elections will be conducted by the outgoing Vice President, or, if the outgoing Vice President is planning to run for a position, by another person chosen by the Assembly. The Assembly may also appoint election auditors.
  4. Elections for each executive board position will be held in the order in which they are listed in section
    1. The Elections chair will call for nominations.
  5. Each nominee may give a brief speech.
  6. Voting shall be by secret ballot.
  7. In the event that no candidate receives a majority, there shall be a run-off between the two candidates with the most votes.
  8. In event of a vacancy in mid-year, the vacancy shall be advertised and a by-election held at the earliest practical Assembly meeting.
Section 7. Removal
  1. Executive board members who repeatedly fail to perform their duties or abuse their office for personal ends may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly.
  2. An executive board member must be given notice of the intended removal at least five business days before the meeting at which it is voted on.
  3. Such removal by the Assembly shall be undertaken in executive session.
Section 8. Meetings
  1. The Executive Board shall meet at least once per month at a time set by the previous meeting, at the call of the chair, or at the call of two or more executive members.
  2. Quorum is one-half of the existing Executive Board.
Section 9. Voting

The members of the Executive Board shall not vote at any Assembly meeting, with the exception of the President, who may vote to break a tie

Article VII: Adviser

Section 1. Eligibility

The adviser to the BSGS must be a current faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences and in good standing with the University. The adviser can be a member of any of the five disciplines within the department.

Section 2. Selection

Solicitation to all faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences shall be made through written notification from the Executive Board. Following at least a two week period, interested faculty members shall appear before the monthly BSGS Assembly meeting and introduction themselves and their intentions and/or contributions if selected to the advisory position. The adviser position will be voted on after faculty members are excused from the delegation and a simple majority vote will select the next adviser to the organization.

Section 3. Removal and Replacement

If the elected adviser repeatedly fails to fulfill his or her obligations, they made be removed according to the established procedures in Article VI Section 7. If the position becomes vacant during the school year, immediate solicitation to the department faculty members will occur. A meeting of the BSGS Assembly will occur after no more than five business days from departmental solicitation and the same procedures followed in Section 2 of this article.

Section 4. Responsibilities

The adviser shall:

  1. Attend Assembly meetings and primary events;
  2. Provide information on University policies and procedures;
  3. Co-sign all financial transactions that are mandated by University policy;
  4. Provide guidance and ideas upon request;
  5. Be an active contributing mentor and facilitate professional growth.

Bylaws of the Biological Sciences Graduate Society

Article I: STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1. Purpose

Standing Committees shall address graduate and professional student concerns at the university. Their duties include undertaking the following:

  1. Represent graduate students;
  2. Inform the Assembly and Executive Board of their activities on a regular basis;
  3. Research and report on issues when requested to do so by the Assembly or the Executive Board.
Section 2. Formation

Standing Committees shall be approved by a simple majority of the Assembly. Standing Committees shall consist of at least three (3) members.

Section 3. Chair

The members of the Standing Committee shall elect the Chair of the Committee.

Section 4. Meetings

All Standing Committees shall meet at least once per quarter.

Article II: AD HOC COMMITTEES

Section 1. Purpose

Ad Hoc committees may be formed as needed to address specific graduate student concerns. Their duties include undertaking the following:

  1. Represent graduate students on a specific issue;
  2. Inform the Assembly and Executive Board of their activities on a regular basis.
Section 2. Formation

Ad Hoc committees shall be approved by a simple majority of the Assembly. Ad Hoc committees shall consist of at least three (3) members.

Section 3. Chair

The members of the Ad Hoc Committee shall elect the Chair of the Committee.

Section 4. Resolution

Once the specific task of an Ad Hoc Committee is completed, the Ad Hoc Committee shall be discharged.

Article III: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Section 1. Rules of Order

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised shall govern BSGS in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution and any special rules of order that BSGS may adopt.

Article IV: Amendments

Section 1.
  1. The BSGS Assembly shall adopt Bylaws not inconsistent with this Constitution.
  2. The bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the BSGS Assembly by a two-thirds vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.

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