We, the graduate students of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences of The Pennsylvania State University, in order to form a representative union of the graduate student body of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Graduate Student Council.
Article I: Purpose
This College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Graduate Student Council, hereafter referred to as the Council, aims to provide a vital link between graduate students, administration, and community in an attempt to enrich the intellectual and social atmosphere of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, hereafter referred to as the College.
The Graduate Student Council’s purpose is to advocate in the best interests of the EMS graduate student body as a whole and to facilitate the implementation of policies deemed beneficial to the graduate student population. Further, the council will foster collaboration of ideas and policies between the various departments within the College. The Council is dedicated to making improvements, wherever needed, as voiced by the graduate students of the College.
Article II: Membership
Section i: Active Membership
Any graduate student of the College shall be eligible for active membership in the Council.
Section ii: Membership
The council will consist of two representatives from each department within the College.
Section iii: Terms of Membership
Terms of membership are determined by graduate students in each individual department. The council encourages each department to have overlap in its membership terms so that both terms do not expire at the same time. If a representative is chosen for the position of Council Chair his/her membership extends to the end of the term as Chair.
Article III: Executive Board
Section i: Officers
Only full-time graduate students who are elected to the Council by their respective department may hold appointed or elected office. Offices held will be Chair, Co-Chair and Secretary. The right of students to hold office shall not be denied or abridged because of race, color, age, sex, religion, or academic standing.
Section ii: Chair
- The Chair of the Council shall be an active member.
- The Chair shall have full parliamentary power as presiding officer at the meetings of the Council.
- The Chair shall serve as representative to standing College committees as needed, or shall appoint a council member to serve in his/her place.
- The Chair, along with the Co-Chair, shall be responsible for establishing effective communication between the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research and the members of the council.
- The Chair is responsible for attending College Council meetings.
Section iii: Co-Chair
- The Co-Chair shall be an active member.
- In the event of resignation or disqualification of the Chair, the Co-Chair shall assume the duties and powers of the Chair.
- In the event of the absence of the Chair at a meeting, the Co-Chair shall run the meeting. In the absence of both the Chair and Co-Chair, the Council shall elect a person to chair the meeting. This will be done through a majority vote of the members present.
- The Co-Chair, along with the Chair, shall be responsible for establishing effective communication between the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research and the members of the council.
- If the Chair is unable to attend College Council meetings, the Co-Chair will attend on the Chair’ behalf.
Section iv: Secretary
- The Secretary shall be an active member of the Council.
- The Secretary shall take minutes at all Council meetings, maintain a complete list of the membership, attendance and email addresses of council members.
- The Secretary shall maintain and update the Constitution, and present all amendments to the Council for approval by members.
- The Secretary shall have full working knowledge of the bylaws of this Constitution.
- All constitutional records will be kept by the Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research. It is the job of the Secretary to furnish such material to the Administrative Assistant.
Section v: Social Chair
- The Social Chair shall be an active member in the Council.
- The Social Chair shall create and promote events that foster inter-departmental relationships between graduate students in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
- The Social Chair shall be responsible for organizing and advertising College-wide social events.
Section vi: Council
- The Council as a whole shall approve all official correspondence from the Council including but not limited to correspondence, publications, announcements and memos.
- Council members are expected to attend all regularly scheduled meetings. If a member can not attend a meeting he/she must notify the Chair or Co-Chair prior to the meeting. If a member misses three consecutive meetings he/she will no longer be considered an active council member and the appropriate department will be asked to elect another representative.
- If a member can not attend a meeting he/she can give proxy to any other member of the Council. If proxy is given it will be noted in the minutes and the absence will not count as an unattended meeting.
- For attendance purposes, proxy can be given a maximum of two times per semester.
Section vii: Term of Office
- All officers will serve a term of one academic year.
- There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve.
- The summer semester will be considered as a transition period between officers.
Section viii: Impeachment
- Impeachment shall be for malfeasant conduct or any act that is in violation of any University, College, or Council policies.
- A minimum of three active members will be required to move to enact impeachment proceedings against a member of the Council.
- Quorum is necessary for conducting impeachment proceedings.
- The impeachment vote shall be held after impeachment proceedings have been enacted but not until the member in question has been given the opportunity to defend his/her position. A two-thirds majority vote of all active members shall be required to impeach.
Article IV: Internal Affairs
Section i: Meetings
- Frequency of Meetings
- General meetings will be held monthly in the Fall and Spring semesters and at the discretion of the Council members.
- Each member of the council will provide a working schedule to the Chair and Co-Chair by the end of the second week of classes at the beginning of each semester. The Chair and Co-Chair will then determine a time that all members of the council are able to meet. In case of unforeseen regular schedule conflicts which interrupt the scheduled meeting time, a member can request a meeting time change to an alternative time to be determined by the Chair and Co-Chair.
- The Chair has the authority to call an emergency meeting of the Council with no less than 3 days prior notice.
- The agenda of a general meeting shall be as follows:
- Call to Order
- Department Reports
- Old Business
- New Business
- Open Forum
- Speaking Rights
- Any person in attendance has the right to express his/her concerns or opinions during Council meetings.
- General meetings shall be open to the public.
Section ii: Agenda Items
- Any proposed actions must be presented to the Council in writing. If a proposed action is given to a Council member by word of mouth, the Council member must present the proposed action to the Council in writing.
- Before the proposed action is put on the agenda for discussion, either:
- The person or group calling for the proposed action can write a detailed letter (email acceptable) to the Council. If given enough information the Council can then discuss and make a decision on the proposed action
- The person or group calling for action can come to a Council meeting to be heard and answer any questions from the council.
- If the person or group calling for the proposed action are unable to implement either of the above courses of action, a committee of three Council members will schedule a meeting with the person or group and then inform the Council of the proposed action. The three Council members responsible for these meetings will be the elected officers. If an officer can not attend the Chair will appoint another Council member to serve on this committee.
- Council has the right to refuse any proposal that it feels does not conform to the purpose of the Council as outlined in Article I.
Section iii: Voting
- A quorum shall be represented by 50% + 1 of the membership of the Council. A member can give proxy to any other representative of the Council. This proxy will be counted towards the quorum.
- If a quorum is present, a majority vote will be represented by a majority of the voting members present, including any proxy given by a member to the other member from his/her department.
Section iv: Elections
- Any member may nominate another member for office, provided that the individual meets the guidelines of an office, by raising his/her hand at the appropriate time and then being recognized by the Chair. A second is required to confirm nomination.
- A nominated person must accept or reject nomination
- Nominations for officers will be accepted during Council meetings up until the time of election.
- Elections will take place one month before the end of the Spring semester for the following academic year term.
- Conditions and Requirements for Election
- Quorum must be present to hold an election for all Council positions.
- The active members shall cast secret, written ballots for the candidates of their choice. Each active member shall have one vote. Proxies will be accepted for this process. The written proxy must be given to any other Council member prior to the meeting.
- Votes are to be counted by the Council Secretary during the same meeting that votes are cast. All votes shall be available for recount at the request of any member.
- If no one candidate receives a majority, then the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be voted upon in a new election for that position.
- In the event of a discrepancy in counted votes, the Council will conduct a re-vote.
Section v: Legislation
- A Legislation will be considered by the Council according to the following procedure:
- All legislation must be sponsored by at least two Council members.
- All legislation must be submitted to the Co-Chair at least three days before the general meeting at which it is to be presented.
- The Council may waive the 3-day requirement at the discretion of the officers in the case of special circumstances.
- The Council shall implement the following legislative procedure:
- Sponsors introduce the legislation.
- Immediately following the introduction, the Council shall debate the legislation in question.
- Vote – The Council’s majority must approve legislation or amendments according to the vote requirements outlined in this constitution.
Article V: Amendments
Section i: Conditions of Amendment
- Amendments to the Constitution shall be voted on one meeting after being brought to the floor of the Council.
- The Constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the membership of the Council when quorum is present.
- If an active member is unable to attend the meeting at which an amendment will be voted upon, he/she may submit a proxy that allows the other member from his/her department to vote on his/her behalf.
Article VI: Copies of the Constitution
- Copies of the Constitution shall be made available to anyone upon request and be posted on the Council website. All Council members shall have a copy of the present/working Constitution.