Article I. Objectives and Purposes
- To provide a forum for discussion of issues of concern to graduate students.
- To advocate for graduate student interests before Brandeis faculty and administration.
- To organize, promote and conduct activities beneficial to graduate student life.
- To disseminate information of interest to graduate students.
- To establish, support and assist graduate student clubs and organizations.
- To select graduate students for appointment to faculty and university committees.
- To engage and partner with the members of the Brandeis campus community.
- To own and manage property and accounts that will assist in securing the above objectives.
Article II. The Graduate Student Association
Section 2.1: MembershipThe Graduate Student Association shall consist of all graduate students. All graduate students are eligible for appointment to any committee, internal or external, that provides for representation by graduate students and to participate in all activities of the GSA.
Section 2.1(a): GSA Executive Committee
The elected officers of the GSA Executive Committee shall be:
- Primarily responsible for the leadership of the GSA.
- Works with adviser and communications representatives to set agenda topics for all GSA meetings.
- Serves as graduate student representative on the board of trustees.
- Frequent contact and communication with campus constituents.
- Serves duties of president in the absence of the president.
- Alternate to serve as representative on the board of trustees.
- Primarily responsible for setting/tracking GSA budget.
- Responsible for management of club and organization requests and funding requests.
- Primarily responsible for management of GSA social-media platforms.
- Creates agendas for all GSA meetings.
- Takes minutes from meetings and disseminate to all members.
- Monitors and updates GSA web pages.
- Serves as point person for all GSA event planning.
- Responsible for creation of marketing materials for GSA original programming.
Markets GSA or partnering events through social media and other forms of communication.
Advocate, Ambassador and Collaborator
- It is preferred that this position be a returning GSA member or returning graduate student, but not exclusively mandatory.
- Primarily responsible for taking initiative to ensure the GSA has a prominent and positive image at Brandeis university.
- Creates and fosters collaborations between departments on campus and community partners.
- Take leadership role in advocating for graduate student concerns.
- Serves to assist and advise other members of the Executive Committee in their duties.
- Helps provide direction to senators in charge of special projects.
Section 2.1(b): GSA Senate
- Executive Committee member.
- GSAS department representative (one per program).
- Heller Student Association member.
- International Business School Student Association member.
- Any other graduate student with regular attendance at Senate meetings and/or involvement in universitywide or GSA-related committees.
Section 2.2: DutiesThe GSA Executive Committee and Senate shall require all officers and senators to comply with all provisions of this constitution. They shall have the power to establish committees to assist with the work of the GSA, and to delegate to any committee or individual the powers and responsibilities required to carry out its role, in keeping with the objects and purposes of the GSA as a whole. They shall always act according to the objects and purposes of the GSA.
- The GSA Executive Committee shall have authority over matters pertaining to the activities of the GSA or any committee thereof, as determined by majority vote. It collaborates with the GSA Senate to develop an annual budget (based on the income from the graduate student activities fee) in order to disburse funds under the counsel of the GSA vice president and GSA Senate. The GSA Executive Committee is responsible for reporting the disbursement of the budget monies each semester to the GSA Senate. The Executive Committee, in collaboration with the Office of Graduate Students affairs, may identify and appoint individuals to fill additional positions as necessary. It reserves the right to charter or recognize graduate student clubs and organizations, and to grant said chartered clubs funding requests. The Executive Committee serves as the official elected governing body of the graduate students of Brandeis University.
- All Executive Committee members are required to hold weekly rotating office hours totaling two hours per week in the Graduate Student Center or Student Union. In addition, Executive Committee members are expected to regularly attend all GSA meetings and the GSA retreat at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, as well as maintain consistent communication via meetings or email/phone contact with the GSA adviser. Executive Committee members will be compensated at a rate of $15 per hour from the Graduate Student Association budget for their regular office hours and attendance at monthly GSA meetings. All other time spent related to the Executive Committee position duties will not be eligible for additional hourly pay through the Graduate Student Association budget.
- The GSA Senate acts as an advisory board to the GSA Executive Committee. It collaborates with the GSA Executive Committee to develop an annual budget based on the income from the graduate student activities fee. The Senate appoints graduate student representatives to GSA, faculty and university committees. It serves as the official representative body of the graduate students of Brandeis University. Senators are invited and encouraged to attend the GSA retreat at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
- University committee representatives represent the concerns of their constituencies to the committees they sit on, and before the GSA Executive Committee and Senate. They communicate the proceedings of committee meetings to the GSA Executive Committee and Senate as well as to their constituencies. Although representatives bear particular responsibilities to the graduate students of their division, they shall primarily represent the interest of the graduate student body at large. University committee representatives are encouraged to attend all Senate meetings. Following all committee meetings, they must report on their particular committees via the online committee reporting form.
Section 2.3: Meetings
Meetings of the GSA Executive Committee shall be held at the Graduate Student Center or other assigned location on a monthly basis, unless otherwise directed by the Executive Committee. Additional meetings may be scheduled by vote of the Executive Committee or at the discretion of the President. Meetings may be canceled by prior vote of the Executive Committee or at the discretion of the president. Agenda items are solicited from Executive Committee officers and set by the president.
Meetings of the GSA Senate shall happen at least monthly. However, attendance of these meetings by members of the Senate can be satisfied online or in person. Senate members shall, at minimum, engage once a month to provide updates of their department or check in to confirm they are informed of GSA business activity. At the first Senate meeting of every year, the Senate shall determine the specific senators to become University committee representatives. Additional meetings may be scheduled by vote of the Senate or at the discretion of the president. Agenda items are solicited from senators and committee representatives and set by the president. A motion may be proposed (and seconded) by any senator. Any duly seconded motion shall be passed upon receiving the affirmation of a majority of the members present, and shall be otherwise defeated. Each senator may cast one vote. University committee representatives who are not sitting senators cannot vote in the Senate.
A quorum for the Senate is defined as the presence of at least half of voting senators, must be satisfied in order to allow the Senate to take official actions. In the case of voting, online members will have 24 hours from “proposal” to vote on matters presented at the Senate meeting, unless a unanimous vote occurs in the live meeting.
Section 2.4: Office of Graduate Student AffairsThe Office of Graduate Student Affairs shall act as a liaison between the Graduate Student Association and the university administration and faculty. In addition, this office will serve in an advisory capacity to the GSA. The adviser has a duty to remain unbiased on graduate student issues and best serve the reasonable requests and motives of the members of the Graduate Student Association as a universitywide advocate. In addition, the adviser is required and committed to provide a "safe space" for graduate students, in which students’ opinions and/or feedback about the university or its members remain confidential and that core issues are advocated for on behalf of the graduate students, to protect anonymity and the truest essence of freedom of expression.
Article III. Elections
Elections shall be held once every academic year during the fall semester to replace all relevant Executive Committee members or other universitywide committee positions. Elections must follow these restrictions:
- The voting period must be for at least one week.
- A description of all offices up for election shall be distributed to the entire graduate student body at least one week before the close of nominations.
Senators are appointed via:
- Membership in HSA or IBSSA.
- These members must see HAS/IBSSA bylaws for respective election process.
- GSAS students can be appointed as representatives of their respective program.
- Any additional or other student must be a contributor towards the GSA:
- Attend Senate meetings.
- Active membership to a committee.
- Volunteering to assist with any GSA initiative.
Senators may nominate candidates from among themselves for GSA Executive Committee positions. Voting for these positions shall be administered by the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Newly elected officers will take office immediately following election results. All newly elected officers are required to read the GSA Constitution. If a position is vacated at any time, then the Executive Committee shall elect or appoint a student to fill it, most
preferably an acting senator.
Article IV. Removal from Office
- It shall be the right of any Senate member or Executive Committee member to move forth with a motion to remove an Executive Committee member from office, should it follow the aforementioned guidelines:
- A motion for removal shall cite specific charges, in writing, against the Executive Committee member.
- An Executive Committee officer can be removed from office by a three-fourths (75 percent) majority vote of the other members of Executive Committee, followed by a two-thirds vote of all voting Senate members.
- Upon successful vote for removal from office, the individual may appeal the decision within five academic days of the vote. Appeals will be submitted and heard by the adviser of GSA. The adviser will review the appeal against the grounds of the removal for office and make final determination within 10 academic days. Grounds for removal should be based upon issues of student conduct or breach of the GSA Constitution.
- The Executive Committee is then required to replace the officer by a majority vote. A senator or university committee representative can be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate. The Senate is then required to replace the senator by a majority vote.
Article V. Clubs and Organizations
The Graduate Student Affairs office has delegated authority to charter or recognize new graduate student organizations to the GSA Executive Committee. Such groups can apply for recognition from the GSA. In making these determinations, the Executive Committee will consider the accuracy and descriptiveness of the club name, the openness of the proposed club to all members of the Brandeis graduate student community, the need to encourage diversity among Brandeis clubs and accountability for club financial transactions.
Section 5.1: Benefits
Recognized clubs receive the following benefits:
- Inclusion in Brandeis club listings.
- Ability to use space on campus.
- Use of the Brandeis name in association with the name of the club/organization.
- Access to funding through the Graduate Student Association.
Section 5.2: Requirements for Membership
Clubs may receive recognition by completing the appropriate steps outlined on the GSA website. Recognition is valid for the remainder of the academic year in which application is approved. A club is required to have active leadership on a yearly basis to remain active, requiring confirmation of the status of the
club to the GSA adviser before the end of the first week of the academic year. Any club that does not have active representation will be removed from the official recognized list, found on the GSA website.
Article VI. Issues of Concern
An item or issue of concern can be brought to the attention of the GSA Executive Committee by any member of the GSA or any graduate student at Brandeis University. The president can then add this item to the next Executive Committee meeting's agenda. During this meeting, appropriate action and relevant participants will be decided. If any Executive Committee officer deems a certain action is appropriate on any issue, and seeks to take action, s/he must first inform the rest of the Executive Committee of his/her intent or action. This action must pass a majority vote of the Executive Committee in order that the action be taken in the name of the GSA. In the circumstance that an individual or entity requires a confidential space to express a concern, that concern should
be brought to the GSA adviser, the director of graduate student affairs or the Office of the Dean of Students.
Article VII. Amendments to the Constitution
Amendments to the constitution must be approved by three-fifths (60 percent) of the Executive Committee at the next scheduled Executive Committee meeting, and then by three-fifths (60 percent) of senators present at a regularly scheduled Senate meeting. If any graduate student at Brandeis wants to make amendments to the GSA Constitution, s/he has to notify any member of the Executive Committee and that request will appear on the next GSA election.