GSA Constitution

GSA logoArticle I. Objectives and Purposes

The objectives and purposes to which the Graduate Student Association (GSA) is dedicated are as follows:

Article II. Structure of the Graduate Student Association

Section 2.1: Membership 

The Graduate Student Association shall consist of elected graduate students. All graduate students are eligible for appointment to the GSA board and 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 Board 

The elected officers of the GSA Executive Board (Executive Board, E-Board, The Committee, The Executive Committee) shall be:

Co-Chairs (2) and Board of Trustees Representative

The senior leadership of the Graduate Student Association is represented by two Co-Chairs and the Board of Trustees Representative. Each position shall be voted in through a general body election and are open to all graduate students, however the Board of Trustees Representative is a two year commitment. These three positions hold regular meetings with senior Brandeis administration over the course of their time in office. 

Co-Chair 1
Co-Chair 2
Board of Trustees Representative 
 Director of Treasury & Organizations
 Director of Communications 
Director of Events & Marketing 
Director of Advocacy & Collaboration

Section 2.2: Executive Board Duties

Section 2.2.1: The Duties of the Board
Section 2.2.2: Diversity and Inclusion Training

Section 2.3: GSA Senate 

Section 2.3.1: Duties of Senators
Section 2.3.2: Senate Structure 

The GSA Senate shall consist of students (Senators) from each of the three graduate schools at Brandeis University. Senators representing each graduate school are selected by each school’s staff program advisors in order to be most representative of the community, at large, for a one-year term. Membership includes: 

Section 2.4: University Committee Representatives 

Section 2.5: Meetings

Section 2.5.1: GSA Executive Board Meetings
Section 2.5.2: Senate Meetings

Section 2.6: Role of Office of Graduate Affairs

Article III. Election Procedures

Section 3.1: GSA Executive Board Elections

Section 3.1.1: Election Period and frequency
Section 3.1.2: Elections Guidelines
Section 3.1.3: Elections Process
  1. Call for expression of interest for the GSA position would be launched by the Office of Graduate Affairs, thereby beginning the nomination period.
  2. Students would have at least one week to express their interest by completing self-nomination forms. 
  3. The outgoing Executive Board would review applications of prospective GSA members to narrow down to 5 candidates for each position (6 for Co-Chair) and should have no more than 3 students per school represented as a final candidate for each role.
  4. Students qualified for the positions will be eligible to share 1 announcement on the GSA Facebook page, 24 hours prior to the official election period.
  5. If candidates get winning votes on multiple seats, candidates will make a decision within 24 hours regarding the position they want to keep. The runner-up of the position they did not pick will then be notified to serve in that position
  6. Within four days after the voting deadline and once candidates confirm positions, the Office of Graduate Affairs shall announce results to the entire graduate student body.
  7. There will be a combined meeting with both the newly elected E-Board members and current members within two weeks after the election.

Section 3.2: GSA Senate Elections

Section 3.2.1: Election Period and frequency
Section 3.2.2: Selections Process & Guidelines
Section 3.2.3: Elections Process
  1. The election process for Senators, from each respective school, will be initiated and managed by each respective Leadership Club. Leadership clubs may reach out to the GSA Faculty Advisor if they have questions about structuring an election process for the Senator position.
  2. The leadership club may include the selection of the Senator position during their normal election process for the incoming board. If the Leadership Club’s service year starts from January to December, instead of August to July, then the members of the Leadership Club must hold a separate appointment process for the Senator position at their school at the same time (September) as the GSA is hosting the election process for the new GSA Board.
  3. Each Student Club will announce the elected Senator to its graduate school’s student body as well as inform the GSA and GSA Advisor, who will orientate the new Senator(s).
Section 3.2.4: In an event of a vacated seat

Article IV. Removal from Office

Section 4.1: Removing Office Members of the GSA E-Board 

Section 4.1.1:  Motion of Removal
Section 4.1.2:  Right to Appeal Removal

Section 4.2: Removing Office Members of the Senate

Section 4.2.1:  Motion of Removal
Section 4.2.2:  Right to Appeal Removal

Article V. Clubs and Organizations

Section 5.1: Delegated Power to Charter New Graduate Student Clubs

The Office of Graduate Affairs has delegated the 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’s name, the openness of the proposed club to all members of the Brandeis graduate student community, and the need to encourage diversity among Brandeis clubs and accountability for club financial transactions. Upon this review, the GSA will ensure that new clubs are unique and distinctive from other existing organizations.

Section 5.1.1: Benefits

Recognized clubs receive the following benefits:

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 an annual basis to remain active, requiring confirmation of the status of the club to the GSA advisor or Executive Board 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 Executive Advisor 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 Board member deems a certain action is appropriate on any issue, and seeks to take action, the said member must first inform the rest of the Executive Committee of this 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 advisor, the Assistant Dean of Graduate Affairs, the Office of the Dean of Students or the University Ombuds.

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, the said graduate student has to notify any member of the Executive Committee and that request will appear on the next GSA agenda.  A thorough review and subsequent edits of the constitution may occur every summer, at which point the GSA Advisor and the Executive Advisor(s) mutually agree upon any changes made.