GradSEA Constitution

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Article I: Name

The name of this organization is GradSEA, which stands for the Graduate Student English Association.

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of this organization is:

Article III: Membership

All graduate students in the Department of English as well as graduate students in related Interdisciplinary Studies programs (American Studies, Comparative Literature, Philosophy and Literature) that have held graduate assistantships in the Department of English at Purdue University are "Regular Members" of the organization. Purdue University staff, faculty, and graduate students from related Interdisciplinary Studies programs (listed above) who have not held an English Department assistantship are eligible for associate membership. However, only regular members may vote on matters brought before the organization. Membership and participation are free from discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a veteran.

Article IV: Elected Positions

  1. Positions: The three categories of elected positions include “Executive Officers,” “Committee Members,” and “Program Representatives.”
    • a. Executive Officers:
      • i. President
      • ii. Vice-President
      • iii. Secretary/Treasurer
    • b. Committee Members:
      • i. Graduate Studies (Two positions): The Graduate Studies Committee is composed of the eight department directors housed in English who meet biweekly to disseminate information about the program (i.e. enrollment figures) and formulate policy for the graduate programs (i.e the Graduate Student Handbook).The Graduate Representatives attend meetings as called by the Committee Chair.
      • ii. Introductory Writing and Composition (IWC) (Two positions): The IWC is a committee that meets biweekly to formulate policy for Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP) including program assessment, syllabus approaches, the ICaP Showcase, and mentoring programs (among others). The Graduate Representatives attend regular meetings on a monthly basis.
      • iii. Job Placement: The Job Placement committee coordinates the education of graduate students regarding the job market. The Graduate Representative provides the graduate perspective in planning and implementing programs and attends regular meetings on a monthly basis.
      • iv. Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG): PGSG is the representative body for all Graduate Students and is responsible for disseminating information affecting all Graduate Students and communicating with the official bureaucratic channels at the University. The Graduate Representative is responsible for attending PGSG meetings and for serving on PGSG committees as requested/required by PGSG.
      • v. Excellence in Teaching: The Excellence in Teaching Committee is responsible for planning and selecting the winners of the “Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Awards.”
      • vi. Literary Awards: The Literary Awards Committee is responsible for planning and hosting the annual literary awards competition. The Graduate Representative has few duties in the fall but more in the spring semester when the award competition takes place.
      • vii. Woodman Lecture Series: The Woodman Lecture Series Committee is responsible for planning and hosting the annual Woodman Lecture Series. The Graduate Representative should be available to meet with the speaker during the lecture series.
      • viii. Undergraduate Studies: The UGS Committee reviews and approves changes to the undergraduate curriculum across the four majors in the Department, brings all proposed changes to the voting members of the Department for consideration, and guides the Department in its ongoing assessment of the curriculum. The Graduate Representative attends regular meetings each semester and participates in decision-making.
    • c. Program Representatives:
      • i. Creative Writing
      • ii. Second Language Studies/English as a Second Language (SLS/ESL)
      • iii. English Language and Linguistics (ELL)
      • iv. Literary Studies
      • v. Rhetoric and Composition
      • vi. Theory and Cultural Studies
      • vii. American Studies
      • viii. Comparative Literature
      • ix. Philosophy and Literature
      • x. 1st-year student representative
      • xi. MA-student Representative
  2. Voting:
    • a. Executive Officers and Committee Members will be voted on in the Spring for the following academic year and will hold office from May through May. Newly elected Officers and Members will be required to handle the responsibilities for the coming year.
    • b. Program Representatives will be voted on within the first month of the Fall Semester and serve from September through September.
    • c. Election of officers will be by paper ballots.
  3. Eligibility: All Regular Members are eligible to hold office.
    • a. A Regular Members holding an Executive Office or Committee Membership can hold only one of these positions, but may also be elected as a Program Representative. (For example, the President may not serve on the Graduate Studies Committee but may hold the "Creative Writing" Program Representative Position).
  4. Advisor: The faculty advisor shall be selected by the Executive Officers and shall serve for one year from May to May.

Article V: Duties of Office

  1. The duties of the President
    • a. To Organize and direct the business of GradSEA by:
      • i. Presiding at regular meetings
      • ii. Maintaining an agenda
    • b. To Appoint ad hoc committees to work on individual issues.
    • c. To oversee Standing Committees.
  2. The duties of the Vice-President
    • a. To assist the President in the matters listed in V.1 and to fill in for the President should the need arise;
    • b. To serve on the Faculty Committee by attending their regular meetings, voicing GradSEA concerns, and reporting back to GradSEA;
    • c. To oversee the ad hoc committees generated by the office of the President.
  3. The duties of the Secretary/Treasurer
    • a. To inform regular members of the proceedings and business of the organization by:
      • i. Notifying members of all meetings;
      • ii. Taking the minutes of regular meetings;
      • iii. Maintaining the GradSEA web site and bulletin board;
    • b. The treasurer keeps accounts, deposits the organization’s funds, and makes expenditures in a manner approved by the Business Office for Student Organizations.
  4. The duties of the Committee Representatives:
    • a. To attend regular meetings of both GradSEA and their respective committees;
    • b. To act as a liaison between GradSEA and their Committee by reporting on substantive decisions to GradSEA and advocating on graduate students' behalf in Committee meetings;
    • c. To voice the graduate student perspective in Committee meetings.
  5. The duties of the Program Representatives:
    • a. To serve as a liaison between their constituents and GradSEA by:
      • i. Regularly engaging constituents,
      • ii. Attending GradSEA meetings.

Article VI: Amendments

The constitution and bylaws may be amended by simple majority vote of those Regular Members attending a Regular Meeting, so long as all members have been given 30 days notice of the proposed amendment. All amendments to the constitution and bylaws are subject to the approval of the Office of the Dean of Students.

  1. Regular meetings of the organization shall be held at least once each month at a time and place to be announced by the president at least 7 days in advance of such meetings.
  2. Decisions concerning the business of the organization shall be taken by a simple majority of those regular members attending regular meetings. For the purpose of conducting business, a quorum shall consist of nine Regular Members.
  3. Generally, Robert's Rules of Order shall govern meeting procedure. However, these rules of procedure may be waived or modified at the discretion of the President.
  4. In the event an Executive Officer, Committee Member, or Program Representative is unable to complete their term in office or does not fulfill their duties associated with the office, a replacement will be nominated and voted on by the remaining elected position-holders until the next election.
  5. If an Elected Position is unfilled after the elections, representatives may be nominated by Regular Members and filled by a majority vote of those attending a Regular Meeting. The President must announce the vacancy/ies at least 7 days prior to the Meeting.
  6. Rules governing "Standing Committees": committees created to handle regular, essential GradSEA programming.
    • a. In consultation with the President, the committee will appoint a director and establish a timeline for their project.
    • b. The director will be responsible for the committee's project and communicating with the President to keep the project on track.
    • c. Standing Committees can be formed by amending the bylaws to include the new committee under Article VI.6.e.i.
    • d. Any Regular Member can serve on a Standing Committee, regardless of other GradSEA appointments.
    • e. Current Standing Committees:
      • i. Prelim Forum Committee: This committee is responsible for organizing the Prelim Forum each semester
  7. Rules governing "Ad Hoc Committees": committees created to handle individual program planning.
    • a. In consultation with the Vice President, the committee will appoint a director and establish a timeline for their project.
    • b. The director will be responsible for the committee's project and communicating with the Vice President to keep the project on track.
    • c. If the director is negligent of these duties, the President and Vice President can replace them.
  8. Rules governing "Search Committees": committees created by the English Department to search for new Faculty that require a graduate student representative.
    • a. Search Committee Representatives will be voted on when dictated by the Department and will hold office until the resolution of the Committee.
    • b. Search Committee Representatives will be responsible for reporting to the President of GradSEA on the search process and will be treated like a "Committee Representative" in GradSEA for the duration of the search (see Article V.4).
    • c. Election will be by paper ballots.
      • i. All Regular Members of GradSEA are eligible to hold this position regardless of other GradSEA appointments.
  9. The Constitution may be amended or revised by simple majority vote of those regular members attending a regular meeting, so long as all members have been given 15 days notice of the proposed amendment. All amendments to the constitution and bylaws are subject to the approval of the Office of the Dean of Students. They MAY NOT take effect until they have been approved.

Adopted January 13, 1986
Recognized January 15, 1986
Amended March 12, 2010

Last updated by S.C. Gooch, May 2010.

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