This is the parent GSO's constitution converted to wiki form. The GSOCS did not write this.
For all intensive purposes, the GSOCS website can be treated as our constitution and something that is in conflict can be voted on through this website.
The name of this organization shall be the Graduate Student Organization at the State University of New York, hereinafter called the GSO.
A. Qualification All graduate students (matriculated and non-matriculated, full-time and part-time) registered at SUNY-Binghamton are automatically members of the GSO.
B. Discrimination No student shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in the GSO or any of its suborganizations on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, creed, age, veteran status, class, national origin or any other form so designated by the University’s Affirmative Action Charter.
1. The primary purpose of the GSO shall be to further the educational and political experience and cultural development of graduate students.
2. The GSO shall make recommendations to the appropriate parties on policies affecting graduate students, and shall represent the interests of the graduate body to the Administration.
3. The GSO shall also provide educational, social, and political functions and act as parent body for all approved graduate organizations.
4. The GSO shall empower graduate students and support their participation at the university, school, and departmental levels.
B. Powers 1. The GSO shall have the authority to speak and act in the name of graduate students and to enact, amend, and repeal by-laws for its internal functioning.
2. The GSO shall have the sole power to collect activity fees from graduate students.
C. Delegation of Powers The powers of the GSO shall be vested in the graduate student body except where constitutionally delegated to the Senate or officers elected from the graduate student body.
A. Executive Board There shall be an Executive Board of the GSO composed of the President (as chair), the Vice President, the Treasurer and the Graduate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs (who shall all be elected from among the graduate students in a general election); and such other officers as shall be added by provision of the by-laws.
B. Elections Elections shall be held during mid-March, and the terms of office shall run from July 1 following the elections through June 30 of the following year. (See Article VI).
C. Eligibility Candidates for office must have been registered for at least one semester before running for that office and must be matriculated.
D. Duties Duties of officers shall be the following: 1. President a. The President acts as chair of the Senate.
b. Unless otherwise specified in the constitution, the President shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint graduate students to fill all positions, created or vacated, during her or his term of office. If an office or position remains vacant for more than 31 days, the Senate shall have the power to fill the vacant office or position, provided a majority of the Executive Board consents to the appointment. This authority extends to all graduate student positions in the University above the level of the individual department.
c. The President shall serve as liaison between the graduate students and the administration.
d. The President shall be responsible for all official GSO correspondence, and shall keep a record of all correspondence.
e. The President is a non-voting ex officio member of all GSO committees.
f. The President shall be responsible for all insurance matters of the GSO, including liability insurance, workers’ compensation, disability insurance and any other necessary insurance approved by the Senate.
2. Vice President a. The Vice President assumes the duties of the President when the President is absent, and in the event of the President being unable to fulfill the duties listed above, the Vice President succeeds to the Presidency for the remainder of her or his term office.
b. The Vice President is in charge of elections and is chair of the Elections Committee.
c. The Vice President is Chair of the Constitution, By-Laws, and Chartering Committee, and shall provide to members of the Senate, upon request, up-to-date copies of the GSO Constitution and by-laws.
d. The Vice President shall be responsible for the minutes of Senate meetings and shall see that they are distributed or posted at least one class day prior to each regularly scheduled meeting.
e. The Vice President shall mail senators and representatives written announcements of, and agendas for, all Senate meetings at least 72 hours before the meeting and shall inform all graduate students of general meetings in accordance with Article VII, sect. C.
f. The Vice President shall maintain and publish once a month a list of all registered GSO senators and their attendance at Senate meetings, and shall promptly notify the Senate if any senator or officer has missed more than three meetings as specified by Article VI, section 1.2.
g. The Vice President may represent the President as a non-voting member of any GSO committee.
h. In the event of a Vice President being unable to fulfill the remainder of her or his term of office, the executive committee may appoint, with the approval of the Senate, an Acting Vice President who will assume all of the duties listed above and be granted all of the privileges accorded to an elected Vice President.
3. Treasurer a. The Treasurer shall keep a permanent record of the funds allocated to and by the GSO and shall meet with the Treasury Overseeing Committee to discuss those allocations at least once a month when classes are in session.
b. The Treasurer shall make a financial report to the Senate at each regular meeting, and shall make a published semester report to the graduate student body.
c. The Treasurer shall chair the Budget Committee and shall inform at least two officers of each GSO suborganization of GSO budget requirements by March 15.
d. The Treasurer shall schedule budget hearings during the Spring Semester of each year with all GSO suborganizations, which will submit a budget by April 1, and shall ensure that hearings are held in accordance with the guidelines established by the GSO Budget Committee.
e. The Treasurer is responsible for the presentation of a budget to the Senate no later than the penultimate Senate meeting. Copies of the budget proposal shall be mailed to senators 72 hours in advance of presentation.
f. The Treasurer shall notify organizations of their budget allocations, or in the case of departmental suborganizations, their approximate allocations.
g. The Treasurer shall hold regular office hours and shall make GSO financial accounts available for Graduate Student inspection during those hours and by appointment (as described in the by-laws).
h. The Treasurer is responsible for insuring that the GSO contributes no more than its fair share to various campus-wide activities.
i. In the event of a Treasurer being unable to fulfill the remainder of her or his term of office, the executive committee may appoint, with the approval of the Senate, an Acting Treasurer who will assume all of the duties listed above and be granted all of the privileges accorded to an elected Treasurer.
4. Graduate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs
a. The GVPMA shall organize and coordinate the Socio-cultural and Multicultural Assembly (SCMA) as a forum for promoting communication and exchange, and for organizing socio-cultural and multicultural groups within the graduate school and the GSO.
b. The GVPMA shall work with the Office of Affirmative Action in the overlooking of fair practices in the Graduate School, and institute the VPMA as the chief GSO officer in charge of screening and otherwise consulting on issues related to affirmative action.
c. The GVPMA shall collaborate with concerned organizations and individuals within the university community to advocate for improving the representation and protecting the rights and interests of women, gays and lesbians, people of color, and working-class students and faculty within the graduate community.
d. The GVPMA shall collaborate with the undergraduate VPMA to advocate for democracy and diverse representation at all levels of university life.
e. The GVPMA shall advocate for multiracial/multicultural understanding and democracy in our academic community.
f. The GVPMA shall chair a Grievance Committee designed to arbitrate issues related to the advocacy of Affirmative Action policies. The committee shall include one additional GSO Executive Board member, one member of the Socio-cultural and Multicultural Assembly, and two additional graduate students appointed by the GVPMA. The committee shall reserve the right to freeze the funds of any socio-cultural and multicultural organization pending an investigation into any grievance deemed sufficiently substantive by the committee. The committee shall reserve the right to freeze the funds for a period no greater than one year at the conclusion of the investigation.
E. Salaries The salaries of officers as established in the by-laws may not be changed for any officers during their term of office.
A. Kinds of Membership There shall be two kinds of Senate membership: voting and non-voting (representatives). During senate meetings, non-voting members of the Senate shall have all the privileges of a senator, save voting.
B. Privileges of Membership Every member of the Senate shall receive in writing from the Vice President announcements of, and an agenda for, any Senate meeting at least 72 hours before the meeting. Every member of the Senate shall, upon recognition by the Chair, have the right to address the Senate.
C. Composition of Membership 1. The graduate students in each department or school offering a graduate degree shall have the right to elect, by majority vote of its graduate students, one senator for each 75 registered graduate students or portions thereof. (A department with 151 full-time graduate students could send three senators to the Senate).
2. The elected officers of the GSO shall be voting members of the Senate.
3. Representatives appointed by the SCMA will have seven (7) votes allotted to this Assembly.
4. Non-voting members of the Senate shall include the graduate representatives to the SUNY Graduate Council, the editor of the GSO Newsletter, and such other graduate students as the Senate shall from time to time invite.
5. Graduate students appointed by the GSO to chair ad hoc or standing committees of the GSO, who are not senators, shall have all the privileges of non-voting members of the Senate.
6. In no case may a senator be elected to represent more than one department or school.
D. Term of Membership Elections for department senators shall be held between May 1 and the second week of Fall Semester. Their term of office shall be one academic year. Voting member status shall commence upon registration with the Vice President. Registration with the Vice President becomes official upon submission of a complete and updated GSO Chartered Organizations List of Officers form. E. Meetings 1. The Senate shall meet bi-weekly during the academic year at a time recommended by the Executive Board and approved by the Senate.
2. The President shall have the power to call special meetings of the Senate and shall call special meetings on the petition of ten senators. The arrangement of such meetings must comply with Article V, section B.
(a) For the purpose of determining the presence of a quorum, the Senate shall be regarded as being composed of only those voting senators registered with the Vice President, not the total potential voting membership.
(b) The quorum of the Senate shall be one-third of the Senate.
4. The President shall chair the Senate and in his or her absence, the Vice-President shall act as Chair. The officer chairing the Senate relinquishes his or her right to vote, except to cast a deciding vote in case of a tie.
5. Meetings of the Senate shall be conducted by Robert’s Rules of Order (revised) except as amended in the by-laws.
6. Any action of the Senate may be rescinded by a majority vote of those present at any general meeting of graduate students.
A. Suffrage All graduate students shall have the right to 1.vote, 2.be nominated and elected to any position within the GSO, and 3.apply for and be employed in any paid work available in the GSO.
B. Chief Elections Officer 1. The Executive Board shall advertise such vacancy in November of each academic year for the post of chief elections officer.
2. Such officer, once appointed by the E-board, subject to the Senate, shall hold office for the period of one semester (Spring Semester), and shall be solely responsible for the preparation, and proper conduct of elections in the GSO along with the other members of the committee.
C. Elections Committee 1. Should the Vice President decide to run for election again, he or she would be not allowed to sit on the elections committee. Under such a scenario, only Chief Election Officer will be the sole chair of the elections committee. 2. The Elections Committee shall be staffed by the Vice president, Chief Elections Officer, along with three volunteer graduate students. 3. The elections committee shall be in existence for the spring semester until the senate ratifies the election; after which its mandate ends.
D. “No” Votes In all GSO or GSO-run elections the electorate (senator, officer, general, referendum, recall, or other) shall be presented with the option of voting against all proposals or candidates. In the event that “no” receives more votes than any candidate, no one will have been elected to the office in question, and it shall be considered vacant.
E. Spoiled Ballots A blank, spoiled, or incorrectly marked ballot shall be considered an abstention and shall count toward the total votes or ballots cast.
F. Ratification The Elections Committee shall submit the results of the election to the GSO Senate for ratification. The Senate must either ratify the election or invalidate the election for cause.
G. Election of Officers
1. The Chief Elections Officer shall advertise or cause to be advertised all posts eligible for elections by at least one calendar month prior to the date of election.
2. The Chief Elections Officer in collaboration with members of the Elections Committee shall register the candidacy of any graduate student meeting the qualification for any advertised post/position in the election as specified within the constitution upon receipt of a petition with the signatures of 25 graduate students.
3. A candidate must receive a plurality of the votes cast in order to be elected. In the event of a tie, run-off elections are to be held within one week.
H. Election of Senators See Article V, sections C and D. All other regulations for the election of senators shall be defined in the by-laws.
I. Election of Suborganization Officers Regulations for the election of Suborganization Officers shall be defined in the by-laws.
J. Recall 1. Recall of Officers:
a. A recall vote shall be arranged by the Vice President within one month of either: i. the receipt of a petition containing a number of graduate student signatures totaling greater than fifty percent of the total number of votes cast in the last general election of all officers, ii. or a three-fourths vote of the Senate.
b. A recall vote shall be taken by presenting to the electorate the question: “Shall (name), the (office), of the GSO be removed from office?” If the recall receives a majority of the votes cast in the election, then, the seat is declared vacant.
2. Recall of Senators:
The Vice President, upon receipt of a petition calling for the recall of a senator signed by 25 percent of the constituency involved, shall arrange for the constituency to hold a recall vote within two weeks of receipt of the petition. If the recall receives a majority of the votes cast in the election, then, the seat is declared vacant.
3. Recall of Suborganization Officers:
The Vice President, upon receipt of a petition calling for the recall of a Suborganization Officer signed by 25 percent of the constituency involved, shall arrange for the constituency to hold a recall vote within two weeks of receipt of the petition. If the recall receives a majority of the votes cast in the election, then, the seat is declared vacant.
4. More than three unexcused absences in one semester from regularly scheduled senate meetings by a senator or officer, shall result in her or his office being declared vacant by the Senate. A motion to remove a senator or officer shall be treated as a by-law, except that it shall not be recorded as a permanent by-law. An officer or senator shall have the full privileges of office until he or she is actually removed from office.
5. When a senator or officer resigns or is recalled, her or his office becomes vacant. A resignation is not official until it is announced to the Senate.
6. No officer or senator shall be subjected to recall more than once in a semester or during the summer.
K. Referenda 1. The Vice President shall arrange for a referendum vote to be held within one month upon either:
(a) the receipt of a petition containing a number of graduate student signatures greater than fifty percent of the total number of votes cast in the last general election of all officers, or, (b) a three-fourths vote of the Senate.
2. A measure referred to the electorate shall pass if it receives a majority of votes cast. The result of a referendum shall be binding for a period of one year unless otherwise specified in the referred measure.
A. Purpose and Powers General Meetings can be called by graduate students or the Executive Board, among other things, to rescind an action of the Senate, to present amendments to the Constitution, and to seek the opinion of the graduate student body on controversial issues confronted by the GSO. Actions of the Senate may be rescinded by a majority vote of those present at a General Meeting.
B. Method of Calling The President or the Senate shall have the power to call general meetings of the graduate students. The President shall call a general meeting upon receiving the written petition of fifty graduate students.
C. Notification Notification, including agenda, shall be posted in each department at least three class days in advance of a general meeting. Any business not on the posted agenda may not be considered at a general meeting.
D. Quorum The quorum at the general meetings shall be at least 50 graduate students.
A. Ad Hoc Committees The Senate shall create such ad hoc committees as it deems necessary. The Executive Board may make appointments to such committees subject to the approval of the Senate.
B. Constitution, By-Laws, and Chartering Committee There shall be a permanent Constitution, by-laws, and Chartering Committee, chaired by the Vice President of the GSO and having at least three other members recommended by the chair and approved by the Senate. This committee shall examine all proposed by-laws and Constitutional amendments, and shall make recommendations about them to the Senate. It shall periodically review the Constitution and by-laws and shall, if necessary, propose changes. It shall also make recommendations to the Senate concerning the granting of charters to suborganizations and the revocation of existing charters.
C. Elections Committee There shall be a permanent Elections Committee co-chaired by the Chief Elections Officer and the GSO Vice President and having at least three other members recommended by the chair and approved by the Senate. The Elections Committee shall set up standards for the validation of elections and shall gather and present to the Senate any challenges to the validity of general and suborganization elections. This committee shall also, with the approval of the Constitution, By-Laws and Chartering Committee, propose to the Senate by-laws to govern elections provided that these by-laws do not impinge upon suffrage rights as defined in Article VI. Section. A. D. Budget Committee There shall be a permanent Budget Committee chaired by the Treasurer of the GSO and having at least three other members recommended by the chair of the Senate and approved by the Senate. The Budget Committee shall review the budgets of all GSO suborganizations whenever submitted, and submit its recommendations to the Senate. The Budget Committee shall also review both GSO budget proposed by the Treasurer and any amendments to the budget in force for the current fiscal year. The proposed budget or amendments must be approved by the Budget Committee before they are presented to the Senate for ratification.
E. Treasury Overseeing There shall be a Treasury Overseeing Committee chaired by the Assistant to the President or a non-Executive Board member and having as its members the Executive Board and at least three others appointed by the Senate. This Committee will not have a quorum unless at least one non-Executive Board member is present. The Treasury Overseeing Committee shall oversee the records of the disbursements of monies, the transferal of money, and the state of all GSO accounts. This committee shall meet at least once per month during the academic year (September-May) and shall review all transactions which have occurred since its last meeting. The Treasury Overseeing Committee shall report to the Senate from time to time, but must make a formal report at least once every semester. This committee shall immediately inform the Senate if any irregularities or illegalities are discovered and can consult with the chief financial officer of SUNY Binghamton for advice or recommendations.
F. Committee on Academic Freedom There shall be an Academic Freedom Committee chaired by an Executive Board member of the GSO and having at least three other active members recommended by the committee chair and approved by the Senate. The purpose of the Academic Freedom Committee shall be to investigate and address issues which impinge upon the academic rights and freedoms of graduate students.
G. Socio-Cultural and Multicultural Assembly There shall be a Socio-Cultural and Multicultural Assembly (SCMA) comprised of one (1) representative from each active chartered socio-cultural suborganization, and shall be chaired by the GVPMA. This assembly shall elect seven (7) representatives to attend all GSO Senate meetings as senators with full voting rights.
A. Departmental Suborganizations 1. Graduate students in any department or school which, offers a graduate degree are automatically members of their Departmental Suborganization. Charters of all Departmental Suborganizations are available for inspection in the GSO Office. Graduate Students in newly formed departments can charter their departmental suborganization by following the guidelines for non-departmental suborganizations.
2. All departmental suborganizations shall receive a percentage of the monies generated by its members (as determined in the by-laws). Budgets for these organizations must be approved by the Senate and the GSO officially informed of the names of elected officers before any monies may be spent by them.
B. Non-departmental Suborganizations 1. Any group of 25 or more registered graduate students shall have the right to present a charter for a Non-departmental Suborganization to the Constitution, By-Laws, and Chartering Committee which shall make a recommendation regarding approval to the Senate. Graduate students shall have the right to expect any responsible organization to be chartered by the Senate.
2. Funding for the non-departmental suborganizations is not guaranteed, but shall be based on the merits of the organization’s claim to meet some special need of graduate students. Budgets for these organizations must be submitted to the Budget Committee which will assess the extent of the special need addressed by the organization and then make a recommendation regarding adequate funding to the Senate. Monies may not be spent until the GSO has been officially informed of the names of the elected officers. Monies may not be spent until the GSO has been officially informed of the name of the elected officers. In order for money to be dispersed, the voucher must be approved by the GVPMA, except for the extended circumstances, prior to the review by the GSO Treasurer.
3. Upon receiving funding from the GSO, each socio- and multicultural suborganization will be required to ensure that all the GSO funded activities for the relevant academic year are open to the graduate community at large by posting each event announcement via the GSO list-serve at least one week in advance of the event. At least 25 percent of the events must be free to the participating graduate community.
If a suborganization’s activities are 75% member-exclusive, or are scheduled to take place during university semester breaks, the proposed budgets for the following academic year will be reduced by 10 percent.
C. Supervision The Executive Board shall act in a supervisory capacity for all chartered suborganizations and shall recommend the revocation of charters or the freezing of the funds or any suborganization convicted of violating the laws of the United States, the State of New York, the GSO Constitution, or the constitution of the suborganization in question. The President shall be an ex officio member of each organization in order to perform her or his supervisory tasks. All changes in the constitutions of suborganizations must be submitted to the Constitution, by-laws, and Chartering Committee, and then to the Senate for ratification. In addition, each socio- and multicultural suborganization is required to have a representative present at least 75 percent of the scheduled SCMA meeting or the proposed budgets for the following year will be reduced by 10 percent.
A. Stabilization Fund The GSO shall maintain a Stabilization fund of an amount determined in the by-laws. This fund shall be used by the GSO Executive Board to prevent fiscal crisis within the GSO. The money shall be invested either through the University or independently, and all interest collected shall be paid into the GSO Contingency Fund. Deletions of the fund shall be replaced within one calendar year.
B. Contingency Fund There shall be a Contingency Fund maintained to provide the GSO with access to funds that may be allocated at the discretion of the GSO Senate in a manner consistent, with the Regulations of the Board of Trustees, the Constitution of the GSO and the by-laws of the GSO. GSO funds not accruing from activity fees including, but not limited, rollover from the previous fiscal year and interest from the stabilization fund shall be held in the Fund Balance. Money held in the Fund Balance may be accessed during the fiscal year by means of an amendment to the budget for that year.
C. Allocation of Monies No monies may be allocated by the Senate without written notice to each senator, in advance. The publishing of the motion to allocate, in full, in the agenda of a regularly called meeting shall constitute sufficient advance notice.
D. GSO Budget The GSO budget shall be submitted for ratification to the Senate, by the GSO Treasurer so as to leave at least two regularly scheduled meetings available for ratification. Before presentation on the Senate floor, the Treasurer’s proposed budget must have won majority acceptance by the Budget Committee. Copies of either budget must be made available to senators and representatives at least seventy-two hours in advance of the meeting at which they will be discussed. Any amendments to the current year’s budget may be submitted to the Senate by the Treasurer only after having won majority acceptance by the Budget Committee.
E. GSO Suborganization Budgets GSO suborganization budgets shall be submitted to the GSO Treasurer no later than April 1 of any given calendar year. After obtaining the approval of the Budget Committee, a suborganization budget must be submitted for ratification on the Senate floor. Suborganizations submitting budgets after April 1 may be allotted money at the discretion of the Senate. Money budgeted to a suborganization for the fiscal year and not spent by the end of that fiscal year shall be returned to the general fund balance at the end of that fiscal year.
F. Graduate Student Conference, Travel, and Research Fund. (GSCTRF) A maximum of five percent of the monies generated from Activity Fee collection may be transferred to the Graduate Student Conference, Travel, and Research Fund (GSCTRF). The exact percentage will be determined by the Senate during budget allocation. The money held in the GSCTRF shall be used in partial reimbursement of graduate student travel to present papers at professional conferences or conduct research. Methods of disbursement and conditions of award of GSCTRF monies shall be defined in the by-laws. Any balance remaining at the end of the year shall rollover to the general Fund Balance of the GSO.
A. The by-laws to this Constitution will provide operational procedures for the GSO, and shall be in full accord with the provisions of this constitution.
B. by-laws may be passed, amended, suspended, or rescinded by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or by a majority of all graduate students voting in a referendum.
C. No by-laws shall be acted upon in any way without notice at least one meeting in advance to all senators and representatives. The publishing of a by-law, or an amendment to a by-law, or notice of intent to rescind or suspend the by-laws, in full, in the agenda of a regularly called meeting shall constitute sufficient advance notice.
D. The amount of the activity fee levied by the GSO shall be set by a by-law.
A. Constitutional amendments shall be proposed to the graduate student body if approved by a three-fourths vote of the Senate at a regular meeting, provided a quorum of at least one-half of the senators and voting representatives of the GSO are present, and that the amendment was distributed to all voting members at the previous senate meeting.
B. Once approved by the Senate, proposed Constitutional amendments shall be presented at a general meeting of graduate students or through a general mailing, and then shall be accepted if they are approved by a majority vote of those voting in a properly advertised general election.
A. This Constitution shall become effective upon its acceptance as an amendment in toto to the Constitution of the Senate in force before its acceptance.
B. The passage of any amendment to the Constitution shall be regarded as the ratification of a new Constitution composed of the standing Constitution excepting deletions and new passages as approved. The new Constitution thus created shall bear the date of its latest amendment in its heading.
Upon the dissolution of the GSO the Senate shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the GSO, dispose of all of the assets of the GSO exclusively for charitable and educational purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (c) (7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United State Internal Revenue Law,) as the Senate shall determine and as approved by a Justice of the Supreme Court. Any of such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court having jurisdiction thereof in the County of Broome in the State of New York, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations as said Court shall determine which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
Section 1. Election of the officers A. As stated in the constitution the election for the GSO E-board should be held at a date in the month of March of every year as the senate specifies.
B. Elections for the officer shall be conducted by secret ballot over a two day period to be specified by the senate.
C. Electronic voting shall be optional for all students. Procedures for these will be proposed by the election committee and approved by the senate two weeks prior to the election.
Section 2. Election of Senators Elections for Senators shall be held in each department wishing representation on the Senate. To be valid, the election must be open to all registered graduate students in that department or school. Elections may be held by postal ballot or on site, as determined by an advertised meeting of the graduate students in the department, but the electorate shall have at least one full week when classes are in session to return their ballot. The list of candidates and method of voting must be announced publicly and at least one week in advance of the beginning of the election. Ballots shall be counted by no less than three people, no more than one of which may be a candidate in the election. The Suborganization shall be responsible for providing the Vice President of the GSO with a list of Senators signed by the President of the organization.
Responsibilities of the GSO Elections Committee Co-Chairs:
A. The Elections Committee shall be co-chaired by the Chief Elections Officer and the Vice President of the GSO. However, the duties of the Vice President in this capacity will be to serve as a consultant to the Chief Elections Officer in terms of guaranteeing adherence to GSO policies and procedures while the Chief Elections Officer will be responsible for fulfilling elections duties as listed below. In the event that any grievances are filed with the GSO in relation to the General Elections, both the Vice President and the Chief Elections Officer will be held accountable.
B. Validation of voter registration. The Chief Elections Officer must obtain a complete voting roster from the Registrar’s Office. The roster must be requested no later than one week before the general elections take place.
C. Overseeing and validation of the nomination process. The Chief Election Officer and the members of the Elections Committee are responsible for reviewing candidate applications and verifying each candidate’s eligibility to run as specified in the GSO Constitution. Upon verification and approval of candidates, the list of nominees should be presented to the GSO Senate.
D. Publicizing the Elections. The Chief Elections Officer is responsible for overseeing such activities as the dissemination of information about candidates and referenda items, including but not limited to, the following means: the GSO Listservs, GSO Times newsletter and fliers.
E. Organizing Forums. The Chief Elections Officer is responsible for presenting all candidates to the graduate student body at large in the form of a properly advertised Elections Forum. Candidates can use this Forum as an opportunity to discuss their platforms.
F. Validation of Elections. The Chief Elections Officer, along with members of the Elections Committee, shall oversee the voting process, the counting of ballots and presenting a report to the Senate for ratification.
G. Accountability. The Chief Elections Officer and the Vice President shall be accountable to the GSO and will be required to present reports on the progress of the Elections to the Senate on a regular basis during the spring semester.
H. The post of Chief Elections Officer ceases if and when the senate ratifies the results of the elections, unless a grievance concerning the elections is filed with the GSO.
K. In the instance that a grievance concerning the elections is filed with the GSO Senate or Grievance Committee which leads to the invalidation or investigation of the elections, the Senate shall have the power to exercise its right to suspend the standing order and to take any action it deems necessary to preserve the democratic process and integrity of the student body. In such instances, the GSO Senate as the right to receive and act on any relevant motions to dismiss the Chief Elections Officer for any misconduct providing that such a motion is supported by two-thirds of the Senate.
Section 3. Election of Departmental Suborganization Officers Elections for Suborganization officers shall be held in each department wishing access to its percentage of the Activity Fees. To be valid, the election must follow the guidelines in Article I, section 1, and the Vice President of the GSO must be provided with a list of elected officers signed by the newly elected Treasurer and President of the organization.
Section 4. Election of non-Departmental Suborganization Officers Elections for officers of non-departmental suborganizations must be held before the organization may have access to monies allocated by the Senate, the right to book the GSO lounge, to send a representative to the Senate. The election must be open to all registered graduate students listed as members of that suborganization. Elections may be held by postal ballot or on site, as determined by an advertised meeting of graduate students in the suborganization, but to be valid they must follow the guidelines in Article I, section 1. The suborganization shall be responsible for providing the Vice President of the GSO with a list of elected officers and a representative signed by the newly elected Treasurer and President of the organization.
Section 5. Election, Removal and Recall of the Student Member of the Binghamton University Council (hereinafter referred to as the BU Council Representative)
a. Three representatives from the Student Association Elections Committee shall join two representatives from the Graduate Student Organization Elections Committee to form a committee to oversee the joint election of the BU Council Representative. b. This committee must elect a chair and a vice-chair at its first meeting. These chairs will serve for the remainder of the academic year. The chair shall abstain from all votes, except those in which he or she must vote to break a tie. The vice-chair will act as chair in the absence of the chair. c. At least two (2) of members of the Student Association Elections Committee and one (1) member of the GSO Elections committee, one of which must be the chair or vice-chair, must be present in order for a meeting of this committee to take place. d. The Executive Vice President of the Student Association and the Elections Chair of the GSO shall be ex officio members of this committee.
e. The joint committee shall determine its own procedures for the election, but must conform to all general elections regulations:
1) as outlined in this constitution and its bylaws 2) as described by University wide policies
23) in conjunction with the GSO's general elections regulations f. Letters of intent must be solicited from both graduate and undergraduate students. Letters of intent should be directed to the attention of the chair or vice-chair of the committee. g. BU Council elections shall be held at the same time as Student Association Executive Board and Graduate Student Executive Board elections. h. Both graduate and undergraduate students shall vote in BU Council elections. i. If there are grievances against the election, they shall be addressed to the joint committee. Any decision of the joint committee is final.
A. Removal a. The BU Council Representative can be removed for various reasons including, but not limited to the grounds stated below. The BU Council Representative shall not: 1) Have more then four (4) unexcused absences from Student Assembly meetings. 2) Have more then four (4) unexcused absences from Graduate Student Organization meetings. 3) Have more then one (1) unexcused absences from Binghamton University Council meetings.
b. The Student Association Judicial Board or the GSO Executive Board may hear any grievance against the BU Council Representative. Should the Judicial Board or GSO Executive Board convict, the BU Council seat shall be considered vacant unless there is objection from the GSO Senate or the Student Assembly or this action is in conflict with guidelines promulgated by the state university trustees. c. The Student Assembly and GSO Senate must vote on the removal of the BU Council Representative at their respective meetings immediately following the conviction. A vote of two thirds (2/3) of the Student Assembly and the GSO shall remove the BU Council Representative. B. Recall a. A recall vote can be requested by a two thirds (2/3) vote of either the Student Assembly or the GSO Senate should any attempt to remove the BU Council Representative fail. b. Any recall election shall be run by a joint elections committee as defined in
Section VII, 1, a. c. If the recall vote is in the affirmative, then the BU Council seat shall be considered vacant unless this action is in conflict with guidelines promulgated by the state university trustees. d. Any outcome of the referendum vote is binding.
d. Vacancy If the BU Council Student Representative seat is vacated through resignation or removal, a new election must be held within twenty-one (21) class days according to these bylaws.
Section 6. Election, Removal and Recall of the Graduate Student Representative to the Board of OCCT Inc. (hereinafter referred to as OCCT Representative)
Letters of intent should be directed to the attention of the chair or vice-chair of the committee.
A. Removal a. The OCCT Representative can be removed for various reasons including, but not limited to unexcused absences from OCCT meetings. b. The GSO Executive Board may hear any grievance against the OCCT Representative. Should the GSO Executive Board convict, the OCCT seat shall be considered vacant unless there is objection from the GSO Senate or this action is in conflict with guidelines promulgated by the state university trustees. c. The GSO Senate must vote on the removal of the OCCT Representative at its meeting immediately following the conviction. A vote of two thirds (2/3) of the GSO shall remove the OCCT Representative.
B. Recall a. A recall vote can be requested by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the GSO Senate should an attempt to remove the OCCT Representative fail. b. If the recall vote is in the affirmative, then the OCCT Representative seat shall be considered vacant unless this action is in conflict with guidelines promulgated by the state university trustees. c. Any outcome of the referendum vote is binding.
Section 7. Vacancies Vacancies shall be filled by election, as defined above.
Section 8. Re-election A. Senators and Suborganization officers may be re-elected to serve more than one term but may not serve more than four terms. B. No executive officer shall be allowed to hold an elected position in the GSO for more than two years altogether.
Section 9 General A graduate student may neither run nor be elected for more than one GSO office at a time, but nothing in this shall prevent simultaneous service as an officer or senator of GSO and as an officer of one or more suborganizations, with the exception of the GSO Treasurer who may not be treasurer of any other GSO funded suborganization while holding the position of GSO Treasurer.
No officer or person receiving remuneration from the GSO shall accept any appointment, position, or remuneration which is in conflict of interest with her or his duties as a member of the Senate. The Senate shall interpret the specific application of this by-law.
A department or non-departmental suborganization may elect an alternate senator(s) or representative who may act without written proxy in the absence of the departmental senator(s). Alternate senators or representatives must be registered with the Vice President of the GSO and, where more than one is elected for a particular department or non-departmental suborganization, shall be designated in order of priority by the number of votes cast in their favor.
Section 1. Assistant to the President At the determination of the President, the Senate shall have the power to create the office of Assistant to the President of the GSO. The appointment of Assistant to the President shall be done by an Appointment Committee which shall be made up of the Executive Board and three (3) Senate representatives. The holder of that position shall be a member of the Executive Board, shall receive the same remuneration as an elected officer, and shall have her or his duties assigned by the Senate and President. For the term of her or his office, an Assistant to the President shall be voting member of the Senate. Section 2. Removal An Assistant to the President may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.
Section 3. GSO Office Manager and Administrative Assistant The Senate shall create the posts of GSO Office Manager and Administrative Assistant whose GSO salaries shall be set by the Senate with the Advice of the Budget Committee.
Section 1. General Copies of the Constitution, Code of by-laws, and the Budget shall always be available to any graduate student upon request.
Section 2. Sunshine Policy All records and files of the GSO shall be open and shall be public to any graduate student. The only exception to this rule shall be those records and files required by law to be confidential.
Section 1. Officer Stipends A. Stipends of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Assistant to the President and the Graduate Vice-President for Multicultural Affairs is set at $5,500 per year from July 1 to June 31. The GSO Executive Board is required to present a report at the end of each semester informing the GSO senate of its accomplishments for the semester.
B. Whenever an officer of the GSO does not serve a full term of office, the salary for that office shall be paid on a pro rata basis.
C. The President, Vice President, Assistant to the President, GVPMA and the treasurer shall be required to work 7-10 hours per week (5 of those hours shall be advertised as office hours). The officers should avoid overlapping office hours.
D. The outgoing Executive Board shall consecrate at least one week during the month of May to train the E-Board Elect to ease the transition of new officers. The new Treasurer needs to assume responsibilities no later than August 15th.
Section 2. Office Manager GSO Stipend A. The stipend of the GSO Office Manager is set at $10,000 for an academic year.
B. The Office Manager shall be required to work 20 hours per week but is only required to work when classes are in session. The Office Manager’s term begins and ends with the academic year.
C. Whenever an Office Manager of the GSO does not serve a full term of office, the salary for that office shall be paid on a pro rata basis. D. When an Office Manager commits to working the entire academic year, the GSO will reimburse the Office Manager for the cost of student health insurance or an external provider (granted that the external provider does not exceed the current university rates). The GSO will pay for either the domestic student health plan or the international plan depending on the circumstances of the student hired, or an external health plan as stipulated above. Section 3. Newsletter Editor’s Stipend The stipend for the editor of the GSO Newsletter shall be set at $50.00 an issue, payable after the publication of each issue.
Section 1. Vouchers
Section 2. Reallocation of Funds Departmental suborganizations shall have the power to reallocate 20% of their budget to other departmental suborganizations and non-departmental suborganizations shall have the power to reallocated 10% of their budget to other departmental suborganizations groups subject to the approval of the GSO Treasurer.
Section 3. Departmental Suborganization Budgets Any departmental suborganization shall be entitled to receive at least forty-two and one-half percent of the monies generated by its members, unless the GSO is in exceptional fiscal crisis. Under such conditions, the Senate shall have the power to activate this exceptionality clause, and by a two-thirds vote may reduce allocation to departmental suborganizations, which shall be operable only for one financial year at a time. Once this exceptionality clause is activated by a two-thirds vote in the Senate, the Senate shall have the power to allocate an appropriate percentage of the GSO funds to the departmental suborganizations by a simple majority. The percentage shall be determined from information provided to the GSO by either the Registrar or the Office of Institutional Research.
Section 4. Roll-Over All monies raised independently by suborganizations in fund raising events and unspent at the end of the financial year shall rollover into that suborganization’s account for the following year. All unspent GSO monies shall not roll over and shall revert to the general fund. Exceptions to this provision shall be determined by the GSO E-Board and include only organizations that produce journals. that must spend a portion of their monies at the conclusion of the academic year.
Section 5. Roll-Back No suborganization shall expend more than 30% of its total allocation after April 1 without prior approval from the GSO Treasurer. Requests for such approval must be submitted in writing to the GSO Treasurer prior to April 1. After April 1, all monies in excess of 30% of the total allocation not approved for retention by the GSO Treasurer shall be removed from suborganization accounts and rolled back to the Fund Balance. Requests for restoration of suborganization funds made after April 1 must be made to the Senate in accordance with the Constitution (Article X, Section C).
Section 1. Purpose and Composition There shall be a GSCTRF committee chaired by a GSO officer and comprised of at least one faculty member and two students (alternating from the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Physical and Natural Sciences/Professional Schools). This committee will read the files submitted by graduate students seeking reimbursement of expenses for travel. This includes professional meetings to present a paper, sources to conduct research, exhibition or performance. The committee shall allocate funds in partial reimbursement as they see fit within the guidelines determined by the Senate.
Section 2. Application Procedure A. The following documentation is required for a GSCTRF request to be considered: a completed application form; a realistic budget and receipts for all items listed; full information about any other funding received or applied for this event; a report of previous funding from GSCTRF and from other sources; a detailed outline/prospectus of the presentation/project; a copy of the program or a letter confirming participation.
B. A more detailed description of the application process and any exclusions shall be published by the GSO in the document GSCTRF Guidelines for Applications and may be reviewed and revised by the Senate within the rules determined in these by-laws. Such amendments to the guidelines shall be amendments to the by-laws. Part of the guidelines shall be in compliance with the N.Y.S. Regents’ Board of Trustees Guidelines for Use of Student Activity Fees outlined in Item 053, Section 302.14 of said guidelines. Compliance shall include adequate dissemination to interested parties on the State University of New York at Binghamton campus of the information/research which students present/conduct while traveling under the GSCTRF grant. Adequate dissemination of information about the GSCTRF shall be published every semester and shall be provided to all graduate students.
Section 3. Allocation Monies shall be awarded after the event, no grant shall exceed half of the total documented cost of the project/presentation, and the maximum grant level determined by the GSCTRF committee shall in no case exceed $200.00. In the event of an excess of applications, the committee will give priority to new applicants. There will also be a maximum of $200 allocation for travel/research/exhibition/performance. A maximum of $250 per academic year will be allocated per student. A maximum of $750 per student shall be allocated for the duration of one’s studies.
Section 4. Budgeted Amount The GSO shall allocate up to 5% of its income to the GSCTRF. A further allocation from the fund balance of an amount up to the rolled over from the GSCTRF to the Fund Balance at the end of every previous fiscal year may be made as an amendment to the budget for the current fiscal year.
Section 1. Financial Records The financial records of the GSO shall be open to the chief financial officer of SUNY-Binghamton (or her or his designee) and to all members of the Senate and the Treasury Overseeing Committee. Any SUNY-Binghamton graduate student shall be allowed to inspect the accounts of the current financial year if she or he presents her or himself to the GSO Treasurer at the conclusion of a Senate meeting or during office hours. This by-law shall not restrict access to records to those times or persons specified, but rather, shall mandate access at those times and to those persons specified.
Section 2. Stabilization Fund There shall be a stabilization fund of $25,000 and said fund shall not be expended except in case of fiscal crisis.
Suborganizations must present all contracts to the GSO Executive Committee for prior approval. Failure to obtain prior approval makes the obligations of any contract the sole responsibility of the signatory.
In order to foster a safe and responsible atmosphere on and off campus, the GSO implements the following policy:
Section 1. Off Campus Policy Departmental and suborganizations are limited to two bulk alcohol purchases (Bulk Alcohol refers to kegs, quarter kegs, multiple liter of wine) per semester. These purchases must be justified by the number of persons attending an event (at least 100 people for a keg, etc.); that is, the reason for purchasing bulk alcohol should be for easily serving a large number of people and not for “keg-stands” or “binge drinking.” The suborganization will be responsible for monitoring and controlling the consumption of alcohol.
Section 2. On Campus Policy Departmental and suborganizations are required to obtain a Binghamton University Alcohol Permit for all events in which alcohol is going to be served. By obtaining this permit, the organizations agree to follow and insure that all provisions of the regulations are properly implemented. These regulations address legal and safety issues critical to maintaining a safe and responsible atmosphere. Specifically, alcohol permits require three currently registered students over the age of 21 to sign the form, indicating understanding of the policies and taking responsibility for their implementation. All GSO Organizations must adhere to the “Maximum Quantities Beverages” guideline as outlined by the Alcohol Permit. The GSO reserves the right to check these purchases to make sure that the policy is being followed. Any violation of this policy will result in the suspension of alcohol purchasing for a whole year.
Section 1. Activity Fees The GSO shall collect an activity fee of $40.00 per semester from all graduate students.
Section 2. Fee Waivers The GSO Executive Board shall be empowered to waive the Fee for those students who can provide them with sufficient evidence that they will not visit the SUNY-Binghamton campus for the duration of the period of the waiver (one complete semester or more). Receiving the fee waiver prohibits the student from receiving any benefits from the GSO (including the GSCTRF).
Section 3. Fee Allocation
1. Off College Campus Transport (OCCT) Allocation
The GSO shall collect a fee of $8 per semester from graduate students to go directly to Off College Campus Transport. Although the OCCT fee is collected as part of graduate students’ activities fees, it is not to be included in the budget calculation since it is not a direct income, but an off-balance item. Calculations for departmental allocations and GSCTRF (42.5% and 5%, respectively) do not take into consideration the OCCT fee. Such fee is based on agreement with OCCT Inc. that is renewed annually and can be revoked at any time if the GSO constituency deems it necessary through a referendum.
2. Campus Pre-School Preschool Fund
GSO will allocate $10,000 per academic year to assist graduate students with preschool age children. Graduate students currently enrolled at SUNY Binghamton are eligible to apply for a yearly subsidy not exceeding $150.00 for one and $200.00 for two or more preschool age children. Each applicant may apply only once per academic year. Graduate students will apply on the prescribed form available at the GSO office, on the GSO Website, and at the Campus Preschool and submit these to the GSO Treasurer for Budget Committee review. Applications will be reviewed twice per academic year: the Fall deadline is September 30 and the Spring deadline is February 28. Fall and Spring applicants are entitled to equal subsidy. Exceptions to deadlines may only be considered for applicants with extenuating circumstances.
In the first year (2007-2008), the fund will be managed as follows: Fall Semester 2007: GSO will contribute $4,000 to Campus Preschool to meet the preexisting arrangement still in effect that semester. Spring Semester 2008: GSO will discontinue giving money to the Campus Preschool, and will process the remaining $6,000 of the Fund in accordance with the above stated By-Law.
3.. Professional Budget Line The GSO shall allot up to $2,000.00 to the Career Development Center. This money will be disbursed upon demand when the CDC organizes events specifically geared toward graduate students.
Section 1. Procedure All proposed by-law amendments must be submitted in writing to the Vice President in due time for her or him to distribute them to senators and representatives one senate meeting in advance of the one at which they will be voted upon. The publishing of an amendment to a by-law, or notice of intent to rescind or suspend the by-laws, in full, in the agenda of a regularly called meeting shall constitute sufficient advance notice. by-laws may be passed, amended, suspended, or rescinded by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or by a majority of all graduate students voting in a referendum.
Section 2. Ratification The passage of any amendment to the by-laws shall be regarded as the ratification of a new set of by-laws composed of the standing by-laws excepting deletions and new passages as approved. The new by-laws thus created shall bear the date of its latest amendment in its heading.
Section 1. The GSO grievance committee has the power to hear and resolve conflicts within the GSO.
Section 2. Composition of the Grievance Committee. An overseer of the committee shall be appointed by the GSO President at the start of his/her term and confirmed by the Senate. The overseer is a non-voting member and shall serve in this position for one year. The overseer is responsible for appointing members of the grievance committee at the time a grievance is filed. The committee shall be comprised of a membership of at least three (3) graduate students who are found not to have conflict of interest.
Section 3. Who can file. A. Graduate students (including but not restricted to senators, executive body and employees of the GSO), all currently registered students of SUNY Binghamton or students registered at the time of conflict.
B. Grievances can be filed against: Members of the GSO executive board, staff, senators, or the GSO body as a whole; any elected or appointed official of a GSO suborganization.
Section 4. Filing Procedures The grievance must be filed within six (6) weeks of the incident (with provisions for extenuating circumstances). Written notification of the grievance must be filed using the provided form. Any affidavits or other supporting documents may be submitted at the time of filing or until the date of the hearing. This committee shall have the power to verify the validity of all documents submitted.
Section 5. Rights of the Parties Involved The accused shall be notified by the committee within two (2) weeks of filing. The accused has the right to submit any affidavits or other supporting evidence to the committee for review. Both parties shall be asked to approve the (voting) committee members to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. With just cause, either party may challenge the composition of the committee. A grievance shall be acted upon by the committee within one (1) month of filing. If the committee does not act upon the grievance within one month, the Senate has the power to choose a new overseer for the committee. All parties shall receive a written judicial decision within two (2) months of filing. A dated copy of this decision will be kept on file in the GSO office. The accused shall have the right to file one appeal of this decision.
Section 6. The Appeal Process The original decision by the grievance committee is binding unless overturned by appeal. The accused or accusers may file an appeal within one (1) month of the date the decision is filed. The appeal committee will be comprised of three (3) new voting members, chosen by the overseer and approved by both parties. The grievance committee shall abide by the same rules and decide with the same power as the grievance committee.
Section 7. Powers of the Grievance Committee Resolutions by the grievance committee shall include but not be limited to: public sanction of an individual; banning an individual from GSO meetings for a length of time specified by the committee; suspending an individual from carrying out their duties and privileges related to GSO workings for a length of time specified by the committee.
Not withstanding any other provisions of these articles, the organization is organize exclusively for one or more of the purposes as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the internal Revenue Code of 1986, and shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under IRC 501(c)(3) or corresponding provisions of any subsequent tax laws. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of any member, trustee, director, officer of the organization, or any private individual (except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the organization), and no member, trustee, officer of the organization or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the organization’s assets on dissolution of the organization. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation except as otherwise provided by IRC 501(c)(3), or participating in, or intervening in (including the publication or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidates for public office. In the event of dissolution, all of the remaining assets and property of the organization shall after payment of necessary expenses thereof be distributed to such organizations, as shall qualify under section 501 (c)(3) subsequent Federal tax laws, or to the Federal government or State or local government for a public purpose, subject to the approval of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
In any taxable year in which the corporation is a private foundation as described in IRC 501(c)(3), the organization shall distribute its income for said period at such time and manner as not to subject it to tax under IRC 4942, and the organization shall not (a) engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in IRC 4941 (b), retain any excess business holdings as defined in IRC 4943 (c), (b) make any investments in such a manner as to subject the organization to tax under IRC 4944, or (c) make any taxable expenditures as defined in IRC 4945 (d) or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws. Amended May 2007.