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By-Laws of the Graduate Student Council

Article I. Meetings

Section 1. The Council will meet within the first thirty days of each semester and at least once a semester during fall and spring terms. The Council will meet as needed during summer terms. Each member will be given a copy of the GSC Constitution at the first meeting of each fall semester.

Section 2. Meetings may be called at the discretion of the President or upon the request of the Dean of the Graduate School.

Section 3. Meetings must be called within ten days when requested by three or more members of the Council.

Article II. Quorum and Procedures

Section 1. A quorum must be present for the transaction of business, election of officers, and amending the Constitution and by-laws. A quorum will be considered one-half plus one of the voting membership as established at the first meeting of the fall semester.

Section 2. In the event that a Council member is unable to attend a meeting, the representative will appoint another graduate student in that department to represent that department at the meeting. This designate will have power to vote on behalf of the department’s elected representative in Council affairs.

Section 3. Business will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order except where by-laws have been adopted to alter the rules of procedure.

Article III. Elections

Section 1. The President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Community Affairs, Vice Presidents of Social Affairs, Treasurer, Secretary, and Webmaster will be elected at the February meeting of the Graduate Student Council each year. These officers will take office on July 1 of the year of their election and will remain in office one calendar year until June 30.

Section 2. The Graduate Honor Council President and Graduate Honor Council Vice President will be elected each at the February meeting of the Graduate Student Council each year. These terms of these officers shall be set by the Rules Governing the Graduate Honor Council of Vanderbilt University.

Section 3. All other officers will be elected at the first meeting of the fall semester and will remain in office until the end of the following summer term.
Section 4. Elections may be by majority vote and/or by secret ballot at the discretion of the President.

Article IV. Committees and Appointments

Section 1. The President will have the authority to appoint, with the approval of the Council, such standing committees and ad hoc committees as are necessary or desirable.

Section 2. The chairs of all committees and not-elected executive officers will be appointed by the President and must be approved by the Council.

Article V. Executive Committee

Section 1. The Executive Committee will be composed of the elected and appointed executive officers and the chairs of the standing committees of the Council.

Section 2. The Executive Committee will meet at least once a month and at the request of the President and/or other members of the Executive Committee.

Section 3. The Executive Committee will have the authority to approve the appointment of persons who are not members of the Council to positions on Council committees.

Section 4. The Executive Committee will annually request the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the Chair of the Graduate Faculty Council to appoint one of the number to serve as ex-officio members of the Council and receive notices of meetings, minutes of meetings, and other information necessary or desirable for effective communication with these faculty organizations.

Article VI. Financial

Section 1. Each spring, the Treasurer, working in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall prepare a budget proposal for the following academic year and submit it to the Council for its consideration at the February meeting.

Section 2. If the budget makes specific appropriation (e.g. Travel Grant funds, Council Publication costs and honoraria, survival guide costs, food at Council and Committee meetings, national organization dues), disbursal of funds may be made with the approval of the Treasurer and the GSC advisor.

Section 3. If the budget category is general rather than specific (e.g. social, travel, promotion and publicity, miscellaneous), disbursal shall be governed by the following provisions:

  1. With the concurrence of a majority of the Executive Committee, the Treasurer and advisor shall have the authority to authorize the disbursal of funds up to and including $100 without the specific, prior approval of the entire Council, as long as there are sufficient funds in the general budget category;
  2. For disbursal of amounts over $100, the Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the Council. If, in the estimation of a majority of Committee members, a delay until the next Council meeting is not acceptable, then the Treasurer and advisor shall have the authority to direct the immediate disbursal of funds over $100. In this event, the Committee must report the expenditure to the Council at the next meeting and explain the rationale for directing the immediate disbursal.

Article VII. Resolutions
Section 1. Any resolution presented to the Graduate Student Council should be for the good of graduate students at large or at least a significant constituency of graduate students. To demonstrate the general nature of the resolution it should be sponsored by at least three co-submitters. The Council should not vote resolutions based on individual concerns; graduate students should contact a GSC officer for concerns of a more personal nature.

Section 2. Each resolution should be sent first to the GSC President via gsc@vanderbilt.edu. The President will inform the co-submitters of the next council meeting. At that meeting, one of the co-submitters must be present to read and explain the resolution.

Section 3. All Graduate Student Council representatives will have the opportunity to discuss and revise the resolution if needed. Once all discussion is complete, the Council will vote on the final resolution. Resolutions may be approved by a majority vote of the Council at any meeting.

Section 4. If approved, either the President of the GSC or the Submitter of the Resolution will forward the resolution to the appropriate administrative body or official. The approved resolution will carry the endorsement of the Graduate Student Council and will be published on our website.

Adopted March 5, 1970

Amended fall 1987; Amended spring 1990; Amended spring 1999; Amended spring 2000; Amended fall 2004; Amended spring 2006; Amended spring 2007.

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