EGSA Constitution

 

I. Name of Organization: English Graduate Student Association (EGSA)

II. Statement of Purpose: The purposes of EGSA are to act as an advocate within the department and the university for the interests of graduate students in the English Department and Medieval Studies Program; to act as a forum for debate on issues pertaining to the academic and professional welfare of graduate students in English; and to foster social and academic contacts within the English graduate student community.

III. Statement of Community Principles: EGSA is committed to the creation of an environment in the English Department that is welcoming to all people. EGSA recognizes and respects its members and all others as unique and diverse individuals and is aware that the promotion of human dignity and cultural sensitivity in its members’ academic and professional lives inevitably leads to individual and community-wide growth.

IV. Membership: All full- or part-time graduate students in the Department of English and the Medieval Studies Program are members.

V. Elections:

  • A. Elections will be held during the months of March or April.
  • B. Nominations will be made by written, verbal, and/or electronic ballot or at an EGSA meeting called for that purpose.
  • C. Distribution of ballots no less than one week in advance of an election will constitute announcement of that election.
  • D. Election will be by written and/or electronic ballot.

VI. Officers and Committees:

  • A. Every current EGSA member shall be eligible for any office, except Medieval Studies graduate students alone are eligible for the Medieval Studies GSS position and English graduate students alone are eligible for the English GSS positions.
  • B. The following offices shall be elected each year: President; Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer; three Graduate Student Senators; Webmaster; Outside Speaker Coordinator; Graduate Families and Caretakers Committee; the chairs of the following committees: Community Committee, Professional Development Committee, Diversity Committee, and Hospitality Committee; Pedagogy Committee; and the EGSA representatives to the following English Department committees: Diversity and Undergraduate Writing and Instruction. The EGSA seat on the department Diversity Committee should be confirmed with Grad. Exec. yearly.
  • C. Officers’ duties:
    • 1. President: Defines, articulates, and executes a vision for the academic year; presides at EGSA meetings; serves as the graduate student representative to the Graduate Executive Committee of the English Department; is responsible for drafting proposals on behalf of EGSA to present to Grad. Exec.; monitors faculty and student recruitment, hirings, course offerings, and program changes to ensure that these departmental decisions reflect EGSA’s needs and wishes; chairs Executive Board.
    • 2. Vice President: Oversees fundraising; undertakes duties of President in the event that the President is unable to fulfill those duties; serves on Executive Board of EGSA and the Graduate Executive Committee; and is responsible for drafting proposals on behalf of EGSA to present to Grad. Exec.
    • 3. Secretary: Records and posts minutes of EGSA meetings; directs EGSA correspondence; maintains calendar of EGSA events; serves on Executive Board. Minutes shall posted to the EGSA website and distributed on the English graduate student electronic mail listserv.
    • 4. Treasurer: Maintains and accounts for EGSA treasury; works with president to develop budget in January for upcoming AY; serves on Executive Board. The treasurer must complete training through Student Activities and communicate with GSS.
    • 5. Graduate Student Senator (3): Represents the interests of English graduate students in the Graduate Student Senate; reports GSS activities and debates to EGSA; and serves on Executive Board. Two Graduate Student Senators are elected from English and one Graduate Student Senator is elected from Medieval Studies.
    • 6. Webmaster: Manages EGSA’s electronic presence, WebCT page, and website; solicits information for web posting, such as professional resources, information on exams, calendar events, etc. The EGSA webmaster must enroll in one-time standard training on how to manage UConn’s web interfaces.
    • 7. Graduate Families and Caretakers Committee: Manages wiki of resources for families, brings concerns of graduate students with families (ie. Department space, allocation of EGSA resources/activities, scheduling of events) to EGSA meetings and other appropriate channels (ie. UAW-GEU 6950, Department Head, etc) assists in answering prospective or current student inquiries about family-related concerns.
    • 8. Committee Chairs: The chairs of the following committees will recruit members and lead and oversee their work. Committee chairs will report to EGSA on the activities of their committees. Co-chairs may be elected for Committee Chair positions. Co-chairs have one combined vote at EGSA Executive Board meetings.
      • a) Community Committee: Fosters the social and cultural interaction of EGSA members; plans and schedules social/cultural events and parties; works toward interdepartmental connection and cooperation; maintains our graduate spaces in good order and stocks the EGSA lounge with necessary kitchen items (disposable utensils, etc.) as permitted by the budget; runs and accounts for any sales of food and drink in the lounge on behalf of the membership; solicits and responds to the special needs and concerns of first-year MA and PhD students.
      • b) Professional Development Committee: Recruits, advertises, schedules, and introduces visiting and in-house faculty and student presentations on academic subjects; advances our goal of future employment; recruits, advertises, schedules, and introduces speakers on topics related to graduate professional development. The chair of the Professional Development Committee serves on the Executive Board.
      • c) Outside Speaker Coordinator: Works closely with the Professional Development Committee; specifically coordinates outside speakers brought in for academic talks to graduate students and the wider English Department and university. Serves on the English Department’s Committee on Seminars, Symposia and Scholarly Development.
      • d) Diversity Committee: Advocates and works to ensure an appropriate and collegial environment that engages with concerns of diversity broadly construed; advocates for appropriate diversity in faculty hirings, student recruitment, and graduate course offerings; organizes events with the intention of fostering department-wide conversations about diversity, particularly as it relates to teaching, research, and service. The chair of the Diversity Committee serves on the Executive Board.
      • e) Hospitality Committee: Welcomes and hosts visiting/prospective graduate students; manages social gestures such as flowers and cards on behalf of the membership; plans an event and gifts for Secretaries’ Day. The chair of the Hospitality Committee serves on the Executive Board.
      • f) Pedagogy Committee: This committee would help with non-First Year Writing teaching, upper-level work, grad. pedagogy courses, teaching resources, etc.
      • g) Departmental Graduate Representatives:
        • (1) Representative to the English Department Undergraduate Writing Instruction Committee: Advises the Director(s) of First-Year Writing and the Department as a whole in matters concerning the teaching of composition and rhetoric to undergraduates.
        • (2) Representative to the English Department Diversity Committee. This position should be confirmed with Grad. Exec. yearly.
  • D. Officers serve one-year terms.
  • E. Vacant offices shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Board.
  • F. Members of any (EGSA and English Department) committee not named above shall be appointed by the Executive Board.
  • G. All positions and concomitant duties must be publicized before appointments or elections of those positions.

VII. Organizational Structure:

  • A. Executive Board: The Executive Board consists of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the three Graduate Student Senators, as well as the chairs of the Community Committee, Professional Development Committee, Diversity Committee, Hospitality Committee, and Pedagogy Committee. Other EGSA members may attend Executive Board meetings at the discretion of the Executive Board.
    • 1. Executive Board meetings may be called at Executive Board members’ discretion. A quorum will consist of the presiding officer or their designee, plus five other members. Executive Board decisions must be reported to the EGSA membership.
    • 2. Executive Board duties: Respond to developments affecting the welfare of English graduate students and requiring prompt action; approve allocation of funds up to $100; oversee and direct EGSA committees; appoint unelected officers and committee members; undertake routine organizational functions.
  • B. Committees: In addition to those named above, the Executive Board may appoint other committees (e.g., Spring 2007 Conference Committee, Fundraising Committee, Café Committee). Committees are directed and overseen by members of the Executive Board.

VIII. Meetings:

  • A. Meetings will be held at least twice per semester, with additional meetings to be called at the discretion of the Executive Board or the President.
  • B. Meetings will be announced via the listserv.
  • C. Parliamentary procedure will be used at the discretion of the officer presiding.

IX. Voting:

  • A. Any voting on EGSA business during a meeting requires a quorum of 8 members. A simple majority wins each vote.
  • B. Any item subject to a vote must be placed on the meeting agenda for one week before that vote can occur.
  • C. For any item under consideration, any member may make a motion of secrecy, which upon being seconded, shall require the vote for that item be conducted by secret ballot. The voting shall occur immediately, unless the members decide to table the issue until the next meeting.
  • D. The results of all votes will be made available to all EGSA members.
  • E. Upon a written motion to the president by two or more EGSA members, a second vote will be taken in lieu of the first vote. This motion must be made within five school days of the notification provided.
  • F. The second vote will take place by either paper ballots or some electronic method open to all EGSA members. Voting will be open for five school days in order to provide all members with the opportunity to vote. The results of the second vote will replace the first vote.

X. Finance:

  • A. Dues will be solicited when deemed necessary by the membership.
  • B. The Treasurer and Vice President are responsible for the collecting of and accounting for funds.
  • C. The Treasurer and President are responsible for applying for funds from the Graduate Student Senate on a yearly basis.
  • D. Expenditures in excess of $100 (see article VII.A.2) must be authorized by an EGSA quorum (see article IX.A).

XI. Beneficiary Addendum:

  • A. Upon the dissolution of EGSA, remaining funds will be donated to the University of Connecticut Department of English (215 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 4025, Storrs, CT 06269). EGSA suggests that such funds be used for a travel or research award for graduate students.

XII. Amendments:

  • A. Amendments may be proposed in writing at EGSA meetings.
  • B. A minimum of one week must pass between at-large notification of an amendment proposal and the vote on that amendment.
  • C. Amendment votes may take place at an EGSA meeting or digitally. A two-thirds majority will be required to pass an amendment.
  • D. Ratification of Constitution: A ratification vote will take place at an EGSA meeting or digitally. A simple majority will be required to ratify the Constitution.

XIII. Advisor:

  • A. The advisor will provide faculty guidance for the organization.
  • B. The advisor will be the English Department’s Director of Graduate Studies.

XIV. This constitution shall go into effect on March 19, 2018 upon approval of two-thirds vote in favor by all present voting members. This Constitution shall replace and render null any and all previous constitutions, procedures, practices and precedents for this organization.