EGSA Constitution

  1. Name of Organization:  English Graduate Student Association (EGSA)
  2. 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 English; to act as a forum for debate on issues pertaining to the academic and professional welfare of graduate students in English; to foster social and academic contacts within the English graduate student community.
  3. Membership:  All full-or part-time graduate students in the Department of English and the Medieval Studies Program are members.
  4. Elections:
    1. Elections will be held during the month of April.
    2. Nominations will be made by written and/or verbal ballot at an EGSA meeting called for that purpose.
    3. Distribution of ballots no less than one week in advance of an election will constitute announcement of that election.
    4. Election will be by written ballot.
  5. Officers and Committees:
    1. Every current EGSA member shall be eligible for any office, except that M.A. students may not be elected as Exam Representatives.
    2. The following offices shall be elected each year: President; Vice-President; Secretary; Treasurer; three Graduate Student Senators; Web Master; Outside Speaker Coordinator; the chairs of the following committees:  Community Committee, Professional Development Committee, Diversity Committee, and Hospitality Committee; and the EGSA representatives to the following English Dept. committees:  Graduate Examination (2 reps) and Undergraduate Writing and Instruction.
    3. 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; 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.
      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; serves on Executive Board.
      5. Graduate Student Senator (3):  Represents the interests of English graduate students in the Graduate Student Senate; reports GSS activities and debates to EGSA; represents the interests of EGSA members who are professional employees of the University of Connecticut; serves on Executive Board.
      6. Web Master: manages EGSA’s electronic presence, WebCT page, and website; solicits information for web posting, such as professional resources, information on exams, calendar events, etc.
      7. 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.
        1. 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 Ph.D. students.  The chair of the Community Committee serves on the Executive Board.  This committee should include (but not be limited to) a lounge/mailroom coordinator, a holiday party coordinator, and an “ambassador of fun” responsible for smaller social events like happy hours.
        2. 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.  This committee should include (but not be limited to) separate coordinators for the Faculty Lecture Series, the Graduate Lecture Series, and the Professional Chalk Talks, who will confer with the head to ensure smooth scheduling and advertising of these events.
        3. 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.
        4. Diversity Committee:  Advocates and works to ensure appropriate diversity in faculty hirings, student recruitment, and graduate course offerings.  The chair of the Diversity Committee serves on the Executive Board.
        5. 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.
        6. Departmental Graduate Representatives:
          1. Representative to the English Dept. Graduate Examination Committee (2):  attends meetings of the Graduate Examination Committee, whose duties include making up and administering all general graduate examinations, establishing dates, times, and readers for all general exams, selecting texts for the M.A. written exam, and soliciting questions and procedures for all exams from the Department as a whole.  Exam representatives must be Ph.D. students.
          2. Representative to the English Dept. Undergraduate Writing and Instruction Committee:  Advises the Director(s) of Freshman English Composition and the Department as a whole in matters concerning the teaching of composition and rhetoric to undergraduates.
    4. Officers serve one-year terms.
    5. Vacant offices shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Board.
    6. Members of any (EGSA and English Dept.) committee not named above shall be appointed by the Executive Board.
    7. All positions and concomitant duties must be publicized before appointments or elections of those positions.
  6. Organizational Structure:
    1. Executive Board.  The Executive Board consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the three Graduate Student Senators, and the chairs of the Community Committee, Professional Development Committee, Diversity Committee, and Hospitality 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 his/her designee, plus five other members. Executive Board decisions must be reported to the EGSA membership.
      2. Executive Board duties:  to respond to developments affecting the welfare of English graduate students and requiring prompt action; to approve allocation of funds up to $100; to oversee and direct EGSA committees; to appoint unelected officers and committee members; to undertake routine organizational functions.
    2. Committees.  In addition to those named above, the Executive Board may appoint other committees (e.g., Spring ’07 Conference Committee, Fundraising Committee, Café Committee).  Committees are directed and overseen by members of the Executive Board.
  7. Meetings:
    1. 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.
    2. Meetings will be announced via the listserv.
    3. Any voting on EGSA business during a meeting requires a quorum of 8 members.
    4. Any item subject to a vote must be placed on an agenda for one week before that vote can occur.
    5. 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.
    6. The results of all votes will be made available to all EGSA members.
    7. 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 in section 3.
    8. 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.
    9. Parliamentary procedure will be used at the discretion of the officer presiding.
  8. Finance:
    1. Dues will be solicited when deemed necessary by the membership.
    2. Treasurer and Vice President are responsible for the collecting of and accounting for funds.
    3. The Treasurer and GSS senators are responsible for applying for funds from the Graduate Student Senate on a yearly basis.
    4. Expenditures in excess of $100 (see article VI.A.2.) must be authorized by an EGSA quorum (see article VII.C.).
    5. Any funds remaining upon dissolution of the organization will be disbursed through a travel fund for Graduate Students, to be distributed by the Department of English.
  9. Amendments:
    1. Amendments may be proposed in writing at EGSA meetings.
    2. A minimum of one week must pass between at-large notification of an amendment proposal and the vote on that amendment.
    3. Amendment votes will take place at an EGSA meeting called for that purpose. A simple majority will be required to pass an amendment.
    4. Ratification of Constitution:  A ratification vote will take place at an EGSA meeting called for that purpose.  A simple majority will be required to ratify the Constitution.
  10. Advisor
    1. The advisor will provide faculty guidance for the organization.
    2. The advisor will be selected with the approval of an EGSA quorum.
    3. The advisor will serve a one-year term.
  11. This constitution shall go into effect on September 9th, 2010 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.
Constitution voted on and approved on September 9, 2010.