Constitution

Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Graduate Student Organization Constitution

March 2, 2016

Article 1.  Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior Graduate Student Organization (EEBB GSO) is to:

  1. educate the Michigan State University (MSU) community and the broader public on EEBB and EEBB-related issues through the organization of seminars and public events;
  2. organize social events as part of a larger effort to support and contribute to a strong and active EEBB graduate student community;
  3. serve as the voice of the graduate student body within the EEBB program by providing a safe and confidential forum for students to raise concerns about ongoing program activity and act as a liaison between graduate students and faculty, when necessary;
  4. act as the intermediary between the EEBB program, the Council of Graduate Students (COGS), and the University administration.

Article 2.  Membership

The EEBB GSO is open to all graduate students admitted to the EEBB graduate program. The organization is focused primarily on graduate activity within the EEBB program, but we are open to and appreciate the ideas and opinions of all MSU community members. Every effort will be made to ensure a diversity of departmental representation on the EEBB GSO executive board (section 3.1) and within all committees (section 4.2). The organization will not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight. While we welcome participation from all MSU community members, only MSU students may be officers and/or voting members (per University rules and regulations).

Article 3.  Officers

The EEBB GSO is intended to create a rich and open community comprising all EEBB graduate students. The purposes of officers are to facilitate discussion and lead planning in specific areas. Importantly, the EEBB GSO is horizontally structured—all members have an equal voice. As such, officers do not have additional voting rights or greater influence on decisions than any other member of the organization. In addition to the duties outlined below, the President and two additional officers will serve as student representatives to the EEBB Executive Committee.

3.1 Positions & Responsibilities

President: Leads general EEBB GSO proceedings. Responsibilities include organizing and running monthly meetings, assisting other officers in various duties, guaranteeing committees and other roles are filled and properly trained, and ensuring that EEBB activities and operations, including officer elections, are consistent with the Statement of Purpose and regulations herein.

Treasurer: Manages finances for the EEBB GSO. Responsibilities include keeping a budget of the organization’s fundraising and spending, and facilitating reimbursements from the organization’s financial account(s).

Secretary: Manages records for the EEBB GSO. Responsibilities include keeping meeting minutes for all GSO meetings, soliciting committee reports and updates from members not able to attend meetings, and maintaining the EEBB GSO’s web presence. Meeting minutes will be made publicly available excluding all information that compromises the confidentiality of EEBB GSO members.

Social Chair: Leads social planning efforts. Responsibilities include scheduling events, determining event costs, seeking funds, identifying venues, advertising, and setting up events.

Student Colloquium Co-Chairs (2): Lead EEBB student colloquium. Responsibilities include soliciting participants, organizing speakers, reserving and setting up venue, ordering refreshments, and clean up. The Co-Chairs’ responsibilities will commence immediately after election (see article 3.2) in order to ensure a successful Fall Colloquium series. The two representatives must be from different departments.

3.2 Elections & Term Limits

Elections for all positions will be held during the spring semester every year and will be voted on by all EEBB graduate students via an online anonymous survey platform. All EEBB GSO members will be notified of the upcoming elections, including a description of officers’ duties, prior to the March meeting. Nominations will be finalized at the March meeting. Online voting will be open for the seven calendar days prior to the April meeting, with ballots closing at the start of the meeting. Newly elected officers will take office the following fall term, with the exception of the Student Colloquium Co-chairs, which will start immediately upon election, and serve for one full academic year (e.g., Fall ’16 - Summer ’17). Any current member of EEBB GSO may run for and be elected to one or more positions. No nomination is required. Officers are restricted to two consecutive terms in any one position, but may serve in a different position after consecutive terms. An officer may serve for more than two consecutive terms if no other member fills the position. A special election will be held if an elected officer completes his/her degree, is no longer a current MSU student, resigns, or is otherwise unable to fulfill his/her position’s requirements. Importantly, outgoing officers will make a commitment to pass on, to the best of their abilities, all institutional knowledge, and any associated paperwork, online accounts, etc. regarding their role and responsibilities to newly elected officers.

3.3 Termination of Position

Officers may be voted out of a position if they are not meeting their duties including: attending EEBB GSO meetings, actively participating in events, and meeting the specific responsibilities of their position (as described in Section 3.1). A formal complaint including an explicit description of the offenses must be submitted to the EEBB GSO advisor to be reviewed by the executive board. The officer must be given at least one month’s notice prior to a removal vote to provide an opportunity for improved participation. An officer can be removed by a two-thirds vote of attending members at an official EEBB GSO meeting if members have been informed of the meeting, the situation, and the vote at least seven calendar days prior. The loss of current MSU student status will result in the immediate termination of any currently held position within EEBB GSO.

Article 4.  Operating Procedures

4.1 Meetings

The EEBB GSO will meet once per month to discuss ongoing proceedings and future events. The meetings will be restricted to members and invited guests. Additional meetings may be scheduled as necessary.

4.2 Committees & Additional Positions:

Members will also assist the EEBB Program by filling the following additional positions and/or serving as student representatives on EEBB permanent and ad-hoc faculty/student committees. These include, but are not limited to:

Seminar Helper (1 position): Sets up refreshments at the weekly EEBB Seminar. This is a paid position funded by the EEBB Program.

Recruitment Liaison (1 position): Helps the EEBB Director coordinate recruitment events, such as the annual EEBB Wine and Cheese Party.

EEBB Academic Program Committee (2 positions): This committee reviews proposed changes to the EEBB graduate curriculum. Members should be experienced students, having completed all required EEBB coursework.

EEBB Seminar Committee (2 positions): This committee selects speakers for the upcoming academic year.

EEBB Research Symposium Committee (2 positions): This committee organizes the annual EEBB research symposium. These student representatives will also work with the EEBB Director to organize an annual professional development panel discussion with EEBB alumni.

EEBB Faculty Search Committees (ad hoc): This committee handles all aspects of hiring EEBB-appointed faculty, including drafting a job solicitation, reviewing applicants, organizing visits, and evaluating candidates. Note that these positions tend to be very work intensive, yet rewarding in professional development.

Article 5.  Amendments

The EEBB GSO constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of attending members at an official EEBB GSO meeting if members have been informed of the meeting and the amendment at least seven calendar days prior. Any member may propose an amendment.