Constitution of the GPA

Constitution of the Graduate Philosophy Association

Article
I.    Name
II.   Purposes
III.  Membership
IV.  Officers
V.   Duties of Officers
VI.  Terms of Office and Elections
VII. Amending the Constitution

Article I. — Name

The name of this association shall be the Graduate Philosophy Association (the GPA).

Article II. — Purposes

The purposes of the GPA are: to promote the academic, scholarly, and professional interests of its members; to facilitate the exchange of ideas among them; and to encourage the development of the departmental community.

Article III. — Membership

A member of the GPA shall be a graduate student of the University at Buffalo (UB) Philosophy Department who is either registered for the current semester or on official leave of absence. A resident member shall be a member who (a) has office space in the Philosophy Department, or (b) submits notification of intent to hold resident membership to the GPA Secretary, either in written form or by voice at a regular GPA meeting.

Membership in the GPA shall be open to all students without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected by law, so that all members at all times are treated with dignity and respect.

Article IV. — Officers

§1. The officers of the GPA shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

§2. In the event that the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall assume the duties of President.

§3. In the event that the office of Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer becomes vacant, an election shall be held within fifteen school days of the date of the vacancy, unless there are fewer than fifteen school days left in the semester, in which case the fifteen-day period begins with the first school day of the following semester. This election shall be conducted as described in the Bylaws. The President shall serve as Returns Officer.

§4. When the office of the Treasurer or Secretary is vacant, the President may appoint a temporary replacement to carry out the duties of that office in the interim until an elected Treasurer or Secretary takes office.

§5. No one may hold more than one of the following GPA offices concurrently: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer.

§6. Only resident members of the GPA may be GPA officers.

Article V. — Duties of Officers

§1. The President shall: preside at all meetings of the GPA; co-sign all Graduate Student Association (GSA) disbursement forms with the Treasurer; serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of all committees; vote only in the case of a tie, excluding elections; perform such other acts and duties as are directed by the Bylaws or the GPA or as are commensurate with the office of President.

§2. The Vice-President shall: assume the duties of the President in his/her absence; assist the President in the performance of the duties of that office; serve as chair of the Trustee Committee; perform such other acts and duties as are directed by the Bylaws or the GPA or as are commensurate with the office of Vice-President.

§3. The Secretary shall: record all proceedings of the meetings in reasonable detail; submit a copy of the proceedings to all resident members, by means of the GPA listserv, or by such other means as are authorized by the GPA for this purpose, within four calendar days’ time after a meeting; keep copies of all correspondence by being cc’d on e-board emails but not necessarily on all committee emails; maintain an accurate membership list by means of the GPA listserv, or by such other means as are authorized by the GPA for this purpose, and maintain the current number of graduate students needed for quorum; serve as chair on the Information Committee; preserve the Constitution, the Bylaws, and all motions passed by the GPA; have available for every meeting the above materials; perform such other acts and duties as are directed by the Bylaws or the GPA or as are commensurate with the office of Secretary.

§4. The Treasurer shall: administer the GPA’s funds; prepare funding requests as per GSA regulations; handle GSA disbursement forms; co-sign GSA disbursement forms with the President; collect any fees, if instituted; keep an accurate record of receipts and payments; be prepared to submit a report at each meeting; submit an annual financial report at the end of the spring semester or at the final GPA meeting of the spring semester, whichever is earlier; provide accurate information to the GPA upon request of any GPA officer or committee chair; make all financial records and documentation of the GPA available for inspection to any member or to the GPA upon reasonable notice; attend all GSA treasurers’ meetings as per GSA regulations; perform such other acts and duties as are directed by the Bylaws or the GPA or as are commensurate with the office of Treasurer.

§5. Each officer shall meet with his/her successor prior to the end of his/her term of office in order to transfer official materials, records, and documents, and to relate any information useful in the performance of the duties of the office.

Article VI. — Terms of Office and Elections

§1. Officers shall be elected to serve for a term starting from the day following the last day of classes of the spring semester to the last day of classes of the spring semester of the following year.

§2. An election is won by the candidate receiving the most votes.

Article VII. — Amendment

§1. Any proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted in writing at a GPA meeting. The proposed amendment shall be accompanied by the signatures of a number of supporting members equal to or exceeding thirty percent of the resident membership. Any proposed amendment meeting the above criteria shall automatically be put to a referendum vote of the members.

§2. A referendum vote on a proposed Constitutional amendment shall be a mailbox vote, conducted as prescribed in the Bylaws. The President shall serve as Returns Officer. The amendment passes if (a) a simple majority of the resident membership casts ballots, and (b) it receives two-thirds or more of the ballots cast. The mailbox vote shall be concluded by the end of the tenth school day after the GPA meeting at which the amendment was proposed. If less than ten school days remain before the end of the semester, the ten-day period begins upon the first day of the following semester. Within these parameters the President shall decide the day for the start of the mailbox vote.

§3. The amendment shall take effect at the beginning of the semester following the semester in which the mailbox vote is taken, with the exception that any provisions for creation, alteration, replacement, or elimination of the GPA Standing Committees or other elected positions shall not take effect until the next regularly scheduled elections, as described in Article II of the Bylaws.

Transcribed and Formatted, November 3, 2013
Brian Donohue, Treasurer

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