The Graduate Philosophy Association
Article I – Meetings
Section 1. Once per month a meeting of the GPA shall be held.
Section 2. Additional meetings may be called by the President or upon the written request, submitted to the President and Vice-President, of twenty percent of the resident members.
Section 3. Notice announcing a meeting shall be given to all members not less than
two school days nor more than eight calendar days preceding the meeting. Notice shall consist of an email from the President or Secretary addressed to the GPA listserv and, at the President’s discretion, a printed notice delivered to the graduate student mailboxes in the graduate lounge.
Section 4. Twenty percent of the resident members shall constitute a quorum.
Article II – Election Procedures
(A) At a meeting held during the second half of the Spring semester, nominations shall be taken to prepare an initial list of candidates for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and a Returns Officer shall be elected.
(B) Immediately after this meeting the Returns Officer shall maintain the list of candidates as a sign-up sheet available in the Philosophy Department office or in the graduate lounge for six consecutive school days. On the sixth day at 4 p.m. the nominations are closed. The Returns Officer shall verify the running intentions of those whose names appear on the sign-up sheet, and at the end of the nomination period shall prepare the final list of candidates.
(C) The elections shall be held by mailbox vote within six school days of the close of the nomination process and shall have a duration of six consecutive school days. The voting deadline shall be at 4 p.m. of the sixth day. Votes cast by authenticated buffalo.edu email are to be accepted from those resident members who reside outside the Buffalo area or at the discretion of the President. Email votes must meet the following criteria in order to be counted: be sent via the GPA listserv and directly to the Returns Officer, or to such another forum as is authorized by the GPA for this purpose; contain such language in the subject line and/or in the body of the email as the Returns Officer shall specify to indicate an official ballot. Email votes must otherwise conform to election requirements, including their receipt within the time provided. In the interests of practicality, secret ballot voting shall be reserved for mailbox ballots.
(D) The elections shall conclude no later than one week prior to the last day of classes, except as otherwise directed in these Bylaws. The Returns Officer shall decide the day to start the election process.
(E) A ballot and an announcement of the voting procedure and deadline shall be made available by the Returns Officer to all members at 9:00 a.m. the day the election begins.
(F) At the first meeting held in the Fall semester, nominations shall be taken
to prepare an initial list of candidates for Graduate Student Association
Senators and Alternate Senators, and a Returns Officer shall be elected. The number of Senators and Alternate Senators to be elected shall be determined on a yearly basis in accord with Graduate Student Association guidelines.
(G) Election of Senators and Alternate Senators shall proceed in accordance with Article II Section 1 Paragraphs B through E of these Bylaws.
(A) A mailbox vote shall consist of a member’s completed ballot submitted to the Returns Officer by the voting deadline.
(B) The Returns Officer is responsible for the collection and safe-keeping of all ballots.
(C) At the voting deadline the Returns Officer shall count all votes at a time and place announced at the beginning of the election process, in the presence of at least one officer and one other member. The counting of the votes may be attended by any member. The Secretary shall announce the results of the election to all members within three school days after the election.
(D) In case of a tie vote, the Returns Officer shall schedule a meeting to be held within five school days after the announcement of the election results. Quorum for this meeting shall be the usual number, but absentee ballots may count toward quorum. No other business may be conducted at this meeting. Those present at the meeting shall vote by secret ballot before the absentee ballots are counted. Then all votes shall be openly counted by the Returns Officer in the presence of those in attendance. In the case of another tie, those present will vote again and the absentee ballots will be counted as before, and so forth, until a winner is determined. The Secretary shall announce the results within four calendar days.
(E) Should any GPA election be found to be in violation of the guidelines set forth in the Constitution or in these Bylaws, it shall be invalidated, and another election shall take place. The replacement election shall abide by all guidelines set forth in the Constitution and these Bylaws, with the exception that neither Article II Section 1 Paragraph A nor Article II Section 1 Paragraph D, nor any other guidelines shall apply insofar as they establish limitations on the date(s) of election procedures.
(F) In the event that only one person accepts candidacy for a GPA office as of the end of the nomination period, in accordance with Article II Section 1 Paragraph B of these Bylaws, that person shall win the office by default, and no election process shall be necessary.
Article III – Committees
Section 1. The GPA committees shall have the responsibility of facilitating the conduct of GPA business in an appropriate manner, as specified in this Article. Each committee shall meet at least once per semester. Each standing committee will be renewed automatically each year.
Section 2. Neither a committee nor any of its members may claim to represent the GPA, its views, or its intentions, without first having received formal GPA approval.
Section 3. The following Standing Committees shall be appointed:
(A) The Trustee Committee
(B) The New Students Orientation Committee
(C) The Information Committee.
(D) The Anthony Fay Award Committee
Section 4. The standing committees’ responsibilities and membership are as follows.
(A) The Trustee Committee shall review GPA activities and proposals in light of the GPA’s purposes as outlined in the Constitution. Its voting membership shall consist of the Vice-President, who is the chair, and two other members, who shall be elected by mailbox vote, in accordance with Article II Section 2 Paragraphs A through F of these Bylaws. Neither of these two elected members may hold another GPA office concurrently with a trusteeship. Moreover:
- The Secretary submit the minutes to the Trustee Committee members via email within 3 calendar days following the meeting and the Secretary is not permitted to submit the minutes to the listserv or cloud-based storage prior to review by the Trustee Committee. If the minutes are not published in a timely fashion as per Article V Section 3 of the Constitution, the Trustee Committee shall meet with the President or the President’s representative to determine the business undertaken at said meeting, for the purpose of ensuring that any actions taken by the GPA are consonant with the scope of the GPA’s purposes, abilities, and goals as set forth in the Constitution and these Bylaws.
- In the event that a trustee determines, upon review, that an action taken by the GPA is inconsistent with its purposes, abilities, and goals, s/he shall: convene a meeting of the Trustee Committee within seven school days of the publication of the minutes in question, or within seven school days of meeting with the President or the President’s representative, for the purpose of determining the propriety of the action in question; send notification of the Committee’s meeting to the GPA membership. Notice shall consist of an email from the trustee addressed to the GPA listserv or such another forum as is authorized by the GPA for this purpose and, at the trustee’s discretion, a printed notice delivered to the graduate student mailboxes in the graduate lounge.
- All GPA members may attend the Committee’s meeting and participate in its deliberations. However, only the three trustees may vote. If at least two of the three trustees vote against the action in question, this shall constitute a finding that the action was found to be inconsistent with the GPA’s purposes. In this case, the Committee shall submit the action in question to a mailbox vote, to be conducted in accordance with Article II Section 2 Paragraph A of these Bylaws. If at least two of the three trustees vote in favor of the action in question, this shall constitute a finding that the action was found to be consistent with the GPA’s purposes, and no action shall be taken.
(B) The New Students Orientation Committee shall assist new philosophy graduate students in getting oriented to Buffalo and to UB, and shall introduce them to departmental and GPA practices and activities. Its voting membership shall consist of the GPA President, who is the chair, and at least one other member.
(C) The Information Committee shall manage and update both the GPA web site and the graduate student bulletin boards in the Philosophy Department, and undertake such duties as shall be deemed appropriate for the dissemination of information to GPA members. One member of the Information Committee shall be designated as the GPA webmaster and shall promptly inform the GSA webmaster of this appointment. The voting membership of the Information Committee shall consist of the Secretary, who is the chair, and at least one other member.
(D) The Anthony Fay Award standing committee will award $75 to the best paper as decided by committee members. The CFP will occur annually with the deadline being July 15th. The committee will be composed of five volunteers with 3 votes each of descending value (3 points for initial vote, 2 for second, 1 for third vote). The President sits on this committee as a non-voting member (unless there is a tie per Article V, Section I of the Constitution). The award committee will vote on papers based on priority: 1. Politics & Ethics, 2. Topics in Continental Philosophy, 3. Other. The cash award will be accompanied by a diploma (text to be decided) which will be awarded at the annual Department Welcome Party
(A) The chair of the Trustee committee is the Vice-President. The chair of the New Student Orientation Committee is the President. The chair of the Information Committee is the Secretary.
(B) The chairs of the standing committees shall direct their respective committees’ meetings and activities; ensure that a record of the meetings’ proceedings is kept; be prepared to report progress or present recommendations at meetings; submit a final end-of-term report; and meet with their respective successors as detailed in Article V Section 5 of the Constitution.
Section 6. The President shall appoint members to the standing committees in consultation with the chairs at the first meeting of the fall semester, and may appoint additional or replacement members at any time thereafter, with the exception of the Trustee Committee members, who shall be elected, in accordance with Article III Section 4 Paragraph A of these Bylaws. The President cannot appoint any member as webmaster or as a member of the New Student Orientation Committee. These appointments shall be made only after a member has volunteered for the respective position. If no member volunteers for the webmaster position, then the Secretary shall be made the webmaster.
Section 7. At any GPA meeting the President may appoint a special committee, subject to a majority vote of the membership present. The e-board can create semester long committees or committees that exist longer than one month based on combination of objective and length of time assumed to complete objective. The special committee so constituted shall report its findings to the GPA at the GPA meeting following the accomplishment of its objective.
Section 8. At the start of each academic year, the President shall obtain from the Department Chair a list of the Faculty Committees which will include a graduate student member. Members of Faculty Committees shall attend meetings of the Faculty Committee(s) to which they have been elected, and shall be prepared to make reports on such meetings to the GPA at GPA meetings. Faculty Committee membership is voluntary. If there are no volunteers, e-board members must distribute Faculty Committee membership among themselves until all committees have graduate student representation
Article IV – GSA Senator
Section 1. The GSA senator and the appropriate number of alternates shall be elected according to GSA regulations.
Section 2. The GSA senator or an alternate shall be prepared to: give reports at GPA meetings on GSA activities; consult with the membership concerning important matters before the GSA; perform such other acts and duties as are directed by these Bylaws or the GPA or as are commensurate with the office of GSA senator.
Article V – Removal of Officials
Section 1. A motion to impeach an officer must pass with a majority vote at any general meeting of the GPA before removal of that officer is submitted to a mailbox vote. A Returns Officer is then elected. If impeachment proceedings are begun on more than one officer at the same meeting, they are dealt with in separate votes.
Section 2. The Returns Officer shall carry out the nomination procedure in accordance with Article II Section 1 Paragraph B of these Bylaws. The officer undergoing impeachment is ineligible for candidacy for that same office. If no candidates are found to run for an office, the impeachment proceedings end for that office.
Section 3. The two votes required, the vote to remove the officer(s) from office and the vote upon the candidates for the replacement(s), are voted upon by mailbox vote, as defined in these Bylaws. The mailbox vote must begin within eight school days of the meeting at which impeachment proceedings are begun, or, if there are less than eight school days remaining in the semester, the eight day period begins upon the first day of school of the following semester. Within these parameters, the Returns Officer shall decide when to start the mailbox vote.
Section 4. An officer is removed from office by a vote count of at least two-thirds, provided that at least one-half of the resident members vote. Only if this vote is successful does the second vote become valid.
Article VI – Parliamentary Authority
A Rules of Order duly adopted by this organization shall govern the proceedings of the GPA.
Article VII – Amendment
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any GPA meeting provided that the amendment is submitted in writing at the previous meeting. Amendments shall take effect immediately upon their passing a vote, with the exception that any provisions for creation, alteration, replacement, or elimination of GPA Standing Committees or other elected positions shall not take effect until the next regularly scheduled elections, in accordance with Article II Section 2 Paragraphs A through F of these Bylaws.