GASPS Constitution

Graduate Association of Students in Political Science (University of Toronto)

Constitution (originally adopted on September 23, 1999)
I. Name
The name of the Association shall be “Graduate Association of Students in Political Science (University of Toronto)” hereinafter referred to as “the Association.”
II. Purpose
The Association will undertake all actions which are of common interest to the members of the Association.
III. Membership
All University of Toronto students enrolled in one or more graduate course offered by the Department of Political Science or enrolled in a Graduate degree programme in Political Science shall be members of the Association.
IV. General Membership Meetings
A. Types
1. Regular
There shall be at least one General Membership Meeting in each academic year in addition to the Annual General Meeting.
2. Special
Meetings may be called by the Chair and shall be called upon receipt of a written request from any ten members of the Association.
3. Annual General Meeting
An Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held no later than October 31 of each academic year. The actual date shall be established by the Board. The Annual General Meeting shall:
a) Elect all those positions expect those of the Chair/Co-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, External Representatives, Replacement External Representative, Manager, and Elections Officers;
b) Consider the financial statement for the preceding fiscal year;
c) Consider a budget for the following fiscal year.
4. Chair/Co-chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Manager, External Representatives, Replacement External Representative, and Elections Officers ‘Election’ meetings
A meeting will be held in February or March of each year to elect the positions of Chair/co-chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Manager, External Representatives, Replacement External Representative, and Elections Officers.
(B) Notice
Notice of the date, time, and place of the Annual General Meeting shall be conspicuously posted not later than seven (7) days previous to the meeting. Notice of the date, time, and place of all other meetings shall be conspicuously posted not later than forty-eight (48) hours previous to the meeting. The membership may direct that individual notice be given to each member in writing, by electronic mail, or by phone.
(C) Quorum
One third of the membership or seven (7) members, whichever is less, shall constitute a quorum.
(D) Voting
[Note: that section was empty in the original copy]
V. Board
(A) Membership
All members of the Board shall be candidates for a graduate degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto and shall be elected to their positions pursuant of the provisions of this Constitution.
(B) Composition
1. The Annual General Meeting of the Association may direct that any position be filled by more than one individual.
2. The Annual General Meeting of the Association may create and fill such additional Board positions as it shall determine.
3. The board shall consist of:
a) Chair or Co-Chairs
The Chair or Co-Chairs shall:
i) Convene and chair meetings;
ii) In co-operation with the Secretary, ensure that all meetings are properly publicised;
iii) Act as one of the Signing Officers of the Association, and
iv) Be an ex officio member of all committees of the Association.
b) Secretary
The Secretary shall:
i) Keep a correct, full and impartial account of the proceedings of all meetings,
ii) In co-operation with the Chair, prepare the agenda for each meeting,
iii) Maintain proper records of all correspondence of the Association,
iv) Be responsible for the storage and orderly maintenance of all records of the Association,
v) In-cooperation with the Chair, ensure that all meetings are properly publicized, and
vi) Act as one of the signing officers of the association.
c) Treasurer
The Treasurer shall:
i) Maintain the financial records of the Association, and shall ensure proper accounting for all receipts and disbursements,
ii) Deposit all revenues in the form in which they are received in an appropriate account held in the name of the Association at a credit union or other chartered, government-insured financial institution as determined by the Association,
iii) Cause all bills authorised for payment to be paid,
iv) Report, at least twice per fiscal year, to the membership, on the finances of the Association,
v) Present to the Annual General Meeting a financial statement covering the previous fiscal year,
vi) After seeking input from all graduate students about proposed initiatives, prepare a budget for the upcoming academic year,
vii) Act as one of the Signing Officers Association.
d) Manager
The Manager shall ensure the improvement, care and maintenance of the GASPS common spaces and the GASPS property within them.
e) External Representatives
The External Representatives shall:
i) Represent the Association at the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) and to such other organisations external to the Department of Political Science as may, from time to time, be directed by the membership.
ii) Report regularly to the membership on the activities of the GSU and any other organisation to which representation has been made under provisions of the Article V (B)(3)(d)(i) herein, and
iii) In a timely fashion, consult with the membership on matters which might properly be raised in an organisation external to the Department of Political Science and to which GASPS representation is appropriate.
f) Replacement External Representative
The Replacement External Representative shall attend the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) councils in the event that one of the two regular External Representatives cannot attend.
g) Internal Representatives
The Internal Representative shall:
i) Represent the Association to the Department of Political Science on all committees in the department except the Graduate Affairs Committee,
ii) Report regularly to the Association membership on the activities of the Department of Political Science, and
iii) In a timely fashion, consult with and seek direction from the membership on matters which might properly be raised in any of the intra-departmental for a at [typo in the original] which GASPS representation is appropriate.
h) Social Convenors
The Social Convenors shall, at the direction of the membership, co-ordinate such social activities as may, from time to time, be authorised.
i) Newsletter Editors
The Newsletter Editors shall be responsible for production, duplication and distribution of a newsletter according to a schedule authorised annually by the membership.
j) Graduate Affairs Committee Representatives
The Graduate Affairs Committee Representatives shall:
i) Attend all of the Graduate Affairs Representatives;
ii) Provide a report of the proceedings of the committee meetings.
k) Seminar co-ordinators
The Seminar co-ordinators shall organize seminars for graduate students preparing to deliver conference papers.
l) Two Elections Officers
The Elections Officers shall carry out elections in accordance with the election procedures.
m) Union Representatives
The Union Representatives shall:
i) Attend to all union meetings;
ii) Report on all union meeting proceedings at an Association meeting;
iii) Carry out all other responsibilities as required by Union.
n) Area Group Representatives
The Area Group Representatives shall:
i) Represent the Association to the departmental Area Group Meetings
ii) In a timely fashion, consult with and seek direction from the membership on matters which might properly be raised in departmental Area Group Meetings, and file a written report of those meetings with the Secretary, and
iii) Liaise with the Internal Representatives to ensure that student concerns arising from the Area Group Meetings are properly brought forward at full Departmental Meetings.
iv) Liaise with the Internal Representatives to ensure that student concerns arising from the Area Group Meetings are properly brought forward at full Departmental Meetings.
o) International Student Representative
The International Student Representative shall coordinate with international students and address specific issues related to their international status.

(C) Duties
The Board shall:
1. Carry out the normal business of the Association between General Membership Meetings,
2. Implement policy adopted by the membership, and
3. Ensure that all necessary reports and documentation relating to the existence of the Association as a course union under the provisions of the Constitution of the Graduate Students’ Union are completed and filed in a timely manner.
(D) Signing Officers
The Signing Officers of the Association shall be any two of: the Chair, the Secretary and the Treasurer.
VI. Elections
The elections officers shall:
1. Hold elections for the offices of the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Manager, External Representatives, Replacement External Representative and two elections officers in February or March of each year.
2. Hold elections for the remaining positions in September of October of each year,
3. Publicize all elections at least seven days in advance to ensure that all graduate students are notified of the: election date and time; election location, and positions available.
4. Hold elections for the union representatives according to union requirements,
5. Carry out by-elections if a position becomes vacant as soon as for any resignation or vacancy, including that of co-chair, as soon as reasonably possible.
6. Carry out elections by secret ballot,
7. In the event of a tie, toss a coin to determine the election outcome,
8. Should an Annual General Meeting fail to fill each elected positions, elections will be held by the Elections Officer in accordance with the election rules.
VII. Committees
Such committees considered as appropriate for the needs and purpose of the Association may be struck from time to time.
At the time any committee is struck the mandate, the requirements for membership, and the duration of activity of the committee shall be determined.
All committees of the Association shall be responsible for selecting their own Chairs and for maintaining adequate records of their deliberations. Such records shall be filed with the Secretary.
VIII. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Association shall end September 30 annually.
IX. Procedures
Bourinot’s Rules of Order shall govern all matters of procedure not specifically addressed in this Constitution.
X. Amendments
Notice of a motion to amend this constitution must be given at least 7 days in advance of the meeting in which the motion will be considered. Notice must be made in a public manner to ensure that all graduate students are notified of the motion. At least two-thirds (2/3) of majority of those members attending a duly constituted General Membership Meeting is required to pass any constitutional amendment. All amendments will take effect immediately.
This constitution was amended at a properly constituted General Membership Meeting on September 23, 1999.
The original copy was signed by Mirella Eberts (Chair), Mike Harvey (Treasurer), and Ellen Gutterman (Secretary).
Annex. GASPS Resolution on Student Involvement in Job Searches (Adopted in April 2005)
Be it resolved that: The following outline be taken as a guideline for area group convenors when they are preparing their reports on student views to job search committees:
1. The goal of the process is to come up with recommendations for the department’s search committee. The conservation should focus on the overall ability of the candidate, through teaching and research, to contribute to the Department and, more specifically, graduate education.
2. Some students are more likely to work with and know more about the research area of prospective faculty than others. This should not privilege their contribution to the discussion, but they are encouraged to share their expertise.
3. The clearer the guidance about student preferences, the more valuable our input. However, this need not take the form of a rand-ordered list. A simple pass/fail or consensual report about the state of student opinion is also acceptable.
4. In the interests of transparency, submissions from those unable to attend meetings should be tabled at those meetings.
5. Concerns about the integrity of the process should first be addressed to the relevant are representatives and then, should concerns still exist, to the GASPS executive.
This constitution incorporates changes made at a General Membership Meeting on April 18 2012. It was further amended at a properly constituted Annual General Meeting on September 28 2012.