(Modified and Ratified on September 16, 2014)
Article I – Name
Section 1: The name of the organization shall be the Graduate Student Association of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, hereafter called the GSA.
Article II – Mission Statement & Purpose
Section 1: The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is a student-led service organization with a goal of making the graduate students at the Health Science Center a unified body. The GSA does this in three areas: Academic Environment, Advocacy, and Activities.Academic Environment:
The GSA provides resources such as writing workshops and guidance in choosing mentors/labs to help students progress in their research. The GSA hosts the Annual GSA Research Forum, which gives graduate students the opportunity to present their work.Advocacy:
The GSA helps students address issues that may affect their experiences at UTHSCSA. Issues that arise are discussed at GSA meetings and students are directed to resources or actions that will resolve these issues. GSA has the responsibility of advising and assisting the administration in coordinating academic affairs, which may include bringing to the administration’s attention intra- and interdepartmental problems that have a direct effect on the Graduate School as a whole. Additionally, the GSA nominates members to serve as graduate student representatives on various committees of the Health Science Center and The University of Texas System.Activities:
The GSA sponsors various activities and events for graduate students throughout the year to enhance their student life experience and to facilitate social interactions. The GSA also collaborates with the UTHSCSA Student Government Association in prompting student activities.
Article III – Membership
Section 1: All those officially enrolled in a graduate program in the GSBS shall immediately be considered members of the Graduate Student Association (no explicit notification of joining is necessary) and each shall have one vote.
Article IV – Function & Responsibilities
Section 1: It shall be the function of the GSA to uphold the areas of the mission statement, directly or by individuals appointed to committees, by the following:
- To determine, coordinate, and direct all activities of the GSA.
- To nominate members to serve on committees of UTHSCSA in which students of the GSBS may be affected.
- To serve as a liaison between graduate students, faculty, and administration in pertinent matters, provided that nothing in this matter shall prevent or impede individual contacts between students and faculty or administration.
- To bring to the attention of the administration problems that have a direct effect on the GSBS as a whole.
- To advise and assist the GSBS office in coordinating academic activities for students of the Graduate School.
Article V – Members and officers of the Graduate Student Association Committee (GSAC)
Section 1: The composition of the GSAC shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Student Ambassador, and 2 Student Representatives from each of the graduate programs.
Section 2: One member shall be selected by the GSA to serve as President. The term of the president shall be for 12 months. Only members who have served previously on the GSAC shall be elected to the office of president, unless no previous members able and willing to serve. The duties of the president shall be to chair all duties and functions of the GSAC and GSA, to serve as the official representative of the GSA, and coordinate the GSAC. The president will represent the students on the Dean’s Graduate Faculty Council. The president may delegate these responsibilities to another able and willing GSAC member.
Section 3: One member shall be selected by the GSA to serve as Vice President. The vice president shall be elected by the October meeting of the fall session and will serve for a term of 12 months. The duties of the vice president shall be to share with the president the roles and responsibilities delineated above, and/or to assume the responsibilities of the president should the president not be able to fulfill the obligation of office. Only members who have served previously on GSAC shall be elected to the office of president, unless no previous members are able and willing to serve.
Section 4: One member shall be selected by the GSA to serve as Secretary. The secretary will serve for a term of 12 months. The duties of the secretary shall be to record the minutes of the meetings of the GSAC and GSA, distribute these minutes to members of GSAC, and to keep a folder/record of GSAC and GSA proceedings throughout the year. The secretary will work with the student ambassador to disseminate information via social media, email and the GSA webpage.
Section 5: One member shall be selected by the GSA to serve as Treasurer. The treasurer will serve for a term of 12 months. The duties of the treasurer shall be to oversee the finances of the GSA and to report on the status of the GSA accounts at each meeting. The treasurer and one other GSAC officer will sign off on all reimbursements for GSA-related activities.
Section 6: One member shall be selected by the GSA to serve as Student Ambassador. The ambassador will serve for a term of 12 months. The duties of the ambassador, in assistance to the president and/or vice president, shall be to liaise with graduate students, faculty, and administration regarding student-pertinent matters as well as to coordinate activities (e.g. academic, social) for students of the Graduate School. The ambassador will work with the secretary to disseminate information via social media, email and the GSA webpage.
Section 7: Elections within each program for members to serve on the GSAC as Program Representative shall be held no later than June 30th of each year and shall be coordinated by GSAC members of that program from the previous year. Any vacancies for program representatives may then be filled by appointment thereafter, no later than October, as detailed in Article VII, Section 2.1. The Program Representatives will be responsible for attending GSA and GSAC meetings as well as bringing issues concerning their Program to GSAC. The members of GSAC shall have equal share in discharging the duties and responsibilities of the administration of the GSA.
Article VI – GSA Meetings
Section 1: GSA meetings will be held monthly, unless there are other events that conflict as deemed by the GSAC. These meetings may be called whenever deemed necessary by the President, and shall be open to the public.
Section 2: Special meetings may be called, if requested, by not fewer than five (5) members of the GSA.
Section 3: The members of the GSAC shall determine the locations of business meetings.
Section 4: The business to be discussed at GSA meetings will be set by the GSAC (except in the case of special meetings convened as described in section 2).
Section 5: Invitations of attendance by non-GSA members may be extended by any members of the GSA at any time. The invitations do not grant or imply the right to vote on GSA matters.
Article VII – Voting and Impeachment
Section 1: Voting shall occur for bylaws and GSAC positions, except Student Representatives, during an open GSA meeting with a quorum of a minimum of 20 voting members.
Section 2: Voting for GSAC positions, except Student Representatives, will be held during the June meeting of the GSA. Nominations for all GSAC positions will be open no later than 15 days before a vote may be held.
Section 2.1: Voting of Student Representatives shall occur online or in person as determined by the individual program. If no students volunteer for the position, appointments may be made by the program administrators. Voting/appointments must be made by the October meeting of the GSA.
Section 2.2: Special Elections may be held at any point during the year to fill a vacant position. Nominations and announcement of the election must be made public 15 days before a vote may be held.
Section 3: A vote of no confidence may be called if a member of GSAC regularly fails to fulfill their duties. A vote of no confidence may be made at any time during the year to remove a member of GSAC. A vote must be put to the entirety of the GSAC with at least 15 days’ notice to the members. The votes for removal must account for at least two thirds (2/3) of total votes in order to pass. A Special Election must be held 10 days later if there is a vacancy. Removed members are not barred from running for or holding office again. The president may veto a vote of no confidence. A presidential veto may be overturned by a three fourths (3/4) majority vote of GSAC.
Article VIII – Amendments to the GSA Bylaws
Section 1: Amendments to the Bylaws of the GSA may be proposed by any member of the GSA
Section 2: Any and all proposed amendments must be reviewed by the GSAC and presented to the general membership for ratification by popular vote. Acceptance of the proposed amendment will be based on a majority of the respondents (> 50%).