Constitution

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Amended 2/22/99: Appendix #1 General, and Appendix #1 Deadlines/Funding Periods

PREAMBLE

We, the graduate students of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, establish this Constitution to preserve and protect the rights of the graduate students at this institution. In operating under this Constitution, the Graduate Student Association shall recognize the following rights: the right to a complete education, the right to access the resources necessary to promote that education, the right to freely express ideas and thoughts that are a product of that education, and the right to participate in the processes and institutions that will ensure this education remains worthy and acceptable. We hereby establish a governing body of graduate student representatives, whose duty and purpose shall be to protect and defend the rights of the graduate students as defined in this Constitution, and to promote those rights within the institute community. The governing body shall also recognize all rights granted to students by the Regents of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of the organization is the Graduate Student Association of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

ARTICLE II. OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Graduate Student Association are to represent and to serve the graduate students of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, as enumerated in this Constitution.

A. MISSION
In defining a mission for our Association, we believe that graduate students from all disciplines share many interests. We also believe that there are many goals which can be achieved by us as a group, besides those goals we can each achieve alone. We believe, finally, that our strength ultimately lies with the individual student.

B. GOAL
The goal of our Association is to enhance the academic, intellectual, and social environment for the graduate students at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and to promote the interests of graduate students within the Institute community, including efforts to improve the quality of life for graduate students.

C. POLICY
Our Association acts to support and encourage each student’s efforts to fulfill this mission. Furthermore, our Association encourages cultural, professional and social activities by graduate students which support the goals of the GSA.

ARTICLE III. DEFINITIONS

A. The Graduate Student Association (GSA): the graduate student body and its representative government.

B. Institute: The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, all of its departments and policies

C. Organization: Any student group which meets the chartering requirements of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

D. Member of GSA: Any graduate student registered at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology who has paid a student activity fee for the current semester.

  1. Summer Semester: Continuing Graduate students who have paid a student activity fee in the Spring semester shall be considered GSA members during the Summer semester.
  2. Voluntary Resignation: Upon presentation to the GSA Office of a written request, any GSA Member may resign from the GSA. Such voluntary resignation shall not affect the obligation to continue paying the student activity fee in future semesters.

a. All fees collected from persons who have resigned GSA Member status shall be fully deposited in the GSA account.

b. Persons who have voluntarily resigned from the GSA shall lose all privileges and benefits of GSA Membership.

c. Any person who has voluntarily resigned may once again become a GSA Member by submitting a written request to the GSA Office. Reinstatement shall become effective beginning with the next regular semester following approval of the request.

E. Meeting: For a recognized meeting to occur, Councils, Boards, and Committees of the GSA shall meet all requirements of the New Mexico Open Meeting Law. Unless otherwise defined in this document, all meetings of the GSA shall be conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. For a quorum to be established, at least 50% of the GSA Council members must be present.

F. “Constitution”, “Bylaws”, and “This Document”:

a. ”Constitution” refers to those portions of this document passed by the GSA Membership and certified by the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and  Technology. Text of the Constitution is always shown in this document in a Bold typeface

b. ”Bylaws” refers to those portions of this document which explain, define, or enact sections of the Constitution. Text of the Bylaws is shown in this document in a Plain (Roman) typeface.

c.”This Document” shall refer to the integrated Constitution and Bylaws of the Graduate Student Association of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

ARTICLE IV. COUNCIL

The Legislative Branch of the Graduate Student Association

A. Council defined: The representative body of the graduate students selected from each academic department recognized by the Institute.

B. Composition: Each academic department will be entitled to at least one Representative to the Council. Large academic departments are entitled to additional Representatives.

1.  Additional Representatives. An additional representative shall be granted for each additional twenty (20) GSA members in a department. (For example, a department with 21-40 members will be granted two (2) members)

2. Adjustment. The council may adjust these statistics, by a two thirds majority, annually to keep the number of council members at a productive level.

C. Council Representatives:

1. Qualifications: Must be a member of the GSA and be in good academic standing with the Institute.

2. Election procedures: Council Representatives are chosen at will by the graduate student body of each department.

a. Department; As used in this section, shall refer to academic departments within the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology containing Graduate Study programs.

b. Certification: The Executive Officer of the GSA shall certify to the Dean of Graduate Studies the names of the Council Representatives and Certified Alternates from the Departments they represent.

c. Each department shall elect its council representative during the first three regularly scheduled council meetings following the occurrence of a vacancy from the respective department. This election shall be administered by the cognizant department chair or his duly appointed representative. If a representative is not selected within three regularly scheduled council meetings, the council shall take action to encourage the department to supply representation. Any new representative not selected within three regularly scheduled council meetings following a vacancy will have a non-voting probationary period of three regularly scheduled meetings after which recognition to the Graduate Dean will be conferred.

d. GSA Representatives shall resign by submitting a formal letter of resignation to the GSA council and the respective department. The resigning Representative should assist the department is selecting a replacement.

3. The Undergraduate Student Association (SA), as recognized by the Institute, shall select, in a manner of their own choosing, one GSA council member from among their membership.

4. The Graduate Dean of the Institute shall be deemed an advisory, non-voting member of the council.

D. Council Procedures:

1. Regular Meetings: Must be held at least every other week during the Fall and Spring academic semesters. The date and time are to be determined by the Council Secretary.

2. Special meetings: May be called by the Executive Officer, or by a petition signed by a minimum of one fourth of the GSA Council Representatives.

3. Quorum: As long as the official GSA Council Representatives of a department are notified in writing, the agenda is published, and the meeting is announced using the campus media or e-mail at least five working days in advance, a quorum is established and consists of at least a 50% presence of current, non-probationary representatives or proxies at the meeting.

4. Proxy voting is allowed for Council Meetings.

a. Proxy voting is defined as the casting of a vote on behalf of a Council Representative, either by a Certified Alternate from the Council Representative’s Department or through written authorization to a GSA Member.

b. In the absence of a Certified Alternate from a Council Representative’s Department, any GSA Member may vote on behalf of a Council Representative upon delivery to the
Council Chair of a written, signed proxy statement from the Council Representative or Certified Alternate not attending the meeting. This proxy statement must be delivered to the Council Chair before the Call to Order of the Council meeting.

c. Any Council Representative or Certified Alternate who is not physically present for three consecutive meetings shall lose written proxy rights as defined under Section IV.D.4.b. above. Upon attending three Council meetings, a Council Representative’s or Certified Alternate’s written proxy rights as defined under Section IV.D.4.b. above will be reinstated.

d. Any Council Representative, Certified Alternate functioning in the capacity of a Council Representative, or Proxy Holder who is in attendance at a GSA Council meeting and who must leave before the conclusion of the meeting may deliver to the GSA Council executive officer a signed statement designating another GSA Member as a proxy for the rest of the meeting in conformance with Section IV.D.4.b, above.

e.No GSA Member may hold more than one written proxy as defined under Section IVD.4.b, above. No GSA member who is already a member of the Council shall be allowed to hold a proxy.

5. Certified Alternates to the Council.

a. Certified Alternates are chosen at will by the graduate student body of each department. The procedure for selection of alternates need not be the same procedure used for selecting Council Representatives.

b. There is no limit to the number of Certified Alternates a Department may select. In the case of a Department with more than one Certified Alternate, the Certified Alternates shall be ranked.

6. Procedures for Regular and Special Meetings of the Council. The Council shall determine the code of parliamentary procedure to be used throughout the tenure of a newly elected Council Chair.

E. Council Duties

1.Shall consider for approval all executive officer appointments and removals by a two-thirds vote of those Council Representatives present at a regular GSA Council
meeting.

2.Any other duties the Council deems necessary that do not conflict with the GSA Constitution.

3. In recognition that the GSA represents the entire graduate student body, council members are expected to conduct the business of the GSA in a manner which reflects positively upon the Institute, and benefits first the graduate student body, second their respective departments, and last individuals. Given the benevolent nature of the GSA, representatives shall not conduct themselves nor GSA business so as to achieve personal gain.

4. No Council member shall receive financial remuneration for performing the duties prescribed in this document.

ARTICLE V. STANDING COUNCIL OFFICERS

A. Qualifications, appointments, and terms of office.

1. Qualifications: All officers must be certified Council Representatives in good standing.

2. Appointment: Officers will be elected by nomination and simple majority voting of the GSA Council.

3. No council officer shall receive monetary compensation for their duties as such.

4.Terms of office: Unless otherwise provided for in this section, the term of office for all officers shall be subject to the will of the council and the office holder. To provide
continuity the GSA will not hold specific elections or appointments, but will attempt to have vacancies filled as they arise.

5. A council officer may resign by submitting a formal letter of resignation to the council.

6. Resignation of a council member from an officer position does not affect that member’s status as a council representative.

7. Temporary officers may be appointed by the executive officer pending approval of the council as defined in V.A.2 at the next regular meeting.

B. Officers

1. Executive Officer

a. Act as the spokesperson and representative of the GSA, and its Government.  b.Responsible for representing the GSA in dealings with entities outside the GSA, and for upholding the Constitution

c. Chair GSA Council meetings.

d.May call unscheduled GSA Council meetings so long as the rules of Quorum are maintained.

e. Appoint temporary officers as defined in V.A.7.

f. Confer with the Finance Officer and negotiate with the Undergraduate Student Association for funds to be transfered to the SA as defined in VIII.G.

2. Associate Excutive Officer

a. Shall temporarily assume the office of Executive Officer, including all rights and responsibilities appertaining thereto, when the Executive Officer is unable to perform his/her duties or so requested by the Executive Officer.

b. Shall also temporarily assume the office of another Standing Officer as needed or required by the GSA council.

3. Appropriations Officer

a. Shall keep records of and disburse GSA funds as directed by the GSA council.

b. Shall make a full report in writing to the GSA council at a regularly scheduled meeting at least once each month.

c. Shall ensure that a budget for the GSA is prepared for the first Council meeting in April of each year.

d. Act as the official GSA liaison to the Institute purchasing and accounting departments.

e. All GSA financial records shall be kept on permanent file.

4. Information Officer

a. Responsible for keeping minutes which include records of all motions, seconds, votes and attendance.

b. Ensure all GSA records are available to any member of the GSA upon request

c. Ensure that the GSA as a whole is aware of meetings and activities of the GSA and its council. This includes maintaining information accessibility through the world wide web.

5. Student Grants Officer (SG Officer):

a. Compile and prepare requests for consideration and allocation of SG funds by the GSA council in accordance with the this document.

i. the GSA Grant Codes, which governs SG grant policy, shall appear as Appendix #1 of this document.

ii. All articles and sections of the GSA Grant Codes shall have the weight of and be subject to all constitutional rules and bylaws of the GSA, including amendments.

b. Provide an annual written report to the Council at its April meeting.

i.The written report shall contain the total amount of SG allocations awarded during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

ii. The report shall contain a breakdown of awards and applications by Department

iii. The report shall provide details of the total allocation and the balance.

c. Other duties as directed by the Council in writing.

i. All final decisions require approval of the Council.

ii. A quorum as defined must be present to approve SG expenditures.

iii. Committee members shall be fair and impartial in deciding the merits of requests from all Departments.

iv. The SG officer will receive proposals for funding, ensure application packages are complete, and edit the application packages to ensure anonymity during review and
approval by the council.

v.GSA council members who have submitted a proposal to the SG officer will not be permitted to vote on SG expenditures during the semester of the proposal submission. If a recognized alternate does not exist for this member, the quorum will be decremented by one.

vi. Submit a request for funds sufficient to cover SG expenses for the next academic year, to the Appropriations Officer at the first regular meeting in March.

C. Joint Student-faculty Committees: GSA representatives shall be appointed by the executive officer and approved by Council. All appointees must be members of the GSA. Representatives shall submit a written report once per semester to the Council and shall attend all meetings of their respective committee.

D. Institute Committees and Other Policy-Making Bodies: GSA representatives shall be appointed by the executive officer and approved by Council. All appointees must be members of the GSA. Representatives shall submit a written report once per semester to the Council and shall attend all meetings of their respective committee.

E. Ad Hoc Committees: May be created by Council as deemed necessary. All Ad Hoc committees shall be dissolved at the end of the Council year. Any recommendations coming from Ad Hoc committees must be approved by the Council to be effective.

1. The Council may appoint such Ad Hoc committees as it so desires.

a. These committees shall pursue particular issues at the Institute of importance to graduate
students.

b. These committees shall exist no longer than is necessary for performance of duties
prescribed by the Council.

2. The Council Chair shall appoint members to Ad Hoc committees with the concurrence of the
Council.

ARTICLE VI. JUDICIARY OVERSIGHT BOARD

The Judicial Branch of the Graduate Student Association

A. Qualifications of Members: Shall be members of the GSA and in good academic standing with the Institute. Members may not be members of the GSA Council.

B. Appointment of Members: The board shall consist of three persons appointed by the Council. Recommendations from the executive officer will be considered. No two persons shall be appointed from the same department.

C. Term of Office: shall continue until terminated by the member or other procedures specified in section VI.D.

D. Removal of Judiciary Members: Members may only be removed through impeachment procedures: A motion to consider removal, seconded, and a simple majority passes that motion at a regular GSA Council meeting. The GSA Council Chair shall then call a special meeting no sooner than one nor later than two calendar weeks after the meeting at which the motion was made and passed. A two-thirds vote of the Council Representatives present at that special meeting is required for removal.

E. Duties:

1. To determine questions of constitutionality and adherence to this document.

2. To advise the Council as requested.

3. To maintain records of Judiciary Oversight Board decisions.

4. Select a Judiciary Oversight Board Chair who will conduct meetings and act as the voice of the Board.

F. Judiciary Procedures.

1. Challenge: A question or challenge may be presented by any member of the GSA. Challenges pertaining to official Council action or proposed Council action shall be decided upon by the Judiciary Oversight Board before the next Council meeting, at which time the Judiciary Oversight Board shall hand down its decision or advisement to Council.

2. Due Process: The Judiciary Oversight Board shall respond in written form to requested action by the following Council meeting. Decisions of the Judiciary Oversight Board can be appealed as specified in this document.

3. Appeals process

a. To initiate an appeal of a Judiciary Oversight Board decision, the appealing party must present to the GSA executive officer a short statement of the specific issue being appealed.

b. Within five (5) days of receiving the request, the GSA Chair shall request an Advisory Opinion from the Office of the Institute Counsel. the Council Executive Officers’s request must include the Judiciary Oversight Board’s written decision as well as the statement of appeal. The Council Chair shall request that any response from the Office of the Institute Counsel be submitted to the GSA within twenty (20) days of the request. Upon a written request from the Office of the Institute Counsel, the Council Chair shall extend the time for an Advisory Opinion by the Office of the Institute counsel

c. Before or during the next regularly scheduled GSA Council meeting, the Judiciary Oversight Board’s written decision, and the statement of appeal shall be distributed to each GSA Council Representative and placed on the agenda for the next regular Council meeting.

d. If the Council meets after the appeal has been filed but before all the necessary materials have been distributed to the Council Representatives in a timely manner, the Council shall be appraised of the status of the appeal. The Council shall vote on the appeal at the next regular Council meeting. If the Council determines that the appeal raises issues which should be resolved before the next Regular Council meeting, the Council may vote to hold a Special Meeting.

e. When the Council considers the appeal, the Judiciary Oversight Board Chair or designee may present the issue to the Council and explain the decision of the Judiciary Oversight Board. The appealing party or parties shall have the opportunity to present to Council their specific basis for requesting the appeal.

f. Following the presentations of the issues, the GSA Council must vote either to uphold or to overrule the Judiciary Oversight Board statement.

g. A three-fourths vote of the GSA Council is required to overrule a decision of the Judiciary Oversight Board.

4. The Judiciary Oversight Board and the GSA Office shall retain all decisions, statements of appeal, advisory opinions, and records of Council votes on appeal for future reference.

ARTICLE VIII BUDGET

A. Fees: GSA is entitled to all student activity fees paid to the Institute by its graduate students. These fees shall be immediately deposited into the GSA account by the administration of Institute.

B. Expenditures and other monetary transactions from the GSA account must be approved by the GSA council and must fall within the policies and procedures of the Institute.

C. Authorization from the GSA to the Institute for the release and movement of GSA monies must be confirmed by signatures from either the Executive Officer or Appropriations Officer.

D. The GSA fiscal year shall extended from the first Council meeting in May until the next such meeting, one year following.

E. Purpose. Collected fees shall be used to fund the general GSA government and shall be used by the GSA Council to benefit chartered student organizations and other graduate students through GSA Committees.

F. Budget Procedures. The Appropriations Officer shall ensure a budget is drafted based on budget hearings held in the Spring at which time Council Representatives will present proposals for funding. The proposed budget must be approved by two-thirds of the Council Representatives present at the first Council meeting in April. The spirit of the approved budget shall be maintained throughout the fiscal year.

G. In recognition that the Undergraduate Student Association funds student organizations which include graduate students, the GSA Executive Officer shall annually negotiate with the Undergraduate Student Association upon a percentage of the graduate student activities fees which will be transferred to the Undergraduate Student Association account. These negotiations are subject to the approval of the GSA Council, and the amount to be transferred should not detract from traditionally sponsored GSA activities.

H. The GSA budgetary and finance practices will conform to Institute policies and procedures.

I. Audit: The GSA financial records and records of all funded organizations and groups may be subject to an audit as requested by Council.

J. Budget Compliance: Compliance with proposal guidelines of funded organizations for the fiscal year shall be determined by the Finance Committee and approved by a two-thirds vote of the Council Representatives present at a regularly scheduled meeting. Noncompliance of a funded organization to its budget proposal may result in Council recourse as established in Council guidelines. Recourse can include freezing of funds.

ARTICLE IX. Elections

A. Elections for GSA council representatives, shall be conducted by the respective department as needed. The departments are free to conduct the elections according to their own policies but should ensure that they are free, fair, and include all graduate students in the department. The results and procedures of the election are subject to the oversight of the Judiciary Oversight Board.

B. Elections for GSA officers are conducted by the sitting council on an as needed basis with a simple majority decision. The results are subject to the oversight of the Judiciary Oversight Board.

ARTICLE X. RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENTS

A. Ratification: This Constitution shall be ratified upon receiving a two-third approval by Council Representatives present at a regular Council meeting, majority approval by GSA members, and approval by the Institute Board of Regents.

B. Amendments: Requires a two-thirds approval by Council Representatives present at a regular Council meeting, majority approval by GSA members, and approval by the Institute Board of Regents.

C. This Constitution, including all amendments, shall be subject to modification by and under the control of the Institute Board of Regents, subject to approval by a majority of GSA members and two-thirds of the GSA council.

D.Amendments and additions to the GSA Bylaws shall be made according to the following procedure:

1. Council Representatives may propose an amendment or addition to the GSA Bylaws by presenting to the Council in writing the proposed amendment or addition. Vote on the adoption of the amendment or addition to the bylaws shall only take place at the next regular meeting of the Council upon a proper second. the proposal shall require a two-thirds vote of the Council Representatives in order to be adopted.

E. Proposed Constitutional or Bylaw Amendments shall place the amendment within the appropriate context within this document, including specific numerical reference (Article, Section, and paragraph number).

F. Constitutional Amendments approved by the GSA Membership during a General or Special Election shall have the status of a bylaw until ratified or rejected by the Board of Regents.

1. Where conflicts exist between previous bylaws and a new constitutional provision, the new constitutional provision will supplant the previous bylaw.

2. Where conflicts exist between previous constitutional provisions and a new constitutional provision, the previous provision shall remain in force until modified by the Board of Regents.

APPENDIX #1

GSA Student Grants Committee Application Guidelines

General:
SG funds individual research and travel to meetings and conferences related to academic progress. Each applicant is currently eligible to receive a maximum of $700 from SG per funding period with a maximum of two awards. First time travel with presentation is preferred. Service to the graduate student body is preferred. These monetary limits may be raised during a semester when excess funds are available. Unless otherwise approved by the GSA council, only members of GSA will be funded.

Post Award Abstracts:
Applicant’s who receive funding from the SG are required to submit to the SG Officer, an abstract and statement of actual expenditures prior to the end of the semester following the award. Conference participants who have presented should submit a copy of the accepted abstract along with the appropriate reference (eg. conference proceedings, organization transactions). Others should submit a brief abstract-like summary of the research and/or gains of the award.

Submission:
Applications should be submitted by mail or in person to the SG chair. No application may be hand-written. The original of each required item must be submitted as one application along with two complete copies. Only complete applications will be accepted. Each applicant must write an individual and original proposal even if several applicants are involved in the same activity. Group proposals will not be accepted.

Deadlines/Funding Periods:
Funding requests will be considered for projects beginning or taking place during each of the following periods: Fall, August 15 through December 31; Spring, January 1 through May 31; Summer, June 1 through August 14. Approximate application deadlines are as follows: Spring, November 15; Summer, April 15; Fall, July 15.

Award Decisions:
Applicants will be notified by mail of funding decisions, usually in 4 weeks. SG reader’s comments and scores are available for the applicant’s inspection by arrangement with the SG chair. Lump sum payments will be made as soon as possible following award decisions. Decisions are final; appeals may be made through the GSA Judiciary committee.

FORM:
The application must not be hand written and must be complete. Indicate what other funding sources you have pursued. Every applicant is expected to request funds from the respective department. Requests made to outside groups enhance the SG proposal even if the requests were denied.

Body of Proposal:
This should be a concise explanation of the activity for which funding is requested. The applicant’s area of academic interest should be explained in general terms and also specifically as it relates to the proposed activity. The project’s relevance to the applicant’s degree program, its significance to the academic field, and any tangible benefits to society and/or the community should be fully described. The explanation must be in plain English, understandable to graduate students from other departments: do not use technical jargon. The proposal should be typeset in 12 point font and not exceed two double spaced pages.

Budget:
A detailed, itemized budget should be on a separate page. It is important to include a total budget, not just a budget for the amount of SG support requested. You must indicate which items would be funded by SG. For more information, refer to the attached budget guidelines.

Letter of Support:
A signed letter of support from the applicant’s advisor is required. A short explanation of why the writer believes the activity and person should be funded is sufficient. A brief statement as to the availability of research or travel funds should be included. If the applicant’s advisor is on sabbatical or leave, the department chair or a member of the thesis/dissertation committee may write the letter.

Budget Guidelines

The following guidelines were drafted to assist applicants in the formulation of their proposal budget. If in doubt as to whether or not a particular expenditure is allowable, contact the SG chair. All expenditures associated with the proposal should be listed on the budget, regardless of whether they are allowable by SG. Listed expenditures should represent actual costs, not estimations, whenever possible. Research your budget! Clearly indicate which items are to be considered for SG funding.

Research Expenditures:
SG will not pay for salaries of collaborators; tuition or course-related fees; production, binding, or copying of a thesis or dissertation; books; entertainment; or services normally provided by the applicant’s department or NMT resource groups.

SG will pay for disposable goods; reasonable capital equipment expenditures; mileage; lodging; services not normally provided by the applicant’s department or NMT resource groups.

Conference Travel Expenditures:
SG will not fund professional organization fees (except for conference registration fees); or costs not directly associated with attendance at the conference (e.g. unrelated filed trips).

SG will fund transportation costs; hotel accommodations; airport shuttles/taxis; presentation materials; conference submission/registration fees; travel associated meals; sanctioned luncheons and banquets. Mileage expenses must conform with current NMT travel office guidelines.

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