Graduate Student Government
University Of Southern California
Last revised: 04/10/2
SECTION 1: NAME
The name of this organization will be the Graduate Student Government. Hereinafter it will be referred to as GSG.
The divisions of GSG will be referred to as Executive Board and Senate.
SECTION 2: PURPOSE
GSG is designed to be the voice of graduate and professional students on all campuses at the University of Southern California, USC. GSG endeavors to accurately represent the concerns and needs of graduate and professional students to the University administration, facilitate interdisciplinary exchanges, and provide programming of special interest to graduate and professional students.
The structure is designed to assure that GSG is representative of graduate and professional students at USC. In recognition of the time constraints placed on graduate and professional students, the structure is decentralized and meetings are minimized.
2.3 Definition of Graduate Student
Any student enrolled in a graduate or professional program and classified as a graduate student by USC.
SECTION 3: SENATE
3.1.1 Establishing Policies and Procedures
The Senate establishes the policies and procedures for GSG through the following responsibilities to:
- Serve as a forum for graduate and professional student interaction
- Elect the GSG Executive Board
- Approve the GSG budget
- Make resolutions expressing graduate and professional student concern
- Amend the Constitution and Bylaws in a judicious manner.
- Designate a proxy to attend Senate and committee meetings in the event the regular senator(s) is/are unable to attend.
- Serve on at least one GSG standing committee or University-wide committee.
3.1.2 Failure to Perform Duties
Senators who repeatedly fail to perform their duties or abuse their office for personal ends may be removed by two-thirds vote of the Senate. A senator must be given notice of an intended motion of removal at least four days before the meeting where the vote will be held. Senators may also be removed by the constituencies that elected them, according to the procedures of the constituency.
The GSG Senate consists of both voting members and ex officio members. Members must be currently registered USC graduate or professional students.
3.2.1 Voting Members
Voting members will consist of Senators from each of the Schools (Business, Cinema, Fine Arts, etc.) and each of the Letters, Arts & Sciences departments. In the event that a Senator is not present at a Senate meeting, a pre-designated proxy attending the meeting in the Senator’s absence is empowered to vote in place of that Senator. The Senators from each School/LAS department will be determined according to the following: 1 Senator for every 2% of the graduate and Professional student body, not exceed 6 Senators per department or school
3.2.2 Ex Officio Members
Ex officio members include the following:
- All members of the Executive Board
- Graduate Student in Residence
- Student Affairs Advisor
Ex officio members are not entitled to vote in Senate meetings, except the President, who may vote only to break a tie. Ex officio members may not serve in any function as an individual graduate student, but instead must stay neutral as a representative of GSG. Ex officio members may not serve as a proxy for an absent voting member.
3.2.3 Ad Hoc Members
· Ad Hoc members are permanent representatives from recognized organizations oriented toward graduate and professional students. Organizations must petition the Senate and be approved by a majority vote of the Senate in order to be granted Ad Hoc membership. Ad Hoc members are not entitled to vote in Senate meetings.
- Nominations for all senators shall open on the first Monday in February.
- Senators shall be responsible for coordinating the election within their department or school.
- The Director of Elections & Recruitment shall inform all departments and schools not currently represented on the Senate of the opening of nominations.
- Selection procedures shall be determined by the graduate students of the department or school, but, in any case, selection shall be completed before the October senate meeting.
- If a senator's seat remains vacant after the October senate meeting, the Executive Board of the GSG shall initiate action to fill the seat, such as informing members of the department or school of the vacancy and encouraging those eligible to run.
The Director of Election and Recruitment shall ask senators at the March Senate meeting to submit a document containing:
- The structure of the graduate student organization they represent
- The names and email addresses of
- The current senator/s
- The future senator/s and president of the graduate student organization if elected before the April senate meeting
- The graduate advisor of the graduate student organization
- Any other information the current senator wants to transition to the future senator.
- This document has to be submitted to the Election and Recruitment Chair before the April Senate meeting.
- Retiring senators shall leave office immediately after the senator election in their respective graduate student organization has been completed.
- The Senate may nullify a departmental or school election if it has reason to believe that the election was conducted unfairly.
3.4 Senate Meetings
Quorum is one-half of the total number of Senators from USC-recognized student body organizations representing their school/department.
- A simple majority of the members present at the Senate meeting is required to pass a Resolution or Bylaw Amendment.
- A two-thirds vote of the members present at the Senate meeting is required to pass a Constitutional Amendment. Notice of a proposed amendment must be given one Senate meeting prior to the meeting when the vote will be taken.
3.4.3 Meeting structure
- The Senate will meet at least once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters. At least one meeting a semester must take place on the Health Sciences Campus.
- At the request of five Senators, a meeting will be run according to Robert's Rules of Order.
- All meetings will be open to the public. Any graduate or professional student may speak at a meeting.
SECTION 4: EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board completes the day-to-day operations for GSG through the following responsibilities:
- Coordinate the activities of the Senate and GSG Committees.
- Make administrative decisions.
- Participate in and be available for all Senate and Executive Board meetings.
- Submit a semester budget for Chairs’ funds for the semester within the first month of each semester.
The Executive Board has the following membership:
- Vice President.
- Director of Finance
- Director of Elections & Recruitment
- Director of Social Programming
- Director of Community and Special Events
- Director of Communications
- Director of Public Relations
- Director of Academic Affairs
- Director of Campus Affairs
- Director of the Health Sciences Campus
4.3.1 Executive Board Positions
Executive Board positions are elected by the Senate. A graduate or professional student is eligible to run for any position on the Executive Board if the student has been any of the following for at least one full semester:
- GSG Executive Board member
- GSG Senate member
- GSG Committee member
- University or University-wide Committee member
- USC-recognized graduate student group executive board member
In the case that no qualified person runs for an Executive Board position, the position will then be open to the entire graduate and professional student community.
4.3.1a Health Sciences Campus Chair
Only Health Sciences Campus graduate and professional students are eligible to run for the position.
4.3.2 Time of Elections
Executive Board elections shall be held before the April senate meeting at a meeting dedicated solely for the purpose of elections. The Senate meeting at which the elections are held will be advertised. The elections will be conducted by the outgoing Elections and Recruitment Chair, or, if the outgoing Elections and Recruitment Chair is a candidate to run for a position, by another person chosen by the Senate at the senate meeting immediately prior to the elections meeting. The Senate may also appoint scrutinizers.
4.3.3 Structure of Elections
Elections for each Executive Board positions will be held in the order in which they are listed in section 4.2. The Elections & Recruitment Chair will call for nominations. Each nominee may give a brief speech. Voting shall be by secret ballot. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the votes, there will be a run-off between the two candidates with the most votes. Candidates may run for a maximum of two executive board positions to be elected in the order listed in Section 4.2
4.3.4 Mid-Year Vacancy
In event of a vacancy in mid-year, the vacancy shall be advertised and an election held at the Senate meeting immediately following the vacancy.
4.3.5 Failure to Perform Duties
Executive Board members who repeatedly fail to perform their duties or abuse their office for personal ends may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. An executive board member must be given notice of the intended removal at least four days before the meeting where the vote will be held.
4.4 Executive Board Meetings
The Executive Board shall meet at the time set by the previous meeting, at the call of the President/Chair, or at the call of two or more Executive Board members. Historically, the time has been from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Monday.
Quorum is one-half of the existing Executive Board.
A simple majority is required to pass a motion at Executive Board meetings. In the event of a tie, the President/Chair will vote to break the tie.
SECTION 5: STANDING COMMITTEES
Standing Committees will address graduate and professional student concerns at the University. Their duties include:
- Representing graduate and professional students in their chosen area.
- Informing the Senate and Executive Board on their activities on a regular basis.
- Researching and reporting on issues when requested to do so by the Senate or the Executive Board.
5.1.1 Approval of Committees
Standing Committees are approved by a simple majority of the Senate.
5.1.2 Election of Chairs
Chairs are elected from within the membership of each Standing Committee. Committee Chairs must be elected by the last Executive Board Meeting. If the Committee has not elected a new Chair by the last Executive Board Meeting, the incoming President or the Director of Elections and Recruitment may appoint an interim Chair. When the Standing Committee is fully constituted they are empowered to elect a Chair of the Committee.
5.1.3 Schedule of Meetings
All Standing Committees will meet at least once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters.
SECTION 6: AD HOC COMMITTEES
Ad Hoc committees are formed on an as needed basis to address specific graduate and professional student concerns. Their duties include:
- Representing graduate and professional students on a specific issue.
- Informing the Senate and Executive Board of their activities on a regular basis.
6.1.1 Committee Approval
Ad Hoc committees are approved by a simple majority of the Senate.
6.1.2 Committee Cessation
Once the task is completed, the Ad Hoc committee is disbanded.