Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience : Office of Student Life

Constitution

Revised February 2021

 

Preamble

The Council of Graduate Students of Ohio State University (CGS) is the official body representing graduate students' diverse issues, concerns, and needs at The Ohio State University. We involve students in a productive partnership in governance of the University, promote the internal welfare and unity of the student community, further the goals of our University, and respond to the challenges of our society. The statement of purpose for CGS is “to effectively advocate and program to ensure that The Ohio State University graduate student experience is the best it can be”.

 

 Article 1 – Name

Section 1.1 The name of this organization is the Council of Graduate Students, hereinafter also referred to as the "the Council" or "CGS”.

 

Article 2 – Mission

Section 2.1 The Council represents all students enrolled in graduate programs at The Ohio State University, hereinafter referred to as graduate students or the graduate student body.

Section 2.2 The Council provides a forum in which the graduate student body may present and discuss issues that pertain to the academic and non-academic success and experience of graduate students and their role within the university community.

Section 2.3 The Council advocates on behalf of all graduate students with attention to the diverse experiences of students across race, class, gender, nationality, sexuality, disability, and religious affiliation.

Section 2.4 The Council promotes and provides academic, administrative, and social programs to support graduate students specifically and the university community in general.

Section 2.5 The Council shall represent the graduate student body at all appropriate venues in a manner determined by the Executive Board in consultation with the delegate body. The President or their designee shall be the primary representative of the Council and shall keep the Council informed.

 

Article 3 – Authority and Powers

Section 3.1 The authority for the establishment of the Council is derived from the consent of the graduate student body.

Section 3.2 The Council is recognized by The Ohio State University as the official organization representing all graduate students at The Ohio State University.          

Section 3.3 On all matters brought before entities of The Ohio State University involving the interest of graduate students, the Council or its representatives have the power to act as an advisory agent on behalf of graduate students.

Section 3.4 The Council has the power to plan and implement programs and make policy recommendations to the university in accordance with the mission of the Council.

Section 3.5 The Council has the primary authority to allocate and distribute funds from the Treasury of the Council.

Section 3.6 The Council oversees the elections and qualifications of its members and determines its own rules of procedure.  

 

Article 4 – Membership and Eligibility

Section 4.1 A person is eligible to hold any Council position, elected or appointed, if and only if that person meets the qualifications for graduate student status in good standing as defined by that person's respective program of study.     

Section 4.2 No student shall be denied membership in this organization on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status.

Section 4.3 All members of the Council shall abide by the Council’s governing documents.

Section 4.4 The Council is composed of a delegate body elected by graduate students and an Executive Board made up of Executive Officers, appointed officers, and Committee Chairs (as outlined in Article 10).

Section 4.5 All delegates and Committee Chairs shall be voting members and have full voting and speaking privileges at meetings. All Officers (elected and appointed) shall have speaking rights at meetings but do not hold voting rights.

Section 4.6 Delegates who are appointed to Committee Chair positions and do not also hold elected officer positions may retain their delegate seats. All Officers, elected or appointed, shall resign their delegate seats when their term begins (as outlined in Article 8).

 

Article 5 – Quorum and Voting

Section 5.1 At all meetings of the Council, except those held in summer term, one-fifth of the total number of voting members (as outlined in Article 4, Section 5) shall constitute a quorum. At the final regular meeting of spring semester, a poll shall be conducted to determine the total number of voting members who will be available to attend meetings over the summer. For all summer term meetings, one-fifth of the total number of voting members available to meet during summer term shall constitute a quorum.

Section 5.2 Each voting member (as outlined in Article 4, Section 5) in attendance shall have one vote. An Executive Board member who is also a delegate may not vote twice.

Section 5.3 In the event of an absence, a delegate's designated alternate may attend and shall be entitled to the same powers and privileges as the delegate, including voting. Voting members of the Executive Board may not designate alternates to vote on their behalf unless they also hold a delegate seat.

Section 5.4 If quorum is not reached at any meeting of the Council, no votes may be held. The Council may still discuss issues and attend to other agenda items. If quorum is lost during the course of a meeting, all legislation and scheduled votes will be automatically tabled until the next regular meeting.

Section 5.5 A two-thirds majority vote shall be defined as an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all voting members in attendance. A simple majority vote shall be defined as an affirmative vote of at least half of all voting members in attendance.

 

Article 6 – Meetings

Section 6.1 There will be at least four regular meetings of the Council during both autumn and spring semesters. During the summer term, the Council must hold at least 2 regular meetings.

Section 6.2 Special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the President, at the request of the Executive Board, or upon the written request of ten or more delegates. The special meeting must be held within nine days of such a request, provided that the University is in session on the ninth day.  Otherwise it must be held within three days of the start of the next session.

Section 6.3 All meetings of the Council are presided over by an executive officer, who shall be recognized as the chair.

Section 6.4 Every voting member and Officer will signify attendance at a meeting by a procedure supervised by the Secretary. This procedure may differ for summer term. Attendance must be documented, and records made available upon request.

 

Article 7 – Parliamentary Authority

Section 7.1 The current edition of "Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised" governs the procedures of all meetings of the Council, except where conflicting with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Council.

Section 7.2 The Chair of the meeting shall be responsible for interpreting all relevant aspects of the CGS Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules. Decisions of the Chair may be appealed to the full Council and overturned by a simple majority vote. The Council's ruling is final.

Section 7.3 The President may appoint a Parliamentarian to advise on the details in Section 7.2 and other relevant matters (as outlined in Article 8.3.F).

 

Article 8 – Elections and Officers

Section 8.1 The Council of Graduate Students shall elect annually from the graduate student body the following Executive Officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 8.2 If applicable, once a person becomes an executive officer of the Council, that person will resign as a delegate when the term of office begins.

Section 8.3: President

8.3.A The President shall preside over all meetings of the Council as the chair.

8.3.B The President shall select the time and place of all regular and special meetings of the Council. The President shall inform each delegate in writing of the time and place chosen for each regular meeting of a semester by no later than the tenth day of that semester.

8.3.C The President shall serve as a liaison between CGS and the Graduate School, the University administration, and The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

8.3.D. The President shall be responsible for ensuring Council compliance with all fiscal and personnel policies of the Council, university, state, and federal government.

8.3.E The president shall serve as an ex officio member of the University Senate and its Steering Committee.

8.3.F The President shall have the power to appoint a Chief of Staff and/or a Parliamentarian if they so choose. These appointments shall be subject to approval by the Executive Committee.

8.3.G The President shall be responsible for implementing and enacting all decisions of the Council and shall fulfill other duties as directed by the consensus of the Council and the Executive Committee.

Section 8.4: Vice President

8.4.A The Vice President shall be responsible for overseeing and maintaining records of appointments to all University committees, Senate committees, and shared governance committees on which the Council has representation, as well as to all internal CGS committees.

8.4.B The Vice President shall coordinate the Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum.

8.4.C The Vice President shall review delegate eligibility, oversee delegate elections, and maintain records of all delegate seats.

8.4.D The Vice President shall oversee and serve as Chair during all elections.

8.4.E The Vice President shall have the power to appoint a Deputy Treasurer. This appointment shall be subject to approval by the Executive Board.

8.4.F In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside over meetings of the Council.

8.4.G The Vice President shall fulfill other duties as directed by the Council, the Executive Committee, and the President.

Section 8.5: Treasurer

8.5.A The Treasurer shall handle all the finances of the Council and keep an accurate record of its financial status at all times.

8.5.B The Treasurer, in consultation with the President and Vice President, shall be responsible for creating an annual budget for the Council.

8.5.C The Treasurer shall oversee the Edward J. Ray Travel Award for Scholarship and Service.

8.5.D In the absence of the President and Vice President, the Treasurer shall preside over meetings of the Council.

8.5.E The Treasurer shall fulfill other duties as directed by the Council, the Executive Committee, and the President.

Section 8.6: Secretary

8.6.A The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping minutes of all meetings of the Council and the Executive Committee, for maintaining records of legislation, and for communicating announcements and information to the delegate body.

8.6.B The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining attendance records and determining quorum at Council meetings as declared in Article 5, Section 1 of this Constitution.

8.6.C The secretary shall oversee the Career Development Award.

8.6.D The Secretary shall be responsible for ensuring that the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules are updated at the end of every semester to reflect all passed legislative amendments.

8.6.E In the absence of the President, Vice President, and Treasurer, the Secretary shall preside over meetings of the Council.

8.6.F The Secretary shall fulfill other duties as directed by the Council, the Executive Committee, and the President.

Section 8.7: Executive Officer Removal

8.7.A Executive Officers holding an appointed position may be removed by the President in consultation with the Executive Board, members of the relevant committee, and/or the delegate body.

8.7.B The Council has the authority to remove any Executive Officer, for violation of the governing documents through the following procedure:

8.7.B.i A written motion requesting an investigation of an Executive officer for such violations must be presented at a regular meeting of the Council. This motion must bear the signatures of at least ten delegates or at least two-thirds of the Executive Committee.

8.7.B.ii The officer shall be given the opportunity to respond to the motion. If the motion is approved by a simple majority vote, a committee will be convened to conduct an investigation into the allegations against the officer and present its findings at the next regular Council meeting. This membership and chairship of this committee will be subject to approval by the council.

8.7.B.iii Following this presentation, a two-thirds vote of the Council is required to approve the removal of the officer, effective immediately.

Section 8.8: Vacancy

8.8.A A vacancy shall be declared if an elected officer is removed or is unable to fulfill their duties as outlined in this Constitution for a period of time exceeding 3 weeks. In the event of a temporary absence less than 3 weeks, the rest of the executive officer team shall ensure that the necessary obligations of the absent officer are fulfilled.

8.8.B In the event the presidency falls vacant, the Vice President shall have the option of becoming the President. In this instance, a new Vice President shall be elected or appointed following the procedures outlined in 8.8.D and 8.8.E. The Vice President shall also have the option of refusing the office of the presidency, in which case the Vice President shall serve as President pro tempore until such time as the Council is able to elect a new President. This election shall be held no later than the second regular meeting of the Council following the occurrence of the vacancy.

8.8.C In the event that the positions of President and Vice President simultaneously become vacant, the Secretary shall serve as President pro tempore. In the case that the position of Secretary is also vacant, then the Treasurer shall serve as President pro tempore. In either case, the Council shall elect a new President no later than the second regular meeting of the Council.

8.8.D In the event that the position of Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary becomes vacant prior to the last meeting of the autumn semester, an election to complete the current term will be held no later than the second regular meeting of the Council following the occurrence of the vacancy. Election procedures will be in accordance with the current provisions of this Constitution and any Bylaws the Council shall enact. An interim officer may be appointed by the President to hold office until such time as an election can be held. This interim officer is subject to approval by the Executive Committee.

8.8.E In the event that the position of Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary becomes vacant after the last meeting of the autumn semester, the President shall appoint an interim officer to hold office for the remainder of the term. This appointment must be confirmed by a simple majority vote of the Council at the next regular meeting.

 

Article 9 – Committees

Section 9.1 All standing committees shall be led by chairs appointed by the President. These appointments are subject to approval by the Executive Board.

Section 9.2 The Council may create such standing or ad hoc committees as it deems necessary. Ad hoc committees are designed to be temporary, single issue committees. When they are created, they should have a specified start and end date that would require approval from the body to extend.

 

Article 10 – Executive Board

Section 10.1 Membership of the Executive Board shall be determined as follows:

10.1.A All four executive officers and all chairs of standing committees shall be voting members.

10.1.B The President chairs the Executive Board.

10.1.C One graduate student representative each from any University and Senate committees may be appointed by the President as voting members.

10.1.D Ex-officio non-voting members of the Executive Board shall include emeritus officers, the Parliamentarian, the Chief of Staff, the Deputy Treasurer, ad-hoc committee chairs, and the student members of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

10.1.E During summer term, the Executive Board shall consist of those individuals who were members during the spring semester of the previous academic year, the newly elected officers, and all new committee chairs as they are appointed.

Section 10.2 Duties and powers

10.2.A The Executive Board transacts the business of the Council between regular meetings and recommends actions to be taken by the Council.

10.2.B All actions taken by the Board shall be reported to the Council at its next delegate body meeting and meeting minutes will be publicly distributed. The Executive Board shall bring before the Council any matter coming within its knowledge that needs the consideration or action of the Council.

10.2.C A quorum for Executive Board meetings shall consist of at least 50% of all active voting members of the Executive Board.

10.2.D The Executive Board prepares the agenda for each Council meeting.

10.2.E The Executive Board shall approve all officer and committee chair appointments by a simple majority vote. These appointments shall be announced at the next regular meeting of the Council.

10.2.F The Executive Board may not take any actions that would directly conflict with a previous directive of the full council. Other restrictions on the actions of the Executive Board may be imposed by the Council.

10.2.G The Executive Board shall build and maintain relationships with sister student governments.

10.2.H The Executive Board shall approve all official statements released on behalf of the Council.

 

Article 11 – Other Governing Documents

Section 11.1 The Council shall establish and maintain Bylaws, a Code of Ethics and Values, and Standing Rules. These governing documents shall be appended to this Constitution and be made available upon request.

Section 11.2. Any proposed amendment to the Bylaws must be sent to all delegates one week prior to a regular meeting of the Council. At the regular meeting of the Council, the proposed amendment to the Bylaws may be approved by a simple majority vote. 

Section 11.3. Any proposed amendment to the Code of Ethics and Values must be sent to all delegates one week prior to a regular meeting of the Council. At the regular meeting of the Council, the proposed amendment to the Code of Ethics and Values may be approved by a simple majority vote.

Section 11.4 The Council may establish or amend additional standing rules by a simple majority vote. 

 

Article 12 – Amendments

Section 12.1 Any proposed amendment to this Constitution must be presented in writing at a regular meeting of the Council either with the signatures of ten delegates or at the initiative of the Executive Committee. A copy of the proposed amendment must be sent to all delegates within 5 business days of the meeting at which the amendment was presented.

Section 12.2 An affirmative two-thirds vote at a regular meeting following the meeting at which the amendment was proposed will be sufficient to adopt the amendment.