The Graduate Organizing Group (GOG) exists to act as an advocate and liaison for, and to promote interaction among, the graduate students in departments of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester.
Article I. Membership and Dues
GOG shall be funded by a mandatory $10 per semester Graduate Activity fee billed automatically through the Bursar’s office. Any graduate student from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering who pays the Graduate Activity Fee becomes a GOG member and will be granted access to GOG events, grants, and funding. In addition, GOG members have the opportunity to run for GOG Executive Committee positions. The Graduate Activity fee may be refunded for any reason by filling out a refund request, which will be posted on the GOG website, and must be received by the Treasurer on or before any posted deadline. Students requesting a refund forfeit their access to the above mentioned GOG privileges.
Article II. Voting Bodies
GOG will be composed of two voting bodies: the Executive Committee and the Department Representatives. The Department Representatives shall consist of one Representative selected by the GOG members from each department of the College. The departments are free to draft their own election procedures for filling Representative positions. The members of the GOG Executive Committee will be elected following the procedures in Article IV. A GOG member cannot hold positions as a Department Representative and an Executive Committee Officer simultaneously.
Article III. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall include: the President, who shall lead, observe, and represent GOG and shall conduct and arrange General and Executive Committee Meetings; the Communications Officer, who shall supervise publication of a newsletter, serve as a contact for the Department Representatives, and archive all Amendments, Bylaws, General and Executive Committee Meeting minutes; the Information Technology Officer, who shall assist in the publication of the newsletter, maintain the GOG website with all materials archived by the Communications Officer, and assist GOG members in preparing advertisements and communications as needed; the Treasurer, who shall prepare and monitor the GOG budget and review and sign off on all requests for GOG monies; the Academic Programming Officer, who shall arrange speaker forums and administer any available grants related to scholarly conferences; the Student Advocacy Officer, who shall investigate and seek to resolve issues of concern to graduate students and shall arrange issue-related and instructional seminars; the Social Programming Officer, who shall arrange social events. The Executive Committee shall
meet as necessary to coordinate GOG functions. It may also make and approve changes to the Bylaws, change grammatical errors to the Constitution, propose changes to the Constitution to the Department Representatives, and make appointments to University committees.
Article IVa. Elections
GOG will hold elections twice a year. An election in the spring academic term will serve to elect the President for the following year. The second election, held at the beginning of the academic year, will serve to elect the remaining GOG officers. Terms for all officers shall begin and end shortly after the fall elections. The President-Elect shall sit in on any Executive Committee Meetings until his or her term begins, as an observer without voting privileges. If an existing officer is elected as President for the following term, he or she shall continue their original elected position through the end of their term.
Any GOG member at the time of an election shall be eligible for nomination, with the exception be that no member will be eligible to hold the same Executive Committee position for more than two years. In the event that no other GOG member is interested in filling the position, this restriction shall be lifted. The Communications Officer will be in charge of maintaining a record of eligible nominees.
Any GOG member may nominate himself or herself or another GOG member. Nominations may be sent either electronically to the Communications Officer, after notice for the start of the election process, or made at a GOG Election Forum where attendance is open to any GOG member. The nomination period will begin two weeks before the Election Forum meeting date. This Forum will be the last opportunity to make nominations. The names of nominated candidates shall be added to the GOG website as they are proposed during this time period.
The Election Forum shall be moderated by the President, Communications Officer, or another GOG officer, if needed. It shall not be moderated by any candidates running in the current election. If all members of the Executive Committee are running in the current election, the Executive Committee will elect a GOG member to moderate the election. At the Election Forum, nominees will have the opportunity to make a brief speech. GOG members in attendance will have an opportunity to ask each nominee questions. Time limits for the speech and question period shall be outlined in the Bylaws. They shall be strictly enforced to protect fairness and the time of GOG members.
After all nominations have been collected, nominees may prepare a brief written statement for their campaign, to be submitted within several hours of the Election Forum. All nominees must indicate whether they expect to be able to commit to the full 12 month term if elected. All statements will be posted online at the same time to ensure equal exposure of candidates. These statements shall also be emailed to the GOG membership body when calling for votes.
Voting shall take place using an electronic survey program. This will prevent any individual from being responsible for collecting email votes. Voters shall have a method of signing in to prevent multiple votes. Votes will not be linked to this identification method. The Dean of Graduate Studies shall be in charge of the voting system and will certify the results of the election. Voting shall begin by means of voting stations at the end of the Election Forum, once all speeches and question periods have been completed. Candidate statements shall be posted within several hours so GOG members not in attendance at the Election Forum may submit their votes. Voting shall remain open for a period of three days.
Article IVb Vacancies
In the event that an officer vacates their position before the end of their term but with less than 6 months remaining in the term, the vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, at any well-publicized meeting of the Executive Committee any time
after the occurrence of the vacancy. If a position is vacated with more than 6 months remaining in the term, a special election shall be held. All GOG members shall be notified of the vacancy in a call for nominations. The individual so elected shall serve until his or her replacement is duly elected at the next normally scheduled election.
Article V. General Meeting
A meeting of the Department Representatives must be held at least twice a year. The Executive Committee or one-sixth of the GOG Department Representatives may also call additional meetings. General Meetings will serve the purpose of bringing issues to the attention of the Executive Committee, challenging decisions made by the Executive Committee, expulsion from GOG-selected positions, reviewing the allocation of GOG’s budget including any use of reserve funds, ratifying Constitutional Amendments, and discussing other proposals as needed. All decisions at a General Meeting must be declared in the presence of a simple majority of the GOG Department Representatives. Each GOG Department Representative present, or proxy designated by the Representative in writing to the Communications Officer before the start of the General Meeting, shall cast an equal vote. Overruling of an Executive Committee decision,
expulsions from GOG-selected positions, and Constitutional Amendments must be approved by two-thirds of the votes cast, while other decisions require a simple majority. An agenda of items to be discussed at the General Meeting shall be provided to all Department Representatives one week prior to the meeting. In addition, Department Representatives shall each be given a brief opportunity at the General Meeting to give feedback about GOG.
Proposals may also be decided in written form, electronically, without calling a General
Meeting, with all votes not returned counted as votes against the proposal.
Article VI. Compensation
Members of the Executive Committee may be compensated for their time up to no more
than 1% of the total revenue generated in any given semester. GOG members are entitled to reimbursement for approved expenses incurred in the organization of GOG events and should submit these requests to the Treasurer.
Article VII. Definition of Bylaws
The GOG Executive Committee shall compose a set of Bylaws that will govern the organization and daily operation of GOG not specifically outlined in the Constitution. The bylaws should contain, but are not limited to, budgetary procedures, funding request guidelines, reimbursement and Graduate Activity Fee refund procedures, policies for recognizing graduate student groups, and a risk management policy.
Article VIII. Availability of the Constitution
This document along with any applicable GOG Bylaws will be provided both on the GOG website and in one additional electronic or paper form to new Department Representatives at the beginning of each school year.
Ratified Spring, 1997
Revised Spring, 2009
Revised Spring, 2010