Bylaws of the Payson Graduate Student Association

Table of Contents

Article I. Mission

We, the graduate students of the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University, in order to develop and further scholastic attainment; to promote understanding among the faculty, staff, students, and alumni; to coordinate the student activities of the Payson Center to further professional and social interests; and in recognition that the unification of the Payson graduate students into an effective group is necessary to these ends, do establish these Bylaws for the Payson Graduate Student Association.

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Article II. Name

This association will be known as the Payson Graduate Student Association of Tulane University, herein referred to as PGSA.

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Article III. Membership

Full membership in PGSA is automatically conferred on graduate students enrolled at the Payson Center, including all degree programs, whether full-time or part-time, who are currently residing in the Greater New Orleans area. Currently registered Payson Center graduate students who are distance-based or residing outside of the Greater New Orleans area may opt-in as full voting members if they desire to, but otherwise will be considered “ancillary members” without full voting privileges.

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Article IV. Authority

The authority resides with the PGSA members represented by the Officers and Committee Chairs, who are duly elected or appointed by the voting members of PGSA, in accordance with the guidelines contained herein. The Officers and Chairs have the authority to represent and coordinate on behalf of PGSA within the Tulane community, including Payson faculty and staff, and all related events.

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Article V. Powers and Jurisdiction

The Officers and Committee Chairs shall be the governing body of PGSA and will, in cooperation with the larger member body of the PGSA, have the power to formulate policies, manage the affairs of PGSA, create lesser committees, and have all other powers prescribed by and necessary for the proper execution of these bylaws, so long as it is approved by PGSA members.

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Article VI. Definitions

  1. Bylaws” refers to the entirety of this document and any text contained herein.
  2. Resolutions” are:
    1. commitments of resources made by PGSA or members of the PGSA not otherwise outlined in either the Bylaws or Policy and Procedures Manual
    2. official positions adopted by PGSA.
  3. Policies & Procedures
    1. any of the items outlined in the Policy Manual
  4. General Operations
    1. any item referring to the general tasks of running PGSA activities

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Article VII. Voting

Section 1. General Voting Procedures

All decisions, with the exception of those concerning general operations, shall be conducted through a synthesis of on-site and electronic voting to accommodate students unable to attend in person. A text version of the the item in question shall be provided electronically to all full-voting members for review within 24 hours of proposal at a PGSA meeting. Those not responding with a supporting or dissenting vote within 5 days of electronic distribution will be considered abstaining. 

  1. Bylaws: A two-thirds majority of the voting members of PGSA shall be necessary to pass, amend, or repeal a bylaw.
  2. Policies and Procedures: All Policies and Procedures may be adopted by a simple majority vote of PGSA members.
  3. Resolutions: Resolutions may be passed by a simple majority vote of PGSA members.
  4. General Operations: All decisions regarding general operations shall be made by consensus of PGSA members present at the meeting.

Section 2. Restrictions

In order to prevent the exclusion of students who may be traveling, not enrolled full-time, or otherwise unavailable during the summer term. While issues may be addressed and discussed between the end of Spring term and the beginning of Fall term each year, no voting to formalize or finalize decisions of type A, B, or C should be made during this time.

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Article VIII. Meetings

Section I. Regular Meetings

  1. All meetings are scheduled by the Officers and Committee Chairs
  2. Additional meetings can be called in the following manner:
    1. By a majority vote of the officers and committee chairs
    2. By request of the majority of the members

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Article IX. Officers

Section I. PGSA Officers

The following Officer positions shall be elected positions filled by PGSA members:

  1. The Treasurer shall administer and keep records of the financial activities of the Association.
  2. The Secretary shall make public and keep a permanent record of the agendas and proceedings of the Council meetings.
  3. The Program Coordinator shall oversee PGSA-sponsored events and provide support to Committee Chairs for coordinating activities.
  4. The Communications Liaison shall ensure that relevant information is up-to-date and available to members, serve as an ambassador to other programs, and oversee outreach.

Section 2. General Duties

  1. Officers and Committee Chairs shall give reports, as required, to keep PGSA members and the student body informed of all activities, opportunities, and decisions.
  2. Officers must attend all meetings.

Section 3. Specific Duties of Officers

Specific Officer duties are outlined in the PGSA Policy & Procedures Manual

Section 4. Term Limits

No person shall hold office within PGSA for more than two terms.

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Article X. Elections & Terms of Office

Elections for officer roles shall take place in the Fall semester; terms will begin in January of the next calendar year and run through December.

Section 1. Nominations & Eligibility

Candidates for office may nominate themselves or be nominated by another party. All nominations must be received by the first Monday in October, with elections to be completed by the first Monday in November.

  1. Eligibility requirements for nomination: Those persons running for officer roles are required to:
    1. be currently enrolled in the Payson Center as a graduate student in good academic standing
    2. reside in New Orleans for the duration of the intended term
    3. be in attendance for at least one semester prior to assuming office (note: this does not  bar new students entering in the Fall semester from running for office, only from inhabiting an office in their first semester in residency)

Section 2. Elections

Elections shall occur within one week of nominations being submitted. The current Secretary will oversee the voting process and counting of votes. Voting is open to all full-members and shall be conducted in a confidential manner through an online voting tool (as outlined in the policy manual).

  1. Winner is determined by receiving a plural majority of the votes.
  2. Newly elected officers will:
    1. Be identified by the Secretary on the first Monday of November of the fall semester
    2. Inhabit the role of “Officer-Elect,” assisting the current officer in all duties until the end of his or her term
    3. Assume full officership as of January 1st of the next calendar year
  3. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be conducted to determine the selection of officer. Should the run-off election subsequently result in a tie, the candidates may perform the role as co-officers.
  4. Should an officer leave in the middle of his or her term due to graduation or unforeseen circumstances, a special election will be held wherein the successful candidate will assume “Officer-Elect” duties immediately, performing them until the time of the current officer’s departure, at which time, the candidate advances to full officership or should they wish, step down and allow another candidate to nominate themselves for the position.

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Article XI. Committees

  1. Standing committees are outlined and named in the policies manual (individual committees) and are permanent unless otherwise voted upon.
  2. Standing Committees can be created or disbanded with a simple majority vote of the membership.
  3. Ad Hoc Committees can be created during meetings (with people present voting) and will only exist for the duration of one semester; designed to be for short-term projects that arise periodically (like the “Bylaws Committee”).

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Article XII. Rules of Order

In the conduct of meetings, events, committees and other conducts shall use Roberts rules of order for the proceedings.

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Article XIII. Policies and Procedures

The PGSA Secretary shall keep a policies & procedures manual outlining specific guidance relating to the general business operations of the organization. All other information regarding operations of PGSA not included within these Bylaws is to be addressed in the policies and procedures manual, which shall be made available electronically to all PGSA members, technology permitting, and in print upon request, and emailed out to the membership upon completion of annual revision.

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Adopted this 29th day of November, 2011. 

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