of the MIT Graduate Student Council
- Article I. Duties of the Officers
- Article II. Committees
- Article III. Election of Council Representatives
- Article IV. Election and Removal of Officers
- Article V. Procedures for Council Meetings
- Article VI. Finances
- Article VII. Statements
The President shall call and preside at meetings of the Council and Executive Committee. The President shall oversee the operations and activities of the Council and all committees. The President shall be responsible for submitting a year-end report of the Council at its May General Council Meeting before the new Council Officers begin their term of office. The President may appoint assistants with the approval of the Council and may designate a member of the GSC to serve as Parliamentarian.
The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the President’s absence and chair all the elections of GSC members. The Vice-President shall also be the Chair of the Nominations Board as described in the Article II.D.2 of the GSC Bylaws. After every Funding Board application cycle, the Vice-President shall be part of the Funding Appeals Board as described in the Article II.D.3 of the GSC Bylaws. The Vice-President shall be responsible for maintaining a record of the activity of Council representatives, including attendance to the General Council Meetings, Council representative participation in at least one GSC committee, and recall council representatives as in Article III.C.5 of the GSC Bylaws. The GSC Vice-President shall be responsible for collecting reports from the Institute Representatives and organizing the Orientation for Institute Representatives before October 15.
The Secretary shall be responsible for recording, posting, and filing of minutes of all Council meetings, notification to all Council members and the general public of all meetings of the Council, maintaining the files of the Council, and liaising with the communications media. The Secretary shall chair the Publications and Publicity Board.
The Treasurer shall receive, disburse, and account for all funds of the Council and its activities, present a written report of finances at least once per semester, coordinate all budget and financial decisions, prepare the budget for the next fiscal year to be voted upon by the Council, and coordinate the funding of student activities.
A. Committee Structure
Pursuant to Article II of the Council Constitution, the Council may establish standing and ad-hoc committees. All committees formed have a particular purpose outlined within the Bylaws or their charge. All committees have one or more graduate student chairperson(s). Standing Committees of the Council shall be those defined in Article II, Section G of these Bylaws and are bound to follow procedures described in Article II, Sections C-E. A Board of the Council shall be a special type of standing committee defined in Article II, Section H of these Bylaws whose membership and other formal operating procedures are explicitly defined by Council in the Bylaws. Ad-hoc committees may be formed by a majority vote of the Council and shall terminate with the Officers under whom they were established. Ad-hoc committees follow Sections C-E of this article.
B. Committee Procedures
Committees will have their own internal operating procedures and must operate under the GSC Constitution and Bylaws. These operating procedures will be in written form and publicly available on the GSC webpage. The chairpersons shall call and preside over all meetings, and shall be responsible for ensuring that all committee procedures are followed. Committees shall report on their activities to the Council on a regular basis, inform the Officers of current developments, maintain pertinent documentation, and handle the responsibilities of distributing publicity or otherwise communicating with the graduate student bodfy. In addition, committees may be called upon by the Nominations Board to nominate representatives to relevant Institute Committees, as specified in Article II, Section E.2 of these Bylaws. Committees may form and terminate subcommittees as deemed necessary by the Committee.
C. Committee Membership
The membership of standing committees shall consist of graduate student volunteers who serve at the pleasure of the Council and ex officio members as appointed by the Council or as specified by the Constitution, Bylaws, or committee guidelines. Assuming the standing committee is not chaired by an Officer, the committee membership shall include an Officer Liaison. The Officer Liaison is either an Officer specified in the Bylaws as an ex officio member of the committee or an Officer appointed by the Officers in a recorded decision announced to the Council. The members of ad-hoc committees shall be determined by the Council.
D. Election of Committee Chairpersons
1. Election of Standing Committee Chairpersons
The chairpersons of standing committees shall be elected by the committee’s graduate student membership, unless an alternative procedure is otherwise specified in the committee’s formal operating guidelines. A committee sets its own election procedure provided that any chairperson elected receives at least majority support of voting committee members. The Vice-President, or his or her appointed designee, shall supervise the election and certify the results, but he or she shall not modify the committee’s established election procedure except where it conflicts with the Bylaws or the Constitution.
All standing committees must set the date for the election of new chairpersons under the upcoming Officer team at least one week prior to the official transition General Council Meeting between the old and new Officer teams.
In the event of a chairperson vacancy because of resignation, graduation or any other reason, the vacancy may be filled in the same manner as electing a chairperson, unless otherwise specified in the committee’s formal operating guidelines.
2. Election of Ad-Hoc Committee Chairpersons
The chairpersons of ad-hoc committees shall, whether upon formation of the ad-hoc committee or because of vacancy, be appointed by the President and approved by the Council.
E. Removal of a Committee Chairperson
In the event a chairperson fails to perform the required duties or commits any other gross misconduct, he or she may be removed by a “vote of no confidence”. The “vote of no confidence” can be initiated in two ways: 1. by the graduate student membership of that committee or 2. by the Council. To initiate such proceedings, a petition signed by a minimum of 2 graduate student members of the committee, or 3 Council members, and certified by the Vice-President, must be presented to the President outlining the specific charges against said chairperson. The President shall notify said chairperson of the charges submitted. The hearing of the presented charges and impeachment proceedings can take place during a regular meeting of the Council, or the President can schedule a special meeting of the Council. The President shall notify the committee and the Council of the time and date of the impeachment proceedings. The impeachment proceedings cannot occur sooner than two weeks from the date the President notifies the committee and Council, and it cannot occur on MIT holidays. The Executive Committee shall appoint a neutral Council representative to preside over the hearing. After presentation of a case for and against the chairperson’s conduct, the Council members present at the meeting shall vote, supervised by the Vice-President or his or her designated representative, whether the Council has no confidence in the accused chairperson, and the chairperson shall be immediately removed if it passes with a majority of the votes cast. A chairperson cannot be put up for a “vote of no confidence” more than once in a three month timeframe. Committees that elect their chairs though their internal operating procedures can also establish additional procedures for removing their Committee Chairpersons.
F. Suspension of Committees
A majority of the full membership of the Council may initiate an inquiry into the proceedings of any committee and may suspend a committee until such a time as a vote is cast by the full Council to return the committee to active status.
G. The following standing committees are established:
The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Council, have overall coordination of finances, and budgets not delegated to other committees, prepare an agenda for each Council meeting, and may deal with all matters pertinent to the Council. All decisions on finances and budget must be made after open hearings and be approved by the Council. The President, or another Officer in the President’s absence, shall chair the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall convene at the call of the President, or at the request of two members of the Council. Any graduate student may attend an Executive Committee meeting. The voting membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Council, non-Officer chairpersons of standing committees, and other persons appointed (and removable) by the Council. The statement-voting membership is the same as the full voting membership of the Executive Committee.
A permanent subcommittee of the Executive Committee shall be the Statements Subcommittee. The Statements Subcommittee shall handle the relevant duties specified in Article VII.B.2. The Statements Subcommittee shall consist of the following members, who are not necessarily members of the Executive Committee: the GSC Secretary, who chairs the Statements Subcommittee, and 1 other Officer, appointed by the Officers; 1 member of each committee, other than the Executive Committee, with an approved statement-voting membership, appointed by their respective committee; and up to 3 At-Large Executive Committee members who are not members of the Subcommittee by other means. The At-Large Executive Committee members of the Statements Subcommittee shall be elected by the single transferable vote method (using the Droop quota and fractional transfer) by the members of the Executive Committee in the first Executive Committee meeting held after the election of the Officers or by the members of the Executive Committee-elect for the upcoming term if said meeting occurs before the end of the term of the outgoing Executive Committee. Vacant At-Large positions may be filled by the same election procedure at any time during the term. All appointed members will be presented to the Executive Committee at the Executive Committee meeting following their appointment. The members of the Statements Subcommittee shall have a term of one year, which starts and ends at the same time as the term of the GSC Officers. All decisions by the Statements Subcommittee shall be made by simple majority vote. A simple majority of members of the Statements Subcommittee shall constitute a quorum.
The Nominations Board is concerned with nominating graduate student representatives to all presidential and faculty appointed Institute Committees. The Nominations Board shall be formed by the GSC Vice-President, who chairs the Nominations Board, two Officers, and three members of the graduate community at large. The three positions for the members at large shall be publicized in May. The candidates for the three positions can be nominated by any member of the graduate student body. At the June General Council Meeting, the three members at large shall be elected by the Council. The Nominations Board shall be called by the Vice President a minimum of one session per academic year and three committee members shall constitute a quorum. If the Nominations Board chooses to recommend more than one individual for a committee seat, the recommendations may be listed in order of preference. The Nominations Board may delegate to other Council committees the nomination of representatives involving similar issues.
The Funding Board is responsible for the following:
i. Awarding funds to organizations involving graduate students for their activities
ii. Setting funding guidelines and priorities
iii. Auditing disbursements of awarded funds.
The Funding Board shall be composed of the following 6 voting members: the GSC Treasurer, who will act as chairperson for the Board, the GSC President, a representative of the GSC Activities subcommittee, the Association of Student Activities (ASA) Treasurer, the ASA Graduate Student member-at-large, and a Graduate Student member-at-large to be appointed by the General Council. If a Funding Board member does not fulfill the responsibilities of the position, the GSC Treasurer may petition for a new Board member to be appointed by the corresponding represented body. Funding awards shall be decided upon at regular intervals, at least once a semester. Funding is to be approved by majority vote of the Funding Board. Awards will be in the form of offerings of reimbursement for expenses, following submission of receipts, as specified in the Funding Board Guidelines and the funding award. The GSC Treasurer shall ensure that student organization Funding Board disbursements are audited on a regular basis to ensure compliance with Funding Board guidelines and allocation awards. All allocations will be posted publicly, and any group may request an explanation for any unfunded application or expense and file a written appeal with the Funding Appeals Board by the cycle deadline.
The Funding Appeals Board is specifically charged with hearing and deciding upon appeals made regarding funding awards and distribution. The Funding Appeals Board shall be composed of the following 3 members: the GSC Treasurer, the GSC Vice President, who will act as chairperson for the Board, and the ASA Graduate Student member-at-large. Following this appeal, the Funding Appeals Board will either make a final decision by unanimous vote, or submit the matter to the GSC General Council.
The Publications and Publicity Board is responsible for coordinating the dissemination to the general student body and providing a forum for discussion of important issues within the graduate student community. The Board shall publish any official publications of the GSC. Other activities may include general announcements via the web page, e-mail lists, the Infinite Corridor bulletin board, and postering routes, as well as publications support for special projects. The Board shall be headed by the Secretary, who may employ an editor, webmaster, and other persons to assist in running the board.
The following shall be valid only if they are fully agreed upon by the MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC) and the MIT Undergraduate Association (UA), and included in the Bylaws of both groups. A majority vote of student group representatives during a General Body Meeting (as defined in Section v. below) shall be sufficient to force a vote of both the GSC and the UA Senate regarding a specific change to the following. Any references to the ASA Constitution shall refer to these Bylaws and the ASA operating guidelines (as defined below).
The Association of Student Activities (ASA) shall be a joint committee of the MIT Graduate Student Council and the MIT Undergraduate Association (UA). Its purpose shall be to communicate the needs and interests of student groups to the GSC and UA, to promote student activities on the MIT campus, to serve the common interests of student activities, and to arbitrate conflicting interests.
ii. Officers of the Executive Board
The ASA shall consist of an Executive Board responsible for overseeing student activities on the MIT campus. This Board shall consist of the following officers: president, treasurer, secretary, two undergraduate members-at-large, two graduate members-at-large, one student member-at-large, a GSC representative, and a UA representative. The ASA president shall have the same rights and responsibilities as chairs of other GSC and UA standing committees, with the exception of election and removal processes. All officers must be registered MIT students and shall serve one-year terms. With the exception of the GSC and UA representatives, all officers shall be elected at an ASA General Body Meeting, to be defined in Section v. below. Quorum for proceeding with elections shall be representatives from ¼ of all recognized student groups. These elections must occur on or before the 15th of April. The GSC and UA shall be responsible for the appointment of their representatives to the ASA on or before the 15th of April.
iii. Functions of the Executive Board
The Executive Board shall recognize and derecognize student groups, maintain and distribute relevant information about all recognized groups, assign space to these groups, and arbitrate inter-activity disputes when requested by these groups to do so. The ASA shall interface with the MIT Student Activities Office as appropriate on all of these matters.
iv. Definition of Operating Guidelines
The ASA shall maintain a set of operating guidelines, to be made publicly available on its website, that explicitly define all relevant policies not included in these Bylaws regarding its roles and responsibilities. Specifically, these guidelines must outline responsibilities of the ASA officers, procedures for the recognition and derecognition of student groups, rights and responsibilities of student groups with respect to the ASA, and guidelines that regulate the allocation and use of common student group resources (such as bulletin boards and office space). The ASA operating guidelines may be modified by a 2/3 vote of the entire ASA Executive Board. If either the GSC President and Treasurer or the UA President and Finance Board Chair oppose a given change, their veto must be sustained through the passing of legislation by either the GSC or the UA Senate, respectively. The GSC President and Treasurer, and UA President and Finance Board Chair must be informed of any changes to the ASA operating guidelines as soon as they are made. These changes must be communicated to all recognized student groups 24 to 48 hours after the GSC and UA have been informed, and shall go into effect 14 days after they are made. Changes to the ASA operating guidelines may be overturned by student groups either through a petition signed by the presidents or treasurers of 1/3 of these groups, or by a vote of the representatives of 1/3 of these groups taken at a General Body Meeting.
v. General Body Meetings
The ASA shall hold at least one General Body Meeting (GBM) per year, consisting of representatives from all recognized student groups. Quorum to proceed with a meeting shall be 30 or 20%, whichever is less, of these representatives, and all recognized student groups shall be informed of a GBM at least ten days prior to the meeting. The presidents or treasurers of any 20 recognized student groups may call a GBM through petition to the ASA Executive Board. The GSC and UA Senate may also call a GBM through the passing of legislation.
vi. Oversight Mechanisms
Any member of the ASA Executive Board, with the exception of the GSC and UA representatives, may be removed by a 2/3 vote of those attending a General Body Meeting. Quorum for this meeting shall be the same as quorum for elections. Executive Board members other than the President, Treasurer, GSC representative, and UA representative may also be removed by a ¾ vote of the Executive Board. Representatives appointed by the GSC and UA may be removed by their respective groups in the appropriate manner (as defined in the Constitutions or Bylaws of the GSC and UA, respectively). The ASA operating guidelines may specify additional mechanisms for officer removal.
vii. Appeals Process
Student groups shall have the ability to appeal decisions made by the ASA at least once per semester. Appeals shall be heard by an Appeals Board consisting of the President and Treasurer of the GSC (or their proxies), the President and Finance Board Chair of the UA (or their proxies), and the President and one graduate and one undergraduate member of the ASA Executive Board. The ASA President shall be responsible for scheduling this appeals process. If an appeals process exists within the ASA Executive Board, student groups must follow that process before appealing to the GSC and UA. In addition, student groups may be requested to submit any relevant information to the Appeals Board, based upon which this Board may accept or reject their appeal without a meeting.
The Activities Committee is a standing committee concerned with the sponsorship, advocacy, financing, and organization of social activities for graduate students.
The Committee on Academics, Research, and Careers is a standing committee concerned with the coordination of graduate student activity on academic matters. It shall also coordinate efforts to help graduate students with their professional development through activities such as a graduate student career fair. Graduate student members of Institute Committees which concern themselves with academic matters, especially the representatives to the Committee on Graduate School Policy, shall be encouraged to attend meetings of the Committee regularly and keep the Committee informed of the deliberations of those Institute Committees.
The Committee on Housing and Community Affairs is a standing committee concerned with on- and off-campus housing, community affairs both at MIT and in Cambridge safety, health, welfare, and related matters. Members of the committee shall be all those interested in these activities, including representatives from the graduate living groups as well as relevant Institute Committees. The committee shall handle relations with the Institute officials and committees in its areas of responsibility; coordinate the activities of the Council, representatives, and living groups in these areas; make recommendations to the Council for funding in these areas; and make recommendations for nominations to relevant Institute Committees.
The orientation committee shall organize and oversee the orientation of new graduate students.
i. Purpose of the Pub
The Muddy Charles Pub (hereinafter referred to as “the Pub”) is a permanent activity of the Council. The purpose of the Pub shall be to provide a pleasant place for members of the MIT community to gather in an informal atmosphere to enjoy snacks, beverages and fellowship. The Pub shall be run on a non-profit basis. Great emphasis is to be placed on keeping prices affordable for students. All revenues from the operation of the Pub shall be used only for the ordinary and necessary expenses of the Pub.
ii. Board of Governors
A Board of Governors (hereinafter referred to as “the Board”) shall oversee and direct the operations of the Pub. The Board shall be comprised of members of the MIT community who are concerned with the operation of the Pub. Membership shall comprise no fewer than five nor more than fifteen members. The Chair and at least one-half of the members must be current MIT graduate students. All members must be at least twenty-one years of age. The President of the GSC or his/her designate shall be an ex officio member of the Board. New members shall be confirmed by the Board. Members shall serve without compensation and no member may be employed on the staff of the Pub.
iii. Functions of the Board
The Board, in conjunction with the Thirsty Ear Pub and MIT Campus Dining, shall hire a paid manager to run the day-to-day operations of the Pub and oversee the manager. The Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all relevant laws and license regulations affecting the Pub are observed and for keeping appropriate documentation of the operation of the Pub. The Board shall be responsible for overseeing the finances of the Pub. Compensation may be authorized by a two-thirds vote of the entire Board for individual contracting projects. The Board shall determine all other policies as appropriate and maintain these in its operating procedures. The operating procedures can be approved and amended by a two-thirds vote of the Board.
iv. Officers of the Board
The Board must include the following four officer positions: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The officers of the Pub shall be elected by the Board from among its members to serve one-year terms and may be re-elected indefinitely. The Chair must be a graduate student, and shall report to the Council regarding the status and activities of the Pub. The Officers of the Pub may be removed during their term by a two-thirds vote of the entire Board or a majority vote of the Council.
i. Purpose of the Board.
The External Affairs Board (EAB, or “the Board”) shall coordinate the external affairs and activities of the GSC, including relationships with organizations outside MIT; political advocacy at all levels of government; community outreach, education, and service; and statements of the positions of the GSC or the graduate student body on issues of significance to the welfare of graduate students at MIT.
ii. Platform Documents
From time to time, the Board will develop Platform Documents enumerating the positions of the GSC on issues relevant to graduate student welfare and submit such documents to the General Council for consideration. Platform Documents approved by the General Council shall be reviewed by the Board at least once per academic year; any proposed updates shall be submitted to the General Council for consideration. The Board is empowered to communicate the positions contained in Platform Documents to relevant external organizations.
iii. External Affairs Chair
The Board shall be managed by the External Affairs Chair. The External Affairs Chair shall have a term of one year, which starts and ends at the same time as the term of the GSC Officers, and shall be elected by the General Council. The Chair shall set the agenda for all Board meetings, preside over Board meetings, execute the budget of the Board, and direct the activities of the Subcommittees of the Board. The Chair shall hold one vote in the General Council and one vote on the Executive Committee.
iv. External Affairs Vice-Chair
The External Affairs Chair shall be assisted by the External Affairs Vice-Chair, who shall be elected by the members of the Board in the first Board meeting held after the first Executive Committee meeting to occur after the election of the Chair or by the members of the Board-elect if said Board meeting occurs before the end of the term of the outgoing Board. The Vice-Chair shall have a term of one year which ends at the same time as the term of the GSC Officers. The Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair in the Chair’s absence. The Vice-Chair shall maintain the records of all meetings and activities of the Board. If the Vice-Chair must preside over a meeting of the Board in the Chair’s absence, the Vice-Chair may delegate responsibility for records of the Board to another member of the Board until the Chair is able to resume their duties.
v. Members of the Board
The GSC President shall be an ex-officio voting member of the Board. Up to two Chairs of the Committee on Housing and Community Affairs (HCA) shall be ex-officio voting members of the Board. Up to two Chairs of each Subcommittee of the Board shall be voting members of the Board.
The Board may have At-Large voting members, up to two or up to ¼ of the sum of the maximum number of each other type of position on the Board besides At-Large positions at the time of the election (whichever is larger). At-Large members shall have a term of one year which ends at the same time as the term of the GSC Officers. At-Large members are elected by the Executive Committee by the single transferable vote method (using the Droop quota and fractional transfer). At-Large members may be elected for the upcoming term by the Executive-Committee-elect any time after the election of the Chair.
Vacant positions on the Board may be filled by the appropriate election procedure at any time during the term. The replacement member will serve out the remainder of the term.
No member of the Board may ever exercise more than one vote on business of the Board.
There are no term limits on any Board positions.
The statement-voting membership is the same as the full voting membership of the Board.
vi. Removal of Members of the Board
Members of the Board may be removed by a Resolution of the Board, approved by a simple majority, proposed at the meeting of the Board following the 3rd absence from a meeting of the Board within a single academic year by the member in question.
Members of the Board may be removed at any time by a Resolution of the General Council approved by a simple majority.
vii. Review of Actions of the Board and Resolutions of the Board
[This article has been deleted as per 65.gsc.2]
viii. Subcommittees of the Board
The Board may create Subcommittees to carry out work in any area relevant to the Purpose of the Board or any issue described in a Platform Document. The Board shall specify the Purpose of the Subcommittee and the work to be carried out when a Subcommittee is created. The General Council shall be informed of the creation of a Subcommittee and of the Purpose of the Subcommittee during the next General Body Meeting after the Subcommittee is created. Creation of a Subcommittee, or modification of a Purpose of the Subcommittee, requires the approval of a simple majority of the Board. Subcommittees of the External Affairs Board will continue to operate for a term specified in the Purpose of the Subcommittee (the term may be indefinite). Each Subcommittee shall have one or two Chair(s). Subcommittee Chair(s) shall have a term of office of one year, ending each year at the same time the term of the GSC Officers ends.
Subcommittees shall have the opportunity to nominate up to two members to become the next Chair(s). Any subcommittee that conducts such a nomination shall present the nominees to the Board during the meeting in which the Vice-Chair is elected, after the election of the Vice-Chair, or to the Board-elect if the meeting occurs before the end of the term of the outgoing Board. If the Board(-elect) takes no action, the nominee(s) become(s) the next Chair(s) of that Subcommittee. If the Board(-elect) resolves to disapprove of the nominees by a simple majority, the Board(-elect) shall elect Chair(s) of the Subcommittee.
Subcommittee Chair(s) are elected by the Board(-elect) by the single transferable vote method (using the Droop quota and fractional transfer) following the Board meeting in which the Subcommittee was created or immediately after the passage of a Resolution of Disapproval of presented nominees. A Subcommittee Chair may not simultaneously serve as an At-Large member of the Board; if an At-Large member of the Board becomes a Subcommittee Chair, then this member must immediately vacate their At-Large position.
A simple majority of voting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to carry out business. The External Affairs Chair shall verify that a quorum is present at the beginning of each meeting.
The Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion shall work to encourage diversity, achieve equity, and foster inclusion for all MIT community members regardless of their race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, employment status, immigration status, or socioeconomic status. It shall also critically consider intersectionality to facilitate learning, understanding, and unity.
A. Nominations for Council Representatives
1. Eligible graduate students may become Council Representatives only by one of the following pathways:
i. Being elected to fill an opening by the governing student organization of a departmental or living group constituency, OR;
ii. Being appointed by the Council after submitting an application to fill an opening for a departmental or living group constituency for which there is no identifiable governing student organization, OR;
iii. Being appointed by the Council after submitting an application to fill an opening for an at-large constituency
2. Departmental constituencies with openings are defined in Article III.2.1.1 of the Constitution. Living group constituencies with openings are defined in Article III.2.1.2 of the Constitution and Article III.B of these Bylaws. At-Large constituencies with openings are defined in Article III.2.1.3 of the Constitution. A complete and specific list of departmental, housing, and at-large constituencies with Council openings shall be regularly maintained on the GSC website.
3. Graduate students may be elected or appointed to fill a Council opening for a term of service. A term of service shall have a duration of one calendar year. All graduate students who are incumbent Representatives are eligible for election or appointment to consecutive terms of service as long as they remain members of the graduate student body. Graduate students who are incumbent Representatives for constituencies that are At-Large or without a governing student organization, and who wish to be appointed to a consecutive term of service will not be required to submit a new application, however they may be subject to other requirements and selection processes that may be specified elsewhere in these Bylaws.
4. For constituencies without a governing student organization, Council openings may only be filled by appointment by the Council. Members of the graduate student body must submit a complete application to the Council in order to qualify for appointment to fill such a Council opening. An application shall include a written nomination and documentation of a sufficient number of supporting signatures from other members of the graduate student body. Any member of the graduate student body may submit a nomination, including self-nominations, for a Council opening for constituencies without a governing student organization. Written nominations may be submitted throughout the year, with all terms ending on October 14. The GSC Vice-President shall be responsible for ensuring that all students are made aware of relevant procedural information. Nominees shall submit signatures from twenty members, or 20% (whichever is less), of their constituency, to the Vice-President. Graduate students nominated for a Council opening shall be members of the constituency associated with the opening. The Vice-President shall be responsible for informing students about the status of their appointment applications.
B. Housing Representatives
Each of the following on-campus graduate living groups shall have one representative: Ashdown House, Eastgate, Edgerton House, NW30 (also known as The Warehouse), Sidney-Pacific, Tang Hall, and Westgate.
C. Election of Council Representatives
1. The governing student organizations of departmental, living group constituencies and constituencies associated with specified at-large positions shall be responsible for determining the election processes for filling Council openings for their respective constituencies. The Vice-President can coordinate with the governing student organizations of departmental and housing constituencies to determine the dates of elections to fill those constituencies’ Council openings. The governing bodies shall submit to the Council the name(s) of the representative(s) elected, and no further signatures shall be required.
2. The Vice-President shall be responsible for validating the fairness of such elections, and the Council may refuse to recognize the results of any such election by a simple majority vote, if the Vice-President issues a determination that any such election has not been fairly conducted.
3. For constituencies without a governing student organization, students who are incumbent representatives in such positions will automatically be considered nominees for these positions unless they specify otherwise on or before October 1. If there are more nominees on October 1 than openings available under Article III of the Constitution elections shall be held among members of that constituency. The GSC Officers shall be responsible for ensuring the fairness and validity of these elections. The Officers may receive assistance in conducting the elections from departmental student groups, departmental administrators, or other individuals or groups deemed by the Officers to be sufficiently neutral. Elections shall be completed by October 15, and the results of the elections shall take effect on the first Council meeting on or after October 15. If, for constituencies without a governing student organization, the number of nominees on October 1 is less than or equal to the number of available Council openings, the openings will be filled by appointment in the order in which applications are received.
4. The off-campus constituency’s Council openings shall be filled by the co-Chairs of the Off-Campus subcommittee of the Housing and Community Affairs committee.
5. At-large representative seats without a governing student organization will be subject to the process defined in Point 3, with the voting body being the Council.
D. Notification of Council Representatives
Students shall be notified of their Council representatives by October 22, and within one week of when any future positions are filled as described in Article III. Section C.
E. Recall of Council Representatives
Council representatives shall be recalled automatically if they fail to attend three consecutive meetings without giving sufficient reason in writing to the Vice-President or their designate.
A. All MIT graduate students are eligible to run for GSC office.
B. Nominations for officer positions will open at the March meeting, and will remain open until the start of the elections process at the April meeting. Any candidate who is nominated or self-nominates has the option of submitting a statement of purpose and curriculum vitae to the current officers up until one week prior to the elections. At that time, the list of all candidates who have submitted either document will be published on the GSC website, along with said documents. Any further nominations must occur at the April meeting. All nominations, regardless of when they occurred, must be seconded at the April meeting. The Council will sponsor an informal coffee hour between 5 and 7 days prior to the April meeting, during which graduate students will have the chance to meet the current candidates and ask any relevant questions.
C. The GSC Secretary will inform all relevant graduate student groups about the nomination and election procedures one month prior to the elections. The secretary will also send to these groups a list of eligible voters and directions outlining the procedure by which a graduate student may become an eligible voter. The executive committee will decide which graduate student groups will be considered relevant.
D. Election Procedures will be as follows:
- All candidates for a position will give a speech of no more than five minutes.
- The Council will have the chance to ask questions of the candidates. All questions will be addressed to all the candidates and will be answered in the following order: the first question will be answered first by the first candidate, second by the second candidate, etc.; the second question will be answered first by the second candidate, second by the third candidate, etc., and the first candidate will answer this question last.
- The candidates will be asked to leave the room and closed-ballot voting will take place. Voters will be asked to list the candidates in order of preference and the votes will be counted using the full preferential method. If no one receives a majority of first choice votes, the candidate with the fewest first place votes will be eliminated and his/hers votes will go to the candidate that was listed as a second choice. This process will continue until a candidate receives a majority of the votes. If at the end of this process, there are two or more candidates with an equal number of votes, but no majority of the votes, all other candidates are eliminated and another vote will be held, using the above procedure involving only the candidates not eliminated. In the case of a deadlock between two or more candidates, defined as three consecutive tied votes, the winner shall be chosen by a fair random method, e.g. a coin flip.
- After officer elections there shall be a transition period in which the officers-elect will be instructed in the responsibilities of their office. The first Council meeting held after officer elections shall be a joint meeting of the officers-elect and outgoing officers, at the end of which the newly elected officers shall begin their term of office. A transition period will also be observed after the election of Committee representatives, although newly elected representatives shall have sole voting privileges from the beginning of their term. Outgoing representatives are urged to continue their participation until their term officially ends, and to attend the first meeting after the new term begins.
E. In the event an Officer fails to perform the required duties or commits any other gross misconduct, he or she may be removed by a “vote of no confidence”. The “vote of no confidence” can be initiated by a petition signed by a minimum of 3 Council members and must be introduced to Council outlining the specific charges against said Officer. Immediately upon introduction of this petition, Council will vote to appoint a neutral Council member to preside over the impeachment proceedings. This neutral Council member may not be an Officer or one of the signatories of the petition for a “vote of no confidence”. The hearing on the presented charges and impeachment proceedings can take place during a regular Council meeting or a special meeting of the Council can be scheduled. The presiding Council member shall notify the Council and the Officers of the time and date of the meeting. The impeachment proceedings cannot occur sooner than two weeks nor later than six weeks from the introduction of the petition for a “vote of no confidence” and cannot occur on MIT holidays. After presentation of a case for and against the Officer’s conduct, the Council members present at the meeting shall vote whether the Council has no confidence in the accused Officer, and the Officer shall be immediately removed by a 2/3 vote of the members of the Council. An Officer cannot be put up for a “vote of no confidence” more than once in a three month timeframe. All votes related to the impeachment process are subject to the regular quorum requirements specified in Article V.C.3 and Article V.C.4..
F. In the event that an Officer position becomes vacant, e.g. due to Officer removal or resignation, special elections will be called to replace that Officer. These elections will occur at the next Council meeting that is at least two weeks after the position becomes vacant. These elections shall be run in accordance with Article IV Sections A-D with appropriate date and timeline exceptions made due to the accelerated schedule described above. Until the vacant Officer position is filled, the duties of the position will be shared between the remaining Officers. If the position of the President is vacant, the powers and responsibilities of this position are exercised by the Vice-President.
A. Scheduling of Council Meetings
- The President shall call regular meetings of the Council. At the end of each meeting, the next meeting time will be set, and schedule changes may only be made with at least one week notice. Regular meetings shall be at least three weeks apart.
- Special meetings of the Council may be called to consider a special item or items of business, by the President, by two members of the Executive Committee, by four Council members, or by petition of any ten graduate students. Special meetings must be announced at least one week in advance and may not take place within one week of a regularly scheduled meeting.
B. Conduct of Council Meetings
- Items will be placed on the agenda for Council meetings from the minutes of the previous meeting, from the past Executive Committee meeting, or through petition in writing by ten graduate students. Additional agenda items may be placed at the discretion of the President. Every Council meeting must allow time for Open Floor.
- The conduct of meetings shall be the responsibility of the President or their designated presiding officer. This presiding officer shall follow a Parliamentary procedure to be made available to the Council.
- Meetings shall be open to all graduate students.
C. Legislative Process for Council Meetings
- Items of legislation to be voted on will be introduced using a process in which the subject is first brought up for an initial discussion at a Council meeting and considered at the subsequent Council meeting, where it will be included as old business on the agenda and will either voted on or tabled. An item will be tabled if a majority of Council votes to table it or if the subsequent Council meeting adjourns prior to the item being considered. Items that have been tabled will be included as old business on the agenda for the next General Council Meeting. Representatives will be expected to discuss the matter with their constituencies in the intervening period between these Council meetings, and a venue for further discussion during this time will be provided if deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.
- An item of legislation already voted upon by the Council may be reconsidered if one of the following holds:
i. It is shown that there has been substantive change in either the wording of the legislation or related circumstances since the earlier vote
ii. The number of abstentions in the earlier vote was large enough to affect the outcome of the vote
iii. The current set of Council officers was not in place when the earlier vote was taken
To reconsider an item of legislation, Council can decide, by majority vote, to reintroduce this item to the legislative process, as per Article V.C.1..
- In order to proceed with a vote, quorum must be established. A majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum. A Council member may appoint a proxy, who must be a member of their constituency, by written request submitted to the Vice President or the presiding officer.
- When a vote is taken, quorum must exist, and the vote count shall be the responsibility of the Vice President, or of a Council member designated by the presiding officer if the Vice President is absent or recused from the vote.
- The Chair, or the designated presiding officer, shall determine and announce the method and means of voting on any question pending before the Council, UNLESS:
i. The method and/or means of voting is specified elsewhere in the Bylaws or Constitution, OR;
ii. The question is a Motion that pertains to an amendment to the Constitution or Bylaws, which always shall be taken by a recorded vote.
- The Chair, or designated presiding officer, shall subsequently announce the results of a vote upon conclusion of the voting period.
- It is the right of any voting member of the Council to motion to change the method and means of voting, and such a motion shall require a majority vote to pass. If a motion to change the method and means of voting advocates a recorded vote, then such a motion shall require only the support of at least one-fifth of the voting members present to pass. If the method and means of voting on a motion is determined elsewhere in the Constitution or Bylaws, then a motion to change the method and means of voting is out of order.
- A voting member may, upon the conclusion of a vote, motion to have that vote repeated as a recorded vote, if the original vote was not a recorded vote and the motion has the support of at least one-fifth of the voting members present. The Chair may deny the request if he or she concludes the vote was not close and such an action is merely dilatory.
- “Recorded vote” shall be understood to mean any form of voting whereby each individual member’s vote is recorded. The Secretary shall have the responsibility of ensuring that individual members’ votes are entered into the minutes during a recorded vote.
- Unless specified otherwise in the Constitution or Bylaws, an article of legislation shall pass only if those votes cast in favor exceed those votes cast against, and if the amount of the total votes cast minus abstentions meets half of quorum.
- When the amount of the total votes cast minus abstentions does not meet half of quorum, but a quorum is present at the meeting, the pending article of legislation shall be tabled and included as old business on the agenda for the next General Council Meeting.
- The Council may vote to temporarily suspend the process described in Article V, Section C, Point 1, allowing immediate action on a legislative item. Doing so shall require a majority vote of the full Council. This suspension shall only be used when following the prescribed legislative process can be shown to substantially diminish the utility of the vote due to external factors.
A. Financial Structure
The official financial structure of the Council is described by the Budget, which covers a single Institute fiscal year. Institute accounting is on a cash basis, and thus the Budget consists of the following:
- A beginning-of-year reserve
- Cash inflows: Any cash inflow which does not have any prior stipulations on how it can be used. General revenue can be categorized as:
i. General Revenue (Rt) :
a. Known Revenue: The amount of this revenue is known prior to the budgetary process of the next fiscal year. Such revenues should be reported exactly in the beginning of the year budget meeting.
b. Flexible Revenue: The amount of this revenue is flexible and fluctuates based on the circumstances. Examples of such revenue are Career Fair Proceeds and GradRat Royalty Shares. In the beginning of the year, an estimate for each flexible revenue stream should be calculated based on a 3 year average formulation. The average of the projected revenue for the past three years (Ravg,t) is calculated and adjusted for the inflation by the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U), as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The CPI-U basis for previous fiscal years is taken as the June prior to the fiscal year start, and the basis for the upcoming year is the latest month for which BLS data is available (typically March). This index is denoted by CPIt Thus, the 3 year average is calculated using the formula below:
ii. Line item income: Any cash inflow that is designated for a specific line item by different offices or groups across campus. The executive committee is responsible for reporting this number to their best judgment during the budget meeting and the council shall not vote on those.
iii. Cash outflows: The cash outflows are subdivided into line items, with the line items grouped by committee. For each committee, the “committee subtotal” is the sum of all line items grouped into the committee.
iv. An end-of-year reserve: The end-of-year reserve is equal to the beginning-of-year reserve plus inflows minus outflows, and must not be negative.
B. Budget Validity
A Budget is valid if it has been passed by the Council and covers the current fiscal year. If there is no valid Budget, then funds may be disbursed only if all of the following hold:
- The funds can be assigned to a line item in the Budget that was most recently valid (the “previous Budget”).
- The disbursement is not opposed by any member of the Executive Committee, after having received reasonable notice.
- The total of all funds disbursed in this manner in a given fiscal year does not exceed 1% of the total expenditures in the previous Budget.
C. Financial Procedure
Except as provided in the preceding section, all funds disbursed must be assigned to a line item in a valid Budget. The line item must accurately describe the purpose of the disbursement, and the disbursement must be authorized by a chair of the relevant committee. If the Treasurer believes that a proposed disbursement is not adequately described by a line item then he or she may bring the matter before the Executive Committee, who may vote to withhold authorization for the disbursement. If the Executive Committee decides to withhold authorization, the matter can then be appealed before the Council, who will make the final decision. The Treasurer, in conjunction with the GSC’s Financial Administrator, may withhold authorization for proposed disbursements that conflict with MIT’s Financial Review & Control Procedures. In general, funds disbursed to a given line item must not exceed that line item. The Treasurer may, however, authorize disbursements to a line item exceeding the line item by up to 10% of the committee subtotal, and the Executive Committee may authorize disbursements exceeding the line item by any amount. Under no circumstances, however, may the committee subtotal be exceeded.
D. Legislative Process
The first Council meeting of the fiscal year is the Budget Meeting, unless, at the Treasurer’s request, the President has designated an earlier meeting as the Budget Meeting instead. The Budget is subject to the legislative process described in Article V, Section C, and thus must be first presented at the meeting preceding the Budget Meeting. At the Budget Meeting, the Budget is the first item on the agenda, and the presiding officer shall not be the President or the Treasurer. The Budget is passed in the following manner:
- Revenue and the beginning-of-year reserve represent the professional opinion of the Treasurer, and are not voted upon.
- Each representative is given an opportunity to object to any number of line items. If no objection is raised regarding a given line item, it is approved automatically without a vote.
- The remaining line items are approved either individually, or in groups of any size. The following rules apply:
i. Line items may be approved at the original amount or at a lower amount, but not at a higher amount.
ii. A majority vote is required to approve a line item individually, while a two-thirds vote is required to approve a group of line items.
- The end-of-year reserve is set to the appropriate amount without a vote. After the Budget is passed, it may be modified by legislation, provided that the modified Budget still meets the criteria established in Article VI.B, above.
E. Mid-year budget re-scope
The executive committee may re-scope the budget. The budget validity and legislative process shall be the same as Article VI.2 and VI.4 respectively.
The process consists of two parts:
- Re-evaluation of the line items and the committee sub-totals for better use of the unused funds.
- Reporting the actual cash inflow of the flexible revenues and adjustment for Stabilization Fund as explained in Article VI.F, below. After the adjustment of the Stabilization Fund, if the actual cash inflow is still more than the beginning-of-year estimation, then the excess funds shall be distributed. However, if the actual cash inflow after the adjustment for the Stabilization Fund is less, then the line item budgets shall be adjusted for the budget to meet the criteria in Article VI.A.4. In special cases, executive committee can withdraw funds from the Stabilization Fund according to Article VI.F.3.
F. Stabilization Fund
The Council maintains a dedicated Stabilization Fund, separate from the other accounts used for the day-to-day operations of the Council. Its purpose is to smooth excessive variation in cash inflows from outside the Institute. The Stabilization Fund is governed by the following mechanism:
- The Stabilization Fund balance shall never exceed 35% of the Previous Budget cash outflows.
- Depending on the actual cash inflow of all the flexible revenues in the current year, two situations can arise:
- The actual cash inflows (All_Rt) exceed or equal the average of all the flexible revenues to the GSC for the past three years, adjusted for inflation by the Consumer Price Index (All_Ravg,t) .In this case, the Treasurer must transfer the following sum to the Stabilization Fund, within one month after receiving the final disbursement of flexible revenues for the fiscal year, or at the end of the fiscal year at the latest: [50% ( All_Rt –All_Ravg,t)], or [35% (Previous Budget cash outflows) – current Stabilization Fund balance], whichever is less.
- The actual cash inflow (All_Rt) is below the average of all the flexible revenues to the GSC for the past three years, adjusted for inflation by the Consumer Price Index (All_Ravg,t). In this case, the Treasurer can withdraw up to: [50%*( All_Rt –All_Ravg,t)], or the current Stabilization Fund balance, whichever is less. The funds withdrawn can only be used towards approved Budget items.Special disbursement:
- Special disbursement:If the Executive Committee wishes to withdraw funds from the Stabilization Fund outside or in excess of the provisions of Article VI.F.2, and only after those provisions have been met, a special Council Meeting must be called and a resolution for funds withdrawal shall be approved by a simple majority of the Council. To be valid, the resolution should be publicized at least two weeks prior to the Council meeting and contain:i. The current balance of the Stabilization Fund,ii. The total amount to be withdrawn, which shall not exceed 5% of the “Previous Budget” cash outflows, or the current balance of the Stabilization Fund, whichever is less.iii. The approved Budget line item(s) towards which the funds will be used, and the rationale as to why these cannot be funded through normal inflows. This special disbursement can only take place at most once per annual term of the GSC.
- Special replenishment:
If the Executive Committee wishes to add funds from the Stabilization Fund outside or in excess of the provisions of Article VI.F.2, then it may do so during the budgeting process, either when formulating or rescoping the Budget by including a special line item to the Budget, outlining the sum to be added to the Stabilization Fund. This line item will be voted on in the same manner as any other line item. The Treasurer shall be the person responsible for the execution of this particular Budget line item.
A “statement” is any written public communication expressing the position of the GSC. Private or verbal communications and event or activity announcements and publicity are not considered statements so long as the ideas presented do not contradict previously communicated GSC official policies/statements. All statements reflect the position or opinion of the entire GSC. Committees and subcommittees of the GSC or individuals in their capacity as GSC members or officials may not make or sign on to statements representing their own independent positions.
“Platform Documents” enumerate the positions of the GSC on issues relevant to graduate students.
B. Process for issuing statements
Statements may only be issued via one of the two following methods:
- The Council may authorize or issue any statement pursuant to the passage of legislation as per Article V.C.
- A standing committee may issue statements in the following manner:
- Statements may only communicate the positions contained in Platform Documents.
- GSC Platform Documents can be created and amended pursuant to the passage of legislation as per Article V.C.
- Standing committees can issue statements subject to Article VII.B.2.d-k if they have a well-defined and previously approved statement-voting membership that must be composed of at least seven graduate student members with well-defined positions and must include the committee chair(s) and the designated Officer Liaison. The statement-voting membership must be a subset of the full membership of the committee specified in Article II.C. The Executive Committee will approve a committee’s proposed statement-voting membership unless said membership is defined in the GSC Bylaws or otherwise approved by the Council and incorporated in a committee’s operating procedures. If a committee does not have an approved statement-voting membership, the chair(s) of the committee may introduce a statement to the Executive Committee, which can vote on the statement. A simple majority of statement-voting members of a committee shall constitute a quorum to carry out business relevant to this section.
- When a committee decides to begin work on a new statement, the chair(s) must notify the Executive Committee. The notification must include an intended audience for the statement and an intended time for initiation of voting procedures (hereafter referred to as the “voting initiation time”) that is at least 72 hours after the notification is sent. If said time is changed to be earlier than the original notification specified, committee chair(s) must notify the Executive Committee, with notice of at least 72 hours of the new time. Voting initiation times less than 72 hours after the notification is sent may be approved with a simple majority vote by the Statements Subcommittee of the Executive Committee.
- Once notification has been received by the Executive Committee, if another committee wants to produce a separate statement on the same topic, be involved in drafting a joint statement, or has objections to issuing a statement on the topic, it must notify the Executive Committee. If it intends to produce a separate statement, it must also follow the rules outlined in Article VII.B.2.d.
- Once notification has been received by the Executive Committee, the GSC Secretary or their appointed proxy must review historical statements and notify the following of any relevant statements: the committee(s) identified in Article VII.B.2.d and Article VII.B.2.e, the committee(s) that passed the relevant historical statement(s), the Statements Subcommittee, and the Officers.
- All committees identified in Article VII.B.2.d and Article VII.B.2.e are expected to come to a mutually agreed upon solution for passing all relevant statement(s), including which committees will approve said statement(s). For joint statements, statement-voting memberships of different committees cannot be split or mixed together. The Executive Committee will be notified of this solution. If said committees cannot come to such a solution, any of their chairs may make a motion to the Statements Subcommittee of the Executive Committee to resolve the conflict. Any statement which passes a committee before the Statements Subcommittee has resolved the motion or is not consistent with the resolution by the Statements Subcommittee is not valid.
- For a committee to approve a statement, votes of approval must outnumber votes of disapproval, and the sum of all votes, including abstentions, must be greater than 50% of the statement-voting membership.
- Any time a standing committee other than the Executive Committee approves a statement, the Officer Liaison, one of the committee chairs, or a majority of the Officers may place that statement under Review. Any Officer can place statements approved by the Executive Committee under Review. A statement under Review shall not be issued unless the Review is resolved positively.
- Reviews of statements approved by any standing committee may be resolved positively by either:
- Passage of a motion by the Executive Committee approving of the statement by a two-thirds vote; or
- Passage of a motion or resolution by the General Council approving of the statement by a simple majority; or
- Passage of any other motion or resolution by the General Council clarifying that the statement is appropriate. This may include, but is not limited to, updates to Platform Documents relevant to the statement.
- A Review is closed:
- If the Executive Committee resolves the Review positively; or
- If the Review has been considered by the General Council; or
- If another motion or resolution by the General Council passes indicating that the statement is appropriate.
- Reviews of statements approved by the Executive Committee cannot be resolved by the Executive Committee as described in Article VII.B.2.j.1.