THE CONSTITUTION OF THE GRADUATE STUDENT COUNCIL AT THE UNIVERSITY
(last revised January 22, 2009)
We, the graduate students of the University of Florida, hereby constitute ourselves to further the cause
of graduate students and to act as a united voice to express graduate students' needs and concerns.
Article I. NAME OF ORGANIZATION
The name of this organization shall be the Graduate Student Council. This organization shall utilize
the acronym GSC in all publicity materials and correspondence.
Article II. PURPOSE STATEMENT
The objectives of GSC shall be:
A. To provide an agency for the coordination of graduate student activities and programs toward
common goals and interests.
B. Promote and enrich the academic and educational objectives of the University of Florida by funding
and sponsoring programs applicable to the intellectual, educational, and cultural interests of graduate
C. Seek the improvement of graduate student education through active and permanent communication
with governing bodies at the University of Florida such as the Graduate School, University
Administration, Student Government, and Faculty Senate.
D. Represent the interests of graduate students at the local, state, and national levels.
Article III. COMPLIANCE STATEMENT
Upon approval by the Center for Student Activities and Involvement, GSC shall be a registered student
organization at the University of Florida. GSC shall comply with all local, state and federal laws, as
well as all University of Florida regulations, policies, and procedures. Such compliance includes but is
not limited to the University's regulations related to Non-Discrimination, Hazing, Commercial
Activity, and Student Leader Eligibility.
Article IV. NON-DISCRIMINATION
In compliance with the University of Florida Non-Discrimination Policy (Regulation 6C1-1.006), GSC
shall not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation,
marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status as protected under
the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act.
Article V. MEMBERSHIP
Membership in GSC is open to enrolled students at the University of Florida. Non-students, spouses,
faculty, and staff may be associate members; however, they may not vote or hold office. All members
and associate members are free to leave and disassociate without fear of retribution, retaliation, or
Article VI. OFFICERS
A. Elected officers and their duties.
a) Acts as primary representative of GSC; keeps organization information updated for Student
Government and the Center for Student Activities and Involvement and responds appropriately
to all of their requests such as organization renewal procedures and office requirements.
b) Serves as chair of the Executive Board and an ex-officio member of all committees; provides
guidance and direction to these committees.
c) Determines the dates, times, and locations of General Body meetings and Executive Board
meetings, as well as prepares agendas and presides over meetings
d) Oversees activities of the Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Web Coordinator and
ensures they are effectively executing their Constitutional duties.
e) Appoints and invites positions as specified in Articles IX, X, and XI.
f) Forms ad hoc committees and appoints chairs as specified in Article VIII.B; oversees activities
of ad hoc committee chairs and ensures they are effectively executing their assigned duties.
g) Supervises annual elections, provided he/she is not interested in re-nomination; actively
recruits quality candidates to be nominated for elected officer positions to ensure the
sustainability of the organization.
h) Coordinates the transition of elected officers as specified in Articles VI.D and VI.E.
2) Vice President
a) Exercises authority of the President in his/her absence.
b) Oversees activities of the President, standing committee chairs, and all appointed and invited
positions; ensures they are effectively executing their Constitutional duties.
a) Responsible for all financial workings of the organization in accordance with Student
Government rules and regulations.
b) Responds appropriately to all requests from Student Government and the Center for Student
Activities and Involvement.
c) Prepares and defends the annual budget, as well as any special request funding from Student
d) Maintains positive relationships with staff and other affiliates of the Student Government
Finance Office including the Student Body Treasurer and Chairman of the Student Senate
Budget and Appropriations Committee.
e) Actively works with the Executive Board to secure funding from secondary sources.
a) Manages official GSC correspondence including email listservs for Department
Representatives and the Executive Board.
b) Oversees activities of Department Representatives and ensures they are effectively executing
their Constitutional duties.
c) Sends out notices about General Body meetings and other announcements.
d) Reviews announcements on the GSC website homepage at least weekly, and updates these
announcements when necessary.
e) Takes minutes at all General Body and Executive Boards meetings; posts these minutes and
other relevant materials on the GSC website archive within 48 hours of each meeting.
f) Records Department Representative attendance at General Body meetings and forwards grant
ineligibility (as described in Article XII.C.2) to the Grants Committee Chair within 48 hours of
g) Prepares voting cards for General Body meetings when formal voting occurs; distributes
voting cards as specified in Article XIV.B.
h) Actively collects updated contact information from elected officers, appointed/invited
positions (and alternates), committee members, department representatives (and alternates),
administrators, vendors, and other relevant people or agencies.
7) Website Coordinator
a) Actively works with the Executive Board to update and improve the GSC website, which shall
contain at minimum: (1) organizational description, (2) recent announcements, (3) Constitution,
(4) officer contact information, (5) travel grant and research grant information and application
materials, (6) research conference information and application materials, (7) instructions for
addressing graduate student issues, and (8) archives of minutes and other relevant materials from
General Body meetings.
b) Reviews the GSC website at least weekly, and ensures that all aspects of the website are
updated and in working order.
c) Assists the Executive Board with other forms of electronic communication.
8) Standing committee chair (as specified in Article VIII.A).
a) Ensures the execution of his/her committee responsibilities.
b) Actively recruits committee members to assist with committee responsibilities.
c) Holds committee meetings at least once per calendar month; determines the dates, times, and
locations of meetings, as well as prepares the agenda and presides over meetings.
d) Works on improving committee performance and efficiency from previous years.
B. Elected officers shall report via email (1) any major organizational issues or concerns to the
President, (2) any financial information regarding the costs/revenues associated with any recent or
forthcoming activities to the Treasurer, (3) any announcements and other information for the General
Body to the Secretary and Website Coordinator, and (4) any information associated with a standing
committee's responsibilities (as specified in Article VIII.A) to the respective committee chair and the
C. Elected officers shall submit their contact information (and, if applicable, the contact information of
their appointees, invitees, alternates, and committee members) to the Secretary, and update this contact
information when necessary.
D. Elected officers shall be provided a flash drive that contains a master GSC folder that includes
folders within it that are specific to each officer. Each officer folder shall contain an Officer
Instructions document that details respective officer responsibilities and related notes, in addition to
any other materials that may aid in the execution of these responsibilities. The Officer Instructions
document and all other materials in the officer folder shall be updated and organized regularly
throughout the officer's term. Officers are expected to backup this data on a computer hard drive.
Elected officers shall return flash drives to the President at least 48 hours before the last General Body
meeting of each semester. The President shall merge each officer folder into the master GSC folder
and copy the updated master folder onto all flash drives. During the Fall and Spring semesters, the
flash drives shall be returned to officers at the last General Body meeting of the semester. During the
Spring semester, the President shall immediately provide the flash drives to newly elected officers. Old
officers must meet with their successors within 14 days of election and train them how to use all
materials on the flash drive. In the event of a vacancy, the vacating officer shall immediately return
his/her flash drive to the President. At any time, the President may request officers to return their flash
drives (within 7 days of the request) to be updated and returned at the next General Body meeting.
E. Newly elected officers shall immediately sign a single copy of the Constitution and swear an oath in
front of the General Body as specified in Article XIX. The newly elected President shall provide all
elected officers with a hard copy of the signed Constitution within 14 days of the election. The
President will also provide a hard copy of the signed Constitution to all appointed and invited positions
within 14 days of their respective appointments or invitations.
F. Term of Office
1) Newly elected officers shall assume office on the day following the last day of Spring
2) The term of any elected officer expires on the last day of Spring commencement, though re-
election is possible.
1) In the event of an elected officer vacancy, the President shall appoint an interim officer within 14
days of the vacancy with the advice and consent of the Executive Board. A special election shall be
held according to the rules specified in Article XV.
2) The Vice President shall immediately become the President in his/her vacancy.
3) The term of any replacement officer shall expire on the last day of Spring commencement,
though re-election is possible.
1) An elected officer may be removed for malfeasance, neglect of duty, or abuse of power through
the submission of an impeachment resolution that is approved by a two thirds majority of voting
members present at any quorum-established General Body meeting.
2) Impeachment resolutions must be introduced with the sponsorship of five Department
Article VII. EXECUTIVE BOARD
A. Elected officers comprise the voting members of the Executive Board.
B. Appointed and invited positions are ex-officio members of the Executive Board.
C. The Executive Board provides direction and sets goals for GSC, and confirms appointments of the
D. Executive Board meetings shall be held at least once per calendar month. The dates, times, and
locations of these meetings shall be determined by the President and announced to the Executive Board
email listserv at least 7 days in advance.
E. During the first Executive Board meeting of each semester, the GSC Constitution will be reviewed
and discussed. Updates and amendments to the Constitution must be made according to specifications
in Article XVIII.
F. When disputes arise in Executive Board meetings that must be resolved through formal voting, each
elected officer has one vote. At least five elected officers (including the President and Treasurer) must
be present to vote on any matter. A choice shall be determined by simple majority (>50%). If no
simple majority is achieved, a second vote shall be held between the two choices that received the most
votes. If there is a tie, the President may cast a second vote.
Article VIII. COMMITTEES
A. GSC shall have the five standing committees with elected officers as chairs:
1) The Grants Committee is responsible for managing and updating the application process and fair
allocation of monetary awards including travel grants and research grants, in addition to actively
working with the Executive Board to secure more funding for graduate students.
2) The Research Conference Committee is responsible for planning and implementing the annual
GSC Interdisciplinary Research Conference, which is typically held on the first Thursday of
3) The Graduate Affairs Committee is responsible for hearing and responding to all graduate
student issues and concerns that confront GSC, in addition to planning and implementing action
plans to resolve major issues and concerns.
4) The New Student Orientation Committee is responsible for assisting the Graduate School with
planning and implementing the New Graduate Student Orientation at the beginning of each Fall and
5) The Social Committee is responsible for planning and implementing at least one graduate student
social during each Fall and Spring semester, in addition to arranging food for General Body
B. The President shall form ad hoc committees as necessary and appoint committee chairs with the
advisement and consent of the Executive Board. The term of service on an ad hoc committee shall be
at the discretion of the Executive Board.
Article IX. APPOINTMENTS
A. Appointed positions and their duties.
1) Faculty Senate Liaison(s)
a) Attends all respective meetings of the Faculty Senate and provides an update at GSC General
Body meetings when necessary.
b) Advocates on behalf of GSC at respective meetings.
c) Appoints Alternate Faculty Senate Liaison, who exercises authority of the Faculty Senate
Liaison in his/her absence.
2) Graduate Council Representative
a) Attends all Graduate Council meetings and provides an update at GSC General Body meetings
b) Advocates on behalf of GSC at Graduate Council meetings.
c) Appoints an Alternate Graduate Council Representative, who exercises authority of the
Graduate Council Representative in his/her absence.
3) Graduate Coordinator's Advisory Committee Representative
a) Attends all Graduate Coordinator's Advisory Committee meetings and provides an update at
GSC General Body meetings when necessary.
b) Advocates on behalf of GSC at Graduate Coordinator's Advisory Committee meetings.
c) Appoints an Alternate Graduate Coordinator's Advisory Committee Representative, who
exercises authority of the Graduate Coordinator's Advisory Committee Representative in his/her
4) Student Senate Liaison
a) Attends all Student Senate meetings and provides an update at GSC General Body meetings
b) Advocates on behalf of GSC at Student Senate meetings.
c) Encourages Student Senators who hold graduate and related seats to attend GSC General Body
meetings and to become involved with other GSC opportunities.
d) Appoints an Alternate Student Senate Liaison, who exercises authority of the Graduate
Student Senate Liaison in his/her absence.
a) Ensures the smooth operation of General Body meetings meetings; assists the Secretary with
preparing and distributing Agendas and other handouts; assists the Social Committee Chair with
preparing and distributing refreshments; ensures that meetings are governed by rules specified in
this document, or by Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised when not specified.
b) Assists the President with running annual elections, provided the Parliamentarian/ Sergeant-at-
Arms is not interested in nomination.
c) Appoints an Alternate Parliamentarian/Sergeant-at-Arms, who exercises authority of the
Parliamentarian/Sergeant-at-Arms in his/her absence.
B. The President shall appoint positions with the advisement and consent of the Executive Board.
C. All appointees are ex-officio members of the Executive Board.
D. Appointees must be selected and assume their positions between the last day of Spring
commencement and October 1.
E. In the event of a vacancy of an appointed position after October 1, a replacement must be selected
within 14 days of the vacancy.
F. The term of any appointed position shall expire on the last day of Spring commencement.
Article X. INVITATIONS
A. The President shall invite the following people to be ex-officio members of the Executive Board:
1) Past GSC President.
2) All Student Senators who hold graduate and related seats.
3) An elected or appointed representative of the Graduate Assistants United (GAU).
4) Director of the Graduate and Professional Student Affairs Cabinet.
B. Invitees must be contacted between the last day of Spring commencement and October 1.
C. In the event of a vacancy of an invited position after October 1, a replacement should be invited
within 14 days of the vacancy.
D. Invited positions may be contacted when specific needs arise.
E. The term of any invited position shall expire on the last day of Spring commencement.
Article XI. FACULTY ADVISOR
A. The Faculty Advisor shall serve as a resource person and provide advisory support for the General
Body and the Executive Board.
B. The Faculty Advisor shall be appointed by the President with the advisement and consent of the
C. The Faculty Advisor's term is at the discretion of the Executive Board. In the event of a vacancy, a
new Faculty Advisor must be appointed within 14 days of the vacancy.
Article XII. DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVES
A. A Departmental Representative may either be appointed by the Graduate Coordinator in his/her
department, or elected by members of his/her department's graduate student organization. Departments
are encouraged to create graduate student organizations through their respective college council
(represented in the Board of College Councils) in order to establish election procedures.
B. The term of a Departmental Representative shall be from September 1 to the following August 31.
C. Duties of a Department Representative.
1) Submits his/her contact information to the Secretary, and updates this contact information as
2) Attends each General Body meeting and signs in for his/her department, or ensures that another
representative of his/her department attends the meeting and signs in. If a department fails to have a
representative attend a General Body meeting, the Secretary will send a warning email to the
Department Representative (and alternate) in addition to the department's graduate coordinator. If a
department fails to have a representative attend two General Body meetings in a given academic
year (September through April), a second warning will be issued and students in that department
will be suspended from receiving GSC monetary awards (including travel grants or research grants)
until the next General Body meeting at which a Department Representative attends. If a department
fails to have a representative attend three General Body meetings in a given academic year, a final
warning will be issued and students in that department will be suspended from receiving GSC
monetary awards until the next academic year (September 1).
3) Votes on behalf of their department at General Body meetings.
4) Informs graduate students in their department (through email or other effective means of
communication) about GSC services, events, and issues discussed at each General Body meeting.
5) Informs GSC (through email or at General Body meetings) about services, events, and issues in
6) Reads and responds when requested to all official GSC correspondence.
7) Appoints an Alternate Department Representative, who exercises authority of the Department
Representative in his/her absence; submits alternate contact information to the Secretary, and
updates this contact information as necessary.
8) Prior to the completion of a term, graduation, or other vacancy, ensures the selection of a
replacement Departmental Representative and provides he/she with a copy of the GSC Constitution.
Article XIII. GENERAL BODY MEETINGS
A. General Body meetings shall be held once during each of the following months: September,
October, November, December, January, February, March, and April. Meetings are typically held on
the third Thursday of each month during Periods 11 and El (6:15 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.). The President
shall book a meeting room (with a minimum capacity of 100) for all expected General Body meetings
during his/her term within 30 days of assuming office. A General Body meeting may be called at any
other time of the year at the discretion of the President, although attendance by Department
Representatives shall be optional (i.e., an absence would not affect a department's eligibility to receive
GSC monetary awards).
B. Quorum shall be established with no fewer than 33% of Department Representatives present
(including the President and Treasurer).
C. Meetings shall be governed by rules specified in this document, or by Robert's Rules of Order
Newly Revised when not specified.
D. The dates, times, and locations of these meetings shall be determined by the President and
announced on the GSC website and email listservs for Department Representatives and the Executive
Board, preferably at least 14 days in advance.
E. The General Body meeting agenda will be determined by the President and posted on the GSC
website and email listservs for Department Representatives and the Executive Board, preferably at
least 48 hours in advance.
Article XIV. VOTING
A. In order to vote at a GSC General Body meeting, one must be registered as a graduate, post-
baccalaureate, or professional student in good standing at the University of Florida.
B. Each academic department represents one vote of the GSC General Body. Upon sign-in at each
General Body meeting, the Secretary provides a voting card to one representative from each
department. If two or more representatives from a single department attend the meeting, the
representative who receives the voting card and casts the official vote for their department shall be
determined by his/her position in GSC according to the following order of priority: President, Vice
President, Treasurer, Secretary, Web Coordinator, Grants Committee Chair, Research Conference
Committee Chair, Graduate Affairs Committee Chair, New Student Orientation Committee Chair,
Social Committee Chair, Faculty Senate Liaison (or alternate), Graduate Council Representative (or
alternate), Graduate Coordinator's Advisory Committee Representative (or alternate), Student Senate
Liaison (or alternate), Parliamentarian/Sergeant-at-Arms (or alternate), designated Department
Representative (or alternate), then the first undesignated Department Representative to sign in at the
Article XV. ELECTIONS
A. Elections shall be held at the April General Body meeting of the Spring semester (or when
vacancies arise as specified in Article VI.G.1). If quorum is not established, all Department
Representatives (and alternates) in addition to all department's graduate coordinators shall
immediately receive a warning email that all students will be suspended from receiving GSC monetary
awards until quorum is established at a special election meeting that will be held within 7 days of the
B. Nominations for elected officers must be made during the March General Body meeting (i.e.,
nominations are closed after this meeting). All candidates must expect to be enrolled full-time for the
entire term of office. A person may only accept a nomination for one officer position, although he/she
may slate down or up as specified in Article XV.F.
C. Elected officer positions and their duties shall be announced during the February General Body
D. The order of elections for officer positions shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Treasurer,
Secretary, Web Coordinator, Grants Committee Chair, Research Conference Committee Chair,
Graduate Affairs Committee Chair, New Student Orientation Committee Chair, and Social Committee
E. Immediately prior to voting for an officer position, each candidate may address the General Body
for up to three minutes followed by up to three minutes of questions and answers. During this question
and answer session, the candidate may field questions from any voting member. A motion to extend
the question and answer session by two minutes must pass by simple majority (>50%) of voting
F. Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot using voting cards. Election shall be determined by
simple majority (>50%) of voting members present. If no simple majority is achieved, a new election
shall be held between the two candidates who received the most votes. A losing candidate may slate
down and run for a lower officer position (as defined in Article XV.D) or slate up if an officer position
failed to acquire nominations.
Article XVI. FINANCE
A. GSC shall apply for Student Government funding.
B. Other sources of funding shall be acquired by appropriate means including, but not limited to,
grants, sponsorship, donations, and other fundraising activities.
C. GSC shall operate as a non-profit organization.
D. There are no member dues.
Article XVII. DISSOLUTION OF ORGANIZATION
In the event that GSC dissolves, all monies left in the treasury, after outstanding debts and claims have
been paid, shall be returned to the University of Florida Student Government. In addition, all materials
and supplies left in the GSC office, shall be returned to Student Government.
Article XVIII. AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION
The Constitution may be amended at any quorum-established General Body meeting by a two thirds
majority of voting members present, provided that notice of the proposed amendments was given at the
previous General Body meeting and that the proposed amendments shall be subject to approval by the
Center for Student Activities and Involvement.
Article XIX. CONSTITUTIONAL OATH
"I agree to uphold my Constitutional duties to the best of my ability during my term as GSC [officer
Officer Print Name Signature / Date
New Student Orientation