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                    Constitution of the Council of Graduate Students

 

Article I. Name

The organization shall be known as the Council of Graduate Students (COGS).

Article II. Objectives

The Council of Graduate Students was established to promote the academic, social, and economic well-being of graduate students of the University of Minnesota, to establish effective communication among graduate students, to create channels of communication with the other parts of the university, and to act as the representative organization for the graduate student body at the University of Minnesota.

Article III. Membership

The Council of Graduate Students shall represent all students in programs within the Graduate School or any successor unit at the University of Minnesota.

The voting membership of the Council of Graduate Students shall include COGS Program Representatives and the COGS Officers.  Additional voting membership may be designated by the Bylaws.

Each constituent unit, as defined by the Bylaws, shall be entitled to select one Program Representative.

Article IV. Officers

There shall be a President and other Officers as established in the Bylaws and elected by the Council of Graduate Students.

All officers must be currently enrolled students at the University of Minnesota and registered for at least six credits. Officers should also be in good standing with the University and free of any sanctions defined within the Board of Regents Policy-Student Conduct Code administered by the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. Exceptions to the requirement are permitted for graduate students upon receipt of a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies of the student's department certifying that the student is actively pursuing a degree.

To be eligible to be an Officer an individual should be a voting member of the Council of Graduate Students at the time of nomination.

All terms of elective office shall be for one year.

The elections shall be held at such times as specified in the Bylaws.

Article V. Meetings and Procedures

There shall be at least three meetings of the Council of Graduate Students General Assembly during each of the following academic semesters: Fall and Spring.

Each voting member of the Council of Graduate Students shall have one vote at meetings of the General Assembly of the Council of Graduate Students.

A voting member of the Council of Graduate Students or his/her designated alternate must be present at the General Assembly meetings to vote.

The means of alternate designation shall be specified in the Bylaws.

The Council of Graduate Students shall comply with all University policies and procedures, as well as local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Article VI. Committees

There shall be an Executive Committee.  COGS Officers shall be voting members of the Executive Committee.  Other members of the Executive Committee shall be specified in the Bylaws.

The Executive Committee shall transact Council business between General Assembly meetings and have other duties as specified in the Bylaws.

Other committees may be established, as specified in the Bylaws.

Article VII. Bylaws

The Council of Graduate Students may adopt such Bylaws as two-thirds of the voting members present and voting at a meeting of the General Assembly deem necessary to conduct business.

Article VIII. Removal from Office

Any elected Officer of the Council of Graduate Students may be removed from office upon a two-thirds vote of the total voting membership of the Council of Graduate Students, following seven days’ written notice of the proposed vote.

Article IX. Restrictions on the Use of Funds

The Council of Graduate Students shall operate as a nonprofit organization.  This organization shall not provide monetary gain, incidentally or otherwise, to its directors, officers, or membership. This does not restrict the payment of wages, salaries, or incentives by the organization for services rendered.

Article X. Distribution of Funds

After disestablishment and after all liabilities of this organization are rectified, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) will hold the remaining money in trust for this organization for three (3) years following the organization's last meeting. If after that period this organization has not reactivated, the funds shall be distributed to the following not-for-profit organization(s) according to the proportions below.

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) 100%

Article XI. Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by no less than three-fourths of those voting members of the Council of Graduate Students present and voting. A motion to amend must be made at least one meeting and 7 days prior to voting on the proposed amendment.

Article XII. Adoption of the Constitution

This Constitution shall become effective upon a two-thirds vote of those members of the Council of Graduate Students present and voting at the first meeting of the Council, Fall Quarter, 1975 .

                       Bylaws of the Council of Graduate Students

I. Procedural Rules
The current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly ­­Revised shall govern the Council of Graduate Students, except where inconsistent with or inapplicable to the Constitution or Bylaws of the Council of Graduate Students.

II. Membership
The Council of Graduate Students shall represent graduate students at the University of Minnesota.
The voting members of the Council of Graduate Students, as defined by these Bylaws, may vote in certain meetings of the Council of Graduate Students, hereafter referred to “General Assembly” meetings. 

Constituent units shall be the degree-granting graduate programs.  The graduate students of each constituent unit shall select from their numbers one Program Representative and at least one alternate to the Council of Graduate Students. Any graduate student of the University of Minnesota in good standing and enrolled in a constituent unit shall be eligible for selection as a Program Representative for that unit.  Program Representatives shall be voting members.

The following shall be voting members:

Each constituent unit shall have one vote among its Program Representative(s) and alternate(s) at a General Assembly meeting.  Other graduate students enrolled in a constituent unit may also be voting members, as specified by the Bylaws.  No voting member is entitled to more than one vote, even by reason of holding more than one position that entitles him or her to be a voting member.
The Executive Vice-President shall resolve any membership disputes.


III. Leadership
Section A: Officers
All officers must be currently enrolled students at the University of Minnesota and registered for at least six credits. Officers should also be in good standing with the University and free of any sanctions defined within the Board of Regents Policy-Student Conduct Code administered by the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. Exceptions to the requirement are permitted for graduate students upon receipt of a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies of the student's department certifying that the student is actively pursuing a degree.  The duties of officers shall be those described by the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, except as specified by these Bylaws.
In addition to the President, the General Assembly shall elect the following officers:

Section B: Other Leadership Positions
Additional leadership positions may be filled.  Graduate students filling these positions shall be voting members and shall be members of the Executive Committee.
A Director of Events may be selected to coordinate all COGS events and ceremonies.  The Director of Events shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee.
Each college may have a delegation lead selected.  The delegation leads shall be non-voting members of the Executive Committee.
A Parliamentarian may be appointed by the Executive Committee and serve as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
A Historian may be appointed by the Executive Committee.  The Historian shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
An assistant may be selected for each officer position.  Assistants shall be non-voting members of the Executive Committee.

IV. Executive Committee

The duties of the Executive Committee shall be to transact Council business between Executive Committee and General Assembly meetings, prepare meeting agendas, and perform other functions as designated by the Bylaws.
The Executive Committee shall meet upon request of the President or at the request of any three of its voting members, with at least five days’ notice via phone or email to the entire Executive Committee.
A quorum for the Executive Committee shall be six voting members.
Executive Committee meetings shall be open to all graduate students.  The Executive Committee may close a portion of an Executive Committee meeting to non-Executive Committee members.
The Executive Committee may nominate graduate students to University committees.
In the event of resignation or of blatant dereliction of duty by a member of a University committee appointed by the Council of Graduate Students, the Executive Committee may nominate a replacement to be approved at the next General Assembly meeting.
The immediate past president of the Council of Graduate Students shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
Council of Graduate Students committee chairs shall be non-voting ex officio members of the Executive Committee.

V. Committees
Council of Graduate Students committees shall be responsible for providing analysis of issues and preparing proposals for Executive Committee and General Assembly consideration.
All committees shall have ad hoc status and shall be established by the President upon approval of the General Assembly, or by the Executive Committee to be approved at the next meeting of the General Assembly. Ad hoc committees may be dissolved whenever:

Committee members and chairs shall be elected by the General Assembly and/or appointed by the President and/or the Executive Committee. Positions on committees shall be open to any graduate student.
Committee meetings shall be conducted by the committee chair and minutes of the meeting shall be delivered to the President within one week of the meeting.

VI. General Assembly Meetings
General Assembly meetings shall receive prior public announcement. Voting members shall receive direct notification via email. General Assembly meetings shall be held at least three times each semester during the academic year.
General Assembly meetings shall be open to any graduate student. Only voting members may vote at a General Assembly meeting.
Dates of General Assembly meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee. A General Assembly meeting shall be called upon petition to the Executive Committee by thirty (30) or more Program Representatives. Upon receipt of such petition, the Executive Committee shall have three (3) days to schedule a meeting. Said meeting must be scheduled at least three (3) days after the Executive Committee announces the date, time, and location, but under no circumstances later than fourteen (14) days from submission of the petition.
All votes during General Assembly meetings shall be by a voice vote or a show of hands except if 1) another voting method is called for by the Constitution or Bylaws, or 2) Robert’s Rules are invoked for a paper ballot.  A roll call vote may also be requested by a one-third (1/3) vote of the General Assembly present and approved by the meeting chair. 
A quorum shall be defined as one-half of Council of Graduate Students voting members or THIRTY (30) Program Representatives, whichever is fewer.   A quorum shall be required to transact official business.
General Assembly meetings shall not last beyond ninety minutes from the stated meeting start time, unless  a motion to extend the meeting is approved by two-thirds (2/3) of those voting members present and voting.

VII. Elections
Nominations for Senators and Officers shall be called for at the penultimate General Assembly meeting of the Spring Semester. Election of the Senators and Officers shall be held at the final General Assembly meeting of Spring Semester and no later than April 30. Elected officers take office on July 1, except the Vice President for Finance, who shall be elected at the December General Assembly meeting and take office on January 1. Terms of office shall be for one year. Senators' terms of office are determined by Senate rules.
Election shall be by written ballot of a majority of voting members present and voting.
After the election, the elected officers shall attend all Executive Committee meetings with the outgoing officers. The elected officers shall also attend any others meetings and be present when Council business is being transacted between the time of the election and their taking office.
The outgoing Vice-President for Finance shall close all books and financial transactions before turning them over to the elected officer.
No person shall simultaneously hold more than one officer position or an officer position and another position that would entitle a seat on the Executive Committee.
Any person holding office who leaves the University or is unable to perform the duties of office shall resign immediately. In the event of a resignation by an officer other than the President, a special election shall be initiated immediately to fill the unexpired term of office. This election shall be governed by the Bylaws. Presidential duties shall be assumed by the Executive Vice-President in the event of the President's resignation, until the next regular election.  In the event of the resignation of both the President and the Executive Vice President, the Executive Committee shall appoint an interim president who shall be confirmed by a majority vote of the General Assembly until the next regular election.

VIII. Graduate Education Council
Graduate Education Council graduate student representatives shall be elected at the General Assembly of Spring Semester and no later than April 30.  There shall be 2 two-year terms and 1 one-year term.  Initially 1 two-year term and 2 one-year terms shall be elected, with 1 one-year term and 1 two-year term elected each subsequent year. 

 

                                                      Job Description

PRESIDENT

The president is the chief executive of the Council of Graduate Students (COGS). S/he must be accessible by all graduate students at the University of Minnesota and aware of the needs of and the issues relevant to the graduate student population.

Routine duties include: officially representing COGS before University administration, University organizations, and outside groups; creating meeting agendas; running General Assembly (GA) meetings; leading executive and Deans' meetings; attending GAPSA assembly meetings on behalf of COGS; serving as primary liaison between COGS and the Graduate School; representing graduate students on the executive committee of the Policy and Review (P & R) Councils (changing to Graduate Education Council); responding in a timely and appropriate manner to issues brought forth by other executive committee members, COGS program representatives, and any graduate students; identifying, studying and attempting to resolve potential and real problems confronting graduate students at the U of MN.

Special Projects and Responsibilities include: coordinating the composition and distribution of the annual Open Letter; organizing and facilitating summer orientation for executive committee members; speaking on behalf of COGS at grad student orientations; assisting with any COGS sponsored events; reader for leadership awards; attending student leadership events sponsored by the University's Vice President for Student Affairs; acting as a liaison with GAPSA on any joint projects, opportunities, or issues of concern that arise.


Estimated Time Commitment: 6-8 hours per month in routine meetings; 4-6 hours per semester at P & R Council meetings; and approximately 10-12 hours per week for other activities and preparation

Stipend: $1000 distributed as $250 quarterly.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

The executive vice president works with the president in representing COGS in both University and non-university settings. S/he is primarily responsible for maintaining full graduate student representation on University, Graduate School, and GAPSA committees or assemblies and supporting and filling in for the president as needed.

Routine duties include: officially representing COGS before University administration, University organizations, and outside groups; taking the president's place when needed; recruiting graduate students for non-internal committees; attending monthly executive committee and deans' meetings, acting as official liaison between COGS and University Senate; attending monthly University and Student Senate meetings; oversees committee reports back to COGS; identifying, studying and attempting to resolve potential and real problems confronting graduate students at the U of MN. Special Projects and Responsibilities include: reading and judging travel grant applications; assisting with grad student Orientations and other COGS sponsored events; coordinating with GAPSA on Senate representation issues. Estimated Time Commitment: 8-10 hours per month in routine meetings; 3-4 hours per month for other activities and preparation

Stipend: $500 distributed as $125 quarterly

VICE PRESIDENT FOR COMMUNICATIONS

The Vice President for Communications is responsible for establishing and maintaining communication within the Council by serving as the web master and secretary.

Routine duties include: attending monthly executive committee and deans' meetings; maintaining the COGS website, Facebook and other media; updating and maintaining internal documents (including constitution and bylaws), and taking minutes at GA and Exec meetings.

Special Projects and Responsibilities include: reading and judging travel grant applications; finding new and creative ways to recruit and isseminate information about COGS via the internet and particularly the COGS website; assisting with graduate student Orientation and other COGS sponsored events. Estimated Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per month in routine meetings; 5-7 hours per month for other activities and preparation

Stipend: $500 distributed as $125 quarterly

VICE PRESIDENT FOR INTERNAL RELATIONS


The Vice President for Internal Relations is responsible for the internal working of the COGS General Assembly. S/he is in charge of outgoing COGS communications to the general graduate student population, most often in the form of GradLetters. In addition, s/he should oversee communication with Duluth graduate students about opportunities relevant to them or special concerns they may have.

Routine duties include: attending monthly executive committee and deans' meetings; assisting the COGS administrator with tasks before and during the GA meetings; writing the GradLetter; recruiting program representatives for the COGS GA; communicating with Duluth graduate students.

Special Projects and Responsibilities include: acting as the primary liaison between COGS and the Office of First Year Programs regarding graduate student Orientations and activity fairs; reading and judging leadership award applications; updating COGS printed publications annually; assisting with other COGS sponsored events.

Estimated Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per month in routine meetings; 5-7 hours per month for other activities and preparation

Stipend: $500 distributed as $125 quarterly

VICE PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY RELATIONS


The Vice President for University Relations is responsible for establishing and maintaining working relationships between COGS and the entral administration and consultative groups within the University. S/he also serves as an Administrative Liaison, serving on numerous university-wide committees as well as monitoring policy changes, budgetary issues, and political activities relevant to graduate students within the university and beyond.

Routine duties include: attending monthly executive committee and deans' meetings; serve on university-wide committees in consultation with the President and Executive Vice President of COGS; advocate for and follow up on specific issues as specified by COGS' resolutions (e.g. stadium fee); keep an eye on the University's budget (a) identify important issues for graduate students included in and excluded from the budget, (b) keep administrators informed about how these issues affect graduate students, and (c) advocate for these issues.

Special Projects and Responsibilities include: Acting as primary liaison between COGS and GAPSA's Vice Presidents for Administrative Affairs and Public Affairs, reading and judging leadership award applications; assisting with graduate student Orientations and other COGS sponsored events.

Estimated Time Commitment: 6-8 hours per month in routine meetings; 5-7 hours per month for other activities and preparation

Stipend: $500 distributed as $125 quarterly

VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCE


The Vice President for Finance is responsible for all aspects of fiscal policy. S/he coordinates, monitors, and plans fiscal policy; organizes and presents the annual budget; advises the executive committee on budget allocations and expenditures; and monitors budgetary activity at the University as a whole.
Routine duties include: monitoring cash flow and budgetary activity; maintaining the COGS endowment and EFS account, filing financial aperwork with University and Government authorities; attending monthly executive committee and deans' meetings, and attending monthly
GAPSA meetings on behalf of COGS. Special projects and responsibilities include: preparing student services fee requests to
GAPSA; reading and judging travel grant applications; assisting with graduate student orientations; and other COGS sponsored events.
Estimated time commitment: 6-8 hours per month in routine meetings, 3-4 hours per month for other activities and preparation.

Stipend: $1000 distributed as $250 quarterly

Graduate Education COUNCIL CHAIRS

There will be between 2-5 Graduate Education Council Chairs which will replace the current Policy and Review Chairs.

The Chairs will be responsible for representing graduate students on the Graduate Education Council.

The Graduate Education Council will be reviewing course proposals and degree program changes for PhD programs within the Graduate School and for Master's degrees that will continue to be administered within the Graduate School. Routine duties include: attending monthly executive committee and deans' meetings; acting as a liaison between executive committee and program representatives communicate with DGSs within the Graduate Education Council (may be modified depending on make up of the Graduate Education Council). Special Projects and Responsibilities include: attending all Graduate Education Council meetings (including executive committee meeting if applicable); assisting with Graduate School Orientation and other special events; organizing workshops as necessary or desirable.

Estimated Time Commitment: 4-6 hours per month in routine meetings; 5-7 hours per month for other activities and preparation

(Time commitment is subject to change as the Graduate Education Council is currently being created.)

Stipend: $500 distributed as $125 quarterly