Merrill Graduate Student Association

Constitution

Established 2/4/09

Preamble:

We, the members of the Merrill Graduate Student Association, do hereby establish this Constitution so that our purpose will be realized to its fullest extent.

Article I – Name:

The name of the organization will be the “Merrill Graduate Student Association” and will henceforth be referred to as the “Merrill Graduate Student Association” or “MGSA”

Article II – Mission:

The mission of the Merrill Graduate Student Association is to:

Article III – Membership

All full- or part-time master’s or doctoral students enrolled at the University of Maryland-College Park’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism shall make up the membership of the MGSA. The MGSA is not open to undergraduate students.

The MGSA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Article IV – Officers:

The MGSA will be governed by the following means:

1. Two co-presidents will be elected—one, a master’s student, and one a doctoral student. The co-presidents will run meetings, organize events and oversee all official business of the MGSA. The co-presidents must be present at meetings except when there is a valid excuse.  

2. Also elected will be a secretary, who will take notes and record minutes during meetings. The secretary will also send the minutes of these meetings out to students via e-mail and place a copy of the minutes will also be available in the Merrill College Graduate office.

3. Also elected will be a treasurer, who will be responsible for handling any monetary transactions with the MGSA, as well as managing its funds.

4. Also elected will be a press secretary, who will be responsible for disseminating information to the larger University of Maryland community and beyond, when necessary.

5. There will also be a non-voting advisor, a faculty or staff member, who will be selected by the executive board and will provide counsel to the board, offer advice and assist with resources, as needed.

Article V – Operations:

1. Election process:

MGSA elections will be held annually in the month of April for the doctoral co-president, secretary, treasurer and press secretary, and in the month of October for the master’s co-president. Installment of newly elected officers will take place at the next meeting after the election is held.

Candidates for office will submit a letter of intent to the current board along with the phone number of a reference. Submissions must be received no later than one week before the election is held. Officers will be elected by a majority vote of those who voted.

2. Removal from office:

Should the board find it necessary to remove an officer from their position, reference to the specific infraction must be made available. The accused will have opportunity to refute the claim, should they choose to. An affirmative majority vote of those voting will ratify the impeachment.

3. Meetings:

Meetings will be held at least twice per semester, or at the discretion of the executive board.

Article VI – Finances:

1. MGSA will submit a budget to the Graduate Student Government Finance Committee on an annual basis and request funding appropriate to the effective operation of the organization for each year.

2. The executive committee shall be authorized to accept, at its discretion, all gifts, funds and services.  The committee shall be required to keep a complete record of all financial transactions.  No officer or member of MGSA shall receive payment for their services but they may, with the approval of the committee, be compensated for documented expenses in pursuit of their duties. The purpose of this provision is to assure that volunteer services do not become an undue financial burden on any individual, not to provide complete compensation.

 Article VII – Amendments:

The constitution is binding to all members of the MGSA. But the constitution is not binding unto itself.

1. Amendments to the constitution may be proposed in writing by any voting member of the MGSA at any meeting.

2.These amendments will be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the executive committee for consideration.

3. The committee shall

 approve or reject all proposed amendments and must

schedule no more than ten rejected amendments and all approved amendments for consideration at the annual general election.

4. Proposed amendments will become effective if they are approved by 2/3 of those voting at the annual general election in April.  Each amendment may be presented as part of a package or individually, at the discretion of the executive board.

Article VIII – Registration Renewal:

The MGSA will apply to the Office of Campus Programs for registration on an annual basis one month after MGSA new officer elections.