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(Updated April 15, 2021)

Physics & Astronomy Graduate Student Organization Bylaws



General meetings shall be scheduled monthly by the executive committee. The SECRETARY will contact the Main Office to book a room for that following meeting. The SECRETARY will contact the general membership with the meeting date, time and location no less than one week prior to its scheduled date.


1. Creating a committee

a. If a member of the organization finds a committee would be useful during a general meeting, they can propose such a committee by outlining its purpose, duties, and required resources.

b. A simple majority vote by attending members will found the proposed committee. 

2. Dissolving a committee

a. Any member can propose to dissolve a committee for any reason during a general meeting.

b. The SECRETARY will notify the General Membership that the committee has been proposed for dissolution


c. A simple majority vote by attending members at the following General Meeting will dissolve the committee


3. CHAIRing a committee

a. Any general member can CHAIR a committee

b. The proposing party shall be the CHAIR of the committee they propose

c. A committee must have an assigned CHAIR to maintain current status.

i. If the committee CHAIR steps down and no replacement is specified, then the committee is automatically proposed for dissolution.

4. Staffing a committee

a. The number of members needed for a committee will be determined by its CHAIR.

b. The CHAIR of the committee appoints who will staff the committee. 

c. Members of the organization may volunteer to join any committee at the approval of the CHAIR of the committee.


5. Committee Roster

a. The SECRETARY will keep a list of all current committees.

b. This list of committees will be made available on the website for review by the general membership.



1. Any general member may propose an event. 


2. The event must be approved by a majority vote of the BOARD MEMBERS. 


3. Organizers: proposer of event and relevant event chair shall assemble a committee to plan the event. 


4. Duties: 

a. Must post event in the facebook group unless they do not have a facebook, in which case they must send all details to the WEBMASTER for them to post. 


b. Must email the graduate student listserv about the event. 


c. Must report back at the next general meeting answering questions:


i. How did it go? 

ii. How many people came? 

iii. Other comments. 


5. If funds are needed for the event, their procurement must be coordinated by the event organizer(s) and the TREASURER. 


BYLAW IV: The Faculty/GSO joint committee


1. Membership: 




b. Permanent Members: one EXECUTIVE OFFICER, one BOARD MEMBER,  Graduate Advisor, Department Chair, faculty volunteers determined by the Department Chair


c. Rotating members: two general members volunteer to attend monthly (or are recruited to attend)


2. Duties: This committee will maintain communication between the GSO General Membership and the P&A Faculty.


3. Meetings: the committee will meet once each month during the Fall and Spring semesters; meetings over breaks will be held according to committee members’ availability


a. The date and time for the joint Faculty/GSO committee meeting shall be determined according to availability of the members by the VICE PRESIDENT


b. The VICE PRESIDENT will contact the committee members no less than one week prior to an upcoming scheduled meeting.




The following steps are required after every election of new officers: 


1. Go to Campus Federal and ask for the organization paperwork. 


2. Update the officers list by obtaining the appropriate signatures and information.




The organization will use a two-stage election process. The first stage will focus on the election of the Executive Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer). The second stage will focus the election of the board members.


1. TIMELINE: Times in parentheses reference time until last general meeting of the spring semester. The process should be started in March.


a. Executive Committee begins Election Planning (-8 weeks)


b. Nominations (-7 weeks)


c. Acceptance of Nominations (-6 weeks)


d. Executive Officers Election (-5 weeks)


e. Vote Tallying and Nomination for Board Member Positions (-4 weeks)


f. Acceptance of Board Member Nominations (-3 weeks)


g. Board Member Elections (-2 weeks)


h. Fill Vacant Positions if necessary (-1 week)


i. Have transition to new government: at the last meeting of the semester




a. Nominations will be solicited in accordance with the timeline above. 


b. Nominations will be accepted for all positions (“Executive Officers” and Board Members). Any active member can be nominated by any other active member including themselves, unless they recently filled a position and must wait (see Constitution for limitations on multiple terms of service). 


c. Nominations will be open for 1 week.


d. Nominated Individuals will have 1 week to accept or decline the nomination.


e. Each individual can accept the nomination for any number of “Executive Officers”  or Board Member positions. 




a. POSITIONS BEING ELECTED IN FIRST ELECTION: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer. 


b. Voting will occur using a method determined by the SECRETARY. Voting must be convenient, secure, and anonymous.


c. Voting will take place over a 1 week period.


d. All active members are allowed to vote once for each position on the ballot. 


e. Votes will be tallied and shown by SECRETARY.


f. After tallying the votes, any individuals not winning the election will be given the option to run for a Board Member Position.




a. POSITIONS BEING ELECTED IN SECOND ELECTION: Board Members, any position not filled in above election (e.g. Runoff election!). 


b. Voting will occur using a method determined by the SECRETARY. Voting must be convenient, secure, and anonymous.


c. Voting will take place over a 1 week period that occurs after the Executive Officers voting period. 


d. All active members are allowed to vote once for each position on the ballot. 


5. FILLING VACANT POSITIONS: at their discretion, elected members will fill any vacant positions from the active membership. 




a. The “Official Transition” will occur at the last meeting of the spring semester. 


b. The last month (roughly) will comprise a transitional period in which current officers will pass down knowledge to newly elected officers. Newly elected officers must work with current officers during this period. 


c. Current elected official terms end on the last day of Spring Semester (Commencement). 




1. SECRETARY: Be in charge of email communication for the group. 


2. TREASURER: In charge of renewing the bank account each year after their election into office. 


3. BOARD MEMBERS: There are currently three elected board member positions with the following titles and responsibilities: 


a. WEBMASTER: will maintain the GSO website and keep compliant with all university regulations. They will also moderate discussion and manage membership in social media groups, such as the Facebook group for the organization. 


i. Facebook group membership will include


1. Incoming P&A graduate students


2. Current P&A graduate students (graduates will be removed)


3. The current PR Coordinator for P&A Department


b. ACADEMIC EVENT CHAIR: In charge of coordinating the lunches with colloquium speaker hosts (booking room reservations, submitting catering order to main office contact and ensuring delivery, collecting order information for the department for payment purposes, and clean-up). Further, they will coordinate at least two other academic events per year. 

c. SOCIAL EVENT CHAIR: Shall coordinate at least one social event per month, and assist the graduate coordinator (Paige) with promoting department social events


1. The officers shall review the Organization Constitution and Bylaws annually. If amendments are necessary, they shall be drafted and presented to the general body on the timeline defined in the Constitution.

a. This review shall occur in January in order to allow changes before elections, e.g. reallocation of officer duties.

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