[The constitution is available as a PDF document here]
Introduction: The following pages present the first edition of the constitution for the English Graduate Organization (EGO). This document was drafted to meet the needs of EGO in the context of standard practices and policies of analogous organizations in peer institutions.
Rationale: The motivation for producing this document was to meet the procedural needs of EGO and to fulfill the requirement of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), the campus-wide governmental body on which our legitimacy depends, that each graduate student organization has in place an effective constitution.
Status: This document should be understood as a transitional instrument for practical purposes. Amendments can and should be allowed when their need arises. These needs can and should be determined by the members of EGO.
Ultimately, we leave it to EGO under the leadership of each yearly body of members to decide on which amendments, if any, to pursue.
Amy Brady and Joe Mason
Department of English
University of Massachusetts Amherst
September 09, 2009
Constitution of the English Graduate Organization
Second Edition, October 09, 2012
ARTICLE I – name and Purpose
Section 1: Name of the Organization
The organization shall be named the English Graduate Organization (EGO)
Section 2: Purpose
The UMass Amherst English Graduate Organization (EGO) is a student-run organization dedicated to enhancing the academic experience of all English graduate students here at UMass Amherst. The goals of EGO are advocacy for graduate students with and to the faculty, enhanced communication within the graduate student community, and professionalization of the English graduate body. EGO also seeks to coordinate its activities with other English department committees such as the Graduate Studies Committee, and to deliver graduate students’ ideas and concerns to these
ARTICLE II – membership, Non-Discrimination Policy
Section 1: General Definition of Membership
Membership shall be open to all English graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Section 2: Non-Discrimination Policy
EGO does not discriminate for any purpose on the basis of race, ethnicity, linguistic abilities, religion, sexual identity, political affiliation, disability status, or marital status.
ARTICLE III – officers, Duties, and Terms
Section 1: Titles
Nine individuals will be duly elected for nine positions which will form the standing executive committee of EGO.
Communications Officer/Website Moderator(s)
GSS Representatives (2)
GSC Representatives (2)
GEO Stewards (minimum of 2)
Section 2: Duties
The duties of each officer will be as follows:
The co-chair serves as an internal coordinator for the English Graduate Organization. He or she (or both co-chairs) will track the overall business and functioning of the Graduate Student Association. This/these person(s) will call and announce meetings, request and prioritize agenda items (with input from GSA members), facilitate meetings, create special subcommittees, place appointees, monitor ongoing and new issues, and maintain regular communication with other representatives such as the Department Chair and GPD, members of the Graduate Student Committee, and GEO representatives on graduate student issues. The co-chair will be available to attend faculty meetings as a graduate student representative when appropriate.
(As above under description 1.)
Generally responsible for the accurate and impartial documentation, collection, and dissemination of information. Includes keeping minutes, distributing minutes, ensuring the reception of important news and announcements, overseeing the publishing of relevant news and information via e-mail, newsletters, and websites and such.
4. Communications Officer/Website Moderator(s)
Generally responsible for assisting the Secretary in uploading all pertinent documentation and information onto the EGO website and maintaining generally the EGO website throughout their elected year. Generally responsible for publicity, postings, and maintaining an EGO email listserv.
Maintaining a bank account. When EGO is looking for funding s/he is responsible for submitting proposals to the English department and/or GSS one week prior to any Senate meeting and should attend that meeting in order to make a presentation to the full Senate.
6. GSS Representatives
Attending all Graduate Student Senate meetings, communicating GSS proceedings to EGO, and generally representing English graduate student and EGO interests in the Senate. At least one representative must be at any EGO meeting. If a particular semester poses scheduling conflicts for elected representatives or stewards, proxy representatives may be elected as needed.
7. GSC Representatives
Attending all Graduate Studies Committee meetings, communicating GSC proceedings to EGO, and generally representing English graduate student and EGO interests to the committee. At least one representative must be at any EGO meeting. If a particular semester poses scheduling conflicts for elected representatives or stewards, proxy representatives may be elected as needed.
8. GEO Stewards
Attending all Graduate Employee Organization meetings, communicating GEO proceedings to EGO, and generally representing English graduate student and EGO interests to GEO. At least one representative must be at any EGO meeting. If a particular semester poses scheduling conflicts for elected representatives or stewards, proxy representatives may be elected as needed.
Section 3: General Terms of Office
Each executive officer’s term will begin on July 1 and end on June 30.
Section 4: Special Term Requirements of Outgoing Chair
The outgoing Chair shall remain an honorary member of the executive committee to serve as an advisor to the incoming Chair until the end of the first general meeting of the new executive committee.
ARTICLE IV – election and Appointment Procedures
Section 1: Election Schedule
The election for all executive committee positions shall be held toward the end of each school year. The election day shall be announced in the immediately prior general meeting. The EGO Co-chair, GSS, and GSC officer positions will be two years in length, with one new officer being elected each year.
Section 2: Nomination Eligibility
Any EGO member may be nominated for any position. Any member may nominate any member including her/himself.
Section 3: Nomination Acceptance
Each nominee may accept or decline the nomination of her/his name during the meeting at which s/he is nominated.
Section 4: Votes Counting
Votes shall be counted by a suitable, impartial third person, who is also a member of EGO.
Section 5: Determinations
A winner shall receive a majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the leading candidates sharing the tie may choose to share the position.
Section 6: Appointment Procedures
In the event of a sudden or continued vacancy in an executive position, the Chair or Co-Chairs may choose to appoint a member to the position in a temporary manner until an election can be held for the position. The appointed member may remain in his/her position throughout the year by a majority vote among EGO members.
Section 7: Impeachment Procedures
If an EGO officer fails to attend a significant amount of meetings and is not in contact with EGO co-chairs, the EGO committee reserves the right to seek a replacement officer in accordance with regular election procedures.
ARTICLE V – meetings
Section 1: General Meetings
General Meetings shall be held at least once a month.
Section 2: Special Meetings
Executive meetings and special meetings may be called by the Chairs.
Section 3: Professional Development Seminars (PDS)
PDS may be determined by a majority vote amongst EGO members. All graduate students can and should be allowed to attend PDS without having to officially join EGO.
Section 4: Proposing Topics and Actions for Discussion
Any member during any general meeting shall be permitted to suggest any topic or action for discussion during an appropriate time as indicated by the agenda set for that particular general meeting. The actual discussion shall begin after a move to pursue a discussion has been presented by another member, and seconded by yet another member.
ARTICLE VI – rights and Privileges of Members
Section 1: General Rights of Members
All members are permitted to attend general meetings.
Section 2: Voting Rights of Members
All members shall have the right to vote in any general meeting.
ARTICLE VII – amendments to the Constitution
Section 1: Proposal
A member may propose an amendment by distributing it in written format and reading it aloud in a meeting. Voting of a proposal can but does not have to take place in the same meeting as that in which the proposal was made. Following the meeting, the proposal shall be made known to all members of EGO.
Section 2: Approval
During the next general meeting, and only after a thorough discussion to the satisfaction of all members present for the voting of a proposal, a vote shall be taken on its approval. The amendment must secure two thirds of the votes available during the meeting.
Section 3: Recording
Any successful amendment shall be recorded and copies of the new constitution shall be presented on the EGO website.
ARTICLE VIII – committees
Section 1: EGO members may authorize the creation of any standing or ad hoc committees as they deem necessary.
Section 2: The leadership of any standing or ad hoc committee may be decided by the EGO Chair or by any member of the committee.
Section 3: The English Graduate Organization Conference shall be a committee both recognized and organized by members of EGO. This committee shall be led by two co-chairs selected by the previous year’s conference co-chairs, with input from EGO officers if necessary, and be supported by a group of interested English students. Co-chair teams nominate themselves to outgoing co-chairs during a conference-debriefing meeting. Nominees must fulfill these requirements to be considered: At least one chair must have served on the conference committee in the past; both must be active in the UMass and EGO communities. At least one chair shall attend all general EGO meetings.