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Graduate and Professional
Student Council (GPSC)
I. Name: Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC)
II. Purpose and Affiliation
A. Represent USF graduate and professional student interests pertaining to academic, social, and cultural issues in regular meetings with the USF President, Provost, Dean of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Council, Student Government, and other University Administrators.
B. Provide a forum for discussion of issues relevant to USF graduate and professional students.
C. Provide Grants for Presenting at Professional Conferences trough the Conference Presentation Grant Program (CPGP).
D. Organize, promote, and conduct activities beneficial to graduate life.
E. Disseminate information of interest to current and potential USF graduate and professional students.
F. Recommend USF graduate and professional students for appointment to policy-making committees on issues affecting USF graduate and professional students.
G. Assist graduate programs in creating Graduate Student Organizations within their respective College.
H. GPSC is affiliated with and holds current membership in the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS).
A. 100% of Active Membership must be currently enrolled USF Students.
B. The GPSC is A&S fee funded; therefore there are no membership dues.
C. Active Membership in the GPSC is defined as the following:
1. Any USF Student enrolled in a Graduate Program at the University.
2. A current student at the University.
a) A hiatus from classes for one semester is allowed. Certain other exceptions shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
3. Students that have been accepted into a Graduate Program at USF but have not yet begun.
4. Enrolled in the GPSC on Oasis
D. Other Students and Non-USF Students
1. Students that are not enrolled in the Graduate School or at USF may also be eligible for membership as defined above.
E. Application Process
1. Currently enrolled students in the Graduate School are automatically eligible for a membership. They need to register as members on Blackboard or Oasis. Membership in the GPSC is not required as part of registration with the Graduate School or USF.
2. Students NOT falling in the above category must complete the following requirements:
a) The student must complete an application, available from any GPSC Officer.
b) The student must also declare their reasons for joining the GPSC.
c) The student may or may not have to appear before the council officers to best ascertain membership eligibility.
F. Membership Length
1. Membership is granted on a semester-by-semester basis.
G. Requirements for continued membership
1. Any student who re-registers for classes can continue to be a member of the GPSC.
2. Recent graduates can extend membership up to one (1) year without review by council members. Any student who has graduated does lose rights and privileges as they fall under a Non-USF student status.
H. Revocation/Termination of Membership
1. Any member of the GPSC can lose their membership under the following circumstances:
a) The student is no longer a currently enrolled student and/or has failed to re-register for classes
(1) A one (1) semester hiatus is automatically granted to active members only.
b) A student has willingly participated in a hazing event as defined in Section
c) A student is found guilty of cheating or using deception to obtain a passing grade.
2. Probationary Period
a) A one (1) semester probationary period may be granted at the council officer’s discretion. This period is only granted by a 2/3 vote of all the officers.
b) The probationary period shall last no more than one (1) semester. At the conclusion the student must then be advised, in writing, if membership shall be reinstated.
I. Voting Rights and Procedures
1. Any active member of the GPSC has the right to vote on issues that require a vote of the general council.
2. Non-USF students do not have the right to vote on any issue regardless of circumstances.
3. The President shall determine all voting procedures at the time of the vote.
4. Special procedures such as a secret ballot or vote casting shall be verified with the use of a student ID number (U-number assigned through Oasis). This is to ensure that only one vote per member is cast.
5. The secretary shall certify all cast votes within 24 hours of voting with the results to be made public as soon as possible. The secretary shall also keep a record of votes available for viewing at all times.
1. General Meeting – a quorum is defined as 50% plus one of members present at the meeting with a minimum of 10 votes cast.
a) In the event that a quorum is not in attendance, the meeting can continue without a general vote on issues. Such issues shall be reserved for another meeting.
2. Officer Meetings – a quorum is defined as by having at least 2/3 of the officers present and at least the President or Vice-President in attendance. If neither of those two officers is present, the meeting shall be cancelled immediately.
IV. The GPSC Officers
1. Elections for GPSC officers will take place online during the week of the designated 2nd GPSC meeting of the Spring semester.
1. Eligibility is granted to any active member of the GPSC, certain positions may call for additional requirements.
2. The President, to be elected, must have served as an officer with the group for at least one semester prior to running for the position.
3. Anyone wishing to run for office must answer questions as to their qualifications for leadership.
4. Nomination for a position is not mandatory for candidacy.
5. The officers must be in good academic standing with a GPA no less than 2.5, and not on academic probation. Verification of GPA shall be made through the GPSC advisor so as to maintain grade confidentiality.
1. Any candidate shall make a speech in the 1st general meeting of the spring semester covering their qualifications and the issues they wish to cover.
2. No candidate shall acquire votes through deception, bribery, criminal acts, or promise of special treatment. Any actions of this manner will result in immediate disqualification and termination of membership.
D. Election of Officers
1. The election of officers shall take place online during the week of the 2nd general assembly meeting.
2. During this meeting the final portion shall be reserved for the introduction of candidates.
3. The individuals running shall be introduced by the officer they are replacing during the meeting that week.
4. Any candidate running unopposed shall be considered elected only if there is at least one vote for that candidate. The candidate cannot cast the vote nor shall the officer that they are replacing vote.
5. The election will take place with an online voting system that verifies that only one vote is cast by each individual voting.
6. In the case of a tie a run-off election shall take place within seven (7) calendar days of the election.
7. In the case of no candidate, the president-elect can appoint a position. Any appointed officer must fall under the qualifications for candidates as stated above.
E. Length of Term
1. All officers are elected for a period of one (1) calendar year. The officers shall take office on the first day of July.
2. Officers will end their term on the last day of June the following year.
3. Once the GPSC officers have been elected, an officer transition meeting must be held no later than two weeks between the current GPSC officers and newly elected GPSC officers.
a) This officer transition meeting will inform the newly elected GPSC officers of their roles and expectations in fulfilling the mission statement of the organization as well as how to facilitate the programs and/or services provided by the organization to the student body.
F. Removal from Office
1. Any officer may be removed from Office. This removal must be justified on the following terms:
a) Malfeasance or misconduct in office
b) Abuse of position
c) Conviction of a crime
d) Failure to enroll for classes for 2 consecutive terms
e) Removal from their respective graduate program for academic reasons
f) Failure to uphold the purpose and objectives of the organization
g) Failure to fulfill the duties of his/her position
2. Removal of office shall occur immediately upon a quorum vote of the general body and officers during an official meeting of the council.
a) A special meeting may be called by the President should the need arise.
3. Should the President be removed from office, the Presidential Succession roster listed below shall immediately take effect.
4. In the event the office of Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary becomes vacant for any reason, the President shall nominate and, with the advice and consent of the GPSC General Assembly, appoint a new Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary.
G. Probation for Officers
1. There is no probation for officers. Any offences are punishable by removal from office.
H. The Elected Officers
1. All officers must participate in the planning process of all programs and/or services provided by the GPSC.
2. At least 80% participation is required by the officers for each semester at the events hosted by the GPSC.
3. The officers of the council shall include, but not limited to a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and a Treasurer.
4. Authority to use funds from the GPSC Budget is solely the right of the GPSC Financial Officers; these being the GPSC President and treasurer. Spending of funds must be preapproved by a financial officer, prior to initiation of a purchase order, if the individual requesting use of GPSC funds is not a GPSC Financial Officer.
a) The President shall represent all GPSC Members
b) The President’s duties include:
(1) Presiding over the Executive Board and General Meetings the Council.
(2) Shall oversee all operations of the Council
(3) Shall be ultimately responsible for the Executive Board performing their responsibilities.
6. Vice President
a) The Vice President shall assist the President with his/her duties, preside over the organization in the President’s absence, and act as primary Graduate Program liaison.
b) The Vice-President’s duties include:
(1) Monitors graduate student participation on USF policy committees.
(a) Regular contact with the University Relations Committee (URC) in SG.
(b) Sending reports to URC.
(c) Assisting SG with recruiting students for University Wide Committees/Councils.
a) The Secretary shall dispatch correspondence as directed by the President.
b) The Secretary’s duties include:
(1) Keep complete and accurate records of all proceedings of the council including minutes, correspondence, records, reports, and other information as needed.
(a) This information shall be kept in a secure environment and shall be available to the membership of the council for inspection.
a) The Treasurer shall have the responsibility to account for the collection and expenditure of all funds.
b) The Treasurer’s duties include:
(1) Receive, dispatch, and keep accurate records of all financial matters regarding the GPSC.
(2) Work with accounting in the Graduate School when using funds from the Auxiliary Account.
(3) Work with Student Government Administrative Services when using funds from Activity and Service Account.
(4) Prepare and submit an annual budget for review by the ASRC Committee in SG every January for the following fiscal year.
(5) Prepare quarterly reports of the budget for review at every General Assembly meeting of the GPSC.
A. The advisor for the GPSC shall be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.
1. The Advisor’s duties include:
a) Acting as an information resource individual
b) Interprets graduate school policies
(1) Be aware of all plans and activities of the group that may be affected by these policies.
c) Communicates regularly with the Executive Board
d) Assist the group in planning goals and a strategic plan for the year.
A. The GPSC shall hold 4 types of meetings as defined below:
1. General Assembly Meeting – a public meeting to be held twice a semester open to all members of the GPSC.
2. Executive Board Meeting – a private meeting of the officers every two weeks to discuss and plan upcoming meetings and events.
3. Graduate Connections Meeting – a private meeting between the GPSC Officers and the Dean of the Graduate School to discuss GPSC activities and any student issues.
4. GSO Luncheon – a public meeting once a month between the GPSC Officers and Officers of any Graduate Student Organization.
a) These meetings help facilitate collaborative efforts between graduate organizations across campus.
B. Meeting Protocol
1. General Assembly meetings shall have a predetermined agenda and shall be available in advance of the meeting.
2. All new business shall be submitted in writing no later than 7 days prior to the general assembly meeting.
3. Parliamentary Procedures
a) The Rules of Order shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order. A copy of the Rules shall be kept in the office of the GPSC.
4. The Agenda
a) The agenda shall have the following points and shall be discussed in order:
(1) Welcome and Opening Statements (Call to Order)
(2) Upcoming meeting dates
(3) Approval of minutes from previous meeting.
(4) Officer Reports
(5) New Business
(a) Any business that has not been discussed in any prior meeting.
(6) Old Business
(a) Any business not completed in the previous meeting.
VII. Constitutional Changes
A. Amendments and Revisions
1. Amendments and revisions may be made at any time and must:
a) Be read before the General Assembly and Executive Board.
b) Be discussed in a public forum and voted on by the general council and approved by a super majority of 60% of the present members.
c) Be sent to the Office of Student Organizations upon approval from the Council.
d) Be signed by the President and two witnesses on the Amendment/Revision. The original must be kept on record with the documentation of the Amendment/Revision.
2. The secretary must then make the necessary revisions to this document and post a copy of the constitution on the GPSC website and submit the revised constitution to the Office of Student Organizations.
1. The constitution shall expire in July of 2018, five years from its adoption. A new constitution must be written including any revisions and all amendments as well as any changes as required by the Office of Student Organizations.
2. A rewriting committee must be appointed within one year of expiration and a new constitution must be ready within six months of expiration.
3. The draft constitution must be made available to and discussed with the General Council at the January 2013 Meeting.
4. The Executive Board must discuss the constitution in a public forum and either send it back for changes or send it to the Office of Student Organizations for review.
5. Upon approval from the OSO, the constitution shall be presented to the General Assembly for approval. A super majority of 60% members present is needed for approval of the new Constitution.
6. The signatures of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Advisor are required to make the Constitution official. The original must be kept on record with any supporting documentation.
“This organization prohibits its members, both individually and collectively
from committing any acts of hazing as defined herein:
“Hazing" as defined by §1006.63, Florida Statutes, means any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution, regardless of a person‟s willingness to participate. "Hazing" includes, but is not limited to, pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law; any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance; or other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student; and also includes any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment, or other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions or any activity or conduct that furthers a legal and legitimate objective.
In addition to Florida Statutes §1006.63, hazing as defined by the USF system also includes, but is not limited to, the forced use of alcohol; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; physical and psychological shocks; deception; verbal abuse; personal servitude; kidnapping; deprivation of privileges granted to others in the organization by use of force or duress; and any other activities which are contrary to academic achievement, the stated purpose of the local and/or (inter)national organization, and/or the mission, policies or regulations of the USF system or applicable state law.”
A. GPSC Agreement
1. The Graduate and Professional Student Council agrees to abide by Florida State Statute #1006.63 regarding hazing. Furthermore, agrees to abide by all Engagement & Involvement policies as outlined in the student handbook, to check the organization’s mailbox regularly, to communicate via email upon request, and to update the organization’s records whenever there is a change.
IX. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GPSC AND GRADUATE ASSISTANTS UNITED
The Graduate and Professional Student Council understands and appreciates
the right of Graduate Assistants (GA’s) to bargain collectively for fair
compensation, benefits, a supportive work environment, and any other factors
pertaining to graduate student employment through graduate assistantships.
Furthermore, the Graduate and Professional Student Council recognizes and respects the authority of Graduate Assistants United to represent USF Graduate Assistants (GAs) in all employment-related matters.
The Graduate and Professional Student Council, being an academic, social, and cultural organization, will therefore not participate in any activities that undermine the authority, legitimacy, and power of Graduate Assistants United to represent the interests of USF Graduate Assistants.