We, the graduate students of the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (IPN), in order to promote graduate student interests; serve as a liaison between the student body, the administration, and the faculty of the University; and create opportunities for graduate students to develop professionally, socially, and academically; do decree and establish this Constitution for the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience Student Government (IPNSG).
ARTICLE ONE: NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION ONE: Name
This organization shall be known as the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience Student Government (IPNSG).
SECTION TWO: Purpose
The IPNSG shall serve as the primary executive agency of the IPN student body. The purpose of the Student Government shall be:
1. To serve as the official representative of the IPN student body to the University's administration and faculty with regard to all matters pertaining to the IPN.
2. To promote interaction between students, faculty, and the administration.
3. To promote student awareness of issues and policies pertinent to the IPN.
4. To consider and act upon matters of concern brought to its attention by individual students, one or more classes, or the student body at large.
5. To seek out and retain funds it deems necessary and useful to carry out its purposes.
6. To serve as a means by which effective communication is achieved between years and between the student body and other organizations.
7. To make the student body aware of pertinent awards, and determine nominations and/or recipients as outlined by the specific awards.
ARTICLE TWO: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION ONE: Membership
All graduate students matriculated in the IPN are members of the IPNSG. Officers are composed of the Executive Council (President, senior Senator, junior Senator); Committee Representatives, and other appointed officers (Social Chair, the Secretary, the Student Advisory Committee liaison, the MCGSO liaison, and GSO Representative).
SECTION TWO: Elected Officers
The Executive Council will be composed of three Officers: a President, a senior Senator, and a junior Senator.
1. The Executive Council will serve as the representatives to the IPN Executive Committee.
2. The President must be a rising 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year.
3. Senators must be a rising 2nd year or later.
4. Seniority of Senators is determined by length of service in the IPNSG.
SECTION THREE: Appointed Officers
A. The Committee Representatives serve as the student liaisons to the Executive, Curriculum, and Admissions Committees. The Student Action Committee shall be commissioned upon request by the President on an ad hoc basis.
1. Three students shall be the official liaisons to each committee.
2. The Representatives to the Executive Committee are elected positions, and the Representatives to the Curriculum and Admissions Committees are appointed by the President.
3. The Curriculum Committee Representatives must be a current 1st year, a 2nd year, and a 3rd year or higher.
4. Students other than the appointed officers are encouraged to attend committee meetings.
B. Other appointed officers of the IPNSG are the Social Chair, the Secretary, the Student Advisory Committee liaison, the MCGSO liaison, and the GSO liaison. These positions may be held by members of the IPN Executive Council and the Committee Representatives.
C. At the September meeting there shall be a call to nominate and appoint the non-elected officers of the student government. Appointments shall be made by the President at the meeting with the consent of the majority of the students present.
SECTION FOUR: Term Limits
Terms of office shall commence at the first meeting of the academic year and continue for one year. There are no term limits for any position except for the President, who shall serve for a maximum of 2 terms.
ARTICLE THREE: ELECTIONS
SECTION ONE: Elections for Officers
A. The officers of the Executive Council (President, senior Senator, junior Senator) will be elected in a meeting called by the sitting President and supervised by an Election Supervisor appointed by the President.
B. The Election Supervisor must be a current IPN student and cannot be a candidate in the election. The Election Supervisor is responsible for conducting the election, including soliciting and collecting nominations, creating the ballot, and tabulating the votes.
C. Voting shall take place during the final student body meeting of the academic year in June.
SECTION TWO: Candidate Eligibility and Nominations
A. Any member of the IPNSG who is a rising 2nd year student or later may run for office. A candidate may run for both President and Senator in the same election period. The eligible student must state whether they intend to run for President and Senator, President only, or Senator only.
B. Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by a 3rd party. Nominators must submit a 300-word or less written statement to the Election Supervisor by 7 days before election day. If a candidate is nominated by someone other than themselves, they will be notified by the election supervisor before the election and may decline the nomination.
SECTION THREE: Voting
A. Members of the IPNSG will vote anonymously by secret ballot. If a student is unable to attend the Elections meeting, they may cast an absentee vote via email to the Election Supervisor. Absentee votes must be received by 1 hour before the start of the meeting on election day. Note that absentee voting waives anonymity.
B. IPN student members will cast one vote for a President and rank their top three choices for Senator.
C. Votes for the President will be counted first. The candidate with the greatest number of President votes will be elected as President.
D. Votes for the two Senatorial positions will be counted after the elected President is confirmed. The winning Presidential candidate will be removed from contention in the Senate race. The top two ranked Senators on each ballot after the Presidential race is decided will be given one vote each per ballot. The two candidates with the greatest number of votes will be elected to the position of Senator.
E. In the case of a tie:
1. In the Presidential race: the winner is chosen by a random draw performed by the Election Supervisor.
2. In the Senate race:
a. In a two-way tie for first place, both parties are elected.
b. In a tie for second place (or multiple-way tie for first place), the votes for Senator described in Section D (i.e. the votes for the top two ranked Senators on each ballot after the Presidential race is decided) will be converted to a first and second choice. First choice will be given two points, second choice will be given one point, and the candidate with the highest score wins the tie.
c. In the event a tie persists after the above procedures, the winner is chosen by a random draw performed by the Election Supervisor.
F. After the close of voting, any elected position which remains vacant shall be filled by appointment by the President-elect.
SECTION FOUR: Term Start
Elected candidates will take office on September 1st of that year to allow time for exiting officers to instruct incoming officers about their new positions.
ARTICLE FOUR: MEETINGS
SECTION ONE: Schedule and Quorum
A. The President shall schedule and hold regular monthly meetings of the student body.
B. Quorum: One-quarter of the student body shall constitute a quorum for all regular business.
C. The President, along with at least one Senator and one representative of the Curriculum and Admissions Committees shall be present at the monthly Student Council meetings.
ARTICLE FIVE: RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
SECTION ONE: General Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the IPN Executive Council, the Committee Representatives, and other officers to advocate for the interests of the student body and provide updates to the student body at IPNSG meetings.
SECTION TWO: Officers
A. All officers of the IPNSG must attend student body meetings regularly. When an officer cannot attend a meeting, they are expected to report any new business to the President before the meeting.
B. Committee representatives must attend the meetings of their assigned committee regularly.
C. Other officer duties are outlined below.
1. Social Chair: Plans social events for the student body.
2. Secretary: Takes notes at IPNSG meetings, and distributes copies of notes to the student body after each meeting.
3. Student Advisory Committee Liaison: Responsible for attending meetings of the Student Advisory Committee and maintaining regular communication with the head of the SAC.
4. MCGSO Liaison: Regularly attends meetings of the Medical Center Graduate Student Organization.
5. GSO Representative: Regularly attends monthly meetings of the Graduate Student Organization. In the event that the GSO Representative cannot attend a meeting, it is his/her responsibility to find a proxy.
6. Student Action Committee: ad hoc committee responsible for taking actions deemed necessary by the IPNSG. Committee composition and responsibilities are determined as needed.
D. If an appointed officer fails to fulfill the responsibilities of their position, the Executive Council may remove the representative from their position by unanimous vote.
SECTION THREE: President
A. It is the responsibility of the President to set the agenda at each Student Council meeting. The aim of this agenda is to provide a forum where issues and concerns of any and all IPN student members can be voiced and addressed by the IPNSG in a timely manner.
B. The President is responsible for casting the student vote on the IPN Executive Committee. The President should consult the student body and Senators, when possible, in deciding the vote. Failure to vote in the interests of the student body is grounds for impeachment. If the President is absent, a Senator will cast the vote (in order of seniority).
C. The President is responsible for appointing non-elected officers.
ARTICLE SIX: IMPEACHMENT
SECTION ONE: Only elected officials are impeachable.
SECTION TWO: Procedure
A. Any member of the IPN student body who begins an action of impeachment against another member must submit in writing the reasons for the proposed impeachment to the highest ranking elected official not named in the impeachment. That official must notify the named individual within 24 hours.
B. The member in question shall have the option of appearing before the student body at the next scheduled meeting. The member making the impeachment charge must also be present and be prepared to present his or her reasons for proposing impeachment. The accused member shall be given the right to present arguments in his or her own defense.
C. For the purposes of impeachment, a majority vote of students at the meeting is required to end debate and to call for a vote.
D. A vote to impeach requires two-thirds of the members present to pass.
SECTION THREE: If a vote to impeach passes, the officer is immediately removed from office.
ARTICLE SEVEN: VACANCIES
SECTION ONE: Vacancy of the term of office of President shall be filled by the Senior Senator until a special election can be arranged.
SECTION TWO: Vacancies during the term of office of a Senator position shall be filled at the earliest time possible by special election.
SECTION THREE: Vacancies during the term of office of any other position shall be filled at the earliest time possible by appointment of the President.
SECTION FOUR: Any officer wishing to step down from their position must notify the President in writing.
ARTICLE EIGHT: AMENDMENTS
SECTION ONE: Any IPN student may propose an amendment. All proposed amendments to this Constitution, in order to be considered, must be submitted in writing to the President. He or she reserves the right to appoint an ad hoc committee to facilitate reviewing and presentation of the new amendments to the student body.
SECTION TWO: All proposed amendments to this Constitution, in order to take effect, must be passed by a majority vote of the student body.
ARTICLE NINE: RATIFICATION
This Constitution, in order to take effect, must be ratified by a majority vote of the IPN student body.