Constitution

The Constitution of the English Graduate Student Association of Notre Dame 

Article I. NAME 

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the “English Graduate Student Association” (EGSA hereafter). 

Article II. PURPOSE 

Section 1. The purpose of EGSA shall be to foster community, to advocate on behalf of graduate students and foster collegiality and inclusivity, and to provide academic, professional, and social support for graduate students in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame. EGSA will accomplish these goals through social, academic, and professional development events, as well as periodic outreach and fundraising events. 

EGSA will, more specifically, accomplish these goals by: 

  1. Holding periodic officer-only meetings
    1. Such meetings ought to occur at minimum once in the fall and twice in the spring.
    2. Newly elected EGSA officers should be invited to the final meeting of the year.
    3. EGSA may designate any meeting a town-hall meeting, open to all English graduate students, at the discretion of the president.
    4. Newly elected EGSA officers shall meet one-on-one with their predecessors before the start of the fall semester of their term in office.
  2. Holding twice-annual town-hall meetings, one midway through the fall semester and one at the end of the spring semester.
  3. Organizing the annual EGSA Symposium as a venue for English Department graduate students to present their research.
  4. Holding at least three social events each semester.
  5. Providing professional development workshops for students in the first three years of the program.
  6. Providing at least two events focused on quality-of-life and graduate student well-being each year.
  7. Organizing one-on-one peer mentorship between first-year graduate students and those later in the program.
  8. Sending department representatives to all Graduate Student Union meetings and reporting significant information from those meetings to English Department graduate students.
  9. Advocating on behalf of graduate students in the department as concerns and issues arise.

Article III. MEMBERSHIP 

Section 1. All graduate students, including MA, MFA, and Ph.D. students, in the English Department at Notre Dame will be considered de facto members of EGSA and are eligible to participate in EGSA events and run for office. 

Article IV. MEMBERSHIP FEES 

Section 1. No fees, of any kind, will be charged to EGSA members. 

Article V. OFFICERS 

Section 1. The Officers of EGSA shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Quality-of-Life Chair, Professional Development Chair, Social Chair, an MFA Chair, and two GSU Representatives. The creation of additional officer positions must be approved by a majority vote of the existing officers. 

Section 2. Only graduate students in the Department of English, including MA, MFA, and Ph.D. students, may serve as officers. 

Section 3. The duties of the President shall include: 

  1. Coordinating all EGSA meetings. 
  2. Chairing all EGSA meetings. 
  3. Providing leadership and acting as chief spokesperson for EGSA. 
  4. Working with the Treasurer to plan and oversee the EGSA Budget. 
  5. Overseeing the planning and execution of the annual EGSA Symposium. 
  6. Providing support to EGSA officers in planning and carrying out their respective duties.
  7. Planning and executing EGSA fundraisers, as the board determines appropriate.
  8. Overseeing mentorship and training of new EGSA officers to foster institutional memory.
  9. Organizing the special election of replacement EGSA officers should any officer be unable to fulfill their duties in the course of the academic year, pursuant to Article VI, Section 5.
  10. The President will maintain a professional demeanor and act ethically in all matters at all times.

Section 4. The duties of the Vice President shall include: 

  1. Assisting the president with the fulfillment of their duties. 
  2. Assist with the planning and execution of the annual EGSA Symposium 
  3. Organizing EGSA’s mentorship program, including providing each mentor/mentee pair with gift cards for coffee meetings, and organizing two meetings of all mentor/mentees each year—one in the fall and one in the spring.

Section 5. The duties of the Treasurer shall include: 

  1. Working with the President to plan and oversee the EGSA Budget. 
  2. Creating a detailed electronic budget, to be shared with the Graduate Studies Coordinator and the EGSA board, and keeping it updated throughout the year.
  3. Coordinating with EGSA officers to manage budget categories throughout the year.
  4. Processing financial reimbursements for expenses incurred by any EGSA officer in the fulfillment of their duties.

Section 6. The duties of the Quality-of-Life Chair shall include: 

  1. Planning and implementing at least two events focused on graduate student quality-of-life and well-being throughout the academic year.
  2. Hold at least one workshop per year focused on issues of inclusion in the department, particularly on the issues of race and whiteness as they affect the experience of English graduate students.
  3. Maintaining and periodically updating a library of resources for students.
  4. Serves as liaison between the GSC and EGSA; responsible for attending GSC meetings when appropriate and reporting any pertinent information to EGSA.

Section 7. The duties of the Professional Development Chair shall include:

  1. Planning and implementing one professionalization workshop for first-semester students per year.
  2. Planning and implementing at least one professionalization workshop for students preparing for exams and prospectus defenses per year.
  3. Maintaining and periodically updating a library of resources for students.
  4. Preparing care packages for each graduate student in advance of their candidacy exams.
  5. Promoting awareness of and providing information about other professionalization opportunities on campus.

Section 8. The duties of the MFA Professional Development Chair shall include: 

  1. Communicating with other MFA students to determine how EGSA can best serve their needs.
  2. Providing professionalization workshops for MFA students as necessary, and/or coordinating with the Professionalization Chair to provide joint workshops.
  3. Coordinating thesis accountability meetings throughout each the semester for interested second-year MFAs to discuss: due dates, mapping out the thesis, and advisor feedback and questions.
  4. Encouraging Ph.D./MA participation in MFA events, and vice versa.

Section 9. The duties of the Social Chair shall include: 

  1. Planning the EGSA start-of-year potluck at the beginning of the fall semester.
  2. Planning the annual EGSA Halloween Party
  3. Planning at least one other event during the fall semester
  4. Planning a happy hour social during the EGSA Symposium
  5. Planning at least two other events during the spring semester. 

Section 10. The duties of the GSU Representatives shall include: 

  1. Attending GSU meetings regularly, ensuring that the English Department always has one representative present at meetings.
  2. Distributing any minutes from these meetings relevant to English Department graduate students, via the department’s graduate student listserv.

Article VI. OFFICER ELECTION AND IMPEACHMENT 

Section 1. All Officers shall be elected before April 1, since all groups should be registered for the new year by April 1. New officers serve a term from the end of the spring semester to the end of the following spring semester. 

Section 2. Officer elections will consist of the following three-step process: 1. Nominations, 2. Elections, 3. Run-off Elections 

  1. Nominations will be open at least two weeks prior to the scheduled start of the election period. Any member of EGSA may self-nominate for a position. Candidates for the EGSA Presidency should have passed comprehensive exams and be entering their fourth year. Candidates may nominate themselves for more than one position. Nominations will be collected by e-form, administered by the Graduate Studies Coordinator.
  2. Elections will be held electronically, over a period of at least one week.  Candidates must receive the majority of votes submitted during the election period to be elected as EGSA officers. If any candidate receives a vote of no confidence from the majority, a new round of nominations and an election must be held for the position. The ballot shall be administered electronically by the EGSA President and the Graduate Studies Coordinator, who will be responsible for sharing the results of the election at the end of the designated election period.
  3. Uncontested Elections: In the event that only one candidate is nominated for a particular officer position, that candidate shall be automatically elected to the EGSA Board.
  4. Run-off Elections will be held should two candidates receive the same number of votes for a position. In this case, the EGSA President and the Graduate Studies Coordinator shall administer a run-off election electronically over a period not to exceed one week.

Section 3. In the event that an officer is judged to be deficient in their duties by the majority of EGSA officers, they may be removed by a unanimous vote of EGSA officers. 

Section 4. Should, at any point in the academic year, an EGSA officer feel unable to complete their duties, they may resign the office. All resignations must be communicated in writing to the EGSA President 

Section 5. The filling of an office vacated by resignation or impeachment shall be conducted by a special election held in the manner of elections defined in Article VI, Section 2.2. In the case of a vacancy for the Presidency, the Vice President shall be appointed President, and a replacement for the Vice President shall be elected. 

Article VII. ADVISOR 

Section 1. The Advisor must be a full-time Notre Dame faculty member or staff member associated with the English Department. 

Section 2. The Advisor’s duties shall include:
1. Meeting with the President as needed.
2. Keeping abreast of EGSA issues and intentions. 

Section 3. The Advisor shall be an ex-officio member of the club, and as such, shall not have voting rights. 

Section 4. The Advisor shall have veto power over any decision made by EGSA officers which is in direct violation of University policy. This authority shall be used only in circumstances in which EGSA officers knowingly intend to violate University of Notre Dame policy. 

Article IX. DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS 

Section 1. The EGSA President and Treasurer are responsible for the planning and administration of the EGSA budget, in consultation with other officers. 

Section 2. EGSA officers should receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in conducting any event included in the approved EGSA budget, up to the amount permitted in the budget. 

Section 3. Funds within the approved EGSA budget may be reallotted at the agreement of the EGSA President and Treasurer. 

Section 4. Any cash funds received by EGSA through fundraisers should be counted, processed, and deposited by the Graduate Studies Coordinator. 

Article X. AMENDMENTS 

Section 1. This constitution may be amended at any time by a majority vote of EGSA officers. 

Section 2. Upon receiving a majority affirmative vote in favor of a constitutional amendment, the EGSA President shall submit the amendment/revision in writing to the Student Activities Office for review/approval.