Official Documents

Constitution of the Graduate Student Council

Article I—Name

The name of this organization shall be Graduate Student Council.  The organization is a sanctioned university student organization at Texas Woman’s University.

Article II—Objectives

The purposes for which the Council is organized are imbedded in its Mission Statement and Core Values: 

Section 1—Mission Statement

The Graduate Student Council is a multi-purpose organization designed to give graduate students a formal collective presence, to advise the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of the Center for Student Development who serve as its official advisors, and to promote graduate student development. Thus, its purpose is to serve as a voice for all graduate students, to work in support of the core values of the council, and to advocate for graduate students’ concerns and ideas related to graduate education at Texas Woman’s University.

Section 2—Core Values

Advocacy - Creating a community that encourages intellectual curiosity, creative expression, collaboration, innovation, contributions of new knowledge, and developing respect for self and others through social responsibility, accountability and ethical behavior.

Excellence - Committing to student individual and professional growth through lifelong learning, fostering the preparation of students for success and sustainability in careers, leadership, and service.

Community - Offering opportunities for networking and community creation among students, faculty and administrators; addressing graduate student issues; celebrating student successes; and promoting a strong student voice.

Article III—Responsibilities of the Council

The Graduate Student Council members’ responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Creating a Coalition. The Graduate Student Council creates a coalition amongst the graduate student body, serving academic and professional development needs.
  2. Making Recommendations. The Graduate Student Council makes recommendations and provides feedback regarding graduate student issues to the Dean of the Graduate School who in turn corresponds with the Provost.
  3. Disseminating Information. The Graduate Student Council disseminates information relating to activities and issues affecting graduate students.
  4. Assisting the Dean of the Graduate School and the Center for Student Development as requested.

Article IV—Membership

Section 1—Eligibility

Graduate students must be officially enrolled in the academic terms in which they serve. Exceptions are made for summer term for officers who are not paid by the Graduate Student Council.  Nominees for Senatorship must be willing and able to attend the regular meetings and to communicate regularly with other graduate students in their academic programs, department, school, and/or college. 

Section 2—Membership/Non-Voting Member Criteria

All graduate students in active status at Texas Woman's University are members of the Graduate Student Council. All students who have active graduate status with Texas Woman’s University and are not Senators of the Graduate Student Council are non-voting members.

Section 3—Voting Members/Senate

The voting membership of the Graduate Student Council is composed of one representative from each classification---master’s and doctoral---of each graduate degree-granting academic program at Texas Woman’s University. Up to two at-large senator positions may be filled by any master’s or doctoral student from any graduate degree-granting academic program. These recommended or elected representatives will make up the Senate of the Graduate Student Council.

  1. All senators must be currently enrolled as a TWU graduate student and be in good standing with the university.

Section 4—Election and Terms for Senatorial Body

  1. Graduate Student Council voting members are selected through a process which entails the following:
    1. A bi-annual open call will be sent out in the fall and spring semesters via e-mail to the graduate student body at large and/or specific graduate departments lacking voting member representation for both classifications: master’s and doctoral levels.
    2. Submission of a designated self-nomination form and three recommenders (including one faculty member).
    3. An in-person or video-conference interview with the Vice President of Community who may then choose one of the following:
      1. Recommend the individual for Senatorship
        1. The Executive Council must then give the final approval for Senatorship via quorum in-person or via e-mail.
      2. Recommend the individual for a second in-person or video-conference interview with the Executive Council
        1. The Executive Council may then choose one of the following:
          1. Recommend the individual for Senatorship with quorum
          2. Recommend further inquiry by requesting that the Vice President of Community contact the individuals’ recommenders.
            1. The Executive Council may then choose one of the following: (a) recommend the individual for Senatorship with quorum or (b) deny the request for Senatorship
  2. Upon approval of Senatorship, the new Senator will receive a confirmation of Senatorship and an outline of the responsibilities of Senatorship.
  3. Graduate Student Council Senatorial members serve one-year terms. A senator’s term begins upon confirmation of Senatorship.
  4. If a Graduate Student Council voting member’s position is vacated for any reason including dismissal, the Vice President of Community will begin an active search for a replacement from the same degree and classification to serve out the rest of the term.

Section 5—Responsibilities of Senators

Senators are expected to be active members of the council. Senators are expected to attend all regularly scheduled meetings of the Graduate Student Council and to communicate the issues raised in Graduate Student Council meetings to their fellow students and program staff as well as communicating the concerns and opinions of their fellow students back to the Graduate Student Council. Senators are expected to devote an average of 2-3 hours per week to the Graduate Student Council and to be able to report on their involvement at the monthly General Assembly Meetings.

As part of the responsibility to the graduate student body of TWU, senators are expected to serve on at least two committees.  The President will invite Senators to specific committees when opportunities arise. 

Additional responsibilities:

  1. Initiate and meet once per month with department chair
  2. Initiate and meet once per semester with dean of college (along with other senators from the college)
  3. Attend a meet-and-greet with the dean of graduate school in conjunction with all senators

 

Section 6—Removal from Office Policy

Upon recommendation of the President-Elect or a member of the Executive Council, the Executive Council may consider removing a Senator from their position on the council (i.e. demotion from Vice President to Senator) for the remainder of the council member’s current term for reasons of neglect of duties, abuse of powers, or violations of the code of conduct as determined by the Executive Council.  The Graduate Student Council follows the Student Code of Conduct established by the Student Life Office of Texas Woman’s University.  The council member must have an opportunity to contend the recommendation of discharge, and this opportunity must be given in writing no less than 7 business days prior to the Executive Council’s decision regarding the recommendation for discharge.  The decision of the Executive Council is final and based upon a quorum vote which may occur in-person or electronically. A senator who has been removed from the council will adhere to a 1-year probationary period prior to running for any executive council position in subsequent terms. 

Article V—Officers

Section 1—Officers

  1. The officers of the Graduate Student Council comprise the Executive Council. The Executive Council will include the following elected officers: President, President-Elect, the Vice Presidents of Advocacy and Sustainability, Community, Academic Excellence, the Social Media Chair, Professional Development Chair, Houston Campus Chair and Dallas Campus Chair. Senators will elect the executive council members, with the exception of the President (see Article V, Section 2a). Officers will be elected at the March general meeting and will assume their offices at the yearly Pioneering Spirit Awards banquet. All council members will be required to attend all executive council meetings and large GSC events. In order to be eligible to hold the office of President, a senator must have served for at least 2 full semesters prior to the election. Senators are eligible to run for all other positions without having served a set number of prior semesters.  Once elected, executive council members will serve a term of one academic year. The Executive Council of GSC will meet on a regular monthly basis.

Section 2— Responsibilities of officers

  1. President

The President-Elect assumes the role of the President at the Pioneering Spirit Awards banquet.  The President’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Chairing the meetings of the Graduate Student Council.
  2. Chairing the Graduate Student Council Executive Committee.
  3. Preparing the agenda for the Graduate Student Council meetings and providing them to the President-Elect to communicate to the Senatorial body. This should be done at least 3 days prior to meeting time.
  4. Recruiting and nominating chairs and members of the various standing and ad hoc committees of the Graduate Student Council.
  5. Representing graduate students in formal interaction with TWU administrators.
  6. Representing graduate students on various university committees and at functions where appropriate.
  7. Guiding and mentoring the President-Elect in preparation for the following years’ service.
  8. The President will be responsible for establishing a plan to ensure financial sustainability in conjunction with the organization’s advisor(s) and the Vice President of Sustainability.
  9. Prepares and reports updates to the senate on the budget at each general meeting.
  10. Prepares the budget proposal for the December/January meeting of the Student Service Fee Committee and assists in the presentation of the budget to this committee in conjunction with the President-Elect.
  11. Keeps all financial ledgers and receipts of all funds paid and received, submits all necessary paperwork to the appropriate offices, and assists committee chairs when funding is required.
  12. The President will seek out committee involvement opportunities for Graduate Student Council senators.
  13. The President will be the point of contact for all Vice Presidents.
  14. Provides support for Council chairs

 b. President-Elect

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council is eligible to hold the office of President-Elect. The President-Elect is elected during the March meeting and serves for one year. The President-Elect’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Assisting the President with Graduate Student Council activities and responsibilities.
  2. Representing the Graduate Student Council when the President cannot do so.
  3. Chairing the Graduate Student Council meetings and preparing the agenda when the President cannot do so.
  4. Chairing the Graduate Student Council Executive Committee when the President cannot do so.
  5. Point of contact for all senators, communicating the agendas and supplemental materials for meetings to the rest of the Senatorial body. Agendas should be sent to senators at least 48 hours prior to meeting.
  6. Serves on university committees and builds connections with campus administration.
  7. Provides support for Council chairs and committee chairs
    1. Provides direct support for all vice president positions.
    2. Provides indirect support for all chairperson positions.
  8. Works with President to organize elections.
  9. Works with President to prepare and present the annual Student Service Fee Budget proposal.
  10. Becomes President of the Graduate Student Council should the President’s position become vacant. In this case, the Graduate Student Council will elect a new President-Elect at next general meeting.
  11. Takes minutes at all General Assembly and Executive Council meetings to be approved by the President and distributes to all senators, as well as posts on the Graduate Student Council website.
  12. Tracks and enforces attendance and proxy policies of The Graduate Student Council. Maintains archival records of attendance, agendas and supplemental materials.
  13. Organizes and facilitates training for senators to prepare them with skills and best practices for their required meetings with their department chairs, college deans, and the dean of the graduate school
  14. If the President-Elect position becomes vacant, the President will seek a new candidate who meets the qualifications of the President-Elect.

 

c. Vice President of Advocacy and Sustainability

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council is eligible to hold the office of Vice President of Advocacy and Sustainability. The Vice President of Advocacy and Sustainability is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Vice President of Advocacy and Sustainability’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Creating and facilitating at least one fundraising event per year with a focus on social, economic, or environmental issues.
  2. Researching and proposing possible advocacy initiatives to the General Assembly for voting at the beginning of each year, with the goal of selecting one year-long advocacy project
  3. Managing the work of the organization on the advocacy initiatives, creating a committee if necessary
  4. Updating the General Assembly monthly on the progress of the advocacy initiative
  5. If the Vice President of Advocacy and Sustainability position becomes vacant, the President will seek a new candidate who meets the qualifications of the Vice President of Advocacy and Sustainability.

 

d. Vice President of Community

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council is eligible to hold the office of Vice President of Community. The Vice President of Community is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Vice President of Community’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Working with department academic chairs, schools, and deans to assure that all degree granting departments, schools, and colleges are appropriately represented on the Graduate Student Council with voting members as defined above.
  2. Assists President-Elect with capturing attendance and proxy information.
  3. Creating and implementing Senatorial recruitment initiatives.
  4. Representing the Graduate Student Council at various events that present Senatorial recruitment opportunities.
  5. Generating graduate student interest and involvement through events, e-mail communications, and other initiatives.
  6. Creates a social/networking calendar for the Council
  7. Organizes Council socials and networking events
    1. Books rooms and makes necessary reservations
    2. Communicates event details to members of the Council and to the graduate student body.
  8. Creates a budget proposal for social events (when necessary and as Council funding increases over time)
  9. Supports the Social Media Chair
  10. If the Vice President of Community position becomes vacant, the President will seek a new candidate who meets the qualifications of the Vice President of Community.

 

e. Vice President of Academic Excellence

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council is eligible to hold the office of Vice President of Academic Excellence. The Vice President of Academic Excellence is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Vice President of Academic Excellence’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1. Creating a call for nominations for established Pioneering Spirit Awards from all student, staff and faculty bodies.

2. Establishing and directing subcommittees in the following:

  1. a fair and blinded process of narrowing and selecting final nominations for each of the established award categories. This responsibility includes that of procuring reviewing committees whose process is blinded and whose members are representative of the faculty and graduate student body.
  2. the planning and execution of the awards banquet in a manner that meets or exceeds the standards set in prior year(s). 

3. Promoting the Pioneering Spirit Awards Reception across all campuses including via personal, written invitations to TWU’s academic dignitaries.  Relationship building between the Graduate Student Council and others within this academic community is integral to the mission of the Pioneering Spirit Awards. This responsibility will be shared and supported by both the President and President-Elect.

4. Evaluating the success of the awards process and banquet in tandem with both internal and external feedback to the organization.  Updating the Pioneering Spirit Awards Manual to reflect improvements made during the current year or improvements suggested for the future year regarding all aspects of the planning and execution of the Pioneering Spirit Awards banquet.

5. Develop an after-action report for the PSA Reception.

6. If the Vice President of Academic Excellence position becomes vacant, the President will seek a new candidate who meets the qualifications of the Vice President of Academic Excellence.

 

f. Houston Campus Chair

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council whose home campus is Houston is eligible to hold the office of Houston Campus Chair. The Houston Campus Chair is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Houston Campus Chair’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1. Responsible for promoting and supporting the continued interrelationships between graduate students across TWU’s campuses. 

2. Promoting representation of the Houston campus on the Graduate Student Council at council meetings and GSC events.

2. Seeking input on graduate student matters from students, staff and faculty on the Houston campus and relaying this information to the Graduate Student Council.

3. Establishing and executing GSC events on the Houston campus.

4. Establishing and maintaining a relationship with the Houston Campus Office of Student Life.

5. If the Houston Chair position becomes vacant, the Vice President of Community will seek a new candidate who meets the qualifications of the Houston Campus Chair.

 

g. Dallas Campus Chair

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council whose home campus is Dallas is eligible to hold the office of Dallas Campus Chair. The Dallas Campus Chair is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Dallas Campus Chair’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1. Responsible for promoting and supporting the continued interrelationships between graduate students across TWU’s campuses. 

2. Promoting representation of the Dallas campus on the Graduate Student Council at council meetings and GSC events.

6. Seeking input on graduate student matters from students, staff and faculty on the Dallas campus and relaying this information to the Graduate Student Council.

7. Establishing and executing GSC events on the Dallas campus.

8. Establishing and maintaining a relationship with the Dallas Campus Office of Student Life.

9. If the Dallas Chair position becomes vacant, the Vice President of Community will seek a new candidate who meets the qualifications of the Dallas Campus Chair.

 

h. Professional Development Series Chairperson

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council is eligible to hold the office of Professional Development Series Chairperson. The Professional Development Series Chairperson is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Professional Development Series Chairperson’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1. Propose at least two Professional Development Series events per semester

2. Facilitate the planning of the event according to the Professional Development Series Manual, including, but not limited to:

  1. Booking rooms
  2. Selecting speakers
  3. Procuring all items and supplies necessary for event

3. Attend Professional Development Series events to ensure the event’s success

4. Send follow-up thank you notes to all presenters.

5. If the Professional Development Series Chair position becomes vacant, the Vice President of Community will seek a new candidate as soon as possible.

6. Evaluating the success of the workshops in tandem with both internal and external feedback to the organization.  Updating the Professional Development Series Manual to reflect improvements made during the current year or improvements suggested for the future year regarding all aspects of the planning and execution of the Professional Development Series.

 

i. Social Media Chairperson

Any voting member of the Graduate Student Council is eligible to hold the office of Social Media Chairperson. The Social Media Chairperson is an appointed position, serving for one year. The Social Media Chairperson’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1. Manage all social media accounts, posting event notices and relevant information and responding to messages

2. Work with the Vice Presidents to generate interest in events, create event pages, and facilitate any other social media-related tasks

3. If the Social Media Chair position becomes vacant, the Vice President of Community will seek a new candidate as soon as possible.

 

j. Past-President

The Past-President office is held on a voluntary basis only by the outgoing President. This position is meant to be an advisory role only. The Past-President is asked to attend executive council and general senatorial meetings as requested.

ARTICLE VI— Meetings

Section 1—Regular Meetings

The Graduate Student Council meets seven times per year, September, October, November, January, February, March, and April.  All meetings are open to all graduate students.

Section 2—Special Meetings

The President may call special meetings as needed including during the summer session. At least 5 working days’ notice should be given unless an emergency situation does not permit.

Section 3—Quorum

A simple majority of the Senate of the Graduate Student Council (or of the Executive Council of the Graduate Student Council when applicable) present constitutes quorum.   

Section 4—Standard Agenda

The Standard Agenda below is distributed to Graduate Student Council members. Items for the Agenda must be submitted to the President at least seven (7) calendar days before the regular monthly meetings.  All appointed and elected individuals of the Graduate Student Council are expected to provide a progress report at the monthly General Assembly and Executive Council meetings.

Section 5—Minutes

The minutes of the regular meetings are taken by the President-Elect and posted to the Graduate Student Council’s website.

 

ARTICLE VII—Committees

Section 1—Standing Committees

The Graduate Student Senate has Standing Committees that are composed of Senate members and other graduate students as appointed by the President for a one-year term. The committees and their purposes are:

A. Development of programming

B.  Committees will be added as the Council develops.

 

Section 2—Ad Hoc Committees

The President of the Graduate Student Council may appoint ad hoc committees as deemed necessary and desirable to assist in carrying out the program for the academic year. Such appointments expire at the end of the academic year.

 

ARTICLE VIII—Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Council by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Senate present, provided the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting. Amendments to these bylaws must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of the Center for Student Development. The Student-Faculty Committee on Student Organizations (SGA) will not be involved in the amendment process of the Graduate Student Council.

 

ARTICLE IX—Dissolution

The Texas Woman’s University Graduate Student Council may be dissolved only if two-thirds of its members recommend dissolution to the Dean of the Graduate School who must approve the recommendation.

 

ARTICLE X—Not-for-profit Statement

This is a not-for-profit organization.

 

ARTICLE XI—Statement of Non-discrimination

This organization shall not discriminate on the basis of age, color, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability or handicap, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This policy will include, but is not limited to, recruiting, membership, organization activities or opportunities to hold office.

 

ARTICLE XII—Statement of Non-Hazing

This organization will not engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student or person attending the institution.

 

ARTICLE XIII—Statement of Compliance with Campus Regulations

This organization shall comply with all University and campus policies and regulations and local, state, and federal laws.

2021 Graduate Student Council

Meeting Minutes

September 2021
October 2021

Graduate Student Council Organizational Chart

scroll to see the full table

GroupMembers
GSC Advisors Dean of the Graduate School, Director of the Center for Student Development 
Executive Board President, Vice President, Vice President of Advocacy & Sustainability, Vice President of Community, Vice President of Excellence 
Executive Council President, Vice President, Dallas Campus Chair, Houston Campus Chair, Vice President of Advocacy & Sustainability, Vice President of Community - Social Media Chair, Vice President of Excellence - Professional Development Series Chair 
(Voting Members) Senate Senators represent graduate programs. Each senator is a voting member of the Graduate Student Council

1. Senators are expected to attend all regularly scheduled meetings of the Graduate Student Council and to communicate the issues raised in Graduate Student Council meetings to their fellow students and program staff as well as communicating the concerns and opinions of their fellow students back to the Graduate Student Council.

2. As part of the responsibility to the graduate student body of TWU, senators are strongly encouraged to serve on committees when opportunities arise.

3. Senators will meet with key administration personnel throughout the academic school year: department chair, dean of college, and dean of graduate school

(Non-Voting Members) Graduate students within programs, affiliated student organizations, department chairs, and program advisors 

Page last updated 5:33 PM, October 11, 2021