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Constitution

CHARTER OF THE GRADUATE
ASSOCIATION OF BIOLOGICAL
SCIENCES

 1. Purpose

1.1. To promote the welfare of graduate students in the Department of
Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Campus.

1.2. An association of its graduate students is herein formed to be known
as the Graduate Association of Biological Sciences (GABS).

1.3. The main objectives of the association are as follows:

1.3.1. To improve the quality of graduate studies within the
Department of Biological Sciences.
1.3.2. To maintain effective communications between graduate
students, and between the Faculty and graduate students within
the department.
1.3.3. To serve as a forum for discussion of issues relevant to
graduate students in the biological sciences.

2. Membership

2.1. All graduate students registered in the Graduate School of UMBC
through the Department of Biological Sciences are members of GABS.
This includes, but is not restricted to, all full-time, part-time, provisional,
“special”, Applied Molecular Biology (AMB), and Marine Estuarine and
Environmental studies (MEES) students. Excluded are students who
have passed their thesis defense, but who have not yet graduated, and
those students enrolled under continuous registration who have left
UMBC.

2.2. Members are eligible to:

2.2.1. Hold a position on the Executive Committee.
2.2.2. Participate in general meetings and committee work.
2.2.3. All other rights that may be determined in the future.

3. Executive Committee

3.1. The Executive Committee (EC) will be composed of four elected
representatives of the GABS membership with titles as follows:
President, Vice President, and two (2) Symposium Co-chairpersons.

3.2. The responsibility of the EC as delegates of the GABS membership
is to conduct GABS business in accordance with the objectives of the
charter.

3.3. The EC will have the authority to:

3.3.1. Form committees and representative positions as deemed
necessary to conduct GABS business.
3.3.2. Solicit funds for GABS activities.
3.3.3. Set GABS operational policy within the confines of the
objectives of the charter or as specified by the general
membership.

3.4. The administrative hierarchy within the EC will be structured as
follows (in descending order of rank):

3.4.1. President – This person will serve as the primary
representative of GABS. Duties of this office include presiding
over general and EC meetings, directing the activities of GABS,
and assuring student representation at the Faculty meetings.
3.4.2. Vice President – As secondary representative of GABS
he/she has the responsibility of monitoring committee activities,
substituting in the Presidents absence, directing and supervising
the yearly elections, maintaining a written record of meetings, and
maintaining communication between the students and GABS
organization. They will also attend the Graduate Committee
meetings as the GABS representative.
3.4.3. Symposium Co-chairpersons (2) – Responsibilities are
inclusive of all the functions necessary to prepare and plan the
annual Departmental Symposium, including communicating with
possible speakers, organizing location of function, and pursuing
funding options on behalf of GABS.

3.5. Members of the EC serve one year from election to election, but
there is no limit to the number of terms each may serve.

3.6. Should at anytime a member of the EC not perform their duties as
specified in paragraph 3.4. any member-at-large lay initiate a vote of noconfidence
as detailed in paragraph 4.3.7.

4. Election Rules and Regulations

4.1. Any member may be candidate for any offices of the EC.
4.2. Elections for the EC will be held during the May monthly meeting
each year. All nominees must verbally agree to perform their office if
elected.
4.3. Election procedures are as follows:

4.3.1. All ballots are secret and counted by two vote counters
appointed by the Vice President. Nominees may not serve as vote
counters.
4.3.2. Ballot collection procedure is at the discretion of the EC
with prior approval of the general membership.
4.3.3. Nominees are elected to the EC by a vote of 50% plus 1
vote of the voting members.
4.3.4. Runoff elections will take place within 2 weeks if nominees
do not receive a 50% plus 1 vote of the voting members. In the
case of three nominees for one position the two candidates with
the largest number of votes will be in the runoff.
4.3.5. If there is only one candidate for a position on the EC
he/she will automatically take that position unless there is
significant no-confidence in which case he/she must receive 50%
plus 1 vote of the voting members to be elected.
4.3.6. Vacancies created by Executive Committee member
resignation or no-confidence votes prior to completion of the one
year term shall have their position filled by the next ranking EC
member. A special election will then be called to fill the vacancy
of the lowest ranking office. If multiple resignations (voluntary or
otherwise) occur at one time, the membership may call for a
special election to fill the vacancies as necessary.
4.3.7. Any member-at-large may initiate a “vote of noconfidence”
for any member of the EC for failure to carry out the
responsibilities of the office, poor representation, or both. After a
motion for no-confidence is seconded, a 50% plus 1 of a quorum
of members is required to remove the individual from office. The
vote shall take place during the next regularly scheduled general
meeting. The voting procedure shall be the same as for the general
election.
4.3.8. Members may vote by proxy by either a) assigning their
vote to another member, or b) designating in writing to another
member for whom they wish to vote.
4.3.9. A quorum necessary for voting on GABS elections, and
votes of no confidence shall consist of one-third (1/3) of the
eligible membership.

5. Responsibilities of Committee and Representatives

5.1. Committees, headed by a chairman, have the responsibility of
conducting the business of the committee toward the fulfillment of the
goals of that committee.
5.2. Representatives of GABS are delegates to groups associated with
UMBC. The Representative has the responsibility of communicating
GABS viewpoints to the groups they are delegates to. The
Representative must also communicate to GABS the policies and
information disseminated by the respective groups.
5.3. Should at anytime a Chairman or Representative not perform their
duties as specified in paragraphs 5.1. or 5.2., respectively, the EC will be
empowered to replace that individual.

6. General Meetings – Procedure

6.1. The frequency and time of the meeting is at the discretion of the EC
as is deemed necessary for efficient operation of business and
communications to the membership.
6.2. Agendas and announcements are the responsibility of the President.
6.3. Members attending a meeting have voting privileges on motions
made during the meeting. Signed proxy votes for absences must be
submitted to a member of the EC before the meeting. Those members
choosing not to attend the meeting, either in person or by proxy,
relinquish their right of voice.

7. Charter Amendments

7.1. This charter may be amended to anytime as deemed necessary by
the membership.
7.2. Said amendments require a 2/3 majority vote of 2/3 of eligible
members (as defined in paragraph 2.1.).