Graduate Student Advisory Council


Please contact any of these students who serve on the advisory council if you have questions or comments concerning your student experience in your particular program. They are here to help you:
We, the Columbia College Graduate Student Advisory Council, shall represent the Graduate Student Association of Columbia College.  All graduate students are members of the Graduate Student Association.
Section 1.     NAME
            The name of this organization shall be the Columbia College Graduate Student Advisory Council.  In the remaining portions of this document, the organization shall be referred to as the GSAC.
Section 2.     PURPOSE
            The purpose of the GSAC shall be to:
participate in any decision-making that affects graduate students; facilitate communication between graduate students, college administrators, faculty, program directors, and staff; foster communication among graduate students in all graduate programs; participate in developing and monitoring a long range plan for the Graduate School and each graduate program; enhance professional development in networking within fields of practice; and encourage and mentor publication.
Section 1.     MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the GSAC shall consist of elected representatives formally enrolled in a certificate or degree program. Each academic program will ensure representation on GSAC from each structural component of the program.  Individual programs with specific program subcommittees will be led and governed by those respective graduate programs. Each graduate program will elect three student representatives to serve for a term of one year or until graduation.  The student representatives must be enrolled in a Columbia College graduate program while serving on GSAC. A faculty member who teaches graduate courses (other than program directors) will serve on the GSAC as a faculty liaison. The Dean of Students shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of GSAC.
Any student enrolled in one or more graduate courses may nominate a representative to the GSAC.  However, nominees must be formally enrolled in either a certificate or degree program. The person being nominated must agree to run prior to his/her name being formally placed on a ballot. Two representatives from the Human Behavior and Conflict Management program will be elected in September of each academic year for a term length of one year or until graduation.  One representative will be elected in April of each academic year for a term length of one year or until graduation. One representative from the Divergent Learning program will be elected in June and two will be elected in September of each academic year for a term length of one year or until graduation.  The representative will be elected from the entering class on the Columbia campus at the time of election.  A contact person will be selected from each off-site class. Enrolled graduate students will vote by secret ballot in class.  Ballots will be collected and tallied by the current members of the GSAC under the auspices of the GSAC liaison.
Section 3.     VACANCIES ON GSAC
As a general rule, any vacancy that occurs on GSAC will be filled at the next regularly scheduled election.  The GSAC may appoint interim members as deemed necessary.
Section 1.        MEETINGS
The GSAC will meet as needed to address the proposed agenda, which will be provided to all members prior to the meeting. The GSAC will meet at least once each academic year with the graduate program directors/representatives. A representative of the GSAC will be invited to attend Graduate Council meetings, as appropriate.
Section 2.        SPECIAL MEETINGS
The Chair may call additional meetings of the GSAC at such times as may be necessary or desirable.  Notice of special meetings shall be given to the GSAC members no less than 48 hours prior to date of the meeting. The GSAC may call a meeting of the membership of the Graduate Student Association as may be necessary or desirable.  Notice of special meetings shall be given to the membership no less than five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting.
All meetings of the GSAC shall be conducted with Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised as a general framework. A quorum must be present to conduct business.  A quorum shall consist of at least two-thirds of the representatives.  Unless otherwise noted, a quorum majority shall be required for approval of any GSAC action.  A quorum majority shall mean more than one-half of the GSAC membership present having established a quorum for business. In the event a representative cannot attend a GSAC meeting, a proxy ballot is permitted.
Any graduate student may communicate with the GSAC by contacting any GSAC member in person, by e-mail, or by telephone. Any graduate student may request an audience with the GSAC by contacting the Council Chair 48 hours prior to the GSAC meeting.
Section 1.        GOVERNANCE
The governance of the GSAC shall be under the auspices of the Dean of Students, subject to the rules and regulations of Columbia College and the bylaws of the GSAC.
The Officers of the GSAC shall be composed of the following members: 
Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer.
The Chair shall call and preside at meetings of the GSAC.  The Chair shall oversee the operations and activities of the GSAC and its committees.  The conduct of the meetings shall be the responsibility of the presiding officer.  Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall prevail unless these guidelines are in conflict with the bylaws.  The Council may make additional rules for the conduct of meetings.  The Chair may appoint assistance with the approval of the council and may designate a member of GSAC to serve as parliamentarian. The Vice Chair shall be responsible for assisting the Chair in carrying out the purposes of the GSAC.  The Vice Chair shall act in the place of the Chair on any occasions when the Chair is unable to act.  The Vice Chair shall be responsible for other duties as directed by the Chair and/or the Council.  The Vice Chair shall coordinate all GSAC officers’ nomination decisions and elections. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be responsible for recording minutes and organizing the official records of all meetings of the GSAC; shall give notice of meetings; and shall keep full and accurate accounting of all monetary transactions of the GSAC.  The Secretary/Treasurer shall report at least annually, or at the request of the Chair, to the GSAC.  The Chair or the GSAC may ask the Secretary/Treasurer to perform additional duties.  Any financial transactions may be audited annually by the Dean’s appointee.
Only members in good standing of the GSAC shall be eligible for nomination or election to any office of the GSAC.
Section 5.     ELECTION OF OFFICERS The officers of the GSAC by the members of the Council.  Officers shall assume their responsibilities of office upon the adjournment of the meeting at which the election has been conducted.
Section 6.     TERMS OF OFFICE
The term of office for each of the GSAC officers shall be one year beginning with their election or until their graduation.
Vacancies occurring in any office for any reason shall be filled by election of a replacement at the next regular meeting of the GSAC.  The term of office of any person elected shall be for the completion of the term of the office being replaced.
A GSAC officer whose dereliction of duty adversely affects the operations of the organization shall be subject to disciplinary action or removal from office. A written request stating the reasons for dismissal and signed by at least three (3) active members of GSAC must be submitted at a regularly scheduled meeting. By the next regularly scheduled meeting, written notification of the request and the reasons for dismissal must have been given to the offending officer, who should come to that regular meeting prepared to speak. A two-thirds affirmative vote of all GSAC members is required to remove the officer from office.  Voting will be done by secret ballot and counted by the faculty liaison.
Section 1.     COMMITTEES
The GSAC may appoint both standing and ad hoc committees, as deemed necessary to accomplish the work of the GSAC. Appropriate standing committees could include, but are not limited to,  Promotion/Recruitment, Budget/Finance, Programs, Special Events, and Standards and Assessment.
A motion to amend the bylaws may be made by any member of the GSAC at any regular meeting of the GSAC.  Discussion of the motion to amend may take place at the time the motion is made and seconded.  Vote on the motion to amend shall take place at the next regular meeting of the GSAC.  Discussion of the motion shall again be allowed.  To succeed, the motion shall require a two-thirds vote of the quorum present at the meeting.
Section 1.     ASSESSMENT
An annual review of the GSAC will be prepared and presented to the GSA Membership and to the Dean of the Students during the fall semester of each academic year.
Section 1.     RATIFICATION
The undersigned GSAC officer and faculty advisor of Columbia College do hereby agree to follow the guidelines of this Constitution, having a three-fourths affirmative vote of active members.