NMT GSA Constitution
Amended 2/22/2021: Appendix #1 General, and Appendix #1 Deadlines/Funding Periods
We the graduate students of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, in order to form a more perfect association, to provide for a representative body, to promote student shared governance, to participate in the policy and decision-making processes of the Institute, to foster an environment which will promote academic growth, to promote communications and understanding within the University community and beyond, and encourage awareness of and participation in a democratic society, do hereby establish this Constitution for the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Graduate Student Association, hereafter known as the GSA. The GSA’s powers, authorities, privileges, and legitimacy, are derived from the consent of the Student Body.
ARTICLE I. GENERAL MATTERS
The Graduate Student Association does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information in the admission to, or participation in, its membership or any program or activity which it conducts, or in any policy or practice.
The place and manner of GSA elections shall be prescribed by GSA bylaws.
GSA Officers and GSA Council may establish Special/Ad Hoc committees to be governed by GSA bylaws. The GSA will also nominate students to Institute committees, as needed.
The GSA Constitution shall take precedence over all bylaws or other GSA documents.
ARTICLE II. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Portions of this document which enact sections of the Constitution, to follow all articles and amendments or maintained as a separate document. A bylaw may be changed by simple majority vote of the GSA Officers.
Cause for Removal
Reasons for cause for removal could be willful neglect of office, gross misconduct, or malfeasance.
Portions of this document passed by the GSA Membership and certified by the Graduate Office of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. This constitution may be changed by an amendment process, to be defined at the end of this document.
Any degree program at the institute that awards a degree of the rank of Master or Doctorate.
Graduate Student Association or GSA
The organization being established in this document.
The GSA Council serves as the primary legislative body of the GSA and shall consist of student representatives of graduate program departments. GSA council members shall be established during the fall semester and spring semester, if needed.
The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, all of its departments and policies.
Quorum or the minimum number of participants needed to conduct official business shall be defined as at least 50% of the GSA council members present.
ARTICLE III. GSA MEMBERS
Any graduate student registered at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology who has paid a student activity fee for the current semester or the previous semester in the case of summer, barring exceptions listed below.
- Each member shall have the right to vote in elections, to debate at meetings, and to participate in all activities of the Association except as provided otherwise in this Constitution or its bylaws.
- A member of the GSA may resign their membership, by submitting a record of their resignation to the GSA.
- By a two-thirds vote of GSA Council Members and Officers, a member of the GSA may be expelled. This must be done in agreement with the Dean of Graduate Students.
ARTICLE IV. GSA COUNCIL
Every department with a graduate program at the Institution shall be guaranteed a minimum of one representative, who are called “Department Representatives”. The Department Representatives will be the members of the GSA Council. Departments must have a Department Representative to receive funding.
- Requirements to be a Department Representative
1.1 A department representative must be a member of the GSA, as defined in Article II.
1.2 Department Representatives must be in good academic standing, as defined by the Institution.
2. Responsibilities of Department Representatives
2.1 Department representatives are responsible for participating in and taking minutes of GSA meetings, to be reported back to all graduate students of their department.
2.2 Department representatives will also serve on GSA committees as needed.
3. Allocation of additional departmental representatives shall be established in the GSA bylaws — on the condition no bylaw explicitly favors a specific degree program, department, or individual — to maintain membership of the GSA council at a productive and useful level.
4. Removal of Department Representatives
4.1 A motion to remove a department representative from their position may be put forward with cause by any department representative or GSA officer.
4.2 As necessary, the presiding officer shall be the highest-ranking GSA officer in precedence; with that failing, an elected member of the GSA council.
4.3 Removal requires a majority vote of present Department Representatives and GSA officers.
5. Department Representatives are forbidden any regular form of financial compensation.
6. Departments shall choose representatives from amongst their graduate student population.
6.1 This selection may be made by any means that does not favor a specific student or group of students, except in the case of degree progress.
6.2 Selection methods may be reviewed by the GSA Council or Graduate Office for fairness.
7. The undergraduate equivalent of this body at the Institution (at the time of writing, the Student Government Association) shall allow one representative on the GSA council to be selected by any reasonable manner of their choosing.
ARTICLE V. GSA OFFICERS
For performance of regular operations and functions, the GSA establishes the role of Officers.
- Requirements to be an Officer.
- An Officer must be a member of the GSA, as defined in Article III, and must intend on remaining so for the duration of the academic year they serve.
- Officers must be in good academic standing, as defined by the Institution.
- An Officer may not be serving concurrently as a department representative.
2. General Authorities and Responsibilities
- Officers are responsible for continuity of GSA, including mentoring new officers in their elected roles to ensure a successful transition.
- Officers must maintain confidentiality of students and administrators.
3. Officers shall be elected by the general graduate student body, with the method of election established in the GSA bylaws.
4. Removal of Officers
- A motion to remove an officer from their position may be put forward with cause by any department representative or GSA officer.
- As necessary, the presiding officer shall be the highest-ranking GSA officer in precedence; with that failing, an elected member of the GSA council.
- Removal requires a majority vote of GSA officers.
5. These officers are enumerated and described, in order of precedence. New officer positions created by amendment of this document follow in precedence in order of creation.
- The President of the GSA is responsible for running and scheduling GSA meetings, on the advice and consent of fellow officers and the GSA council.
- The President shall attend the meetings of the Institution’s Graduate Council and President’s cabinet meetings, as representative of the GSA and therefore graduate students.
- The President shall attend the meetings of the Institution’s Board of Regents, as representative of the GSA and therefore graduate students, with the preparation of a report.
- The President shall act as a means of communication and negotiation between the administration of the Institution and the graduate student body of the Institution.
5.2 Vice President
- The Vice President shall attend SGA meetings as a GSA representative.
- The Vice President shall keep track of department representatives.
- The Vice President shall keep track of various Institutional committee representatives and GSA committee members
- The Vice President Shall attend the meetings of the Institution’s Faculty Senate as a representative of the GSA and therefore graduate students with all of the rights and responsibilities afforded by the Faculty Senate.
- The Vice President shall assist with the responsibilities of other officers as needed.
- The Treasurer shall maintain a record of all incoming funds.
- The Treasurer shall budget GSA funds and allocate accordingly.
- The Treasurer shall manage expenditures for the GSA in conjunction with officers.
5.4 Grant Officer
- The Grant Officer shall set grant priority deadlines and ensure grants applications are reviewed in accordance with the schedule established in GSA bylaws.
- The Grant Officer shall organize and oversee grant committees that will award grants.
- The Grant Officer shall advertise priority grant date conjunction with the Communications Officer.
5.5 Communications Officer
- The Communications Officer shall maintain the GSA website and all necessary forms for GSA business.
- The Communications Officer shall take official minutes during GSA meetings, recording all proceedings.
- The Communications Officer shall advertise GSA events in conjunction with the Events Officer.
- The Communications Officer shall advertise upcoming GSA meetings in conjunction with the GSA President.
5.6 Events Officer
- The Events Officer shall plan, organize, and execute GSA events.
- The Events Officer shall manage volunteers at GSA events.
- The Events Officer shall manage expenditures for GSA events in conjunction with the Appropriations Officer.
- The Events Officer shall advertise GSA events in conjunction with the Information Officer.
ARTICLE VI. FACULTY ADVISEMENT
The GSA is a student organization, elected by its constituents (GSA members detailed in Article III) and in accordance with the rules of the institution must have a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor for the GSA shall be, for the duration of the office’s existence, the Dean of Graduate Studies (“Graduate Dean”).
- The faculty advisor serves as a non-voting member of the GSA Council, welcome to attend all meetings and offer advice to the GSA.
- If this office does not exist, the faculty advisor shall be decided by the GSA Council.
ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENT PROCESS
Changes to the GSA constitution may be enacted by a two-thirds vote of the GSA Council with one-half of the Council present for the vote.
- Upon approval by the Council, the amendment must be ratified by a two-thirds vote by participating non-Council GSA members.
- This approval process may be conducted electronically but must be made available to all eligible GSA members. Voting polls, established by the GSA officers, must remain open no shorter than one week and no longer than two weeks.
- Upon approval by the participating non-Council GSA members, the amendment shall be certified by the Graduate Office of the Institution.
- Amendments to the Constitution shall take effect after presenting the constitution to the President’s Cabinet, Dean of Students and Board of Regents
ARTICLE VIII. FINANCES
The manner of GSA finances shall be prescribed by GSA bylaws.
- Additional Funds
- For petty funds, distribution of funds will be decided amongst all officers.
- For amounts greater than the established petty amount, distribution of funds will be decided by the GSA Council.
- What amounts to petty funding will be established in the GSA bylaws.
- The GSA shall use a portion of their budget to fund grants for GSA members in order for them to make progress in their degree program.
- The frequency and span of grants will be established in GSA bylaws.
- The date of grant periods must be available upon demand.
- A maximum number of awards to or applications by an individual may be established in the bylaws.
ARTICLE IX. BYLAWS
The GSA Officers and GSA Council shall enact bylaws to implement the provisions of this Constitution.
- Bylaws will be enacted upon a majority vote of the GSA officers and quorum approval by the GSA Council.
- Should the GSA Council reject an amendment to a set of bylaws, the bylaws shall return to the appropriate body with a rationale and advice on how to reconcile the proposed amendment with the GSA Council.
- GSA Committees shall petition to amendments to GSA bylaws to GSA Officers and GSA Council.
ARTICLE X. LIMITATIONS OF CONSTITUTION
- All elements of this constitution may be superseded if they conflict with local, state, and/or federal laws and regulations that the Institution, its organizations, or the students of the Institution must abide by.
- All operations of the GSA will be conducted in accordance with local, state, and/or federal laws and regulations that it is held to.
- The list of responsibilities and rules in this constitution is not exhaustive, and it may be necessary for the GSA Council and Officers to interpret and expand upon these rules. Final deferment of interpretation of rules shall be the responsibility of the Graduate Dean of the Institution.
GSA Student Grants Committee Application Guidelines
Student Grant (SG) funds individual research and travel to meetings and conferences related to academic progress. Each applicant is currently eligible to receive a maximum of $700 from SG per funding period with a maximum of two awards. First time travel with presentation is preferred. Service to the graduate student body is preferred. These monetary limits may be raised during a semester when excess funds are available. Unless otherwise approved by the GSA council, only members of GSA will be funded.
Post Award Abstracts:
Applicant’s who receive funding from the SG are required to submit to the SG Officer, an abstract and statement of actual expenditures prior to the end of the semester following the award. Conference participants who have presented should submit a copy of the accepted abstract along with the appropriate reference (eg. conference proceedings, organization transactions). Others should submit a brief abstract-like summary of the research and/or gains of the award.
Applications should be submitted by mail or in person to the SG chair. No application may be hand-written. The original of each required item must be submitted as one application along with two complete copies. Only complete applications will be accepted. Each applicant must write an individual and original proposal even if several applicants are involved in the same activity. Group proposals will not be accepted.
Funding requests will be considered for projects beginning or taking place during each of the following periods: Fall, August 15 through December 31; Spring, January 1 through May 31; Summer, June 1 through August 14. Approximate application deadlines are as follows: Spring, November 15; Summer, April 15; Fall, July 15.
Applicants will be notified by mail of funding decisions, usually in 4 weeks. SG reader’s comments and scores are available for the applicant’s inspection by arrangement with the SG chair. Lump sum payments will be made as soon as possible following award decisions. Decisions are final; appeals may be made through the GSA Judiciary committee.
The application must not be hand written and must be complete. Indicate what other funding sources you have pursued. Every applicant is expected to request funds from the respective department. Requests made to outside groups enhance the SG proposal even if the requests were denied.
Body of Proposal:
This should be a concise explanation of the activity for which funding is requested. The applicant’s area of academic interest should be explained in general terms and also specifically as it relates to the proposed activity. The project’s relevance to the applicant’s degree program, its significance to the academic field, and any tangible benefits to society and/or the community should be fully described. The explanation must be in plain English, understandable to graduate students from other departments: do not use technical jargon. The proposal should be typeset in 12 point font and not exceed two double spaced pages.
A detailed, itemized budget should be on a separate page. It is important to include a total budget, not just a budget for the amount of SG support requested. You must indicate which items would be funded by SG. For more information, refer to the attached budget guidelines.
Letter of Support:
A signed letter of support from the applicant’s advisor is required. A short explanation of why the writer believes the activity and person should be funded is sufficient. A brief statement as to the availability of research or travel funds should be included. If the applicant’s advisor is on sabbatical or leave, the department chair or a member of the thesis/dissertation committee may write the letter.
The following guidelines were drafted to assist applicants in the formulation of their proposal budget. If in doubt as to whether or not a particular expenditure is allowable, contact the SG chair. All expenditures associated with the proposal should be listed on the budget, regardless of whether they are allowable by SG. Listed expenditures should represent actual costs, not estimations, whenever possible. Research your budget! Clearly indicate which items are to be considered for SG funding.
SG will not pay for salaries of collaborators; tuition or course-related fees; production, binding, or copying of a thesis or dissertation; books; entertainment; or services normally provided by the applicant’s department or NMT resource groups.
SG will pay for disposable goods; reasonable capital equipment expenditures; mileage; lodging; services not normally provided by the applicant’s department or NMT resource groups.
Conference Travel Expenditures:
SG will not fund professional organization fees (except for conference registration fees); or costs not directly associated with attendance at the conference (e.g. unrelated filed trips).
SG will fund transportation costs; hotel accommodations; airport shuttles/taxis; presentation materials; conference submission/registration fees; travel associated meals; sanctioned luncheons and banquets. Mileage expenses must conform with current NMT travel office guidelines.