Constitution of the Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association of the University of Florida February, 2008
It shall be the purpose of this association to further the education and interest of its members in Environmental Horticulture and its related fields.
ARTICLE I Name of Organization
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association (EHGSA).
Section 2. The association is not-for-profit and/or non-commercial in nature.
Section 3. Ratification: Upon ratification by an affirmative vote of three fourths (¾) of the votes cast at a regular meeting at which a quorum is present. This constitution is effective April 20th 1999.
ARTICLE II Purpose Statement
The objectives of EHGSA shall be:
- To establish an open and continuous dialogue with the faculty of Environmental Horticulture and graduate students, in order to learn how the changing university atmosphere affects our education and the quality of teaching within our department.
- To present a forum where graduate students can express ideas or concerns related to their education and quality of education at the University of Florida.
- To provide graduate students an opportunity to learn about professional as well as academic development in their respective fields.
- To facilitate contact between graduate students with professors at satellite IFAS centers and learn about research being conducted at those centers.
- To provide a social environment where graduate students can enjoy other aspects of graduate life.
ARTICLE III Compliance Statement
Upon approval of the Center for Student Activities and Involvement, EHGSA shall be a registered student organization at the University of Florida. EHGSA shall comply with all local, state and federal laws, as well as all University of Florida regulations, policies, and procedures. Such compliance includes but is not limited to the University’s regulations related to Non-Discrimination, Hazing, Commercial Activity, and Student Leader Eligibility.
ARTICLE IV Non-Discrimination
In compliance with the University of Florida Non-Discrimination Policy (Regulation 6C1-1.006), EHGSA will not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions of affiliations, and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act.
Article V Membership
Section 1. Membership in this organization is open to enrolled students at the University of Florida. Non-students, spouses, faculty, and staff may be associated members; however, they may not vote of hold office. All members and associate members are free to leave and disassociate without fear of retribution, retaliation, or harassment.
Section 2. Eligibility: Those eligible for membership shall include all graduate students of the University of Florida expressing an interest in Environmental Horticulture.
Section 3. Voting: Only active members in this organization shall be permitted to vote in club elections or on club decisions.
Section 4. Active members: Active members shall include those persons meeting the requirements of membership. A member must be active in order to receive funds towards trips, travel grants, and scholarships. Active members are those who participate in at least 75% of the club’s events including but not limited to meetings, fundraisers, and community service projects.
Section 5. Membership awards:
- Active members with the EHGSA in accordance with Article 3 section 3 and have completed their first year of graduate school are eligible to apply for the Outstanding Member Scholarship. Two scholarships will be awarded each year. If the applicant field is strong and funds are available, the scholarship committee has the authority to award an additional scholarship. Students are eligible to receive the $500 scholarship once during their tenure. The scholarship selection committee will consist of the faculty advisor, two graduate faculty members within the EH department, and 3 EHGSA members who have not completed their first year of graduate school.
- Active members with the EHGSA according to Article 3 section 3 are eligible to apply for travel grants. Up to five $200 grants will be offered each academic year. Students applying for these grants must be presenting research at a meeting or conference. A travel grant committee will select the recipients. This committee includes the faculty advisor and EHGSA members that are not applying for the travel grant.
- Active EHGSA members according to Article 3 section 3 may be awarded funds to attend the Environmental Horticulture Department international trip. To receive funds for the international trip, members must be proactive in implementing, planning, and working the annual poinsettia and spring plant sales. If members are not attending the international trip and have been active during the poinsettia and spring plant sales, they may apply for a travel grant to attend a conference or meeting. Members applying for these additional travel grants are not required to present research at the conference. EHGSA officers and the faculty advisor will review those wishing to receive international trip funds as well as the additional travel grants. Funding for both the international trip and additional travel grants will be awarded based on available funds upon approval by EHGSA members.
Section 5. Dues: No dues will be charged.
ARTICLE VI Officers
Section 1. Officers:The elected officers of the club shall be those of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Activities Director, Graduate Student Council Representative, and Faculty Representative. Officer terms will last one year. Should an officer not be able to fulfill their duties, a special election will be held to fill the position and the newly elected officer will serve for the remainder of the term.
Section 2. Eligibility: Members eligible to hold these offices are those club members who are considered active, are in good standing with the University and have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Section 3. Duties of Officers:
The President: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all regularly scheduled meetings, to see that all members have noticed of special meetings, to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, to appoint standing committees and direct the organization to the best of his or her ability.
The Vice President: It shall be the duty of the Vice President to stand in for the President in their absence, assist the President in their responsibilities, to act as ex officio chairperson of all standing committees, and to notify members of scholarship opportunities in the department and College of Agriculture.
The Secretary: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to conduct all correspondence (i.e. email notices, make and post fliers for meetings and events), keep a record of all business transacted by the club and maintain attendance of members at meetings and events.
The Treasurer: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep accurate records of the money received or spent, to have money to purchase food and drinks for meetings, seek out funding available for the club through the college or University.
The Activities Director: It shall be the duty of the Activities Director to organize and schedule activities and events for the association, act as host for seminars and engage speakers for association events.
The Graduate Student Council Representative: It shall be the duty of the Graduate Student Council Representative (GSCR) to attend to all meetings of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) and to report back to the club on these proceedings. An alternate for this position shall be voted in.
The Faculty Advisor: Faculty Advisors shall be requested to serve by the executive committee. It shall be their duty to advise the club and respective committees to whom they are attached and to aid in coordination of club activities.
ARTICLE VII Elections
Section 1. Elections for all officers shall be held no later than the second meeting of the fall semester in September.
Section 2. Methods of officer’s elections: Eligible club members can be nominated by active members or may nominate themselves for office. Elections for all officers will be open ballot. Offices will be assigned by majority votes.
Section 3. Terms of Office: The term of all offices shall begin at the beginning in September of the fall semester and terminates with the end of the following summer semester. If office is vacated early a special election will be held to fill the vacancy.
Section 4. Order of elections: During the fall election the President shall be elected followed by the Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Activities Director, Graduate Student Council Representative and Faculty Representative.
Section 5. Vacancies: With the exception of President, offices will be filled by a special election. The position of President will be filled by the Vice President and a new Vice President will be elected. Nominations for vacant offices will be presented one meeting before the election’s meeting. Any member in good standing shall be eligible for nominations.
Section 6. Impeachment: All other officers shall agree for removal of an officer. A written report with the reasons for impeachment shall be presented before approval.
ARTICLE VIII Faculty Advisor
Faculty advisor shall be an Environmental Horticulture faculty chosen by the majority of members in good standing. The faculty advisor shall be appointed during the first meeting of fall semester. If office is vacated early a special election will be held to fill the vacancy
ARTICLE IX Finance
EHGSA does not require membership dues, however it will raise funds through plant sales and other events. EHGSA members are expected to participate in these activities as such funds will be used for meeting expenses, travel grants, scholarships, and club activities.
ARTICLE X Dissolution of Organization
In the event this organization dissolves, all monies left in treasury, after outstanding debts and claims have been paid, shall be donated to the Environmental Horticulture Club.
ARTICLE XI Meeting Procedure
Section 1. Procedure: Robert’s Rule of Order shall govern the conduct of the meetings.
Section 2. Meetings: Meetings shall be held every other week, or at least once per calendar month in each semester
Section 3. Special Meetings: Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the President.
ARTICLE XII Hazing and Discrimination
Section 1. Hazing: No club member shall participate in any hazing activity of club members.
Section 2. Discrimination:No club member shall be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or handicap.
Section 3. Reports: Reported incidents shall be investigated by a special committee appointed by the President. A report will be made to the President to determine further action to be taken. Members found guilty of such an activity will be dismissed from the club and any position that is held by them.
Article XIII Amendments to Constitution
Section 1. This constitution may be amended by an affirmative vote of three fourths (¾) of the votes cast at a regular meeting at which quorum is present. Amendments will be initiated by presenting a written copy to the president. The amendment must be read at the previous meeting to that at which a vote is taken.
Section 2. All amendments to the constitution must immediately be submitted directly to the Center for Student Activities and Involvement in writing for review and approval.
The Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association and its members agree to abide by the University of Florida’s rules and regulations.