CGSA Constitution Revisions

The CGSA Constitution, according to the records we’ve been able to access, was last updated in 2006. As such, it is very much in need of an update to reflect what it is that CGSA does. The amendments the CGSA board has unanimously voted to pass on to the membership merely serve to update and clean up the existing constitution. These changes include items like changing “Department of Communication” to the “Brian Lamb School of Communication” and updating position descriptions to reflect what board members actually do (e.g., adding the CGSA conference to board members’ responsibilities and moving other responsibilities around as they have been in practice). Again, all changes to position descriptions reflect what board members currently do.

  • View a track changes version of the amendments here.
  • View the 2006 Constitution here.

Below is the updated version of the constitution, if you would like to review it. Please email if you have any questions.

Communication Graduate Student Association Constitution

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1 – The name of this organization shall be the Communication Graduate Student Association (CGSA).

Section 2 – The purpose of CGSA is to facilitate and provide academic, social, and professional support for graduate students studying Communication at Purdue.

Article II: Membership

Section 1 – Any graduate student currently enrolled in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue is considered to be a member of CGSA. CGSA does not discriminate on the basis of race creed, ethnic origin, sex, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, disability status, or marital status. Members are hereafter referred to as “CGSA member,” “member of CGSA,” or member.

Section 2 – An active member is one who has paid their yearly dues. Active members are hereafter referred to as “active CGSA member” or “active member.”

Section 3 – Only active CGSA members have voting privileges. This includes all officer voting, removal, re-nomination, and subsequent voting of new board members as necessary (see Article III, Sections 2, 6, and 7) as well as amendment changes and other relevant issues. Only active members may participate in these activities.

Article III: Officers and Duties

Section 1 – The following officers will be elected for a term of one year: President, Vice President of Social Relations, Vice President of New Student Relations, Vice President of Fundraising and Research, Vice President of Administration, Vice President of Technology, Vice President of Professional Development, Vice President of Graduate Relations, Purdue Graduate Student Government Representative, and two Members-At-Large from the incoming class of new graduate students.

Section 2 – Elections for all board members, except the Members-At-Large, will be held during the first two weeks of April and will be conducted in a two-step process (see Section 2A). New officers will be installed no later than April 30, for the following academic year. The Members-At-Large will be elected during the first two weeks of the fall semester by the members of the incoming class (see Section 2C). They will be installed no later than the beginning of the third week of the new academic year.

Section 2A – The first step, conducted during the first week of April, will consist of CGSA members submitting nominations for each office. People may nominate themselves and/or others. Nominees may either accept or decline their nomination in-person, via email, by phone, or by proxy. All nominees who accept their nomination will be placed on the ballot. There is no limit to the number of positions to which an individual can be nominated. There is no limit to the number of positions for which an individual can run.

Section 2B – The second step, conducted during the second week of April, will consist of voting by secret ballot on the nominees for each position. Ballots will be available for one week. A list of eligible members will be given to a predetermined individual who will distribute and collect all ballots. Eligible individuals will only be allowed to vote once in any given election. Thus, in order to avoid any mishandling of the voting procedure, cast ballots will be recorded. In order to maintain the anonymity of the voting process the list of individuals who have cast a ballot will remain separate from the actual ballots submitted.

Section 2C – After all votes are cast the President and/or the Vice President of Administration along with a witness will tally all votes. The individual with the highest number of votes for any position will have been elected to that position upon his or her formal acceptance of this role. However, given that any one individual may run for multiple positions he or she may not assume more than one. Thus, those individuals elected to more than one position will be given the option of which position he or she will fill. The person who obtained the second highest number of votes for the other position(s) will be deemed elected to said position upon his or her formal acceptance of this role.

Section 2D – The general, two-step voting procedure will also apply to the Members-at-Large. Nominations will be held during the first week of the new school year. Voting will be held during the second week of the new school year. Only new students will vote for this member of the Board. All new students will be eligible to vote, regardless of anticipated or actual membership status. This voting procedure will be handled by the Vice President of Administration and ballot procedures will follow those outlined in Section 2B. Provided there is sufficient interest from incoming students, the incoming class will elect two Members-At-Large, one master’s student and one doctoral student. Nominees will run against members of the same degree track (e.g., a nominee who is a doctoral student will run against other nominees who are doctoral students and a nominee who is a master’s student will run against other nominees who are master’s students).

Section 2F – In the event of a tie during any CGSA election, an additional election will be held between the individuals who tied with the largest number of votes. Any additional elections will be conducted by the Vice President of Administration for the Members-At-Large election and by the President for spring elections.

Section 4 – The duties of each officer are as follows:

President: The President will assume the primary responsibility of Board leader. She or he will convene and preside at all CGSA meetings, coordinate the delegation of duties to other board members when necessary, and meet with the Graduate Director at least once per month. In addition, it will be the responsibility of the President to ensure that the Constitution is upheld and that the Board is fulfilling its obligations to the general membership. In addition, the President will be in charge of the elections held during the spring semester.

Vice President of Social Relations: The Vice President of Social Relations assumes the responsibility of overseeing the coordination, organization, and delegation of social activities, including the FAC schedule. He or she will be responsible for ensuring that all social activities decided by the Board are carried out.

Vice President of New Student Relations: The Vice President of New Student Relations will be the primary contact for issues/activities relating to incoming and prospective students. This Board member will coordinate the Buddy program and the welcome dinner, as well as assist with other activities for incoming students. For prospective students, this Board member will be the primary contact for recruitment-related activities, including NCA in the fall and the recruitment weekend in the spring.

Vice President of Fundraising and Research: The Vice President of Fundraising and Research is in charge of determining what type(s) of fundraising the CGSA will complete during the academic year. This person will also be responsible for delegating duties to other individuals on the CGSA Board as needed concerning fundraising. The Vice President of Fundraising and Research is also in charge of obtaining any permission necessary for completing the fundraising project(s). In addition, this Board member is in charge of conducting research within CGSA concerning changes in procedures, gauging departmental interest and satisfaction, and other inquiries as necessary. He or she will also work in tandem with the Vice President of Professional Development on organizing the CGSA annual conference, including serving in an officer position for the Communication Graduate Student Conference Association.

Vice President of Administration: The Vice President of Administration will be responsible for various administrative tasks throughout the semester including, but not limited to: financial duties (i.e. dues collection, budget management), running fall Members-at-Large elections and assisting with the spring elections, posting important dates to remember, and recording CGSA meeting minutes.

Vice President of Technology: The Vice President of Technology is in charge of creating, maintaining, and/or updating the CGSA website and bulletin board. This person also monitors the school’s calendars for upcoming events and maintains CGSA’s social media.

Vice President of Professional Development: The Vice President of Professional Development assumes the responsibility of overseeing the coordination, organization, and delegation of research-related and professionalization-focused activities, including the CGSA annual conference as well as planning, organizing, and evaluating colloquia. He or she will also serve in an officer position for the Communication Graduate Student Conference Association, in conjunction with the Vice President of Fundraising and Research.

Vice President of Graduate Relations: The Vice President of Graduate Relations will serve as the liaison between graduate students and the graduate committee by attending graduate committee meetings (held weekly), reporting CGSA initiatives and graduate student issues back to the committee, and reporting the minutes of these meetings to the CGSA Board. Duties also include attending faculty meetings (held monthly) and coordinating CGSA’s travel grants. Furthermore, she or he will work in tandem with the Vice President of Fundraising and Research to conduct surveys among students on pertinent graduate committee issues.

Purdue Graduate Student Government Representative: The Purdue Graduate Student Government Representative serves as the liaison between PGSG and CGSA. Duties include attending monthly PGSG meetings and serving on a PGSG committee (as determined by PGSG). This person is to update CGSA about the content of PGSG meetings that is relevant to the CGSA membership  and to disseminate relevant information to all communication graduate students as appropriate.

Members-At-Large (PhD and MA): The Members-At-Large will act as liaisons between new (incoming) students and the CGSA Board with the responsibility for providing new students’ perspectives on issues of concern to the CGSA or as requested by the staff and faculty of the department. In addition, Members-at-Large are responsible for any staff appreciation efforts throughout their tenure.

Section 4A – The proposed duties are not meant to imply that the Board member to which they are linked are the sole members responsible for these activities and tasks. Instead, this is to outline a general responsibility matrix that allows for more efficient operation. For instance, the Vice President of Social Relations does not necessarily have to plan all FACs. Instead, this Board member is responsible for the delegation of this task and for overseeing the task’s ultimate completion. As maintained in the job description, it is the role of the President to oversee that duties and responsibilities are being fulfilled and to re-delegate those responsibilities that are being neglected.


Section 4B – In the event that a Board member cannot fulfill his or her responsibilities due to class conflicts (e.g., making faculty or graduate committee meetings), the CGSA Board may take the initiative to switch officer roles and duties among remaining members in order to keep the aforementioned CGSA board member on the CGSA Board. The President and Members-At-Large are not eligible for this switch.

Section 5 – The CGSA Board, which is comprised of all of the officers mentioned above, will meet a minimum of once per month during the fall and spring semesters. The CGSA Board will call a general meeting for all CGSA members during the fall semester.

Section 6 – CGSA board members may be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote during any CGSA board meeting if it is determined that s/he is being grossly negligent of the duties outlined above.

Section 7 – In the event that a CGSA board member should resign from his or her office, a replacement will be sought. The position will be advertised and self-nominations will be solicited. CGSA will collect the nominations and an election by secret ballot will follow. If there is only one self-nomination, that person will immediately be appointed to the board.

Article IV: Amending the Constitution

Section 1 – Active CGSA members may propose amendments to this constitution.

Section 2 – Proposed amendments must be submitted to the CGSA board. Once submitted the CGSA board will, on its next regularly scheduled meeting, vote on the amendment. If the amendment is not unanimously supported, improvements and/or revisions will be sought from all active members. Using these suggestions, the CGSA board will draft a revised version of the amendment, which will be voted on by all active members. To be incorporated into the constitution, approval by a 2/3 majority of all active members is needed. If an amendment is not approved by a 2/3 majority, then the amendment is considered quashed. Only upon a newly submitted amendment can the CGSA board continue this proposal-approval-voting procedure.

Section 3 – Suggestions for improvements and/or revisions to a proposed amendment must follow the process described in Sections 1 and 2.

Last Revised: April 2015 (Pending)


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