Doctoral Students Association Constitution

Doctoral Students Association of the Faculty of Information Constitution

Ratified: April 2005 (Modifications to Faculty name, June 2012; Amendments ratified September 2017)

Definitions

“University” shall be taken to mean the University of Toronto.

“Faculty” refers to the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.

“Association” shall be taken to mean the Doctoral Students Association (DSA) of the Faculty, established according to the terms set out herein.

“Officer” of the Association shall be taken to mean an individual duly elected according to the terms set out herein.

“Term” shall be taken to mean to Term of Office of an Officer of the Association, will shall conform as far as possible to the Academic Year of the Faculty.

“Doctoral Student” shall be taken to mean an individual currently registered in the Doctor of Philosophy of the Faculty.

Establishment

1(a). There is hereby established, with the recognition of the Faculty Council, an association of doctoral students to be named the Doctoral Students Association of the Faculty of Information. The Association may also be referred to as the DSA.

1(b). The mission of the DSA is to serve and represent the interests of students in the doctoral programme of the Faculty of Information.

Membership

2(a). The membership of the Association shall consist of all doctoral students registered in the Faculty.

2(b). All Members of the Association are entitled to participate fully in Meetings of the Association, to speak, propose motions, vote on all questions and site on all committees.

2(c). Members of the Association who are unable to attend a meeting of the Association may vote on matters before the meeting by communicating their vote in writing to the President.

Meetings

3(a). The Association shall meet at least once in each Academic Term, and at such other times as one or more Members may request.

3(b). Meetings of the Association shall be called by and chaired by the President or failing them, by the Vice President. The Executive Committee will announce these dates two (2) weeks prior to holding the meetings.

3(c). Upon special invitation, the following persons may attend meetings of the Association but they may not vote:

  • i) Doctoral students whose status has lapsed but who intend resuming their studies, and who are still eligible to do so under the rules of the School of Graduate Studies, and,
  • ii) Students who are intending to pursue doctoral studies in the Faculty.

3(d). A quorum shall consist of six (6) members of the Association present at a meeting.

3(e). A simple majority of members present at a meeting plus those voting by written communication to the President shall be required to pass a motion. The President or other individual acting as Chair shall not vote upon motions before the meeting, but shall cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.

Executive Officers and Duties

4(a). The executive committee shall be comprised of four (4) elected officers. These include a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The member elected to an executive position shall serve for a one-year term of office beginning in the Fall Academic Term. If a vacancy occurs during an executive officer’s term of office, an executive officer pro tem shall be elected to complete the term of office.

4(b). Duties of the President

  • i) The President shall oversee the operations, management and success of the group.
  • ii) The President shall preside over executive meetings as well as general member meetings.
  • iii) The President shall ensure transition of office to the future Executives.
  • iv) The President shall hold signing officer authority along with the Treasurer for financial purposes.
  • v) The President shall normally serve on the Executive Committee of Faculty Council.

4(c). Duties of the Vice President

  • i) The Vice President shall assume the duties of the President in the case of their absence.
  • ii) The Vice President shall assist the President in overseeing the various committees.
  • iii) The Vice President shall normally serve as the Association’s representative of Faculty Council.

4(d). Duties of the Secretary

  • i) The Secretary shall maintain a list of members.
  • ii) The Secretary shall maintain the contact list for all officers and positions.
  • iii) The Secretary shall record notes and motions for meetings, and produce minutes of each meeting within seven (7) days of each meeting, to be made available to the general membership on the Association website.

4(e). Duties of the Treasurer

  • i) The Treasurer shall record all financial transactions of the group.
  • ii) The Treasurer shall hold signing officer authority along with President for financial purposes.
  • iii) The Treasurer shall maintain a budget of income and expenses, along with receipts.
  • iii) The Treasurer shall report the final income and expenses for the UTGSU head grant at the completion of their term (to be submitted to UTGSU in September)
  • iv) The Treasurer shall advise members on financial position of the group.

Election of Executive Officers

5(a). Nomination and Election of all Executive Officers shall commence at the first general meeting of the Term, in September.

5(b). No member shall serve more than four (4) full consecutive terms of as an Executive Officer of the Association.

5(c). Elections Committee

  • i) The Executive committee shall strike an impartial Elections Committee and appoint one (1) Chief Returning Officer (CRO) and two (2) Scrutinizers from the Executive to conduct and hold elections. Their responsibilities are as follows:
    • i.i) The CRO is responsible for announcing the candidates and informing all members of the election.
    • i.ii) The CRO is responsible for setting up and administering election procedures in a fair and impartial way.
    • i.iii) The CRO will only cast a vote in the election in order to break a tie.
    • i.iv) Scrutinizers will provide additional help and oversight to the CRO and assist in drafting a post-election report.
  • ii) Any member not running for election is eligible to be appointed to the Elections Committee.
  • iii) Any member nominated as a candidate is ineligible to serve on the Elections Committee during that election.

5(d). Nominations

  • i) Candidates for positions as Officers of the Association shall be nominated by one (1) members, with the nomination seconded by one (1) additional member and recorded by the CRO.
  • ii) Nominations can be made by proxy, with prior consent of the nominee.

5(e). Voting Procedures

  • i) Uncontested positions shall be approved by the CRO at the first general meeting of the Term and announced within two days.
  • ii) Voting for contested positions shall begin within two days of nominations and shall last for one week, following the announcement of candidates.

iii) Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot.

  • iv) The CRO shall endeavour to grant all reasonable requests for accommodation by members such that they can vote.
  • v) In the event of a tie, the CRO shall cast the deciding vote.
  • vi) The CRO and Scrutinizers shall count the ballots. The candidate with the most votes shall be elected to the position. The CRO and Scrutinizers shall submit a report of the results of the elections to the Executive Committee and general members at most three days after the final ballot has been cast.

Establishment and Membership of Open Committees

6(a). The Association shall establish such committees as it finds advisable.

  • i) Members may freely join those committees.

6(b). At the beginning of each Academic year, or as necessary, representatives shall be nominated (and may self-nominate) and elected by simple majority of members in attendance of a general membership meeting. Where positions are unfilled, members shall be designated by the President as the Association’s representative to various committees of the Faculty, and to other University or School of Graduate Studies standing or ad hoc committees as may exist. All members of the Association shall be notified of all appointments and nominations within seven (7) days of their being made.

6(c) All Open Committees, with the sole exception of the Tech Fund shall elect by some process decided by members a Committee Chair that will report on the activity of the Open Committee to Executive Council at meetings or when otherwise requested.

  • i) Tech Fund shall be governed by its own By-Laws.

Appointment of DSA Representatives

7(a). Duties of DSA Representatives

  • i) Any member serving on the Faculty Council, any committee of the Faculty, or on any committee of the School of Graduate Studies, Student or Labour Unions, or of the University shall report to the Association all important activities of the committee, and all actions taken by the representative on behalf of the Association or relevant to the interests and concerns of the Association and its members. Such reports shall be made verbally at the Association meeting following the committee meeting, or if no meeting is called or scheduled, then the Representative shall report, in writing, to the President of the Association no later than four (4) weeks after the committee meeting.

7(b). At the beginning of each Academic year, or as necessary, members shall be designated by the President as the Association’s representative to various committees of the Faculty, and to other University or School of Graduate Studies standing or ad hoc committees as may exist. All members of the Association shall be notified of all appointments and nominations within seven (7) days of their being made.

7(c). At least one member will serve as a DSA representative for roles on Faculty Council and on Committees of Council.

7(d). At least one member will serve as a DSA representative for the University of Toronto Graduate Student Union (UTGSU), according to their procedures for student group representation. One member shall be designated as a substitute, in the case that the primary representative cannot attend a UTGSU meeting.

7(e). At least one member will serve as a DSA representative to CUPE3902 Unit 1, according to their procedures for member representation.

7(f). Additional and ad hoc committees: The President, or failing them, the Vice President, or failing them, an individual designated by the President, shall represent the Association at meetings of any permanent or ad hoc Faculty committees or task forces as shall be established from time to time.

Finances

8 (a). The Treasurer shall keep records of all income and expenses. The Treasurer shall present the group’s financial health at the annual general meetings. The Executive Committee will vote on expenditures of over $100.00 by majority vote at an executive meeting.

8(b). The group’s executive or members may not engage in activities that are essentially commercial in nature. This is not intended to preclude the collection of membership fees to cover the expenses of the group, or of charges for specific activities, programs or events, or to prohibit groups from engaging in legitimate fundraising. However, the group will not have as a major activity a function that makes it an on-campus part of a commercial organization, will not provide services and goods at a profit when that profit is used for purposes other than those of the organization, and will not pay salaries to some or all of its officers.

Amendments

9(a). Any DSA members may propose and vote on amendments to this constitution. The Executive Committee will administer the process of having amendments discussed at general meetings.

9(b). The wording of any proposed amendment to this Constitution shall be circulated in writing to all members at least fourteen (14) days prior to an Association meeting at which voting will take place.

9(c). Approval of any amendment to this Constitution shall require a simple 2/3 majority of voting members.

9(d) The Executive Committee shall formally adopt the new constitution and submit the revised constitution to the respective University offices (i.e. The Office of Student Life (ULife), The University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union, etc) within two (2) weeks of its approval by general members.

Effect

10. This Constitution shall take effect after ratification by a majority of members of the Association, and shall render void any prior Constitutions.


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