Constitution of the Graduate Student Caucus of the Comics Studies Society

Name

Article One:
The name of this organization will be the Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) of the Comic Studies Society (CSS).

Purpose

Article Two:
The purpose of the Graduate Student Caucus is to assess the needs and represent the interests of graduate students and early career scholars within the Comics Studies Society and to provide fellowship, support, and advocacy for such individuals as they pursue their work in comics studies. As such, the GSC endeavors to provide opportunities for professionalization and training, connections to mentors, and places to discuss their professional and scholarly interests and concerns. Specifically, the GSC aims to:

    • Determine and assess the needs of graduate students researching and analyzing comics
    • Create spaces that allow graduate students to network with one another
    • Integrate graduate students into the community of international comics scholars
    • Mentor graduate students preparing for the job market, with specific regard to their comics studies specialization by organizing professionalization workshops.
    • Connect graduate students with potential outside committee members or readers for thesis and dissertation projects
    • Assist graduate student instructors in integrating comics into the classroom
    • Recognize the outstanding efforts of graduate students working in the field through prizes for outstanding student work
    • Facilitate regional graduate conferences in comics studies, organized and implemented by students with society support
    • Run a student-centered column or page in our online presence, continually updated with reflections and news
    • Recruit graduate students outside of the humanities and social sciences

Membership

Article Three :
Section 1: All graduate students who are current members of the Comics Studies Society are de facto members of the Graduate Student Caucus. Graduate Caucus members retain their membership for three years following the receipt of their degree.

Section 2: Members of the Graduate Student Caucus are eligible to run for GSC executive committee positions, vote in elections and on caucus matters, and benefit from all the rights and privileges guaranteed by the caucus.

Section 3: The Graduate Student Caucus follows an equal opportunity policy, recruiting members and electing leaders without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexuality, gender, age, physical or mental ability, HIV status, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, veteran status, military obligations, or marital or relationship status. The GSC strives to be an inclusive organization and to build solidarity among all graduate students. It will actively seek out to promote the participation and engagement of marginalized groups and underrepresented persons.

Executive Committee

Article Four:
Section 1: The executive power of the Graduate Student Caucus will be vested in the GSC Executive Committee.

Section 2: The GSC Executive Committee will consist of five elected officers and one officer appointed by the Committee. The elected officers are the president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, and two members-at-large. The appointed officer is the web editor.

Section 3: A member of GSC Executive Committee may be removed through a vote of no-confidence, which is accomplished through a quorum majority vote. In the case of the removal of a member of the Executive Committee, the remaining Executive Committee members will appoint, if deemed necessary, a temporary replacement to fulfill the duties of the vacated office until an official election can be held.

Section 4: The Executive Committee and any general meeting of members are each empowered to establish from time to time such committees as may be deemed advisable and to appoint the membership thereof.

Powers and Duties of Officers

Article Five:
President: The President shall assume responsibility for the GSC executive board’s strategic work in the interest of the society’s grad students. They will organize the GSC by committee (such as the recruitment and Chute Scholarship committees) in the best interest of the graduate student body. They will implement committee activities, decisions and plans in accordance with the GSC mandate and constitution. The President will also serve as representative of the GSC on the Executive Board of the Comics Studies Society, and as such will be responsible for all communication between the CSS Executive Committee, the GSC Executive Board, and graduate student members. In addition, they shall determine the agenda of the annual graduate student meeting.

Vice President: The Vice President shall work with and assist the President in various duties, acting as a stand-in if necessary. They will manage internal committee affairs, such as overseeing and delegating various tasks to committee members working cooperatively on rendering the GSC functions operational (building online presence, delivering news, organizing workshops/events, etc.). Additionally, the Vice President is in charge of recruitment. They will endeavor to expand graduate student membership during their tenure. The Vice President shall also serve as representative of the GSC on the CSS Conference Planning Committee. Upon completion of their one year term as Vice President, the Vice President will advance to the position of President for one year.

Secretary-Treasurer: The Secretary-Treasurer shall assume responsibility for the records of the GSC. As such, they will obtain and preserve a copy of the GSC constitution and they will create and maintain a written record of the GSC during their one year tenure as secretary-treasurer. That written record will be composed of minutes from GSC executive board meetings and minutes from the annual graduate student meeting. In the event that the Secretary-Treasurer cannot attend a GSC executive board meeting or the annual meeting, they will endeavor to secure a stand-in. The Secretary-Treasurer will assist the president in scheduling such meetings. Further, the Secretary-Treasurer will assume the responsibility of managing GSC finances. The Secretary-Treasurer serves a one year term.

Member at Large: The two Members at Large provide advice and aid to the officers on an ongoing basis in carrying on the business of the Caucus, including, but not limited to, assisting in the maintenance and editing of Caucus web activities and serving as a judge for the Hillary Chute Award committee. Members at Large serve one year terms.

Web Editor: The Web Editor is responsible for maintaining, editing, and growing the Caucus’s online presence. The Web Editor is appointed by the elected members of the Committee and serves a one year term. The Web Editor may serve an indefinite number of terms.

Voting Procedures

Article 6
Section 1: Elections for the Executive Committee (Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President, and, when necessary, President) and (two) Members-at-Large will be held annually, concurrent with the general election of the society.

Section 2: The Executive Committee of the GSC shall, with the help of the society’s governing executive committee, solicit suggestions from the membership for nominees to the positions of (two) Members-at-Large, Secretary-Treasurer, and Vice President.

Section 3: The quorum for virtual voting is established at half the membership plus one.

Section 4: When deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee, members may be requested to vote on matters important to the Society at times other than the annual general meeting or annual general election. Matters to be voted on may include amendments to the Constitution.

Meetings of Members

Article 7:
Section 1: An extraordinary meeting may also be called by a decision of the Executive Committee, or upon the request of at least 25% of the membership, but no meeting may be held unless all the members receive adequate notice.

Section 2: The agenda for meetings of members shall be distributed to the membership by email at least 14 days prior to the meeting.

Amendments to the Constitution

Article 8:
Section 1: The constitution may be amended by two thirds of the members via the annual general election or present and voting at the annual general meeting.

Section 2: The minimum six weeks written notice shall apply and members will be given six weeks to submit responses before the vote during the election or at the meeting.