Indiana University Bloomington

HGSA Constitution


The History Graduate Student Association (hereafter referred to as the HGSA) is an organization that works to build community, provide advocacy, and foster the intellectual development of the history graduate students at Indiana University. We organize events that allow interaction among the graduate students, and between the faculty and the graduate students. We undertake to represent the interests of graduate students entering the profession of history. And we hope to contribute to the intellectual environment among historians at this university. Above all, and at the base of each of these efforts, we mean to enhance communication among all members of the Indiana University history department.


Article I: Membership

The members of the HGSA are history graduate students. Current enrollment in the graduate history program is sufficient for membership. No general membership dues will be collected from members, although members may be expected to pay nominal fees for specific events.


Article II: Election Eligibility

Only HGSA members may hold elected or appointed positions; no individual may hold more than one elected position. All elections, with the exception of the creation or dissolution of committees, will be conducted by email and will be decided by a plurality vote of members.


Article III: Coordinating Committee

The association is coordinated by a three-member coordinating committee, which we hope will reflect the composition of fields in the department. Elections for two of the Coordinating Committee members will follow the April General Meeting; their terms shall run for one year, from May to May. An election for the third member of the Coordinating Committee will be held prior to the December General Meeting; this member’s term shall run for one year, from January to January. The seats on this committee are meant to be three equal positions; duties may vary, but the committee itself is not hierarchical. Any complaints or issues that arise within the graduate community that do not fall within the purview of the Technology Coordinator or DGS can be referred to a co-coordinator or co-coordinators for mediation.


Article IV: Treasurer

A fourth HGSA member will serve as treasurer. An election for this position will be held at the same time in April as that of the two Coordinating Committee members. The Treasurer shall serve one year, from May to May. The treasurer will be responsible for collecting money at HGSA functions or appointing an agent to do the same. The treasurer’s responsibilities will include record keeping and maintaining the funds belonging to the HGSA. The treasurer will apply to university organizations for funds when appropriate and disburse funds to HGSA members with the approval of a member of the Coordinating Committee and, where appropriate, the presentation of a receipt.


Article V: Liaison Positions

All other HGSA officers will be elected following the April meeting and will serve a one year term, from May to May. Two HGSA members will be elected to serve as representatives to the faculty council. Two representatives, one ABD and one non-ABD, will be elected to serve as representatives to the Graduate Affairs Council (GAC). The non-ABD representative should be taking coursework during the year in which she or he serves. The ABD representative should be planning to take exams no later than the fall semester in which he or she serves. Any complaints or issues that arise within the graduate community that do not fall within the purview of the Technology Coordinator or DGS, and which do involve or would benefit from faculty involvement, can be referred to a GAC Rep or GAC Reps for mediation. Representative to the Graduate & Professional Student Organization (GPSO) will be elected at the same time. The number of GPSO Representatives is determined by the GPSO. Two representatives will be elected to serve as liaisons to the university Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Committee and coordinate relevant seminars for history graduate students. All representatives are expected to attend meetings of the associations to which they are liaisons and report back to the HGSA membership via reports at monthly meetings and reports in the HGSA newsletter on any events which may be of interest to the HGSA membership. When appropriate, one HGSA member will serve on each faculty hiring committee. The student representative will report committee progress at each HGSA meeting and will facilitate opportunities for graduate students to meet with faculty candidates during on-site interviews.


Article VI: Other Positions

HGSA officers will be elected following the April meeting and should seek assistance from other HGSA members when necessary. Two HGSA members will serve as social coordinators and are responsible for coordinating the annual History Department/ HGSA pizza party at the beginning of the fall semester, the Winter Soiree, and other social events. A technology coordinator will be responsible for moderating and maintaining the HGSA listserve and website. A historian/secretary will be responsible for keeping minutes of each monthly HGSA meeting and distributing the minutes through the listserve. An intramural coordinator will notify HGSA members of upcoming intramural events and facilitate the creation of teams. A pedagogy coordinator will be responsible for moderating and soliciting content for the HGSA Pedagogy Clearinghouse Oncourse site; for convening at least one pedagogy roundtable per semester that is open to faculty and students; and coordinating voluntary pedagogy mentor/mentee pairs in fall and spring as needed.


Article VII: Replacing Officers

In the case that a member serving in an elected position chooses to resign from that position during their term, an election shall be held by email following all the guidelines and stipulations for a regular election. The newly elected officer will finish off the current term.


Article VIII: Responsibilities of the
Coordinating Committee

The purpose of the committee is to ensure communication of information to membership and to otherwise coordinate the organization’s activities. Members of this committee moderate HGSA monthly meetings. This committee is a clearinghouse for information, charged with posting all pertinent information, keeping track of each of the other committees’ activities, maintaining an up-to-date diagram of the organization’s structure, and guaranteeing that notes from monthly meetings and all records from HGSA committees are maintained. The coordinating committee is responsible for conducting all officer elections. Officer elections will be conducted by email. The call for nominations will be made through the HGSA listserve and will last one week. Coordinating committee members will confirm the willingness of nominees to serve, then will post a ballot to the listserve for one week. HGSA members may nominate themselves for positions. Officers may be reelected to the same position. If a member is nominated and elected to more than one position, he or she may choose which position to accept. The member with the next highest number of votes will serve in the open position. If a particular position remains vacant, the incoming coordinating committee will be responsible for appointing officers and finding volunteers to take care of other necessary events and functions. In some cases, members may hold more than one position. Following elections, an updated list of officers should be sent to the History Department Chair, Department Administrator, Director of Graduate Studies, and Graduate Records Secretary. Official communication of HGSA views and inquiries to the faculty may only be transmitted through the Coordinating Committee or through the representatives to the faculty council or Graduate Affairs Committee, or through other individuals with the approval of the Coordinating Committee.


Article IX: Standing Committees

The formation of standing committees must be approved by a 2/3 majority of HGSA members present at a monthly meeting. Each standing committee shall be responsible for appointing its own internal structure, which must include a contact person for communication between committee members, the HGSA Coordinating Committee and the general HGSA membership. All standing committees are responsible for maintaining records of their activities, which will be kept in the HGSA main files at the History House. HGSA members interested in organizing a group to handle a function or issue under the purview of a standing committee shall work through that committee. Standing committees may be formed without constitutional amendment. All standing committees may create ad hoc committees as needed. The conference committee is responsible for planning and implementing the annual spring HGSA graduate student conference. This committee will include a chairperson and additional members to facilitate publicity, programming, fundraising, speakers, facilities, technology, and additional subcommittees as needed. Committee members will be elected following the April meeting. The chairperson is responsible for compiling documents and communications integral to conference planning and should pass necessary information to future committees, as well as maintaining official records in the HGSA main files.


Article X: Ad Hoc Committees

Any ad hoc committee may be discussed and voted into existence by majority vote at a monthly meeting. A majority vote of two-thirds of those present at a monthly meeting terminates the official HGSA relationship with any committee or working group. Each ad hoc committee must select a contact person and alternate so that HGSA members and others can communicate efficiently with that committee. All ad hoc committees are responsible for maintaining records of their activities, which should be kept in the HGSA main files at the History House.


Article XI: Communications

Most important of HGSA functions, communication shall consist of the following: Monthly meetings open to all members, moderated by the Coordinating Committee, to be held at a regular time and place. Meeting dates will be set at the first meeting of the HGSA at the beginning of each semester. All committees and officers shall alert the Coordinating Committee as to business that should be addressed at a monthly meeting. Additional items may be raised during a new business section of the monthly meeting. The historian/secretary will post an account of the meeting to the HGSA listserve following each meeting. There will be a central HGSA file kept at the History House. Committee records and all HGSA meeting minutes shall be maintained here. Information should be posted through the HGSA listserve, website and, when possible, the HGSA newsletter. The technology coordinator is the system administrator in charge of monitoring the listserves. In accordance with the governing e-mail protocol, the HGSA e-mail listserve is reserved for announcements. The HGSA chat listserve is limited to currently enrolled members and is reserved for discussions and anything that might be considered controversial. Emails from the HGSA chat listserve are not to be forwarded to individuals outside of the History Department. Infractions for inappropriate posts will result in a warning for the first two offenses and then a notification of removal for the third. Infractions will be counted over one semester. HGSA members should send personal comments off-list and refrain from using profane, harassing, and/or discriminatory language in e-mail communications. Usage of the HGSA email and chat listserves is governed by all applicable Indiana University acceptable usage policies, specifically the “Computer Users’ Privileges and Responsibilities” statement of the IU Information Technology Policy Office (ITPO).


Article XII:
Constitutional Interpretation
and Amendments

This constitution shall be ratified when the following conditions have been met: following the meeting at which the constitution is presented, changes will be made and the constitution posted in Ballantine Hall 742 and on the HGSA listserve. Students will vote by email through communication with the coordinating committee. At the time of the monthly meeting, this constitution will be ratified if the majority of all the votes cast are in favor of ratification. Upon ratification, this constitution will be implemented immediately. Amendments should be proposed at the monthly meeting and voted on at the following monthly meeting. Amendments will be ratified and implemented only by a 2/3 majority vote of those present at the monthly meeting.


Article XIII:
Disclosures and Obligations


Statement of University Compliance:

This organization shall comply with all Indiana University regulations, and local, state, and federal laws.


Anti-Hazing Policy:

Hazing is strictly prohibited. Hazing shall be defined as any conduct which subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or psychologically, to anything that may abuse, degrade, or intimidate the person as a condition of association with a group or organization, regardless of the person’s consent or lack of consent.


Personal Gain Clause:

This organization shall ethically raise and distribute profits from organizational functions to either the organization or to members who provide a service that directly benefits the organization. Individual members may not receive compensation directly from for-profit companies if acting as a representative of a student organization.


Statement of Non-Discrimination:

Participation in the proposed organization is without regard to arbitrary consideration of such characteristics as age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.