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BDGSA Constitution

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Constitution of the Pennsylvania State University


Biology Department Graduate Students Association (BDGSA)


Article I.  Name

This organization shall be known as Biology Department Graduate Students Association (BDGSA)


Article II.  Purpose and Goals     

The purpose of this organization is to serve as a venue for biology graduate students at PSU by providing informational events, social activities, and an outlet for student concerns. A goal of this organization is to increase awareness departmental research, as to foster a sense of community among department members.  Other areas of focus shall include helping the biology department actively and effectively recruit students of diverse backgrounds and to raise awareness of the importance and significance of biological research in today’s world.


Article III.  Membership                    

Section I.  Becoming a Member

A.  Any person who is enrolled as a graduate student within the Biology Department at the Pennsylvania State University - University Park is eligible for membership to this organization

B.  The prerequisites for membership are understanding the purpose and goals of this organization and pursuing them wholeheartedly.  In order for a person to be considered an active member of this organization, he or she must attend a minimum of 50% of meetings held per semester and actively participate in at least 50% of events sponsored by this organization throughout the semester. There are currently no dues required to join this organization.


Section II.  Attendance

A.  Members are encouraged to attend every meeting and events hosted by the organization.


Article IV.  Officers

 Section I.  Requirements of Officers

 The Officers of this organization must attend  >75% regular meetings

  • Moderator (President):

    • Requirements: responsible for organizing and overseeing meetings and elections, communicating with other officers, keeping adviser(s) informed of organizations activities, calling special meetings and introduction of seminar speakers. Coordinate members to assist officers in special tasks


  • Secretary:

    • Requirements: records the minutes of the meetings and takes head count at meeting for purposes of keeping count of members.  Keeps all records and lists updated; email meeting minutes to Bio Department grads list serve ( ) after each meeting


  • Treasurer:

    • Requirements: responsible for managing financial aspects of the organization.   The treasurer is expected to keep the members informed of the organization’s current budget.  He or she will also report the amount of expenditures by the club at each meeting, as well as manage funds arising from fundraisers


  • Webmaster (Historian):

    • Requirements: responsible for creation and maintenance of web page; assists with displays, and promotional items such as scrapbooks, brochures, flyers, etc.  He or she is the official photographer responsible for attending all functions for purposes of photographing and must designate a responsible member in their absence.  The webmaster/historian will receive assistance in these tasks, as directed by the moderator/president


  • Social Chair:

    • Requirements: responsible for planning and coordinating social activities for the organization. The social chair will receive assistance in coordination of events, as directed by the moderator/president


  • Graduate School Association Representative (formally Grad Affairs Committee Rep):

    • Requirements: act as biology grad student representative at GSA by attending most GSA meetings and reporting GSA news back to BDGSA


  • Course and Curriculum Representative:

    • Requirements: attend periodic meetings with faculty regarding biology curriculum and assist other officers with special tasks as directed by the moderator/president


  • Recruiting Committee (2 – 3 people):

    • Requirements: plan and organizing recruiting weekend events. Attend departmental committee meeting regarding recruiting, as needed. The recruiting committee will receive assistance in coordination of events, as directed by the moderator/president and adviser of BDGSA


  • Graduate- Faculty Liaison:

    • Requirements: act as grad student representative at Biology faculty meetings. Asks questions suggested by officers and members of BDGSA and express concerns, suggestions, and progress of graduate students during these meetings. Report faculty meeting information back to the BDGSA


  • Climate Committee/Coffee Hour:

    • Requirements: assess department involvement and morale. Act as student representative for the biology department climate committee. Coordinate weekly coffee hours


Section II.  Elections

Elections will be held by December 1 of every year, unless otherwise agreed upon by the current officers and adviser. Officers will take office once the Spring semester has begun.  Old officers will teach new officers their responsibilities.  In the event of an office being vacated during the year it will be filled by a process of nomination and a majority (50%+1) vote.


Article V.  Removal of an Officer

An officer is held to higher standards, as outlined in Article III, Section III.  An officer may be asked by the organization’s advisor to relinquish their position at any time.  In case of such an event, an emergency election will be held to fill that vacant position.


Article VI.  Meetings

Regular meetings will be held at least once a month during the fall and spring semesters.  Meeting times will be decided at the first meeting of each semester.  Officer meetings will be held twice a semester.


Article VII.  Finances

Money will be acquired through funds allocated to this organization from Biology Department and fundraising events.  Any expenditures of this organization must be approved by the organization’s advisor and Treasurer or President.  Only if the organization has exceeded its budget or needs money for a special event may dues be collected.  This must be approved by a majority (50%+1) vote.  Special circumstances will be excused upon approval of the treasurer and moderator/president.  All monies belonging to this organization shall be deposited and disbursed through a bank account established for this organization by the Business Office in Mueller Building.  All funds must be deposited within one week of collection.


Article VIII.  Amendments and Revisions

An amendment can be added to this constitution with a 2/3 vote of all members present at the meeting when the issue arises.  The amendment must gain approval from the organization’s advisor.