GHA Constitution

Proposed: March 22, 2001. Ratified: April 5, 2001. Latest revision: April 2011.

I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Graduate History Association (hereby referred to as GHA).

II. Purpose

To further the interests of history graduate students at Columbia University.

III. Membership

All graduate students of the Columbia University History Department (including all students in History-East Asia) are considered members of the Graduate History Association.

IV. Officers

  1. All GHA officers must be members of the GHA
  2. All GHA officers will serve for one (1) academic year with the exception of the GEC Representatives. Terms of office shall last from June 1 to May 31 of the following year.
  3. All GHA officers shall attend GHA Meetings and the meetings of their respective committees.
  4. The Presidency
    a. The GHA shall elect a president or co-presidents.
    b. The President(s) shall lead the GHA and represent the organization to the Department of History and the University.
    c. The President(s) shall be in charge of setting the GHA budget in coordination with the History Department and in consultation with the other GHA officers.
    d. The President(s) shall serve ex-officio on the History Department's Graduate Education Committee.
    e. The Presidents(s) shall be responsible for planning the annual Spring Symposium.
  5. The Social Chair
    a. The GHA shall elect a social chair or social chairs.
    b. The Social Chair(s) shall be responsible for planning social activities and fostering a sense of community among the membership of the GHA.
    c. The Social Chair(s) shall coordinate with the GHA President(s) and the History Department to plan orientation and History Day.
  6. The Student of Color Coordinator
    a. The GHA shall elect a student of color coordinator or coordinators.
    b. The Student of Color Coordinator(s) shall be charged with recruiting, advocating for, and supporting underrepresented graduate students of color in the History Department.
  7. History-East Asia Representative
    a. The GHA shall elect a History-East Asia Representative or Representatives.
    b. The History-East Asia Representative(s) shall coordinate with the GHA and both the History Department and EALAC to ensurethat both departments treat students in History-East Asia equitably.
  8. M.A. Representative
    a. The M.A. Representative shall represent the interests of History Department Master's students to the GHA.
    b. Responsibility for the selection of the M.A. Representative will be left to the administrators and students of the M.A.program.
  9. GEC Representatives
    a. The GHA shall elect three (3) representatives to the History Department's Graduate Education Committee.
    b. The GEC Representatives shall advocate for the interests of the graduate students at GEC meetings.
    c. The term of the GEC Representative is two (2) academic years.
  10. GSAC Representative
    a. The GHA shall elect a representative to the Graduate Student Advisory Committee.
    b. The GSAC Representative will represent the interests of the GHA to the GSAC.

V. Elections and Removal/Vacation of Office

  1. Elections
    a. The election of GHA officers forthe following academic year shall occur annually at the final GHA general meeting of the spring semester.
    b. All members of the GHA shall be eligible to vote, if present, at the final meeting.
    c. Votes shall be tabulated by the current president(s), unless the president(s) is running for re-election.
    d. If the election is contested, voting should be on paper and anonymous.
    e. The candidate(s) with the most votes for the office shall be elected.
    f. Following the elections, the current GHA president(s) must notify the History Department of the name of the new president(s) within one week, and the current president(s) must give the incoming president(s) all GHA documents by June 1.
  2. Removal/Vacation of Office
    a. The officer(s) may be removed from office by two-thirds vote of the members attending a meeting on removal.
    b. A motion to remove the president(s) may be made over e-mail or at a general meeting and must have a second. Following such a motion,the GHA shall wait one week to publicize a meeting on removal. At such ameeting the membership shall vote "yes" or "no" on the proposal that to remove the officer from office.
    c. Voting shall be by secret ballot and tabulated by the President(s). In the case that the President(s) is subject to removal, the most senior GHA member (based on number of completed semesters of graduate study in the History Department at Columbia University) present at the meeting.
    d. An office shall be considered vacated if a GHA officer fails to attend two consecutive GHA meetings or the meetings of their respective committees. This rule will apply equally to all officers, in the event a position is shared.
    e. If any office is vacated, an election must be held two weeks after the announcement of the vacancy. Voting procedures shall follow the procedures of the annual elections, unless the President(s) has been removed. In such an event, the most senior GHA member present will tabulate the votes.

VI. Meetings

  1. General meetings shall be held at least twice per semester at the discretion of the President(s). The president(s) shall chair general meetings.
  2. Business can be raised by any GHA member.
  3. A quorum for voting at GHA meetings is ten members, including the officers of the GHA.
  4. Voting will be conducted by blind, written ballot if requested by any GHA member.
  5. Committees may be initiated or discontinued at the discretion of the president(s).

VII. Communications

  1. 1. The GHA has an e-mail list that allows history graduate students to write to the entire membership. This list is an open forum for announcements and brief discussions of interest to Columbia history graduate students.
  2. Group members who are not members of the GHA will beremoved by the list administrator. Posting messages containing epithets, ad hominem attacks, 'flames,' hate language, or other violations of University proper use guidelines can also result in the writer's removal from the list.

VIII. Amendments

  1. This constitution may be amended, revised, or revoked by two-thirds vote of the GHA members present at a general meeting. Voting on a constitutional issue must wait two weeks after being presented over e-mail ordering a general meeting in order to publicize the vote.
  2. Votes for amendments to, revisions to, or a revoking ofthe constitution shall be tabulated by the president(s).

IX. Student Lounge/TA Office

  1. The president(s) are responsible for maintaining communication with the department administrators and university facilities staff about the use and maintenance of 611 Fayerweather. This may be done directly by the president or through someone appointed by the president(s) to manage the lounge/TA office.

X. Budgeting

  1. The GHA budget will be determined by the president(s) in consultation with the History Department and the other GHA officers. The yearly budget will be posted online and circulated at the first meeting of the academic year.