ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Doctoral and Graduate Students’ Organization (hereafter, “DSO”). The name of the elected body that represents the DSO shall be the Doctoral and Graduate Students’ Council (hereafter, “DSC”).

ARTICLE II. PURPOSES

The purposes of the DSC shall include but not be limited to:

      a. promoting an atmosphere of community and sociability for the commonweal of students at the Graduate School of the Graduate School and University Center (hereafter, “The Graduate Center”);
      b. promoting the democratization of the City University of New York (hereafter, “CUNY”) in order to enable its students, faculty, and staff to participate in the important social, political, and economic decisions that affect the quality of their lives and of their community;
      c. promoting transparency and facilitating political participation by making its documents and bylaws publicly accessible;
      d. representing the interests of and establishing and enacting policy for all Graduate Center students, making its bylaws publicly available for review;
      e. seeking reciprocal channels of communication among CUNY graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, and the administration;
      f. securing voting participation in the decision-making entities that impact Graduate Center students;
      g. serving as the allocating body for Student Government Fees as a portion of all Student Activity Fees, subject to review by the Graduate Center College Association;
      h. organizing and funding, via Student Activity Fee monies, Graduate Center student activities, organizations, and services such as colloquia, seminars, and other functions of general, professional, cultural, and social interest to Graduate Center.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

III.1. Constituency

All students registered at the Graduate Center shall be members of the DSO.

III.2. Representatives

III.2.1. At-Large Representatives

It is the duty of the at-large representatives to discover and further the interests of Graduate Center students. To this end they shall:

        a. solicit the opinions of their constituency on student matters;
        b. inform their constituency of significant events, dates, and deadlines announced by and of actions taken by the DSC;
        c. attend all DSC meetings at which they have a vote or, if unable to attend, arrange a proxy; and
        d. attend Graduate Council as a voting alternate when their program’s elected student representatives cannot attend, as stated under the provisions of Graduate Council Bylaws.

Recommended methods of communication with constituents in execution of the above enumerated responsibilities include, but are not limited to: student meetings, including meetings of a Program Student Association; student listservs; and student portals or any digital media associated with the program’s students.

III.2.2. Program Representatives

It is the duty of the program representatives to discover and further the interests of Graduate Center students. To this end they shall:

a. solicit the opinions of their constituency on student matters;

b. inform their constituency of significant events, dates, and deadlines announced by and of actions taken by the DSC;

c. attend all DSC meetings at which they have a vote or, if unable to attend, arrange a proxy;

d. attend Graduate Council as a voting alternate when their program’s elected student representatives cannot attend, as stated under the provisions of Graduate Council Bylaws;

e. authorize, in consultation with program constituents, the expenditure of any funds allocated to their programs during the fiscal year in which those funds are allocated; and

f. serve as a voting member on the program’s DSC-recognized Program Student Association, should one exist.

Recommended methods of communication with constituents in execution of the above enumerated responsibilities include, but are not limited to: student meetings, including meetings of a Program Student Association; student listservs; and student portals or any digital media associated with the program’s students.

III.2.3. Nomination and Election of Representatives

The students of the DSO as a whole shall elect At-Large Representatives to the DSC for each academic year. For each 200 members of the DSO, or part thereof, as of March 1, there shall be up to one At-Large Representative seat.

The students of each doctoral program, doctoral subprogram, and masters program or subprogram that is not affiliated with or part of a doctoral program (hereafter, all referred to as “program”), where that program is officially recognized by the Graduate Center Registrar, shall elect Program Representatives to the DSC each academic year. For each program, there shall be up to:

      a. one Program Representative seat for the first 100 students or part thereof; and
      b. one Program Representative seat for each additional 100 students or part thereof as of March 1.

No seat shall exist until a nomination for its At-Large or Program Representative has been accepted during the nominations process, with the first acceptance creating the first seat and each additional acceptance creating the additional seat(s) up to the total number allowed. After nominations have closed, students in a program without Program Representative seats may create one or more seats, up to the maximum number allowed, by sending a request to the Steering Committee with the name(s) of their pro tempore representative(s), signed by the lesser of 20 or one-quarter of the students in that program.The OGM will present the earliest-received valid position(s) to Steering. Petitions received in excess of the maximum number of additional representatives will be considered for alternates. The Steering Committee may create At-Large Representative seats, up to the maximum number allowed, at its discretion.

Nominations for both At-Large and Program Representatives shall open on the first business day of February and notice shall be sent to DSO members at least three business days in advance. Any DSO member may nominate any other DSO member as an At-Large Representative, including themself. Each DSO member may make nominations for Program Representative(s) of the program in which they are enrolled and may nominate only those DSO members who are enrolled in that program, including themself. All nominations shall be submitted in writing. The nomination period shall be closed as of midnight on the first business day of March. DSO members shall be notified of their nomination within five business days of the close of nominations and shall be presumed to accept nomination unless they decline nomination in writing. Any At-Large Representative nominee from a program without nominees for its Program Representative(s) shall be a presumptive nominee for Program Representative, which they can accept or decline. If an individual is nominated as both an At-Large and a Program Representative and they accept both nominations, their name shall appear on both ballots.

Separate ballots shall be prepared for Program Representatives in each program and for At-Large Representatives. Ballots shall only be prepared in cases where seats are available. The election of DSC representatives shall be conducted through any verifiable and time-stamped medium accepted by a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee. All ballots must be sent by midnight of the first business day in April, and the election period shall be closed at midnight on the first business day in May. Ballots submitted after this time shall be considered invalid.

Each member of the DSO shall be allowed a number of votes for Program Representative(s) that is equal to the total number of Program Representative seats in their program. Each member of the DSO shall be allowed a number of votes for At-Large Representatives that is as close as possible to, without exceeding, one-quarter of the total number of At-Large Representative seats in the election concerned. Write-in votes shall be allowed on any ballot.

Ballots for Program Representative seats shall be counted first. Programs shall have as their representatives those nominees who received the most votes from that program’s members, with the total number of Program Representatives not to exceed the total number of Program Representative seats. Each member of the DSO who has won an election for Program Representative in this election shall not be eligible to be an At-Large Representative and shall be removed from the list nominees for At-Large Representatives. The At-Large Representatives shall be those nominees who received the most votes for At-Large Representative, with the total number of At-Large Representatives being one less that the total number of At-Large Representative seats. If an individual is nominated both as an At-Large Representative and as a Program Representative, the votes received for either of those positions shall not count towards the other position under any circumstances. Tied votes in elections for Program and At- Large Representatives shall be decided by the Steering Committee, which shall first ask the tied candidates to decide among themselves who shall serve and, lacking consensus among or response from all candidates, shall draw names in a chance lottery from those candidates who have responded but not declined.

III.3. Officers

III.3.1. The Co-Chair for Student Affairs

The duties of the Co-Chair for Student Affairs shall include but not be limited to:

        a. supervising non-financial matters of Chartered Organizations;
        b. acting as the primary liaison to the DSO;
        c. acting as ombudsperson for all DSC affiliates; and
        d. serving as a non-voting

ex-officio

      member of every affiliate and committee of the DSC unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

III.3.2. The Co-Chair for Communications

The duties of the Co-Chair for Communications shall include but not be limited to:

        a. acting as official spokesperson of the DSC;
        b. reporting to the DSC relevant activities of the CUNY Board of Trustees, Graduate Council, Council of Executive Officers, President’s Cabinet, and all other entities that affect Graduate Center students;
        c. recording minutes in the absence of a designated minute-taker;
        d. keeping or sending to the Graduate Center Archives the minutes, correspondence, reports, and all other non-financial records of the DSC;
        e. acting as the liaison to the Graduate Center Archivist;
        f. furnishing, at request, any available non-financial records of the DSC within five business days; and
        g. serving as a non-voting

ex-officio

      member of every affiliate and committee of the DSC unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

III.3.3. The Co-Chair for Business

The duties of the Co-Chair for Business shall include but not be limited to:

        a. collecting and deposit all monies into the Treasury;
        b. processing all valid requests within ten business days;
        c. supervising the DSC office;
        d. reporting to the DSC relevant financial activities of all bodies that affect Graduate Center students;
        e. keeping and preparing all financial records of the DSO;
        f. furnishing, at request, any available financial records of the DSO within five business days;
        g. preparing a preliminary proposal for the annual budget of the DSO; and
        h. serving as a non-voting

ex-officio 

      member of every affiliate and committee of the DSC unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.

III.3.4. University Student Senate Delegate

The duties of the University Student Senate (hereafter, “USS”) Delegate shall include but not be limited to:

a. representing the interests of the DSO at USS meetings;
b. reporting to the DSC relevant activities of USS;
c. chairing the University Student Senate Advisory Committee;
d. representing the interests of the DSO at Board of Trustees Meetings; and
e. reporting to the DSC relevant activities of the Board of Trustees.

III.3.5. University Faculty Senate Liaison

The duties of the University Faculty Senate (hereafter, “UFS”) Liaison shall include but not be limited to:

a. attempting to express the interests of the DSO at UFS meetings and, if they are a UFS Senator, representing the interests of the DSO at UFS meetings insofar as they do not conflict with the interests of their constituency;
b. reporting to the DSC relevant activities of UFS;
c. representing the DSO and/or lobbying on its behalf at city and state government bodies.

III.3.6. At-Large Steering Officers

The duties of each At-Large Steering Officer shall include but not be limited to:

      a. overseeing one of six domains enumerated in the DSC Bylaws to which they have been appointed by a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee Elect, with the recognition that these positions are not exclusive domains but rather a division of labor in a cooperative effort; and
      b. chairing Plenary and Steering Committee meetings on a rotating basis with no one member acting as chair for two consecutive meetings, unless agreeable to a majority of those present; and
      c. taking minutes at Plenary and Steering Committee meetings on a rotating basis.

III.3.7. Nomination and Election of Officers

The representatives-elect shall constitute the Doctoral and Graduate Students’ Council Elect (DSCE) and elect their officers within four weeks of their own election. The officers shall be nominated and elected in the following order:

      a. The Co-Chair for Student Affairs,
      b. The Co-Chair for Communications,
      c. The Co-Chair for Business,
      d. The USS Delegate,
      e. The UFS Liaison, and then
      f. Six At-Large Steering Officers.

In the first five cases above, the person receiving the most votes shall be the duly elected officer. In the case of At-Large Steering Officers, the six persons receiving the most votes shall be the duly elected officers.

The election results for the offices of Co-Chair for Student Affairs and Co-Chair for Communications shall not be announced until after the election for the office of Co-Chair for Business. In the event that one person receives the highest number of votes in two or more elections for officers, they shall be deemed the winner of the election for which they received the highest number of votes, and the other office(s) shall pass to the candidate(s) with the next highest number of votes in the election(s) for those office(s), or, in the case of exhaustion of candidates, a new election shall be held. In the event of a tie in any officer election, a run-off shall be held between the candidates who received the highest number of votes. If all but one of the candidates does not concede and the run-off also results in a tie, then the tie will be resolved by chance lottery. In the event that two or more co-chairs-elect are from the same program, a run-off election shall be held between them, and the office of the loser of the run-off shall pass to the candidate with the next highest number of vote in the election for that office or, in the case of exhaustion of candidates, a new election shall be held.

The presumptive UFS Liaison nominees, who may accept or decline nomination, shall be any DSO members elected as UFS Senators. If there are no DSO members elected as UFS Senators, any member of the DSC may be nominated. If the UFS Liaison is not a member of DSCE, then they shall hold an ex-officio at-large seat, with voice and vote. If the UFS Liaison is already a member of the DSCE, then that at-large seat shall be considered vacant.

In the event that more than three of the eleven officers are from the same program, one or more at-large steering officers-elect from those programs shall be removed in the order of ascending number of votes in the election for the office of At-Large Steering Officer, and their offices shall pass to the candidates with the next highest number of votes in the election for the office of At-Large Steering Officer or, in the case of exhaustion of candidates, an election for the vacant seat(s) shall be held.

III.3.8. Relationship of the Co-Chairs

Each co-chair shall be primarily responsible for the position to which they have been elected; however, these positions do not have exclusive domains but are rather a division of labor in a cooperative effort.

Although the co-chairs are intended to act in a balanced and cooperative manner, it is recognized that unusual circumstances may arise which would make a more rigidly hierarchical organization preferable. To that end, the DSC retains the option to establish clearly delineated duties and functions for each of the co-chairs in such hierarchical organization as the DSC shall consider necessary. This option may only be invoked at a Plenary meeting with quorum present. Quorum must be counted before the option is invoked and the motion to invoke this option shall only be open for discussion if moved by at least three members of the DSC, only one of whom may be a member of the Steering or Executive Committees. Both the option itself and any reorganization decided upon by discussion of DSC must pass by at least three-fifths majority vote; any such reorganization shall expire June 30.

III.3.9 Relationship of University Student Senate Delegate and University Faculty Senate Liaison

Both USS Delegate and UFS Liaison shall be primarily responsible for the position to which they have been elected; however, they may coordinate their externally-focused efforts on behalf of the DSO as needed.

ARTICLE IV. COMMITTEES

IV.1. Executive Committee

IV.1.1. Membership

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Co-Chair for Student Affairs, the Co-Chair for Communications, the Co-Chair for Business, the USS Delegate, and the UFS Liaison.

IV.1.2. Duties of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall:

      a. make decisions on a day-to-day basis for the DSC as per the policies established and actions taken by the Steering Committee and the DSC and be subject to review by these bodies;
      b. consult and seek the advice of the Steering Committee on the Executive Committee members’ duties;
      c. establish or disestablish whatever ad-hoc committees are deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities;
      d. interface with faculty, staff, and administration; and
      e. prepare agendas for Plenary and Steering Committee meetings.

IV.2. Steering Committee

IV.2.1 Membership

The Steering Committee shall have eleven voting members, consisting of the Executive Committee members and the six At-Large Steering Officers.

IV.2.2. Duties of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall:

      a. make interim decisions for the DSO as per the policies established by the DSC and be subject to review by the DSC;
      b. set policy when timely action is required, such emergency policy being consistent with established DSC policy, and be subject to review at subsequent Plenary meetings;
      c. hear the reports of all DSC committees and take actions in accordance with the purposes of the DSC, making public such actions through the Co-Chair for Communications;
      d. review the structure and operations of the DSO and make recommendations to the DSC;
      e. advise the Graduate Center President and Provost and the CUNY Chancellor on all matters concerning Graduate Center students;
      f. on the initiative of any of its members, review general and program policies on student discipline and procedures for implementing these policies, and to establish internal DSC disciplinary policy and procedure;
      g. establish or disestablish whatever ad-hoc committees are deemed necessary to discharge its responsibilities;
      h. recommend an annual DSO budget to the DSC in consultation with the appropriate committees and based on the budget proposal submitted by the Co-Chair for Business;
      i. conduct the election of DSC representatives subject to review by the Graduate School Student Elections Review Committee (SERC);
      j. invite nominations and appoint members of the DSO to committees;
      k. call for a DSO referendum on any approved DSC motion as deemed necessary by a two-thirds majority vote of the Steering Committee;
      l. convene Plenary meetings and the meeting of the DSCE for election of its officers;
      m. select, at its first meeting or as soon as possible thereafter, the co-chair representative to the Executive Committee of Graduate Council, determine an order of succession of the remaining co-chairs to serve as voting alternates if the selected co-chair cannot attend a meeting of the Executive Committee of Graduate Council, and determine an order of succession of At-Large Steering Officers members to serve as voting alternates in the event that one or more of the co-chairs cannot attend a general meeting of Graduate Council; and
      n. review its actions for the year and submit a report to the President of the Graduate Center, making this report public through the Co-Chair for Communications.

IV.3. Standing Committees

The DSC shall have other standing committees as established in its Bylaws, which shall specify the purposes, membership, and duties of each committee, including the person to convene the first meeting. Unless otherwise specified, the committee shall elect its own chair, who shall submit an annual report on the activities of the committee no later than the May Plenary meeting of each year. This report shall be deposited with the Co-Chair for Communications no later than June 30.

IV.4. Ad-Hoc Committees

The purposes and membership of ad-hoc committees shall be specified at the time of their formation as well as the person to convene the first meeting. All ad-hoc committees shall expire on June 30 unless otherwise renewed. Unless otherwise specified, the committee shall elect its own chair, who shall submit an annual report on the activities of the committee no later than the May Plenary meeting of each year. This report shall be deposited with the Co-Chair for Communications no later than June 30.

IV.5. Sub-Committees

Each standing and ad-hoc committee shall have the power to create sub-committees for investigation, advocacy, and policy-making pertaining to any issue within the committee’s purview. Membership in sub-committees shall be limited to the members of the committee that establishes them. The committee shall appoint a sub-committee chair from among the members of the sub-committee. The chair of the committee shall serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of all its sub-committees unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified. All sub-committees shall expire on June 30 unless renewed. Sub-committees and their members shall be subject to all provisions of the committees that create them. Each sub-committee chair shall submit an annual report to their respective committee chair at least ten business days before the May Plenary meeting, and that report will be included in the committee’s annual report.

ARTICLE V. TENURE, VACANCY, AND RECALL

V.1. Tenure

The tenure of representatives to the DSC shall be July 1 to June 30 of the following year. The tenures of committee members and officers shall be co-terminous with their positions as representatives.

V.2. Replacement Due to Vacancy

V.2.1. Representatives

Whenever a seat is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Steering Committee shall attempt to fill the vacant seat within 20 business days by following these procedures in the listed order.

      a. The DSO member who received the next highest number of votes in the preceding elections for the vacant seat shall be asked to serve out the remainder of the term. This method shall be carried out until a member accepts the position or until the list is exhausted.
      b. In the case of a program seat, the Steering Committee shall issue a call for nominations to all students in the affected program, which shall remain open for ten business days. Should one more students than the number of available seats accept nomination for Program Representative, the Steering Committee shall conduct a special election of students in the program. The election shall remain open for ten business days and the person(s) receiving the most votes shall be the duly elected representative(s). If no nominations are made after ten business days, then the seat shall be dissolved with the understanding that it can be recreated by petition as outlined above, and the dissolution shall reported at the following Plenary meeting.
      c. In the case of exhaustion of the list of At-Large Representative nominees, the Steering Committee shall appoint a representative.
      d. This selection shall be reported at the following Plenary meeting and ratified by a simple majority vote of the DSC.

V.2.2. Officers

Whenever an officer position is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Executive Committee shall appoint a replacement, which appointment shall lapse at the next scheduled Plenary meeting when an election shall be held.

V.2.3. Committee Members

Whenever a committee position is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Steering Committee shall appoint a replacement by a simple majority vote. This appointment shall be announced at the next Plenary meeting.

V.2.4. Affiliate Board Members

Whenever a seat is vacated due to reasons other than the natural end of a term, the Affiliate Board shall attempt to fill the vacant seat within 20 business days by following these procedures in the listed order.

      a.The DSO member who received the next highest number of votes in the preceding elections for the vacant seat shall be asked to serve out the remainder of the term. This method shall be carried out until a member accepts the position or until the list is exhausted.
      b.In the case of exhaustion of the list of Affiliate Board nominees, the Affiliate Board shall appoint a representative.

V.3. Recall

V.3.1. Representatives

DSC representatives are subject to recall by their respective constituencies. Upon the presentation to a member of the Executive Committee of a petition signed by two-thirds of the representative’s constituency requesting the recall of said representative, that representative shall be recalled, the Executive Committee shall notify the representative in writing within five business days of receipt of the petition, and their recall shall be reported at the following Plenary meeting.

DSC representatives may also be recalled by a three-quarters majority vote of the DSC. A representative cannot move to recall another representative unless they notify that representative in writing, copied to a member of the Executive Committee, at least five business days before the Plenary meeting at which the motion may be entertained.

Any representative who fails to attend two consecutive regular Plenary meetings without arranging a proxy shall be automatically recalled and reported at the next Plenary and Steering meetings.

V.3.2. Officers

All DSC officers may be recalled from office on an individual basis by a two-thirds majority vote of the DSC. A recall motion for a particular office shall not be voted upon until seconded by at least five DSC members from the floor. A representative cannot move to recall an officer unless they notify that officer in writing, copied the Executive Committee, at least five business days before the Plenary meeting at which the motion may be entertained.

V.3.3. Committee Members

Any non-ex-officio committee members, with the exception of the Executive and Steering Committees, may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Steering Committee, provided they have been notified in writing of their pending removal five business days before the meeting at which the vote shall take place. Removals shall be reported at the next Plenary meeting.

ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS

VI.1. Regular Meetings

VI.1.1. Plenary

The DSC shall hold one Plenary meeting each month except in the months of January, June, July, and August.

VI.1.2. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall hold at least one meeting each semester.

VI.1.3. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee must hold at least one meeting each month except in the months of January, June, July, and August.

VI.1.4. Standing and Ad-Hoc Committees

Standing and ad-hoc committees shall hold at least two meetings each semester.

VI.2. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the DSC or any of its committees may be called by a written petition presented to a member of the Executive Committee stating the issue to be discussed and bearing the signature of either the three co-chairs, a simple majority of the Steering Committee, one-fifth of the representatives to the DSC, or 2% of the members of the DSO.

A member of the Executive Committee shall convene the special meeting within ten business days of receipt of the petition. Within seven calendar days, that member shall both send an agenda to each member of the respective body for which the meeting has been called and make public notice of the meeting through the Co-Chair for Communications.

VI.3. Compliance with the New York State Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law

The DSC shall comply with New York State Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law, including but not limited to having those in charge of calling each meeting send an agenda and draft minutes of the previous meeting to each member of the respective body and the Co-Chair for Communications at least seven calendar days before the meeting. Agendas shall be made public through the Co-Chair for Communications at least seven calendar days before each meeting. Draft minutes shall, likewise, be sent to each member of the respective body and the Co-Chair for Communications and made public through the Co-Chair for Communications no more than seven calendar days after the meeting takes place. These minutes shall indicate, but not be limited to, those voting members present and absent, the time the meeting was called to order, and the time the meeting was adjourned, and the minutes shall also chronicle each passing or failing motion, the person who made the motion, the person who seconded the motion if the motion was seconded, and the outcome of the vote on the motion if a vote was take. All members of the public may attend any meeting of the DSC without vote and also without voice unless so recognized to speak by the chair. Members of the public may not attend portions of meetings conducted in a legitimate executive session unless so authorized by the chair.

VI.4. Quorum

At any meeting of the DSC, a quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the voting seats including one co-chair, with the exception of Steering Committee meetings at which a quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the committee including one co-chair.

VI.5. Parliamentary Procedure

The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern all DSC meetings when applicable and consistent with this constitution and the DSC Bylaws.

VI.6. Proxies

A representative may appoint a delegate (henceforth, “proxy”) to take their place at any type of DSC meeting. A proxy is only valid when the person is a member of the DSO, holds a written authorization which contains

      a. the date the proxy will replace the representative in the event of a single absence, or duration of appointment should the proxy replace the representative on a standing basis, and
      b. the name and signature of the representative, and the name and signature of the proxy

and the written authorization has been submitted to a member of the Executive Committee no later than the end of the meeting for which the proxy is serving.

A proxy counts toward quorum, has all the powers and duties of a representative while at the DSC meeting specified in the written authorization, and can replace only one representative at a time.

ARTICLE VII. REFERENDA

VII.1

It is the right of the members of the DSO to call a referendum vote on any issue or legislation that the members deem appropriate. An issue will be placed on the next regular DSO election ballot if a petition bearing the valid signatures of 5% of the membership of the DSO or 10% of the DSO if the referendum is on the Student Activity Fee, a simple majority of the Steering Committee, or a simple majority of the DSC representatives is submitted to the Executive Committee on or before March 15. If the petition states that an immediate vote is necessary, a special referendum ballot will be sent to all DSO members within 20 business days of receipt of any petition calling both for a referendum and for an immediate vote. Such a request for an immediate vote must be clearly specified in the required petition. Approval of a referendum will require a majority affirmative vote with not less than 10% of the members of the DSO voting within 20 business days.

VII.2

A referendum proposing changes in the student activity fee shall be initiated by a petition of at least ten (10) percent of the appropriate student body and voted upon in conjunction with student government elections.

  1. Where a referendum seeks to earmark student activity fees for a specific purpose or organization without changing the total student activity fee, the results of the referendum shall be sent to the college association for implementation.
  2. Where a referendum seeks to earmark student activity fees for a specific purpose or organization by changing the total student activity fee, the results of such referendum shall be sent to the board by the president of the college together with his/her recommendation.
  3. At the initiation of a petition of at least ten (10) percent of the appropriate student body, the college president may schedule a student referendum at a convenient time other than in conjunction with student government elections.
  4. Where the referendum seeks to affect the use or amount of student activity fees in the college purposes fund, the results of the referendum shall be sent to the board by the college president together with his/her recommendation.

ARTICLE VIII. FINANCIAL AUTHORITY AND POLICIES

VIII.1. Financial Accountability

The financial actions of the DSC shall abide by The City University Handbook for the Control and Accountability of Student Activity Fees.

VIII.2. Authorization

The signatures of the Co-Chair for Business and one other member of the Steering Committee on any payment request shall authorize the Graduate Center Office for Finance and Administration to make payments.

VIII.3. Student Activity Fee

It is the right of DSO members to request changes in the level of the Student Activity Fee by means of a referendum.

VIII.4. Budgeting

The fiscal year of the DSO shall run from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. After consulting relevant affiliates and committees of the DSC, the Co-Chair for Business shall a present a budget proposal for the following fiscal year to the Steering Committee by its March meeting of the current year. The Steering Committee shall propose a budget for the following fiscal year to the DSC by the April Plenary meeting. The DSC shall approve a budget for the following fiscal year by June 1 of the current fiscal year or by October 1 of the next fiscal year. The current budget shall be in effect until the new budget is passed. Budgeted expenditures may not exceed estimated income.

VIII.4.1. Surplus Funds

If the Co-Chair for Business projects a surplus of funds for the end of the fiscal year, the Steering Committee shall present a proposal for expending these funds to the DSC no later than the May Plenary meeting of each year. This proposal must be approved by a simple majority vote of the DSC. If no proposal is approved, the funds shall be budgeted as carryover revenues for the following fiscal year.

VIII.4.2. Stipends and Wages

All paid positions within the DSO, including all employees and officers receiving either stipends or wages shall be categorized in the DSC Bylaws and known as the “DSO Stipend and Wage Schedule.” The stipends and wages paid by the DSO shall be based on the classifications defined in this schedule. Any changes in either the classification of positions or in the level of reimbursement shall take effect during the following year and be included in the budget for the following year.

VIII.4.3. Reserve Fund for Contingencies

The DSO shall maintain a Reserve Fund for Contingencies, known simply as the “Reserve Fund,” at a level equivalent to 5% of the annual operating income of the DSO. This fund shall be used to cover end of fiscal year deficits, and large unexpected expenditures of a legal or contractual basis. No more than one-third may be used for this purpose in a single fiscal year. If additional funds are needed to cover deficits, they must be budgeted as expenditures in the following fiscal year. Should the fund drop below the mandated level, the DSC shall either allocate sufficient monies to return the fund to its mandated level immediately or allocate a minimum of 1% of the annual operating income each year until the mandated level is achieved. All expenditures from this fund must be approved by a simple majority vote of the DSC.

VIII.4.4. Reserve Fund for Special Purposes

The DSO shall maintain a Reserve Fund for Special Purposes, known simply as the “Special Purposes Fund,” at a level of at least 10% of the annual operating income of the DSO. This fund shall be used to cover major expenditures and initiatives in excess of normal expenditures. Should the fund drop below the mandated level, the DSC shall either allocate sufficient monies to return the fund to the mandated level immediately or allocate a minimum of 1% of the annual operating income each year until the mandated level is achieved. All expenditures from this fund must be approved by a simple majority vote of the DSC.

VIII.4.5. Steering Committee Discretionary Fund

To further the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Steering Committee, the DSC shall budget no less than 2% of the DSO’s annual operating income for discretionary spending. All expenditures from this account must be approved by a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee before the funds are disbursed. All expenditures in excess of 10% of the fund as of July 1 shall be reported to the DSC at the next Plenary meeting.

ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS

IX.1. Amendments to the Constitution

A proposed amendment to this constitution may be considered by the DSC upon written presentation to it by any member thereof. Written notice of the proposed amendment shall be sent to every member of the DSC at least ten business days before the Plenary meeting at which it is to be considered. An amendment may be passed by a two-thirds majority vote at a Plenary meeting. Any amendment adopted by the DSC shall be distributed to DSO members for ratification. The amendment shall be considered ratified unless rejected by a simple majority vote, with at least 10% of the DSO responding within 20 business days of distribution.

IX.2. Amendments to the Bylaws

A proposed amendment to the DSC Bylaws shall first be read at a Plenary meeting. At the following Plenary meeting, the proposed amendment shall be considered and may be ratified by a simple majority vote.