Constitution

 ARTICLE I: PURPOSE

Section 1: The Biotechnology Student Association (BSA) shall be the coordinating student body charged with representing all students enrolled in the Master’s in Biotechnology program in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania.BSA shall elect student representatives to the Graduate Student Engineering Group (GSEG) and other School and University committees, and represent the concerns of Master’s in Biotechnology students to the Biotechnology Programs Office as well as School and University administration.

BSA shall monitor issues of importance to the student community; sponsor academic, professional, and social events of interest to the student community; and organize programs to enhance the quality of student life.

Section 2: All graduate and professional students within the Master’s in Biotechnology program automatically become members of BSA while enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania and are encouraged to participate in all BSA activities.
Section 3: Members of BSA shall be represented by their elected student representatives.

ARTICLE II: EXECUTIVE BOARD AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Section 1: The General Assembly shall consist of all Master’s in Biotechnology students currently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania.
Section 2: The Executive Board shall consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and two GSEG Representatives. They shall perform such duties as directed by the bylaws.
Section 3: The Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and GSEG Representatives shall be elected from the General Assembly each fall by a simple majority vote. In the event that no candidate receives a simple majority of votes, there will be a run-off election between the two candidates who received the largest number of votes. In the event of a tie, the tied candidates will be given the opportunity to make additional comments and ballots will be recast.
Section 4: The Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and GSEG Representatives must be nominated. Self-nominations are accepted.
Section 5: The Executive Board will serve for a term of one academic year. In the event a position becomes vacant prior to the end of the one-year term due to a December graduation, elections will be held for that specific position at the beginning of the spring semester. Each member of the Executive Board will serve until the next General Elections held in the fall, regardless of when they were first elected to the board, or until graduation from the program, whichever comes first.
Section 6: The official transition of all positions on the Executive Board will take place before the first General Assembly meeting of the fall semester. Fall elections will be organized by the previous year’s Executive Board. In the event all members of the Executive Board will graduate from the program prior to fall elections they will appoint between three and six BSA members to organize elections in their stead. If they fail to do so, any member of BSA may take it upon themselves to organize elections at any time after the start of the fall semester.
Section 7: Individuals may hold only one Executive Board position concurrently. Current Executive Board members may run for another aforementioned Executive Board position, but prior to running must relinquish the previously held position.
Section 8: If any member of the Executive Board becomes unable or unwilling to execute the duties of their office as laid out in the bylaws, one of the other Executive Board members shall act as an interim replacement until a special election to be held as soon as possible at a subsequent General Assembly Meeting. The person acting as an interim replacement for a given position shall be the one holding the office following the vacated position in the following order: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, GSEG Representatives. If that person is unable or unwilling to serve as interim replacement, the person holding the next office will act in that capacity. If no Executive Board member is willing or able to serve as interim replacement, a representative from the General Assembly will be chosen by the Executive Board to act as interim replacement until a special election is held.
Section 9: The General Assembly shall be notified at least 5 days before a special election to fill a vacancy for Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, or Secretary.
Section 10: An Executive Board member may be removed by the BSA General Assembly at any meeting by a two-thirds vote, provided that ten days written notice has been given and the member has been granted the opportunity to be heard.

ARTICLE III: EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS

Section 1: The Executive Board shall meet at least once during each the fall and spring semesters. It shall also meet on the call of the Chair or by petition of one-quarter of the members of the Executive Board.
Section 2: Advance notice shall be given to all Executive Board members, and a copy of any resolutions to be considered shall be made available according to the terms of the bylaws.

ARTICLE IV: VOTING

Section 1: Each member of the Executive Board shall have one vote in all matters.
Section 2: In order to pass, a motion must receive a simple majority of votes cast.
Section 3: Motions to suspend the rules or to deviate from the standard procedure shall be decided by a two-thirds majority of votes cast.

ARTICLE V: BUDGET AND FUNDING SOURCES

Section 1: At the first General Assembly meeting of the fall semester, the outgoing and incoming Treasurers shall jointly present to the General Assembly a provisional budget for the next academic year.
Section 2: Prior to the second scheduled Executive Board meeting of the fall semester, the Treasurer shall present an annual budget for approval to the General Assembly.
Section 3: The General Assembly may amend the budget at any time by quorum, as defined in Bylaw Section I.
Section 4: The budget shall provide necessary funds for the operations of the General Assembly, for nominations of graduate and professional students to School and University committees, and for such other activities as the Executive Board may decide in accordance with its purpose and mission.
Section 5: The funding for the budget shall come from three sources:

  1. The Office of the Vice Provost for University Life Graduate School via the Graduate School of Engineering Group (GSEG) and shall be distributed through the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Office of Budget & Administration. The funding is contingent upon a written plan for the allotted money due in the spring semester by January’s GSEG General Assembly meeting and for the summer by May’s GSEG General Assembly meeting, as stated in ARTICLE VII, Section 6 in the GSEG constitution. Without written plan, that prior semesters funding will be returned to the general GSEG allotted funding. The plan will be drafted by the Treasurer and presented by the GSEG representatives.
  2. The Biotechnology Programs Office through written approval of the Program Director.
  3. Independent fund raising conducted by the General Assembly and approved by the Biotechnology Programs Office.

ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENT PROCESS

Section 1: In order to be adopted, a proposed amendment to the constitution must receive at least three-quarters of the votes cast by the General Assembly. Ten days notice, including the text of the proposed amendment, must have been given to the General Assembly.
Section 2: Amendments shall take effect after approval by the General Assembly and public posting, unless otherwise specified.

 


 

Bylaws

I. GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS

  1. Quorum for a General Assembly meeting is a simple majority of the General Assembly.
  2. Meetings shall be held at least once a semester during the academic year.
  3. Attendance at General Assembly meetings is optional for all of its members. However, the meetings shall be scheduled at a time convenient to a majority of members.
  4. Meetings shall be limited to 60 minutes unless extended by a two-thirds vote of the votes cast.
  5. Members shall be notified at the beginning of the semester of the regularly scheduled meeting dates. In the event of any meeting other than those regularly scheduled, the Chair shall give at least two days notice to the General Assembly.
  6. The Chair shall distribute a tentative agenda for any meeting to the General Assembly not less than 2 days prior to the meeting. Additionally, draft resolutions must also be distributed to the General Assembly no less than 2 days prior to the meeting.
  7. Any resolution adopted by the General Assembly shall be posted to the BSA website. Additionally, minutes from the General Assembly meetings shall also be posted to the BSA websites.
  8. Descriptions of each Executive Board position, as delineated by these bylaws, shall be distributed to the BSA membership, and posted on the BSA website.
  9. All Master’s in Biotechnology students are eligible to run for a position as Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary or GSEG Representative of the Executive Board. Candidates may be nominated to run for a specific position up until the beginning of the election for that Executive Board position. Self nominations are accepted.

 

II. EXECUTIVE BOARD

A. Chair

  1. The Executive Board shall include a Chair who shall lead the BSA and General Assembly on all matters. The Chair shall be present at all General Assembly meetings.
  2. The Chair shall be the primary BSA representative to all School and University administration and personnel, and shall attend all meetings with such personnel as necessary and appropriate.
  3. The Chair, in conjunction with the Executive Board, shall devise and implement annual goals and strategies for fulfilling the BSA mission.
  4. The Chair shall organize and oversee student volunteers in support of all BSA projects, initiatives, and events.
  5. The Chair shall delegate such responsibilities and duties as appropriate to the Vice-Chair and other General Assembly members, including but not limited to maintaining a BSA website and email account and taking minutes at each General Assembly meeting.

B. Vice-Chair

  1. The Executive Board shall include a Vice-Chair who shall work closely with the Chair on all BSA matters. The Vice-Chair shall participate in relevant meetings with the Chair and school and university officials.
  2. The Vice-Chair shall act as Chair when the Chair is absent or unavailable. If the Chair is no longer able to serve, the Vice-Chair shall succeed the Chair in office until an election pursuant to provisions of the BSA Constitution and Bylaws is held.
  3. The Vice-Chair shall perform other duties as delegated by the Chair.

C. Treasurer

  1. The Executive Board shall include a Treasurer who shall deal with all budgetary issues, which include, but are not limited to, the distribution of reimbursements and collection of receipts for BSA expenditures.
  2. At the beginning of each academic year, the Treasurer shall present to the General Assembly a final, detailed budget expenditure report for the prior academic year. This report shall remain on file with the Executive Board for one year and shall be available for review by any member of BSA.
  3. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to prepare and present a copy BSA’s budget to the Manager of Administration & Finance in the SEAS Office of Budget & Administration as is deemed necessary.

D. Secretary

  1. The Executive Board shall include a Secretary who shall record the minutes of all General Assembly and Executive Board meetings and report those minutes to the body at the next General Assembly meeting.
  2. The Secretary shall monitor attendance at all General Assembly meetings, certify quorum, and take roll-call votes as needed.
  3. The Secretary shall maintain current information on the BSA website, including current contact information for all members of the General Assembly and upcoming BSA events and programs.
  4. The Secretary shall monitor the BSA email account and bear responsibility for all incoming and outgoing correspondence with the BSA general members.

E. GSEG Representatives

  1. The Executive Board shall include two GSEG Representatives who shall attend GSEG meetings and represent BSA’s interests to the GSEG Board in accordance with the GSEG Constitution.
  2. The GSEG Representatives shall report their activities at the GSEG meetings to the Executive Board at the Executive Board meeting immediately following a GSEG meeting.
  3. GSEG Representatives who fail to meet the requirements of GSEG, as determined by their bylaws, may be removed by the Executive Board; provided that seven days written notice has been given and that the representative has been granted an opportunity to be heard.

 

III. AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

  1. In order to be adopted, a proposed amendment to the Bylaws must receive at least two-thirds of the votes cast.
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