Constitution

GCSA Constitution

Preamble

All members of the Geography and City Studies Association agree to abide by the rules set out in this constitution.

Article 1: Name of the Departmental Students Association (DSA):

• The official name of the Departmental Students Association shall be “Geography and City Studies Students Association”.

• The Geography and City Studies Students Association may also be referred to by the acronym GCSA.

Article 2: Our Mission Statement

The Geography and City Studies Students Association democratically represents the interests of Geography and City Studies students at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.

Our mission is to:

• Foster the collective experience, learning and growth of all Geography and City Studies students at the University of Toronto at Scarborough

• Serve as a comprehensive academic resource for Geography and City Studies students in the following way:

a. Serve in an advocacy advisory capacity for Geography and City Studies students who require educational guidance and assistance

b. Work with the Faculty and Students of the Department of Geography and City Studies to develop improve and promote education, research, and professional and volunteer opportunities

• Provide opportunities for students to interact with each other in a friendly and safe environment.

• Fostering relationship with the Scarborough Community and GCSA

• Operate as an independent entity working with the University of Toronto Scarborough community while adhering to the values and policies of the University.

Article 3: Membership and Fees

• Members shall be defined as all full-time and part-time students enrolled in Geography and/or City Studies programs at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.

• An annual fee may be levied by the association as determined by the executive committee of the academic year in question

• Fees will be utilized to fund events and services that concern Geography and City Studies students as determined by the executive committee of the academic year in question

• All members shall be entitled to the following rights:

a. The right to attend and participate in the association’s general meetings

b. The right to examine the finances and the association with due notice, alongside the VP Operations

c. The right to run for executive committee positions outlined in Article 4

d. The right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion or sexual orientation

e. The information of all members shall be held in utmost confidence and not be sold or released to any other association, in accordance with the privacy policies of the University of Toronto

Article 4: Executive Committee

Executive Committee positions are open to undergraduate students who are enrolled in Geography and/or City Studies Programs at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Any member of the executive committee cannot be an executive member of another DSA. The Executive Committee is comprised of Senior Advisor, President, Vice-President, Vice-President-Operations, Vice-President-Communications, Finance Manager, and Secretary:

4.1. Senior Advisor

* The Senior Advisor shall be a full-time undergraduate student in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies who has completed at least two years of academic studies at the University of Toronto and is in good academic standing. The Senior Advisor must also have past experience as an executive member of GCSA for at least one year.

* This position will be filled by an individual based on their merit and previous performances with GCSA. The individual is required to submit an intent for the position.

* The President and Vice President of the following academic year will have the ability to decide on who gets to oversee this position.

* The Senior Advisor is not obliged to attend all meetings upon consent of the President and Vice President

* The Senior Advisor’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. To train all executive members and non-executive members for their roles in the upcoming academic year.

b. To advise the President and Vice President on decision making processes

c. To provide any help required by the executive and non-executive committee members when required

4.2. President

• The President shall be a full-time, undergraduate student in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies who has completed at least one year of academic studies at the University of Toronto and is in good academic standing. The President must also have past experience as an executive member of GCSA for at least one year. The President cannot be on a co-op term during the fall and winter semesters of their period of leadership.

• The President’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. To ensure cohesiveness within the organization and ensure that each executive is carrying out their respective responsibilities accordingly

b. Assume the responsibility of any vacant position within the organization

c. Act as the official representative of the organization in formal business

d. Serve as the official signing officer of the organization

e. Oversee relationships with the Department of Geography and City Studies, the University of Toronto and external organizations

f. Must attend Departmental Students Association Council meetings or appoint another executive as a designate

g. Responsible for maintaining relations with all other Departmental Students Associations at UTSC

h. Responsible for planning the agenda of meetings beforehand so that if needed changes can occur. Agenda items must go through the president.

i. In charge of planning all meetings in accordance with the availability of all members on the committee.

j. Responsible for producing end of the year report which will highlight the development of GCSA

4.3. Vice President

• The Vice President shall be a full-time, undergraduate student in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies who has completed at least one year of academic studies at the University of Toronto and is in good academic standing. The Vice President cannot be on a co-op term during the fall and winter semesters of their period of leadership.

• The Vice President’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. Assist the President with events and share overall responsibility

b. Act as a secondary officer and contact point in President’s absence

c. Shall serve as the designate of the President at the Academic Committee of the UTSC College Council

d. Enhance academic experience of Geography and City Studies students by being the visionary for fostering academic development, by creating awareness of students’ academic rights and entitlements among Social Science students

e. Serve as a point of referral for Geography and City Studies students, directing them to resources and services as may be most appropriate for their needs

f. Develop ways to solicit input from Geography and City Studies students, communicate students’ concerns and ideas to the administration, faculty, or other student organizations, and work to address these issues

g. Responsible for managing, and organizing elections

4.4. Vice President of Operations

• The Vice President of Operations shall be a full-time, undergraduate student in the Department of Geography and City Studies who has completed at least one year of academic studies at the University of Toronto

• The Vice President of Operations’ responsibilities will include the following:

a. To plan, approve, and facilitate the association’s events

b. Work in collaboration with the Finance Manager to organize the association’s finances and ensure that it remains in good standing; must assume the role and responsibilities in the absence of the Finance Manager.

c. Present the annual and/or event budget at executive meetings as well as the annual general meeting

d. Ensure that the association adheres to the regulations of the Financial Policy of the University of Toronto

e. Seek corporate and/or inter-university sponsorship and prepare sponsorship proposals

f. Assist the President in the overall operation, management and organization of GCSA and its executive council

g. Coordinate the logistics of the association’s events

4.5. Vice President Communications

• The Vice President of Communications role shall be taken by no more than two students who are enrolled as full-time undergraduate students in the Department of Geography and City Studies. Both students must have completed at least one year of academic studies at the University of Toronto.

• The Vice President of Communication’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. Act as a public relations figure by maintaining internal and external communication

b. Actively prepare materials in order to recruit members in coordination with the Term Representatives

c. Maintain an up to date members list and is responsible for actively recruiting members

d. Establish, promote and maintain a positive image of GCSA; work with the President to ensure that all activities of the association adhere to the mandate of GCSA

e. Coordinate advertisement and promotion initiatives to market the events and services of the association

f. Design and maintain GCSA’s website, and all other social media accounts

4.6. Finance Manager

• The Finance Manager’s responsibilities will include the following:

* Work in collaboration with the Vice President of Operations to maintain and administer all financial activities of the association

* Prepare an annual budget statement at the beginning of the academic year, working closely with the President and the Vice President of Operations

* Prepare an annual statement of income and expenditure at the end of the academic year

* Collect and maintain an accurate record of all expenditures and incoming monetary resources

* Ensure the accurate completion of all funding and grant applications

* Disburse funds as needed

4.7. Secretary

• The Secretary’s role shall be taken by no more than two students who are enrolled as full-time undergraduate students in the Department of Geography and City Studies. The responsibilities of the Secretary will include the following:

a. Responsible for scheduling executive meetings and informing members in a timely manner

b. Responsible for compiling and preparing an agenda for all executive and general meetings

c. Responsible for taking attendance; recording, typing and distributing meeting minutes

d. Responsible for sending the President the meeting minutes within 24 hour duration of the last meeting

e. Liaisons communication between executive members in the event that internal concerns need to be addressed

f. Responsible for organizing a binder which will include all paper work that is altered and used throughout the year, such as posters and meeting minutes. The Secretary is also responsible for printing out the documents for the binder.

Article 5: Term Representatives

All representative positions will be interviewed and a minimum of two executive members must be present during the interviews as well as part take in the decision process.

5.1. First Year Representative

• First Year Representative shall be an undergraduate student enrolled in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies

• The First Year Representative position shall be filled by two students

• The First Year Representative’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. Works to further the interests of the organization and acts as a liaison between first year and second year students and the executive committee of GCSA

b. Assist the Vice President Operation with the planning and execution of GCSA’s events

c. Assist the Vice President Communication with the marketing and promotion of GCSA’s events and services

5.2. Second Year Representative

• Second Year Representative shall be an undergraduate student that has already completed their first year and is enrolled in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies

• The Second Year Representative position shall be filled by two students

• The Second Year Representative’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. Works to further the interests of the organization and acts as a liaison between second year students and the executive committee of GCSA

b. Assist the Vice President Operation with the planning and execution of GCSA’s events

c. Assist the Vice President Communication with the marketing and promotion of GCSA’s events and services

5.3. Third Year Representative

• Third Year Representative shall be an undergraduate student that has already completed their first and second year and is enrolled in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies

• The Third Year Representative position shall be filled by two students

• The Third Year Representative’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. Works to further the interests of the organization and acts as a liaison between third year students and the executive committee of GCSA

b. Assist the Vice President Operation with the planning and execution of GCSA’s events

c. Assist the Vice President Communication with the marketing and promotion of GCSA’s events and services

5.4. Fourth Year Representative

• Fourth Year Representative shall be an undergraduate student that has already completed their first and second year and is enrolled in the Department of Geography and/or City Studies

• The Fourth Year Representative position shall be filled by two students

• The Fourth Year Representative’s responsibilities will include the following:

a. Works to further the interests of the organization and acts as a liaison between fourth students and the executive committee of GCSA

b. Assist the Vice President Operation with the planning and execution of GCSA’s events

c. Assist the Vice President Communication with the marketing and promotion of GCSA’s events and services

Article 6: Determination of the Executive and Non-Executive Team/ Elections

6.1 Executive Team

• All executive positions become open to members through a call for applications at the end of each academic year

• A call for applications will be made by the Vice President with at least two weeks of notice to all members

• Previous member of the executive committee may apply for the same position. However, no executive member can hold the same position for over two years.

• Qualifications and application delivering processes are to be outlined and conducted by the outgoing executive team each year

• Applicants who meet the requirements will be asked to join the team for the next academic year

• In the event that there is a vacancy on the executive committee after the application process has been held, the existing executive committee may decide to hold another application process to fill the vacant position.

• Any candidate running for a position on the executive Team has the right to question the process of selection

6.2 Non-Executive Team

• All non-executive positions become open to members through an annual general election held at the end of each academic year

• A call for applications will be made by the Vice President with at least two weeks of notice to all members

• Previous member of the non-executive committee may apply for the same position. However, no executive member can hold the same position for over two years.

• The candidate with the most amounts of votes in the election wins the position

• In the event that there is a vacancy on the non-executive committee after the appropriate election has been held, the existing executive committee may decide to hold a by-election or a hiring process to fill the vacant position. If the executive committee chooses to hire for the vacant position, the senior executives will act as the hiring committee for the hiring process.

Article 7: Finances

The main sources of the organization’s funding will come from:

• student council(s)/union(s)

• Membership fees

• Sponsorship funding

• Any other fees from sales of tickets for paid events, or sales of other items

• The association agrees to adhere to financial by-laws found in the F.P.M and acknowledges to the fact that SCSU shall maintain full control over its fiscal operations

• The President, Vice President of Operations, and the Finance Manager are responsible for all finances of the organization

Article 8: Meetings

• The meetings are inclusive to both executive team and term representatives

• The executive committee will meet at least twice a month with at least one weeks of notice

• Executives are expected to attend all executive committee meetings

• A general meeting must be held once each year during the academic year open to all members

• If any member who holds a position listed in this constitution does not show up to three meetings without notice or fails to communicate their absence to the President and or Vice President will lose their position in the DSA immediately

• All amendments must be brought to the general meeting and must be passed at the general meeting

Article 9: Executive term of office

• The term for all newly elected executive and non-executive positions will commence on the second Monday of the upcoming month of May, and terminate on the first Monday of May the following year

• Any executive positions filled through another application process will begin their terms on a date determined by the senior executive, but no later than two weeks after due notice of accredited position, and their term shall terminate on the following first Monday of May

• Any non-executive positions filled through a by-election will begin their terms on a date determined by the senior executive, but no later than two weeks after due notice of accredited position, and their term shall terminate on the following first Monday of May

• If any executive wishes to terminate their term of office, they must provide at least two weeks of notice

Article 10: Amendments to the Constitution

• Amendments to the constitution require approval by two thirds majority of voting members present at a general meeting

• Appropriate notice and reason must be given

Article 11: Handling of food on campus

• The Association will conform to Provincial and Municipal Health

Regulations when events held at the University of Toronto at Scarborough Campus include the sale and/or service of food items

Article 12: Volunteer Opportunities and Mentorship

• GCSA recognizes the importance of mentorship and at the discretion of the executive committee, we will all students to volunteer as student leaders and mentors for students that would like to take an active role in the organization

Article 13: Transition

• All outgoing executives are required to transfer all organizational resources used relative to a particular role over the course of the preceding year to new executives upon leaving the position.

• All outgoing executives are responsible for providing a detailed report to incoming executives that stipulates the status of ongoing projects in their portfolio and evaluations of previous projects and programs that they lead.

• All outgoing and incoming executives will participate in a joint training session occurring no later than the end of May each year to assist with the transition between new executive teams.

Article 14: Emergency Powers

• In the case of extenuating circumstances, the executive shall be afforded the ability to act without direction from the organizations members.

•An extenuating circumstance is defined as nay instance that may jeopardize the immediate functioning of the organization including but not limited to : executive vacancies, unexpected cancellations, removal from position, or lack of response from members

• Emergency powers may only be used for such a period of time as is needed to address an extenuating circumstance.

• General members have the ability to remove emergency powers where appropriated through submission of a signed petition from at least 10% of the entire general membership.

Article 15: Precedence of University Policies

• The Geography and City Studies Student Association will abide by all pertinent University of Toronto policies, procedures, and guidelines. Where the University’s policies, procedures, and guidelines conflict with those of GCSA the University’s policies, procedures, and guidelines will take precedent.

Article 16: Legal Liability

• The University of Toronto does not endorse the Geography and City Studies Student Association’s beliefs or philosophy nor does it assume legal liability for the group’s activities on or off campus.

Article 17: Banking of the Constitutionals Template

• The Geography and City Studies Student Association agrees to provide the name of the bank, the branch number and address, transit number, bank account number, and a list of all signing officers for all bank accounts opened in the organization’s name to the Department of Student Life, University of Toronto Scarborough.

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