HGSA Constitution

Ratified December 2014

We, the graduate students of the History Department of Purdue University, do hereby recognize in this Constitution the organizing principles of our representative body, the History Graduate Student Association (HGSA). In doing so, we also formally acknowledge the existence and procedures of the HGSA, which has in fact been active since March 1998.



The Organization shall hereby be referred to as the History Graduate Student Association. The accepted acronym for the organization shall be HGSA.


ARTICLE II—Purpose of the Organization

The HGSA shall act as a multi-purpose organization, serving the professional development and social need of its membership to the best of its ability.


ARTICLE III—Definition of Membership

  1. A.    Membership

All full- and part-time graduate students enrolled in the Department of History and the American Studies-History Program at Purdue University are members of the HGSA.


This organization complies with all State and Federal laws and Purdue University Hazing Policy (See University Regulations). Further, the members of this organization understand that any individual or group found responsible for hazing will be subject to disciplinary action by the Office of the Dean of Students.


Membership and participation are free from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran.


ARTICLE IV—Organization Officers and Election Procedures

  1. A.    Leadership:

An elected executive committee, comprised of a President, Vice President, Treasurer/Secretary, five At Large Representatives, and a First-Year Representative, with one vote each, leads the HGSA. If available, past HGSA Presidents may also serve as ex-officio members of the committee.

  1. B.    Eligibility for Office

    1. a.     The President, Vice President, and Treasurer/Secretary

Must be enrolled in the Ph.D. program during the duration of their appointment.

  1. b.     The At-Large Representatives

May be any graduate students with an official affiliation with the department of history by admission or assignment of teaching or research responsibility.

  1. c.      The First-Year Student Representative

Shall be elected every fall from the cohort of new incoming graduate students. The First-Year Representative may be an incoming first-year Masters student or a first-year Ph.D. student coming from any institution.

  1. d.     Master’s Students completing the second year of their Master's degree and continuing on in the Ph.D. program at Purdue University may nominate themselves for any eligible position in the HGSA, if all other qualifications are met.

  2. C.    Tenure in Office

Each term of office is for one year, but there are no term limits for officers of the HGSA.

  1. D.    Election Procedure

    1. a.     Timing

      The HGSA shall hold annual elections of new officers in the last week of each April. The exact date shall be determined by the executive committee.

    2. b.     Administration

      Prior to the election, each candidate shall submit an electronic or written request to appear on the ballot. The Treasurer/Secretary shall also distribute ballots, and tally and publish the results of the election.

                                                    i.     In the event of a tied election, a run-off shall be held to determine the outcome. If the run-off results in a tie, the executive committee shall hold a tie-breaking vote. In case of multiple tied elections, run-offs shall be held one at a time beginning with the highest ranking office.

                                                  ii.     If an elected officer is unable to carry out his/her term, a special election shall be held to determine a new office-holder. The date of the special election shall be determined by the executive committee.

  1. E.    Appointment Procedures

Nominations for all appointed officers will be collected one week before any appointment begins. After all names are collected, the executive committee will review the candidates and select a nominee by simple majority vote. The nominee must accept the position, orally or written, before he or she assumes office.

  1. F.     Officer Removal

Any member may call for the removal of an officer by submitting a written request to the President (if the President is the officer in question, the request is to be submitted to the advisor). The President (or advisor) will send a warning letter discussing the matter to the officer in question. If a second request for removal is made, the officer in question will be given the opportunity to verbally argue their case at a meeting with the officers and advisor, after which a simple majority vote (minus the officer in question) is needed to remove the officer.

  1. G.   Officer Vacancy

In the event of an elected position vacancy, members of the HGSA will nominate a new officer by simple majority vote to fulfill the duties of the previous officer.


  1. A.    Advisor Clause

This organization will select and secure and advisor from the active faculty or staff of Purdue University and will register their name with the Dean of Students annually. The advisors will be informed of all meetings and activities of the organization and may call a special meeting of the organizations to discuss concerns for the ongoing nature of the organization.

  1. B.    Selection

The executive committee will appoint a faculty advisor via simple majority vote.

  1. C.    Term Limit

There are no term limits for advisors.

  1. D.    Advisor Vacancy

In the case of a vacancy, the executive committee will call an emergency meeting and select a replacement advisor via simple majority vote. The selected faculty member must formally accept the appointment verbally or in writing prior to appointment.

ARTICLE VI—Officers and Duties

  1. A.    The President

Shall set the agenda for and preside over HGSA meetings, and shall serve as primary liaison between the HGSA and the departmental administration, in particular the Graduate Committee.

  1. B.    The Vice President

Shall assist the President with duties and assume the duties of the President in case of an absence.

  1. C.    The Treasurer/ Secretary

Shall be responsible for the BoilerLink financial account, including keeping accounts, depositing the organization’s funds, and making expenditures in a manner approved by the Business Office for Student Organizations. Shall make a record of HGSA meetings and distribute the pertinent information to departmental graduate students.

  1. D.    The At-Large Representatives

Shall represent the whole history graduate community and serve to facilitate the work of the organization.

  1. E.    The First-Year Representative

Shall represent the concerns of students enrolled in their first-year of graduate study at Purdue University.

  1. F.     Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG) Senator

The executive committee may appoint a senator and proxy senator to serve as the HGSA representative on the Purdue Graduate Student Government or any other successor organization. The proxy must be a member of the HGSA and be approved by a simple majority vote of the executive committee. The senator or proxy senator shall submit verbal reports to the executive committee as requested by the president of the HGSA. 

  1. G.   All Officers

Shall attend any training   required by the Student Activities Office (SAO).


  1. A.    Meetings

    Meetings of the HGSA are open to all active History and American Studies-History graduate students. The executive committee shall set the meeting schedule. The presence of two-thirds of elected officers shall comprise a quorum.


ARTICLE VIII—Constitutional Amendments

  1. A.    Any member of the HGSA may propose an amendment to the executive committee for consideration in writing.

  2. B.    The Amendment shall be voted on at the next scheduled HGSA executive committee or within two weeks via referendum

  3. C.    Emendation

    This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the HGSA executive committee or by a two-thirds majority of a HGSA general referendum.


All Amendments to the constitution and bylaws are subject to the approval of the Office of the Dean of Students

ARTICLE IX—Ratification

This Constitution shall be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the acting HGSA executive committee (as of December 2014).

Previous HGSA Constitution

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