Our organization's official policies and governing principles are listed below. This version of the Constitution was ratified on January 22, 2022.
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be College of Education Graduate Student Organization (COE-GSO).
Article II: Purpose and Scope
Section 2.1. The purpose of College of Education Graduate Student Organization (COE-GSO) is to represent the broad interests of graduate students in the College of Education at the University of Alabama.
Section 2.2. In the pursuit of this general purpose, the College of Education Graduate Student Organization will:
Represent graduate students in the College of Education to faculty, staff, and administrators
Support and engage graduate students as they pursue coursework, research, and scholarly work
Host social events to foster collaboration and a sense of community among graduate students
Conduct professional development programs to help graduate students grow professionally and to prepare students for future careers
Foster professionalism and provide an opportunity for graduate students to network with faculty and staff in the College of Education and the University of Alabama as a whole
Serve the University of Alabama community by means of service and professional activities.
Section 2.3. The College of Education Graduate Student Organization is dedicated to promoting a diverse, collegial environment that encourages inclusivity. Graduate student life is strengthened and enriched by the diversity of our population, which includes students, faculty, and staff. To that end, COE-GSO is actively committed to social justice and engaging issues of race, class, ability status, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, sexuality, and gender to support an equitable learning and working environment that values human dignity and quality of opportunity. To uphold our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, all members of COE-GSO will strive to:
Foster a culture of inclusion in which diversity can thrive for all members within the COE-GSO community.
Evaluate and address the ways in which social, cultural, and economic inequalities impact the graduate student experience
Plan and execute educational and informative programs and activities intended to increase students’ awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and skills around diversity.
Serve as an organized body of student advocates committed to supporting the development of equitable and fair policies and procedures.
Work with the COE’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion on issues of common concern.
Be a resource for other student organizations when working with and recruiting students from various social identities and backgrounds.
Article III: Relationship
The College of Education Graduate Student Organization is unaffiliated with any local, state, or national organization or entity. Although this organization has members who are students at The University of Alabama and may have University employees associated with or engaged in its operations, the University does not direct, supervise, or control the organization and is not responsible and cannot be held liable for the organization’s contracts, acts, or omissions.
Article IV: Membership
Section 4.1. All current graduate students in the College of Education are automatically granted General Membership of College of Education Graduate Student Organization. To become an Active Member and to maintain active membership, a General Member must attend two COE-GSO-sponsored events per academic semester (Fall or Spring). Active Members are eligible to receive any benefits of active membership listed in Section 4.2.1 beginning as soon as active member status is obtained. If there are no meetings or no events during the semester, there shall be no restriction on active member status, and all current members will be eligible for the benefits of active membership.
Section 4.2. Active membership in College of Education Graduate Student Organization shall be limited to students who are currently enrolled at The University of Alabama’s College of Education and who hold the status of “graduate student” by the University Registrar.
Section 4.2.1. The benefits of active membership include but are not limited to:
Consideration for travel funding
Consideration for event funding
Nomination to a position on the Executive Committee
Increased networking opportunities among fellow graduate students and faculty
Voting on official organization business
Other benefits that may become available but are not explicitly indicated here
Section 4.3. Membership in registered student organizations shall be open to all students of The University of Alabama, without regard to race, religion, sex, ability status, national origin, color, age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual identity, or veteran status except in cases of designated fraternal organizations exempted by federal law from Title IX regulations concerning discrimination on the basis of sex.
Article V: Organizational Leadership
Section 5.0. The officers of College of Education Graduate Student Organization shall be the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. These officers shall comprise the Executive Committee. All executive officers must be current University of Alabama graduate students in the College of Education. Other officers may be added during the term after if deemed necessary by the President and the Executive Committee. The Board of Representatives (BOR) shall exist to serve as representation for each department within the College of Education offering a graduate program. There shall be at least one representative each from:
Curriculum and Instruction
Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies
Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling
Special Education and Multiple Abilities
Section 5.0.1. Individual departments may decide to appoint one representative from each graduate program within each department listed above; however, this will be at the discretion of individual departments as the organization grows and expands in the future.
All duties outlined below are the minimum requirements. Officers may partake in other responsibilities if needed. This list will be amended as needed.
Section 5.0.2. The President shall:
lead all meetings of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
serve as the primary point of contact between College of Education Graduate Student Organization and The University of Alabama;
assist the other officers with the completion of their responsibilities;
ensure that the actions of College of Education Graduate Student Organization remain consistent with the vision and purpose of the organization.
Section 5.0.3. The Vice-President shall:
plan and execute all social activities of College of Education Graduate Student Organization Student Organization;
organize all advocacy initiatives of the Association of Graduate Students in the Department of ESPRMC;
schedule and supervise community outreach/service opportunities;
oversee the social media accounts of College of Education Graduate Student Organization and/or designate a social media representative.
Section 5.0.4. The Secretary shall:
keep minutes of all meetings of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
record attendance at all meetings and events of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
maintain the list of active members of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
archive all official documents of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
record any committee assignments College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
maintain the organization’s calendar
monitor the email account for general inquiries
Section 5.0.5. The Treasurer shall:
attend finance meetings and trainings held by the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC);
collect, record, and deposit any funds allocated to or collected by the recorded attendance at all meetings of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
report on the financial status of the group at business meetings;
plan and organize any fund-raising activities or events;
balance and maintain the organization’s budget;
communicate with College of Education administration regarding finances
Section 5.0.6. Members of the Board of Representatives shall:
attend all Board Meetings
attend all General Meetings
attend COE-GSO-sponsored events
help in the selection of applicants for travel and event funding
relay information from COE-GSO to students in the representative's home program
help plan and administer events
help recruit new members and retain current members
Section 5.0.7. The terms of all officers of College of Education Graduate Student Organization shall be one year; however, officers may serve multiple (consecutive) terms.
Section 5.0.8. At least one advisor shall be appointed or confirmed at the beginning of each academic year by the Executive Officers. The advisor(s) must be a full-time faculty, staff, or a full-time employee of The University of Alabama.
Section 5.0.9. The Advisor shall:
advise College of Education Graduate Student Organization to ensure compliance with UA policies and procedures; attend meetings (as requested by the Executive Committee or active members in advance) of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
resolve internal disputes between members of College of Education Graduate Student Organization;
serve as a resource for professional development and guidance.
Article VI: Elections
Section 6.1. College of Education Graduate Student Organization will hold officer elections annually during The University of Alabama’s spring semester. This meeting shall be open to all active members of College of Education Graduate Student Organization. At this meeting, the only business that may be considered is the election of Executive Committee members for the next academic year. The primary advisor may or may not be present at the election meeting.
Section 6.2. The President of College of Education Graduate Student Organization will open the election meeting by seeking nominations for each office in the following order:
Section 6.3. Any active member of College of Education Graduate Student Organization may nominate any active member of the organization, including themselves, to any Executive Board office. The nominee must be a current graduate student in the College of Education who will have held the status of graduate student for at least one academic year at the start of the term. All nominations must be accepted by the nominee. An individual can only accept a nomination for one executive officer position at a time.
Section 6.4. The Board of Representatives will be filled by nominations from individual academic departments in the College of Education no later than the first Monday in April of the current election year. Departments must nominate a current graduate student in the program they seek to represent. All nominations must be accepted by the nominee.
Section 6.5. After accepting nominations for each office, the President will close nominations. In the event that only one individual accepts nomination to an executive officer position, that individual will assume the position for the next academic year. In the event that two or more individuals accept nomination for an executive officer position, the position will be put to a vote.
Section 6.6. Voting shall occur by secret ballot, distributed to each active member of College of Education Graduate Student Organization present at the meeting. Each active member may cast one and only one vote. Proxy voting is not allowed.
Section 6.7. A simple majority vote is required to elect Executive Officers. In the event that a winner cannot be determined because two or more individuals receive the same number of votes, any individual who received less than those individuals will be removed from the list of potential candidates and a new vote will be conducted until such time as one candidate receives a simple majority.
Section 6.8. The new Executive Officers shall be immediately installed following the selection of each office. Outgoing Executive Officers are expected to assist the new officer-elect in learning about their new role and the duties and responsibilities associated with it.
Article VII: Committees
Section 7.1. The Executive Committee shall include the officers of College of Education Graduate Student Organization.They shall supervise affairs of the organization between its business meetings, make recommendations to the organization, andperform other duties as specified in this Constitution.
Section 7.2. Other committees, standing or special, shall be appointed by the President of College of Education Graduate Student Organization or the Executive Committee as deemed necessary to carry on the work of the organization.
Article VIII: Vacancies and Removal of Executive Officers
Section 8.1. If, for any reason, an Officer steps down or is removed from the position, the vacancy shall be filled by electing a replacement officer at the next meeting of the organization by following the applicable sections of Article VI above.
Section 8.2. In the event that the President steps down or is removed from office, the Vice President will automatically assume the role of President. At which time the organization will proceed to fill the vacancy in the role of Vice President.
Section 8.3. Any Officer may be removed from their position before the expiration of their normal terms for failure to satisfactorily perform the duties of office, for repeated absences from meetings, or for conduct that is improper to their office.
Section 8.4. A motion to remove an Officer may be made at any scheduled meeting of College of Education Graduate Student Organization; however, a vote shall not be taken until the next scheduled meeting. In order to remove an Officer, the motion must receive an affirmative three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of those active members in attendance at the meeting.
Section 8.5. A motion to remove an Advisor may be made at any scheduled meeting of College of Education Graduate Student Organization and a vote taken at that time. In order to remove the Advisor, the motion must also contain a nomination for a replacement Advisor. In order to pass, the motion must receive an affirmative vote from a simple majority (50% +1) of the active members present at the meeting, and the replacement advisor must accept the nomination to serve as Advisor.
Article IX: Meetings
Section 9.1. At least one “general meeting” of College of Education Graduate Student Organization shall be held per semester during the University of Alabama’s fall and spring semesters. Proper notice must be provided before all general meetings.
Section 9.2. At least one “event” of College of Education Graduate Student Organization shall be held per month during the University of Alabama’s fall and spring semesters. Events of College of Education Graduate Student Organization should be announced and marketed in such a way as to reasonably inform the general membership of the organization of the event.
Section 9.3. College of Education Graduate Student Organization will hold a separate “election meeting” during The University of Alabama’s spring semester. This meeting shall be open to all members of College of Education Graduate Student Organization. At this meeting, the only business that may be considered is the election of Executive Board Members for the next academic year. In the event that an election meeting is not or cannot be held during the University of Alabama’s spring semester, the election of new Executive Board Members must take place at the next business meeting of College of Education Graduate Student Organization.
Section 9.5. Notice of each meeting shall be provided at least seven (7) days before the scheduled date of the meeting. Notice shall be given by email to members of College of Education Graduate Student Organization. Notice must include the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as an indication of any official business that will be considered and/or put to a vote at that meeting. Business items that do not appear in the meeting notice may be discussed but not considered or put to a vote at that meeting.
Article X: Finances
The Association of Education Graduate Students will be funded with an annual commitment of monies from the Dean’s Office, to be determined by the sitting dean with no rollover privileges. The Association of Education Graduate Student will also be free to conduct its own fund raising.
Article XI: Constitutional Amendments
This constitution may be amended at any meeting of College of Education Graduate Student Organization by a two-thirds majority vote of the active members present at the meeting, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.
Article XII: Rules of Order
Section 12.1. The rules contained within the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern this organization during meetings requiring the discussion of and voting on official business, to the discretion and better judgment of the Executive Officers, unless they are found to be inconsistent with the constitution of the organization.
Section 12.2. Words and phrases shall be read in context and construed according to the rules of grammar and common usage. Words and phrases that have acquired a technical or particular meaning shall be construed accordingly.
Section 12.3. If any section or portion of this document is ambiguous in terms of scope, application, or intent, then any such ambiguity will be presented to the Executive Committee for College of Education Graduate Student Organization, who will recommend an interpretation. Such interpretation will be binding until such time as the constitution can be amended to clarify the ambiguity, or overturned by the Office of Student Involvement.
Section 12.4. In the event that an issue, dispute, or situation arises that is not contemplated by the provisions of this document, the matter will be presented to the Advisor of Association of Education Graduate Students, who will recommend a solution, resolution, or course of action. Such recommendation will be binding until such time as the constitution can be amended to provide guidance, or overturned by the Office of Student Involvement.
Section 12.5. If the majority of the Executive Board disagrees with the interpretation of the advisor, as contemplated in Section 3 of this Article, or the recommendation of the advisor, as contemplated in Section 4 of this Article, then the matter can be presented to the Office of Student Involvement for consideration and final determination. The determination of the Office of Student Involvement shall be binding until such time as the constitution is amended.