The Botany and Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association (BPP GSA)
The GSA is comprised of all graduate students in the department. In past years, it has been a strong and positive force in developing a close working relationship among students and faculty. The GSA sponsors several social activities throughout the year, including an active orientation program for new students. The GSA also has representatives who are able to participate in departmental committees. Funding for GSA-sponsored activities is from profits made from coffee room proceeds, merchandise sales, and private donations.
“By-Laws” of the Botany and Plant Pathology Graduate Students Association. Ratified June 2019.
The name of this organization shall be the Botany and Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association (BPP GSA).
The purpose of this organization shall be to:
- Represent graduate student opinion in an organized fashion at the department, college, school, or university level,
- Assist the faculty in departmental matters,
- Provide graduate student representation for university-wide student organizations when needed,
- Select graduate student representatives for departmental, college, school, or university committees as needed,
- Provide assistance to and orientation for new graduate students and their families,
- Promote social activities for the students, staff, and faculty of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology,
- Assist in promoting participation in intramural and intradepartmental sports and recreation activities,
- Promote the presentation of student research at professional meetings by appropriately providing travel grants to graduate students,
- Participate in other affairs as deemed appropriate by the members.
All graduate students in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology who are registered for a minimum of 3 credit hours, shall be voting members of the GSA.
Full membership shall be extended to specifically include those students who are working in laboratories in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, and whose major professors have their primary appointment in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, but who are obtaining degrees in other interdisciplinary programs. [Passed 8 November 1990 by unanimous decision, revised April 2017] Undergraduate majors and post-doctoral students in Botany and Plant Pathology, and students in other departments who are working in laboratories in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and whose professors have their primary appointment in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, may participate as non-voting members. [Passed 29 April 1993]
IV. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Amended 12 April 2017: Elected officers of the Executive Committee shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, the Webmaster, and the Outreach Chair. The President, Vice-President, and Treasurer shall be authorized signers on GSA accounts.
The duties of the President shall be to:
- Moderate meetings of the Association,
- Serve as the chair of the Executive Committee,
- Call special meetings in concurrence with the other members of the Executive Committee.
The duties of the Vice President shall be to:
- The Vice President shall become the President should a vacancy occur during the term of office,
- Perform the duties of the President in their absence,
- Assist the President in the performance of their duties,
- Notify members and the department of social activities put on by the GSA [Amended April 2017],
- Document GSA activities through photography or videography and send to the Webmaster to put on the GSA website [Amended April 2017].
The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:
- Deposit funds and write checks on GSA accounts as needed by the GSA,
- Maintain records of GSA financial transactions, manage the yearly budget, and report a budget summary to the GSA during each regular meeting,
- If not applying for an award, chair the Travel Grant Selection Committee. [Passed 29 April 1993; Amended 12 April 2017],
- Manage the merchandise inventory and sales [Amended April 2017].
The duties of the Webmaster shall be to:
- Record the minutes of each meeting,
- Publish the agenda of each meeting in advance,
- Handle any correspondence or other communication related to GSA business,
- Maintain and update GSA and BUDS Websites [Amended 12 April 2017].
Amended 12 April 2017: The duties of the Outreach and Professional Development Chair shall be to:
- Act as a liaison between GSA members and the university and surrounding community outreach opportunities,
- Keep the designated outreach activities in proper functional condition, in a place known to all outreach participants,
- Recruit GSA members for said outreach opportunities,
- Maintain GSA branded poster tubes for professional development,
- Find outreach and professional development opportunities appropriate for GSA members and disseminate information about said opportunities in a timely manner.
Amended 12 April 2017: Change of Officers – Immediately after the Spring Term, the OSU Foundation and the Oregon State Credit Union shall be notified of the new Executive Officers, who shall become the new authorized signers on all accounts. The old officers will relinquish these responsibilities and pass on documentation and expectations to new officers.
- Amended 12 April 2017: Elections of the officers shall be held at an Association meeting during the Spring Term of each school year. Newly elected officers shall assume their duties in the following Term at which they are elected and continue through to the following Spring Term.
- Special elections will be held at the earliest possible opportunity to fill vacancies or unexpired terms of the other Executive committee members
- Recall of any Executive Committee officer may be requested by a majority vote at any official meeting. If the motion for a recall vote passes, the agenda shall be postponed and the meeting adjourned. A subsequent official meeting for such a vote shall be held within a period of not less than seven nor more than fourteen days after the motion for a recall vote was passed. A 2/3 vote at this meeting is required for the removal of the officer.
- At least one regular meeting shall be held each term (Fall, Winter, Spring), and a meeting shall be held during the Summer Term if enough students are able to attend.
- Special meetings for discussion, urgent business, or elections may be held at any time.
- All meetings shall be scheduled and agenda items prepared by the Executive Committee. The agenda shall include any items requested by any member. Notice of the meetings and proposed agenda will be published or posted at least four school days prior to such meetings.
- Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be loosely interpreted and used as a parliamentary guide for meetings. Exceptions shall be made as indicated within these by-laws.
- A majority shall be interpreted as a simple majority of voting members present at a given meeting or vote.
Standing committees and ad hoc committees shall be established by the Executive Committee and/or the GSA membership. The Executive Committee shall appoint committee chairmen by majority vote, except where the committee has been established and the chair selected by a majority vote at an Association meeting.
VIII. FACULTY ADVISER
A faculty adviser may be selected each year at the Spring election to act as an Association adviser and as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.
The bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Association members present at an official meeting. The agenda shall include any amendments to be considered at that meeting.
[Amended 12 June 2019]: Proceedings involving proposals, amendments, and revisions to the by-laws shall be archived and publicly available.
X. HALSE-KENTULA TRAVEL AWARD
[Amended 31 May 2018] The Halse-Kentula Travel Award was endowed in 1977 following a donation from Richard Halse and Mary Kentula to support graduate student travel.
- Amended 12 April 2017: The GSA has funds available to assist graduate students in presenting their research at professional meetings, conferences, [Amended 12 June 2019] training, workshops, and other professional development activities that may be evaluated by the Travel Grant Committee. The source of funds for travel grants are fundraisers (merchandise sales, the graduate student silent auction), and other sources. Funds are deposited in the GSA general account at the Oregon State Credit Union. All awards from the GSA General Account are matched by at least one award from the Endowment housed at the OSU Foundation as funds allow. The endowment is managed by the OSU Foundation and was opened by the GSA in 1977.
- Contributions to the Halse Kentula Travel Award (OSU Foundation spendable account) will be accepted from any source and will become part of the general fund unless the funds are designated for an individual(s), these monies will not be considered as part of the general fund. Any individual receiving specifically designated travel funds will be ineligible to receive general fund grant monies, except as modified by Selection Criterion #6 (see below). In all cases of specially designated travel funds, the student receiving those funds shall notify the Treasurer to ensure that these monies are not spent as part of the general fund.
- Amended 12 April 2017: Travel Grant Financing – A financial report will be made by the Treasurer to the GSA annually (no later than 31 January). At this time, the GSA will decide how much money, if any (over a minimum operating cost of $500), will be transferred from the general account at the Oregon State Credit Union to the OSU Foundation endowment account. The OSU Foundation endowment gains on average $82.00 per quarter (estimated April 2017). On the basis of the financial status of the OSU Foundation spendable account and the general account at the Oregon State Credit Union, the Executive Committee (with the approval of the GSA) will decide annually the amount of money available for travel grants, and the number of granting periods this money will be available.
- Amended 12 April 2017: The evaluation of Halse-Kentula Travel Award applications shall be performed by a Travel Grant Committee. This committee shall consist of an Executive Committee-appointed non-interest group of four voting members of the GSA. The Treasurer will serve as Committee chair and organize the members of the committee unless they have a travel grant application pending. Members of the Travel Grant Committee should be from a variety of scientific disciplines. If the Treasurer is unable to be the Chairperson of the committee, one member of the committee shall be appointed Chairperson of the Committee. The Treasurer or Chairperson shall be responsible for distributing application forms, receiving completed applications, and for convening committee meetings. The committee will meet to evaluate pending applications immediately after the application deadline. The committee shall decide how travel grants will be allocated from the funds available to the GSA. [Amended 12 June 2019]: Maximum grants will be $200. If two or more persons qualify equally for travel grant money, the money shall be divided equally between those persons.
Applications should be evaluated using the following criteria:
- The person must be a voting member of the Botany and Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association [passed 29 April 1993].
- The person will present a paper or display at a professional meeting.
- The person closest (in years) to graduation will have priority over a student with other opportunities to present a paper.
- Master’s candidates may receive only one GSA travel grant per degree. Doctoral candidates may receive up to two GSA travel grants per degree.
- Meetings out of this region shall have priority over regional meetings for which University cars are normally made available.
- Any person receiving monies from other sources shall receive from the GSA no amount in excess of the difference between the estimated travel expense and the total monies from sources other than personal funds.
- The following are expenses for which the Halse-Kentula Travel Award is available:
- Airfare, carfare, and other directly related travel expenses.
- Hotel or other necessary accommodations.
- Registration fees and other related costs associated with a conference or meeting.
- [Amended 12 June 2019]: Awards should be used within one calendar year from when they were awarded. If changes arise for the use of funds (e.g. if the funds are to be used for a conference or professional development event that was not included on the grant application of the awardee), the awardee should appeal the change via a letter to the Travel Grant Committee. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and should be within the scope of the award’s intended use. No more than one Halse-Kentula Award may be used by the same person for a single professional meeting, conference, or professional development activity.
XI. [Amended 12 June 2019] GSA INVITED SEMINAR
In the event that the GSA is given support to host a visiting scholar, the GSA will hold a nomination and select said speaker by a simple majority.
[Amended 12 June 2019] In accordance with the Botany and Plant Pathology Diversity Statement, the GSA encourages the nomination and invitation of scholars from underrepresented and minority groups.
XII. [Amended 12 June 2019] UNDERGRADUATE SHOWCASE OF BIOLOGICAL AND ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH (USBER)
In collaboration with the Botany Club, the BPP GSA may organize this yearly event during the Spring term via the appointed committee. This event is designed to provide undergraduate students with a platform to practice their communication skills by presenting their research or lab experiences in a friendly, low-stress environment. This also provides an opportunity for GSA members to provide feedback and mentor undergraduate researchers. This event is hosted by the GSA and open to the public.
XIII. [Amended 12 June 2019] MANAGING THE YEARLY BUDGET
The start of each GSA fiscal year is July 1. A yearly GSA Ledger will be created from a copy of the previous year. The GSA Ledger has budget items, the budgeted amount, and the funding source for different categories. The Executive Committee has discretion over how the yearly budget is managed and altered in order to fit each year’s situation. All transactions will be tracked by the Treasurer and archived for the GSA after each fiscal year. A minimum operating cost of $500 shall be maintained in the GSA General checking account.
As of September 2018, the BPP department gave the GSA its own index number for GSA expenses including but not limited to GSA social gatherings, recruitment expenses, outreach, invited seminar speakers, and fundraising. The starting budget for this account is $5,000. This money is not guaranteed and subject to change. Specifically, any amounts of money not used may be deducted from the next year’s budget. The GSA index number cannot be used for unapproved items/supplies.
Towards the end of each fiscal year, the Treasurer should meet with the department to confirm the transaction history for the GSA index number.
Changes in Procedure – Any changes in the operating procedure as here stated must be performed under the process of amendment provided in Section IX of the GSA by-laws.