American Studies Graduate Student Organization

Constitution of the American Studies Graduate Student Organization

The goal of the American Studies Graduate Student Organization is the active promotion of social interaction and professional development among graduate students in the American Studies Program at the College of William and Mary.  The Organization is also committed to maintaining student representation to program and school administrative bodies.  The Organization strives to promote a healthy diversity among our students and in our curriculum, and to reflect that diversity in its activities and leadership.

  1. This organization will be known as the American Studies Graduate Student Organization [ASGSO].
  2. ASGSO's purpose is the unification of the American Studies graduate student body and the creation of a more effective learning, professionalizing, and socializing environment.
  3. Membership in ASGSO is open to those enrolled in the graduate program in American Studies at the College of William and Mary.
  4. Officers:
The ASGSO president
  1. serves as the official representative of the American Studies graduate student group for all official bodies and organizations both inside and outside the college.
  2. is responsible for coordinating with other officers the scheduling of periodic meetings as necessary (at least one per month) and ensuring that a secretary is responsible for posting an agenda for these meetings
  3. is responsible for creating this agenda, as well as soliciting agenda items from members and presiding over the meetings.
  4. is responsible for maintaining the ASGSO listserv and serving as the "list owner."
  5. along with the Vice-President, represents ASGSO on the Executive Committee and is required to attend all Executive Committee meetings.
  6. maintains open communication with the Director of Graduate Studies.
The ASGSO Vice-President
  1. assumes all of the duties of the President in the absence of the President.
  2. attends all ASGSO meetings and assists the President in presiding over the meetings and presenting information to ASGSO members.
  3. with the President, represents ASGSO to the Executive Committee.
  4. acts as a resource for ASGSO members with regards to program and graduate student issues and areas of concern.
The ASGSO Treasurer
  1. manages and maintains funds, giving advice and guidance on financial matters. This requires a knowledge of Departmental and College policies regarding student activities and spending.
  2. collects and deposits soda funds into the ASGSO account and reimburses the Soda Jerk.
  3. collects funds at events where admission is charged and collects funds for incidental expenditures approved on an individual basis by ASGSO.
  4. handles financial relations with the Graduate Student Association.
  5. administers ASGSO's student activities budget, which consists of a yearly preparation of a budget to be outlined in a meeting of the officers, as well as a defense of the budget to the Finance Committee. (The submission deadline and defense are usually in early February.)
  6. is required to attend all ASGSO meetings and make a complete financial report of any new business.
The ASGSO Social Chair
  1. coordinates social events and organizes the standing social committee.
  2. works with the president on advertising, and works with the treasurer on reimbursement for those events.
Student Representative to the Graduate Student Association
  1. is responsible for attending all meetings of the Graduate Student Association.
  2. serves as a liaison between the American Studies program and the GSA.
  3. is responsible for reporting what transpires at all GSA meetings at the following ASGSO meeting, as well as reporting program concerns to the GSA.


  5. Elections:


ASGSO officer elections will be held in the semester prior to the academic year, or as deemed necessary by the untimely vacancy of a position, in which case proper notification of the election will be posted. Individuals are either nominated or nominate themselves for a particular office and are then placed on a ballot, which is placed in each graduate students campus mailbox and emailed or mailed to all off-campus students enrolled in the program. If an officer is unable to fulfill his/her duties, a special election will be called and will follow the same process described above.


Each term lasts an academic year. If one officer fails to meet the required duties and obligations, he/she may be asked to resign the position. In order to ask an officer to resign, seventy-five percent of all ASGSO students must vote to do so (either by email or in person) at a special meeting. Within a reasonable amount of time, the position will be filled by the individual occupying the next position, Vice-President takes place of President, Treasurer takes place of Vice-President, Representative takes place of Treasurer. ASGSO will then choose a new representative to the GSA.

Should a replacement not wish to fill the position, a special election will be held, following the procedure in part V, section A.


  6. Standing Committees:

A Social Committee, a Library Committee, and a Technology Committee will exist as long as there is a felt need.  New committees will be formed on a need basis; see VII.

  1. The Social Committee is responsible for planning social events and coordinating public relations with other graduate departments, the College, and the community.
  2. The Library Committee is responsible for the regulation and improvement of the ASGSO library.
  3. The Technology Committee is responsible for the monitoring maintenance and advocating the upgrading of American Studies computer facilities.


  7. Ad-hoc Committees:

Formed on a need basis and comprised of volunteers. Each committee is responsible for a timely response to the respective problem or concern and reporting progress at each meeting or as new developments occur. Committees can solicit help from any member of ASGSO at any time.


  8. Meetings:

 Held monthly and announcements are placed on the listserv, in individual mailboxes, and posted in obvious spots about the College Apartments.


  9. Amendments to this Constitution:

Need to be announced at one of two specific ASGSO meetings, the second ASGSO meeting in the Fall Semester or the second ASGSO meeting in the Spring Semester. Voting for an amendment will then take place at the subsequent ASGSO meeting and ratification of the amendment will require at least fifty percent of the eligible ASGSO body. Amendments are to be reported to the Student Activities office immediately.


  10. Ratification of this Constitution:

Requires written approval from two-thirds of all American Studies graduate students to the President. Email is acceptable.

[This Constitution was ratified May 1997]