Constitution

Preamble: Whereas the University of Chicago, through its appointed Deans, has declared that each Division or School in the University must form an organization in order to implement certain programs requested by the University, and Whereas the duly appointed representatives of the Students of the Division of the Humanities have met and discussed the manner in which said organization will implement the policies aforementioned,

It is hereby resolved that:

1: The name of the organization will be the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council (HDGSC).
1.1 The purpose of the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council will be:
1.1.1 To represent the graduate students in the Division of the Humanities.
1.1.2 To allocate funds provided by the Student Activity Fee.
1.1.3 To foster intradepartmental, as well as interdepartmental and divisional, activities.

2: The structure of the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council will be as follows:
2.1 Each Department or Committee in the Division of the Humanities will designate one representative to the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council. Each department may also choose to designate a second representative to serve as an alternate, although only one representative from each department may participate in any given vote.

2.2 The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) will designate two representatives: one current student representative and one representative who graduated in the previous Spring Quarter and is currently working as a MAPH Mentor.

2.3 These representatives collectively form the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council.

2.4 The Humanities Division Graduate Student Council will name officers (ideally current or former members of the Council) whose duties are described below.

3: The duties of the Officer of President will be as follows:
3.1 The President will call the quarterly meeting of the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council before the completion of the third week of every quarter and a final meeting of the academic year in May.

3.2 The President will preside over the aforementioned meetings of the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council.

3.3 The President will solicit a representative to sit in on quarterly Student Government meetings.

3.4 The President will take minutes of the Council’s meetings and distribute them to all representatives.

3.5 The President will be in charge of the administration of Council-approved funding (both for intra-/interdepartmental events, and for divisional events funded by the Council).

4: A member of the Council will be elected Vice-President and will serve as a backup for the President. The Vice-President will also serve as aid and counsel for both the President and the representatives to the Council, and will chair the Budget Review Committee Meetings.

5: In the event that the President is unable to fulfill his or her obligations to the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council, he or she will inform the Council so that the Vice-President may assume leadership of said organization.

6: The Council may organize other committees as it deems useful.
6.1 The Budget Review Committee (BRC) will be comprised of representatives – on a volunteer basis – whose duties are:
6.1.1 To review intra-/interdepartmental budget requests prior to the quarterly meeting and to make recommendations to the Council at that quarterly meeting.
6.1.2 To set deadlines for the submission of budget requests for both intra-/interdepartmental events as well as for divisional events.
6.1.3 To set deadlines for the submission of quarter-end budget reports.   

6.2 The Divisional Event Funding Committee (DEFC) receives its authority from the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council and will be comprised of at least four members—the President and/or Vice-President plus two or more HDGSC representatives (on a volunteer basis)—whose duties are:
6.2.1 To review divisional event budget requests prior to the end of the third week of every quarter.
6.2.2 To determine which divisional events are approved for HDGSC funding.
6.2.3 To provide a quarterly report to the rest of the Council and to all divisional event funding applicants indicating the results of their meeting.

7: The Council does not dictate that there be a quorum in order for Council meetings to occur. Rather, it is agreed that a minimum of four representatives, in addition to the President, be present in order to approve or reject any requests for funding. As indicated above, divisional event budget requests will be evaluated by the Divisional Event Funding Committee (DEFC); decisions reached by the DEFC need not be voted upon at HDGSC meetings.

8: The Council shall allocate funding for intra-/interdepartmental events as follows:
8.1 Any student or group of students registered in the Division of the Humanities may request funding for an activity thought to be of appeal to other students in the Division. HDGSC distinguishes between 1) intra-/interdepartmental events, such as departmental or joint social events, and 2) divisional events such as wellness events or events dedicated to participation in a particular hobby. §8 and §9 apply only to the first of these types of events; the procedures for requesting and receiving funds for divisional events are described in §10 below.

8.2 In the event that a budget request form is submitted after the established deadline, the following rules will be followed:
8.2.1 There will be a half hour grace period after the deadline to submit the request.
8.2.2 For each hour that passes after this initial grace period, the budget request will be reduced by 1/24 of the initial total amount allocated by the Budget Review Committee.
8.2.3 The penalty will be adduced only after the representative’s budget request is passed by the Budget Review Committee.
8.2.4 In the event that a representative is unable to complete the request due to hospitalization, family medical emergency, or funeral, the penalty will be waived so long as a budget request is submitted before the start of the mandatory quarterly meeting and is passed by the Budget Review Committee.

8.3 A majority vote of the Council will constitute approval of a request.

8.4 The President will be responsible for notifying the student who submitted a budget request form of the results of their request if said student is not a representative on the Council.

8.5 No group will be denied funding for an activity because of race, creed, religion, political or sexual orientation or any other protected class of the group’s membership or expected participants.

8.6 Monies from this fund will not be disbursed on a per capita departmental or committee basis.

8.7 All activities funded by the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council must be primarily for graduate students.

8.8 Monies from this fund will not be used for honoraria or travel expenses other than those affiliated with transportation to and from events outside of Hyde Park.

8.9 No activity will be funded in whole or part which violates any University, State, or Federal regulation. It is the sole responsibility of the student(s) who submit the funding request forms to understand and abide by these regulations.

8.10 No activity will be funded solely by the Council which should rightly receive funding from another entity in the University.

8.11 Attendance by a representative at the quarterly meetings is mandatory in order for that representative’s department to receive funding for that quarter. If a department or committee is not represented at a quarterly meeting, that department or committee will not receive funding for that quarter.

8.12 Attendance at the final meeting of the academic year, at which officer elections for the following year are conducted and amendments may be voted upon (as at any other Council meeting), is mandatory. The final meeting of the academic year will take place in May. If a department or committee is not represented at the final meeting of the academic year, that department or committee will not receive funding for the Autumn Quarter of the coming academic year.

8.13 No University approved workshop will be funded in whole or part by the Council.

8.14 Departments are allowed a maximum of $700/quarter for off-campus events, which for the purposes of HDGSC activity are any events taking place outside of Hyde Park.

8.15 No department will receive more than 1/12 of the total budget available for allocation in any quarter. The amount available for allocation will be decided upon by the Budget Review Committee in consultation with the Dean of Students’ Office.

8.16 Departments are allowed a maximum of $200/quarter for graduate student conferences.

9: The Council shall establish the following procedures for receiving money and accountability for intra-/interdepartmental events:
9.1 Once approval for funding has been granted, the Humanities Division will internally designate the amount of funds available to each Department. It is the responsibility of Council representatives to maintain, monitor, and track their accounts and to establish reimbursement and payment procedures in cooperation with an authorized signatory in the Dean of Students’ Office, or with the representative’s department or committee. Requests for reimbursement are to be made within the Dean of Students’ Office within 15 days of the event. It is also the responsibility of each representative to submit an accurate and timely quarter-end report of all spending for that quarter.

9.2 There is a $100 maximum allowance per department or committee for expenditures for events taking place before funds are allocated at the regularly scheduled quarterly meeting. Any expenditure made under this rule will be reported at the quarterly meeting and considered as part of the quarterly budget request.

9.3 Any expenditure that exceeds the amounts approved and allocated by the Council may be refused for reimbursement by the Dean of Students’ Office. These reimbursements likewise may not be considered the responsibility of the Council, but of the representative of the department in question. Amounts approved for individual events may be exceeded by as much as 15% of the department’s total approved budget, so long as the department’s overall spending for the quarter does not exceed the allocated amount. In the event of such redistribution, it is the responsibility of the Representatives to calculate the net effect on the overall budget. Any redistribution greater than 15% may be subtracted from the department’s allocation for the following quarter.

9.4 No later than the last day of the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, each representative will submit, via email, to the President of the Council an accurate quarter-end report of funds allocated, spent, and remaining. If any quarter-end report is not received by the deadline set by the President of the Council and the Budget Review Committee, that department’s budget request for the following quarter will not be considered.

9.5 Funding does not carry over from quarter to quarter. Any allocated but unspent money at the end of a quarter returns to the general fund to be reallocated the following quarter.

9.6 Failure to adhere to these regulations may result in the Council’s denial of funding requests.

9.7 In the event that any deadline or attendance requirement is not met, the representative may petition the Council for an extension or an exception.

9.8 In any given quarter, representatives are allowed to reschedule up to two given events already approved by the Council, provided that the new dates are within the same quarter. Representatives will not have to give reasons for the change. Requests for change of date will be submitted to the Council President no later than the end of the business day (5:00 pm) of the date on which the event was originally scheduled (in the case that events will be rescheduled to an earlier date, however, requests should be made no later than the new date). Representatives must also notify the Dean of Students’ Office that the date for an event has been changed when requesting reimbursement for that event.

10: The Council shall establish the following procedures for requesting and receiving funding for divisional events:
10.1 Any student or group of students registered in the Division of the Humanities may request funding for an activity thought to be of appeal to other students in the Division. HDGSC distinguishes between 1) intra-/interdepartmental events, such as departmental or joint social events, and 2) divisional events such as wellness events or events dedicated to participation in a particular hobby. Events of this second type are expected to be of interest to students across the Division, and not just to students in one or several Departments. The procedures for requesting and receiving funds for divisional events are described below.

10.2 Funding request forms for divisional events may be submitted for events scheduled to take place in the same quarter as the request is made, or in the quarter immediately following. Requests will only be considered for events scheduled to take place during the Autumn, Winter, or Spring Quarters.

10.3 Funding request forms must be sent via email to the President of the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council by the deadline indicated on the HDGSC website. No late submissions will be considered.

10.4 Funding request forms will be reviewed by the Divisional Event Funding Committee (DEFC) no later than 5 pm on the Friday during the week in which the forms are due. The DEFC will notify all applicants of the status of their requests no later than 5 pm the following Monday.

10.5 No group will be denied funding for an activity because of race, creed, religion, political or sexual orientation or any other protected class of the group’s membership or expected participants.

10.6 All activities funded by the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council must be primarily for graduate students.

10.7 Monies from this fund may not be used for conferences, honoraria, travel expenses, events which require ticket purchases, cash prizes, or gift cards.

10.8 Monies from this fund will not be used for off-campus events, which for the purposes of HDGSC activity are any events taking place outside of Hyde Park.

10.9 No activity will be funded in whole or part which violates any University, State, or Federal regulation. It is the sole responsibility of the student(s) who submit the funding request forms to understand and abide by these regulations.

10.10 No activity will be funded solely by the Council which should rightly receive funding from another entity in the University. This includes events sponsored by a University-approved workshop.

10.11 Once funding for a particular event has been approved, the funds allocated for the event will be available within the Office of the Humanities. It is the sole responsibility of the author(s) of the request to maintain, monitor, and track their use of said funds and to establish reimbursement and payment procedures in cooperation with an authorized signatory in the Dean of Students’ Office. Requests for reimbursement are to be made within the Dean of Students’ Office within 15 days of the event.

10.12 Funds may only be used as indicated on the funding request form; any funds remaining after the event will be returned to the general fund. Any expenditure that exceeds the amounts approved and allocated by the Council may be refused for reimbursement by the Dean of Students’ Office. Furthermore, these expenditures may not be considered the responsibility of the Council, but of the student(s) who requested the use of Council funds.

10.13 In the case that an approved event must be rescheduled, the author(s) of the funding request form must notify the Council President via email no later than one week before the date on which the event was originally scheduled to take place (if the new date for the event is later than the date originally indicated). Likewise, if the new date for the event is earlier than the date previously indicated, the author(s) of the funding request form must notify the Council President no later than one week before the new date on which the event is to take place. Students must also notify the Dean of Students’ Office that an event has been rescheduled when requesting reimbursement for that event.

10.14 No later than the last day of the quarter in which the event takes place, the author(s) of the funding request form will submit, via email, to the President of the Council an accurate report of all funds allocated, spent, and remaining. Failure to do so will disqualify the student(s) from receiving HDGSC funding in the future.

10.15 Funding is available on an annual basis, and the amount available in any given quarter is therefore subject to change. Any unspent money (including money allocated and subsequently unspent) at the end of the academic year may be returned to the general fund to be reallocated the following year, or may be used to sponsor divisional events planned by the HDGSC.

11: This constitution may be amended at any time by a majority vote of the representatives of the Council.

Amended on May 10, 2005.

Frances L. Spaltro, President
John P. Boyle, Vice President
Amended on Sept 14, 2010.

Donald Fette, President
Alex Lee, Vice President
Amended on September 3, 2011 (§8.2).

Antje Postema, President
Al Peters, Vice President
Amended on October 6, 2015 (§9.7)
Amended on May 11, 2016 (§9.8)

Leon Wash, President
Maeve Hooper, Vice President
Amended on October 3, 2017 (§8.14)
Amended on April 3, 2018 (§9.3)

Jon Bullock, President
Charles Wilson, Vice President
Amended on January 15, 2019 (§9.3)
Amended on April 9, 2019 (§9.8)
Amended on May 21, 2019 (§2.3, §8.12)
Amended on October 8, 2019 (§2.1, §3.5, §6-10) 

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