Student Government Constitution
- Article One: Name and Purpose
- Article Two: Membership
- Article Three: Election
- Article Four: Meetings
- Article Five: Responsibilities of Members
- Article Six: Duties
- Article Seven: Impeachment, Recall, and Dismissal
- Article Eight: Vacancies
- Article Nine: Amendments
- Article Ten: Ratification
- Bylaws: Election Protocol
- Bylaws: Funding Policy
- Bylaws: Appendix A – Duties and Responsibilities of Officers
- Bylaws: Appendix B – Standing Committees
- Bylaws: Appendix C – GUSoM Traditions
- Supplemental Information: Student Government Officer Position Details
We, the members of the Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSoM) Student Government, shall serve as representation of the student body to each other and to the faculty and administration of GUSoM. We shall seek to represent the concerns of the GUSoM student body while striving to foster a strong academic and extracurricular community. We shall be governed according to the precepts stated in this Constitution while abiding by the Student Handbook as well as University policies and fiscal procedures.
Article One: Name and Purpose
This organization shall be known as the Georgetown University School of Medicine Student Government.
The Student Government shall serve as the primary executive agency of the student body. The purpose of the Student Government shall be:
- To serve as the official representative of the GUSoM student body to the School’s administration and faculty with regard to all matters pertaining to the GUSoM.
- To promote community among students, faculty, and the administration.
- To promote student awareness of issues and policies pertinent to the School of Medicine.
- To consider and act upon matters of concern brought to its attention by individual students, one or more classes, or the student body at large.
- To seek out and retain funds it deems necessary and useful to carry out its purposes.
- To manage and distribute Student Government funds in a manner that contributes to the education, awareness, and involvement of all students at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
- To serve as a means by which effective communication is achieved among students.
- To aid student organizations in applying for recognition and funding according to the Funding Policy Bylaws.
- To make the student body aware of teaching awards, and determine nominations and/or recipients as outlined by the specific awards.
Article Two: Membership
The Student Government will be composed of five components: an Executive Council and four Class Councils, each representing an academic year (MS-I, MS-II, MS-III, and MS-IV).
The Executive Council will be composed of seven Officers who are all voting members to the Student Government: one President, one Vice-President, one Treasurer, one Class Representative from each of the four Class Councils, a Secretary, and a Diversity Representative. The Executive Council may appoint ad hoc subcommittees as needed by majority vote of its members. The Executive Council is responsible for budget allocation to as well as policy oversight of the Clubs & Organizations officially recognized by this Student Government.
Each Class Council will be composed of elected and appointed members. The elected members are one President, one Vice-President, one Secretary, one Treasurer, one Class Representative, two Student Faculty Liaisons (SFL), and Student Medical Education Committee (SMEC) members determined by academic year (four SMEC members from each individual class for a total of 16 SMEC members). The appointed members include Historian, Social Committee, and members of standing committees, which include Beautification Committee and Professionalism Committee. Only the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Class Representative will be voting members for the respective class and to the Student Government from each class. The number of appointed class officers will ultimately be determined at the discretion of the voting elected class officers (i.e., President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Class Representative).
All members must be full-time students at the GUSoM in good academic standing.
Terms of office shall commence at the close of the last Student Government meeting of the academic year and will continue through the following academic year until the last Student Government meeting of that academic year. Officers in both the Executive Council and Class Councils are expected to maintain transition documents and train their successors prior to the transition of term.
Clubs & Organizations shall be officially recognized by the GUSoM Student Government, and subsequently fall under the purview of the Executive Council for policy oversight and funding allocation. In order to be an officially recognized Club or Organization (herein “student group”), a member of the GUSoM student body must propose a student group to the whole Student Government. The group will submit a written Mission Statement, a list of students to fill officer roles (President and Treasurer, at least), and a proposal for events during the first year. If officially recognized by majority vote of the Student Government, a student group shall undergo a probationary year in which no budget will be allocated; however, funding may be provided by the Executive Council as needed. A student group must abide by the ideologies, policies, and the mission of Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Officially recognized student groups are protected by this Constitution, which affords the group the following: funding from the Student Government; protection by and representation from the Executive Council; oversight from the Executive Council; publicity by and from the Executive Council; and the ability to organize student events as a group using School of Medicine space.
The Bylaws of this Constitution shall address specific services offered by the Executive Council as well as requirements for remaining a student group. Student groups must be reviewed on an annual basis, and shall be closed if failing to meet the designated requirements as described in the Bylaws. Closed Clubs & Organizations must undergo the process described herein to once again become officially recognized as a new student group.
Article Three: Election
Election period for the MS-II, MS-III, MS-IV Class Councils and Executive Council shall occur prior to the conclusion of the academic year, supervised by an Election Chair and his/her Committee (if warranted) as appointed by the Executive Council.
Election period for the MS-I Class Council shall occur within one month of the start of the academic year, and will be supervised by an Election Chair and his/her Committee (if warranted) as appointed by the Executive Council.
For all Student Government elections to be valid the following criteria must be met:
- At least fifty percent (50%) of the eligible student electorate must vote. “Eligible” is defined as those currently enrolled in GUSoM who are not in their final medical year and are only able to vote for members of their respective classes.
- The polls must remain open for a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours.
- In the event that there is less than fifty percent (50%) of eligible students voting when the polls are scheduled to close, the polls will remain open until fifty percent (50%) has been obtained.
- Eligible voters must be notified at least two (2) times during an election period of their ability to vote, once when the polls open and again prior to their close.
If an election is deemed ineligible, it will be rerun as soon as possible without any additional candidates and without the option for candidates to change positions.
MS-II, MS-III, MS-IV, and Executive Council Candidates must submit a 300-word or less written statement declaring their intentions, along with a photo, to the Election Committee at a time of the Committee’s discretion. Elections will begin at the discretion of the Election Chair and his/her Committee (if warranted) prior to the last Student Government meeting of the academic year.
MS-I Candidates must submit a 300-word or less written statement declaring their intentions, along with a photo, to the Election Committee at a time of the Committee’s discretion. Elections will begin at the discretion of the Election Chair and his/her Committee (if warranted) within the first month of the new academic year.
Each student may run for a maximum of one elected position per Council per year. In the event that there are no candidates for a required elected Council role, after the deadline for declaring candidacy has passed, any candidate for any other elected Council position shall have the option to switch candidacy to a vacant Council position prior to the opening of the voting and they will subsequently submit a new platform. Such switching of candidacy constitutes a withdrawal of candidacy for the original declared position. After the close of voting, any council position which remains vacant shall be advertised by the Elections Committee and shall be filled by appointment. Appointment to a vacancy on a Class Council shall be made preferably by the newly elected voting members of the Council on which the vacancy exists, or less preferably by the newly elected Executive Council. Appointment to a vacancy on Executive Council shall be made by the newly elected Executive Council. Non-winning candidates in the election may seek appointment to vacancies, but will not have any priority over other potential appointees.
Article Four: Meetings
The Executive Council President shall call a meeting of the Student Government on the first Tuesday of the month following the conclusion of general elections unless other circumstances preclude this from happening, at which point the Executive Council will reschedule it with a preference for the following Tuesday.
The Student Government shall hold regularly scheduled meetings conducted according to the rules established by the Government in a public room of adequate size and accessibility at a publicized time. The meetings shall be open to all members of the GUSoM community. Any member of the Executive Council may call the Student Government to order.
Before the conclusion of the second meeting, the individual components of the Student Government must accomplish the following:
- Appoint members to the various committees;
- Conduct a thorough examination of the Constitution and Bylaws by all the Government members;
- Discuss and determine the Government’s goals for the year.
Class Council meetings shall be held regularly during the academic year, at least monthly in addition to the Student Government Meeting. The meetings shall be scheduled by the Class President at least three (3) days in advance when there is a voting matter on the agenda.
All Student Government meetings shall be open to all students, faculty, and administration of GUSoM.
- Student Government meetings shall be run by the Executive Council President or an appropriate surrogate of his/her choosing
- Minutes of the Student Government meetings shall be recorded in a permanent manner by a member of the Executive Council. Class Council meetings shall be recorded in a permanent manner by the Class Secretary. Copies of the minutes shall be made available online in a timely fashion.
- Students wishing to address the Student Government or Executive Council shall notify the Executive Council President. Student wishing to address a Class Council, shall notify the Class President prior to the meetings.
Article Five: Responsibilities of Members
The Student Government President (concomitantly, Executive Council President), or appointed appropriate surrogate, shall meet at least once a semester with the Dean of the Medical School.
At least one Class Council member shall be present at the monthly Student Government meetings. All members of the Executive Council shall make every effort to attend the monthly meetings, attending virtually if unable to attend in person. It is the responsibility of each Class President or appointed surrogate Class Council member (not including the Class Representative) to inform and update the rest of Student Government at this meeting.
The Student Government shall coordinate the efforts of the students to periodically re-evaluate the School’s curriculum and policies and present those ideas and opinions in an appropriate manner.
Each of the members of the Student Government shall be required to fulfill the duties relevant to the Student Government assigned to them by this document or by the Executive Council President and/or Class Council Presidents. The Executive Council President is responsible for ensuring each Class Council President fulfills his or her duties adequately, as delineated herein or in the Bylaws of the Student Government.
Article Six: Duties
Student Government members shall derive their duties solely from their positions on the Student Government as defined in this Constitution, or from the Bylaws of the Student Government as indicated by this Constitution. Ad hoc committee members shall derive their powers from the President appointing the ad hoc committee.
Monthly meetings are opened to the entire GUSoM student body; however, only voting members of the Student Government shall vote on issues presented to them.
The Executive Council shall have the power to conduct the election or appointment of student representatives to official GUSoM committees. (See Bylaws)
The Student Government shall have the power to approve or disapprove, by a two-thirds vote, appointments to and dismissals from standing and ad hoc committees.
The Executive Council reserves the right to veto any decision made by Standing Committees and student groups.
Article Seven: Impeachment, Recall and Dismissal
Members of the Student Government who fail to abide by this Constitution, who fail to fulfill their responsibilities, or who have excessive absences (two absences without valid reasons – as determined by the Executive Council or Class President – or a total of four absences per year) or who are more than 15 minutes late to two meetings per semester without prior notification are subject to dismissal from Student Government.
Any Student Council member who begins an action of impeachment against another member must submit in writing the reasons for the proposed impeachment to the Student Government. Either the President or the Vice-President of the respective Executive or Class Council must notify the member in question of the situation prior to the next meeting.
The member in question shall have the option of appearing before the Student Government at its next meeting. The member making the impeachment charge must also be present and be prepared to present his or her reasons for proposing impeachment. The accused member shall be given the right to present arguments in his or her own defense.
After having heard both sides to the Executive Council’s satisfaction (a majority vote of those Executive Council members in attendance is needed to end debate), the Executive Council shall determine its course of action, which is to be enacted by majority decision of the Executive Council. The decision may be challenged before the Student Government in whole, and overturned by two-thirds vote of all voting members of the Student Government.
The Executive Council can choose to remove the member from any positions related to the Student Government, censure the member from running for Student Government positions in the future, dismiss the member from his/her duties, or any consequence as deemed appropriate by the Executive Council. If challenged and overturned by two-thirds vote of the Student Government (Section Four), the alternative measure(s) proposed by the Student Government shall be enacted.
In the event that the Executive Council determines that the charges of impeachment against the member are unjustified, the charges shall be dismissed.
Should any charge be levied against the Student Government President, Vice-President, or Treasurer, the standing Professionalism and Ethics Committee shall operate in the function of the Executive Council described herein Article Seven of the Constitution. A Class Representative under impeachment shall immediately be removed from the Executive Council until resolution. The Executive Council will otherwise operate in its function delineated herein.
Any member of the GUSoM student body, within two weeks of the posting of election results, may initiate a recall by collecting thirty (30) percent of the eligible electorate on a petition requesting the recall of the member(s). Another election will then be established to re-elect the position in question (yes/no referendum).
Article Eight: Vacancies
Vacancy of the term of office of President shall be filled by the Vice President.
Vacancies during the term of office of any other Council position shall be filled at the earliest time possible via special election, organized and run according to the election guidelines in Article III of this Constitution.
Any member of Student Government wishing to step down from his/her position must provide notice to the President or Vice-President at least 10 days in advance. The President or Vice-President to whom this notice has been corresponded may request explanation.
Article Nine: Amendments
Any student of the GUSoM student body may propose an amendment to this Constitution or Bylaws. All proposed amendments to this Constitution, in order to be considered, must be submitted in writing to the President of the Executive Council. He/She reserves the right to appoint an ad hoc committee to facilitate reviewing and presentation of the new amendments to the Student Government.
All proposed amendments to this Constitution, in order to take effect, must be passed by a two-thirds vote of the voting members of the Student Government. Voting members of student government include all elected members, including Executive Council, Class Council members, SMEC members, and SFLs from all four classes. If members chose not to vote, then the total vote count on the amendment will determine whether or not it passes, with two-thirds of the votes cast in the affirmative to pass an amendment.
If a proposed amendment does not receive three-fourths vote of the Student Government, the amendment will be reconsidered through petition and endorsement by fifty (50) students of the GUSoM student body. The proposed amendment can then be passed by a simple majority vote of the Student Government.
If the proposed amendment does not receive simple majority vote of the Student Government after petition, the proposed amendment may be passed as a referendum.
Appendix A – Duties and Responsibilities of Officers – will be updated each year by the respective Student Government members, and require the approval of the Executive or Class Council Presidents.
Bylaws pertaining to (A.) student groups, (B.) student group events, (C.) University-sponsored events shall be reviewed and updated annually by voting members of the Executive Council. Changes shall be made by majority vote of the Executive Council.
Article Ten: Ratification
This Constitution, in order to take effect, must be ratified by a three-fourths vote of the Student Government. This Constitution shall also be approved by the Dean of the School of Medicine and any Administrative Subcommittee as he/she deems appropriate.
This document currently stands ratified. It was last ratified February 2, 2016, by the voting members of the GUSoM Student Government.