By-Laws of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Students Association
Amended April 6, 2006; Effective May 1, 2006.
Ratified October 25, 2004; Effective November 1, 2004.
Article I. Duties of Officers
Section I-1. President
The President shall call and preside at meetings of the Association.
The President shall oversee the operations and activities of
the Association and all committees. The conduct of meetings shall be
the responsibility of the presiding officer. The President
may appoint assistants with the approval of the Executive Committee,
in the form of legislation passed at a General Body Meeting,
and may designate a member of the Association to serve as Parliamentarian.
Section I-2. Vice President
The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President
in the President's absence and coordinate the information flow to and from
Section I-3. Secretary
The Secretary shall be responsible for recording, posting, and filing of
minutes of all Association meetings, notification to all
Members and the general public of all meetings of the Association,
maintaining the files of the Association, and
liaising with the communications media.
Section I-4. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall receive, disburse, and account for all funds of the
Association and its activities, present a written report
of finances at least once per semester, coordinate all budget and financial
decisions, and prepare the budget for the next fiscal
year to be voted upon by the Executive Committee.
Article II. Committees
Section II-1. Committee Structure
The Association may establish Committees (or boards) to pursue specific
goals of the Association. Those Committees provided for in the By-laws
shall be referred to as Standing Committees. Other
committees may be formed by passing legislation at a
General Body Meeting; these shall be referred to as Ad Hoc
Committees. All Ad Hoc Committees shall terminate when the
term of the Officers under which they were created expires.
The membership of Committees shall consist of Committee Chairs (the
number of which shall be determined by those voting in the elections
for the Committee Chairs), volunteers from the EECS
Graduate Student Body and ex officio members as specified by
the Committee guidelines or appointed by the Association.
Any Member of the EECS GSA may inquire into the proceedings of any
Committee and the Association may pass legislation at a General Body
Meeting to suspend or unsuspend a Committee. A Committee's chairpersons
shall call and preside over all meetings and shall enlist members at
Section II-2. Committee Procedures
Committees established by the EECS Graduate Students Association must
operate under the GSA Constitution and By-laws.
Committees shall report on their activities to the Association on a
regular basis, inform the Executive Committee of current developments,
maintain pertinent documentation, and handle the responsibilities of
distributing publicity or otherwise communicating with
the EECS Graduate Student Body. Committees may also form subcommittees,
as well as adopt their own official operating
guidelines or amendments thereof. For Standing Committees, this shall
require amendments to the By-laws. Ad Hoc Committees
may do so through the passing of legislation at a General Body Meeting,
unless their mandate specifies otherwise.
Section II-3. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall have general supervision
of the affairs of the EECS GSA, have overall coordination of nominations,
finances, and budgets not delegated to other
committees, prepare an agenda for each General Body Meeting, and may deal
with all matters pertinent to the Association.
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers, Chairs of Standing
Committees and other persons appointed (and
removable) by the Association through the passing of legislation.
The Executive Committee shall convene at the call of the President, or at
the request of two of its members.
Section II-4. Social Committee
The Social Committee is a Standing Committee whose responsibility is to
foster and promote events and activities that enhance the social
environment for members of the EECS Graduate Student Body.
Section II-5. Academic, Research and Careers Committee
The Academic, Research and Careers Committee (or simply "Academic
Committee" for short) is a Standing Committee
responsible for examining issues students may have regarding the academic
or research structure of the department. It should also promote seminars,
career development activities, and related topics.
Section II-6. Orientation Committee
The Orientation Committee is a Standing Committee that shall
organize and oversee the orientation of new
EECS graduate students, as well as the open houses and visit days for
prospective EECS graduate students.
Section II-7. Publicity Committee
The Publicity Committee is a Standing Committee responsible for
advertising GSA events to the
EECS Graduate Student Body. The Publicity Committee shall coordinate
this responsibility with the Secretary.
Section II-8. Athletics Committee
The Athletics Committee is a Standing Committee responsible for organizing
teams of EECS graduate students to play in MIT's intramural sports leagues.
Students can also use the mailing list to find buddies to play pick-up games.
Section II-9. Advocacy Committee
The Advocacy Committee is a Standing Committee responsible for
incorporating issues pertinent to underrepresented groups in the
department, such as, but not limited to, women, ethnic minorities,
international students, and LGBT, into events already planned by
the GSA and coordinating events solely geared at addressing these
Article III. General Voting Procedures
All elections for offices of the Association shall be done by the Instant
Runoff Voting procedure defined as follows.
Section III-1. Uncompetitive Elections: No More Candidates than
For an election in which the number of available positions is greater
than or equal to the number of candidates, the
following procedure shall be used. A vote shall be taken independently
for each candidate to determine if that candidate
should be elected to the given position, or if the position should be
left vacant. A simple majority of those voting shall be required to
elect the candidate.
Section III-2. Single-Winner Elections with Multiple Candidates
For an election with multiple candidates and only one winner, the
following procedure shall be used. Voters are to list
the candidates in order of preference and the first-choice votes for each
candidate shall be counted. If no one receives an (absolute) majority of
first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest first place votes shall
be eliminated. Each vote for the eliminated candidate shall then be
transferred to the candidate, among those candidates not yet eliminated,
listed next in the voter's preferences. If a voter's ballot does not list
any such candidates, the ballot shall be considered an absention for the
remainder of the voting process. This process of dropping the candidate
with the fewest votes and transferring ballots to the next choice candidate
shall continue until a candidate receives a majority of the non-abstained
votes. If there are ever ties between multiple candidates for fewest
number of votes at any time during this process, and if it is mathematically
impossible for the method by which the ties are broken to affect the
outcome of the election, then all the candidates with the fewest votes
shall be dropped. If, on the other hand,
a method of breaking the ties is required to determine the outcome of the
election, those ties shall be
broken according to the following ranked criteria for each such candidate:
If there are still ties, then the Officers shall decide how to break them.
- The number of top-choice votes the candidate received
on the first round, then second round, then third round, and so on.
- The average of the candidate's rankings at each round so far.
- The average of the candidate's rankings among surviving candidates
on each of the ballots of
the other candidates still in the race. If the candidate does not
appear on a ballot, then the candidate's ranking for that ballot
shall be considered to be the the candidate's (tied) rank for this round.
Section III-3. Competitive Multiple-Winner Elections with Multiple
For an election in which the number of candidates exceeds the number of
available positions, and there is more than one position available, the
following procedure shall be used. Define the threshold to be the smallest
integer greater than
(and not equal to) the real number obtained by dividing the total number of
non-abstained votes by (N+1), where N is
the number of available positions. Voters are to list the candidates in
order of preference and the first-choice votes for
each candidate shall be counted. Any candidate who obtains the threshold number
of votes shall be declared elected and
all ballots with first-choice votes for the candidate beyond this threshold
shall be set aside. If there are any remaining
available positions, the election proceeds to Process A.
Process A: The vote from any voter whose ballot was set aside in the
shall now be redistributed to the candidate, among those candidates not yet
eliminated, listed next in the voter's preferences. If a voter's ballot
does not list any
such candidates, the ballot shall be considered an abstention for the remainder
of the voting process. The threshold
shall now be recalculated based on the number of remaining positions available
and the number of non-abstained
votes that have not gone towards a candidate that has already been elected.
If any candidate now meets or exceeds
the threshold, he or she is declared elected, and, if any available positions
remain, Process A is repeated until
no one has more than the threshold number of ballots.
If any available position remain, the election proceeds to Process B.
Process B: The candidate with the fewest votes shall be eliminated.
Each vote for the
eliminated candidate shall then be transferred to the candidate, among those
candidates not yet eliminated, listed next in the voter's preferences. If
a voter's ballot does not list any such candidates, the ballot shall be
considered an abstention for the remainder of the voting process. This
process of dropping the candidate with the fewest votes and transferring
ballots to the next choice candidate shall continue until a candidate meets
or exceeds the threshold. The election now proceeds to Process A again and
the cycle continues until all slots are filled. If there are ever ties
between multiple candidates for fewest
number of votes at any time during this process, those ties shall be
handled in the same manner as in Section III-2.
Article IV. Election Details
Section IV-1. Election of Officers
- All Members of the Association are eligible to run for any GSA Officer
position, except as specified in Sections IV-1 and IV-3
of the Constitution.
- The outgoing set of Officers shall set the date, time and location of
the elections for new Officers at least 30 days prior to the election.
This date must be in between March 1 and April 15, inclusive, and cannot
be held on a day on which MIT does not hold classes.
The Secretary shall announce the date, time and location of the elections
to Members at least 21 days prior to the elections.
- Candidates must secure a nomination in order to participate in an
election for an Officer position. Nominations shall be declared open
beginning at 21 days prior to the elections.
A nomination consists of written messages to the
Executive Committee signed by at least two Members of the Association,
where all such signatures do not include the nominee.
- Candidates must formally accept a nomination, either orally at a General
Body Meeting or in writing, in order to verify their desire to run for an
Officer position. As soon as possible after a candidate accepts his or
her nomination, the Secretary shall be responsible for providing all
relevant information about the candidate on the Website.
- Nominations for all Officer positions shall close 24 hours prior to the
elections unless fewer than three nominations have been accepted for an
position by that time, in which case nominations for that position shall
remain open until the election. At this point, a nomination shall
consist of a motion by any Member, including the nominee himself or
herself, which is seconded by another Member. Such nominations shall
require the consent of the nominee to be considered valid.
- Nominees who cannot be present at the election shall, by a written
statement sent to the Officers, appoint someone to act on their behalf
at the election.
- Members who cannot be present at the election and want to vote shall,
by a written statement sent to the Officers, either appoint someone to
vote on their behalf at the election or state their voting preferences.
- A quorum of ten Members shall be required to proceed with the elections.
If the qualifications for a General Body Meeting is also met, then the
election shall also be considered as and may act as a General
Absent Members who followed the procedures of the previous item
shall be counted as part of this group.
If quorum is not reached within 30 minutes after the published starting
time of the elections, a new election date, time and location shall be
decided by the Officers and announced within 48 hours. The new election
date must be in April. Additional nominations
may be made subject to the rules above. If quorum is not reached at the
second election date, then the outgoing set of Officers shall appoint
the incoming set of Officers.
- If the President does not participate in the election, he or she shall
preside over the election. If the President participates
in an Officer election, he or she shall appoint someone to preside.
- Elections shall proceed in the following order: President, Vice
President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Any unsuccessful
candidate may run for one of the remaining positions without any further
nomination procedure. In the event that no one is nominated for a
position, the position shall remain vacant.
- Elections shall begin with each of the current Officers explaining the
duties of his or her office. This shall be followed
by speeches from each of the candidates of no more than five minutes
each. The attendees of the election shall have the chance to ask
questions of the candidates.
- The candidates will be asked to leave the room and the attendees of the
election shall discuss the candidates. Once a
motion to close discussion is seconded, voting will take place.
- After Officer elections there shall be a transition period in which the
Officers-elect will be instructed in the responsibilities of their
office. The terms of office of the outgoing Officers shall expire at
noon Eastern Daylight Time on May 1 of each year
at which point the Officers-elect shall officially take office.
Section IV-2. Election of Committee Chairs
- All Members of the Association are eligible to run for any Committee
Chairpersonship, except as specified in Section IV-3
of the Constitution, and the last clause of this Section.
- The Officers shall elect the Committee Chairs. The Officers must
at the time of election state the term of office of each Committee
Chair, which may not end after the term of office of the current
Officers. The Officers shall decide at the election the number of
Chairs a Committee shall have.
If a Committee has more than one Chair, those Chairs shall
share the same term of office.
- If the term of office of the Chair or Chairs of a Committee
exceeds six months, the
Committee Chairs must secure the approval of a General Body Meeting
through legislation within those six months in order to serve the
entire term. If the Committee Chairs fail to secure such approval,
their term of office shall expire at the end of those six months.
If a Committee has more than one Chair, those Chairs shall be considered
for approval as a single group. Any Chairs who fail to secure such
approval cannot hold that position for the six months after the end
of the term for which approval was not given.
- The Chairs of a Committee may, by unanimous approval, decide to expand
the number of Chairs of that Committee and appoint additional
Members to those positions for the current term of office;
this shall require the approval of a majority of the Officers.
If the remainder of the term of office exceeds six months,
the Committee Chairs (both new and old) of
that Committee must secure the approval of a General Body Meeting
through legislation within those six months in order to serve the
remainder of the term.
If the Committee Chairs fail to secure such
approval, their term of office shall expire at the end of those
Those Chairs shall be considered for approval as a single group.
Any Chairs who fail to secure such
approval cannot hold that position for the six months after the end
of the term for which approval was not given.
Article V. Vacancies
Section V-1. The Creation of a Vacancy
If a Member holding a position in the GSA ceases to be Member by failing
the eligibility requirements of Article III of the Constitution or by
giving up membership in writing to the Executive Committee,
allows his or her term of office to expire without a successor-elect in place,
is removed from office in accordance with Section VI-5 of the Constitution,
or resigns the position in writing to the Executive Committee,
the position shall be considered vacant immediately.
Section V-2. Presidential Vacancy
If the Office of President becomes vacant before the election for the
next President, the Vice President
shall immediately become Acting President for the rest of the term of office
and the Office of Vice President shall become vacant. If the Office of Vice
President is also vacant when the Office of President becomes vacant before the
election for the next President, the regulations
specified in the next Section shall apply.
If the Office of President becomes vacant after the election
for the next President, the President-Elect shall become the Acting President
for the rest of the term of office
and vacate any GSA position he or she holds at the time.
Section V-3. Officer Vacancies Other Than the Presidency
If any Officer position other than the Presidency becomes vacant, or
if the Office of Vice President is also vacant when Office of President
becomes vacant before the election for the next President,
the Executive Committee may appoint someone to serve in that position in
an Acting role. Upon confirmation at the next General Body Meeting
the Acting Officer shall take office as an Officer for the rest of the
term of office. If the Acting Officer fails to secure confirmation
at the next General Body Meeting, the office immediately becomes vacant again
and the Executive Committee may re-appoint someone to serve as an
Acting Officer. Anyone who serves in a position in an Acting role
may be not appointed more than one consecutive time in that Acting role.
Section V-4. Vacancies in Committee Chair Positions
If the Chairpersonship of any Committee with only one Chair becomes vacant,
or if all the Chairpersonships of any Committee with multiple Chairs become
then the the Officers shall elect a new Chair or Chairs for that Committee in
accordance with Section IV-2. If a strict subset of Chairpersonships of any
Committee with at least two Chairs becomes vacant, the remaining Chairs of
that Committee may elect Members to fill those vacancies for the remainder of
the term of office subject to the approval of a majority of the Officers.
If the remainder of the term of office exceeds six months, the approval
process stated in Section IV-2 Clause 4.