Article I – Name
The official title of the association shall be the “ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE GRADUATE ASSOCIATION”. The short form “ECSGA” shall be used throughout this document.
Article II – Definitions
The following terms are defined:
- Faculty – The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science of Concordia University.
- Council – The ECSGA Council.
- Bill 32 – Bill 32 of the National Assembly of Quebec: An Act respecting the accreditation and financing of students’ associations (1983, Chapter 33).
Article III – Purpose
- Represent the collective interests and promote the general welfare of the graduate students in the Faculty.
- Represent graduate students on various boards, councils and committees in the Faculty and in Concordia University and to promote their interests, in accordance with Article 3 of Bill 32.
- Promote the educational, social, recreational and cultural interests of its members.
- Co-operate with other organizations having similar interests in promoting student activities and interests.
- Consider and support activities which enhance the quality of life for students of Concordia University.
Article IV – Membership
All Graduate students of Concordia University registered as full-time or part-time in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science shall be members of the ECSGA.
Article V – Fees
- The ECSGA shall have the right to collect a fee from all graduate students in the Faculty upon registration.
- Any change in fees of the ECSGA shall be:
— Instituted by the Council.
— Ratified in a referendum of a General Assembly.
Article VI – ECSGA Council
- The ultimate governing and decision-making body of the ECSGA shall be the Council
- The Council shall:
— Set policy.
— Approve budgets.
— Appoint student representatives to university bodies.
- The Council members shall be comprised of ECSGA members elected in the annual ECSGA elections. For Election procedure see Article XI- ELECTIONS.
- ECSGA Council shall be composed of the following four (4) executives:
— The President
— The Vice-President Internal
— The Vice-President External
— The Vice-President Finance
and one (1) departmental representative from each of the existing departments and institutes:
— Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering (BCEE)
— Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE)
— Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE)
— Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
— Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE)
- Council meetings shall be called at least once per month. One half (1/2) of the council members (filled positions) shall be considered the quorum for a meeting.
- Voting procedures:
— The Council members shall each have one (1) vote.
— No proxy votes will be allowed.
— A simple majority vote (50%+1) of the Council members present is needed to carry a Council motion unless the motion pertains to constitutional amendments, annual budgets and impeachment. In these cases, a two third (2/3) majority vote of the Directors present is needed to carry a Council motion.
— Abstentions and blank or spoiled ballots shall not be considered as a “Yes” or “No” vote and they will be excluded from the final tally in all voting scenarios.
- Meetings of the ECSGA shall be held either on the call of the President or at least two-third (2/3) of the Council members. Individual Council members shall be provided with at least seventy-two (72) hours notice prior to a meeting.
- An Agenda of the ECSGA Council meetings shall be provided to the members at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to a meeting.
- The President shall act as the Chairperson in all Council meetings. In his or her absence, the Vice-President External shall perform this function.
- Emergency meetings may be called with notice of at least twenty-four (24) hours by the President at his/her discretion, or at the request of at least two-third (2/3) of the Council members.
- Minutes the most recent council meeting shall be available to the Council no later than fifteen (15) days following each meeting.
- The approved minutes shall be available to ECSGA members in printed or electronic form no later than seven (7) days following the approval.
- The Council shall have the authority to create committees and delegate unto them the powers and tasks that it chooses to.
- Guests can be invited to Council meetings by Council members, to attend meetings in part or in entirety, and be accorded speaking privileges but without voting rights.
- Any ECSGA member may attend a council meeting as a non-voting observer upon prior approval from the chair. A member should send a request to the chair at least twenty four (24) hours prior to a meeting.
- For a Council member to be removed from his/her position please see Article XV – IMPEACHMETS.
Article VII – ECSGA Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall consist of the following four (4) members:
— The President, who shall be Chair of the Executive Committee.
— The Vice-President Internal.
— The Vice-President External.
— The Vice-President Finance.
- A meeting of the Executive Committee shall be called at least twice a month by the President. Its members shall be given individual notice of a meeting at least three (3) calendar days before the meeting takes place, unless this stipulation is waived by every member.
- Quorum shall consist of three (3) members of the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee shall act to uphold the principles and financial integrity of the ECSGA and shall be accountable to the Council.
Article VIII – Duties of the Executives and Department Representatives
- The President shall:
— Be the Chair of the Council, Executive Committee and of General Assemblies.
— Oversee the day-to-day management of the ECSGA.
— Be the official representative and spokesperson for the ECSGA.
— Direct the implementation of Council resolutions.
— Be responsible for relations with other student communities, student governments and the general public.
— Convene Annual General Assembly
— Call Council and Executive meetings
— Delegate responsibilities as he/she sees fit.
— Be a member of the Faculty Executive Committee and Faculty Council.
— Prepare semester and annual reports.
- The Vice-President Internal shall:
— Perform the duties of Secretary, and as such, keep the minutes of all ECSGA Committee meetings.
— Perform all other duties pertaining to that office.
— Maintain and up-date the website of the ECSGA.
— Oversee responses to individual member’s queries.
— Act as liaison with the Faculty’s departmental or program Associations.
— Responsible for managing all internal events organized by ECSGA.
— Be a member of the Faculty Council.
- The Vice-President External shall:
— Assist the President in the execution of his/her duties.
— In the absence of the President perform all the duties pertaining to that office.
— Be a member of the Faculty Council.
— Be responsible for representing the ECSGA, through regular attendance at meetings, on external bodies, including both student and nonstudent organizations.
— Monitor the activities of non-Concordia student associations and universities.
— Locate new opportunities, and build on existing relationships, with student unions and organizations.
— Promote activities that provide opportunities for intellectual and social benefit of the members.
— Responsible for managing all external events organized by ECSGA.
- The Vice-President Finance shall:
— Be in charge of all receipts and disbursements of the ECSGA.
— Maintain all ledgers and accounts concerning the financial dealings of the ECSGA.
— Be responsible for the administration of funds accruing to the ECSGA.
— Perform all other duties pertaining to that office.
— Present a quarterly report of the ECSGA financial statement of accounts to the ECSGA Council, at the beginning of the following months: August, November and January, and present an annual report of the ECSGA financial statement of accounts by April 30th; a copy of the aforementioned reports should be made available to ECSGA members, if requested.
— Be the chair of the budget committee.
- A Departmental Representative shall:
— Act as the liaison between the ECSGA Council and their respective departments.
— Co-ordinate all ECSGA activities occurring within their respective departments.
— Assist the Executive Committee in the execution of its duties.
— Co-ordinate any departmental committees created by the ECSGA Council.
— Be a member of Departmental Council of his/her department, attend the departmental council meetings and represent the interests of the graduate students in his/her department.
— Appoint graduate students within his/her department for membership to the various departmental committees where graduate student representation is required.
— The Departmental Representatives may recommend through the Vice-President Finance the allocation of funds to their respective departments by the ECSGA Council.
Article IX – Budget Committe
- The annual ECSGA budget shall be prepared for approval and/or amendment by a Budget Committee.
- The Budget Committee shall be composed of:
— The Vice-President Finance – who shall be the chair.
— At least two more Executives- appointed by the Council.
— And at least two Departmental Representatives- appointed by the Council.
- Quorum shall be composed of four (4) members.
- Members of the budget committee shall be given notice of at least three (3) calendar days before a meeting takes place, unless waived by every member.
- The Budget Committee shall be responsible for selecting and recommending an external auditor to the Council.
Article X – Finances
- All Standing Committees and Departmental Committees requesting funds from the ECSGA shall submit an itemized budget to the Budget committee. The Council shall have the final decision based on the recommendation received from the Budget committee.
- All cheques drawn against the ECSGA shall be signed by the Vice-President Finance and the President. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President External shall perform this duty in his/her place.
- The fiscal year of the ECSGA shall be from May 1st to April 30th. A financial statement for the fiscal year of the ECSGA shall be prepared by the end of the fiscal year.
- No committee shall have the right to incur any obligation or liability on behalf of the ECSGA and the ECSGA will not be responsible for any indebtedness incurred by a committee.
Article XI – Elections
- The ECSGA Council shall be elected annually, by an election preferred to be held at the end of March. The elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.
— Nominations for candidates for the Executive positions must be signed by ten (10) members of the ECSGA.
— Nominations for candidates for departmental representatives must be signed by five (5) members of the ECSGA in the relevant department.
— The Executive Council shall be elected from and by the entire membership of the ECSGA.
— Departmental representatives shall be elected from and by the membership of the department which they are to represent.
- Council members shall take office commencing May 1st each year.
- In the event of an unfilled council position following an election, the newly elected council shall call a by-election or appoint a member to that position who satisfies the candidacy criteria (Article XII- ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICE) within forty five (45) calendar days starting from their mandate.
- In the event of a vacant position during the course of its term, the ECSGA council shall call a by-election or appoint a member to that position who satisfies the candidacy criteria (Article XII- ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICE) within forty five (45) calendar days of the vacancy.
- To appoint a member to the council, the vacant/unfilled positions must be advertised via email to all ECSGA members and any other manner Council deems necessary.
- Elected Council Members shall serve for one (1) year following their taking of office, and appointees shall serve for the balance of the term following their appointment.
- No external organization or individual/s may campaign or finance referenda or election without the express consent of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of Council in a special vote specifically for this purpose.
- Election Officials – Chief Returning Officer Hiring Procedure
— A hiring committee shall be struck by the Council which will consist of president and two executive members and two council members.
— The hiring committee will recommend applicants to Council for consideration.
— The C.R.O. shall be selected by application and the position is open to any qualified applicant.
— Prior to taking the position of C.R.O. the candidate shall be approved by the Council by a 2/3 (two-thirds) vote of the members present.
— Members of the current council will not be eligible for the positions of C.R.O.
— The position of C.R.O. shall be advertised in each instance of election, by-election and/or referenda in the following manner:
— — An e-mail to all members using the most current address on file with Concordia University.
— — Posters to be placed in public spaces of the Engineering and Computer Science building. There must be at least one poster on the door of ECSGA office.
— –Any other manner Council deems necessary.
- Elections Judicial Committee
— An Elections Judicial Committee pool shall be appointed by Council prior to the hiring of the C.R.O.
— The Elections Judicial Committee shall be the highest and final adjudicating authority for any and all issues concerning the elections.
— This Committee shall be composed of the members of the Council who are not candidates in the election.
— At no point in time shall this Committee have less than five (5) members. In the event of vacant position in the Judicial Committee, the Council shall advertise among the membership to fill this committee.
— Quorum for a meeting shall be three (3) members.
— The President shall chair these meetings in an ex-officio capacity save in matters of a hung committee in which case he/she shall cast the deciding vote.
— The Committee’s role shall be to adjudicate in matters:
— — Where the C.R.O. specifically requests their aid in resolving an issue.
— — Where a candidate wishes to appeal a decision made by the C.R.O.
— The committee shall convene within forty-eight (48) hours of a written request being sent to the President, except in the last three days of the campaign period when they shall convene within twenty-four (24) hours.
— The C.R.O. and/or the candidate have the right to present to the Committee for a period not exceeding twenty (20) minutes each.
— The committee shall then assess the evidence and render a decision along with appropriate sanctions.
— The C.R.O. is bound to enact all decisions of the Elections Judicial Committee.
— All candidates shall agree to abide by all sanctions imposed by the Elections Judicial Committee to disregard sanctions is cause for disqualification.
- Notice for Nominations
— The nomination period shall run for no less than five (5) business days prior to the verification and acceptance period.
— The nomination period shall be advertised as follows:
— — E-mail to all members using the most current address on file with Concordia University.
— — Any other method the C.R.O. deems necessary
— The notification of nominating period shall include the following information:
— — The closing date for nominations.
— — Availability of nomination forms.
— — Nomination requirements as outlined in ECSGA By-Laws.
— — Any other information the C.R.O. deems necessary.
— All other issues concerning nominations shall be governed by the ECSGA By-Laws.
— If the situation is not addressed and is not resolvable by the C.R.O. she/he shall address the matter with the Judicial Committee.
- Notice of Elections
— Notice of Election period shall be sent as follows:
— — On the close of nomination period to candidates.
— — On the close of nomination period to all members via e-mail and posters to be placed in the Engineering building.
— The notification shall include:
— — Candidate’s names, department, and positions they are contesting.
— — Those candidates who have won by acclamation and their position.
— — The date polling stations will open and close and hours of operation.
— — The location of polling stations.
— — The eligibility requirements and identification required to vote.
- Candidate Campaigning:
— There should be at least five (5) working days between the notice of election and the actual Election Day for the purpose of candidate election campaigning.
— Campaigning by and for candidates shall be permitted during this campaign period, as well as the Election Day.
— On the Election Day candidates are strictly prohibited from campaigning on the floor of the Polling Stations.
— Each candidate shall be limited to a total reimbursable expenditure of $50 (Cdn.).
— All campaigns shall be self-financed. No external organization or individual non-member shall contribute to the financing, directly or indirectly, of any portion of a candidate’s campaign costs. This also includes any costs associated with post-election appeals.
— The total expenditure for all campaign costs per candidate shall not exceed $150 (Cdn.).
— All campaign materials prior to distribution shall be approved by the C.R.O. This includes any and all: printed materials, electronic communications, including e-mail, personal websites and other external websites and any other form of communication not outlined within.
— Materials and/or methods of communications utilized by candidates or their agents shall not be employed in such a manner as to deprive other candidates’ equal opportunity to conduct their campaigns.
- Candidate Disqualification:
— Not adhering to all regulations stipulated in ECSGA By-Laws.
— Not adhering to the sanctions prescribed by the Elections Judicial Committee.
— Any personal conduct towards an election official or any ECSGA member that breaches Concordia University’s code of rights and responsibilities.
— The C.R.O. shall cause to be established as many Polling Stations as deemed required with the minimum of one on the lobby of Engineering and Visual Arts (EV) building in front of ECSGA office.
- Contestation of Election Results
— Election results may only be contested in the 48-hour period following the posting of results.
— Only the following grounds may be used as a basis for contestation:
— — Documented proof members of the Recording Board acted in a manner that benefitted one candidate over another.
— — Documented proof of direct, personal coercion of members during the voting process.
— — Documented proof of a minimum of ten (10), or 2% of the number of valid votes cast, cases of voter ineligibility.
— — Documented proof of the ineligibility of one, or more, of the successful candidates.
— In the case of all contestation the C.R.O. will convene a session of the Elections Judicial Committee to assess the case and render decision.
— — Their decision shall be to uphold or reject the contestation.
— — Their decision will be final and binding.
Article XII – Eligibility for Office
A person is eligible to sit on the ECSGA Council or become a member of the Executive if she or he is a ECSGA member in good standing (as per the criteria laid forth in Article IV-MEMBERSHIPS) for the full duration of her/his term in office.
The ECSGA member holding any position for two terms must not be eligible to become the candidate for any position of ECSGA Council.
Any ECSGA elected member cannot assume elected office or take any paid elected position in another student organization at Concordia.
Article XIII – General Assembly and Refarenda
- ECSGA shall have a minimum of two General Assembly, one in the Fall and one in the Winter semester. For at least one General assembly the following item must be in the agenda as per new funding policy from GSA: Bylaw Changes.
- General Assembly or Referendum of the ECSGA shall be called:
— by Council,
— by President, upon receipt of a written petition requesting a Special Meeting or Referendum signed by at least 10% of graduate students in the Faculty.
- The quorum for all General Assembly or Referenda shall be set at two percent (2%) of the ECSGA Membership.
- Notice of each General Assembly or Referendum must be posted at least seven (7) days in advance. These notices must be sent by email and posted in each departmental office.
- To be binding on the ECSGA, all General Assembly or Referenda shall require simple majority (50% + 1) of the vote cast.
Article XIV – Amendments
ECSGA By-Laws may be amended through Council by a two-third (2/3) decision subsequently subject to simple majority (50% + 1) of the votes cast in a General Assembly to be called specifically for this purpose within twenty (20) days of any changes voted by Council.
Article XV – Impeachments
- The General Assembly in a meeting called for that purpose shall have the right to dismiss any Departmental Representative or Executive if that person’s action or inaction is detrimental to the honour or interest of the ECSGA.
- Impeachments can be called by a two-thirds (2/3) decision of Council or a petition of at least 5% of the ECSGA members, of which ten (10) signatures must be obtained from each department and institute.
- When a General Assembly fails to meet quorum in this instance Council shall have the right to suspend parties for a period not exceeding thirty (30) calendar days.
- Representatives and Executives are to be impeached individually, not in groups. Voting will be by secret ballot. A Representative or Executive shall abstain from voting on his/her impeachment.
Article XVI – Resignations
An Executive or Representative must give a written notice of resignation to Council at least one (1) month prior to her/his resignation.
The resigned member will not be eligible to any of the ECSGA positions for any election, unless approved by a 2/3rds vote in council and then ratified by the General Assembly.