A current version of the SAC constitution is shown below. You can download a PDF of the Constitution here.
Article I – Name
Section 1 – The name of this organization shall be the “DBBS Student Advisory Committee.” For official communications, this name may be abbreviated to “Student Advisory Committee” or simply “SAC.”
Article II – Purpose/Mission Statement
Section 1 – The DBBS Student Advisory Committee exists to provide an official channel of communication between DBBS students and administration such that concerns that require a student voice can be formally addressed. To this end, the Student Advisory Committee plans and hosts a variety of social events, informational seminars and formal meetings. Any events hosted by SAC should serve a dual function; they should promote student wellness by facilitating student interactions outside of an individual’s lab or program, and they should increase the visibility of the SAC organization and promote the free flow of ideas and concerns between students and Board members.
Section 2 – The SAC mission statement shall be “The Student Advisory Committee serves as the voice for DBBS students during discussions with Division administration while providing informational and social opportunities for students.”
Article III – Affiliations
Section 1 – The Student Advisory Committee is formally associated with the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.
Section 2 – Members of the Student Advisory Committee Executive Board may elect to represent the DBBS by serving as members of several governing organizations, including the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), Health Professional Student Leadership Council (HPSLC), and Committees on Graduate Council (CGC). Students within the DBBS who are not formally elected to these positions as members of the SAC executive board must seek SAC approval before serving as official DBBS liaisons to these groups (members of the DBBS seeking at-large positions to these councils, however, need not seek approval from SAC.)
Article IV – Membership
Section 1 – All members of the Student Advisory Committee must be current students in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, and must be Ph.D. students or M.D./Ph.D. students in their Ph.D. years. Members must remain in good academic standing throughout their tenure in the organization.
Section 2 – Membership in this organization is open to all meeting the above criteria, irrespective of race, creed, color, gender identity, sexual identity, class, age, nation of origin, nationality, disability, marital status, religion, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
Article V – Executive Board
Section 1 – All positions, with the exception of co-chair are elected for a one-year term, beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30th. There are no term limits to these board members. All positions, with the exception of the HPSLC representative, must be filled each year. All positions, with the exception of First Year Liaison, must be filled by students in their second Ph.D. year or above.
Section 2 – Positions
Co-Chair: Co-chairs will serve a two-year term, such that one is elected per year. In the first year of their term, co-chairs are considered “junior”, while during their second term, they are considered “senior.” Individual students are only eligible to serve for one two-year term during their tenure in their graduate program.
The senior Co-Chair is responsible for preparing agendas for meetings, seeking approval from the group advisor and distributing the agenda to the Board members no fewer than three days in advance of the meeting. He/she also serves as the DBBS student representative to the Washington University Graduate Council, and must attend all four meetings on the Danforth campus. In collaboration with the Junior Co-Chair, the Senior Co-Chair will also be the direct line of communication with other groups and division administration, and will serve as the face of SAC at social and administrative events
The Junior Co-Chair is responsible for providing refreshments at meetings and archiving group communications. In collaboration with the Senior Co-Chair, the Junior co-chair will also be the direct line of communication with other groups and division administration, and will serve as the face of SAC at social and administrative events
Treasurer: Maintains electronic records of the SAC budget, including funds available for each event. Also collects receipts and fills out check request forms on behalf of Board Members who have made purchased on behalf of SAC.
Secretary: Keeps a written record of all minutes from meetings and emails those minutes to board members within three days of the meeting. Responsible for reserving rooms and event spaces immediately following the meeting and sending confirmation emails to the group.
Social and Communications Chair: Responsible for managing SAC social media accounts. Promotes upcoming events and communicates SAC-related news and announcements to DBBS.
Professional Development Chair: Develops programming to enhance career skills such as written and spoken communication, time management, and teamwork, and/or identifies existing programming that SAC can help advertise to the student body.
Peer Mentor Liaison: Manages peer mentors, reminds mentors to contact mentees, serves as the administrative contact for the peer mentoring program and the Student Advisory Committee. The Peer Mentor Liaison, in cooperation with the SAC Treasurer, is also responsible for management of the DBBS Peer Mentor Budget.
Grad Student Senate Representative: Attends monthly meetings on the Danforth campus with GSS, relays upcoming GSS events to SAC
HPSLC Representative: Attends meetings of the Health Professional Sciences Leadership Council and reports on these meetings to the Student Advisory Committee.
Webmaster: The Webmaster maintains and updates the DBBS SAC website. They attend all SAC meetings, are a voting member of the council, and fulfill all general duties of a board member.
Student Group Liaison: Responsible for communicating and working with representatives of other student groups for the enrichment of Student Advisory Committee organized events. The Student Group Liaison is also responsible for managing the use/rental of Student Advisory Committee resources and equipment in other student groups.
First-Year Liaisons (2): Two members of the first-year class will be elected by a vote of their peers to serve as the First-Year Liaisons to the SAC. These students will be responsible for communicating first-year student concerns, advertising SAC events to the first-year class, and fulfilling all other general duties expected of council members.
Section 3 – If an officer has been found to be acting in a manner unbecoming of the group, the remaining officers may vote to relieve the officer in question of his/her duties. Violations that could result in termination of one’s position include misappropriation of group supplies/money, failure to perform one’s assigned duties, or other conduct outside of SAC that, in the eyes of the group and/or its advisors, is detrimental to the group’s ability to remain an approachable, respectable representative of DBBS student interest. Members may be removed from their offices by a unanimous vote of the group, or by directive of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and the agreement of the senior co-chairs.
Article VI – Elections
Section 1 – Elections will occur in the month of June concluding each academic year. These elections will be publically advertised at least two weeks prior to the event and be open to all DBBS students.
Section 2 – Elections for each position, with the exception of the first-year Liaison positions, require a majority vote of all students present, including existing board members, candidates, and other members of the student body in attendance. All contested votes will be submitted on paper, and tabulated anonymously by the incoming Senior Co-Chair. In the event that no single candidate receives a majority, the individual with the lowest vote total will be removed from the candidate pool and another vote will be taken. This process will be repeated until a simple majority is achieved. In the event of a tie, the incoming Senior Co-Chair may break the tie. The Senior Co-Chair will not inform any members present that a tie occurred, as his/her deciding vote must remain anonymous.
Section 3 – Persons eligible for election as a member of the Student Advisory Committee board include all Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences students at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, and must be Ph.D. students or M.D./Ph.D. students in their Ph.D. years for the duration of their tenure as members of the board.
Section 4 – The Secretary, Treasurer, Social Chair, and Peer Mentor positions may be “split”, if approved by a unanimous and anonymous vote of outgoing Board Members during the elections. Such a vote would allow up to two individuals to occupy a single listed position. However, no more than two positions may be “split” in a given academic year. All board members have an equal vote during elections, such that two individuals occupying a “split” position each receive their own vote (see Section 2). For the purposes of meeting votes and constitutional amendments (see Article VII, Section 3 and Article IX, Section 1), “split” positions will receive a single collective vote. For the purposes of quorum, only a single individual must be present to satisfy the quorum for that position.
Section 5 – First-Year Liaisons will be elected at a special meeting during the 3rd or 4th week of the academic year. Following a short 3-minute speech, all first-year students present shall receive two votes. Students may not vote for the same person twice. The two students receiving the most votes, even if a majority is not reached, will hold the position until the next pair is elected the subsequent year.
Section 6 – In the event that a Board member is unable to complete their full term, a special election will be held to fill the vacated positions at the earliest possible opportunity. These elections must be publically advertised at least one week prior to the event and will be open to all DBBS students. Eligibility for these positions is subject to the same limitations as regular elections.
Article VI – Meetings
Section 1 – Regular meetings of this organization shall be held on a monthly basis on the medical campus at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. These meetings shall be scheduled for a consistent time and location every month, as voted upon by the members of the Executive Board.
Section 2 – All meetings are open to attendance by all current DBBS students. Although these students may participate in discussion during the meeting, they shall have no vote on any issue presented at the meeting. All meetings will be publicized to the DBBS student body by email within 2 days of the meeting.
Section 3 – Quorum for all official votes shall be 66% of individual board members. A simple majority is required for a vote to pass. In the event of a tie, the Senior Co-Chair’s vote shall break the tie. Issues that require an official vote include;
- Approval of an annual budget
- Modifications to an existing budget, including
- Addition or cancelling of events
- Re-allocation of a significant portion (>$30) of an event’s budget for a different event
- Moving a meeting away from its scheduled time
Section 4 – All procedural issues not expressly addressed in this document shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, Eleventh Edition.
Article VII – Oversight
Section 1 – There shall be at least one full time DBBS Faculty member who shall serve as an advisor to this organization. That faculty member will be the Associate Dean of Graduate Education, unless these duties are expressly delegated to another member of the faculty.
Section 2 – There shall be at least one full time DBBS Staff member who shall serve as an advisor to this organization. That faculty member will be designated by the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, and will serve as the mediator for budgetary approval and practical day-to-day running of the club.
Article VIII – Finances
Section 1 – There shall be no dues for membership within the Student Advisory Committee, nor shall there be any compensation for members of the Student Advisory Committee Board.
Section 2 – The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences shall assign the Student Advisory Committee an annual budget. The Student Advisory Committee will collectively vote to approve an annual budget proposal (see Article VI, Section 3), which shall be submitted no later than July 5th. The treasurer shall maintain a document providing up-to-date details on the status of the budget to the members of the Board.
Article IX – Constitutional Amendments
Section 1 – This constitution may be amended by a 75% vote of all board positions. Quorum for all constitutional amendments shall be 100% of the Executive Board. In the event that a board position is split into two, those two must reach a consensus or abstain from the vote. In the event that multiple positions are held by the same individual, that individual may only contribute a single vote to the total.