GPC Constitution

Preamble: Spirit of the GPC Constitution

The GPC constitution is meant to be a guideline to enable GPC to be an effective and vital student organization.

Article I: Name

This council shall be known as the Graduate Professional Council of Washington University, hereafter referred to as the GPC.

Article II: Purpose

The GPC shall:

  • Represent and advocate the mutual interests of the graduate and professional students of Washington University to those within the university affecting such interests;
  • Provide a channel of communication between graduate and professional students, the university, and the community;
  • Encourage and support inter-school and interdisciplinary cooperation within the university; and
  • Encourage and support representative graduate and professional student governments within each school of the university.

Article III: Membership

The GPC shall be composed of at least two and at most four graduate or professional representatives from each of the following schools within Washington University:

  • School of Art
  • Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
  • John M. Olin School of Business
  • School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Law
  • George Warren Brown School of Social Work
  • School of Architecture

The selection process for each school’s representatives and the beginning and end of each representative’s term should be determined by the students represented in each school. Whenever possible, the representatives shall be the elected graduate or professional leaders of their respective schools.

Article IV: Meetings

Section 1: Frequency

Meetings shall be called with reasonable notice by the President of the GPC and shall not be fewer than three per semester.

Section 2: Access

Meetings are open to GPC members and to guests previously agreed upon by GPC members.

Section 3: Quorum

A meeting shall have a quorum when at least eight members representing six different schools are present.

Article V: Powers and Duties of Officers

The GPC shall have a President, a VP of Marketing & Communications, and a Treasurer. Officers shall be considered voting members of the GPC.

In addition to the President, VP of Marketing & Communications, and Treasurer, GPC may have other elected officers as agreed upon by the majority of GPC members. These additional officers will each chair a committee to carry out ongoing projects and have responsibilities as agreed upon by a majority of GPC. Traditionally, these committees have included Social Programing, Community Service, and Academic & Professional Development. These officers in conjunction with the President, VP of Marketing & Communications, and Treasurer make of the Executive Board of GPC.

Section 1: President

  1. The President shall convene meetings of the GPC.
  2. The President shall act as chairperson and presiding officer of the GPC meetings.
  3. The President shall act as the official representative of the GPC.
  4. The President shall be the primary member of the GPC responsible for carrying out the initiatives and duties of the GPC, and shall work in conjunction with the other officers and other GPC members when possible.
  5. The President shall oversee the GPC budget.

Section 2: VP of Marketing & Communications

  1. The VP of Marketing & Communications shall exercise the duties and powers of the President in the event of the President’s absence from office.
  2. The VP of Marketing & Communications shall maintain current membership, mailing, phone and e-mail lists, and shall distribute announcements and minutes to members of the GPC.
  3. The VP of Marketing & Communications will manage the GPC website, Facebook page, and twitter account, approve events added to the online GPC calendar, and compose and distribute the weekly email that goes to the listserv of all graduate & professional students.
  4. Whenever a President resigns, is recalled, or is no longer able to serve, the VP of Marketing & Communications shall serve as interim President until a special election is held to elect a new president from the current members of the executive board.

Section 3: Treasurer

  1. The Treasurer, in conjunction with the President, shall be responsible for maintaining timely financial records for the organization and reporting expenses to the University’s fiscal officers.
  2. The Treasurer shall maintain a working master document of the budget.
  3. The treasurer shall oversee the formation and proposal of the initial budget at the beginning of the new officer’s term (before July 1st).

Section 4: Additional Officers

  1. The additional officers of the Executive Board shall chair a committee.
  2. The additional officers of the Executive Board shall participate in Executive Board meetings.
  3. The additional officers of the Executive Board shall participate in all General Body Meetings.
  4. The additional officers of the Executive Board shall present an event proposal to the Executive Board in advance of executing the event.
  5. The additional officers of the Executive Board shall ensure that all events held by their committee run within the allotted budget.

Section 5: Executive Board Agreement

In the event of disagreement among the Executive Board, there will be a vote among all Executive Board members. The vote will be decided by a simple majority. In the event of a tie, the President will have the deciding the vote.

Article VI: Election of Officers

The GPC shall elect a President, VP of Marketing & Communications, and, Treasurer and additional officers as needed during the Spring Semester. Any changes to the current list of additional officer positions shall be subject to a majority vote of all present voting members of the GPC when quorum is present.

Section 1: Voting

An officer shall be elected when a quorum is present and a plurality of the members present vote for that officer.

Elections for the officer positions will be held in an order specified by the Executive Board ahead of time.

To become an official applicant, interested students must submit an Intent to Run form, provided by the Executive Board, by the Friday preceding elections.

On-the-floor nominations will be accepted the day of elections only if there are no official applicants.

For each position, official applicants will be given two minutes to speak and take questions from the students present.

After all applicants for a position have spoken and before voting begins, students will gather by school to discuss their thoughts on the candidates. This process is meant to aid discussion between the voting members (official representatives) from each school and the students in the same school, who they represent. It is still only the official representatives who vote.

Once school-specific discussions have taken place (approximately three minutes), the group will reconvene to open the floor to a group-wide discussion (a maximum of five minutes).

Once the discussion period is over, voting will take place: an anonymous ballot will be accepted from each voting member.

Section 2: Terms

Officers shall be elected at the April meeting of the GPC and assume official duties in May. Outgoing officers should complete events and activities initiated during their terms in office with the approval of the newly elected officers. Officers shall serve a full year term (May to May).

Section 3: Special Elections

Any elected officer can be recalled from office when a quorum is present and a two-thirds majority of the members present vote to recall. A recall can only be initiated by a member of the executive board or a GPC representative. Any recall of an officer must be communicated to all GPC voting members at least one week in advance of the recall vote.

The person initiating the recall and the officer potentially being recalled shall each have time on the floor to state their respective cases and take questions.  Both the person initiating the recall and the officer potentially being recalled will be in the room for the duration.  Voting will be by anonymous ballot.

A new officer shall be elected according to the voting rules outlined in Article VI, Section 1 whenever the post is vacated due to resignation or recall.

Article VII: Initiatives

Any member of the GPC may choose to initiate any act within the power of the GPC. An initiative shall be approved when a quorum is present and a majority of the members present vote for that initiative.

Article VIII: Bylaws

Bylaws conforming to and implementing this Constitution shall be established when a quorum is present a majority of the member present vote for such bylaws.

Article IX: Amendments

Section 1: Initiation

Any member of the GPC can initiate an amendment to the Constitution.

Section 2: Ratification

The Constitution shall be amended when a quorum is present and a two-thirds majority of the members present vote to adopt the amendment, in which case the amendment will take effect immediately upon adoption.

Article X: Meeting Without a Quorum

When a quorum is not present at a meeting, the members present shall conduct business as usual, but any votes shall be noted in the minutes and will not take effect unless the minutes are approved by the necessary majority of the members of the GPC within two weeks of the meeting.

Article XI: Duties of Representatives

  1. Attend 80% GPC General Body meetings
  2. Meetings are the first Monday of each month in the Graduate Center in the Danforth University Center; changes to the normal schedule will be posted to the GPC website.
  3. Note: When a representative is unable to attend a GPC General Body meeting they are expected to provide advance notice by emailing Repeated unjustified absences (as determined by the Executive Board) may result in a letter to your school’s student government/student affairs staff recommending replacement.
  4. Disseminate communication from GPC to school represented (via email, posters, etc.) when necessary and encourage participation at GPC events.
  5. Represent respective schools’ needs and desires to GPC; offer input on student issues ranging from interdisciplinary education needs to health insurance to exam schedules to calendar conflicts.
  6. Keep the GPC informed of the Representatives’ respective schools’ activities and vice-versa.
  7. Each school should submit 5-6 speaking points to gpc@wustl.eduby midnight on the Thursday prior to each GPC meeting to be added to the agenda. Points regarding school-specific events open to all graduate/professional students should include:
  8. Date, Time, Location/Directions, Cost, and Description
  9. Each representative should develop a familiarity with students in other years/degree programs within the school they represent and ensure they receive communications from GPC and are included in the representative’s school reports at each meeting to the extent possible.
  10. Identify opportunities for GPC to add value to each graduate program at the university through programming, networking, and collaboration.
  11. Vote on executive officers, constitutional changes, and other major decisions brought to GPC.
  12. The Executive Team will appoint Representatives to one of the GPC Committees.
  13. Note: Representatives are eligible to serve as chair of a GPC committee and must serve on at least one GPC Committee. Representatives should email their choice of committee to gpc@wustl.eduby midnight on the Thursday prior to the 2nd GPC Meeting.
  14. Each representative must compile the relevant information from his/her respective school to create the Sourcebook each year. This information will be due by midnight on the Thursday prior to the 2nd GPC Meeting to This includes:
  15. Contact information for your school’s student government(s)
  16. Descriptions and contact information for your school’s student groups (if applicable).
  17. One GPC Representative per school will serve as their school’s representative to the PROGRADS committee ( If your school has more than one representative, your choice of the official designated PROGRADS representative must be emailed to gpc@wustl.eduwithin a week of the first general body meeting.
  18. Offer feedback to the GPC Executive Committee regarding suggestions/improvements for GPC meetings and other initiatives.

Amended May 1st, 2017