Graduate and Professional Student Senate to review new constitution and by-laws


Gillian Holte/Iowa State Daily

GPSS members sit in at a town hall and listening session with Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen on Nov. 14, 2018, in Parks Library.

Jacob Smith

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) will host its last meeting of the semester where it will be reviewing bills to ratify a new constitution and adopt a new set of by-laws.

During the meeting, the Committee for Constitutional Revision will present its final report.

The committee was chaired by GPSS Vice President James Klimavicz, working alongside President Eleanor Field, Sen. Joe Eilers, Sen. Chelsea Iennarella-Servantez, Sen. Benjamin Robertson, Sen. Charles Wongus and Sen. at-large Carrie Ann Johnson.

“The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) Special Committee for Constitutional Revision […] was formed on Sept. 30th, 2019 to address serious shortcomings with the current GPSS constitution and By-Laws, including a lack of procedural components and insufficient inclusion of the College of Veterinary Medicine in these documents,” according to the document. “Over the course of two months, the Committee met in person for a combined total of approximately ten hours, with substantial additional time being spent reviewing and editing documents online.”

The committee members all sponsored two separate bills, one to ratify the proposed constitution, the other to adopt the proposed by-laws.

“The Constitution must be ratified by a three-fourths majority vote to come into effect,” Klimavicz said in an email. “The By-Laws must be passed by a two-thirds majority vote to come into effect, and will only be in effect if and after the constitution is passed.”

Klimavicz discussed the multiple paths the Senate can take depending on the outcome of the vote.

“[T]he simplest case, both bills pass by the required majorities and the bills become law,” Klimavicz said in an email.

If the bills don’t pass, then there are four options, Klimavicz said.

“If the Senate does not pass the bill, then several things can happen: 1) The Senate provides some feedback to the Committee for Constitutional Revision […], which will then make changes and come back with new drafts at a future meeting,” Klimavicz said in an email. “2) The Senate can debate further on the documents and bills and hold another [vote]; 3) The Senate can move to postpone a vote to a later meeting; or 4) The Senate can move to postpone the legislation indefinitely, effectively killing the bills.”

The Senate will also have the first reading of a bill titled “Fall 2019 Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) Regular Allocations.”

“The GPSS Finance Committee has reviewed all Fall 2019 allocation requests, submitted recommendations, heard appeals for the recommendations made, and accepted withdrawals,” according to the document.

GPSS allocates money to graduate and professional student organizations twice a year, and this bill lays out the funding amounts for each organization.

GPSS will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

The bills, report and proposed constitution and by-laws can be found on the GPSS website, as well as minutes of past GPSS meetings with additional information.