Constitution of the Graduate History Society


This organization is known as the Graduate History Society.



The Purposes of the Graduate History Society (GHS) are threefold:

—to promote solidarity and manifest the wishes and needs of its members;
—to be the official liaison between the membership and the faculty and the university;
—to promote historical studies at the University of Iowa and the surrounding community.



All persons engaged in graduate work in the University of Iowa History Department are members of the GHS.

In no aspect of its programs shall there be any difference in the treatment of persons on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification which would deprive the person of consideration as an individual.  The organization will guarantee that equal opportunity and equal access to membership, programming, facilities, and benefits shall be open to all persons. Eighty percent (80%) of this organization’s membership must be composed of UI students.

There are no restrictions on the number of members.

There are no membership classifications in the GHS. All members have the same status.



1. The Officers of the GHS are:

Presidents: There are two co-presidents, who perform all executive duties including calling, publicizing and chairing meetings, supervising nominations and filling vacancies, and representing the GHS with the faculty and at formal social or academic events.

Secretary: The secretary administers elections, communicates with members on a timely basis through the GHS listserv, and keeps a record of all GHS business and archives those as appropriate electronically and/or with Special Collections at the University of Iowa Main Library.

Treasurer: The treasurer collects and disburses all GHS funds, and is in charge of fundraising through such methods as merchandise sales or the Annual Book Sale.

Faculty Representatives: Two Faculty Representatives represent the membership to the Department and participate in the faculty meetings. Of the two Faculty Representatives, one is to be working in a field of United States history and the other in a field other than United States history.

Graduate Student Senators: There are two Graduate Student Senators. These persons represent the membership in the Graduate Student Senate. Of the two Senators, one is to be working in a field of United States history and the other in a field other than United States history.

Colloquium Officer: This person is responsible for organizing presentations of research by members of the Department.

Web Co-ordinator: The web co-ordinator is in charge of maintaining and updating the external GHS website and any other electronic communications methods such as Facebook or Twitter, and using them to publicize GHS activities and events.


2. Any member of the GHS may hold office.


3. Officers are elected in the following manner:

1. The nominating process begins prior to the regular March meeting.

i. Nominations are made for the first week of this period.
ii. Persons may nominate themselves or any other member of the GHS.

2. The names of nominees and the offices for which they are nominated must be conspicuously posted.

i. Nominees for the office of Faculty Representative and Graduate Student Senator must list alongside their name the field of history in which they are working.
ii. The Secretary-Treasurer is charged with verifying the fields of the nominees for Faculty Representative and Graduate Student Senator before the election is held and with producing and posting a list of the nominees for the various offices by the end of the first week of the nomination process.
iii. Nominees may remove themselves from consideration for office during the second week of the nomination process.

3. Elections are held fourteen (14) days after the opening of nominations.

4. A meeting is held in March of each year to elect the officers. The voting will be by show of hands or, if requested, by secret ballot. Secret ballots are to be counted by the President and Secretary-Treasurer or, in their absence, other officers of the GHS.

i. Ballots for all GHS elections will be carried out using anonymous electronic vote, through the GHS ICON site or whichever other form of electronic submission is deemed appropriate.
ii. To be elected to an office, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast for that office. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the votes, a run-off election between the candidates receiving the two highest totals will be held at the regular April meeting.
iii. Following the March elections, no candidate may be considered for more than one office. Candidates for more than one office after the March election must inform the Secretary-Treasurer within a week of the office they seek.
iv. Members vote for one nominee for Faculty Representative and Graduate Student Senator in a field of United States history and one nominee for Faculty Representative in a field other than United States history.
v. Vacancies are filled by the President or the highest ranking officer and will be confirmed by the membership at the next GHS meeting. The membership may refuse to confirm, in which case the President will submit another name for the vacant position, again to be approved or rejected by the membership.
vi. In the event the Presidency is vacant, a special election will be held promptly to fill that office.

4. Officers may be recalled after these procedures have been followed:

i. A petition specifying incidents of malfeasance and signed by ten GHS members must be submitted to an elected officer.
ii. At the next meeting the accused with respond to the charges and a vote of the membership in attendance will decide the issue. The accused will be acquitted of the charge if less than three-quarters of attending members refuse to confirm the charges.



1. Meetings are to be held at the discretion of the GHS officers or as requested by a minimum of two GHS members.

i. Orientation for new GHS members is to be held during the September meeting in addition to regular business.
ii. Meetings are called by the President on his/her own authority or at the request of two GHS members; their request cannot be refused and must be immediately authorized by the President.
iii. Meetings must be held within five (5) to fourteen (14) days of the authorization and all reasonable means must be taken to notify the membership of the time, place and agenda of the meeting.

2. Conduct of business:

i. Eight members will constitute a quorum.
ii. All decisions are made by simple majority vote, whether by voice, a show of hands, or by secret ballot conducted via electronic submission.
iii. An issue which has been defeated may be revived if three members request a reconsideration. Such an issue will be reconsidered at the next meeting. No issue may be revived more than once in a semester.


1. There are no dues.

2. The Treasurer is responsible for all GHS finances.

3. Upon dissolution state money and mandatory student fees revert back to the granting organization.

Group fees should be divided as stated in the constitution and carried out by the dissolving group’s members and officers.

If the group has dissolved and group fees have not been divided as stated in the constitution by 5 years from last account activity, all funds or other moneys will revert to an account specified for this purpose within the University of Iowa Student Government organization. These funds will then be available for distribution through SOBO guidelines in compliance with University of Iowa policy.

4. If the GHS should dissolve, any remaining funds, less legitimate debts and those specified in Article V, Section C, will be divided among the various scholarship funds administered by the Department of History.



1. Amendments and revisions of the Constitution may be proposed by any member of the GHS at any official meeting of the organization.

2. Proposed amendments and revisions of the Constitution will be adopted according to the following procedure:

i. They must first be tentatively adopted by a simple majority of those present at the GHS meeting at which they are proposed.
ii. If tentatively adopted, the proposed amendment or revision must be conspicuously posted for the consideration of the entire GHS membership and the next official meeting of the organization must be announced.
iii. If after this process, a simple majority of the next official meeting of the GHS should adopt the proposal it will become part of the Constitution. Absentee ballots will be accepted as in the election of officers.

3. An alternative procedure to amend or revise the Constitution will consist of a constitutional committee chosen by a simple majority at an official GHS meeting. Recommendations of a constitutional committee will become part of the Constitution if adopted by simple majorities at two consecutive meetings of the organization. Proposed amendments and revisions must be conspicuously posted.