GSA Policies

GSA Policies and Procedures

This page will be updated pending approval of the development and amendments of GSA policies.

#1 - Initiation and Review of GSA-UW Policies
#5 - Director Elections
#7 - Council
#8 - Referenda
#10 - Fund Accounting
#20 - Graduate House Operations


Policy #1Initiation and Review of GSA-UW Policies

Established:    May 13, 2015
Revised:  May 13, 2015
Authority to amend this policy: GSA Board of Directors

1. PREAMBLE
Graduate Student Association policies document the principles and procedures to be followed in relation to Ontario corporate laws, the GSA-UW bylaws, and numerous aspects of operations of the GSA-UW.  The policies are intended to provide guidelines and supplement the organizational bylaws, and as such are binding on members of the GSA-UW. 

The GSA-UW policies become operational upon approval:

  • By the Board of Directors of the Graduate Student Association-University of Waterloo, or
  • By GSA-UW Officers under authority delegated by the Board, or
  • By the GSA-UW Council in the case of Council policies dealing with political, social, or academic matters, or
  • By the GSA-UW-UW membership at a general meeting of members, or by referendum.

2. PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to describe the procedures to be followed in the development, amendment, and review of all GSA-UW policies.  Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted in any way as limiting the powers conferred upon the Board of Directors, or the Members under the provisions of the Ontario Corporations Act, (Ontario Not-for-profit-Corporations Act.)

Policies support and enforce the mission, vision, and values of the GSA-UW.

3. CLASSIFICATION
The GSA-UW policies belong to the following classifications:

Board Policies (B)
GSA-UW policies that concern the terms or conditions required by Ontario corporate law, matters of a financial nature, issues of fiduciary responsibility of directors, and oversight responsibility of the Board to manage the corporation.

GSA-UW policies that concern the appointment, promotion or removal of officers, including the President, Vice-President, Student Affairs Officer, External Affairs Officers, Corporate Secretary, Treasurer, and any other officers appointed by the Board.

GSA-UW policies that concern the use of facility space, the conduct of persons representing the GSA-UW, and all other corporate matters

Council Policies (C)
GSA-UW policies that concern the terms or conditions defined by the GSA-UW bylaws regarding matters of graduate student representation, graduate student life, graduate student advocacy, official positions of the GSA-UW-UW, and other matters of a general nature that reflect the graduate student experience at the University of Waterloo.

GSA-UW Membership Policies (M)
GSA-UW policies that concern the nature of membership, the increase of membership fees beyond the amounts defined in the bylaws, conditions required by corporate law to be approved by members.  These policies may require approval for development, amendment, and/or review by the Board of Directors, members at a general meeting or by referendum.

4. AUTHOURITY, INITIATION, AND DEVELOPMENT

Class B – Board polices and procedures

Authority
The responsibility for policy development and amendment is vested in the Board of Directors.

Initiation
A request for initiation of a new policy or amendment of an existing policy may come from any member of the GSA-UW membership and shall be reviewed by the Board, who will decide whether to proceed with the request.  The decision will be to proceed if a majority of the Directors approve.  

Development
A Board Policy Drafting Committee (BPDC) will be formed to develop new policies or to consider substantial amendments to old policies; the Board will determine its terms of reference.

Minor amendments to current policy may be dealt with directly by the Board.

The Board will strike a Board Policy Drafting Committee consisting of a minimum of two members, one will be a Director, and one will be an Officer.  The Board may appoint additional members to the Committee as determined from time to time.  The Board will determine the Chair of the committee.

The BPDC will submit a draft policy to the Chair of the Board of Directors.  The Board Chair will then either return the policy to the BPDC for revision or forward it as received for approval at the next meeting of the Board.

Approvals
Upon receipt of the new or amended policy from the BPDC, the Board may approve it and forward it to the Corporate Secretary to be recorded in the Operations Manual and posted to any relevant documentation.

If the policy is returned at any stage, the BPDC will review the reasons given for its return, make any revisions that it deems necessary, and return the (amended) policy for approval so long as it continues to have majority support from the committee members.  If the committee cannot support the revisions or if it deems that the nature of the revisions is not reflective of the nature of the policy, the draft policy will be shelved and so reported/recorded at the next meeting of the Board.

Class C – Council policies and procedures

Authority
The responsibility for policy development is vested in the Council.  If the new policy or amended policy impacts the authority given the Board, then the Board will have ultimate jurisdiction of such policy.

Initiation
A request to initiate a new policy or to amend an existing policy will be submitted to the Student Affairs Officer, who will present the proposal to Council.  After review of the proposal, Council will decide whether to continue with the development/amendment of a policy.

The GSA-UW Council may deal directly with minor amendments to current policies.

Development
Council may deal directly with the development of new policies and/or amendments to current policy.  If the amendment is substantial, a Council Policy Drafting Committee (CPDC) will be formed; the Council will determine its terms of reference.

A Council Policy Drafting Committee will consist of a minimum of two members; one will be a Director and one will a Councillor.  Council may appoint additional members as may be determined from time to time.

The Council will determine the Chair of the Committee.

The CPDC will submit a draft policy to the Chair of the Board of Directors.  The Board Chair will then either return the policy to the CPDC for revision or forward it as received for approval at the next meeting of the Board.

Approvals
Upon receipt of the new or amended policy from the Board, the Chair of the CPDC will forward it to the Corporate Secretary to be recorded in the Operations Manual and posted to any relevant documentation.

If the policy is returned at any stage, the CPDC will review the reasons given for its return, make any revisions that it deems necessary, and return the (amended) policy for approval so long as it continues to have majority support from the committee members.  If the committee cannot support the revisions or if it deems that the nature of the revisions is not reflective of the nature of the policy, the draft policy will be shelved and so reported/recorded at the next meeting of the Council and the Board.

Class M – Members policies

Authority

The responsibility for policy approval is vested in the membership.  If the new policy or amended policy impacts the authority given the Board, then the Board will have ultimate jurisdiction of whether such policy will proceed

Initiation
A request to initiate a new policy or to amend an existing policy can be considered by the Board, by the Council or by a request by members.  A request to initiate a Class M policy can be made to the GSA President by any member of the GSA-UW. 

Development
Board may deal directly with the development of new policies and/or amendments to current policy.  If the amendment is substantial, a Members Policy Drafting Committee (MPDC) will be formed; the Board will determine its terms of reference.

The MPDC will submit a draft policy to the Chair of the Board of Directors.  The Board Chair will then either return the policy to the MPDC for revision or forward it as received for approval at the next meeting of the Board.

The Board may call a general meeting of members or a referendum to decide the approval of the policy, subject to the bylaws, corporate law, and the nature of the policy or amendment.

Approvals
Upon receipt of the new or amended policy from the Board meeting, general meeting, or referendum decision, The Board chair will forward it to the Corporate Secretary to be recorded in the Operations Manual and posted to any relevant documentation.

If the policy is returned at any stage, the MPDC will review the reasons given for its return, make any revisions that it deems necessary, and return the (amended) policy for approval so long as it continues to have majority support from the committee members.  If the committee cannot support the revisions or if it deems that the nature of the revisions is not reflective of the nature of the policy, the draft policy will be shelved and so reported/recorded at the next meeting of the Board.

5. PERIODIC REVIEW OF POLICIES

Subject to GSA-UW bylaw # 11.1.1, all policies should be reviewed annually by the Board to determine whether revisions or amendments are required.

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Policy #5- Director Elections

Established: March 22, 2016
Related: BL#4, BL#5
Class: B
Responsible: Board of Directors


Introduction

Directors are responsible for the operations of the GSA.  Graduate student members will elect the directors. This policy exists to define the procedure for the elections of the GSA Directors.

Legal Framework

In addition to the above mentioned “Related Bylaws, Policies, Official Positions, and Procedures”, the policy will be construed in accordance with applicable law, in particular:

  • Ontario Corporations Act, RSO. 1990 c. C38 (OCA) (The Act)

If any of these legal provisions are modified, abrogated, superseded, or added to, the policy will be interpreted in accordance with the new legal framework.

Election Procedures

Director nominations. Exact dates for the open and close of the nomination and campaign periods shall be selected by the Chief Returning Officer and approved by the Board.

Nomination Procedure. Nominations will be on the prescribed form included as an appendix to this policy.  All accepted nominations must bear the signature of the nominee indicating acceptance of the nomination and the valid signatures of at least five (5) members of the GSA. GSA full-time staff may not solicit nominations.  The Chief Returning Officer shall deem nominations solicited by full-time staff as invalid.  The CRO opens nomination forms as they are received and confirms receipt with the candidate.  No nominations shall be taken from the floor at the Annual General Meeting except in the case of insufficient nominations.

Insufficient Nominations.  If vacancies remain for directorships after the close of nominations, the CRO may recommend a second call for nominations.  Vacancies may be filled at the Annual General Meeting by the Chair taking nominations from the floor.  Nominations will be on the prescribed form included as an appendix to this policy. 

Candidates Requirements.   Eligibility requirements pertaining to Directors are listed in the Act.

Candidates Withdrawal. A candidate may withdraw from an election at any time by giving written notice to the CRO. Such notice shall be irrevocable.  The withdrawing candidate's name shall be removed from the ballot if possible and the election should proceed. If it is not possible to remove the candidate's name from the ballot, any votes cast for that candidate shall be considered spoiled.

Director Vacancies.  Director positions remaining vacant after the Annual General Meeting and any positions becoming vacant during a term of office may be filled, until the next Annual General Meeting, by the Board. 

Election Campaigning

Candidate Campaigning. Campaigning may include, and is limited to a statement and photo on the GSA web page, speech at the Annual General Meeting, and forms of media which are available free of charge.

The use of University of Waterloo email lists and/or paid promotional material in any forms of media (including posters), either on- or off-campus, are not permitted, and may be cause for disqualification.

Ethics. The content and methods of campaigning shall be above reproach. Candidates shall not knowingly misrepresent the character of the other candidates, nor shall they interfere with the campaign of the other candidates.

Accountability. Candidates shall be responsible for the actions of their campaign volunteers and candidates shall be strictly liable for all campaign violations.

Information Sessions. Information sessions will be organized at the discretion of the CRO. Each candidate will be offered an equal opportunity to participate in each session. The logistics and details of these sessions will be determined by the CRO in consultation with the candidates.

Financial Accountability. No expenses will be authorized for director elections. 

Disqualification. A candidate that is disqualified is deemed to have withdrawn. The candidate may continue to carry on in their current role with the GSA-UW.

Nominee endorsement. Neither the Board nor the Council shall endorse a nominee.

Appendix: GSA Director Nomination Form

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Policy #7 - GSA Council

Established: August 2015
Related: BL#2, BL#10.2, BL#3, BL#5, BL#8
Class: C
Responsible: Board / Council


 Introduction
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) Council is the body responsible for determining the policies and official positions of the GSA as they relate to academic and political representation of Waterloo Graduate Students. GSA By-Law 7 regulates its operations. All Councillors are graduate students from the University of Waterloo; the membership of Council is made up of the GSA Directors. the GSA Officers, one representative from each department, and non-voting At-large councillors appointed by Council


Legal Framework

In addition to the abovementioned “Related Bylaws, Policies, Official Positions, and Procedures”, the policy will be construed in accordance with applicable law, in particular:

  • Ontario Corporations Act, RSO.   c.   (OCA)
  • Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (OHRC);

If any of these legal provisions are modified, abrogated, superseded, or added to, the policy will be interpreted in accordance with the new legal framework.

Purpose

  • This policy addresses the manner and extent to which the GSA conducts meetings of Councillors.
  • The objective of this policy is to establish the roles and responsibilities of the GSA in conducting the business of Council.

Principles

  • The GSA is the sole representative of Waterloo graduate students and will engage with its members through departmental representation on Council.
  • The GSA values transparency and professionalism.
  • The GSA holds itself to the highest ethical standards in matters related to representation of its members.
  • The GSA acknowledges and will comply with its responsibilities under its governing bylaws and policies.

7.0.0 Procedures and Regulations
 

7.1.0 Chair of Council. The Student Affairs Officer has oversight authority for the GSA Council.  In accordance with GSA bylaw #7-Council, the Chair of Council must be a GSA-UW member and is appointed by the Board.

The Chair of all Council meetings is responsible for serving due notice, preparing the agenda, and arranging for the keeping of minutes.

Proceedings at all Council meetings shall be according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.

At the first meeting of Council, usually held in May, the Chair may request that a Council Speaker is appointed to preside over meetings.

Chair of Council or the Council Speaker, while presiding over Council meetings, will be impartial in exercising the right to make motions or speak in debate, and also refrains from voting except (i) when a vote is by ballot, or (ii) whenever their vote will affect the result.

7.2.0 Council Meetings

7.2.1 Regular Council Meetings

7.2.1.1 Calling meetings. The Council Chair will call Regular Council meetings approximately once a month, at the University of Waterloo. 

7.2.1.2 Notice. Notice of a Regular Council meeting must be sent to each Member of Council (Councillor) at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting, providing the date, time, location, and agenda.  Documents and reports supplemental to the agenda will be submitted with the notice or with the Chair’s permission, but not later than three (3) days prior to the meeting date.

7.2.1.3 Notice of Motion-Council.

a.) Whenever a Member of the Council wishes to introduce a motion that, in the opinion of the Student Affairs Officer constitutes a major change in GSA policy or operation, notice of motion shall be presented to the Student Affairs Officer in writing ten (10) days before the meeting of the Council that is to consider the motion.

b.) The Student Affairs Officer shall include this notice of motion in the announcement of the meeting sent to all Council Members.

7.2.2 Special Council Meetings

7.2.2.1 Calling special meetings. Special Council meetings may be called by the President, the Student Affairs Officer, by a motion of the Board, or by a petition of not less than fifty percent of the current voting members of Council, and will be held at the University of Waterloo.

7.2.2.2 Notice. In the case of a Special Council meeting called by the President, the Student Affairs Officer, or by a motion of the Board, notice must be sent to each Councillor no less than 24 hours prior to the meeting, providing the date, time, location, and agenda.

7.2.2.3 Notice of Special Meeting by Petition. In the case of a Special Council meeting called by a petition, notice must be sent within seven (7) days of having received the petition, providing the date, time, location, and agenda.

7.2.3 Errors in Notice. No error or omission in giving such notice for any meeting of Councillors shall invalidate such meeting. Any person who is entitled to notice of a meeting of the Council may waive notice, and attendance of the person at the meeting is a waiver of notice of the meeting, unless the person attends the meeting, before the agenda is approved, for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business on the grounds that the meeting was not lawfully called. The meeting will not continue.

7.2.4 Quorum. A quorum for the transaction of business at meetings of the Council shall consist of one third of the current voting members of Council.  Vacant seats for departments that have not appointed a representative are not included in the total membership for the determination of quorum.

7.2.5 Attendance. Graduate students that are not members of Council may attend meetings.  Graduate students, that are not members of Council, with permission of the Chair, may make a short presentation to Council on an issue of concern.  Council may vote to go into confidential session and exclude all non-Councillors from the meeting.  The Chair may unilaterally move the meeting into confidential session only to discuss the need for an extended confidential session.

7.2.6 Proxy.   Departmental Councillors may proxy to another GSA member of their department.

Directors cannot proxy their directorship responsibility on Council.

7.3.0 Councillors

7.3.1 Eligibility of Candidates.  Each candidate for a departmental Council seat shall be a GSA member and shall be registered in their department.

7.3.2 Departmental graduate student association or equivalent recognized by GSA exists

7.3.2.1 Appointment to Council. The departmental graduate student association shall appoint a representative to Council.

7.3.2.2 Term of Office. Councillors will retain their appointment, unless one of the following events occurs:

  1. They choose to resign.
  2. They cease to be enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Waterloo
  3. They are removed from Council as 7.3.5.
  4. Their departmental GSA removes them from Council.

7.3.3 No departmental graduate student association or equivalent recognized by GSA exists

7.3.3.1 Appointment by election to Council. The Council representative will be determined by an election in which the eligible voters are graduate students in that department.  The Student Affairs Officer will advertise the vacancy to each graduate student in the department based on the most current list of registered graduate students.  The call for nominations usually occurs in May.

After a two-week period, if only one person has been nominated, that person shall be acclaimed to the position.  If more than one person has been nominated, the GSA will host an election within two weeks of the closing of nominations.

The winner of the election is determined according to the single- member district plurality (commonly known as "first-past-the-post") system, i.e. the winner of the election shall be the candidate with the largest number of votes, even if that does not constitute an absolute majority.

If no students are nominated, then between the end of that nomination period and the next call for nominations for that department, any student who contacts the Student Affairs Officer to volunteer will be appointed to the seat.

7.3.3.2 Term of Office. The term of office for Councillors ends April 30, unless one of the following events occurs:

  1. They choose to resign.
  2. They cease to be enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Waterloo
  3. They are removed from Council as 7.3.5.
  4. The graduate students of a department may remove a Councillor by a referendum.

7.3.4 Duties. It shall be the responsibility of all voting Councillors to:

  1. Attend all Council and General Meetings,
  2. Be familiar with the previous business of the Council,
  3. Act in a responsible manner in conducting the affairs of the GSA,
  4. Participate in Council committees, subject to vacancies,
  5. Act as a central resource for graduate students in their department, and
  6. Act as the liaison with the GSA in this capacity and uphold the official positions of the GSA

7.3.5 Removal of Councillor. A Councillor may be removed from Council if:

  1. Any Councillor, who has missed five (5) meetings during their term, with or without regrets, or three (3) consecutive meetings without regrets, is deemed to have resigned.
  2. They are significantly lacking in the fulfillment of their duties as determined by the Chair.

7.3.6 Council Authority. The Council shall have the authority to:

  1. Develop and amend the policies and official positions of the GSA pertaining to Council in accordance with Policy #1.
  2. Form and disband committees of the Council as needed.

7.3.7 Policy conflicts. When two sections of GSA Council policy are found to be in conflict, Council shall have the power to declare which section shall take priority.  Such a declaration shall be in effect only until the next General Meeting, at which time the conflicting sections must be re-written to resolve the conflict.
 

7.3.8 Protection of Councillors. No Councillor shall be liable for the acts, neglects or defaults of any other Councillor or for joining in any receipts or other act of conformity, or for any loss or expense happening to the GSA, or for any loss occasioned by any error of judgment or any oversight on their part, or any other loss, damage or misfortune whatever, which shall happen in the execution of the duties of their office or in relation thereto, unless the same shall happen through the dishonesty of the Councillor.
 

7.3.9 Committees of Council. Subject to GSA bylaws, the Council shall determine Council committees, their duties, powers, and term.  The Chair of each committee shall submit reports to the Council. 

The details of each committee, including the date it was struck and dissolved, its mandate, and its membership will be maintained in an appendix to this policy.

7.4.0 Formal Declarations of Positions of the GSA

(Adopted: March 2007
Amended:  January 2010, February 2016)

7.4.1 Council shall have the authority to declare official positions of the Graduate Student Association in matters pertaining to representation of students to the University and various levels of government.

7.4.2 An official position of the GSA shall consist of both a statement of the position and the reasons for its adoption.

7.4.3 The official positions of the GSA shall form the basis for the GSA's lobbying efforts, and shall be communicated to the relevant authorities whenever appropriate.

7.4.4 The text of any proposed official position shall be sent to all Councillors at least two weeks prior to the Council meeting at which the official position is to be discussed, in order to allow Councillors adequate time to consult with students in their respective departments.

7.4.5 In lieu of approving or rejecting a proposed official position, Council may opt to defer the decision and require that a subcommittee with appropriate jurisdiction review the position. If an appropriate subcommittee does not exist, an ad hoc committee may be formed to review the proposal.

7.4.6 A list of all official positions adopted by Council shall be maintained on the GSA website in a widely accessible format. 
List of Official Positions

7.4.7 Council shall conduct a yearly review of the official positions, deleting or modifying any positions that are no longer relevant. Such a review shall be initiated by the SAO at the June Council meeting.

7.4.8 A Councillor may propose the removal or modification of an official position of the GSA by informing Council at least two weeks prior to the Council meeting at which such a removal or modification is to be discussed.

7.4.9 Approved positions shall remain the official stance of the Graduate Student Association until such time as they are declared by Council to no longer be the official position of the GSA

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Policy #8 - Referenda

Established: March 1999
Revised: January 2016
Related: BL#8, BL #2, BL#3, BL#4, BL#6
Class: BM
Responsible: Board of Directors


Introduction

The GSA is the sole representative of graduate students at the University of Waterloo and advocates for the rights of all students in general operating and lobbying efforts with various levels of government.  Instances where the members express intentions are required will be decided by a referendum.  This policy provides guidelines in the execution of a referendum as directed by By-law #8.

Legal Framework

In addition to the above mentioned “Related Bylaws, Policies, Official Positions, and Procedures”, the policy will be construed in accordance with applicable law, in particular:

  • Ontario Corporations Act, RSO 1990, c.  C.38 (OCA) 

If any of these legal provisions are modified, abrogated, superseded, or added to, the policy will be interpreted in accordance with the new legal framework.

Purpose

The objective of this policy is to establish the roles and responsibilities of the GSA in the execution of a referendum.  This policy addresses the manner in which members will decide the outcome of important issues that affect each Waterloo graduate student or a specific group of Waterloo graduate students.

Principles

The GSA values transparency in its governance and representation of Waterloo graduate students, and will convey the decision of its members when advocating on their behalf.  The GSA acknowledges and will comply with is responsibilities under GSA By-law #8, and the OCA.


8.1 Referendum procedures

8.1.0 Limits on Calling a Referendum   Two referenda on the same issue (or two issues deemed equivalent by Board) cannot occur within 12 months of each other.

8.1.1 Wording.  In all referenda, the Board shall approve the specific wording of the question.

8.1.2 Content.  A referendum may consist of more than one related question if the Board considers it appropriate. 

8.1.3 Electorate.  At the time of calling the referendum, the Board shall decide on the requirements for membership of the electorate and shall provide the CRO with this information.  Normally, if the referendum is being held to determine a fee then all Members of the GSA to whom the proposed fee change is applicable may vote; otherwise, each fee-paying Member of the GSA shall be eligible to vote.

8.1.4 Voting will occur by electronic ballot for a minimum of 48 hours, and will include at least one business day.

8.1.5 One Vote. No member shall vote more than once.

8.1.6 No Proxies. No proxies shall be allowed.

8.1.7 Appeals of the Referendum Decision.  

The decision by referendum may be appealed by:

  1. Upon receipt of a petition from a number of eligible voters that exceed the number of votes received by the prevailing side, the Board may, with a two-thirds majority, call a second referendum.
  2. A General Meeting may, with explicit notice of motion and a two-thirds majority, direct the Board to call a second referendum. The cost of the second referendum so required is to be borne by the GSA.

8.1.8 Notification to GSA membership in organizations external to UWaterloo

The President shall notify any external organizations whose membership or fee structure is being questioned. This notice should be provided at the earliest possible opportunity, and in any case not later than the issue of the notice of referendum.

8.2 Referendum Campaigning:

8.2.1 Official Referendum Committees   Each side in a referendum may form one committee that will be recognized officially by the CRO.  Such a committee must be chaired by at least one member of the electorate.  In the absence of a committee chair, a contingency chair shall be appointed by the CRO.  The absence of a committee for one side does not prevent the opposing side from forming a committee.

8.2.2 Costing of External Organizations. No expenses incurred by external organizations will be borne by the GSA. This includes the wages of paid employees, printing, communications, travel etc.

8.2.3 Official Council Stance. The Council, by a 2/3-majority vote, may officially decide to take a position in each referendum. An official position shall entitle the committees to cite the position of the Council.  It shall not entitle a committee to use GSA facilities that are unavailable to the other committee.
 

8.3 GSA hosting referenda on behalf of Affiliated Groups:

8.3.1 Affiliated groupsreferendum proposing a new fee or amending an existing fee.  When an organization, consisting of members of the GSA, seeks to levy a new fee on its members, or amend an existing fee; it must apply to the GSA Student Affairs Officer in writing. The affiliated group shall provide:

  1. For an affiliated group, the signatures of at least ten percent (10%) or ten (10) members of the affiliated group, whichever is greater, who are also members of the GSA, supporting the application, or by the signatures of all of the Executive Members of the affiliated group.
  2. The amount of the proposed fee, including specification of which graduate students would be assessed the proposed fee,
  3. The purpose of the fee,
  4. The exact wording of the proposed referendum question,
  5. A list of the current Executive Members of the organization,
  6. A copy of the group's constitution ratified or to be ratified by the same referendum and which permits full graduate student participation in the affairs of the group, and
  7. Current financial statements for existing organizations or financial procedures for new groups.

Upon receipt of the application, the Student Affairs Officer shall ask Board to call a referendum or not.  The Student Affairs Officer shall send a letter to the group explaining the Board's decision.

8.3.2 Affiliated Groups - notice to departmental societies.  If a departmental graduate student society requesting a referendum has previously adopted a constitution, notice provisions of both this policy and the constitution of the departmental society must be satisfied.
 

8.3.3 Affiliated Groups - Referendum Costs For referenda held on behalf of affiliated groups, all costs shall be borne by the group requesting the referendum.

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Policy #10 - Fund Accounting

Established: April 2016
Revised:
Related: BL#3, BL#10
Class: B
Responsible: board


Introduction

The GSA is an Ontario Corporation – Not-For-Profit, and conducts its business with transparency, accountability and professionalism.  To be as transparent as possible to its membership the various fees and revenues and associated expenses of the GSA are reported in separate funds.

Legal Framework

In addition to the abovementioned “Related Bylaws, Policies, Official Positions, and Procedures”, the policy will be construed in accordance with applicable law, in particular:

  • Ontario Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter C.38 (OCA)
  • Presentation of financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

If any of these legal provisions are modified, abrogated, superseded, or added to, the policy will be interpreted in accordance with the new legal framework.

Purpose

  • This policy addresses the manner and extent to which the GSA records financial activity.
  • The objective of this policy is to establish the roles and responsibilities of the Treasurer, and the Board of Directors.

Principles

  • The GSA values transparency and professionalism in the operation of the corporation.
  • The GSA holds itself to the highest ethical standards in matters related to stewardship of the members’ fees, and provision of services.

Fund Accounting

10.0 The GSA manages one bank account, in which the monies are divided into four (4) funds:

  1. The Association Fund,
  2. The Graduate House Fund,
  3. The Capital Fund, and
  4. The Health & Dental Fund.

10.1.0 Association Fund is internally restricted for operations and activities related to program delivery and administrative activities of the Association, as approved by the Board in the annual operating budget.

10.1.1 The operations and activities of the Association are such that the Association Fund may support a reserve. The Board shall determine the level of reserve necessary to execute initiatives and complete the goals identified by the Strategic Plan and the Long Range Planning Committee.

10.1.2 Surplus amounts in the Association Fund shall be assigned to projects and proposals that will benefit the members within a 3-year period.

10.2.0 The Graduate House Fund is internally restricted for operations and activities related to bar and house activities of the Graduate House, as approved in the annual operating budget.

10.2.1 The operations and activities of the Graduate House are intended to generate a surplus in the Graduate House Fund.

10.2.2 The Board shall approve an inter-fund transfer amount from the surplus in the Graduate House Fund to the Association Fund annually, to support Association initiatives for the benefit of members.
 

10.2.3 In the event that the Grad House Fund acquires a significant debt, an ad-hoc subcommittee of the Board shall review the operations of the Grad House. This subcommittee must come forward with a plan to eliminate the accumulated deficit OR make a recommendation that the operating activities of the Grad House be wound up.

10.3.0 The Capital Fund reports assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses related to GSA's capital assets. Amortization of capital assets is recorded in this fund. Beginning in 1998, the Graduate House Fund reimburses the Capital Fund for amortization expense via inter-fund transfers. 

10.3.1 The year-end balance of the Capital Fund shall be such that is can support short-term maintenance of GSA's capital assets, and support the long-term business plan of the GSA.

10.4.0 The Health and Dental Fund receives revenues in the form of refundable health and dental fees. It is internally restricted to cover the operations and activities of the health and dental plans. The Health plan operates on a “self-insured” model and the student health plan fees must be able to cover the actual annual health plan claims. The dental plan operates by a “guaranteed premium” model and the dental fees must be able to cover the dental plan premiums. Both fees should cover the joint expenses related to the administration of the plans.
 

10.4.1 The Health & Dental Fund reimburses the Association for administration of the plans.  The Board will determine the cost of the administrative reimbursement annually and identify the amount in the annual operating budget as an inter-fund transfer.

10.4.2 The year-end balance of the Health and Dental Fund (reserve) shall be at least 15% of the total annual premiums to cover the yearly fluctuations in claims.

10.5.0 Inter-fund transfers must be approved by the Board and recorded in the Board meeting minutes.  The annual operating budget will identify regular inter-fund transfers, and extraordinary inter-fund transfers as approved by the Board.

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Policy #20 - Graduate House Operations

Established:   April 2016
Revised:
Related:        
BL#3. BL#4, BL#11, P#10
Class:             B
Responsible: Board


Introduction

The GSA operates the Graduate House for the social benefit of its members. The Graduate House operates as a business (hospitality) and as a service of the GSA.  The Graduate House Manager oversees the daily operations of the venue.  The Graduate House has a long standing tradition of providing food, beverages, and social space for graduate students and members.

Legal Framework

In addition to the abovementioned “Related Bylaws, Policies, Official Positions, and Procedures”, the policy will be construed in accordance with applicable law, in particular:

  • Ontario Corporations Act, RSO.   c.   (OCA)
  • Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (OHRC);
  • Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41 (ESA)
  • Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)

If any of these legal provisions are modified, abrogated, superseded, or added to, the policy will be interpreted in accordance with the new legal framework.

Purpose

  • This policy addresses the manner and extent to which the GSA will operate the Graduate House.

Principles

  • The GSA values transparency and professionalism in the operation of the corporation.
  • The GSA holds itself to the highest ethical standards in matters related to stewardship of the members’ fees, and provision of services.

20.0 Graduate House membership

  1. The Graduate House is a private club operated by the Graduate Student Association and membership is required.
  2. Graduate students will be charged a membership fee, as determined by By-law#3.  This Graduate House Fee will appear on graduate students’ fee statement each term under “GSA Administered Fees”.  The amount of the fee will be posted on the GSA website in the “Chart of Fees”.
  3. Individuals from the university community that are not registered in graduate studies at Waterloo and who are of legal “drinking age” (19 years), must purchase a Graduate House Membership directly from the Graduate House at the rate approved by the GSA Board of Directors.
  4. Graduate students from recognized graduate programs at other universities will be permitted to purchase Graduate House Memberships at the same rate as a graduate student registered at Waterloo.
  5. Complimentary Graduate House Membership is offered to Waterloo Graduate Studies Alumni who are not currently enrolled in a graduate studies program at Waterloo.
  6. Graduate students who choose to surrender their Graduate House Membership may apply for a refund.  Any student who receives a refund will surrender rights and privileges to use the facility during the term the refund was received.

20.1 Graduate House Operations.  The Graduate House Manager will be responsible for the daily operations of the Graduate House, reporting to the General Manager and to the Board of Directors.  The Graduate House Manager and General Manager will meet to discuss operations as needed, but at least on a weekly basis.  The Graduate House Manager will submit a report to the Board when requested by the Chair of the Board and usually this will be on a monthly basis, but at least twice per academic term.

20.1.1 Emergency closures

  1. The General Manager or Graduate House Manager may close the Graduate House in emergency situations including campus snow closings. The General Manager will report such closures to the Board as soon as possible.
  2. The Board may, in the case of extreme urgency, change the closing dates and times.

20.2 Graduate House Rules.  The services of the Graduate House are for the use of Graduate House Members and registered guests.  The Graduate House Manager and General Manager shall set policies and procedures.  These shall be recorded in the GSA Operations Manual.  The Graduate House Manager will post an accurate and current listing of the Graduate House Rules at the main entrance of the Graduate House.

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