By-Laws

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) is to advocate on behalf of graduate students, provide services that inform and promote graduate students, and organize socializing events for its constituency.

GSC Committee

All committee members must be familiar with the bylaws, and are responsible for upholding them until they leave the GSC.

  1. Candidates nominated or self-nominated for positions on the GSC committee must be graduate students at the time of the elections. If their status changes once elected, they can continue to serve their functions until the completion of their mandate, unless the NeMLA Executive Board disapproves.
  2. Elections: The election period starts in February and lasts one month. The Vice President will send a call for nominations, giving potential candidates two weeks to submit nominations. The Vice President will then compile the nominations in SurveyMonkey and give the GSC constituents two weeks to vote. By mid-March, the VP will communicate results to nominees and the committee. The official results will be announced at that year’s convention.
  • NB: This timeline can be altered to accommodate the convention date and/or instances in which a current committee member would like to run for an available position

Committee Positions and Compensation

Should any committee member’s status change during the 3 years in this position, the number of hotel nights might be decreased depending on the new status.

The President reserves the right to withdraw compensation when any of the GSC committee members do not fulfill their duties. Before withdrawing compensation, the President will send a cautionary email about the situation.

Further, if a committee member does not fulfill their duties, or does so sporadically, the President, with the agreement of the committee, reserves the right to ask the committee member to resign from their position.

Compensation shall be discussed upon election.

I. President

The President oversees the caucus and is elected triennially. The President serves on the NeMLA board, and as such is the liaison between the graduate student constituency and NeMLA. The President attends both fall and spring board meetings (the fall board meeting is a virtual meeting using conferencing software). Other responsibilities include chairing the Travel Award and Essay Award committee, organizing the Meet and Greet and chairing the business meeting at the NeMLA convention, and assisting other committee members in GSC operations. The President might also propose and chair a GSC session at the yearly convention.

II. Vice President

This is a two-year position. The Vice President assists the President with caucus affairs. The Vice President is responsible for administrating the Travel Awards and Essay Award, holding GSC elections, and conducting the GSC post-convention survey. The Vice President will also propose and chair a GSC session at the yearly convention.

III. Communications Director

This is a two-year position. The Communications Director updates the GSC website, oversees the Room/Ride Share message board, and posts weekly to Facebook and Twitter. It is important for the Communications Director to advertise GSC Awards and other NeMLA updates, as well as share professionalization information. The Communications Director also compiles a list of “Grad-Friendly Food” near the convention and assists in Travel Award evaluations and Essay Award evaluations. The Communications Director might also propose and chair a GSC session at the yearly convention.

Awards

A. Travel Awards

The awards are open to any graduate student who has been accepted to present at the upcoming convention. Applications are subject to double-blind review. Evaluation is based on the quality of the student’s abstract and the relevance of their topic in their respective fields. Award amount is dependent upon the year’s budget and the evaluation results.

  1. Applicants must be graduate students during the fall semester
  2. Applications are open from the panel finalization date (usually October 15) through December 1.
  3. Applications must be sent to gsc@nemla.org with the only following information in the body of the email:
    1. Applicant’s name and email address
    2. Title of the accepted abstract
    3. Accepted abstract
    4. Statement of 250 words or less describing the relevance of the presentation to the graduate student’s field of study. If the presentation is part of a larger project, the statement should explain the larger project’s intervention into the field.
  4. The President works with the Vice President to establish a timeline for reviewing abstracts, coming to a decision and notifying applicants.
  5. The Vice President replies to applicants and creates spreadsheets of data (one with all data and anonymous sheets for each reviewer).
  6. All three committee members review and evaluate an equal number of abstracts. Ideally, there will be one or two fellows to assist with review.
  7. After review, the Vice President aggregates data and sends it to the President, who provides three options for distribution to the entire committee.
  8. Final score for each abstract is an average of the two reviewers’ scores.
  9. Committee decides best way to distribute funds, and Communications Director sends reply emails.
  10. President provides award data to NeMLA Executive Director and Administrative Assistant.

B. Essay Award

The awards are open to any participant who was a graduate student when they presented at the previous convention. Applications are subject to blind review. Evaluation is based on rubric, agreed upon by the committee members. Award amount is $100 and submission to Modern Language Studies.

  1. Applications are open until January 15.
  2. Applications must be sent to gsc@nemla.org with two PDF attachments:
    1. Cover sheet with applicant’s name, address, and academic affiliation
    2. Revised essay with no identifying information included
    3. Submitted essays must be between 7,000 and 9,000 words.
  3. Unrevised conference presentations will not be accepted.
  4. Any applications that fail to meet any of these guidelines will be returned.
  5. Should an application be returned on the deadline, the committee will discuss whether a 24- or 48-hour extension will be granted.
  6. The President works with the Vice President to establish a timeline for reviewing papers, coming to a decision and notifying applicants.
  7. The Vice President replies to applicants and distributes rubric and essays (no identifying data or cover sheets) to committee.
  8. All three committee members review and evaluate each essay. Ideally, there will be one or two fellows to assist with review. If there are more than 15 applications, the committee will decide the how to proceed, provided that each application has at least two reviewers.
  9. The Vice President aggregates evaluation data. The total score of all evaluations will be used to determine the winner.
  10. Should any essays receive scores within 3 points of one another, especially when there are only two reviewers per essay, each of those essays will be reevaluated by the whole committee (fellows included if they initially participated), and the winner will be determined by the highest total score after reevaluation.
  11. Communications Director sends reply emails.
  12. President provides award data to NeMLA Executive Director and Administrative Assistant.

Communication and Decision-Making

  1. All decisions to change the roles of the GSC committee members, any of the services provided, or events organized for the GSC constituency, will be made following the discussion and agreement of a majority of the GSC committee members.
  2. Decisions regarding themes that will guide the creation of panels, roundtables, workshops, events, etc., will be made following a discussion with constituents at the annual GSC Meeting held at the conference. The Vice President will then create a survey that the President will send to all constituents asking them to vote on their preferences. The committee will then work together to decide on topics to propose and negotiate who would like to write which proposal.
  3. Committee members are expected to respond to GSC-related emails in a timely fashion, within 24 hours whenever possible. All committee members should feel empowered to initiate discussion about GSC-related issues.

Log-in and Social Media Information

  1. Outgoing Communications Director adds incoming committee members as administrator for Facebook page.
  2. Outgoing Communications Director adds incoming committee members as administrator for WordPress (website).
  3. Other log-in information will be shared with incoming committee members.