Home Officers Alumni Benefit Undergrads
Join! Awards Gallery Outreach JUMP!


University of Oregon Women in Graduate Science Bylaws

Amended May 2016


Table of contents

  1. Mission statement
  2. Membership
  3. Executive Council Elections
  4. Executive Council Duties
  5. Scholarships
  6. Donations
  7. UOWGS Advisory Council
  8. Plan of Action for Extraordinary Circumstances
  9. Sponsorship or endorsement

  1. Mission Statement
  2. The Women in Graduate Science (UOWGS) organization at the University of Oregon strives for gender equality by focusing on the professional development of women in all disciplines of science to enable them to become successful contributors to their fields. This mission is accomplished by informative workshops, inspirational speakers, and a community outreach program. In addition, the organization provides social support for women scientists at the University of Oregon, and offers financial support with yearly scholarships. UOWGS invites all who encourage and support the advancement of women in science to become members and to help in our work towards an inclusive science community. UOWGS is supported by the University of Oregon Graduate School, generous donors, fundraising events, and member dues.

  3. Membership
    • Eligibility:
      • Anyone who supports the mission of this organization is eligible to become a member
    • Once a term, members will meet to discuss the current state of the group, as well as potential future activities
    • Privileges and Responsibilities
      • Voting: Each member is entitled to vote once in annual elections.
      • Privileges: Each member is entitled to all services of the organization, including voting rights and eligibility for scholarships and awards. Graduate student members are also eligible to hold executive officer positions.
      • Participation: Each member is entitled to participate in all organizational events, including, but not limited to: event subcommittees, membership meetings, outreach events, professional development seminars and workshops, and social events.
      • Open Meetings: All members are invited to attend quarterly open meetings of the Executive Council (held once every term). The first and last ten minutes of the meeting will be reserved for member comments. Members are welcome to observe the entire meeting, but it will be closed for comments outside of the above allotted times
      • Responsibilities: Pay dues annually as follows
        • $5 Graduate Students/Undergraduates/Post-Docs/Staff
        • $25 Faculty/Professional
    • Honorary membership
      • Honorary membership will be given to any donors or other highly involved individuals (as approved by the Executive Council)
      • Honorary membership includes invitations to all events, including the membership celebration
      • Honorary members do not hold voting privileges
  4. Executive Council Elections
    • Elections are to be held once a year in June. The timeline for elections should be as follows, starting on Monday nearest the beginning of the month. Dates for 2016 are given in parentheses below. These may vary slightly, but the given timeline should remain consistent
      • Day after Memorial Day (May 31st) – Deadline for nominations for required returning positions (President, Treasurer, and Social Chair) from previous Executive Council members
      • Last Wednesday in May/First Wednesday in June (June 1st) – If there is more than one candidate for any of the returning positions, the ballot for those positions will be sent out at this time
      • First Monday in June (June 6th) – General call for nominations for Executive Council positions will be sent out via email. Deadline for voting on the returning positions, if a ballot was required
      • Second Monday in June (June 13th) – Deadline for turning in nominations for the non-returning Executive Council positions
      • Third Monday in June (June 20th) – The slate of candidates will be publicized based on nominations received. If there was not more than one candidate for any of the returning officer positions, returning officer candidates will be included in this candidate slate. Individuals who ran for returning officer positions who were not successful are allowed to nominate themselves for another position, to be included on this candidate slate
      • Fourth Monday in June (June 27th) – Voting closes on this day. Election results will be announced this week (the last week of June)
      • A special election may be held for positions that were not filled or for extenuating circumstances (such as a tied position). There should be no more than one week from publicizing the slate to voting date
    • President, Treasurer and Social Chair should be chosen from the previous Executive Council
      • In the event that this requirement cannot be met, applicants who have been active participants in several UOWGS events would be considered
    • All interested parties shall self-nominate by sending a statement of interest to the current president of UOWGS, or the officer coordinating the elections, in the event that the president is running again or is otherwise unable to coordinate the elections
    • A majority vote of the voting member body elects the member into the Executive Council position
    • In cases of ambiguity, the current Executive Council must act to ensure that positions are filled and resolve any conflicts
    • Voting will be conducted using Google Forms or a similar anonymizing system
    • In the event that a position cannot be filled by elections (and/or an officer is leaving their position early), the remaining officers of the Executive Council will redistribute the duties of that chair accordingly.
  5. Executive Council Duties
    • General duties of officers of the executive council:
      • Attend monthly executive council meetings
      • Review the organization’s bylaws at the first and last meeting of each year
      • Review long term goals (i.e. 5 year plans) for UOWGS at the first and last meeting of each year
      • Establish a schedule of events for the upcoming year at the first officers meeting
      • CC all communications regarding the group to the UOWGS email
      • Update the public calendar to include all upcoming events (via Gmail)
      • Keep electronic documents folder in Google Drive updated
      • During any meeting, any officer can bring an item under discussion to a vote for decision
      • Job descriptions are included but not limited to the bullets under each position
      • Time commitments vary between positions
      • Subcommittees should be utilized as much as possible to enable more member involvement and to more evenly distribute the duties of the organization
      • The most loved and treasured position is the webmaster

    President: Serves one year (full time) plus 3 months aiding and teaching the new president.

    • Oversee the University of Oregon Women in Graduate Science Organization
    • Conduct the monthly meetings of the executive council
    • Aid in the organization of each chair’s duties for the betterment of the organization as a whole
    • Prepare presentations and documentation of progress reports for groups contributing funding to UOWGS in conjunction with the Treasurer
    • Act as liaison with the graduate school
    • Act as liaison with the UO foundation
    • Monitor and oversee the following email accounts: uoregon.wgs@gmail.com and uowgs@uoregon.edu
    • Organize and run bi-annual membership meetings (Fall and Spring terms)
    • Organize and oversee annual officer elections
      • Any officer not reapplying may assist the president

    Treasurer: Serves one year (full time) plus three months aiding and teaching the new Treasurer

    • Hold a yearly meeting in the fall with the current President, former President, and former Treasurer to review the coming year's budget for the organization
    • Prepare a budget for the coming year
      • Keep organized records of all spending and fundraising
    • Manage the bank account, grant accounts, donations, online accounts, UO Foundation account, and membership dues.
      • Monitor and keep track of all financial paperwork and index reports
      • Distribute funds from various accounts, as approved by the rest of the Executive Council
      • Maintain relationships with chemistry personnel regarding use of our various indexes and spending reports etc
    • Provide a detailed expenditure report quarterly at meeting of the Executive Council
    • Gather, prepare, and manage documents for all UOWGS events and reimbursements
    • Prepare presentations and documentation of progress reports for groups contributing funding to UOWGS in conjunction with the President
    • Collect and deposit membership dues
    • Assist the Funding Chair in the preparation of any grant or fellowship applications
    • Interface with ASUO to manage JUMP! finances
    • Attend quarterly ASUO meetings

    Social Chair: Serves one year (full time) plus 3 months aiding and teaching the new social chair

    • Plan and oversee social events, including but not limited to:
      • Yearly recruiting event (membership drive -- Fall quarter)
      • Interdisciplinary Science Hour (Year round, at least 1 per term)
      • Annual Generations Luncheon (Early spring quarter)
      • MSI women networking social (June)
      • Annual Membership Celebration (Late spring quarter or early summer quarter)
      • Any other social events agreed upon by the executive council
    • Head any committees associated with aforementioned activities

    Seminar Chair: Serves one year (full time).

    • Identify and invite appropriate speakers and workshop leaders (collectively referred to as pseakers) who share in the goal of promoting women in science
      • Solicitation of ideas for speakers from the Executive Council and other members is encouraged
      • Minimum one speaker per term if funding permits
    • Communication with the invited speaker should be cc'ed to the UOWGS email for records
    • Book travel details, such as flights hotel, rental cars, taxis, visitor parking passes, etc. for speakers as necessary
      • Work with Treasurer to determine proper form of payment for each item (e.g. which index to charge)
    • Provide speaker with necessary forms for reimbursement with the help of the Treasurer
      • Follow up with speaker to ensure payment or reimbursement is received in a timely manner (cc Treasurer and UOWGS on any emails)
    • Work with Public and Alumni Relations Chair to ensure a room is booked for seminars and workshops and to organize PR materials
    • Plan the refreshments for seminar events
    • Ensure thank you notes from the Executive Council are sent to speakers in a timely manner

    Funding Chair: Serves one year (full time)

    • Organize and administrate over fundraisers for UOWGS
    • Apply for grants and fellowships on behalf of UOWGS with help from the Treasurer
    • Coordinate annual winter UOWGS Benefit
    • Cultivate various campus and community relationships (i.e. ASUO)
    • Assist Treasurer in ASUO budget proposal

    Outreach Co-Chair: Serves one year (full time, prefer two-year commitment)

    • A general interest in K-12 outreach
    • Organize activities with K-12 and undergraduate students to promote the betterment of women in science and to promote science education
    • Maintain relationships with local schools, groups on campus, and external informal science education partners
    • Plan science curriculum
    • These events include but are not limited to:
      • Science Factory Saturdays
      • Mad Duck Fridays
      • Undergraduate outreach event (Fall quarter)
      • WISE (Jan/Feb)
      • SAIL (last week of July - planning begins in January)
    • Head any committees associated with aforementioned activities

    Recorder Chair: Serves one year (full time)

    • Schedule monthly meetings of the Executive Council and prepare an agenda for the meeting. Notify officers one week before a meeting with time, location, and call for agenda
      • Schedule a time appropriate for all officers by email or online form. Book a meeting room through departmental contacts
      • Meeting Agenda: Request agenda items from each officer at least one week prior to the meeting. Send a draft agenda to the President, at least 24 hours prior to the meeting
      • Keep record of officer commitments between meetings and update the agenda to reflect these commitments
    • Record minutes at meetings and post to Google Drive for review by the Executive Council within a week after each meeting
    • Update Google Calendar and prepare schedule for the next year after first meeting
    • Work closely with the President, making note of action items and ensuring they are acted upon
    • Collect and maintain contact lists/list-serves regularly through Google, including but not limited to:
      • Executive Council Officers
      • Full and Honorary Members
      • Events Emails
      • Alumni (annual call in June)
    • Collect new and renewing membership forms and dues after membership drive
    • Update members list with all new and renewing members, including dues status
    • Record collection of each year’s dues starting in September
      • Send reminders for unpaid dues
    • Maintain membership and contact list during the year. Lists should be updated at least monthly prior to each executive meeting
    • Organize documents of membership, pictures, and newspaper clippings of the group, including physical paper work and electronic records on the Google Drive
    • Oversee the permanent records of UOWGS, including Google Drive and Members Notebook
    • Compile online payments for dues and fundraising efforts in Google Drive for review with the Treasurer

    Public and Alumni Relations Chair: Serves one year (full time)

    • Create and post flyers to advertise the upcoming speakers or events
    • Contact all science departments with news of upcoming events
    • Serve as liaison with department recruiters to arrange the availability of information regarding UOWGS to new and/or potential students
    • Maintain our presence in social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
    • Maintain organized and up-to-date contact lists for undergraduates, graduates and various departments
    • Reserve rooms for seminar events
    • Organize bi-annual alumni newsletter with the help of the executive council
      • Newsletters to be made over winter break and before the Membership Celebration in the summer

    Webmaster: Serves one year (full time)

    • Organize and update our professional website (uowgs.com)
    • Ensure the privacy/security of documents we collect online
      • Examples: officer contact information, meeting schedules, planned events, calendar, list of guest speakers, membership applications etc…
    • Experience with html, css, website design and configuration is highly recommended for members seeking to apply for this position
    • Manage the collection and organization of pictures for the website
    • Create and organize submission forms when required (e.g. JUMP! applications, annual benefit tickets, donations, and dues payments)
    • Must be comfortable being the coolest member of the Executive Board

    Graduate School Liaison: Serves one year (full time)

    • Attend monthly GSAB meetings and report to executive council
    • Advocate for relationship with ASUO and Graduate School
    • Act as main UOWGS coordinator for JUMP!
      • Coordinate with other leadership within JUMP!
    • Liaison with other graduate student groups on campus

    At-will positions:

    At the inaugural meeting with all officers, former and those taking office, there will be two at-will positions that are assigned to an existing officer. These positions will be elected through self-nomination and majority vote of all officers present.

    • Vice President
      • Works closely with the President
      • Takes on leadership role if, for whatever reason, the President is unable or unwilling to perform a designated task


    • Any full member is allowed to be on a committee run by a chair from the Executive Council
    • The committee members are required to aid the chair with their duties
    • Meetings will be held with the chair as necessary
    • Subcommittees are required for the following events and are encouraged for any events where one is deemed necessary by those organizing it
  6. Scholarships
    • A subcommittee assembled in October will oversee scholarships; subcommittee will include 3 officers and 2 members. The subcommittee will decide on a point person. Subcommittee members must not be applying for any scholarships. The duties of the scholarship subcommittee include
      • Review application forms with the Executive Council and vote on any proposed changes each year prior to the start of the application process
      • In the event that a new award is added, the Graduate School, as well as the Foundation, must approve the description of the award and the process of awarding the scholarship by December
      • Collect and organize all application materials, make necessary copies, and distribute to the chosen review committee members for evaluation, along with a cover letter
      • All documents needed for scholarships: instructions to review committee and evaluation sheets for review committee members. Any changes in these documents must be voted on by the Executive Council
      • Compile the results of the scholarship review committee
      • Begin scholarship advertisement late winter/early spring quarter. Applications should be submitted in April, and students should be notified no later than June 1st
    • The review committee must consist of at least three science faculty or post-doc members, ideally in different departments
      • Committee can be chosen from those who previously served, but new committee members are preferred
      • If a reviewer’s student(s) apply for an award, that reviewer’s comments will not be included in the review
      • A 4th reviewer, outside the sciences is recommended (i.e. someone from the Graduate School)
    • Scholarships must be submitted in hard copy by 3pm on the due date to the Chemistry office UOWGS mailbox. In the case of extenuating circumstances, application materials may be sent to scholarships.uowgs@gmail.com. This email will only be accessible by the scholarship subcommittee and the password will be changed with the inauguration of the new scholarship committee every year
    • Records of applicants should be updated on Google Drive (hard copy materials must be destroyed once reviewed)
  7. Donations
    • All donations to UOWGS should be made through the UO Foundation
    • All donation requests for money from UOWGS should follow the protocol below;
      • Discretionary funds (5% of total budget) will be set aside for potential donations from UOWGS to outside groups
      • Individuals or groups requesting discretionary funds must submit a formal written request including how they align with our mission statement, and how they will use the money if it is donated.
  8. UOWGS Advisory Council
    • An advisory council consisting of a minimum four people: a representative from the UO Foundation, a representative from the Graduate School, and two faculty members who align with our mission will be selected each summer
    • The members of the advisory council will be reviewed following elections of the new Executive Council in June, and replaced if necessary
    • All members of the advisory council will attend one fall UOWGS meeting to meet the Executive Council officers
      • This meeting will be scheduled around advisory council members, and members of the advisory council are free to leave after introductions
    • Advisory council members do not have voting power in UOWGS
  9. Plan of Action for Extraordinary Circumstances
    • A meeting of all officers must be called before any discussions with an outside party
      • Any officer may call a meeting of the Executive Council by emailing the other officers. The subject line must indicate that this meeting is confidential and clearly state the issue to be addressed. If the subject is an officer or member, that officer or member should be made aware of the meeting as soon as practical
    • In the event of time sensitive circumstances, officers are given a courtesy 24 hours to respond to the sent email before a meeting time and location will be decided
    • An appropriate plan of action must be agreed on with a two-thirds affirmative vote of all Executive Council officers, except any officer directly implicated
    • If the President is the implicated officer, the Vice President will take over as the leader of UOWGS
    • The plan of action must be presented to the advisory council
      • The advisory council’s advice does not have to be taken, but should be strongly considered
    • UOWGS is not a political organization. If, however, an outside organization requests the public support of UOWGS, the organization may do so only under the following circumstances:
      • The group requesting support must be clearly and fully aligned with the UOWGS mission statement
      • In ambiguous situations, support would be granted only if there was a two-thirds affirmative vote by the Executive Council.