SWIG Constitution

Article I: Purpose

The purpose of S.W.I.G. is to support women within the discipline of Geography by helping to empower women to pursue academic and/or professional careers in Geography through training, career development, and other resources. S.W.I.G. will also provide a forum for women and supporters of women in geography to come together for intellectual, professional, and personal support. S.W.I.G. will promote the discipline of geography to other women within the University and illustrate the representation of women within the discipline of geography by providing information to members, and sponsoring female geographers as speakers and/or guests of the University to share their research and experience.

Article II: Membership

  • Membership in S.W.I.G. will consist of active and associate members. Currently employed faculty, staff, and currently registered students are eligible for active membership. Others wishing to join S.W.I.G. are eligible for associate membership.
  • 51% of the active membership for S.W.I.G. consists of graduate students.
  • Only current employed faculty, staff, and currently registered students are eligible for active membership in S.W.I.G. All currently registered students who wish to participate in S.W.I.G. must be admitted as active members. Only active student members may be appointed or elected to hold an office. Only active members may vote, preside, officiate, or solicit funding on the organization’s behalf.
  • There must be at least 12 active members of S.W.I.G at all times.
  • Membership to S.W.I.G. is open to and will not discriminate for any reason including but not restricted to color, race, creed, gender, sexual preference, religion, or physical handicap.

Article III: Officers

Only full-time, officially registered students shall be eligible to serve as appointed or elected officers of S.W.I.G. Further limitation, such as semesters standing, are allowable, but these must be approved by the GSA Judiciary Committee.


  • Co-Presidents: A joint elected position with a term of one school year. The co-presidents will organize meetings, agendas, speakers, and other activities deemed necessary and/or important to the members of S.W.I.G.
  • Secretary: An elected position with a term of one calendar year. The secretary will record the minutes from the meetings and lead communications among members via e-mail.
  • Treasurer: An elected position with a term of one calendar year. The treasurer will collect and handle all financial accounts for S.W.I.G. The treasurer and the co-presidents will have accesses to S.W.I.G.'s financial account.
  • Web Coordinators: An elected position for a term of 1-2 years. The Web coordinators will maintain and update the S.W.I.G. website.

Active S.W.I.G. members will nominate other members to the above named positions prior to our final meeting in the Spring Semester. At the final meeting blind votes will be collected for each position. A 51% or greater number of votes will be expected for each elected position. Once the votes are tallied the new officers will be announced.

Article IV: Meetings

  • Meetings will be held one per month in the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Meeting frequency are decided and changed by the consensus of the group members. If a member or officer elects to change the frequency of the meeting she/he must request the change at a regularly scheduled meeting and members will thus vote to accept or reject the proposed change.
  • Special meetings may be called under special circumstance including but not restricted to: welcoming a visiting geography professor or professional, and/or to assist members with personal or professional difficulties related to S.W.I.G.'s purpose and mission. An elected officer of S.W.I.G may call a special meeting.
  • Members will be contacted by e-mail regarding the schedule of meetings. Members may contact either the co-presidents or the secretary (by telephone or e-mail) for information about meeting dates, times, and locations.

Article V: Voting

  • A S.W.I.G. majority consists of 51% or greater of the active members.
  • A quorum is the number of members of S.W.I.G. that when duly assembled are able to conduct business regarding S.W.I.G this quorum should always equal at least 40% of the active members of S.W.I.G.
  • Regarding voting, a majority of 51% or greater of active members must be reached for a person to be elected to office within S.W.I.G. A majority of 75% or greater of active and associate members must be reached when voting on the use of S.W.I.G. resources and changes to the S.W.I.G. format, goals, purpose, or mission.

Article VI: General Business

  • 30% of active and associate members should be present when conducting general S.W.I.G. business.

Article VII: Finances

  • All S.W.I.G. funds are to be handled exclusively through the Associated Student Activities (ASA) office.
  • Dues are not a condition of membership in S.W.I.G.
  • S.W.I.G.'s annual budget for the 2001-2002 year will be prepared in the Spring of 2001, and follow thereafter on this schedule.
  • Expenses less than 50 dollars may be approved by the Treasurer and the Co-Presidents. Larger expenses must be approved by the membership at a general meeting in advance.

Article VIII: Advisor

  • The S.W.I.G. advisor must be a member of the University community and she/he will be chosen by the S.W.I.G. membership following the specified voting procedures for electing officers.

Article IX: Elections

  • Elections will take place at the April meeting in the spring semester.
  • This meeting will be publicized both through e-mail contact to members and by paper advertisements in the Department of Geography.
  • No one involved with the conduction of elections may be an official candidate.
  • A 40% quorum is needed to conduct elections
  • Nominations will be requested the meeting prior to the April meeting of the spring semester. Votes will be taken and tallied at the April meeting. If there is a tie vote, a re-vote will be requested. If there are office vacancies, officers from the previous year will be asked to fill the vacancies. In the event that a previous officer cannot fill the vacancies, a volunteer from the current active members will be requested to fill the vacancy.
  • New officers will begin their term of office at the October meeting of the following fall semester, to allow for a smooth transition from old and new officers.

Article X: Amendments to the Constitution

  • The introduction of a new amendment must be done at a regularly scheduled meeting (unless a special or emergency meeting is deemed necessary). A 40% quorum is required for the introduction of a new amendment and a 40% quorum is required at the time of voting. A 75% or greater majority is required to pass the new amendment.
  • Active and associate members may propose new amendments. Two readings of the new amendments are required at separate general meetings in addition to an announcement of the proposed amendment via electronic mail to members (both associate and active) before a vote will be taken.
  • All amendments are subject to approval by the GSA judiciary committee.
  • New amendments will take effect at the meeting proceeding the passage and approval of the new amendment.

Article XI: Parliamentary Authority

  • see Robert, Sarah Corbin. 1970. Robert's Rules of Order: Newly Revised. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company.

Article XII: Accessibility of this Constitution

  • Copies of the S.W.I.G. constitution will be available to anyone upon request.