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I.    NAME

The name of the organization shall be the Southern Group on Student Affairs (SGSA) of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

II.    PURPOSE

The purpose shall be to advance medical education with respect to the unique needs of the students, with particular emphasis on the critical review of issues and interests of medical schools and medical students, in the area of admissions, financial aid, diversity affairs, student affairs and student records. The SGSA shall facilitate communication and mutual assistance among its member institutions, with medical schools in other regions and with the national Group on Student Affairs (GSA), and shall provide a forum for discussion of matters to be acted upon at SGSA and GSA meetings.

III.    MEMBERSHIP

A.    Members of the SGSA shall be of three types:

1.    Institutional members who are appointed annually by the deans of the medical schools in the Southern region, that are institutional members of the AAMC (hereafter referred to as “member medical schools”), and who shall serve at the pleasure of their respective deans. Each member school shall have five institutional members, one in each of the five areas of GSA interest and expertise (admissions, financial aid, diversity affairs, student affairs and student records). In some circumstances, the dean of a member medical school may appoint an additional institutional member, a member-at-large, who shall be an administrator in one of the five areas of GSA interest and expertise.

2.    Individual members, who may be self-nominated or nominated by other members and who shall be administrators in one or more of the five areas of GSA interest and expertise at member medical schools.

3.    Affiliate members who may be appointed:

a.    By the deans of medical schools in the Southern Region that are affiliate institutional members of the AAMC.
b.    By the deans of medical schools in the Southern Region that are provisional institutional members of the AAMC.

B.    All (institutional, individual and affiliate) members duly appointed by their deans shall be eligible to participate in all SGSA programs and activities as organized by the SGSA and the GSA.

C.    Each member medical school in the Southern region holding institutional membership in the AAMC shall be entitled to one vote. This vote shall be cast by the “voting representative” (so designated by the dean) at each member medical school and shall represent a consensus among the members of the GSA delegation at that school.

IV.    MEETINGS AND QUORUMS

A.    Meetings of the SGSA membership shall be held annually or biannually in the spring/summer and at other such times as may be appropriate (i.e. at the fall AAMC Annual Meeting); notification of such meetings to members must occur at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting date. Additional meetings may be called by the Steering Committee or by the voting representatives of 50 percent of member medical schools in the Southern region. A meeting may be canceled or postponed by a majority vote of the voting representatives at member medical schools in the Southern region, voting either by mail, email or at a previous meeting.

B.    A majority of the voting representatives from member medical schools in the Southern region shall constitute a quorum (that number is currently 51, as of May 6th, 2016). The responsibilities of the voting representative from a member medical school may be transferred in writing to another SGSA institutional member from that school, in the event of the voting representative’s absence.

C.    Formal actions may be taken at meetings in which a quorum is present. At such meetings, decisions and actions shall be made by a majority vote of voting representatives present.

D.    The SGSA Chair who will make parliamentary decisions as required shall conduct meetings. Such decisions may be appealed and require a two-thirds majority of voting representatives to nullify the Chair's original decision.

V.    OFFICERS/REPRESENTATIVES

A.    In accordance with AAMC national Group on Student Affairs (GSA), eligibility for SGSA offices will be limited to institutional GSA members, as defined in section III.1.a. These officers, who make up the SGSA Steering Committee, include the SGSA Chair, Chair-Elect, Vice Chair, and Immediate Past Chair, as well as SGSA Committee Representatives, the SGSA Executive Secretary/Treasurer and the two members at-large.

B.    The SGSA officers shall include a Chair, a Chair-Elect, a Vice-Chair, and an Immediate Past Chair. Responsibilities of the SGSA officers shall include:
1.    The Chair presides at all meetings of the SGSA and at all meetings of the SGSA Steering Committee. The Chair, in consultation with the SGSA Steering Committee, also nominates SGSA members for vacancies on the GSA National committees and submits names of potential nominees to the GSA Nominating Committee for consideration for the position of GSA National Vice-Chair.
2.    The Chair-Elect presides in the absence of the Chair and serves as the program chair for the next spring/summer SGSA meeting if one is scheduled according to the AAMC meeting cycle.
3.    The Vice-Chair assists the Chair-Elect with plans for the spring SGSA meeting and coordinates the plans for the spring SGSA meeting two years later if one is scheduled according to the AAMC meeting cycle.
4.    The Immediate Past Chair serves as Chair of the SGSA Nominating Committee and as a member of the GSA Exemplary Service Award Selection Committee.

C.    The person selected as Vice-Chair shall serve a four-year term of office under assumption of automatic progression through the office of Vice-Chair (one year), Chair-Elect (one year), Chair (one year), and Immediate Past Chair (one year).

D.    If a vacancy occurs during the term of office of the Chair, the Chair-Elect or the Vice Chair, each succeeding officer will advance to fill the opening, and a new interim Vice Chair will be selected by the SGSA Steering Committee to serve until the next spring/summer SGSA business meeting. At the spring/summer SGSA business meeting, the SGSA Nominating Committee will have the prerogative of forwarding the name of the interim Vice-Chair as Chair-Elect or call for open nominations. Alternatively, the SGSA Steering Committee may choose to lead an online election in years where no spring/summer SGSA business meeting is planned.

VI.    ELECTIONS

A.    The terms of office for the SGSA elected officials shall extend from the concluding session of the spring/summer SGSA Business meeting at which time they assume office, to the concluding session of the following year’s spring SGSA meeting. In years where the SGSA Business meeting is held during a summer month, or in the event there is no spring or summer SGSA Business meeting, then the term of office will extend from May 1, through April 30.

B.    The SGSA Nominating Committee will provide the names of a minimum of two nominees annually to the membership for the purpose of selecting a Vice-Chair. The nominees’ name, biographical information, and statement of goals and purposes for his/her tenure as an officer will be distributed prior to the election.

C.    All votes for Vice-Chair shall be cast by the voting representative by either written or electronic balloting. Ballots shall be distributed to the voting representative at each member medical school, who will vote after consultation with the full GSA delegation at the school. A place for any write-in candidates will be available on the ballot. Ballots will be due to the Nominating Committee chair no later than one week prior to the spring/summer SGSA Business meeting. If elections are online given that no spring or summer meeting is planned, then deadlines will be set by the Nominating Committee. Results of the election shall be publicly announced at either the spring/summer SGSA Business meeting or alternatively, online.

D.    Election to the Steering Committee of two members-at-large for two-year terms shall be held annually at the SGSA spring/summer business meetings or through online election process, with voting by each institutional and individual member of the SGSA present, when an in-person vote, or by each voting institutional member when online elections are held. These two-year terms shall be elected in alternating years from each other.

E.    Elections will be decided by a majority of ballots cast. In the event a run-off election is necessary, members present at the spring/summer SGSA Business Meeting will complete additional balloting at the meeting. Votes will be cast at the meeting by each institutional and individual member of the SGSA present. In years when elections are held online, then additional information will be disseminated about run-off candidates, and time will be provided for a second round of online voting, with votes cast by the one voting representative at each school.

VII.    COMMITTEES

Standing Committees of the SGSA shall include a Steering Committee and a Nominating Committee. The Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, may appoint other standing committees. The standing committees and their functions shall be reviewed annually by the Steering Committee, and the Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, may dissolve those committees no longer needed.

A.    The Steering Committee shall consist of the officers of the SGSA, the two members elected at-large for staggered two-year terms, , the SGSA representatives to the GSA national committees (Admissions, Student Affairs, Diversity Affairs, Student Financial Assistance, and Student Records), and the Chair and Chair-Elect of the SGSA Organization of Student Representatives (SGSA-OSR). Ex-Officio non-voting members of the Steering Committee will include chairs of any existing ad hoc committees, the local arrangements contact persons for the next two spring/summer SGSA meetings, and any SGSA members serving as GSA committee chairs or national GSA officers.

B.    The SGSA Steering Committee shall have the usual duties of an executive committee and shall be responsible for the planning and implementation of SGSA programs at the spring SGSA meeting. When planning meetings, the Steering Committee shall determine program content and scheduling after soliciting advice from and having discussions with representatives of related groups that may meet in conjunction with the SGSA (e.g., the Southern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions [SAAHP], the Southern Region Organization of Student Representatives [SOSR], the Southern Region Group on Educational Affairs [SGEA], and other regional GSA organizations).  The Steering Committee shall determine the site and dates of each spring SGSA meeting, for the years that they occur, and appoint a member of the SGSA from the host school (or each of the co-host schools) to serve as the local arrangements contact person(s) for the meeting.

C.    To assist in the operation of the SGSA, the Steering Committee will appoint a member of the SGSA to the position of Executive Secretary/Treasurer for a term of four years.  The Executive Secretary/Treasurer will serve as the SGSA treasurer and will be responsible for taking minutes during all meetings, maintaining SGSA records and the membership mailing address and email address lists, and performing other duties, as requested. The two elected “members-at-large” will coordinate and facilitate the orientation for new members at the spring SGSA meetings; email communications to SGSA members to identify both mentors and mentees; pair new SGSA members up with compatible mentors; follow-up with mentor/mentees pairs to ensure the presence of a working relationship; and perform other duties, as requested. Both the Executive Secretary/Treasurer and the two members-at-large will be expected to attend all Steering Committee meetings.

D.    The Nominating Committee shall consist of two available past SGSA chairs and two other members of the SGSA, selected by the Immediate Past Chair. The Nominating Committee will be chaired by the Immediate Past Chair, who shall vote only to break a tie.

E.    The Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations as described in VI. (B./C.) from the SGSA membership and shall work with the Chair to conduct an orderly election process to fill the position of Vice-Chair and the member-at-large positions on the Steering Committee and to fill other vacant positions, as needed. They shall also serve as the SGSA Outstanding Service Award Screening Committee and present the names of finalists to the Steering Committee for selection of award recipients.

F.    Ad hoc committees are appointed by the Chair, acting on advice of either the Steering Committee or the membership, as appropriate. The function and structure of ad hoc committees shall take into consideration the function and structure of existing GSA sections and committees and, specifically, the areas of interest delineated in Section II (Purpose).

VIII.    FINANCE

A.    The Steering Committee will determine the registration fee and any special function fees for spring SGSA meetings, when planned, based on consideration of funds needed to meet SGSA expenses.

B.    The Chair must approve any expenses in excess of amounts anticipated by the Steering Committee before the expense is reimbursed by the Executive Secretary/Treasurer. Other anticipated and routine expenses may be reimbursed by the Executive Secretary/Treasurer, but must be detailed in the annual Executive Secretary/Treasurer’s annual report.

C.    No resources of the organization may accrue to the financial benefit of any of its members.

IX.    PARLIAMENTARY RULES

Roberts' Rules of Order shall be the authoritative source of all meeting procedures not specifically discussed in these Rules and Regulations.

X.    AMENDMENTS TO RULES AND REGULATIONS

Subject to approval of the GSA Steering Committee, these may be amended by either written or electronic ballot cast by the voting representatives at member medical schools in the Southern region for which 30 days written notice of the proposed Rules and Regulations change has been given.  A two-thirds majority of ballots received thirty (30) days following ballot distribution will be required to amend, provided that the total number of votes cast for the changes constitute a majority of the voting representatives.  

Revised April 1998, February 2006, October 2012, and May 2016.

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