Constitution of the GSCALA

Article I - Names, Objectives, and Governance

Section 1. Name:

The name of this organization shall be the Graduate Student Caucus of the African Literature Association (GSCALA). The Caucus exists as an affiliated but separately administered organization of graduate students who may or may not be members of the ALA.

Section 2. Objectives:

The objectives of this organization shall be:

1. To establish a network of graduate students doing work on the literary, cultural, sociological, historical, musical, and artistic production of African nations and of African Diaspora and African influenced cultures.
2. To promote scholarship at the graduate level of African and African Diaspora and African influenced cultural production, and to promote graduate student involvement in the ALA.
3. To explore avenues of development in the scholarship and teaching of African and African influenced cultures in general.
4. To promote a general interest in and awareness of African and African influenced cultures.
5. To provide support resources for the development and advancement of graduate scholarship in African and African Diaspora studies.
6. To share information about and facilitate the search for academic employment in African and African Diaspora studies.
7. To provide consultation to the African Literature Association, other related associations, media, universities, and publishers on the nature, direction and issues of Graduate studies in African and African Diaspora culture.
Section 3. Governance and Structure:

A. The Graduate Student Caucus of the African Literature Association (GSCALA) shall be governed by its constitution and by-laws, and other such actions as the GSCALA may make consistent therewith.

B. Structure:

Executive Council:
i. Chair
ii. Vice Chair
iii. Media Officer

If interest dictates, positions such as second vice chair and treasurer may be added; positions may be shared among more than one person; and members-at-large may be added to the Executive Council.


Article II - Membership and Affiliation

Section 1. Members:

Membership in GSCALA is open to graduate students in African and African Diaspora cultures, history, sociology and cultural production and to other persons interested in the development of graduate studies related to Africa and African Diaspora cultures and who subscribe to the goals of the organization and the Caucus.

Section 2. Financial Membership:

A voting member shall be considered financial with payment of dues annually to the Treasurer of the ALA.

Section 3. Affiliation:

The GSCALA shall be affiliated with the African Literature Association. Said affiliation will be characterized by the following:
A. Holding annual meetings at the African Literature Association's Annual Conference;
B. Sponsoring meetings in conjunction with the annual meetings of the ALA;
C. Sponsoring of panels at the ALA, ASA and related organizations;
D. Holding annual roundtables and plenaries at the ALA annual conference and other necessary events and meetings;
E. Suggesting titles of panels and roundtables which will be supplied through the executive chair;
F. Having a designated representative or speaker of GSCALA to represent the Caucus' issues on conference committees and at the ALA Executive Council meetings, as well as any other ALA meetings.

Section 4. Meetings:
A. The annual meetings of the GSCALA will be held at the African Literature Association and at other times as desired by the membership and the executive council. Notice of place of meeting shall be given in the program of the conference. Meetings will be conveniently located at the center of the conference so that they do not provide a hardship to graduate students who plan to attend. The GSCALA Executive chair will submit a preferred time to convene and will consult with members concerning possible time slots.
B. Other meetings of the GSCALA will be convened upon request of members.

Section 5. Voting:
At every membership meeting, each financial member shall be entitled to cast one ballot. In the event that a financial member is unable to attend such a meeting, a ballot may be cast for that member by proxy, or in written form.

Section 6. Officers:
Officers of the GSCALA shall be elected for a one-year term. The Vice Chair of the GSCALA shall succeed to the office of Chair in the year following his or her term as Vice Chair. If interest allows for a Second Vice Chair, the Second Vice Chair will succeed the Vice Chair and then succeed the Chair; thus, a three year commitment is preferred.

Section 7. Annual Report:
At each annual member's meeting, officers shall submit a written annual report, together with a recommended program of action for the year ahead.


Article III - Co-ordination and Management Duties

Section 1. Chair:
The Chair shall preside over meetings and facilities and otherwise manage the affairs of the Caucus. The Chair shall call and coordinate-ordinate meetings and shall work with the Secretary to make announcements public. The Chair shall be the organization's representative on the ALA Executive Council. The Chair shall also be the representative of the GSCALA to other organizations and the public.

Section 2. Vice Chair:
The Vice Chair shall perform all duties of the Chair in the event that the Chair is unable to do so. The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair in any necessary capacity.

Section 3. Second Vice Chair:
The Second Vice Chair will assist the Chair and Vice Chair whenever necessary.

Section 4. Treasurer:
The Treasurer shall keep and manage all financial accounting of the Caucus and communicate with the ALA Treasurer concerning the dues paid to the ALA. The Treasurer will provide a financial accounting to the Caucus annually at its business meeting.

Section 5. Media Officer
The Media Officer shall keep all minutes, correspondence and records of the GSCALA. The Media Officer shall correspond with members concerning and be responsible for announcing meetings, times, dates and location. The Media Officer shall work directly with the Chair and Vice Chair concerning membership. If interest dictates that the position be split between two members, one may focus on traditional secretarial roles such as taking minutes and fostering communication among the Executive Council, while the other may focus on developing the organization's presence on the web and social media.