Women+ in Chemistry at UChicago

Constitution and Bylaws for the 2022-23 Academic Year

Article I: Name

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be Women+ in Chemistry (WiC+).

Article II: Purpose

Section 1. The purpose of this organization shall be to help foster relationships among women and gender-minorities (“women+”) in the University of Chicago’s Department of Chemistry for mutual encouragement, and to promote women+ in STEM by creating a supportive environment through engaging speakers, open discourse with the Chemistry department and monthly social and/or professional development events.

Article III: Field of Membership

Section 1. Membership includes all enrolled University of Chicago students interested in meeting to promote the mission of fostering a supportive environment for women+ in the Department of Chemistry. Voting membership is limited to currently registered University of Chicago students.

Section 2. All currently registered University of Chicago students are eligible for membership. Membership is primarily advertised to graduate students and postdocs that are in the Chemistry department.

Section 3. This organization is in compliance with the University of Chicago’s anti-discrimination policy, which states that “In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to University programs on the basis of individual merit. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).”

Section 4.  This organization condemns hazing and shall not participate in any hazing events, and any members involved in such activities shall be removed from the organization.

Article IV: Officers

Section 1. The officers of the organization shall be President, Treasurer, and Administrative Coordinator. The organization may also, though need not, elect one (1) Co-President, (1) Postdoctoral Representative, and (1) Social Media Coordinator to serve as additional officers.  

Section 2.  The officers must be currently registered University of Chicago graduate students in the Department of Chemistry excluding the Postdoctoral Representative who must already hold a graduate degree.

Section 3. Officers will serve a one- (1) year term.

Section 4. The roles of individual officers are detailed in subsections 4.1 through 4.4.  All officers do, however, have the authority to perform any leadership duty as outlined below or as required by the organization.

Section 4.1. The President (and Co-President, if applicable) shall be responsible for general oversight of the organization.  This includes, but is not limited to, planning and hosting monthly events throughout the academic year and facilitating engagement with other groups on campus (division-wide science programs, groups focused on diversity and inclusion, undergraduates, etc). The President(s) will also be responsible for maintaining the organization’s bylaws and mission statement.   

Section 4.2. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining the organization’s finances. This entails managing an itemized list of expenditures throughout the year (available to all officers) as well as dictating the budget for upcoming events. Additionally, the Treasurer shall be responsible for fundraising in the spring (by coordinating the application for RSO funding) and in the fall (by coordinating meetings with both Chemistry Department and Physical Sciences Division staff to request additional needed funds. All financial information will be made visible and readily available to all board members at all times. 

Section 4.3. The Administrative Coordinator shall be responsible for coordination and documentation of events. This includes, but is not limited to, reserving rooms, advertising events, processing documentation in the group’s Google drive folder, chronicling organizational meetings, and overseeing the progress of the various sub-groups and event planning committees (outreach initiatives, invited speakers, etc). 

Section 4.4. The Postdoctoral Representative shall be responsible for assisting the President(s) with planning and hosting events to support female-identifying graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the department.  They will also advise and provide their expertise in the planning and execution of professional development events, and recruit more postdocs to the WiC+ community.

Section 4.5. The Social Media Coordinator shall be responsible for updating and maintaining social media (website, Facebook page, etc.), creating advertisements for events, and taking photos.

Article V: Elections

Section 1.  New officers will be selected in July for the following academic year.

Section 1.1. The official term of the appointment of the new officers will begin on September 1st and will end on August 31st.

Section 1.2. The previous year’s officers will meet with the new officers to handover responsibilities and best-practices.

Section 2.  The voting process will occur via an anonymous online polling service (such as Google Forms).

Section 2.1.  During the summer quarter, the current officers will solicit, via email, nominations for leadership positions. A subsequent poll will be distributed to all members of the group in order to collect votes. The form will include a short statement written by each candidate.

Section 2.2.  The members will be given two (2) weeks to cast their vote.

Section 2.3. A successful election process will require voting participation of one-fourth (25%) of the registered members of the organization (registered on Blueprint).

Section 2.4. If the criteria outlined in Section 2.3 is not met within two (2) week’s time, the voting deadline will be extended by an additional week.

Article VI: Handling of Funds

Section 1. All funds collected will be deposited in the Women+ in Chemistry’s University account with the Center for Leadership and Involvement.

Section 2. The Treasurer shall be the primary officer responsible for maintaining the organization’s finances, but all financial information shall be made readily available to all board members at all times.

Article VII: Event Proposal

Section 1.  At any time during the year, any official Blueprint member may propose an event to be held by Women+ in Chemistry.

Section 2. The proposing member henceforth referred to as the organizer, must complete and submit an Event Proposal Form (found in the Blueprint Documents) to the officers at least fourteen (14) days prior to the proposed event date.

Section 3. The proposal must be submitted to all of the officers via email and must include the date, time, location, estimated cost, description of the event, provided food if applicable, transportation options if applicable, and the reason for the event. Types of events may include but are not limited to, educational, social, networking, career-development, skill-development, and/or outreach.

Section 4. The officers shall discuss the viability of the event and the estimated cost within no more than one (1) week from the proposal’s official submission to the officers. After such time, the officers shall notify the organizer of the proposal’s status of  either accepted, rejected, or requiring modification. The officers will notify the organizer of the proposal’s status within two (2) days of the decision.

Section 4.1.  Proposals with reasonable cost burdens that are deemed to be beneficial to Women in Chemistry and anticipated to have reasonable participation will be accepted.

Section 4.2. Proposals will be rejected for reasons including, but not limited to, unreasonable cost burdens, inadequate anticipated participation, poorly-timed events, or misalignment with Women+ in Chemistry’s mission. The officers must provide the organizer with the reason(s) for event rejection. If the deficiencies of the proposal can be reasonably remedied, the proposal may be modified in accordance with Section 4.3.

Section 4.3. Proposals that are deemed by the officers to have potential but do not meet the criteria outlined in Section 4.1 will be returned to the organizer as requiring modification. The officers shall provide the organizer with a description of the problem with the proposal and shall provide suggestions for improving the proposal.

Section 4.3.1. The organizer shall be permitted to re-submit the proposal with appropriate modifications within one (1) week from receiving the modification notice, but re-submission will be denied if the proposed event is less than two (2) weeks from the re-submission date.

Section 4.3.2. If re-submitted proposals are deemed by the officers to meet the criteria outlined in Section 4.1 and the re-submission date is greater than two (2) weeks before the proposed event date, the proposal shall be accepted.

Section 5. Once a proposed event is accepted by the officers, the organizer will be responsible for organizing and managing the event.

Section 5.1. At least one (1) week before the event date, the organizer will submit an advertisement of the event to the Administrative Coordinator via email. The advertisement must include all relevant details including, but not limited to, date, time, location, meals if applicable, and transportation if applicable. At a time deemed appropriate by the officers, the advertisement will be sent to all Women+ in Chemistry members via email by the Administrative Coordinator. 

Section 5.2. The organizer will be responsible for making any reservations required for the event in a timely manner. 

Section 5.3. The organizer will be responsible for any purchases necessary for a successful event, or the organizer may delegate this task to a willing member or officer of Women+ in Chemistry as needed. The organizer will be responsible for submitting a copy of all receipts to the Treasurer for reimbursement and record-keeping.

Section 5.4. On the day of the event, the organizer will be responsible for managing the event as needed. Tasks may be delegated to a willing member or officer as needed.

Article VIII: Amendments

Section 1. Proposed amendments to the bylaws should be brought to the attention of the officers, and they will be discussed at the following meeting.

Section 2. Two thirds (67%) of voting members present at this meeting must vote in favor of the amendment in order for it to pass.