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Graduate Section Governing Rules:


1. Aim

Strengthen the community of Middle Eastern Studies graduate students in the United Kingdom by:

  • creating a network which provides support to current and prospective graduate students;
  • raising awareness of academic resources, funding opportunities, and career opportunities both within and outside academia; and
  • helping the BRISMES Council understand and meet the needs of its student population.

2. Management and Administration

BRISMES Graduate Section will be represented by the Representative Committee.

i) The Committee and Officers

a) The officers are the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All officers will be members of the Representative Committee.
b) The Committee shall consist of at least one representative from each university with paid BRISMES graduate student member/s. If a university has five paid members, they will be allowed a second delegate (ten paid student members: a third delegate, etc.). Representatives are chosen by each university as they see fit. There may also be a need for at-large representatives (described below).

ii) The President will be elected by a general vote of paid BRISMES Graduate Section members and serve for a term of one year. The Presidency will be held by a PhD student at an institution in the United Kingdom. By agreement with the BRISMES Council, the President will hold a seat on the Council. The President will chair all meetings on BRISMES Graduate Section matters at the BRISMES Graduate Section Conference. The President will oversee Graduate Section initiatives and Representative Committee voting procedures.

iii) The Vice-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer will be elected by the Representative Committee and serve for a term of one year. No more than two officers can be from the same institution.

iv) Linguistic/Cultural Group Representatives: The Representative Committee shall seek to ensure that the interests of all linguistic/cultural groups are represented by the Committee. Should a BRISMES Graduate Section member studying a particular linguistic/cultural group feel that their area is not being properly represented in the Graduate Section, the President will accept at-large volunteers to serve on the Representative Committee in order to represent the interests of their particular linguistic/cultural group. The at-large representative will be approved by the Representative Committee.

3. Powers

The Representative Committee shall:

i) Determine the site of the Graduate Section Conference.
ii) Establish initiatives in accordance with its aims.

4. Graduate Section Conference

There shall be an annual Graduate Section Conference following the standard academic conference format.

i) How the conference is chosen:

a) Any site wishing to host the conference will submit an application to the Representative Committee.
b) The Representative Committee will debate the merits of the applications in a transparent/online process.
c) The Representative Committee will divide the United Kingdom into northern and southern zones; if a university from the north hosted the conference in the previous year, then applications from universities in south will be given priority (and vice-versa).
d) The Representative Committee will then decide the location of the conference by vote. The President shall cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

ii) The Conference should be attended by BRISMES Graduate Section Members only. If a non-member would like to attend the conference, they must join BRISMES as a student member and pay the £20 membership fee as part of their conference fee.

5. Graduate Section Initiatives

i) The Representative Committee shall establish initiatives in accordance with its aims. Such initiatives could include:

a) an e-journal,
b) an online forum discussion board, and
c) other initiatives as it sees fit.

6. Voting Procedures

i) All voting procedures will be conducted via an online apparatus (e.g., forum or online balloting system). The Representative Committee will provide members with an explanation of issues to be voted on and candidates for the Presidency will be allowed to post their platforms at an online location. This material should be posted at least two weeks before the voting is closed. Elections will be overseen by the BRISMES Secretary. Any disputed elections/votes will be brought to the BRISMES Council for arbitration.

ii) The Governing Rules amendment procedure is as follows: An amendment shall be suggested to the President. The President, in consultation with the Representative Committee and the BRISMES Executive Director, will decide whether to put the amendment forward. If put forward, the amendment will follow normal voting procedures for the entire BRISMES Graduate Section.

Non-Constitutional matter to be approved
BRISMES Graduate Section Rules Approval Process

i) Initial draft sent to postgraduate students for comment. *(Completed, comment period was June 4 to July 5)

ii) Comments incorporated by those drafting the Rules. *(Completed)

iii) The next draft will be sent to the BRISMES Council members for comment and subsequent approval. *(This document)

iv) Further comments from BRISMES Council members will be incorporated.

v) The final draft will be e-mailed to every Graduate Section member, and there will be a ratification vote at the September 2008 BRISMES Graduate Section Conference.

a) If ratified, the period of nominations for the Presidency begins immediately.

  1. An initial call for nominations (period of two weeks, sent to Louise Haysey) by e-mail will be sent to all paid Graduate Section members by Louise Haysey.
  2. After two weeks, the nominees shall be informed and given one week to write a 100-word description of their qualifications. This will be sent to Louise Haysey.
  3. Louise Haysey will create and e-mail the descriptions to the paid Graduate Section members. Graduate Section members will have two weeks to vote.
  4. Louise Haysey will tally the vote and announce the winner. The winner will attend the November meeting of the BRISMES Council.

b) If not ratified, then the BRISMES Graduate Section shall form a committee to write a new constitution in time for the November BRISMES Council Meeting.