University of Oregon Women in Graduate Science Bylaws

Amended May 2020


As an ASUO-recognized student organization, these bylaws are in accordance with ASUO bylaw guidelines. Inclusions to the bylaws that are specifically required by ASUO are included in italics. Any bylaw amendments must be in accordance with both the mission of UOWGS (below) and the rules outlined by ASUO, which can be found on Engage and are subject to change.


I. Mission Statement

The Women in Graduate Science (UOWGS) organization at the University of Oregon strives for gender equality by focusing on the professional development of women and gender minorities in all disciplines of science to enable them to become successful contributors to their fields. This mission is accomplished by informative workshops, inspirational speakers, and a community outreach program. In addition, the organization provides social support for women and gender minorities at the University of Oregon as well as financial support with yearly scholarships. UOWGS invites all who encourage and support the advancement of women and gender minorities in science to become members and to help in our work towards an inclusive science community. UOWGS is supported by the University of Oregon Graduate School, generous donors, fundraising events, and member dues.

 II. Membership

  • Eligibility:
    • Membership must be open to all fee-paying students.
    • Anyone who supports the mission of UOWGS is eligible for membership.
    • Exec R 88.1 Membership: No individual can be excluded from a program on the basis of political ideology, but every individual in a program must be sincere to the goals of the program.
    • Exec R 83.1 Elections: Membership in a program may be defined by the program as long as the membership rules allow an equal opportunity for all students to participate in the program and there is no other violation of the rules of the ASUO, the University of Oregon, or the State of Oregon.
  • Equal Opportunity Statement
    • Exec R 82.1 Equal Opportunity: The ASUO affirms the right of all individuals to equal opportunity in education, employment and access to incidental fee-funded programs and their funded activities, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, different ability, national origin, marital status, veteran’s status, or any other considerations not directly and substantially related to effective participation.
  • Fall and Spring term members’ meetings will provide an opportunity for members to meet to discuss the current state of the group, as well as future activities.
  • Privileges and Responsibilities:
    • Voting: Each member is entitled to vote once in annual elections.
    • Privileges: Each member is entitled to all services of the organization, including voting rights and eligibility for scholarships and awards. Graduate student members are also eligible to hold executive officer positions.
    • Participation: Each member is entitled to participate in all organizational events, including, but not limited to: event subcommittees, membership meetings, outreach events, professional development seminars and workshops, and social events.
    • Open Meetings: All members are invited to attend quarterly open meetings of the Executive Council (held once every term, during school year). The first and last ten minutes of the meeting will be reserved for member comments. Members are welcome to observe the entire meeting, but it will be closed for comments outside of the above allotted times.
    • Responsibilities: Pay dues annually as follows:
      • $5 Graduate Students/Undergraduates/Post-Docs/Staff
      • $25 Faculty/Professional/Administration
      • Individual accommodations can be made for students who wish to join but cannot pay dues for financial reasons. Students who feel they need financial support may contact the Treasurer or President for assistance.

III. Officers of the Executive Council

  • Elections:
    • Exec R 83.1 Student Organizations may elect their directors and other staff provided the following criteria are met:
      • All candidates must be afforded the same opportunity to disseminate information to the electorate.
      • The electoral process must ensure that every constituent has an equal opportunity to vote, and that every constituent’s vote has equal weight in determining the outcome of the election.
      • Only active student members of the program may vote in an election for any position having authority in an ASUO student organization. Only currently enrolled UO students may hold leadership positions.
      • Membership in a student organization may be defined by the organization as long as the membership rules allow an equal opportunity for all students to participate in the program and there is no other violation of the rules of the ASUO, the University of Oregon or the State of Oregon.
    • Elections are to be held once a year in June. The timeline for elections should be as follows:
      • Day after Memorial Day – Deadline for nominations for returning positions required from previous Executive Council members (i.e. President, Treasurer and Social Chair).
        • Last Wednesday in May/First Wednesday in June – If there is more than one candidate for any of the required returning positions (see above), the ballot for those positions will be sent out at this time.
        • First Monday in June – General call for nominations for all other Executive Council positions will be sent out via email. Deadline for voting on the returning positions, if a ballot was required.
        • Second Friday after nominations open – Deadline for turning in nominations for the non-returning Executive Council positions.
        • Third Monday in June – The slate of candidates will be publicized based on nominations received. If there was not more than one candidate for any of the returning officer positions, returning officer candidates will be included in this candidate slate. Individuals who ran for returning officer positions and were not successful are allowed to nominate themselves for another position, to be included on this candidate slate.
        • Fourth Monday in June – Voting closes on this day. Election results will be announced this week (the last week of June).
        • A special election may be held for positions that were not filled or for extenuating circumstances (such as a tied position). There should be no more than one week from publicizing the slate to voting date.
    • President, Treasurer and Social Chair should be chosen from a previous Executive Council.
      • In the event that this requirement cannot be met, applicants who have been active participants in several UOWGS events would be considered.
      • In the event that this requirement cannot be met, applicants who have been active participants in several UOWGS events would be considered.
      • For social chair, in the event that they have not previously been on the board, it is strongly encouraged to have a previous or current board member on the subcommittee.
    • All interested parties shall self-nominate by sending a statement of interest to the current president of UOWGS, or the officer coordinating the elections, in the event that the president is running again or is otherwise unable to coordinate the elections.
    • A majority vote of the voting member body elects the member into the Executive Council position.
    • Voting will be conducted with Google Forms or similar anonymizing system.


  • Officer Transitioning:
    • Update new officer contact information with the ASUO using Engage
    • Refer to ASUO Programs Administrator with any transitioning questions (applies to both old or new leaders)
    • Outgoing officers will write a one-page summary of their duties for the year to facilitate new officers in starting their roles.
    • Once a year, outgoing officers review sub-committee efficacy and write a sub-committee description for the next officer
    • Both outgoing and incoming officers should be present at July and August meetings, and upon completion of regular business in August, outgoing officers will meet with their incoming replacements to pass along any needed information or supplies (i.e. binders, records, procedures). In the case of exceptions for outgoing officers, the outgoing officer(s) needs to transition with the new officer prior to the missed summer meetings.
    • New officers will take their positions at the start of the regular September meeting of the Executive Council.
  • Executive Council Duties:

General duties of officers of the Executive Council:

    • Attend monthly Executive Council meetings.
    • Attend WGS member events whenever possible.
    • Use Slack for internal communication and monitor Slack daily for any notifications.
    • Review the organization’s bylaws at the first meeting of each academic year and update the bylaws at the end of each academic year
    • Review long term goals (i.e. 5 year plans) for UOWGS at the beginning and end of each academic year.
    • CC all communications regarding the group to the UOWGS email.
    • Update the UOWGS calendar to include all upcoming events (via Gmail).
    • Keep relevant electronic documents updated in in appropriate Google Drive folder
    • During any meeting, any officer can bring an item under discussion to a vote for decision.
    • Job descriptions are included but not limited to the bullets under each position.
    • Time commitments vary between positions.
    • Subcommittees should be utilized, as much as possible, to enable more member involvement and to more evenly distribute the duties of the organization.


President: Serves one year, plus three months aiding and teaching the new President.

    • Conduct the monthly meetings of the Executive Council.
    • Add every member of the Executive Council as an administrator on Engage
    • Aid in the organization of each chair’s duties, for the betterment of the organization as a whole.
    • Execute yearly 5-year plan review during a transition meeting with incoming officers
    • Prepare presentations and documentation of progress reports for groups contributing funding to UOWGS, in conjunction with the Treasurer.
    • Act as liaison with the Graduate School.
    • Attend quarterly meetings with the Graduate School (Fall-Spring).
    • Act as liaison with the UO Foundation.
    • Attend ASUO quarterly meetings (PCM) with Treasurer.
    • Provide secondary oversight of Treasurer and budget documents.
    • Monitor and oversee email accounts ( and
    • Organize and run bi-annual membership meetings (Fall and Spring terms).
    • Organize and oversee annual officer elections (see Elections above).
    • Any officer not reapplying may assist the president.
    • Be the person of contact with the UOWGS Ambassadors, will update the Ambassadors on events bi-annually and is responsible for inviting Ambassadors to UOWGS events

Treasurer: Serves one year, plus three months aiding and teaching the new Treasurer.

    • Special note: Treasurer may not hold a position handling finances for another student group.
    • Prepare a budget for the coming year.
    • Hold a meeting in the fall with the current and former President, former Treasurer, and current Funding Chair to review the coming year’s budget. Keep organized records of all spending and fundraising and manage all financial accounts belonging to the organization.
      • Monitor and keep track of all financial paperwork and index reports.
      • Collect and deposit membership dues.
      • Distribute funds from various accounts, as approved by the rest of the Executive Council.
      • Gather, prepare, and manage documents for all UOWGS events and spending/reimbursements.
      • Maintain relationships with Chemistry personnel and the Graduate School regarding use of our various indexes, spending reports, etc.
    • Provide a detailed expenditure report quarterly at a meeting of the Executive Council.
    • Prepare presentations and documentation of progress reports for groups contributing funding to UOWGS, in conjunction with the President.
    • Assist the Funding Chair in the preparation of any grant or fellowship applications.
    • Interface with ASUO to manage ASUO finances, including attending ASUO quarterly meetings (PCM) and preparing the ASUO budget request annually in the fall.


Social Chair: Serves one year, plus three months aiding and teaching the new Social Chair.

    • Plan and oversee social events, including but not limited to:
      • Yearly recruiting event (Membership Drive) (Fall quarter)
      • Interdisciplinary Science Hour (Year round, at least 1 per term)
      • Science Slam (Spring term typically)
      • Annual Generations Luncheon (Early spring quarter or summer quarter)
      • Annual Membership Celebration (Late spring quarter or summer quarter.
    • Organizes and heads the Social Subcommittee
    • Any other social events agreed upon by the Executive Council
      • Head any committees associated with aforementioned activities.


Outreach Co-Chair: Serves one year (prefer two-year commitment).

    • Organize activities for K-12 students to promote the advancement of women in science and to promote science education.
    • Plan and facilitate science curriculum for K-12 outreach programs
    • Organize and head Outreach Subcommittee to facilitate the involvement of WGS and community members in outreach events
    • Maintain relationships with local schools, groups on campus, and community partners by responding to emails in a timely manner and offering the outreach services of WGS of programs managed by the group
    • Outreach requires an ability to work with children. Outreach Chairs requires a background check with the University of Oregon’s Human Resources, along with background checks as requested by community partners
    • Ensure all activities on campus follow the UO’s Working with Minors policy, including maintaining a list of volunteers who have watched the Working with Minors video
    • Organize outreach activities in collaboration with local community affiliates, including but not limited to, the Eugene Science Center (Science Adventure Days and Meet a Scientist Day – typically Saturday commitments in Winter term), Ophelia’s Place (after-school workshops), and other new partners that may arise (i.e. StemBox)
    • Modules for outreach programs have been developed and collected over the years but it is encouraged the outreach chairs add to the collection of outreach modules to expand the science curriculum offered
    • Collaborate with local schools to develop and implement curricula for science field trips that fit within the relevant curriculum for that grade level as requested, subject to chair availability
    • Maintain, purchase, and organize the WGS module and activity equipment inventory

Undergraduate Mentorship Chair: Serves one year (prefer former JUMP! mentor/mentorship experience).

    • Main UOWGS coordinator for JUMP!.
    • Organize and head the JUMP! Subcommittee
    • Oversee JUMP! email: and
    • Coordinate with other leadership within the JUMP! program.
    • Liaise with other undergraduate mentorship groups on campus.
    • Plan, organize, and facilitate an annual career/research workshop for undergraduates.

Seminar Chair: Serves one year.

    • Identify and invite appropriate speakers and workshop leaders (collectively referred to as speakers) who share in the goal of promoting women in science.
      • Solicitation of ideas for speakers from the Executive Council or members is encouraged.
      • Minimum of one speaker per term, as funding permits.
    • Organize and head the Seminar Subcommittee
    • Communication with the invited speaker should be cc’ed to the UOWGS email for records.
    • Work with Materials Science Institute (MSI) administrative assistant and travel agent on travel details, such as flights, hotel, rental cars, taxis, visitor parking passes, etc. for speakers, as necessary.
      • Work with Treasurer to determine proper form of payment of each item (e.g. which index to charge).
    • Provide speaker with any forms required for reimbursement, with the help of the Treasurer.
      • Follow up with speaker to ensure payment or reimbursement is received in a timely manner (cc Treasurer and UOWGS on any emails).
    • Plan refreshments for seminar and workshop events.
    • Plan refreshments for seminar and workshop events.
    • Work with PR and webmaster to advertise the event. Ensure thank you notes from the Executive Council are sent to speakers in a timely manner.

Public and Alumni Relations Chair: Serves one year.

    • Create/post flyers (using Adobe Illustrator or similar software) and send emails to advertise the upcoming speakers or events.
    • Requests for flyers/emails/advertising should be made 2 weeks prior to event.
    • Organize and head the PR Subcommittee
    • Contact all science departments with news of upcoming events.
    • Liaise with Webmaster to advertise events.
    • Serve as liaison with department recruiters to arrange the availability of information regarding UOWGS to new and/or potential students.
    • Sends update emails to members about upcoming events and volunteer/subcommittee opportunities.
    • Organize and create bi-annual alumni newsletter with the help of the executive council.
      • Newsletters to be made before the Winter Benefit and after the summer Members’ Celebration.

Fundraising Chair: Serves one year.

    • Coordinate annual winter UOWGS Fundraiser.
    • Organize and head the Fundraiser Subcommittee
    • Organize and administrate other fundraisers for UOWGS.
    • Apply for grants and fellowships (on and off campus) on behalf of UOWGS if they become available, with help from the Treasurer.
    • Assist Treasurer in ASUO budget proposal.
    • Cultivate various campus and community relationships (i.e. ASUO).

Recorder: Serves one year.

    • Coordinate with the President to schedule monthly meetings of the executive council one week after the last meeting and prepare an agenda for the meeting. Notify officers one week before a meeting with time, location, and call for agenda.
    • Keep record of officer commitments between meetings and update the agenda to reflect these commitments.
    • Add WGS Executive Council events to shared Gmail calendar.
    • Record minutes at meetings and post to Google Drive for review by the Executive Council within a week after each meeting and send a copy of the minutes to the Executive Council at least one day prior to the next meeting.
    • Collect and maintain contact lists/list-serves regularly through Google, including but not limited to:
      • Executive Council Officers
      • Full and Honorary Members
      • Events Emails
      • Alumni (annual call in June)
    • Compile online payments for dues and fundraising efforts in Google Drive for review with the Treasurer.
    • Maintain membership contact list monthly
    • Maintain password for email and update it when asked to


Webmaster: Serves one year.

    • Organize and update our professional website (
    • Maintain our presence in social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,  Instagram).
    • Liaise with PR, Seminar, and Social Chairs to promote and advertise events and update calendar online (Website & Facebook).
    • Create and organize submission forms when required (e.g. dues payments, volunteer forms, applications, etc).
    • Manage the collection and organization of pictures for the website.

**At the inaugural meeting with all officers, former and those taking office, there will be at-will positions to be assigned to existing officers. These positions will be elected through self-nomination and a majority vote of all officers present.

Vice President

    • Works closely with the President.
    • Takes on leadership role if, for whatever reason, the President is unable or unwilling to perform a designated task.

JUMP! Co-chair

    • Works with the Undergraduate Mentorship Chair to manage the JUMP! program.



    • Any full member is allowed to be on a committee run by a chair from the Executive Council.
    • The committee members aid the chair with their duties.
    • Meetings will be held with the chair, as necessary but suggested to meet monthly
    • Additional members can join subcommittees throughout the year as needed.
    • The following Subcommittees (except Scholarship, which is required) are strongly encouraged to be formed:
      • Scholarship Subcommittee
        • See below (Section IV Scholarships) for details on the Scholarship Committee.
        • Must be formed no later than the end of Winter term.
      • Social Subcommittee (Run by Social Chair)
        • Plans and organizes social events including, but not limited to: Member’s Celebration, Generations Luncheon, and Happy Hours
        • Minimum 3 members. Ideally, one member identified as Subcommittee Co-Chair
      • Outreach Subcommittee (Run by Outreach Co-Chairs)
      • Plans and organizes social events including, but not limited to: Science Adventure Days, Science Slam, Field Trips, Ophelia’s Place
      • Minimum 4 members
      • Fundraiser Subcommittee (Run by Fundraising Chair)
      • President and Treasurer should serve on this subcommittee
      • Minimum 2 members
      • PR Subcommittee (Run by PR/Alumni Chair)
      • Distribute fliers
      • Minimum 1 member
      • Seminar Subcommittee (Run by Seminar Chair)
      • Seminars, Workshops
        • Book rooms, order seminar lunch and snacks, and help prepare for seminar and workshops in anyway needed
      • Minimum 2 members
      • JUMP! Subcommittee (Run by Undergrad Outreach Chair)


IV. Scholarships

  • An executive board member needs to be assigned to head the Scholarship Committee in October
  • A Scholarship Subcommittee will oversee scholarships and will consist of 3 officers and 2 members. Subcommittee members must not be applying for any scholarships. The duties of the Scholarship Subcommittee include:
    • Review application forms with the Scholarship Subcommittee and vote on any proposed changes each year prior to the start of the application process.
    • In the event that a new award is added, the Graduate School, as well as the Foundation, must approve the description of the award and the award process the scholarship by December.
    • Collect and organize all application materials, make necessary copies, and distribute to the chosen review committee members for evaluation, along with a cover letter.
    • All documents needed for scholarships: instructions to review committee and evaluation sheets for review committee members. Any changes in these documents must be voted on by the Scholarship Subcommittee.
    • Compile the results of the scholarship review committee.
    • Begin scholarship advertisement late winter/early spring quarter. Applications should be submitted in April, and students should be notified no later than June 1st.
  • The review committee must consist of at least three science faculty or post-doc members, ideally in different departments.
    • Committee can be chosen from those who previously served, but new committee members are preferred.
    • If a reviewer’s student(s) apply for an award, that reviewer’s comments will not be included in the review.
    • A 4th reviewer, outside the sciences is recommended (i.e. someone from the Graduate School).
  • Scholarships must be submitted in hard copy by 3pm on the due date to the Chemistry office UOWGS mailbox. In the case of extenuating circumstances, application materials may be sent to This email will only be accessible by the Scholarship Subcommittee and the password will be changed with the inauguration of the new Scholarship Subcommittee every year.
  • Records of applicants should be updated on Google Drive (application materials must be destroyed after all Scholarships are announced).


V. Donations

  • All donations to UOWGS should be made through the UO Foundation.
  • All donation requests for money from UOWGS should follow the protocol below:
    • In the event of a donation request, individuals or groups requesting money must submit a formal written request for how they align with our mission statement and how they will use the money, if it is donated.
    • Donation requests must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Council.
    • Donations must total no more than $500 per year. Each individual or group may not receive more than $250 per year.


VI. Plan of Action for Extraordinary Circumstances

  • A meeting of all officers must be called before any discussions with an outside party.
    • Any officer may call a meeting of the Executive Council by emailing the other officers. The subject line must indicate that this meeting is confidential and clearly state the issue to be addressed.
    • If the subject is an officer or member, that officer or member should be made aware of the meeting as soon as practical.
  • In the event of time sensitive circumstances, officers are given a courtesy 24 hours to respond to the sent email before a meeting time and location will be decided.
  • An appropriate plan of action must be agreed on with a two-thirds affirmative vote of all Executive Council officers, except any officer directly implicated.
  • If the President is the implicated officer, the Vice President will take over as the leader of UOWGS.
  • Student Conflict Resolution Services (SCRS) are available to all students. It is confidential and the email address is
  • If mediation is unsuccessful, please refer to the Green Tape notebook Exec. Rules 80.1 and 81.1
  • In the event of the dissolution of UOWGS under any circumstances, as determined by resolution of gender disparity in the sciences or failure to fill two-thirds of the Executive Council positions, dispensation of fundraised money or equipment will be decided by two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.
    • Upon dispensation, Program will submit benefactor(s)’ mission statement to Programs Administrator for approval
    • All equipment and materials purchased with Incidental Fees needs to be returned to the ASUO Executive
  • Officer Recall and Replacements:
    • Reasons that may lead the Executive Board to discuss recalling an officer include, but are not limited to: Failure to fulfill duties as outlined in bylaws for extended period of time, voting tampering, money laundering, public statements or actions that do not fall within the mission statement of WGS, plagiarism of any degree, no longer a student at the UO, and any other reason at the discretion of the Executive Council that they feel may result in a smeared name of WGS.
    • To recall an officer, a meeting of the Executive Council will be called and a two-thirds vote of the entire Executive Council, not including officer in question, is required to recall a sitting officer.
    • Within one month of position being vacated, call for special election/nomination following above procedure. If no one fills the position by special election, appointment by executive board followed by approval of the appointment by a vote from the membership. In the interim, duties of the unfilled officer position will be redistributed fairly across the Executive Council.

VII. Response to Covid-19 and other similar extenuating circumstances

  • In circumstances in which limited member availability occurs, the two thirds requirement for board continuation may be reduced to what is deemed prudent at the time in order to continue the organization through that time period.
    • Plan to reduce the board will be determined by previous board vote (2/3) and approval by the faculty advisor.
    • Membership should be informed one week prior to implemented changes to allow them to provide feedback or concerns.
    • The only required positions to be filled include President and Treasurer.
    • Elections may be delayed until later in summer (but no later than August 1 to ensure smooth transition) in order to accommodate this process of changing board size.



VIII. Sponsorship or endorsement

  • UOWGS is non-partisan organization. If, however, an outside organization requests the public support of UOWGS, the organization may do so only under the following circumstances:
    • The group requesting support must be clearly and fully aligned with the UOWGS mission statement.
    • In ambiguous situations, support would be granted only if there were a two-thirds affirmative vote by the Executive Council.


IX. UOWGS Ambassadors

  • The executive council may choose and invite Faculty, Staff, or Community members at the University of Oregon or elsewhere to serve as an ambassador for the organization.
    • The UOWGS Ambassadors will be a group of up to 5 individuals
    • To become a UOWGS Ambassador, the individual must fully align with the mission of UOWGS
    • UOWGS Ambassadors are required to maintain their membership with UOWGS during their tenure
    • A UOWGS Ambassador may be appointed upon two-thirds majority of the executive council
    • In the event that the actions or words of the Ambassador are not in line with the mission of UOWGS, a vote of the executive council with two-thirds majority is required to revoke the UOWGS Ambassador title and duty
    • Ambassadors will commit to serving 2 years upon acceptance and can be re-selected by the executive council for additional service
    • The executive council will review the UOWGS Ambassadors ~November of each year and they will begin or continue their tenure in January upon acceptance of their selection.


  • The executive council is the governing body of UOWGS and will make the final decisions on all UOWGS matters during the monthly executive council meetings but may seek guidance in certain topics through the UOWGS Ambassadors including but not limited to: event planning, funding opportunities, access to potential donors, networking, access to guest speakers, inviting patrons and other entities outside of UO to our events, etc.
  • UOWGS Ambassadors will be available to meet with the executive council or smaller groups of officers if/as needed.


X. Amending the bylaws

  • Any proposed changes to the bylaws must be approved through a two-thirds majority vote by the Executive Council.
  • The bylaws must be revisited and updated each year in Spring term and approved prior to opening elections for the next year. This bylaw review must be scheduled for a specific meeting and planned for when the meeting time is determined. Officers should come with any proposed changes to the bylaws, with specific focus on any updates to the responsibilities of their individual officer position, and each proposed change must be discussed and voted on.
  • A final copy of the revised bylaws must be written up by the President and distributed to the Executive Council for final approval.
  • Bylaw amendments take effect immediately upon approval and notification of all members by uploading the updated document to This must occur prior to opening elections for the next year’s Executive Council.
  • Save updated bylaws to eNGAGE, Google Drive, and the official website.