Young Alumni Council Bylaws

Article I: Name

The name of the organization shall be Grand Valley State University (hereafter referred to as “GVSU”) Young Alumni Council (hereafter referred to as “YAC”).

Article II: The Young Alumni Council

A. Purpose

a. The YAC exists to develop and strengthen connections between young alumni, GVSU, and the greater alumni community. The YAC advises the GVSU Alumni Relations Office on ways to support the needs and advance the interests of young alumni.

B. Composition

a. The YAC will consist of not less than 18 members and not more than 30 members elected according to the provisions set forth in Article III.

b. The membership of the YAC should reflect the diversity of GVSU’s student and alumni body. The YAC will strive to achieve diversity among its membership through considering factors, including but not limited to, areas of expertise, geography, academic program, degree, race, ethnicity, age, gender/gender expression, etc.

c. A liaison from the Alumni Relations office will serve in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity.

C. Fiscal Year

a. The YAC year begins July 1 and terminates June 30 the following year.

D. Meetings

a. The YAC will meet a minimum of five (5) times per fiscal year. The date, time, and location of each meeting will be affirmed by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Alumni Relations liaison and will be published annually.

b. Special YAC meetings may be scheduled at any time by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, or by petition of more than half the Members at least ten (10) days before the meeting date. No business not described in call(s) for a special meeting is binding in any

E. Quorum

a. A simple majority of YAC Members in attendance at a meeting constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting business. Two of those Members must be Executive Officers.

F. Voting

a. The voting process may be conducted either in person during a regularly scheduled or special council meeting when a quorum is present and the action items are within the bylaws of the organization, or in between meetings with an appropriate electronic communication platform determined by the Executive Committee. Electronic voting shall be open for seven (7) days to vote. All actions taken by the YAC require a simple majority of the members voting, unless otherwise stated in these bylaws.

G. Amendments

a. Amendments to these bylaws will be adopted on the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the YAC at any regularly scheduled or special council meeting or via an electronic communications platform following a discussion of the proposed changes at a regularly scheduled or special council meeting. A copy of the proposed changes to the Bylaws must be provided to all members at least ten (10) days in advance of such a vote.

Article III: Membership

A. Roles and Responsibilities

a. YAC members serve as representatives of GVSU’s young alumni population.

b. Members are expected to attend and actively participate in all general council meetings, sit on a committee, attended committee meetings, and actively contribute to advancing the goals of the committee, and maintain active communication with the Alumni Relations liaison, YAC executive officers, and their committee chair.

c. Members are expected to participate in GVSU and Alumni Relations-related activities annually and are encouraged to make a financial gift to a GVSU fund of their choice at an amount that is meaningful to them.

d. Members are expected to adhere to the GVSU Alumni Volunteer Leader Code of Conduct and the YAC Member Expectations document. The YAC Member Expectations document will be affirmed and published annually by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Alumni Relations liaison.

B. Eligibility

a. GVSU alumni who have graduated from the university with their first degree in the last ten (10) years and are not paid part-time or full-time employees of GVSU are eligible to serve on the YAC.

b. All graduates of GVSU and its predecessor institutions shall be considered alumni upon graduation from a degree program. The Alumni Relations office, based on the official academic records of the university, shall make the determination of alumni status.

c. Membership on the YAC shall not be restricted on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active-duty military status, or weight.

C. Term Limits

a. Each new YAC member will serve an initial three (3) year term.

b. Members are eligible to serve a second consecutive three (3) year term only by reelection of the YAC. The reelection process will take place according to the provisions set forth in Article III, Section D. Members who wish to serve a second term following a break in their YAC service must be reelected according to the process for new members set forth in Article III, Section D.

c. Total years on the YAC shall not exceed six (6) years.

D. Nominations and Elections

a. The Interview Committee will review applications for new members, select applicants for interview, conduct interviews, and then present a recommendation to the Executive Committee of which applicants and how many applicants, to elect to the YAC. The Executive Committee will then vote to elect new members, filling not more than the available number of seats.

b. A special application will be available to members wishing to serve a second consecutive term and members may be reelected by a majority vote of the YAC.

E. Vacancies

a. The Executive Committee shall appoint eligible GVSU Alumni to fill vacant YAC positions to maintain the minimum YAC composition requirements. Anyone appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve the remaining unexpired term of their predecessor. The succeeding YAC member is eligible to be nominated and elected to another full term provided their service is in accordance with eligibility and terms outlined in these bylaws.

F. Resignation / Removal

a. Any Member or executive officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the Members who are present at a scheduled and published YAC general council meeting. Grounds for remove may include, but are not limited to, failure to meet YAC participation requirements set forth in these bylaws.

b. Any Member or Executive Officer who is unable to perform the duties of office may resign by submitting a letter of resignation to the YAC President and the Alumni Relations liaison.

Article IV: Executive Officers

The YAC shall be governed by the following executive officers: President, President-Elect, Committee Chairs.

A. President

a. Chair all General Council and Executive Committee meetings.

b. Act as a spokesperson for the YAC and, when appropriate, may designate an Executive Officer to act on their behalf for that purpose.

c. Establish, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, agendas for the General Council meetings.

d. Establish, in conjunction with the President-Elect, agendas for the Executive Committee meetings.

e. Act as a non-voting member of the YAC except in the event of a tie when they will cast a vote to act as a tiebreaker.

f. Work in conjunction with the Alumni Relations liaison to set YAC goals and priorities.

B. President-Elect

a. Serve as co-chair of the Governance Committee

b. Act as President in the President’s absence or midterm vacancy.

c. Assist the President in establishing an agenda for Executive Committee meetings.

C. Committee Chairs

a. Lead their designated committees and are responsible for ensuring that duties of the committee are fulfilled, including scheduling and leading a regular cadence of committee meetings and establishing committee goals and objectives.

b. Provide updates on committee progress at General Council and Executive Committee meetings.

c. Work in conjunction with the President and Alumni Relations liaison to assure alignment of committee work with YAC and Alumni Relations goals and priorities.

d. In order to hold a Committee Chair position, members must have served one full year on the YAC.

D. Terms of Executive Officers

a. The term of the President is one (1) year. At the conclusion of their term as President, the Member is eligible to serve out the remainder of the YAC term, but is ineligible for Executive Officer positions.

b. The term of the President-Elect is one (1) year. The President-Elect will automatically assume the role of President on completion of the President’s one (1) year term. If elected at the conclusion of their first term on the YAC, they are automatically granted a second term. Per Article __, Section__, members may not exceed six (6) total years of service and thus will not be eligible to serve as President-Elect after their fifth year.

c. The term of Committee Chairs is one (1) year. After concluding their term as a committee chair, Members are eligible for reelection to their same committee chair position or a different committee chair position.

E. Election of Executive Officers

a. Nominations and elections for Governance Committee Co-Chair and President-Elect are held annually. A nomination form will be made available to all Members. Members may nominate themselves or another Member for the Committee Chair and President-Elect positions. A Member must receive two nominations in order to appear on the ballot. Within seven (7) days following the close of nominations, the President-Elect will compile the nominations and send them electronically to all members of the YAC. An electronic ballot will be made available, according to the provisions of Article II, Section F. The candidate with the most votes, in each position, will receive the position. If there is not a clear winner or in the case of a tie, a run-off election will be held with the top two (2) candidates until there is a winner.

b. SNAP Committee Chairs will be elected by a vote of the members of each committee. After a SNAP Committee has been established and members have been assigned to the committee, the committee members will vote to elect one member as chair of the committee. Committee members may nominate themselves or others and the Alumni Relations liaison or YAC president will facilitate an election for the chair position.

Article V: Committees

All YAC members must sit on at least one YAC committee. Members will serve on a committee for one year. At the conclusion of the year they may request to serve again on the same committee or request a new committee. Relatives and members of the same household may not serve on the same committee at the same time. Members will be appointed to committees by the Executive Committee based on their interests, skills, and with consideration given to balancing the sizes of the committees based on workload.

A. Executive Committee

a. Comprised of the President, President-Elect, the Governance Committee Co-Chair, the chairs of the SNAP committees, and the Alumni Relations liaison.

b. Meet regularly to establish short-term and long-term goals and objectives for the YAC and the committees.

c. Hear and decide upon all attendance and participation exceptions/issues.

d. Appoint members to committees on an annual basis, taking into account member preferences, skills, and experiences.

B. Governance Committee

a. The Governance Committee will be co-chaired by the President-Elect and one other member elected according to the provisions set out in Article IV, Section E.

b. Oversee the compliance with the bylaws, proposed changes to the bylaws, requirements of all members, and continuously research peer organizations and best practices. The committee will make recommendations to the Executive Committee on member requirements and proposed changes to the YAC structure, operations, and procedures. The committee may perform other duties as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.

c. A Governance Committee co-chair or their designee will be responsible for recording minutes for all General Council meetings and tracking member attendance at General Council meetings.

C. Interview Committee

a. The Interview Committee will be annually established during the YAC election cycle to review applications, select applicants for interviews, interview applicants, and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee on the selection of new members to the YAC.

b. The Executive Committee will appoint and announce one member who is not on the Executive Committee to serve as co-chair of the Interview Committee along with the President-Elect. The co-chairs of the Interview Committee will select at least one and no more than two additional members to serve on the Interview Committee. Members will be given an opportunity to express their interest in serving on the committee prior to selection.

D. SNAP Committees

a. SNAP (small, nimble, actionable, purposeful) Committees will be focused around projects, topics, goals, or areas of priority for the YAC and each committee will have a clear and specific purpose.

b. On an annual basis, prior to the first General Council meeting on the year, the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Alumni Relations liaison, will identify at least two and not more than four SNAP Committees.

c. Additional SNAP Committees may be designated mid-year if additional priority projects or opportunities arise, but no more than four SNAP committees will exist simultaneously.

d. The SNAP Committees will exist for no more than one year from when they were created.

e. SNAP Committees are intended to be project or topic oriented, have clear focus and desired outcomes, be specifically designed to address priority topics for the YAC, Alumni Relations, GVSU, or the young alumni population, and have a finite timeline for completing the work.

Page last modified May 14, 2024