DCGSAC Charter

Name and Purpose

The name of the organization shall be the Department of Chemistry Graduate Student Advisory Committee, to be referred to as DCGSAC or the Committee. The purpose of this organization is to be a more formal means by which graduate students may help to shape the Chemistry department graduate program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The DCGSAC can address issues of both academic and social nature and pertaining to the graduate student population. The DCGSAC is not a legislative body. Rather, it will function in an advisory role between the graduate students and the Department of Chemistry.


The DCGSAC shall be composed of representatives such that each department area has at least one representative, not to exceed 14 members. The included areas are Analytical, Chemical Biology, Inorganic, Materials, Organic, Physical, and Teaching of Chemistry. Additionally, the DCGSAC shall have two international student representatives. The membership shall be decided by a majority vote of a quorum of members prior to announcing elections for the subsequent election years. Membership to the DCGSAC is open to all graduate students in the Department of Chemistry, first through final year, as described in section III. Post-doctoral associates are welcome to provide insight and suggestions to the Committee, but they are not eligible for membership on the DCGSAC.

Election and Membership

Nominations for the DCGSAC from the graduate student population, of another graduate student or oneself, shall be accepted via email over a two-week period, with the present committee members soliciting applicants. Nominations will be sought at the end of November. Students may nominate only within their own area.  Each graduate student can only nominate one person. Nominees shall be contacted by the communications chairperson to ascertain their willingness to serve. Three days prior to the closing of the nomination period, the graduate population will be made aware of which candidates are currently on the ballot.  This will allow for last minute additions to the ballot. After the nominees have accepted or declined the nominations, the graduate student population will be informed of the final nominees via email.

Election Process: Election

The graduate students of that area shall elect the DCGSAC representatives for each area. Students may only vote for representatives in their area. Elections will be held after the closing of nominations, typically the early part of December. Their term in office will be two years and the DCGSAC members are welcome to run for reelection. Should a member of the Committee be unable to complete the term of office, the individual who was the runner-up for that position in the most recent election shall be asked to serve the unfinished term. In the event the runner-up is unwilling or unable to accept the position, a majority vote of the committee will determine if a new election should be held or if the position will remain vacant until regular elections.

Duties of the DCGSAC

The members of the Committee shall meet a minimum of five times during a calendar year, twice per academic semester and once during the summer. There is no maximum number of meetings required. The number of additional DCGSAC meetings and/or subcommittee meetings shall be decided upon by the Committee as necessary in order to achieve their goals. Meeting times will be announced to the entire graduate student population at the beginning of each year. For example: DCGSAC will meet on the first Thursday of every month at 11 a.m. in room Noyes 353. The first part of every meeting will be set aside for visitor comments. In addition, each semester one meeting will be set aside specifically for graduate student input. This meeting will be well publicized. The specific duties of the DCGSAC shall include but not be limited to

  • Addressing issues of common concern in graduate education and in graduate student life
  • Acting as ombudspersons to aid graduate students in informally resolving conflicts that affect them as outlined in the departmental grievance policy
  • Organizing social events for interactions among members of the entire department
  • Responding to requests from the head of the Department of Chemistry for input on specific issue

Structure of the DCGSAC

DCGSAC is a coalition of subcommittees working towards common goals.


  • Social Development:
    The Social Development subcommittee fosters a cooperative environment for graduate students. Select social activities include hosting the annual Fall Picnic, Holiday Party, Spring BBQ, T-Shirt Contest and Volleyball League. Future projects will focus on the mental health and wellbeing of graduate students.
  • Professional Development:
    The Professional Development subcommittee exposes graduate students to broad and exciting career options. Career growth opportunities arise from networking. Planned future endeavors include a sponsored poster session and leadership class.
  • Student Intermediary:
    The Student Intermediary subcommittee amplifies the voices of graduate students to the faculty to arbitrate fairness. Current activities include attending faculty meetings and hosting Gripefest. Future undertakings incorporate planning a laboratory safety council and leveling the divisional requirements for ORPs and Literature Seminars.
  • Internal:
    The Internal subcommittee facilitates internal DCGSAC operations. The subcommittee consists of the Chair and the Treasurer. The Chair coordinates the activities of the other groups by taking notes, planning meeting agendas, and providing leadership. The Treasurer maintains the budget and updates the group on monetary status. The Treasurer is also responsible for organizing the monthly pizza lunch.

The DCGSAC Charter

The DCGSAC charter must be written to reflect the structure of DCGSAC as outlined in section VI. The charter must be accessible to the chemistry graduate student body. This can be done in the form of a link via the DCGSAC website. If the charter is re-written at any point for any reason it is subject to approval of the majority of DCGSAC members and the DCGSAC advisor. Amendments or additions to the DCGSAC charter NOT relating to the structure of DCGSAC will follow the following guidelines: All chemistry graduate students must be notified, at least one week in advance, of the upcoming vote on the amending or addition to the charter. All members must vote in person or submit an absentee ballot on the motion to amend or add to the charter. In the even of a tie the DCGSAC Chairperson shall cast the deciding vote. Only DCGSAC members may vote to amend or add to the charter. A simple majority affirmative vote will be required to amend or add to the DCGSAC Charter NOT relating to the structure of DCGSAC. Voting shall be conducted via paper ballot distributed via email or otherwise and tallied by the Historian at the immediate DCGSAC meeting occurring after the one week period. Abstention, including ballots unreturned to the Historian at the proper time, will not be tallied as votes.


A small budget shall be provided for the DCGSAC activities by the Department of Chemistry. Also, the charge of the SCS UNIX account, which will be used by the DCGSAC for elections and mailings to the graduate student community, will be provided by the Department of Chemistry. Any funding needed beyond that must be approved following standard University of Illinois Department of Chemistry policies. The email list will not be distributed to or be available to anyone outside the DCGSAC. All email messages sent to the Committee in response to elections or messages dealing with issues of a sensitive nature shall be kept strictly confidential. In the event of any controversy, the DCGSAC shall operate following basic principles of common sense with "Roberts Rules of Order" being invoked only as a last resort. Things not specified in this charter may be resolved by a simple majority vote of DCGSAC members. In the event of a tie, the chairperson will cast the tie-breaking vote.