Organizational Charter

This Charter was approved in a General Meeting on November 18, 2021.

The Association of Students and Post-docs is the organized representative body of students and post-doctoral research associates at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).

Article I

Name – The name of the organization shall be the Association of Students and Postdocs of BNL, henceforth referred to simply as “ASAP”.

Article II

Purpose – The ASAP is an organization of students and post-docs working at BNL. The ASAP aims to improve the quality of life of its members, and to act as a magnet to bring together students and post-docs in a social setting. In addition, the ASAP will advocate for and represent its members collectively at BNL. The ASAP will also strive to provide professional development opportunities to its members by organizing and encouraging participation in a wide array of scientific and research activities on the BNL site and more generally.

Article III

Membership –
The following membership categories apply:

a) Regular members: Regular membership implies access to the ASAP lounge, inclusion in the ASAP mailing list, and the right to vote and be elected to the ASAP board in yearly elections.

i) All postdocs whose primary research takes place at BNL shall be automatically granted regular membership.
ii) Students and scientific staff within five years of their last degree have the right to be regular members upon signing up.

b) ASAP Board: The ASAP Board consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, whose positions are described below.

c) ASAP Advisors: A small group of permanent BNL staff shall serve as Advisors to ASAP. This will include BNL’s Recreation Supervisor ex officio and others nominated annually by the Board. They may partake in meetings when invited by the Board but do not hold voting rights.

Article IV

Officers – The offices of the ASAP shall be those of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These four officers along with the Advisory Affiliates shall compose the Executive Council. The Advisory Affiliates will be non-voting members of the Executive Council. The Council shall assemble when required, but at least once yearly.

Section A: President

The President shall:

1. act as a spokesperson for the ASAP in the presentation of its positions and enunciation of its policies;

2. supervise the execution of all programs and activities;

3. call into being ad hoc committees of ASAP members as needed;

4. appoint and remove members of ASAP standing and ad hoc committees, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the Executive Council;

5. nominate a suitable number of Advisory Affiliates to the Executive Council;

6. represent the ASAP at Quality of Life Committee meetings, or arrange for another Executive Council member to do so in his/ her stead;

7. chair meetings of the Executive Council;

8. uphold this Charter at ASAP General or Executive Council meetings. In the President’s absence, this power devolves upon the Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer, in that order; and

9. call additional Executive Council meetings as needed.

Section B: Vice President

The Vice President shall:

1. assist the President in the execution of his/ her duties;

2. fulfill the responsibilities and duties delegated to him/ her by the President

Section C: Secretary

The Secretary shall:

1. record, publish, and report the minutes of Executive Council and General meetings. The minutes of all meetings should be made available to the public via the ASAP website;

2. assist the President with the dissemination of ASAP matters to the public and membership;

3. maintain and distribute a membership list or statistics;

4. receive and document the minutes from meetings of standing and ad hoc committees;

5. maintain the Organizational Charter as well as supervise the revision and update of the ASAP website;

Section D: Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

1. be responsible for the management of all ASAP revenues and expenditures

2. in conjunction with the Budget Standing Committee, the Executive Council and future officers, prepare the organization’s budget and budget request for the following academic year; and

3. provide oral and written updates on the state of ASAP finances.

Section E: Election, Removal and Succession of Officers

  1. Candidates for office must be Regular or Board members of ASAP at the time of taking office. Elections will be held yearly for the offices of President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Vice President position will be filled by the runner-up in the Presidential election. The officers of ASAP shall be chosen in a membership-wide, secret ballot contest. Votes may be cast online. Each candidate shall provide a brief written statement of interest and biography, which will be made available to the membership prior to the election. Candidates are elected by a plurality of all votes cast for the office. Should the membership-wide election result in a tie vote, the members of the current Executive Council who are not contestants in the contested office shall vote to decide which of the candidates shall become the newly elected representative. If the number of candidates is equal to or less than the available offices, the candidates may mutually agree upon their roles without the need for an election. If the number of candidates for the ASAP office does not reach the needed four members, the roles of Secretary and Treasurer can be merged. The new elected Board will consist then of only three members. Newly elected officers shall take office on January 20 of a given year and shall serve for one year. No member shall hold more than one office at a time. The offices of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall have two-term limits. All other particulars and requirements for candidacy and the elections will be decided by the Elections Standing Committee.

2. Officers must retain their affiliation with BNL over the course of their term. If their affiliation with BNL ceases and is not reinstated, the officer must step down.

3. An officer of the ASAP may be removed from office for misconduct or neglect of duty, flagrant violation of the ASAP Organizational Charter or any actions contrary to the integrity of the ASAP community. The Advisory members of the ASAP shall function in an impartial capacity to investigate any allegations brought against an officer. The officer in question shall have the right to know the allegations brought against him or her. The Advisory members and the accused officer shall have the right to present their evidence before the remaining members of the Executive Council for a final decision. The Executive Council shall have the power to remove the officer by a unanimous vote. The findings and recommendations of the Executive Council must be made in writing and made public to the ASAP membership. Acts of ASAP officers that are criminal or violate any laboratory, Federal, or State policy or law must be taken up with the appropriate authority.

4. If the office of the Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer is vacant, the President shall nominate a candidate for that office. The nomination shall be confirmed by a majority vote of the Executive Council. Should the nominee fail to be confirmed, the President may nominate another candidate. If the office of President is vacant, the Vice President shall assume the office and nominate a new Vice President. Should the offices of President and Vice President be vacant simultaneously, the Secretary, or failing that, the Treasurer shall assume the Presidency and nominate new officers accordingly.

5. The ASAP Board can appoint any other member of ASAP as an acting Board member, to help in the organization. This appointment must be made by consensus of the elected members of the Board. The new acting Board members will share duties and responsibilities with the elected Board.

Article V

Advocacy Role

As a representative voice for its members, the ASAP may advocate issues of importance to its members by attending laboratory meetings as student/post-doc representatives and writing correspondence to individuals and organizations within BNL and beyond. Individual board members may write on behalf of the board. If the need for more formal enunciation of position is required, a meeting shall be held in which a quorum of active members must vote on the issue. A majority is required for such a vote.

Article VI

Committees and Clubs

Section A: Elections Standing Committee

An Elections Standing Committee shall be formed annually to organize, conduct, and declare a winner for the elected positions of the Executive Council. The Chair of the committee and its members shall be appointed by the President as prescribed above. Candidates for election are not eligible for the Elections Standing Committee.

Section B: Ad Hoc Committee

Various ad hoc committees may be formed as needed by the President to deal with topical issues of limited scope. The Chair of the committee and all committee members shall be appointed by the President.

Section C: Clubs

In order to better serve the interests of its membership, upon request, the ASAP Board can officially acknowledge and support various group activities that focus on promotion of scientific and social interaction. Examples would include a book club or an alternative energy discussion club.

Article VII

Amendments and Referenda

Section A: Amendments to the ASAP Charter

Amendments to the ASAP Charter may be proposed by any ASAP member. Amendments may be voted on during the membership-wide election of ASAP Officers or at any other time subject to approval by the Executive Council. Any amendment must be advertised at least a week in advance of the election in which the amendment will be considered. Proposed amendments require approval by at least two thirds of the membership voting in any referendum in order to be accepted. Any amendment that is not accepted may be reconsidered on a future occasion.