Article I: Mission
The Muskie Student Organization (MSO) is organized to:
- Build a strong student community within the Muskie School;
- Create opportunities for civic discourse on public policy issues; and
- Advocate for students in policy-making and decision-making within the Muskie School.
Article II: Activities and Events
The MSO encourages all students to take an active role in fulfilling this mission in a variety of ways, from organizing events to representing students at faculty meetings. The major activities of the MSO shall be:
- Coordinate and promote educational and social events for students and the greater Muskie community.
- Promote networking activities for students.
- Identify and promote opportunities for public and community service by members of the Muskie community.
- Provide student representation at faculty meetings and other school wide committees and bring the concerns of the faculty and school administration back to the MSO.
- Address student concerns such as (but not limited to) access to and quality of resources, communication within the school, curriculum issues, promoting student learning and student advising, and career counseling and placement.
- Maintain active, regular channels of communication between students and the rest of the Muskie school, including faculty, staff, administration, and alumni.
- Conduct the business of the MSO in a consensus-based manner, utilizing teams to accomplish tasks and open meetings to encourage broad-based student participation.
The MSO will sponsor events that support the mission and goals. Past events have included the following:
- Reception to welcome new students>
- Library Orientation for new students
- Research Institute Directors Seminar
- Field Experience Seminar>
- Capstone Seminar
- Career Workshops
- Career Day
- Habitat for Humanity day
- The MS Walk
- Preble Street Soup Kitchen
- Coffee & Bagel Discussions with local policy makers
- Holiday gatherings
Article III: Organization
A. Management by Students
Any matriculated student in a Muskie program is welcome to attend any meeting of the MSO and is entitled to a full voice in any action or activity of the MSO. No individual student, committee, or sub-group of any kind may take any action on behalf of the MSO without the expressed consent of the MSO at a duly convened meeting.
B. Responsibilities of Muskie Students in the MSO
Muskie students have these principal areas of responsibility to the MSO:
- Maintain an active and involved MSO;
- Initiate activities and events that are aligned with the mission; and
- Work with Muskie staff, faculty, and administration to effectively carry out those activities.
The officers of the MSO will be a Chairperson and one or more additional officers as the MSO may determine. All officers shall be chosen by the MSO each year at the annual meeting in a manner and form as determined by the MSO at a duly convened meeting.
The MSO shall fill any vacancy among the officers at any meeting. Officers may resign in the manner described under Article IV, Subsection G: Resignation of Student Representatives, and may be removed in the manner described under Article IV, Subsection H: Removal of Student Representatives.
D. Responsibilities of the Chairperson of the MSO
The Chairperson shall be a Student Representative (see Article IV.) The Chairperson shall have the following responsibilities:
- Ensure that the MSO mission guides MSO activity;
- Lead and facilitate all meetings of the MSO, which includes establishing the agenda with input from students, arranging meeting times, and giving notice of MSO meetings to the student community;
- Ensure student representation of the MSO at faculty meetings; and
- Communicate regularly with the Dean of the Muskie school.
Article IV: Student Representation in the Muskie School
A primary responsibility of the MSO is to provide student representation within the Muskie school.
There will be two Student Representatives from each of the Muskie degree programs. (At this writing, this includes CPD, HPM, PPM, Ph.D. for a total of eight Student Representatives.)
C. Responsibilities of Student Representatives
In addition to the responsibilities of Muskie Students in the MSO, as outlined in Article III, Section B, Student Representatives have these principal areas of responsibility:
- Represent students and the MSO within the Muskie school; and
- Report back to the MSO from any Muskie community involvement, including all faculty meetings and committees.
Each Student Representative shall represent students and the MSO at their own program faculty committee.
A number of Student Representatives shall be selected by the MSO to represent students and the MSO at schoolwide Muskie Faculty meetings. Of these student representatives, one shall be the Chairperson of the MSO.
One student representative shall be selected by the MSO to represent students and the MSO on the Muskie School Council, a standing advisory board to the dean as established by the Muskie Governance Document.
D. Involvement by other students in Muskie School committees and meetings
Any student who so desires may also represent students and the MSO on any standing or ad hoc committee or meeting within the Muskie school that is not listed above and that is open to students (such as the Diversity Committee.) Any student who attends any such committee or meeting shall regularly make reports to the MSO about the committee’s activity or meeting's content.
E. Selection of Student Representatives
Each year at the Annual Meeting, students in attendance shall select Student Representatives from a slate of candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee (Article VI, Section D.) In the event of contested seats, the MSO may either refer the matter for students in each program to resolve, or may select representatives from among the candidates.
F. Length of Terms
Student Representatives will serve for a period of one year, beginning in May.
G. Resignation of Student Representatives
Any Student Representative may resign at any time by giving written notice to the MSO or to the Chairperson or otherwise by death or incapacity. The resignation will take effect upon receipt of such notice or at anytime specified therein. The acceptance of such resignation by the MSO will not be necessary to make it effective, unless otherwise specified therein. The MSO will fill the vacancy of office, selecting a new Student Representative to serve the remainder of the term.
H. Removal of Student Representatives
The MSO shall remove any Student Representative for cause. Cause may include, but not be limited to, lack of attendance at meetings or failure to fulfill roles and responsibilities outlined herein. The Student Representative under consideration for removal will not have a voice in the decision. Any vacancy so created will be filled in accordance with the guidelines outlined in section G: Resignation of Student Representatives.
Article V: Meetings
A. Open Meetings
Any student, staff, faculty or administration of the Muskie School is welcome to attend any meeting of the MSO. Only students, however, shall have a voice in any consensus-based decision-making process.
B. Annual Meeting
There will be an annual meeting of the MSO each year. At the annual meeting, Student Representatives and Officers will be selected, to begin their terms in May. Discussion of future activities shall take place. Due notice of the annual meeting is to be given to all Muskie students prior to the meeting.
C. Regular Meetings
At least twelve regular monthly meetings of the MSO will be held each year.
D. Special Meetings
In addition to the regular and annual meetings of the MSO, special meetings of the MSO may be called by the Chair of the MSO on his/her own motion, or upon request of a majority of the Student Representatives, with due notice to each Student Representative, either personally, by email, by mail, or by telephone.
At least 50% of the duly selected Student Representatives (i.e., four as of this writing) will constitute a quorum at any regular, special, or annual meeting of MSO. In the absence of a quorum at said meeting, no binding decisions shall be made, but substantive discussion may take place.
F. Leadership of and Record of Meetings
At every meeting of the MSO, the Chairperson will preside. In the absence of the Chairperson, the students in attendance will select an Interim Chairperson to preside.
At every meeting of the MSO, the Chairperson will select a student who will keep a record of the meeting.
Article VI: Committees
A. Committee Purpose
The MSO shall carry out its business through a team-based approach. To reflect this approach, committees may be established by the MSO to organize students into teams to accomplish a particular set of tasks. All committees shall report to the MSO about their work and decisions.
B. Committee Membership
Committee members will be appointed by the MSO and can be any member of the Muskie community, including but not limited to, matriculated and non-matriculated students, staff, faculty, and administration.
C. Committee Meetings
Committees will determine their own organization and times and places of meeting, unless otherwise directed by the MSO.
As levels of student involvement permit, the following standing committees may be created:
D. Nominating Committee
This committee shall identify and recommend to the MSO at the annual meeting a slate of prospective Student Representatives, using criteria established by the MSO.
E. Events Committee
This committee, working with Muskie staff, shall plan and carry out civic engagement, skill development, and community building events that the MSO chooses to sponsor.
F. Public Service Committee
This committee will develop and promote public service and community service opportunities for students.
Article VII: Amendments
Any or all of the provisions of the Bylaws of the MSO may be amended, altered or repealed by consensus of the MSO at any meeting, at which a quorum is present and that has been duly convened after notice has been given to all students, which includes a summary of the proposed changes.