Constitution of Women in Science at Rockefeller


The WISeR Coordinating Board (the “Board”) serves as the leadership structure for Women in Science at Rockefeller (WISeR).  

Recognizing the challenges faced by women in STEM careers, and the insufficient progress made in the production of a diverse and supportive scientific community, we do hereby establish Women In Science at Rockefeller (WISeR), to provide means by which Women at Rockefeller can promote their interests and welfare.

Article I: General

Section 1: Name

The name of the organization shall be Women in Science at Rockefeller (WISeR).

Section 2: Statement of Independence

WISeR is an independent organization with no direct connection to any administrative or faculty boards of The Rockefeller University.

Article II: Members

Section 1: Eligibility

Members may be any persons affiliated with The Rockefeller University including, but not limited to, postdocs, students, research associates, research assistants, clinical scholars, and professors. Membership shall be conferred upon completion of a registration form that will be made publically available on the WISeR website and shall be terminated once the member leaves the University.

Section 2: Benefits

Member benefits include, but are not limited to:

  1. Members and only members are able to nominate and vote in elections and on major documents including, but not limited to, constitutional amendments.

  2. Members receive priority for WISeR events with limited seating (e.g. breakfasts)

  3. Members may dissolve the entire Board with a ⅔ majority vote.

  4. Quorum for votes from the membership must involve at least 20% of the membership.

Section 3: Alumni status

At the time of their termination from Rockefeller University, members may choose to join our Alumni Network. By joining the Alumni Network, the individual consents to making their email address and current position available to WISeR members and other alumni.


Article III: The Board

Section 1: Composition

The members of the WISeR Coordinating Board shall be maximum of nine WISeR members, elected annually. The WISeR President, or at least one of two Co- Presidents, shall identify as a woman. The remainder of board positions may be held by a maximum of 50% of members who do not identify as women.

Section 2: Term of Service

The term of service for a WISeR board member shall be one year beginning on September 1st and continuing until August 31st of the following year.

Section 3: Election

The board members for the following academic year shall be elected from and by the WISeR membership at-large at an election to be held by August 1st.

  1.   Representatives shall serve for at least a one-year term.

  2.   Representatives shall host at least 4 events a year. An event constitutes any WISeR-run gathering such as breakfast, wine and cheese, BBQ, etc.

  3.   Additional representative positions and committees may be formed at the discretion of the Board.

Section 4: Board Meetings

  1. The Board shall hold its first regular meeting during summer, between June 1st  and August 1st, in person.

  2. At this meeting, the Board shall designate its regular meeting dates for the semester. At the beginning of the spring semester, the Board shall establish its meeting dates for that semester.

  3. The Board shall hold no fewer than four regular meetings per semester.

  4. The Board may be called into special meetings, beyond the regular meetings, as it sees fit. Attendance at meetings held in special session shall not be mandatory.

Section 5: Board Structure

  1. At the first meeting, the Board shall elect a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and a Secretary from the current board members.

  2. Nomination and Elections Procedure: Candidates for office may self-nominate or be nominated by any board member at a designated meeting. Elections may be held either at the same meeting or at the following meeting.

  3. One President or two Co-Presidents shall be elected by August 1st and shall serve from September 1st through August 31st of following year. The president should be elected from the existing board members. Two board members may submit to be elected together as Co-Presidents.

  4. The Board President(s), along with the Secretary, sets an agenda before all meetings and the Board will have two days before any mandatory meeting to offer additions or amendments to the agenda. She also presides over all meetings as chair, serves as the administrator of the group, and serves as principal point of contact for WISeR.

  5. The Board Vice-President shall chair meetings when the President is not present or must vacate the chair.

  6. The Board Secretary shall, with the President(s), set agendas before meetings. At meetings, the Secretary takes minutes and attendance, maintains all records, and serves as chair when the President(s) and Vice-President are not present or must vacate the chair. The Secretary also distributes collected information to The Board and the WISeR members.

  7. The Board Treasurer shall have access to all monies allocated to WISeR and shall, in consultation with The Board, be responsible for setting and maintaining the budgets for all WISeR events and projects. She also maintains the financial history of the organization and provides quarterly summaries of financial activity.

Section 7: Responsibilities of all board members:

  1. Board members must attend half of all yearly board meetings and must vote in abstentia when unable to attend a meeting. Board members must also attend a minimum 4 yearly events for members.

  2. Board members must act in accordance to all WISeR principles at all times. Specifically, WISeR Board members may not participate in any hate speech, discrimination, or harassment of any kind.

  3. When acting as a representative of WISeR, any actions taken that misrepresent WISeR’s mission, principles, or purpose are prohibited.

Section 8: Removal of Board members

Upon failure to meet any responsibility, the member in question may be relieved from the Board.

  1.  Any member or board member of WISeR may request a vote for removal and lay charges against a board member.     

  2.  The member charged will have ten (10) days to repudiate charges. The charged member will be excluded from subsequent discussions and votes surrounding the tentative removal.

  3.   Removal requires a ⅔ majority vote of the Board.

  4.   If a member is removed, they are no longer allowed at any additional WISeR events unless the Board votes on and agrees to relieve this provision, this will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

  5.   Any removed Board member may yearly submit a formal request for reinstatement as a WISeR member, but will be barred from all leadership positions ad infinatum.  

Article IV: Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order WISeR may adopt.


Article V: Amendments

Section 1: Amendments To The WISeR Constitution

  1.   A constitutional amendment may be presented at any meeting in writing or emailed to The Board Secretary.

  2.  The proposed amendment shall be publicized and a period of at least one week shall be given to the general membership to consider and comment on the amendment

  3.   A two-thirds majority of at least 20% of the Body is necessary for approval of a constitutional amendment or significant revision to this document.

Article VI: Ratification

This document shall serve as the constitution for the WISeR. This document shall go into effect on December 14, 2015.