Founded in 1977, the Council has upheld a presence throughout the evolving response to women’s issues. The Council for Women’s Concerns has continued to sponsor conferences and activities that highlight the concerns and accomplishments of women, such as the Mary Catherine Buswell Award, and the Women of Color Luncheon during Diversity Week.
In 2021, the Council decided to change their name from the Council for Women’s Concerns to the Council for Gender Equity to be more inclusive while still honoring the mission of the Council.
The Council for Gender Equity of West Virginia University promotes equality and empowers womxn in all areas of the University and local community by facilitating a dialogue on womxn’s issues and serving as a resource for womxn.
The Council for Gender Equity of West Virginia University is committed to an inclusive University community that connects and empowers womxn in a safe and equitable environment.
What is Womxn?
Our bylaws are currently being rewritten to reflect our name change and our commitment to all womxn-identifying individuals.
The West Virginia University Council for Women’s Concerns, affiliated with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Social Justice Council, is committed to promoting the equality of women in the University and local communities. The Council is comprised of women and men representing WVU faculty, staff, and students, and representatives of the greater Morgantown area. The Council facilitates dialogue, gathers information, and consults with diverse segments of the community. The Council advises the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion regarding priorities for action by the University and acts as an advocate for women’s concerns.
The Council affirms that discriminatory practices and prejudicial attitudes are not the unique or particular concern of the victim, but rather are, or should be, the collective concern of the Morgantown and University communities. The Council calls on these communities to be role models for others by manifesting a visible commitment to social justice at every level and function and to treat all persons at all times in a fair, equitable, and civil manner.
The Council recognizes that discrimination of any kind impedes the progress and integrity of the entire community. Thus, the Council is committed to eliminating discrimination, not only towards women, but also to intersections of gender with other issues such as race, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, color, national origin or veteran status.
The name of the Council shall be the West Virginia University Council for Women’s Concerns, and shall be referred to as the Council throughout this document.
The purpose of the Council is to promote the equality and empowerment of women in all areas of the University and local community life. More specifically, the Council will address the special needs of women by: (a) facilitating dialogue on women’s issues; (b) formulating and initiating action plans; (c) collaborating with the Social Justice Council and other groups to promote and encourage institutional and community activities and initiatives; (d) providing an ongoing needs assessment to identify areas of concern; and (e) advocating for women’s equality.
The Council reports to the Chief Diversity Officer who reports to the President of the University through the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
ARTICLE IV—COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Members Membership shall consist of a broad representation from the University and the greater Morgantown area, and shall number no more than thirty (30) and no less than twenty (20) persons, not including ex-officio members.
1a. Membership shall consist of WVU faculty, staff, students, ex-officio and community members. Ex-officio members have all membership rights.
1b. Ex-officio members include a representative from the Office of the Provost, the Chief Diversity Officer or designee, and the Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies or designee.
1c. Male representation on the Council is desired, but should not exceed one-third (1/3) of the total voting membership.
Section 2. Election of new members
The Membership Committee shall present a list of new member applicants at the March meeting. Election of new members will be held by secret ballot at the April meeting.
Section 3. Appointment
Council members shall be appointed by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from the results of an affirmative vote of a majority of the Council present at the April meeting. The current Chair of the Membership Committee presents the applicants to the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The appointment year for newly elected members begins on May 1. Each term ends on April 30.
Section 4. Term
The term of office for faculty, staff, and community Council members elected at any annual meeting shall be three (3) years. The term of office of full-time student members elected at any annual meeting shall be one (1) year. Members may succeed themselves for one additional term, except that student members may succeed themselves for two additional terms.
In the case that a member must leave the Council for special circumstances prior to the completion of their term, reappointment at a later time may be considered at the discretion of the Executive Committee of the Council.
Section 5. Vacancies
In the event that a newly elected member declines appointment by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a member resigns from the Council during the year, or there is a vacancy due to fewer nominees on the ballot at the April meeting than the number of anticipated Council vacancies for the next academic year, the Chair shall appoint a replacement(s) to fill the vacancy(s). Such replacement(s) shall be selected from the slate of nominees for membership or from nominations from the floor. Such appointees shall be appointed for full terms. All such replacement(s) shall complete the application on the Council’s web site.
Replacement membership application forms are received by the Membership Committee, then forwarded to the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reviews all applications and returns all eligible application forms to the Council Chair. When appointment is made at a time other than the annual election, the year of the appointment shall serve as the first year of the member’s term.
Section 6. Duties of Members
6a. Service on Council committees All Council members are required to serve on at least one Council committee.
6b. Meeting Attendance Council members have an obligation to attend regularly scheduled meetings, including the annual retreat. Members must notify the Chair or the Communications Secretary of an anticipated absence prior to the meeting. Members who miss more than two consecutive meetings without advance notice or who miss more than 50% of all regularly scheduled meetings for the year may be asked to resign from the Council. Members who have regular conflicts during a semester, i.e., from a class conflict, may continue on the Council for that semester if they are actively involved in a Council committee. However, if members have class or other conflicts throughout a Council year, they should resign from the Council and ask to be considered for membership again at a time when their schedules permit more regular attendance. While every effort will be made to accommodate these requests for re-election, there can be no guarantees in a particular year, due to the need to balance the different constituencies on the Council in any year.
Section 1. Regular meetings Regular meetings of the full Council shall be held once a month during the school term.
Section 2. Conduct of meetings Robert’s Rules of Order shall guide the transaction of all business of the Council.
Section 3. Quorum The presence in person of a simple majority of the minimum number of Council members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The acts of a quorum shall constitute the acts of the Council.
Section 4. Elections An election by secret ballot shall be held annually at the April meeting to elect officers and new members.
Section 1. Officers The officers of the Council shall include a Chair, Vice-Chair, Communications Secretary, and Financial Secretary, all of whom shall be elected annually by the Council. The Council may, from time to time, also elect or appoint one or more additional officers or assistant officers.
Section 2. Election of officers Officers are elected by Council members by secret ballot at the April meeting.
Section 3. Term Officers are elected for a term of one (1) year and may be re-elected for a second term.
Section 4. Vacancies Should a newly elected officer not accept the office or resign during the year, or should an officer vacancy occur for any other reason, the Chair shall appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy.
Section 5. Duties of Officers
5a. The Chair presides at all meetings, enforces the bylaws, and follows the charge of the Council. The Chair appoints all Council committee chairs and reports on all Executive Committee and Social Justice Council meetings at which she/he is present. The Chair serves as the Budget Officer.
5b. The Vice-Chair attends all meetings, monitors all events, and oversees all committees of the Council and Executive Committee and presides at meetings in the absence of the Chair. In the absence of the Chair the Vice-Chair serves as the Council representative on the Social Justice Council.
5c. The Communications Secretary ensures that minutes of the Council meeting are recorded and distributed to Council members. The Communications Secretary attends all meetings of the Council and the Executive Committee; is custodian of important documents; and generates an annual meeting schedule, which includes date, place, and recorder. In the absence of the Chair and the Vice-Chair, the Communications Secretary serves as representative on the Social Justice Council.
5d. The Financial Secretary attends all meetings of the Council and the Executive Committee. The Financial Secretary is responsible for keeping track of the Council’s budget that is based in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, including appropriations from the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, any receipts from the Women of Color luncheon, or any other events that the Council for Women’s Concerns might sponsor.
While all expenditures must be authorized and processed through the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Financial Secretary shall be responsible for preparing a monthly report to the Council for Women’s Concerns on the status of the Council’s accounts and shall be responsible for working with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to ensure that all expenditures and receipts are handled in accordance with WVU procedures.
Section 1. Executive Committee The Executive Committee includes the Chair, Vice-Chair, Communications Secretary, and Financial Secretary of the Council. The immediate past Chair, if still a member of the Council, shall serve on the Executive Committee for one (1) year. Ex-officio members of the Council shall also serve on the Executive Committee. Council committee chairs may be called upon to report at these meetings as directed by the Chair of the Council.
The Executive Committee:
1a. Meets monthly the week before regularly scheduled Council meetings to review the minutes of the previous meeting and to prepare the agenda for the next meeting.
1b. Transacts all routine and emergency business of the Council between monthly meetings of the Council and has all the powers of the membership subject to later approval, ratification, or rejection by the general membership of the Council.
1c. Monitors attendance and membership terms, reviews the list of suggested nominees for membership, and solicits nominations from the Council with respect to vacancies on the Council.
1d. Provides information to the media and contacts groups that are interested in the activities and purposes of the Council, subject to approval by the general membership.
1e. Addresses specific issues identified by the membership and executes those identified as goals and objectives.
1f. Submits an annual report to the Chief Diversity Officer on behalf of the Council by June 30 of each year following approval at the May meeting.
Section 2. Council Committees The Executive Committee shall determine Council committees to reflect the Council’s agenda for the year. Through Council committees, each member serves the Council in fulfilling its specified goals, objectives, and initiatives. Council committee membership shall be finalized at the first meeting of each academic year.
Section 3. Membership Committee The Membership Committee shall begin an annual cycle of recruiting officers and new member applicants in December in preparation for Council elections of officers and new members at the April meeting.
3a. New Members: Recruitment and Election In December, the Membership Committee reviews the current Council membership roster and determines if there will be vacancies on the Council for the next academic year. In January, if there are any anticipated vacancies, the Membership Committee issues a Council, community and University-wide call for Council nominations. The nomination period will close on February 10.
Applicants may be nominated by Council members or others but all applicants must complete the application form on the Council’s web site. The Membership Committee receives all applications then forwards them to the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will review all applicants and forward a slate of all eligible applicants to the Chair of the Membership Committee by February 20. The Membership Committee prepares and presents the slate of all eligible Council applicants at the March meeting.
The Membership Committee prepares a ballot and conducts an election of new members by secret ballot at the April meeting.
To maintain a full Council, the Chair will appoint new members to fill any vacancies due to (1) fewer than nominees than the number of anticipated Council vacancies for the coming year or (2) the resignation of a Council member during the year.
3b. Officers: Recruitment and Election In January, the Membership Committee issues a call to Council members for nominations for Council officers. The nomination period will close with the adjournment of the March meeting. Nominees may self-nominate or may be nominated by Council members. The Membership Committee will talk with candidates about the duties of officers and their willingness to serve.
The Membership Committee prepares a slate of officers for any and all positions and presents the slate at the March meeting. Nominations may be taken from the floor at the March meeting. The Membership Committee prepares a ballot and conducts an election of officers by secret ballot at the April meeting.