OPAGS Bylaws

Organization of OPAGS


In this manual, unless otherwise specified or required by context,

(a) “Association” means the Ohio Psychological Association;
(b) “OPAGS” means the Ohio Psychological Association of Graduate Students, and “Student association” has the same meaning;
(c) “Board of Directors” means the Board of Directors of the Ohio Psychological Association;
(d) “Executive Council” means the executive council of the Ohio Psychological Association of Graduate Students;
(e) “Officer” means a member of the executive council and “office” has a corresponding meaning;
(f) “Election” means an election for executive council members;
(g) “Member” means a student member of the Association who is also a OPAGS member, and “membership” has a corresponding meaning;
(h) “Campus rep” means any graduate student who is the liaison between his/her academic program and OPAGS;
(i) A member is “in good standing” if he/she is:
1) Not in default of fulfillment of any prescribed fee to the Association;
2) Not in default of fulfillment of any other prescribed obligation to the Association or to OPAGS, and;
3) Whose membership is not in suspension.


A student member of the Association who is a graduate student or a post-doctoral fellow, or an undergraduate student, who elects to join OPAGS, is a member of OPAGS.

The admission requirements for membership in OPAGS are that the applicant:

(a) Submits to the Association a completed application in a form approved by the Board of Directors;
(b) Pays the annual fee to be a student member of the association for the year in which they are applying;
(c) Is currently a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow in a department or  school of psychology, or is an undergraduate psychology student who elects to  join OPAGS;
(d) Agrees to conform to the APA Code of Ethics.

Subject to other provisions of these bylaws, every member has the same rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities within OPAGS.


The Officers of OPAGS shall be: Chair; Chair-Elect; Communications Coordinator; Advocacy Chair; Continuing Education Chair; Diversity Chair, and Academics/Research Chair.

The Chair shall be the chief officer of OPAGS and he/she, or his/her appointee for the purpose, shall preside over meetings of the officers, the Executive Council, the Steering Committee, and the general membership.

The other officers shall assist the Chair and shall perform the duties outlined below.

The Chair and the other officers are responsible to the Ohio Psychological Association’s Board of Directors as well as to the student membership.

No one individual shall concurrently hold more than one office within OPAGS.

Term of office

The term of office for OPAGS elected officers shall be from July 1st to June 30th of each year.

Elected position descriptions


  • Is the chief officer of OPAGS and serves as Chair of the Executive Council and Steering Committee;
  • Is responsible for the coordination of the efforts of the members of the Executive Council;
  • Is responsible for appointing, in consultation with the Executive Council, Chairs of OPAGS committees and representatives to OPA Committees/Task Force;
  • In the event of a resignation by an Executive Council member, is responsible for appointing a replacement for the remainder of the current term of office;
  • Is responsible, in consultation with the Executive Council and the general membership, for establishing the general direction of OPAGS activities;
  • Is responsible for representing OPAGS to the OPA Board of Directors;
  • Shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors as a voting member in accordance with the OPA Code;
  • Shall attend the annual Leadership Forum and Advocacy Day/Ohio Health Day;
  • Shall have signature authority over the OPAGS financial account(s).


  • Serves a one-year term as member of the Executive Council and Steering Committee, and serves as Chair in the subsequent year;
  • Shall function as treasurer of the student association, including but not limited to the following responsibilities:
  • To develop, in consultation with the Executive Council, an annual budget for the organization;
  • To maintain signature authority, along with the Chair, over the student association’s account(s);
  • To promptly disburse funds in accordance with reimbursement requests approved by the Executive Council;
  • To represent the student membership at OPA Board of Directors meetings, should the Chair be unable to attend;
  • Shall attend the annual Leadership Forum and Advocacy Day/Ohio Health Day Conference

Communications Coordinator:

  • Is responsible for keeping and distributing minutes of all meetings of the Executive Council and the student membership;
  • Is the editor of the student membership newsletter;
  • Is responsible for coordinating submissions for the OPAGS column in the Ohio Psychologist/Ohio Psychologist Review and for the OPA Website;
  • Is the liaison to the campus representatives in all membership-related matters, including but not limited to making certain that campus representatives have current membership applications and newsletters;
  • Is the student liaison to the OPA Membership Committee;
  • Will coordinate distribution of convention-related materials to the membership in conjunction with the Convention Chair/co-Chairs.

Advocacy Chair:

  • Is the liaison to the OPA Legislative Committee and Federal Advocacy Coordinator;
  • Will attend the annual Leadership Forum and Advocacy Day/Ohio Health Day Conference;
  • Is the liaison to the APAGS-ACT Regional Advocacy Coordinator for Ohio, regarding issues related to federal advocacy efforts;
  • May appoint a committee to assist him/her in the performance of his/her duties;
  • Coordinates state and federal legislative advocacy efforts with the Association’s campus representatives, and thus with the membership;

Continuing Education Chair:

  • Will preferably have been a member of the previous year’s CE committee;
  • Is the liaison to the OPA Continuing Education Committee;
  • May appoint a committee to assist him/her in the performance of his/her duties;
  • Coordinates all aspects of student participation in the annual OPA convention, including but not limited to:
  • Distributing the call for proposals for the student track of programming
  • Coordinating the selection of proposals and the scheduling of programs;
  • Dissemination of all necessary information to convention presenters;
  • Coordinates all aspects of student participation in OPA’s Convention and other OPA workshops/CE programs
  • Will appoint a student to coordinate the student volunteer program at the convention and other CE Programs.
  • Solicit poster presentations.

Diversity Chair:

  • Is liaison to the OPA Diversity Committee;
  • Is liaison to or recruits others to be liaisons to OPA’s LGBT Task Force;
  • Acts to insure that OPAGS is aware of and has a consistent focus on issues of diversity and cultural competence.
  • May appoint a committee to assist him/her in the performance of his/her duties.

Academics/Research Chair:

  • Will seek to meet the needs of graduate students interested in research and academia;
  • Is liaison to the OPA Science Committee;
  • Will work with OPA to recruit OPAGS members for the poster session at fall convention;
  • May appoint a committee to assist him/her in the performance of his/her duties.

Social Responsibility Chair

  • Is the liaison to the OPA Committee on Social Responsiblity;
  • Coordinates efforts to involve OPAGS members in public education programs and student participation in health fairs, service projects and fund raising events for consumer groups that address issues of mental illness.

Executive Council

The general affairs of OPAGS shall be managed and supervised by an executive council composed of the officers of OPAGS. The immediate past-chair shall be considered to be an ex-officio member of the executive council and shall serve in an advisory capacity, without vote. The past-chair shall not be required to attend any OPAGS EC meeting.

Officers shall serve without compensation.


The executive council may establish, disband, and give direction to such committees or task force as it considers expedient from time to time, and appoint chairs for each committee or task force from the OPAGS membership.

Committee/task force chairs will solicit and appoint committee members from the OPAGS membership.

A committee/task force may not perform any function of the executive council but, subject to the directions of the executive council, may give advice and make recommendations to the executive council without limitation.

Campus representatives

Campus representatives shall be recruited by the Executive Council in consultation with the APAGS-ACT Regional Advocacy Coordinator for Ohio. Every effort shall be made to locate and appoint a campus representative at every graduate psychology program in the state. The duties of this position shall include but are not limited to:

  • Making available membership applications, calls for convention proposals, and newsletters to the students of their campus;
  • Developing a network of students on their campus who are willing to participate in advocacy efforts by writing letters, making phone calls, and visiting with their state and federal elected officials;
  • Disseminating action alerts from both OPA and APAGS legislative advocacy networks;
  • Alerting the executive council to recent issues of concern to students;
  • Developing policy initiatives with regard to the overall direction of the student organization for the executive council to consider.

Operating Procedures

OPAGS Calendar

The OPAGS term for elected office shall run from July 1 through June 30 of each year. The OPAGS fiscal year shall run concurrently with the OPA fiscal year.

Executive Council meetings

The executive council shall meet three times per year: once at the annual OPA convention; and two other times at a time and place to be determined each year by majority vote of the executive council, based upon that location requiring the least amount of travel possible.

Annual meetings

An annual meeting of OPAGS will be held at the OPA convention. This meeting shall be open to all members in good standing.

The purpose of this meeting shall be for the Chair to report on the state of the Association to the membership; to solicit suggestions from the membership as to the general policy directions the Association should pursue over the next year; and to accomplish other goals as decided upon by the executive council each year.

Minutes of the annual meeting will be kept by the Communications Coordinator or his/her designee and will be forwarded to all members in good standing within one month of the annual meeting. A copy of the minutes shall also be filed in the OPA Central Office.

Linkage to OPA’s Regional and Affiliate organizations

Campus representatives will be encouraged to develop relationships with the regional and affiliate organizations in their area and, to the extent possible, to work with the governance of those organizations to develop student positions within their governmental structure, as well as to facilitate students’ involvement in the local chapter’s mission and activities.

Linkage to academic programs

The executive council shall work with campus representatives to establish a permanent faculty liaison at their school. Such a faculty member should preferably hold membership in both APA and OPA. This should facilitate the smooth transition between campus reps from year to year and encourage faculty members to become more supportive of student efforts to participate in the professional associations.

Nominations/Elections Procedures

Nominations for OPAGS offices will be solicited from the membership.

In the event that fewer than two nominations are received for any particular position, the executive council shall make a concerted effort to find other suitable candidates. If and only if this attempt should fail, the lone candidate shall be considered to have won the election. If there are no candidates for a position, the same procedure shall be followed, and if the effort to solicit candidates is unsuccessful, the current chair-elect shall appoint a member to fill the position.

Elections will be completed electronically prior to August 31 each year.. Candidates will submit a written statement that will be available to members during the voting process. The student who receives the most votes for each position will serve in that capacity for the following year. A student may only hold one position each year.

The Executive Council shall be responsible for making decisions as needed about issues related to the election process.

Finance and Budget Procedures

The fiscal year of OPAGS shall be the same as the fiscal year of the Association.

OPAGS shall fund its operations from a portion of the dues paid to the Association by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows in psychology, and those undergraduate students who elect to join OPAGS, and by contributions to the Association by graduate programs.

A separate line item shall be maintained for the student association, over which the Chair and Chair-Elect shall have signature authority, and from which any withdrawal shall require the signature of either the Chair or Chair-Elect.

A preliminary budget proposal for the following year shall be submitted to the OPA Finance Committee in April of each year. The OPA Board will approve the budget in June of each year.

All business transactions involving discretionary funds shall be decided by a majority vote of the executive council.

All executive council members shall be instructed to work with their school/department to secure partial funding for travel to required meetings. This shall be considered to be a vital function of all executive council members. The Chair will assist in this process by writing letters of support and soliciting letters of support from the current president of the Association. OPAGS reimbursement for travel, if any, shall be subject to the limitations of the approved budget.


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