In 1967, students in the Department organized the Student Association of Graduates in English, SAGE, for the purpose of stimulating and coordinating student activity in such areas as curriculum, academic standards and ethics, graduate teaching assistantships, and orientation of new graduate students, as well as offering a social connection.
All graduate students in English automatically become members of SAGE when they begin their graduate studies, and the association encourages active participation. SAGE holds elections for its own as well as standing departmental committees. In addition to an annual picnic for both students and faculty at the beginning of each school year, SAGE sponsors a colloquium and readings each semester.
Constitution of The Student Association of Graduates in English Department of English, University of Kansas As amended November 13, 2011.
Preamble: The Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE) exists to provide graduate students with opportunities that will enhance understanding of the discipline and the profession of the academic in English, as well as participation in affairs related to graduate education and service.
Article I: Name The name of this organization shall be the Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE), hereafter referred to as the Organization.
Article II: Purpose SAGE strives to foster community among graduate students and faculty in the department, to prepare graduate students for professional life, and to serve as a representative body to various committees within the English department. SAGE believes that the understanding of one’s discipline and profession is not bounded by class schedules and academic calendars and that commitment to learning and professionalism is not separated from good fellowship, living and opportunity.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: Membership shall be open to any University of Kansas English graduate student. Section 2: Non-discrimination Clause. Consistent with all applicable federal and state laws and University policies, this organization and its subordinate bodies and officers shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, veteran’s status, sex, national origin, or disability in its selection of members, educational programs, committee representatives or activities.
Article IV: Executive Committee and Committee Officers Section 1: Officers of the Executive Committee of the organization shall be as follows: two (2) Co-Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary and three (3) First-Year Liaisons, one each from creative writing, literary studies, and composition and rhetoric.
Section 2: Standing committees are organized in the following divisions, with membership in each noted parenthetically. Committees that are voting department members are indicated with an asterisk: Advisory Committee* (1), Creative Writers’ Committee* (4), Events Committee (3), FSE Committee* (3), Graduate Student Advisory Board (1), Graduate Committee* (3), GTA/Lecturers Committee* (3), Lecturers/Readers Committee* (3), Library Committee* (1), Professionalization Workshop Committee (3), Public Face/Alumni Relations Committee* (3), Social Media Committee (3, plus webmaster), Summer Institutes Committee* (1), Supplemental Funds Committee* (1), Sustainability Committee (2), Webmaster (1). Each standing committee will maintain a chairperson to delegate authority and organize responsibilities for members of their committee.
Section 3: Election of officers/ committee members. Officers are elected in late spring semester of each academic year. All English graduate students may nominate officers. Officers accept or decline nominations. Once committee slates have been filled by nominations, English graduate students then approve or contest by email, with contested votes determined by ballot voting. In the event of no contest for any one position, incumbents may be voted for/ against the renewal of their position. On the issue of CoPresidency, the Co-Presidents shall run on a ticket of their own choosing.
Section 4: Officers shall take office following the completion of the spring semester of each academic year and shall serve one full academic year until the following spring when new officers are elected. Before officially taking office, new officers shall receive some sort of synopsis from the previous officer holding the respective position regarding activities the officer arranged during his/her term, issues still open or in progress, and any other relevant and/or helpful documents or information.
Section 5: Officers shall not be on academic or university probation at the time of their elections and throughout their terms of office.
Section 6: Unless the committee position is uncontested, there is a two year limit for officers to work at any one position or on any one committee; the exception to this is the Executive Committee positions, which cannot be held for more than two years. There is no term limit for SAGE membership.
Section 7: The First-Year Liaison positions and one slot per committee from Events Committee, Professionalization, Social Media, and Sustainability will be elected/ appointed separately during the beginning of the fall semester. The nominees will be new-incoming graduate students. Only the new graduate students will nominate or vote in this election. If no one decides to run for one of these positions, the committee can appoint someone to the position (either a new or current graduate student) if necessary.
Section 6: Duties of Officers.
A. Co-President Those eligible to be Co-President must have reasonable understanding of and experience as a graduate student in KU’s English department. The Presidents are responsible for conducting organization business including, but not limited to, overseeing SAGE projects and sub-committees, organizing and facilitating executive meetings, acting as a liaison between SAGE and the chair of the department, and providing general overall guidance to the Organization. The Presidents shall also prepare a semester and year-end report documenting the Executive Committee’s progress towards its stated goals and assessment of work still to be done.
B. Secretary (Communications Officer) The secretary shall record and distribute minutes of executive committee and all other SAGE meetings; shall maintain records of officer attendance; shall be responsible for distribution of agendas, meeting notifications and other official announcements; and shall administer the SAGE e-mail discussion list.
C. Treasurer The Treasurer primarily focuses on the management of SAGE funds. S/he should ensure that the money is in a secure place (e.g. a checking account). The Treasurer always uses a separate SAGE account rather than a personal account that could be or is used for additional groups or persons. The Executive Committee should always approve the distribution of SAGE funds, or at the very least the Presidents should be informed, before the money is allotted to anyone or for anything. In accordance with the mission of SAGE, these funds are reserved for the promotion of graduate student professionalism in the form of reimbursing conference registration fees of presenters and to finance social events that promote graduate student interaction. Additional responsibilities include: _. Actively organizing fundraisers specifically designated to enhance the coffer of SAGE (which is separate from funds raised in connection with volunteering endeavors that SAGE supports). . Depositing and distributing the funds 0. Keeping the budget balanced 0. Managing and advertising applications for the reimbursement of conference registration fees for grads each semester 0. Becoming involved in the other activities organized by SAGE
D. Committeeships SAGE officers on committee will attend all germane meetings, discuss potential visits and the scheduling of events and conduct other business generally related to facilitating of each individual committee post. In addition, committee officers will report back their findings at monthly SAGE meetings and vote the will of the democratic body of SAGE acting on behalf of its larger constituency.
E. Webmaster In addition to these offices, SAGE also consists of a webmaster position. This position is a volunteer position instead of an elected one; if none of the elected officers volunteer, then the Executive Committee will recruit another graduate student to hold the position. Responsibilities include keeping the minutes and other information on the SAGE website up-to-date; e.g., maintaining an accurate list of "who’s who" in the organization.
Article V: Removal of Officers
Section 1: Officers failing to fulfill their given responsibilities and duties may be removed by the regular members of the organization. This includes missing three SAGE meetings during the academic year or two consecutive monthly meetings. If reports are submitted in absentia to a member of the Executive Committee prior to the meeting, then the officer has partially completed his/her given responsibilities and will not be removed from his/her position solely for lack of attendance.
Section 2: The removal of an officer requires a 4/5 vote of the Executive Committee and a will either be proposed and voted upon during regular meeting and agreed to by a majority vote or will be proposed via email over the SAGE listserv and will be approved if there is not an email show of dissent from five people or more following the notification of the officer in question. If five or more people dissent, the executive committee will reconsider the removal. Notification shall be provided in writing no less than seven working days prior to the vote.
Article VI: Replacement of Officers
Section 1: In the case where some part of the presidential office is vacant, the other president will immediately fill the position until which time as an appointment can be made according to the line of succession (Treasurer, Secretary etc).
Section 2: All other positions found to be vacant shall be filled by appointment immediately. The Executive Committee will appoint a replacement; this replacement will hold office for the duration of the current term.
Article VII: Meetings
Section 1: A minimum of three regularly scheduled general meetings shall be held each semester. The Executive Committee may call additional meetings only if the immediate need arises.
Section 2: Parliamentary Authority: meetings shall be conducted according to the agenda set prior to each meeting. Prior to each meeting, the Co-Presidents shall solicit items from acting committee chairs that officers would like to address at the meeting. The Presidents shall make the meeting agenda according to the items committee members state they would like to discuss.
Article VIII: Committees
Section 1: The officers of the organization shall have the authority to create or dissolve any committees, standing or special, that will further the purpose of the organization.
Section 2: Committees will either be proposed and voted upon during regular meeting and agreed to by a majority vote or will be proposed via email over the SAGE listserv and will be approved if there is not an email show of dissent from five people or more. If five or more people dissent, the executive committee will reconsider the changes and resubmit for approval.
Section 3: Committee chairs will accept responsibility for organizing and presenting all issues and materials at the monthly meetings.
Article IX: Amendments
Section 1: All amendments to this constitution require notice of one week prior to being discussed and voted upon, either in a regular meeting or via the SAGE listserv.
Section 2: All amendments will either be proposed prior to and voted upon during a regular meeting and agreed to by a majority vote or will be proposed via email over the SAGE listserv and will be approved if there is not an email show of dissent from five people or more. If five or more people dissent, the executive committee will reconsider the changes and resubmit for approval.
SAGE Executive Officers
Co-Presidents: Yee-Lum Mak, Brynn Fitzsimmons
Secretary: Sarah Kugler
Treasurer: Sandra Jacobo
Accessibility and Sustainability
Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention
Events and Fundraising
Graduate Student Advisory Board Representative
GTAC (Graduate Teaching Assistants' Coalition) Representative
FSE Committee and GTA/Lecturers
Lecturers, Readers, and Professionalization
Please note that you are encouraged to attend Voting Department meetings even if you do not serve on a voting committee. All graduate students are eligible to attend, but only voting members can vote on motions and proposals.
Emergencies Lawrence Police Department: 785-832-7509
Suicide Hotlines: Headquarters Crisis Center (785) 841-2345
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS Personal Counseling Services can help students with issues related to adjusting to college and other psychological, interpersonal, and family problems. Individual, couple, and group sessions are available.
Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center: Outpatient mental health services for children, adolescents and adults: therapy, psychiatric services, screening, crisis intervention, evaluations, referrals & community based services (case management) for those that meet criteria. Homeless outreach program assists individuals and families with/without mental illness in locating housing. Emergency services 24hrs/day. Phone: 785-843-9192. Located on 200 Maine Street.
Watkins Health Services: Counseling, advocacy, response, and education. Phone: (785) 864-9500.
Sexual Harassment & Assault/ Domestic Violence Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center: (not directly affiliated with KU) Counseling, advocacy, response, and education. Phone: (785) 843-8985.
CARE Coordinator: Watkins Health Services provides support to victims of sexual and domestic violence. Merrill Evans, LSCSW, is our CARE (Campus Assistance, Resource, and Education) Coordinator whose primary role is to coordinate support for individuals (both victim and alleged perpetrators) impacted by sexual violence including incidents of sexual assault, sexual battery, partner violence, dating violence and stalking. The CARE Coordinator is a confidential position and is not required to report incidents to University officials or organizations. If you or someone you know has been affected by any form of sexual violence, please do not hesitate to contact Merrill or stop by Watkins Health Center Room 2615 during normal business hours. If WHS is closed, the Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center is available 24 hours for victim assistance at 785-843- 8985.
Willow Domestic Violence Center: Provides free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence. Services include 24-hour crisis hotline, safe shelter, peer counseling, support group, court advocacy, and more. Phone: 785-843-3333 or1-800-770-3030. Address: 1920 Moodie Road.
Alcoholics Anonymous: 311 East 9th Street, Lawrence, KS 785-842-0110
Narcotics Anonymous: 785-749-6631. Help with recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
Center for Change: 1910 Haskell Ave Ste A-9 785-856-4357
Just Food Food Pantry offering food once per month on a walk-in basis; collection/distribution for partnering agencies. Hygiene products occasionally available. Bread and produce donations available daily.
ChildCare Aware of Eastern Kansas Customized child care referrals, professional development and resources for early childhood professionals, and referrals to community resources for individuals, children, and families. Phone: 785-865-0669. Address: 2706 Iowa, Suite C.
Lawrence Community Shelter Provides shelter & case management for homeless adults and families. Phone: 785-832-8864. Address: 3655 E. 25th Street.
*Institutional Opportunity & Access: The office of IOA has an institutional responsibility to enhance and strengthen diversity and inclusion at the University of Kansas. *(This is also the office to which you report any crimes, including sexual harassment or violence (in addition to the police).
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity
Office of Multicultural Affairs: The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides direction and services for students from underrepresented populations.
SafeRide: SafeRide operates 10:30 p.m. - 2:30 a.m. seven nights per week, except during class breaks and holidays. Call 785-864-SAFE  during those hours to request a ride.
Student Legal Services: 785-864-5665
Location: Lutheran Campus Ministry1421 W 19th Street. Hours: Thursday 4:00-7:00pm.
Campus Cupboard On Wheels
Location: Lot 65 (Memorial Stadium). Hours: First Monday of every month 1:00-2:00pm
Location: 1000 E. 11th Street, Lawrence. Hours: 1 :00-7:00pm Monday, 9:00am-4:00pm Tuesday- Friday. Appointments also available if these times do not work.Phone: (785) 856-7030
Ballard Center Mobile Food Pantry
Location: Douglas Country Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St, Lawrence, KS 66046. Hours: Every third Wednesday at 9:00am. Phone: (785) 842-0729
Ecumenical Campus Ministries - Veggie Lunch
Location: 1204 Oread Ave. Hours: Every Thursday 11 :30-1 :00pm Phone: (785) 843-4933
Location: First Methodist Church, 946 Vermont Street. Hours: every Tuesday & Friday 6:00-8:15am
Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen (LINK)
Location: First Christian Church, 221 W 10th Street. Hours: 1:00-2:00pm Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Phone: (785) 331-3663
Heartland Community Health Center
Location: 200 Maine Street, Lawrence. Hours: by appointment only. Thursday: 1 :00-3:00pm, Saturday: 9:00-12:00am. Phone: (785) 841-7297
Salvation Army Food Pantry
Location: 946 New Hampshire Street, Lawrence. Hours: 9:00-12:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
Free Food at KU
Watkins Health Services - Cook Well Live Well Classes
lkigai Noodle - Thursday Night Ramen Kitchen
Location: Westwood House, 1421 W 19th Street, Lawrence. Hours: 6:00-7:30 every Thursday. Phone: (785) 550-6560
SAGE Executive Offices
Co-President (2) – Those eligible to be Co-President must have reasonable understanding of and experience as a graduate student in KU’s English department. It is recommended that a SAGE member serve in another executive office (Secretary or Treasurer) before serving as Co-President. The Presidents are responsible for conducting organization business including, but not limited to, overseeing SAGE projects and sub-committees, organizing and facilitating executive meetings, acting as a liaison between SAGE and the chair of the department, and providing general overall guidance to the Organization. The Presidents shall also prepare a semester and year-end report documenting the Executive Committee’s progress toward its stated goals and assessment of work still to be done.
Secretary (1) – This officer shall record and distribute minutes of executive committee and all other SAGE meetings; shall maintain records of officer attendance; shall be responsible for distribution of agendas, meeting notifications and other official announcements; and shall administer the SAGE e-mail discussion list. It is recommended that the SAGE Secretary have at least one year’s experience as an active SAGE member before beginning their term.
Treasurer (1) – This officer primarily focuses on the management of SAGE funds. They should ensure that the money is in a secure place (e.g. a checking account). The Treasurer always uses a separate SAGE account rather than a personal account that could be or is used for additional groups or persons. The Executive Committee should always approve the distribution of SAGE funds, or at the very least the Presidents should be informed, before the money is allotted to anyone or for anything. In accordance with the mission of SAGE, these funds are reserved for the promotion of graduate student professionalism in the form of reimbursing conference registration fees of presenters and to finance social events that promote graduate student interaction. It is recommended that the SAGE Treasurer have at least one year’s experience as an active SAGE member before beginning their term.
First-Year Liaisons (3) – The three First-Year Liaisons, one each representing Literature, Rhetoric/Composition, and Creative Writing, will voice the collective interests and concerns of all first-year students at Executive Committee meetings. Additionally, they work to ensure all first-year students are kept informed of SAGE policies, meetings, and events. All three spots reserved for incoming/first-year graduate students.
Briefly, the standing SAGE committees (with the number of open positions indicated in parentheses) are:
Accessibility Committee (3-4) - SAGE Accessibility Committee will promote understanding and action around accessibility and ableism in the KU English Department community. Among their goals are to make sure department events are accessible and host workshops for GTAs and professors to help them make their syllabi, Blackboard pages, and classroom materials accessible.
Advisory Committee (1) - This committee represents the English department as a whole; past issues dealt with include discussing concerns about hiring practices in the department. In the past, this committee has met every 1-2 weeks. The SAGE representative for this committee should be a senior graduate student with at least two years’ experience as an active SAGE member. English Voting Department member.*
Creative Writers’ Committee (4) – This committee, made up of students who are either studying for their MFA or PhD in creative writing, is responsible for representing creative writers within the graduate student population to both SAGE and the department. English Voting Department member.
Diversity Recruitment and Retention Committee (2-3) – This committee is a graduate student voice on the Department of English's Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention Committee. These representatives advocate for equitable Department initiatives, assist in recruitment efforts, and determine best practices for retention in the department.
Events Committee (3-4) – This committee is responsible for planning regular social events, such as the SAGE Halloween Party and departmental mixers, etc., for the graduate students. One spot reserved for incoming/first-year graduate student.
FSE Committee (3) – This committee deals with issues pertaining to the First- and Second Year English office, such as handbook adoption; CAL revisions; the structure of English 101, 102, and 200-level classes, etc. The FSE Administrative Intern is automatically a member of the FSE Committee and thus cannot serve as the SAGE representative. English Voting Department member. *GTA/Lecturers committee combined with this committee.
Fundraising Committee (3-4) – This committee will coordinate the SAGE Book Fair, Silent Auction, and any other fundraising efforts deemed necessary by the committee or the SAGE executive council. The committee will also keep record of which SAGE members help with fundraising events, such as helping to set up/tear down and working shifts at the Book Fair, donating to the silent auction, etc. One spot reserved for incoming/first-year graduate student.
Graduate Student Advisory Board Representative (1) - The holder of this position attends GSAB meetings, voices SAGE's concerns at those meetings, and relates information from those meetings to SAGE. GSAB represents all graduate students and their interests to the university in general and to Student Senate and the Dean of Graduate Studies in particular. The holder of this position will learn a lot about university bureaucracy and politics, and— most importantly—serve as an advocate for graduate student interests.
Graduate Committee (3) - This committee examines the structure of the graduate program in English; past issues have been language requirements (for example, they added Old English to the list of possible foreign languages a few years ago), the structure of the MA oral examination, etc. Ideally, the SAGE representatives on this committee will represent the three major areas of Rhetoric and Composition, Creative Writing, and Literature. Representatives of this committee should be senior graduate students with at least two years’ experience as active SAGE members. English Voting Department member.
GTAC Representative (1) - This position acts as a go-between for English GTAs and the Graduate Teaching Assistants' Coalition, the labor union that represents KU's GTAs. Ideally, the GTAC Representative should be a dues-paying member in good standing with GTAC. They are meant to advocate for English GTAs interests in GTAC and to the university; inform SAGE members of their rights as workers and members of a union; attend both GTAC and SAGE meetings.
Lecturers/Readers Committee (3) - This committee, which consists of both faculty and graduate students, determines the program of visiting lecturers and writers to the English department each year. Ideally, the SAGE representatives on this committee will represent the three major areas of Rhetoric and Composition, Creative Writing, and Literature. A note from a previous committee member: it is useful for members to have transportation available, as they are frequently called upon to transport lecturers/readers to and from the airport. English Voting Department member.
Professionalization Workshop Committee (3) – This committee is dedicated to identifying and will assist a faculty liaison creating workshops which will, as its name suggests, aid graduate students in becoming more professional. Past workshops have dealt with preparation for conferences, scholarly publishing, creative publishing, etc. One spot reserved for incoming/first-year graduate student.
Public Face and Alumni Relations (3) – The goal of this committee is outreach and promotion of our department's activities to alumni, as well as gathering information about alumni. Much of this committee’s work has been done via email rather than in meetings. In addition, a majority of this committee’s work occurs before/during Homecoming, then tapers off. It is the department’s wish that at least one member of this committee serves for two years, for continuity purposes. English Voting Department member.
Social Media Committee (2-4) – Formerly the SAGE advice committee, this committee is responsible for communication avenues, including (but not limited to) the SAGE Facebook page and SAGE alumni Facebook page. One spot reserved for incoming/first-year graduate student.
Summer Institutes Committee (1) – The role of this committee member is to serve as a liaison between the department and SAGE. Duties include polling grad students for nominations for whom the committee might invite to teach a summer course, sending out announcement emails, and hosting (or finding a host for) the summer institute professor once s/he arrives in town. The committee (depending on its needs) may not ever meet in person. Most discussions happen over email. Minimal time commitment except when hosting a visiting professor. English Voting Department member.
Supplemental Funds (1) – This committee allocates departmental funds for travel to scholarly conferences. English Voting Department member.
Sustainability Committee (3-4) – This committee works to help SAGE and the department be more environmentally conscious. In the past they have organized volunteer opportunities for Make a Difference day; installed the recycling bins in the SAGE lab; held an electronic grading meeting; and provided tips for copies, efficient use of paper, etc. in courses. Two spots reserved for incoming/first-year graduate students.
Webmaster (1) - The webmaster will work to update and maintain the SAGE website, particularly the “Resources,” “Current Officers,” and “Funding” sections (i.e. keeping information current that might change from year to year). This involves working with the English Department Graduate Secretary to secure needed changes, including corresponding via email and/or meeting in person. This position should be filled by a graduate student who has been active in SAGE for at least one year.
Your responsibility as a member of one of these committees would be to attend the meetings (or find a substitute), participate in the meeting, and take notes on the proceedings, which you will then report back to SAGE, either orally at the next SAGE meeting, or in writing (e-mail, etc.). For more information about any committee, contact a former committee member (past members are listed on the SAGE website) or speak to a current SAGE executive committee member.
*Please note that you are encouraged to attend Voting Department meetings even if you do not serve on a voting committee. All graduate students are eligible to attend, but only voting members can vote on motions and proposals.