Bylaws of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association

View NSSLHA's Bylaws in PDF format.

Table of Contents

Bylaws

Article I — Name

Section 1. Name. The name of this Association shall be the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, hereafter referred to as "NSSLHA."

Section 2. Professional Affiliation. NSSLHA recognizes the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as the official professional organization for empowering and supporting audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. The ASHA-appointed NSSLHA Board of Directors is responsible for safeguarding NSSLHA and promoting the well-being of the organization through its ultimate legal accountability and fiduciary authority for NSSLHA. NSSLHA and ASHA have an Operating Agreement that further defines the relationship between the two associations.

Article II — Purposes

The purposes of NSSLHA shall be:

  1. To encourage study of communication sciences and disorders (CSD).
  2. To provide services and resources to students in CSD.
  3. To be a source of information to prepare students and pre-professionals for practice in CSD.
  4. To provide leadership development and a vehicle for student representation in matters of professional concern (e.g., advocacy).
  5. To support the individual and collective interests of the members of NSSLHA.

Article III — Members

Section 1. Classifications. There shall be one class of membership: National NSSLHA Members. National NSSLHA membership is available to any individual who meets the eligibility requirements as stated in Section 2 of this article. National NSSLHA Members are Affiliates of ASHA. In addition, National NSSLHA Members may hold membership in a local chapter.

Section 2. Eligibility.

A. Full- or part-time undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students in the discipline of CSD (including audiology, speech-language pathology, or speech, language, and hearing sciences).

B. Members may not hold the Certificates of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA.

C. Members may hold other professional certifications in another association as long as they are in good standing in a CSD programs.

Section 3. Dues. The annual dues for membership shall be determined by the NSSLHA Executive Council and shall be assessed for a calendar year.

Section 4. Termination of Membership. National NSSLHA membership shall be terminated automatically if the member

  1. becomes a member of ASHA;
  2. receives the ASHA CCC;
  3. loses full- or part-time student status in a CSD program (including CSD preprofessional programs); or
  4. fails to pay National NSSLHA membership dues in a timely manner as defined in the NSSLHA Policies and Procedures.

Article IV — Chapters and Regions

Section 1. Chapters.

A. Authority. The NSSLHA Executive Council has the authority to recognize local chapters. Recognition shall be granted and maintained by standards set by the Executive Council. Local chapters of NSSLHA shall serve as recognized entities of NSSLHA for managing matters appropriately handled at the local level and for managing matters prescribed in these bylaws.

B. Eligibility. Local chapter recognition is available to entities with purposes and membership requirements that are consistent with the purposes and membership requirements as outlined in these bylaws.

C. Recognition Relationship.

A. Local chapters are separately incorporated organizations and each shall operate in a manner consistent with its own individual organizational bylaws and the applicable provisions of these bylaws.

B. In addition, in order to be recognized and to maintain recognition as a chapter within NSSLHA’s organizational structure, each chapter must abide by the terms of NSSLHA’s national chapter affiliation agreement.

C. Local chapters shall recertify with NSSLHA each academic year.

D. Composition. Local chapters shall meet all of the following criteria for composition:

  1. The chapter advisor is an ASHA member in good standing.
  2. The officers are National NSSLHA Members.
  3. A local chapter (a) may have members who are solely members of the local chapter and not National NSSLHA Members and (b) can determine their scope of membership.

E. Purpose. Local chapters shall provide services and resources to stakeholders who have a professional interest in CSD. Local chapters shall promote National NSSLHA membership.

F. Dissolution. A chapter may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.

Section 2. Regions.

A. Composition. Four regions will serve as official territories of NSSLHA. Existing matters in each region will be handled by the respective Regional Councilor and the Student State Officers. The four regions are as follows:

  • Central: IL, IN, IA, KS, MO, MI, MN, NE, ND, OK, SD, TX, WI
  • Northeastern: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, OH, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
  • Southern: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV
  • Western: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY, Overseas

Article V — Executive Council

Section 1. Officers. The Executive Council of NSSLHA shall consist of the following 10 graduate student members, plus a National Advisor as a nonvoting member:

  • President
  • President-Elect
  • Vice President for Finance
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Student State Officers—Audiology
  • Vice President for Student State Officers—Speech-Language Pathology
  • Vice President for Audiology Programming
  • Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Programming
  • Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy
  • Vice President for Planning

Section 2. Power and Authority. The NSSLHA Executive Council governs over the programmatic and administrative policies of NSSLHA and establishes operating policies and the budget.

Section 3. Duties. The officers shall perform the duties provided in this section and such other duties as are prescribed for the office in these bylaws, by the NSSLHA Board of Directors, by the NSSLHA Executive Council, by the NSSLHA president, or in the adopted parliamentary authority.

A. President. The President shall represent the opposite profession of the President-Elect. The President serves as chair of the Executive Council, presiding over all meetings of the Executive Council and the Executive Committee, coordinating all functions of the Executive Council, and ensuring that the Executive Council fulfills the responsibilities for the governance of NSSLHA. The President works in partnership with the NSSLHA Program Director and the National Advisor to achieve NSSLHA's mission and to optimize the relationship between the Executive Council and NSSLHA National Office Staff. The president shall appoint committees as necessary subject to the approval of the Executive Council and shall serve as ex officio member of all committees. The President shall designate special duties to committees and council members not to provide for in these bylaws. Additionally, the President may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA Committee.

B. President-Elect. The President-Elect shall represent the opposite profession of the President. The President-Elect shall serve as chair of the Executive Council in the absence of the President. The President-Elect collaborates with the President to learn the role of the President, to become familiar with the programs of NSSLHA and its governance, and to develop and facilitate officer transition. The President-Elect assists and supports the President as needed. The President-Elect shall automatically become President at the end of the President-Elect term of one year. The President-Elect may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA committee.

C. Vice President for Finance. The Vice President for Finance is charged with (1) serving as treasurer of NSSLHA; (2) monitoring annual income and expenditures; (3) reporting on the financial position of NSSLHA at meetings of the Executive Council and at other times when called upon; and (4) presenting the annual budget to the Executive Council and the NSSLHA Board of Directors for approval. Managing the operating budget of NSSLHA will be accomplished through a close working relationship with the Program Director, National Advisor, and National Office Staff. The Vice President for Finance may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA committee.

D. Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs is charged with identifying issues and forecasting needs and trends regarding undergraduate and graduate education in CSD to ensure that the needs of academic programs in CSD are addressed. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may serve as a liaison to an ASHA committee.

E. Vice President for Student State Officers—Audiology. The Vice President for Student State Officers—Audiology shall coordinate with the Regional Councilors to serve the Audiology Student State Officers (A SSOs). The Vice President for Student State Officers—Audiology is charged with (1) facilitating the discussion and ranking of needs and concerns to members enrolled in audiology programs; (2) coordinating and working with Regional Councilors to facilitate communication between NSSLHA and chapters; and (3) recruiting and retaining National NSSLHA membership. The Vice President for Student State Officers—Audiology may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA committee.

F. Vice President for Student State Officers—Speech-Language Pathology. The Vice President for Student State Officers—Speech-Language Pathology shall coordinate with the Regional Councilors to serve the Speech-Language Pathology Student State Officers (SLP SSOs). The Vice President for Student State Officers—Speech-Language Pathology is charged with (1) facilitating the discussion and ranking of needs and concerns to members enrolled in speech-language pathology programs; (2) coordinating and working with Regional Councilors to facilitate communication between NSSLHA and chapters; and (3) recruiting and retaining National NSSLHA membership. The Vice President for Student State Officers—Speech-Language Pathology may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA committee.

G. Vice President for Audiology Programming. The Vice President for Audiology Programming is charged with (1) identifying issues and forecasting needs and trends of students enrolled in audiology programs; (2) monitoring the emergence of new areas of practice and the application of new knowledge and research data to the practice of audiology; and (3) coordinating with the Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Programming to plan and execute NSSLHA events at the ASHA Convention and other locales. The Vice President for Audiology Programming may serve as a liaison to an ASHA committee.

H. Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Programming. The Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Programming is charged with (1) identifying issues and forecasting needs and trends of students enrolled in speech-language pathology programs; (2) monitoring the emergence of new areas of practice and the application of new knowledge and research data to the practice of speech-language pathology; and (3) coordinating with the Vice President for Audiology Programming to plan and execute NSSLHA events at the ASHA Convention and other locales. The Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Programming may serve as a liaison to an ASHA committee.

I. Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy (GRPP). The Vice President for GRPP is charged with (1) initiating appropriate recommendations for legislative, regulatory, and other public policy activities concerning the welfare of students, professionals, and those being served in the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology; (2) promoting education, understanding, and support among members of NSSLHA and other professions regarding the needs and rights of individuals with communication disorders; and (3) coordinating and facilitating legislative and advocacy activities for the NSSLHA Executive Council and Regional Councilors. The Vice President for GRPP may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA committee.

J. Vice President for Planning. The Vice President for Planning is charged with (1) monitoring various operations, activities, and performance of NSSLHA to ensure compliance with the strategic plan and achievement of NSSLHA’s mission and (2) facilitating the infusion of multicultural issues and populations in NSSLHA’s program planning. The Vice President for Planning may serve as a student liaison to an ASHA committee.

K. National Advisor. The NSSLHA National Advisor is a nonvoting member of the NSSLHA Executive Council, and a member of both the NSSLHA Board of Directors and the ASHA Board of Directors.

Section 4. Executive Committee. The President, President-Elect, Vice-President for Finance, and National Advisor shall constitute the Executive Committee.

A. The Executive Committee is a committee of the Executive Council and shall report all of its actions to the Executive Council.

B. The Executive Committee shall exercise the authority of the Executive Council between meetings of the Executive Council but only to the extent

  1. that it is necessary to take action on unanticipated business that requires action between Executive Council meetings;
  2. that the action taken is not contrary to the instructions of the Executive Council; and
  3. that actions are authorized in the NSSLHA Policies and Procedures.

C. The Executive Committee shall serve as the nominating committee for all elections.

Section 5. Selection and Term of Office.

A. Applications for vacant positions shall be submitted by applicants and reviewed by the Executive Committee.

B. Each applicant must be a National NSSLHA Member.

C. Each applicant must not hold a leadership position in another national student organization.

D. The Executive Committee will review all applications and compose a slate to be presented to the Executive Council for approval.

E. The slate will be presented to the National NSSLHA Members for voting annually, according to procedures.

F. National NSSLHA Members will vote on the proposed slate.

G. The term of each office, with the exception of the President and President-Elect, shall be 2 years. Their term of office shall begin on July 1. The President-Elect shall serve 1 year and will then become the President on July 1 of his or her second and final year.

H. Individuals may serve only one 2-year term on the Executive Council.

Section 6. Vacancy. If there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the President-Elect will automatically fill the position for the remainder of the term. If there is a vacancy in the office of President-Elect will automatically fill the position for the remainder of the term. If there is a vacancy in the office of President-Elect or any vice presidential positions, the Executive Committee shall fill the position through an appointment process with Executive Council approval.

Section 7. Removal. Any officer may be removed from office as prescribed in the NSSLHA Policies and Procedures. This includes removal for nonattendance at meetings or failure to participate in Executive Council votes, discussions, and other matters that arise between meetings.

Section 8. National Advisor. The National Advisor shall be selected by the NSSLHA Executive Council to serve for 3 years, and their term of office shall run concurrently with the National Advisor position on the ASHA Board of Directors. The NSSLHA National Advisor must be a certified member of ASHA and a NSSLHA advisor or co-advisor of a local chapter. The term shall begin on January 1. Individuals may serve only one 3-year term as a National Advisor.

Article VI — Meetings

A. The Executive Council shall meet at least annually as determined by the Executive Council. A majority of voting members of the Executive Council shall constitute a quorum. All officers, except the National Advisor, shall have voting rights on the Executive Council. Special meetings of the NSSLHA Executive Council may be called by the President, and such meetings shall be called upon the written request of three members of the Executive Council, with notice given at least 24 hours before the meeting.

B. All NSSLHA entities may conduct business by electronic or nonelectronic means as prescribed in the NSSLHA Policies and Procedures.

C. Meetings of the Executive Council may occur electronically or in person.

Article VII — NSSLHA Board of Directors

Section 1. Composition. The members of the NSSLHA Board of Directors shall be as follows:

  1. ASHA President, who shall serve as NSSLHA Board President
  2. NSSLHA National Advisor, who shall serve as NSSLHA Board Vice President
  3. ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs in Audiology
  4. ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology
  5. NSSLHA President
  6. NSSLHA President-Elect
  7. NSSLHA Vice President for Finance
  8. ASHA Chief Executive Officer, who shall serve as NSSLHA Board Treasurer
  9. ASHA Chief of Staff Officer liaison to NSSLHA, who shall serve as NSSLHA Board Secretary

Section 2. Power and Authority. The NSSLHA Board of Directors is the single governing body of NSSLHA and shall actively promote the objects of NSSLHA, operating in accordance with policies established by these bylaws and by authority of the ASHA Board of Directors. The ASHA-appointed NSSLHA Board of Directors will be responsible for safeguarding NSSLHA and promoting the well-being of the organization through it's ultimate legal accountability and financial authority for NSSLHA.

Section 3. Duties. The NSSLHA Board of Directors shall manage the legal and fiduciary affairs of the organization. Progammatic responsibility for NSSLHA is delegated to the NSSLHA Executive Council.

Section 4. Term of Office. The term of office on the NSSLHA Board of Directors shall coincide with the length of time that an individual holds the position described in Section 1 of this article.

Section 5. Vacancy. If a vacancy occurs, the successor to the office, as listed in Section 1 of this article, shall fill that vacancy. A vacancy in the position of NSSLHA National Advisor shall be filled by the NSSLHA Executive Council.

Section 6. Meetings and Decisions. The NSSLHA Board of Directors shall meet at least annually to approve the NSSLHA budget and to review NSSLHA’s Form 990. The meeting shall be called by the NSSLHA Board President. Special meetings of the NSSLHA Board of Directors may be called by the NSSLHA Board President and shall be called upon the written request of three members of the NSSLHA Board of Directors, with the call given at least 24 hours before the meeting. Meetings of the NSSLHA Board of Directors can occur electronically or in person. All actions and decisions of the NSSLHA Board of Directors must be made in writing and by a majority vote of the NSSLHA Board of Directors.

Section 7. Dissolution. The NSSLHA Executive Council and the ASHA Board of Directors can request the dissolution of the NSSLHA Board of Directors in writing per the current ASHA–NSSLHA Operating Agreement.

Article VIII — Regional Councilors

Section 1. Responsibilities. Regional Councilors (RCs) are charged with (1) collaborating with the Vice President for Student State Officers—Audiology and with the Vice President for Student State Officers—Speech-Language Pathology (NSSLHA Executive Council), as well as with SSOs in their region; (2) communicating information regarding issues at the national level to SSOs; and (3) communicating information regarding issues at state and local levels to the Executive Council. The RCs are not members of the NSSLHA Executive Council, but they serve to execute the mission of NSSLHA. RCs shall perform the duties described in this section and any such other duties prescribed for the position by the NSSLHA Executive Council.

Section 2. Selection and Term of Office.

A. Applications for vacant positions shall be submitted by applicants and reviewed by the NSSLHA Executive Committee.

B. Each applicant must be a National NSSLHA Member and a graduate student.

C. The Executive Committee will review all applications and will compose a slate to be presented to the Executive Council for approval.

D. The slate will be presented to the National NSSLHA Members annually, according to NSSLHA procedures.

E. National NSSLHA Members will vote on the proposed slate.

F. The term for each office shall be 2 years. Terms of office shall begin on July 1.

G. Members may serve only one 2-year term as an RC.

Section 3. Vacancy. Any RC vacancy shall be filled by the Executive Council via an application process.

Section 4. Removal. Any RC may be removed from service as prescribed in the NSSLHA Policies and Procedures. This includes removal for lack of participation.

Article IX — Student State Officers

Section 1. Responsibilities. An Audiology Student State Officer (A SSO) and a Speech-Language Pathology Student State Officer (SLP SSO) shall be appointed to serve the local chapters in their respective state. In addition, SSOs will identify and discuss issues of concern to National NSSLHA Members and provide advice to the RC in their region. The SSOs shall not make any public statement or take positions on behalf of NSSLHA or the NSSLHA Executive Council without having obtained approval from the NSSLHA Executive Council. Each SSO shall have the following responsibilities:

  1. Provide guidance to local chapters on matters including but not limited to: membership, fundraising, advocacy, and research.
  2. Identify, analyze, discuss, and prioritize issues of concern to National NSSLHA Members.
  3. Advise the RCs on issues that need to be considered as NSSLHA engages in planning to advance the purposes of NSSLHA.
  4. Provide advice to the RCs on issues brought to the SSOs.
  5. Promote National NSSLHA membership within their state and be the state liaison to the NSSLHA RCs.

Section 2. Composition. Each state shall have a student representative who is a National NSSLHA Member as described in Article III.

Section 3. Representation.

A. For the A SSO, there will be one student from each state where there exists at least one NSSLHA-recognized university chapter.

B. For the SLP SSO, there will be one student from each state where there exists at least one NSSLHA-recognized university chapter.

C. All SSOs must be National NSSLHA Members enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program.

Section 4. Selection and Term of Office.

A. Applications will be accepted from students within a state where there is an open SSO position for that state. Applicants must be National NSSLHA Members attending a university program within the state that are representing.

B. The RCs will review all applications and will propose a slate of appointments to the Executive Council for approval annually, according to NSSLHA procedures.

C. SSOs shall be appointed to a 1-year term. Their terms of service shall begin in September.

D. SSOs shall serve no more than one 1-year term.

Section 5. Vacancy. Any SSO vacancies shall be selected by the RCs and the Executive Council via the formal appointment process as described in Article IX, Section 4.

Section 6. Removal. Any SSO member may be removed from service as prescribed in the NSSLHA Policies and Procedures. This includes removal due to lack of participation.

Article X — Discrimination

NSSLHA shall not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identification, sex, sexual orientation, or a condition of limited mobility. All programs and activities of NSSLHA shall be conducted in furtherance of this policy.

Article XI — National Office

NSSLHA shall maintain a National Office that shall constitute a permanent repository for NSSLHA records and shall carry out the procedures and policies of NSSLHA under the direction of the Executive Council.

Article XII — Committees

The NSSLHA Executive Council may (a) establish and dissolve standing committees, special committees, and other entities necessary to conduct NSSLHA’s business, and (b) may designate and change their charges as well as determine their size, member qualifications, and terms. The NSSLHA President, with approval of two-thirds majority of the NSSLHA Executive Council, shall appoint all committee chairs and members.

Article XIII — Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the most current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern NSSLHA in all cases to which these rules are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order that NSSLHA may adopt.

Article XIV — Amendment of Bylaws

Any National NSSLHA Member or chapter advisor may send proposed amendments of these bylaws to the NSSLHA National Advisor and/or the NSSLHA President. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the NSSLHA Executive Council, provided that the amendment was submitted in writing to the Executive Council members in conjunction with the call to the meeting. Any amendment to these bylaws must receive a majority vote of the NSSLHA Board of Directors before it becomes effective. In the event of a tie vote, the NSSLHA National Advisor will make the decision based on NSSLHA’s best interest.

ASHA Corporate Partners