Bylaws for the Poetry Society of Virginia

PDF Version of the Bylaws

BYLAWS FOR THE POETRY SOCIETY OF VIRGINIA, approved at the September 1998 meeting; revised November, 1999; revised September, 2001; revised September, 2002; revised May, 2005; revised May, 2007; revised September 2013

Article I. Name:

The name of this organization shall be The Poetry Society of Virginia, hereinafter referred to as the Society.

Article II. Purpose:

The purpose of the Society is to encourage the writing, reading, study, and appreciation of poetry.

Article III. Membership:

Section 1. Eligibility: Membership shall be open to anyone who supports the purpose of the Society. Residence in the Commonwealth of Virginia is not a requirement.

Section 2. Classes of Membership:

Basic: Members pay dues for one, two, or three years. Family members at a single address are one membership. Individuals in a family membership shall each be considered a member and each shall have a vote.

Life: Members pay a lifetime fee once only.

Honorary: Membership granted by the Executive Committee wherein members pay no dues. Honorary members may not vote or hold office.

Student: Students who are enrolled in schools or colleges in Virginia or who are residents of Virginia. Student members may not vote or hold office.

Teacher: Teachers in elementary, middle and secondary schools and college teachers who affirm their willingness to further the purposes of the Society may enroll their classes in classroom memberships. These memberships may not vote or hold office. The official address must be a school address.

Article IV. Dues:

Dues amounts and changes will be proposed by the Executive Committee and voted on by the membership at a meeting of the Society.

Article V. Officers and Duties of Officers:

Section 1. Elected Officers. The following officers shall be elected by the membership: President, Regional Vice Presidents, and Treasurer. At the first Executive Committee meeting of the year, the President shall propose one of the elected Vice Presidents to serve as President pro tempore if the President must be absent for any reason. Confirmation by the Executive Committee shall be required.

Section 2. Appointed Officers. The President shall appoint the following officers: Membership Chair, Society Archivist, Parliamentarian, Contest Chair, Recording Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, and such other officers as needed and approved by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Duties of Officers:

a. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Committee, and is an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. He is the principal representative of the Society.

b. Regional Vice Presidents shall represent their regions at meetings of the Society and of the Executive Committee. They are expected to participate in all Executive Committee meetings and are encouraged to attend Society meetings in other regions. They shall further the purpose of the Society in their regions by serving as an active focus for recruitment and retention of members and for developing local activities. They shall be responsible for arrangements for regional meetings; they shall follow the guidance of the Treasurer regarding the receipt and disbursement of monies for the meetings for which they are responsible, making full accounting to the Treasurer within thirty days after the meeting. Any shortfalls will be made up by the Society; any excess will be forwarded to the Treasurer for deposit to the account of the Society.

c. The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for keeping a record of proceedings of business meetings of the Society and the Executive Committee, and shall submit the minutes to the President within thirty days after the meeting, for approval and further dissemination.

d. The Membership Chair shall advise and work with the Regional Vice Presidents and other members of the Executive Committee to develop and implement an effective program to recruit and retain members of the Society; shall develop informational and application materials; and shall provide upon request, and otherwise disseminate, information about and applications for the Society. The Membership Chair shall also maintain the membership list, send timely dues notices, and receive and deposit dues checks. The Membership Chair will provide membership lists, new member lists, and other specialized lists as needed and requested by Executive Committee members such as lists of those who do not renew, email lists, mailing labels, etc.

e. The Treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the Society; shall invest the funds to the credit of The Poetry Society of Virginia in a financial institution that does business statewide in Virginia; shall invest the funds in a manner approved by the Executive Committee; and shall withdraw funds only for Society purposes in accordance with policies approved by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall submit to the Executive Committee at its meeting in July an account of all receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year, and submit a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The Treasurer shall prepare a brief year-end Treasurer's Report for publication in the first Society newsletter of the new fiscal year.

f. The Society Archivist shall solicit and collect information about significant activities of the Society from officers and other Society members in order to develop a permanent history of the Society. The Archivist shall prepare a brief summary of the year's activities of the Society to be delivered to the Executive Committee at its meeting in July, and shall add appropriate documents to The Poetry Society of Virginia archives in the James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University.

g. The Parliamentarian shall serve as an advisor to the President, the Executive Committee, and the Society on procedural matters. Additionally, the Parliamentarian shall ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with these bylaws, and shall authenticate election results.

h. The Newsletter Editor shall receive and edit copy from other officers and members, develop original copy, assemble the newsletter, and prepare copy for the printer (including announcements and forms for upcoming meetings), and ensure all necessary copy and materials are sent to the printer and the webmaster in accordance with the schedule approved by the Executive Committee.

i. The Webmaster shall maintain the Society's web site, add new sections to the site and change old sections as needed.

j. The Contest Chair is responsible for managing the committee through planning, initiation, meeting deadlines related to contest activities, and completing all tasks of the contest.

Section 4. Should the office of President become vacant, the previously designated President pro tempore will assume the office of President until the next election. Should any other elective office become vacant, the President shall appoint a successor to fill that office until the next election.

Section 5. Elective officers shall be elected for a term of one year. No elective officer shall serve more than four consecutive terms.

Section 6. All elected officers shall take office effective July 1 after the business meeting at which they are elected.

Section 7. If an elected or appointed officer fails to perform duties outlined in these bylaws, the Executive Committee may remove that officer by a three-quarters majority vote. The vacancy will be filled as outlined in Article V, Section 4.

Article VI. Executive Committee:

Section 1. The President shall appoint six Executive Directors who, with elected and appointed officers, shall comprise the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall establish policies for the Society; approve meeting schedules; plan Society programs; approve the budget for expenditures; adjudicate disputes brought before it; and, in general, administer the affairs of the Society.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall normally meet for a planning session in July and a mid-year review in February. It shall otherwise meet at the call of the President or the written request of three members of the Committee. As deemed necessary by the President, a vote on any issue may be cast ONLY by Executive Committee members in person, by mail, telephonically or electronically and will have the same authority as a vote cast in person at a meeting of the Executive Committee.

Section 4. A quorum of the Executive Committee for the transaction of business shall be twelve members including physical meetings in addition to mail, telephone, electronic, and any other kind of communication that may become available so long as decisions may be recorded and preserved.

Article VII. Standing Committees:

Section 1. There will be an Advisory Board of no less than two and no more than six, appointed by the President, to serve as consultants.

Section 2. A Contest Committee shall be appointed by the Contest Chair and approved by the President.

Section 3. There will be a Finance Committee, appointed by the President, to provide oversight and guidance to the Treasurer.

Article VIII. Nominations and Elections:

Section 1. At the summer Executive Committee meeting, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee, consisting of a member from each region, subject to the subsequent approval of the Executive Committee. Members of the Nominating Committee may not currently hold any elected office. The President shall appoint one member of the Nominating Committee as Chair.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee Chair shall prepare an article for the January Newsletter and web site listing the elective offices and requesting that members interested in running for an office contact the Chair prior to April first. Through normal solicitation and responses to the article, the Chair shall prepare a slate of at least one nominee for each elective office, and present the slate to the President for approval by the Executive Committee. The approved slate will be published in the May newsletter. Nominations also may be made from the floor by any member for a candidate for any elected office, provided the nominee is a member and has consented to serve. The Parliamentarian will establish the procedures for and will assist the President in conducting the election during the next Annual Business Meeting. Election shall be by a simple majority of members present or represented by proxy votes, mailed in ballots, or emailed ballots. Election results shall be authenticated by the Parliamentarian. In the event of a contested election for an elected office, the Parliamentarian shall authenticate the uncontested offices and refer the contested office to the Executive Committee for a decision.

Article IX. Meetings:

Section 1. There shall be at least one meeting of the Society in each region each year.

Section 2. There shall be one Annual Business Meeting each year, although Society business may be conducted at any meeting of the Society. Election of officers shall take place at the Annual Business Meeting. For election of officers and for business issues requiring membership votes, mail ballots (including email ballots from members for whom the Society has an email address on record) and proxy votes (where one member provides written or email authorization for another to cast his or her vote on a specific issue) shall be accepted.

Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the President or by written request of fifteen members of the Society.

Section 4. Twenty-five members shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business at any meeting of the Society. A maximum of five authorized proxy votes may be counted toward the quorum.

Section 5. Members shall be notified in writing (usually by announcement in the newsletter) of all meetings of the Society at least one week in advance.

Article X. Parliamentary Authority:

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall guide the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with these bylaws.

Article XI. Amending Bylaws:

Amendments to these bylaws can be made at any regular meeting of the Society by a two-thirds majority vote, provided the proposed amendment has passed the Executive Committee by a simple majority and shall have been submitted to the Recording Secretary at least thirty days prior to the date of the meeting and distributed to the members no less than two weeks prior to the meeting.

Article XII. Distribution of Assets:

Should The Poetry Society of Virginia be dissolved, the assets of the Society shall be given the James Branch Cabell Library of the Virginia Commonwealth University which holds The Poetry Society of Virginia archives.