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Constitution and Bylaws

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ARTICLE I  -  NAME

    SECTION 1. - The name of the organization shall be the Lehigh Valley Herpetological Society.

ARTICLE II  -  OBJECTIVES

    The objectives of the Society shall be:

    SECTION 1. - To provide for members, a vehicle for the exchange and sharing of resources, information and ideas pertinent to herpetology.

    SECTION 2. - To promote the welfare of reptiles and amphibians through example, through education of the public and through participation in conservation activities and events relating to wildlife in general and reptiles and amphibians in particular.

    SECTION 3. - To monitor federal, state and local legislation concerning reptiles and amphibians, and to bring such legislation to the attention of Society members; and to attempt to influence public officials and representatives at the various government levels to act for the protection of habitats of reptiles and amphibians, and for the protection of the rights of the individual citizen to collect and maintain these animals in captivity.

    SECTION 4. - To encourage responsible academic research regarding reptiles and amphibians and to strive for a close cooperation between amateur and professional herpetologists.

    SECTION 5. - The Society shall not be conducted for profit and no part of any profits or funds of the Society shall be used for the benefit of any member of the Society as an individual. This section shall not prohibit the Society from awarding grants for research, conservation, education, etc., to individuals who are engaged in such activities relating to herpetology, since such pursuits are usually considered to be for the betterment of herpetology as a science, and not for the express benefit of the individual alone.

ARTICLE III  -  MEMBERSHIP

    SECTION 1. - Membership in this organization shall be granted to any persons or not-for-profit organizations who are in sympathy with the organizationīs objectives as set forth in ARTICLE II, and who have fulfilled their financial obligation to the Society.

    SECTION 2. - Potential members shall complete a Membership Application Form which shall be presented to the Secretary of the Society.

    SECTION 3. - There shall be the following classes of membership:

      A. - Student Membership shall constitute any persons who are under 18 years of age.

      B. - Adult Membership shall constitute any persons who are 18 years of age or older.

      C. - Family Membership shall constitute any persons living in the same household.

      D. - Institutional Membership shall constitute any not-for-profit organization in sympathy with the objectives of the Society. (I.E. educational institutions, museums, zoos, conservation and environmental organizations)

      E. - Honorary Life Membership shall constitute any person selected by the Executive Board and approved by the general membership.

    SECTION 4. - All classes of membership shall have equal rights and responsibilities in the Society, with the following exceptions:

      A. - There shall be a differential in dues amounts for each class of membership.

      B. - Student members and Institutional members shall not be eligible to hold an elected office.

      C. - A member must be at least 14 years of age to vote, with the following exception: for matters that deal with the financial aspects of the Society, a member must be at least 18 years of age to vote.

      D. - Institutional members are non-voting members of the Society.

    SECTION 5. - All members must abide by the Constitution and Bylaws, the Rules of the Society and all Federal, State and local laws which govern their herpetological activities.

    SECTION 6. - Members shall carry current membership cards at all Society meetings and functions.

    SECTION 7. Additional membership categories may be established by the Executive Board of the Society as the need arises. Such action shall be handled as an amendment to this Constitution and Bylaws and shall follow the procedure outlined in ARTICLE XIII, SECTION 1.

ARTICLE IV  -  OFFICERS
    SECTION 1. - The officers of the Society shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Corresponding Secretary, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, a Sergeant-at-Arms and three Directors-at-Large.

    SECTION 2. - The above mentioned officers shall be elected at the Societyīs Annual Meeting and shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting, at which time they may be eligible for re-election, with the exception that the office of President and the office of Vice-President may not be held by the same person for more than two successive terms.

    SECTION 3. - The Executive Board of the Society shall consist of all of the officers mentioned in ARTICLE IV, SECTION 1, plus the immediate Past President of the Society.

ARTICLE V  -  ADVISORY BOARD

    SECTION 1. - An Advisory Board consisting of persons deemed to be knowledgeable in any area of herpetology shall be established to provide guidance and advice on activities, projects and other concerns of the Society.

    SECTION 2. - Membership on the Advisory Board will be by the recommendation of the Executive Board and the approval of the Society membership at a regular meeting.

    SECTION 3. - Membership on the Advisory Board may be renewed indefinitely at the discretion of the Executive Board and the approval of the Society membership.

    SECTION 4. - Persons appointed to the Advisory Board shall function as advisors to the Society. They do not have to be dues-paying members of the Society. However, if they wish to have voting privileges in the Society, they may become regular members and still continue in the capacity of advisor. Likewise, any regular member may be appointed to the Advisory Board according to ARTICLE V, SECTION 2.

ARTICLE VI  -  DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

    SECTION 1. - It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Board, and to perform all duties usually pertaining to this office. The President shall act as ex-officio member of all committees, and shall call special meetings of the Executive Board and/or Advisory Board as he/she deems necessary.

    SECTION 2. - The Vice-President shall, in the absence or disability of the President, perform all duties of the President during the time of the Presidentīs absence or disability. At other times, the Vice-President shall generally be an assistant to the President.

    SECTION 3. - The Recording Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the Society and the Executive Board, and shall report on them at the general meeting. The Recording Secretary shall keep a file of all membership applications received, an up to date list of current members and a record of members in attendance at all Society meetings and functions.

    SECTION 4. - The Treasurer shall receive and safely keep all funds which accrue to the Society treasury, keep an accurate record of all income and disbursements to be reported to the membership at each general meeting, keep an accurate list of members who have paid their current dues and issue current membership cards to them and notify members whose dues have lapsed. See also ARTICLE XI, SECTION 5.

    SECTION 5. - The Directors-at-Large shall assist the officers in whatever manner needed, and shall assume major responsibilities for various Society functions.

    SECTION 6. - The Corresponding Secretary shall handle all incoming and outgoing correspondence pertaining to the Society, except such correspondence as shall be considered to be the prime responsibility of any other Society officer. The Corresponding Secretary shall notify all Society members of upcoming meetings and activities in an appropriate manner at least seven days prior to the meeting or activity

    SECTION 7. - The Sergeant-at-Arms shall tactfully maintain order at all regular Society meetings. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall also have the authority to remove disruptive individuals at his/her discretion. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall inventory and maintain Society property. It shall also be his/her responsibility to make Society property available to the membership as needed.

ARTICLE VII  -  ELECTION OF OFFICERS

    SECTION 1. - All officers shall be elected at the Annual Meeting and shall assume office at the close of that meeting.

    SECTION 2. - Any member may be a candidate for an office who is a voting member of the Society and has met their financial obligations to the Society. See also ARTICLE III, SECTION 4, SUBSECTION B.

    SECTION 3. - In an election, the candidate receiving the greater number of votes shall be declared elected.

    SECTION 4. - If an officer should resign during his/her term of office, or otherwise become incapable of completing his/her term of office, the Executive Board shall appoint a member of the Society to assume that office temporarily, until a special election can be held to fill the vacancy.

    SECTION 5. - When a special election is necessary to fill a vacant office, the Corresponding Secretary shall notify the membership of such vacancy and the name of the person who has been appointed by the Executive Board to temporarily fill that vacancy. The person so appointed shall be a candidate for the vacant office and additional nominations may be made for that office at the next regular meeting. If there are no additional nominations made for the vacant office at that meeting, the Board appointed candidate shall be declared elected. If there are additional nominations made at that meeting, the whole slate shall be presented to the membership in writing, and an election held at the following regular meeting.

ARTICLE VIII  -  NOMINATIONS

    SECTION 1. - At the October Meeting, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of three persons, one of whom shall be a member of the Executive Board. The President shall designate which member of the committee shall serve as Chairperson.

    SECTION 2. - This Nominating Committee shall meet and nominate, with their consent, at least one candidate for each of the offices as listed in ARTICLE VI, SECTION 1. The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall report their slate to the Corresponding Secretary in time for it to be included in the meeting notice for the December Meeting.

    SECTION 3. - At the December Meeting, additional nominations may be made for any office by any member in good standing, providing that consent for the nomination has been given by the person being nominated. These additional nominations shall become part of the slate of officers to be voted on at the Annual Meeting in January.

    SECTION 4. - No person can be a candidate for more than one office at any time.

ARTICLE IX  -  COMMITTEES

    SECTION 1. - Special Events Committee. The duties of this committee shall coincide with ARTICLE II, SECTION 1.

    ECTION 2. - Education and Public Relations Committee. The duties of this committee shall coincide with ARTICLE II, SECTION 2.

    SECTION 3. - Legislative Committee. The duties of this committee shall coincide with ARTICLE II, SECTION 3.

    SECTION 4. - Research Committee. The duties of this committee shall coincide with ARTICLE II, SECTION 4.

    SECTION 5. - Any other committee that becomes necessary may be created by the President or the Executive Board as the need arises.

    SECTION 6. - The President shall appoint a committee Chairperson, who shall in turn appoint as many members as they deem necessary to serve on their respective committee.

ARTICLE X  -  MEETINGS

    SECTION 1. - Regular Meetings of the Society shall be held on the second Monday of each month at a time and place to be designated by the Executive Board. Meetings shall be held in the general Lehigh Valley area.

    SECTION 2. - A Regular Meeting of the Executive Board shall be held on the fourth Monday in the months of January, April, July and October. These meetings are to be held in the general Lehigh Valley area at a time and place at the direction of the Board.

    SECTION 3. - Emergency Meetings of the Executive Board may be called by at least three members of the Executive Board. These meetings shall be called for a special stated purpose, and no other business may be conducted at these Emergency Meetings unless it is directly related to the Emergency Meeting.

    SECTION 4. - The Annual Meeting of the Society shall be held each year in January.

    SECTION 5. - A quorum to conduct business at any Regular Meeting of the Society shall be those in attendance. A quorum to conduct business at any Executive Board Meeting shall be 5 elected officers of the Society.

ARTICLE XI  -  DUES

    SECTION 1. - The dues for Student Membership shall be $10.00 per calendar year.

    SECTION 2. - The dues for Adult Membership shall be $15.00 per calendar year.

    SECTION 3. - The dues for Family Membership shall be $20.00 per calendar year.

    SECTION 4. - The dues for Institutional Membership shall be $25.00 per calendar year.

    SECTION 5. - There shall be no dues for Honorary Life Membership.

    SECTION 6. - Depending on when a person joins or renews their membership in the Society, the actual price of dues will vary as follows:

      A. - Persons joining or renewing from January 1 through June 30 shall be charged the full rate (100%) for membership which will expire on December 31 of the current calendar year.

      B. - Persons joining or renewing from July 1 through September 30 shall be charged one half of the full rate (50%) for membership which will expire on December 31 of the current calendar year.

      C. - Persons joining or renewing from October 1 through December 31 shall be charged the full rate (100%) for membership which will expire on December 31 of the following calendar year.

    SECTION 7. - Any member whose dues are not paid by January 1st shall not be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting. Also, said member shall not be eligible to vote at any subsequent meetings until their financial obligations to the Society are met.

    SECTION 8. - Dues notices shall be sent to each member, by the Treasurer, in November of each year for the coming year. Members who have not paid their dues by the Regular February Meeting of the current year, shall be considered lapsed members of the Society and will be dropped from the membership roles.

    SECTION 9. - Dues are not refundable.

ARTICLE XII  -  DISCIPLINE

    SECTION 1. - Any member whose activities seem to be contrary to the Objectives and Rules of the Society shall be summoned before the Executive Board at which time the summoned member shall be asked to defend the questionable action. If such action is adequately defended to the satisfaction of the Board, the matter shall be dropped. If the matter is not satisfactorily defended to the Board, the member in question may be disciplined by the Board in one of the following manners:

      A. - The member shall be instructed to refrain from the action which was deemed undesirable according to the Objectives and Rules of the Society.

      B. - If the offense is of sufficient concern, or if there have been repeated offenses, the member may be expelled from membership in the Society by a simple majority vote of the members in attendance at a Regular Meeting.

      C. - The member may voluntarily resign from the Society.

ARTICLE XIII  -  AMENDMENTS

    SECTION 1. - Amendments to this Constitution and By-laws may be made at any Regular Meeting of the Society, by a 2/3 vote of those members present and voting, provided that written notice of such amendments have been given to Society members at least seven days prior to the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.

ARTICLE XIV  -  ORDER OF BUSINESS

    SECTION 1. - At any Regular Meeting of the Society, the order of business (so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit) shall be as follows:

      Call to Order
      Roll Call (may substitute sign-in sheet)
      Minutes of the Last Meeting
      Presidentīs Report
      Secretaryīs Report on Correspondence
      Treasurerīs Report
      Committee Reports
      Program
      Unfinished Business
      Election of Officers (only at Annual Meeting)
      New Business
      General Discussion
      Adjournment

    SECTION 2. - Robertīs Rules of Order (revised) shall govern all Society and Board meetings, unless it is in conflict with this Constitution and By-laws, in which case this Constitution and By-laws shall take precedent.

ARTICLE XV  -  DISSOLUTION


    SECTION 1. - This Society may be dissolved by a 3/4 majority, written vote of all current members in good standing with the Society, provided that such vote has been presented to each member in writing at least 14 days prior to the meeting at which the vote to dissolve is to be taken.

    SECTION 2. - In the event that this Society should be dissolved, the moneys and tangible property that have accrued to the Society (after debts have been settled) shall be donated to one or more of the Institutions of Higher Learning within the general Lehigh Valley area that have shown support or an interest in herpetology through one or more of itīs academic departments.

    This Constitution and By-laws shall take effect as of the date of October 18, 1982 with the approval of the Society.

    Approved by Society members on October 18, 1982

    Amended
      December 20, 1983
      March 26, 1984
      April 10, 1989
      September 10, 1990
      August 12, 1991
      January 10, 1994