The Valdosta State Astronomical Society

 

 

Mission Statement

 

1      To help those with an interest in astronomy better understand the ways of universe through observation and research.

 

2      To provide a service to our community by establishing programs that educate the community and help broaden the horizon in the areas of mathematics and physical sciences. 

 

3      To help each other by sharing ideas that will promote further advances in amateur astronomy, aiding in the progress and continuance of Valdosta State Astronomical Society.

 

4      To provide a service to our university by strengthening its students in the areas of mathematics and physics that will aid them in science litertacy. 

 

 

Constitution

 

 I. NAME

            The name of this organization shall be The Valdosta State Astronomical Society. ("VSAS").

 

II. PURPOSE

            The purpose of VSAS shall be to promote an interest and provide research in astronomy among the people of the greater Valdosta/Lowndes County area.

 

III. MEMBERSHIP

            Membership in VSAS shall be open to all students of Valdosta State University who have an interest in astronomy. Members shall be admitted upon payment of annual dues, if required. No person shall be denied membership or the free exercise thereof on grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sex, age, handicap or sexual orientation.

 

IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

            A Board of Directors shall be the chief governing body of VSAS and shall have general charge of the property, activities, business transactions and policies of VSAS. The Board shall not delegate, to any person, discretionary authority regarding the expenditure or commitment of VSAS funds or property.

 

V. BY LAWS

            The VSAS Board of Directors or the VSAS membership may establish By-Laws to affect the purposes of this Constitution.

 

VI. OFFICERS

            Officers shall include a president, a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer and additional officers, as may be required by the By Laws.

 

VII. MEETINGS

            General meetings shall be held periodically at a time to be determined by the VSAS membership.

 

VIII. AMENDMENTS

            This Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths vote of the members present attended by a quorum.

 

IX. QUORUM

            A quorum shall consist of one-fifth of the current membership of the VSAS.

 

X. DISSOLUTION

            VSAS may be dissolved upon a four-fifths vote of the entire current membership provided that fewer than four members object to dissolution.

 

XI. GIFTS

            Gifts of money or property exceeding five hundred dollars in value shall not be accepted by the VSAS except upon a vote of the membership, which meets the requirements of Article IX of this Constitution.

 

 

By-Laws

 

 ARTICLE I

MEMBERSHIP 

            Section 1. Categories. Affiliation categories shall include

(a) student members, and (b) honorary members.

            Section 2. Privileges of Membership.  Student members shall enjoy membership privileges including the right to hold office, to hold Board membership, to receive the VSAS newsletter, and to vote. Membership shall be granted upon payment of annual dues.  

            Section 3. Complimentary Newsletters. Complimentary newsletters may be authorized by the Board of Directors only to individuals who regularly contribute time, money or use of facilities to VSAS and only for the approximate duration of said contributions. Temporary eligibility for newsletters may be authorized by the Board of Directors only for the purpose of soliciting new members or financial contributions and only for the approximate duration of said solicitation.  Complimentary newsletters may in manuscript and or electronic format.  

            Section 4. Issuance of By-Laws. Each VSAS member shall be issued a copy of these By-Laws and the Constitution upon request.

            Section 5 Dues. Dues for each membership category shall be established by the Board of Directors, recorded in the Boardís minutes and published in the VSAS newsletter.

            Section 7. Behavior. Questions involving the behavior of VSAS members, and non-members attending VSAS meetings and functions, shall be governed by the behavioral and disciplinary provisions of Robertís Rules of Order.

            Section 8. Expulsion. Upon motion, any member may be expelled from membership in the VSAS by a two-thirds vote of the members attending a general or special membership meeting. A secret ballot may be enacted by a memberís motion that has been seconded.  Non-members shall not be present during consideration of an expulsion motion. 

 

ARTICLE II

GENERAL MEETINGS

            Section 1. VSAS Meetings. VSAS meetings shall ordinarily be held on an alternate bi-weekly schedule. However, the President, with consent of the Board of Directors, shall have the power to change the time, place and/or date of meetings, or to call Board meetings and or special meetings of the membership, upon the giving of reasonable notice.

            Section 2. Participation. Each VSAS member shall be encouraged to actively participate in general meeting discussions, reports and programs.

            Section 3. Open General Meetings. General meetings shall be open to both members and non-members.

            Section 4. Quorum. A quorum at any general or special membership meeting shall be as stated in Article IX of the VSAS Constitution.

            Section 5. Proxies. Votes on motions may be cast in person at a general or special meeting or by proxy received at, or less than 30 days before, the meeting. Proxies must be signed, or sealed in a signed envelope, must be dated and must contain clear and unequivocal instructions regarding the vote to be cast. Open-ended proxies are prohibited.

 

ARTICLE III

ELECTIONS

            Section 1. Annual Elections. Elections of officers and at-large members of the Board of Directors ("at-large directors") shall be held bi-annually at the August and January general membership meeting.

            Section 2. Majority Voting. Election to an office or an at-large directorís position requires a majority vote, or an affirmation vote of acclamation, of the general membership at a meeting attended by a quorum.

            Section 3. At-Large Directors. In the election of two or more at-large directors, members may cast one vote for each available at-large directorís position. Runoff election shall be conducted until the required number of at-large directors is elected by a majority vote. In the election of at-large directors, a candidate will be deemed to have a majority upon receiving (a) more than 25% of the votes cast in balloting for three open positions, (b) more than 33-1/3% of the votes cast in balloting for two open positions, (c) or more than 50% of the votes cast in balloting for one open position.

            Section 4. Nominations. Nominations may be made by any current member either in person or in a writing submitted prior to the election meeting. Nominations of absent persons must be accompanied by an appropriate assurance that the nominees have consented to run and serve if elected. 

            Section 5. Election Proxies. Votes may be cast in person at the election meeting or by proxy received at, or less than 30 days before, the election meeting. Election proxies must be signed, or sealed in a signed envelope, must be dated and must name the nominee or candidate and the office for which the vote is to be cast. Proxies should not be opened until the election count.  Open-ended election proxies are prohibited.

            Section 6. Secret Ballot. Votes will be cast by secret ballot if requested by any member and seconded. Members may vote for only one person for each office and at-large directorís position.

            Section 7. Commencement of Terms. All officers and at-large directors shall take office upon adjournment of the election meeting.

            Section 8. Membership Requirement. All candidates for offices and at-large director positions must be Active members of the VSAS in good standing.

            Section 9. Lack of Nominations. If no nominations are received for open Board positions prior to the close of nominations at the election meeting, the newly-elected Board may thereafter fill the open positions by appointment.

            Section 10. Election Disputes. Election disputes shall be resolved as soon as possible after the election by a majority vote of the members of the new Board of Directors whose elections are not subject to dispute. Disputes affecting 50% or more of the election positions on the new Board of Directors shall be resolved by a majority vote of VSAS members at the next general membership meeting attended by a quorum.

 

ARTICLE IV

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

            Section 1. Board Composition. The Board of Directors shall consist of the present VSAS officers plus three at-large directors. The Board members shall serve for one-half year or until an election can be held. Vacancies on the Board or among the officers may be filled by a special election or by Board appointment.

            Section 2. Committees. The Board is empowered to establish any committees which are deemed necessary for the good of the VSAS.

            Section 3. Board Chairman. The Board shall elect, from among Board members, a chairman who is not also the current VSAS President.

            Section 4. Powers of Board Chairman. The Chairman shall preside at all Board meetings (in general accordance with Robertís Rules of Order). In the absence of the Board Chairman, responsibility for presiding over Board meetings shall devolve to Board Members in the following order: Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian.

            Section 5. Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at least quarterly at a time and place to be decided by the Board. Special meetings of the Board may be held at any time and place at the request of the VSAS President or any other two Board members. Ordinarily, the Secretary will cause written notice of special Board meetings to be given to Board members but any member may waive written notice.

            Section 6. Quorum. A quorum at any Board meeting shall consist of a majority of the currently serving members of the Board. No decision of the Board shall be valid unless approved by a majority of the Board members present at a Board meeting attended by a quorum of the Board, unless a greater vote is required by these By-Laws.

            Section 7. Open Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to any VSAS member. Board meetings may be closed to non-Board members at the request of the President and the Board Chairman or a majority of the Board members present if, and only if, closure is deemed necessary to maintain a legal privilege or confidence.

            Section 8. Board Agenda. The Chairman shall prepare the agenda for Board meetings in consultation with other members of the Board.

 

ARTICLE V

OFFICERS

            Section 1. VSAS Officers. VSAS officers shall include a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Librarian. Officers shall be elected at the Fall general meeting and shall serve for one-half year (one semester) or until an election can be held. The performance and conduct of any Board Member is subject to review by the Board of Directors.

            Section 2. President. The President shall be the chief executive officer of VSAS, shall decide the agenda for and preside at all general membership meetings (in general accordance with Robertís Rules of Order), shall be the official representative of VSAS, shall have general supervision of the affairs of VSAS, shall be an ex officio member of all committees and shall have any other powers as are granted by the Board of Directors and that are proper to the function of the office.

            Section 3. Vice-President. The Vice-President shall decide the agenda for and preside at all general or other membership meetings in the absence of the President and shall be in charge of arranging programs for the bi-monthly general membership meetings, and shall have any other powers as are granted by the Board of Directors. The Vice-President shall also be responsible for arranging special activities and programs and for recruiting the manpower to carry out these plans. In the event of death or long-term incapacity of the President, the Vice-President shall serve as Acting President until a new President is selected pursuant to Article IV, Section 1, of these By-Laws.

            Section 4. Secretary. The Secretary shall maintain copies of the monthly newsletters, shall keep written and electronic minutes of all meetings, shall maintain the official copy of VSAS Constitution and By-Laws and maintain with such copy an electronic record of all membership and Board meetings, shall have supervision of the current record of VSAS, shall be the official correspondent of VSAS and shall assist the Treasurer in keeping the membership rolls current. The current record shall consist of the minutes of general and Board meetings, monthly newsletters, correspondence, membership lists and special activities information. At the end of the term, all records except the official copy of VSAS Constitution and By-Laws and accompanying electronic record, shall be turned over to the new Librarian.  The Secretary shall perform any other duties as may be properly required by the President or the Board of Directors.

            Section 5. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of VSAS shall be responsible for all monetary assets of VSAS and shall keep a full and accurate record of all financial transactions of VSAS. The Treasurer shall give a monthly report on the current financial status of VSAS and of special fund raising activities. The Treasurer shall keep the membership list current with the help of the Secretary and shall handle all financial correspondence. The Treasurer shall perform any other duties as may be properly required by the President or the Board of Directors.

            Section 6. Librarian. The Librarian shall be responsible for maintaining, cataloging and preserving all books, magazines, tapes, slides, films, computer software and other documents in the possession of VSAS, shall oversee the loan or rental of said materials and shall periodically publish a list of said materials for membership use. The Librarian must act in liaison with the VSU Department of Astronomy and the VSU Odum Library.  The Librarian shall perform any other duties as may be properly required by the President or the Board of Directors.

            Section 7. Historian. The Historian shall be responsible for preserving and maintaining an inventory of all past records, minutes, newsletters, photographs, articles and other documents relating to VSAS history. The Historian shall perform any other duties as may be properly required by the President or the Board of Directors.

            Section 8. Liasons. The Liasons shall work along with the faculty of VSU and shall be responsible for organizing and planning observing opportunities for the public. These events may include, but are not necessarily limited to, observations for specific groups or organizations to events open to the general public. The Liasons shall perform any other duties as may be properly required by the President or the Board of Directors.

            Section 9. Faculty Advisor.  The faculty advisor is a required position to be held by a faculty member of Valdosta State University per Valdosta State University Student Government Association rules.

            Section 10. General Obligations. Officers and at-large directors shall be responsible for attending Board Meetings and for safeguarding the interests of the VSAS. At-large directors shall perform any other duties as may be properly required by the President or the Board of Directors.

            Section 11. Precedence of Offices. In the absence of the President, responsibility for setting the agenda for, and presiding at, general and special membership meetings and VSAS public functions shall devolve to officers in the following order: Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, Librarian and Historian.

            Section 12. Removal. Any officer or director may be removed with cause by a majority vote of the membership present at a general membership meeting or by a two-thirds vote of the currently serving members of the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE VI

COMMITTEES

            Section 1. Establishment of Committees. Standing and ad hoc committees may be established at the discretion of the Board of Directors and shall have such authority and duties as are granted by the Board. Immediately following its creation, the name, membership and function of each committee shall be published in the monthly newsletter.

            Section 2. Committee Membership. Membership on a committee shall be voluntary and the Board of Directors reserves the right to appoint and replace committee chairmen.

            Section 3. Committee Reporting. Committee chairmen shall report to the Board or to the membership at the request of the President.

            Section 4. Open Committee Meetings. Committee meetings are open to all members.

            Section 5. Dissolution. A committee may be dissolved at the discretion of the Board.

 

ARTICLE VII

FINANCES

            Section 1. Financial Records. VSAS financial records shall be open to inspection by any VSAS member.

            Section 2. Accountability and Control. The Board of Directors may establish, by resolution (Motioned, seconded and voted) recorded in the minutes of the Board, any financial controls or procedures, which it deems necessary to protect the financial interests of VSAS.

 

ARTICLE VIII

PRIOR BY-LAWS

 

These By-Laws supersede any and all prior By-Laws and amendments thereto.

 

ARTICLE IX

AMENDMENTS

            Section 1. Amendment. These By-Laws may be amended, in whole or in part, by a three-fourths vote of the members present at an Amendment meeting. Notice of intent to amend these By-Laws must be published in the VSAS newsletter immediately prior to any vote on the amendments.

            Section 2. Official Copy. The official copy of both the VSAS Constitution and the VSAS By-Laws shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be brought to all general membership and Board meetings. Amendments to either document shall be dated and appended to the official copy thereof immediately upon passage of the amendment.