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BYLAWS

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY STUDENT GROTTO

Article I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the West Virginia University Student Grotto of the National Speleological Society.

Article II. PURPOSE

Section 1. The purpose of the WVU Student Grotto shall be to promote interest in the science of speleology, to encourage the protection of caves and their natural contents, to train cavers in the skills necessary for safe cave exploration, and to provide an organization where cavers can enjoy the fellowship of other cavers.

Section 2. The WVU Student Grotto will strive to uphold the ideals of the National Speleological Society and will work for the same purposes and towards the attainment of the same goals as the National Speleological Society.

Section 3. The WVU Student Grotto will endeavor to organize cavers in Morgantown, West Virginia, who are students at West Virginia University or who are members of the faculty or staff at that institution.

Section 4. The Grotto will function as a non-profit educational and research organization.

Article III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Membership will be open to persons interested in caving or speleology.

Section 2. Membership will not be denied on the basis of race, color, religious belief, ethnic origin, sexual preference, or sex.

Section 3. There shall be five classes of membership: Regular, Associate, Dependent, Subscribing, and Honorary. Dues for each shall be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Regular membership shall be limited to WVU students. Regular membership entitles the member to the right to attend and participate in all Grotto functions, to receive all Grotto publications, and to vote in all Grotto proceedings.

Section 5. Associate membership may be granted to NSS members who are not WVU students and to members of the WVU faculty and staff. Associate membership entitles the member to the right to attend and participate in all Grotto functions, to receive all Grotto publications, but not to vote on issues before the Grotto.

Section 6. Dependent membership may be granted to individuals in the immediate family or a regular or associate member. A dependent member may attend and participate in all Grotto functions, but shall not receive Grotto publications nor have the right to vote in Grotto affairs.

Section 7. Subscribing membership entitles the member to receive all Grotto publications. Subscribing members have no other privileges.

Section 8. Honorary membership may be conferred upon an individual when a petition recommending honorary membership signed by at least seven Grotto members is presented to the Board of Directors along with the dues for honorary membership. Honorary membership shall last for one year, but may be renewed simply by payment of another year's dues by those persons within the Grotto wishing to sponsor the honorary member. Honorary membership carries with it all the right and privileges of associate membership, but not the right to vote.

Section 9. An individual shall be considered a member when he pays his dues. An individual shall lose the privileges of membership when his dues expire and he fails to renew his membership. No assessments other than annual dues will be made against the general membership.

Section 10. The Board of Directors may for good and sufficient reasons reject any application for membership.

Section 11. All persons who become regular, associate, dependent, or honorary members of the Grotto before December 31, 1977, shall be considered charter members of the West Virginia University Student Grotto.

Article IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. The Grotto shall be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five elected officers. These officers shall be : Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor.

Section 2. The Board of Directors shall have the power to manage the business of the Grotto, to affix dues, to raise funds, to formulate bylaws, to form, direct, and dissolve committees, to delegate authority to committee chairmen, to disburse Grotto funds to meet the financial obligations of the Grotto, to institute or terminate Grotto programs, to purchase Grotto supplies or equipment, to oversee Grotto publications, to make cooperative agreements with other organizations, and to perform all other tasks necessary to the smooth functioning of the Grotto.

Section 3. The Board of Directors will have regular meetings open to all members of the Grotto, When sensitive issues are to be discussed the Board may adjourn to executive session, but the everyday business of the Grotto shall be conducted in meetings open to the membership at large.

Section 4. Grotto members attending meetings of the Board may, at the discretion of the presiding officer, be granted the privilege of the floor after each member of the Board has had the opportunity to address the issue at hand.

Section 5. Only members of the Board of Directors shall vote on issues at meetings of the Board. Each officer shall have one vote. Proxy votes will not be accepted.

Section 6. The quorum necessary to hold a Board of Directors meeting shall be four officers.

Section 7. Decisions of the Board of Directors may be overruled by a majority vote of the entire regular membership except where such vote would force the Grotto to break a contract or commitment with an outside party. Decisions to overrule a decision of the Board shall apply only to the unexecuted portions of the decision in question.

Section 8. The Board of Directors shall not make any disbursement of Grotto funds exceeding fifty dollars without the consenting vote of a majority of the regular members present and voting at a general meeting of the Grotto where a quorum is present.

Section 9. The Board of Directors shall set the times, places, and dates for all meetings of the Grotto.

Section 10. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held on such dates and at such times and places as determined by the Chairman.

Article V. OFFICERS

Section 1. There shall be five elective Grotto offices - Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor. The Grotto's Board of Directors shall be composed of these five officers.

Section 2. All officers shall be voting NSS members in good standing, regular members of the Grotto, and full-time WVU students. All officers must maintain a 2.0 or better grade point average. An individual may not serve as an officer while on academic or disciplinary probation.

Section 3. Duties of the officers shall be:

A. Chairman : The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Grotto and Board of Directors. He shall bring to the attention of the general membership all communications which directly affect the Grotto, the NSS, or their members. He shall set meeting times, dates, and places for Board of Directors meetings. He shall with his help, ideas, and encouragement lead the Grotto toward the realization of the goals of the NSS and the Grotto.

B. Vice-Chairman : The Vice-Chairman shall assume the duties of Chairman in the event of the Chairman's absence. He will assist the Chairman. He may assume responsibilities delegated to him by the Chairman or Board of Directors.

C. Secretary : The Secretary will see that minutes are kept of each meeting of the Grotto and Board of Directors. He shall be responsible for all official Grotto correspondence. He shall prepare an annual historical summary of the Grotto for submission to the NSS Historical Committee as required by NSS directives. He shall see that the minutes of Board meetings and Grotto meetings are read at the immediately subsequent meeting of the Grotto.

D. Treasurer : The Treasurer shall be responsible for all the Grotto's monetary business. He shall keep records of all the Grotto's financial transactions for inclusion in a permanent file at the end of each fiscal year. He shall report the status of the treasury to the membership at each Grotto meeting. He shall submit a formal financial report to the Board of Directors semi-annually. He shall collect dues and maintain a complete list of the Grotto membership. He shall be responsible for the implementation of all Grotto fundraising projects.

E. Editor : The Editor shall be in charge of all publications of the Grotto. He shall be responsible for their editing, printing, and distribution. He shall encourage the writing of articles for publication. He shall maintain a policy of printing only those articles which are in acceptably good taste. He shall be responsible for the maintenance of a Grotto library.

Article VI. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Section 1. Elections will be held at least once annually, but more frequently if desired by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will set election dates.

Section 2. Elections can be held only while WVU is in session for either its Fall or Spring term.

Section 3. Notice of Grotto elections shall be given at the two Grotto meetings proceeding the elections.

Section 4. Nomination and election of one officer at a time beginning with the Chairman shall be the last order of business at the meeting at which the elections are held.

Section 5. Each candidate for office must be nominated and seconded by a regular Grotto Member and must be able to fulfill the requirements for officership set forth in Article V., Section 2.

Section 6. Election will be by secret ballot, the winner having the most votes.

Section 7. An officer may succeed himself as many times as he is elected to office.

Section 8. Officers shall assume office at the first Board meeting or Grotto meeting following their election.

Section 9. No proxy votes will be accepted in Grotto elections.

Section 10. A quorum of twenty percent of the Grotto's regular membership must be present for elections to be held. Only regular Grotto members can vote.

Section 11. Elections to fill vacancies will be held at the Grotto meeting following the Grotto meeting at which the vacancy is announced.

Section 12. The Board of Directors shall have the power to make any further rules governing a given election so as to carry out the mechanics of the above procedure. The Board shall not, however, restrict voting eligibility or candidacy for office in any way not specifically stated in these Bylaws.

Article VII. AUTOMATIC VACANCIES OF OFFICE

Section 1. An office shall be declared vacant if during his term of office an officer fails to maintain his NSS membership, his full-time status as a WVU student (not including summer sessions), or his regular membership in the Grotto. Further an officer must maintain a cumulative 2.0 or better grade point average. If an officer is placed on academic or disciplinary probation by WVU he shall forfeit his office.

Section 2. An office shall be declared vacant if an officer misses three consecutive meetings of the Board of Directors or three consecutive meetings of the Grotto without reasonable excuse. The members of the Board of Directors shall determine what reasons shall be considered reasonable excuse.

Article VIII. REMOVAL OF OFFICERS BY VOTE OF GROTTO

Section 1. An officer may be removed from office for violation of NSS policy, misappropriation of Grotto funds or property, failure to fulfill his duties as an officer, or conduct unbecoming an officer or detrimental to the purposes of the Grotto.

Section 2. A motion to remove an officer from office shall be made by petition of at least twenty percent of the entire regular membership.

Section 3. The motion shall be opened to debate before an open meeting of the Grotto at which the officer in question is present.

Section 4. A secret ballot will then be mailed out to each of the Grotto's regular members so that they may vote for or against the motion.

Section 5. An impartial teller will be appointed by the Grotto to receive and tally the ballots returned within two weeks of their mailing.

Section 6. If a WVU recess or holiday occurs during the two week period between the mailing of the ballots and the deadline for their receipt, the deadline for the receipt of the ballots shall be extended so that the period between the mailing of the ballots and the deadline for their receipt shall include fourteen days during which WVU is in session.

Section 7. A two-thirds favorable vote of the regular members who returned ballots before the deadline shall be necessary to remove an officer from office.

Article IX. EXPULSION OF MEMBERS

Section 1. Members may be expelled from the Grotto for misappropriation or willful misuse of Grotto funds, equipment, or property, willful disregard of their own safety or the safety of others on Grotto sponsored trips, cave vandalism or other acts specifically contrary to accepted NSS cave conservation policies, blatant violation of NSS or Grotto policies, or conduct detrimental to the purposes of the Grotto.

Section 2. A motion of expulsion may be made by any officer. Motions of expulsion may only be discussed in closed, executive sessions of the Board.

Section 3. The member being considered for expulsion shall be notified in writing of the charges against him at least fourteen days prior to the Board meeting at which the matter is brought to a vote.

Section 4. The accused member shall be granted a hearing before the Board if it is requested and he may present witnesses or other testimony in his own behalf.

Section 5. Expulsion shall require the favorable vote of at least four-fifths of the Board of Directors.

Section 6. A member shall have the right to appeal his expulsion and to present his story before a meeting of the general membership.

Section 7. A motion to reinstate an expelled member may be made at the meeting at which an expelled member appeals by any regular Grotto member. The motion must also be seconded by a regular Grotto member.

Section 8. The vote to reinstate shall follow the same procedures as those set forth in Article VIII., Sections 4, 5, and 6 for the removal of an officer.

Section 9. An expelled member shall be reinstated by majority vote of the entire regular membership.

Article X. MEETINGS

Section 1. Meetings of the general membership shall be held on such dates and at such times and places as determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Special meetings of the general membership may be called when a petition signed by twenty percent of the entire regular membership is presented to the Board of Directors, or when the Board, by majority vote, decides an item warrants the immediate action of the general membership.

Section 3. A quorum at meetings of the general membership shall be twenty percent of the entire regular membership.

Article XI. COMMITTEES

Section 1. The Board of Directors shall have the power to form, modify, split, merge, or dissolve committees created to execute the work of the Grotto.

Section 2. The Board may delegate its authority to committee chairmen of the Board's choosing.

Section 3. The Board shall have the power to direct the work of a committee towards the accomplishment of specific goals.

Section 4. Committee members shall be recruited by the committee chairman to serve for as long as he needs them.

Section 5. Committee chairmen serve at the pleasure of the Board and may be dismissed or reaffirmed at any time.

Section 6. Committee chairmanship shall automatically end with each election of a new Grotto chairman. Committee chairman may, however, be reaffirmed by a new Grotto chairman with the consent of the rest of the Board.

Article XII. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Section 1. When procedural conflicts arise at meetings of the Grotto, its Board, or its committees, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be used to answer those procedural questions not specifically answered in these Bylaws.

Section 2. These Bylaws shall be binding in all Grotto business.

Article XIII. ENFORCEMENT

Section 1. The Constitution and Bylaws of the National Speleological Society shall be binding upon the Grotto.

Section 2. Any action inconsistent with the Constitution and Bylaws of the National Speleological Society shall be declared null and void.

Article XIV. DUES - ASSESSMENTS - GIFTS

Section 1. Annual dues for each class of membership shall be set by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. No special assessments may be made against members of the Grotto.

Section 3. Voluntary contributions may be solicited by the Board of Directors for specified purposes.

Section 4. A charge may be made for extra copies of Grotto publications and nominal fees may be charged for use of Grotto property or equipment.

Section 5. Replacement or repair costs may be levied against an individual who damages or loses Grotto property or equipment.

Section 6. Gifts or bequests may be made to the Grotto in any form or amount and for use compatible with the purposes of the Grotto.

Section 7. A charge may be made to non-members for attending Grotto-sponsored activities, use of Grotto property or equipment, copies of maps, publications, or other data, or inclusion of their name on the Grotto mailing list.

Article XV. PROPERTIES AND PUBLICATIONS

Section 1. The Grotto may acquire real and personal property including equipment, literature, and other materials for use by and on behalf of the membership.

Section 2. The Grotto will maintain a library of speleological subjects for temporary use by the membership. This library may include technical publications, textbooks, charts, maps, photographs, prints, slides, reprints, periodicals, and other materials of interest.

Section 3. The Grotto will keep a complete file of all its publications.

Section 4. The Grotto may issue and distribute both regular and special publications such as newsletters, special reports, maps, cave surveys, or meeting announcements.

Section 5. The Board of Directors shall make all decisions regarding the types and frequency of Grotto publications, publication dates, sales, and the distribution of Grotto publications.

Section 6. The Editor shall be responsible for implementing the Board's decisions on Grotto publications.

Article XVI. NON-PROFIT STATUS

Section 1. The WVU Student Grotto shall be a non-profit organization.

Section 2. No part of the net earnings of the Grotto shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Grotto shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distribution in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II herein.

Section 3. No substantial part of the activities of the Grotto shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Grotto shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Section 4. Not withstanding any other provision of these articles, the Grotto shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by: (a) a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue law), or (b) a corporation, contributions to which are tax deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue law).

Article XVII. DISSOLUTION

Section 1. This Grotto may be dissolved by a three-fourths vote of the entire regular membership or by the National Speleological Society's Internal Organization Committee.

Section 2. In the event of dissolution, all assets of the Grotto shall be turned over to the National Speleological Society.

Section 3. However, if the National Speleological Society is not in existence at the time of dissolution, or is no longer a qualified distributee, or is unwilling or unable to accept the distribution, the assets of the Grotto shall be distributed to a fund, foundation or corporation organized and operated exclusively for the purposes specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue law).

Article XVIII. AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

Section 1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by majority vote of the Board of Directors or by petition of twenty percent of the entire regular membership to the Board of Directors.

Section 2. The proposed amendment shall then be read at the next two regular Grotto meetings.

Section 3. Discussion of the proposed amendment will be opened to the membership at the second Grotto meeting at which the proposed amendment is read.

Section 4. The proposed amendment may be amended by majority vote of the regular membership attending and voting at the meeting at which discussion of the proposed amendment is opened.

Section 5. The Board of Directors shall then appoint a teller to mail out a secret ballot to each regular member so that he may vote on the proposed amendment as amended.

Section 6. This same teller shall receive and tally all ballots returned to him within two weeks of their mailing.

Section 7. If a WVU recess or holiday occurs during the two week period between the mailing of the ballots and the deadline for their receipt, the deadline for the receipt of the ballots shall be extended so that the period between the mailing of the ballots and the deadline for their receipt shall include fourteen days during which WVU is in session.

Section 8. A two-thirds majority of the regular members who returned their ballots before the deadline shall be necessary to pass the proposed amendment.

Article XIX. RATIFICATION

Section 1. These Bylaws shall take effect when a majority of the entire regular membership has ratified them.

Section 2. Date of ratification : April 26, 1977

Article XX. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The West Virginia University Student Grotto will adhere to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.




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