Constitution of the Silver Sage Grotto
Ratified 6 December 2001
- The name of this organization shall be the Silver Sage Grotto of
The National Speleological Society.
- The purpose of this organization shall be the same as those of
the National Speleological Society (hereinafter referred to as the NSS)
with the additional purpose of organizing and educating persons
interested in caves
in the South Central Idaho area and its surroundings, regardless of
education or experience, to better promote the objectives of the NSS.
- Executive Board
- The Silver Sage Grotto shall be governed by an Executive Board
made up of the following officers, all NSS members, elected annually by
- Trip Coordinator
- The Executive Board shall have complete power to manage the
business, to formulate and enact bylaws, to raise funds in any manner
inconsistent with the policies of the NSS, and to perform all other
- Decisions or actions of the Executive Board may be overruled
by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership.
- Executive Board and general meetings shall be held at such
times and places as determined by the Executive Board.
- A petition signed by two-thirds of the membership shall
mandate the Executive Board to call a special meeting for the purpose
stated in the petition.
- Full membership in the Silver Sage Grotto is limited to
members of the NSS.
- Associate members may not hold office within the Silver Sage
Grotto but may vote on all issues excluding those affecting the NSS.
- The Constitution and Bylaws of the NSS shall be binding on the
Silver Sage Grotto. Any action inconsistent therewith shall be null and
- In the event of dissolution, any property of the Silver Sage
Grotto shall revert to the NSS.
- Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed either by the
Executive Board or by a petition of ten percent of the members in good
Adoption of the amendment(s) shall require a two-thirds vote of the
voting, either in person or by absentee ballot, provided that notice of
meeting and the content of the amendment(s) shall have been announced
the membership by mail or at a meeting at least thirty days prior to
time at which the vote will be taken.
Ratified 6 December 2001
Bylaws of the Silver Sage Grotto
- Application Process
- Prospective members of the Silver Sage Grotto (hereinafter
referred to as SSG) shall apply for membership by either 1) submitting
application in writing, comprising a statement signed by the applicant
support for the goals of the SSG as well as the goals of the NSS, or 2)
being nominated by a member in good standing.
- All applications for membership shall be acted on by the
- Membership Classifications
- Full Member – (F) – Persons who are current members in good
standing of the NSS, have all privileges of the SSG, including the
to vote, hold office (on the Executive Board), serve as committee
receive the SSG newsletter, and have access to grotto records and data.
- Full Family Member – (FF) – Persons who are current members
in good standing of the NSS, and are members of the immediate family
residing with a Full member of the SSG, have all the rights and
of a Full member except that they do not receive the grotto newsletter
other grotto mailings.
- Associate Member – (A) – Persons who are not members of the
NSS may serve as committee chairmen, receive the grotto newsletter,
access to grotto records and data, and may vote on all issues excluding
affecting the NSS.
- Associate Family Member – (AF) – Persons who are not current
members of the NSS, and are members of the immediate family, and
with a Full or Associate member of the SSG, have all the rights and
of an Associate member except that they do not receive the grotto
newsletter or other grotto mailings.
- Student Member – (S) – Persons who are currently enrolled
as full-time students in addition to qualifying under another
- Honorary Member – (H) – Persons whose contribution and/or
assistance to the SSG which are of a significant nature to benefit the
purpose in the study, safe exploration, and conservation of caves may
awarded an honorary membership. The award of Honorary membership is
by unanimous agreement of the Executive Board of the SSG, and must be
by four-fifths of the members present at the Grotto meeting. The
awarded this Honorary membership shall be given the rights of Associate
Membership. Honorary members who are NSS members in good standing
shall be given the rights and privileges of Full Membership upon
of their NSS number. It is understood that the Honorary Membership may
terminated if contact cannot be made with the Honorary member.
- Membership Responsibilities
- Members are expected to observe the practices of cave safety
and conservation as set forth in the Constitution of the SSG and the
- Members are expected to respect, care for, and prevent
improper disbursement of Grotto equipment and information.
- Members are responsible for payment of current dues.
- A violation of the above is reason for admonishment, as
outlined in Article III.B.
- Dues are payable at the first Grotto meeting of the calendar
year. A thirty-day grace period will be allowed beyond the anniversary
for the payment of dues before the membership is terminated.
joining mid-year will have their dues prorated accordingly for the year
which they join.
- Annual membership dues are determined by the Executive Board.
- Termination of Membership
- Membership shall be terminated for nonpayment of Grotto dues.
A member dropped for nonpayment of dues may be reinstated automatically
upon payment of current Grotto dues.
- Disciplinary Actions
- Members may be admonished, suspended from certain
privileges, or expelled from Grotto membership for any of the following
- Willful disregard of the safety of themselves and/or of
others while participating in a Grotto activity.
- Willful misuse of Grotto property, facilities, records,
- Willful destruction or removal of any natural cave
- Conduct detrimental to the Grotto and/or the NSS.
- Disciplinary action shall be initiated only upon
presentation to the Executive Board of a written petition for
disciplinary action, submitted by at least two members of the Grotto
not in the same household.
- Upon receiving such a petition, the Executive Board shall
take such actions as are deemed necessary to notify the accused member
members, in writing, of the petition, and of the place, date, and time
which the petition will be considered by the Executive Board. The
member or members shall have the right to speak on their own
Such considerations shall take place no sooner than twenty-one days and
no later than seventy days after the petition is received by the
- Disciplinary action under this provision shall require a
four-fifths majority of the vote of the Executive Board by a secret
- Assessments and Gifts
- No special assessments may be made against members of the
Grotto. Voluntary contributions may be solicited by the Executive Board
for specific purposes. A charge may be made for the Grotto’s special
publications and extra
copies of regular publications, and fees may be collected for use of
Grotto’s property when approved by the Executive Board.
- Gifts and bequests may be made to the Grotto in any form or
amount and for any use compatible with the purpose of the Grotto.
- A charge may be made to non-members for attendance at
Grotto-sponsored activities, use of the Grotto’s equipment and library,
copies of publications, maps, and other data, and inclusion of
non-members on the Grotto’s mailing list.
- Executive Board
- Nominations for candidates for the Executive Board may be
made by a member from the floor at the October and November Grotto
meetings provided that such nominations are seconded and subject to
acceptance by the member so nominated.
- Ballots shall be distributed to the members at least
fourteen days before the December Grotto meeting.
- An Election commissioner, appointed by the Executive Board,
shall receive absentee ballots no later than the beginning of the
Grotto meeting. Voting shall take place at the December meeting,
absentee ballots being counted in the presence of the membership.
- Those elected to the Executive Board shall take office at
the January Grotto meeting.
- The Executive Board shall have the power to remove any
Executive Board member who, without just cause, fails to attend two
regular Executive Board meetings without sending a proxy or who,
without cause, attends no Executive
Board meetings in person for three consecutive meetings.
- Vacancies on the Executive Board shall be filled for the
balance of the year by Chairman’s appointment, subject to majority
approval of the rest of the Executive Board.
- Any member of the Executive Board may appoint a member of the
Grotto as a proxy to act for him or her at a meeting of the Executive
Proxy may act at one meeting for only one Executive Board member. The
presiding officer must be notified of such proxy appointment directly
or in writing by the absent Executive Board member before the proxy may
be allowed to
serve. Authorization should state if discretionary voting powers have
given to the proxy.
- Committee chairmen may attend meetings of the Executive Board
and have the privilege of speaking on matters relevant to the
function but shall have no power to vote by virtue of their
Any other member of the Grotto may attend Executive Board meetings and
be granted the privilege of the floor at the discretion of the
officer but shall have no power to vote.
- There shall be at least one Executive Board meeting per
calendar year. The date, time, and place of these meetings shall be
provided to the membership at least thirty days before the date of such
meeting. The Executive Board shall determine the date, time, and place
for any special meetings. A quorum at an Executive Board meeting will
be a majority of the members of
the Executive Board.
- Robert’s Rules of Order, as revised, shall govern all
procedural questions arising at meetings of the Executive Board when
they are applicable and when they are not inconsistent with the
Grotto’s constitution and bylaws.
- The Executive Board shall have the right to appoint the
following duties to members of the Grotto, any of which may be removed
from their posts by a letter of resignation or by a majority vote of
the Executive Board:
- Publicity Coordinator
- Program Coordinator
- College of Southern Idaho Outdoor Program Liaison
- Other duties as deemed necessary
- Duties and responsibilities of officers of the Grotto
- The Chairman is an ex-officio member of every committee within
the SSG including the editorial staff of the Grotto newsletter, and is
authorized to conduct business on behalf of the Grotto within the
mandates of the Constitution and Bylaws of the SSG. The duties
and responsibilities of the Chairman shall be to
- Preside over all Grotto and Executive Board meetings
- Appoint committee chairmen within the mandates of Article
IX and the Constitution
- Call Grotto and Executive Board meetings within the mandates
of the Constitution of the SSG
- Coordinate all Grotto activities
- Represent the SSG within and outside the caving community
- The duties and responsibilities of the Vice-Chairman shall be
- Preside over all Grotto and Executive Board meetings in the
absence of the Chairman
- Act as a Chairman’s representative in the Chairman’s absence
or at the Chairman’s mandate
- Assist the Chairman in any way the Chairman deems necessary
- Assume all duties of the Chairman in the event of the
Chairman’s resignation, incapacitation, or expulsion until such times
as the Chairman is replaced through the mandate of Article V.C.
- The duties and responsibilities of the Secretary shall be to
- Take and report the minutes constituting the record of the
proceedings of all Grotto and Executive Board meetings
- Handle official Grotto correspondence and to report said
correspondence to Grotto and Executive Board meetings
- Distribute copies of the Constitution and Bylaws of the SSG
and new member information packets
- Maintain a record of all official Grotto proceedings such
as minutes of Grotto and Executive Board meetings
- Maintain Grotto stationery supplies
- Serve in the capacity of programs coordinator in the absence
of the person appointed to this capacity
- The duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer shall be to
- Receive, hold, and disburse Grotto funds in accordance with
the mandates of the Executive Board
- Maintain records of Grotto finances and all Grotto properties
- Provide a current financial report at Grotto and Executive
- Maintain a current Grotto membership list, and to deliver
same to the Secretary and Editor as needed
- The duties and responsibilities of the Trip Coordinator shall
- Coordinate the visitation to closed, gated, or sensitive
caves by grotto members
- Disseminate and collect liability contracts for participants
on College of Southern Idaho Outdoor Program (hereinafter referred to
- Duties and responsibilities of outgoing officers of the Grotto
shall be to return to the Grotto board all related materials and monies
to the next scheduled Grotto meeting
- Duties and responsibilities of the appointed posts as described
per Article V:H
- The duties and responsibilities of the Webmaster shall be to
maintain the SSG web pages in a timely fashion
- The duties and responsibilities of the Publicity Coordinator
shall be to
- Submit announcements of upcoming grotto meetings and open
trips to local media outlets and the College of Southern Idaho Outdoor
- Maintain a supply of grotto brochures for general
- The duties and responsibilities of the Quartermaster shall be
- Keep and maintain Grotto equipment and to make it available
to Full and Associate members upon request
- Fill other such duties as set forth by the Executive Board
- Purchase and maintain such stores and supplies as outlined
in Article XII
- Make such stores and supplies available to the members of
the Grotto for sale
- Keep an inventory of all such supplies
- Maintain a usage log on grotto equipment subject to safety
concerns due to wear
- The duties of the Program Coordinator shall be to arrange
and/or prepare informative presentations to be presented at Grotto
- The duties of the College of Southern Idaho Outdoor Program
Liaison shall be to
- Coordinate acquisition and return of CSIOP equipment for use
by grotto members
- Select equipment to be purchased with CSIOP funds for use
by the grotto, subject to approval of the Executive Board
- Reserve use of CSI facilities for grotto meetings
- The duties of Editor shall be to solicit and collect material
for the Grotto newsletter and oversee the printing and distribution of
- The duties of Librarian shall be to maintain the SSG
collection of printed material, and oversee the loaning of library
materials to grotto members
- Duties and responsibilities of outgoing appointed positions
shall be to return all related materials and monies to the Executive
prior to the next scheduled Grotto meeting.
- General Meetings
- There shall be a least one General Meeting of the membership
in each quarter of the calendar year. The date, time, and place of
meetings shall be provided to the membership at least thirty days
the date of such meeting. The Executive Board shall determine the date,
and place for these and any special meetings.
- A quorum at a General Meeting shall be five members or ten
percent of the total membership, whichever is the smaller number,
including at least one Executive Board member.
- Committees shall be established by the Executive Board to
execute the work of the Grotto. Chairmen of the committees shall be
appointed by the
Chairman of the Grotto, subject to the approval of the Executive Board.
committee chairman shall select the personnel and promote the
his or her committee. All committees will operate under the direction
approval of the Executive Board. All funds collected by the committee
be returned to the Grotto when the committee is absolved.
- The Grotto may acquire real and intangible property, including
equipment, literature, and other materials for use by and on behalf of
membership. The fiscal year is the calendar year.
- The Grotto will issue and distribute to the members in good
standing, other than Family Members, regular issues of the grotto
publication, and is
empowered to issue and distribute special publications, subject to
regulations governing the subject matter, publication dates, sales, and
prescribed by the Executive Board.
- The Grotto may maintain a Grotto Store for the convenience of
members, friends, and associates, which will be limited to
related goods appropriate to the policies of the Grotto.
- In the event of dissolution of the Grotto, all assets remaining
after meeting outstanding liabilities shall be assigned to the
However, if the named recipient is not then in existence or is no
a qualified distributee, or unwilling or unable to accept the
the assets of this organization shall be distributed to a fund,
or corporation organized and operated exclusively for the purposes
in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the
provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue law).
- This Grotto is a nonprofit organization. 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
be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services
and to make payments and distribution in furtherance of the purposes
forth in the constitution of the Grotto. 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, intervene in (including the publishing or distribution
of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for
public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these
bylaws, the Grotto shall not carry on any other activities not
permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal
income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or the
corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue law) or (b)
by a corporation, contributions to which are 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).
- All proposed amendments in these bylaws must be presented to
the entire membership and notice given to the members of the place,
and time of the General Meeting at which the amendment(s) will be
considered for adoption, and provisions shall be made for absentee
voting. This notice shall be given not less than thirty days prior to
the designated meeting.
- Adoption of the amendment(s) shall require a two-thirds vote
of the members voting, either in person or by absentee ballot, and the
total votes cast must constitute at least twenty percent of the
- The Constitution and Bylaws of the NSS shall be binding on the
Grotto where applicable. Any actions inconsistent therewith shall be