CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE BLUE RIDGE GROTTO
Adopted November 15, 1974
Revised October 1990
Revised June 2007
ARTICLE I, NAME
The name of the Grotto shall be The Blue Ridge Grotto of the National Speleological Society.
Membership in this Grotto shall be granted to those who are interested in speleology. Members of the Virginia Western Community College Cave Club (VWCCCC) are invited to participate and join the Grotto now and in the future.
There shall be regular meetings.
The annual meeting shall be a regular meeting in November.
Special meetings may be called by the Chairman, or, on application of FIVE regular members or 30 percent of the regular membership, which ever is greater, the Chairman shall call such a meeting.
FIVE regular members or 30 percent of the regular membership, which ever is greater, being in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
The secretary shall be notified of each proxy before a vote. Blanket or continuous proxies shall not be held. Proxies do not count as members in attendance for section four (4).
Amendments to this constitution may be submitted by a motion and are automatically tabled upon a second.
A submitted amendment must be voted on within two months of its proposal, and the active membership of the club must be specifically notified of the date of the vote and the nature of the amendment.
A two-thirds majority vote of all active members shall be required for adoption of any amendment.
The duties of the Chairman shall be:
A. To preside at all meetings.
B. To act as an ex-officio member of all committees.
C. To represent the Grotto officially in all matters except those which require the cooperation of the Treasurer.
D. To make appointments to special committees unless provision is made otherwise in the resolution establishing the committee and to make changes in the committee with the approval of the majority of the committee members.
E. To make appointments to standing committees, to appoint committee chairmen and to remove appointees.
F. To make arrangements for the meeting room.
G. To perform all other duties usually pertaining to this office.
H. To assume the duties of the other officers in their absence until the provisions of the bylaws can be carried out.
The duties of the Vice Chairman shall be:
A. To assist the Chairman as the Chairman shall require.
B. To act as program chairman for the regular monthly meetings.
C. In the absence or disability of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall perform all the duties of the Chairman.
D. In the event of a long term absence or disability of the Chairman (without the resignation of the Chairman) a vote shall be taken to decree the absence of the Chairman at a regular meeting, of which this action was announced at the previous regular meeting. The Vice-Chairman shall become Chairman upon a passing vote of one half or more of the members present.
E. Upon the vacancy of the office of Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall become Chairman.
The duties of the Secretary shall be:
A. To keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Grotto and to place a copy in the Grotto files.
B. To keep a roll of the members of the Grotto and to make this available to all members. The roll shall include addresses and phone numbers, etc.
C. To conduct correspondence for the Grotto as directed by the Chairman.
D. To notify the National Speleological Society of changes in officers and other pertinent information.
E. To perform such other duties as this office may require.
The duties of the Treasurer shall be:
A. To have charge of the finances of the Grotto.
B. To keep an accurate record of the finances of the Grotto.
C. To be responsible for all receipts.
D. To be responsible for all disbursements, with the approval of the membership.
E. To give a report of the financial status of the Grotto at every regular meeting; to have available at all regular meetings complete details of the years' receipts and disbursements.
F. To make a written yearly report at the regular November meeting before the election of officers. The fiscal year shall start at the beginning of the election meeting in November.
G. The past Treasurer shall turn over to the new Chairman all records from the previous years at each November meeting.
H. To perform such other duties as this office may require.
ARTICLE II, ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The officers of the Grotto shall be elected by ballot from candidates nominated from the floor by a regular member. A separate ballot shall be voted for each office. A simple majority of the active regular membership present at a regular meeting shall be necessary for an election (except at the annual November meeting). In case there is no majority, the candidate with the lowest number of votes shall be dropped and a re-vote for the remaining candidates shall be taken. The officers elected shall assume their duties immediately.
No member shall be eligible to an office who has not been a member of the Grotto for at least one year, unless there are no such members available. All officers shall be Regular NSS members.
In the event of the resignation, release from office of an officer, or vacancy, a special election shall be called at the next regular meeting, and held at the following regular meeting to elect a member to the office for the completion of the term of the office except for the office of Chairman.
No member shall hold the same office more than twice in succession, and filling an unexpired term shall in this regard not be considered as a term of office. The term of office shall be one year, from November meeting to the next November meeting.
Should an officer resign during the grotto year, the Chairman shall appoint some member of the Grotto to assume the office temporarily until Article II, Section 3 of the bylaws can be applied.
A. An officer may be impeached for specific and willful infractions of the constitution, bylaws, or policies of the Grotto or National Speleological Society.
B. 1- A motion shall be made by a regular member, committee, or other officer for impeachment stating specific infractions.
2- The motion, upon a second, shall automatically be postponed until the next regular meeting.
3- The officer shall be given notice of the motion at least two weeks in advance of the meeting in which the vote is to be taken, and shall be given ample opportunity to defend himself before the Grotto.
4- Final action shall be by secret ballot and will require a simple majority vote of the active regular membership or a two-thirds majority vote of those regular members present, which ever is greater, for impeachment.
C. An impeached officer may be reinstated by a two-thirds vote of the active membership provided the officer complies with the requirements of the reinstating motion. The vote shall be by secret ballot.
ARTICLE III, MEMBERSHIP
A. All applications for membership shall be in writing, endorsed by a Regular member in good standing and accompanied by dues for one year. Applications shall include a signed statement that the applicant agrees to practice and promote cave conservation.
B. Members are classified as follows: Regular, Associate, Family, Junior and Institutional.
1. Regular members are individuals 17 years of age or older who are members of the National Speleological Society, have all privileges of the Grotto, including the right to vote, serve as committee chairman, receive a copy of currently issued regular publications and have access to all of the Grotto records and data.
2. Associate members are individuals who are not members of the National Speleological Society and may not vote, hold office, or serve as committee chairman. Such members receive a copy of currently issued regular publications and, at the discretion of the executive committee, may have access to all of the Grotto records and data.
3. Junior members are individuals who are less than 17 years of age and are members of the National Speleological Society. Such members have the same privileges as Associate members.
4. Family members are members who are in the immediate family of and reside at the same address as a member, other than a Family member of the Grotto. Family members do not receive publications but otherwise have all the privileges of Regular, Associate or Junior members, depending on their classification as follows:
A. "Family Regular" depends upon a Regular membership, is a member of the National Speleological Society, and is 17 years of age or older.
B. "Family Associate" depends upon a Regular or Associate membership and is not a member of the National Speleological Society.
C. "Family Junior" depends upon a Regular or Associate membership, is a member of the National Speleological Society and is less that 17 years of age.
5. Institutional members are incorporated organizations and unincorporated entities, other than individuals, whose interests or activities are related to speleology and support the purposes of the Grotto. Institutional members will have the same privileges as Regular members except the right to vote, hold office, and serve as committee chairman.
Additions to membership and dropping of members:
A. A member must sponsor a candidate for membership and this proposal must be seconded by another member. No name shall be voted upon until a meeting following that in which the membership was proposed.
B. The vote in section 2:A above shall be taken only after such proposed members have demonstrated their suitability by past participation in Grotto activities.
C. It shall be the duty of the sponsor to see that the new member becomes familiar with Grotto functions, to see that the member is introduced to safe caving procedures that will benefit and encourage his or her enjoyment of caving.
D. Resignation from membership shall be in writing, and no resignation shall be accepted from a member who is not in good and regular standing. Members in arrears for dues for a year shall be dropped.
E. Procedure for expelling a member shall be the same as for officers.
· BRG members must abide by NSS ethics, and practice cave safety and conservation. BRG members who behave in an unsafe and/or disrespectful manner may be considered for revocation of their membership.
· Any such behavior will be called to their attention, (either verbally or in writing) to offer them the opportunity to correct it.
· If the behavior continues they will be given a letter citing specific behaviors that need to be corrected, along with the consequences of non-compliance.
· If they continue to continue the unsafe/disrespectful behavior, their membership will come up for a vote by BRG members at a regular meeting within 2 months of the date of the letter.
· If a quorum exists and a majority of BRG members vote to revoke their membership, they will be given a letter to inform them of the final decision.
A. Annual dues shall be as follows:
1. Regular membership $ 10.00
2. Associate membership 10.00
3. Junior membership 5.00
4. Family membership
A. Regular 5.00
B. Associate 5.00
C. Junior 2.50
5. Institutional membership 10.00
B. Dues are payable at the first regular meeting after the annual November meeting.
C. When an election to membership takes place after June 1, dues shall be one half of the regular rate.
ARTICLE V, COMMITTEES
A. The Chairman shall be empowered to appoint such special committees as he deems necessary at any time, or, on the majority vote of the members at any meeting, he shall appoint committees as they direct.
ARTICLE VI, AMENDMENTS
A. Amendments to these bylaws may be submitted by a motion and are automatically postponed until the next regular meeting upon a second.
B. A submitted amendment must be voted on within two months of its proposal, and the active membership of the Grotto must be specifically notified of the date of the vote and the nature of the amendment.
C. A two-thirds majority vote of all active members shall be required for adoption of an amendment.
Robert's Rules of Order, as revised, shall be the parliamentary authority on all matters not covered by the constitution and bylaws of this Grotto.
A Regular Blue Ridge Grotto member may request, in writing, signed and dated, and must name in that request any other Regular Blue Ridge Grotto member to cast a vote in the absent member's name, providing each request includes reference to a specific motion before the Grotto. Such request must be in the possession of the Grotto Chairman at the time of the request.
ORDER OF BUSINESS (MODIFIED 1992)
1. Call to order, by the presiding officer.
1a. Introductions of people present (if needed).
2. Trip reports and trip plans (*K.I.S.S., Please!)
2a. Description of this month's trip.
2b. Selection of next month's cave trip.
3. Program of the day.
3a. Five minute break (if needed).
4. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting by the Secretary.
4a. Amendments or acceptance of the previous months' minutes.
5. Treasurer's report.
6. Reports of committees.
Newsletter Safety & Techniques
R.O.C.K.S. Ways & Means
(A brief report by committee chair if anything new is happening; otherwise, *K.I.S.S., please!)
7. Voting on tabled membership proposals (if necessary).
Proposals of new members - table after 2nd for next month (if necessary).
8. Unfinished business.
9. New Business.
10. Announcements, mailbag, etc.
*(Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
Updates: This document has undergone the following revisions:
Bylaws, Article VIII: Vote by Proxy. Adopted Jan. 1, 1983.
Bylaws, Article IV:A: Increase in annual membership dues for Regular, Associate, Junior ,and Family members. Adopted April 21, 1989.
Constitution, Article V: Separation of the office of Secretary and the office of Treasurer. The two offices can be split or merged, as necessary. Adopted September 15, 1989.
Bylaws, Article I: 3 & 4: Section 3 was divided into two parts, creating section 4 so that the duties of the two offices in Article V of the Constitution would be clearly stated. Adopted September 15, 1989.
Bylaws, Article 111: 2E: Section 2 Additions to membership and dropping of members. E was modified to be precise as to the steps needed to warn and expel a member. Adopted May 18, 2007.