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East Tennessee Chapter Bylaws

for the Society for Technical Communication

Revised June 21, 2011; July 1, 2019

 

ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE

 

Section 1   

The East Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, hereinafter referred to as “the Chapter,” operates as a community of the Society of Technical Communication, Inc., hereinafter referred to as “the Society.” The Chapter is dedicated to advancing the art and science of technical communication in the East Tennessee area; it shall be a nonprofit, educational, and professional organization.

 

Section 2       

The Chapter must operate in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Society, which are superordinate to those of the Chapter; if the Society’s bylaws are changed in a way that conflicts with those of the Chapter, the later must be amended to agree with the changes .

 

Section 3       

The Chapter may engage only in activities that conform to the purposes of the Society as defined in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, which are

  • To engage in scientific, literary, and educational activities designed to advance the theory and practice of the arts and sciences of technical communication and to achieve this advance by sponsoring programs to discuss ideas, knowledge, philosophy, and techniques of these arts and sciences.

  • To guide students in their pursuit of technical communication.

  • To advance the arts and sciences of technical communication in order to promote the public welfare through the development of better educated personnel in technical communication.

 

Section 4       

The Society and Chapter are nonprofit, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan. Their activities must not interfere with the operations of commercial, secular, or political matters including, but not limited to, the endorsement or disparagement of a commercial enterprise, political platform, or candidate for public office.

 

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1       

Article III of the Society’s bylaws defines the membership guidelines of the Chapter. The Society recognizes three classes of individual membership including student members, regular members, and senior members. Each class has specific qualifications, regulations, privileges, and rights associated with it. A “member in good standing” must meet the conditions of their respective class including, but not limited to, assessment and the payment of dues.

 

Section 2       

An individual seeking membership with the Chapter must fill out the Society’s official application. Membership shall be effective after the review and approval of Society staff. By accepting membership, each member agrees to abide by the governing documents of the Society and Chapter while working toward his or her goals and acting in accordance with the precepts of both; the Society Board of Directors may revoke the membership of those failing to do so. Membership may not be transferred or assigned to another person.

 

Section 3       

Membership may be terminated under the following circumstances:

  • The member wishes to leave the chapter.

  • Nonpayment of dues. The Society sets annual dues for each class of membership, as well as enrollment, reinstatement, or other fees, which are published in its literature. Dues must be paid by January 1 and are non-refundable. Renewing members may be terminated if they have not paid their dues by the date on the renewal notice.

  • The Society’s Board of Directors may expel a member by a two-thirds vote following a hearing before the Board. Falsification or misrepresentation in an application may be a cause for expulsion. The decision of the Board is final. A member who has been expelled forfeits all dues and fees already paid.

 

Section 4       

A member who resigns or whose membership lapses for nonpayment of dues may apply for reinstatement by submitting a year’s dues and the reinstatement fee either to the Chapter or to Society headquarters. A member who has been expelled may be reinstated only by approval of the Society Board after a hearing by the appeals panel.

 

Section 5       

Individual members, regardless of class, are granted the following universal rights and may

  • Attend any meetings, seminars, or conferences sponsored by a chapter of the Society

  • Contribute ideas that may further the Chapter’s and Society’s purposes

  • Carry the Society and Chapter membership card(s) and wear their respective emblems

  • Receive the Chapter’s and Society’s publications

 

Section 6       

Student members are governed by the following stipulations in addition to the universal requirements of membership.  

  • An applicant must be (1) enrolled in an accredited university, college, community college, or technical school; (2) taking at least two courses or his or her equivalent each term; and (3) preparing for a career in technical communication to be eligible for student membership.

  • Student members have full voting rights in Chapter and Society and are part of the “voting membership.”

  • Student members may serve as a director or officer for the Chapter.

  • Student members may serve as full voting members of Chapter committees except as expressly restricted in the Society bylaws.

 

Section 7       

Regular members are governed by the following stipulations in addition to the universal requirements of membership.  

  • An applicant must be (1) engaged in some phase of technical communication or (2) interested in the arts and sciences of technical communication or in allied arts and sciences.

  • Regular members are entitled to one (1) vote on each matter submitted to the membership for a vote. The terms “voting members” and “voting membership” collectively refer to both regular and senior members.

  • Regular members are allowed to hold elective office in the Chapter Administrative Council but not as a director or officer of the Society.

  • Regular members may serve as voting members on both Society and Chapter committees except as expressly restricted in the bylaws of either the group or by resolution of the Board of Directors.

 

Section 8       

Senior members are governed by the following stipulations in addition to the universal requirements of membership.  

  • A senior member shall be any individual who has been a regular member of the Society for five consecutive years.

  • Senior members are entitled to one (1) vote on each matter submitted to the membership for a vote. The terms “voting members” and “voting membership” collectively refer to both regular and senior members.

  • Senior members are allowed to hold elective office in the Chapter Administrative Council and as a director or officer of the Society.

  • Senior members may serve as voting members on both Society and Chapter committees except as expressly restricted in the bylaws of either the group or by resolution of the Board of Directors.

 

Section 9       

The East Tennessee Board of Directors may, from time to time, resolve to prescribe additional rights and obligations to each class of membership.

 

 

ARTICLE III – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Section 1       

The Board of Directors, also denominated as “the Board,” is the governing body of the East Tennessee Chapter and is responsible for representing the interests of the Chapter. The Board shall ensure the professional and financial health of the Chapter by determining its fiscal policies and meeting the Society’s objectives outlined in Article I, Section 3. In accordance with the Society’s bylaws, only elected officers can vote on Board business.

 

Section 2       

The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary (except when combined with the Treasurer), and Immediate Past President. The Board may also include six directors responsible for membership, competition, employment, newsletter, publicity, and website.

 

Section 3       

Candidates seeking to hold a position on the Board must be Chapter members in good standing. All offices have a term length of one (1) year beginning with installation at the transition meeting in June. Officers will not receive compensation. Elections will be conducted according to Article 5, Sections 1 and 2 of the Chapter bylaws.

 

Section 4       

The Board is tasked with the certain duties and must

  • Recruit new members

  • Provide the membership with regularly scheduled program meetings

  • Conduct a yearly planning session for the Board

  • Ensure fiscal responsibility for chapter funds

  • Submit annual fiscal reports to the Society treasurer

  • Conduct an annual election as led by the Nominating Committee as described in Article IV, Section A

 

Section 5       

The Board may elect to promote Chapter growth by

  • Using social media and other outlets to establish communication with members and publicize activities of the Chapter and of STC

  • Providing Chapter-sponsored seminars, workshops, and competitions

  • Collecting and distributing employment information to promote communication between Chapter members and local employers

  • Sponsoring technical communication competitions

 

Section 6       

The duties of the President are to

  • Head the Board of Directors and preside over meetings of both the Chapter and the Board

  • Supervise the affairs of the chapter and exercise responsibility for all operations

  • Establish new committees subject to Board approval

  • Serve as an member of all Chapter committees

  • Inform the Society of all Chapter activities and accomplishments

 

Section 7       

The duties of the Vice President are to

  • Direct the planning of programs and events

  • Assume the duties of the President in the absence or incapacity of the President

  • Perform any additional duties assigned by the President or Board

 

Section 8       

The duties of the Treasurer are to

  • Supervise the Chapter’s fiscal affairs

  • Prepare an annual fiscal budget for review at the first Board meeting

  • Maintain books and records to present for audit by the President, board, or an external source named by the board

  • Authorize disbursement of Chapter funds under the direction of the President as an authorized signatory

  • Submit an annual report of the Chapter’s fiscal activity to the Society treasurer

 

Section 9       

The duties of the Secretary are to

  • Keep minutes at meetings of the Board and Chapter

  • Relay all official correspondences of the Chapter

  • Maintain records of Chapter business and activities

  • Perform any additional duties assigned by the President or Board

 

Section 7       

The duties of the Immediate Past President are to

  • Attend meetings of the Board and provide advice and support as required

  • Manage ad hoc committees or programs as requested by the Board

 

ARTICLE IV—COMMITTEES

Section 1 

Directors

Each committee will have a director who is responsible for chairing his or her respective committees, soliciting members to serve on the committee, and attending Board meetings to relay information about their operations. 

 

Section 2 

Committees

The Board shall establish committees at its discretion to fulfill its obligations to the membership of the Chapter. Committees may be established or made inactive depending on need and at the discretion of the board. Each committee must be led by a respective director.

 

Section 3 

Elected Committees

The Board may establish permanent committees to fulfill the obligations of the Chapter. At the discretion of the Board, committees may be created or dissolved as needed. Chapter committees may include the following:

    • Publicizes, coordinates, and conducts competitions

    • Maintains the resume bank and serves as a link between the corporate community and members of the Chapter

    • Informs members of employment opportunities in the area

    • Coordinates an annual salary survey

    • Tracks attendance at chapter meetings

    • Plans and coordinates activities to increase membership

    • Produces a list of Chapter members

    • Contacts members as requested by the Board for surveys or invitations to events

    • Publishes a newsletter: solicits and edits articles; designs a format; distributes it to members

    • Updates the Chapter’s website with announcements and a digital version of the newsletter

    • Enhances the website and encourages members to use it for interaction and communication

    • Advises the Chapter on matters concerning the Internet

    • Manages the Chapter’s other social media

    • Advertises events and opportunities to Chapter and Society members as well as potential members in the area

    • Maintains and oversees the chapter listserv

 

Section 4 

Temporary Committees

The President shall, when necessary, form temporary committees to carry out specific tasks and duties; directors will be appointed by with the approval of the Board.

  • Nomination and Teller

    • Forms each year according to Article V, Section 1, of the Chapter bylaws

    • Guides the election process by preparing and distributing a list of candidates in accordance with election guidelines

    • Manages the election process from publicizing to membership on how to vote, collects and counts votes, and announces results to the Society, Chapter Board of Directors, and membership

    • Comprises a member of the Board of Directors and two additional members approved by 2/3 of the Board of Directors

    • Forms every two years according to the Chapter bylaws

    • Maintains the Chapter bylaws and oversees any revisions that may improve the Chapter or keep it in compliance with the Society’s bylaws

    • Sends proposed amendments to the general membership at least two weeks before the meeting in which it will be discussed

    • Conducts voting at regular or special meetings of the membership

    • Along with the Vice President, coordinates all facilities, food, and planning necessary for meetings and banquets

    • Meets and greets members and guests at meetings

 

 

ARTICLE V – ELECTIONS

 

Section 1 

Nomination

The President shall appoint a Nominating Director and additional members to serve as a nominating committee. The committee will notify the membership that nominations are being accepted A list of candidates will be presented to the membership for their consideration and vote.

 

Section 2 

Voting

Elections shall be held online. Candidates are elected by a plurality of votes cast. If a candidate runs unopposed and receives more negative affirmations than positive, the office is declared vacant. In the event of a tie, the Nominating Director shall decide the vote. The Teller Committee is responsible for publishing the election results and distributing them to the membership. Officers-elect will be installed at the June transition meeting.

 

 

ARTICLE VI – FINANCES

 

Section 1 

Establishment

The Treasurer shall deposit Chapter funds in a duly established bank account at any banking institution that is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or a savings and loan institution that is a member of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.

Section 2 

Access

Chapter funds may be withdrawn with the signature an authorized account signatory, which includes the President, Treasurer, and a member approved by the Board. The Payee of a check cannot also be a signatory on it. No chapter member shall contract debt in the name of the chapter without authorization from the Board. Only the President shall authorize payment of debts contracted in the name of the Chapter.

 

ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS

 

Section 1. 

Votes must be either “for” or “against” an amendment and may be passed by a two-thirds majority vote. Voting can be done electronically.

 

ARTICLE VIII – PARLIMENTARY AUTHORITY

 

Section 1 

Order

Meetings of the membership and Board of Directors shall be conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

 

ARTICLE IX – DISSOLUTION

 

Section 1 

Requirements

If over time the needs that led to the formation of the Chapter have largely disappeared, the Chapter may wish to formally dissolve. In such case, the Board will create a resolution, as follows: “Resolved, That the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication be dissolved as of [date].” This resolution will be preceded by a preamble setting forth the reasons for the dissolution. This resolution will require for its adoption the same notice and vote as to amend the bylaws. The Chapter can be dissolved only by Chapter membership at a special meeting of members of the Board of Directors of the Society. The resolution will also set forth how assets shall be disposed of, which shall be in accordance with Society bylaws and the laws of Tennessee.

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