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Constitution and By-Laws of the American Arachnological Society

Constitution of the American Arachnological Society

ARTICLE I: Name

Section 1: The registered name of the organization shall be: The American Arachnological Society Corporation, registered in California, USA under California Corporate Number C0687375.

Section 2: Similar groups or organizations which are willing to abide and uphold the Constitution and By-Laws if the Society may be incorporated as branches of the organization.

ARTICLE II: Purpose and Objectives

Section 1: To promote the study of Arachnida.

Section 2: To achieve closer cooperation and understanding between amateur and professional arachnologists.

Section 3: To publish the Journal of Arachnology (JoA).

Section 4: The general purposes and powers are to have and to exercise all rights and powers conferred on nonprofit corporations under the laws of California, including the power to contract, rent, buy, or sell personal or real property, provided, however, that this corporation shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the primary purposes of this corporation.

Section 5: No substantial part of the activities of this corporation shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the corporation shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign (including the publishing or distribution of statements) on behalf of any candidate for public office.

ARTICLE III: Membership

Section 1: All persons interested in the objectives of this Society shall be eligible for membership.

ARTICLE IV: Meetings

Section 1: There shall be an annual meeting open to all members.

ARTICLE V: Officers

Section 1: The elective officers shall consist of the President, President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and a three-member Board of Directors.

Section 2: The officers shall be elected by a majority of votes cast. In case of no majority (a tie), the Executive Committee will choose between (among) the tied nominees.

Section 3: Officers appointed by the President, with the approval of the other members of the Executive Committee, shall include the Editor-in-Chief, Membership Secretary, Webmaster, Parliamentarian, Archivist, and the Graduate Student Representative.

ARTICLE VI: Amending the Constitution

Section 1: The Constitution or any part thereof may be amended, suspended, or repealed by a two-thirds majority of those members voting in a standard society ballot, provided there is a two month notice of the proposed change.

Section 2: Any member in good standing may propose, in writing, an amendment to the Constitution to the Executive Committee. Such a proposal, if approved by a majority of the Executive Committee, shall be submitted with a recommendation to the members. A proposed change to the Constitution not recommended by the Executive Committee must be submitted to the members of the Society if five or more members re-submit it.

ARTICLE VII: Non-Profit Purposes

Section 1: This corporation is organized pursuant to the General Non-Profit Corporation Law of the State of California and does not contemplate pecuniary gain or profit to the members thereof and it is organized for non-profit purposes.

ARTICLE VIII: Dissolution

Section 1: The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to arachnological purposes and no part of the net income or assets of this organization shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or member thereof or through the benefit of any private individual. Upon dissolution or winding up of the corporation, the assets remaining after payment of all debts and liabilities of this corporation shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for arachnological purposes and which has established tax exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The non-profit fund, foundation or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for arachnological purposes shall be named at the time of dissolution by the Executive Committee or vote of the membership. If this corporation holds any assets in trust, or a corporation is formed for charitable purposes, such assets shall be disposed of in such a manner as may be directed by decree of the superior court in the county in which the corporation has its principal office, upon petition therefore by the Attorney General or by a person concerned with the liquidation, in a proceeding to which the Attorney General is a party. The purposes contained in this paragraph are limited to those meeting the requirements for welfare exemption under Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

 

By-Laws of the American Arachnological Society

ARTICLE I: Membership

Section 1: Membership shall be open to all persons who make formal application, for whom prescribed dues are paid in full, and who are willing to abide by and uphold the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society. As described in Article I, Section 8, the society recognizes regular members, student members, lifetime members, sponsored members, and honorary members as members of the society with services and privileges as described in Article I, Section 7.

Section 2: Institutions may not become members, but may subscribe to publications.

Section 3: Dues shall be paid upon receipt of an annual bill.

Section 4: All members in good standing shall have the right to vote.

Section 5: Any member in good standing is eligible to hold office.

Section 6: A member whose dues have not been paid within a reasonable period of time will forfeit the privileges of membership. Such members may be reinstated upon payment of delinquent dues.

Section 7: The services and privileges of membership shall include the following:

  • Subscriptions to all publications
  • Vote in accordance with the By-Laws
  • Participation in all activities and functions of the Society

Section 8: Membership categories of the society include:

  • Regular Member: A standard member of the society.
  • Student Member: A standard member of the society who can provide evidence of current enrollment at a recognized institution of learning such as a school, college, or university.
  • Lifetime Members: A standard member of the society who has paid, in advance, 25 times the regular membership dues (annual dues x 25).
  • Sponsored Member: A standard regular or student membership, as appropriate, for individuals from developing nations (as defined by the World Bank) or other individuals for whom society dues represent a significant financial burden. Sponsored memberships are considered on a case-by-case basis, by application to the society membership secretary. Sponsored members will be provided electronic access to all publications of the society but will not receive print copies.
  • Honorary Member: A special category of membership established to acknowledge arachnologists who have achieved a high level of eminence on the basis of significant research contributions. After being nominated, an individual may be elected by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee. The number of honorary members is not to exceed 5% of the total membership. A list of these Honorary Members is to be published in each issue of the Journal of Arachnology.

ARTICLE II: Officers

Section 1: The elective offices shall consist of: President, President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and a three-member Board of Directors.

Section 2: The elected officers, Editor-in-Chief, Membership Secretary, Webmaster, Parliamentarian, Archivist, and Board of Directors shall serve as the Executive Committee. Fifty percent of the Executive Committee represents a quorum. Voting members of the Executive Committee include: all elected officers, the Editor-in-Chief, and the Membership Secretary.

Section 3: The officers and Board of Directors of the Society shall be elected by a majority of votes cast by the published deadline determined by the Secretary in a standard ballot.

Section 4: Officers and Directors shall serve for two years, or until their successors are elected. Beginning in 1977 and every other year thereafter, the incumbent President Elect shall assume the presidency, and the incumbent President shall continue on the Executive Committee as one of the Directors. A new President Elect, the Treasurer, and one Director shall be elected in these times, odd-numbered years. On the alternate, even-numbered years, beginning in 1978, the Secretary and one Director shall be elected.

Section 5: An elected officer or member of the Board of Directors may be re-nominated, but only the Secretary and Treasurer may serve for more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 6: The duties of the President are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Shall preside at business meetings of the Society and Executive Committee.
  • Shall appoint all committee chairpersons as the need arises.
  • Shall appoint the Membership Secretary to serve on the Executive Committee with the approval of the other members of the Executive Committee.
  • Shall appoint the Graduate Student Representative to serve on the Executive Committee with the approval of the other members of the Executive Committee.
  • The Executive Committee shall appoint all ad hoc and standing committees and the President will work with all committees and officers to promote the society and its products.
  • The President will keep the Executive Committee informed by email of new issues that arise between the annual meetings and will arrange voting by email of the Executive Committee when deemed necessary.

Section 7: The duties of the President Elect are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Shall assume the duties of the President in his or her absence at the business meeting, and shall become the President in the event of death, resignation, or disability of the President. In the event of the absence of both President and President-Elect at a business meeting, any member of the Society duly chosen by the members present ought to preside.
  • Appoints judges for the student presentation award competition at the annual meeting.
  • Sends the meeting host the link to the Meeting Host Guidelines and AAS Code of Conduct or sends these documents directly to the host if the documents are unavailable on the AAS website.
  • Contacts the meeting host to get a list of all student competitors and sends judges this list, score sheets, and presentation abstracts.
  • Sends meeting host, student competitors, and judges links to the student paper guide and judging rubric posted online or sends these documents directly to same if unavailable on the AAS website.
  • Arranges future venues and hosts for the annual AAS meeting.

Section 8: The duties of the Secretary, or his/her delegate are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Keeps minutes of the proceedings of all Society business meetings, conduct official correspondence, and maintain an on-going record of Society affairs.
  • Distributes minutes from the Executive Committee meeting directly after the annual meeting so action items can be completed in a timely fashion.
  • Distributes minutes from annual Business Meeting to membership prior to annual meeting so discussion and corrections can ensue at that year’s Business Meeting.
  • Records minutes from current year’s Executive Committee meeting. Minutes should include: clearly demarcated Action Items, names of awardees of AAS research awards (from committee report), and other committee reports presented at the Executive Committee Meeting.
  • Records minutes from current year’s Business Meeting and includes as an addendum to Business Meeting notes names of student presentation award winners (announced at the banquet).
  • Creates the election ballot with assistance of Directors, works with Membership Secretary to distribute ballot to members, and tallies the election results to report to membership. 
  • Produces a society newsletter twice a year to provide an outlet for ideas, short articles, and discussion; promote society products; advertise upcoming annual meeting and events. Newsletter will be distributed to membership as pdf.
  • Promotes JoA through Press Releases, working with the Editor-in-Chief to identify upcoming articles of interest to the general public.
  • Maintains a list of current Ad Hoc committees, their charges, and chairpersons.
  • Works with chair of Student Research Grants Committee to get updates and information distributed to society members about student research grant applications (should be done at least one month prior to application deadline).

Section 9: The duties of the Treasurer are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Keeps the financial records, accepts monies, issues invoices, pays bills, issues grant/award payments, and maintains all bank and investment accounts.
  • Maintains separate records for general society finances and society products or projects in which the society is involved (e.g., Spiders of North America manual).
  • Files federal and state tax forms for the society.
  • Provides funds for research and travel grants as decided by the Executive Committee.
  • Works with the Director – past President to carry out an annual audit.

Section 10: The Membership Secretary shall serve until replaced. The duties of the Membership Secretary are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Keeps membership records, issues dues renewal notices, and accepts and transmits dues to the Treasurer for deposit. 
  • Sends letter to new members that includes information about the AAS website and the new access codes for the current online issues of JoA.
  • Checks membership status of students participating in student competition at annual meeting and communicates membership status of these students to President Elect (who runs the student competition).
  • Checks membership status of students submitting student research grants and communicates membership status of these students to the Student Research Grants Committee Chair (who runs the student grant competition).
  • Serves on the AAS Social Media Sub-Committee.
  • Assists with other membership-related tasks as needed.

Section 11: The duties of the Senior Director are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Serves as the chair of the Nominating Committee (made up of newly elected director and one other appointed member) – seeks qualified and willing nominees for upcoming election.
  • Works with President to select non-Director member of Nominating Committee.
  • Communicates with Secretary when nominees have been chosen so ballot can be created.
  • Serves as chair of Travel Grant Award Committee for next upcoming meeting(s) – AAS only or AAS and ISA.
  • Selects one additional committee member for Travel Grant Award Committee.
  • Hosts the informal arachnological event (casual presentations) at annual meeting if requested to do so by meeting host.

Section 12: The duties of the Director – past President are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Serves as auditor of society financial records with assistance by committee formed for this purpose with help of the AAS Executive Committee. Society financial records should be audited once a year or no less than once every two years.
  • Assists other directors and committees as needed.

Section 13: The duties of the Junior (newly elected) Director are as indicated below:

  • Serves on the Executive Committee.
  • Serves on the Nominating Committee.
  • Serves on the Travel Grant Award Committee.

Section 14: This section describes the duties of the appointed members of the AAS Executive Committee (besides those whose duties are described above).

Sub-section 14a: The Webmaster shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serve as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee until replaced. The duties of the Webmaster are indicated below:

  • Attends Executive Committee meetings.
  • Shall maintain the society’s website and consult with the Executive Committee about its content and its contribution to the society’s operation and interests.
  • Works with annual meeting hosts to advise on and coordinate meeting registration tasks.
  • Works with the Secretary to update the website content regularly.
  • Works with the Editor-in-Chief to update the JoA contents and information online.

Sub-section 14b: The Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serves as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee until replaced. The duties of the Parliamentarian are indicated below:

  • Attends Executive Committee meetings.
  • Serve as a consultant to the society in matters of parliamentarian protocol during Executive Committee meetings and the annual society’s business meeting as stated in Article VI of the by-laws.

Sub-section 14c: The Archivist shall be appointed by the Executive Committee and serves as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee until replaced. The duties of the Archivist are as indicated below:

  • Attends Executive Committee meetings.
  • Maintains records of past meeting minutes (Executive Committee and Business Meetings).
  • Maintains historical records pertaining to society (meeting photos, correspondence, procedural documents, etc.).
  • Reminds Secretary to send documents for the archives.
  • Provides information or copies of documents about the society when requested.
  • (Please Note) AAS archived material is periodically transferred to the archivist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., thus requests for materials made through the Archivist will be forwarded to the Smithsonian Archivist as necessary.

Sub-section 14d: The Graduate Student Representative shall be appointed by the President and serves as a non-voting member of the Executive Committee until replaced. The duties of the Graduates Student Representative are indicated below:

  • Attends Executive Committee meetings.
  • Provides input and feedback on all issues but especially issues impacting graduate student membership.
  • Writes a report about graduate student topics to AAS to be included in Executive Committee meeting minutes (e.g., AAS business of direct concern to student membership).
  • Works with Membership Secretary to communicate with student members (e.g., reminders to students about AAS products, requests for student involvement in AAS committees, information about student socials at upcoming annual meetings).
  • Coordinates with the meeting host to organize a student social for the annual meeting and a lunch meeting for doctoral students and early career professionals.
  • Assists other committees on an ad hoc basis.

Sub-section 14e: The Journal of Arachnology Editor-in-Chief is appointed by the Executive Committee with advice from the journal editors and serves as a voting member of the Executive Committee. The duties of the Editor-in-Chief are indicated below and in Section 15:

  • Attends Executive Committee meetings.
  • Provides an annual report about the Journal of Arachnology to the Executive Committee and at the AAS Business Meeting with data on acceptance rate, rejection rate, number of articles submitted, impact factor, and publication costs.
  • Provides a written publication report including editor information, summary of journal statistics, and summary of other journal-related data.

Section 15: Publication policy shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee, which shall also appoint the Editor-In-Chief to act on behalf of the Executive Committee in matters related to publication of the society journal. An Editorial Board shall be appointed by the Editor-In-Chief in consultation with the Executive Committee. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to assist in the review process.

Section 16: Committees of the Society. The chairperson of each committee shall be responsible for submitting an annual report (or final report, in the case of ad hoc committees) to the Executive Committee prior to the annual meeting and shall provide interim reports as requested by the Executive Committee. Each committee chairperson shall maintain a current roster of committee members to be included in the annual (or final) report. The Executive Committee, in consultation with the committee chairperson, shall appoint members to fill vacant positions.

Sub-section 16a: Ad hoc committees shall be formed by the Executive Committee as the need arises and the committee chairperson appointed by the President. Ad hoc committees will be re-evaluated annually and disbanded when their function or charge has been completed. A list of current Ad Hoc committees, their charges, and chairpersons shall be maintained by the Secretary of the Society.

Sub-section 16b: Standing committees shall be formed by the Executive Committee and the chairperson appointed by the President. Standing committee membership and charge will be reviewed biannually by the incoming president. Standing committees of the Society are listed below with brief descriptions:

  • Common Names Committee: Charged with standardizing common names for arachnids and updating the Common Names of Arachnids publication produced by the AAS. Also communicates with the Entomological Society of America Common Names committee.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Committee: Charged with establishing mechanisms for supporting and recruiting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) scientists interested in a career in arachnology.
  • Engagement and Outreach Committee: Divided into three sub-committees (indicated below), the Outreach Committee is responsible for promoting the Society, AAS products and activities, and arachnids to a general audience (including K-12 and undergraduates). This committee is also responsible for reviewing (on an ad hoc basis) funding requests received by the AAS Executive Committee members for proposed outreach activities.
    • Community Science
    • Outreach and Education
    • Social Media
  • Herb Levi Memorial Fund for Arachnological Research (HLMFAR): Established in 2015 to provide grant funding to non-student AAS members (including post-docs) who receive little to no institutional support for their research programs.
  • Nominating Committee: Chaired by the Senior Director, the nominating committee seeks qualified candidates for open positions in AAS elections.
  • Platnick Award Committee: Established to honor Norman Platnick, the Platnick Award Committee identifies and honors a body of outstanding work in the field of arachnid biodiversity (including taxonomic and phylogenetic) that has the potential to transform the field.
  • Schlinger Fund Travel Grant Committee for non-students: Aids non-student and emeritus scientists interested in attending the annual meetings of the AAS. Awardees must be active professional arachnologists or retired arachnologists with limited or no funding support who are presenting authors on a poster or oral presentation.
  • Spiders of North America: An Identification Manual (SNAIM) Production Committee: This committee, made up of the editors of SNAIM, is responsible for leading revision efforts, communicating with the publishing house, and promoting sales of SNAIM to members and to the general public.
  • Student Paper Presentation Award Committee: This Committee is chaired by the President Elect and recognizes outstanding work from students presenting oral papers and posters at the annual AAS meeting.
  • Student Research Grants Committee: Divided into two sub-committees (indicated below), this committee provides support for undergraduate or graduate student AAS members whose work relates to any aspect of the behavior, ecology, physiology, taxonomy, systematics, or evolution of any of the arachnid groups.
    • Arachnological Research Fund
    • Vincent Roth Fund for Systematics Research
  • Student Travel Grant Award Committee: Provide support for high school, undergraduate or graduate student members of the AAS who have limited or no funding support, but plan to be presenting authors on a poster or oral presentation at the upcoming AAS meeting.

Section 17: Election of the Officers and the Board of Directors shall be provided for in Article II, Section 4 of the By-Laws. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the two non-past-president Directors and one other member selected by the President, and membership will be announced at the annual business meeting. The most senior non-past-president Director shall serve as chair of the Nominating Committee. The nominees must indicate to the Nominating Committee their willingness to serve if elected. Ballots received shall be tallied by the AAS Secretary. Write-ins on ballots will be permitted. Election results will be announced at the annual business meeting. Newly elected officers shall take office on the first day of September of the year in which they are elected.

Section 18: Procedural matters shall be passed by a default system. If less than 10% of the membership send negative remarks to the Secretary within one month of mailing, the motion will pass. If 10% or more reply with negative comments, a vote will be taken following the same procedure as for elections (see section 17), with a majority of votes cast determining the issue.

ARTICLE III: Meetings

Section 1: There shall be a general meeting of the Society open to all members. The date, time, and place are to be determined by the host(s) and coordinated by the President-Elect.

Section 2: The membership shall be informed of the date, time, and place of the annual general meeting at least three months prior to the meeting.

Section 3: Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the President.

Section 4: An annual business meeting open to all members will be held in conjunction with the general meeting at a time designated by the President.

Section 5: Additional meetings may be called by the Executive Committee or by the request of twenty or more members.

Section 6: All Constitution Article 5 Executive Committee members (including the President, President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, three Directors, Editor-in-Chief, Membership Secretary, Webmaster, Parliamentarian, and Archivist) have the option to have their registration fee costs waived for the annual meetings. The costs of this shall be borne by the Society, not by the local host committee.

ARTICLE IV: Dues

Section 1: Annual dues for standard regular, student, and lifetime members shall be fixed by the Executive Committee and duly announced to the membership.

Section 2: Institutional subscriptions shall be an amount fixed by the Executive Committee and duly announced to the membership. Journal subscriptions may be exchanged with other professional societies that publish a journal.

Section 3: Honorary Memberships will be gratis and must be bestowed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.

Section 4: Sponsored Memberships will be gratis to the applicant and either bestowed by a vote of the Executive Committee or paid for by identified or anonymous sponsors from among the regular membership.

Section 5: Records pertaining to Society funds shall be open to inspection to any member at any time.

ARTICLE V: Amending the By-Laws

Section 1: The By-Laws, or any part thereof may be adopted, amended, suspended, or repealed by a two-thirds majority of those voting in a standard ballot, provided there is a minimum two month notice of the proposed change distributed by the Secretary and Membership Secretary.

Section 2: Any member in good standing may propose, in writing, an amendment to the By-Laws to the Executive Committee. Such a proposal, if approved by a majority of the Executive Committee, shall be submitted with a recommendation to the members. A proposed change to the By-Laws not recommended by the Executive Committee must be submitted to the members of the Society if five or more members re-submit it.

ARTICLE VI: Parliamentary Authority

Section 1: If not contrary to the Constitution or By-Laws, procedures to be followed in business meetings of the Society shall be those established in "Robert's Rules of Order Revised", seventy-fifth or later editions.

 

Amended last –2021

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