Constitution & By-Laws

Chicago Area Chapter, AWIS
Proposed New Chapter Constitution and Bylaws


Article I. Name and Affiliation

Section 1. The name of this organization is the Association for Women in Science, Chicago Area Chapter, hereinafter referred to as AWIS-CAC.

Section 2. AWIS-CAC shall be a chapter of the national organization, Association for Women in Science, Incorporated, hereinafter referred to as AWIS.

Article II. Purpose

Section 1. The purpose of this organization shall be to promote equal opportunities for women to enter the professions and to achieve their career goals, and to promote the understanding of science and science-related issues among the general, public.

Section 2. The following specific objectives are included among those recognized by AWIS-CAC as furthering the stated purpose:

a. To provide opportunity for communication among women in science;

b. To promote equal employment opportunities for women in science;

c. To educate women about seeking careers in science;

d. To encourage women to achieve professional advancement;

e. To recognize the achievements of women in science;

f. To promote employment flexibility to meet the needs of women in science;

g. To cooperate with national, state, and local organizations that share common objectives with AWIS-CAC;

h. To publicize the activities of women in the scientific community.

Article III. Membership

Section 1. Any individual who is a member of AWIS and who supports the purpose of AWIS-CAC is eligible for membership in AWIS-CAC, and shall become a member upon payment of the applicable chapter membership dues.

Section 2. Each member shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote by the membership of AWIS-CAC, provided that each vote is cast personally (see Article VI).

Article IV. Officers

Section 1. The elected officers of AWIS-CAC shall be the President, the Vice Presidents for Communications, Finance, Membership, Public Relations, and Programs and a maximum of four Executive Councillors from the general membership.

Section 2. Each officer shall hold office for a term of one year, beginning on January I following the election.

Section 3. All officers must be members of AWIS and AWIS-CAC.

Article V. Executive Board

Section 1. The AWIS-CAC Executive Board (hereinafter referred to as the EB) shall consist of the elected officers (see Article IV above), and all Chapter Trustees (see Section 2 below).

Section 2. All past chapter presidents shall be designated Chapter Trustees. The Senior Chapter Trustee is the Immediate Past President of the Chapter.

Section 3. Each elected member of the EB and the Senior Chapter Trustee shall be eligible to cast one vote on EB motions.

Section 4. Chapter Trustees shall not be eligible to vote on EB motions, unless they also hold an elected EB position.

Section 5. A quorum of the EB shall consist of five voting members. Motions may be carried or denied by a simple majority vote.

Article VI. Elections and Eligibility

Section 1. Any AWIS and AWIS-CAC member in good standing is eligible for nomination to an elected AWIS-CAC position. Nominations may be put forth by the candidates themselves, and are encouraged.

Section 2. Officers may not be re-elected to the same position for four consecutive terms; they must vacate the position for one term before running for it again. They may be elected to other EB positions in that time.

Section 3. Elections shall be held once per calendar year. A chapter Election Commission shall be appointed by the EB to plan, conduct, and conclude the election process for the chapter. A minimum of two designates must serve as the Election Commission. No member who is running for office may participate in the Election Commission. The President, whether running for re-election or not, may not participate in the Election Commission.

Section 4. Information regarding the call for nominations, the slate compiled, the election deadline, and the results of voting will be publicized to each member via any media available to the member.

Section 5. The call for a slate of nominees shall be publicized no less than three weeks prior to the election. A slate shall be assembled and placed before the membership to open the election process. The slate shall include a biographical sketch of each nominee.

Section 6. There shall be no less than three weeks of open voting time for members to cast their votes. Votes must be cast personally by each chapter member, and may be in any non-verbal communication form available to the member (e.g. post mail, electronic mail, fax, etc…).

Section 7. Members must identify themselves on their ballots for the sole purpose of verifying membership status, therefore voting eligibility. Voters wishing to conceal their identity while their ballot in transit may send their votes via post mail in seated envelopes.

Section 8. Ballots will be received, verified, and tallied by the chapter Election Commission, who shall keep member identities and voting, results anonymous.

Section 9. In the event that multiple ballots are received from one member, the Election Commission shall count only the first ballot. Subsequent ballots shall be disregarded.

Section 10. The results of the election shall be announced to the membership by the Election Commission within three weeks of the voting deadline.

Article VII. Succession of Office

Section 1. If the office of President becomes vacant, the Senior Chapter Trustee shall serve the remainder of the term until the next elections are held.

Section 2. If the office of Senior Chapter Trustee becomes vacant, it shall be filled by the most recent available Chapter Trustee until the next Senior Chapter Trustee arises.

Section 3. If other EB offices become vacant, they shall be filled by appointment and approval of the remaining EB members by a simple majority vote. Approved appointees shall serve the remaining term until the next election for that position. Appointees are eligible to run for that office in that election. The partial term of office shall not consume any portion of the eligibility of the appointee to seek a second term in that position.

Section 4. If an elected officer fails to satisfactorily perform the duties of the office, they may be removed from office by a unanimous vote of the remaining EB. The officer in question must be informed a minimum-of two months in advance of this vote.

Article VIII. Authority

Section 1. AWIS-CAC shall abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of AWIS.

Section 2. AWIS-CAC shall have the power to establish the rules and regulations of the chapter, to determine activities, to delegate responsibility, and to amend any or all parts of the Constitution and Bylaws of the chapter.

Section 3. The EB of AWIS-CAC is the authority of the chapter, and has the power and responsibility to conduct AWIS-CAC business affairs on a routine basis.

Section 4. The EB of AWIS-CAC shall act for the Chapter in the conduct of its business affairs during the interim periods between regular business meetings of the chapter.

Section 5. The EB of AWIS-CAC shall coordinate the activities of the chapter and develop agendas for regular chapter meetings.

Article IX. Amendment of the Constitution or Bylaws

Section 1. The Constitution or Bylaws may be amended as necessary by a simple majority of votes received from the general AWIS-CAC membership.

Section 2. Suggestions for amendments may be made to the EB by any member of AWIS-CAC via any means of communication (oral, written, electronic, etc…)

Section 3. The EB shall designate an Election Commission (see Article VI) to plan, conduct and conclude votes on the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 4. Recommendations for amendments shall be reviewed by the EB. Proposed amendments shall be placed before the general AWIS-CAC membership, by any available means of communication, no

Section 5. Votes by AWIS-CAC members may be cast as described in Article VI.

Section 6. Voting shall be open for a minimum of three weeks.

Section 6. The EB shall implement the approved amendments and publish a revised Constitution and/or Bylaws no later than one month following the election.


Article I. Duties of Officers

Section 1. The President shall coordinate the business of the chapter, call and preside at all chapter and EB meetings, prepare business meeting agendas, serve as an ex officio member of all committees, designate representatives of AWIS-CAC to other organizations or events, prepare and present the yearly chapter status report at the Annual Chapter Meeting (see Article 111), perform other duties incident to the office as required by the Constitution and Bylaws, or by the EB, and represent or designate a representative of AWIS-CAC at national meetings when such attendance is authorized by the EB.

Section 2. The Vice President for Communications shall assume primary responsibility for recording the activities of the EB and the chapter, preparing minutes of EB. meetings, preparing other reports as requested by AWIS, and updating the Web Site routinely.

Section 3. The Vice President for Membership shall assume primary responsibility for managing the list of members of AWIS-CAC, providing current member contact information as needed, and publishing a chapter membership directory.

Section 4. The Vice President for Public Relations shall assume primary responsibility for editing and publishing the AWIS-CAC newsletter, and publicizing all meetings and events of the chapter by any means available to chapter members.

Section 5. The Vice President for Programs shall assume primary responsibility for coordinating the program activities of the chapter (e.g. chapter meetings, award ceremonies, panel discussions, fund-raising events, or other special programs).

Section 6. The Vice President for Finance shall assume primary responsibility for conducting the financial business of AWIS-CAC, including bank transactions, tax issues, and preparing financial statements annually, or at the request of the EB.

Section 7. The Senior Chapter Trustee shall act as Parliamentarian at EB and chapter meetings, and assume primary responsibility for maintaining the archives of AWIS-CAC.

Section 8. The four Executive Councillors shall assume primary responsibilities as liaisons of the general chapter membership in matters before the EB, and shall serve as EB ambassadors to new chapter members.

Section 9. The Chapter Trustees shall serve as senior advisors to the EB, and may assume such responsibilities as are deemed appropriate by the EB to serve the objectives of the chapter.

Section 10. Other AWIS-CAC members may be recruited and appointed by the Executive Board to serve in defined capacities for the chapter (e.g. Science Fair Judging Coordinator).

Section 11. Executive Board members may recruit assistance at their discretion in carrying out the activities of their offices, and are encouraged to do so. However, the elected official retains primary responsibility at all times for the functions of the office.

Section 12. In the event that the President is temporarily unavailable to conduct AWIS-CAC business, the Senior Chapter Trustee shall act in her place. In the event the Senior Chapter Trustee is also unavailable, the Vice Presidents, in order of their seniority, shall act for the President.

Article II. Committees and Sub-Committees

Section 1. AWIS-CAC committees may be established as necessary to serve the objectives of the chapter as listed in Article 11 of the Constitution.

Section 2. No committees shall be established that do not have a designated chairperson. Committee chairs shall be re-appointed annually by the EB.

Section 4. The establishment, inactivation, or chair appointments of AWIS-CAC committees shall be by a vote of the EB.

Section 5. Proposed committee activities involving AWIS-CAC financial transactions must be approved by the EB. Section 6. Committee activities on behalf of AWIS-CAC shall be reviewed and approved by the EB.

Article III. Meetings and Events

Section 1. There shall be a minimum of three regular chapter meetings in each calendar year. Notice of regular chapter meetings shall be communicated in a timely manner to each member by any means available to the member.

Section 2. The last meeting of the calendar year shall be designated as the AWIS-CAC Annual Chapter Business Meeting. A yearly status report of the chapter shall be presented at the Annual Chapter Business Meeting, and published in the next newsletter following this meeting.

Section 3. Special chapter meetings or events may be proposed to the EB by any AWIS-CAC member. Special meetings/events shall be approved by the EB. Notice of special mee tings or events shall be communicated in a timely manner to each member by any means available to the member.

Section 3. There shall be a minimum of three EB meetings in each calendar year to conduct chapter business. Financial transactions exceeding $50 shall be approved by the EB.

Section 4. Special meetings of the EB may be requested by any board member. Special board meetings shall be convened by the President.

Section 5. The latest edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall serve as the parliamentary guideline for procedural matters not specifically described in the Bylaws, or adopted by the EB.

Article IV. Dues and Membership

Section 1. Annual chapter membership dues for AWIS-CAC shall be established by the EB. Dues increases shall be subjected to a vote by the general AWIS-CAC membership, following the protocol described in Article IX for amendments.

Section 2. Annual dues shall be due at the same time as their national membership

Section 3. Members whose chapter dues are in arrears for greater than six months may be sent a notice of discontinuance of membership status. Members may be re-instated immediately upon payment of membership dues.

Article V. Public Information

Section 1. All statements made in the name of AWIS-CAC shall be reviewed and approved by the EB prior to being made public. AWIS-CAC assumes no responsibility for public statements advanced by members unless approved by the EB.

Section 2. Publication of personal or professional information on the AWIS-CAC Web site (or other electronically-networked medium) shall be made by personal choice of each member. AWIS-CAC assumes no responsibility for the use of this information subsequent to its electronic publication.

Article VI. Dissolution of AWIS-CAC

Section 1. AWIS-CAC may be dissolved following a formal vote by the general AWIS-CAC membership. The proposal to dissolve shall be drafted and unanimously approved by the EB to be submitted for general chapter election following the protocol described in Article IX for amendments.

Section 2. The proposal to dissolve must be approved by a minimum of a two-thirds majority of the chapter members of record.

Section 3. In the event of dissolution, the chapter assets remaining following payment of outstanding chapter debts shall be ceded to the AWIS Educational Foundation, or similar AWIS outreach committee.

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