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Bylaws
Updated: January 12th, 2013 08:36 AM (MT)

Society for Technical Communication
Rocky Mountain Chapter Bylaws

The bylaws were last amended in 2003.

Article I. Name, Location, Objectives

Section 1. Name

The chapter is named the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, Inc. (STC), hereafter called the Chapter and STC, respectively.

The Chapter name can be changed by a two-thirds vote at a business meeting of the Chapter, 25% of the voting members being present. Written notification of the motion to change the name must be given to all Chapter members at least two weeks before the vote. STC must be advised if the name is changed.

Section 2. Location

The Chapter is located in Region 7 of STC. Members reside, work or attend school primarily in the Front Range of Colorado. The Chapter area is bounded by Douglas County on the south, Laramie, Wyoming on the north and the Colorado state borders on the east and west.

Any change to boundaries must be submitted to STC for approval. STC may change boundaries if deemed in the best interest of STC.

All STC members residing in the Chapter area are automatically Chapter members.

Section 3. Objectives

The objectives of the Chapter are the same as those of STC: to advance the arts and sciences of technical communication. Specific Chapter objectives include the following:

A. Stimulating the exchange of information and encouraging research by means of publications, meetings, and conferences.

B. Developing educational programs and establishing scholarships. For the Chapter, this consists of publicizing STC and Chapter programs and scholarships.

C. Recognizing and encouraging students in developing technical communication skills.

D. Recognizing outstanding accomplishments.

E. Cooperating with other societies and institutions in mutually beneficial projects.

Article II. Powers and Constraints

Section 1. Powers

The powers of the Chapter reside in its members. These powers are exercised on behalf of the membership by an elected Executive Council. The Execitove Council has powers to take whatever legal and proper actions are necessary for the fulfillment of STC and Chapter purposes.

Section 2. Constraints

The Chapter is nonprofit, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan. It cannot endorse or disparage a commercial enterprise, a political platform, or a candidate for public office. The Chapter exists under its charter from STC and operates under STC bylaws and within STC policies.

Section 3. Use of Name

The Chapter name and logo may be used only by persons authorized by the Executive Council and only for Chapter purposes.

Article III. Membership

Membership in the Chapter is governed by Article III (Membership) of STC bylaws.  All Chapter members must be members in good standing of STC.

Article IV. Executive Council

Section 1. Council Membership

The Executive Council consists of five voting members: the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and immediate past president. All Executive Council members are elected by the membership. As required to conduct Chapter business, the Executive Council may consult with Chapter members such as the program manager, membership manager, newsletter editor, competition managers, and scholarship manager. All Council members serve without compensation. All Council members must be Chapter members in good standing.

Section 2. Council Meetings

The Executive Council meets at the request of the president or two of its members. A majority of the Executive Council constitutes a quorum.

Section 3. Duties of Council Members

A. The president exercises general supervision over the affairs of the Chapter, presides at meetings of the Chapter and the Executive Council, appoints heads of Chapter committees subject to Council approval, and is an ex officio member of all Chapter committees.

B. The vice president assumes the duties of the president in the absence or incapacity of the president and performs such other duties as the president or Council may assign.

C. The secretary keeps minutes of all Chapter and Council meetings and distributes these in accordance with set procedures, conducts official correspondence, maintains Chapter records and archives so they are available at any time to the president or the Council, and performs such other duties as the president or Council may assign.

D. The treasurer supervises the Chapter's fiscal affairs, prepares an annual financial report for submittal to STC treasurer, maintains books and records so they can be inspected at any time, and receives and disburses Chapter funds, as authorized by the Executive Council.

E. The immediate past president attends all Council meetings, advises the Council as required, and performs such other duties as the president may assign.

Section 4. Terms of Office

A. The secretary and treasurer are elected for terms of one year, which corresponds to the period from the announcement of election results to the announcement of the next election results.

B. The vice president automatically moves to the position of president for the year following the election. Thus, the person elected as vice president serves on the Executive Council for three years (as vice president, president, and immediate past president).

C. If the vice president is unable to assume the presidency according to the schedule, the Nominating Committee will place names for President on the ballot in the next Chapter election.  If this occurs after the election, follow the procedure in Article IV, Section 6, Vacancies.

Section 5. Removal

The Executive Council may remove from office an officer, committee manager, or manager of a special interest group if that person fails to carry out the duties and responsibilities of office as outlined in these bylaws or persists in activities not in the best interest of the Chapter. The Council removes the officer or manager by a majority vote.

However, such a vote is recommended only after other options have been exhausted. At a minimum, the Council should submit a written notice to the officer or manager. The officer or manager should have a chance to respond to the Council and to resolve the problem within a defined period.

Section 6. Vacancies

A. If the president steps down or is otherwise unable to perform his or her duties, the vice president succeeds the president, finishes the president's term of office, and remains eligible to serve as president the next term.

B. For vacancies of other Executive or Administrative Council officers, including the vice president, Council members must approve a candidate by majority vote.

C. For vacancies of committee managers or managers of special interest groups, the president appoints a new manager, subject to Council approval.

Section 7. Council Responsibilities

STC Bylaws (Article IX) specify appropriate Chapter activities. The following activities are required:

A. Hold regular program meetings for the membership (at least five per year).

B. Recruit and process new members.

C. Hold regular meetings of the Executive Council to handle Chapter business (at least three per year).

D. Maintain fiscal controls, including approving budgets, expenditures, and Chapter fiscal operations in accordance with Chapter Bylaws Article VII (Finances).

E. Provide quarterly activity reports to STC director-sponsor, and annual fiscal reports to STC treasurer.

F. Comply with IRS requirements regarding annual information returns.

G. Conduct annual elections in conjunction with the Nominating Committee and in accordance with Chapter Bylaws, Article VI (Elections).

H. Hold an annual business meeting of the Chapter where election results are announced and committee managers report to the membership.

The following activities are optional:

A. Publish a regular newsletter to establish communication with Chapter members.

B. Publicize Chapter and STC activities.

C. Conduct educational programs for the members such as Chapter-sponsored seminars, workshops, and competitions.

D. Maintain employment referral services to establish contact between Chapter members and local employers.

E. Establish special interest groups to pursue specific fields of interest in technical communication.

Article V. Committees

Section 1. Formation

Committees are established at the request of the president or the Executive Council to support Chapter activities. The normal procedure is to appoint a manager or committee leader and then to appeal to the membership to fill the committee.

Section 2. Committees

The following are some of the committees that help the Executive Council fulfill their responsibilities to the membership. Additional committees may be established at the direction of the council.

A. The Newsletter Committee prepares and distributes the Chapter's newsletter. The newsletter should advise members of STC and Chapter activities. A primary goal for this committee is to implement sound technical communication skills in presenting a newsletter that properly represents the Chapter.

B. The Programs Committee schedules meetings that appeal to Chapter members and that help them widen their knowledge of the technical communications field and develop and maintain resource networks. Meetings are usually scheduled once a month from September through May. Other Chapter activities may replace selected monthly meetings.

C. The Competition Committee conducts a Chapter-level online, publications, and art competition. The categories and awards are the same as those for STC international competition. Entries that receive the top award are forwarded, with permission of their submitters, to the international competition.

D. The Nominating Committee solicits candidates for Executive and Administrative Council positions. Whenever possible there should be two candidates for each position. Election procedures are explained in Chapter Bylaws Article VI (Elections).

E. The Scholarship Committee solicits and evaluates applications for an annual professional development award or scholarship.

Article VI. Elections

Section 1. Timing of Elections

Chapter officers are elected annually in time for the new officers to be introduced at the annual Chapter business meeting.

Section 2. Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee consists of two elected members who are responsible for selecting candidates and preparing the ballot.

Section 3. Eligibility for Office

All Chapter members in good standing are eligible to hold any elective office. It is recommended that Nominating Committee members be familiar with Chapter activities and other Chapter members.

Section 4. Election Procedure

A. The Nominating Committee requests from Chapter members names of candidates to be considered for election, through Chapter meeting announcements, notices in the Chapter newsletter or Web site, or other channels. In addition, the committee may contact individual members for recommendations. The committee reviews the qualifications and availability of all candidates before placing them on the ballot.

B. The Nominating Committee makes the slate of candidates and the ballots available to Chapter members at least one month before the annual Chapter business meeting. Whenever possible the committee should offer more than one candidate for each position.

The ballot must offer a Yes or No option for unopposed candidates, including the president, and voting instructions should clearly identify how many candidates for each office can be selected, the date that ballots must be returned, and where the ballots should be returned. The balloting may be conducted electronically if appropriate methods are identified and approved by the council.

All votes are secret and members are not required to sign their ballots.

C. The Nominating Committee counts and records the vote:

Candidates are elected by a plurality of votes cast.

Tie votes are resolved by a majority vote of the current Executive Council.

If an unopposed candidate receives more negative than positive votes, the office is declared vacant.

D. The Nominating Committee notifies the Chapter membership of the election results at the annual Chapter business meeting.

Section 5. Special Voting Issues (not including elections)

Whenever possible special Chapter issues such as amendments to the Chapter bylaws should be included on the annual election ballot. However, the Executive Council, by majority vote, can authorize a special ballot.

When a special election ballot is issued to the Chapter membership, basic election procedures are followed.

A. The ballot and instructions are assembled and sent to Chapter members at least two weeks before the final date the ballot must be returned.

B. The nominating committee counts and records the vote.

Tie votes are resolved by a majority vote of the Executive Council.

The results of the election are announced to the membership at the next monthly meeting or in the next newsletter following the election deadline.

Article VII. Finances

Section 1. Responsibility

The Chapter treasurer is responsible for ensuring accurate financial records and reporting. The treasurer prepares a budget for the expected Chapter receipts and expenditures each year. This budget may be updated periodically during the year to reflect changing needs and conditions.  The annual budget and revisions require Council approval by majority vote.

Section 2. Deposits

The treasurer may deposit Chapter funds in any banking institution that is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or credit unions that are members of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).

Section 3. Disbursements

In general, disbursements are governed by the current year's budget. Payment for Chapter expenses must be authorized by the Executive Council. Funds can be withdrawn only over the signature of both the treasurer and the president or vice president.

Section 4. Required Reporting

The Chapter treasurer must prepare and submit an annual financial report to STC treasurer.

Section 5. Fiscal Year

The Chapter fiscal year starts July 1 and ends the following June 30.

Article VIII. Amendments to Chapter Bylaws

Section 1. Origination

An amendment to the Chapter bylaws may be originated by the Executive Council or by a written petition signed by twenty voting members.

Section 2. Procedure

A. The originator submits the proposed change to the Executive Council for review and consideration.

B. The council reviews the amendment to ensure that it conforms to STC guidelines and bylaws.

C. The amendment is approved or rejected by one of these methods:

1) Amendments to the following articles must be referred to the membership on a ballot:

a) Article I (Name and Location),

b) Article II (Powers and Constraints),

c) Article IV (Executive Council),

d) Article VIII (Amendments to Chapter Bylaws)

e) Article IX (Dissolution).

Approval requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the valid votes cast.

2) Amendments to the remaining articles can be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Council.

D. The approved amendment is announced to the Chapter members, and the Executive Council sends a copy of the revised Chapter bylaws to STC.

Section 3. Scheduled Review

Chapter bylaws should be reviewed by the Executive Council or a special committee at least once every two years to ensure that the bylaws respond to current Chapter needs.

Article IX. Dissolution

The Chapter can recommend its dissolution upon unanimous vote of the Executive Council, followed by a concurring three-fourths vote of the valid votes cast by the membership. The STC board of directors may dissolve the Chapter as described in STC Bylaws Article IX.

In the event of dissolution, the Executive Council continues in office until all legal and financial matters have been settled, including notifying STC and sending Chapter records to them.