Northern Michigan Mensa


Article I. Name and Purpose

1. The name of this organization shall be Northern Michigan Mensa.

2. Northern Michigan Mensa is a local group of American Mensa, Ltd., and is subject to the Constitution of Mensa, the Bylaws of American Mensa, Ltd., and the resolutions adopted by the American Mensa Committee. American Mensa, Ltd. is herein abbreviated as "AML" and the American Mensa Committee as "AMC."

Article II. Membership

1. Membership of Northern Michigan Mensa shall be open to all members of AML in good standing in the geographic area assigned to Northern Michigan Mensa by the AMC, or as otherwise assigned by AML.

2. Mensa members in good standing who are not also members of Northern Michigan Mensa are welcome to participate in the social activities of the local group at the discretion of the host or hostess. The National Ombudsman, his or her surrogate, and members of the American Mensa Committee shall be permitted to participate in the business affairs of the local group in the discharge of their official duties.

3. Northern Michigan Mensa shall observe the preferences of members for data suppression and publication, as filed with AML, when publishing a local group roster or membership directory/register.

Article III. Officers and Duties

1. The governing body of Northern Michigan Mensa shall be an Executive Committee consisting of three officers (Local Secretary, Deputy Local Secretary, and Treasurer), plus two additional members, all five elected at-large, plus other appointed officers (such as Program Chairperson, Recruitment Chairperson, Publications Officer, Proctor Coordinator, etc.). No more than one-half of the voting members of the Executive Committee may be appointed officers. All officers, whether elected or appointed, must be current members in good standing of AML and of the local group. An officer is defined as any person who is given a title with specific responsibilities. At their first meeting after taking office, the elected members of the Executive Committee shall elect from among themselves their Local Secretary, Deputy Local Secretary, and Treasurer.

2. The Local Secretary (LocSec) shall be the chief executive officer and the liaison with other local groups and with AML. He or she shall be charged with being the chief point of contact between AML and the local group. By agreeing to be LocSec, the LocSec agrees to pass along information to and from the group in a timely fashion. The LocSec shall notify AML and the Regional Vice Chairman (RVC) for the local group, within two weeks, of any changes in the officers of the group during the term of office.

3. The Deputy Local Secretary (Deputy LocSec) shall assist the Local Secretary, preside over meetings in the absence of the Local Secretary, and immediately and automatically succeed to the office of Local Secretary if that office becomes vacant. The Deputy LocSec shall also be responsible for keeping minutes of the business and Executive Committee meetings.

4. The Treasurer shall be responsible for financial matters of the local group, including the finances of the local group newsletter, and shall submit to the Executive Committee a semiannual financial report which shall also be published in the local group newsletter. The financial report shall contain schedules of income, expenses, and balances for all funds under the control of the local, including RG, scholarship, and other special funds. The Treasurer shall also maintain a listing of all equipment owned by the local group. The Treasurer may assist the Editor in the preparation and submission of any postal forms that might be required. The Treasurer shall submit to the LocSec, at least quarterly, the actual statements from banks and any other institutions where the groupís money is deposited or cause a statement to be sent directly to the LocSec or his or her designee (who must also be an elected or appointed member of the Executive Committee). All accounts must be separate accounts in the name of the group, and they shall have more than one signatory so that funds can be accessed in the temporary absence of the Treasurer; however, only one signature shall be required when withdrawals or deposits are made.

5. The appointed members of the Executive Committee shall have responsibilities as determined by the Executive Committee. These may include such positions as Program Chairperson, Recruitment Chairperson (publicity, public relations, recruitment programs), Publications Officer (responsible for the local group newsletter and for appointing the Editor), and other positions as deemed necessary.

6. The Editor shall edit the local group's newsletter. The Editor shall publish notices of meetings and programs, required ballots, results of business meetings and elections, amendments to the bylaws and related discussions and ballots, the semi-annual financial reports, and shall prepare and publish Postal Service forms if required. The Editor may be removed by the Executive Committee or upon petition signed by one-third of the members of the local group. The outgoing Editor must turn over all files in good order to the incoming Editor no later than 15 days after the outgoing Editor leaves office.

7. The Executive Committee shall appoint an ombudsman, who shall serve as mediator for disputes within the local group and shall be an arbitrator available to serve as a representative to a Regional Hearings Committee.

8. Other appointed positions of the local group may include, but are not limited to, Area Coordinators for outlying groups of members, and Coordinators for other activities as deemed necessary.

9. The terms of office of elected officers shall be two years, from January 1 of an even-numbered calendar year through December 31 of the following year, or until installation of a properly qualified successor, except in the case of resignation or removal from office as provided in Article III, Sections 10, 11, and 12.

10. The term of office for all appointed officers and positions expires at the end of the term of office of the current elected officers. Appointed officers, positions, and committee chairs are appointed by the Local Secretary (or, in the case of the Editor, the Publications Officer) with the approval of the Executive Committee, and may be removed from office by majority vote of the Executive Committee unless otherwise stated herein.

11. Elected members of the Executive Committee may be removed from office for cause by unanimous vote of all other voting members of the Executive Committee or by recall election. A recall election may be called by a petition citing the reason for such action and signed by 10 percent of the membership of the local group as listed on the most recent membership roster provide by AML. The balloting provisions of a regular election shall apply except that a recall election must be held within 60 days of presentation of a properly qualified petition at either a regular or special meeting of the local group, and the dates set forth in Article V shall be adjusted appropriately.

12. Any voting officer may be removed from office for three consecutive unexcused absences at business meetings, by a majority vote of the remaining officers. Excusal authority is also a majority vote of the remaining members.

13. The Executive Committee shall select a replacement for any Executive Committee member, except for the LocSec, who resigns or who is removed or recalled or moved up to the position of
LocSec in accordance with Article III, Section 3. A replacement for an elected officer is considered to be an elected officer whose term of office ends with the next regular election. A simple majority of all voting members of the Executive Committee constitutes a quorum to transact business.

14. All elected and appointed officers shall turn over all files, office equipment, and materials pertaining to their offices to either their successor(s), to the current Local Secretary, or to another member of the Executive Committee no later than four weeks after leaving office unless otherwise stated herein.

15. An annual financial review will be conducted during January of each year. The Executive Committee shall appoint someone to conduct the review who was not involved in the issuing or collecting of money during the previous year. The review shall include viewing actual statements from banks and any other institutions where the group's money is deposited.

Article IV. Meetings

1. Regular meetings or activities may be held at such times as may be appropriate; however, a regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee, and a membership activity, must be held at
least once a quarter. Notice of meetings and activities shall be published in the newsletter or otherwise be sent to each member.

2. Special business meetings may be called at any time by the Local Secretary or by the Executive Committee and shall be called upon receipt of a petition signed by 10 percent of the membership of the local group, using the most recent membership roster provided by AML as a measure of membership count. The date, time, place, and purpose of the special meeting shall be announced or reported in the local group newsletter (or by direct mail). No other business than that indicated in the notice calling the meeting may be acted on.

3. All business meetings of Northern Michigan Mensa, and of the Executive Committee, shall be held within the geographical limits of the group as assigned by the AMC.

Article V. Elections

1. No member of the Nominating Committee or Election Committee may be a voting member of the Executive Committee or a candidate in the upcoming election. The Nominating and Election Committees may comprise the same members.

2. Elections shall be held in 2003, and every two years thereafter. No later than September 15 of each election year, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of three members which shall, no later than the deadline for the November issue of the local group newsletter, nominate one or more candidates for each opening on the Executive Committee. The membership of the local group shall be notified of these nominations in the November issue of the local group newsletter, or by mail posted no later than November 1, or by electronic mail by November 1.

3. No later than November 1 of each election year, the Executive Committee shall name an Election Committee of three members who shall be responsible for conducting the election, receiving and counting the ballots, and certifying the results. The Election Committee shall determine, and cause to be published, those election rules and regulations not covered by these bylaws.

4. No later than November 15 of an election year, additional nominations may be made by petition signed by at least five members of the local group and delivered to the Chairman of the Nominating Committee. In the event there is a candidate for each elected office and only one candidate is identified for each office as of the closing of petitions, those candidates shall be declared elected without balloting.

5. Ballots shall be printed in the December issue of the local group newsletter or mailed to all members of the local group, but in either case posted no later than December 1 of an election year. The mail ballots must be returned to the Chairman of the Election Committee and received no later than December 20. Ballots received after that date shall not be counted. A plurality of valid votes cast for each office shall constitute election. Votes which are tied shall be determined by the Chairman of the Election Committee by a flip of a coin. The Chairman of the Election Committee will certify the results of the election to the Local Secretary and shall have the election results published in the next possible issue of the local group newsletter.

6. Any challenges to the election must be made in writing to the Chairman of the Election Committee and must be received by January 15 immediately following the election. Any such challenges must be ruled on by January 31. Any actions by the Executive Committee while a challenge is pending are not affected by the outcome of any such challenge.

7. The outgoing LocSec shall notify AML and the RVC for the local group of the results of the election. The outgoing LocSec shall remain in office until the new LocSec has been elected by the incoming Executive Committee.

Article VI. Amendments

1. Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by a petition signed by at least nine members of the local group. Such proposals shall be submitted first to the AMC for its approval to ballot. After approval to ballot has been received, they shall be published in the next issue of the local group newsletter. A mail ballot shall appear in the issue of the local group newsletter that follows publication of the proposal and shall be sent to every member of the local group. Balloting deadline shall be no less than 90 days following the first publication of the proposed amendment(s) in the local group newsletter. To become effective, an amendment to these bylaws shall require an affirmative vote of the majority of those casting valid ballots, as well as final approval of the American Mensa Committee, and filing of revised bylaws with the Bylaws Committee.

Article VII. Mensa Logo and Name

1. American Mensa, Ltd. (AML) has granted a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to Northern Michigan Mensa for the use of the mark "Mensa" and a logo, consisting of a globe over a stylized "M" within a border, in connection with the non-commercial uses of Northern Michigan Mensa. AML retains full ownership of the mark and logo and all statutory and common law rights in the mark and logo.

Article VIII. Parliamentary Procedure and Rules of Order

1. The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, latest edition, shall govern the local group in all cases to which they are applicable and not inconsistent with these Bylaws.

2. Rules of Order for the Executive Committee and for those matters concerning the local group which are not specified in these Bylaws may be adopted for the Executive Committee.

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