SACRAMENTO REGIONAL MENSA ( SRM )
Effective February 1, 2014
Region 8, Group 953
Name, Logo and Purpose
- The name of this non-profit organization shall be Sacramento Regional Mensa, hereafter referred to as "SRM."
- SRM is a Local Group of American Mensa, Ltd., and is subject to the Constitution of Mensa, the Bylaws of American Mensa, Ltd. (AML), and the resolutions adopted by the American Mensa Committee (AMC). The purpose of this organization is to conduct the business of Mensa within the geographic area designated by AML.
- American Mensa, Ltd. (AML) has granted a royalty free, nonexclusive license to SRM 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 SRM. AML retains full ownership of the mark and logo and all ]statutory and common-law rights in the mark and logo.
- The purpose of these Bylaws is to clarify the areas that AML leaves to the discretion of the local group. These Bylaws shall be construed liberally with great weight being given to the practical effect of interpretations.
- Membership in SRM shall be open to all members of AML in good standing in the geographic areas assigned to SRM by the AMC, or as otherwise assigned by AML. Members of SRM residing outside this area but who are assigned to SRM by AML are full members in SRM for all purposes.
- Mensa members in good standing, including those who are not also members of SRM, are welcome to participate in the social activities of the local group at the discretion of the host or hostess. The National Ombudsman, his surrogate, and members of the AMC shall be permitted to participate in the business affairs of the local group in the discharge of their official duties.
- The Board shall publish a membership roster annually from the data provided by AML. This list shall be sent to all current SRM members and shall be labeled "For Mensa Use Only." SRM shall observe the preferences of members for data suppression and publication, as filed with AML, when publishing the membership directory/register. Additionally, any member may have any or all personal information, other than name, city, and state, deleted from the published roster by written request to the Board.
- All SRM files shall be available for examination by any SRM member on reasonable notice except records of the Ombudsman. The newsletter Editor may withhold names from material in his files submitted for anonymous publication
Officers and Duties
- The governing body of SRM shall be an executive committee ("ExComm" or hereafter referred to as the "Board".), which conducts the business of the local group. The Board consists of the following elected voting members: Local Secretary (LocSec), Activities Coordinator, Treasurer, Membership Coordinator, Secretary and the appointed voting member, Member-at-Large. All other appointed officers are non-voting. The Board shall be elected annually by the membership to specific offices. All local group officers, whether elected or appointed, must be current members in good standing of AML and SRM; an officer is defined as any person who is given a title with specific responsibilities. The conflict of interest rules stated in the Bylaws of American Mensa for the AMC shall also be applicable to the local group and the Board.
- The Board shall formulate and provide to all members written policies regarding matters not specified in these Bylaws, and shall, at the first business meeting of the year, review the policies of the previous Board and re-adopt or revise them at a subsequent meeting.
- The Local Secretary (LocSec, Chairman, or President) shall be the chief executive officer of SRM and the liaison with other local groups. He or she shall preside at Board meetings and shall be the chief point of contact between AML and the local group. The LocSec shall endeavor to pass information to and from the local group in a timely fashion, and shall notify AML, and the Regional Vice Chairman (RVC) for the local group of any changes in the officers of the group within two weeks of the change.
- The Activities Coordinator shall be responsible for arranging for local group activities and locations for activities, shall coordinate with, and advise, the officers and the Editor of these activities; shall assist in the creation of Special Interest Groups, and solicit recommendations from the membership on desired activities and speakers. The Activities Coordinator shall preside at the meetings of the Board in the absence of the Local Secretary, and shall immediately and automatically succeed to the office of Local Secretary if that position becomes vacant.
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for financial matters of SRM, including the finances of the newsletter and the Regional Gathering, and shall receive payments and make prompt disbursements with the approval of the Board, submit reports of current income and expenses at each business meeting, and submit to the Board semi-annual financial reports that shall also be published in the newsletter. The financial report shall contain schedules of income, expenses, and balances for all funds under the control of the local group, including regional gathering, scholarship, and other special funds. The Treasurer shall submit required financial reports to AML, and shall ensure that the local group complies with all federal financial reporting requirements. The Treasurer shall also maintain a listing of all equipment owned by SRM. The Treasurer shall, if necessary, assist the Editor in the preparation and submission of any postal financial forms that might be required. At least quarterly, the Treasurer shall submit to the LocSec or his or her designee, statements from banks and any other institutions where the group's money is deposited, or shall cause a statement to be sent directly to the LocSec or his or her designee (who must also be a voting member of the Board). All accounts must be separate accounts in the name of the local group, and shall have more than one signatory so that funds can be accessed in the temporary absence of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be one of the signatories on all accounts. The Treasurer shall preside at business meetings in the absence of the LocSec and the Activities Coordinator, and shall automatically succeed to the Office of Local Secretary should that position become vacant and the Activities Coordinator declines to serve.
- The Secretary shall take and preserve minutes of every business meeting and shall, in a timely manner, submit a copy of the minutes to the Editor for inclusion in the newsletter.
- The Membership Coordinator shall be responsible for receiving the phone calls on the SRM telephone line, if it exists; preparing monthly lists of new members for inclusion in the newsletter, preparing informational packets for new members, scheduling welcoming parties with the Activities Coordinator, and at the Membership Coordinator's discretion, contacting new and inactive members prior to scheduled events.
- The Member-at-Large shall maintain continuity from the preceding Board and shall serve as the Parliamentarian. The Member-at-Large shall be the immediate past LocSec, if available and willing. Otherwise, the Board shall appoint as Member-at-Large any member of any previous Board, or if no previous Board members are available, then any member of SRM. If the LocSec resigns or is removed from office prior to the end of his term, his right to serve as Member-at-Large the following term is forfeited.
- The Board shall publish a printed newsletter at least quarterly. If an electronic version of the newsletter is created, the local group shall observe the preferences of members regarding how their newsletters are to be delivered (electronically or printed), as filed with AML. The Board may, at its discretion, send printed copies of the newsletter in addition to the electronic version to members who would otherwise get only the electronic version.
- The Board shall appoint an Editor who shall prepare the newsletter and deliver it in a timely fashion for printing. The Editor shall, at a minimum, publish a calendar of events, notices of meetings and programs, required ballots, results of Board meetings and elections, amendments to the bylaws and related discussions and ballots, the semi-annual financial reports, and shall prepare and publish Post Office forms if required. With the Board, the Editor shall establish editorial policy and standards for the newsletter and make them available to any member of SRM upon request. The outgoing Editor must turn over all files, materials, computer software, passwords, and equipment in good order to the incoming Editor no later than two weeks after leaving office.
- An Ombudsman shall be elected who shall serve as mediator for disputes within the local group and shall, if requested, air complaints or views of any member who wishes to remain anonymous. The Ombudsman shall observe ballot counting, except for those elections where he is a candidate, for which he shall appoint an appropriate designee. The Ombudsman shall also perform such duties as may be required of all local group ombudsmen by American Mensa and shall be an arbitrator available to serve as a representative to a Regional Hearings Committee. The Ombudsman may not be a member of the Board, but may serve in other capacities so long as the duties pose no conflict with, and do not compromise, his primary function and duties. The Ombudsman, and the National Ombudsman, may submit material to the Editor marked "for publication" that relates to his or her official duties; anything so marked shall be exempt from editing and shall be given the highest practicable priority for publication in the newsletter. The Ombudsman shall appoint a designee for a particular issue upon request. The Ombudsman may be removed from office prior to the end of his term only by recall.
- Appointed positions of the local group may include, but are not limited to, Circulation Manager, Regional Gathering Chair, Scholarship Chair, Area Coordinators for outlying groups of members, and coordinators for activities. The duties of appointees shall be those implied by their respective titles and specified by the Board upon appointment.
- The terms of office of elected officers shall be one year from January 1st to December 31st following each regular election, or until installation of a properly qualified successor, except in the case of the Ombudsman, whose term of office shall be three years. In the case of resignation, succession to higher office, failure to maintain membership, or removal from office, the individual's term of office ceases at that time.
- The term of office for all appointed positions shall extend to the end of the term of office of the current elected officers, or until a successor is appointed. Appointed officers, positions, and committees, including the position of committee chair, are appointed by the Board, and may be removed from office by majority vote of the Board.
- Elected members of the Board may be removed from office for cause by unanimous vote of all other members of the Board or by recall election. A recall election may be called by a petition citing the reason for such action, signed by at least 10% of the membership of the local group as listed on the most recent membership roster provided by AML, and presented at a regular or special meeting of the Board. The balloting provisions of a regular election shall apply, except that a recall election must be held within 60 days of presentation of the petition, and the dates set forth in Article V shall be adjusted appropriately.
- Any voting member of the Board may be removed from office for three consecutive unexcused absences at Board meetings, by a majority vote of the remaining members. A majority of the remaining members may excuse an absence. Any officer removed from the Board by the remaining Board members or by recall may not be appointed to any position on that Board.
- In the event that any Board position, other than LocSec, is vacated before the term of office expires, that office may be filled by any member of the Board upon a majority vote of the remaining Board members. Alternatively, the Board may appoint a replacement for the duration of the term. A replacement for an elected officer is considered to be an elected officer with all rights and responsibilities, whose term of office ends with the next regular election.
- In the event that the office of Ombudsman is vacated before the end of his term and it is impractical to delay filling the position until the next regular Ombudsman election, the Election Committee shall hold a Special Election which shall be conducted in the same manner as the annual elections and the new Ombudsman shall assume office immediately.
- All elected and appointed officers shall turn over all files, equipment, computer software, passwords, and materials pertaining to their offices to either their successor(s) or any member of the Board no later than four weeks after leaving office. If necessary and convenient, tasks begun by any elected or appointed officer before the end of his term may be completed by him after his successor has taken office.
- An annual financial review shall be conducted each year at approximately twelve-month intervals. The Board shall appoint someone to conduct the review who was not involved in the issuing or collecting of money during the period being reviewed. The review shall include viewing statements from banks and any other institutions where the group's money was held during the period being reviewed.
Meetings and Activities
- Regular meetings or activities may be held at such times as may be appropriate; however, a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board and a membership activity must be held at least once a quarter. Notice of meetings and activities including time and location, shall be published in the newsletter or otherwise sent to each member, the RVC, and the National Office.
- Special Board meetings may be called at any time by the LocSec or by a majority of the Board, and shall be called upon receipt by any member of the Board of a petition made in writing and signed by at least 10% of the membership of the local group as listed on the most recent membership roster provided by AML. The date, time, place, and purpose of the special meeting shall be announced in the newsletter (or by direct mail to each member, the RVC, and the National Office) if practicable, and shall be reported in the newsletter afterward. No business other than that indicated in the notice calling the meeting may be acted on.
- For both regularly scheduled and special meetings of the Board, a quorum, consisting of four Board members must be present in order to transact business, proxies shall not be used. A plurality of the voting members present shall be required for a motion to pass, tied votes are considered not passed.
- Members of the Board may participate in a meeting of the Board by means of telephone, on-line conference, or similar communications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other at the same time; participation by such means constitutes presence in person at the meeting
- All meetings of the Board shall be held within the geographical limits of the local group as assigned by the AMC, and shall be announced to the membership by mail or electronically at least ten days before the business meeting. Any SRM member may attend the business meeting and may speak on the same basis as any other member.
- The Board shall appoint an Election Committee Chairperson who shall select two additional members to form the Election Committee. No member of the Election Committee may be a voting member of the Board or a candidate in the upcoming election. The Election Committee shall be responsible for conducting all elections; creating the ballot; receiving and publicly counting the returned ballots; and certifying the results. The Election Committee shall assist the Board in conducting any referendums.
- The Election Committee shall announce the opening of nominations in the July newsletter and shall, no later than the deadline for the September issue of the newsletter, nominate one or more candidates for each elected seat on the Board. The Election Committee shall determine election rules and regulations not covered by these bylaws, and shall cause them to be either (a) published in the September issue of the newsletter or (b) mailed by post or electronically to all members of the local group no later than September 1st The Election Committee shall cause the names of the candidates they have nominated to be either (a) published in the September issue of the newsletter, or (b) mailed by post or electronically to all members of the local group, no later than September 1st. The date of the close of nominations shall be determined by the Election Committee, but shall be no earlier than September 15, and no later than the newsletter deadline for the November ballot. Any member may volunteer or nominate any other member for any office, thus write-in votes shall not be accepted. A member shall be a candidate for only one office at a time.
- The Election Committee shall solicit candidate platforms/statements for publication with the ballot and create the ballot with the names of all nominated candidates no later than the submission deadline for the November newsletter. Ballots shall be printed in the November issue of the newsletter, including the electronic version of the newsletter if such is available, or mailed by post or electronically to all members of the local group no later than November 1st. Balloting shall be by mail and by any other means established by the Election Committee, but all members must be allowed to participate by postal mail at all stages of the election process if they so choose. The date by which ballots must be received shall be set by the Election Committee, but that date shall not be less than two weeks after the date of sending of the ballots to members. The Election Committee shall meet in public to count the ballots and, in so doing, the Election Committee shall strive to maintain the anonymity of voters. A plurality of valid votes cast for each Board position shall constitute election. If more than two candidates are nominated for an office, a preferential voting system shall be used. Votes that are tied shall be determined by the Election Committee chairperson by a flip of a coin publically and in full view of the candidates involved. The Election Committee chairperson shall certify the results of the election to the LocSec and shall have the election results published in the next issue of the newsletter. The Election Committee chairperson shall preserve the ballots for inspection by any member of SRM until April 1 following the election.
- In the case that there is only one candidate for a particular elected position, that candidate shall be declared elected and balloting shall not be required.
- No rule, procedure, or practice of the Election Committee shall invalidate a ballot solely for the failure of a voter to comply strictly with the Election Committee's rules or instructions if that ballot can be authenticated, is marked in a manner that clearly discloses the voter's preference and preserves the one-member-one-ballot rule. If a voter does not follow the rules for submitting ballots in such a way as to compromise confidentiality, but the ballot is otherwise acceptable, the ballot shall be accepted and the voter shall be deemed to have waived confidentiality.
- The Election Committee shall conduct, upon request of any candidate, an immediate public recount of votes. In the event that an election is challenged, the officer(s) shall take office pending results of the challenge, and any actions by the Board while a challenge is pending are not affected by the outcome of any such challenge. Any challenges to the election must be made in writing to the Election Committee chair and received by December 31 following the election. Any such challenges must be ruled on by January 31st following the election.
- The outgoing LocSec shall notify AML and the RVC for the local group of the results of the election within two weeks of the election
Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by the Board or by a written petition signed by twenty (20) members of the local group and received by any member of the Board. Such proposals shall be submitted first to the AMC for its approval to ballot. After approval to ballot has been received, the proposed amendment(s) shall be published in the next issue of the newsletter. A ballot shall be published in the issue of the newsletter that follows publication of the proposal and shall be sent to every member of the local group. Ballots may be returned by mail, electronically if such option is available, or in person, but all members must be allowed to participate by postal mail at all stages of the amendment process if they so choose. The balloting deadline shall be no less than 90 days following the first publication of the proposed amendment(s) in the newsletter. To become effective, an amendment to these bylaws shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of those casting valid ballots, as well as final approval of the AMC and filing of revised bylaws with the Bylaws Committee. The Bylaws Committee will tell the local group the effective date of the bylaws as amended.
- The Minimum Standard Bylaws for Local Groups of AML are implicitly included in these bylaws. The minimum requirements are enforceable even if they are not explicitly contained in these bylaws. If there is a conflict between these bylaws and the Minimum Standards, the Minimum Standards take precedence.
- 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.
SACRAMENTO REGIONAL MENSA POLICIES
Effective Feb 1, 2014
Calendar: The event calendar shall be maintained by the Activity Coordinator, and shall be given to the newsletter Editor for printing each month.
Events: Events shall be scheduled to avoid conflicts as much as possible. No other events shall be scheduled at the same time as the Gold Country Regional Gathering or a New Members' Party.
Fees: A voluntary contribution may be requested by the host/hostess to help defray costs at activities. Any contributions received in excess of expenses shall be used for Mensa activities or deposited to the SRM General Account.
New/Prospective Members: No contribution shall be requested from new or prospective members attending an activity.
Speakers: Speakers at activities shall not be expected to make a contribution nor pay for food. The expenses for the speaker shall be paid out of contributions from attendees.
Smoking: Smoking at SRM activities in private homes shall be in accordance with the wishes of the host/hostess.
Refreshments: Refreshments in private homes shall be in accordance with the wishes of the host/hostess, and will be BYO unless otherwise specified.
Attendance: Activities are open to all members, spouses, and accompanied guests. Children are welcome at the discretion of the host/hostess. Anyone can be excluded for just cause.
Requests for donations of money, supplies, materials, equipment, and miscellaneous items for use by SRM may be made if approved by the Governing Board in advance. When appropriate, donations shall be accounted for in the financial records of SRM and/or reported in the newsletter.
III. GOVERNING BOARD
Business Meetings: Business meetings are open to all Mensa members.
Expenses: Mensa business expenses of the Board members, including but not limited to: postage, printing, supplies and telephone calls, may be reimbursed at cost. No reimbursement will be made for use of personal vehicle or other personal equipment without prior authorization. Other expenses may be reimbursed if authorized in advance. Time spent on Mensa activities will not be reimbursed.
Bank Accounts: If possible, there shall be four authorized signatories for each account, two of which shall be the Loc Sec and the Treasurer. Any check or withdrawal of funds from SRM accounts shall require two of the authorized signatures. A signatory shall not be a signer on a check to him/herself.
Bids for Services: Three price quotes shall be obtained for any contracted service over $100.00. In the case of the newsletter, the Treasurer shall obtain price quotes each January for presentation at the February Board meeting. The Board shall evaluate and select from the bids at an open Board meeting.
Budget: The Treasurer shall prepare a budget to be presented by the March Board meeting.
IV. APPOINTIVE POSITIONS
An announcement of the availability of appointive positions shall be published in the newsletter at least two months prior to the appointment(s) whenever possible. The Board shall review the candidates and make appointments at an open Board meeting. Appointments remain effective until the appointee resigns or is replaced by the Board. All appointive positions are open for reappointment each January.
V. NEW MEMBERS
The information packet given to new members shall include, but not be limited to, copies of the current SRM Policies and Roster, and web site address.
Editorial Policy: The Editor shall use his/her judgment in selecting material for inclusion in The Sacramensan. Attempts shall be made to present The Sacramensan and SRM in a positive manner. Care shall be taken to exclude or appropriately edit material with excessive "shock appeal," "vulgar," "obscene," or "tasteless" language, and inflammatory or libelous statements. The membership shall not be berated for not attending activities; there shall be no complaints of overwork or lack of appreciation; and no personal attacks on members or officers. Requests for contributions and participation shall not be made in a pleading manner. Contributions to The Sacramensan must be signed, but may be published anonymously or pseudo-anonymously at the request of the author.
Roster: When possible, the SRM roster will be published with the June newsletter.
Paid Advertisements: Paid advertisements for products or services may be accepted for publication, but such advertisements may not exceed 25% of the space in any issue. All advertisements are subject to editorial approval, and shall include the statement "Paid Advertisement" in the display. Political or religious advertisements will not be accepted. Acceptance of any advertisement does not comprise agreement with or responsibility for claims. Monthly advertising rates for camera-ready copy shall be: Full page $25; 1/2 page $15; 1/4 page $10; and $.25 per word thereafter.
Subscriptions: All full dues paying members of SRM shall receive The Sacramensan as part of their membership. Other Mensa members may subscribe to The Sacramensan at the rate of $10 per year. Newsletter Mailing: Officers shall submit their items by the Editor's deadline. The Editor shall submit The Sacramensan to the printer by the printer's established deadline. The Circulation Manager shall oversee the final newsletter mailing process and shall deliver the newsletters to the post office for mailing at least ten days before the succeeding business meeting. All receipts from the post office for the newsletter mailing shall be given to the Treasurer of SRM. The Treasurer shall monitor the account balance with the post office to ensure that funds are available to process the mailings without interruption.
Membership Services: Members of SRM may have printed twice each year without charge, business card size notices regarding services, situations wanted, or jobs available, space permitting. Local members may also have personal notices, announcements or accomplishments and awards, etc. printed at no cost. Non-members may have jobs available notices printed at no cost. All items for inclusion are subject to editorial approval.
VII. BULK MAILINGS
The Bulk Mailing Coordinator shall oversee and coordinate all other bulk mailings, whether the mailing is generated for an SRM activity, or by an individual member. Any current SRM member who wishes to process personal mailings of 200 pieces or more may take advantage of this membership benefit by contacting the Bulk Mail Coordinator to obtain authorization and bulk mail processing instructions.
Publicity Notices: Notices of activities open to the public and news releases announcing testing for meeting membership requirements may be made in local newspapers, publications, and other communications media. . All advertising and publicity notices pertaining to SRM shall include the words "Sacramento Regional Mensa" and the SRM telephone number. The Board shall approve all form letters that represent SRM.
IX. REGIONAL GATHERING
Budget: The RG Committee shall prepare a budget and present it to the Board at least four months prior to the RG.
Annual Reports: The Chairperson for the previous RG shall prepare a summary report for use by the next year's RG Committee, and shall present it to the Board by the second Board meeting following the RG. The Treasurer shall prepare a detailed financial report and present by the second Board meeting following the RG.
Member-at-Large: The Member-at-Large shall prepare an inventory of all SRM equipment and present it to the Board with a file copy to the Treasurer by December of each year.
Archivist: The Archivist shall maintain an inventory of archived material, which shall be made available to the Board when requested.