CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
Reno-Lake Tahoe Student Chapter
American Meteorological Society

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ARTICLE I NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Reno-Lake Tahoe Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
ARTICLE II OBJECTIVES
The objectives of this chapter are:
  1. To assist in the professional development and continuing education of chapter members (including student members, faculty members, and members from the professional community).
  2. To allow for opportunities for interaction and networking for students with faculty members, and with professional meteorologists, climatologists, and hydrologists in the local area. Opportunities are also possible for interaction with scientists, educators, writers, and other professionals who give presentations to the chapter.
  3. To take part in outreach activities aimed toward increasing chapter members' exposure to weather-related activities, and increasing the chapter's interaction with the local community.
ARTICLE III MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the chapter is open to all students attending schools, colleges, and universities in the western Nevada/Lake Tahoe region. Membership in this chapter is also open to non-students who have an interest in the atmospheric sciences and their application.

Membership categories:

(1) Active members:

Active members are defined as those members who have paid their dues for the current fiscal year (the current fiscal year is defined as the period of time from the last election to the next upcoming election). Dues may be paid at any time during this period, up to, and including, the meeting during which elections are held.

In order to encourage the payment of dues (to assist the chapter in its work), these active members are the only members who have a right to vote in elections for chapter officers. They are also the only members who have a right to vote on amendments to the chapter constitution and by-laws (a 2/3rds majority of their votes is required for approval), and on proposals for the dissolution of the chapter and the subsequent distribution of chapter funds (again a 2/3rds majority of active members is required for approval).

Along with voting in the areas listed above, active members are also encouraged to participate in any and all chapter activities that they desire.

(2) Associate members:

Associate members are defined as those members who have not paid their dues for the current fiscal year (the current fiscal year is defined as the period of time from the last election to the next upcoming election).

It should be understood that associate members (as members of the chapter) have a right to, and are encouraged to, enter into debate on proposals that affect the chapter, and to voice their concerns for the benefit of the chapter (even on those proposals listed above that only active members may vote on). Only free and open discussion and debate can ensure that all viewpoints are expressed, and that those members voting on proposals have all of the information that they need in order to make the best decisions possible.

Even though not allowed to vote in elections for chapter officers (or on proposed amendments to the constitution and by-laws, or on proposals for the dissolution of the chapter and distribution of its funds), associate members have the equal right to vote on proposed chapter activities (such as field trips) and on the use of chapter funds (to pay for such things as field trips, refreshments for meetings, etc.).

Associate members are encouraged to participate in any and all chapter activities that they desire.
ARTICLE IV DUES
Individual dues for chapter members are $10.00 per year. Payment of dues entitles the member to active member status and voting privleges.
ARTICLE V FACULTY ADVISOR(S)
Per AMS guidelines, the chapter will have one or more faculty advisors, one of which will be designated as the principal advisor and primary contact.
ARTICLE VI ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Chapter officer elections will be held during the first meeting of the University of Nevada - Reno Spring semester (or at a meeting as soon thereafter as possible). Officers will be elected by a majority (one-half plus one) vote of active (voting) members present at the meeting. Newly-elected officers will assume their duties at the beginning of the next meeting immediately following the meeting at which they were elected.

Chapter officers must be active members of this chapter (in order to have full voting privileges, and in order to show a commitment to the chapter). However, as a small token for their work for the chapter, officers will be exempt from paying dues during their upcoming term in office, but will retain active (voting) member status during that time.

Offices shall consist of, but not be limited to, the following:

President:

The president will preside at chapter meetings, and is responsible for the well-being of the chapter. According to AMS guidelines, the president is the only chapter officer who is required to be a member of the national AMS.

Vice-President:

The vice-president presides at chapter meetings in the absence of the president. The president and vice-president should maintain close communication in order for chapter events and programs to run smoothly. The vice-president may assist other officers with their duties when needed.

Secretary:

The secretary is responsible for recording the historical documents of the chapter. (S)he takes minutes at chapter meetings and forwards them to AMS Headquarters. The secretary also compiles summaries of chapter meetings to be sent to the manager of special programs at AMS Headquarters. These summaries are then included either in monthly issues of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) or on the AMS website (at the discretion of the AMS). (S)he is also required by AMS Headquarters to provide them with the names of current chapter officers. The secretary should also keep a complete and up-to-date list of both active, and associate, chapter members.

Treasurer:

The treasurer is responsible for the financial records of the chapter. (S)he collects annual dues from members, providing them with a receipt. The treasurer is also responsible for all financial transactions of the chapter. The names of the treasurer and the president are normally both included on the chapter's bank account to assure fluidity of funds. The treasurer and/or president are restricted to writing checks on the chapter's bank account to $100 or less. To write a check for more than this requires the approval of a majority of those in attendance at the chapter meeting where this expenditure is discussed.

Webpage administrator:

The chapter's webpage is often the first impression the public has of our chapter. The webpage administrator is responsible for keeping the chapter's webpage up to date. Sufficient creativity and flexibility are involved in creating an attractive and usable webpage. The webpage administrator has free rein to create and modify the chapter's webpage. (S)he however must be cognizant of how the webpage appears to the public. It is understood that the webpage must not contain material or links that would be offensive to viewers. The administrator must modify the webpage as a results of a vote of a majority of those present at the chapter meeting where a particular problem with the webpage is discussed.

Other officers as required may be elected to serve the needs of the chapter.

ARTICLE VII EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board is responsible for ensuring that the chapter adheres to the terms in the chapter's Constitution and By-Laws. The Executive Board of the chapter shall consist of the following members:
President
Vice-president
Secretary
Treasurer
Immediate past-president
Chapter's faculty advisor(s)
Members of the Executive Board who are officers shall be replaced each year by the successors in their respective chapter offices.

Formal meetings are generally not necessary. Discussion of chapter affairs may be carried out informally by using email.

ARTICLE VIII COMMITTEE(S)
Committees can provide opportunities for chapter members to contribute to the successful functioning of the chapter, and to gain valuable leadership and teamwork experience. Committees can be formed at the discretion of the chapter with a majority vote of members at a chapter meeting. Some possible committees include:

Ad hoc constitution committee:

As the phrase ad hoc implies, this committee is formed for a specific purpose. It was formed at the initial meeting of the chapter in order to provide a draft constitution for the chapter.

Audit committee:

This committee audits the chapter's bank account at the end of the fiscal year in the spring. This audit will take place at the transition from one treasurer's term to the next treasurer's term (as with the other chapter officers, the new treasurer's term shall begin at the monthly meeting immediately following the chapter election at which (s)he was elected). If the same treasurer is continuing in that position, the audit committee will still perform their annual audit. The audit committee shall consist of the faculty advisor(s), outgoing and incoming treasurers, and outgoing and incoming presidents.

Nominations committee:

This committee will be formed by a majority vote of members (both active and associate) present at the meeting where it is discussed. The purpose of the nominations committee will be to encourage members to run for chapter offices during the Spring elections. This committee may be formed at any time. It may be formed as a permanent committee, or it may be formed during the Fall semester to prepare for the upcoming Spring elections. The faculty advisors are ex officio members of this committee. Current chapter officers are not allowed to serve on this committee during their terms of office. Volunteers should be sought among the membership (both active and associate) to serve on the committee.

Other possible committees might include a program committee, outreach committee, etc. Additional committees can be created with a vote of a majority of those present (both active and associate members) at the meeting where the proposal is discussed.

Program committee:

This committee is responsible for the organization of the monthly meetings. This committee provides planning for guest speakers, activities, and refreshments for upcoming meetings. The committee members shall consist of the chapter president and vice-president, but other officers and members of the student chapter are encouraged to join the committee in order to provide input from the chapter.
ARTICLE IX MEETINGS
Chapter meetings shall take place monthly (on the second Thursday of the month) during the University of Nevada - Reno academic year from September through May. The first chapter meeting of the Fall term would normally take place on the second Thursday of September. The first chapter meeting of the Spring term would normally take place on the second Thursday of February. Thus there will typically be four (4) monthly meetings during each of the Fall and Spring semesters.

Since this is a student chapter, the dates, times, and locations of chapter meetings should be adjusted to satisfy the needs of student members primarily, although the desires of other members should be considered. For example, meetings for the month of December and May will be moved to the first Thursday of the month to accommodate students studying for finals during the second Thursday of the month.

ARTICLE X PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Procedures during meetings of the Reno-Lake Tahoe Student Chapter shall conform to those listed in Robert's Rules of Order.
ARTICLE XI VOTING PROCEDURES
Elections for officers shall be conducted during the first chapter meeting of the Spring semester, or at a meeting as soon thereafter as possible. Only active members (not associate members) will have the right to vote for officers. Voting for officers will be by secret paper ballot in order to ensure the confidentiality of votes.

Nominations for officer positions can be made during the meeting at which the elections will be held. Self-nominations are also encouraged in order to increase the number of candidates. A nominations committee may be formed in order to help encourage active (voting) members to run for office. Members may be nominated for more than one office, but a member may only hold one chapter office during a yearlong term. If elected to more than one office, the member must choose which office (s)he will serve in during the upcoming term. The second-place vote-getters in the other offices will then be named to those offices.

ARTICLE XII AMENDMENTS
This constitution and by-laws can only be amended by a vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of those active (voting) members present at the meeting where this amendment is proposed.
ARTICLE XIII NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION
The Reno-Lake Tahoe Student Chapter is considered to be a non-profit organization. Funds may be raised for chapter activities but no funds shall be used to benefit any individual member of the chapter.
ARTICLE XIV DISSOLUTION OF CHAPTER
The chapter shall formally be dissolved by the vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of active (voting) chapter members. At the dissolution of the chapter, the funds left in the chapter's bank account will be given to an appropriate charity. A majority of those active (voting) chapter members present at the meeting where it is discussed, will decide on a charity to donate the money to, e.g. a library, national AMS, etc.

This constitution was prepared by the members of the Reno-Lake Tahoe Student AMS Chapter ad hoc constitution committee: Anna Fast, Julide Koracin, Subhashree Mishra, Brian O'Hara, Lupita Paredes-Miranda, and Lance Soule.

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