The Academy’s Bylaws
- INTRODUCTION :
The official name of the institution is THE GUJARATI LITERARY ACADEMY OF NORTH AMERICA, INC. Its Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation of Maryland, on December 1, 1981.
- PURPOSE :
The said academy is organized exclusively for the charitable, literary, educational and cultural purposes,i. to initiate, encourage, and sponsor research in, and translation of Gujarati literature and to publish or aid in the publication of the results of the research, that of translation and of creative writing in Gujarati language.
ii. to initiate, encourage, and sponsor the advancement of Gujarati language, literature, and culture in North America, and
iii. to establish and maintain a liaison with other appropriate organizations devoted to literary, cultural and humanitarian pursuits.The academy shall not engage in any political or other activities not permitted to a tax-exempt organization. The academy shall not issue any capital stock.
- MEMBERSHIP :
Any person interested in the advancement of Gujarati language, literature, and culture shall be eligible for membership in the Academy. The members are eligible to vote, hold offices, and participate in all activities of the Academy.Any member in good standing is eligible to be an AREA COORDINATOR, who helps the executive committee organize activities of the Academy in the designated area.
LIFE MEMBERSHIP dues at present are US$ 100.PATRONS are those who have contributed US$ 250. They receive all the benefits which the life members are entitled to.
All memberships listed above are DUAL memberships, and they include both husband and wife, and only husband and wife, as voting members of equal standing. In case of a divorce, both members will continue to hold single members’ rights. These are not transferable to the new spouse, or to the children from either marriage.
Unmarried members will have one vote each. If and when they get married, their spouse will be entitled to a vote also.
All members are eligible to attend the General Body Meeting called by the President once a year. Such meeting can be held together with the Academy’s other scheduled programs to ensure attendance. At least two weeks’ notice will be required. General Body Meeting is for feedback and discussion of achievements and of the future plans. It may express its non-binding consensus by voting. However, all important voting (e.g. election of officers, amending the bylaws) is done via mail.
Quorum for the said meeting will be 25 members. All decisions will be made by a simple majority of those present. A decision by the meeting to put an item to vote by the membership at large will be binding.
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- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
The activities and affairs of the Academy will be managed by the Executive Committee consisting of the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and three Members-At-Large. These are elected for a THREE YEAR TERM.Spouses of the elected members are non-voting ex-officio members. Immediate past two surviving presidents and their spouses will also be non-voting ex-officio members. The President can co-opt upto two members to serve on the Committee for special purpose (e.g. editor of a hypothetical magazine). These members and their spouses will also be non-voting ex-officio members. Their term will expire with that of the Committee.The Committee shall be responsible for directing the affairs of the Academy and shall formulate such plans, policies, rules and procedures as needed to achieve the purpose and the objectives of the Academy.The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice a year. Three members (including at least one officer) shall constitute a quorum.
- OFFICERS :
The officers of the Executive Committee are the President, the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer, in a descending order. Then are the Members-At-Large of the Committee.When a President resigns or is unable to continue to serve (e.g. because of death), or may choose not to continue for other reasons and (s)he notifies the Committee, then the Vice President, or another officer in the order listed above will assume the office. Failing that, the Committee can select the new President from the Members-At-Large of the Committee, or from the general membership, or may call for a new election. The term of the selected President will not extend beyond that of the President (s)he replaces. The President thus selected remains eligible to contest the election, when the latter is held.The Academy shall indemnify all the office bearers against all law suits arising out of their carrying out their official duties. This does not include any fraud, theft or embezzlement of Academy funds.
- THE ELECTION :
The election of the officers, and of the members-at-large of the Executive Committee is held every three years, or sooner if required. Voting is done by a secret ballot via mail. Election is conducted by the ELECTION COMMISSIONER appointed by the Executive Committee which first sets a tentative date. Then the Election Commissioner will recruit 2-5 members, not related to any of the candidates, to form an ELECTION COMMITTEE.The Election Commissioner will make decisions about conducting the election. These will include, but will not be limited to, inviting the nominations, issuing the ballots, ruling on the eligibility, ensuring the confidentiality, and counting the votes. The Election Commissioner’s decisions will be considered final. The Election Commissioner will report the results to the President and the Executive Committee.
- BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS :
Bylaws of the Academy, and any proposed amendments to them will have to be approved by the two-thirds (of those who vote) of the General Body voting in favor. The Executive Committee may form an ad hoc BYLAWS COMMITTEE for this purpose. Voting will be by a secret mail ballot.Amendments can be suggested to the Bylaws Committee (or to the Executive Committee, if there is no Bylaws Committee) by any member. The Committee will consider the amendment(s), and may decide for or against submitting it to the membership for a vote. An amendment suggested in writing with signatures of at least 50 members will have to be put to a formal vote by the membership.All meetings, elections, and other business will be conducted according to the ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER, unless stated otherwise in the Bylaws.