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Charlottesville Grotto Bylaws





1.1  Applications

Applications for membership shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by dues as specified herein and a statement signed by the applicant indicting support for the goals of the Charlottesville Grotto (hereinafter called the Grotto) and its conservation policies.  All applications for membership shall be acted on by the Executive Committee.

There shall be the following classes of members:

Full-Regular:    Is an NSS member, has voting rights, may hold office, and receives any generally distributed publications. A Full-Family member is an NSS member, part of the family of, and is a part of the same household as a Full-Regular member.  Has the same rights as the Full-Regular member except for not receiving generally distributed publications.

Associate- Regular:  Are not NSS members, may not hold office, may vote on matters not affecting NSS.  Associate Family members are not NSS members, are a part of the family of a Regular or Associate-Regular in the same household.  They may not hold office and do not receive generally  distributed publications, but may vote on matters not affecting the NSS.

Junior:  Full or Associate members who are under the age of 18.  Junior members may not hold office; however, they may be appointed by the Executive Committee to serve on a committee


1.2  Dues

The amount of the annual member dues, their due dates, and the collection procedures shall be determined by the Executive committee.


1.3  Termination of Membership

1.3.1  Membership shall be terminated for non-payment of Grotto dues.  A member dropped for non-payment of dues may be reinstated automatically upon payment of current Grotto dues.


1.3.2  Members may be admonished, suspended from certain privileges, or expelled from Grotto membership for any of the following reasons:

1.     Willful misuse of Grotto property or facilities

2.     Willful disregard of the safety of themselves and/or of others while participating in a Grotto activity.

3.     Conduct detrimental to the Grotto and/or the National Speleological Society


Disciplinary action under this provision shall be taken only upon a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee by a secret ballot.  Disciplinary action shall be initiated only upon presentation to the Executive Committee of a written petition for disciplinary action, submitted by at least two members of the Grotto not in the same household.

            Upon receiving such a petition, the Executive Committee shall take such action as are deemed necessary to notify the accused member or members, in writing, of the petition, and of the place, date, and time at which the petition will be considered by the Executive Committee.  The accused member or member shall have the right to speak in their own behalf.  Such considerations shall take place no sooner than twenty-one days and no later than seventy days after the petition is received by the Executive Committee. 



No special assessments may be made against members of the Grotto.  Voluntary contributions may be solicited by the Executive Committee for specific purposes.  A charge may be made for the Grotto’s special publications and extra copies of regular publications, and fees may be collected for use of the Grotto’s property when approved by the Executive Committee.

Gifts and bequests may be made to the Grotto in any form or amount and for any use compatible with the purpose of the Grotto.

A charge may be made to non-members for:  attendance at Grotto-sponsored activities; use of the Grotto’s equipment and library; copies of publications, maps, and other data, and inclusion of non-members on the Grotto’s mailing list.



Those elected each year shall take office at the start of the first regular meeting of the fiscal year.

The Executive Committee shall have the power to remove any Executive Committee member who, without just cause, fails to attend two regular Executive Committee meetings in one fiscal year without sending a proxy or who, without just cause, attends no Executive Committee meetings in person for three consecutive meetings.

Vacancies on the Executive Committee that occur shall be filled for the balance of the fiscal year by chairman’s appointment, subject to majority approval of the rest of the Executive Committee. 



Candidates for the Executive Committee shall be selected from among eligible Grotto members by nominations made from the floor at a regular general meeting provided that the member so nominated agrees to run.  Elections shall be held prior to the end of the fiscal year.



Any member of the Executive Committee may appoint a member of the Grotto as a proxy to act for him or her at a meeting of the Executive Committee.  Proxy may act at one meeting for only one Executive Committee member.  The presiding officer must be notified of such proxy appointment directly or in writing by the absent Executive Committee member before the proxy may be allowed to serve.  Authorization should state if discretionary powers have been given to the proxy.



Committees shall be established by the Executive Committee to execute the work of the Grotto.  Chairpersons  of the committees shall be appointed by the Chairperson  of the Grotto, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.  Each committee chairperson shall select the personnel and promote the activities of  his/her committee.  All committees (except for an Elections Committee) shall operate under the direction and approval of the Executive Committee.



There shall be at least one Executive Committee meeting in each of at least six months of the fiscal year.  The date, time, and place of these meetings shall be provided to the membership at least 30 days before the date of such meeting.  The Executive Committee shall determine the date, time, and place for any special meetings.  A quorum at an Executive Committee meeting will be a majority of the members of the Executive Committee.

Committee chairpeople may attend meetings of the Executive Committee and have the privilege of speaking on matters relevant to the committee’s function, but shall have no power to vote by virtue of their committee role.  Any other  member of the Grotto may attend Executive Committee meetings and may be granted the privilege of the floor at the discretion of the presiding officer but shall have no power to vote.



Robert’s Rules of Order, as revised, shall govern all procedural questions arising at meetings of the Executive Committee when they are applicable and when they are not inconsistent with the Grotto’s constitution and bylaws.



Each action approved by the Executive Committee which serves to establish new policies or administrative procedures can be designated as a “directive” or “act.”  The Secretary of the Grotto shall be responsible for maintaining a file of such directives and be responsible for notifying the membership in writing of their adoption. 



There shall be at least one General Meeting of the membership in each quarter of the calendar year.  The date, time, and place of these meetings shall be provided to the membership before the date of such meeting.  The Executive Committee shall determine the date, time, and place for these and any special meetings.

A quorum at a General Meeting shall be ten percent of the total membership and at least five individuals.



The Grotto may acquire real and intangible property, including equipment, literature, and other materials for use by and on behalf of the membership.  The fiscal year is the calendar year.



The Grotto may issue and distribute to the members in good standing, other than Family Members, regular issues of a Grotto newsletter, and is empowered to issue and distribute special publications, subject to regulations governing the subject matter, publication dates, sales, and distribution as prescribed by the Executive Committee.


13.0  STORE

The Grotto may maintain a Grotto Store for the convenience of members, and associates.  The Store will be limited to speleologically related goods appropriate to the policies of the Grotto.



The Grotto may maintain a Grotto Library for the convenience of members and associates.  The Library will be limited to speleologically related documents appropriate to the policies of the Grotto.  Grotto historical records and other important documents shall be kept in the Library.



The Constitution and Bylaws of the National Speleological Society shall be binding on the Grotto where applicable.  Any actions inconsistent therewith shall be null and void.



All proposed amendment(s) to these bylaws must be presented to the entire membership and notice given to the members of the place, date, and time of the General Meeting at which the amendment(s) will be considered for adoption, and provisions shall be made for absentee voting.  This notice shall be given not less than twenty days prior to the designated meeting.  Adoption of the amendment(s) shall require a two-thirds vote of the members voting, either in person or by absentee ballot, and the total votes cast must constitute at least fifty percent of the membership.


As revised November 2000.