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Western Pennsylvania Mensa
BYLAWS
AS APPROVED AUGUST 1990

See the Approved Revision to the bylaws (April, 2000)


GENERAL ARTICLE DEFINITIONS.
  Sec. 1. In all cases in these Bylaws, the use of masculine pronouns such as "his," "him," and "he" shall be presumed to read "hers," "her," and "she," as appropriate.
  Sec. 2. In all cases in these Bylaws, in which percentages of the membership are specified, the required percentage will be of the total membership shown on the most recent roster received from American Mensa Ltd.
  Sec. 3. As it may appear in these Bylaws and in other documents published by or for Western Pennsylvania Mensa, the abbreviation "AML" is taken to mean American Mensa, Ltd., and the abbreviation "AMC" is taken to mean American Mensa Committee.

ARTICLE I.   NAME OF ORGANIZATION.
  Sec. 1. The name of this local group of American Mensa, Ltd., shall be "Western Pennsylvania Mensa."
  Sec. 2. Said Western Pennsylvania 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.
  Sec. 3. American Mensa, Ltd., (AML) has granted a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to Western Pennsylvania 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 services and purposes of Western Pennsylvania Mensa. AML retains full ownership of the mark and logo and all statutory and common law rights in the mark and logo.

ARTICLE II.   MEMBERSHIP IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA MENSA.
  Sec. 1. Membership in Western Pennsylvania Mensa shall consist of all American Mensa Ltd. members in good standing in the geographic areas assigned by American Mensa Committee, or as otherwise assigned by American Mensa Ltd.
  Sec. 2.   Mensa members in good standing who are not also members of Western Pennsylvania Mensa are welcome to participate in the social activities of Western Pennsylvania Mensa at the invitation of the host, but may not vote or hold office in the local group; nor may they participate in its business activities unless they be the National Ombudsman or his designee, members of American Mensa Committee in the discharge of their responsibilities, or at the invitation of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE III.   EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND APPOINTED OFFICERS.
  Sec. 1. The governing body shall be an Executive Committee, hereinafter referred to as "ExComm", of ten members elected from the general membership and chaired by a Local Secretary.
  Sec. 2. All elected and appointed officers shall be current members of Western Pennsylvania Mensa as defined in Article II.
  Sec. 3. The term of office for an elected or appointed position is one year or the balance of a term.
  Sec. 4. If an elected or appointed officer serves two consecutive terms in the same office or position, he shall be ineligible to serve in that position further until one term has elapsed following completion of the second term of office, provided the provisions of Article VII, Section 11 do not apply. "Service of a term" shall be defined as service of at least seven months of a term.
  Sec. 5. A quorum shall consist of at least six members of the ExComm for all purposes other than filling vacancies on the ExComm. For purposes of filling vacancies on the ExComm, a quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the remaining members of the ExComm.
  Sec. 6. Proxy votes are not to be considered valid in ExComm meetings or in any election held by Western Pennsylvania Mensa.
  Sec. 7. The ExComm shall between elections fill all vacancies caused by any reason. Notice of such vacancy shall be published in the next scheduled issue of the official Western Pennsylvania Mensa publication, hereinafter referred to as the "group newsletter." Such notice shall invite members wishing to serve in this position to attend the next regularly scheduled Excomm meeting, to be held no later than 60 days from receipt of notice of the vacancy. The ExComm shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy.
  Sec. 8. All appointments made by the ExComm shall be published in the next issue of the group newsletter.
  Sec. 9. An ExComm member may not vote on his appointment to or removal from office, and may not vote on any issue relating to his conduct in office. An Excomm member may be removed from the ExComm only by resignation, by operation of Section 5, Article VI, or by operation of Article VIII.

ARTICLE IV.   OFFICERS AND DUTIES.
  Sec. 1. The ExComm shall elect one of its members to serve as Local Secretary by a majority (six member) vote of the ExComm. Said Local Secretary shall be the principal administrative officer. The Local Secretary shall preside at all meetings of Western Pennsylvania Mensa and of the ExComm; he shall be an ex-officio member of all committees; he shall appoint such special committees as may be authorized by the ExComm, and he shall render a condensed annual report; he shall obey all lawful orders of the ExComm and shall be thoroughly familiar with the organization's bylaws and rules of parliamentary procedure.
  Sec. 2. The Recording/Corresponding Secretary shall keep accurate records of the minutes of all ExComm meetings, shall notify officers, delegates and committees of their election or appointment, shall send out notices of all business meetings to the group newsletter and shall conduct all correspondence unless otherwise provided or ordered by the ExComm.
  Sec. 3. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all Western Pennsylvania Mensa funds except as may be otherwise ordered or provided. The Treasurer shall deposit the same in such banking institutions as the ExComm may authorize and the account shall be in the organization's name. The Treasurer and the Local Secretary shall be individually authorized to sign checks on the account subject to a maximum limit set by the ExComm. The Treasurer shall be a member ex-officio of the Finance Committee and shall render complete written financial reports containing schedules of income, expenses and balances for all funds under control of Western Pennsylvania Mensa, including Regional Gathering, scholarship, proctor and other special funds, which shall be published in the February and August issues of the group newsletter, and shall furnish a report at such other times as required by the ExComm.
  Sec. 4. The Editor shall be responsible for the monthly publication of the group newsletter and shall be responsible to the ExComm, which shall have the final authority over all material to be published. The Editor has the responsibility for the make-up work and the meeting of printing deadlines. To preserve editorial independence, the newsletter editor may not also serve concurrently on the ExComm.
  Sec. 5. All non-elective officers shall be appointed from among the entire membership of Western Pennsylvania Mensa, shall serve at the pleasure of the ExComm and may be removed from their position(s) as non-elective officer(s) by a majority vote of a quorum of the ExComm. Election Officers, however, may not be removed from office except for non-performance of their duties.
  Sec. 6. All appointed officers, if not elected members of the ExComm, Shall be considered members ex-officio of the ExComm but may not be counted for a quorum nor be allowed to vote on the ExComm.
  Sec. 7. All officers elected or appointed shall keep a current file of business transacted and shall relinquish, within two weeks of leaving office, all files, office equipment, and other materials which are the property of Western Pennsylvania Mensa to their successors, the Local Secretary, or the ExComm.

ARTICLE V.   PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
  Sec. 1. The rules contained in "Robert's Rules of Order," most recent edition, shall be the parliamentary authority in all cases not covered by these Bylaws. A copy shall be provided to each new ExComm.

ARTICLE VI.   BUSINESS MEETINGS.
  Sec. 1. Scheduled ExComm meetings shall be held at least Quarterly and all scheduled meetings shall be announced in the preceding issue of the group newsletter.
  Sec. 2. Additional or Special ExComm meetings may be called as needed by the Local Secretary or upon written request by any three ExComm members, or on petition by five percent of all Western Pennsylvania Mensa members. Such additional ExComm meetings must be held within fifteen days of receipt by the Local Secretary of a written request. Members interested in attending such meetings may inform the Local Secretary who will keep a list and inform such members of the meeting date, place and time. The agenda for Special Meetings may include only that business for which the meeting was called.
  Sec. 3. An Annual General Membership Meeting shall be held for the purpose of counting the ballots of the regular election and the presentation of annual reports from the officers to the membership. The date for this meeting is to be determined by the election process as detailed in Article VII.
  Sec. 4. All Western Pennsylvania Mensa members in good standing are entitled and welcome to attend all business, Editorial, and Regional Gathering Planning Committee meetings.
  Sec. 5. If an ExComm member is absent from any three scheduled meetings in any one term, such absences shall constitute automatic resignation from the ExComm; however, the ExComm by a majority vote of the remaining members may declare such resignation void if extenuating circumstances exist.

ARTICLE VII.   ELECTION PROCEDURE.
  Sec. 1. By December 7 of each election year, the ExComm shall appoint an election official, hereinafter known as the "Teller." The Teller may, at his discretion, request and receive from the ExComm the appointment of others to assist in the work. The January issue of the group newsletter shall carry the call for nominations, instructions as to the candidates' campaign statements, and the names and address of the appointed Teller(s) to whom the nomination petitions are to be mailed or otherwise delivered.
  Sec. 2. The Tellers shall supervise all elections, receive all nomination petitions, all candidates' statements for publication (see Article VII, Sec. 4 & 5) and the sealed ballots at which time the Tellers have the responsibility for counting the ballots and certifying the results. The Tellers shall assure that the call for nominations and the results of all regular and special elections are published in the group newsletter. Any election rules not covered by the Bylaws of Western Pennsylvania Mensa and American Mensa Ltd. shall be determined by the Tellers. Said Tellers are to be appointed from the membership of Western Pennsylvania Mensa by the ExComm and may not be elected officials during the current term nor running for an elected position during their appointment as Tellers.
  Sec. 3. Each nominating petition must be in writing (understood to be typed, hand written or mechanically reproduced original or copy), dated and signed by the nominee and at least five current members of Western Pennsylvania Mensa as defined in Article II. No person may be elected to the Executive Committee without having submitted a valid petition in accordance with the procedures of these bylaws.
  Sec. 4. To be considered a valid nominating petition in the current election, it must be received by the Teller(s) no later than February 7 of the current election year, or by the date specified by the Teller(s) for any other election. Votes for write-in candidates shall not be counted.
  Sec. 5. Candidates may submit a campaign statement to the Teller(s) together with their nominating petitions for publication in the group newsletter in which the ballot is inserted, or accompanying the ballot if mailed separately, of a maximum length to be determined by the Tellers. Subject only to the provisions of Article X, Section 2, subparagraphs "a" through "c", this statement is not subject to editing by anyone. Nothing in this section is to be construed as preventing a nominee from mailing his own campaign statement at his own expense to the group membership.
  Sec. 6. If ten or fewer valid nominating petitions are received, these nominees shall be declared to be elected and any and all balloting procedures for these nominees shall be dispensed with. If there are more than ten valid nominees, an election shall be held. As directed by the Tellers, the ballots listing all valid candidates shall be prepared and mailed First Class or Second Class to all current members of Western Pennsylvania Mensa by March 1. The listing of nominees' names on the ballots and election statements shall be in random order, the randomizing method to be determined by the Tellers. These ballots shall be accompanied by any and all campaign statements received as a result of Section 5 of this Article together with an addressed return envelope. All ballots must be returned by mail or by hand to the Tellers by the time and date specified on the official ballot. The return envelope shall have a place for the signature of the voter, and his printed name and address, such information provided to ensure validity of the voter. In no case will a printed ballot be used that can in any way identify the voter.
  Sec. 7. The Annual General Membership Meeting at which ballots are to be counted shall be held in April of the current election year.
  Sec. 8. The Tellers shall in the presence of all interested parties, during the Annual General Membership Meeting, check the ballot envelopes for validity, open and separate the ballots from the cover envelopes, record all valid ballots received and shall announce the final count.
  Sec. 9. The Tellers shall deliver the election results to the Editor who will publish the results of the election in the next issue of the group newsletter.
  Sec. 10. Those ten nominees ranking highest in vote totals or up to ten nominees if declared elected in accordance with Article VII. Section 6 shall be members of the new ExComm and shall assume office upon official announcement of the election results. Any vacancies through declination or insufficient nominees shall be filled in accordance with Article III, Section 7.
  Sec. 11. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article III, Section 4, if ten valid nominating petitions are not received by the Teller(s) and if no response is received at the Annual General Meeting to a call for others to serve on the ExComm, current ExComm members whose terms would ordinarily expire in accordance with Article III, Section 4, may volunteer to serve. If the number of volunteers exceeds the number of open positions on the ExComm, the Excomm will elect (a) member(s) to fill the open position(s) from among the volunteers.

ARTICLE VIII.   RECALL ELECTIONS.
  Sec. 1. A Recall Election against any and all members of the ExComm may be called by a petition from the membership which clearly states the reason for the recall and the members to be recalled. If the stated reasons for the Recall Election are that the ExComm or members thereof have willfully acted in violation of the Bylaws of Western Pennsylvania Mensa, requirements are that the petition must be signed by five percent of the members of Western Pennsylvania Mensa. All other reasons for recall shall require a petition signed by ten percent of the membership.
  Sec. 2. A Recall Election with a call for candidates must be announced in the next possible issue of the group newsletter.
  Sec. 3. At such business meeting where the Recall Petition is presented, the ExComm shall establish dates for balloting and, at the same meeting, appoint (an) Election Official(s) who shall fulfill the same duties, generally, as the Tellers do during a regular election: conduct the election, receive, verify and count the ballots, certify and have published the results. In the case of a Recall Election, all ballots must be cast by mail.
  Sec. 4. No Recall Petition shall be acted upon within ninety days of a regularly scheduled election.
  Sec. 5. All pertinent provisions of Article VII, ELECTION PROCEDURE, not otherwise addressed in this Article will apply.

ARTICLE IX   AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS.
  Sec. 1. Amendments to these Bylaws may be originated by the ExComm, a Bylaws Study Group appointed by the ExComm, or by petition signed by at least five percent of the members in good standing and submitted to the ExComm for action. The ExComm shall submit proposed amendments to the American Mensa Committee (AMC) for approval within 60 days of receipt.
  Sec. 2. Following the approval of the proposed amendments by the AMC, the ExComm shall appoint an Election Official (Teller) who will submit the proposed amendments, together with an explanation to the group newsletter Editor for publication in the next scheduled issue.
  Sec. 3. The Teller shall determine the timetable, publication details, receive votes, verify and tally votes, certify and publish balloting results.
  Sec. 4. The second-next issue after the issue that carried the first publication of the proposed amendments must carry a reprint of same, together with a mail ballot and balloting instructions. Interim newsletters shall carry any pro and/or con statements submitted, publication and length of which are supervised by the Teller and except for the provisions of Article X, Section 2, subparagraphs "a" through "c", are not subject to editing by anyone.
  Sec. 5. Balloting deadline must be no less than ninety days after the first nominal publication date of the proposal. "Nominal" is to be interpreted as the first day of the month listed on the outside front cover of the newsletter.
  Sec. 6. Balloting may be by section or by complete sets of changes, depending on the practicality and interrelationship of sections as determined by the ExComm.
  Sec. 7. All ballots must be cast by mail and sealed in an envelope on the outside of which the voting member's signature, printed name and address must be clearly visible. Ballot amendments, to pass, must be approved by a majority of the votes cast.
  Sec. 8. Amendments become effective on the later of two dates: (a) American Mensa Committee approval or (b) local membership ratification (balloting deadline).
  Sec. 9. Balloting results shall be published in the local group newsletter as quickly as practical.
  Sec. 10. Updated bylaws must be made available to all local members on demand and to all new local members upon joining.

ARTICLE X.   MEMBERSHIP PUBLICATION RIGHTS.
  Sec. 1. Conditional upon the provisions of Section 2 of this Article, any member in good standing shall have the right to have any member sponsored activity and/or recognized local or national Special Interest Group (SIG) event listed in the calendar of activities of the group newsletter, provided such activity is within the geographic area encompassed by Western Pennsylvania Mensa and is open to all interested members. Member-sponsored local affairs in conflict with either the Annual General Meeting or the Regional Gathering may be declined newsletter publicity, at the discretion of the ExComm.
  Sec. 2. The purpose of the group newsletter is communication and intellectual stimulation and entertainment. There is a presumption that we are all equal and of mature judgment. Each member, then, shall be responsible for what he says. To clarify the rules for submissions to the group newsletter, consider the following:
  1. We encourage submissions of any type for publication, controversial or otherwise, so long as they are in good taste.
  2. Personal attacks on other members (in this group or not), and otherwise libelous statements will not be printed.
  3. Vulgarities within an article intended for publication, obviously inserted for shock value, disqualify the submission.
  4. The group newsletter Editor is responsible for the newsletter, but is not the owner of it, which is reserved to the group as a whole through the ExComm.
  5. An article submitted to the Editor with a "No Editing" note runs the risk of not being published at all, based on the Editor's decision as to space limitations. The Editor, however, may contact the writer beforehand advising the writer of space availability.
  6. In cases of a submission which the Editor considers (by his own definition) as questionable, the Editor will attempt to reach an amicable solution with the writer. If this cannot be done, the Editor may withdraw the item and notify the ExComm. The writer, Editor and ExComm will decide the matter at the next regular ExComm meeting.

ARTICLE XI.   INVALIDATION CLAUSE.
  Sec. 1. Invalidation of any part of these Bylaws by American Mensa Ltd. or under provisions of law will serve to invalidate that portion only.


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